I Hate These People…Anyone Else?

I got a message from an old classmate from high school.

We went to high school in Berlin, many of us obviously from different parts of the world, and once we left with our little diplomas, we scattered back to the different corners from which we came. I was so surprised to find that he had contacted me, found me….because he lives about 7 or 8 streets over.

My little heart leapt with this JOYOUS laugh! How incredible it was to have gone to school with someone in Europe 30 years ago, only to find they live just down the road today.

He suggested we go have a beer nearby. I quickly recommended a Biergarten just down the street. We’re now trying to schedule a day to meet up. So, while we figure that out, I went looking through his facebook feed to see what his life has been like, who he is now, versus who he was then.

His entire feed was filled with nothing but anti-Trump messaging. There was nothing that I could see about moments in life, marriages, births, hobbies, what he does for work, where he has been, what he has done. Not even pictures of FOOD. Just this endless stream of “orange man bad.”

I just sat back and sighed, “Oh, no…..”

Now, hear me out. My reaction wasn’t hinged on him being a liberal who hates Trump. It was just the reverse. I thought, “Oh, damn. This man is going to hate me.”

I do not have a problem with liberals being friends. People are too complex to be pigeon holed.  But, are you so infected with that much hatred that it’s now the only thing that defines you? Have we stupidly groaned our way to that place where we introduce ourselves with our hatred? We used to have beacons that we brightened, torches in the dark we used to raise, lights in the night that whispered, “I like these things, they make me happy…anyone else?”

So sad to see that the request for like minded contact should now come in the form of this very cold, aggressive growl of tolerance demanding, “I hate these people….anyone else?”

But, that is the place we are at right now. If you’re a Trump supporter, you should be vilified. No questions asked. It doesn’t matter your resume, nor what you’ve accomplished, nor from what low beginnings you came to achieve that accomplishment, you support Trump. You are, as the Speaker of the House said, “An enemy of the state.”

Now, my idea is to just meet, have a beer, discuss old times, then move on with our lives. We won’t talk politics, right? But, with a feed like his I feel it is bound to come up. Because the entire presentation of who he is, based on what he shared about himself, is very likely to be nothing but a hopeful connection with someone who is supposed to feel the same way. And if I don’t hate Trump, and I don’t hate the police, and I don’t hate capitalism, well then….it would be his duty, for the sake of some fashionable hate for this country, to find someone new to cancel: me.

Strange, we have an usual tie in common. We both went to a very small school in Europe. We were witness to one of the most monumental moments in the history of the world’s freedom. Another tyranny had been destroyed….without the first gun being fired. The tyranny of saying the wrong thing, to the wrong person, without fear of your life being destroyed, had been defeated. Everyone was now allowed to speak at will for the first time. They were allowed to read books this political party had “cancelled” (say, banned, don’t try and make it sound heroic), and see films, listen to music, and hear other opinions that were not party approved….

Again, without violence being required to make it happen.

For all I know, he could be back tracking my whole life. And there is someone out there reading this now who might be willing to send me an email saying, “You’re posts are filled with hate!” No, my posts are filled with disagreements. And despite that, my posts are filled with many more fascinating things about myself other than my support for the President. The details of who I am are much more interesting than the broad brush strokes of my interests.

I will agree to meet my old classmate. Of course. But, should the topic of Trump arise, I will not lie about how I feel, and I won’t feel timid about doing so. But, I will not admonish the man for his philosophies, hoping at the same moment the conditioning to hate me will not be switched on.

Because I’m hoping to prove Charles Krauthammer wrong when he beautifully said a conservative will tell a liberal they’re wrong, but a liberal will tell a conservative they’re evil.

So, wish us both luck….

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

 

 

The Cuddle of a Bear and the Hug of a Shawl

So, life is beginning to get back to some kind of normal here in Orlando land. Bars will be reopening Monday morning at 12:01 am. Now, I haven’t been to a bar since I met Phillip 6 years ago, but I’m sure tons of people will be truly happy. It’s a sign that the last remnants of the lock down are easing their way into memory. Pretty much everything is beginning to return to normal operating standards….including the electric company.

