I’ve got my sewing machine back!

She’s been over at the parents’ since I moved, mostly because Mum’s 70s vintage Husqvarna is still broken so she used mine, and partly because I hadn’t worked out where she was going to live in my flat. I still haven’t figured that out yet, so I’ll be stepping round her in my bedroom for a while, but I don’t really care.

So pretty, and so heavy!

She’s a Singer 128K from 1923, ‘born’ sometime after June 27th, and has been in the family for at least three generations, maybe four. Me, my mother, and my maternal grandmother have all ‘owned’ her, and it’s possible my great-grandmother did as well, although I have no idea when she arrived in my family. It’s even possible we had her from new, but as any reciept has long since disappeared I’ll never know. So why bring her home today, seeing as I’ve nowhere to put her yet? Partly because not having a working sewing machine in the house may actually make Mum get hers fixed (it’s not worked for literally years now), but mostly because I went to visit my friend Charlie this weekend and got to see her newly aquired 28K, the older sister to my 128.

I’ve been meaning to get mine back for a while so I can start quilting, which is one of the things that reading The Last Runaway has inspired me to do. I’m planning on making a purple patchwork one to start with for yoga/meditation – one that I can use in savasana to stop getting chilled and also fold up to use with my zafu instead of a zabuton. I also bought a flannel blanket/quilt kit from Hobbycraft for my goddaughter’s Christmas present, so I’ll be practicing my piecing on the kit (precut squares and simple design for the win), then making up my yoga quilt top, practicing quilting on that, and then quilting Abi’s – hopefully with fewer or no mistakes! I’ve got a few other quilt plans in the pipeline as well, but I’ll start with those two and see how I get on.

I’m also going to be making Kizzy some pattern weights for Christmas, as I found some great multi-coloured owl fabric fat quarters in Hobbycraft a while ago and Kizzy’s patron goddess Athena is all about the owls, along with crafting and weaving. Pattern weights seemed appropriate. And at some point I’m going to be making some skirts out of the fabric I snagged when Kizzy was clearing out her sewing room – cotton single bedsheets in pale blue, green, two slightly different shades of red, and brown. The brown I can use as a toile or test piece, and then use it for larp if it doesn’t got too wrong, the blue I can adapt to use in Little Woodham next year (planning on using elasticated waistbands which won’t work in the 1600s, and the blue has a few holes in it – good for re-enactment, bad for everyday wear), and the rest for wearing and feeling pretty in. I like long skirts as they make me feel feminine, which my workwear certainly doesn’t, but I only have three I can really wear outside of parties and Sidmouth Folk Festival, and two of those are very much summer skirts – thin, floaty, and translucent when the sun’s behind me. And another plus is red and green are two of what I think of as ‘Freyja colours’, along with gold and dark pink.

As for why I’ve been referring to my sewing machine as ‘she’ throughout this post, I’m blaming Charlie for that as well – she names her sewing machines, and they’re all female. I’m considering calling mine Frigg.

Back view

Fighting apathy

I’ve reached the stage of ‘not having to go to work’ where all my ‘free time to do things’ enthusiasm has waned. Granted, I’m still getting fatigued a lot easier than I used to and the breathlessness isn’t helping any, but I had enough energy to tidy my bedroom floor so I should have enough energy to sort out my desk and the cupboard in my bedroom as well as write emails, last posts on AT, and posts for here (I have a stupidly huge backlog of those). So while I may have the energy I just can’t bring myself to do much. I’m trying, and things like the washing up and food shopping are getting done, along with small things like phoning the GP for an appointment, but I find myself putting off the bigger tasks like writing emails and sorting through things.
Not necessarily bigger as in huge/will take a lot of time, but more things that are harder to do or that I don’t want to do – sorting my bedroom cupboard for instance.

Yarn stash, fabric stash, clothes, miscellaneous bags of stuff… There’s a reason I keep the door shut.

