Timing…

The one thing more important than location is timing. I find it odd that I keep stumbling across bits of conversation in social media threads that lead me into lines of research I might not otherwise follow. Something about a particular phrase or statement will start me thinking about something in my own experience and then I have to start connecting dots. So I ask more questions and look for answers in more places. I turn 50 this year so I’ve been doing this for a long time. I can research the hell out of something once I get my teeth into it. If I don’t like the first round of results that I come up with, I change my search parameters. And I’ll keep doing that until I feel like I have satisfied the question. Even if I don’t like the answers that I get.

The questions are not always easy. And the answers are not always ones that I understand on an emotional level until I have had time to digest them. I’ve discovered a couple of pretty significant things about myself lately. One through conversations with someone close to me, and the other because I followed one of those rabbit trails on social media. I do not regret following either of those paths. A lot of the questions I had about myself growing up make a lot more sense now. Those were the types of questions that follow you into adulthood. Linger in the back of your mind and cast doubtful shadows over all of your decisions. Sometimes following the rabbit trail…

…leads you into the light.

After Shocks

No, I have not experienced an earthquake. Although that is the natural disaster that scares me most. I got my first Covid vaccine eight days ago. I did not have an actual allergic reaction to the shot but I have been having side effects since the day of.

Let me start by saying that I encourage everyone to get the vaccine if you are able. It makes all of us safer in the long run. My fiance has a peanut allergy and he did have the allergic reaction to the Moderna vaccine. He was advised to not get the second shot but that he can try for the Johnson & Johnson. I am good to go for the second Moderna shot with some pregaming for my allergies.

So, lets talk about side effects. From the beginning I have had a major headache. Almost migraine level with the light sensitivity. I have not been able to wear my glasses or my headset for work. It has felt like I had a long rod ran between my temples. I have had headaches from high blood pressure and sinus pressure/infections and ear infections. None of those have felt like this headache.

The fatigue makes me appreciate my spoons so much more. I napped off and on so much the first day. And the second and the third. The headache was enough to make me tired but there was just so much more fatigue on top of that. Naps are a good thing. Food did seem to help ease the headache briefly for me but only for a short while. Tylenol did not do much more than dull it a bit. I did not want to take too much of it due to stomach issues. And my stomach would get upset sometimes anyway.

Did you know there is a lymph node in your elbow? There is and mine swelled up and got hard. It didn’t last long but it was sore and hurt to bend my arm for a couple days. It was below the injection site and was actually more sore than the injection site except for the on time my fiance hugged me, forgot where it was and put his hands around that part of my arm.

All of these reactions my doctor assured me are normal for what is being reported. This is where my allergies come in. I have a laundry list of allergies along with asthma and dermatographia. The dermatographia is the most likely the culprit here. My doctor figures the shot triggered a hyperactive allergic response. I broke out in hives over the lymph node on my elbow around the fourth or fifth day. Then around day six or seven my feet broke in hives along the lines where the lymph drainage system runs, around the top edges from toes to heel, across the joints at the top of the foot, and even up my ankle. Tiny, itchy red bumps. Hives suck. So I get to double up on antihistamine, add a steroid, and use a steroid cream on the skin.

I’m hoping the second will not be worse than the first. I’ve heard it is but I’m still hoping. And even with all the side effects I still advocate getting the shots. The shot does not make us invincible. Each of us are different. Each person’s body will react different. Take care of yourselves and each other. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance.

Happy Friday

The weekend is here! As soon as I get through the work day… Oh, well. At least I know it’s only a few hours away. And the rain from yesterday appears to be leaving. Hopefully we get plenty of sunshine today. That means the pollen will be back but Spring is almost here. That happens tomorrow. So it is a busy weekend.

If you celebrate the beginning of Spring, Blessed Be. Whatever you plan on this weekend, be safe. Be happy. Have a great day.

Tempus Fugit…

A thousand apologies for not writing to you for almost six months. We have had so much happen in the world since I was here in September. I’m not going to rehash all the politics. My blood pressure is good this morning. The weather is drizzly and foggy where I am but it is almost spring. I can tell without a calendar because my allergies are off the charts. I’m hoping to get my vaccination soon. I’m still working from home and honestly I’m fine if it stays that way. Or if I win a lottery. Whichever.

