Wednesday, September 30

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?
(as serious or light-hearted as you like)
read more here

Our finances are pretty bleak.

Means giving up several ideas and hopes. Means rethinking any plans. Means a longer wait, again, on the house build completion.

friends, food, happy children

I am thankful anyway because...........

... it's a refocusing on what really matters
... it shakes up our creative thinking
... it reminds us to value what we have

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post. Grab the button up the top (right click & Save As) and a link back is always nice.

Lisa @ My World Edenwild

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Tuesday, September 29

Touchstone Tuesday


Snippets of our life that fill me with simple Joy. Join in.

... she grows in light and I hear the little one say, 'hello moon'. I'm filled with double-wonder.

writing the book within

As you know, I started writing again. I created a private (just for me) blog for this purpose. I had brought out a small pile of notebooks and pens and was struggling to jot things down.
I soon realised that computer time had made typing more natural. It allows the Flow to reach its potential. I feel nostalgic about my notebooks, but it would be silly to allow that feeling to become an obstacle.

Anyway, so I'm vaguely working on a novel. But as some of you know, I have progressed to a place where the process, the writing, is the joy. What comes afterwards is, well, afterwards. Published, not published, brilliant, mediocre, even finished or not - right now it's irrelvant. I just write.

I have also been thinking about my own personal strengths in writing, and I think some of my insight into this was sparked off by a lovely thought shared by a commentor to a post on writing.  That the writing on this blog has value. (and by others who enjoy specific ideas I talk about here)

Yes, thank you. I needed to hear that. Of course it has value. Even if it's just read by 20 people, even if its just one person that finds worth in one of my many posts - that's worthwhile. Because that's partly what keeps me motivated. I want to write, to explore, and to be of help.
I write because I must, but I'm inspired by the parallel stories of readers, and motivated to continue ranting by just one reader saying - thanks Mon, I needed to hear that.

This has also been especially good for my personal journey, because in healing my Shadow, I needed to come here, write, and not seek to make each post perfect. Not in grammer, not in style....
I have a thought, I write it out, I re-read and sometimes find a message I'm sharing and seek to make that clear enough. But leave it there. To hear that it has value within imperfection, is healing.

Hesiod Listening to the Inspiration of the Muse 
by Edmond-Francois Aman-Jean. (for sarah)

And so back to my strengths. Although creative fiction is a joy, I realised a while back and am remembering again, that non-fiction is more natural to me. For those interested, my Mercury is in Virgo (communication - precision, clarity, logic, order, integrity, weaving together details for bigger picture).

Also, I'm seeing the non-fiction pull in the book I feel wants writing.

I have this idea that writers write books (when writing from the soul) because that book wants writing. Whether you believe it's Out There, or, like, me, within you... it's there waiting for you to give it form.

And in opening myself up to non-fiction, I'm sensing that book more and more. I feel its presence, like the name you try to recall that plays tantalisingly on the tip of your tongue. Just....out....of....reach.

I sense it most acutely at certain times. One of these is when I spot a title that interests me, and then, even if I like the sound of it and may even buy it, I deflat just the tiniest bit inside. Disappointed that it isn't THE book.

Birth of Inspiration 
by Alejandro Flores

Now I realise, it's the Call. That feeling is my book calling me. Stop looking elsewhere, it says, write me.

But what is this book? What can I have to say that hasn't been said before? Or by 'experts'?

How do I discover it? Uncover it? Unearth it?
Just write thoughts out? Dig them out with my bare fingers? Sometimes uncovering stones, other times a gem or two? Eventually connecting the dots?

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Sunday, September 27

Curling crochet bottoms & Chainless foundations

Here's what I've learnt over the last few days as I work on my girl's cardigan.

When you have done a row or two after your chain, and you lay it down flat as possible (chain at bottom), and it curls upward...

.... your chain is too loose in comparison to your rows.

  • Choose a smaller hook for you chain (I find this makes the next row difficult to stitch)
  • Make a tighter chain.
  • Make a chainless foundation.

