Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

News and serious talk.

First off, some news.  I am going to do some weaving weekends this year.  Sign up is on my web site, or you can email me.  So far two scheduled, one for April 18-20, and one for May 16-18.  I may do more, but that's it for now.

I just looked back at my blogging history......I started tentatively in 2007 with SEVEN posts.   Then in 2008, I ramped it up to a big 35 posts.
Then I got my groove on in 2009 with 205, and even more in 2010 with 241.
In 2011, I really was cruising along, and posted 328 times.
It is evident that after I started with the headaches, in October 2011, that change was coming.
In 2012, I posted 260 times.
And with 2 surgeries  in 2013, I only posted 156 times.
Why do I mention this???

Well, I  am spending some time in the deep south, staying warm for the winter, as much as is humanly possible.   It isn't really a vacation exactly, although that is what it feels like.  Mostly, I came because I was looking for some relief from my head.   I have concluded (and I hope that I am right) that much of my headache comes from outside forces....mostly pressure changes, in the weather, and in how the weather affects my sinuses.   I am also pretty sure that in severe cold temperatures, I scrunch my neck up almost constantly, muscle contraction and abuse that directly affect my neck and my head.
So far, it appears to be true.
My headache is much, much better.  So far.

But in addition to all that, I knew I needed to regroup. 
If you talk to anyone who has had brain/head surgery, they will all tell you the same thing.
It changes them.
Someone once said to me, "well it wasn't brain surgery exactly, it was on your NECK."
First off, they did have to repair the dura of my brain in the first surgery.  Secondly, if you look at a schematic of your head, you will see that C1, 2 and 3, are in the MIDDLE of your head.

Sorry, but "NECK MY A$$."

Anyway, I rant and digress.

Somehow, since all this has happened to me, I am different.  It is very difficult to explain.....I am me, but different.
My Chiari friend said that it felt that her brain had been rebooted.   That's close.
It has shuffled up my priorities.   It has changed how I feel about a lot of things, and what I think about a lot of things.
It feels sometimes that I have been dropped into a different country, and I am not sure I speak the same language.
I have less filters than I ever had........and I never had many.    I have less tolerance for drama than before,  if that's possible.
My relationship with "tact", which has not been good my whole life, has plummeted.
I find myself re-evaluating everything.   I am constantly re-planning, re-thinking, and driving myself crazy wondering why I can't settle.
I have had what I call "lust for land".......I peruse properties on the internet, EVERYWHERE.   Like I will ever move to New Mexico, or Montana.  I scan houses on, and then find them on google maps.   I try to imagine what my life would be like if I pulled up roots and moved to one of these places tiny towns, mostly, in the middle of nowhere.   I worry that I am missing the life I could have somewhere else.   But where?

But I know this sickness.  Alcoholics call it 'geographical change'.  They think that moving somewhere else will make it better, chase away their demons, when in fact, the demon is with them wherever they go.
As mine will likely be.  This head, and all the trauma that has befallen it in the last two years, belongs to me, and no one else.  It demands that I do the best I can with it, one day at a time.

I know that I really don't want to move to some strange place, and start all over.  But there is some frantic part of me, like the drinker, who wishes for something that will make it all go away.  And like the drinker, recovery will always be a part of my life.
I know that.
Moving is not the answer.  

Roy and I walk every morning, 3 miles in the sunshine, to the ocean.   I think about all of this feeling of unrest, craziness really,  I try to put my finger on the core of it, but it eludes me every time.

I only know for sure that in the last two years I have lost my mother, I have lost the life and the  self  I knew and was comfortable with, and insult upon injury,  I have lost my best friend, as well.
Enough already.

I am just not sure who I am anymore, that is the awful truth.

There are, thankfully, a few things I am dead on positive about, one  is my love for my family.

My love for my friends, my dog and my cats.

My love of my looms.

