Monday Musings

Re-acclimation

Whatever your feelings on the matter, the economy is trying to reopen, and legal restrictions are loosening. This means my halcyonic quarantine is coming to an end. My volunteer gigs are starting to reopen. Which has meant I’m starting to have to have a schedule outside of work that does not include just going out and digging in my yard.

This transition has been harder on me than the lockdown. Monday, I missed a VERY important meeting I had with the Council where I was to have appeared as the Chair of another committee. There goes my hopes of public service (yeah right). Literally the next day, I got an IM from my supervisor asking if I was going to show for the all office training? Oops. I did manage to be on time for an interview for a new podcast later that night, though the host was late. Here’s the interview, by the way: https://anchor.fm/gary-fox2/episodes/Garland-Pepper-presents-Daisy-Santana-Hickman–Fiber-queen-knitting-spinning-etc-ef04a7?fbclid=IwAR16c1Mgsc19yskKoxvkmh0BZH0fvXaVJ5yjPIYNhb786RVnSNcqxp0bsdY

Wednesday, I had 2 work meetings. I only remembered one, and then I had to take a late lunch because of meeting 1. By some weird quirk of fate, I clocked back in just minutes before my second meeting (which was the one I forgot). Thank goodness for that, since it was a skip level meeting with my boss’ boss’ boss’ boss (yeah, 4 levels up). Thursday’s after work meeting went off without a hitch. Thankfully, no meetings for me to screw up Friday. However, Saturday, as I was going through my emails, I found not one, but two emails from someone trying to interview me about some board work. We’ll see if my response is too late. I haven’t missed feeling like a failure.

And no, putting these things on my phone calendar hasn’t been working, I’ve gotten out of the habit of having my phone with me all the time. Clearly, emails are not currently effective. I’m just going to have to go back to being used to being tethered to my phone and being pulled in a lot of directions. I foresee knitting making a comeback for me. It is a wonderful stress relief.

As I’m personally struggling with this dumbness, the world at large continues to struggle with larger issues, and I find myself expending more mental and emotional resources outside of my home. Gardening, as well as knitting helps with that. While I pull weeds, or move tons (probably not literally) of rock, woodchip, and dirt, I listen to podcasts and alternately learn and think Great Thoughts. As I have to start engaging more outside my home, that time will go away, and I will miss it. But enjoy photos of what I’ve done (mostly) by my lonesome. However, I still have my fiber arts, and they are often portable

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One thing I’ve realized during my down time, and solidified in my conversation with Garland, is that knitting gives me the space to respond, rather than react. This was a concept I learned from my first Molly (yoga teacher). Yoga/meditation helps you build your proverbial moat so you have time to respond to stimulus, rather than react. Knitting does that for me. When smoking was a thing, cigarettes did that for the world at large. Think about the old movies/shows. Some groundbreaking thing was said or done, and the person took a drag off the cigarette, buying a few moments, before they responded. We don’t have that anymore. I think a lot of people don’t want that anyway–we are so in need of immediacy. Knitting gives me that, though. I can finish up this row before I respond. Or, I can be so involved I completely missed whatever asinine thing came out of your face.

I haven’t needed that for these last few months.

Please be patient with me as I re-acclimate to “reality”. And thank you, Dear Readers, for your words of encouragement. They really do mean a lot.

This Must Be Thursday

Eff DeAnna

Have you ever lost touch with someone and not known how to reconnect? It happens to the best of us.  And trust me, I’m not even in the top 50%.  Last year sometime, I stopped blogging.  I had reasons (excuses).  Mostly surrounding time at the beginning.  Trying to figure out a time when I could sit down and write.  Prior, it had been really easy to just blog while Poopie was at practice, but his practices became more sporadic, and I wasn’t stringent on making sure I took time out myself.  Later there was motivation, some stemming from health issues, and serious depression because of those issues, some just lack of practice. While not all resolved satisfactorily, the depression isn’t debilitating anymore since I’ve had time to process and come to terms with things. I have been my usual self of not saying no nearly enough.  Plus, there were a whole slew of other aggravating things no one wants to deal with.  Frankly, I just didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to try to be upbeat here as well as in real life.

