Altitude Hang Over

Wow, I feel like I’ve been on a 3-day bender!

I had no idea that I’d be so affected by the altitude, but for a few days I did NOT feel much like myself. Not that I’m not often light-headed and giddy, but I’m usually not SO light-headed and giddy (and tired, and dehydrated, and short of breath…)

The students in the class – 20 & 22 in the morning classes, 9 & 15 in the afternoon classes – were so wonderful! Good questions, good attitudes and VERY exceptional knitting!

And then there was the amazing location! We were at a historical education center in Littleton, with horses and geese, folks in period costume and lots of hay. Speeding by on a little motorized cart like some wacky Amish roller coaster.

And here is this lovely rustic gazebo where I spent my break time, refocusing and trying to breathe deeply.

I was stunned and flattered to have Cheryl Oberle in all of my classes – THANK you Cheryl, for your continuous patience and for helping out with others!

I’m not sure how the subject came up, but at one point I totally grossed the entire group out by mentioning my favorite dip for Fritos – 1 part peanut butter, 1 part tomato ketchup & some finely chopped red onion, too. Mix this up and you’ll be so happy – seriously. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts, then just don’t do it.

Will Knit For Stress Relief
But along with one of the oddest physical sensations of my life (being 5,000 feet above my usual level of existence) I had one of the best physical sensations of my life – The Massage.

After my second class on Saturday, Jane – owner of A Knitted Peace (and a very lovely person!) took me out for a beer and dinner. I’d heard that alcohol had more punch when you’re high up, and I guess I found that was true. Memory is dim.

Not long after I got back to my most enjoyable room, Ruth came by with her massage table and all the stuff that therapists usually carry around. She’d emailed me a few weeks before my visit, offering a full body massage to help offset the stress and recent back pain that I’d been suffering.

I don’t think I’ve had a gift arrive at a better time. Thank you so much, Ruth.

Stress has been the word for the past few months – and finding ways to deal with it; humor, family time, knitting, walks – this has been my constant struggle. I hadn’t realized, though, how all this stress had manifested itself physically inside of my body.

Ruth is exceptionally skilled – although I really don’t have anyone to judge her against… – and after being worked on for the evening I felt like a new person.

And now I am a massage convert. Ahhhhhhh. Or should I say, a massage ho.

Something New
Lots of new folks have been knitting up the corset, it’s like there’s a fresh wave of interest.

This beautiful young woman is Ellie, who knit the corset as part of her wedding dress.

I get a lot of photos from folks, but I’ve seldom been as gratified as I am by this. I feel like a guest at the wedding!

Treading Water
I haven’t been writing, designing or creating much – not as much as I have in past years – and projects that I’d hoped to have finish (or even start) are piling up like haystacks in my brain.

In my lowest moments I fear that I won’t be able to get back to the place I was at a year ago – looking ahead toward new book ideas, design ideas, and feeling relatively secure in my place as a teacher & writer. I’m not feeling so secure now, though.

I’m trying to roll with it – not let it freak me out or stymie me more than it needs to. I’m thinking this is probably the best way to work through this period without making it worse by panicking in slow motion.

As I sit down to sketch, to do some research, to write a bit (beyond the blog) so many things come up. Go here, do this, get that done. Be a mom, be a provider, be a healer and organize future teaching enagements (oh, Orbitz, how I loathe you – and how I love you!)

The emotional and physical energy involved in meeting dozens of folks is more draining than one might think. It’s true that I get so much out of my teaching and meeting new friends, but right now it’s as if I’m receiving all of this love, this care and all of these good vibes – but I am not able to pour them into my designs as I have been able to in the past few years. I’m losing energy – and my kids will tell you that as I lose energy, I tend to get short.

Perhaps writing about it will help me barrel through? Or maybe I’m looking for a path around the boulder I seem to be facing?

So I have about 9 days before I leave for Virginia – longer at home than I’ve had for a while. Of course, during that time I’m teaching at two venues here in the Twin Cities – so it’s not a complete break. But I’m sleeping in my own bed each night – and that’s a relief.

I’m not going to push anything. I’m going to see if I can just let some new stuff – new designs, new books, maybe a DVD – flow naturally. Fretting is a damn.

But this not fretting is a bitch. I need a massage.

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