Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, January 21, 2017


So, 6+ years ago, L came to the studio and said she had read on my blog where I was looking for an apprentice, and she thought she might want to do that.
I said, "wow".
But, she added, she didn't want to actually weave.  She only wanted to help.

My father always told me that beggars can't be choosers.  So I said, "sure".

It wasn't long before I coaxed her into helping me with weaving rugs on the 7 ft Toika.

Then a bit later, she admitted she would like to try weaving a rug.

The rest is history............

I joke that we make a good team, because our approach is so different.  She is Miss Anal....and I am Miss Fly by the seat of my Pants.

But it works.

She always likes me to pick out the drafts, the fiber, and the warp color.   Then she wants me to tell her what I want.  Then she weaves.

So we put a friendship towel warp on the Schacht before Christmas.  I picked some godawful gaudy colors for the cotton usual, she said "WHAT???????"

And when it was time to actually start the towels....she asked me "what color do I use for weft?"

And I replied, because I'm a registered smart ass......."beats me!  Pick something."

She moaned and groaned a bit, then she did just that.

She took the warp off yesterday, and today I hemmed, washed and pressed them.

And I have to say, they are stunning.

Her color choices rocked!!!!!!!

They are awesome, awesome, awesome.

I think she has graduated, from apprentice to assistant.
I can't be more proud of the weaver she has become.

But even better, way better, than that?????????

What a great friend she is.

Thanks Lois.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I have been hypothyroid for about 17 years.  It started with muscle aches and feeling so sleepy, I would lay on the couch waiting for the coffee to be done, and fall asleep again.   It was so unlike me, I hightailed it to the doctor.  Thus my experience with Synthroid began.

Over the years, it has worked and not worked.  By that I mean, that keeping my TSH in the normal range is sometimes a feat.   I will be going along, feeling fantastic (loose terms here) and suddenly I am so tired, I can't get out of my own way.  It takes a while, before the information gets to my brain, which I attribute to the brain fog that settles when your thyroid is not working well.

When I realize what's going on, and get the doctor to order labs, it comes back with a high TSH, he increases my meds, and it takes 4-6 weeks before I see the results.  Over time, this occurs with some regularity.  Apparently, as you age, your thyroid gets more and more sluggish.

Just for the record, ALL women over the age of 50 should get their thyroid checked.  AND do not settle for the word "normal".  You need to know the numbers.
NO ONE feels good with a TSH more than THREE.

But recently, I had the occasion to have palpitations all day I asked for labs to be drawn.  My TSH was .06......omg.   WAY too stopped the medication for several days per MD, maybe longer, per ME, and all week long have suffered with side effects of too much Synthroid.  Chest pain, overactive bowels, missed heart beats, feeling jittery, nervous, can't concentrate.

I am not a happy camper.

So there's that.

As always, the way I get through things, is ONE DAY AT A TIME.

I thank my years of Al Anon for that.  I don't get too worried or immersed in self pity about feeling bad.  Oh, I consider it, of course.
But mostly, I just do my regular, which is: STAY IN THE DAY.

Yep, I got stuff to do, and I get at it.  In this respect, truly, weaving has saved me over and over.
And then there's the simple fact, that it could always be worse, and is worse for some.
So you take the hand you were dealt, and deal with it.  Play that hand as best you can.
The headache from hell that descended on my life in 2011, has taught me some pretty significant lessons.

I have been spending more time in my hot tub this week, it helps the achiness of my chest and back.
Looking at the night sky, feeling that glorious heat seeping through me, I feel that I will be ok.   I ponder a lot in the hot tub, about life and how we manage to think we have forever.
I also think a lot about what our individual lives mean, what it all means.
I have also decided that while my children were the most incredible joy of my life, having them grow up and leave has been just as life changing, and hard.

I was lucky to have my Mom for so long......she lived to be just shy of her 89th birthday, and lived with us for the last 10 years of her life.  When she died, the loss was compounded for me, because there was this huge hole, not just in my life, but  in my house, where she had been, where she ruled.

I talk to her sometimes in the hot tub.

And I realized that something she said, was so true.  She told me that when she died the person she wanted to see the most, was her mother, who passed when my mother was only 28 years old.  She had missed her all those years.  Now I know, that when I die, I want to see my mother most of all.

But for now, I am busy, with today.

