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Monday, August 12, 2019

Finding My Way: On My Own

I have struggled my entire life, trying to find my own way.  I struggled with religion, never feeling at peace with it.  I have always lived my life trying to be the best me I can be, and have always felt that was good enough.  I try to always let good motivations guide me.  I am always mindful of other people's feelings and do my best to not just do no harm but to also help, even if it is just with words when I can.  I always seek out knowledge, I love fun facts and learning as much about everything as I can.  I adore nature, all things in nature intrigue me, from the lowliest of bugs to the mightiest of beasts-they all are a part of my soul.  I always look for the good in every situation and try to not dwell on the past.  I always look to how I can avoid mistakes of the past, but look to the here and now for how I can, today, at this moment, be the best me I can be. I do not like to drink alcohol because I do not like being not in control of myself.

I never understood religion.  Why must we learn so many off-the wall stories to be good people?  Why must we be told we are sinners?  I never went to a church that made me feel happy inside.  I am very happy that others find joy and happiness in their religions, but I never had that.  I love that there is a place people can go to to find the way to a path of kindness, forgiveness and love.  I truly feel this way, I am very happy that people can find their peace in any way that they can, but it is not for me.  It never has been, and my soul was always a little restless because of this.

I recently begun taking a yoga class.    I box every day Monday-Friday at 5 AM and Yoga is a great supplement to my workouts.  Our instructor always says the same thing when we are done, "Peace to all beings, with no exception."  I thought this was so beautiful.  I loved that small little statement. I loved it so much that I decided to look it up.  I then started diving into an internet hole.  I found a page describing Buddhism and I found myself completely overwhelmed with emotion.  I felt like the entire page was describing me.  My entire life and feelings were all written out there in this philosophy.  I feel like my soul has completely been set free.  I feel at such a peace knowing that I am not the only person who feels this way on the planet.  I am very disappointed in my friends and family who have watched me struggle with religion, however.  I feel like someone should have told me that all of my views and beliefs were shared with many others and that I do have a place in this world. 

I am not changed by this knowledge, only enlightened.  I feel like I can now grow and really expound on my beliefs now that they are validated.  I do not need to look for something that does not exist for me.  My path is my own and I am finding my way on it with a joyous soul and a free spirit.  I have no great cosmic point to this blog post, this is just me trying to get my feelings and emotions down as they are still in my mind during this pivotal stage in my life.

I am currently in the process of designing an afghan, and it has been really neat having this project here with me as I have made these revelations about myself. Are they really revelations though, as they are really who I always have been?  Maybe, rather, it is just an enlightenment or awareness, but whatever you want to call it, I am happy, I am free, I am at peace.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

My Grammy, My Mentor, My Hero

We went to visit my grammy today.  She is the one who taught me to crochet and so many other fun things like cake decorating, napkin folding, make klub, and how to be a decent person.  She grew up with foster parents, and life was not easy for her.  She was abused and didn't use that as an excuse to be a victim.  She used it as an excuse to make the world a better place, and she did.  

She was a foster parent to many children, and a grandma to all.  She would do anything for anyone at any time, sometimes to the annoyance of those around her.  I know some people would be jealous of the way she heaped love and attention and gifts on people, but you needed to see her the way I saw her.  I didn't look at it as her leaving someone out, I looked at it as her trying to help those she felt needed the help (even if they didn't-she had her own scale of determining this).  

She was always in her prime when she was the boss lady.  She loved to be in control of things, she looked at it as doing her part to help and make sure things got done right.  She was a nurse and was a charge nurse and her nickname was Speedy Edie.  She will always be who she is, and I love her for it.  I always say, "You hate what you love."  It is so true in this situation, some of her best qualities were her worst, and I am really good at focusing on the good in any situation.  

I was one of her 'projects' shall we say.  My mother left me when I was little and my dad got custody.  My grammy quit work so she could help take care of me when my dad was working.  I spent a lot of time with her, and I got along with her.  She has a very strong personality, and I have always been good at reading people and becoming who they  need me to be.  I always did what she wanted me to do and was able to glean so many lovely talents from her by being at her side.  

