This month I got to put into practice all that I have learned over the past year – active, painful, excruciating practice. Somethings are easy to release… like tears. Other things are not so simple as that… but those hard things are sometimes the most important to let go of… and realize I cannot control *everything* (despite wishing I magically could)! One thing I did not let go of was Carolyn’s prompt this month! And while I am not sharing what I wrote… I will share how I used it! It became for me a lifeline… each day I used the space to help me stay focused on what I needed to let go of… (sometimes this was as simple as letting go of frustration, anger, and disappointment… other days, it provided me with things that I still need to work on!)
Earlier this month, I posted that my estranged sister got back in contact with me…but it was not a celebratory reunion, but rather one of desperation as she had hit the bottom’s bottom. (I thought…hoped?)
And so began some days of anguished conversation… anguished on my sister’s part while I tried very hard to stay calm… except when I couldn’t… which was often… so often…too often. Yet, still she called, providing more practice for calm and lots of time to remind myself that this perhaps was the entire reason release picked me this year. I don’t need to solve every problem… for anyone but myself. I can’t control what others do, what they say, or how they behave… I can only control myself. (And sometimes even that is a challenge!)
And in a frenzied week of me trying to find a place to take my sister with a plethora of issues…too many to list here…but in a small miracle a physician deemed her a threat to herself and made her go directly to the emergency room. That ER staff fortuitously kept her until they got her on medicaid and then found a place that would take her for 5 short days. Yes… just 5 days.
(Can we just have a small aside for the staff at every emergency room in America? These are the unsung heroes of every hospital… the ones who deal with what has walked through their doors. I am sending a HUGE thank you to the ER staff that did the hard work for my sister… I am profoundly thankful for them… and my sister owes them a debt of gratitude, which, sadly, she will not remember and she certainly won’t ever thank them.)
I was incredibly surprised that my sister called me while she was in the “treatment place”. Sadly, I could tell that Fake Susan was back and with each phone call the lies and the nonsense got louder and louder. And I began to get the hint that this would just be a brief stint of re-connection.
But still… she called. She had no idea where she’d go after that brief five day 5 intervention and perhaps it was that fear of the unknown kept her calling. However, I was very honest with her… No, she could not come to stay with us. I made it very clear that I could not help her that way, I would be here cheering her on in her journey to recovery, but I could fix her.
Release… it is not a thing for the faint of heart and there were so many more tears.
Today, it seems that hint was correct. I have not heard from her since she briefly called to let me know that she was in a shelter and could I “pay to unlock her phone” (a sum of money that I cannot imagine was correct… but I said yes, I would pay them… which was, of course, not what she wanted me to say… or to do.)
I have no clue if she is still in the shelter or if she is not, where she is. I am not holding my breath, wondering if she will call or where she is… I am standing firm in release and letting my tears be as a prayer.
Release began this year as very hard work and it remains that 11 months in – no matter how I want to move beyond it. Some words linger on and gently remind my days… my hope is that release will eventually become that sort of gentle reminder.
A huge thanks to Carolyn for providing a space for us all to share our progress!
First up, I really LOVED all your answers to Monday Questions! My mouth was absolutely watering… I had to look up Watergate Salad (which I had never, ever even heard of before – much less eat!) and I am now very eager for the EATING to begin! lol
I had hoped to share the finished Advent Calendar… but it has not arrived yet. I have my finger’s crossed for next week!
Instead, as you can see above, I have started a second sock! And I am really loving Former Me who made such wonderfully detailed notes! I don’t have to think at all while knitting… it is simply the best!
Also… someone asked what yarns I used for the hat in this post. Sorry about that, I should have told you… I followed this pattern and used one skein of Hudson+West Weld and one skein of Wobble Gobble KidMo held together. I have LOTS of the KidMo leftover and I am thinking it might find its way into a cowl in the coming days! Karen knit one earlier this month that I think would be a fun knit and I have some handspun Cormo that would be a lovely companion to that fuzzy yarn!
These days, a sock and a cowl are about the extent of my Knitting Brain Bandwidth.
Unrelated to my making this week… I stumbled across this darling little stop motion video recently! I love all the needle felting, the knitting (the sweaters on the bunnies are just adorable!), and the hand sewing (That skirt! The Apron! Those trousers! That winter coat!!!) What an incredibly creative way to use wool! I thought you might all enjoy seeing it too!
As for the reading this week. I have two finishes to share but I will do that next week. I am in the midst of reading Matrix though… and I am wondering where this story will go! It is a curious book!
However, no reading or knitting will be happening soon… I have a list of things to prep and bake today for Thanksgiving!
What about you? What is keeping you occupied today?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!
I wish you all the Happiest Thanksgiving and I will see you all back here on Monday… (with an update on my word, if you can believe it!)
It’s the Monday before Thanksgiving… do you have your lists ready? Or do you just have a singular list? Or do you have no list (and just a super brain) and have no issue remembering all the things to do this week!?
Yes, I noted that I asked three rapid fire questions… this week has a sense of urgency to it, doesn’t it? As I sit here and type this I can hear the washing machine diligently working away in the basement. It sounds like it is almost done and I will need to head down to move things along down there!
