My oldest friend is in very poor health, and I worry about her. She spends winters in Florida and summer in northeast NY. She's the friend that I can pick up the phone and tell pretty much anything, and she will listen, and give me honest feedback. Even if I don't like it.
We've been friends since about the age of 5. She insists I threatened her with a laundry pin way back then, I say she is just trying to get attention. It's ongoing.
We've grown apart in recent years, our interests and our lives have changed.
We don't always agree, but I never doubt her friendship. Not ever.
My next longest friendship, is with my friend in Georgia. She left northeast NY about 30 years ago, and has lived in the south ever since. We are polar opposites on politics, and a host of other things.
But I know I would only have to call her, and she would be there for me, in any way that I needed, as fast as she could be. No matter our differences, I never doubt her friendship. Not ever.
Then there's L, who has worked here with me for the last 7 years, and has become the friend I spend most of the time with, and the one who knows me best. Nothing like day after day working and weaving together, and sometimes having fun doing other things, to find oneself completely exposed.
She knows what I am thinking before I say it, and she anticipates my craziness.
And she's helped me through the toughest time in my life, three brain surgeries, and a host of headaches. She's there for me, and I never doubt her friendship, even when she's grumpy. (sorry L).
That's pretty good, I think, and I am grateful for my friends. There are others, not as close, that I don't talk to as often. But they are friends still, and dear to me. We connect when we can, and it's always a good thing. They are bright lights in my life.
But I have learned that it is good to make an honest appraisal of people who say they are your friends, who clearly have other agendas, usually self absorbed.
It brings back that time in my life, when I evicted my alcoholic ex husband, for the very last time.
Sick of being told that it was my fault, that everything was, in fact, my fault. Tired of the mental toll, the drama, and the feeling of always being on the precipice of falling.
So when so called friends make me feel that way, it is time to take stock.
One good friend spent the day with L and I recently, and I showed her my dyeing routine, and she dyed some of her own.
She was meticulous, far more so than me......
The end result was lovely.
I wonder if I've helped to create another passion here.
I have had a couple of tough months with the headaches returning to their amped up state. Waking up with a smasher is the worst thing, or certainly feels like it.
I have to feed and medicate the critter crew, make some coffee, put some heat on my neck, and wait it out. If it's really bad, I eat something so I can take Advil. That doesn't get rid of it, but it sometimes takes the edge off it, and when you are totally miserable, that's a blessing.
I don't often dwell on it, but to be truthful, there are those days, when I do. I think about how my life changed 6 years ago, when my head connected with that rock.
They say that it only takes a second, for everything to be different. That's the truth, but it took me a while longer to acknowledge and then accept that said "second" had actually occurred.
I love my life, and in most aspects I am content with it, but then I am so used to having a headache, every day, that I no longer can tell you what it feels like not to have it.
Most days, I pay no attention to it. I know that sounds strange, but if you had any kind of ailment on your body, for days, weeks, months, years, you would eventually integrate it into your life. You would have no choice. And I have had no choice, so I have made it a part of mine.
And like I said, I am blessed that for the most part I function and do not let it rule my days.
But then, there are the times, when I give in. Too much, too intense, too awful. I don't belabor it, I just cave......I do the things I know will help, and I give the rest to a power greater than myself. And I wait it out.
But I do occasionally wonder why...and lately I have wondered why the last two months have been so unpleasant. I try to be open to all kinds of things that might affect my fused neck, and therefore my headaches.
One thing is the position of my neck when I sew.......and I have been sewing a lot.
So yesterday I twitched my sewing room around, and put my sewing machine on a table that will allow me to raise it, and perhaps, put my neck at a different angle. It is a fact, that anything that involves a sustained forward bend of my neck, is a sure bet for more pain.
So we shall see how this works out.
On other fronts, I have long wanted to try some tea dyeing of a warp. So I did. Bought boxes of tea bags at the dollar store, put them in a mesh bag, and did my thing.
It's ring spun cotton, and I love the many nuances of shade.
It's on the loom and being threaded as I speak.
I love love love my new Compudobby......after finally getting it to work, I have totally enjoyed playing with it, changing drafts from one towel to the next, and creating this x's and o's one along the way.
Fall is here, thank goodness, so it's time for some vegetarian chili........this one I knocked out of the park..........totally in love with it.......too bad I don't write this stuff down.
And here I am, hair going white, wrinkly neck and all........but hey, I'm 70, and it hasn't been all that easy getting here.
Sometimes I'm hard on myself, but then sometimes I pat myself on the back for pure persistence.
Making the best of it, moving ahead one day at a time.
And there's that Bubba Lee, I still cannot believe that she has let down her guard.
I'm sticking around, I've said it before, and it bears repeating.........
There may, in life, be sharp turns, false friends, tough times, bumps in the road,
but there is so much more.......family, true friends, and flowers, and sunshine.............for as long as I've got on this crazy planet, I'm going to love all of it.
Thanks for coming by.........it means a lot.
Just wanted to say I have followed your blog for years now. I love when you have post.