I’ve been busy crocheting critters for friends and family. And planning a wedding for June that we plan on live streaming. Only the family in attendance and one set of friends who are also vaccinated. We already have my partner’s clothes, vest and kilt. My dress should be here shortly. Now that the weather is improving (today’s rain not withstanding) we are getting ready to start on a patio in the back yard where we plan on having our ceremony. My soon to be sister-in-law will be officiating our handfasting. And I am making the cake. Keeping it as simple as possible. I don’t see the point in spending a ton of money. Except on the patio. That we can keep using.

I have a project board started with drawings and movable pieces for the yard. We have our size and it’s scaled to fit the patio, trees, where the cars will be parked. Room for the tent we’re renting for the wedding. Can you tell I’m ready for the wedding and this patio? My OCD kicked in once we started planning. I have a three ring binder of notes and pictures. This is a second wedding for both of us. Another reason we are not going very big. Less drama. We’re doing what we want on a scale we are comfortable with. More people should do that. The divorce rate would probably be lower.

I hope you are all ready for spring. I need to go through my Pinterest boards and figure out what flowers we are planting putting in around the patio. Need to do something to work with our wedding colors. Don’t worry. I have lots of ideas…

Social Anxiety, Kind of

I had to go out yesterday. I’ve only been out of the house maybe four times in the last month. I have asthma and I am at high risk for catching the coronavirus. The last time I had to go to a doctor appointment they gave me a mask to wear inside the building. I was very nervous being out and the mask did not help that. It was hot and made it hard to breathe. Not a good thing when you already have breathing issues. 

Do I look nervous? I feel nervous…

This trip out I was going to an area hospital for my monthly injection. It’s a shot to help with my asthma and dermatographia. (That’s the skin reactions that causes everything to look like a rashy writing on the skin.) Almost everyone in the hospital was wearing a mask. I was not offered one when I went in, though they did check my temperature. The nurse that took me back asked if I wanted a mask. I declined. 

As I stood in the elevator with her and then followed her down the hall, I realized that the mask would not alleviate my anxiety. The mask alone was not going to do anything. It was simply the fact that I was outside among other people. We don’t have enough people getting tested yet, not enough effective testing. And there is no herd immunity yet. It’s too soon. And too many people still don’t understand the importance of simply staying inside and washing their hands. 

I know the weather is getting nicer and people want to enjoy it. Kids want to play outside and adults want them to. But we have to be smart. I know as a group that is hard. People as a group are stupid as cattle. Individuals are smart.

We need to think like individuals and act as a group. Maybe, if we can learn to act smarter, we won’t become a virus ourselves. Like so many before us. 

With a little help from my friends

My nerves have been a bit frayed today. For all sorts of reasons that I’ll spare you. Several times today I’ve been tempted to put on my headphones and blast some heavy metal music. Just block out the world. But something always stopped me for one reason or another.

Finally, I reached my limit tonight. I put on my headphones and found myself not with screaming guitars in my ears but a familiar meditation playing. I like Native American music for meditating. Drums and flutes, mostly. It’s either light and airy or deep and earthy. Sometimes with the tinkling sounds of water or the rumble of thunder mixed in.

I let the music play while finished what I was stitching on a crochet project for the day. A new design I’m working on. I drew it out this morning and started on it after breakfast. It’s coming along nicely. But I needed that music tonight.

I haven’t meditated in way too long. I learned how several years ago after the death of my mother. It’s what got me through it. Helped me through a lot of emotional upheavals. Not sure why I hadn’t thought to do it before now. Caught up in all the news broadcasts I guess. That whole “not seeing the forest for the trees” thing.

Just the little bit of time I was plugged into the music seemed to help a bit. It’s important to take time for ourselves and to focus on our mental health. Especially now when the entire world is in an upheaval. There is so much stress over every little thing. Remember to take a deep breath, don’t hold it. Relax your shoulders. Give yourself a hug.

Dark :30

It’s late. Yeah, I know. But I made it. I’m back again. I have completed two projects today. And I did the boring paperwork thing I hate doing. It got done in between the two projects. I made myself do it before I started on the second project to make sure I got it done. That way starting on the project felt more like a reward for getting the paperwork out of the way.

I even got some filing put away. I guess today was about finishing things. Not too bad for a Monday. With the world on lock-down, finding a way to feel like I’m accomplishing something is a good way to put the anxiety on the back burner. Kind of surprising considering how much news I actually watched today. But let’s not talk about that. I already have a headache.

Let’s talk about the cute Fennec fox I crocheted today. He’s adorable and cuddly. I also finished a scarf. I love to crochet. Probably why I’ve been doing it for well over 30 years. I’ll save those stories for my other blog. That to-do list will get tackled tomorrow. But for now, I think I’ve accomplished enough for today. Now for some sleep. Sweet dreams…

Well, this is interesting.

