#TheSundayPost XIV | Sorting out our new normal whilst reconnecting with our crafty souls

Posted Sunday, 5 February, 2023 by jorielov 13 Comments

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Sorting out our new normal whilst regenerating our love of CRAFT

Sometimes in life,

you have to take a step back in order to fully step forward –

which is why Mum and I are choosing to resume our crafty natures this Winter/Spring 2023!

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In regards to my life behind the blog:

As many of you know, 90+ days ago my family’s world was turnt upside down when my Dad first entered the hospital in November, 2022. It was his second hospital stay which foretold the future of what was coming next for us as a family. That was when they discovered the blood clot in his leg and from there – he has never been able to return home. He’s in his second rehab facility and he is still moving towards long-term care as Mum and I can no longer care for him at home. In the weeks since I last shared our story via #TheSundayPost – we’ve now totaled 3x moments of when we’ve been asked to say our final goodbyes and we’ve also made pre-need arrangements for his funeral.

Also, within those 90+ days, we’ve lost two beloved cats and have been considering adopting a cat this February as we recognised that by not having a cat in the house, our own outlook and well-being is starting to suffer as a companion in fur always gave us a heart-lift as much as boost to spirits. At this point, we also realise it is definitely what we would consider as an emotional support cat as let’s face it – it has been a LONG and HARD three months but we’ve come through it all as a family.

Whilst my father was recovering from his AKI and pneumonia, I went online to sort out where he should go next and what the next best options would be for him overall. I found a longer-term hospital but I also found a rehab/long term care facility which would work on his new issues with swallowing as well as approach his care from a holistic and individual angle of approach which I felt might suit him best overall. Mum agreed and we took a chance on this new rehab facility to see if in effect it would have the positive changes, we were hoping to give my father.  

Of course, there were many disruptions in our work lives and one unexpected upset is when my Mum was trying to sort out her new job against the tidalwaves of phone calls from the hospital as well as a broken-down car which needed repairs – she was fired. As according to ‘them’ she prioritised her husband over the job. I’ll let that sit there as honestly I think you can read my thoughts on that without me having to say a word. In all, she lost two days due to my Dad as we had to make critical choices in his care and sort out aftercare resources as well and one day as we were at the mercy of the garage who was working on our car. And, no, she wasn’t even out of training yet and was going back to work the day after they called us. Ironically or not, they phoned as we had just left the hospital and were walking to our car. And, yes one of those days she missed we were called in to say ‘goodbye’ as my Dad wasn’t doing very well at that point in time.

We re-grouped of course, and we’ve sorted things out in that respect quite well — where we’ve pivoted back to what we were doing previously and have simply moved on. This is also why I no longer have mornings/afternoons free a few days a week and why my blog sort of destablised again for a bit as I had to plough through a very hard-fought work week this end of January and first of February! I was working back-to-back double shifts and trying to find my way again in that schedule. I’ve also sorted that I still need some downtime as I don’t want to burn out which is why I’m carving out 2x days a week where I can have a half-day off. And, that is where it gets exciting as it loops back into the title of this post about being ‘crafty’ again!

In the midst of all of that — our car stalled out and decided just as I was driving to work one night it would no longer work at all. Blessedly Mum was able to get ahold of our neighbour who drove her to where I was located, our neighbour took me to work and I had to leave Mum with a disabled car and a prayer of finding a resolution. It came from the tow truck who was firm in his opinion it was the battery and encouraged Mum to go to automechnic shop vs a garage and just get a new battery installed. She did and blessedly our car is now working brilliantly. At the time, I wasn’t as confident we could get it working that same night but sometimes you’re giving mercies your not expecting. Especially as the neighbour who drove me to work also informed me she couldn’t pick me up after my shift — so, in theory I had no ride home and I wasn’t even sure for the first hour of my shift if Mum was going to get home either. Aye. Life has a way of finding new ways of challenging you.

By the by, that happened within the last week!

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In respects to my Dad – it is a long haul of a recovery. His appetite hasn’t yet returnt and he is still having issues with dehydration but he’s trying to find his new balance with his circumstances, and he is doing the best he can keeping up with this physical therapy sessions as well. It is hard on Mum and I to see him in this new condition but just to realise how he survived the Covid flu variant, an AKI and pneumonia is quite remarkable in of itself. His care team (of nurses and therapists) are hopeful things will continue to improve but it is all a big wait/see how he responds to everything. For now, we visit him and encourage him to remain positive as we too strive to remain positive about everything ourselves.

