Saturday, July 31, 2010

Read, Repeat, and Remember

Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, "I know who I am."

And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?"

And the Little Soul shouted, "I'm the Light!"

God smiled a big smile. "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."

The Little Soul was so happy, for it had figured out what all the souls in the Kingdom were there to figure out.

"Wow," said the Little Soul, "this is really cool!"

But soon, knowing who it was was not enough. The Little Soul felt stirrings inside, and now wanted to be who it was. And so the Little Soul went back to God (which is not a bad idea for all souls who want to be Who They Really Are) and said,
"Hi, God! Now that I know Who I am, is it okay for me to be it?"

And God said, "You mean you want to be Who You Already Are?"

"Well," replied the Little Soul," it's one thing to know Who I Am, and another thing altogether to actually be it. I want to feel what it's like to be the Light!"

"But you already are the Light," God repeated, smiling again.

"Yes, but I want to see what that feels like!" cried the Little Soul.

"Well," said God with a chuckle, "I suppose I should have known. You always were the adventuresome one."

Then God's expression changed. "There's only one thing..."

"What?" asked the Little Soul.

"Well, there is nothing else but the Light. You see, I created nothing but what you are; and so, there is no easy way for you to experience yourself as Who You Are, since there is nothing that you are not."

"Huh?" said the Little Soul, who was now a little confused.

"Think of it this way," said God. "You are like a candle in the Sun. Oh, you're there all right. Along with a million, gazillion other candles who make up the Sun. And the sun would not be the Sun without you. Nay, it would be a sun without one of its candles...and that would not be the Sun at all; for it would not shine as brightly. Yet, how to know yourself as the Light when you are amidst the Light -that is the question."

"Well," the Little Soul perked up, "you're God. Think of something!"

Once more God smiled. "I already have," God said. "Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness."

"What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked.

God replied, "It is that which you are not."

"Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul.

"Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is. You see, we are making it all up. We are pretending."

"Oh," said the Little Soul, and felt better already.

Then God explained that, in order to experience anything at all, the exact opposite of it will appear. "It is a great gift," God said, "because without it, you could not know what anything is like. You could not know Warm without Cold, Up without Down, Fast without Slow. You could not know Left without Right, Here without There, Now without Then."

"And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"

"You mean it's okay to let others see how special I am?" asked the Little Soul.

"Of course!" God chuckled. "It's very okay! But remember,'special' does not mean 'better.' Everybody is special, each in their own way! Yet many others have forgotten that. They will see that it is okay for them to be special only when you see that it is okay for you to be special."

"Wow," said the Little Soul, dancing and skipping and laughing and jumping with joy. "I can be as special as I want to be!"

"Yes, and you can start right now," said God, who was dancing and skipping and laughing right along with the Little Soul.

"What part of special do you want to be?"

"What part of special?" the Little Soul repeated. "I don't understand."

"Well," God explained, "being the Light is being special, and being special has a lot of parts to it. It is special to be kind. It is special to be gentle. It is special to be creative. It is special to be patient. Can you think of any other ways it is special to be?"

The Little Soul sat quietly for a moment. "I can think of lots of ways to be special!" the Little Soul then exclaimed. "It is special to be helpful. It is special to be sharing. It is special to be friendly. It is special to be considerate of others!"

"Yes!" God agreed, "and you can be all of those things, or any part of special you wish to be, at any moment. That's what it means to be the Light."
"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?"

"Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special."

"Okay," said the Little Soul. "That's what I want to be. I want to be forgiving. I want to experience myself as that."

"Good," said God, "but there's one thing you should know."

The Little Soul was becoming a bit impatient now. It always seemed as though there were some complication.

"What is it?" the Little Soul sighed. "There is no one to forgive."

"No one?" The Little Soul could hardly believe what had been said.

"No one!" God repeated. "Everything I have made is perfect. There is not a single soul in all creation less perfect than you. Look around you."

It was then that the Little Soul realized a large crowd had gathered. Souls had come from far and wide ~ from all over the Kingdom ~ for the word had gone forth that the Little Soul was having this extraordinary conversation with God, and everyone wanted to hear what they were saying. Looking at the countless other souls gathered there, the Little Soul had to agree. None appeared less wonderful, less magnificent, or less perfect than the Little Soul itself. Such was the wonder of the souls gathered around, and so bright was their Light, that the Little Soul could scarcely gaze upon them.

