Sunday, September 08, 2019

onward and upward

I guess. I'm just gonna have to try looking for the good in things, or at least looking for the little things that bring me comfort.

* I might start the Mr. Rogers style cardigan here tonight; I need some big stockinette thing to work on for some upcoming exams. (I took the afghan for the ecology exam but it was too heavy to carry around comfortably.)

(*Barn Owl, if you're really offering? I'd like either the penguin or the owl kit, whichever one you could spare. I do have some leftover fleece from the kit [and the teacher gave me some more] and I might try to make a mini-owl to send to my niece.)

* I pulled the current Sockhead Hat out and worked some on it. I do think when I finish it I will send it off somewhere that's taking hats for people who need them. It won't be the warmest EVER because it's fingering-weight yarn, but it is superwash (so can be washed in a washer and dryer) and would be large enough (it is a slouch hat) for long hair, a "natural" (do people still call that kind of hairstyle that?), or even a smallish head of locs.

No, I don't know of anywhere locally that takes them. I have been throwing my loose change (when I get it at Pruett's) into the J27 donation boxes they have out - this is a group that is helping young women leaving the foster-care system transition to being able to live on their own: it provides a residence and help with finding a job and eventually an apartment for the girls. But I haven't heard of any charities specifically needing woolens, probably because it's usually so warm here.

I should probably really focus on the too-many-projects I have going on right now. Like the two pairs of socks for my mom, and a couple pairs I have going for myself, and a shawl, and a couple blankets...and a sweater. But none of them are good for invigilating exams.

* I ordered a bunch of Barbie dresses from Etsy. I don't even care any more. Yes, I'm spending a lot of money and acquiring more junk that probably my niece will have to sort through some day but if it brings me a little fleeting happiness I'm going to do it. One order is some "vintage" stuff including some handmade items (I really, really love the vintage homemade/handmade doll clothes; they are often better made and more interesting than the commercial ones, and in some cases you can really feel the love someone's mom or grandma or older sister had for the child that the doll dress was made for). The other order are newly-made ones from a woman in Maryland who apparently uses this either as a side business or maybe a SAHM who uses it to earn a little money. Yes, I could make them myself more cheaply, but I've been saying for like 2 years I was going to make Barbie clothes and I never did. And anyway: if it is someone using it to earn a little extra money, either to support her family or for her own happiness, I'm glad to be able to contribute to that and I get some cute doll dresses out of it too.

* I still really, really love the tiny escape that Neko Atsume offers: it's low-investment, all you need do is make sure the food's full and occasionally switch out toys or sleeping-places. I finally earned enough gold fish to buy the "remodel" - I chose the "cafe style." There is no outside now so I presume Tubbs (whom I have renamed "Fat B*stard," like in the Austin Powers movie) will not come around any more; I think someone said he doesn't come inside. Good and bad: good, because he seems to hoover down the food, but bad, because he usually leaves a lot of fish.

But I like how the cafe looks. It is visually pleasing to me. And one of my self-comfort fantasies involves working in a quiet dim independent bookstore* and the cafe isn't so very far off from that.

(*Yes, I know I'd hate working in a 'real' bookstore but self-comfort fantasies are just that, fantasies, and reality need not intrude).

* I will say I'm enjoying "The Furthest Station." It is kind of an odd story with a paranormal/supernatural slant but also interesting characters. (There are a few "swears" in it, and it's a little creepy in places, so it wouldn't maybe be for younger tweens, but it does have a YA feel to it). I might look up the author's other books when I finish this one.

* I managed to kill the empty Sunday afternoon this week by

a. Grading the exams I gave Friday (One student still has to take it; she was with family on Friday and has a funeral Monday - lost her grandfather. She said she'd bring in the bulletin but I told her not to bother; I'm willing to trust her and not add to any agony she might have. I know I'd find it discombobulating to be told by a Dean or something I had to bring in the bulletin from my dad's memorial service to "prove" I needed to be gone that Friday before break....)

At least now I am caught up on grading. And will be until....well, 10 am tomorrow. (Sigh.)

b. Redoing my signboard:

I'm trying to recapture a little lightheartedness and whimsy in my life, with limited success.

