Boundaries Part 3: Dealing with Fence Cutter

The past weeks we’ve been discussing boundaries. You know why we all need boundaries and how to set them. This week is on what to do when people refuse to respect those newly set boundaries.

I truly believe most people are good natured and don’t want to hurt others. Some people take a bit to get use to a new routine. However, with a few reminders they will respect you boundary – and you. This is how healthy relations work.

But today we are talking about how to deal with those folks that are still waiting to hop on the emotionally healthy bus.

In my experience there are two types of boundary breakers – that ones that fear losing you and those ones that want to use you.

Let’s start with the ones that fear losing you. Typically these are good hearted people with good intentions, but internal insecurities that have not resolved. They can smother you with an unhealthy interpretation of love. This is the parent that tries to take over parenting their adult child’s children – without need, or comes in the house without invitation at all hours of the day and night. These pushers only want the best for you – their interpretation of best. These people are oblivious to the fact they are running roughshod over your life.

You set boundaries – “Mom, I appreciate all you do, but please don’t come over and let yourself in at ten at night just to check on us. Vern and I really need you to visit during the day and call first.” The next night mom pops in at ten o’clock at night while you and Vern are working on some night moves. Let’s face it. No reminder is going to work. Change the locks, kids, and don’t share that key.

Yes, this is an extreme example, but it’s a true story from a friend. There was crying, screaming, and accusations that Vern put my friend up to repealing her mother’s freedom. In the end Mom learned to use the phone. Mom had lost her husband the year before. Greif can cause same people to act off. Grace and firmness won the day.

However, there is another class of boundary breakers I’ve encountered. They know what they are doing. I was married to this sort. I do not believe that most people are bad, but I do believe that the bad ones enjoy pulling others into their mire. I’ve come to the conclusion that insecurity is also at the center of these types of actions. The difference is they completely lack empathy. I’m discussing narcissist and anti social individuals.

Pushers feel love, but posses poor skills. Anti-social and narcissistic individuals use the imitation of love and friendship as a lock pick to your life and then slowly begin to manipulate you, violating your boundaries. They are highly skilled in manipulation.

A conversation with them on why your boundary is in place only leads to more information on how to manipulate you. Give your boundary without reason. Draw your line in concrete, not in the sand. Then do not engage. When they step over the line, and they will, leave the relationship. When they call screaming and yelling, or cold and with ultimatums, hang up. Leave the room. Do not engage. When they twist your words – ignore them. Document and record your conversations. When they agree to a boundary and violate it – play it back, say nothing. Do not engage.

If you can, leave. They will eventually tire because what they want is to play with your emotions. If you do not give them what they want – they stop playing and eventually leave you alone.

The majority of the boundary breakers you meet are pushers. They are annoying, but still lovable. They try to control without even knowing. If you have a full blown narcissist or sociopath in your life – get out of the relationship. If it’s a coworker start a ‘CYA” or Cover your assets file. Document everything – same goes for anyone getting away from a marriage. *Be sure to check your state’s laws on recording conversations in legal situations*.

Today’s topic was not as pleasant as others. However, it is important to our emotional and mental health to discuss this issue. You deserve to be in a healthy, loving, kind relationship with yourself and others. You deserve to feel safe emotionally and physically without the drama of abuse. You deserve the chance to grow into the person you came here to become. You deserve love.

Set your boundaries. Stick to them. Know that most people are good in heart and not everyone needs a place at the table of your heart.

Join us next time as we wrap up the Boundaries series with a discussion on how to set internal boundaries.

Until next time, In all you do,

Craft no Harm,

Moriah and the flock

Putting in Fences – How to Set and Communicate Boundaries

Setting healthy boundaries is one of the hardest life skills I’ve tackled. In the past feared losing the person or offending them. I grew up with my grandmother who herself lost a mother at a young age, was abandoned by an alcoholic father, and then was passed through the family until her very hard grandmother took her in. She was an amazing woman in many ways. However she had poor boundaries and abandonment fears. Even though I was shown healthy patterns by my mother and grandfather, I still picked a few poor skills and internalized poor coping mechanisms. Couple that with being an empath and the stage was set for an adult struggle. After a relationship with a narcissistic person it was a skill I had to learn for my own emotional wellbeing.

Here’s the biggest thing I learned: emotionally healthy people have boundaries and respect them. If someone consistently and maliciously violates your boundaries (or YOU) – Remove from you life cold turkey. RUN. GET THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE. They are a poison to you. However, most people simply need honest communication and are good hearted.