I like to tell people that she taught me how to crochet.  It isn't completely true.  She ALWAYS had a crochet hook and yarn with her.  ALWAYS.  She was always making something if she was sitting-in a car or in a chair.  When it came time for me to learn (when I was older and realized my sister in law knew how I had to one up her) I asked her to teach me.  She wasn't the best teacher, and got frustrated easily. haha!  Hay man, we aren't all perfect all the time! ;) She grumbled and growled at me and kept showing me how with these really fast hand flailing motions that I couldn't wrap my brain around.  She sent me home with books, and in the backs of those books were little pictures of stitches.  THAT Was how I learned, from those books, so yeah, she gets cred, even if it isn't entirely true! haha!

When I saw grammy yesterday she was the same grammy I always knew, yet so very different.  We first saw her as we approached the Memory Care wing.  I saw her zoom past the window in her wheel chair.  I screamed, "THERE'S GRAMMY!"  After they buzzed us in, I went down to where I saw her zoom.  She was pounding on a stranger's door saying, "It's GRANDMA!"  She was everyone's grandma, so of course she would be introducing herself as grandma.  I said hi to her, and she instantly remembered who I was.  She remembered my husband and my daughter as well!  I was so happy! 
She told me how the man who lives across from her is her brother (he isn't) but he is with the bad guys.  They are all against her and I should be ready that we will need to start shooting soon.  I told her I was pretty sure we shouldn't be shooting anyone, but she just patted my hand and said, "it's ok, you don't have to I can protect you."  I had  her show me her room and she chastised her roommate for always sleeping in her bed (although the roommate was in her proper bed and not my grammy's).  I brought her an afghan that I made so she can have lots of pretty colors in her room (you can see the corner of it on her bed behind her head in the above image).  She didn't want me to leave it there though as she was sure June would steal it.  Grammy had an injury on her arm and the nurse told me it was from a door.  Grammy said they beat her up and tried to shove her glasses on her face the wrong way.  She was missing an earring and told me they stole it.  She knew that the food was being poisoned so she won't eat it or drink anything or take her medicine.  They are all trying to control her and she is not going to fall for it.  She knows a bunch of police and they are all trying to help her.  Her daughter is in charge of the first floor and will be up shortly.  Her sister is there with a two moth old baby but she can't find them.  She is really disappointed in her brother, who won't help at all. I told grammy that my son was getting married, she did not miss a beat, and exclaimed, "I'LL MAKE THE CAKE!"  I had to explain that it was coming up too quick and there was no time, but thank you.  Grammy then zoomed down the hall and proceeded to tell everyone that was parked out in the hall that she was there to help them all.  She also told a grown man he could sit in grandma's lap and patted her lap.  She grabbed people's hands and stroked them, telling them everything was going to be OK because she had people coming to help them all. She introduced me to people as her really artistic granddaughter who is so talented.  I reminded her that she was the one who taught me, and she said, "That's what grandmas do." She kept putting her hands in doorjambs and I kept reminding her to keep her fingers out of there or she would lose fingers.  She was quick to say, "I'm a Goplen. We all lose fingers so that is OK."  So yeah, grammy was different, but really, she was the same.  Just a different world, same grammy. :)

I really felt bad leaving, but I cannot stay there forever, sadly.  I look forward to our next visit.  I hope she remembers that we came to see her.  I love that woman so much.  I hate thinking of her there, she lived her life helping others, she took care of her husband when he had Alzheimer's so he wouldn't have to go to a place like this. This was unexpected as she was just at my house a few weeks ago.  She had a stroke shortly after that and this is what has happened.  She had been a bit more confused the last few times I had seen her, but nothing to this extent.  Really was quite shocking to see such a change so fast.  This can be a cruel life, and sometimes, those smiles are hard to find.  

