Friday, March 6, 2015

Isolation Illness

I'm sitting at home, housebound in the second round of winter storms that has cancelled school in less than a month.  I believe that cabin fever leads to mental instability.  At least for me, it isn't good for my outlook.  I wanted the (yes, unpaid) days off work, but we're approaching ten days missed, and my house is ultra boring when I'm home all alone.

I just don't like feeling trapped.  I'm actually starting to feel physically ill from being stuck here with nothing better to do than craft away the hours.  

Nobody can come visit (only one person would, anyway) and I can't go out and visit anyone myself.  While the street just past my driveway is melting free of snow and ice, above that it is still covered, oddly enough, and I shudder to think that much of my neighborhood is still too slick to risk my AWD vehicle on.  No friends to visit around here anyway.  I'm not sure I have any friends at a distance who'd want a visit either.  

It's the way it goes.  You get to a certain point in your life and everyone abandons you at once.  Is there a point to going on? Well, it's hard to say during an ice storm's aftermath, when people bombard you on Facebook, wanting not friendly contact, but a shot at making money off you because they're selling something.  (I obviously lack that selling skill, LOL). 

The scrap afghan I've started in memory of my mother is now halfway finished.  I've used a satisfying amount of my scrap yarn, and it's a little over three feet wide.  I have to go wider because of a special request to make it wide enough for two to snuggle under.  :). 

Know what would make me truly happy with this project?  To use up every last tiny ball of scrap yarn, so they'll stop rolling around under my feet, getting in my way.  The deliberately crazy combinations of color amuse me, because they look very 70s to me, and really do bring to mind how my mother's long-lost afghan looked. I may get away with only having to buy some navy yarn to finish it up.

Next up will be a few gift items.  I need to make a scarf for my fella, but something tells me it can wait until next year because it's about to suddenly get warm for good.  I need to make balaclavas for my nephews -- maybe this time they'll hold onto their hats as if they realize their aunt spent many hours slaving away on them, and not treat them like they were a Wal-Mart dollar purchase from China, easily thrown away and not cared about if they are casually lost.  Sometimes I hope that they realize the aunt who makes them hats nearly every year will at some point die, or become unable to knit and crochet because of inherited rheumatoid or osteo arthritis.  The goose who laid the golden eggs didn't live forever.  

I want to make some baby gifts for the next generation... Maybe baby quilts again, if they'll promise not to treat them as grease rags after wrapping a single child in them.  Maybe some sweaters and booties, maybe some bibs.  I don't really know - I guess whatever strikes my fancy.  It just seems pathetic for a childless woman to become obsessed with making baby things.  

It would probably be less painful for me to develop a serious interest in television instead, and make nothing further.  The things I make are my babies, and it hurts to see them discarded so thoughtlessly. It's stopped me from making things for certain people already -- they take what I do for granted, as if I've blinked my eyes and magicked the stuff into existence absolutely free, without months of loving labor.  They demand custom work after an original design is completed -- for me to absorb the sometimes considerable extra cost in time and materials.

Maybe I should just start showing myself that same level of care, and treat myself with the respect I wish others would, by improving my health and my surroundings.  

I've been doing some sewing lately, because it finally occurred to me that having a nice computerized sewing machine almost obliges me to sew more.  But that doesn't make a lot of sense most days, considering that I'm the one who bought it.  I suppose I should just consider myself enabled, and quietly make myself a heck of a lot of useful and pretty stuff.  The first thing I made with it was the curtains in my classroom, and that was certainly a worthwhile project.  It's too bad I can't sew some light for my house, and maybe some new kitchen cabinets.  Well, since I can't update the kitchen, I'm gonna paint it.  It may take me weeks to accomplish, but I think it will make it a better place.  

I've been drawn to sewing zipper pouches lately.  I can see making myself matching earbud pouches, toiletry pouches, makeup brush rolls, and a matching makeup bag for my next European vacation.  But you know what? I already know that's a crazy thing to do, because I won't enjoy the extra bulk of additional organizer bags to slog around.  Maybe a toiletry bag in my gym bag, but really, for travel, I'd rather use an ultra lightweight Ziploc bag that I can easily see through, that's already waterproof, and easily replaced if it gets damaged.  
 
Every time I travel, I challenge myself to pack even lighter than the time before, so unless I'm going to hang a tiny pouch or two from my belt loop or a neck strap (which I might just do), extra pouches just mean more bulk to carry.  And lift.  And organize. And protect.

Big confession: I'm not sure I'll bother with all my makeup next time I travel.  I might just go with lipstick, eyeliner, and mascara.  The only time I got hit on the last trip was some man in the Metro giving me some appreciative looks. Lol. While I was flattered, I was also amused because I looked ROUGH.  


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