Tag Archives: reblog

Stuff I Did in March, Part Three: Asking for Help

I was bursting with responses to Nissetje’s post as I poured words into his comment box. Then I recalled a WordPress principle guiding us bloggers to resist leaving long comments, and to reblog the inspiring post instead with our response. So here’s what I would like to say to him:

Weather is a Good Place to Start

Have you had the crazy weather that we had this year? So far, April has been more like winter than February was.

2016-03-27 Front Yard
Our purple crocuses bloomed a week early

2016-04-03 Front Yard
Our yard one week later — no, this is not a black-and-white photo

I was hoping to get out and prune our grapevines, and fix our garden fence now that Spring seems to have resumed, but I’m laid up with a damaged knee. I was playing with my weaving yarns, crouched, and when I went to spring back up, I felt like my knee went out of joint. It was a familiar feeling. I backed down like a recoiled spring, and then got up, putting as little weight on the knee as possible, and felt relieved that I had escaped a mishap. My knee just felt a little numb, so I found lots of reasons to go up and down flights of stairs to help heal it.

After supper, when I stood up, ZING! My knee had swelled, and pain set in. So, I took good care of myself and rested in bed all day with my knee elevated. Staying in bed for this hurt knee is a lot easier for me to do than staying in bed waiting for a depression to pass . Then, I’m more inclined to get up and push myself, and I push myself into a deeper depression.

What’s Looming on the Horizon

When I read about your weaving, you reminded me that I must stay in bed for another day or so before I can return to my loom.

Painted Warp
My loom, missing my attention

I had overlooked the possibility that my knee injury would interfere with my work in my studio! Now I’m even more motivated to rest and elevate my knee. My studio is one of my lifelines! Like you say, “a doodle a day keeps the crazy away”.

I know something about what you’ve been going through, and you’ve been going through a lot in a short time. Just one or two of those broken relationships would send anyone reeling. You’re right to cling to happy thoughts about Spring coming, expecting sun, connecting with friends and your Good Animal Voice, remembering your art, enjoying your dogs and walks, choosing healthy foods, continuing learning, staying employed, valuing your intelligence and creativity, supporting the healthy parts of you, having a safe comfortable place…

You sounded discouraged about feeling glued to your couch. My jury is still out on whether bingeing on movies and junk food for a few (or several) weeks is a bad thing. The worse that I feel about it, the more vulnerable I am to it. In other words, I’m practicing not being depressed about being depressed. I’m choosing to see a depressed episode as a time for rest from the pressures that I put on myself (which I could easily blame others for).

What’s My Line?

How fantastic that you were able to pull yourself together to get to where you needed to go to get back on meds. I hope that you are continuing to progress. I know how sometimes all of the planets have to be aligned just so, etc., before that can happen. After all, how can we have the courage to expose ourselves to the likelihood of side effects when we’re already teetering on the edge? I know what it’s like to want to take a temporary break from the effort of life, and feeling too overwhelmed to do anything about it. These episodes usually come along with fuzzy cognition, so I can’t think my way through it, and am surprised when someone close to me can prompt me, like an actor who forgets the next line.

Stage Fright

I upped one of my meds the other day when my therapist pointed out that I’ve been doing relatively well, and that only lately my moods have been more erratic. I have a love/hate relationship with meds. I am generally drug-adverse; most had unbearable side effects, usually making my illnesses worse. Lamotrigine is one that has worked out well for me, as long as I fluctuate the dose according to my mood. Too much, and I’m flying; too little, and I’m bouncing up and down and back, sometimes (lately) over the course of a few hours.

I hope that the side effects are working their way out as your body adapts to this medication. If not, then I hope that you got back to your NP in a timely manner so you can use Plan B, or find a Plan C. You are doing great keeping a conversation going with your pharmacist and NP through the side effects! And you’re doing great distinguishing your own Good Animal Voice from the voices of others who deny your experiences, perceptions and feelings.

