What an interesting idea! I’ve often wondered whether sleeping in a hammock full-time would be comfortable or feasible. I don’t know whether it would work for me, but it’s very interesting to learn it does work for you! Thank you for sharing. I hope you’ll let us know as months progress whether it continues to be the right choice for you, or whether anything changes about it over time. 14 hours ago
The borders around my hexie quilt are progressing nicely. I’ve added several rows of the plain light green background, and an accent row of the darker greens I use for “leaves”, as well as a single flower at each corner. Adding these rows of borders is helping give the “story” of the quilt a bit more honor (by way of framing and “matting”) and places where the eye can rest.
It is slow going, though. I hoped to be farther along by now than I am. At this pace I will have the dark green accents finished by the end of the month, but probably not the second round of light green borders around that. This month has been very rough on me. I’ve suffered a bad lower backache most days this month, and of course my usual number of headaches/migraines. I’ve felt very weak. It’s like just getting through the day is like running an obstacle course. Getting anything done like sewing, housework, or errands, seems hugely taxing on top of that.
But still, slowly and steadily, the quilt progresses. It is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever made. I am enjoying the process, and rather dread the day I won’t have it to work on any more.
The English Paper Piecing group I tried to start seems to be fizzling. Not sure if it is anything I’ve done badly, or whether it’s just such an unpopular sport that even people interested in it don’t want to bother doing it together. There are five of us in the group, and at our last meeting four of us decided not to show up. That hurt. I don’t know what to do about that. I hoped I could recruit more members by sewing in public such as at the library, but I’ve been too weak lately to make that trip.
We’ll see how it goes. 14 hours ago
That is freaking AWESOME!!! You are amazing. :D :D :D
1 week ago
I have to double-cheer! Not only am I impressed and inspired by your awesome goal (and really look forward to seeing how it develops in future entries) but I’m ALSOtotally in love with that picture of the little girl on the telephone! I wish I had that blown up to a full-size wall photo for my house! 1 week ago
Once, I studied meditation. Didn’t follow it much, never got much out of it, except I learned one thing. A technique.
It was this: While meditating, though the goal is to keep your mind clear, thoughts will likely intrude. Rather than grind on the thoughts or berate yourself for having them, just notice they are passing by, and let them keep on passing. Perhaps imagine setting each thought on a leaf, and sending it downstream, or in a bubble to float away on the breeze. Recognize they occur, but do not indulge them much. You can think about them later, when it is their turn, perhaps. Right now, you are fully occupied with holding an empty mind, so these thoughts are welcome to depart.
This is how I’m dealing with my thoughts of dying lately. They are thoughts that pass through my mind frequently. I treat them like cottonwood seeds, floating past on the breeze. My job is simply not to give them a place to sprout. I am impermeable, like a well-paved cement street. They may collect in the gutters like drifts of snow, but eventually they WILL be blown or washed away.
In this way I allow that even when thoughts of death or suicide come at me in a flurry, seeming to fairly choke the air with their multitude, I still remain somewhat untouched. This is a fact: thoughts of death occur, and they seem innocent, fluffy, and attractive as they drift past. It does NOT follow that “I want to die”.
I am not to be blamed for the occurrence of thoughts or impulses. I am only responsible for how I respond to them. Since I know these particular thoughts are antithetical to the life I choose to pursue for myself and my family, I do not take ownership of them. I do not welcome them, water them, or tend them. I watch them drift past. Sometimes singly. Sometimes in a flurry. But they do drift away if I simply let them go.
1 week ago
Yay! I’m back online!
I felt deaf, blind, and mute for a while there. It’s great to be in touch again! 1 week ago
I got the four corners all sewed and attached.
April is Quilt Show month at Pacific Fabrics, so I had to take down my quilt top, as only completed quilts can be shown. I’m happy, though, because this gives me time to work on it, ready to display again in May.