If your work curls downwards, your chain is too tight.

  • Choose a larger hook just for the chain.
  • Make a looser chain (easy option)
  • Make a chainless foundation.
The most compehensive tutorial for chainless foundation (but can become a bit info-overload) is over here at futuregirl's great blog. There's a video at the bottom there as well.

A useful video over here.

The chainless foundation looks fab, and as a non-chain lover, this could be the way of my crochet future. But it's a whole different technique and I'm finding that it requires its own practice.

Book Club

How fun! There is already good interest in the Club and a handful of members have mentioned they have bought/borrowed the first titles, just finished reading them, and I received one review!

I'm hoping this is enthusiasm and not that I've failed to make clear that you read those books in THAT month. So tenderness of Wolves is read in October and we discuss it in November. Right? Right!? blink

I read A Thousand Splendid Suns in a few days, (no crocheting.... or much else) but will wait to review it. It's our April 2010 pick! But a friend had it so I took the opportunity.

I'm starting Love in the Time of Cholera today. Really interested in this one. I've never read any Gabriel Garcia Marquez and have gone back and forth with his titles, as to whether to try them or not.

That's something I enjoy about book clubs, you're given the motivation to read something you may never had. Whether you enjoy it or not, you tried it.

So, where are you? Have you in possession the next title/s? Started reading? Finshed!?

And does anyone have any further suggestions for those months where we have just the one title? I'm surprised not to have had any for the mothers and daughters theme.

Saturday, September 26

catching up...

It's been so chaotic in that stress-under-the-breath sort of way and then the internet packed up on me for almost 24hrs (missing limb anyone?) and so I missed Thankful Thursday (but others did not) (and take a look at Alexis' new Blogger blog, I enjoyed helping her with it) ..... and, and ,and...

I feel the need to touch base with you all, to share the daily life stuff.

So most of you know that my life has taken some biggie twists and turns lately. You know how you're on one course and suddenly a new-old path appears and you find you're on it before you have had time to check your map?

That's been me.

And it's good......... slow, steady, cautious, honest, but moving forward.

Then there's our finances which have been not so good for several months now. Not exactly bad, just uncertain. Which is not exactly good either is it? On Saturday we find out some news which will make everything oh so much better.

I'm crocheting inbetween mothering and reading and blogging. I made a beret and a baby owl.

I'm now being brave and going for a child's cardigan. My first piecing together work, and will be my first blocking too. I actually frogged what you see below and restarted after I saw two mistakes and that it was coming out smaller than the Wildflower will need. d'oh

What else? The Wildflowe's teething is nuts and I've not been able to write at all for about 4-5 days. But that's mama creativity, right? Go with the flow. My mind still ticks over with ideas, and I'm re-entering the world of the Writer.

How do I know? Because everything - life, thoughts, something someone says, a fleeting image - becomes a writing possibility. Like when a photographer sees a view. They see a view and a photo. Without conscious effort.

I used to wonder whether thinking in blog posts was something to be concerned about. Now I realise it was the semi-dormant writer in me, the communicator in me. As long as I saw BOTH - life and blog posts, all is as it should be.

Book Club Mamas

My October and November reads arrived today. So many wonderful leaves to chew. I'm attempting to read everything in each month's list. Or at least 2 titles. I'm currently reading the title for next April! I friend lent it to me. I'll write the review so it stays fresh in my mind but won't post it until then.

We've booked flights to UK for a 3 week visit. Charity shops (thrift stores), bookstores, my fave incense shop, oh, and family, here we come!

I acknowledged the change in seasons, the crawl into the Autumnal whispers, quietly, with wind talks and cinnamon tea.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Friday, September 25

Mama Records #2

Silly Sally arrived and you asked for it, Sa-ee, every day for a week. (my review here) Along with The Very Busy Spider, which you call pida. You named each animal on your own. Mami enjoys reading these two.
You're also now enjoying Maisy dvds.

You almost said a 4-word sentence - man... kick de ball, while flicking through your dad's football magazine, and then again when you spotted football on TV.

