Thursday, December 14, 2017

People are idiots.

Jeezy Chreezy. This getting dark at 5pm is bullshit and the only solace I can find is that the solstice is only a week away. 

In the recent past, I found myself angry. Jaw clenched angry. I was angry all the time. I would lay awake at night being angry. I wrote this on a piece of paper: 
Why am I so angry?
  Because people are idiots.
Which people?
  I named two people. Fucking, unhelpful idiots.
What else makes you angry?
  Having a board that does fuck all. Who have no initiative at all. Who wait for me to make every goddamn call.
What can be done?
  Leave the Arts Council.

Then I visited my cardiologist. I told him that my A-fib acted up when I was under stress. What causes you the most stress, he asked. The Arts Council. 

My therapist told me last summer that I needed to get away from the Arts Council. See where I’m going with this? 

At the last board meeting, after I chaired a particularly fine meeting, I announced that I was stepping down as president and also from the board. It was a hard thing, but I have had to do hard things before. I told my first husband that I was leaving him, for fuck’s sake. The controlling bastard who made me feel like shit. Who read my mail! Who once complained that I chopped the onions into too large of pieces. But I digress. 

It felt good, though. I am not responsible any more for press releases, updating the Facebook page, maintaining the website, giving presentations, meeting with the city fathers, buying the bottled water, finding bands and writing up their contracts, and for a million other things that I did on a volunteer basis. Done! I am no longer in charge and boy, do I feel good. I mean, 4 years is enough. And I am happy! A nicer, more cheerful person, even.

One day, even before all that, I decided that I needed to do something about my pudgy body. Did you know, YouTube has a video on everything. I searched for ‘exercise for seniors.’ I started doing some work outs that had me sitting in a chair doing some pretty basic stretching and then a little exercise for 8 minutes. I hurt so bad the next day, which took me aback. I really was out of shape! But now, 6 or 7 weeks on, I am doing 15 minutes with 5 pound weights. Each week I keep pushing it, and I work out 5 days a week. My pants fit better. Yay me! I make it a part of my morning, working out after coffee and before I walk the dogs. Yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn’t do it after coffee. So sue me.

I brought up the rigid heddle loom from the basement and I made a thing or two. I have been spinning. I knit a Deer Fucker hat. Not a Deer Stalker hat. A Deer Fucker hat. 

I made a sweater and hat. From a fleece that I spun, then dyed with natural dyes, then knit, from my own pattern.
Look how cool I am with a fucking camera
I put a wreath over the front door. I even sent some presents to my brothers and Sweetie’s mom and sister. Because I have so much shit I have made and have not sold I am giving it away. I closed my Etsy store. I have always said, I have that leftist disregard for commerce. God I hate grubbing for money. I am not a sharp dealer, and I don’t like bargaining. I hate putting a price tag on things I have labored over lovingly and happily. I had stress, guilt, and the burden of two large bins of scarfs, pins, hats, and all sorts of little bits and bobs sitting there, lonely in my fiber room, looking at me reproachfully.

I feel as though I have come to some sort of fork in the road, a turn around, two roads diverging in a wood so to speak. I’m on a better path.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Remain the Same

The job thing didn't work out. Why am I surprised? It was a great deal more stressful than I anticipated, and Boss Lady was very particular about fucking everything. God forbid the customer get 1/4" more than she paid for. What really wrapped it up for me was Day 3 when I froze the register and she had to reboot it while three customers waited, which took about 5 minutes. She proceeded to dress me down there and then. Jeezie Chreezi, I had only 15 minutes of training on the damned thing.

So I quit. It wasn't like I was being paid, even, except in merchandise, and there was nothing in that shop that I wanted.

And the urine woad vat didn't work out, either. I got the pinky/tans, not the blue. I think it was because I didn't have enough leaves, and I may have waited too late to pick them. Whatever. I gave good effort and will try again next year.

