Knotty Musings

Ideas, philosophies, and evil plots to take over the world through love hatched here.

I Am Enough

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically
liberates others." ~ Marianne Williamson

Remove the Nots

Remove the Nots

Friday, December 26, 2008

An Odd Christmas Night

Well it certainly was an interesting, odd, and somewhat disturbing day. After our guests left, David and I were hanging out watching a movie and we heard a knock on the door. David answered and there was a young woman in her early 20s, in a walking boot, pajamas, and a sweatshirt. She said she was locked out and asked to use our phone. David noticed that she had a walking cast and invited in to use the phone. She tried calling several people and didn’t reach anyone so David asked if we would take her somewhere. She her soon-to-be sister inlaw lived in an area not far from us, so I gave her a coat I wasn’t using and some sweatshirts and we piled into the car.

As we drove and drove trying to find the house (she’d only been there once and didn’t know the address) it felt a bit like a needle in a haystack. “I don’t recognize anything here. What about this street? I’m not crazy. I’ll know it when I see it.” As we tried to get some details that might help us help her, it came out that she’s been in town 4 months, doesn’t know her fiance’s place of employment or where he works and pretty no one in town besides him.

As she spoke I remembered a similar Christmas night nearly 25 years ago when I was living in Oklahoma. I’d spent the previous 4 days stretching 2 packets of oatmeal because that was the only food in the house. My fiancé at the time had left me the week before to find work in Oklahoma City. He was supposed to have been home the next day. A week later, I was worried, hungry and not sure of how I would survive on my own without a phone, car, job, or anything. I was completely dependent on him. Around 3 am Christmas morning he came in drunk and starting tearing up the house because I didn’t have dinner hot and ready. I was shot at, had a knife thrown at me, my jaw dislocated, and a sprained ankle. I waited until he passed out and left in the middle of the night with the clothes on my back and walked 3 miles to the nearest neighbor to use the phone.

So I identified with this poor girl. We drove for quite a while and while we were driving all the feelings of that awful Christmas years ago bubbled to the surface – the humiliation, the shock at being in the position of asking a total stranger for help and hoping they did, no clothing, wondering what the next step should be, desperation, and worry. I also felt vulnerable and wondered at times as the story unfolded if it was all a ruse and if our home was being robbed blind while we were looking for the needle in the haystack. About the time that David and I were ready to give up and take this poor girl to the homeless shelter, she recognized the area we were in and had us drop her off at her stepmother’s home.

Hopefully, we were where we were supposed to be for a reason. I hope that we were able to provide some comfort and lessen some of the pain of this life lesson.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Each year on Christmas Eve I set a place for Jesus. The symbolism of the cross, crucifixion nail, and the nativity remind me that Christ was born to die for me.

Good morning friends,

Merry Christmas!!!!! I hope that your home is filled with love of friends and family this Christmas Day and precious memories will
be made.

We attended 11 p.m. candlelight services last night; it is sooooooo beautiful. The stirrings of the hand of the hand of God upon our hearts seems so much more palpable at some times of the year versus others and Christmas is one that touches me so much.
Once we arrived back home, I sat up for awhile and watched Mass from St. Peter's in Rome. To be a participant in the larger experience of Christmas love has been a tradition for as long as I can remember growing up.

Today will be spent with family eating, laughing, playing games and enjoying the REAL GIFT of love, sent down to us in the form of a baby totally dependent upon us. God removed fear by becoming dependent - amazing isn't it?

Not just during the Holiday season but every day I'm thankful for the
opportunity to celebrate not only the big moments, so worthy of
Hanukkah and Christmas, but also the little blessings that come my way.
I'd like to give thanks to the special things in my life which deserve gratitude
and acknowledgment as well. My life has been a rich quilt of memories.

I'm fortunate enough to have many friends, near and far, and been honored to have shared their joys, tears, hopes, and fears. I'm thankful for David, who loves me in spite of being goofy with a capital "OOOF!" And in spite of the fact that the first time he invited me to his apartment to watch movies, I stuck my foot into the tin of popcorn!!!

I give thanks our holiday table is filled with friends, family, and food made with love that honors traditions that are held dear.

This is a good time to consider those people in my life who have been my greatest
teachers, and to remember the unexpected guidance I've received from a stranger. These are blessings that might otherwise go unnoticed or could be taken for granted. Some blessings are actually lessons that are delivered in challenging ways. As I consider this holiday with respect to gratitude, I'm conscious of the fleeting moments for they may have contained a learning gift that makes the experience worthy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Dreaded Christmas Letter

Good morning,

The busier we get, the more I find myself admiring the time as well as the thought that goes into the Christmas letter. Yes, I know that for some of you, it may be a love-hate relationship.

Who wants to hear that everything is coming up roses, everyone is making lots of money, little Susie or Johnny are the brightest kids around (even if they are), and that everything is wonderful?
Given all the things our country is experiencing, I think we know better.

I would rather hear about your trials and tribulations so I can help hold you up, your worries so that I can wipe your tears, your need so that I can help provide, and yes, your joys, so I can share them wholeheartedly with you.