You still love to try on shoes, since your baba was here, and will put on mine, or ask for yours - shoo on.
You're also enjoying a book I had on Jack Russells, so many pups to look at!

You like pasta, and this month went from saying pata to pasta, but dislike mashed potato. argh

We took our first bath together and you were very pleased with this in your own understated way. You said, mama baht throughout the day.

It was so hot for a few days, after mami thought it had started to drop. We are both becoming a little stir crazy and I don't know what to do with you a lot of the time now. Mami isn't a big floor-time mama, and over several hours....well *shrug* But she reads to you as much as you like, and we sweep together and generally potter around the apartment.
You clap your hands and say mozi (mozzie - mosquito) mimicking how we catch them.

Mama made you this little baby owl, which you patiently waited for me to finish as I was distracted with other projects and reading. details at Crooked Hooks

You love watching Planet Earth for the last few months, and will ask for it with anmals (animals). This last couple of months you ask for it every day. You know when each new animal is coming up and will come to me for security when the fire starts saying,
Your favourites are the eegl (eagle), goose, mouse (which is actually some sort of desert rodent) and the sheep (caribou?). You also say woof (wolf) and enti (elephant).

You enjoy kicking your beach ball and have a great left foot on you. You're still quite clumsy, running with abandon, and exclaim opah! when you fall. You hit your head so many times we lost count, and at one point you had 3 bruises on your forehead.

We started going for our first walks with you on foot. This was our first one, along the water at Savina, and the winds almost blew you down. You loved every minute of it my little wind child.

Your fave word by the end of your month was empatee (empty). You understand the concept and like to point out empty containers and plates.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Crochet amigurumi owl

Tamie Snow's Cutest Little Owl is definitely a cutie and the girl-child loves it.

Oops, I forgot the feet, will get them on later...

Thursday, September 24

Faro's Daughter

Faro's Daughter, Georgette Heyer
Worth: Photobucket

How marvelous! Okay, best I expand on that.

I gave Heyer a go because my love of classics, and specifically 'romantic' classics, means that titles by Austen and Eliot are soon exhausted.

Now, Heyer doesn't have the wit and charm of Austen, nor the brilliance and insight of Eliot. Also, she isn't writing as a contemporary but rather as a historical writer. This does show through with what is fairly judged as an overuse of detail and terms. But I have to admire Heyer for taking the trouble to sound authentic, and I believe that she succeeds.

So, while she lacks the finesse of the great ladies above, she gives as a whopper of a romantic tale that befits any Elizabeth and Darcy -type entanglement. And whilst we're not reading Heyer for her mastery in prose, her writing is respectable.

The first chapter or so had me thinking that this was going to be a very dry tale. But once our heroine was insulted - I'll say no more - things perked up considerably. I could't put it down. I mean, the main thrust is predicatable, but the details much less so. There are many interesting twists and turns. It's also very funny in parts. The heroine is admirable and the hero, while perhaps lacking the Darcy swoon factor, is manly and strong, and very rich of course.

If you love a good romantic entaglement of the old-fashioned kind, you can't go wrong with this one. I'll be choosing more of Heyer's titles.


Tuesday, September 22

Crochet Phannie Beret

Pattern: Phannie

Hook: 4.5mm
Yarn: cheapo acrylic

Don't know what it is about my camera, but the yarn is definitely black.

Still quite small on me… hmmmm…. Nice hat but would prefer slightly larger. It came out really well and it's easy (if you understand FPDC). Might try it again with a nicer yarn, and possibly larger hook.

Pattern Notes:
I changed the start. I began with a magic ring with 4 sc, then 2 dc in each sc. Then caried on with row 2 as pattern.

After row 18 I checked the size and it was tiny! I don’t think I have a particularly lage head, lol, and I know I will always buy the ‘medium’ in hats.

That 11” guideline after Rnd14 is not the final width, more like 9”. Once you start the decreases it draws in dramatically.

