Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Time to Update:

Well, since I was here last.

We’ve been canning and we are still doing so.

My father and step-mom came for a visit. We had a good few days of talking while visiting and getting things done.

They have been making the rounds of visiting kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. And I learned from Dad that other family members have also been doing contact juggling too. (I think, as a family, we think a like, don‘t you?)

I am knitting at every stolen minute I can. The kids are coming to visit this coming weekend and I what to give them some more baby gifts.

I have found that the contact juggling has been a good opposite-knitting exercise. When I knit for too long my back and neck get tight, but now with doing the contact juggling it loosens my back and neck right up. And my hands and arms are getting stronger too.

I have been noticing that autumn is starting to creep in. Some leaves are starting to change and the air itself is changing.

I think of pumpkins and colored leaves, the smell of pencils being sharpened and new books.

Favorite things are coming, like autumn and new babies, knitting and playing, cooking and snuggling down in readiness for winter.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Surprise, Surprise:

First surprise was Lady Long is able to walk again. Not well, but she is up and about. Well not that I’m letting her because she is still convalescing, but she can walk and that is very good news.

Second surprise was Mountain Man took me out to order a new gas range. I haven’t baked all summer because the oven on the gas range died back in the spring. And lets face it, it is just too hot to bake in the wood cook stove if you don’t have to. It should be here by the end of next month if not before. (Oh and I ordered it in black, that is why I have to wait. Only white in stock of the one I wanted.)

Third surprise was the canner blew a gasket. We all jumped when it went. Steam and corn all over the place. One of the jars broke and the corn clogged the spout.

No one was hurt, thank the powers that be. We did get to use the new canner. Good thing we got it before the old one blew. We were out of safety plugs. And would have had to quit canning until replacement parts could be gotten. A lot of lost food crops.

Oh and no surprise, I bought a few more balls to practice with. And I have tamed a new trick. Now to perfect it.

So surprise, all is good, though still hectic around here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On No Rest for the Weary:

Lady Long the dashund dog is lame at the moment. She hurt her knee and started limping and that lead to her putting her back out.

So now she is literally dragging her butt. They have her in steroids and bed rest.

I’m not complaining, she has been a very good dog for almost thirteen years. I love her and would do most anything for her and do.

But, it is really cutting into my time. I don’t have time to think these days.

She seems to be getting slowly better. I am very grateful for that.

And the veggies need canning, and the house needs cleaning, and the laundry needs washing, and I have to be the dogs hind legs so she can go out and do her business, and I have to get exercise…

Busy and missing my friends here.

And I need a long, good nights sleep.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On New Skills:

I’ve been so proud of myself lately. I’ve been learning a group of new skills with my Contact Juggling.

The best of these is catching dropped or bumped things before they hit the floor.

I use to be a ‘jump back and let it crash’ person. And felt good if the mess didn’t actually get on me. Goody for me, at least I’m clean, while I clean up the mess.

Well, I am now at the point where I don’t have to think before I act. My hands fly out and objects are snatched from the air. Not that I catch every drop, but I am getting so much better it.

So, the other day I was cutting up veggies for canning. Glass jars aplenty round about. I’m flitting here and there doing five things at once, as usual.

And my knife falls off the cutting board.

Yes, you guessed it. I caught the knife point down with my hand. The heal of my hand had the knife sticking out of it.

I’m on the mend. And I’ve learned a valuable lesson.

Think, concentrate, and watch what you are doing. All skills are not appropriate for all situations.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On A Balance:

I could say, ‘I should have done this years ago.’ but I won’t. I feel that if it was time than it would have happened that way. And apparently I had other things to learn first.

I am happy I found it now. Who knew that contact juggling would help me in so many ways? I do know that now I am more balanced in so many ways.

I’ve learned to balance things on me, so now I’m more steady on my feet.

I’ve learned more patience as I practice, therefore I’m have become more patient.

I schedule things better to get my practice time in, and my day runs smoother.

I have a better ability to concentrate, so now I can work more efficiently.

My fun quotient has grown, so I don’t fret and worry as much.

Now that I’m doing so much finger exercises, the finger that was put back on after an accident has more feeling then it has for a long time. Over 25 years.

I needed more basic funny and joy in my life. Daily I had many happy moments in my life, but I wasn’t joyful from the inside out.

I was content, but not calm. I had no greater goals in life, only project completion.

I didn’t know it, but I had misplaced my silly side, now I can clown around again. My life felt full, but it was just crowded.

Learning to balance balls on my body, arms and fingers has set me straight.

I have struck balance in my life with this Contact Juggling and I can’t tell you haw much it means to find it again after so long.