(I think it will just take a while. It does feel like right now it's harder than when my dad first passed, but of course there have been other things....and frequent calls from my mom asking advice or questions or e-mails from my brother about paperwork)

I did remind my mom with the last call that if she happens to run across the photo of my grandad (my dad's dad) standing by his WWI plane, I absolutely positively insist on getting a copy made of that. (Today's call was: "Do you know if banks will change Canadian money?" She found some bills from their last trip to Canada...I know the exchange rate isn't 1:1 but I also don't know if US banks not near a border will even do that exchange.)

It does sound like she's getting through a lot of stuff. Maybe there won't be as much for me to help with when I get up there at Christmas.

* Maybe tonight, even though it's wickedly hot out (and no relief in sight) I take a warm bath with a bath fizzie. I have a lot of those saved up and they do not last forever. And also, the whole idea of keeping things for some later date - like, never using the "good" table cloth - is silly, because all that means is your heirs inherit it unused (I remember a sad story about a woman who would buy nice things - nightgowns, and sheets, and soap and the like- for her mom, and her mom would "put them away for when I need something 'for good'" - meaning, I guess, when company came for the soap and tablecloths - and ultimately, what happened was that the woman wound up inheriting back the stuff she had bought for her mom, unused.

* I also need to exfoliate some time, my skin is all bumpy and I'm having some dry skin issues despite it being awfully humid here. I do have a couple of sugar-based scrubs I could use (you want to avoid the ones with plastic microbeads - if they even still make those - for environmental reasons, and the ones with things like ground walnut shell are too hard on the skin)

* I need to run over to my office to deal with the last set of samples. Then maybe I re-watch some more Parks and Recreation episodes (I did the other night and it kind of helped) and knit....

Tomorrow night is CWF and i have to find a devotional to read. I think I'm going to find something on "breaking bread" again because most people appreciate that and also I don't want to talk about anything that's too close to my current situations because it's TOO CLOSE and I do not like starting to cry in front of people. Also, it's our salad supper so while we are not literally "breaking bread" we are eating together.

And I will say, one thing this terrible six weeks has taught me? How lovely and good it is, and how important, to be able to eat with people you care about. From sitting with my mom and eating those 2 weeks I was up there - a couple meals at restaurants, one meal of roast chicken, after which she laughed ruefully and said "I guess it'll be harder to use one of these up, now" (and then the day after that, together, we made the good chicken enchilada recipe that she got from the husband of a former assistant minister of her church), to eating with my colleagues the day of all the meetings, to eating pizza on a pizza buffet (Johnny's Pizza) with Laura when I visited her, to breakfast at church last week, to the AAUW salad supper. I wish now I didn't have to eat alone so much....but there's really no easy way around that, and restaurant meals aren't a solution, and I'm not....really....comfortable calling people up and trying to negotiate the logistics of either going to their place or having them to mine to eat, and the whole issue of dietary restrictions (I have some weird ones myself, and I know people who need to do gluten-free, and people who are vegetarian, or have a dairy allergy, or....)

But yes. Now I'm realizing too late that too much "independence" can leave you kind of alone later in life, when it's harder to form those interdependences.

Oh, who knows: maybe, hopefully, the future will bring some kind of a good change. Either the "virtual dining partner" thing I talked about the other day (where you could have a group of people-known-to-be-friendly-to-you that could do something like Skyping at mealtime) or some way of having public communal meals. (I know some other religious traditions do this REGULARLY - it's my understanding that many Sikh houses of worship just always have simple vegetarian meals available for anyone who needs food or needs someone to eat with).

* I guess really, "hoping for some kind of a good change in the future" is something I have to hang on to, even if this past couple months have made me worry more that every future change will be bad...I'm not sure what form a "good change" would take for me (I am still not ready to leave here, no matter how much I might speculate about it), but it would be....something. A new group of friends, new social opportunities in town, I don't know.

1 comment:

Barn Owl said...

I'll send you the penguin chick kit ... the colors are similar to your owl (though there are no fancy fibers in the kit, just "wool"). The English instructions are pretty minimal, which often seems the case with Japanese craft kits, but between your class and the photo of the FO, I think you'll figure it out. Likely I can get to the post office this Wednesday - if not, it will be early next week.