How to Set Boundaries

Before you set a boundary you first need to know where your emotional property begins and what you need. Your emotional property is pretty simple. It is YOUR emotions, your inner being, your growth, your physical and spiritual wellbeing. It’s not your kid’s, your partner’s, boss’, minister’s, or any person’s emotions, spirit or body.

However, knowing what you need can be harder. For example. I need a good uninterrupted two hours everyday to meditate and pray. I try to keep it to a schedule that works not only for me, but my responsibilities. Since I often have visitors I have a simple sign on my door – “I’m currently in my prayer closet. I appreciate you stopping by. Please come by later. I look forward to seeing you SOON. Thank you. Love, Moriah”. How did I figure out what I need? Mostly through trial and error. I know. Not what you are looking for, but that’s the honest answer. I knew I needed to feed my inner person. I knew I needed alone time to do it. I knew that when I fed my inner soul I had to the energy and drive to care for others. I knew I have a passion for kindness and compassion. That passion was my starting point. How to feed that passion and how it looks in my daily life was the trial and error. However, once I knew what I needed, setting the boundary became easy.

Examples of common boundaries include not hugging strangers, refusing to listen to gossip, not touching Momma Bellies, not stealing, asking for a kiss on the first date instead of assuming, refusing to purchase items on credit, and many other common everyday things we take for granted. It’s something we already do. It’s just in our emotional life we sometimes depend on our neighbors to set our and maintain our property lines and not ourselves.

Communicating Boundaries

Let’s go back to my little sign. It’s to the point. I don’t say it directly, but it communicates that I’ll not be opening the door. There are no accusations. There are no demands. The other person knows I still want to see them and my not opening the door is not personal – it’s something I need and applies to everyone.

If I had written something like “I’m trying to feed my soul right now and don’t need a bunch of constant interruptions so stop dropping by so freakishly early!” it would cause relationship issues. When I first started setting boundaries that’s about where my communication level sat. It caused issues, too. I was making my boundaries about the other person. I was making judgements, mostly because I was still judging myself. I was making my friends and family responsible for my emotional needs and property instead of taking ownership and responsibility. Your boundaries are YOUR boundaries. Own it and communicate it with love and power in a way that doesn’t offend.

Stick with Them

The most important part of setting boundaries is sticking with them. Puppy dog faces, pleas, and demands can unconsciously manipulate us into taking emotional responsibilities for other people’s baggage and allowing our needs and inner person to become frazzled and disengaged. Being consistent is often the hardest part.

Write your boundaries down. As life pops up new experiences write down your feelings and emotions. Write down your failures and your victories. Keep a journal about those things. It helps you to discover where you need to sure up your fence lines. Don’t judge yourself either. You don’t judge a fence for a tree falling it. Don’t judge your boundaries or your skills. Simply make note, and get to work fixing that fence line. Eventually you and the other people in your life will learn to use the gate.

Continuing the Series

The next two installments of this series will be

Dealing with Fence Cutters – How to Deal with Trespassers

Setting Boundaries in Your Internal Pastures

In all you do,

Craft No Harm

Kind Fibers

Daisy’s 2019 fleece is now available!

This is Daisy’s sixth fleece, and it’s another stellar example of Romney Wool. This wool works up lustrous, strong, and has high memory. This is one of my favorite resident sheep to spin yarn from. I’ve made everything from hats and mittens to socks, shawls, sweaters and throws from her previous fleeces and I’m never disappointed. Her fleece takes dye very well, especially plant dyes. I make the majority of my dyed locks from Daisy locks every year. It’s hard to believe she is seven years old!

Daisy’s Story: Daisy joined the flock in 2015 about two months before we moved to our current farm. We didn’t know she was pregnant at the time with Lilly and Black Iris. She was slated for auction due to an inbreeding issue in her former flock. We were called and she became one of our resident sheep. We also found out she has a teat injury that most shepherds would send her to slaughter over. She has successfully managed to raise two sets of twins even with the injury. We nicked named her “Tank” because she makes such a huge strong fleece every year, and she’s just a big girl. Daisy loves to eat grain, stomp her foot at the sheepdog, and lay under the trees. She is a registered Romney. We have managed to acquire all but one of her lambs, and she lives in a complete family unit with her three daughters Lilly, Loral, and Lilac, her sone and Black Iris. Her granddaughter/aunt Peppermint has also joined the flock.

