Thursday, February 19, 2015

Beside Myself

Beside Myself 

I experienced some moments of glee in the last couple of days as I sorted through my slacks and jeans to weed out size 20 and up.

Here I am holding up the size 24 elastic-waisted black denim slacks I wore throughout the 2000s and into 2012 while wearing size 18 jeans.

I'm actually into a size 16 now and could possibly get into some styles of 14.

Since my arrival at Mom's in January of 2013 I've dropped from 220 to 160 pounds and from 44  to 37 inch waist.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015


I broke out one of the skeins of wool lace weight yarn I bought on my birthday to wind it into a ball so I could start a scarf and hat set with it.  But apparently there is a trick to turning those fancy yarn twists into balls and I don't know it.  Its the second tie I've bought yarn or thread that comes hanks instead of balls or skeins.  The first time was the hand painted silk thread I made Mom's and my MIL's shawls out of.  And that time I accepted their offer to wind it for me before I left the shop.

This time there was no offer and I didn't think about it.

So today, in less than half an hour I had 400 yards of snarls.

I had at least kept track of both ends and now have two golf ball sized balls wound from each end.  Took a couple hours to get that much.  It is going to be a long haul.

It's a good thing I enjoy desnarling thread and yarn.  I find it a quite calming activity.  As well as challenging like a good puzzle


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Drama Overload -- ROW80 Check-In

I wrote a couple poems [poem 1 - poem 2] and many overwrought emails  this month but I haven't looked at my fiction at all for two weeks or more. Too much drama in my personal life.

Except I did fiddle with Candy Kiss for awhile as I was preparing to close Scrivener to prep my computer for the trip Friday.  I noticed I was a bit calmer afterwords and wondered if that was because I'd interrupted the drama playing out in my life and replaced it with 'Let's Pretend' for an  hour or so.  But Candy Kiss is not completely pretend. It's based on real events and Greg and Iris are based on Ed and I and have our personalities and our communication issues.  So basically I was immersing myself back into a two decade old trauma-drama of ours.

So maybe it was close enough to the current crisis I was OCDed on to allow my mind to go there with little resistance but removed enough to bring some distance and a bit of objectivity into it.  Interestingly, I came away with a fairly profound insight that shed light on the current crisis.

Worth contemplating.

That got me wondering what the relationship was to personal drama level and the drama in writer's stories, the quality of the writing and their ability to finish them.  It would be interesting to do a study on that. Can there be too much drama.  Too little?  Or is there no observable relationship at all?  How would any of that be measured meaningfully?

Does anyone else have problems working on their stories when there is significant drama in your life or someone else is barraging you with their personal trauma-drama stories?

I also wondered about the influence of personal drama on the content of a writer's stories over time.  But that's a whole other post.

My Round 1 intentions: seek to regain my joy/Joy in writing and to prepare the soil for its blooming with these time investment goals:
  • Storydreaming 15min Daily (I never lost this one since instating it in my first round in 2012.  A ROW80 win!) 100%
  • Read/Study Craft 15min Daily 50% (reading blog posts on topic and Jeff Goin's book You Are a Writer So Start Acting Like One.)
  • Move/Breathe/Meditate 15min Daily 20%
  • Personal Journaling 15min Daily 0%  [still have not added this.  there's some resistance I'm not conscious of apparently.]
  • Read Fiction 30min Daily 20%
  • Social network activities 30min Daily (writing Joystory posts doesn't count only social reaching out like reading/commenting on other blogs, guest posts and posting to fb, twitter, pinterest etc) 20% 
Current Joy Meter: pushing 50%  Mood very volatile for weeks.  Hard to sort out the cause and effect between the state of my mood and the state of the personal drama.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Saying Hello, Saying I Love You, Saying Good-bye

Growly Bear and Bruiser
Early afternoon. Our whirlwind trip to the Rogue Valley is nearly over.

That's Ed sitting on his Mom's couch with their dog. Bruiser is wearing the hat I made Ed.  It's just minutes before I head out the door.

Such a quick trip.  Over too soon.

The hours and days and weeks stretch ahead like a tarred road on a hot day.  A slow difficult slog with every step feeling like it's glued to the ground.

The recent fumble of our relationship weighs me with fear of a repeat.  It was twice in two years.  The same weeks of the year.  And since I still don't really understand what happened there's nothing substantial to hang onto.

Hope is fragile.  Brittle.

The last three weeks will haunt me for the rest of this separation.  It still feels raw like a blistering sunburn.

