Thursday, February 9, 2023

Life has been less than kind


   7 years… it’s been a lot … almost too much

Had loads of plans, even in the midst of a lot of it, photos, research, sharing, ideas all being cultivated…. 

3 serious spinal surgeries

Suicide of Father

The pandemic year(s)

Unknown health dx- something making me very sick

Loss of home after 20 years (due to black mold!)

No home 

Live with daughter and her family 

Relocate close to her, our Son-in-law aka Poppa Bear #2 & my granddaughter

Daughter is killed 17 days later

Family imploded

Suicide of 2 parents in a lifetime is a lot. 20 surgeries in a lifetime is a lot too. Loss of one’s health & home at our age was staggering, frightening.

The killing…. of my daughter, in June of 2022 made all of the above seem like nothing at all. My life as I know it is very very different now.  Now, I’m fighting to breathe, to survive.  I’ve been encouraged to write again…. No one will know I’m here doing so.  

The sidebars links don’t exist anymore. The ideas of this space at its creation by my gorgeous hearted friend, is very very different now.  Now, it might be for finding creative kind ways to heal for myself and others like me. 

Hoping life is being kind


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Hello - No Such Thing as the Right Time - Jumping in with Both Feet & All Heart



Well it has been a hot minute since the inception, the dream of this blog.  It has held a place near and dear to my heart over the last 5 years.  I kept waiting for the "right time".  Life stepping in, scrambling time and space.... yet I was still waiting for the "right time".   

Life has a way of showing you the "right time" is the time you often find yourselves in.  If you wait for the very perfect, all the stars aligned, heart and soul, time and space align just so, you'll be waiting a very very long time for that "right" or "perfect" time.

Passing's also have a way of bringing to the forefront the preciousness of time. Of thoughts, ideas, passions, hobbies, pursuits that get laid aside for that "one day" period of time.  Now, sometimes life stacks itself in such a way, you do have to make room, prioritize, manage ones time along with those thoughts, dreams, ideas, passions and hobbies. In my case, I did so more because it was expected of me to do so. Sacrifice at all costs for others.  My heart sort of works that way to begin with, in addition to the way I was raised. However, all that being said, with significant passing's of people in our lives, there are lessons we learn along the way - from them, what they leave behind, and our own soul searching.

Writing has always been what I loved, but it also became something that was "expected" of me. It costs were enormously personal. Caused such a rift in my family it tore the very fabric of what was left of "us". Its damage was undeniable, making it very difficult for me to write - the ghosts of those voices, that hurt, that implosion in my family, I've carried with every word you've never seen.

With time comes understanding.... of the past and present. Of others and of oneself.  The journey of the last 10 years. let alone the last 5 when this beautiful glorious place my dearest friend Tinker created for me - it has been a siren call over the years. I am here to answer it finally. To do as I imagined, desired, deep breath to overcome the voices of the ghosts of hurt and also to talk about it. 

Much has happened. Much to share. I know I am a storyteller. Always have been. You won't find perfect punctuation, perfect sentence etiquette. My hope is you will be able to follow my voice, my heart, my excitement most often, and sometimes my sadness.  

This past year especially, 2020 - has shown what I've always believed, we are rarely alone in our experiences - we come to them differently to be sure, our feelings deeply personal, however we are rarely alone. Where there is 1 there is many.  The need for connection. To be seen and to be heard never more important as it has become. It is something I've always always always believed in.  The kindness aspect of A Creative Life blooms from that feeling of seeing and hearing others.  A long held front row seat to such pain and heartache, the lack of talking, of being seen or heard, the brushing under the carpet, look the other way - every cliché bumper sticker or "quote" *while many of them helpful in their time and place* in many ways became the language of "I don't understand you, don't know how to, legacy of this is how we deal with such things  - sort of language".  I've seen it, witnessed it, it became part of my stubborn when facing tough things in life, but it also became my shield.  "Fake it til you make it" "suck it up buttercup" has in fact saved me in many ways, hurt me in others.

Here, that all goes away. This is Christine - the good the bad the ugly, but I hope always always the kind, the heartfelt, the one who sees and continues to hear all those who feel they are not.

There will be some heavy stories to be told. This may be more for me than for you, should you find this place.  It is my truth.  One even thinking about, and still processing causes me such anxiety and panic attacks like no other. That's real life, its from these lessons, when we learn to be kind to ourselves, and to others, we can move forward and heal.  However, the early posts here will be hard .... for me... but its part of my story, how I came to be who I am.  It is also my hope it will touch another's heart. Help them feel less alone, or apart from. 

After that - there will be joy on the other side. Creative New Normal I've learned along the way. Creative - art, fiber, knitting, makers whom I have come to love, been inspired by.  Kindness - always kindness, whether challenges, community events - or these days online events.  Music, books, baking, being kind and nurturing to oneself -I'm still learning. I hope to never stop.  My father told me "You are never too old to learn". He's right. So, lets see how this goes.

No structure here, this was a "okay Cj - get up, get on there, and lets go!" moment. Stepping past the scared.  Being accountable to myself, honoring my heart and it's desire, to write as I do, to share, to connect. Maybe also, in many ways, a diary of sorts.... not a typical blog like I once had. Gonna make this up as we go along.

There are some links over there I need to do away with or correct. So forgive me as I fumble around here, hopefully I don't screw things up too badly!  *wish me luck*  I am hoping a lot of this will be muscle memory come back to life. 

In the meantime, I do so sincerely hope this finds you and yours happy, healthy & well. As always lead with kindness, follow your heart, embrace all that you are and can be, know you are never alone. I'll be here should you need.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cowpoke Cookies {Gift in a Jar}

I love creating culinary gifts for family and friends. These were a huge hit last time I gave them out!

Simply pack the dry ingredients in a mason jar and give them the instructions to make their Gift in a Jar Cowpoke Cookies. Gourmet gifting has never been easier!

Friday, May 15, 2015


These bagels were once a part of my weekly baking repertoire. Back in the day, when I ate grains. ;)

These bagels are soft, warm and spongy on the inside, and slightly crisp on the outside. I baked them using steam. They're great warm, fresh out of the oven and at room temperature the next day. Honestly, I never the desire to toast them. I'm not so sure fresh bagels need toasting!

Dress these bagels up however you'd like! The mister seems to prefer them plain, but I have dolled them up with a combination of flaxseed, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, tiny sunflower seeds, and black caraway seeds. I also liked mixing together a little garlic powder and dried onion. The onion will moisten and plump up slightly during the steam baking. For an "everything" bagel try a combination of the poppy seeds, dried onion, sesame seeds, and garlic powder. Or you can dust them with a little cinnamon and embed the bagel with raisins.

*storage tip: save and reuse your bread bags to keep your bagels in*
Homemade bagels are where it’s at! If you’ve never made them yourself, you’re missing out. I love that regardless of rolling imperfections, these bagels are still better than store-bought.