Now, I knew moving into an old house was going to have its drawbacks. God knows, this house DOES NOT like the internet. It was also built well before air conditioning, so the walls, windows and the old A/C unit itself are murder on the bill.

So, I have been under one of their deferred plans to keep the lights on through the pandemic, paying partial amounts without fear of disconnect. We’ve been ok. Not, too bad. The electric runs about $200 a month, and I have been able to pay at least more than half of that every month. Except with life getting back to some routine in Orlando, the utility company has told me that they would like to have the balance paid by the 16th….$350.

Ok, then! I better get to work.

Teddy bears are my thing. They are my routine. So, I often like to look for things to make them more interesting.

Let’s recap from about two weeks ago. I was making a shawl for a homeless woman named Varnay, using yarn that was sent to me by the truckloads from a lovely woman named Lynne. I didn’t like the shawl I made for Varnay, so I tucked it away, thought I’d rip it apart and use the yarn for something else.

I started on a new shawl with a different skein and a much prettier garment was made. It didn’t matter if I disliked the first shawl or not, Varnay didn’t really want any shawl. However, a Mrs. Navarro saw the picture of the first shawl made with the yarn Lynne had sent me and asked if she could buy it. She has one of my bears made from the same yarn and thought a matching set would be cute.

So, I thought about it, pondered my options and thought, what better hug combo than a bear and a shawl???? Of course! I’ll make a shawl for you to wear with a bear made from the same skein. But, in order for them to be cool and different, they need to be random. Oh, I am having so much fun with this. SO much fun. I found this yarn from Red Heart that was perfect. They had three colorways to choose from at Hobby Lobby, so I decided to name each of the skeins after one of those ladies that inspired this particular chapter in my bears’ evolution. One named Navarro, one named Lynne, and one named Varnay.  (The purpley one above is Lynne. I can’t wait to see what that bear looks like!)

I posted the first Navarro and boy did it sell fast. Less than 10 minutes after it was posted. Mrs. Navarro caught wind of my project and commissioned me to make one for her. But, I wanted to see what this yarn looked like in the infamous “Virus” pattern. I got right to work and couldn’t stop. I showed a picture to Mrs. Navarro and she couldn’t thank me enough. Ta da! From now on, all these shawls will be made in the virus pattern, with a matching bear made of the same yarn.

Then I got another request from someone else who wanted a Navarro with the virus shawl, too! So! If you’re out there reading this, loving the pics and just anxious for the cuddle of a bear and the hug of a shawl, email me at madmanknitting@gmail.com and I’ll get to work on one for you. Of course, the bear will look slightly different, as different colors appear in the colorway of the skein as his little head and limbs are knit up. But, they’ll all look related….like cousins.

I’m almost finished redoing the Varnay with a virus shawl. That one is in the shop. Yes, it’s pictured with the original shawl, but the virus shawl I’m working on will be ready by today. The bear is still the same one, though.

Then! I can’t wait to see what the bear looks like for this very lovely, deep and rich, baroque looking Lynne set 🙂

Ok, I’ve just popped back from Hobby Lobby with more yarn and I’m back to work! A few sets sold and I’ll have that electric bill handled in no time. Have a great day!

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

 

And, Lo, The Angel Did Proclaim….

I was walking out the front doors of Publix when she comes speeding by, a zippy little man pushing the wheelchair for her. I push Rolly over to customer service and ask if they’ll watch my groceries, then made a mad dash after her. That dude was fast! They were already half way through the deli section!

I finally catch up, huffing and puffing as I jog beside them. “Excuse me. Whoo! Trying to catch my breath….I haven’t seen you in a while,” I say to her. The man kept rushing on without losing his quick stride, as if he just let her wheelchair veer off onto the exit ramp while he stayed in the express lane.

