Updates In No Particular Order

The Maternal Parental has finally had her second and final cataract surgery. We’re seven days into administering the eye drops and today’s the first day we take one away, specifically, the antibiotic. Her vision is already really good. She’s able to read and see things with an accuracy not had in decades. Hopefully, her vision will continue to improve with time. After this, she’ll be fitted for eyeglasses. I’m incredibly happy for her.

 

The Paternal Parental has been buried for almost a month now. The burial was 2 June. Father’s day was exceptionally hard this year. It normally was but this year really dug in with the barbed mace. I suppose it will get better with time but that time has yet to pass, so it’s all still new for me.

 

My plants are all doing well. I just docked the peppers a few days ago and gave the basil another haircut last night. With the docking of the peppers they’ve begun to branch out almost immediately. I expect them to start flowering within a few weeks. With the basil (and associated Aerogarden of Serendipity plants), their days are numbered. I will be buying the new seed kit (Mega Cherry Tomatoes) in a few days. I may try to root the Genovese basil and grow it in a pot, as it’s very good, as is the Mint, but the rest I am definitely getting rid of.

 

As for me? I’m doing alright. I may need to write in the hand written journal a few times to unload some seriously bottled up stuff but, other than that, I’m doing well.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.

The Paternal Parental

A little under a week ago, I found out that my father died.

 

It’s very odd but the uncomfortable shackles of estrangement I’ve been used to my entire life now seem to be melting away. In their place is an emancipating comprehension that my destiny is my own and that I’m not, ultimately, responsible for other’s emotions, behaviors, or previous actions.

 

In a few days, I have a funeral to go to and quite possibly a lot (and I do mean a lot) of relatives to meet. When I went to my uncle’s funeral service in 2002, the place was filled to overflow capacity. I don’t really know my paternal family at all so, it will be very interesting being around so many people who are related to me for whom I have no living memory.

 

I was discussing with a friend of mine that I wished I could bring my knitting or crochet work but we both agreed that it probably wouldn’t be a good idea given that I am one of the next of kin of the deceased at the upcoming funeral. I’ve never done anything like this before so, please don’t take it as me being rude or flippant. I just tend to function better with something occupying my mind like knitting, crocheting or my phone. Otherwise, the anxiety kicks in majorly.

 

Another friend of mine offered to go with me despite living more than one hundred miles from me. He’s incredibly kind.

 

All my friends have been wonderfully kind and sweet during this time and I really appreciate each and every last one of them. They truly are family to me in all but blood.

 

I need to go make dinner now. Later.

How I Lost My Fear of Crafting, Part Two

Note: There was no prompt for me to post this today. I just felt like it. Call it me getting ahead of the assignments, if you will. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do all the daily prompts in addition to the Writing 101 prompts with no problems. Anyway, back to the story.

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One day, around the time of my twenty-fifth birthday, I decided I must learn to knit. By then, we had moved into a stable neighborhood and I was mentally stable even if still ragged around the psychological edges. I had come a long way from near complete mental breakdown up to this point and I was determined to treat myself with a self obtained accomplishment. Knitting was to be this accomplishment even if I had to bleed for it.

 

So, taking my meager savings, I bought a pounder skein of black yarn from Amazon along with the cheapest straight needles I could find. I ended up with a pound of Caron’s One Pound Yarn and a pair of 10” size 8 Susan Bates knitting needles. I was overjoyed to finally have the implements of knitting but I didn’t know the first thing about how to knit. I searched high and low on the internet but to no avail. This was 2006 after all. There was nothing there excepting a few sites and a few videos online.

 

Not having luck with searching online, I decided to go to the library website to see if they had any materials related to knitting. Wow, am I ever glad I did. They not only had materials relating to knitting but they also had an upcoming class at the Catonsville Library being taught by a famous knitting woman. I had no clue who she was but the words “Free Knitting Class” had me rushing to register. Lucky for me, there was still room in the class for a few more people. I was given the requirements for the class as well as the date and time to show up at the Library.

