Monday, November 18, 2013

It is time...

Sometimes a person does the best they can to sneak in little moments here and there where they can be themselves and do the things they want to do. And every other moment is spent doing the things they "have to" do. 

And sometimes this is not enough.

I spend a couple hours here and there making my crafts or supporting HOPE Society, the organization I belong to that runs our local farmer's market and supports efforts to make our town a little more green. These things make me happy, make me feel like, in that moment, I am making a difference using the skills that I have. 

Then I have to go to work. I "have to" because I "need" money to pay bills and buy groceries.  

But it is not enough. Sure I "need" to eat. But I also need an adventure. I need to feel like I am making this world a better place. I need to create.  These things I need just as much as food.  

I have made the decision to sell my business. Yes, I have suffered a wrist injury.  But I truly feel that it is not a handicap, but a sign. It is life telling me that I am going in the wrong direction.  I am not happy.

My mother always told us that it did not matter what we did when we grew up. We didn't have to make a lot of money or be something highly revered like a doctor or a lawyer.  As long as we are happy, it did and does not matter.  I say again, I am not happy.

With this decision, I feel relief.  I see my adventure, my window to make a better world.  The world I will see.  For how can one improve upon he world if one has not seen it? 

I have resisted every urge to just drop everything and leave.  The thought has crossed my mind over and over again.  But I suppose a few extra months won't kill me.  ;) 

It is an old habit to do the "right thing". Go about things by the book. So I will sell my business. Sell it or shut it down. I have feared Houston's response to my leaving the business.  But, as my mother always told me, no one is responsible for my happiness but me. So I will do what makes me happy, after I tie up all my loose ends. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lest We Evolve

I'd like to start off by not apologizing for my opinion.  If you choose to be offended by this blog, stop reading. Hopefully you'll keep an open mind enough to come back for my next one.

I choose not to wear a poppy for Remembrance Day simply for the reason that they are "disposable plastic" (**See below for reason for quotations). This is not an intentional offense. And neither is my choice to Christmas music or decorate before November 12. 

There has been a lot of hooplah this year regarding "respecting your veterans." Yes, okay, if someone spits on your poppy, please feel free to be offended.  But not allowing someone to celebrate a different holiday before another passes is suppressing the rights of others.  You might as well deny someone the right to celebrate Christmas until Hanukkah is over, too.

Now this is only an observation, but I've noticed a pattern.  The only people who seem to be really pushing for obstaining from Christmas until November 12 are those over the age of 60. And not even all of them.  This is evidence of a changing world, nothing more.  And that's okay! Change is good.  Nothing is permanent.  And Remembrance Day should evolve to how our world is today.

This whole "white poppy" thing has received a lot of attention.  It highlights the shift in our mindsets.  I don't necessarily agree with the idea of trying to replace the red poppy with the white.  I do, however, love the idea of focussing on maintaining peace rather than mourning for those who sacrificed themselves for it every year.  Remembrance Day could be a day to embrace the things that they fought and died for... such as Christmas. 

Going back to the poppy... And pretty well any other awareness symbol paraphernalia... I spent more time than I care to admit trying to find how many poppies were produced every year.  I finally found an interview on the Globe and Mail that stated that Canada produces 16 to 18 million poppies consistently each year. And that's just Canada! Every year poppies are worn for two weeks then just tossed out.  And I find it slightly ridiculous that it is this difficult to find the stats. (FYI the British statistics on poppy production was much easier to find)

We are constantly bombarded with awareness campaigns in modern society, to the point that no one has the capacity to really care about anything.  It starts to just depress you that there are so many terrible things to be aware of. We focus on the negative so easily and often. Where are the Bugs Are Cool Awareness campaigns, as opposed to the Endangered Honey Bee? Or the Pets Improve Quality of Life, as opposed to Animal Abuse?  Maybe we would want to spread the joy instead of end the suffering. But I still wouldn't wear a "disposable plastic" (There I go again with the quotations.) insect to raise awareness.  :P

***The reason that I used quotations around "disposable plastic" (Oops! Did it again!) is because "disposable" is not an accurate description of any plastic. It doesn't just go away. "Biodegradable" or "compostable" maybe. But even those are questionable, as there are often very specific environmental requirements to make it true.  No plastic should be considered "disposable" as it harms our planet.  Ending up in oceans and the stomachs of unsuspecting wildlife.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Seeing Stars

Okay, I realize this is a barrage of pictures, but I'm hoping that the extra visuals will make it easier to figure out how to make the stars.  Because they're so freaking cute!
When I was searching online, I had a hard time finding a good tutorial.  (To be fair, I didn't look at any of the video tutorials) I kept getting confused after the first folding step.  A good amount of trial and error brought me to realize it's pretty easy.  And once you've done one or two, you can pump out a good amount of them in no time.

First, cut out strips of paper.  I used strips  of magazine pages (lengthwise) 3/4" wide. Then make a loop with a short end and a long end.
The short end should be just long enough to fit back into the loop with a little left over.
Flatten it so that you get a nice even pentagon shape.
Tuck the end back into the pentagon shape.
Take the long end, now and fold it over the edge so that it runs flat against the adjacent edge.
Keep folding in this way until you run out. I found that the more wraps needed to get to the end (ie: a longer strip) the more sturdy the star is in the end.
You need the end to be long enough to securely tuck into the folds, without scrunching.  You may need to trim.
Pentagon shape!
K, now pinch the corners as shown to pop out the star.
I found that once in a while I'd get a stubborn one that wouldn't pop, so I used a stick pin to just push it out from the inside.
Star shape!
Then I made a garland by sewing a piece of thread through the stars to join them together.