Hi everyone! People have been asking me when the store is reopening, and after a friend told me he plans on going shopping on June 2nd (he was very incorrect, there will be no shopping), I thought some clarification might be helpful for everyone (including myself).
After the “Stay at Home Order” ends on June 2nd nothing appreciable changes. Non-essential retail will remain closed, restaurants will remain closed, gyms will be closed, salons are closed. Outdoor gatherings are still capped at a maximum of 5, and indoor gatherings are still off the menu. The only difference is that the goverment will drop it;s scary messaging, and it will no longer be illegal to “leave your home for non-essential reasons”? All of the details are spelled out HERE. To summarize: NOTHING changes, except the the province stops with the scary messaging.
I don’t know when non-essential retail will reopen. Currently, the government must wait at least two weeks after 60 percent of adults have received one dose of the vaccine. As of right now, we’re at 58.107%, and that includes children from 12 to 17. If you’re feeling curious and want to track vaccination data in Canada you can go HERE. Currently ALL people in Ontario age 12 and over can get their first vaccine. If you haven’t had your first shot yet, the best place to find a location close to you is to look on Vaccine Hunters.
The province says it is not set to begin the ‘Reopening Action Plan’ before June 14th. What this means is nothing is likely to change any time before the 14th, and they don’t know how long after. For full details on the province’s ‘Reopening Action Plan’ you can go HERE.
In terms of reopening the store, my criteria are fairly simple:
- I want everyone who works in the store to have received at least their first vaccination and have the antibodies from it (so wait two weeks after their shot).
- I need to move the store out of what I fondly refer to as “warehouse mode”, so there’s a bit of tidying and reorganizing that needs to happen before we receive guests.
- I get the government’s go ahead, and it is legal for non-essential retailers to open.
I get my news the same way as everyone else (a newsfeed on my phone and Amazon Alexa – sorry to disappoint, no owls or crystal balls), but I’ll let you know as soon as they go public.
In the interim, we’ll still keepin’ on. If you want to see something before committing just give us a ring, we can arrange that ahead of time and show you at the door. If you need help we can talk on the phone. If you need a colour consultation our eyes are still available, gratis! As you can imagine, we are extremely proficient at shipping, delivery and pick-up.
Our pick-up process is super simple and painless (1. knock on the door, 2. give us your name, 3. we fetch your stuff & give it to you). Our turnaround is usually pretty fast, if you order in the morning or the night before it will likely be ready before noon, and if you order during store hours it’s usually less than half-an-hour.
Our delivery service is a small start-up we’ve been beta testing with and they’ve been extremely reliable and diligent, and very reasonably priced for the service. We’ve received a lot of compliments for them and we always pass them on.
The Lockdown Blanket is a free crochet pattern from Potter & Bloom. I think it’s an inspiring project for quasi-lockdowns too – it’s crocheted in little bits, you can use up your stash fingering weight yarns (and integrate some new colours), and it’s VERY portable, so you can take it in small quantities wherever you happen to go.
So, while we are waiting for the stores stores to reopen, you can keep taking care of your health: physical, mental and spiritual.
Get some exercise outside, enjoy the beautiful weather and enrich your mental health with some quality time with some trees and shrubs – it’s a real thing, science knows! Go for a walk or a bike ride, take your knitting or crocheting on a field trip to your local public park, enjoy some trees and grass. Be sure to slather on your sunscreen, but double check that it isn’t the kind with hidden Benzene, that stuff is very bad. Have fun with your diet, eat your salad, drink your smoothies, experiment with veganism, try cutting refined sugar or dairy or eggs out of your diet and see how your body responds. If you need a mental boost try lifting some weights, it releases endorphins unlike anything else (well, maybe hard drugs). People don’t get into weight training just because it makes them look good, on a chemical level it makes you feel great too!
In terms of mental health, I’ve noticed the pandemic experience has been sneaking in under the radar, affecting people who are normally quite stable. Within my own circle of friends and family I’ve noticed things manifesting like a fear of going to the grocery store, a fear of leaving the house, a fear of people (even outside), depression, compulsive behaviours, etc. When you aren’t used to dealing with them, shifts in mental health can creep up quietly, they’re the surprise visitor you didn’t invite. If you or someone you know is in this position, it’s important to get some professional help, and don’t wait on it.