 

I showed up at the appointed time in the neighborhood I was barely familiar with. I was about twenty minutes early, so I spent my time fiddling with my needles and yarn while waiting for class to begin. Once I got the all clear to go to the classroom, off I went to my first lesson with sweaty palms and a leaping frog in my stomach.

 

The class was comprised of all women of varying ages and backgrounds all there for a single purpose: To Knit. One of the Library staff was there to introduce the Famous Knitting Woman whose name I cannot recall beyond “Knight” as her surname. In addition to Famous Knitting Woman, there were three teaching assistants who did most of the teaching.

 

Once everyone had been introduced, class was started. There was a knot in a skein of yarn being use for demonstration purposes and I was given an opportunity to show my party trick of getting near impossible knots out of bits of string. Famous Knitting Woman had gone to retrieve the scissors and before she could make it across the room, I had already gotten the knot out. She could hardly believe her eyes. I just shrugged and said that it was my talent before getting self conscious.

 

The class went well and, after the last two students (a mother and young daughter) showed up, we all settled into casting on the initial stitches. I was so nervous about dropping my needles that I held on for dear life and casted on stitches so tightly, they could scarcely be pierced. After a few tries, I managed to cast on reasonably loose stitches via the Long Tail Cast On and began attempting to knit. Famous Knitting Woman saw how I was knitting with the stitches far from the point and suggested I move them up to the very tip to aid in my knitting becoming speedier. However, I was so nervous, I kept dropping stitches and eventually fell into a habit of keeping them back which has stayed with me even up to today.

 

Soon, the class was coming to its end and Famous Knitting Woman made suggestions of things we should buy, books we should read and tools we should consider acquiring to aid in our progress as knitters. By then, it was dark and, after saying goodbye to everyone, I walked back to the dark bus stop in a daze that I had finally learned something of the basics of knitting. However, on getting home, I began doing something wrong and I knew it but didn’t know how to fix the error. It would be from 20 June 2006 until 6 August 2006 until I finally found a fix for my problem.

 

All during the Summer, I focused on reading knitting books and practicing by knitting on “the Object” until my hands bled. I’m not kidding, my hands got blisters and bled from the amount of practice I got in on those needles and yarn. Yet, try as I might, nothing I did seemed to fix the problem of the extra stitch. I didn’t know what I was doing but, for some reason, I went from ten stitches to eleven and onwards until I had an unwieldy project sitting on my aluminium needles. Still, I kept at it even as my hands bled and my eyes turned bloodshot from so many hours of staring at the same project. I didn’t give up.

 

One day in August, we got a call that my Maternal Grandfather was in the hospital. Apparently, my uncle from my Grandfather’s second marriage contacted the family via my aunt. We were invited to a cookout to give the family a chance to know each other. Less than one week later, my Grandfather was dead from his illness. The stress of having to deal with so much during that time drove me to escape into the world of knitting.

 

Giving up on “the Object”, I searched high and low on the Internet again until I came across the KnittingHelp website. Amy Finlay’s videos quite literally kept me sane as I learned to properly knit for the first time since June. I practiced throughout the night until the morning of the Wake. Once we were at the funeral home, I retreated further into my knitting and managed a pretty decent looking beginner’s scarf. For the first time, but not the last time, knitting kept me from blowing my top at an inappropriate moment.

 

Part Three, the final installment comes tomorrow. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Three Important Songs in my Life

Boys II Men – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

This song represents the good aspects of my past. Admittedly, there weren’t many good times, but for the few that existed, this song is a bittersweet reminded of all I said goodbye to forever. Chief among them is my friendship to one of the few people who was nice to me when I was a kid. Her name was Jamie and she died in a fire when we were in the second grade.

 

Finally laying that pain of loss to rest took me many years and lots of crying but I did it. When that song was released from the House Party 2 Soundtrack, it was like I was finally given permission to let go of the grief I had been holding onto for years. I still cry from time to time when I think of her life so tragically lost at so early an age but I no longer am obsessed with it as I was when I was a kid. I feel that, in the long run, this is the healthier path.

