Friday, February 28, 2014

In the Field

Like I said yesterday, I was out in the field today, specifically learning how to install drapery at a hotel in West Virginia.

Tomorrow promises to be another long day. 

As I sat on that fountain, taking a moment to relax, I realized how much the process of "making" is like meditation to me. It lets me focus what might otherwise be a wandering mind. I would type more, but I am utterly exhausted. Tomorrow is a new day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prepping for the Coming Season...and the rest of the week.

With the temperature hoving somewhere are below freezing, I wanted to hole up in the house for the day, and essentially hibernate. The problem with hibernating is that you miss out on doing all of the domestic chores that are needed.

My mother is handling my father's illness very well, almost too so. One of the things that I wanted to do was to make things on her as easily as possible. By spending a few hours in the kitchen, I managed to cook up meals for the next three days since I need to be out of town to do a few jobs. To be specific the meals included: Two pounds of mashed potatoes (the good kind with butter and cream), two Cottage pies, two beef and spinach pasties (one of my go-to's) and about four pounds of beefy macaroni and cheese. These can be paired with a wide variety of vegetables (canned, frozen, and fresh) to make complete meals. I would be much more comfortable with doing the jobs out of the town knowing that my mother is free to keep a closer eye on my father.

More planting was done, an entire flat was planted with onions, peppers, and sunflowers, and another two containers were prepped for chives and dill. The seeds in the first flat are beginning to sprout, and the herbs and zuchinni (one of my favorites) are showing promise already.

Oh, and I did laundry, some home repair, and knitted another hat. I kicked the household's ass, and took names. It doesn't happen often. but damn, winning feels good.

'Nuff said. (at this point, I would walk away from an explosion while putting on my sunglasses...but I don't have the special effects budget for that.)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

(Somewhat) Productive Day

As the title says, today was somewhat productive. Aside from some personal issues that I do not wish to discuss publicly, today was mostly about re-centering and trying to find a balance point. Today's projects included two hats, as well as some additional progress on my powder horn. I also started a series of up cycled buttons, the images all sourced from vintage textbooks.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Thoughts on a Crisis in Faith

When one thinks of a "crisis of faith" one has a tendency to think of the divine. My problem is unfortunately much more profane than that. As I sat and watched my father fade out again, I was struck by how poor my father's medical care was (and is) and how it is affecting my faith.
Once again, not in God. I still need some omnipotent target for my anger.
The faith I am slowly losing is my faith in man. For many years, I have lived with the philosophy of Moliere, "for the love of humanity." But watching my father be so ill, and watching the tragedy of errors at the hospital has made me wonder if humanity in fact deserves that love.
Man is a great and terrible creature, able to inflict harm or do good with a single thought, word, or gesture. As of late, I wonder if the better nature of man is going to win, and for once in my life, I am not so sure that it will.
I am growing tired of being constantly disappointed in my fellow man. To expect the best of each person, only to have my (what is unfortunately an) illusion shattered each time. And while this is going on, one profound quote echoes through my mind over and over again: "What is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me.

Ps: Projects accomplished today include two hats, one infant and one adult.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Today I received something very nice: the opportunity to travel for a job. Once I was out of college, that was one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately due to the familial situation, I haven't had much opportunity to do that as of late, but a fast job let me leave town for just a brief moment. Sometimes leaving a situation allows you to get perspective. The job gave me a chance to recharge both myself and my wallet.

Both of these factors came in handy for the rest of my day, since it mostly consisted of shopping, especially grocery shopping.When I was younger, I used to hate having to go, but now as I have aged, I now fully understand a lot of the factors that go into a successful shopping trip.

I think the first of these factors are organization, and keeping to your budget. This second one is especially important to me at them moment. As for organization, I had three different ads, all marked with the items and quantities I needed, in addition to a notebook with the list, and finally an envelope full of coupons. I felt fairly well organized.

What did that organization get? About $60 off of the grocery tab for today. Oh, and in keeping my promise to make something every day, I finished up another infant hat. That and the scarf I am working on both use what I refer to as the "dregs" of the yarn, that last bit left which is too short for a project. When combined together though, it serves two purposes, 1) saving money and 2) creating a one of a kind piece.

Well, I am exhausted, and now I have reached the destination for the night. Good night John-boy.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Productivity/ Obsession.

I am starting to get the feeling that I am obsessing about productivity. The very fact I think this is the case means that most likely that IS the case. In short, it's an obsessive version of Descarte's theory: I think I am obsessing, therefore I am.

Well, that opening paragraph is a tautological nightmare. The point is, I am slowly coming to the conclusion that I have shot right past the balance point between relaxation and work. Work is good, but having it on your plate 24 hours a day, loosing sleep over if you are working enough can't be good for you.

Additional random thought: Through empirical observation, I have noticed that a majority of the population no longer works with their hands in...well, any capacity. I have come to this conclusion based on the number of people who have come up to me and asked me what I am working on when I have anything that I am tinkering with in my hands. It is actually rather sad to think about, as how many skills will die out when there is no one left to practice them? Side note: I completed two hats today.

After spending the whole day at the hospital, I went to do a quick job promoting an upcoming film Kids for Cash. It looks rather promising, but considering the premiere is tomorrow, I doubt I will catch it.

In the end, I feel today was productive without being blatantly so. I was there for my family, which is one of the most important things I can do right now, I made some money (which will go a long way towards covering groceries this week), and I still was able to make something (or strictly speaking, two somethings, but why nitpick?) All in all? A decently productive day.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

I Get By...

...With a little help from my friends. Yesterday was, well, cathartic, among other things. Am I still angry? Hell yeah I am. Am I dealing with it. The answer is also yes. Thank you all who reached out to me, a lot of your wisdom and perspective was greatly appreciated.

Today was focusing more on planning to deal with the financial issues. I am now doing my best to bring in the groceries for the house and take over meal planning. This received a boost today at the grocery store when a lot of the canned goods are on sale, and more importantly, a lot "no salt" vegetables were among them. Menu planning for my family is an, well, we'll call it "interesting" puzzle in the interests of being polite. Balancing food allergies, the various medical conditions in the family (hence why no salt is important,) the actual food preferences withing the group (my mother hates peas, and my girlfriend hates seafood. I consider them both horribly mistaken.) and food costs can be practically a full time job in itself. Fortunately, I am slowly getting better as I go, and have now discover the extensive use of weekly ads.

On a more manly subject, I have started work on a new powder horn for myself. For those people who have no idea what that is, it is literally a horn (in this case, from a cow) that has been adapted into a container to hold black powder. This device is a mainstay of hunters and re-enactors both. The thing in particular that I discovered today was that with so many microscopic layers, horn is not so much "worked" as a material, but "coerced" into shape. But, I did cut myself on the project, so I now know it is worth pursuing (I know, it is a strange metric, but I don't consider myself having worked hard on a project unless I have accidentally made myself bleed.)

And as usual, I have another hat done, this one should be great for the oncology ward. Tomorrow is the start of a long few days though, and I have miles to go before I sleep.