Happy New Year.

its early… i can never sleep very much the night before the first day of school.  I always faithfully set my alarm, just on the off chance that I will oversleep…heck, i haven’t overslept since college.  I am a habitual early riser, but the ‘first day of school’ worries always knock me a bit off center.  I have been in public education for almost 30 years, how can i still get nervous?  As a kid, i worried that no one would like me, that i wouldn’t have any friends…moving to junior high, i worried about getting lost…in senior high, i stressed over the right clothes, was my hair just right?  In college, i thought i might not know anyone…and here i am in high school again.  And none of those things are on my mind- i have friends, i know my way around, and I’m 50- I wear what i want.  So what is it?

I was at a well known chain store that starts with “W” last week.  As I headed past pharmacy, and hair care, I could see the cases of notebooks in the center of the aisle.  And while mothers were shoveling the dime notebooks into their carts, daughters were picking the ones with Justin Beiber.  Mothers were saying, “oh for goodness’ sake, pencils are pencils, i don’t think you need the ones with the ergonomic grip that light up at the end of each sentence!”  All thru the store there was an air of expectation…

A new school year… always a chance for a new start, new ideas, new decisions, new ways of doing things.

Maybe that’s it– a new year…will I do well? will i make this year the best it can be?  will my new ideas and decisions be worthwhile?

Maybe i am just nervous over the newness…

Well, time to get ready,to grab that last cup of coffee, to pack up my backpack…do you think the kids will like me?


Spinning with Journi

Spinning with Journi

So as I alluded to earlier, I took a class in how to spin wool this past winter.  Only 3 of us and the teacher.  One of the other two students, a lady named Janet, had a spinning wheel and wanted to take the class so she could make sure she was doing things right.  The other woman said she knitted quite alot and for some reason, I felt that she also knew how to spin.  I was thinking…”oh shoot, I am the only one who doesn’t know what is going on here…”

And I was very nervous about trying to learn something new…want to learn myself, without someone standing over me.   i tend to drop out of stuff that doesn’t come easy- i get embarrassed that I can’t be perfect immediately.

Initially I probably would have had more luck trying to spin with my feet, because it felt just that awkward.  Our teacher was really good not hovering, she helped if you wanted help, but mostly she let us work it out ourselves.  Janet was a stellar spinner, one hand pulled the wool from the wad she had in her other hand, and fed it toward the spinning flyer in this slow methodical rhythm.  Looking at her, she seemed to be actually relaxed, not stressed about doing it ‘right’, sortof looked like she was even having fun.

And then Terry, our teacher, brought out some raw unprocessed wool…wool that just been sheared off the sheep and bagged.  She gave us each a handful and told us to try it out…my breath caught as I rubbed that wool between my fingers.

We raised sheep when I was a girl, and they got sheared every year on Mother’s Day.  It was always hot, and dusty in the shearing shed.  My job was to bundle the sheep’s wool after the fleece was clipped free of the sheep and she ran bleating back to the herd.  We had this paper-like twine that I wrapped around the big bunch of wool…around and around like wrapping a gift with ribbon.  Going around the back of the large bundle of wool forced me to bury my face in the wool, using both arms to try to keep the wool up and out of the dirt.  The wool stuck to my sweaty face, fibers in my mouth, nose, eyes and the creases of my neck.  It was loud in the shed with the noises of the electric shearing clippers, sheep bleating, men shouting.

Just the feeling of the wool in my hand brought all of this flooding back and I was speechless…and a bit teary.  Until that moment, i never connected spinning with anything other than a nice earth-mother type of craft that I wanted to learn.

I pulled the leader out on my bobbin, threaded it thru the orifice and feathered some of the brown sunburnt wool onto the leader.  I started the wheel spinning with my hand and with the wad of wool in my right hand, I pulled and fed it toward the orifice with my left.   It was working…I could hardly believe it.  The spun wool was winding onto the bobbin, nice thin yarn like Janet’s…I was delighted.



when i began the class, I was all over the place…worrying about how inept I looked, admiring other people’s skills, feeling out of place and ridiculous.  Feeling that wool somehow grounded me.  When we are feeling ‘all over the place’, worrying about others…and not finding that place of energy, quiet and ideas inside ourselves…we are not feeding our creativity.  We are pouring it down the drain.

What grounds you? centers you? focuses you?

What activity helps you find that place of energy, quiet and ideas inside of yourself?

(I added a picture of Journi and I spinning llama wool yesterday…she likes to sit with me :))

have a brilliant day,


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