You are a beautiful, creative and generous soul and I for one admire your tough outlook and the will to keep going. You Rock Girl!
What a beautiful way to live this life... You keep doing that thing that you do. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other.
I can relate to your struggle in that I've had bells and whistles and pots, pans and crickets banging around in my ears for 20 years now. (tinnitus) and I'm pretty much deaf. I also have constant muscle pain all over my body and especially in the head and neck and back area due to the computer and shit shoveling (literally) work I've been doing for 30 plus years. And Fibromyalgia.. I guess.
It truly is what you make of it. Take the good days and enjoy every minute, do the best you can to get throught the bad - do the things you know will bring SOME relief, at least.
This life is such a gift and I will not let these issues rob me of living the best life I can possibly live.
You Go Girl :-)
I always love going through my Feedly and see you've posted something.
I had two falls early in the year. From fainting in bathroom and then on ice patch. Head hit hard both times. Now I have pretty constant headaches. Daily. Doctors say I need to learn to live with it.
So I surely understand your impatience with headaches. Hard learning to cope.
I love you posts. Don't stop.
I admire your fortitude, because that is what it takes to deal with a malady daily that impacts everything about living, love your work, very talented.
as for friends, it takes effort to have them but they are such blessings on the whole. Friends that become self absorbed to the detriment of all around them do require us to take stock, is this good for me or not?
some people with neck and back problems put their sewing machines up much higher so they can so standing up looking at it like a monitor.
I wish you well , take care from Iowa
I hear you on the misery of waking with a smasher (usually at 4 am in my case). Such a long time with daily headaches but have finally hit on a pain med routine that works and it's not overly potent stuff that triggers depression! Yeah, still have the upper back/neck/shoulder aches that come from arthritic, bulging, bone spurred cervical vertebrae but the daily head bangers are almost gone! It's all relative!
Oh, Hillary, I love your outlook on life. There are days when I have had enough and yet there is not even a tunnel to look down. I know that standing and screaming will not change a thing. So, I pull up my big girl panties and get back on track.
Your weaving is always amazing. And I one of those that will choose the fall colors every time. LOL
I have friends that I could call at any time and they would rush to my side. One has been a friend for over 50 years, the other for only 6. I try to remember that each person is brought into your life for a reason...maybe for them, maybe for you. I accept that though we may drift apart, for a little time, we were there for each other. I hope that I added to their life...
So good to read your blog!! I have been following you for so long I can't recall exactly. I started weaving in 2008. I worry when you don't blog , so I made a trip up to you last week, just to check, but you were closed. I always enjoy our visits when I stop in for something and feel we would have been very good friends- I am adjusted to life here in Argyle,,, will never adjust to not being able to kayak anymore,, darn PD. Whenever I think I have life figured out. wham something else knocks me down,, I always get up,, just slower each time... Weaving keeps me sane..... I thank my teacher (Sharon K) everyday for giving me this passion for 8/2 cotton and you for keeping it going. Love to hear of yours and L 's daily activities! Hope you are both well. from Deb S
I have been basically a lurker for a few years, I think. Just had to say that I really loved this wonderful post. I have always loved your honesty, determination, and spirit. Living with chronic pain has unexpected gifts. Hard won knowledge, I say, but life is good. Life is good. :)
Once again your words have lifted my day to higher ground. There is more light shining when we open up enough to let it all come in. Thank you Hilary for beaming your truth and weaving your stories in the sharing you do here on your blog. I treasure to key you possess to opening up my more vulnerable and sensitive places...to take a look and add some delight to my nearly now 74 year journey.
Hoping that the rearranging of the sewing area brings some relief to the challenges with your headaches.
Peace and blessings to you as I write and work in the studio with delight as fall is pushing her energies our way here in Montana.
You are an inspiration...always...
You amaze me, thank you for sharing your strength!
Wow, life is certainly a journey. Your attitude is inspirational! I love how the tea dying came out. Beautiful zinnias... I plan to plant a huge mess of them next summer!
Just looking at those precious, beautiful babies would make you want to stick around a long time. Headache or not. You are a remarkable person that still make amazing things. Sure glad you have not given up you big. I love it.
Thanks for writing all the things I'd love to put in words and you've done so elegantly. On those rough days I remind myself that it's one more day that I almost didn't get, and on the 29th of this month those days will be exactly four years. It's good to have a compadre on this journey, good to know I have company, and yeah I'm 70, which is four more years than 66 when my story almost ended. Good post!
some how i read this over a week ago but didnt comment .. not sure how that happened ... love those skeins the colors are mouthwatering
and friendships .. such a complicated business at times ...
INteresting blog... and lots to think about.
I like that in spite of our troubles, battles and weakened energy, we still strive to create and make something beautiful.
Keep on creating!
I'll probably forget to come back and check for your answer, but how do you set the color when you dye with something like tea bags? Your warp is lovely and subtle, right up my alley.
I do enjoy your posts and I love your weaving, everything is gorgeous.
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