Rnd 14b: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), * FPDC around post of next st, dc in next dc, dc dec over next 2 sts (1 st
decreased), dc in next dc, rep from * around, end FPDC around post of next st, dc in next dc, dc dec over next
2 sts, join with a sl st in top of beg ch-3 – 32 FPDC’s with 5 dc’s between them.
Rnd 14c: repeatb14b

Then an extra decrease rnd…

I added a picot edging.

Sorry, wish I could take better pics of myself.

Monday, September 21

how I stopped compromising

As a true Libran, compromise is my middle name. And we all learn how love and friendship etc is all about compromise and as women we learn about compromise more than the others and spiritually we understand how compromise is growth and Love.....

.... but I've discovered just how damaging compromise is.

I guess it's like everything, we chant out 'in moderation' to each other. When is compromise too far?

When we've given up a part of who we are.

In my last post I started talking about what I believe are our 3 main soul-needs. And if we compromise anything that fulfills those needs, that's going too far. Don't you think?

People are doing this every day - going too far. When we have a choice, we choose the mind-numbing jobs, the hurtful partner, the incongruent lifestyle, becoming martyrs to parenthood.....

Some of you know that I've been going through some intense and life-changing upheaval these last few months. In that time, I've had a little space to do much soul-searching. Sometimes the thoughts were spontaneous blossoms from my situation.

I was an over-compromiser. Not in the obvious doormat variety. But in the strong woman, opinionated, vocal person variety. Yep, the kind that you can be forgiven for not spotting.

painting: Jaap Hart

And so I stopped compromising. And my life became an explosion of anger, tensions, loud silences... but I didn't compromise. Even though I was seduced every day to do just that. How easy a choice that seemed!

But I didn't.

And so today I find myself moving on the even more authentic road towards my dream life.

In tiny daily ways... I'm doing less of what is pure obligation, and more of what my soul needs. I'm discovering the maginificence of giving, alongside the necessity and rightness of mindful selfishness.
In big ways... my husband and I are re-inventing our marriage (after 13 years), we're discussing how to live in two countries, travel a whole lot more, not be tied down by work or bricks and mortar, and I'm writing every day.

Yes, there's still compromise. Impossible to be in any human relationship without it. But it's not soul-compromising compromise.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Monday, September 14

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Worth: Photobucket
506 pgs

Let me just begin by stating that I can understand why so many have enjoyed this book, including a friend of mine. However.....

I didn't. It was just too reminiscent of the Spanish soap operas we are inundated with over here. Much like English ones (Bold & The Beautiful, etc) but the craziness notched up a little. You know those shows; pregnant with the son of your own twin sister who you thought was your mother and long dead but now resurrected with the face of your best friend. Situations that too easily move from exciting to sheer fantastical melodrama.

And don't misunderstand, I enjoy the fantastical. Like Water for Chocolate is a favourite of mine. But I dislike the fantastical for the sake of it, which is why it reminded me of soap operas. I also enjoy gothic literature, and this fell quite short of that offering too. It's Dickens gone muddled.

And something that only a mild-feminist might notice, was the portrayal of women. Yes, it's the 1950's in macho Spain. Yet, there existed strong women even then amazingly enough. In this novel, women are either angels or whores, excessively oppressed or martyrs to love. Not just their portrayal, but the regular talk about them. As a woman, I wouldn't blame you for being offended. I just found it tiresome after 100+ pages, let alone after 300.

I can't deny that it's an interesting story. Although I feel Zafón cheats somewhat with countless mini stories squeezed in. Often stories that stopped bordering on the ridiculous and simply lived in that land. I do realise that a lot of it was humourous, but again, it just became tiresome to me. The ending, well, it was never coming. I don't mean it was simply a long read, but rather that he seemed to want to spell it all out for us to the very last detail. This wasn't satisfying, it was pedantic.

It's fairly well-written, although many phrases and images would sound better in Spanish. And it's often heavy-handed. To call the novel atmospheric is a gross understatement. With an abundance of dark skies, shadows, blood, and 'bruised' clouds, it reads like a stage-designer gone prop happy.