To prove how contrary I am, the pandemic, which is throwing everyone else into a tailspin, has been like a breath of fresh air for me.  Many who know me probably assume I’m getting so much knitting done.  I am not.  Knitting is how I cope with the stresses of everyday life.  Without everyday life, I don’t have those stressors, so I don’t need to knit as much.  Being pretty portable, I’m able to take knitting with me when I go to functions, board meetings, shows, etc… but now, I don’t need to worry about portability.

In addition, I am finally home to do all those projects which have been percolating in my brain.  I got 1/3 of my apple tree chopped up, which is awesome considering how terrified I am of chainsaws.  I made poor Poopie help me move 2 yards of wood chips, though I did the 1/2 yard of gravel by myself, since it needed to be done with individual buckets vs. a wheelbarrow.  I’ve torn up half my front yard trying to de thatch it, but had to stop that project because the hippy lawn seed (which involves flowers and low water/maintenance plants) isn’t available right now because of said pandemic, and I blew through my stash.

I’ve also made bunches of masks for family who needed them, and then a bunch more to donate.  I’ve been working through that stash as well, though I did have to order elastic online. And people thought I wouldn’t use my stash.  My sewing has been accompanied by Perry.  Poor Poopie has a negative visceral reaction when he hears the theme music now.  Back in the day, the seasons were apparently over 30 episodes.  I’m honestly not sure how many seasons there are.  I think I’m in season 4.  So…that math is really sad for Poopie.

I heard a phrase on one of my podcasts that really resonated with me–nostalgia bath.  During this weird time, the podcasters were talking about how they are finding themselves steeping in nostalgia–shows, movies, music.  Psychologically, this makes sense.  For people who are having a rough time with the stay at home orders, this brings them back to a more settled time.  For those of us who are having less of a rough time, it’s a familiar stay at home.  Perry Mason was always my lunchtime show when I stayed home sick from school.  Summers, I would wake up in time to see Perry Mason to start my day.  He’s familiar.  Also, I’m not weirded out about people touching each other in black and white.  Watching the color shows, I find myself wondering why the actors are so close to each other.  Once Perry is done, I’ll have to find something else to binge watch.  Thankfully, we live in the future, so that isn’t too difficult.  Poopie will be happy about that for maybe a week, and then be back to aggravated about my binge watching.

He’s having a rough time of it.  He does not like being at home, he needs to be out.  Since we are both members of the more vulnerable populations, even after restrictions are lifted, we’ll have to continue to be more vigilant.  This just means I can’t fully enjoy my quarantine because it hurts me that he’s so miserable.  And there is literally nothing I can do about it.

On to happier subjects.  The title of this post refers to an incident that occurred shortly before everything shut down.  DeAnna was bugging me about my lack of blogging, and faking that she couldn’t remember it, what was it called again? So I said F*ck you.  Someone next to us said “You have a blog called F*ck You? I’d read that!”  I clarified that it was F*ck DeAnna.  I’m not a monster, I only curse at those who deserve it.  So I’m fulfilling my promise to have a blog post named this.   You are welcome, Miss D 🙂

I’m going to try to do better blogging.  I even have built in conversations.  In January, I started trying to follow Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Almanac.  In a few years, we’ll talk about how hilarity ensued, but as I’m working through it, I have so  many feelings about the grande dame of knitting.  I’m planning on sharing!

Monday Musings

Unexpected Treasure

This blog thing is hilarious to me.  I usually have an idea of what I want my next blog post to be about.  Often times, it involves me texting/calling folks and asking them for pictures of stuff I’ve given away to show you.  But, my non-existent ADD comes out to play, and something else invariably pops up right before posting, so I end up with a bunch of 1/2 done blog posts, which I’m sure I’ll get out later.  This does NOT AT ALL reflect my normal creative process.  Pay no mind to Poopie’s frantic gesticulating.  He has no idea what he’s talking about.