The rest of the dyeing has gone well, though, and I am finished with the body and half done with the sleeves. Ran out of tan so I used the same walnut hulls and the colors were more greyed. Interesting! There is enough pigment left that I could probably dye another pound but not sure I need it. I'm low on yellows, too, and the one green from sassafras leaves. It may be too late, but I just picked another batch and have them processing. (You shred the leaves, I used a pizza cutter, and pour boiling water over them and leave for a few days.) From what I have read, folks used to make tea from sassafras leaves and called it 'saloosh.' I tried it a couple of years ago and it indeed made a nice beverage!

The sweater body fits well! I made a kraft paper pattern and figured out the stitch numbers from measurements and gauge. I'll be damned! It worked! As long as I don't fuck up the sleeve cap, I should be okay.

I want a T-shirt that reads "Ask me about my fear of strangers." Oh, yes! Stranger Things 2 is making me happy. I have 2 more episodes to watch because I don't binge. I like to stretch out the enjoyment. At first, I thought season 1 was kinda lame and a kids show, but I rewatched it a few weeks ago and it was better that I thought. I wonder how many kids (and adults) went as Eleven this Halloween?

We've had our first light frost. Donna, a neighbor, has a dozen banana trees in her front yard. They are her pride and joy, but the frost wilted them and I figure she will dig them up this weekend.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Visit my Facebook page

What have I done but gone and got myself a job! A job, after a fashion, at a quilt store and I get paid in fabric and notions. Today I seized up the register, and Boss Lady had to unplug it and plug it back in. (Took five minutes.) Yay, me! (I really was not ready to ring up such a large ticket and I forgot that I should not hit Enter after an amount, but hit a Department Key.) Sometimes I stare at it and my mind goes blank! I at least have become proficient at Clocking In and Out, which is also done on the register.

After 3 days, I am still not allowed to cut fabric without adult supervision, which is probably a good thing. I am learning the Boss Lady ways.

So, why did I do this?
1: it gets me out of the house twice a week. (Yes, it's very part time, maybe 10 hours a week.)

B: I am not in charge. I am so tired of being the person in charge. There's the house and the dogs and laundry and cat box and making lunch every day and shopping and paying bills and and and. At the quilt store, I do whatever Boss Lady wants.

III: It is cheaper than getting a fitness center membership. I seriously need to lose some weight. The pounds sneak onto my torso and suddenly I've gained 5 pounds! And then there was the Country French bread that I became almost addicted to and lo! I gained another 5 pounds. I am active and away from the fridge.

iv: It is only 6 miles from my house.

 🔚: I come home and do not worry about it at all, even though I froze the cash register today.

In other news, I am giving away a hand knit wool hat on my Facebook page Fuzzarelly Fibers. Make a comment and I will randomly pick a name on Oct. 31and mail that person the hat. Go. Look. Comment! Likes don't count toward winning! I figure if I can't sell my stuff, then I may as well give it away. Oh, and the color bits are hand spun and dyed.

I think I have spun enough wool and dyed enough yarn for my cardigan sweater. I have 1/4 of the body and the sleeves to go.) I still have some fleece, both washed and unwashed, and some walnut hulls and pokeberries, and 3 skeins of yarn. That's just in case. But I may make a hat or two - fuck. Something more to give away!

Oh, I also have some woad leaves to pick, soon, and fermented urine. So there's that to look forward to. ☺

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I'm falling for you.

So it’s autumn! Yay and yippee. It’s the time of goldenrod and walnuts, ripe poke berries, coreopsis blooms, and sassafras leaves. In short, it’s time for natural dyeing. It’s also way past time for me to process the 2 sheep fleeces that I bought last year, I think, at the Greencastle fiber festival. Dirty filthy things they are, border leister and corriedale crosses, but after 2 cold soaks for the dirt and 2 hot soaks with Dawn for the grease and one last rinse, they are wonderful. Then there’s the picking and carding and the spinning. From a red-brown mass of dirt, a beautiful white yarn emerges. 

It’s magic.

It was terrifically hot last week, in the 90ºs F, but a front has moved in and it is now more seasonal, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. I feel better.