She looked at me with a dreary, nearly vacant expression. I quickly took off my backpack and fumbled inside. “I found this. I thought it might keep the cool air off your shoulders.” I handed her the shawl, the expression on her face didn’t change, but the way she limply held it in her hand screamed so much. She fumbled with it a bit, tossed it around in her lap and didn’t say much. Zippy comes scrambling back, “Oh, that’s beautiful! Put it on, Varnay! PUT IT ON!”

I stepped back just a pinch, feeling his over zealousness must have been brought on by too much caffeine…..(wink wink). I don’t know what was in that cup, but he held it tight with a death grip. Oh, and he would NOT stay silent. “Varnay! You should take that up! Give you something to do! Did you make this? DID YOU?”

Lord, looked as if the Angel had a speed demon buzzing around her. Suddenly, he was distracted by something long enough for me to pull out my phone like a gunslinger quick on the draw, and snap a shot of Varnay with the shawl I made her. (See? I told you I’d get the right colors for her top!)

Ol’ Carcker Jack took notice and rushed back and said, “Take a picture with both of us. TAKE ONE!” I did as I was told while he rattled off how we could take social media by storm, “blow it up” with a rambling couple of hashtags he mentioned….but, above all else, I was to make SURE that I use the name he goes by musically when I tag him in the photo…..(I won’t tell you what it is, it wouldn’t matter).

Like some gnat, he kept gnashing around as he darted through the store, bouncing into shopping carts, unable to stay at rest. Finally, he just fluttered on like a hummingbird leaving Varnay and I alone.

She looked at the shawl, then looked at me and said, “I’ve just got too much stuff already.”

I didn’t say anything. But, these big brown eyes just can’t lie. I must have looked a little sad. She continued, “But, I’ll happily bless someone else with it.”

I smiled, gave her my last five dollars, said, “Well, take care….” and walked on home.

I mused over the moment in my mind as I crossed Lake Eola, walked by the numbers of other homeless in the park; some sleeping close to catatonic, some strolling towards places unknown. And I just started laughing! I couldn’t help it! Any onlooker would have totally pegged for me street credible crazy.

All that time in prayer, making a shawl for a woman I had come to call The Angel, making her a shawl that I hoped she would cling to with care. And, lo, The Angel did proclaim, “I’ve got too much stuff already…,” (and all said with a jacked up jackal jumping around behind her).

I am no way sad over the situation, as a matter of fact, I find it hilarious. These are not mythical, mystical creatures. They are people. Broken, stolen, battered, trashed and tossed people.

That shawl of mine could end up in the trash by the end of today and it wouldn’t ruin the experience for nothing. It really wouldn’t. I enjoyed the whole couple of weeks with a rejuvenating blast to the spirit. I wrote beautifully (yes, I need to credit myself more), I prayed in a contemplative way that I had never done before (looking forward to that again), and found a peace that I yearn to return to.

As a matter of fact, I have nearly a full skein of that same yarn and I’m ready to make another shawl. Who knows what will happen with this one? It doesn’t matter. It will be made with the same prayer I put into that first one, no matter what happens to it.

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

 

 

How Much We All Loved Her

You’re all wondering if the homeless woman liked the shawl I made her….

I had the shawl in a plastic bag from the grocery store. No frills, no award winning packaging. No, just a quiet bundle of beautiful prayer wrapped with no fanfare.

She wasn’t there. I waited a minute or two, double checked the cooler aisles in Publix to see if she was catching some air. I went back outside (I even forgot to check my weight, who cares, where is she?). After some time the sun was getting angrier with its heat, so I trekked back home, my shopping cart clanging behind me.

Yesterday morning I went back to Publix to find her absent again. I stayed for as long as I could, but then you begin to remember why we are called (I mean, they are called) transients. I couldn’t help but include myself. No matter how far away from homeless I may be, it is a part of myself that is always still present.

The ghosts of those homeless memories are the transients I pass on the streets. Sometimes they are the same dark specters I see year after year, sometimes there are new phantoms making their presence known like poltergeist, screaming and shouting and full on mad….and sometimes there is the noticeable absence of friendly apparitions that are suddenly gone. There was a vacancy in the air with her not there….