2019 health update: Daisy, along with several other flock members contracted an infection that caused arthritis to set up in her leg joints after our farm flooded. She was successfully treated, but now has a slight hitch in her gait. She’s a senior and this type of infection often leads to death in ewes her age. We are so happy that she is fully recovered for the most part and is enjoying her golden years. Her daughter Lilac has taken over as herd queen, but Daisy remains the family matriarch. She seems to be enjoying her retirement

If interested in purchasing Daisy’s raw wool please visit our Etsy shop. All sales go to supporting our animals. https://www.etsy.com/listing/510851062/raw-romney-wool-raw-unwashed-locks-from

Enter the Stillness

When I was in grade school I found a book called Cowboy Wisdom. It was a collection of simple sayings. I read it one afternoon almost thirty years ago. One quote has stuck with me most of my life.

“Find a place you can enter the Stillness”

Over the busy decades packed with degrees, volunteering, businesses, farms, relationships, heartbreaks, triumphs, pain and joy I’ve clung to that saying. Somehow that simple phrase “enter the Stillness” called to me.

Whenever life became too hectic I’d stop and find a place to be still physically. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the beginning of my meditation practice. We often think of meditation as just becoming still. However, becoming still is the first step to the result that is meditation.

Some people find the stillness within even amongst the chaos. I am not one of those people. I engage in a formal meditation practice early in the day just to find some stillness. Others find nature the best medium or a sacred space. No matter the environment one goal remains – to become physically, mentally, and emotionally still. Once we enter into that Stillness something amazing occurs. The spirit takes flight into meditation.

Kind Fibers

Saturday May 18, 2019

Shearing is complete! We had a long, imperfect, and hard day I consider successful on April 10th. Kate and Gib, our shearers are very good with the sheep. Unfortunately, this is their last year. So, a big THANK YOU to them.

One hundred pounds of gorgeous wool is now under my Studio work table and I’m slowly sorting wool in between planting, gardening, tending the orchard, baking, spinning, knitting, and working with the oxen who have come a long way on training in the past few weeks. Somewhere in all that I manage to keep the house semi respectable.

On the Wheel

Currently, my baby Iris is back on the wheel Josephine (she is a Babe Production Wheel). I’ll do three more Hanks of this lovely bulky woolen before whipping up some squishy semi woolen two ply. I’m thinking I might have two, yes two sweaters from one fleece. One rough and bulky. The other sweet and lace edged.

Lilly is also before the Wheel. I’m going for sport two ply. I have no idea what I’m making. I had a wild fit of passion with the dye pot and Lilly’s 2018 Autumn fleece just happened to be at hand. Since it’s so short I’m carding her lovely wool. I’ve started spinning some if it because I NEEDED some color. Yes. I’m cheating on Iris. But Lilly is only one pound and I still have two pounds of Iris left to card.

On the Carder

My drum carder has seen quite a bit of action lately after being out of commission. I’ve been steadily working on all the dyed locks.

I have two different batt types going. Since I comb all my wool before putting it on the drum carder I end up with a pile of pretty, but lower quality fluff. Yes. I can spin it into lace, but I’m overwhelmed with low yardage yarns. So, the top quality stuff becomes art or spinning batts, and the other gets spun into wildly colorful singles. Which brings me to:

On the Needles

I currently have three projects going. Yes. I’m in a complex situation with the knitting. But there is good reason.

Those wild singles are being knitted into a prayer mat. After completion I’ll felt it. Since making the material is a slow process, I simply knit as time dictates. I’m knitting this on my size ten bamboo needles. I rarely use them, but love how they feel. So, even though it’s not a fast process, it’s a very enjoyable one.

My second project is the coffee blanket I’m still working on for this fall and winter. It’s in time out currently. I’m thinking about finishing the top portion this week just so I can have my needles back. We will see.

My third, and most active project is the Odyssey Shawl. I’m done with the knitting. It’s taken almost two weeks to make. It could have been finished in one week, but I want this to be right the first time. Since I’m far enough along I thought this would be a good time to do a review.

I’m knitting this from Daisy and Amy. Daisy is dyed green with copper and spinach. Amy is straight RIT navy blue.

Odyssey Shawl Review

Odyssey shawl by Joji Locatelli

Free Ravelry download

This is a larger project than I typically take on in spring during planting season. I like feeling like SOMETHING is getting done. The idea of a long term project or a large project tends to put me off. And this is definitely a larger, nice sized shawl. However, actually knitting this shawl is faster and more relaxing than many of the other projects I’ve done lately. There are several reasons why.

First, this pattern is written extremely well. It’s five pages of written directions, not charts. I LOVE written rows. For whatever reason I feel like charts are a lazy designer’s tool. I know. Harsh. But if I pay for a pattern and then have to write out my row instructions from the chart… I’m not purchasing from that designer again. On the other hand, a free pattern written rows pretty much guarantees I’m purchasing from that designer in the future. Joji is on my short list of future purchases. I have three of her patterns in my buy soon queue.