I am a bit overdue in announcing he was released from the hospital but to be honest, it was all a bit too consuming to process into words. I wasn’t even up to sending out a tweet much less sort out the words to fill a blog post. There are a lot of emotions behind all of this as well and just living through it all can be exhausting mentally and emotionally, too. I do want to express my GRATITUDE for all the continued support I’ve been receiving and for all the positive messages which truly gave me a lift of spirit when I needed it most. The best news of all is that we WON the BATTLE to give Dad the best fighting chance he has to recover and to heal. We fought long and hard for him not to be discharged without a nursing facility and we also fought to find him a place where they would accept where he is medically and strive to help him proceed forward on stronger ground lateron.

One interesting bit of news on that front: My Dad has led his nurses to throw out the playbook and they are instead going with the timeline he feels is better for him rather than the set schedule he was supposed to be on whilst there. Meaning – that despite everything, he is still trying to maintain a bit of independence and still be in control of some of the choices in respects to his health and wellness in recovery. Mum and I are thrilled to hear this even though we know overall that might make it a bit of a harder road for the nurses but just to hear positive news, even in the smallest amounts of change warms our hearts. We knew this was going to be a long-term recovery but for awhile now we weren’t getting a lot of positive phone calls and this past week alone has been a bit of a turning point for us as a family. Dad still has a very long way to go – but as said, any small bit of Hope and positive change is something to hold onto and to celebrate.

Whilst having said that — overall, it has been his nurses (both at hospital and at the rehab care home) that have been our best advocates for his health and also, the most motivated to work on his behalf to see if they can help him recover stronger and better in the long-term. It has been a relief just to know that the nurses now care as much about him as the previous team of nurses did at the hospital.

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And, now for the good news about us resuming our crafty lives! Yesterday, Mum and I took our first day off in a very long time. Part of that was having a very leisure lunch and afterwards, I suggested we return back to the yarn store that opened locally in 2021. The last time we had gone there was November, 2021 – so half an age really, as we had intended to return in January, 2022 and participate in the open knitting socials. Of course, 2022 went a completely different way than foreplaned that year and as a result, I haven’t lifted my needles since I last cast-on a few years ago as that particular November I thought I was going to resume the patterns I was working on as I have several projects that are still WIPs (ie. whips, works-in-progress).

Mum found a delightful tool (a sheep that is weighted down) where she can store her crochet hooks and our shawl pins as well as her new scissors which are in the shape of a bird. I spent the time there browsing all the available yarns and seeing which ones I was gravitating towards right now. I have the tendency to prefer natural fibres over synthetics – even though I still have charity knits which are 100% Acrylic which I need to finish as well. For my personal projects though and for my gift knits, I definitely love to seek out the natural fibres and the non-treated cottons as I didn’t know they treated cotton with this kind of tacky substance that makes the cotton harder to touch. Aye.

Mum has been devouring Crochet podcasts and vlogs on YT and sorting out her first project whilst I am intending to resume the last project I had cast-on and which has languished in my knitting bag waiting for my return! I can’t wait to see how I get on with knitting this year as it always gave me a way to unwind and find mediative blissitude for how relaxing knitting can be for the knitter. Meanwhile I am encouraging Mum to find projects she wants to crochet and I’m hoping within the following week we’ll both be back into our crafty rhythms of JOY!

And, aside from that — Mum surprised me yesterday with the supplies we need to adopt a cat!! I was overjoyed as we hadn’t talked about the specifics of when we were going to adopt a cat just that we were going to ADOPT a CAT. All that is left is getting new litter and food as well as the cat itself, of course! Laughs. Gosh. I don’t know it is going to be a bloke or a girl or even what colour variations its fur is going to be either! It is all quite exciting. We do know their name – as we picked one that is both uniquely happy for us to call it by this name as much as it is a strong gender neutral name as well. In other words, we’re going to let the cat find us rather than us selecting the cat. We’ll be going to a rescue society for cats and I’m hoping to share the wicked sweet news of their arrival within the next week or two!

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In regards to my blog and readerly life:

I had sorted out what I wanted to begin reading again at the end of January – (see also #WWWednesday) and yet, I didn’t have the hours I needed to actually BEGIN reading again until this first weekend of February! Hence why I had to alter my plans for the one blog tour I joined for January (which was my featured Book Spotlight for the Blackstone Legacy series) and find myself appreciating soaking into a Historical Saga with a convicting and dramatic central core of focus. I teased my readers with a preview of my thoughts as I listened to the first hour of ‘Carved in Stone’ whilst I also read the first twenty-five pages of ‘Hearts of Steel’ – respectively, the first and third novel in the series. You’ll have to read why those two stood out to me to blog about rather than the second one — however, I am going to pick up where I left off with ‘Carved with Stone’ as I work towards writing a series review lateron this February.