I don't even feel that he gave us a true essence of Barcelona. There's a lot of mentions of ramblas and calles and small alleyways, but that a Spanish city does not make. I can understand that this aspect, if the reader feels Barcelona, is where the charm is for them.

I couldn't engage with the story and I couldn't engage with the young male protagonist at all. But I didn't hate it either. It was just okay for me.

I wouldn't discourage others from trying it. If you enjoy high melodrama for its own sake and a taste of Europe, this could prove highly entertaining. If you prefer your novels with more subtle beauty and literary finesse, then you might want to skip it.

the hungers

I see our souls as having three fundamental needs.

Spiritual connection
Emotional nourishment
Creative expression

I have pondered and self-analysed my need for emotional nourishment and lack of it for many years. Yet it was a long time before I thought of spiritual connection as a need that would trigger Filling behaviours, and I hadn't recognised creative expression as such a deep soul need until recently.

Without one of these, or without full voice to each, we are left with emptiness. For some people, the emptiness is small gaps, for others, cavernous voids.

And my other belief is that the soul must be fed - more so than the way our bodies must breathe. It isn't a choice - it's a driving need.

However, to put it more accurately, and according to my new perspective - we are left with the feeling of emptiness.

And emptiness scares us and so we fill it as quickly or as easily as possible. And yes, even degrees can be easy Fillers, in that feeding the truer hunger takes deeper understanding and work, vulnerability, readiness, and a willingness to confront our emotions.

So I'm going to call the three needs I mentioned above Hungers.

Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire (1897)

I believe that every single one of our Fillers can be reduced to its core Hunger.
So to get anywhere we need to fully recognise which hunger we are attempting to fulfill. I think it's possible to work top-down or down-up.

I'm going to be vulnerable and share with you my exercise in reduction in the chance that it might help someone else. I'll start with the one I know oh so well.

I need to feel loved deeply/unconditionally/passionately. Emotional nourishment
I never knew whether my father truly loved me.
My mother's love was initially conditional.
My mother's love was later withheld.
I was desparate for their love.
But I wanted it with acceptance of who I was.
I chose romantic partners that showered me with attention initially but were ultimately distant/withholding in love.
I had a cavernous hole in my centre.
I needed reassurance, acceptance, loving comfort.
Food is immediate, comforting, filling, loyal, never distant.
I need emotional nourishment but give myself mostly bodily nourishment.

phew! This isn't supposed to be public!!

As you can see, this was a top-down-top approach. You could also start with 'I eat to fill emptiness'.... and continue to work out what that emptiness is exactly.

Eating, I think, is almost always an issue of emotional nourishment. It is so deeply associated with being nourished from our infant days. And if our mother's fed us for comfort, rather than stomach hunger, then the association is deeper still.

I'm giving my intuition space to ponder the possibility that all filling-type Fillers, and very earthy basic ones (best description I can think of), are associated specifically with emotional nourishment - food, drugs, alcohol, sex, collecting friends, shopping, research, hoarding...
I seem to be making a distinction between these filling-Fillers and producing-Fillers, such as study, teaching, blogging, knitting, projects, etc.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Friday, September 11

when emptiness becomes space

I try to fill up emptiness with food.
I try to fill up stillness with doing.

There, I said it. I wanted it out there. I wanted the complete clarity of having typed it out.

About 4 years ago, I had come a long way to healing my Impatience Shadow. About 7 months ago, there it was staring me in the face, looming over me, darkening my path.

You see, motherhood was a trigger.

The role of caring for my baby was overwhelming and all-encompassing, and these feelings were so loud that they woke my Shadow. Not in the first few months, where busyness left no room for pondering anything other than things of milk, poop, and, is-she-breathing.

At some time around 6 months, I began to see a glimmer of Self again, a tiny break in the busyness, and with that came the concept of time, of lost time. With it also came amazing personal shifts and discoveries. Wonderful ideas about mamahood and babies, and eco-diapers and wooden toys and, and ,and.... things to blog about, research, experiment.
And add to that, my soul was busting with the need for creativity.