I’ve been looking for some writing mojo for a long time. Life seemed to be knocking the steam out of my writing. After a good writing buddy died, I just could not find the words or the will to look for them. After getting some more stability in my life, the words still eluded me.

Recently, I left a message for a friend who was struggling with her writing during the CoVid-19 pandemic. Stress is a bitch. Let’s be honest. We all get stressed. It hits us in different ways. Apparently, as I get older I hyper focus. Yesterday I spent the day working jigsaw puzzles and listening to classic rock music. I must have needed it.

Today there are words. I’m here writing. And I can feel more words just under the surface. I don’t what they are, what they will lead to. Will they be another blog, a short story, a poem? I have no idea. But there are words. So I’m sitting here sharing some with you while I binge watch sharks on TV. Because I need those, too.

Trust Yourself

I woke up from a nightmare this morning. Haven’t had one in a long time, not like this. I woke up falling. I don’t have to give you all the details although I do remember them quite well. The main thing is that a decision was made and suddenly the person in the dream was me and I was falling inside a stairwell.

I woke up before I hit anything or hit bottom. I hate those dreams. For me, they always mean something is out of control. I was driving in an earlier part of the dream and that was definitely me. But I was trying to get away from the area I was in. That lead to the character in the dream being at the top of that stairwell.

I’ve been thinking about making some changes in my life: health, money, housing. It’s not hard to make the connection. I feel like there are things out of my control. Believe me, I am not happy about it. But I think the last part, where the woman at the stairwell made a decision (I remember her being asked what are you gonna do now), is very important. Don’t make rash decisions.

Decide what you want to happen. Research what you need to make that happen. See that list as goals to get your end result. Then come up with a plan that will get you there quickly and smartly. Get help when you need it. Make smart changes where you need to. Trust yourself and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, step back and reevaluate. Most importantly, you have to actually start work on your list of goals. Don’t just sit there looking at. It’s not your Christmas list. You have to put in some work to make those goals happen.

I’ve always said happiness is a choice. You can choose to stay in a stagnant situation and say you’re happy. Or you can choose to make a move to a better situation and do what makes you happy. Trust yourself.

Size Matters

There. I said it. Yes, size matters to us ladies.

I’m not talking about in the bedroom. I’m talking about clothes.

I was looking for dresses online. Went to the site for my local super store first since I knew I would be going there later in the day. Then hit up Pinterest since I do have a sewing machine. It didn’t take long to see the problem.

Even on Pinterest which has a plethora of ideas for any type of dress I could possibly want, size is a problem. I am not a small woman. Short, yes. Skinny, no. I’ve never been skinny, not even as a child. I have curves. I shop the plus size section. The fashion industry is no where close to recognizing how to dress us. They’ve started to see that we exist but they are still not getting it.

I first searched just dresses. Then I got more specific with sundresses. It didn’t help. Either the models are not plus size models. Or the dresses are too tight. Or they go in the opposite direction and have no shape at all. Or worse, they will have shaping and detail but it’s in the wrong place.

From Walmart.com

I’ll give you an example of one the worst offenders: the waist line is too low. Like this one from Wal-Mart in the picture. How does that work, you ask? What most people think is there waist line sits just above their hips. That’s the natural waist line of your body. On more curvy people, we are trying to de-emphasize our hips which are usually the largest part of us. The best way to do this is to move the waist line of the clothing up to draw focus to the bust line and face.

An empire waistline does this perfectly. So does putting the waistline just below where an empire waistline would sit. The difference is that empire sits just under the bust, like right under the bra line. If you put the waist a couple inches below that around the bottom of the rib cage, you get the same effect without having it right up under your boobs.

This creates focus around the bust, drawing attention to the upper part of the body away form hips or stomach. Focus can be on the cleavage, the face, jewelry. Anything you do above that line will keep the focus up. It’s not hard to design stuff with this in mind. Even a simple wrap dress creates a line that pushes the eyes higher.

This is not a new concept. I heard it for 10 seasons of What Not To Wear. Where are Stacey London and Clinton Kelly when we need them?!

It is very frustrating to continue to see models who are only plus size because they are either well over six foot tall or because they are a size 12 or 14. Really?! There are a few truly plus size models now but we are still tremendously under represented. Come on, fashion industry. Take an honest look at who really buys the clothing in the world. Snobby rich people are the only ones who care what goes down the catwalk. The rest of us are shopping at Wal-Mart and Macy’s and Amazon.