 

Queen – Another One Bites The Dust

This is another song from my childhood that helped me overcome adversity. I was routinely bullied by both children and adults and frequently castigated for being myself from a very young age. Slaying those demons took me years of therapy and self-conditioning but I managed it. Sometimes, I would literally have this song playing in my head as a means of inspiration while I strove not to react to some mean thing someone said or did to me.

 

As the bullying decreased, it helped me also in other areas of my life, from the academics I struggled in to social complexities. It would be my anthem for all challenges I sought to overcome and master. It worked too, in that I am no longer the same frightened, browbeaten mouse of a person I used to be. I speak up for myself now even when it’s difficult and I strive to better myself rather than stew in self-hatred brought on by the vile comments of others. This is a very good song.

 

Semisonic – Down In Flames

This song represents adulthood to me. It came out around the time I was in high school and dealing with a lot of people I didn’t want to give the time of day to. This song’s inspiration to me was about accepting adult responsibility for myself and letting go of the petty childish feuds that were rife in my old school. Through music and this song in particular, I was able to focus better on the transition from childhood to adulthood.

 

One line in particular in this song reminds me just how poignant this song is.

“I am seeing these friends for the first time in years. It’s icicle reunion day”. – Semisonic – Down in Flames

Sums up my childhood relationships quite brilliantly.

 

I have many other songs that I look to for inspiration but these have to be the top three go to songs that have gotten me through the most trying difficulties. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Safe Journey Back To Stardust, Leonard Nimoy

 

Leonard Simon Nimoy – March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

Slow Progress

On the blanket – I am twenty-one rows into the Little Boy Blue Blanket. This is far behind where I wanted to be by this point. I allowed myself to be affected by external events which brought me down to a point where I didn’t want to crochet due to overwhelming sadness. Foremost in my mind, the death of Robin Williams, the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the news out of Iraq have been very heavy on my mind this week. I have to learn to work through this as I am not directly involved in any of these events. Though they may affect me, I cannot allow them to affect my work. 😦

On the exposure therapy – I’ve gotten one day under my belt. That’s something towards my goal but not nearly enough when I consider what I wanted to accomplish. I made it as far as the Supermarket before I had a major anxiety attack in the street on the way home. Still, I managed to power through and get home to the safety of my room where I could lose it in privacy. I haven’t been back out since though. At least I know I’m capable of doing it. That’s something in my corner. I’ve got to keep pushing myself to get out there regardless of the anxiety.

On the writing – No headway there either. This blog entry is probably the longest thing I’ve written recently. Again, I just haven’t been in the mood to do it. Ironic when I consider that I often express myself through writing rather than spoken word. If I get double the amount done on the blanket today, I will make an effort to work on my story that’s still stuck at page fifteen. I’ve had it reviewed by someone with more experience in writing than I have and I’ve been told that it’s good. I apparently have the talent to write. I’m going to take that and run with it.

On the relationship front – I am enjoying the single life at the present. I’m enjoying flirting for flirting’s sake and not having the added responsibility of worrying about someone else’s emotional state beyond friendship or the drama brought up by someone else’s immaturity. It’s very freeing having flirty friends. 🙂

On the subject of Mental Health – I contacted the worst of the worse mental health centers and set up an appointment. This should keep me in therapy and medication checks for the foreseeable future. Thankfully, my old pdoc gave me a six month supply of medications so, unless they want to add to it or there’s some problem due to my switching providers, I don’t need anymore pills at the present time. I miss my old pdoc but moving on is a part of life. I accept that.

Condolences and Two Updates

Before I post on my progress, I’d like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the two school tragedies in Chengping, China and Newtown, Connecticut. 😦

I spent most of the night knitting and crocheting so I wouldn’t spend it crying. These are the results. One nearly completed sock and I’m a little further along on the blanket.