2013 really knocked the stuffing out of me.

(Technically, it was fall 2012-fall 2013, but for simplicity’s sake we’ll just round it to the nearest year.)

It then dragged the stuffing into the street, spread it all over, and drove on top of it in a muddy mac truck with snow chains on the tires.

I have gathered up my precious stuffing, but it is now hiding under the bed, still rather filthy and bedraggled. It is in desperate need of laundering and a good fluffing session, but so far it prefers to shiver in the dark.

I will not lie to you (and why would I?). Working in the wind industry was definitely one of the big gashes through which much stuffing escaped to the street. At some point, years from now, I may have more perspective on the entire experience. I’m not there yet. Certainly receiving threats of civil unrest and personal violence, and regular accusations that I must be in it for the money, from people who felt it their democratic right to abuse power developer’s consultants, was very interesting. Of course, my daughter’s ongoing health issues, a few new health issues of my own, some criminal activity on the part of an ex that affected me rather directly, and a year in which every expensive thing in my house (except the furnace–please god not the furnace, not yet) broke, all contributed. My poor stuffing. Just listing it all out like this has it shaking in its wet, fleecy boots.

Anyway: 2013: good riddance to bad rubbish. Don’t let my machete knock you on your way out the door. Etc.

2014 looks at this point to be potentially a better year. After ten long years (ten! long! years!) we actually have potential diagnoses for my little girl, which come with actual potential treatments that may vastly improve her health and quality of life. For this I will be immensely grateful, once I can articulate the decade-long wait without anger and see something good happening for her, both at the same time. I have a new job. So far I am really enjoying it. Also, so far, no one has told me I should die. Hurray! My own health issues seem to be resolving–possibly they were stress-related. Even my blood sugars are better so far this year. Which is weird. Good, but weird.

Anyway, I have high hopes for 2014. Including that my furnace will continue to heat my home for a few months more.

What I don’t have right now is the ability to do any kind of environmental activism.

Which is sad. A couple of times a day, I’ll consider it briefly–consider writing or reading or sharing links or going to a meeting or something–and even this will cause the stuffing to retreat further under the bed. I know that it will come back, since it is ultimately as inseparable from the rest of me as my eye colour or addiction to printed matter, but in the meantime I will allow my stuffing to act as if we are not living in the middle of the Sixth Great Extinction. A short denial period, purely in the interests of recovery.

Hence a lot of silence here (you may have noticed), which brings me now to … well … here.

Dear Readers, what should I do with this place?

Leave it empty until I can look at a climate report or protest ad without shuddering?

Or talk about what I am actually doing these days?

Now I know that the vast majority of you are already FB friends and you know full well what I am doing these days: I am sewing. (And working and taking care of the house and the dog and the kid, but when all that’s done, I am sewing.) And crocheting. And I am reading about sewing and crocheting. And I am shopping for sewing and crocheting supplies. And this is pretty much what I am doing.

Every year since I was … well, actually I can’t remember how old I was when I started to write New Year’s Resolutions, but it was a pretty comprehensively long period of time ago, and they have always been focused on self-improvement. I will exercise more! I will test my blood sugar more frequently! I will send out x article submissions! I will read y# books about science! I will volunteer at a shelter! I will donate 5% of my after-tax income to charity! I will learn how to cook m# new recipes! And so on. Every year. Most years I’d even do it. Last year, I accomplished essentially none of my resolutions–except the one to ditch the Diet Coke, which has me unreasonably proud of myself. Still, my self remains resolutely unimproved over its late-2012 incarnation. My self wants nothing to do with improvement of any kind, unless it involves improving my bed through the addition of a lovely new handmade quilt. But that’s bed-improvement. Not the same thing.

This year I don’t even have any new year’s resolutions, except to Have Fun. All in the interests of stuffing recovery, you understand. Now for other people, Have Fun might mean going out to restaurants or to movies or new clubs or parties or the kinds of things that involve other people laughing and drinking alcohol. I am not opposed to these things and I may participate should the opportunity arise, but the kind of Fun I am determined to Have involves … sewing. And crocheting.

I will sew clothes. They will be pretty and I will wear them.

I will sew a throw quilt for the living room. It will be a critter quilt. Then I will sew a quilt for my room. This may or may not happen this year, since quilts take a very long time and I have a very long list of crafty goals to accomplish.

I will crochet two sweaters. They will be comfortable and pretty and not-beige. I will crochet on weeknights, since it’s something quiet I can do while Frances is sleeping. On weekends, I will sew and make a big noisy mess.

I will dye fabrics using cochineal, logwood and onion skins. You’d be surprised at the onion skins. It results in a particularly vibrant and sunny shade of orangey-yellow. I will turn these dyed fabrics into cute little handbags. Some of them I will keep. Some of them I will not. What other things can I turn hand-dyed fabrics into? I’m sure I’ll think of something.

I will learn to sew with leather. Or suede. Or both. Why not?

Should I crochet a throw blanket? A nice cuddly throw blanket in a lovely soft colour out of some lovely decadent fibre like cashmere or alpaca? Just to have something I can cower beneath while my stuffing recovers? I don’t know. I am torn on this one.

I will cook some new things. When I feel like it. No pressure. And I will bake scones which will be eaten with our homemade strawberry preserves. And then I will sew.

There you have it, Dear Readers: 2014 in a nutshell for me. I will build myself a fortress out of yarn and fabric and emerge from it when I am bloody well good and ready. And in the meantime I suspect all I will feel like writing about will be sewing and crocheting.

Should I put it here, if I do? This is where you can weigh in, if you’d like. Here or FB. Do I irretrievably contaiminate my little-read green blog if I post about sewing and crocheting for a while? Should I just let it rest? Can I pretend after the fact that actually sewing up a pretty shirt out of a lovely italian cotton is somehow eco? I kind of doubt it.

Thoughts welcome.

4 thoughts on “Stuffing

  1. Your blog. You story. You choose what you wish to blog about containing your story. I love your stories. All of them. Please dont stop sharing them. Happy New Year!! I hope this is your best year yet!! Happy crafting!! I too feel a sense of being a bit more craftily productive than last year.

  2. ILife has its seasons, and you can’t do all things or be all things at all times. Sometimes, you have to fill yourself up, so that you can be what you need to be for Frances. So, sew, read and write to your heart’s content.

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