Alongside listening to those audiobooks and reading the third in print if the audiobook isn’t available via my library’s CloudLibrary, I am also reading ‘The Brass Key’ and “Death on the Boardwalk’ by Caleb Wygal as I am hoping I might be able to showcase those first stories in his Myrtle Beach Mysteries series next Friday during #CrimeFicFridays. As I have been striving towards having a bit more of a regularity of posting here on Jorie Loves A Story inasmuch as I have been working towards getting back into a regular groove of reading again, too. It has been a long road back but one that I am now enjoying with a lot mirth and happiness. I am also grateful for this author who has been patient with me through all the highs and lows of my life since he first sent me his series last year (between Summer and Autumn).

I was also able to feature a Kickstarter campaign this week for another Historical saga which involves the high seas – be sure to check out my post featuring the White Sails series which is being released into a beautiful omnibus edition! I received some good news from this author about how the omni will be available which encouraged me as I wasn’t sure if I would make the campaign itself. I have enjoyed reading Historical Romances set at sea for a long time and reading how she claimed this had echoes of Pirates of the Caribbean gave me a bit of hope that maybe I have found a new Nautical Historical Romance to soak inside one day!

To write-up three blog posts in one week felt WICKED BRILLIANT – though to write them and share them the same week I already accomplished so much personally and professionally was just a bigger boost of joy in a way because it was one INCREDIBLE week all round. I am grateful I can find my focus again – not just to read or listen to audiobooks but to be able to hone in on how I want to talk about books again as well. I had to table all of that for the last three months as everything was most critical and obviously my focus wasn’t on reading or being online — but as things start to re-direct a bit back to a calmer state of living, I am appreciating getting back into my hobbies (ie. knitting) and in resuming both my readerly and blogging lives as well.

Towards that end, there are some books I want to gather in the next few weeks — from authors I already know I will love reading and of which I missed when they originally released. My goal for the end of Winter and throughout the coming Spring is to gather the books I’ve missed over the past year or so, and find new joy in being able to read them now. That includes the 3rd Blackwell series by Heartwarming and the novels of Anna J. Stewart’s Romantic Suspense series and the other two Historical novels by Jennifer Laam to name a few I’ll be gathering.

All whilst I am busy planning my 6th #WyrdAndWonder – both on the personal side of sorting out what I want to focus on myself as much as what we will be doing as a team for the event itself. I will be behind the @WyrdAndWonder feeds on Twitter this year — due keep that space on your radar for both updates leading into the chase to May as much as during the event itself. I look forward to hearing what everyone is planning and I’m hopeful to start generating some posts to properly announce the events return within February and March.

For now, I simply grateful I am finding my own path back into reading
and that in of itself is very satisfying.

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Although this is more of a life update than a readerly one,
Kindly read through my archives for #TheSundayPost
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REMEMBER: IF you’ve read a story this February you feel I might enjoy myself as I love reading Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy, relationship-based romances, and Mysteries — kindly leave me a comment with a link to your post/review on your blog and I’ll be glad to visit you in return.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Sunday, 5 February, 2023 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Memes, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Stories of Jorie, The Sunday Post

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13 responses to “#TheSundayPost XIV | Sorting out our new normal whilst reconnecting with our crafty souls

  1. Wow, what a week you had! It’s honestly so terrible of your mum’s employer to fire her while she’s in the midst of supporting your dad and trying to get everything sorted out! I’m glad both of you were still able to do something crafty and even decide to adopt a cat – I hope the cat brings lots of joy into your lives.

    Sounds like your blogging went great as well, I’m so glad it was a bright spot for you!!

    • Hallo, Hallo Eustacia,

      Aye. The careless manner of how she was fired rankled but after we pivoted and redirected ourselves, we had to ‘let go’ of the angst of how it ended. It did highlight a key point though on how companies need to have more compassion for emergencies in life and far more understanding when there are time sensitive choices to be made on behalf of loved ones. Esp when you have POA and you’re the sole person needed to be involved.

      Being crafty is in our natures but most of 2022 was dissolved away by watching our favourite podcasts via YT (ie. Cocktail at the Coop, Needles at the Ready and Chevyrell; as well as a heap of others I’m forgetting the names of but are written down to revisit) but we weren’t able to actually focus on our own fibre craftiness until now. I was happy to see Mum so enthused about crochet as much as I am wicked excited to get back into knitting. Sometimes you have to find what will curate your own bliss despite the chaos life likes to throw at you and I think this year, we’re better able to find that kind of balance we craved to have in 2022.

      In the past, we’ve always allowed ourselves a period of grief and transition after we’ve lost an animal. This particular time round — between the upheaval of losing two cats so soon together and with everything involving my father… I told Mum, I definitely think we need to adopt sooner than later as it would be so helpful to have a companion around again. Bless you for your kind words and your supportive note for me and my family in all respects.

      Blogging is giving me a heap of personal joy and getting back into reading — whether I’m reading print or listening to audio, is also encouraging because I haven’t been able to give enough focus to stories in such a long while. It just feels cosy and comfortable again which is what I was hoping to achieve.