Now I’m working on putting borders around my basic rectangular shape. I hung the quilt top on my wall and noticed that it really needed some framing to help set it off properly. Having the pattern right out to the edge is not really pleasing to the eye. We honor things we value by giving them frames, and a certain amount of space around them. So that’s what I’m working on now.
I’ve drafted another pattern to include the five more rows of plain green fabric that will surround the “flowerbeds” portion of the quilt. Well, four rows of plain with one accent row of color which includes another flower motif at each corner, for interest. That should be enough “quiet” space to make the quilt look its best.
After this is all done, I don’t know for sure whether I’ll want to add embroidery to the quilt, or actually finish it AS a quilt, or whether I just want to display it as a top. I said before that I didn’t really love the quilt, but it’s growing on me again. I guess part of that is the knowledge that I don’t really want to start from scratch with another quilt, nor do I have a clue what colors or patterns I would use to make another quilt. This may well end up being the only hexagon quilt I ever make. If so, I guess it’s important that I hang on to it.
Next English Paper Piecing class is this Friday. I think I’ll ask the girls if they might like to consider writing a book. That would be a fun project, I think. We could feature all our different original patterns, as well as the wisdom we’ve gleaned from testing various products and techniques. 1 week ago
A week ago was our first English Paper Piecing class, and we had three girls besides me show up. Another couple of people saw what we were doing and showed interest, and might decide to join us next time. We are all having a lot of fun sharing this craft together, and we feel like we’re at the front of a real movement gathering.
It makes sense. Hand knitting and crochet having taken off so well in the past years goes to show that people are ready for the challenge of take-along hand crafts again. Hand sewing is very similar to hand-knitting in that it is simple to do, restful and repetitive in its motions, yet always interesting in the variations available in patterns, color, and fabrics to choose from.
I have successfully drafted a pattern that can be added to my hexagon quilt as corners, reflecting though not mimicking the original design. One corner has been completed, and I have a very good head start on the others by having the fabric cut out and my travel sewing kit ready to go at all times. I’m enjoying sewing in public mostly, as that makes me feel more connected to people, even if I’m not directly talking with them. I’m always catching happy glances as folks show interest in this nearly forgotten craft. People are often surprised how easily it goes together, and what a beautiful result it makes.
My next EPP meeting will be a week from now. I hope to have at least one more full corner done by then, if not all four, so that I may then use class time to attach them to the main quilt. Promised pictures will have to wait, sadly, because with my computer issues I obviously cannot make good on them right now. I did have my daughter take a snapshot with her phone and e-mail it to me, but I was never able to figure out how to translate that photo attachment to something y’all could see here.
But anyway, I’m alive and well, if not much in touch. I’ll be around again eventually. Love to all!
-Crunchy 4 weeks ago
One of the little blessings to have come out of having a borked computer is that I finally got so bored at home that I got myself out and moving again. In the past week I’ve been to the library three times, and have been to the ferry park once. Now that spring is here the weather is warming up and the sun is shining, and I’m very happy to be out and about finally!
I must confess, though, that my muscles had atrophied so far from disuse that the first day I got home I was SOOOOOORRRREEEE! My legs hurt something awful, and I spent the next whole day in bed. But I did get out again, and now things feel like they’re getting stronger already.
Sidenote: Our main form of entertainment at home is watching shows on Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube. Without any of that available, I’ve had to make do with reading books again. I’ve read “The Mermaid Chair”, “The Help”, “Something M.Y.T.H. Inc.”, “By the Shores of Silver Lake”, “The Stainless Steel Rat Returns”, and one or two others I can’t recall. I tend to finish about a book a day. The good thing is that I got my son to read the Stainless Steel Rat book with me! I would read a chapter while he relaxes, then he would read a chapter while I sew. It is a pretty good arrangement. He is happy to be spending the time with me, he’s learning to appreciate a new book genre, expanding his vocabulary, and warding off the infinite boredom of having nothing to watch. So that’s cool.