I was an overflowing jug of a woman - ideas, ponderings, hopes, projects, mama role...

So my Shadow rose up to the call. It whispered - you haven't enough time, squeeze in more, don't nap, you're missing out....

I have been having this dialogue since my early 20's. I recognised it so well. There was no alarm, I simply heeded its needs.

I have since, synchronously, spoken with others who are filling up with unbeneficial things. I won't say wrong things, because I'm not a black-n-white, right-or-wrong sorta gal. Also, these things are right, in that they serve their purpose at the time. In other words, they are right, until we are ready to do otherwise.

My fillers might be food and doing, for others it could be; money, sex, pretty things, babies, projects, goals, drugs, lists, degrees, charity work, socialising, romance, achievements, control, blog posts, groups, keeping up with others, knitting, home decor, books, approval........

photo: google search

I'm not saying these things are fillers in and of themselves, I'm saying we can use them as such. Some of them are really helpful in recovery, ironically, because of their obvious detriments - obesity, debt, laying in a pool of your own vomit..... you get the picture.

But others, ooooh, they are sly. How difficult is it to spot a filler when we are, seemingly, doing 'good'? When what we do helps others, adds to our professional or family life? The most sinister are the ones that we convince ourselves are things that bring us happiness or we explain away the behaviour as simply 'who we are'.

Those burdened with the obvious ones are also easier to despise, pity, or more often, simply seen as alien to ourselves - inferior. The bigger the distance, the harder it is to recognise our own fillers.

The similarity with all fillers, is that they leave us unsatisfied. Anyone with food/eating issues knows this, right? Whether it's our most favourite food or we are stuffed, the satisfaction is momentary, fleeting.

I recognised the void a few years ago. I recognised that food and doing were fillers. I mean, this is the stuff of many hours of philosophical ponderings.
And yet, it was only until last week that I heard the lock chamber click, whilst, finally, reading Eating in the Light of the Moon.

I had recognised emptiness, I had recognised that I needed to fill it, and I had recognised that I was filling it with the unbeneficial....


I had never viewed emptiness as space.

And when viewed as space, the whole approach shifts.

Emptiness requires filling, space does not.

I love such simple insights.

And I added to that, that when we are filling up on authentic soul-needs, we are better able to view it as space, and we are comfortable with space. Unlike Fillers that leave us unsatisfied, and thereby craving more, acknowledging soul-needs allows us to feel fuller for longer, and feel safe in space because we trust that more will come when our soul requires it. Am I making sense?

I have more to chat with you about all this... in time. For now, share with me, if you feel comfortable doing so, your own Fillers, or suspected ones.

Thursday, September 10

Thankful Anyway Thursday

It's easy to be thankful for the good stuff, can you be thankful for the not so good?
(as serious or light-hearted as you like)
read more here

Nice and light this week.
The Summers here are scorching experiences of 35C and up, and hovering around 39C throughout August.

This Autumn girl melts.... and baby suffered from prickly heat. We spent the entire Summer indoors between the hours of 9am till 7pm.

Great fun.

Finally, we have dramatically dropped down to 27C! Do we sing, dance, make general merriment? Yes, to some extent.... except, we still didn't get to go out as we got gale-force winds in exchange. groan whinge whine roll-the-eyes-dramatically
The girl-child was almost blown over and I was almost hit on the head by tree debris and my dress did things obscene.

painting: Steve Averill

I am thankful anyway because...........

... prickly heat is OVER!!!!!!!!!!!
... it's 27C rather than a temp suitable only for roasting meat.
... air-con is finally off! woohoo
... me luuuurves the winds.
... it's just a matter of days before we can have a whole month or two of outdoor time.

Let me know (comment) if you've done your own Thankful Anyway and I'll add your link to this post. Grab the button up the top (right click & Save As) and a link back is always nice.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Tuesday, September 8

moon sign support (iii)

You might find the little introduction of help to see what I'm getting at.
Go to this site or this site to work out your moon sign.

