Welcome back?

Nothing quite showed me that I missed my little blog here like almost losing my little blog.

A year ago – wait, more than a year ago now – I was thinking about shutting this blog down. I started to archive a bunch of posts I was going to revisit and repost or post about over on Patreon. I was going to use Patreon for all the blogging – both the patron-only posts and then also little posts like this, so people could get an idea of my voice and content before committing to becoming a patron, if they were so inclined.

Then the rest of last year happened.

Then this year happened.

Good lordt, y’all.

I actually thought about resurrecting it in December, when Tim got sick, but it was just easier to post one place (Facebook). But then a lot of people who wanted to be kept in the loop weren’t on Facebook, but then I got set up with Caring Bridge and that was really perfect for what was going on. So I posted there instead.

Then I got to the point a couple of weeks ago where I was ready to start moving the archived posts over to Patreon… and I found out I couldn’t get into this site any more. I struggled with it for about a week but gave up, and resigned myself to losing all the back posts. I had already lost the 2002-2008 posts when I had The Great Migration of 2008 over to this site, but that meant I had 2008-2021 (or whenever my last post was) that would be lost. I was pissy about it for a few hours, then started to look at it as a way to just go ahead and let go of the past, start over, fresh – or even not even start over at all.

But then Laughing Squid saved the site! And I got back in! So… here I am.

People have been asking me to turn everything I’ve been writing to Tim into a book. I’m not completely adverse to that, but … I held a lot back. There’s a lot that only a few people knew as it was happening, and there are a few things I never told anyone. That’s what’s been holding me back from looking more into that. Everybody would have to get really cool about a lot of shit, real fast, for me to be honest enough to put it all down.

But also…  I’ve been toying with the idea of reposting all of the things on Facebook, and the things on Caring Bridge, here. Then at least if I never put it down into book form, it would be all together in one place, here. At least until I lost the archives again, hahaha. Sigh.

Anyway. Good morning. Anyone still around…?

Roo-teen

It sure is great to finally feel like I’m getting back into a routine, she says, two days before going out of town for five days. HAHAHA. Actually, I am very much looking forward to getting out of town for a couple of days. Imma sit in my friend’s house while she’s out of town, writing, watching her cats and her dog and being a Responsible Adult (HAH! Has she met me?) in the house as I also watch her amazing daughters come and go to and from work and school. I always write better when I go out of town, which you’d think would be the opposite, yeah? Go out of town, mess up your routine, where does your creativity go? But when I am here, at home, no matter what my creative force says it wants to work on, I always feel like HaldeCraft should come first. Going out of town removes me from the studio, lets me say “well, I can’t work on that even if I wanted to” and so then I am free to focus on writing.

Side note, I am not a fan of these changes WordPress has been doing that make it super counter-intuitive to put in a photo. I want to — whoaaaaa I almost wrote “carriage return” like I’m doing this on a typewriter (kids, ask your grandparents). Anyway, I just want to start a new paragraph and see an option to add a photo if I want. Not start a new paragraph, hover over it until I get a little pop-up, click the pop-up so that it gives me a selection of things I can do, like insert a table or a quote or an image, and click image, choose from Upload or Select Image or Insert from URL, and if it’s that I want to Select Image, do I want to use some sketch free photo site, log into Google photos and use something there, or insert a picture that I already have uploaded to WordPress and is available in my media library?

It’s almost enough to get me to stop putting images in my post! What’s with all the extra work?! She says, complaining about the free service she uses to only occasionally blog with. Not to mention that some other recent update has shrunk the type down to like 6 point font. There has GOT to be a way to change that. Urgh. Hrm. So. Anyway. Moving on.

What was I talking about?

Oh! Right! Routine!

I have been enjoying routine lately. You know that phrase, all the best things are out of your comfort zone? I call bullshit on that. Sometimes, the best things are comfortable. The best things are things you can trust in and rely on. The best things are things that make you feel at ease, especially when everything else is so out of control.

I wake up a little bit before 7. If it’s a day when I’m running the kiln, I go over to the studio and start the kiln while the coffee pot starts up in the house. Then I sit and work on social media for about half an hour or so while watching Stargate with two friends, and drinking coffee. I love these two humans and honestly the four mornings we get together (virtually, online) to watch shows we love is the best way to start a morning. We’ve watched Farscape, Babylon 5, are now into Stargate, and have plans for Stargate: Atlantis after that. I love talking about the show with them on Facebook, making fun of things or doing a “hey, it’s that guy” thing or talking about how much we like the costumes or set or whatever. It’s just… fun. And social!

Then I try to spend at least 15 minutes, maybe half an hour if I’m not feeling pressed for time, in the guest room coaxing Tulip into being a snuggly house girl. She still does not want to come out of her room although we leave the door open all the time, to the rest of the house. So I try to hang out in there a few minutes a day here and there, give her some attention and human interaction.

I’m generally in the studio by 9 at the latest. I work on HaldeCraft; I put yesterday’s orders together, take them to the post office or UPS, try to keep an eye on email or social media in case I need to answer a quick question. And then I make things. I make ceramics, I make soap, I wrap soap, I glaze ceramics, I load or unload the kiln, I take product photos, I dye yarn, I wind yarn, I label yarn or label soap, I work on custom orders, I email people about custom orders. Then around 2 or 3 I try to wind that down and work on Patreon. I write, I do research on things I want to write competently about, I make notes about what businesses are on what station and what the floor plan of the station is, I work on blog posts for Patreon, I answer messages left on Patreon.

