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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Epiphanies, ... And More Freakin Grapes

Hello there my lovely Internet People!  I have had another rough couple of days, but improvements are still being made, so I suppose that is to be expected.  I had a major epiphany again the other day and it kinda messed with my head a bit.  It occurred to me that I really do not enjoy this Art Quilting thing as much as I proclaim to.  The more I try to do of it, the harder it becomes to have fun with what I am doing.  It appears that my obsessive compulsive nature with this stuff has been allowing me to use it to avoid dealing with my life.  

Don't worry, I have no intention of giving up on the art stuff, I just need to relegate it back to being a fun hobby instead of an all-consuming obsession.  What I really need to be focusing my energies on is writing, and getting healthy.  Probably in the other order, but I think you know what I mean.  Of course as soon as I made this realization I quit writing, but I have been exceptionally busy with work and those damned grapes, and now the grapes are finally done!  Oh my gawd did we have a lot of freakin grapes! 6 solid days of processing!  I made over 5 gallons of grape juice and froze over 12 gallons of grapes!  In case you are wondering, a gallon of grapes is a LOT of freakin grapes!  Each gallon bag weighs in around 8 pounds!  That's over 100 pounds of freaking grapes altogether!  Not counting what he gave away to the neighbors!  By the way if you have never had frozen homegrown grapes, they are delicious!  Frozen candy sorbet in its own container.  And they are particularly useful in combating hot flashes, and better for me than the popsicles I was using before.   

I haven't been out in the flower beds all week because of using all of my spare time and energy on grapes, but I plan on getting back out there tomorrow morning.  I have been trying really hard to make myself eat stuff, and I even started taking vitamins!  Yeah me!  It is finally starting to cool down a little bit so I am hoping I will be able to start baking soon.  Then I will have lots of things to eat.  

In the meantime I am still working through my issues and trying to get back on track for the life I want to live.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, but as long as I keep taking small steps in the right direction I will be doing okay.  It took me 40+ years to get it into the mess it is in, it is gonna take more than a week or two to straighten it all out again.  At least I have the support of my husband, and my friends, that is vast improvement over any other time in my life I tried to get better.  I know I don't have to do this alone, unless I choose to, and learning to make actual positive choices is what this is all about for me. I can choose to be well, and I can choose to quit punishing myself for failing to live up to the expectations of other people, and I am choosing just that.

Hopefully now that the harvest is behind us I can get back to Blogging more regularly again, and get to work on some other writing that I have been putting off for way too long.  Thanks to the patience and understanding of you wonderful readers who have tolerated my incessant ramblings and ridiculous rants I am finally starting to feel free enough to write again.  Your support and encouragement in ways both small and large, have shown me that their are people out there who do want to hear what I have to say, even when it is pointless and boring!  Can you imagine the response I could get if I actually put some effort into being entertaining?  My gawd, I could actually make a living at this (writing that is) someday!  Wouldn't that be something?!

Yes.  Yes, it WILL be something.  Because it IS going to happen.  All I have to do is get my ass in gear and MAKE it happen.  I can do that.  I am doing that.

Until next time ...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Grape Overload

Hello there Internet People!  I spent most of the day yesterday making grape juice.  I am over 5 gallons so far, and I am already really tired of making grape juice.  Oh my gawd did he grow a lot of freakin grapes this year!  Near as I can figure we have picked over 30 pounds so far and I don't think we are even one third way done yet!

I had a pretty damn productive day yesterday and I am gonna pat myself on the back for it, or I would, but my back still hurts badly at the moment, so I will just be doing it metaphorically.  I had a pot of grapes de-stemmed, crushed, cooked, and cooling on the stove, and the second load of laundry washing by the time I went out in the yard to work at 9 am yesterday morning.  I did an hour outside and then came in and finished off the first pot of juice and made two more, after picking more grapes.  Okay, well it may not sound like that much, but making juice is a lot of freakin work!  And it makes a big freakin mess!  Which I also did clean up.  So, there is that too.  

That flower bed I have been working on all week is starting to look a lot better.  I started working on the other side of the fence yesterday, and that helped immensely.  The flower bed backs up to the main driveway and has a hog-wire fence that is about 3 inches away from the concrete.  Of course the salt grass just Loves that little space!  I got almost half of it cleaned out, hopefully I will be able to finish the majority of it tomorrow, and then another day or two on the inside and I will actually have the first flower bed (of 5) entirely cleaned out for the first time in over two years!  I am probably getting ahead of myself on that one, maybe I better just be thrilled with the progress I have made so far.  Yay me!

