Finding My New Posse

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It is a crooked path.

Moving to a new state at the same time that I retired and took on cleaning out mom’s extra stuff has had one main downside: I left all my friends in another state and did not have the usual introduction services (family, work, school) that we use to settle in.

I have been fairly proactive to find my new peeps since getting here. But it is a weird and winding path. I signed up for community education classes, to meet folks with similar interests. I got scolded by the yoga teacher for talking before class. I signed up for a couple dating services, as years ago, I had met several excellent men that became friends instead of boyfriends through a dating site. [Hey! And bonus if the dating site leads to an actual boyfriend!]

The first couple of coffee dates were just weirdness personified. A third led to some cool conversation/walks and an invitation to Kirtan, where his band has played for years. Kirtan is not for me, it is a call and response Hindu event, where some attendees are inspired to ecstatic dance. The last time I was able to muster ecstatic dance in my body, I was about five years old. The Kirtan was held at a Yoga center, where I felt very much at home. And then on the same side of the street, next to the yoga center is an arts collective….of mostly women…who mostly do fabric arts! SCORE! And there is the poster, I saw in the window of a local shop about a Mindful Book Club. Signed up for that…

And the last time I took stuff to the food pantry, I checked out their volunteer requirements. And then I went home and spent 4 hours cleaning out the garage.

I haven’t found my posse yet…but I won’t stop searching until I do.

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Winter Session Classes

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This is a pose I can only aspire to.

Last fall, I took a weekly yoga class and I loved it. But it was only once a week. So I signed up for an online class that I could access daily. I loved that too. Then, I found a real life yoga studio where I can take daily classes. Currently, I do an online class and a real life class most days which is about 1.5 to 2 hours of yoga per day.

I’m taking a six session botanical colored pencil drawing class and a one session kitchen composting class, which promises that at the end of the class, I will have a working, indoors, compost bin. The compost class excites me, as my garbage has been going in the landfill since I sold my house and moved away from my compost bin and I want to turn that around.

My final class is a seminar in California (I’ll be using those free miles my brother gave me) on incorporating the shadow self into the personality. I booked an extra day at my lodgings so I can have a day-long hike in a redwood forest.

What are you all learning these days?

Sewing Projects

I have been hinting that I have completed a few sewing projects and here is the evidence. I took a class in the Alabama Chanin style of embroidery and fell in love. Here is what I fell in love with:

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Alabama Chanin Style embroidery. This is what the real couture stuff looks like

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This is what I now aspire to.

And this is what I completed at the end of my first class.

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My only defense is that I was told to bring 2 T-shirts. I did not know what I was going to do with them.

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Detail.

Next project:

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Tunic dress. Ignore the white lines, which are sunlight through the shutters.

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I cut off the too-high neckline and did a blanket stitch at the new selvage. This material was a nightmarish man-made polyester-nylon-spandex thing and did not respond well to hand-sewing. I will not work with this fabric again. (She pounds her fist on the top of the fabric bin.)

And the final project for this post is:

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Basic man’s grey sweatshirt. Neck scooped out and sleeves shortened.

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Then lots of stars and suns of various sizes are embroidered on the sweatshirt.

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This is just a start. I plan to add many more of the tiny 5 point stars to the collar, and maybe the sleeves.

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And here we can see the loose drape of the garment, skimming the love-handles of the model.

Because what is the point of sewing your own clothes, if you can’t hide your figure flaws?

No News Is Good News

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Me and son Mike out for a walk.

It has been happily uneventful here at mom’s homestead the past two weeks. No new spider/mice/snake infestations. No new trips to the emergency department. I have been driving mom to doctors appointments and bridge games. I have been faithfully putting out the trash and recycle bins, filled as full as the waste-haulers will allow. AND I convinced mom to pay for yard-waste pick up, so now I fill a bin each week with branches or leaves or other compostable yard matter in addition to the recycle and trash. Each week, there is a bit more space and beauty and I may get busy and photograph it for you all.

Son Mike is here on winter break from school and yesterday we got a break in the temperature and went for a walk in a local state park.

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At the head of the trail.

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There wasn’t a lot of green, but this hill of moss was eye-catching.

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I love how the light hits those trees in the distance.

And apropos of nothing– I went to a small gathering of friends on New Years Eve, and was asked by a woman who I had just met, “Where did you go to high school?” This question is a local custom, deemed acceptable, and the answer is used to slot you into the categories of social situation (climber/old money/poor/blue-collar, etc.)/ethnicity/wealth. The question annoyed me for the following reasons: 1) this is the best way you have of relating to humans? 2) um, that was 40 years ago. Ask me what I have been doing since then. 3) I did not have any choice about where I went to high school. If I had, I would have gone to a different school. 4) Really?