Thursday, February 28, 2008

More pictures of the Mullet Purse

Ok, batteries for the camera are all juiced up, so here we go...

This first pic is of the back of the purse. One of my zippered pockets...Zipper is 6".


First view of the colourful lining...


The lining in all its glory! It has a very light silver outline to the green flowers.


A view of the interior pocket; 7" long.

Lining and pocket

I must say that I am pretty proud of this purse. It makes me smile!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Anne, the Fabric Wrangler (or the story of the Mullet Purse)

Besides working very hard on the inside, I have been trying to do some new things in my outer life. For example, I wanted to make chewy caramels from scratch. So, I did what I always do: I head over to Recipezaar. I found some recipes, and most people commented that their caramels were too soft. I wanted chewy, not gooey, caramels, so I found a recipe that had a higher end-cooking temperature. So I made them, slowly cooking simple ingredients on the stove. However, I ended up not making caramels, but toffee. So-hard-you-have-to-suck-on-them-to-make-them-soft toffee. Delicious, but not what I was aiming for. Will have to try again another day.


I also have been working on making myself another purse. One with *zippered pockets* and a flap to cover the opening and enough body to keep its shape. I have a bunch of fabric, and found in my stash some purple wool and a contrasting yet complimentary cotton fabric for the lining. I also had zippers too, so I was all set to go.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on it here and there for a few minutes. I looked up a tutorial for zippered pockets. Ironed in interfacing. Got the zippered pockets done. By Monday, I had decided that I just wanted to finish it already. So, in then past couple of days, I worked hard and got it done.

Purse 1
The finished purse...

Just call me the "Fabric Wrangler" because , jeez, sometimes this project was a pain. Thick fabric, lots of layers, me being picky because I didn't not want any of the lining to show, etc. But I made the fabric submit to my will (mostly)!

Purse 2
Front detail...

Now, the reason I call this the "Mullet Purse" is this. You know how the description of a mullet is "business in the front and party in the back!"? Well, this purse is business on the outside and a party on the inside! I love the lining fabric! It is bright and colourful. It is like my own little secret that this serious purse has a fun interior. Unfortunately, my batteries in the camera died before I could take a pic of the zippered pockets and the lining. I guess those will have to wait until tomorrow! It is pretty huge for a purse; it can hold 5 large paperbacks and still have room for my wallet, iPod, phone, lunch and whatever else I may ever need. The strap is long enough to go over my shoulder, and is also tapered.

Is it perfect? No. Is it GoodEnough (tm)? Absolutely! The zippers work, and I think it looks pretty good. Besides, it makes ME happy, and that is all that is really important, right?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Here I am!

Warning: The following may be triggering or difficult to read. Viewer discretion is advised.


Over the Christmas holidays I took life pretty easy. I didn't do much "work" (in relation to my PTSD). When January came, I rededicated myself to working a bit harder. (I know, my therapist is always saying: The slower you go the faster you go. Hmm, maybe I should listen to her once in a while...)



One of the things I did is to focus the majority of my energies internally. I have spent most of my life living for others. My nursing career was for my parents. Spare time was for my dogs, my family and my friends. It is not to say that I didn't do things for myself; of course I did. But all my emotional energy went outwards. Worry, concern, love, or simply doing things because so-and-so would enjoy it, was my life. I am an Eastern European Woman, and I learned that that was what women do. Put others before yourself. Always.

I got tired. I got burnt-out. But I kept going. Doing what I thought I should do. But now I truly realize that if you don't take care of yourself, you cannot help others. So I started talking less to my best friend and my cousin. I cut off most communications with my parents (they were also a trigger). It was not that I stopped caring, but that I needed to take care of myself.

I wanted to get into some kind of routine. I started listening to myself. What I needed, like food or rest. Telling my hubby what I needed from him (he is being a great cheerleader for me!).

Now, I am eating much more routinely. I eat actual meals, spaced apart. I am not grazing nearly as much. I give myself breaks. I am teaching myself to sew. I am doing somewhat better with the housework. I am napping when my body tells me to. I am resting when I need to. I am eating more fruit and veggies. I am trying to listen to my emotions and figuring out what I need to be comforted.

I know I have a long road ahead. Emotions, especially "negative" ones, overwhelm me easily. I still eat "too much" or "the wrong stuff" when it all gets too much. I get sucked into old thought patterns.

I am trying to learn how to be gentle with myself. Not so easy, for sure.


Memory (Alert! Very triggering!)

Last week was really hard. A couple of years ago was when some new, difficult memories came to the surface. I started seeing some memories in a new context. Within the space of a few months, my life blew apart. My past was not what I thought it was. Flashbacks were horrible.

With getting into treatment, I have been able to better ride through flashbacks. Some of the "body flashbacks" are still quite disruptive and fatiguing, but I can cope with the visual flashbacks so they are not disruptive at all. I am able to say to myself: "This is a memory. I am in the present. Right now I am ok and safe". With any flashbacks, I am getting better at taking care of myself while getting through them.

Right now, the difficulties I am having are around my memory. Some memories are clear. But some of my memories are sketchy, indistinct, yet I have a sense of knowingness which surrounds them. But, I tell myself, what if I am wrong? What if my memories are incorrect? What if my understanding of them are wrong? I know that "so-and-so" would *never* let *anyone* hurt me (he told me so many times!), but my memories are of him hurting me. I can't be right! But what if I am right? I *must* be wrong! But I don't think I am wrong! And round and round we go...

It is so much easier to say that I am wrong, I am defective, it is all my fault. Because what would it truly mean if I were right? How will that redefine my past?

My brain is such a minefield that no matter which way I turn, I get hurt.


Physical Health

So. My family doc has been watching some of my bloodwork, because my liver enzymes are elevated. I finally got in to see a liver specialist Thursday. After doing a thorough assessment, he said that I don't have any serious liver disease (yay!). However, I do have an "inflamed liver". I need to get more bloodwork done, I need to lose 40 lbs, and I will see him again in a year. Yay, I think? I guess it is not so bad.

It was kind of funny (not really). I called my parents to let them know what is going on. My mom asked me if my liver inflammation was due to my "weight". I said yes, and I got silence on the other end. Sigh.


So that in a nut shell is what you've been missing. I hope to start posting a bit more regularly; even just light posts.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fat is a statement

Fat is a statement. A good essay about fat that explains things so much better than I could.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Just a quick post to say I am ok. I am just looking inward a fair bit right now, and haven't felt like posting. Posts will resume more regularly in the future!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Getting better + Where have you been all my life?

My cold is much better, although I still have a wet cough. I am still resting a fair bit and taking care of myself.


My therapist has been suggesting some books by an author named Geneen Roth. Funnily enough, I happened to find her website through meandering the internet. Now, I believe in "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear" philosophy. I took all these signs to mean that maybe I should read some of her books. Went to the library and found "When Food is Love" and "When you eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair". I got them out on Thursday and have already devoured them! I have never understood my underlying issues around food until now. It is like a light-bulb went on! I now want to re-read them and really absorb her message...