I don't think I will be doing a whole lot more today beyond piddling around with some of the projects I have been working on.  All this gardening (and juicing) has really taken a toll on my back, and my hands, and I need some down time to recover.  So, after I wrap the mail, wash the dishes, clean the kitchen, fold the laundry, and feed the kids lunch I am not doing anything else today.  At least, not until dinner time.

Until next time ...


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Speak Loudly And Carry a Small Stick

Hello there to all my favorite fabulous Internet People!  And how is everyone today?  I am doing quite well, thank you for asking.  The over-the-top euphoria of yesterday has waned slightly, a dogged determination is creeping in to take its place now.  I am going to do this, I am going to be me, and I am going to make a difference, and I'll be damned if I am going to let anyone stand in my way, not even me.

So, as part of this process of becoming the me I am meant to be, I have been going out to work in the flower beds every morning this week.  If I can get out there by 9 am I can get at least an hours worth of work done before it gets too hot for me to sit out there any longer.  So I have been getting up and getting my ass dressed and outside before 9 am for the past three days.  Instead of allowing myself to go all obsessive compulsive about it, I am learning to just do a little at a time and not try to kill myself getting it all done now.  If the weeds have all grown have grown back where I started by the time I am done, well that just gives me an excuse to keep getting my ass dressed and out of the house every day before 9 am.

Fresh air and sunshine is good for you, in moderation of course.  I love to be outside, but I have allowed my fear of other people to close me up inside this house.  I am done being afraid.  Well, I am done giving in to being afraid.  "Feel the fear, and do it anyway."  I don't know who said that first, but I do know that every time I created good things in my life it was because I lived those words.  It is time for me to start living them everyday.

When I was a teenager I had a little silver battleaxe that hung from my key chain (among other things).  After a few months the head of the axe broke off and all that was left was the handle hanging from the chain.  I left it on there.  I remember joking with my friends that I could honestly say "I speak loudly and carry a small stick."  I thought it was hysterical at the time, now I see it as rather prophetic.  That is who I am, who I am meant to be, a woman who speaks loudly, and carries a small stick.  I don't have the original stick anymore, it was lost many years ago, but I do have a slightly larger small stick on my key chain to this day.  

Unfortunately part of the package with being a woman who speaks loudly (stick or no stick) is that she tends to attract attention.  This is what has kept me quite for so long, trying not to be noticed, not to draw attention to myself.  "Keep your head down and your mouth shut" and you can avoid a lot of trouble in this world.  You can also live a dull and meaningless existence, which is exactly what I do NOT want to do anymore.  

So, in preparation for the attention that will come, I am working on taking better care of my physical appearance.  I quit wearing make-up after my husband and I got together.  He doesn't like it, and I was more than happy not to have to waste my time on it.  Unfortunately, I also quit plucking my eyebrows, or shaving more than once a month, or even trying to make my hair look good (I just tie a bandana over it every day).  I rarely bother to even look in the mirror anymore.  Now what you may not know is that I used to be a very beautiful young woman.  I didn't realize it at the time of course, but I was freakin gorgeous in my younger years.  And I still don't look too bad, when I bother to try to look good.  I just quit trying.  My husband tells me he thinks I am beautiful, as does my adorable youngest son who still thinks his Mother is the most beautiful woman ever, and tells me so every single day, so why waste the effort on looking good for anyone else?

Well, there is me.  And I know that when I look good I feel good, so I think it might just be worth some effort after all.  It is much easier to tolerate people paying attention to you when you feel good about how you look, than it is when you don't.  It is for me anyway.  

So, I gave myself a haircut, shaved everything, twice, and even plucked my eyebrows for the first time in years.  That was painful.  I doubt I will go back to wearing make-up (at least until someone puts me on television), but I am making a deliberate effort to look in the mirror when I pass one, and I am starting to recognize the face that is looking back at me.  I like her, she may not be every body's cup of tea, but I think she is pretty spectacular, and I cannot wait for the rest of the world to meet her.  