Keywords - a quick idea of what makes up this moon placement.
Needs - what you need emotionally if you have that moon sign.
Provides - the type of emotional support you give to others.
Compatible - generally most emotionally compatible with these moon signs.

Libra moon
Key words: diplomatic, open-minded, friendly, compromise, fairness, indecisive.
Needs: Emotional balance. They thrive in relationships and need them to be stable and secure. In turmoil they seek the support of others close to them. A beautiful and peaceful environment helps in finding the tranquility they so desire. Has a tendency to compromise the Self too much.

Provides: Empathy and gentle support. This is the friend who will help calm troubled emotions. They will help you find balance in your situation. Not so good if you seek confrontation or your emotions are very volatile.

Compatible: Libra, Leo, Gemini, Aquarius, Sagittarius.

Scorpio moon
Key words: Trust, deep, emotional, volatile, passionate, vindictive, explosive.
Needs: Trust and intensity. The secretive nature of this sign requires people that they can trust with their emotions. Counselling is a worthwhile alternative. Without an outlet stress can develop into trauma. However, they also need the space to have their secrets. Never, ever lie to a partner/child/best friend with this placement, or all is easily lost. They need someone that can delvee deep into emotions and are turned off by superficial approaches, such as attempts at distraction.

Provides: Once you gain the full trust of this moon sign, you have it for life. Deep and probing issues and darkest motives can be discussed and examined with this person. Not so good if you just need a night out to let your hair down and forget things for a while, or if you need an optimistic approach.

Compatible: Scorpio, Pisces, Cancer, Taurus

Sagittarius moon
Key words: Enthusiasm, optimism, idealism, freedom, travel (actual or mental), blunt.
Needs: Abundance and growth. The sign of enthusiasm for life. This person is constantly reaching for emotional ideals. They need to feel that they are moving forward. Deep dives of emotions can be frequent and are cured by trying something new in the realms of travel, creativity, or study. They struggle when feeling stifled.

Provides: Philosophical chats. This is the friend that puts everything into perspective. They place your troubles in the bigger picture of your life and of Life itself. Not so good if you just need someone to grieve or be angry with you, need to process negative thoughts for a length of time, or aren't ready for, or dislike, a tell-it-like-it-is approach.

Compatible: Sagittarius, Libra, Leo, Aries, Gemini.

Personal note: I'm Sagittarius moon. I can almost hear some of you... ahhaaaa!

Monday, September 7

Book Club Mamas

An online book club for mamas who love reading.
Our focus for the moment is female characters, female writers, feminine themes - (but none necessarily dominant features).
All mamas are welcome. Not an academic focus just FUN. Join in any time.

You choose a book from the suggested list or any other title that you feel fits into the theme. You write a blog post review or a paragraph that you email to me. I collect all links and snippets and post them at the start of the following month. OR, you just pop in and throw in your opinion in the comments.
We comment on each others' thoughts and opinions. Participate whenever you can, no commitment necessary.

One book a month
- a month to read, ponder, and write your own blog post or paragraph for this blog.
Example: (from book list below) you read Tenderness of Wolves in October and discuss it in November.

- up to 2 weeks into the next month to share and comment
- discussion is light, just your opinions, (or intense if you like!) and focusing on what we liked and didn't like, and the thoughts on the theme. But just talk about what you prefer.
- at the bottom of each post comment section is a 'subscribe by email' link - that's for subscribing to the comments.

- books are chosen by theme
- gives everyone a chance to pick and choose between a few suggestions, or come up with your own
- suggestions come from any member (by all means suggest a title you've read before and enjoyed), just comment below

- whenever you can
- skip a month if you can't make it, skip more
- join in at any time during month to read the book, (actually you can read it any time before then too) but you must have your blog post or paragraph in to me by last day of that book's month.

