Monday, November 30, 2009

SUPER NEWS! And visiting a craft faire.

SUPER NEWS! Ready for it? Okay, the exciting news is that, with Cheryl and Linda’s help, we BROKE the record for postcards with 94 postcards in pretty much one sitting (yeah, the ebay stuff happened too but postcards important!). Zowie. Yeah, lots of hurting shoulders here. Got some good stamps, good postcards, every postcard was both stamped, stickered and individually written on. And personally selected for just that person. Which brings us to 3,400. Pow! Okay, not even WANTING to be trying to beat that record soon (It was an accident, I said it looked like 30, Cheryl said 60 I think, Linda said 69).

But that means that there should be postcards all out over the world before the Xmas slowdown occurs too badly.

The previous day we went to the BIG craft faire, no wait that was earlier on Saturday (same day as started postcards). But before I wrote the blog. On the postcards, we worked until 7:00 am I think or later a little, then got up Sunday and pushed to finish by 3:30 pm when Cheryl’s boat leaves. Cheryl and Linda really, really deserve a lot of credit for this.

Linda got mad, said that she couldn’t stand to see me in the pain I was working in (I have my ribs strapped now), she wished I gave the kind of commitment and love to myself that I give to the people I do postcards for. I told her I don’t have the time, I am running out of time. She knew that, which is why she was mad. She came back, she was sad, she was coping, a sad/mad thing. I am running out of time.

I don't want each person to think I didn't care, or think of them. I want them to know they make a difference, and this is the only way I know how to show it. And yes, I sacrifice what I have: my body. Linda says, it means less time, that makes her mad, and that I am in pain, and that makes her mad. She is right and yet, how can I walk away from any individual? Who goes? Who has a crappy week/month/year without relief? I want to do more, not less. But she is right, and I have less time, so my body tells me.

At the craft faire there were many booths, but we only had over an hour which wasn’t enough time to hear all the stories of people. And I can’t show the pictures where I get surprise gifts which might for example be in the post now or soon. But I did find Whimsical Preserves, who makes the Strawberry Mango – only 2 left, or 1 now as I got one (Linda bought the peach as it is her favorite flavour – she has it on her toast). There was also a lot of nice blackberry ones, like blackberry plum. I asked if she had brandied cherries and she said she might have some and bring them to the faire next week in James Bay for me (see her there! But the Cherries are for me! Yum, in Trifle, on deserts, in flambe!). At this point I told Linda:

Elizabeth: “Ug, I don’t like this picture, I look REALLY sick in it” (and my braid is completely hidden in the hoodie)

Linda: “You look sick because you ARE sick.”

Beth: Grumble grumble

Linda: “Considering you were fading in and out of consciousness the whole drive up there, you are looking pretty good.”

Beth: “Oh, I do? Okay, I guess.”

Linda: “You want other fact, I had to give you mouth to mouth again, in the van.”

Beth: “When?”

Linda: “Uh, um, was it when we got back? Hmm….”

Beth: “See, I can understand not remembering, but YOU should be able to remember” (is this so common?), “I bet you can remember when you get some more sleep.”

Linda: “Okay, see you later.”

Um, back to the craft faire, I met her partner and he and her children LOVE Ghibli films, and particularly Totoro (the children can SAY Totoro and like it, they also like Whisper of the Heart – which is one of Linda and my favorite films along with Only Yesterday – the UK subtitles are the best, just a note). However I was hurried along to many other stalls.

I talked to the man who shapes copper and wow, does he do an amazing job. If I had a window which could see outside, I would definitely get one. This smaller one I guess a foot and a half or more tall is $45 (20 pounds), and look at ALL the colours he has created just by stretching and manipulating the copper, none of it is painted on. Also, he was one of the few people who a) understood what it meant to have autonomic failure and b) had an appropriate reaction. He also understood what happens to me when planes take off, good in science and human biology. I wish I had talked longer.