I didn’t bother to go today. It’s a grey and dreary Sunday. She wouldn’t be out in this weather. I’ll try again tomorrow.

I will tell you with full honesty, that I have already resigned myself to the idea that I may never see her again. But, this shawl will stay with me whenever I leave the house. I’ve folded it nicely, placed it in a gallon size freezer bag, squished out all of the air and put it in my backpack. So, should I run into her again, I’ll have it with me….always. This shawl will always be hers.

I’m sorry this isn’t the happiest of endings that we wanted, but…I tend to think that all that prayer spent making the shawl will find her. She may not know that I crocheted this for her, but God does. And that really is all that matters. The Universe will find a way to send those blessings to her in some way or another.

She will feel one day, in some way, how much we all loved her….

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Overthink It, Just Be Kind

“She’s homeless, she probably won’t care….”

I have spent the better part of a few days trying to wash that crap out of my head.

The shawl I was working on for the homeless woman I call The Angel was just…wrong. As the yarn started working up I was somewhat confident. No, I take that back. If anything I was ambitious, hopeful, gleeful. At first, I was so excited about this shawl….only to look at it half way through and think, “Good God, I feel like I’m playing dress up.”

This thing was garish and bold, bright and full of floral sunlight. Yes, perfect for a cup of tea at Honeychurch while we watch reruns of Downton Abbey. It was grotesque. But, I kept going, ran out of that yarn, switched to another that complimented the colors and just watched the whole thing become this ugly display of poorly worked, homemade crafts.

I had thought about tossing the whole thing a few rows and colorful calamities a while back, but I told myself, “I’ve spent so much time on it, I might as well finish it. Besides, she’s homeless, she probably won’t care….

Did your heart fall with a thud? Mine sure did.

This little wave of shame fell on me for even thinking it. I quickly let the project go out of my hands for good and walked away from it feeling a little disappointed in myself. I was making this shawl for a legless, homeless woman with tattered clothes and a mangle of other problems. And I had the audacity to think that she wouldn’t care that I had dared enough to make her something worth who she is.

All those bright lights that hint at sunlit flowers in the shawl I was making would be dirty and pointless within days of her wearing it. And then what? Wash it? She looks as though she doesn’t even wash the few clothes she does own. Not to mention, if she wore it, the shawl would have looked like she was rolled in a Laura Ashley comforter. I mean, this shawl was just bulky and wretched. Like carpet!

So, I made a mad dash for Hobby Lobby, and after looking through their yarn, and peering into my own soul, I decided on a different direction. I didn’t want to make a shawl for a homeless woman, I wanted to make something any woman would wear. I didn’t want it to make her feel out of place, or on display. I didn’t want the shawl to be obvious. I wanted it to be subtle, quiet, bright in it’s own way, dim where it should be to hide any damage from dirt.

Her shawl should be the one you grab off the back of the chair on your way out the door; a shawl that doesn’t steal the story, but compliments it instead. No, I made her a shawl that has the same subtle sophistication that everyone is entitled to. Nothing flashy, just unique.

So, this is the shawl I ultimately made for her. I’m heading up to Publix on Friday to give it to her. There will be no fanfare, no pretty packaging, no cameras and no pics for Instagram. I’ll probably just pull it out of my backpack, hand it to her and say, “You know, I found this and thought you could use it. If not, it’s quite alright. Would you like it?”

And I’ll laugh my little butt off if she says, “I’ve always wanted a shawl, a real bright one with floral, sunlit colors!”

Don’t overthink it, Gregory. Just be kind…..

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panic and Prayer

I did my weekly trip to Publix this morning. Funny.

I catch the first bus of the day and I’m the only one on it. I’ve got my little shopping cart, Rolly, with me.  Lately my trips to Publix have been filled with both panic and prayer.  The dread comes first.

I sit on that bus clutching my shopping cart trying to make a run for it as we speed up, then stop, then speed up, then stop. I’m a little bundle of nerves, anxious, twitchy, ready to get off the bus, walk into Publix and face that dreaded scale….