"Who, then, to forgive?" asked God.

"Boy, this is going to be no fun at all!" grumbled the Little Soul. "I wanted to experience myself as One Who Forgives. I wanted to know what that part of special felt like."

And the Little Soul learned what it must feel like to be sad. But just then a Friendly Soul stepped forward from the crowd.

"Not to worry, Little Soul," the Friendly Soul said, "I will help you."

"You will?" the Little Soul brightened. "But what can you do?"

"Why, I can give you someone to forgive!"

"You can?"

"Certainly!" chirped the Friendly Soul. "I can come into your next lifetime and do something for you to forgive."

"But why? Why would you do that?" the Little Soul asked. "You, who are a Being of such utter perfection! You, who vibrate with such a speed that it creates a Light so bright that I can hardly gaze upon you! What could cause you to want to slow down your vibration to such a speed that your bright Light would become dark and dense? What could cause you ~ who are so light that you dance upon the stars and move through the Kingdom with the speed of your thought--to come into my life and make yourself so heavy that you could do this bad thing?"

"Simple," the Friendly Soul said. "I would do it because I love you."

The Little Soul seemed surprised at the answer.

"Don't be so amazed," said the Friendly Soul, "you have done the same thing for me. Don't you remember? Oh, we have danced together, you and I, many times. Through the eons and across all the ages have we danced. Across all time and in many places have we played together. You just don't remember."

"We have both been All Of It. We have been the Up and the Down of it, the Left and the Right of it. We have been the Here and the There of it, the Now and the Then of it. We have been the male and the female, the good and the bad; we have both been the victim and the villain of it."

"Thus have we come together, you and I, many times before; each bringing to the other the exact and perfect opportunity to Express and to Experience Who We Really Are. And so," the Friendly Soul explained further, "I will come into your next lifetime and be the 'bad one' this time. I will do something really terrible, and then you can experience yourself as the One Who Forgives.

"But what will you do?" the Little Soul asked, just a little nervously, "that will be so terrible?"

"Oh," replied the Friendly Soul with a twinkle, "we'll think of something."

Then the Friendly Soul seemed to turn serious, and said in a quiet voice, "You are right about one thing, you know."

"What is that?" the Little Soul wanted to know.

"I will have to slow down my vibration and become very heavy to do this not-so-nice thing. I will have to pretend to be something very unlike myself. And so, I have but one favour to ask of you in return."

"Oh, anything, anything!" cried the Little Soul, and began to dance and sing, "I get to be forgiving, I get to be forgiving!"

Then the Little Soul saw that the Friendly Soul was remaining very quiet.

"What is it?" the Little Soul asked. "What can I do for you? You are such an angel to be willing to do this for me!"

"Of course this Friendly Soul is an angel!" God interrupted. "Everyone is! Always remember: I have sent you nothing but angels."

And so the Little Soul wanted more than ever to grant the Friendly Soul's request. "What can I do for you?" the Little Soul asked again.

"In the moment that I strike you and smite you," the Friendly Soul replied, "in the moment that I do the worst to you that you could possible imagine ~ in that very moment..."

"Yes?" the Little Soul interrupted, "yes...?"

"Remember Who I Really Am."

"Oh, I will!" cried the Little Soul, "I promise! I will always remember you as I see you right here, right now!"

"Good," said the Friendly Soul, "because, you see, I will have been pretending so hard, I will have forgotten myself. And if you do not remember me as I really am, I may not be able to remember for a very long time. And if I forget Who I Am, you may even forget Who You Are, and we will both be lost. Then we will need another soul to come along and remind us both of Who We Are."

"No, we won't!" the Little Soul promised again. "I will remember you! And I will thank you for bringing me this gift ~ the chance to experience myself as Who I Am.
" And so, the agreement was made. And the Little Soul went forth into a new lifetime, excited to be the Light, which was very special, and excited to be that part of special called Forgiveness.

And the Little Soul waited anxiously to be able to experience itself as Forgiveness, and to thank whatever other soul made it possible. And at all the moments in that new lifetime, whenever a new soul appeared on the scene, whether that new soul brought joy or sadness--and especially if it brought sadness--the Little Soul thought of what God had said.