Unfortunately, the apathy extends into my spiritual life as well. That’s not to say that I’m completely ignoring it like I am the cupboard, but I’m only really managing the little things – daily prayers, finding something to be grateful for each day – and not managing the bigger things. Grounding for instance. Before I got ill I was getting really good at grounding – I was doing it every day and I had three different visualisations I could use that I was getting pretty good at. But then I got ill, and grounding just wasn’t happening while I was in hospital, even the last couple of weeks I was in rehab when my brain and body were mostly working like they’re supposed to. Since I’ve been discharged I’ve tried to ground every day, but the times when I’ve been able to are far outweighed by the times I either haven’t been able to or haven’t bothered. Part of it is I’m just out of practice and part of it is probably because I’m usually trying to do this just before I go to bed, but even today when I was at the park near my flat I found it hard. I spent a while standing on the riverbank with my hand on a horse chestnut tree trying to ground through the tree (which I’ve had success with in the past), but while I could visualize the green Earth energy inside the trunk I couldn’t connect to it.

I’m not sure how much of my apathy and procrastination is due to the muggy heat and the fatigue that comes from walking a couple of miles in it most days (part of my ongoing recovery), how much is due to the feeling I’ve got a load of time still left as I have no idea when I’ll be signed off as fit to work again, and how much is me not having enough structure in my days. I’ve got some – I’m getting up at eight and (mostly) in bed by 11, lunch and dinner happen at the same times as when I’m at work, and I’m usually out walking between 2 and 5pm, but that’s about it. So one thing on my to-do list, which I haven’t done yet because ugh, effort, is to write up a daily schedule with a mini to-do list for each hour I’m awake. I’m not going to follow it slavishly as that way not only madness lies but also the inability to have flexibility when friends come round; but I think knowing that for example 10-11am is when I do housework or 9-10pm is when I write emails and having timers set on my phone will help me get things done. And hopefully getting things done and ticking them off my daily and general to-do lists will get me out of the doldrums I appear to be in.

I’d love to be able to go back to work as I really miss being on site, and it would also mean that I’m healthy again with working lungs and a normal heartbeat, and my old strength back. But I have to admit there’s a part of me that wants to be signed off for longer, which I try to justify as ‘well that way I’d definitely have enough time to do all the things I’ve been meaning to do for ages’, but which I have a feeling is just my brain going ‘be lazy longer’. Because brains hate you being proactive.

Here’s hoping a new week will help me make a newish start, beginning with more grounding practice! Because right now I feel the way these rabbits I saw in the park today look:

Apathy bunnies.

I am in a state of shock

Aeclectic Tarot Forum is shutting down.

This news has shocked me, and made me sad and upset as well. I’ve been a member of this forum since May 2007, and for ten years it’s helped me learn and grow as a tarot reader. It’s one of my internet homes, and now I won’t be able to live there any more.

I got an email today notifying me of a new PM, and as I so rarely get messages on AT I went to have a look. It was from one of the members,  just a regular member – not a mod or administrator, giving me a heads-up that the site was shutting down. Now while there’s a banner across the top of the forum announcing the closure I don’t go on AT every day, and week if not months can go by without me visiting, so if it wasn’t for that PM I may have missed the deadline of the 14th of this month. I will be forever grateful to missy for that.

Now the site’s not going away completely, thank the gods; the main Aeclectic site with details and reviews of decks will carry on as normal, and the forum will still exist, but it will be frozen – no new posts, no login ability, that sort of thing. And you have no idea how grateful I am for that – the forum has seventeen years’ worth of accumulated knowledge on all aspects of tarot and oracle use, as well as other divination methods, and the thought of all of it disappearing scared me no end. After all, I’ve had to live through that once already when the old Magicka School forum shut down; as far as I can tell none of it was archived anywhere, as the new forum attached to the school was a completely fresh slate, I can’t find it on the Wayback Machine, and after the changeover none of the other students could find any of the information either. There was so much magical and spiritual knowledge on that forum, and I really wish it was still available.

The vast majority of AT will still be there though, only a few of the forums will be locked as private after the shutdown. So tomorrow I will be copying all the threads I started or posted in in the reading forums, and also writing those posts that have been on my to-do list for a few weeks. It’s not like there was any urgency in posting after all, the site wasn’t going anywhere…

And I’m going to say some goodbyes as well. While I spent more time lurking than posting there are several users who helped me along my tarot journey through their contributions, and I want to thank them while I still have the chance. I don’t know where exactly I’ll go after the 14th, as there are several other forums out there, some started recently by AT members, just none (as far as I know) with as large a membership as AT or as long and rich a history.

I still can’t quite believe it. There may well be tears when it finally sinks in.