I WILL NOT FAIL JUST BY MAKING THIS MORE OFFICIAL.
Author Archives: Jess
Look. I know that seeing two house-shaped buildings on one property can be confusing. Who does that, right? Oh, right, just down the way from us are also several houses in one open plot, but those are all occupied ad all have their own delivery address and mailbox. I’m sure you’ve had to deliver something to that group of houses over the years.
Still, when there is only one mailbox at our location, the big house in the back is NEW-LOOKING with toys on the porch and in the yard and a driveway up to it (however much the grass has crept up between the rocks) and the tiny house in front looks worn out and has PLANT LIFE BLOCKING ALL ENTRANCES to the point of looking completely abandoned, you don’t have to make even a small leap to realize that the back house is the occupied one.
Barely pulling into the road end of my driveway and beeping your horn does not cut it when people live in houses with good insulation. Even if I am near a window, you drive off too fast for me to get outside and run down the driveway! True, sticking packages in the garage with an open door at least means a delivery, but while I appreciate the concern for protection from the elements, essentially hiding them in the garage doesn’t work either.
Knock. On. The. Front. Door. Or at least pull up to the house end of my driveway before you beep your horn and turn around to leave.
Yesterday, I had the random urge to pair that quote with a ghost.
(I have a long list of ideas from the past few days, actually, but the impetus behind that idea overload are for another post I haven’t yet gotten the drive to finish writing.)
After browsing some patterns and just images in general, I decided to take this one in a geeky direction by including Boo, and save the cute ghost vs “whore” contrast for a more Halloween-themed pattern. I downloaded PCStitch to see if all the hype I’d seen was true, and as far as I can see, it is! It’s a great program that made creating my first pattern fun.
I’m still nitpicking over pixels, so this isn’t likely to be the final design exactly, but that’s a screencap of the pattern preview in PCStitch before I closed it out (as I don’t have the $50 to hand over for the full version for save or print capabilities).
NaBloPoMo November was a failure – I JINXED MYSELF >.< – but I'm moving on, knowing that I set a goal that was too big for immediate success. SOMEDAY, THOUGH.
Today I have written, just not right here. Well, at least not here yet, since I'm doing so right now.
Dolly needs clothes because the Munchkin wants to do what most mothers of infant girls do, DRESS THEM UP ALL THE TIME. As Husband Boy was anti-dresses for the early years of the Munchkin’s life, I didn’t dress her up nearly enough for my maternal urges. Time to redirect that to toys.
I originally separated the crafty/handmade/hand-assembled/and so on elements into another blog for two reasons:
1) ODB:NTB is my space to talk about anything I want, however I want, so it won’t always be acceptable for all ages. If I want to swear, I will and I won’t feel guilty about it (no, not even if you’re reading this, Mom). Crafts should be family-friendly, and if, say, my doll clothing trial and error helps another parent and child the way other blog posts have helped me so far, it’s better that’s not sandwiched between adult nonsense. I’ll still cross-link to keep the blogs connected, as anything blatantly not family-friendly, like some subversive cross-stitch or, I don’t know, felt penis dolls, will be located here and linkable there.
1) I hope to soon run a small online shop selling both ready-to-purchase items and my services in creating custom handmade items for those who want handmade, want something specific, but don’t have the time or skill to do for themselves, so I want a blog supplement specific to that venture.
AND NOW TO GET SEWING.
WHY HELLO THERE, NATIONAL BLOG POSTING MONTH.
I was going to do this blog a day thing on my own, but while searching for writing prompts (I wanted to be prepared now for any brain block later in the month, the reason why being a topic for another post), I found this. My track record with group-organized commitment is not that great, and by that I mean SHAMEFUL (see: previous attempts at NaNoWriMo), but this one has the advantage of only having one goal – blog every day for a month, just to blog. No word counts, no theme to get frustrated with, no limits to creativity at all. Just write.
That’s what I’m doing anyhow, so why not? I WILL NOT FAIL JUST BY MAKING THIS MORE OFFICIAL. NOTE TO SELF: not even by getting distracted with new blogs to read.
I probably should have known about this sooner, given the number of mentions of BlogHer on blogs I like to read, but I’m behind on my reading and using that as an excuse, okay? OKAY.
