Small Craft Advisory

This morning’s heavy frost brought with it a distinct shift toward Winter. A powerful wind brought down the leaves from the trees last week, but that was followed by shirtsleeves weather for several days, giving Autumn a gorgeous goodbye. Today, though, felt like November. As I scraped the frost off the windows of my car, I was consumed with not wanting to go to work. Wanting to crawl back into bed, or go gather up the yard tools and put them away. To go upstairs and work on sewing/quilting projects.

There’s a lot weighing on my mind lately, heavy stuff that’s stressing me out. Trying to figure out how to approach my mother and what I can say to her, what I can offer her… coming to terms with my body’s failures (and my failures of it) as I approach 40… wrestling with my weight and the foods I eat… being wracked with desires to gobble up a roasted chicken after having been a strict vegetarian for years… adapting to a new work schedule and job set and living in A Real House… plus more fundamental things I’ll discuss at some other point.

My mood, my dreams, are all dark and disjointed. I’m often not sleeping well, and I feel disconnected from the world. Part of the problem is, what’s best for me and what’s best for my mom are at polar opposite ends of the equation. I am happier without her in my life. However, it’s becoming increasingly clear she needs me in hers, on a number of levels. She is struggling in every way. What can I do for her, without sacrificing my own well-being?

Last night, I forced myself to work on her quilt some more. It helped to calm me down quite a bit, gain a little perspective. I would be absolutely in love with this process, were it not for two important things: 1.) It takes a long damn time to see any results (I’m less than 1/3 of the way done on this thing, after probably 30 hours of work,) but more importantly, 2.) The constant scraping of my underside fingertip.

I just can’t get the hang of consistent stitches using a thimble!

I can never tell how far the needle has poked through. What I need is some magical, tactile-transferring force field. Something that transmits pressure signals, but not stabby ones. I may experiment with a BandAid or something thinner than a leather thimble, but which still offers some protection from the constant tiny-poke-scraaaape-callus problem.

Even with the physical nuisance of frequent ouchie sensations on a very sensitive bit of skin, I could still feel my blood pressure dropping, even while trying to figure out what to do about my mother. Hand-stitching also feeds my Little House on the Prairie fantasies… even if I’m watching “V” on television whilst I’m doing it.

If I slow down and really pay attention to what I’m doing, rather than Just Trying to Get It Done, my stitches are getting more consistent, and I can sometimes even manage to go in a straight line. Seriously.

Not for very long, mind you, but on occasion.

I think I need a vacation. Either to Someplace Far Away or a Stay At Home vacation, during which I just chill out, sew, clean and organize the house, play with the dogs, spend time with Mike. Not get up early and go in to work. Disconnect from the real world, just a bit. Maybe go for some walks.

Winter’s coming, bringing with it the usual urge to Hibernate, but this winter feels much different. Radical shifts in mental state. Figuring out what I really want to do with my life. Trying to figure out all the details and potential consequences of possible decisions and actions. Not being afraid of much, just unusually cautious. Circumspect. Thinking things through instead of being impulsive.

It’s comfortable, for the most part, not rushed and frenetic – but I still feel as if I’m on unsure footing., Inc

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3 responses to Small Craft Advisory

  1. Elle Clark

    I understand where you are at with your mom. I’ve been having that same struggle myself. Big and little changes can really make you feel unstable. But I believe it is those times when we discover the most about our path and souls work.

    I was a vegetarian before my accident, but took my doctors advice to eat meat for the sake of my healing bones. Now, I keep trying to get back there but can’t seem to let it go. We are trying to eat only organic meat when we eat it, but it’s hard to get past the desire. I have heard of tofurkey but not too sure if it passes the test! Just an idea, it might settle the craving. I always thought it would be easy to become a vegetarian again. Stick with it, I look up to you in hopes of getting there again.

    I wish I had some advice regarding hand sewing. I’ve done it for years. They used to have these things I used when I was doing needle work years ago. They fit on your fingers and are lighter then a thimble. They basically fit over the front of the finger and strap around the back side of your finger. They were really comfortable and easy to stitch with. Not sure where you would find them, but if I run into them again will let you know!

    You need to talk sometime let me know! You and I seem to have a lot of the same things going on. And I have been told I am a great listener! I have to get you the Pay it forward I have for you sometime also. You are my last one! Great idea, got me out of my head and thinking of others! Take care and take it easy on yourself! My email is: if you want to contact me or through facebook.

  2. Elle Clark

    Ok I was in Jo Anns the other day getting some yarn and yes, they have the half thimbles I spoke of. This was at the one in frandor. The aisle with the buttons and needles on it. At the needle side, they have two different kinds. A thick plastic type at the beginning of the aisle and metal farther down. They have the thimbleness on the front of the finger side and the straps for the finger nail side. You might want to try them. Incredibly better then thimbles. Not combersome like thimbles but do protect your fingers. FYI

  3. Erin

    Hey there, Elle –

    Thanks for the thimble advice! I’ll check those out next time I head over there. I also go to the one by Frandor.

    Tofurkey is pretty awful – most of the meat substitutes are, really. I have to look at them as just protein, as opposed to trying to pretend they’re actual meat. There are two exceptions I’ve found: Morningstar Italian Sausage, and Morningstar Corn Dogs – both are really, really good. Just about like the real thing.

    I bought some seitan to try cook this week; I hear it’s very yummy.

    It’s really hard, lately, to work through the cravings, and I’m not sure why. I think it’s probably just because I haven’t had it right in my face all the time for years – it was easy not to think about it too much.

    I hope you can get back to it! What is helping me is to really remember my reasons for making the choice in the first place.

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