When even the people who deal with people with disabilities or doctors play this game where they have no treatment, they have no plan, they have had no treatment for years. Right now I amsustained by artificial breathing, an prosthetic brain device, wheelchair, inability to feel to the point that today I had blood coming out of my mouth again due to a chip or something I must have rammed in my gums and not felt (I don’t feel below my sternum at all) prostetic upper and lower intestines, and drugs for helping the heart. So it gets tiring hearing how I shouldn’t leave my hospital bed but that I am going to out live them, or ‘Any of us could go at any time.’ – well yes, but unless I get a sniper rifle and voice activation box to aim it, I am the higher candidate for dying than them by FAR.

Sorry distracted. I like this picture a lot, I don’t know why. Maybe because I could do this, simply because I can’t taste stuff. Maybe because I want a kitty. Or to be a kitty. Kitty’s get to say no all the time, and if you upset them, they vomit in your shoes – that seems like a reasonable plan. And sleeping a lot is NORMAL for them plus they don’t care if it is business hours or not, and returning phone calls. And when they want attention they ‘decide’ to sleep on your computer keyboard. Yes, being a cat is okay (until the vet and they bring out the needle the size of YOU!).

We did 94 postcards. Thank you for each person who wrote me, those letters and postcards mean a lot. It matters, writing me, emailing me. It matters.

I hope the 94 postcards will matter, arriving early enough to avoid the ‘More Xmas post, just toss it on the pile.’ Someone asked me what I did. I said I guess I do postcards. When they found out the number I had sent they said, ‘you mean like e-mail postcards’. No, I meant like, find the right postcard for the right person, buy postcards individually, find stickers and send them out. ‘ one does REAL mail any more.’ Well, I do. We do, Cheryl, Linda and I.


SharonMV said...

Dear Beth,
Congrats on breaking the postcard record. I understand that you want to keep going & not leave anyone out (where would I be today if not for all your postcards & packages?). but I feel for Linda & what she says is true - more love & care for yourself! By taking care of yourself you honor us, the people who love you. The knowledge that you are in the world sustains us.


Baba Yaga said...

Congratulations on the broken record, you lunatics. And on your genius for finding interesting cards, and stamps, and stickers...

That you care is windscreen-in-sunlight blindingly obvious.

And gracious me, there was soap today! *illuminated manuscript* soap. I admire your giving genius - excellent wrapping paper, too, lest I forget that Beth does not do things by halves -, and appreciate your kindness; while feeling that it would be an excellent thing if you were only half so kind to yourself as to - well, me, for but one of only you know how many.

(Golly. The annoying paperclip would tick me off for *that sentence. A monster.)

Well, leopards and spots, I suppose. (Pace Kipling.) I can't wish you to be less you.

But I do wish you some comfortably purry, curled-up in sun, dozing with one ear cocked moments. (I'm sure leopards do that, much as domestic moggies. 'Though kneading from leopard paws would leave *large holes in one's tights.)

Dare I hope, from your remark about preserves, that nerve damage hasn't yet stolen your sense of taste? Of smell? I know neuropathy can be a strange and unaccountable phenomenon.

Neil said...

No one does real mail? True, *fewer* people are doing real mail, and that makes the stuff we do get even more precious. But not the unaddressed advertising junque.

94 postcards in a day is a lot for anyone, I'd think. Well done! The photo of them is very impressive.

Linda's not mad at you, I suspect; she upset because you keep thinking of other people, to the detriment of your own health. The caregiver is the most important person, you know, Beth. So listen to sister Sharon: love yourself more.

Love and zen hugs,

JaneB said...

Wow, that's a LOT of postcards. But do, do take some care for yourself and the loved ones who are present in person too, won't you?

Lovely copper work, thanks for sharing.

Crash said...

My son and I BOTH got postcards. Thank you very much. You chose well. I have my "Fly to the South Sea Isles" card up on my bulletin board at work. My son is not sure what to do with his, but the hot little goth chick DID annoy his mother so, well done!

Anna said...

I totally agree with Linda and Sharon. We all love postcards but especially Linda loves you! Don't sacrifice your body and health, take some rest from postcarding and take care of each other,

Love anna

FridaWrites said...

I'm with Sharon and Linda--please take care of yourself too. We all definitely know you care about and love us, no question!