I discovered Andrew Johnson’s meditation recordings recently on his website, Spotify, and phone apps. They help me reset my thoughts and feelings most of the time. I wonder if you might find them helpful.

Mind Cancer

Around a year ago, I took the ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences Score). Most people get a score of around 1. Over 4, and there is a strong correlation with being suicidal, and other serious chronic diseases. I had a perfect score of 10, or 8, depending on the version of the test, and how the questions are interpreted (do I have concrete evidence that the events actually occurred?). That helped me to realize that I have something like brain cancer: my brain was probably physically damaged when I was a young child in stressful situations — but I’m resilient. Even as a young child, I had a strong voice inside me that said, “if childhood is this awful, then adulthood is going to be great!”, and it is!

I hope that something that I shared here helps you to see how strong you are, and helps more people to understand what we go through.

P.S. Thanks for sharing the “mind cancer” phrase.

 

Image credits:
photos by Grace Buchanan
stage fright image, by Victor Jeg. Used under Creative Commons License BY-2.0.

Barking Back

Every year, I dread February. But March usually brings some relief. Even though it’s still winter, the days are obviously getting longer, and spring is coming. March is a often sunny month here in Winnipeg, and most years, I start planning my garden, spending a bit more time outside, and generally perking up after the February slump.

This year, though, I just kept sliding downward despite the longer days, the mild weather, and the promise of spring.

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So Happy Our Paths Crossed

Wendy continues to ask me what I’ve been up to lately. Here’s part of my answer:

A new-to-me friend stopped by the other day. She is familiar with fiber arts, so I introduced her to our studio. She saw the weaving project that my husband was working on, and her jaw dropped as she exclaimed, “You mean, you weave one thread at a time?” I responded, “Yes, and we put yarn on the looms one thread at a time.”

Here is what my loom looks like today. We are around 1/4 of the way done “threading” my loom, for a jacket, putting one thread at a time through the reed that spaces the threads evenly, and the heddles that raise and lower the threads to make the weaving patterns.

threading Grace's loom

A couple of days ago, my (grownup) son saw one of my handwoven towels with new eyes. He asked me if I had ever considered selling them at craft fairs. I had. I cringed from a flash of memory of summers as a teenager selling my work in hot, open areas, and people walking around with dripping ice cream cones, and greasy fingers from hot dogs… but they had to touch my fabrics and baskets to fully appreciate them.

I told him that I had a hard time imagining someone paying the market price for one — $50 — when you can buy some at the Dollar Store. He agreed and responded, “How much does one cost you to make?” I calculated around $2 because I use mill ends (leftovers from huge fabric mills). He said, “Well, then, you can sell them for $12 or $15!” I said that each one takes around a full day of work to make. He slumped with understanding.

You can understand now why I don’t sell them and only give them as gifts.

Theresa blogged about one of the towels that I made. After you read it, you can understand why I enjoy giving them as gifts.

Towel from Grace

CatTail Tales

When Chuck and I caught the ceramics bug and set up our studio last summer, we started out with reckless abandon.  We spent the evenings and weekends making anything and everything that we wanted to try and, in a matter of weeks, we started to find ourselves buried in beautiful pieces with nowhere to go with them all.

Being a kitchen designer by trade, I can’t stand disarray. A good design deserves to be seen and used without being cluttered. The same goes for a harmonious color palette. Although we created some beautiful pieces, they weren’t always what complimented the decor of our home…or our friends’ homes…or our family’s homes…or our neighbors’ homes…

It became very apparent very quickly that if we wanted to keep making ceramics, we needed to start selling ceramics. Before long, we were learning how to sell on Etsy.

That is where we met Grace.

One day Grace solicited us to make her some winter…

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Blogging Goals Update

Linda's Anniversary bouquet

Happy Blogging Anniversary Linda! You got me thinking about how my blogging goals have changed since nearly 2 years ago when I established my first one.

I began my first blog to satisfy a Statistics course requirement. The professor asked us to post updates as we explored our statistical analyses.