"Always remember," God had smiled, "I have sent you nothing but angels."

~Neale Donald Walsch, "Conversations With God"<>

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Knock, knock. Who's there? Remember me???

Hello, friends! Have you missed me? I've certainly missed you :-) Things have been a bit hectic in my little world this last month, but I've definately been working, weaving, and swapping... But apparently not blogging! (Speaking of swapping, the picture above is of Barkley playing with his new favorite toy: A rubber chicken that was sent by one of my swap partners in ISRAEL!!! Cool, right?)

Anyway... My Kumon Center is blessedly busy. I'm working about 60 hours per week right now, but I have no complaints. OK, one complaint. We are getting a new roof put on our building (thank you, new landlord!). Over the weekend, we had a freak hailstorm which dumped several inches of hail on Rio Rancho. Unfortunately, the new roof had not been completely sealed before the storm, the temporary drainlines didn't hold, the ceiling in my Center collapsed, and, needless to say, hundreds of gallons of water poured into the Center. Nice. (Words very unbecoming to a Kumon Instructor might have been uttered when I saw the destruction.) But... Nobody was hurt, no worksheets or important data were destroyed, the carpet will (eventually) dry, and furniture and student prizes can be replaced. This, too, shall pass :-)

Oh. Can I lodge one more complaint? On top of my 60 hours per week, business trips to Phoenix last month, New Jersey next month, and New York in July... I'm on JURY DUTY for FOUR MONTHS! It appears that owning a business that cannot operate without you is not a "valid" reason for being excused from performing my civic duty. Lovely. (A friend of mine suggested I claim "Tourette's Syndrome" as a reason for dismissal. She thought I would VERY convincing in playing this part... I, unfortunately, must agree with her!)

I mentioned that I have also been able to find time for weaving. Below are a few of my latest creations:

Mail basket swapped to on of "Swap-Bot" sisters in exchange for a lovely crocheted scarf.

I wove this basket around a large glass jar and filled it with flowers for one of the volunteers at my Kumon Center. It is currently being used as a utensil holder in her kitchen.

This sweet little basket was sent to another of my Swap-Bot friends. Here's the message she sent to me after she received the basket:
" Tonight I told my mom, "Look at this great basket someone made just for me!" She gave me a look like she didn't believe me, and said I was silly believing someone made it for me. She said that it looked "store-bought" and "too good to be handmade". I said, "Nope. She made it just for me. She's a basket weaver and even signed the bottom of the basket. Isn't that cool?"
She finally beieved me... So kudos! Your stuff rocks :-) Just thought you'd like to know. ~April"
Pencil basket sent to a swapper who likes to draw. This was the first swap I sent to a "Swap-Bot brother" :-)
I filled this basket with a collection of little rubber duckies and bubble bath and shipped it to a friend in Hawaii.

This little basket went to a swapper in England. She loves to cook and collects recipes, so a recipe basket seemed to be the perfect gift.
OK. That's all for now, as I have work to do :-) My next post will be about a new weaving project that I loved so much I'll be making more for all of my seamstress friends. Stay tuned, my crafty friends!
Hugs and blessings~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yeah... There are just NO comments from me on this Etsy item :-)

Seriously??? I would have thought this was am early April Fool's Day joke, but pre-orders are going for $30.00. Read on for the Etsy store description. Order if you must. Period.

Link to store/item

Introducing Hip Handmaids’ exclusive iMaxi—the only Apple iPad case made with protective wings!

With its durable vinyl outer layer and plush, quilted-cotton sleeve, the iMaxi helps keep your iPad clean and dry.

Plus, the iMaxi's Velcro-latched, advanced wing design wraps snugly around your device, so your iPad always stays where it should.

Best of all, it shields it from all those unsightly and embarrassing data leaks that would make any motherboard worry!

Each handmade iMaxi can be easily customized to fit your active lifestyle.

Please view other listings for different color options including our "lived in" red thread interior. If you don’t see a color you like, just ask!

It's the perfect one-of-a-kind embarrassing gift for the Apple geek in your life! Don’t be caught letting your iPad show!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ambrosia Cake - A Celebration of Spring!

Ambrosia means "food of the gods" in Greek and Roman mythology. In the USA, it has a much more humble history as a chilled fruit salad! Most ambrosias are made with manadrin oranges, pineapple, and coconut. This show-stopping cake is no exception, with four layers of angel food, pineapple curd, and orange and vanilla frostings.

