Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Barbies, and a flashback.

I have a ton of Plastic Canvas Fashion Doll furniture patterns, but I had no fashion dolls, so I went to the Value Village today to get one.  I ended up with these 6 Barbies, for only 6 dollars!  What a deal!

The funniest thing happened when I got home and opened the plastic bag holding the Barbies.
My whole entire body became infused with a sense of childlike wonder.  I was having a flashback...a good one, for a change.

Flashbacks are like instant replays of past events.  They come unbidden, and anything can trigger them...sight, touch, smell, sounds...anything.

When my hand contacted the first Barbie...the pretty one in the blue flowered swimsuit, I was instantly transported back to a day in my childhood when I was a very sick little girl, suffering from extreme asthma and pneumonia.  This was in the days before Ventolin Inhalers, so every asthma attack was potentially life threatening.  I lived with two smokers, a block away from a pollution emitting steel plant, so my little lungs never had a chance.

I know this sounds like a bad flashback, but it wasn't.  I was instantly transported to that sick little girl's body, lying on the couch, being presented with a greatly desired "Quick Curl Barbie", from my Dad. I can still see the love in his eyes as he gave me that doll.  My Dad isn't prone to showing sentimental feelings, but they always came through when I was sick.

I'd forgotten how my Dad used to buy me special gifts whenever I was sick, even though my Mom would tell him that he was "spoiling" me, and that we "can't afford it".  I'd forgotten how my Mom would bring me mug after mug of ginger ale or hot cocoa; how she'd put a cold face cloth on my forehead to help with the headaches that the asthma caused.  I'd forgotten how she coat my chest with Vic's vapour rub and put the vapourizer next to me, along with warnings not to burn myself in the steam.  She used to hold a blanket over me and the vapourizer so I could breath the steam.  My Mom was always super critical of me, but not when I was sick.  I hated being sick, but in a way, I loved it, because my parents were so nice to me.

I'd forgotten how my Dad used to carry me up the stairs to the washroom, or to bed, because I was too weak to climb the stairs.  Now I just sleep on the couch or in the recliner when I can't climb the stairs, but back then, that wasn't necessary.  Dad would lift me off the couch and carry me up the steep flight of stairs, several times a day.  I could actually feel the blue nightgown around me as my Dad carried me up the stairs, in this flashback...or series of flashbacks...I guess.  I could hear my Mom telling him to be careful, my Dad telling her not to be stupid, and I could feel my Dad's arms around me, supporting me.

I've never forgotten how they smoked, and how much I hated the fact that they smoked.  I've never forgotten how I'd bring pamphlets home from school to try to explain that second hand smoke was bad.  I've never forgotten how helpless and angry I felt when they smoked.  It always seemed like their habit was more important than me. My asthma was life threatening, and smoking triggered it.  They just refused to believe that smoke could hurt me, no matter how much I begged them to quit...not just for me, but for them, too.  I was always terrified that smoking would kill my parents, or me.  My Dad quit when I was 14, but my Mom wouldn't give them up.

Smoking almost killed my Mom...she fought stage 4 throat cancer 2 years ago.  She won her battle, thank God, and quit smoking, but she sure paid the price for smoking.  So did I.  I still have severe, chronic asthma, and studies now show that it is more common in children of smokers.  I was exposed to second hand smoke from birth until I left home at the age of 18.

My parents used to have parties and the entire extended family would come over, and smoke.  I used to try to barricade my bedroom door using rolled up towels at the bottom, to try to prevent the smoke from seeping in.  I'd open my bedroom window on even the coldest days of winter, but sometimes the air quality outside was even worse than inside, thanks to the Steel plant.  I remembered all of that, and I had a hard time forgiving that.  To me, smoking around an asthmatic child...heck, around any child...is a form of abuse.  But they didn't believe that.

My parents weren't educated folks; but they were loving parents, and they did their best.

When I held that Barbie, all of those feelings of being loved and cared for came flooding back.  Feelings of joy at having a new Barbie came back, too, lol.  It was like I was a little girl again.

Ironically, I have the Barbies today because my Dad took me shopping.  My truck broke down, and he came to look at it.  Then he took me shopping.  He spent an hour wandering through the Walmart with me...and I'm sure that shopping with me is a different experience than shopping with my Mom.  My Mom is super organized.  I'm...not.  What is the opposite of organized?  It's me.

Before he picked me up, Dad called me and told me to write a list.  I assured him that I had.  Unfortunately, the list disappeared into the black hole I call a purse, and I couldn't find it when we got to the store.
This led to my backtracking to get things i'd forgotten, say...10 times, lol.  My Dad kept saying, "Weren't we just down this aisle 10 minutes ago?"

After Walmart, I asked if we could swing by the Value Village so I could buy a Barbie.  I explained about the plastic canvas, and told him that I didn't want to pay full price for a Barbie when I just needed one to make sure I was making the Barbie stuff in the right size.  He brought me to the Village, but waited in the truck.

So I have Barbies again, thanks to my Dad agreeing to bring me shopping.  And, because of the Barbies, I think I'm finally able to forgive my parents for smoking.

Thank you, Barbie!