A dear friend made recommendations for tweaking the blog layout. Although I agreed with her, I felt frustrated and limited by the options at tumblr. She and another great writer friend recommended WordPress. Independent spirit that I am, I stuck with tumblr, and signed up for an account elsewhere; that sat idle as I hoped to figure out how it worked someday.

Then, Leni began a private WordPress site for a group of writers, and made me an Administrator! I got the most comprehensive book about WordPress, and rose to the occasion. I began my own WordPress blog to learn the ropes before I dared to make any changes or suggestions for the group site.

I was in a personal era of writing research articles. The ones that stimulated discussion about social justice moved me to post regularly, so my blogging goal was to aim for publishing an article each week on a social justice issue.

Many people recommend focusing a blog on one topic, but blogging supported my discovery that focusing on one topic is not in my nature. I flit from one to another, as freely as an expert juggler can throw and catch  bean bags. I considered sharing my recipes like PaleOMG, sense of humor like Little Miss Menopause, recommendations for writers like Anne R. Allen, and favorite authors like Chris The Story Reading Ape.

And I have also been writing fiction. My husband enjoyed it so much (and still does — he’s my favorite editor), he asked me to write a story every day for a while, and prompted me with a few items to get me started, like “your grandmother’s grandmother’s diary, a trunk, and an attic”. Eventually, the weekly prompts at Google+ Writers Discussion Group Weekly Writing Exercises replaced his, and I met Ronda.

Last summer, Ronda invited me to join the Google+ Saturday Scenes Community where writers share work that they are developing, and readers give feedback. After I read for a few weeks, I shared a short story that my husband had previously prompted. My commenters asked me about the character and more of the story, and when I discovered that I had answers to their questions, my River Novel began, which I continue to write.

As Linda continues into her second year of her blog, I send her hopes that it will be full of dreamy millionaires who will whisk her off to the French countryside under the stars for orgasmic episodes, as well as more of the same raw insight that she has been sharing. I put the power of my blessings behind her goal,

“May I have another blissful year ahead of me and continue to love what I do every single time I sit at this laptop, with the screen propped open and may I always embrace the feeling of drowning in the emotions that run through my body and it makes me want to type my entire day away just to share with the world what goes on in this almost always crazy, very rarely beautiful, never too broken world of mine.”

Today is My 1 Year Blog Anniversary! | Never.Too.Broken.

Thanks Carrie Bradshaw for sharing your thoughts as you celebrate.

 

Image Credits:
Composite of images from the Public Domain, by Grace Buchanan, Creative Commons license BY-NC-ND 4.0

The Longest Night

Thank you Liza for reassuring us that we can bring back and expand the light.

photo: Candle in the dark, by Andy Hay

Like Liza, I have been sifting through memories of my Christmas Pasts, to find ones that nourish new possibilities. I am so content with what I have, my seasonal joy is now from gifting things to people who are in dark times, to surprise and delight them.

When I studied Psychology, I learned that people collapse under crises just after the worst is over. Forget the common idiom, “the darkest hour is just before dawn”; the darkest hour is the one just after dawn. People tend to give up just as things start to get better. That is one reason to appreciate that Christmas and New Years are after the Solstice; after the darkest, longest night. That means that the most important time for action is now.

What is making your days merry and bright? How are you brightening the dark times of others?


(This might be especially true for people close to the North Pole. I have not found a comparable tradition for Southerners; short days are less drastic for them.)

Deeper Roots

Tonight is the longest night. At 5:03 the shortest day of the year ended and the winter solstice, the longest night began.

My family lit candles – six candles on the menorah for the six (thus far) nights of Hannukah and four candles on the Advent Wreath for Peace, Hope, Joy, Love. We won’t light the Christ candle until Christmas Day. My family gathered in the flickering flame. The light looked so fragile, the shadow and the darkness beyond so vast and enclosing.

It feels like it is the longest night in our nation as well.   The President of the New York Police Department Union said “There’s blood on many hands tonight….That blood on the hands starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor.” In fact there is blood on many hands. There has been for many generations. Since the first Native was murdered, since…

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