There was a post lurking in my brainpan, but the glee of discovering NaBloPoMo derailed it temporarily, and Storage Wars and American Hogger (I had never seen an episode of either prior to this week, but now I appear to be hooked. American Hogger, especially. I choose their family drama over the Kardashians ANY day.) are calling my name, so I’ll save it for another day.
As I said in my last post, I’ve struggled with how to start this blog since it was created, and even before that with failed ideas for other blogs. The urge to write, however, is one thing that hasn’t been a struggle, as evidenced by note after note in my mobile phone’s note app. One such little “postling” waiting to be a grown-up post out there on its own was something I started after dealing with the loss of a great woman, one of my high school English teachers, Nancy Collier.
Dealing with death is never easy. Duh, you say, everyone knows that. But for much of my life I’ve had a phobic fear of the ceremony involved in noting the passing of a loved one, from viewing hours to the funeral to internment. Clowns scare me, spiders turn me into a senseless idiot, but the parade of death makes me want to lock myself in my closet until it’s all a distant memory, and then a month more for good measure.
Looking at the remains of someone – no matter how skilled the mortician’s staff, they will never look like the person they were – wigs me out. It was horrific the few times I either had to be there or made myself do it because of the importance of the person to me. I am still thoroughly convinced that my deceased great-uncle sat up in his coffin. I wasn’t a confused little kid at the time, so it wasn’t childish fancy. I can’t explain it, other than that grief does crazy things to a person, but it formed an even stronger sense of DO NOT WANT in me.
Still, as an adult, I began to accept that for as much as it sent me into a cold sweat, doing these things are both a strange gift to the family and to yourself.
Numbers matter when you’re the one standing in a funeral home thanking each person for their condolences. Those faces will blur together due to tears obscuring your vision. Those words will stop sounding like any recognizable language when you listen to them over and over. All that you’ll have left after will be a sentiment measured in how many bodies passed before you, a blur of faces and names bearing the simple message of the impact your loved one had on their life.
For the grieving queue, going through these motions is the first step to accepting that the ugly truth of never again is indeed your new reality.
Even now, I still find it hard to accept that there’s a never again where Nancy Collier is concerned, that cancer claimed her life just as she was preparing to head back to a job she had held for over twenty years. In that time, she had an impact on so many students, some I have knows and many I did not. Her funeral, held in the very high school she taught at, was one of the longest I’ve ever attended because so many stood up to tell those gathered their personal stories, all of them peppered with the things we all had in common. No one could care about you while telling you what a little swine you were quite like “Ma Collier”. Her love was of the tough kind at times, but there was no doubt to anyone that it was love, that even when she let out that infamous gasp! because of you, she had that indignant passion because she truly cared about the person you were meant to be.
I didn’t speak, because I am a failtastic public speaker, and I couldn’t picture myself stand up there when there were so many more still connected to her… and I hadn’t been. After she gave me a piece of wise, but at the time wholly unwanted by my teenage self, advice about a boy not being worth my time, we were never again as close as others were with her. As a teenager, I resented her intrusion into such a personal part of my life. I have a mother, I don’t need another one, I must have said to my own mother and friends numerous times. As I am today, I know she was right. Hearing all those stories of the woman she was to her students after their degree was in hand, my reality became one of never again and a missed chance, to have spoken to her one last time, to have possibly found a new relationship built on the foundation damaged by teenager righteousness and a strong opinion. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.
That personal difference never changed how she contributed to my life, though. From as early on as elementary, when the few of us in the gifted program would gather for our creative writing session, she saw and nurtured passion and talent for writing. That continued throughout high school, where I (nearly) always found delight in her classes and extracurricular education, challenges to rise to and be proud of when they were over come, rather than the pained boredom of a mind that went forever unstimulated.
Unlike some of those students that spoke at the funeral, I don’t have a wall of impressive degrees or hold a prestigious job. What I do have is a deep love of the written word, be it forgetting the world between the pages of a book or writing for myself. I write every day and have done so for years. I pray that the day I can’t write daily is far enough in the future that I don’t need to concern myself with it anytime soon.
My passion, always nurtured, will always be my small part of her sweeping legacy. And no matter what I do with that passion for writing, as long as I keep doing, Nancy Collier will always be a part of me.