One of my goals to keep myself from stewing at home is to take my sewing outside. There is a table in the library right under a frosted skylight which has excellent light, and I have tried sitting there to work on my hexagon quilt. Though I was just minding my own business I naturally attracted some attention. I got to speak with several strangers about the joys of hand-sewing, and one young teen and her mother thought it was just the coolest thing they’d ever seen. I gave them the time and place for our next English Paper Piecing class and invited them to come sit with us. So that makes me feel good. I’m giving myself a chance to be with people instead of isolating myself terribly much. This, plus the change in the weather is making me very happy lately.
4 weeks ago
Dear 43T Friends:
My computer is on the fritz. I won’t be able to communicate much until it is fixed. My only computer access right now is at the library, for up to one hour per day when I’m able to get there, so obviously that is very limited. Please don’t think anything’s wrong with me, or that I’m ignoring you on purpose!
I have no idea how long it will take for me to get things back to normal. Until then, I hope everyone here takes good care of themselves. I love you all!
Crunchy 4 weeks ago
but I have a feeling eventually it’ll have something to do with this guy:
1 month ago
That definitely doesn’t sound like enough food.
I hope you make something more substantial for yourself today.
Maybe a nice lentil stew, with onions, mushrooms, barley, celery, and carrots? It’s very filling, yet totally vegan.
((((concerned hugs)))) 1 month ago
I hope someone else takes up the story and helps us find out what happens next! 1 month ago
Why the gun? 1 month ago
... was a very naughty pair of trousers. He had lived on a washline once, but decided he wanted to see the world, so he blew away on the first wild wind he could catch, and ran away to live in the forest with the wild animals. He was bright purple, but had raggedy hems because he’d been running around so long, and he was in danger of losing a button. He didn’t care.
1 month ago
It makes my mind juggle ideas of why these elements should belong together. I’m coming up with some kind of James Bond surfing getaway from a yacht with diamonds in your pocket, engraved with some microfilm secret plans. 1 month ago
Yesterday I was at a gathering of creative ladies who like to hang out once a month and work on their (separate) projects together. I met a nice lady named Amy who thought my English Paper Piecing was interesting, and she decided to join the little class we’re doing tomorrow at Pacific Fabrics. I feel proud! I just made our membership grow by 33%!
The hexagon quilt top I made was put on display at Pacific Fabrics. However, they had it pinned to a backer board, because it’s hexagonal shape wouldn’t hang well on its own. That hides the construction details of hand stitching that I so want to show off. Therefore I’m now working on building up the corners to make it rectangular. I hope to have that done before class at 5pm on Friday.
I’ve already cut out fabric for another flurry of hexie sewing. I haven’t got the pattern straight in my head yet, but I figure I’ll be able to eyeball it, using elements I’ve already got and filling in as needed. 1 month ago
...but you do look absolutely smashing! 1 month ago
You can prevent him from having access to her. He isn’t a safe person, and he cannot see her without your permission.
The fact that he has already threatened you (vaguely) by saying “don’t you dare try to keep her from me” is bullshit. He has no right to be with her, if he isn’t safe. If he thinks he is safe, he can tell it to a judge, and you can tell your side of the story, and the judge will decide.
My kids love me. They are happy and well-adjusted. Their fathers are both men with good points, but that does not outweigh the bad, in these cases. A gallon of perfume with a teaspoon of sewage is still sewage. When people (like his sister) tell you you cannot keep them away from her, tell her your number one job as a mother is to protect your child, not to hand her over to anyone you do not fully trust.
I was raised by a very bad father, who scarred me for life in many awful ways. TRUST ME that I would have vastly preferred to have had no father than to have been raised by him. Saying “a kid needs their father” is just a trope. It isn’t reality if the father isn’t a good and trustworthy person. 1 month ago
I don’t think it sounds strange. It’s the same situation MY daughter was in. She never showed much interest in getting to know the man who left her mother in the situation of unhappy single-motherhood. And my son had it even worse. He did know his father until he was four. Then his father got sent to prison. My son cried for a while, and it was heartbreaking for me to hear him introduce himself to his friends as “Hi, my name is Adam and my father is in prison.” But he got over it. Now (ten years later) he has no interest in revisiting any part of that story, and he’s glad he always knew the truth.
