Yeah, I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, I’m starting to get letters.

So I’d like to think that this past year, difficult as it has been, I’ve managed to navigate it with grace, humor and shear determination.  I’ve had my house overrun with contractors since last fall, cleaned out more sh*t than a human being should ever have (and I’ve barely made a dent), reclaimed spaces as my own, and tried hard to keep a smile.

Until this week.  I got off a plane Saturday morning after a sleepless flight home on the red eye from Seattle.  I knew going into this that my painting contractor had electrical difficulties and the east wall of the kitchen was out and what I didn’t know at the time was so were the ponds.  I knew I’d have to call in an electrician.  I also knew that my ethernet to my office computer was starting to act up again, and that I had probably a hundred emails that would have to be attended to and navigated before I got on a plane Friday morning for Vegas for a two day workshop.  My  landscape contractors had come in my absence and started the major overhaul of my gardens.  Some of this is timing, especially weather, and availability.

Running on no sleep, I will say I had a lovely Mother’s Day with my children, and my newly painted kitchen looked fresh and clean.  My daughter spent Friday as I was flying home trying to reorganize everything so I’d walk into usable kitchen.  And I did.  And I’m really really grateful.

And then everything went south.  Electrician contractor was able to come Monday, find an obscure GFCI circuit in the basement that had tripped for some reason and restore power to my east wall and figure out that the outlet in my studio that apparently wasn’t working, which I discovered the week before when I pulled out a wall unit to access it, was never in fact hooked up.

And then the dog got sick.  Kennel cough. It is a virus, sort of like the flu, just has to run its course, rarely happens especially with vaccinations, but  it did, and I had a pretty miserable dog on my hands.  And I have to board them again tomorrow for the weekend while I’m in Vegas.

And then yesterday morning, I had my annual mammogram/sonogram and a decascan.  I had cancer 15 years ago, I cannot go through this annual ritual without some angst.  And I have two friends who’ve lost their husbands about the same time my husband died, and they were both diagnosed with breast cancer and we buried one of them a couple of weeks ago.  Haunted is a better word.  Yes, I’m stressed.  Until I get that call that all is well, I’m stressed.  I admit it.

There is the other looming issue, pun intended, that this time last year was the beginning of the end.  I was in the Pacific Northwest teaching when everything went to hell in that proverbial handbasket.  I was with many of the same people as word started to come in that things were not OK with my husband.  Did I mention that haunted is an appropriate word?

And then there were the ethernet problems.  I was holding on, sleepless and concerned for my coughing dog, until I could not address the 100 emails that needed my attention, orders, contracts,  and to top it off, the final edits for two articles I have written for two different magazines.  Both had complicated issues, and I couldn’t do any of it.  I couldn’t follow up on anything, I couldn’t send out information, all I could do was answer people temporarily on my cell phone email access, inadequate when you are having conversations with editors.  My tech guy came yesterday and spent four hours, tracing the problem to a frayed wire in a switch, and everything worked fine for about two hours and then my ethernet went haywire again.  The difficulty was my internet/WIFI worked fine.  My office system does not use WIFI for many reasons, though I’m in the process of correcting that for emergency purposes.  My office system is hardwired and has always been.  

I was a cranky bitch yesterday.  I have house guests on top of everything.  Someone I adore who will love me in spite of everything.  I am really grateful that all my contractors and my friend, and my son gave me space to grieve and be pissed, exhausted, and  cranky.  

I had a feeling a couple months ago, that the ethernet cable that fed my office needed to be replaced.  My tech guy would always find a culprit and fix it and things would work OK for awhile.  This time, though he thought he found a solution, it was pretty clear to me that the entire cable needed to be replaced.  I had checked the garage below my office, trying to figure out how the wire was run through the ceiling of the garage and wondering how the hell we were going to rerun the wire and what alternatives I had.  This morning at 6am I was woken up by my late husband, I kid you not, who kept telling me, the cable goes up to the attic, don’t you remember, we ran it together.  I spent the morning tracing the line, up the northwall, across both attics, (you don’t want to know the amount of sh*t up there that I haven’t even begun to deal with) and down the south wall of the house, 140 feet.  Everytime I would lose site of the cable, a voice would tell me to look up, look under or look ahead.  The joy I felt when I traced it to the switch box in the basement was just the best.  I did it.  I found it.

Tech guy came back after lunch today.  I told him that we were rerunning the cable.  It was 90 degrees today in North Jersey.  It was about 115 in the attic.  He wasn’t happy, but I was the client and he had no other solution.  So up in the attic we went, I climbed over everything into the corners, and guided 140 feet of cable down through two walls, across two attics while he pulled from the other ends, one end went to the basement and the other to my office.  Turns out the original cable was co-axial, 24 gauge wire, state of the art at the time, but totally inadequate for speeds and data demands in 2017.  It seems to have worked.  I’m overjoyed that in spite of spending an hour this afternoon in 115 degree heat, we did it.  I kept picturing myself in a sauna. People actually pay for that.  I just kept breathing.  We re-ran a new line and my system is running at full speed and I’m happy.  