Don't let the picture fool you... This stunning and delicious cake is super simple to make!


1/4 cup pineapple juice (I used the juice from the can of pineapple slices.)
2 large eggs + 1 yolk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
pinch salt
3 cups vanilla buttercream frosting (I used the cooked version here)
1 teaspoon grated zest + 2 teaspoons juice from one orange
1 9" angel food cake (due to time constraints, I used store-bought)
2 15oz. cans mandarin orange slices, drained
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 20oz. can pineapple sliced, drained and cut into half-moons

For the pineapple curd:
Bring pineapple juice to boil, in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Whisk eggs/yolk and sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, pur hot pineapple juice into egg mixture. Return to pan and cook, stirring constantly, until mixtures thickens. (It takes 2-3 minutes and will be VERY obvious!) Remove from heat and stir in butter and salt. Place in small bowl, cover surface directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until thickened (at least one hour).

For the orange frosting:
Put one cup of vanilla buttercream frosting in a samll bowl. Stir in orange zet and juice.

To assemble cake:
Using a serrated knife, cut cake horizontally into four layers (don't worry... angel food cake is quite sturdy!). Place bottom layer on platter, spread with 1/2 cup of orange frosting and top with about 20-25 mandarin slices. Place next cake layer on top of orange slices and top with pineapple curd. Top with the next cake layer, spread with orange frosting and more orange slices. Finish with the top cake layer and coat top and sides of cake with vanilla buttercream. Press coconut onto frosted cake and decorate with orange and pineapple slices.

Hugs and blessings~

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Origami Paper Doll Bookmarks and a Braided Rim Basket! (My Crafty Resolution Update for January)

January was a great month! And, yes, I did keep up with my "Crafty Resolution" :-) Here's a bit of what I created...

I made Origami Paper Doll bookmarks. Loads of them, as once you get started the process is very addicting. (Yes, paper folding friends, I will have a tutorial posted soon!)

I also wove this amazing mini muffin basket! We had a basket weaving party at my Kumon Center, and my friends Nancy, Darlene, and Faith guided me in my efforts to make my first braided rim. Not bad for a first try, right? I love the rim and am excited to weave more baskets using this technique. By the way, this is one of Nancy's free patterns. It can be found here. Bonus: She has a video tutorial on weaving this mini muffin basket here.

On the subject of our basket weaving party... My potluck contribution was an Ambrosia Cake. It was four layers of fluffy, fruity goodness. The recipe will be posted this week. Stay tuned :-)

Hugs and blessings~


Monday, February 1, 2010

Need a Smile? Call The Nestle Hotline!

If you need a chuckle try this...

Call the Nestle hotline at 1-800-295-0051.

When asked if you want to continue in English or Spanish wait quietly for about 10 seconds and you will smile!

Keep listening, and then press 4.

Listen to the options, then press 7.

Yes, it will make you laugh! Yes, you can let your kids listen to it...

Dial in... Post your comments :-)

Hugs and blessings~


If you comment on this don't give away the surprise!

Monday, January 18, 2010

What He Said. What I Heard. (Husband to Wife Translation)

So... I'm sitting at the kitchen table this morning making origami doll bookmarks. (Yeah, no pictures. Yet. I seem to have misplaced the cable that links my camera to my computer. Shame on me!)

After an hour or so of cutting and folding, my husband strolls out of his office and says, "Wife. Whatcha doing?" (Yes, he calls me Wife. I call him Husband. If I call him Dave, he knows I'm mad about something. I can't remember the last time he called me Anne!)

I smile up at him lovingly (ok I glare at him a bit, because he is disturbing my creative process) and reply "I'm making origami doll bookmarks, Husband. Aren't they beautiful?"

"Cool!" Husband says as he looks upon an army of headless kimono bodies. "I'm so happy I have a crafty wife."

Ha! I, of course, heard "Please feel free to go to Michael's and spend as much money as you want. This makes me happy."

I now am the proud owner of two bags of new crafting supplies :-)

Ladies, please feel free to share this translation with your husbands. Or not.

Until I find the camera cable and can post my Origami Doll Bookmark tutorial...

Hugs and blessings~
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