So here goes the Kipp holiday letter.
This past year has been filled with joy, laughter, surprises, and some anxiety. The joys of watching loved ones marry and move into the next chapter of their lives. The joy of watching plans develop in the form of new things to landscape, new ideas for making our house a home, the laughter of friends, the surprise of a family of kittens under our porch, and new fallen snow.

Sorrow and worry have overtaken us at times as well. We worry about jobs, retirement funds, paying bills, and doing more than just getting by. I believe that this year above all others, we have come to realize that bounty is being able to live comfortably and still have a little to save and give to others who aren't as fortunate. In that, we have been truly blessed.

Our jobs are going well despite the economy. David is very highly thought of and depended upon by his co-workers. Paulissa is doing well; enjoying researching points of interest and working to position herself into a law firm which would take care of the internship she needs to finish her degree.

Paulissa is still on track to graduate in January 2010; hope to see many of you at graduation!! The coursework is challenging and sometimes exhausting when working a full time job but she's managed to maintain A's and B's.

David continues to participate in Masonic activities and now plays on 2 pool leagues, which keep him hopping.

Paulissa is the prayer shawl ministry leader at Trinity Lutheran Church, a member of the Nebraska Knit and Crochet Guild, is currently tossing her hat in the ring for Church Council, and will be joining the NE Association of Legal Assistants soon.
Crocheting keeps Paulissa sane and this past year has seen many shawls, a couple of lapghans, and several scarves made. Hoping to be more prolific next year!!!

And then there's Zinger!!! She is currently waving hello. Zinger is doing well and keeping us amused. She has managed not to break any ornaments this year despite playing with them. The tree skirt has intrigued her this year; she discovered that it's fun to slide across the fireplace hearth on!!

We hope to travel in 2009 and see some of you that we haven't seen in awhile. Connecting with all of you is important.

May today be all you need it to be. May the Peace of God and the freshness of
spirit rest in your thoughts, rule in your dreams tonight, and conquer all your fears. May God manifest himself today in ways you have never experienced. May your joys be fulfilled, your dreams be closer, and your prayers be answered. I pray that faith enters a new height for you; I pray that your territory is enlarged. I pray for peace, healing, health, happiness, prosperity, joy, truth and undying love for God.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah

Good morning all and Happy Hanukkah!!!

We are having very frigid temps here this morning: -3 with a windchill of -26. I most likely will only go out today for church, a newspaper and more candles for the menorah then spend the day finishing up homework, getting some exercise, doing laundry, baking, and hopefully finding time to do some crocheting.

I made pumpkin gingerbread cake earlier and the house smells sooooooo good!!! Here's the recipe:

Festive Pumpkin Gingerbread

From the kitchen of Marie Sandona
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter(save 2/3 cup for topping)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pound canned pumpkin
1/2 cup light molasses
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs

In one bowl, cut butter, flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and sugar together. Reserve 2/3 c. for topping. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, blend baking soda,
canned pumpkin, light molasses, milk and eggs. Combine dry and wet
ingredients. Spread into a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Spread reserved
topping on batter and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

I have gifts to wrap, and lots of last minute tasks to do to be ready for the holidays. This week will be a short week at work and I'm taking the 26th and January 2nd off for a nice holiday break.

Here's a picture of the scarf I finished yesterday when I met up with the Knit and Crochet Guild. Pretty isn't it??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Well, we are finally dug out from the ice, sleet, and snow storm. Today is supposed to be very cold but no nasty stuff to speak of. I'm so thankful; I'm meeting up with members of the local knit and crochet guild today for a relaxing time. I'm thinking about joining so wanted to check it out and while I'm at the mall I'll do some mall walking (not shopping) and use the gift card I have for
Barnes and Noble, which is next door to the mall.

Lots of stuff to do and not enough time it seems to do it at a relaxing pace. I have to finish up homework today that is due tomorrow, do some baking, wrap gifts, work on a few more small gifts for friends and then do something for ME!!!!! Exercise is high on the list!!!!

Tomorrow is the beginning of Hanukkah so we're heading to Gingerbread on Parade, looking at Christmas lights and then returning home to light the candles and open our gifts.

After the first of the year, I want to pick up a new Foodmover, some new fitness videos, and tools to keep me motivated with the healthy goals.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Sweets

Hello friends,

I haven't written for a few days; things have been a little nuts with lots of homework, tests, the holidays, and other obligations.

Last weekend I held a holiday tea party with a cookie exchange and got some early Christmas gifts to boot!! This vintage Betty Boop is from my friend Robin, who found it at an estate sale. Isn't she darling??? I also got a Betty Boop apron - just love it!!!

Today we went downtown for the family fun festival as part of the Holiday Lights Festival. As a holiday gift to the city, various cultural landmarks - museums, the libraries, etc are open without admission and offer things like hot chocolate - particularly welcome today with -25 windchills!, stage coach rides on the Wells Fargo Bank stage coach, a chance to see the mounted police horses and training facility, ice skating, opera omaha and the symphony, the 50-ft Christmas tree at the old Union train station ( I remember going there with my grandfather to see the trains come and go - it is now a museum), holiday miniatures and the list goes on and on. You park at one of the venues and take shuttle buses to the remaining venues that you're interested in.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Well, it's been something of a crazy week; classes started again so there is that nuttiness of homework, work, etc.