The shining part of the whole day yesterday was the landscape contractor who moved about 50 mature bushes and began the transformation from out of control gardens to something beautiful I can actually manage.  He did a magnificent job, mowed my lawn and I walk outside and smile.  Except it was 90 degrees today.  And 92 tomorrow.  So I have to hand water 50 transplants and hope they survive, knowing I’m leaving Friday and there is nothing more for me to do.  They will live or they won’t.  I’m doing the best that I can.  

So I had a melt down yesterday.  I’m not proud, but I have good people around me and lots of support.  And I got through it.  The dog is about 90 percent better.  The plants are mostly still alive, the ethernet works, the electricity in my studio and the east wall of the kitchen and the ponds work, and the only issue I’m having is my freaking website and shop are down.  Really?  We are working on a long term fix, obviously moving everything to a more reliable hosting company, but trying to decide how I want to have my shop moving forward, whether to keep printing my monographs, maybe start a video download, 99 cents for a video of a technique, lot of ideas, we will see where it takes me.  The important thing for me is that the information doesn’t die with me.  I’m seeing so many of my peers retire, or die, and that information is lost, I am too much of a teacher to let that happen.  

And so, thank you dear readers for your patience, I’m sorry there are no pictures, I’ll follow this blog with the great photos of the Whatcom Weavers Guild and my five day adventure with them.  Meanwhile, the dog is healing, my friend and her husband are here and wonderful, my office system has steady internet, the voice of my deceased husband has quieted down, and my gardens are gorgeous.  I look out over the balcony and I want to cry, happy tears.  It was a challenging week, but Friday morning I’m hoping to get on a plane and head to Vegas and teach an inkle weaving class.  I fly home Monday night on my 62nd birthday. I’m hoping the new gazebo will be installed by painting contractor.   I’ll be OK.

Stay tuned…

Comments (26)

SusanMay 17th, 2017 at 8:37 pm

Haunted/Sauna/coughing dogs/yard……….ARGH! You deserve a ‘meltdown’! You will survive and yes I know that is trite but I am thinking of you, prayers. DO enjoy Vegas……Love from Me

Beverly FielderMay 17th, 2017 at 9:12 pm

I sorry you’ve had a bad week. It must be something in the air. It’s been rough for me here this week but I’m looking forward to a weekend with you in Vegas. Please have a safe trip and hopefully we can help you relax while you’re here.

LindaMay 17th, 2017 at 9:24 pm

A well earned meltdown! Hope your trip is rejuvenating and your dog continues to improve!

Nancy CrouchMay 17th, 2017 at 9:50 pm

I know how you feel. I am learning how to manage remodel,etc after my husband has been gone almost a year. I read your blog and I find strength. You are very strong. Travel safely

Ruth EllenMay 17th, 2017 at 10:07 pm

What an AWFUL week! May your weekend be rejuvenating for you. Bad news is that meltdowns happen (through no fault of your own, I might add); good news is that you recover from them! You are strong, resourceful, tenacious and you have vision and dedication – I am always so impressed by all that you do. Take a moment in Vegas for yourself. Safe travels ~

TedMay 17th, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Your doing great. Hang in there I’ve been following you for along time so you can’t give up I have taken three of your online classes. The first one was live Just keep the blog going. Ted

Elizabeth EMay 17th, 2017 at 11:00 pm

ANYbody would melt down. What a tangle of circumstances! Heat, too! You are SO brave and capable, and funny and wise and balanced, and did I say capable?

LauraMay 17th, 2017 at 11:40 pm

I totally and completely get that you don’t want your knowledge to disappear with you. You get the ‘adulting’ prize of the century.

Lotus BakerMay 18th, 2017 at 12:50 am

Having been in your class in the Northwest last year and seen how stressed you were and how you gracefully handled yourself and our class, I am sure that you will come out of this stress on top again. But you are allowed to have rough times! We all do! But you are loved and respected so use that to pull though.
On another note, cancer sucks, it is hard to lose good people to it. Sorry to hear about your friend. Because of you, I am knitting knockers to help other survivers. Keep going….