Today, this day, drinking my morning coffee, the sun just coming up over the icy horizon, the pellet stove keeping the living room the toastiest place in the house, Miss Puss at my feet, Roy snoring in his bed, hand knit mittens almost finished on the coffee table, the gift of a "minimal" headache, DH still asleep, perfect quiet, warped looms waiting in the studio.............this day is mine.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Stars twinkle

Yup, they do.  Stars twinkle, and aircrafts blink.  This was my aha moment tonight in the hot tub, with the wind blowing hard.   Venus was bright, and I saw at least 9 planes flying in different directions while I was out there.   The wind chimes were making crazy noise, and I found myself wondering  about one of them, the biggest one, that I bought because I liked the way it looked, it was made from all kinds of strange things.  Trouble is, it sounds terrible.

See the oil can in the middle???

I guess I need to find a home for it further away from the house.

My venture with baby wraps has come to an end.
It was interesting, and lucrative, but I'm pretty much done.
I might make one here or there, but I have other things to do.

For one thing, I was cyber bullied by a bunch of women who decided that the word "crazy" in my business name, was OFFENSIVE, and ableist.
Yeah, I had to look that one up, too.
They tried to pressure me to change the name, because it might be hurtful to people with mental illness.
I said that it means "passionate" in this instance.  In my opinion, intent is everything.

They were pretty nasty, and gave me a whole new perspective on the baby wrap world.
Of course, there are a lot of women in that world, that are very nice, and very supportive.
But the whole thing gave me a pretty bad feeling.
I got off ALL baby wrap groups on FB, and that is that.  The writing was on the wall, so to speak.

So the other night, in my studio, with the dark falling outside, and fireplace steadily heating up the space, I did some inventory.

Not real inventory......we did that last month.

But an inventory of what I wanted to accomplish there, and how to keep my serenity doing it.
Baby wraps are not on the list.
Custom is not on the list.

L and I have a good thing here.  We are different in a lot of ways, and very much alike in some.  We both like no drama, quiet, great lunches  of homemade soup, salad, and bread.........we love to weave, sometimes we talk, we listen to NPR, sometimes we don't talk at all.  We warp looms, we plan projects.  We get a lot of work done, but it doesn't feel like work.  It's our retirement gig.  We each make our own hours.   That's how we roll.

It's comfortable, peaceful, quite lovely actually.

These are L's towels.

It's funny how over the years, I keep coming back to the same thing.
Weaving what makes me happy.

Why do I keep making it so hard???

I jokingly said that this was heaven.
But it's no joke.

It's everything I ever wanted.

A studio of my own.  A place to just let my muse have her way.

I have the perfect line up of looms, no more, no less.

I lay awake at night thinking about what I want to weave next.
Life is simple, just the way I like it.
The most exciting thing that happened today, is that 11 out of my 12 hens produced an egg.

So it's winter in northeast NY, and we're weaving towels and scarves, stocking up the shelves.
Staying warm.
Sometimes people stop in and visit.
And that's good, too.
If they can stand the excitement.

Drop in if you're in the neighborhood.
We're here!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Sun and Snow

Little trip through Washington county this morning for my OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment)  which is what keeps my headaches in line.

Snow on the can see the snowmobile tracks.

 It was cold today, but deliriously sunny.
Somehow the sun makes it bearable.

There was no traffic, so it was easy to stop and take pictures.  
But I didn't get one of the hawk that soared over the road, or the 20 turkeys eating on a snow covered corn field.

I love the half hour ride through the countryside.  It's calming.

I told my daughters yesterday that I was grateful that I had a different experience as a mother, than they are having.  They looked at me puzzled.
I said, well, you girls never had cell phones, or iPads.  You weren't connected to anything.  You watched a little TV when your homework was done, and you talked on the phone, but that was it.
You played outside, you talked to people around her, you interacted.
I'm glad of that.  I liked the way you were.
I'm glad I'm not raising kids now.
I would probably throw all the electronics out in the snow one day.

There are lots of good things about the internet, and even social media.
But honestly, I don't think it is all that wonderful for our kids.  I think they miss a lot.  They don't know how to live without some device in front of their nose.
But how can you tell kids not to do  it, when you see adults doing it all the time.  It's just too much.

DH and I went to Olive Garden one night, and they have these iPad like things on the tables......that you can pay to play games on.  HE reached for it, and I said, NOPE, if you can't talk to me over dinner, we'd better leave now.
Yes, I know.  I'm bossy.
But really.  Really.