We found some really good berry and raspberry jelly recently--we just bought the berry, but I think we'll get the raspberry when that runs out. So much better than the regular store brand--no comparison, really. Now I've got myself craving a bite of it, lol.

wendryn said...

That's a lot of postcards - congratulations!

I understand Linda's frustration and your response - you both have reason for your feelings.

The craft faire looks like a lot of fun!


Kate J said...

That Craft Fair looks great! I love going to craft fairs, especially as I just started selling stuff myself. Though I went to one last week and only sold ONE scarf. Good thing I hadn't had to pay for the stall - luckily my stuff was on someone else's. Trouble was, I ended up BUYING stuff, a set of lovely pottery coffee-mugs which this friend of mine was selling cheap.
Congrats on the postcards... 94 in a single day???! And to know how much each one costs you, and no I don't mean money, I mean love, and thought, and pain, and your precious time...
Love & peace

Linda McClung said...

I am still amazed that we managed to do 94 postcards this weekend, plus monitor the ebay auction and pack a few items that people had paid for.

I hope the postcard recipients will like their postcards.

Thanks for giving Cheryl and I so much credit. You were the driving force who made it happen though.

I continue to feel torn between respecting your calling to reach out to others and the consequences it has on your health and on our relationship. I confess I am feeling more selfish these days, wanting a bigger piece of you - to spend time together doing important things like talking, holding each other - more 'being' and less 'doing'.

More often these days, I see how dependent you are on medical supports to survive - your brain board, the oxygen concentrator, probiotics, medications, wheelchairs. These weekend when you couldn't breathe regardless of your position in bed was really scary for me. At one point your diaphram felt like it was locked - it was immovable to the touch and air from the ambubag wouldn't go into your lungs.

Ah, to be a kitty in a pampered home. I wanted to be a kitty today - really felt the need to sleep and sleep and sleep.

Lene Andersen said...

Real mail is important. Love is important. And because I love you, I'm going to ask you to direct a little of that love towards yourself. Just a bit?

Still, NINETY-FOUR CARDS??? Holy cow, woman! And a total of 3400??? I'm gobsmacked. Talk about changing the world for the better...

Raccoon said...

Are the cat girl and the kitten fighting for the same tiny fish?

I thought you were going to be taking it easy with postcards?

Those nights that you aren't going to badminton, maybe cuddle? Give your shoulders a rest? Give Linda mouth-to-mouth when you can both appreciate it?

yanub said...

I love getting postcards from you, Beth. But I also like you simply being around. Around to blog, to email, to put the fear of EFM into Victoria's health care system, around to love Linda and be sisters with Cheryl. So, if you ever think, "I could do this postcard for yanub or I could spend an extra 15 minutes with Linda or, maybe even, napping," please, put the postcard down. Better, don't pick it up.

You manage to find the most interesting items, as well as people, whenever you go out. That is a capacity I envy, and I thank you for sharing it.

Raccoon said...

Two quick things: first, I just had two backyard visitors! I would say probably yearlings. They wandered around on my back porch for a couple of minutes, then went to where he bird feeder is... And, yes, they were raccoons, and, no, I wasn't able to get pictures.

Secondly, an article in the New York Times talks about how giving can help a person deal with depression & pain:

e said...

Hello Beth,

I agree with others here; please take some time for yourself!

I love the postcards and the new DVD but would much rather have you around to blog and talk via e-mail.

I took a fall in my ti-lite, without the anti-tippers, it tips so easily, and I landed on my head...I was scared but only have a knot, so was fortunate.

Thanks to you and Linda and Cheryl for the DVD and a card with a surprise is headed to you this week.

Thanks very much for being in the world and caring. I think all of us wish there was more we could do for you.

Take Care!

Elizabeth McClung said...

e: your axle is too far back it sounds like, though I fell over a few times too, I am sorry you have the knot. The DVD and card were from me specifically, if you need help watching it let me or Linda know and can walk you through it.

Stephanie said...

I wasn't going to comment on this post because I'm reading it so late but this: "‘ one does REAL mail any more.’ Well, I do. We do, Cheryl, Linda and I." Yes. And this is why I love you.