I hope with all my heart that you have, or can soon find, your own balance too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Bad Fushigi:

I have been doing Contact Juggling regularly for two months now. And I just have to say before anyone else falls pray to the commercials Don’t Go Out and Buy One Of These Fushigi Balls. The commercial is false advertising.

There is no magic ball that can make you a Contact Juggler overnight. There is no ball that floats in air. These are tricks that take a long time to learn.

If you don’t believe me you can read the fine print on their advertising. Oh no, they just say that the people doing the tricks are professionals. And don’t explain their lies.

Well, you can just go to Contact Juggling .Org to check things out in their forum section listed under ‘Community’ on the left column.

Yes, you can do some tricks from the start, but you don’t have to buy an inferior made ball like the Fushigi ball to do this. There are more then enough free tutorials on the web to teach you these tricks and more using everything from an orange to a glitter ball.

And it takes many month, and for some tricks years, to perfect them. Much more time to be good enough to have a number of tricks to perform.

The Fushigi ball is not a good quality product from those that have bought one and the tutorial video is lacking. Many people are going to free web sites and YouTube to learn what the Fushigi video doesn’t teach, so why bother. For the same twenty dollars you can get the real thing, a clear acrylic ball, at a better quality.

And added to the lies are those who believe them and then turn around and mock the jugglers, who have taken years of their lives to learn this trade, and do not give them their do.

Jobs have been lost do to the Fushigi false advertising. Jugglers get paid by their skill and this commercials lies about a magic floating ball and the ease at which it is learned, this has hurt contact juggling to the core.

If you are thinking about buying one for yourself or someone else, please do your homework first and get a good product and backing from an organization that cares.

Friday, August 13, 2010

On Another Friday the Thirteenth:

I just don’t get it. They really aren’t different from any other day of the year. I’ve watch them for some time now and nothing ever happens to make me see them any differently.

Oh, I wanted to believe. A magical configuration of stars, numbers, and the time space continuum. The missing socks don’t reappear, keys aren’t any easier to find. Nor do things go bad any more often.

I could use the excitement. A special day of interesting happenings.

So now, Do you believe in Friday the Thirteenth?

Tell me why, I really want to know. I was fun back when I believed. Maybe I can believe once again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

On Not so Quiet Please:

Mountain Man has been in the house a lot lately. Mostly on his back on the floor napping. This has led to a lot of quiet around here.

When he is outside working I have music or the TV/DVD going, more for company than entertainment.

I grew up in pandemonium. Oldest of six kids, all within ten years, no twins. In the upstairs apartment were two more kids. The neighbors to the left had five kids, and to the right nine. Behind us was the family that had seven, and across the street were two families with three kids.

And our little cluster was not the only one in the neighborhood. There were the houses on the other sides of the ones adjacent to our house.
There were more kids in our yard than blades of grass most years I was growing up.

Though I only had two children of my own, we had foster children and neighborhood kids a plenty at our house most all the time.

Than I met and married Mountain Man. I moved out of the city and into the country. My daughter was still living with me/us. She had friends around. But that was many years ago.

I’ve found I don’t like too much quiet. I crave the noise of people around after a time when I’m by myself.

When we work we often have music or the radio on a talk show and we chit chat. But with his napping it has been far too quiet for me for far too many hours of the day.

It’s just not natural. I need a little noise.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Body Parts:

Mountain Man is almost standing upright again. Thank you to all who sent him well wishes. His back is doing much better.

We are still canning veggies, but not with the same rigor. I steal a few minutes here and there to do some contact juggling practice. Gotta’ keep those fingers nimble. No knitting.

I’ve been over opinionated again and have gotten myself in trouble. You’d think by this time in my life I would have learned. But ‘Open mouth, insert foot.’ is available to all age groups.

Right about now in our canning I want to be off on vacation. It doesn’t help, that as a kid, August was vacation time. So in my head it still is.

I am a day tripper, not a go off and get lost-er. I like small excursions to interesting places. I’m craving a cool air conditioned museum about now. Art. But not modern. I’m not in the mood for modern at the moment.

Not that there is anything wrong with modern. I like it well enough, I’m just not in the mood right now.

I want to vacation inside, I think because I’m a bit sun burnt on my nose and ear tips.

So I’m going to put on some classical music and troll the museums of my mind, while we cut up yet more green beans. With my toes in a plastic bin of cool water.

What better way to spend a hot August day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

On Back to Back:

Well, I’m not doing as much canning today.

Bet you can’t guess why?

