There’s been far less snow on the ground this year compared to last year, but I’ve still reached the point in winter where I’m so sick of browns and grays and need to see green. So we went to Red Butte. There wasn’t a lot of green outside but their big greenhouse–the Orangerie–didn’t disappoint.
2. Speaking of hair, I need to schedule a haircut in the next month or two. Should I get bangs? Is it time? This Man Repeller article says it might be:
Judging by how well the haircut turned out, I’ll be taking more risks in the future. I think this shag will be my gateway to loosening up in general. Looking back, I realize that I shouldn’t have been so nervous, and I wish I had chopped it off sooner.
This is another from Matthew Ogle’s Pome newsletter. After talking about the hard work of living and growing this week, it seemed appropriate.
not from the
lines to the
Kay Ryan (2010)
Every time I sew I’m glad my mom taught me so much about it. There isn’t a project I make where I don’t use a technique I remember her showing me. In this case, it was pattern matching while cutting out the fashion fabric:
It’s a good thing the pattern matching looks so professional because the rest of this really isn’t my best work: That fleece was so soft and thick and stretchy it was nearly impossible to sew nicely, and of course it didn’t press into shape like a wool coating. However, I love it and it’s the warmest coat I own. (It ought to be; there’s an extra 4 inches of fleece around me. This coat is BIG, both size- and fashion-wise.)
As planned, I used Simplicity 8797 and graded from a small at the shoulders to a medium at the hips; there’s still a ton of ease and I think a straight size small would have helped reduce some of the bulk. The fleece is from JoAnn and it’s super-soft but, as stated above, extremely difficult to sew–it’s literally an inch thick. My serger did the lion’s share of the work, as the walking foot on the Bernina kept wanting to get caught in the pile.
Thankfully, it was a simple pattern and it went together really quickly. I found some one-inch black snaps and disguised them on the black stripes for a closure and have been wearing it every time I want to be warm and/or make a STATEMENT.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my mother’s death. I didn’t write anything yesterday because I can’t adequately express how a loss like that cuts your life in two (I still can’t). Everything now is either “before” or “after” and as much as you ache to go back to the “before,” you can’t.
I didn’t start therapy or medication until she was sick; I’m not sure how much longer it would have taken me to do it if she’d stayed well. I struggle so much with that: I don’t want to admit something good came out of her illness, but she’d be so proud of the work I’m doing. At the same time, I wish I had the tools I have now to use in our relationship when she was alive.
I know Mom would be proud of the whole family–I am, too, for not just getting through it all but also coming out stronger. We are gentler with each other. We are more open. We talk about feelings with each other more than I ever have in my life (much to my family members’ chagrin sometimes, but hey, therapy works!).
I don’t expect living without Mom to get any easier going forward, but it’s slowly, slowly becoming the new normal. That new normal has us closer to tears than we were before, but we’re also finding ways to enjoy this new “after.” She would have wanted that.
We miss you, Mom, and we love you.
1. We’ve reached the point of winter where your skin is so dry and pale you feel like an albino lizard. This animation made me laugh (the whole thread did):
Hitting 30 like pic.twitter.com/yRTBtHSFlT
— » dr mrs the mothman » 🔌🔋 (@exfatalist) January 13, 2020
2. Here’s something to read if you want to start dismantling the capitalist system that keeps you tied to consuming more than the planet can sustain in lieu of living a more meaningful life (and I say this as a lifetime consumer; I’m just starting to wake up): Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
Western economies, particularly that of the United States, have been built in a very calculated manner on gratification, addiction, and unnecessary spending. We spend to cheer ourselves up, to reward ourselves, to celebrate, to fix problems, to elevate our status, and to alleviate boredom.
Can you imagine what would happen if all of America stopped buying so much unnecessary fluff that doesn’t add a lot of lasting value to our lives?
From Lisa Congden, something to remember (plus some more color because we all need it):
Color makes you happy; winter doesn’t have much color; ergo, all my projects have been rainbow since November–even the thread:
The Brassies are definitely pants, not tights, but they are much, much sleeker than the True Bias Hudson Pants, with a flatter front, higher rise, and better “rear view.” They also sew up in about an hour and don’t require any fiddly topstitching.
I ended up trying this pattern because my fabric didn’t have quite enough stretch for my preferred tights pattern, but I really love it. I’ve already made two more pairs–one for around the house and one in a print to wear to work (stretch pants 4EVA!).
Let’s hear it for big yarn: I started this right before Thanksgiving and wore it last week. For me, that’s an incredibly fast knit.
I loved this yarn: Berroco Coco, a superwash merino that literally changed color in every stitch. (This colorway is “Park”.) It was exactly the rainbow dose that my winter brain needed and it’s not itchy at all. Warm, soft rainbows–everyone needs more of those, right?
Doc surprised me with a portrait of Toby and JUST LOOK AT IT:
I never talked about it here, but about two weeks after Mom died last year, Toby’s ear started to swell. After panic and guilt and some deeply traumatic vet visits, we found out he had a hematoma. We don’t know how he got it and it left permanent damage. I’ve had a hard time looking at his new “cauliflower ear” and not feeling all those feelings again–but this portrait is the first time I think I’ve really accepted it.
I mean, he wouldn’t be Admiral Lord Toby–veteran of the seas, decorated in battle–without it, right?