So...

Um... you know that transition A Place of Comfort was headed in? The one where the result of playing around with site feeds and changing URLs was supposed to end well? Well... it didn't. I thought it was gonna be relatively easy. Change the URL, burn a new feed, replace the new site feed address here on Blogger, and everything resumes as usual under a different name. Nope. I've spent the last week trying to figure out how to get this place to update under a different URL, and finally just came to the conclusion that it was best to create a whole new blog. Not that I obviously don't have enough blogs already, but it was the last resort, and I'm glad I did it. I like it over there. Its the breath of fresh air that I was hoping to bring to this space.

So, let me do this again, and invite you all to come join me over there.

www.chasingmetamorphosis.blogspot.com

In time, this place will become obsolete.







I Branched Out Today


There was a time when I was drowning in a sea of blue and white yarns. It seemed I had a ton of variations of the blue and white going on. These days, I'm swimming in an ocean of pink and brown. Three layettes of pink and brown. I met a new baby cousin for the first time this month, and discovered that pink and brown were her colors too. I had already been working on this blanket, taking my time with it, but with her in mind, I was inspired to finally give baby beanies a try. A quick Youtube search turned up the perfect pattern: a granny stitch! You know how much I love my granny squares. It took me an entire day to get it right, but I finally got a workable little hat, and even more ambitious was the flower attachment. I absolutely LOVE crocheted flowers!! When I was growing my 'fro, I'd search Etsy and other crochet shops for pretty hair flowers. I was never disappointed. They stayed on my wishlist. Now, I can finally make my own. Neither the hat or flower are perfect, but they are pretty damn good.


Tardy for the Party

What we have here is a case of the missed occasions, as my Blogoversary meter reads 360 more days until the next celebration. I was absent from the festivities on the 19th. I don't know, just really didn't feel much like celebrating. I still don't really feel much like celebrating, but I will say that I am grateful to be here. I'm grateful for the space to be heard. I've spent much of my life struggling to be heard - being misunderstood, so to have a space where I can amplify my thoughts, my experiences, and to have committed to this space for 2 years...

Happy Blogoversary to me!


Preparing for Chasing Metamorphosis

I'm experimenting with site feeds over here. Trying to get prepared for the upcoming changes to A Place of Comfort. I'm not sure when those changes will take place, but whenever they do, I want to already have the foundation of this new home in place. When it comes to renaming, things don't always go as planned. Goodbye Disordered Life, hello Chasing Metamorphosis. This temporary place of comfort can now be found here:

www.chasingmetamorphosis.blogspot.com

I'm trying to work out the kinks to make sure you don't have to work too hard to find me.

Reflection

What started out as an onset of irritability quickly subsided and I was able to get up, and get moving yesterday. I flew through some housework, then made dinner for Miss J and my grandma's kiddos while she was away in class. She's taking a stress management class, with required reading, homework and everything. I am trying to do my part of lightening her load and encouraging her to stay on track with her medicines and monitoring. When she returned, she had nothing to do except kick back, have some dinner, and relax until she was ready to head off to bed. That gave me a sense of fulfillment in the moment, and I am sure that she appreciated having a few less things to worry about in an already busy day.

I've been doing some heavy reflecting lately. Its probably more like half reflection and half beating myself up, but I can't help but to reflect on my past, and how it has affected the person that I am today. There was a point in which I thrived despite my past. The past just was what it was, I was focused on the future, because I had goals, and the roadway was clear, the path was lit. Now... something happened, a lot of things happened, and somehow I became a fraction of the person I used to be. I continuously find myself mourning the Barbara who used to be instead of recreating the Barbara who currently is. Like, in order for that recreation to take place, I must go backwards, retrace. Doesn't make any sense. Maybe I am held motionless for fear of what a tug of war would do to the me who can't seem to find her way. I guess it will all take time.

Aside from my wayward mind, I got a wave of excellent feedback on some custom Baby Squares pieces. 2 blankets and a butterfly clip. Everyone LOVED their pieces and were not shy about expressing it. I was both grateful and thankful for the public response. Just check out the toddler of Kristina of Mom on the Rise and Moms of Hue, enjoying her new blanket :)


I could not possibly stay irritated for long when surrounded by images of bliss!

Point, Blank, Period

Dear Drug Addicted Women,

Why do you, and how could you continuously carry pregnancies to term? Surely you can see the destruction of your drug use in your own life. Surely you realize that same destruction gets transferred over to your baby. Surely you understand that, just because you are relieved of the responsibility of care for your baby via choosing to give your baby up for adoption or your baby legally being removed from you, all of that destruction that you transferred doesn't just suddenly disappear. Sure, drugs warp the mind, and even outside of the confines of addiction we all do things that we are not proud of, make mistakes that we wish to take back, however, it is not you that I feel any sympathy or empathy for, because you are the one who has been allowed the power of choice. It is you who can choose to reproduce hurt or to prevent it. If you choose to birth a baby addicted to drugs, who will suffer the symptoms of withdrawal that you are too cowardly to feel, who will have delayed development, learning disabilities, possible physical abnormalities - you should be jailed. And then sterilized. Seriously. It is cruel and unusual punishment for a child to have to come into the world addicted, suffering the consequences of carelessness, only to live out a life of difficulty and pain, especially when you are not even capable of helping your child through his or her pain or guiding him or her through the struggles to come. Why do that to a helpless individual? Who the fuck are you to write the script of this life when you chose to write your own?