I have been trying to eat my little butt off. I really have. Now, I’m not foolish. I have no intention of eating myself to the point of getting sick….but eating more than I have been is really requiring some effort. And like most things, you don’t see any real accomplishment until you can see the results of your labor. My state of doom is dependent on what a scale in front of Publix says week after week. Is this really working or not?

I’ll be damned. 107 pounds. Another week, another proud moment earned. Two weeks and two pounds more of me to love.

Oh, with relief I dash into Publix with a brisk bounce (yeah, I did look that silly) and got to shopping. Afford it? Who cares? I’m gaining weight! More bananas, more ice cream, more fat, fat, fat. More cottage cheese! And I’m gonna need some apple jelly for my peanut butter sandwiches. A dozen eggs will not do, bring me TWO dozen!

With a bloated Rolly, I paid, asked for cash back and left. It didn’t take me long to find the homeless woman I call the Angel. Nope, she was right outside the front of Publix trying to get in. The sensor on the electric door above couldn’t recognize her down below in her wheelchair for some reason. And it seemed like this was a pretty standard thing, because there was no real panic in her movement, no furious scream. Nope. She just sat there waving her raised hand as high as she could, back and forth, waiting for that electric eye to find her and recognize her as some kind of life worth opening the door for…..

I walked to the door, it opened and she greeted me with a surprised smile. There was a lot more I noticed about her this time. We only get a few moments together, there is no long discussion. We speak in gracious terms. “How are you?” “Fine, yourself?” “I’m doing ok.” “That’s good to hear.”

It isn’t my place to pry, it isn’t my place to question and ask, but to simply observe and see her, and maybe tend to anything that I can when I notice something new.

As she reached out her hands, I noticed she was wearing gloves today….bad, tattered, torn apart things that barely clung to her. These gloves were not intended for warmth at all. No, it’s August in Florida. These were the gloves she used to wheel herself, to keep her hands from blistering.

Well, of course I’m going to have to knit her some fingerless gloves, what kind of knitter would I be if I didn’t?!?!?

I thought I’d go for this nice deep purple acrylic. I felt darker would be better because if it begins to get a little dirty right away, it won’t be so noticeable. And why purple? Well, I’m getting a touch ahead of myself.

The other thing I noticed was that she only seems to have this one pink tank top that she wears. Probably just some random shirt, right? Well, I don’t think so, because the more I looked, the more that same pink was in nearly every garment she could creatively think. Those measly gloves may have been black, but that is when I noticed that everything else was pink. The rubber bands in her hair, the wrist band, the shorts, the belt….With further investigation you begin to see this once bright and festive pink fading into this drab, faded hue that has taken on a hint of rainy day grey. But, you can tell, there was a brightness about all of it when it was fresh….and she was still clinging to it. How it faded and why is none of my business….

I gave her the cash back, and raced back home, Rolly clanging through the cobblestone streets of Washington Avenue. I hurried, my eyes focused on my feet, my mind dashing through my stash of yarn. Purple gloves….Obviously. And a shawl. She needs a shawl! I don’t have the money to buy her new clothes, but I have TONS of yarn and I can make her a shawl that will make all of that beautiful pink pop again. Let her cling to that color for life if she wishes, if it makes her happy.

Once home I put my groceries away and got to work. Yes, I need to be making my own things for sale, but not today. No, no. Today I needed to spend some time with this shawl. And she may hate it. This may not be her thing, I might have over stepped her boundaries and this homeless woman may think I’m some kind of stalker.

In my own way, I wanted to pray for her….and sometimes the best way to do that is to just spend the time in silence working on a project for someone and truly thinking only about them. You don’t think about making a great impression, and how much they’ll love you when they’re gifted your masterpiece….(nonsense).

No, if you’re heart is really into it, you’re thinking only wonderful and blessed things about them and only them as you move from stitch to stitch. With a smile you focus only on hope for their comfort, and joy for their soul.

Sounds a lot like prayer to me.