But… I have my lists… yes more than one. I have the Thanksgiving Feast List/Timeline and the Things That Need to be Mailed Before Month End List. One is looming larger than the other because of the general clusterfuck that is the Post Office these days. (16 days ago I mailed a birthday card to my son in law… which has yet to arrive and his birthday was the 18th… I truly hope it gets there before he arrives home to celebrate Thanksgiving with his family!) Anyways… the Post Office is adding unnecessary stress to my life!
But… now for the REAL questions! Ha!
What is the one thing that must be on your Thanksgiving table to make it feel like Thanksgiving?
(My answer… my nana’s ewy-gewy-rich-and chewy Sweet Potato Casserole… this year I am trying a lighter version sans marshmallows.)
Is there something new that you are adding to your table this year?
(In my mind this is always a dicey idea… but, I could use some controlled risk in my life this week so I am adding Bonny’s Cranberry Pie to our table this year!)
I am eagerly awaiting your answers! See you all back here on Wednesday for some Unraveling!
A couple of weeks ago, Bonny wrote some letters… they were so good! (And so inspiring!) I thought it might be fun to write a letter or two this week! Thank you Bonny for inspiring me! (I see that she wrote some more letters this week as well!)
Dear Neighbor’s With the Holiday Lights:
I really enjoyed seeing your Halloween lights in October during Sherman’s Evening Constitutional! They were just so fun but I was slightly confused to see that you went from Halloween to Christmas overnight and I thought I’d take a moment to introduce you to the joys that are November (you know, that month between October and December…) November is full of really lovely days! We celebrate Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day. For the rest of the month it is all about savoring Autumn… leaves changing color as well as cooler days and nights. It just seems, well, commercial to be putting up and turning on your holiday lights on November 1st. I completely understand wanting to put holiday lights out while the weather is mild, but you know that you don’t have to actually turn them on immediately don’t you? Just a suggestion for next year!
Your Neighbor who loves November
My Dearest Big Foot,
News Flash! Sock One is DONE! I hope to begin Sock Two later today. I think it will go a bit faster than the first sock because I seem to have more knitting bandwidth these days… which is a very good thing!
Your Knitting Half
And finally this week I really need to pen this letter (or ten) in reality… not just here in the blogosphere!
Dear Mental Health Crisis Centers of Michigan:
Yes, I realize that Crisis is a singular term… but really? Do you honestly think that a person having a mental health crisis has just one single problem? I did look after talking with all of you for any Mental Health Crises Centers of Michigan and found them to be a non-existent entity. You gave me a Mental Health Crisis after spending days calling and talking to therapists at your facilities only to be told that my loved one had “too many crises” and that they could not help. It made me understand in a profound way why we have so many homeless people… they too are probably in the crises category and deemed “incapable of help.” I knew that our mental health system was woefully lacking, but I did not truly understand how broken it is until this week. Despite your lack of help in even giving me other alternative places to call… by some miracle we stumbled into a place that would take my sister, no thanks to you at all. In fact, you all told me there was no place in Michigan that would take her. You really missed the mark on that one, unless you think Holland is really The Netherlands.
The Woman who called you all this week
That is all I have for this week! Have a good weekend and perhaps write a letter or two! See you all back here on Monday.
Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy. — Mary Berry
It seems that those points in time in my life when I have been the most stressed, the making relief that I turn to is cooking. So we have an enormous pot of chili that will be something easy to pull out for many meals. I also pulled out my tried and true bread recipe and it’s yeast-y goodness filled my kitchen with the best smells yesterday. And kneading bread is the absolute best frustration releaser on earth!
I have barely knit a stitch… I cannot settle my mind or my hands to do that… it is better to read something that encompasses my mind. Thus… Big Foot Sock #1 is still not done. (Although the fit thus far is very good!)
I did sit down at my sewing machine on Friday, turned on an audio book, and quilted The Advent Calendar. AND!! I love how it turned out. (full beauty shot coming soon!) The final steps are hand-sewing the binding, then attaching twenty-four buttons… and, yes, I am struck by the irony of binding a quilt (which I can do) and binding up the (self-made/inflicted) hell-scape that is my sister’s life (which I can’t do). All that aside… my goal is to have this in the mail by Friday!
Can you leave your hometown and leave behind all the problems that it holds? That is what Elinor Hanson finds out as she takes a job that brings her back to the North Dakota town where she grew up.
There is intrigue. There are fascinating characters. There is racism. And there is greed… all simmering under the surface.
Yun’s prosaic writing is what drew me in and her story kept me. O Beautiful is not what I expected… it is so much more. And the best part? It did not have a tidy ending… and the wondering about that is perhaps the best lingering thing about this book! I highly recommend it!
I would like to thank Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for this ARC.
This might be a small book but it is not a light read. El Akkad takes us to the world of the refugee from a unique perspective… from the eyes of a child. The writing is almost like El Akkad had a quiver of arrows… and when they were gone – his story must be done. Those arrows absolutely pierced my heart and my mind. This is a book that I will not soon forget… this is an absolute must read!
That is all I have for today… what about you? What are you making and reading this week?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below!