      Thanks for visiting with me and I will be doing the same with your blog, too.

  2. Wow. That was shitty of your mom’s employer to fire her like that. I had that happen to me, too, when I first started taking care of my mom. Heartless.

    All the best to you and your mom and your dad. I think it’s great that you’re rescuing a cat and that you and your mom are crafting again. Both will help with your stress for sure! Hang in there!

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    • Hallo, Hallo Jinjer,

      I am so terribly sorry that happened to you, too! We were hoping NO ONE else would have to deal with that kind of situation that Mum faced herself. It just goes against every ounce of humanity in us all to even contemplate there are companies out there that lack empathy, compassion and everyday courtesy. I mean, we know it is out there but to have it affect you on such a personal level at a time that is stressful enough is just incredibly insensitive of them (and others like them). At this point, nothing is surprising me anymore though.

      I was reading your blog tonight and leaving you some joy in your comments. I am grateful I sorted out how to login again to leave them on blogspot! :) I’ll be visiting with you again and I hope to maintain my visits now. Everything feels more a bit more possible now that our balance is returning. I agree – crafting and the furball are going to do loads for our stress and emotional health. Give Marilyn a bit of a snuggle and kiss from me! She’s a beaut! And, bless you for revisiting with me. Here’s to finding more compassionate people in future for us all.

  3. Jorie, I am so sorry that you have had to deal with so much. It’s utterly heartless of your mum’s employers to take that attitude – simply awful. I have huge admiration for you, your mum and your dad for tackling everything with such strength and fortitude. You and your mum must be a huge support to your dad. It’s good to know that you’ve managed to snatch some crafting time and I’m excited to hear that your plans to adopt a cat are moving forward. Take care and thinking of you and your family. 🤗

  4. Hey Jorie. That emotional roller coaster must be terrible. It’s so hard. I’m so sorry that happened w/ your mother. Even in this day and age employers can be so heartless. I’m so glad you’re getting a cat though!!!!! :):)

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    • Hallo, Hallo Greg,

      Whilst I have been living through all of this, I have also held you and your family in my thoughts and prayers; I am hopeful your family has been getting some positive news themselves as well. The roller coaster has been so so hard at times and just to find *something!* positive to hold onto has been difficult and hard to find but each day/night, Mum and I try to end the hours with a way to smile or laugh and to remember the better times, too. We’re fiercely strong but emotionally its above and beyond sometimes what you can handle day to day. Which is one reason I’ve been listening to a lot of PINK — especially her emotional ballards like “What About Us” and others. Her voice and songs just cut through and somehow are a wicked uplift.

      As I was just saying to Cindy in these comment threads, the company she worked for is renown for compassion but it falls short of their employees and that is the greater diservice I feel for the community. Plus, as we talked over ourselves, anyone who thinks you can ‘pre-plan’ a medical crisis and a potential death of your husband/father is not a company worth working for either. I’m just thankful it ended when it did and not if something worse had happened because emotionally I think that would have put my Mum over the top. :( :(

      OOh! I know… I can’t WAIT to greet the CAT. (insert giddy Jorie and her Mum)

      I’ll be eagerly shouting from the rooftops the little bloke or gal has come home! :) :)

      Thanks for continuing to be such a supportive friend. I pray you have others who are supporting you as well. Your words and notes are a calming balm and have been appreciated ever since I first started blogging openly about my Dad and his health afflictions and struggles since [2016].

    • Hallo, Hallo Cindy,

      Thank you so much for this supportive note! It has been extremely hard at times but in other ways, we have been continually blessed by moments which we were not expecting and that has helped us get through the worst of it all. Also, on the other post (if you clicked over) which preceeded this one, it was the kindness of strangers and neighbours who also helped ease some of the burdens, too.

      I was LIVID about what happened to Mum. That’s why I wrote about it the way I had as I decided to leave it as it is rather than explain the obvs reactions I had as her daughter. I will say one thing: the company she worked for always laments they have compassion and yet, it must clearly stop short when it comes to their employees.

      I appreciate your visit and your words of kindness. Blessings to you in return.

      And, I will be visiting your blog as well.

    • Hallo, Hallo Kimberly,

      Thank you for this lovely note!! It has been wicked stressful but I am just grateful I have some more positive news to share at along last. Sometimes when you’re going through ALL of this it just feels oppressively draining. I started to blog about it just for my own mental health and to find a way to release the thoughts and emotions. Now, I felt I am at a new turning point where I think I’ll have more balance in my life overall. As it is hard to maintain that cycle of circumstances without a break all the time. On a happier note — so am I!! I cannot want to see what kind of cat enters our lives and of course, their personality, their fur colours and even how they interact with us overall. It is all very exciting.

      Mostly though — just to have paws, purrs and companionship back in my life and Mums will be a blessing.

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