So, I started working on this shawl in a great sort of Victorian garden ombre so complementary to pink. She may hate it. I may never see her again. Who knows what happens in life? But, for now? My day began with a self focused panic….and ended with a heartfelt prayer for someone else….As it should.

Gotta go. I wanna do a few more rows before bedtime.

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. 

So That My Heart Stays Clean

The dew clings to my shoes as I step through the lawn. A floral fragrance cuddles the subtle and warm, morning air. Just shy of sunrise, I’m wandering through the crisp grass, spying on the dandelions, urging the vincas and ferns to grow.

I make a habit of being awake for sunrise, even if I have to stay up all night. There is a silent cleanliness about the world that I desperately crave at this time of day. There is no vitriol, no poison, no dodging arrows. There is a sense of peace that is not forced, isn’t manufactured. There is no desire for discussion, no need to speak. There is only a sudden urge to stop all the noise, all the nonsense, and simply listen to silence.

I need this time of day. I truly do. For a good hour I hear only what nature wishes to play for me. I don’t hear my own ego, nor do I hear my own pain, but tune in to the chime of early birds chirping, and banana tree branches creaking in the gentle breeze. Old oaks groan and yawn to meet the dawn, acorns dropping with the tiniest of plops.

In the hours ahead the world will get louder as people wake, beat their chests, and look for a fight. Devices will be revved up so that they can scream the daily injustices. Media horns will blare stories of victimization. Mouths will wag with tales of tyranny. Peace will be found in pulverizing the enemy. Bliss will be born in blasting your opponent. You will be cheered for your heartlessness and applauded for your viciousness. And by dinner, you’re smiling greatly inside for having contributed your absolute best to society.

Strolling through the clover, I feel grounded, prepared to fight off that part of myself, prepared to keep these precious moments close to me the more angered I might get and want to write. I don’t want my work muddled with anything that might inspire the viper in me to strike.

I rely on this time of day so that my heart stays clean, so that should I write later in the day, my words aren’t a mad mess of anger and disdain. These first bright lights of the morning halo the rest of the day in a true beauty that I hope gets captured in both my knitting and my work.

Because I want people to read this blog and walk away feeling good.

While strolling through Honeychurch this morning, I found this silky little bear on my front steps, playing marbles in a plate of moss. He seemed perfectly content, so I let him be. However, if you’d like to adopt him, click here. He’s priced to sell because he REALLY needs a home.

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. And right now? I can safely say that EVERY dollar counts. Thank you. 

 

 

 

All You Can Do Is Your Best

Well, it has been one week since I noticed my decline in weight and was anxious to get to Publix this morning. I have tried my best (sometimes unsuccessfully) to eat smaller amounts of food as often as possible. There are days where I do exceedingly well. Spoonfuls of peanut butter every half hour, or pita and hummus to alternate, pasta for dinner, a wee bit of ice cream for dessert. (I should be eating more ice cream, but at that point of the day, I am beyond full and force myself to even finish the pasta. But, it’s all worth it, right?

Then there are other days, like yesterday where I might have had one spoonful of peanut butter, one spoonful of hummus, and only a quarter of a cheeseburger. I just….wasn’t hungry.

We’ve also done measurements to check for progress. Waist: 27″, bicep: 9″ diameter (are you kidding me???), wrist: 6″ diameter.

I got on that dreaded scale, shaking. Still 105, 106. Nothing had changed. Not really. Except for the realization that if I took of my pants, boots, belt buckle and let go of the phone in my hand, my weight is probably less than 105. But Publix frowns on you if you disrobe on the scale in front of their store buck nekked. So, there is no way to tell if the scale compensates for clothing. Regardless, one week later and I haven’t made any real impact.

So, I made a mad dash through Publix gathering what I could on my budget. I had $30 to spend on the week and I think I did a rather good job. Cottage cheese, peanut butter, eggs (as you can see, I got the really really good eggs because they were on sale), and the basics to make a huge batch of chili in the crockpot. Plumped up with beans and served with rice, it’ll be packed with protein. I also pulled out $5 for the Angel, said good morning, told her I’d see her next time, and went on my way….