I just realized I don't have a lot of pictures of my grammy.  When I was a kid, I was with her a lot so I guess no one thought to get our photos.  I have lots of photos of me with family I never saw, because they had to keep a record of the fact that they saw me for a brief moment in my life.  Sad, that all my photos are of me with people that mean nothing to me. Actually, shit.  Now I am crying.  That is really irony at its finest.  

UPDATE:  (about three weeks later)
She is doing much better than before.  Here is a little blurb I wrote up recently: 
I want to show you where my last Jacaranda wound up! I had made three, and this one I was holding onto for someone special. My Grammy! She suffered a stroke about a month ago, and has had memory issues since then. Speedy Edie is her nickname, and she is still living up to her nickname! She zooms all over keeping herself busy all day long! This makes visiting a little difficult as we have to trot to keep up! Haha! She is the best! She is so proud of the afghan I crocheted for her, and has it displayed on her bed. She taught me my craft so it was only fitting she get a pretty afghan for her bed in the Memory Care unit! I love that she remembers that I made it and that she remembers teaching me to crochet!  She was a foster parent to many children, a head nurse and helped to watch me when I was little and my dad had custody of me.  She thinks she crochets every day now, she doesn't, but her mind is being kind to her in letting it think that she does!

Swamp Gem, the afghan I left on grammy's bed 

Grammy and I with Pepper, her pitbull
Grammy  and some random dude
Grammy's Nursing Photo

My grammy and I at Disney World

My grammy and I peeking out of our windows on our Cruise ship, the Norwegian Prince (I think that was the name of it)  She too me on a cruise before my open heart surgery, the last time I ever wore a suit without a scar. 

My grammy there at my side after my heart surgery.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Ghostly Kisses

The ghost saga continues. This was a weird one. I was talking to Celeste, my daughter, and I felt a moist cold nose on my calf and bent down to pet Lola, our dog, and completely lost it! LOLA WAS NOT EVEN THERE! Celeste watched me spin around a few times looking for the dog that I FELT and KNEW had to be there. She saw nothing. Just another day in our haunted house! haha! 

The kicker was that when Lola heard the commotion she came into the kitchen and started psychotically sniffing my leg in the exact place that it had already been sniffed by the ghost-dog.

Twink with my oldest, Ross

I do believe this visitor was my first dog, Twink.  She was a part of my heart and soul.  I loved this dog more than I ever could have imagined.  She was my best friend, my constant companion and was ALWAYS with me, from her puppy days to the day I had to hold her as we said our goodbyes.  Her passing crushed me as I had never been crushed before, and I  honestly never wanted to go through that trauma again and never planned on getting another dog. 

My son found out our neighbor needed to get rid of this dog, Lola, or she was going to be put to sleep.  He begged and begged me for us to bring Lola home.  The very last thing I wanted was another little white fluffy dog, the pain was too raw, even nine months later.  I was only just beginning to feel like my old self again.  But I allowed Lola to come live with us, and I planned on not letting her all the way into my heart.  Well, that didn't last long.  Lola has taught me a lot about love, that even though we feel like we have a lost a piece of it, those pieces can change shape and grow and multiply.  I think our souls get brighter the more we allow love in, it may feel like we loose a piece of our souls when we have to say goodbye, but I am starting to truly believe we don't lose that soul.  I am desperately hanging on to the thought that we actually are reunited with those pieces in the afterlife. 

Previous Ghostly Encounters here and here

Twink with my youngest, Celeste

Twink with me on her last day on Earth.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Cursed Ghost Of The Cowichan Sweater

I am jumping for joy because I am finally finished with this sweater! I LOVE it, but I HATED working on it! It was from Vogue Knitting, and I have to say the pattern was not fun to follow. At all. 

