I’ve written about the week, written about it some more, including one long rant, but haven’t had the energy to bring anything here. Maybe this weekend? Maybe not. There have been so many comments made and registered out there.
A new fox.
I might be locating a little ambition to sew garments. Step one: adjust dress dummy to my measurements. I think draping might be the way to go for me since following directions is not my strong suit.
Tried to turn purple-shirt star into a robe and failed miserably.
There are still possibilities.
It’s creepy how well Instagram understands my taste. These showed up this week and I love them both.
Finished the Noah’s Ark quilt (talked about on Instagram last week). Just need to deliver it to my neighbor now, who has a grandson named Noah. Another friend is about to become a grandmother. Her daughter was one of the most talented creators I worked with back when I taught fiber arts to elementary school kids, so I want the crib quilt for her baby to be nice. Blues have been requested.
Also finished the above. Are you sensing a trend? FINISHING! I’m whittling down a pile of nearly finished pieces. The one above is in my Etsy shop (clothcompany).
Lastly, for my own reference, I’m inserting a few screen shots.
Stay rested everyone. Stay hydrated. Connect with loved ones.
Thanks for all the encouraging comments about a gas fireplace! It might be operable as soon as tomorrow.
I was walking Finn the other day and decided to ask my mother for some help. Why not? Whether it’s some synaptic crease of memory or a calling across time, if the advice is good it hardly matters.
I would’ve liked direction on my manuscript, but she zeroed in on cloth instead (no surprise, there) (she was a seamstress extraordinaire, remember?)
“Put all the sewing away except for C’s quilt,” she said.
There are two unfinished quilts for C, actually: a pale green one planned as a queen-sized blanket and a smaller log cabin in saturated blue/greens for the couch. The couch quilt was meant to be a quickie, made well in advance of the larger quilt. Ha!
Since the larger bed quilt’s unfinished state more than occasionally keeps me up at night, I got right to it. And guess what? I felt better immediately.
Before and after below. I’d been pinning on top of bed quilt sections for a couple of seasons.
It’s about focus and intention.
A tidier living room makes for a happy secondary benefit.
What many of you don’t know is that the most recent chapter of sister-drama and crisis lasted for nine years. That’s almost a decade. Nearly a decade of being drained, embattled, hopelessly entangled, desperate, and full of episodic fury and nearly constant resentment.
Mostly kept out of view here.
I can date my getting to know the thread-people here to the very beginning of this nine year chapter because — clear as day — I remember reading an article about Jude while waiting in the ICU (“The Artful Blogger” perhaps?)*
A few doors down, my sister was recovering from emergency abdominal surgery. A hernia and necrotic bowel. Then she went septic. When the doctor called, he gave her a 60/40 chance of dying and then announced in a voice dripping with judgment, “She’s almost 400 pounds, you know,” as if it were somehow my fault.
I honestly couldn’t tell in that moment whether I wanted my sister to live or to die. It might’ve been 60/40, too.
We hadn’t talked in nine years. For good reason.
Because of her size, they couldn’t close her up. The plan was for her to lose 150 pounds before attempting the final sutures and so there would be eight weeks in ICU and then a lengthy rehab. But because of my sister’s aggression, they put her into a medically-induced coma.
(I guess the male nurse got kicked in the balls one time too many).
That meant she had to be ventilated.
And that meant that when the tube finally came out, my sister couldn’t talk. Not even in a whisper. For weeks, she wrote me short notes in a shaky hand. As it turned out, a medically induced re-entry to relationship was a gift. What better way to reconnect with an estranged relative but slowly and with carefully selected words?
Around this time, I started taking Jude’s classes. I had two kids in high school. Often caregiving and exhaustion kept me from participating in the way I would have liked. That created some tensions that were mostly, but not exclusively, internal. Some linger.
Because of this fateful beginning, it was just weird to sign up for Jude’s last round of classes during the demanding and excruciating final weeks of my sister’s life. Talk about distracted. There were dirty diapers to dispose of, commodes to empty, calls to 911 to make (“she’s at 86% on four liters of oxygen”). There were DNR and DNI’s to be signed, regular care and hospice care to be coordinated, a nursing home transition to make, and should the priest come now, no not yet. Now.
Then her awful mess to clean up. And then (gratitude!!), Italy for more than half of April.
So once again, with respect to online participation, life thrust me into this position of “delinquency” (at worst), shadowy participation (at best). It’s a pair of bookends. A bit of a rerun. Not how I want it to be.
Because this burden of care has been on me for most of the time I’ve been participating in fiber circles, I am happy to mark a change. First with a brag and then with a photo.
The brag — I HAVE FINISHED MY NOVEL! I know I mentioned this in a comment a few days ago, but it bears repeating. First draft — done! Already edited 4/5’s, so edit last bit in July. Assemble list of agents in August. Compose query letter. Start submitting in September while also researching self-publishing.
Nine years in the making (there’s that number again). Ta-da! For all of the support I’ve received here: many, many thanks. I haven’t forgotten the tangible kickstarter support that got me to SC for an indigo weekend, for instance.
And to Deb Lacativa, fellow writer in arms, a special thanks — she is the only person to date to have read almost every goddamned word. Caught typos. Made thoughtful remarks. Cast her wild imagination in and around the plot lines. Whew, what a sensibility!
The photo below is to document how gladness can arrive. It was taken last night while another friend and I celebrated R’s birthday. It’s a tradition for us. Since my birthday’s in February, R’s in July, and our third friend’s in October, the tradition keeps us connected all year long.
I hardly recognize myself.
Gladness and a finished draft. Not an accident that they arrive not long after my sister departs.
And since there is ANOTHER birthday to celebrate this evening, I picked all our currants and will make a pie. Usually for my husband’s birthday, we go out, but tonight I’m keeping it easy: pasta topped with the last of the truffle oil from Assisi and basil from the garden.
Ahhh, summer! Ahhh! Relief.
*This was 2009, but November, December, so almost 2010.