Just after New Year’s one of the blogs I follow, Witchy Rambles, was discussing how rather than select a resolution she selects a word for the year. I really gravitated to that idea. A couple days later I was hit with a word, craft. I think for me that is a great word to think about and work on for 2014.

Here’s what good old Webster’s has to say about it: Craft- 1. A special skill or art 2. an occupation requiring special skill 3. the members of a skilled trade

For me there is a lot of craft to work on in my life. Of course there is religion.  Many of my readers would say that craft is a part of their religion, and of course that comes from the term witchcraft. I do not call myself a Wicca, or really even a witch, but I do some spell work, and I have a lot to learn. I also spent last year being a bit distant from my spirituality and would like to reconnect with that. Therefore I would like to hone my religious craft, which for me is solitary, eclectic, metaphysical paganism with a strong leaning toward Eastern religions, particularly Hinduism.

I see my profession, teaching, as a craft. Although I am constantly re-evaluating lessons, changing activities, and refining lectures there is more I can do to better my teaching craft. I have identified a bunch of things to retool, and hope to make some strides within the year. I am also writing a textbook, so I have to call upon the craft of writing as well, which is something I struggle with. Honestly, I write this blog in an attempt to both connect to my spirituality and work on writing skills. It really helps to write on more creative topics as a break from academic ones.

I am a choreographer, and that is definitely a craft. Because I choreograph so much that craft often feels more like a chore. I have actually had to call a five month break with my company because after doing a huge show I need a little breather both to work on other non-dance projects and let my thoughts incubate around the company’s next big show. But I want to reconnect with the beauty of crafting choreography. It’s one of my truest and longest loves. It is time to breathe some new life into that craft of mine.

In addition to contemporary dance I also fire dance, both solo and with my company. However, I feel I have gotten stale. I need some new moves. It’s also time I learned something besides poi, so enter the hula-hoop. It is going to take some serious work and practice of the hoop craft to get those skills up and ready to light on fire. Not to mention be good enough to perform at events for which I am being paid. Time to hone that craft.

Because I need to get away from dance and choreography (I’m actually a dance professor, so dance really is a very huge chunk of my life), I’m picking up a new yet old love, figure skating. Yes, in my head figure skating is a craft, and it definitely is a special skill! About ten years ago I began adult skating lessons and fell in love with it. In a year I got pretty good and could even do some jumps, spins, and combo moves. Then I moved to go to grad school. Ten plus years later and I am just now getting back on the ice. Yesterday I officially registered for classes and I am so excited. When I opened up the old skate bag and pulled out my skates the energy that came out of there was amazing. You can bet I will put my pagan spin on ice-skating when we hit either “F” (figure) or “I” (ice). During all those years of grad school and career I have never stopped yacking about figure skating. And of course I follow it big time. I even got to go see nationals in 2010, but I digress. Anyhow, skating is a new/old craft for me, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

Last but not least, I am a crafter. I love to make jewelry and costumes. Of course the bulk of my energy goes to making costumes for my dance company, but I want to refocus on the jewelry, which also has a special place in my heart. This year will also be the first year that my hubby and I head up the annual art car project. For the past few years we have worked on a team to build an art car for the huge art car parade we have here. This year it will be all our vision and craftiness. Sweet.

The other craft I love is My Little Pony rehabilitation and customization. I love those little guys and have kind of gone off the deep end into MLP madness. You can check out the depth of my insanity if you dare here…. But now it is time to get back to the jewelry and get that art car up and running while also making new discoveries about my beloved ponies.

I think it’s important to think about craft and it’s place in our lives. I feel craft has a tight connection to spirituality, and it allows us to develop our brains and connections, whether those connections be to humans, ourselves, religion, or even an object or tool.

So how about y’all? Do you have a word to inspire you throughout the year? Or do you have a special craft you practice or want to learn? I’d love to hear what you’re up to!


Just blog about it

My heart is breaking, and I don’t know what to do, so I guess I’ll blog about it.

I was awoken this morning by a tree service asking me to move my car. They were working on a tree in my neighbor’s yard. A big, beautiful, easily over 100 year old live oak. When I went to move the car I asked if they were trimming it or removing it. Removing it. Oh my god. How could my neighbor do such a thing? The tree is not harming the house in any way. I’m just sick. I’ve been crying for almost two hours now.

I’ve had it with short sided people, and I’ve had it with people who have completely lost their connection to the natural world. People who have lived surrounded by concrete for so long they can no longer feel the earth… and its trees.

That tree completely shaded our driveway. It dropped giant acorns in the fall that would crunch under my feet. I’d find the really big ones and give them to the cat, who loves to bat them around the house. It was so big I could stare into its branches when I was laying in the backyard.

I’m just sick. And openly weeping at my desk. There’s nothing I can do to save that ancient soul. Believe me, I did consider all options, including chaining myself to it, if for no reason other than to drive home the point that my neighbor is a murderer. But the end result in that could easily be my arrest, and what good would that do.

So I’m taking it out in writing. Most of the followers of this blog came from the Pagan Blog Project, so I think I have some sympathetic and understanding ears out there. Not many people can grasp why I would be crying all morning over a tree.

I am an empath, and I can feel the sadness of the tree. I can feel its slow death. I can feel it crying with me.

Goodbye old friend. Friend who has been here longer than all the people in this city. Friend who has been here longer than many man-made structures in this city. I’m so sorry my neighbor has no reverence for your majesty. All I can do is say goodbye.

An update

Hello out there! I haven’t had much to say as of late, but I do have a little update. I have actually missed blogging, which does surprise me somewhat. But I’m still not that fond of writing, and I was offered an online textbook book deal. Awesome, but that’s a lot of writing. And it doesn’t address the fact that I miss blogging.

In the midst of all this an old love affair was rekindled…my childhood love for My Little Pony. As I have been collecting and cleaning and loving vintage ponies I have been asking myself how I can turn this hobby into something a little more constructive.

I’m sure by now all you clever readers have figured out the logical conclusion  I arrived at… a My Little Pony blog, of course!

Thus, I would like to invite My Little Pony lovers and  followers of The World According to ChinaCat to come take a gander at the Pony Chronicles, and share my journey through the magical world of My Little Pony.

And stay tuned…I’m sure one of these days I will add some posts to this blog, which I have not forgotten.


In an effort to make good on a New Year’s resolution, I have ventured into the world of the blog. Quite honestly, I’m not exactly sure just what shape this blog will take. I am a choreographer, professor, crafter, environmentalist, animal lover, and pagan. I expect that my blogging will be in these veins. Part of my blog challenge will come from that fact that I don’t particularly love to write, but I do love to share and talk to people in the social media sphere. Among other things, I hope to find a new joy in writing through my new blogging experience. 
Here’s to a new challenge beginning with the dawn of a new year. Let’s see where this journey takes me…