Not only is it cruel and unusual punishment for your child, it is unfair to the team that will have to be built around your child. You will not be there to see it through - someone else will be doing the extra hard work of trying to find the strength to insure that your child is not left behind. Quite frankly, you disgust me. If you are willing to curse the life of your own flesh and blood, you do not deserve to bare children at all. You may think that is harsh, but fuck you, what's harsh is the aftermath of your decisions. I don't care that you are currently in a bad way. I don't care that eventually in the future, you might be clean and able to be an adequate parent. Although you might get a second chance at a pain-free life, your baby will not.

My advice, use your power of choice to prevent a curse. Do not carry a pregnancy to term if your ass has no intentions of kicking your addiction!

Contemplation


I'm starting to feel overwhelmed. I'm never really "good" in these kinds of situations. I don't think I'm doing much to cheer her up divert her stress. She's really worried about him. She waits each day for his call, at the designated time that they agreed on, and if she misses it, she heavily regrets leaving the house, and vows not to do it again. Even within the laughter there is immense worry. I don't feel like I'm equipped to cure her worry or her elevated blood sugar. I know what happens when diabetes wins.

None of it seems fair. Why must certain lives be rooted in struggle and sacrifice, and just when those lives have seemed to overcome a life of struggle, to then be stricken with such illnesses? Why? And how do family members aide the elderly when they are stubborn? And more importantly, how does one remain strong while doing so, and when one is not entirely sure what one should even be doing?

Post National Afro Day and Fireworks


This 4th of July, I was happy to have something other than patriotism to focus on. Not that patriotism is ever the sole focus of my celebration, but I do make an effort to don the red, white and blue each year. However, in light of National Afro Day, my celebration consisted of bbq, hair and fireworks. As the grill was smoking, the greens were percolating, and the potato salad was chilling, I was prepping Miss J's hair for her 4th of July afro.

I decided to do a length check while I was detangling Miss J's old box braids, and discovered that she may have gotten an inch or so from the last time we did this. Her hair is now at waist length when it's stretched. Pretty good for 7 years of care... I can only imagine what we'll be working with by age 18!



After being in braids for nearly a month, there was a lot of shed hair and dirt. I had planned to detangle, shampoo and condition, but the detangling process took us the entire day this time. Miss J was not a willing participant after getting used to not having her hair combed for a few weeks. Even when there weren't any tangles, and even with the gentlest approach there were still tears... but the outcome is always smiles and lots of mirror time. As I detangled, I twisted her hair.


Then, after about 30 minutes, I undid the twists, pulled them apart a bit (considered picking them out, but her 'fro was pretty big without the picking and it was the end of the day... next time!), and added a Babyfly that I made to match her Natural Beauty tank, first seen on Beads Braids Beyond.


Once we were full of bbq, we headed down to the local marina for some fireworks. I hope that your 4th was as great as ours! And remember, if you or your child rocked a 4th of July afro, we'd love to see... ok, I'd love to see. Remember? Living vicariously :)

Could It Be?

Days after my 10th birthday, my dad told me that I had a sister. He told me her name, her age, and her phone number. At 10 years old, I made the call, and shocked the hell out of her mother. I was excited then, and had mixed feelings later. I had always wanted a sister, as being an only child can be a lonely experience. But how could I have had a sister who was 4 years older than me? And why did her mother have my last name? My parents were married. Too much to put together back then, and lost opportunity to ask questions today, since my dad has passed away and my sister and I separated shortly after we met. I've thought about her, and our lost opportunities, for the last 16 years. I've often considered trying to find her, my efforts going no further than a general search of Facebook and Myspace. I've often wondered if she knows that are dad died, if she'd be interested in knowing that she's an aunt, if she thought about the bond that we attempted to create back then, and if she'd be interested in a do-over.

My social networking searches turned up no results. And then I searched again using the yellow pages, and then one site after another until I got a hit. My search spit out a name, an age, 3 known cities, and 1 address. I could have found my sister... again, after 16 years of being separated. But there is something keeping me from taking the next step. I could purchase information that could potentially be her's or I could make the short drive, and knock on a door that could potentially be her's. I guess I am still processing the information. Replaying the reunion in my head. One day. One day.

The Afro in Reminisce


With all the celebratory talk going on around the blogosphere, I'm starting to really miss my afro. Had I known that July 4th would be declared National Afro Day, I would have held off on cutting my 5 months of kinky curly growth. I guess I will have to live vicariously through Miss J's afro instead, and yours, if you decide to break out your pick!

This time around, my hair tends to want to have a mind of its own. My second big chop left me nearly bald, which was a little shorter than I had planned, but it was nice to be back to the basics. It is very true that having no hair gives you the opportunity to shine in ways that you may not otherwise or in ways that you may have been afraid to before. Now, I am working with 1 month of growth, some budding waves, and a hairline that needs some shaping. I've been too busy to make a date with the clippers. I have been brushing up on my barber shop lingo though. I've been learning the proper names and looks of popular men's hair cuts, and preparing myself to enter into the guy zone as I shop around for a barber. I remember asking the Kipenzi about barbers when I first BC'd and he got all protective of his particular shop and barber, telling me that if he did reveal his barber to me, that I could NOT go while he was there. I remember thinking, "what the hell is that all about?" Like, why can't I be allowed in the guy zone for a few? Perhaps he was thinking something like this could happen, or maybe he didn't want me to be privy to what "guys" be talkin' about. Anyway... I got some recommendations from a few friends because I'm not just looking for a barber, but a GOOD barber, because, well... I don't want something like this to happen. For now, I've been brushing more than usual and trying to nurture my growing strands. One side of my head insists on curling, while the other side lays down like I'd like. I have a war between curls and waves happening on my head right now. Perhaps things will start to take shape over the next couple of hair cuts. We shall see.

Happy Afro Independence Day!