Until next time ...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Please Stay Tuned, I Am Becomming Myself So That I Can Change The World

 Hello There Internet People! Your long lost Mother has returned!  Sort of.  I am actually not the same person I was when I started this Blog, so much has changed in such a short time, but I am still here, I just needed some time off for good behavior.

I have been undergoing a transformation process that is still in progress so you will have to forgive me for taking the time I need to find my way through this very chaotic journey.  I am finally truly becoming ME!  

I experienced an awakening a couple of weeks ago that I have not been able to contain, or express.  Well, it started a couple weeks ago, the actual awakening didn't come until the day before yesterday.  

When last I wrote to all of you I was very busy experimenting and learning new processes and techniques for use in my Art Quilts.  And that is what I have continued to do daily since then.  I have learned a LOT of new things and had enormous amounts of fun just playing with paints and dyes and all that creative stuff.  But there was something sitting in a corner of my mind, quietly knocking, waiting patiently for me to pay attention to it.  At first I couldn't coax it out of the corner, probably because I wasn't really trying, so I ignored it.  Or rather, I tried to ignore it.  

On Sunday I decided that I needed to take a break from playing with my art supplies and go clean up that storage room again.  Since we moved all the stuff out of the garage into the room it had become a serious cluster fuck of boxes that only I could get through, and only if I was really careful.  "Think Skinny" is my catch phrase when it gets like that, which it does, quite often, but I digress.  

I managed to clean my way back to the back corner of the room where I have all of the stuff stacked that is supposed to be for semi-permanent storage.  Stuff that I have no need, want, or desire for at the moment, but know that if I get rid of it, I will need it the next day, that kind of stuff.  I knew that there were a couple of books that had been put in those boxes that I wanted to read, so I went looking for them, and I am oh so very happy that I did!

About thirteen years ago I bought a very special book that absolutely changed my life in more ways than I can even begin to count.  And while much of what I learned in reading that book had stuck with me in a very real and integral way, I had gotten side-tracked by a new marriage and two more children to raise, not to mention all the other crap that life has thrown at me over the last decade.  I had originally thought of digging for the book for a friend.  I knew she would seriously benefit from its wisdom and I planned to find it so I could start reading it to her over the phone.  But when I finally found it, I started reading it again.  I couldn't help myself.  There were two other books that I also dug out that I need to read, but this one couldn't wait.  It demanded that I start reading, immediately, and it would not leave me alone until I had finished reading the whole damn thing.  And even now it calls to me, telling me there are still some things I missed.  And it demands that I share it with everyone who it can benefit from its wisdom, so I have been emailing links to my female friends who I know need it right this minute in their lives.  For those of you that I don't know you need it, the book is called "Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self" by Sarah Ban Breathnach and I firmly believe it can change your life, if you let it.  I know for a fact that it has changed mine in the past, and right now, at this very moment, it is changing my future. Personally I think it should be required reading for every woman in her mid-thirties and above, and I think you should re-read it every ten years, just in case you forget stuff, like I did.

When I read this book the first time, during the process of divorcing my ex-husband, I started what I have always referred to as my "ME" book.  It is a take-off on one of the book's suggestions, adapted to fit my life and my circumstances, and I spent many, many hours, creating the pages within it to reflect who I really am as a person.  Not as a mother, not as a wife, not as a daughter, but as a person, a unique individual whose worth and value are not determined by my roles, or outside opinions.  Not who I was pretending to be at the time, but who I truly am on the deepest, most individual level.  And I am a truly unique individual. 

I have always known I was different, but it wasn't until I found that book that I figured out why.  And that being different was not the punishment that other people saw it as, it was a gift.  A tremendously precious gift that may be hard to bear at times, but is so worth the extra effort when you are willing to accept its blessings.  And that has been the hardest lesson for me to learn, to accept the gifts and blessings that are my birthright, to accept that they ARE my birthright.  

I realized the other day that I have spent my entire life waiting for someone I love to either grow up or die so that I could have my turn to live my own life.  I am done waiting.  It is my turn.  They can all come along for the ride, or not, as they choose, but I am not putting my life, my self, on hold for someone else's convenience any more.  I can't, I don't have the time any more.

So, if you have been following along here for very long, be prepared to see some changes in the coming weeks as I pull myself together and get ready to get on with my life.  I have big plans in store for me and I am inviting you along for the ride.  I hope you will join me on this grand adventure, I don't know about you, but I can guarantee I am going to have a fantastic time! 

Until Next Time ...