I know that this is a lengthy process. I asked someone recently how much weight I could expect to gain healthy weight. They said at best, 1 to 2 pounds a month….Lord, that seems forever.

Aside from patience and diligently eating when I look at a clock, I’m not sure what else to do. Protein shakes were suggested, but those are crazy pricey. Ensure and Boost were also mentioned, but I just don’t feel comfortable drinking synthetics. I would much rather just have the food. I also tried to get some bananas, because apparently, bananas are perfect for bulking. However, every banana was as green as my front lawn and not at all worth 80 cents a pound. Chicken was also promoted, but I have to say, unless chicken is on sale, I don’t buy it. Chicken is now almost $12 a package for two breasts, where sausage is only $2.50 a pound. I blame covid.

I’m going to start an exercise program next week. I’m trying to find one that doesn’t require a gym or weights, but mostly calisthenics. You know, push ups and sit ups, that sort of thing. I’m hoping to save up some money for a blender, or a magic bullet, something to make my own shakes with. Drinking my food might work better to start with.

But, in the meantime, I guess I’m off to get a spoonful of peanut butter and can only tell myself, “All you can do is your best.”

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. And right now? I can safely say that EVERY dollar counts. Thank you. 

 

 

 

It’s Time The Slowly Dying of Corona Were Heard

Phillip came home a few minutes ago, visibly upset. He had left for work, but had only been gone half an hour. I asked, “So slow they sent you home?”

With a slam he tossed his bag in the corner and began to weep. “I just blew up on my boss. I walk in and there are seven employees there, none of them working, all on their phones, all wanting to leave early. My boss was going to let them. So, I freaked out and said, ‘I’m TIRED! You’ve got me working six days a week, three of those days are doubles, because they bitch and you let them go. Meanwhile I have to work a 12 hour shift because they’re too lazy to work, knowing they’ll make more money on unemployment. I’m TIRED!!!!” And he just began to bawl right in front of me, my big husband crumbling under the pressure of the times. I held him for a while, stoically staring at the kitchen window….

In many ways I was emotionless. Now, that isn’t to say I didn’t feel the same frustrations as my husband, I just didn’t have the energy to show very much of it. No one does, really.

I went to sit under the ligustrum, sitting near the Blessed Mother, waiting for my mind to focus on nothing. And it was too damned hard to do. I think it fair to say the exasperation that many have felt over the last six months has been just a breath more than a whisper, but instead of growing into a solid roar, the irritation we’re all feeling is starting to show its nastiness in violent outbursts.

The depression and uncertainty that clings to all of us doesn’t invigorate, it stifles and exhausts. And these glamorized commercials that show us healthy, beautiful people urging others to “stay home,” while giving us hand signals in the shapes of hearts do no good. Like any other polished commercial, it promotes an attempt at a way of life, it doesn’t show what life is, but how you want it to be….if you buy our product or believe our message.

I can’t do that. I can’t believe in that commercial, if anything because that isn’t what has happened to people over the last six months. This is much more than personal depression. Most of the globe has a relative sense of dire.

It’s easy when you see a friend who isn’t behaving as they once did, who doesn’t shave as often, who doesn’t bathe as often, who doesn’t smile as often, who doesn’t reach out as often….You can see a noticeable shift in their behavior and in their moods. But, that uncanny ability to notice something different in someone is very difficult when the rest of the planet has begun to look, sound, smell, and behave just as dangerously as everyone else. These grotesque signs of depression are now considered nearly normal.

We are so concerned about a virus that doesn’t seem to have any truth to it anymore, and that isn’t to say that everything we’re being told is a lie. No, on the contrary it has no truth because the information we are constantly being fed is always contradictory. And the only sad, real truth is that more people are going to die from this new life than would have died from the corona virus. That is a certainty.