Maybe they will help me find me again.  I  hope so.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


My friend and I had plans to go to the ocean just a couple of miles away, to see the sunset, hoping for some good pictures.
But then we had a quick rain storm, and the sky was cloudy and dark in the west.  We decided it was probably not a good time for photos.

Then at the last minute, we said, what the heck, let's just go.

It was a good decision.

We were incredibly surprised, and pleased.

It's just proof to me that no matter how dreary things may get, and no matter how tough life may become, if you are open, and willing to take a chance, beautiful things can happen.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hear me sigh.

I am realizing now that DH and I have not taken a vacation, a real vacation, in much longer than I
prefer to admit.
Oh, yeah, we did a whirlwind weekend here and there, our favorite place was the Maine coast.
But a real vacation?  Nope, not in many years.
Mostly it was because leaving my mother alone in New York, while we went far away, was really
not a favorable option.
So we just didn't go.

So this is a shock to my system.   Sunshine, no schedule.
And a freaking doable .......let me repeat.........DOABLE.........headache.
It's not gone, and there are times, when it sneaks up on me, but for 90% of the time, it is a 3.
What a lovely ring THREE has to it, my friends.

Today, two long walks in the ocean breeze.  Two hours in the pool in the sun.

This guy is right behind the house, along with some swans, egrets, Muscovy ducks, and some other birds that I can't identify.

When we first got here, I walked Roy around the house, and he acted like his two front paws were on fire.......I looked at them, didn't see anything, and as soon as we were off the lawn, he seemed ok.

Today, when I dashed outside in my sock feet to get a picture of this guy perched on a pole,  I found out why Roy was in pain.
I screeched, and then bent down to rip my socks off, and stepped over on some rocks to get back to the house.  On inspection, the bottom of my socks were covered in these little, tiny burrs with sharp, sharp projections.  And omg, did they hurt.
I apologized to Roy, and he won't be going on the lawn again.
Nor will I, without shoes.

I am feeling guiltily lazy, and a bit aimless.
But having this mini headache makes it feel like some sort of heaven, so I'm ok with it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A few thoughts.

Today I was walking Roy and the thought ran through my head that I needed to call my mother.
Of course, I immediately teared up, my throat got tight, and I felt that sharp pain of loss that sneaks up on me sometimes with no warning.

Then I remembered  something that  a friend of my daughter said.

"When you miss talking to her, just talk to her."

So I did.
Walking the 3 miles to the beach, with the wind blowing and the sun beating down from a clear blue sky, I talked to my mother.
I told her how much I missed her, and how sorry I was that the last two years of her life, I was so miserably in pain.  I was often short with her, and I know that without the headache from hell, I could have been a better daughter.   A better caretaker.
I told her I was trying to get better.
I told her that I loved her, and always would.

There have been times in my life when I couldn't cry, when it was ok to cry.
But those tears always catch up to me later, I am vulnerable when I least expect it.

Someone I love recently told me that there had been so much loss lately.  
I understand that.
Loss, and change.
They seem to come together.

But everything I lose, and every change that comes down the pike, makes me treasure my life just that much more.

Every breath, every single moment.

 I am so grateful for the  friends and family that have stood by me.   I couldn't have done it without them.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I'm here.

I have gotten a few emails wondering where the heck I went off to.  And I apologize, because I know that with my medical history, some of you might be worried that I took the bridge.
Or worried that maybe my head exploded.
But nope, that's not the case.
DH and I got out of Dodge, something we have planned for a while.

I especially have wanted to leave the northeast for part or most of the winter, to see if it helped my head.  I have been pretty convinced that the cold was making my headaches that much worse.

Well, we have been in Georgia for a week, and lo and headache has been an incredible, fantastic, unbelievable THREE for the whole time.
One of my best friends ever invited us to stay with her, and I am so glad we took her up on it.
What a great time.

First off, 60 degrees, walking Roy for 5 miles, with NO coat, not even a sweater.......

We really relaxed, and did NOTHING.  And I got to visit NONSTOP with my friend (we have been friends since the 7th grade).