I put this project in a time out for about a month or two and it sat in the corner of my living room giving me dirty looks. It could see me as I worked on other, far more exciting, projects. I could feel its sinister glare as I happily knitted and crocheted delightful items in its presence. Now, I've told ya'll before that this room I crochet and knit in is haunted (see my blog if you haven't done so yet) but I think, that I have added one more ghost to the room, "The Cursed Ghost Of The Cowichan Sweater" who shall forever haunt my room in search of hands to finish knitting it. I thought, that by finally finishing it I could lift the curse, but I still feel an ominous presence with me! bahahaha!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ghosts On The Move!

This is an update to our 'Haunted House Saga.'  There are two previous blog posts regarding our this, the first being found here (with a link to the second on that page).

Yesterday, I was in my yarn room getting some more yarn for a project I was about to start.  This room is found at the end of the hallway.  I was just about to come out of the room when I saw a shadow coming from my daughter's room. So, I hid back a little and only 'peeked' out the door, thinking I was going to spy on her.  My daughter is just like me, she is a little bit creepy and sneaky and we love to hide from each other.  The light coming from her room was really bright, as the sun was shining through her windows, so I didn't think much of the 'shadow' and I just thought it was my daughter.  It hung on the door jamb a little, as if it were realizing I was in the yarn room and then it moved backwards in one smooth motion-almost like floating.  Again, I was still thinking this was my daughter, because she is a creepy little sneaker.  I figured she would be waiting for me at the stairway (which was down the hall in the direction the shadow floated)....

I silently tiptoed past my son's room and as I tiptoed past my daughter's room I realized she WAS IN HER STINKING BEAD WATCHING NETFLIX ON HER LAPTOP!  I instantly started shaking and crying and howling.  She looked at me like I was nuts.  I told her what happened, and she said she saw nothing but reminded me that things in her room get moved around all the time.  That was the first time I ever SAW anything or felt any presence outside of our 'Haunted Room,' which is the downstairs family room.  Anyhow, I took my yarn and furiously began crocheting in my Haunted Room. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Mother Of Dragons: The Making Of A Dragon

I have long wanted to make a really long paper mache project.  I have been silently obsession over making a dragon since last Halloween, when I saw a huge robotic dragon at Home Depot for like $500.  Of course I couldn't justify that purchase so ever since then I KNEW I needed to make a dragon.  Only problem was that I had only made some juvenile pinatas in the past and I was nowhere near good enough to  make anything like my visions.  

Then, my favorite rooster, Jar Jar Beaks passed away, suddenly.  I was devastated.  He was such a sweet and snuggly guy, he was the model in many of my photo shoots with chicken hats.  I was pretty bummed, and my hubby and I were sitting on the couch as I sat in a stupor of sadness.  According to my husband, I stood up, with my eyes glazed over, and walked away.  He didn't see me for a few hours and he came looking.  He found me in the basement working on a giant dragon.  He was really annoyed because the mess was even greater than the dragon, and I had set it up smack dab in front of the washer/dryer.  He was also mad because this would mean we will now have a giant dragon in our house.  I tried to tell him that I wanted it for a shop mascot and that I needed to make this because I was obsessing over it!  He couldn't get over it......UNTIL....it started coming along, and he realized it was actually going to be quite magnificent.  

I have finished enough of it to be obvious that it is going to be pretty spectacular, although I still have a lot more work to go.  In the end, I'd like to paint it blues and purples but I am a long way from the painting process.  She has helped pick me up from my sadness and has shown me to have faith that I can figure things out.  I really had no idea what I was doing when I started.  I did lots of research and experimentation and darnit, it has paid off!

My dragon's name is Kermesia.  She is the dragon who has inspired two knitting patterns-
Dragon to Butterfly: Kermesia's Story Shawl
Eye Of The Dragon:  Kermesia's Entrelac Shawl

Her story appears in the Story shawl pattern, it is just a short story, but it talks about Kermesia. :) 

I needed to make Kermesia.  I've had a lot of things on my mind, not just Jar Jar Beaks, but my dad's health and other things that are just black sad walls.  Creativity is my outlet, and something new is always what I need to really cure myself of the major demons. I'll post more images when she is finished, but for now, meet Kermesia: the Dragon of my Dragonbird.