So much better that I may have talked myself into a job. A real job with compensation, even, at a local quilt shop. I have all the background knowing how to sew and quilt already, but I also have worked in a fabric store, and worked a register. What intrigues me the most is that I would have the opportunity to learn to use one of those big ass quilting machines. I’m going back with examples of my work on the 9th, so we’ll see if I’m still motivated. It would be something different to what I have been doing lately and it would get me out of the house on a part time basis. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Dick Man Approves.

So. Summer has almost passed and it has been pointed out that I have not posted since Spring. This blog was once my therapy and I crafted my entries with care, but now it feels like such a chore to have to think and then write but let me see what I can do.

After a couple of years, my depression is settling back in and my world is becoming more overwhelming each month. I literally do not leave my house except for meetings, which I still have, since I am on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, the Extension Office, and I am president of the Arts Council. I go to doctor’s appointments. I get groceries. I walk the dogs. (So, re-reading that, looks like I leave the house more than I think.)

I feel controlled by obligations. I feel anxiety and dread about my own abilities and lack thereof. I have 3 plastic tubs of items I have made to sell, with no plan to sell them besides Etsy. But to sell them on Etsy, I have to take a nice picture of every item, write a description, figure out mailing costs, and keep everything organized. I have sold 2 pair of earrings in a year. This is not cost effective and I feel like a failure. Also, I went through a bin a few weeks ago, and I had forgotten about some of the things I made and saw how wonderful and delightful they were. Some pieces were shit, though, and so what to do with them?

I am not feeling sorry for myself. I recognize my feelings and behaviors, with almost a clinical eye. However, beyond medication, I am not sure how to change these feelings and behaviors. I went back to my therapist in July with the idea of seeing her weekly, but her rates had increased to $60/hour, (cash, no insurance,) and I wondered if it would be worth it.

One thing in my life that makes me happy is Marie, who cleans for me. Last September, I engaged her to come every two weeks and so every two weeks my carpet got vacuumed, floors were mopped, and my house smelled better. It didn’t take too long before I asked her to come every week. My bathroom was clean, my furniture was dusted, and my kitchen was scrubbed. After seeing my therapist, I decided that instead of paying her, I would get Marie to come twice a week instead. Not only does it cost less than my therapist, I don’t have to leave my house and drive 50 miles. Marie says she really likes to do housework and I think that is the only thing she has done since her daughter left home. I find housework futile and never-ending. 

Now that it is Fall, I see another year almost ticked off and another birthday looming. There is a sense of urgency and panic that I keep damped down. My inner voice says, every day, “In another year, you could be dead. In nine years, you’ll be almost 70. That is almost dead.” Not that the thought frightens me; some days I would welcome death. But I am not going to do myself in, so please do not intervene.

My health is shitty. My heart stills thumps too erratically at times. My feet are still neuropathic, while the diabetes and high blood pressure are well-managed. I am on blood thinners and so I have the maroon splotched arms of an old person. I’m gaining weight. I have dizzy spells and feelings of weakness, and some days I am almost too tired to move. But I have good day, too, where I feel good and get shit done. 

Everything seems too much.

And you wonder why I don’t write more. (happy face emoji.)

So, on the other hand, I do get up every morning and take care of the things I have to, such as dogs and my medications. I am knitting socks for Sweetie, and I’ve made three pair using leftover yarn, and that makes me feel happy. I bathe occasionally and keep my hair in order, having cut it short makes that easier. 

I am doing a little bit of natural dyeing, with the sights set on enough yarn for a sweater. So far, I have done 2 batches of pokeberry and 1 of coreopsis from my garden. Goldenrod has just come into full bloom, so that’s next along with onion skins, which I just found 3 gallon-sized zip-loc bags of, and there are also walnut trees in the vicinity. I am thinking of setting up my little loom for the first time in a couple of years, which has come about because I recently moved all of my yarn and fiber to one room, (well, most of it,) and I was fairly stunned at the amount. Knitting is slow, whereas weaving, once the loom is warped, is fast. 