Stay home…..unless you’re protesting, then of course, that’s completely acceptable. That contradiction alone dispels any hope we may have for any viable truth from the media. They urge you to take to the streets to announce your condemnation of any injustice you can think of, encouraging you to do so with all rage against the system you can muster. But, I warn you! Beware anyone who encourages your anger….

Alcoholism, domestic abuse, and even basic rage or all more symptoms of the covid-19 than sneezing and coughing. Suicide over financial affairs, accidental overdoses in an attempt to just feel a little better, are going to be higher on the death chart than the number of people that died from the actual virus.

And the one thing that can annoy you to no end is that the very people that have demanded, ordered, mandated that we stay in this flux are still getting paid, are still able to congregate with each other, and are able to put the whole issue on hold while the rest of us wither….Yes, I’ve tried to do some digging, and if that many members of congress can all be in the same room at the same time for any number of ridiculous hearings, then we can go to church.

And those same “powers that be” are able to leave the problem behind for the weekend and are able to enjoy themselves without the repercussions of their own demands, while the rest of us are pitifully still trying to remember what day it even is. Are you sure it’s Saturday? It feels like a Tuesday to me….

A few days ago I realized that my weight had dropped to a 105 pounds, a direct result of stress and self distraction. I didn’t want to think about the state of the world. I wanted to lose myself knitting my teddy bears while resting under a tree at Honeychurch while the bees dashed around doing their best to make my flowers pretty.

I shared a photo of my torso, gaunt and starving. Had I not seen it right then….who knows what would have happened. Would I even be able to survive being 100 pounds? At 6 foot?

This is just another example of what this lifestyle that has been mandated for the last six months (and potentially longer) has done to many people. And more people need to start saying more about the reality of what is actually happening to them.

God knows we hear a ton of stories every day about a business that collapses because of these shut downs and riots. Dozens of dreams are squashed daily, all delivered instantly via the evening news. They’re adamant about letting you know that a business died….but, they never discuss what happened to the people that owned it, or the people that worked there. What happened to them? At home? Just fine? Making hand signals that look like hearts while waving at grandma through a window?

Or is it the more possible reality: they are destroyed for life, will probably never recover, may be destitute soon? They’re not willing to report a more somber story. It isn’t just the business that dies….it’s everyone who owned, operated, or enjoyed that business that finds a heartbreaking demise as they hang a sign that reads, “Closed For Good.”

Again, I mentioned that there is no real truth to the virus these days, because everything mentioned is so contradictory, depending on what political party says it, or what news source says it, or what is allowed to be said on social media. If all of these monstrous people that play power games over us continue to shine us with delightful fallacies, then we must combat them with truth, honesty, and reality.

We must share the real stories of what is happening in America right now. We need to share more stories about the people still living and coping with the repercussions of this virus as they still remain uninfected.

But, though uninfected, they are potentially the most affected people because they’re unapparent to those who are only focused on the number of the dead. Only the number of infected cases, or deaths of Corona virus are reported….while those who died of it’s effects seems to be of no importance.

And it’s time we were heard. Share your story.

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. And right now? I can safely say that EVERY dollar counts. Thank you. 

 

 

 

Don’t Worry, You’ll Grow Into It

So, I finished my first little teddy bear sweater. Ha! It doesn’t quite fit my little bear, but who cares? To begin with, I had the best time trying something different with my bears, something new to make them more fun. And yes, the whole time was so delightful, I can’t wait to knit up another sweater. Hey, even if the sweater doesn’t fit the bear, it would surely fit a one year old…..fashionably, if I may add.

So, I’ve decided to sell them as a set. What a great little gift for a new born. A teddy bear to clutch, and a warm and cozy sweater to cuddle in. And even with the sweater not quite fitting, that little bear is giving me the cutest little baby yoda vibe.

If this one sells soon, I’m ready to jump in and start a new set, just to keep the fun going. (And Lord knows, I could use the funds as much as the fun. I’m on a new diet to gain weight. Our food bill is going to have to go up).

So, if you’d like this little teddy bear and set, by all means, click here to take him home. There’s only one!

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support. And right now? I can safely say that EVERY dollar counts. Thank you.