Now we are in Florida, on the Atlantic side, visiting another friend for a couple of days, before we finally land at our rental on the Gulf. 
We are pretty exhausted from driving right now, but loving the total absence of ICE and SNOW and COLD.
Ya hear me, right??

It's been a tough couple of years, and my life has changed a lot.  It has changed incredibly in just the last few months, and I am still reeling a bit.
But I am also intent on living the 'rest' of my life, whatever it brings.

For now, it's bringing sunshine, lots and lots of sunshine.

Lois is holding the fort, she is actually IN CHARGE, so Crazy as a Loom is still open for business.

Me, I'm regrouping for the next chapter.   I hope it's a good one.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cold, and pensive.

This morning I woke up thinking about how transient we really are, and about how we all feel that we are so unique, and yet there are millions of us.  How can that be?

My mother used to be adamant that there was no one like her.  Absolutely. No. One.
It used to make me laugh......she was so intent on that.

I read an article this morning..........I wanted to share it with you..
It is by Wendy Bradford, Blogger, Mama One to Three.

Before long, we learn that in this life, we are not here forever. We learn through the changing of seasons, the loss of our pets in childhood, the death of a loved one.
We have no guarantee of numbers. So many days under the sun or drizzly afternoons spent gazing out windows. We think they are infinite but they are not. One will be the last. And this is not the hardest part. The hardest is knowing those we cherish will share our fate; we can make no deal to change that.
We grow up when we know this. And this is the deal we get to be here. We don't ask, yet are given opportunity to love, to embrace, to wonder and be scared, to scream and kiss and run and lie still in the cool grass under the flickering stars on a cool evening.
We go through this time, galloping or whispering across the years, with a vague knowledge of the end. We are born to love feverishly. To anguish and rebound. To flourish. We are born for each other.
It matters little where or when or how we are here. Our hearts share the same code. Although we spend our lives attempting to cement that which is impermanent, we come to the same end.
Our gift is not one of time because that is uncertain and unfairly metered out. We have one moment in which to live. Our gift is of comfort and care. We cradle those hearts we meet, bringing joy where there is sorrow and ease when there is turmoil. Those of us who have, and who can -- we must. It is the deal we make with the one we get.

The deal we make. 

I think of my mother a lot these days.  2013 was both joyful and sad for me.  Both difficult and revealing.   Loss and letting go were so interwined, that I didn't see them happening until afterward.
Sometimes, I find myself looking at memories of last year, like a slide show. washing my mother's  hair in the shower, like she was MY child, tears running down my face, wondering if this was the last time. 

.....holding my daughter, while she rested between bouts of labor, and the intermingling of fear and joy and relief, when baby Dale emerged looking surprised.

.....waking from yet my third surgery to see my first daughter looking worried, but smiling through her tears, when I wiggled my arms and feet, and said, "nope, not paralyzed yet."

 .....feeling so incredibly loved when my grandchildren throw themselves at me, and hug me hard.

.....lying on the couch in a sunny window, with Roy snuggled up under my arm, the way I spent so many afternoons when I finally gave in to what I could not control.

.....knitting and drinking tea with a dear friend,  in a sunny window, for a whole afternoon.

......curled up on the couch, on a cozy evening like this one, DH in his chair, Roy close by, grateful for home.

So many memories.  Good, not so good.  

But I don't think we are all that different actually.  I think we are all pretty much just the same.
Or at least we start out that way.  

What we do along the way is called choice.

Isn't that right, baby Dale????

Friday, January 3, 2014

Some thoughts.

Frigid in the northeast tonight, not fit for man nor beast.  Why do I live here I ask myself.