In my defense, I have finished some of the previous blogs.  For example, Recuerdos was hanging out for a month or so, until the PERFECT opportunity to update and post arrived.  This also happens in my normal, day to day life.  I just have way more space to spread out IRL vs. on the inet.  So, the newest shiny subject is gardening.  I have a half done post about something else I was going to do tonight, but this weekend was faboo for the gardening aspect.

I chopped up my fruit trees.  20180310_114005.jpgI have no idea what I’m doing.  That’s a bit of a stretch…I have SOME idea.  I’ve taken a couple classes from the Master Gardeners.  But, ideally, someone would come to my house.  Blindfolded, of course…I don’t want anyone knowing where I live.  They would tell me: cut here, because this.  And: cut there, because that. It’s hard for me to do spring cutting.  I feel bad about curbing growth.  Logically, I know I’m directing growth, rather than curbing..but still.  Last year, I didn’t trim back far enough based on conversations I’ve had with others who espalier their trees as well.  Fun fact, that is not the same thing as espadrille.  This year, we’ll see if I have let the pendulum swing too far the other direction.

Roses, I’m good with.  Contrary to popular belief, they are hardy suckers.  My mom showed me how to chop them up but good.  They keep coming back just as strong as ever.  As does the hydrangea.  Poopie doesn’t seem as concerned with the roses when I chop them up, but the hydrangea usually makes him worry I’ve gotten too exuberant.

This year, I won’t be able to participate in either of the seed exchanges I know about in my area.  Seed exchanges are soooo cool.  You show up, maybe with seeds, maybe empty handed, and you go home with seeds that you can turn into plants.  Or…sometimes, you get bulbs, or starts for different plants.  This year, even if I were able to have attended one or the other, I wouldn’t be able to really do seeds, as I’m going to be gone for almost two weeks in the middle of seedling time.  Which is fine, I end up starting way too many plants, and overwhelming myself.  I’ll just buy seedlings this year. Meanwhile, I’ll send a bunch of seeds (see featured image) to one of the exchanges.

But, I still need to get my plots ready.  20180310_114029.jpgI came out early enough that the weeds aren’t too crazy.  Plus, I got to see my volunteer kale.  I do a pretty poor job of fall cleaning.  I can tell you it’s because I am letting the nutrients go back into the soil.  And that may be true, but I justify it by seeing my volunteers the next spring.  If I had done a better job of clean up, the kale and the chard would be gone.

Let me tell you my favorite volunteer story.  I periodically try to grow potatoes.  My success is…questionable at best.  So one year, I *DID* do a good job of fall clean up.  I pulled the last of the potatoes out of the bin, and put the tops in my home composter. My outside composter only gets garden stuff. No weeds.  It doesn’t get hot enough to kill seeds.  The next spring, I’m be-bopping around the yard, just puttering, and notice what looks like potato leaves coming out.  I don’t think much about that.  20180312_191048.jpgIn the warmth, and the nutrient rich environment, some clippings get what appears to be a surge of growth, but nothing happens with them.  Fast forward to the end of the season.  I open up the bottom section to pull out the composted stuff, and out spills a bunch of potatoes.  So…I go to the kitchen, get a bowl, and gather them up.  I decide to try out a new potato recipe with those potatoes.

Apparently, Thing 2 had been watching.  When I served the dish, I told Poopie how it was made, and Thing 2 asks “are those the potatoes from the garbage?”.  (She was such a pleasant teen)  Yes.  Yes they are.  To this day, that dish is called “garbage potatoes”.

This goes to show you that the difference between serendipity and adversity is often a matter of perspective.  Her garbage was my treasure.  My father in law grows blackberries….on purpose. I am forever cutting back blackberries.  20180312_190903.jpgLast year, this whole area was blackberries.  The poor lilac has been overrun. Even weeds express this dichotemy…Did you know that dandelion roots can make a dye for yarn? The leaves make a different color; and the flowers, still another.  Poopie spent a lot of time pulling out scotch broom as a weed (it IS in invasive species).  But a couple of years ago, I made him bring me home a bunch to dye yarn with.  I gave that yarn to L.  She’s on vacation, so I’m not going to make her send me a picture of it for you.