Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Matlock Makes Me Laugh

Defendant's wife has an explanation for her affair that is laden with therapy-speak. Matlock says he understands: "You were hot for each other." Andy Griffith has been one of my heroes for decades. He always played characters that had good common sense and seemed much less intelligent than they actually were. His characters seemed to accept that people did strange and sometimes humorous things, and he was not too sophisticated to exclaim at them. Even as Matlock he sometimes pulls out his guitar and gives us a great song.

I am often watching Matlock this time of morning, turning from the Today Show as soon as Kathy Lee Griffin opens her mouth. This morning I need it more than ever, as I have been obsessing about my Turtlefat/Turtletots sales. I mean lack of sales. In five market or craft fair sales since the season started, I have barely covered expenses. I've been looking at my products and my displays and the economy and the things people are buying and how other vendors are doing, and on and on and on.

This is the first season that I have pushed so far into hot weather. I am discovering that people admire my scarves but it is too hot to try them on, yet I've sold one linen/cotton wrap. I've sold a few baby items (booties, hats). I've sold a few household items (cup cozies, organic cotton washcloths, grocery bags). People express interest in the fibers that I choose, chat about the soy, bamboo, corn, organic cotton, like the way children's clothing especially is done with less toxic choices, but they don't buy.

I'm doing better at labeling the items in my store so that people can recognize them from a greater distance and see the variety of items. I'm considering whether I should group them and only sell one class of item each time (baby things this week, household next week, etc.). I recently decreased some prices and made sure that every item had a fresh tag that was clearly labeled. I culled items that had been around for a while, and things that no longer conform to my aesthetic.

Yesterday I began exploring some fun creatures I call Shrunken Heads. Maybe what's fun for me will be fun for others. Maybe this will keep my mind off the constant worry about the stores.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Preparing to Have a Flare

I've had a backache for a few days. I've set up for the Chattanooga Market twice this month, and gone to a smaller farmer's market once. I figured the pain was from hauling stuff and bending, sitting in an uncomfortable chair, etc. This morning I woke myself up singing the pain song. What I mean is that I was whimpering in my sleep because my body hurt, and the noise woke me. I could see right away that I was in trouble. I got up and began walking and my thighs were stiff. It felt like I was expending major energy to make my legs move. There were annoying little shooting pains in my lower legs even when I sat. This is a flare until proven otherwise.

Obviously I can't prepare for something that begins so precipitously, but I've got some moves for when I recognize the inevitability of the flare. First, I put in a call to my rheumatologist. It's Thursday and I don't want to get caught out on the weekend trying to reach someone. Might as well get some instructions now. Second, I look at my schedule. For the next few weeks I need to determine what is absolutely essential, and cancel everything else. I will need the extra rest and I'm probably going to lack the energy or good will to do more. Third, I rally my moral support. Telling one or two sisters, my daughter, and a few good friends alerts everyone that I may need a bit of help, if only an ear for my complaining. It also lets them know that I'm not turning down activities with them because I've suddenly developed an aversion to their company. Fourth, I start recording my food intake. If I'm going on a higher dose of prednisone it is going to drastically increase my appetite. I need to monitor what I eat and make sure I stay on program. It will be especially difficult with the low carbohydrate plan my new internist wants me to try, as prednisone makes me crave baked goods and other carbs in a remarkable way.
Since my usual day is built around my crafting, specifically knitting and crochet, I don't have to change my basic purpose. I still want to get up in the morning, see what I can learn (reading or on the Internet), do maintenance on my stores, and then work on projects. The flare will put a kink in my ability and energy for photography, so I try and do it in short sessions at the times when my energy is best.
I sat down to record this plan so that I would stop obsessing with what this flare might mean. Yes, it might be a three-month disaster, but it also might respond to steroids right away and be a non-issue in three weeks. Yes, it is going to bring more pain, but my pain tolerance is high and my distraction skills have stood me well. Yes, there's going to be some disappointment in having to give up some activities and adjust my thinking to active illness mode, but that's happened dozens-hell, in 20 years, maybe hundreds-of times and it eventually passes.
Damn. My wrists hurt.