I've spent today preparing for my holiday tea party - I just finished decorating the house, I still have dishes to finish, vacuuming and dusting, cookies to bake, and a scarf to put 2 more rows on.

Later today will be homework so I hopefully won't have to mess too much with it tomorrow. What are all of you up to today???

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snowflake Dreamin'

Hi all,

Sorry I haven't updated for a couple of days. Classes have begun again and so I'm just trying to keep up!!!!

I am finding my holiday spirit and will be having a holiday tea party on Sunday, am finishing Christmas gifts, and getting ready to do a little holiday baking.

This picture is the tree at Union Station from last year; I haven't gone yet this year but will. Every year a local family donates the tree and there is a different theme to the tree every year. There are also special ethnic nights to go along with the Christmas season. It is great fun. Look for more pictures to come!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tree Is Up

The tree is up and yep, the tree topper is unique this year. We realized that we may have thrown out the lighted star last year when we got rid of the ratty old tree. Soooooooo, the Christmas Elf will have to stand in. Give me reason to crochet something new for the tree, I suppose.

I look forward to the traditions of this time of year - even the extreme annoyance tradition of untangling the lights, putting them on the tree, playing "let's find the burnt out bulb", etc. The warmth of the way it looks when it's done is worth it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nativity Display and Thought on Materialism

My girlfriend and I went to a nativity display at one of the local churches. This is the 13th year that they've done it. I have a nativity set I painted several years ago but I don't have a Creche. I think I'll do some looking around and see if I can't find one.

In light of the black friday tragedies yesterday, I hope that we will each take a little time to remember that material things are not what make those we love, love us in return. Time=love.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Different Way To View Struggle

Did you take a moment to be thankful yesterday? I think that especially in such a prosperous nation, we take so many things for granted. The tightening of our belts and re-learning how to live within our means will, I believe, allow us to be more prosperous when the country turns around.

That thought may seem to be contradictory to the point I just made, so let me explain. By learning to live within our means, we will lessen our impulse buying, relearn how to be thrifty, perhaps make more meals at home, thereby increasing time spent with our families breaking bread, we will save more money, thereby becoming more financially secure in the long run, and perhaps because we have to struggle a little ourselves, we will share more of our bounty with those who have less.

I did a little spurring the economy today and did comparison shopping to find the best deals and got a couple of needed items for myself and some Christmas gifts. I am happy to say that I spent under $50. My goal this year is to spend less than $200 on gifts. So far I'm on track mostly because I've been making a good number of gifts.

Tonight I will put the lights on the tree and if I'm truly ambitious, I'll get the ornaments on it as well.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great holiday. It focuses our minds on our blessings rather than on our problems.
It makes the heart glad for what we have been given, and it takes our minds off the burdens we all have.

Thanksgiving recognizes the giver as well as the gift. It keeps it on the positive side.

In a life of plenty of prosperity, we seem to take things for granted. How appreciative we should be for our blessings, and what a wonderful thing is a holiday which focuses our attention on them.

Thanksgiving is therapy we all need to keep cognizant of the blessings and beauty of living.

This year let's set aside a few minutes of the holiday to sit alone and think of the many things for which we are thankful - - then this great holiday will have true meaning for us.

~Robert N. Filie

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let The Cooking Begin!!!!

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice." ~Meister Eckhart

I began the Thanksgiving cooking last night with the dressing. Today I will work on getting the green bean casserole and the scalloped corn put together (not baked), the poppyseed cake made, and the turkey broth and giblet gravy put together. That will relieve alot of the work tomorrow.

Please take a moment to say a prayer for our men and women in uniform who are serving far from home. Should you see a veteran, please thank them for their service which allows us to sit down to our meal or peace (or joyful chaos in some cases). And above all, take a moment to be thankful. But for the grace of God we go.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Think I'll Live

After two days of not feeling well, I believe I'm finally on the mend. The sinuses are still puffy, but at least the being constantly cold and dizzy have dissippated. Off to work I go!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Time To Be Thankful

PHOTO SOURCE: Google images

Hi everyone,

When I stop to think about gratefulness, I realize that it is a word that some people may think has negative connotations. I have had conversations with people who tell me that givings thanks makes them feel as though they shouldn't attain much in terms of possessions, etc. I would counter that we are not entitled to anything. . .we improve our lives through knowledge, connections with others, friends, family, and love. None of us are self-made, no matter how much we'd like to kid ourselves.

There is value to slowing down enough to realize that but for the grace of God (Buddah, Yahweh, or whatever higher power one ascribes to) that we could be homeless, hungry, and in need of compassion. I am thankful for family, friends, joy, laughter, memories, and having enough to live comfortably and still share with those less fortunate.

What are you thankful for?