For the last year, I have been annoyed by Verizon wireless, with whom I had my cell phone contract.
My bill, for just my phone, was almost $100 a month.  Then one month, I went over by 'next to NOTHING', and they hit me with a ridiculous charge.  I vowed that when my 2 year commitment was up, I was doing something else. 
So I waited patiently, and on 11/2/2013, I was looking for another option.  I did consider Straight Talk Wireless, which is about $50 a month for unlimited talk, text and data, but I am not a fan of Walmart in any sense, so I kept looking.
What I came up with was Page Plus Cellular   I have had it for two months now, and I am really satisfied.  I have 1200 minutes of talk, 3000 text/picture messages, and 500 MB of data.   They use the Verizon towers, so you get the exact same coverage as you did with Verizon.  I researched it to be sure.
I am careful not to use the internet on my Smart Phone without using WiFi if it is available, but otherwise I have done nothing different.  I text my kids ALL THE TIME.
And the cost............$29.95 a month.  Seriously.  I signed up for Auto Refill on the first of every month, so I don't have to think about it.  And I am HAPPY to be done with Verizon, and HAPPY to not have gone to Walmart.  And I can spend $70 a month some other way.

Today I was sewing socks, one of those repetitive jobs that I don't really mind.   I got thinking about hurtful comments, and the people that make them.
It occurred to me, that if harsh words are spoken in the heat of an argument, that is one thing.  Those things can be chalked up to losing one's temper, not thinking, etc.
But when someone says something hurtful out of that context, then they are saying it just to make their point, and they are just being mean.
There is no excuse for just mean.
And those are the words that we remember.
We forget the ones spoken in anger more or less.
But those words spoken just to inflict pain, we don't forget those, and we don't ever feel the same about the person who spoke them.
That's just my thinking while sewing today.
I can look back at my life and prove that theory.  I have little or no recollection of things said in the heat of argument, even though I know they were said.
But those hurtful, mean comments, yup, I could access them all if I tried.  They leave marks.   Enough said.

I would like to go to Joann Fabrics tonight, and get some stuff.  But I won't leave the house in this deep freeze.  Instead, I will stay home and make tea, and have one of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that I made last night.
Maybe I'll have two.
It is so cold, that when Roy sees his coat and leash come out, he runs and hides.  THAT is cold.
 He likes to snuggle on the couch with his blanket, or lie as close to the stove as he can get.

Or better yet, he likes to lay across a warm body, and get as close as he can get.

Roy and I hate winter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year and a winner.

Happy 2014.......oh, how I am hopeful for this year to be better!!!  I still believe it is possible.

First order of business, the giveaway.

There were 60 comments, but 5 of those were doubles.........I know you're just trying to keep me on my toes.   So I used 55 as the total.    The spit out number TWENTYONE, which means that LONA of Farming in the Shade is the winner.
Please go to my web site, Lona,  and pick out a dish towel, and email me with your address and I will send it right out to you.   Congrats!!!!!

I know that today is typically a resolution kind of day, but I am not going there.  Resolutions are made to be broken mostly, at least that's the way it seems.
Instead, I prefer today to make observations, and then take them forward into the horizon of the new year.
Some of the things I have taken note of in 2013:

Pain is a great leveler, and puts so much into perspective.  Teaches humility. 

Having my three daughters was hands down the best thing I ever did.  Best.  Thing.  Ever.

I will never be a "master weaver", and that's ok.  I just want to explore my own natural propensity for playing with color and texture, and see what happens.  I want weaving to be like a song in my head, one that brings joy.

I don't need another job.  Working non stop is highly overrated.  Taking time off is necessary.

Friends should be chosen wisely, to prevent serious disappointment. 

Pleasing myself isn't as hard as I thought.  There are so many ways.

My gene pool is just fine, in fact I am mostly grateful for the one I got.  Wildly intense DNA or not.

I hate having two houses.  I want to live and weave in just one house.  Someday it will happen.

The length of our lives is a crap shoot, it is time to plan for that eventuality.  Put it in writing.  Set it down for the future.

I love my Nutri Bullet.  I plan to take it with me wherever I go.  Green shakes rock.

Dogs belong on the bed, or the sofa,  not the floor.  That's just the way it is.

Babies make everything better.

Happy New Year everyone........may 2014 be incredibly awesome.

Let's surprise ourselves, ok?

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts