Everything Update

Writing: I’m technically signed up for Camp Nanowrimo but haven’t written at all in July. I made some notes but that’s it.

I bought Save the Cat and snowflake method books a couple of months ago. I tried so hard with the snowflake but I despise the book format so much I can’t get through it. I don’t want to read about how Goldilocks did it!

As for Save the Cat, so far I’ve gotten a little out of it but haven’t read very far in. I’m quite distracted by something else. More on that later.

I still plan on trying to do some writing this month, even if only for a short time every day (every writing day, not seven days a week). We’ll see if I can manage it. I don’t know why I’m struggling to get back into it, besides my distraction, but I’ll keep working towards a regular writing schedule.

New Hobby: On to what is distracting me. Sewing! If you knew me well this would shock you. I’m not exactly the ‘crafty’ type. Get a hot glue gun near me and I’ll feel threatened. Ask me to make a wreath to save my life and I’m dead. Paper crafts? Forget it! Sewing is different. It is not a craft in my eyes. It is a useful skill. It took me thirty years or so to come to this conclusion.

It all started with masks. I wanted my family to have some so I cut up some old T-shirts and got out some needles and thread. They took forever! Surprisingly, they turned out okay. I made some for a friend and then tried different patterns. Through it all, I was having fun. Fun with sewing. What the hell? How could I possibly have so much fun with something so…girly?

Then one day I randomly had an epiphany. Who gives a shit if I like something girly? Pardon the language but since it’s a quote I typed it word for word. I’d secretly been considering getting a sewing machine for a few days by that point. By secretly I mean I wasn’t admitting it to myself. I started looking at prices online.

Not long after my evening of research, I was at Walmart and I went into the fabric section. Sitting on a shelf, all by itself, was a sewing machine. I knew they had been selling out all over town so I followed the siren call and walked over. It was the one I’d more or less decided I would get, eventually. I seriously thought I’d be getting one in a couple of months. I even reminded myself of this as I put the box in my cart.

Floodgates open, I roamed the area and picked up everything else I thought I would need to get started. The last time I did any sewing was thirty years ago. I knew the basics but obviously, I was rusty, or so I believed.

You know the saying “it’s like riding a bicycle?” Applicable. I took to it as easily as I could have possibly imagined. I really thought it would be hard but it wasn’t. That’s not to say I haven’t had issues. You would laugh at my first zipper attempts. I still need practice with those.

The first things I made were masks, which were a thousand times better than my hand-sewn attempts. I bought fabric and made new styles and got good at it. To date, I’ve made some for everyone in my immediate family, my parents, in-laws, my best friend (who was patient as I tried many styles out on him), a few of my son’s coworkers, several of my husband’s coworkers, and most recently my brother and sister-in-law.

My sister-in-law posted a picture on Facebook of her and my brother wearing masks at the gym and said it was torture. I noticed the one my brother was wearing was ill-fitting and hers appeared too thick.

Of course, I pulled out my phone and texted her. She asked if I had black fabric. Miraculously I did (it’s so hard to get), so I got to work. I made two different styles that I thought would be better to work out in than what they had and I dropped them off on their porch (I believe in social distancing).

About half an hour later I got a very excited text from her. She loved the masks and she wanted me to make some for five of her family members. Yes, I was flattered. More importantly, I’m happy that she and my brother can work out more comfortably.

Also, for the last week or so, I’ve been making masks to send to New Jersey. My mother-in-law asked if I’d like to make some to sell in her shop. I told her I’d make up a few of each style and send them to see how it goes. I’ll finish those today or tomorrow. I’m also making her and my father-in-law a new style of mask. They both had trouble finding ones they liked, which prompted me to send the first ones to them. They like those but these other ones might work better.

If the ones I’m making to sell do well then I’ll bring more with me when we head up there to see them next month. We might have to get tested for Covid before we go since we live in Texas. That area requires people traveling from Texas to quarantine. It’s a mandate in New York. I don’t think it is in New Jersey but I’ll look into it.

Even if we just hang out at their house, we want to go. We only get to see them once a year. If we don’t go then by the time we see them again it will have been two years. Not on option unless the state flat out bans travelers.

I couldn’t blame them if they did. A lot of the people in my state have behaved as if they don’t have a brain. It seems like half of them won’t wear a mask just because someone told them to. Okay, toddlers. It’s not oppression it’s just inconvenience.

Anyway, so now sewing is my official hobby. It’s my second hobby ever. My first was writing back when I began but it became more than a hobby a long time ago. I haven’t had a real hobby for a long time. I play video games but I do it on and off with my husband. Sewing is a solo thing.

I adore it. I hope to get good enough to make shirts. I don’t know why shirts specifically but there you have it. I’ll do it. It will be a slow process but I’ll get there.

Sidenote: I’m taking my sewing machine with me on vacation. I’m making Christmas gifts for everyone in my family and I have a lot of relatives. Two weeks of no sewing would be a disaster. Plus, I just want to, haha.

Medical: Things aren’t terrible. I had an injection not too long ago. I still have bad back days but it’s been worse so I try not to complain too much. Leaning over my sewing doesn’t help but I’m learning ways to make it all work.

Back in August, I switched nerve pain meds. Since that time I’ve lost over twenty pounds! I knew that stupid medication was keeping that weight on. I didn’t change anything about my lifestyle, with the exception of NOT going to the gym anymore due to Covid, so I know it was the medication change.

I couldn’t be happier. It’s a happy hassle to have to go buy new clothes. I’ve picked up T-shirts here and there but still need pants. I had bought smaller pants a couple of months ago when I thought my weight was leveled out. Now they are also too big. Thanks to whoever invented belts.

I don’t mind continuing to wear those for a while. However, we’re going on vacation. Jeans aren’t going to cut it. So sometime soon I’ll get out and find some shorts and maybe capri-pants. A couple more tees and some tanks. I don’t want to spend a lot because I can’t guarantee I’ll stay at my current weight. I hope so, it’s a really healthy weight for me. Almost ideal actually.

Once upon a time, I was underweight. All my life until I had babies. People always asked me if I was eating. Boy was I! I had a high metabolism and could eat whatever I wanted. While I miss the latter I don’t miss the former. I didn’t like myself too skinny. I look and Am more healthy now.

Everything Else: Life isn’t so bad right now. My husband is an essential worker so life didn’t change a lot with the pandemic. The sucky part is I don’t see most of my kids very often and I miss visiting my mom and my grandma. But I will do whatever is needed to protect them. My grandma is 90 years old. For all I know I’m a carrier. So I call her instead of seeing her. I’ve seen my mom a couple of times but mostly we stick to the phone.

My writing group started doing Zoom calls so I get a tiny bit of social-ness once a week. There will be Skype calls for camp Nanowrimo all month (though I missed the first one because I was dizzy last night).

I managed to get a haircut for the first time since August. I was scared to get out but I’m growing my hair out and it was a mess. I needed professional help. I picked a place I knew would enforce all the mandates and risked it. Everyone in the place had a mask and I saw a lot of cleaning going on. I was quite impressed with the measures they took. That said, I won’t risk getting another haircut for a long time. My hair is past my chin right now and my goal is just shy of my shoulders. I can afford to put off doing anything until then.

My husband and I are on binging kicks. We watched every Star Wars movie and show (except Resistance, bleh) in timeline order. Then we moved onto Harry Potter, which we finished last night. I’m not sure what we’ll do next but I did manage to get him to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He didn’t hate it so I guess we’ll go back to that. He also agreed to watch the first episode of Orphan Black. I warned him it’s really weird but I think the pace of the show will pull him in. Whatever we watch, it’s a nice way for him to unwind after work without having to think about what we want to do.

That’s all I can think of for now. I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.

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