The eyelet lace is simple. It’s interesting. It’s quick. It’s a lace pattern that feels natural and intuitive. It’s also a solid and sturdy feeling lace. I know. Contradiction, but it’s true. She came up with the design while on a trip to Canada. Frankly, the lace feels Canadian – warm, strong, simple, yet elegant.

The bulk of the shawl is knitted. There’s very little purling. That also contributes to a relaxing and quick shawl.

I plan on using blocking wires after washing given the size. And even though I’m not a HUGE fan of picot bind offs, this one is perfect and simple.

I’d say this is a good intermediate beginner or better project. Joji has lots of other patterns out there. I seriously like this designer and think every knitting addict needs to check her out.

*Just so you know – I’m in no way affiliated with Joji Locatelli. I don’t know her or anything about her beyond the fact that I think she’s written a great pattern. I just really like this pattern and I like finding knitting gems and sharing them.

In the dye pot

My bottle baby Lilly ended up with two, yes two shearing dates in 2018. I so rarely get to spin a stellar fleece myself. I’m usually spinning britch and dirty, dirty neck or spine. Since her and Iris are twins and the first born at Serenity I decided to keep both August fleeces. Iris is colored. Lilly is typical buttercream Romney ewe.

I had some brown left over in the vat. It had sat there cold for several days. I could see it had separated. The stove was hot. I was feeling the need to cause a little local color. For whatever reason I just tossed my bottle lamb’s third fleece straight in and set it on the stove. Then I added some logs to the fire and went outside. For six hours. When I came back it was boiling. Well, what was left in the vat was boiling. I just KNEW the whole thing was ruined. Nope. A couple of rinses and a few sunsets on the porch and there it was – a gorgeous fleece. It’s like a stormy Peruvian beach at sunset. There’s something about it that is just magical. I’m so trying this technique again!

In the Barn

So far May has been a rough month for the flock. We’ve had a case of poly arthritic chlamydia going around the flock. No. It’s not an STD in sheep. They can get it from deer, cattle, goats, and from dirty shoes. It’s just another illness with them. However most of them have had limps and needed shots. Fortunately, we have penicillin on hand. Unfortunately the bulk of the flock is over 180 pounds and I’m still recovering from last year’s shearing mishap.

My boy Iris was the first affected. It eventually worked it’s way around the Daisy. Ya’ll, I really thought I was going to loose her. She’s still not 100% out of the woods. I know she’s older. I know the time is going to come when she will leave us. Thankfully that’s not today.

The oxen, Profit and Asset are now over 1300 pounds. That’s a ton and a half kine (the proper name for more than one head of cattle). I’m so impressed with how much they’ve settled and matured in the past few months. They are now ready to yoke and begin their final training for their lifetime job. I’m so thankful for the journey with these two beautiful boys.

June, momma’s little red heifer, is also growing up quickly. She’s quite fascinated by mom’s silver hair. She loves to nuzzle it and lick mom on the face. They are a funny pair to watch.

All in all the past few weeks have been good. Now, time to get back to the work and revel in the busy bustle of summer.

Until next time,

Craft no Harm

Moriah and the flock

Saturday in the Studio April 6, 2019

The weather is stellar today at the Cove. I can’t believe this is the same farm that was bare trees and mud just a month ago. My onions are up, the garlic is growing, and I even have a few small lettuce plants up. It’s a good thing I farm, because this wasn’t my week in the Studio. I broke the drum carder and hand carders. They’re at the carpenter’s.So, this week you’ll have to just grab a mug of your favorite beverage (mine is coffee) and enjoy a tour of the Kind Fibers sanctuary.I did complete two shawl. The details are in the video.https://youtu.be/rya8u8EfDooUntil next time,Craft No Harm,Moriah and the flock

Spring is here! Saturday in the Studio: 3/29/19

It’s spring! It’s spring! It’s spring! Yep. I’m excited. I know it actually began on the 20th, but spring plowing, mild temperatures, and blossoming fruit trees all showed up this past week. I’ve had a lovely week working in the field, in the greenhouse, and of course the fiber studio. I’m actually writing this early, so it’s going to seem like a light week. However, even though this is still going out a the usual time it’s only been four days since my last post. I’ve been a busy bee!