Your words
- you can either create your own review on your blog and I will link to it, or just send me your thoughts via email.
- I will create a post showcasing short paragraphs of everyone's thoughts, which is then open for commenting.
- creating your own blog post ensures you have your full say, but if you're happy to simply share a short opinion here that's fine.

Your blog post
- rate from 1-5
- ideas to discuss: writing style, characterisation, plot, themes, what resonated with you and what didn't, book club theme, and feminine aspect.
- does NOT need to be formal or thorough, just a thought or two for each point is fine.

Link love
- I'll share your review here
- you can add a button to your sidebar if you're a regular or want to promote the club, or just in your blog post
- please make the button direct to this post (if you copy & paste everything in the text areas below, it should work correctly).

Button 1

Button 2

2009 Themes
Example schedule:
Read Tenderness of Wolves in October. Have the blog post or paragraph to me by last day of October.
We discuss it in November.

please comment below and suggest further titles (up to 3 for each theme would be good)


- The Tenderness of Wolves, Stef Penney ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ... Amazon US Amazon UK

strong women

- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant Amazon US Amazon UK
- Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill Amazon US Amazon UK
- The Birth House by Ami McKay Amazon US Amazon UK


- Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- Chocolat by Joanne Harris ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni ... Amazon US Amazon UK

2010 Themes

mothers, mothers and daughters

- The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- Zel, Donna Jo Napoli


- The Vagabond, Colette
- The Awakening by Kate Chopin ... Amazon US Amazon UK

oppression, repression

- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini ... Amazon US Amazon UK


- The Color Purple by Alice Walker ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan ... Amazon US Amazon UK


- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarke ... Amazon US Amazon UK
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (1000+ pgs!)... Amazon US Amazon UK

still working on the following:


- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

women and other cultures

- The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende ...
- Dreaming in Cuban by

difficult motherhood

- The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
- We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver


- Flannery O'Connor : Collected Works
- Jamaica Inn, Daphne Du Maurier

gender, women's roles

- The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter

Click to email me: click to email me

Sunday, September 6

want to start a book club?

Last month I watched The Jane Austen Book Club - mild fun especially enjoyable for Austen fans. And recently, I came across two book blogs that mentioned online book clubs... but they seem to centre on books that are really not my thing (urban fantasy, YA).

Then the idea occured to me, several blogger buddies have either commented on my book reviews here or at the new blog, or wrote their own book reviews in response, or sometimes I think that S0-and-So might like x book and I would enjoy hearing their thoughts on it, and so on.

And I wondered, would there be enough of us (5 and up?) interested in an online book club? Do we have the time (ALWAYS time for reading!!). Do we share enough of a similarity in preferences? Can we afford to purchase one book a month (who needs socks anyway?).

There are countless ways to approach this. I was thinking one book a month. Seems plenty of time to work through one.
As for choice of books, we could choose one each, or have a theme..... ??
Discussion needn't be intense at all... more about reading something new (or re-reading an oldie), having fun, feeling part of a group of book lovers... you know.

What do you think?

EDIT: pondering all night on it... here's what I've come up with.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf

Saturday, September 5

the week that was

It's been all about the weather and the crochet this week. And plenty of teething cries and screams.

It's not the scent of Autumn in the air as yet, but it's the sense of Summer slipping away. How good it's felt to be outside for longer hours, not melting. And the breezes! Oh, how can I describe to you how I need the wind?

I completed my trail-run newsboy cap, and I luuuurve it. I can't wait for the ordered yarn to arrive (something yummy in touch and colour) to make the final version. details & more pics on other blog

And for fun, my little familiar reads with me. details & more pics on other blog

And, I'm putting the final touches on a little amigurumi owl.

I finished an enjoyable read, The Tenderness of Wolves, and am already stuck into the next novel.

I dug out my bellydancing DVDs.... ooooooh, joints are stiff, my swivels and shimmies are rusty. Wildflower finds it all baffling and amusing in turns.

Things are much better 'round these parts too, makes for, well.... tentative smiles.

Also blogging at Crooked Hooks & chewing on a leaf