I started by sorting through my photos, to jog my memory, and DANG! I did SO MUCH in 2013!

So, when I feel like a lifeless blob who has no goals and isn’t accomplishing anything, I’M PROBABLY DELUSIONAL.

Posting this list now, with hopes of highlighting each item (with photos!) but with the caveat that things could change.

Best Decisions of 2013:
-Agreeing to photograph Charlottesville SOUP (three times).
-Joining a CSA.
-Attempting Whole30.
-Going to a counselor to deal with double-vision anxiety.

Things I Learned in 2013:
-How to make kombucha.
-How to cut my own hair.
-That I not-so-secretly want to be a homesteader.

Accomplishments in 2013:
-That quilt show.
-Sewing things with sleeves.
-Self-drafting patterns.

this guy



Does he look stressed out to you? I want him to be totally zen about his life – and he probably is, because we’re not really talking about him right now – but instead he’s bobbing up and down, flopping around, moving far too slowly and not knowing if there’s anywhere particularly interesting to go anyway.

Maybe he needs to set some resolutions?

Yeah, he’s working on it.

November thoughts

I’ve had the urge to post on this blog more often, so I’m just running with it.

There might be a new (and short-lived) series hitting your screens/faces in the near future. (Hint: it includes more mirror self-portraits, because I am never not thinking about my wardrobe.)

I LOVE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! Some people think it’s awful, but I kiss the air and dance for joy and generally talk about it every day during the weeks before and after because WAKING UP WITH THE SUN IS MY FAVORITE!  Yes, walking home from work in the dark is rough, but I find it breaks my day into two clear-cut segments – it’s already dark when I’m home, so the setting sun doesn’t confuse my hunger or sleepiness. I just turn on my Happy Lamp (that’s really what it’s called) and work on projects.

Since I’ve never once had a desire to write a whole dedicated post about my double vision, I’ll sneak it in here – yes, I still have double vision. I know. I KNOW THAT IS CRAZY. It’s been over two years now. Bringing it up is like opening a whole can of worms, but I’ve made peace with some of those worms in the past year. I’m not okay with how awful the medical industry is, and how I’m expected to be my own champion through this whole ordeal, and somehow it’s my job, as the layman, with a highly personal and conceptual idea of the problem, to help these highly-educated and logical professionals understand this journey WHEN I ALREADY SENT THEM A CHART WITH PAGES AND PAGES EXPLAINING THE PROCESS IN MEDICAL LANGUAGE.

Now that I think about it, this explains why one of them said, “I feel like the process of getting a diagnosis is more stressful than the actual double-vision,” because IT IS. I can make peace with a medical anomaly (which is what I meant to talk about here), but I didn’t expect to need medication to help manage the anxiety I now get every time I have to see a doctor. The system is broken. I’m experiencing that. My heart aches for people who don’t have the option to say, “This doctor thing is too stressful. I’m going to just focus on living my life instead of searching for an answer.”

But, obviously, I want an answer. I want to have normal vision again. I am haunted by the thought that someone out there knows how to fix this. I want to find them, and I wish it wasn’t so difficult.

natural product love: soapwalla deodorant cream

Don’t worry – I still remember the State of the Blahg and how excited everyone was to talk about natural beauty products! I was too, but then I had a ton of quilts to make and/or finish, and an art opening to enjoy (still haven’t posted pictures here, have I?), and then I lost April to allergies and HELLO I AM BACK HOW ARE YOU TODAY?

The best place to start is with the natural product that convinced me that I could do this. It was the first one that smelled like something I would willingly wear (which, if we’re honest, most mainstream deodorants don’t even make that list), and which worked well enough to win me over.

[trumpet fanfare]


Soapwalla Deodorant Cream

Oh wait, I already mentioned it in the title. No surprises here!

What I love about this product:

-The smell! I need to go home and sniff it again, because I can’t describe it from memory, but it was nothing overpowering. It doesn’t smell like incense. It smells fresh and clean and light. (Edited after another sniff: it smells like lemony clay. And probably lavender.)

-The texture! Once I got past the weirdness of applying with my fingertips, that is. The texture is like a very smooth and dry buttercream frosting. It doesn’t feel sticky or gooey or greasy – when applied, my underarms feel like SKIN. I love that I don’t have to wander around with my arms up for some undetermined time, waiting for it to soak in or dry out or whatever is supposed to happen.

-It works! I first tried this product when I was in France for two weeks – sorry, Europeans – because I figured nobody would notice if I was a little stinky. (We spent a lot of time on public transit, and I must say that nobody smelled particularly terrible.) After that trip, I continued wearing it through the summer with no complaints – it kept me dry (enough), even in horrible August humidity, and I wasn’t self-consciously stinky.

-It is not using chemicals to alter my body in strange and confusing ways!

A few disclaimers:

-I didn’t love it as much in the winter, probably because it’s not an antiperspirant and I was sweating into my clothes…clothes which probably weren’t as clean in the underarms as I’d previously assumed. (Please don’t make me talk about this any further. I have theories, but they are all related to the staying-power of non-natural products, and how that affects our clothing, and I have already said too much haven’t I?) I used the natural cream when I wore newer shirts, and tended to switch back to EXTRA MAXIMUM SUPREME NO-SWEAT FOR WOMEN when I wore something older.

-You need to re-apply every day. I used to get away without reapplying when I used EMSN-SFW (see above), but now, on shower-less mornings, I have to wash my underarms and re-apply deodorant cream. Though this is a slight inconvenience (I am so lazy on shower-less mornings), it’s not the worst thing ever.

-My armpits got SUPERdry when I was adjusting to this product. Those drying ingredients REALLY work. (My palms felt drier, too.) This can be remedied by applying body oil (or lotion) to your armpits just like you would to the rest of your body.

So…those are my thoughts! Check out the Soapwalla website for more information. I’ve now replaced this product two or three times, so it’s definitely earned my stamp of approval. (Which, by the way, is one of the reasons these reviews have taken so long – I only want to share products that I would buy a second time…or already have.)

a list

-February was a quiet month, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s always a quiet month for me.

-I’m thankful for DST, and for the possibility of making it to the grocery store after work on a weekday. (Since I try to avoid driving in the dark, this was a big winter problem.)



-Have you marked your calendar yet? April 5th is my quilt show, and I’ve finished three quilts already. (One is a full-day’s work away from being finished. Another is a string of evenings on the couch (hand quilting) and then a full-day of finishing. We’ll see how many end up at the show.)

-I’m already dreaming up the next set of complicated quilts I start making once this show is over. (The quilts I made this past year were a bit simpler, since I had a specific deadline in mind.)

-My March goal is to start journaling more regularly again, particularly to make some lists for myself. When I don’t make lists, I don’t really accomplish things. Particularly when they are things I don’t want to accomplish – things like scheduling an appointment with a regional corneal specialist. (There. I said it out loud.)

-After posting those book reviews, I remembered two other books that I read this past month. No photos or haikus to show for them. Yet.