So, I’ll tell you. Mountain Man the Invincible put his back out yesterday. When he can get up he is all hunched over, but most of the time he is on his back with cold packs and heat alternately.

And of course I’m doing all there is to do around here. So this is short and sweet. It may be a few days before I get back to you here.

Please, not a few more days of all this work by myself.

Okay, I’m done venting. Back to work.

Friday, August 6, 2010

On Being Choosy:

Busy, busy! So much to do, so little time.

The plants in the garden seem to want to give us all their goodness at the same time. Or close to it.

It is a lifestyle choice made long ago and we still love it, even when we are so tired we fall in bed late at night, for days in a row.

Gotta’ get the food put up or go hungry come winter/spring of the following year. Some people work and pay for what they eat, We work to make the food for our table for ourselves. The hard way. Our choice.

There are days when I’m so tired and sore from the work of it, that I curse the choices I’ve made. But they are far and few. I plant a smile across my face and forge onward. I know how good it will taste to have home grown soup on a cold winter day.

I don’t know how long it will take before I can’t do this anymore? But for now I choose this. Hard work and home grown.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On Zucchini, and Green Beans, and Tomatoes, Oh My!:

Yes, we have Zucchinis by the bucket and we didn’t grow a one of them. Friends and family send them our way.

The green and wax beans, and tomatoes are taking turns going through the canning pots today. We have two canners, but are not using them both at the same time yet this year.

Hard work in the humidity. But food for the winter must be processed in the summer. Not too bad really. Better then the years we didn’t get
much at all from the garden.

There are the berries and greens and cucumbers that have been gracing our table too.

Canning Season is upon us. Glass jars tinkling, radio sing, canner hissing, chopping knives keeping the rhythm.

I’m trying to have the time for ball practice. I fear some days I won’t make it.

Thought for the day: “Large tomatoes don’t body roll as well as I had hoped.”
Extra Quote “I clean that up right away.”

Monday, August 2, 2010

On Rainy Day Chainmail:

I’ve been playing with chainmail today. Rainy and not as much time outside to practice contact juggling. I do practice over the bed, but not as much room to go all out.

I do have to make changes to my Goth clothing for practicing Contact Juggling. Long necklace chains, broaches, ruffles and lace are getting in the way just now.

Wishing I had some pretty new acrylic balls to play with and knowing I’m not at that level yet.

So, I made a whole bunch of links out of 12 gauge aluminum Floral Wire this afternoon. The same stuff I made the Ent tree costume branches out of. You wrap it around a rod and snip the links off one by one from the long curl.

Then I went and worked on circles in chainmail. I made a bunch of hot plate trivets using the colors I had on hand. Red, gold and silver. I have black, but I’m keeping it back for another project. Brown and green all gone on other projects. I don’t think I ever had blue and I‘ve never seen purple in my local craft store.

I have more multi ball practice to do this evening as I watch TV tonight. I’d do it in my sleep if I could. It still makes me giggle every time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

On ‘Being Lost’ in a Good Way:

I’ve been too pensive to write. Not in a morose way. But Happy.

Very happy in deed!

Silly happy, like a child. No time for work or things that are suppose to be being done. (Though I did do some of those things.)

Mountain Man took up standard juggling again, as I told you the other day.

I do not juggle, well not in the traditional sort of way. Once the objects leave my hands they are doomed. I have no depths perception to speak of. No, standard juggling is not for me.

I do, and have always, love orbs. I have a collection of them. Marble, plastic, glass, stone, wood.

I have now been very busy with contact juggling. Some call it Fushigi like in, I believe, Japan. (Don’t get caught in the ‘Fushigi’ product scam. But more on that another day.)

These balls rarely leave the body and if so only for the moments they float from place to place, hand to hand.

Do not believe the commercials you have seen on TV. Contact juggling is hard work and long practice to pull off the illusion. But since the movie ‘Labyrinth’ with Michael Moschen’s hand as David Bowe’s orb spinning villain. No, even before that. I have wanted to learn the art.

But I couldn’t afford the crystal balls. If I could, I wouldn’t have taken the chance of hurting one to use it in practice. But now there are a wealth of fairly inexpensive acrylic balls on the market. (In comparison to the crystal.)

Small balls start at about $10 and the larger hit $40, and we are only talking 2 to 4 inches across here. I don’t have any of these beauties yet, I‘m still practicing with silicone filled.

There are two kinds of contact juggling, multiball manipulation starts its practice with smaller balls and body rolling starts its practice with larger. A good contact juggler can do both with medium size ball/s and make it seamless.

I am now lost in a world of illusion and orb magic. And I love it here. I’m a kid again play with balls.