On the Wheel

Iris was the main project on the wheel this week. I spun up 325 yards of heavy woolen from his fleece. That’s about a third of the wool. His fleece should yield around 950 yards. I think that’s more than sufficient for a sweater. Since there is so much I might do a shawl as well. However, this spinning project is going into the casual category from here on out. I have way too much to get done, and with adding another festival to the event schedule this year I need to focus on work. So, Iris is going to be only one spinning session a week until he’s done.

I also did some quick spinning this week. This fun lace/sock yarn is actually four mini hanks. I have not measured the yardage out yet because I haven’t washed them yet. They’ll go in the Etsy shop this week as a test product for a possible new line – Stash Builders.

Since my current knitting project is finished I also squeezed in some spinning for a new shawl project. I’m not sure what pattern I’ll do – as usual – but I do have some basic ideas about the color. This is wool from four different Jacob sheep. I was in the studio matching fleeces to blend the colors since Jacob has such variations in their fleece color. I suddenly realized that all four animals were related through the same foundation sire. I’m thinking about calling this project “All in the Family”. It’s a woolen Navajo ply in a dk weight. There is a little variation in weight since the body of the shawl will be worked closer in gauge and then open up into lace. I’d like to use the same size 8 needles for the entire project. Therefore I began my spin with a heavy DK and ended up in a weight closer to regular sock yarn.

That brings up an interesting topic. Many knitters, even those who spin, either purchase or produce yarn without an end goal in sight. I know I do sometimes still. In the past I just sat at the wheel to spin. Now I spin or purchase yarn with a very specific goal in mind. Sure, I don’t always know exactly the lace patterns or body style, or all the design elements, but I do have an idea in mind. I pulled out all my yarns last week and took inventory. My stash includes yarns I created almost ten years ago. They’re still just sitting there. Something about that feels wrong. Like they’re just stuck in limbo. So, after this shawl I’m laying off the spinning for a while other than custom work (and Iris) and concentrating on knitting and weaving what’s already in the studio. I’m stash busting!

On the Needles

I finished up the silk shawl I cast on last Friday. I really wanted to give up several times. I had to frog it twice! I just kept dropping stitches in the body. I realized my attitude towards this yarn was not right. It sticks to my hand, it’s slippery, and even on the wood needles I have to really concentrate on each stitch. With all the work piling up for spring planting I just wanted something easy. Then I realized something – my attitude dishonored not only myself and the caterpillars that made the silk, it dishonored the person that eventually will wear it. As soon as I realized that I ripped it out a third time, got my heart right, and started again. Guess what? I stopped dropping stitches. I stopped struggling with the beading, and I completed the shawl in less than eight hours – with beads. I let go of the fact that I’m not pleased with my first attempt of dying it. I let go of my ego. I had a tangible reminder that even though something doesn’t start easily, or seemed “messed up” doesn’t mean that’s the end of the story. A simple change of heart. A simple shift to focusing on love and compassion and the entire experience changed. I don’t know who will eventually wear this shawl. But I know it’s going to be someone special, maybe even someone who can relate to the process and story behind this shawl. No matter though. I needed the reminder, especially right before busy season. So – stranger who will grace my work – thank you.

In the Dye Pot

It’s empty. Come back next week 🙂

On the Loom

I finished up the last batt this week for the next meditation mat. I plan to warp Monday! I’m so excited to get back to weaving.

Around the Farm

Shearing is scheduled for the first week in April! YEAH!!!! My babies are so wooly I’m not sure how much longer they’ll fit through the barn door! Due to a major shearing accident last year I’ve been banned from the shearing shed. The cartilage on the left side of my ribcage was fractured along with two ribs when Andromeda tossed me into a support post and the wall. My kidney was injured as well. It’s been seven months and my kidney is finally healed. I still have some issues with my ribcage and back. So, I’m actually hiring another shepherd to do the shearing this year. I’ve always prided my brand on nick free shearing. I’ve watched this shearer in action before and he’s very gentle and compassionate. He’ll cut the wool before he’ll cut the sheep so I’m happy. The nice thing – I get to make a video this year AND not be the bad guy!

We are still dealing with downed fences at Serenity from the flood and getting the property back in shape. The front field was plowed this week. I’m currently cleaning cotton seed! That’s right. I’m expanding into cotton. It will be almost a year before it’s ready to harvest, hand clean, and spin. But it’s coming. I was able to get Levant cotton. It’s an heirloom variety and I’ll be able to keep the seed from year to year. This is something I’ve wanted for YEARS. It’s here. Finally. And the timing is perfect.

If you’d enjoy watching the video for this week please check out

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=teo8JHLpUU4

That’s it for this week. Happy Spring.

Until next time,

In all you do

Craft No Harm,

Moriah and the Flock