Then, since about the middle of December, I try to get on the treadmill by 5, 5:15 at the latest. I walk for 45 minutes to an hour, and watch something on Netflix. A long time ago I was trying to watch American Horror Story but there are some storylines I just can’t get through and I don’t know that I like the ones I have liked enough to skip over the ones I don’t, and try another season. What if I don’t like that, either? So I started rewatching Longmire; I’d seen the first two seasons but then not the rest, and I love how dark it got after it switched over from regular TV to Netflix.

After the treadmill, another little visit with Tulip. After that, dinner. After dinner, TV. While watching TV, catching up on accounting, or writing a blog post, or catching up on personal email, or coloring, or knitting.

Then reading, and sleeping, and waking up and doing it all over again.

Once every other week, I order groceries online and drive up to Starke to get them. And/or I go into Gainesville. If my friend Bill is up for it and Parklands is open, I’ll go see him. I’ll meet a friend for a socially distant wave. A couple of weeks ago I went into Anthem to talk to a new-to-me artist about getting some ink (Monday! eep!).

I kind of like having a routine. It’s almost like things being back to normal… I mean, other than they aren’t. But at least without waking up and my first thought being “good lord what the fuck now” as I read the news… and a bit of a routine that I can lean backwards and relax into… it almost feels like things might get better soon.

What’s this looseness in my lower back?

Y’all. Y’ALL. This is so crazy! I have these … I think they’re called … muscles? Maybe tendons? In my lower back? And they don’t feel like rock or rebar? They feel like actual muscles that have really been overused, stretched tight like the last rubber band on a large ball, and for about the last day now, they’ve been feeling…. well, feeling. Like, I can let them go, and I can feel them. It doesn’t feel as if my lower back is made out of a cement block.

So. How ’bout yesterday, yeah? I don’t even know what to say. “Thank Goodness”? “It’s good to have adults in charge again”? Probably a lot of the same things y’all are saying to yourselves.

My January so far has most likely been a lot like yours. After the “we just need to get through this weird Christmas” there was “we just need to get through this weird New Year” and then there were a few nice, calm days (I mean except for that whole pandemic thing) and then a couple people tuned in to see how that whole Electoral Certification thing was going because it feels like this election is never going to end and then holy shit, wait, what, insurrectionists, armed home-grown white-ass terrorists are storming and breaching the Capitol Building, that hasn’t seen fighting in its halls since 1814?! I mean, barbed conversation aside. Pretty soon we were all glued to the TV and I don’t think any of us has taken our eyes off the news since then. And then yesterday went from chewing our nails in fear that we’d see an assassination or bombing live on TV but unable to look away … to tears of joy as we saw such representation, such grown-up behavior, such emotional speeches and music. Talk of accountability and equality. And fashion! Those clothes, y’all! Yesterday wasn’t just a breath of fresh air, it was a sigh of relief, a letting go of stress, a looking around and seeing that there are allies. I’m almost daring to think that I have some hope for us.

But meanwhile… what else is going on? I’m in talks with someone at Anthem to get a new tattoo, one I’ve been thinking of since last year. My regular artist can’t see me until April, though, and I don’t want to wait that long to get started. So I’m waiting to hear back from someone else who works there to see if he wants to take on my idea. I’ve not been doing much knitting, but I have been doing a lot of coloring. I haven’t been doing a lot of writing, but I have been doing a lot of making soap and ceramics (and accounting work, that needs to be done this time of year). I haven’t been doing a lot of reading, but I have been watching a lot of old Doctor Who. I haven’t been doing a lot of (any) partying, but I have been trying to reach out to friends with texts and messages more (Facebook is great for keeping in touch, but so is texting one-on-one).

Aside from the occasional trip to Publix about once every two months, I’m still ordering groceries online and doing curbside pickup. I suspect if I lived closer to a Publix, I’d do more in-person shopping… so maybe it’s safer that I don’t, haha. Stupid pandemic. I don’t miss shopping in person at all – the less I’m around people, the less I want to be around people! But I do miss some of the Publix-brands of things, I miss a grocery store that’s well-lighted, I miss a grocery store that has enough produce that if you see one thing with mold, you can just choose another, and not have the choice be between moldy strawberries and no strawberries. I miss seeing that you usually get a particular brand of something but on the shelf next to it you can see that a different brand of the same thing is BOGO, or some sort of other special. I still haven’t really figured out how to find things on sale at WalMart when ordering online or on the app. So there are some things I miss about being in the store….? But people aren’t one of those things.

What else was I going to say? I kind of feel like if I did forget to say something, I might actually have the energy and brain space to blog again in a day or two. I mean, now that I’m not trying to keep democracy steadfast and alive using the power of my mind? I mean, I’ve only had one day of waking up with my first thought not being “what the fuck went wrong while I was asleep” and I can already once again feel my lower back! Imagine what it will feel like after a few weeks of that?!

I’m not saying everything is perfect and grand and we can all let go, no. Not by a long shot. The war is not over and there are thousands of battles to still be won. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate for a few days. We can rest. Recuperate. Plan our next step, and rejoice that we’re no longer fighting on two fronts. There are still so many wrongs to be made right.

But I have feeling in my lower back for the first time in I don’t even know how long, so that’s a good start.