I almost didn't post this picture because looking at Ed here I want to cry.  It's like looking in a mirror.   He's the picture of depression.  He's always had the winter blues but this year is the worst I've seen in 35 years.

And I can't be there to pull him out or at least keep him from sliding further in.  It scares me.

If only he would stop self-medicating and seek the help he is requiring me to seek.  Maybe then I could spare more attention to my own self-care.

For contrast, remember the picture from two years ago April?


That too was taken just before leaving. Only minutes before Carri and I backed out of the driveway of our house with the second load of our stuff in April 2013.  Early in this unwanted separation that began that January...and continues two years later.

Such hope that day.  Where did it go?

I guess to be fair I should reveal my own true face:

That's a selfie taken shortly after we arrived in the Rogue Valley late Friday. Tho it was after midnight by this time.  Carri had just finished unloading the van and had gone after half and half for our morning coffee.  I'd just finished setting up my laptop to prep Friday's post and was taking the picture of the hat I'd just freed from the hook planning to make my post about finishing the hat during the drive.

But I couldn't bear to look at that.  It looks like I've been crying for a week. Which is about right if you count the crying on the inside.  Looking at it made me want to start crying again.  Why would I subject it on anyone else?

That's depression.

Instead I took about a dozen pictures of the hat from different angles laying on the bed or perched on my hand or fist.  By the time I had one I liked I was out of energy and could not face the prospect of transferring the picture from my cell to GDrive to my laptop and then opening it in an image editor and prepping it for the post and then prepping the post and then posting to fb.

That felt like another 300 mile trip with me behind the wheel.

That's depression.

With less than five hours before I was planning to show up on my in-law's porch I went to bed.  But it was hours more before I slept as I obsessively rehearsed what I hoped to say to Ed or helplessly watched the mini-movies made by my mind playing out possible scenarios.  None of which had a happy ending.

That's depression.

It's a bitch to live with.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Serenity

Microwaveable Beanbag with Kitties

My sister bought this for me in the motel office the night we arrived in Phoenix.  It helped us both get through the weekend.

It lay on my chest the first two nights as I nursed my anxiety and the laryngitis I'd had most of the week.

Irony or what?  I went down there to talk to Ed and my voice barely worked.

The third and last night I loaned the beanbag back to Carri who'd had a bad crash while roller blading.

I probably wouldn't have used it anyway as I had my favorite heating pad that night.  The one with strong arms. As Ed paid for Carri to get her own room so he could spend the night with me.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Make Up

There Is No Feeling More Comforting And Consoling Than Knowing You Are Right Next To The One You Love - Happy Valentine’s Day

Today at 5pm would have been 20 days of silence between us but I showed up on his porch before 7am so we could hash this out in person.

Apologies and tears
walking and talking, and talking and talking...

More tears.  More talk.  Hugs and munchies.

And kisses...

And promises to never hurt each other like this again...
To return to practicing communication skills
and stress coping skills that do no harm to self or other
and to have regular visits like this until it becomes possible to have our home together again.

We kept thinking it would be soon but it's been nearly two years and that's just too long to be physically apart even with phone, text and video chats. Misunderstandings are too easily created and exacerbated by too much guessing and wrong assumptions.

We'll be spending tomorrow together again.  Maybe getting our own room...

But I need to have a good 10 or 12 hour sleep first so I don't sabotage what is left of our time together.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Crocheted Newsboy Cap

Crocheted Newsboy Cap
This was supposed to be my husband's Christmas present but will be his Valentine's gift instead.

I had no pattern.  I watched several videos on YouTube of different styles of
hats being crocheted and picked up the techniques I needed--increasing and decreasing stitches, making bills etc.  Then I Googled Newsboy Cap and feasted my eyes on the images.  Then I started working the round, increasing steadily until it was about eight or so inches across or 23 inches in diameter.  The first tine I reached the 6 inch mark I found it bunching up and ended up taking it all the way out and starting over.

After that I worked it like a sculpture.  I knew the shape I wanted and guestimated where and how many increases and decreases were needed.  There was bit of taking work out that didn't look like what I was aiming at but not nearly as much as I expected.

I tried it on in front of a mirror at the end of every round once the 'sculpting began.  That helped me guesstimate better with fewer fewer 'missunderguestimating.

It grew on me so that I now want to make one for myself.

shhh but I'm hoping to hand this to him in person on V-Day.

Crown him with my love.

I poured my love into every stitch.

And not a few tears.

Hoping he doesn't hand it back...

19 days... :(


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