The brain is part of the body, it’s an organ, and it needs just as much love and care as all the other parts. The idea that there should somehow be shame associated with caring for any part of your wellbeing is completely out of date, and when you consider it, utterly absurd. It’s just neurology, your brain is an organ, not unlike your liver, pancreas or heart. You didn’t deal the biological cards you were dealt, , but you have 100% choice in how you play your hand.
Don’t wait until a loved-one texts you a link for a local Psychotherapy clinic – if you think you may have slipped into a hole, get some help from someone whose profession is helping people out of holes. And if someone has forwarded you a phone number or a referral, take the message and follow through. I know it feels scary, but really, you don’t need to be afraid of your emotions or your beliefs. Emotions are a natural part of being human, feeling them is part of being alive, they’re here to help us. Beliefs are just ideas, constructs our kooky primate brains make up, but they don’t actually exist, you can dismiss them out of existence just as easily as they appeared.
The health trifecta is completed by the most neglected of the three, spiritual health. I’m not talking about religion, that isn’t my gig. What I mean by spirituality is connection, and just like physical and mental health are intertwined, spiritual health is part of that network. If you watch the Netflix documentary ‘Heal‘, they talk to an academic who studies people who have experienced a radical positive reversal in their cancer outcome (the Radical Remission Project). She has found that all remissions have the same 9 things in common, which included physical elements (ie. changing your diet, taking supplements), emotional (releasing emotions, increasing positive emotions), and spiritual (following your intuition, deepening your spiritual connection).
Spiritual connection doesn’t have to involve a belief in the divine, it starts with connecting with YOURSELF. So what’s the state of your relationship with yourself? A lot of people are nice to others, but they’re really hard on themselves. Are you nice to yourself, or lean to the mean side? If you talked to other people like you talk to yourself would they be friends with you? Are you your own best-friend and cheerleader, or is your inner monologue a chorus of mean girls?
Obviously, letting go of a pile of shame, sadness, self-hatred or anger will have a beneficial effect on your physical and mental health – there’s no way that shedding those layers won’t make you feel good. But your relationship with yourself influences all of your other relationships, everybody and everything you are connected with. When you have a great relationship with yourself it will manifest outwards into your relationships with others. When you have good communication with yourself your communication with others will be clearer and easier. When you heal yourself, you heal the world.
Where things like meditation and mindfulness practices factor into this is accessing your inner monologue. Our brains are mushy super-computers, they have an immense amount of processing power and they do a ton of work, most of which we aren’t even aware of. The content of the monologue can be subconcious or unconcious, there can be a lot of stuff going on under the surface that we aren’t aware of. It’s like the mean girls are whispering behind your back, you don’t know what they’re saying, but it’s still damaging.
The reason you need to connect with yourself is also the same reason people avoid connecting with themselves – they think it will be unbearably painful (and they’ve gotten pretty good at repressing the pain, anyway). But I’ll be honest, when you let yourself hear that mean gossip you give yourself the opportunity to heal. You only have to listen it once, you can let go of the hold it has on you, and it’s gone – FOREVER. On the other hand, when you avoid and repress it you end up suffering so much more; you’re constantly in the company of a chorus of bullies, it just aggregates and compounds the pain. You are your own best advocate and your own best friend, and if you disagree, just know that all the good stuff is actually already down inside all of us, it’s just covered up and blocked off by the guck. Let go and heal the pain and you’ll be able to make lots of room for unconditional love to fill that space.
Babies and animals always raise our spirits – they teach us how to love unconditionally, and Unconditional Love is really what it’s all about. If you don’t love yourself unconditionally it’s time to lean into that.
French Macaroon is a simple, free little baby/toddler pop-over. It’s worked in one piece in garter stitch (just knitting) and seamed up the sides. The pattern comes with a bunch of linked tutorials, making it even easier for inexperienced knitters. You can use any suitable DK weight yarn, in the pattern and pictures above they’ve use a silky soft cotton, Cascade Ultra Pima.