Yeah, I suck at picking men. That’s why I gave up on the pastime. 1 month ago
I wanted an Easy Bake oven too. My parents wouldn’t buy me one because if I wanted to bake they expected me to just heat up the REAL oven and bake something for the family. And I DID!
I was about this girl’s age when I was making lemon meringue pie from scratch. But somehow… real baking wasn’t the same as play baking, and I always missed the chance to play.
Looking back I see their point. But still… 1 month ago
I never was able to get the hang of that Skip It, or hula hoops, or anything that went in circles like that. I’ve never been coordinated for those kind of fast movements.
Can’t juggle either. :(
But I’m very good at those hand-clapping games! Bring it on! World-class, I tell you! :P :D 1 month ago
Re-reading that entry, I can see why it was so worrying. I did say I’d been on a downward trend for weeks. Honestly, right now I don’t know what the whole truth really is. It is true that I did sit and sew for hours every day in February. I was making that hexagon quilt, and I was intent on my progress. But I did also cook sometimes, and interact with my children, and even cleaned sometimes. Just not very much.
I think when I felt so very down I suffered that syndrome that lets you only see the worst of everything. I horriblized. I changed “cooks two or three times a week” to “never”, because it was less than what my polarized brain conceived as normal (which would have been daily, or even twice a day in my hyper-judgemental state).
I do feel very normal now. My house is still messy, but though it bothers me it doesn’t make me feel awful. I’m not a bad person, and my kids are happy. I just don’t think I could invite company over, that’s all.
Thank you so much for caring. It matters, as I’m sure you know.
One thing I’ve noticed about myself… when I’m feeling normal I tend to illustrate lots of my posts with photos, because my brain thinks more happily in pictures. When I get too drained to bother with illustrations for an extended period, that is when you can know I’m not feeling like my normal self. Taking the time to find a photo becomes “too much trouble” instead of feeling like a joyful way to express what I mean.
1 month ago
It is so good to have you around again! I missed you. 1 month ago
That may be a good metaphor for depression. The sun is shining, you even know it’s shining, but you can’t feel it. 1 month ago
I’m so sorry to hear of your pain! I hate that so much, because it always makes me feel so awkward and helpless. It’s so terrible when it comes out of nowhere like that! It’s not like you were even doing anything to deserve it. And if you didn’t cause it, you can hardly avoid doing that same thing next time.
I certainly hope you find relief soon whether it be through massage, medicine, rest, chiropractic care or whatever.
1 month ago
...the first thing that pops into my mind are various candies that I used to buy from the corner store for a dime. I remember Razzles – “First it’s a candy, then it’s a gum!” and Marathon bars, which were like chocolate-covered braided stiff caramel. And I remember the smell of fresh asphalt being laid, because I lived in a growing neighborhood, and I walked past it every day in second grade. And the smell of Play-Doh. And playing on merry-go-rounds and seesaws. And hand-clapping games that all the girls did together in circles. And backyard games that any number from three to thirty would play together, though I hardly remember any of the names, let alone the rules. I remember Freeze Tag was one.
I look forward to seeing what little things jog to the front of your memory!
1 month ago
Somehow it doesn’t roll off the tongue. 1 month ago
Requiring child support from a father is not dependent on allowing him access to the child. Especially not if his behavior or environment/friends are not safe.
I did not try for any child support for my daughter because I believed the only way to ensure her father had no access was to not ask for any money. I was wrong. She was almost grown up when I went on welfare and they demanded that I name the father in order to go after him for child support, as a condition of my receiving any support from the state. I could have been receiving support all her life, had I known. Even if I didn’t think I needed the money to survive, I could have been putting the money into an account earning interest, for her to use when she grew up. That would have come in very handy when she needed to buy a car or pay for college. 1 month ago