24 August 2013

Two lil knitted blankets for Lil Suthern Belle

I don't always take the time to upload and post pix from home, preferring to wait til I am at the BookMart & Cafe' DownTown and use their faster speed WiFi to accomplish in a flash what would take my DialUp a looooooooooooong time.

So here are two lil baby blankets that I've made for the newest member of the family, who should arrive in just a few weeks:  Miss Lil Suthern Belle.  She's my husband's youngest son's first child.

He and his wife chose to go with a coral and grey, with white accents theme for their daughter's room.  So the first blanket pictured here is a simple garter stitch, done on the diagonal, in Caron's Simply Soft persimmon and grey.  It's small, just 2'x2'.

The next is a simple 1x1 rib stitch, done in Sensation's Classic Rainbow, coral.  It's also variegated with a soft grey and white.  This is a slightly fuzzy fabric that is nice and squishy.  It's a lil bigger, 3'x3'.  mmmmmm, sleeeepeeeeee time

I also have some Caron one pounders.  I thought about what to do, have come up with five or six different ideas, considered and discarded them.  I think I have a solution, tho.  It involves a grey hippo with white eyes and toenails on a persimmon background.  This one will be crochet, from a graph of a cutely squashed baby hippo.  It makes ya wanna hug her and squeeze her and call her "George".

20 August 2013

Cafe Sci: Starkville, MS

If you're around, and you want to join us; we'd love to have you!

When:  Tuesday 20 August 2013 @ 6p
Where:  Veranda {208 Lincoln Green}
Topic:  Diversity among African American Politicians
Speaker:  Dennis Nordin
Kickin' off our fall sessions, Dennis Nordin will be discussing some aspects of his 2012 From Edward Brooke to Barack Obama: African American Political Success, 1966-2008.  Come join us!

16 August 2013

The Depression of "Manic~Depression"

It seems like there isn't much that I can say that isn't intensely personal right now, but I feel I let that interfere with my writing and other activities.  In the past, when I would feel that I couldn't get out of my own head or events in my personal life; well, then I'd withdraw from most of my interactions with acquaintances, groups, and public activities; for fear that I'd alienate folks by saying the wrong things or focusing too much on personal stuff while in the company of folks who might find that inappropriate.  My filters begin to slip or simply vanish and then I say and do things that I later wish I had not said or done.  So the way I dealt with that was to withdraw for a time.

Some consider that isolation.  But I think that it can be a smart thing to do.  Sometimes, personal reflection, rest for the mind and body, is just the thing.  This type of behaviour can be restorative, healthy.  Withdrawing becomes problematic, or isolative, when it contributes to life's malfunctions instead of helping to solve those troubles. 

For instance, about ten years ago, I discovered that I sometimes needed complete peace from interactions with the outside world.  At that time, I found the phone to be particularly irritating.  It was an insistent interruption and would bring the outside social world right into my own peaceful place that was my sanctuary from invasive chaos.  I was experiencing heightened anxiety and would have panic attacks in public places often.  There were triggers that would startle me into losing my shit quickly and with a frightening intensity that seemed to never quite abate completely.  One of those triggers was a ringing telephone; so I silenced the ringer on my land line {I had no cell} and would periodically check caller id or the messages if needed.  My friends and family knew to leave a message if they wanted a return call.  Cuz really, I lived by myself, was not responsible for anyone but myself, and what sort of emergency was any one going to have that would require my immediate response?  Really?  Absolutely none.

So for five years, I didn't use the phone, wouldn't take incoming calls, and rarely made outgoing ones.  At first, that was fine, it was what I needed.  But then others began to worry because they felt that I was isolating myself.  I can see from their perspective, and in our society, at this time, yes, it probably was a bit excessive.

But then I rejoined the world at large.  Or rather, my community.  I met a wonderful man who become my husband within a year.  I began to get involved with several smaller groups, a few who met monthly or even less frequently.  I was careful not to commit to any obligations that would overwhelm me.  I was gingerly moving; but still, it was forward movement.  And that, my friends, is something.

I've made lots of progress over the past decade.  But then there are times where something so completely blindsides me, that I don't just have a set~back...I seem to fall to my knees, die a cutting death with great agony, and sink into the mucky mire of dreaded despair.  Then I want to retreat.  I need to retreat.  I crave that retreat so totally, it scares me.

Here's the thing:  when I feel this way, I feel like I will always feel this way.  Even tho I know that I won't.  It feels like I will.  And that feeling swallows me whole and with such relish that I cower in corners, under covers, shutting out the world.  Or at least I think I want to cower in corners, under covers, and shut out the world.

But I don't.

Cuz to do so, would be too easy.  It would lead me too easily into isolation, an unhealthy dark dank place that deadens me and scares my loved ones.  And that is what depression is like for me.

06 August 2013


Dear College~Student,

This is a hugely exciting time of your life.  You are meeting new folks, getting acquainted with your roommates, and stretching your wings.  There's a new town for you to explore, with all its cute lil boutiques, cafes/restaurants, and such.  I get that.

You've got lots of emotions running rampant.  Yea!  You finished a life~long endeavor to get here!  Be proud of graduating, completing thirteen plus years.  Yea!  You're starting something new, hitting the big leagues.  Wahoo!  You're leaving home and moving on.  Get that.

And I get the whole text book, class, professor thing.  It can be overwhelming.  It can be exciting.  You might say and do all sorts of things while you're finding yourself, trying this and that.  You might even say and do things in fits of nervousness that you'd probably never say or do at any other time.  I get that, too.

So go have fun.  Within reason.  Have a blast.  Within reason.  Enjoy the whole college experience.

BUT, {and you knew one was coming right?}  keep in mind that while YOU are not the center of the universe, neither are you alone.  Lots of others are willing to help you thru this process.  BUT you have to be willing to help yourself too.  Please get that.

Understand that not everyone around you is experiencing exactly what you are.  And neither do we want to do so.  I really Really REALLY do not want to hear about your dilemma over which ice~cream you choose and why you did so, and I certainly don't find the process of how you chose the ice~cream that you did nearly as fascinating as you do.  Please get that.

If I can hear your squeals of excitement while your describe your great love for Snickers Nutcracker, while I have earbuds routing Garbage's "Shut Your Mouth" into my head; then there is a likelihood that you are too fricken loud.  Just sayin'.  Please get that.

If I can hear your one sided conversation {that'd be a monolog, right?} as you chat away on your cell, while I am eating across the restaurant from you; please get that the entire room doesn't share your exuberance in finding just the cutest lil boots ever and on CLEARANCE {especially since it's AUGUST in Mississippi, you do get that, don't you?}.

And dudes!  If you are standing in line in a store, while the cashier is ringing up and bagging your purchases; be ready to pay.  If you and your roommates have turned shopping into a group event, and want to pay as a group; then try to work your strategy out ahead of time.  Huddling up at the end of the counter, while more folks queue up, is not effective.  If you can't divide the total bill by the number of housemates {or whatever your plan of attack is}, then just pay; and worry about divvying up expenses fairly later.  The cashier is not amused with your witty excuse that you are all poor college students.  Especially if you are dressed in clothes that would require an entire month's wages.

Please respect others; like the residents of this town, the employees who serve you, and your fellow students.  You will receive more respect yourself, if you treat others accordingly.  If you want to, get involved in the community.  Volunteer with some of the excellent efforts in the area.  But at the very least, be responsible for yourself.

Welcome to college, may you enjoy your years here.  May we enjoy your years here too.  Let's work together to make them good.