Nancy WeberMay 18th, 2017 at 1:10 am

So glad to hear from you, I’ve been wondering how you were doing. What a bummer week+ for you. And, you got through it one day at a time, one hour sometimes and now have a newly painted kitchen, new ethernet wiring and all is well with your computer, etc. When you have energy and time, you will tackle that attic. Take care, friend, have a Happy, Happy Birthday next week!!!!!! Hugs,

Liese SadlerMay 18th, 2017 at 4:58 am

Leukemia survivor here and know all too well that the body seems to have a memory about traumatic events and milestones. I’ll not be thinking about anything remotely involving cancer but about a month out from certain dates I am not totally myself. As a take charge person it has become a life lesson for me to ask for help and have learnt to pull back to have time for reflection. Thanks for your reflections, I’m sorry to read that you’ve lost a friend but I’m sure you’ll celebrate her life with everyone that knew her.

elizabeth streeterMay 18th, 2017 at 5:11 am

Keep plodding along although it sounds like you are running at full steam maybe after this class take a day or two to just sit and breathe enjoy all you have achieved happy birthday mine is Saturday 20th and i feel old i am not accomplishing half as much as you,just working a job i really no longer enjoy but figure i only have 18 months to go so will stick it out.
At least you love your work and are bringing joy to all those who take your classes read your articles or even just read yoir blog. Thankyou for taking the time to write all this down

AstrigMay 18th, 2017 at 5:50 am

You are grace under pressure. To those of us who can’t hear the voices in your head, you are calm, elegant and capable. That’s half the battle, right? Love and hugs to you from Maine.

Jane BironMay 18th, 2017 at 5:51 am

Hope you have a Happy Birthday Daryl!

LindaMay 18th, 2017 at 6:11 am

Thinking about you Daryl!!

Nancy CurtissMay 18th, 2017 at 6:29 am

…and I add my voice to these encouraging notes 🙂 – especially at the crux of so many important “anniversaries” – your husband’s passing, the yearly mammo. And then all the other stressors. So glad your daughter was there to try to smooth things out – and that you are now past THAT week. Another anniversary! May you receive the nourishment you need in the next couple of weeks to recharge your own batteries!

Jamie LaMoreauxMay 18th, 2017 at 7:09 am

you are so past due for a meltdown. your psyche and body needed it. Now you’ve had it and can go on a bit lighter in spirit. your electrical and internet problems are clearing up and now have a great time at your next class. your students and the guilds love you. and if you feel the need come down to Orlando, you KNOW we love your classes and you!

Joan AhernMay 18th, 2017 at 8:06 am

Things always seem to come in packs. Know you have family and friends who care and wish you well. Glad everything worked out and you’re moving on. Have a great time teaching, see you soon. Hugs!!

graceMay 18th, 2017 at 9:05 am

My 2016 was similar in style to yours: lost both parents within seven weeks of each other, three aunts/uncles, and basically my job. When the sh** hits I keep reminding myself “At least I did not have to eat a frog” and I can manage to get through things. Friends, family, and the family one creates all help, as well as giving oneself permission to fall apart occasionally. I hope all goes better for you.

Elisabeth BischofMay 18th, 2017 at 9:10 am

In advance a HAPPY BIRTHDAY Daryl !!!!!! Sending all my Love to a great Lady, xoxoxo.

S. StanleyMay 18th, 2017 at 9:18 am

Sending best thoughts and good wishes to you. Meltdowns are needed sometimes – just to remind us who we are and what is important.

LaritzaMay 18th, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Seven years ago I moved across country with 5 dogs, 3 birds, to a new job, new house, no husband. He wanted a large house so we could each have our own offices and a fish pond…I complied even tho my commute is 35 miles each way…. I struggled on my own trying to keep up the garden, learned more about ponds and fish that I ever knew existed…my dogs started getting old, sick and left me one by one, a year later my now ex-husband decided he would not move with me. No friends, new place, new job, my family lives in my country of origin many miles away. I was alone, overwhelmed, exhausted, unhappy. Leaks, termites, sick dogs, non-working pond pumps…overgrown garden.
First order of business: got rid of the husband, cut down all the garden all the way down to lawn alone, the fish survived because I learned enough about ponds I can handle it. I am happy now, weaving again, with a brand new pack of dogs to show and train, I love my house but its simplified to fit me, my needs and my capability. It all falls in place, it takes a while but at the end it all works out somehow. Hang in there you are more than half way there, and you are strong, totally different circumstances but still alone and overwhelmed….I know the feeling, it sucks, allow yourself to cry and scream, its OK and it will be just fine.

Ann MarieMay 18th, 2017 at 5:01 pm

You are a survivor. One of the most skilled that I know. Best of all is a healthy health report for, without that, not much else is possible. Blessings to you!

AngiMay 18th, 2017 at 7:21 pm

I’m sorry you had such a hell of a time, but I think it’s SO cool that Kevin showed you what to do! It will be lovely when you come home from Vegas! Safe travels!

Ladella WilliamsMay 18th, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Wow! Where there is a will there is a way! Remember that saying. It was my husbands motto. Agree that Swamped, frustrated, frazzled can be handled with grace. And you are a survivor. That I know. Hugs. Feels good to let it all out and share.

AlitaMay 25th, 2017 at 12:35 am

Thanks for the post!

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