Six things Mr. Rogers said that help me cope with Covid-19

Dear Vi,

Do you remember Mr. Rogers and his neighbourhood? In every episode, he wore a sweater that was knit just for him by his very own mother. I just love that.

He once said something very wise that many of us, (especially writers, knitters, and quilters!) know to be true: “Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn’t have to be a lonely kind of thing.” He also said: “How many times have you noticed that it’s the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?” I try to keep this in mind during the call for social distancing during this Covid-19 crisis.

He also said: “There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don’t seem to help.” I heaved a great sigh when I read this, because we are in the middle of one of those times right now, eh?

“The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” I think if Mr. Rogers was here today, he’d tell us that there are a few helpful things we can do during this difficult time. We can keep track of each other; make a few more phone calls; write a few more notes; help our friends and neighbours who are truly alone feel a little less lonely. We can make sure we are doing our part to keep things calm by repeating facts instead of rumour, and by letting kindness rule instead of frustration. “There are three ways to ultimate success: the first way it to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

 Mr. Rogers also advised that: “All of us, at some time or other, need help.” So please – if you need help, ask someone. And if someone offers to help, say yes. It’s okay. We all need help sometimes. Even me. Even you.

Stay safe. Stay busy. Stay creative. Take this time to make yourself your very own comfort quilt to wrap up in, because boy is it stressful out there right now. Mr. Rogers would be the first person to applaud you for it. And please, if you’re lonely and just want someone to chat with, pick up the phone and give a friend a call.

How are you coping? I hope you’re okay.

If you want to see Mr. Rogers, you can visit him at MisterRogers.org.

Head and Shoulders, Knees and…Elbows?

Dear Vi,

I hate to be a complainer, but I just have to tell you:

Too much hand quilting, knitting, typing, and gripping heavy weights at the gym have given me tennis elbow in both arms and caused the arthritis in my hands to flare up.

It’s my own fault. I let it go too far. I let it get away from me. I let it get to the point where it hurts to even pick up a cup of tea.

And that’s not all. Poor ergonomics in my sewing and writing life are affecting my shoulders, neck and back, which (not surprisingly) has worked it’s way down into the knees.

‘It hurts when I cackle!’

Because I’m a writer, I’m often at my laptop for several hours a day. If I want to continue, it’s imperative that I address the ergonomics problem.

Fortunately, I know what I have to do to fix it.

Yesterday I went to Staples and bought myself a properly adjustable office chair. My lower half notices the improved sitting situation already, but my shoulders are still complaining because the keyboard is too high.

In a perfect world, I’d buy a properly adjustable computer desk. But the reality is, we all have to work with what we’ve got and live within our means. Whatever modifications I make to my writing space cannot infringe on the rest of my very small house, and they also have to fall within my fixed-income budget.

Installing a sliding, adjustable keyboard tray (and new keyboard) under my sewing table and using my laptop like a desk computer may be the best solution.

The laptop can easily share real estate with the sewing machine. Both are lightweight & portable, and can easily be unplugged and set it aside to make room for the other. Mr. C will have the final say on whether or not the sewing table can be modified.

It may take a month or more, but getting back to my home yoga practice, doing physio & massage therapy for the elbows, and making these ergonomic fixes will hopefully take care of the worst of the problems.

Have you ever suffered repetitive strain injuries or dealt with ergonomic issues when sitting for long periods at the keyboard or sewing machine? Has knitting or hand quilting ever given you tennis elbow?

Do tell!

Green…and the Garland pose

Hello!

I’m late with my letter today – did you think I forgot you?

green5

Spring is here in my area of the world. No doubt about it. The car is covered in pollen and I am stuffed up with hay fever. Today I knelt on the grass to take a couple of pictures (in bare legs) and now my legs are covered in an itchy rash. It will pass. It happens every spring.

greensam

One of the differences that I am really appreciating between living in the Yukon and living in southern British Columbia is how green April is.

Today Sam & I walked around McGuire Lake, in downtown Salmon Arm. The fountain is running and turtles are sunning themselves on logs.

Today Sam & I walked around McGuire Lake, in downtown Salmon Arm. The fountain is running and turtles are sunning themselves on logs.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss a lot of things about living in the North. However, April in the sub-arctic isn’t one of them.

In the Yukon, March and early April bring some of the best cross-country skiing weather you could ask for.

Here on Shuswap Lake, people are already out in their boats.

green4

Today, everything is green, green, green. The new leaves are popping out. The daffodils, tulips, heather and forsythia are blooming. The cherry trees are blooming. The magnolia trees will be in full bloom any day. I have mowed the lawn twice.

Can you blame me for appreciating this particular difference?

green3

All this greenness has caused me to cast on a sweater in rich dark green wool. I’m thinking ahead here, folks…it’ll be my summer knitting project. I expect to have it finished in time for the next big colourful season: autumn.

green2

The yarn is actually fairly close to the colour of a rhubarb leaf, though it looks teal in these photos.

Green is my favourite colour this time of year! And what better pose for today than the Garland Pose. This is a pose I sit in a lot, though I’ve actually never done it in a yoga class!

 

G

Garland Pose

I naturally sit in this pose quite comfortably when I’m pulling weeds in the garden, or contemplating the layout of quilt blocks on the floor. I’m lucky to have flexible ankles and stretchy calf muscles, I guess. ♥

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

http://www.gaia.com/pose/squat-pose-malasana

Here is a really nice video tutorial with modifications.