We’ve had the house painted and a new roof put on, and that makes me happy, too. Except for those people who say, “Well, as long as you like it…” Fuck them. 

Dick Man approves.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Art of Asking.

So, yeah. I find myself depressed lately. The real cause is, I am sure, my allergies and the enormous amount of pollen the surrounds me. I get that. But still, I feel as though I am in a fog, I forget names, I cannot count, I feel stupid, I feel old and all those things are contributing to my depression. I also have little drive to make things, and I like to make things. 

I’m no longer on any antidepressants, and for that, I am grateful. But damn I wish I could take something, drink something, do something to make me feel if not better, then different. But because it is allergies and the inflammation that they cause, I can only treat the allergies and stay inside and stay clean. (Yeah, stay clean with 3 dogs, 2 cats, and 3 chickens to tend and live with.) I take 2 generic Zyrtec, nasal spray, and a Benadryl every day. Every day no matter the season or how I feel. I also get an allergy shot every week or two. 

So, there’s that. That is how I feel regularly, on a daily basis. And today it’s raining and I like that because it is cooler and the plants need the water, and it’s gray, and so I can stay inside with no explanations. 

It’s been a long time since I have written here but I post in my mind. Which do my 2 readers no good. There are things I would like to write about but cannot because this is too public. I turned 60 a couple of months ago. Fuck me, how can I be so old? My surrogate mother, who is 85, is moving away in a month and I miss her already. I haven’t had sex with my husband in 4 years, but we still make a great couple. 

One good thing is that I have hired a woman to come clean for me. Marie vacuums, dusts, mops, and works magic in the kitchen and every few weeks she cleans the fur that seems to grow in the bathroom. I like having a clean house but I am a terrible housekeeper. So, Marie makes me happy.

I am the head of a non-profit arts organization, and that gives me an outlet for my abilities since I unable to work at a ‘real’ job. I get to write and plan and do my bit for my community. There’s no money for me, but I have a leftist disregard for profit and being a volunteer takes the pressure off.

Ah hell, I cannot seem to write everything I want to convey! (Yet, who cares but me?)  In the end, it’s just the struggle between the meaningless of living versus the actual having to do something in this life. 

I have pictures.
Succulents and high heels. 

Orange geranium that overwintered amazingly well.

Princess on the new afghan I made. She never sat in that chair before this.

Larson. Say no more.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Look up.

Yeah. So. I feel better. I had a heart operation 5 weeks ago, (ablation, outpatient,) which corrected my atrial flutter. I now have energy! My brain is less foggy! I am nowhere near as dizzy! My blood is, I guess, getting circulated to all parts of my body again, so I would call the operation was a success. Yay.

So yesterday, I moved some furniture and lifted and toted a bunch of things and after 2 hours, my body said Hey! Cut it out! Sit down! What was wrong? I came home and napped and tried to think why my body ached so bad then it hit me - I had been using my long dormant muscles! I have not been able to lift and shove and twist (and shout) for quite awhile! Now I know that I need to pace myself and maybe even start lifting weights again.

Then there’s the whole Cheeto thing. Jesus Christ. Right after the election, I was sick. Literally sick. But now I am able to visit Facebook, read some news, and the Pussy Hat thing made me happy. I mean, really, that march made me feel hope! I even cried a little.

And talk about crying! Sweetie and I saw the latest Star Wars and I wept at the final scene! I shit you not. I was not expecting that, especially right after, you know. No spoilers. I remember seeing the first Star Wars movie in ’77. First husband, (the Shit hook,) and I saw it the first day, second showing at Loew’s Tara in Atlanta. And we were tripping our balls off. It was great. I remember that there were souvenirs being hawked while we stood in line - cups, buttons, etc., and of course, we didn’t buy anything. Good times, though.

So. Planning to go to Iceland, late summer or fall. We finally sold our big house in Laconia and have a little cash to spend on a real vacation. 

So, I made these. Meh.