Monday, January 12, 2015

A Folded Fitted What Now?

The picture in my header and the title of my blog crack me up, for a variety of reasons.

  1. They imply that I have my mess together, which is generally not true.  Most of the time, my mess is, well, MESSY, and it sort of slodges along being messy and chaotic and occasionally hurling bits of goodness from its depths, which makes people think that I have my mess together.  Case in point is this blog, which I've had parked here for almost a year now, waiting til I get cookies baked or hats crocheted or a garden weeded or that last episode of Bones watched before I actually, you know, publish it.
  2. They imply that I do pretty things like tie rosemary bunches together with embroidery thread and use them to scent my sheets.  Which, actually, right after I took this picture, I did, but what I'm trying to say is that, in my day to day life, I don't spend a lot of time tying rosemary bunches together with embroidery thread.  Right now, as we speak, I've got an iced tea pitcher full of rosemary stems that need to be salad spun and dried in the oven so that I can cook with them later, but other than the ones that are currently nestled between two mismatched sheets in my linen closet, rosemary stems go bare here.  I will use a rubber band to keep the sprigs together, but never (unless I am staging a picture) do I do it with embroidery thread.
  3. They imply that my home is rustically and artistically decorated, as evidenced by the antique electrical insulator in the background arranged on a barn board.  In truth, although I am aiming at some point in time to decorate my home both rustically AND artistically, the best way to describe my decorating style would be "she has children who spill things on her carpet" and "wait, are she and her husband still in college?"
Here's the deal about the header image:  roughly 478 years ago, I dated a guy for whom I was totally unsuited.  I don't mean that he was awful, or I was awful, or even that our relationship was awful, but we came from entirely different worlds and our personalities did not line up very gracefully in the end, which came right about the time I met my husband.  In any case, this guy's mother and I were even more unsuited for each other and I think both of us were frankly baffled by the improbability of us having a human being in common.  She wasn't awful, either, and she taught me a few lessons that I continue to use today.  The first is that pork chops, creamed corn, and biscuits are a perfect meal.  That woman could cook a pork chop, for serious.   The rest center around laundry, particularly folding fitted sheets.  Prior to dating her son, my method for folding fitted sheets was to take them out of the dryer, make a pass at folding them lenthwiseish a couple of times, and then rolling them into a ball easily tossed into the linen closet.  She taught me the magic of matching and tucking in corners so that you can actually put the things in the closet so they'll stack prettily and not look like you took purposefully ironed wrinkles into them when you make your bed.

Most of the people in my life reacted as if I was insane when I raved about folding fitted sheets, because who does that besides Martha Stewart and my exboyfriend's mother?  But I was proud of the fact that I folded those suckers, because the secret of me is that although I am an artist and a free spirit, I crave order like I crave Hershey Kisses.  (Which is a lot.)  I hide this fact well, beneath the mess of me.

And that's why this blog is entitled A Folded Fitted Sheet.  In 2005, I started writing a blog called I'm Not Hannah.  I wrote about being the mother of a toddler, being the mother of an Aspie, being the mother of a strong-willed daughter.  I wrote about being a Georgia Bulldog and a liberal in the South and a writer.   I wrote on topics ranging from the perfect sugar cookie to President Obama and I made a lovely circle of bloggy friends and enjoyed myself immensely for a good ten years.  Things changed as Facebook emerged as the go-to social media because instead of wanting to write a few paragraphs to make people laugh, think, cry, or bake cookies, I started wanting to write a few sentences to do the same thing.  I thought in blurbs as I went through my day, crafting a perfect phrase to describe my son's bedhead instead of speaking to the larger picture of what his bedhead represents.  But I still kept the blog and I still wrote an entry or two every once in a while that made me proud.

Then, almost at the same time, two things happened.  The first is that, for reasons I have grappled with and cried over, I had to stop writing I'm Not Hannah.  Eventually, in the words of the philosopher Elsa, I let it go, but it was weird to not be writing a blog any more.  Then a few weeks later, I turned forty-years-old.

Forty didn't hit me like a ton of bricks.  (I'm speaking of the psychological impact.  Physically, my knees and back and pretty much every other part of me except the fourth rib on the left collapsed panting in the living room and said, "Girl, you need to get in shape, because we are OLD and can't haul your soul around for much longer if you don't.")  (Yes, my body parts talk to me.  I understand yours probably don't.  Lucky you.)  I didn't feel old or worn out or discouraged, as apparently I was supposed to do.  I felt, you know, pretty dang relieved that I'd made it this far and that I had a lovely family and good friends and all in all, a nice life.

HOWEVER.  There was a niggling idea that maybe I wasn't as together as I needed to be and that it would be awesome to finish writing those novels, plant a garden that actually provided my family sustenance, and get the slipcover for the couch finished.  There was a thought that I still had time to become the exact Heather I needed to be, but, um, like, the time might be a bit more...CONCENTRATED than it used to be.

Around this time, I read a post from a blog friend I hadn't visited with in a billion years.  YES!!  I thought.   I, too, miss thinking in complete sentences.  I, too, am addicted to Facebook and need to make a change, yo.  I started thinking about writing another blog, but what to title it?  I had been Not Hannah for so long that I couldn't imagine not being Not Hannah anymore.  But I didn't want to title the blog I'm Not I'm Not Hannah or The Blogger Formerly Known as Not Hannah, because that's just awkward.  A friend threw a few ideas at me, included the one you see above, which obviously works for me.

It fits me, I think.  A folded fitted sheet, you know, will never be a perfect square.  There aren't enough real corners.  There are too many curves for everything to line up perfectly.  But it is trying, bless its heart.  It's trying to make order of itself, which is pretty much the story of my life, bless MY heart.

And I think that's what this blog will be for me:  a place of order where I can contain my mess.  Or maybe it will be the place I go to escape from the mess.  I'm not sure yet.  If you're here from I'm Not Hannah,  HEY!!!  I MISSED YOU!  COME AND GIVE US A SQUUNCH.  If you're here randomly from the interweb, HEY!!!  NICE TO MEET YOU!  COME AND GIVE US A SQUUNCH.

I'm nothing if not enthusiastic.


  1. So glad you're back. You've inspired me to write because you are such a good writer. The only thing is, I have NEVER and I mean NEVER mastered the art of folding a fitted sheet. I've tried. Lord have mercy, I've tried. You showed me. I smiled and nodded and well, tried. My fitted sheets are "folded" as you described before you really learned how to fold a fitted sheet...half stabbed at folding and then rolling into a sort of ball. It works...sort of. :-)


  2. I wrote a whole reply and it disappeared... again: You're BACK!! You're BACK!! OMGS, I get my NOT HANNAH fix again!! I .. I... just.. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. You never tried, Mama. Don't lie.

    Yay! I do so love you, Kallan.

  4. YESSSS!!!!!! I'm so jazzed you're back, and I agree with you and Groovy. Facebook has rotted my thinking brain and I've begun to shortcut every-dang-thing.

    It's time to stop that nonsense. Besides, I miss that phrase I used to hear so often, "Here's one for the blog!"

  5. "Shortcut every-dang-thing" YES. Gah.

  6. So happy you have returned to the "fold" (as unsquared and kludged together as it may be!).