I decided, watching my grandkids tweet, and instagram and "whatever' their way through an afternoon, that what I want for my birthday is a family dinner, with NO DEVICES PRESENT.
That's not much to ask, is it?

 So back to Washington County, which I think is one of the prettiest places ever.

It was a lovely drive, but I loved getting home to the studio.  It's my favorite place.

But you knew that.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


I am reflective of late.
Maybe it's the headache.
Or it's winter.

I did actually decorate a bit for the holidays.

I enjoy my house.  I love it, to be sure.
I  just wish I could share it with my family, but they live a ways away, and of course, they are all busy.

I saw them all at Christmas, we always get together at one of their houses, about an hour away.

But to get them all here in Kingsbury  at the same time, well, that's not easy.
Work, sports, get the idea.
It makes me sad sometimes.   I try not to let it, but it does.
Time plods on, and what was is no more.
People change, children grow up, nothing stays the same for long.
Change is inevitable.
Sometimes it sucks, to be blunt.

This is my morning view, sipping my coffee, cats and dog sleeping around me, stove keeping the living room toasty.

I do a lot of thinking this time of day.  It's quiet, and I contemplate my life, and think about the changes that I have experienced.  Some good, oh yes.
Some not so good.
And a lot of changes were just to be expected.  There was no avoiding them, they happen to everyone.

I tried to get my two oldest grand daughters to come up on Christmas break.
But that's not happening either.
They are booked solid.....busy.
And to be honest, Mimi might not be as interesting to them, as she once was.

It brings to mind other times, when they loved to come stay with me.   I treasure those times.

They didn't stay that little for long, but it was an amazing time.

Now they are young ladies, just 7 years later.

Back then, I was happy to be the "paparazzi", just following them around on their adventures.
What I wouldn't give to do it all over again.

Now I see them on holidays.
And they text me.
But it isn't the same.
It's different with your own children.  They were stuck with you until graduation.

But with grandkids, you are definitely less important to them as they get older.
And to be honest, it's nothing abnormal.  They are just finding their own way.
It's reality.

Did I mention that reality sucks sometimes????

I don't want you  to think that I live a miserable life.
I don't.
I am happy in my little corner of the world.

I amuse myself so many ways.....making a spinach quiche for example.

Weaving a cotton "translucent windows" scarf/neck wrap.

I am never bored, I am always engaged in some pursuit that makes me feel sustained.

Maybe occasional sadness at the life gone by is a natural thing.   We get older, and there is a lot more lost than our youth.
Friends, family, gone from us.   Children grown up, with families of their own.
Priorities shifted, goals reached, walking a different path than one we've ever known.

In all my ponderings, and even in my dreams, I have not for sure found the answer to it all.
But I think...............I is this.
You just need to live the best life you can live, every day.  You have to find your sweet spot.  You have to find your own happiness.

And above all, you have to be grateful.

And I am.

Friday, December 23, 2016

It's winter.

Why do I keep singing this song??

Oh the weather outside is frightful.

Yes, we are having a real winter this year, it seems.  But I have found that the words of my late mother reverberate.
She said, "You won't mind winter so much when you don't have to go out in it every day",
and she's right.

Because it's very cozy inside.
I have everything I need.

Towels, towels, towels.

I am always busy....there is always something to do.

I'm stuck on clam shells.

Tis the season......good to keep this perspective.

 Traditional Greek Honey cookies......

and lentil soup.

All in all........ winter can be good.   It's just winter, after all.

 Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's a crazy world.

Early morning in Kingsbury.

Tiny little hamlet in northeast New York.

We actually have street lights, which I love.  They are not in front of my house, but I can see them in a couple of directions from my window.
Lately, at night, we often see
 flashing red lights, as the local sheriff enforces the 40 mph speed limit down Rte 4.  We applaud.

I am in my pajamas, and it is barely light out.  I went to bed early with a headache, and feeling exhausted.  I think I slept 9 hours, and apparently that is what I needed.
It is good to listen to your body, especially as you get older.  That's my thinking.

Now I'm eating a salt bagel, with a cuppa tea.  The dog has been out, the cats have been fed, the pellet stove is warming the room.   I plan on relaxing here for another hour or so, reading, catching up with emails.  This is my morning routine, and I love it.

All those years of being out the door at 6:15, to be at work, ready to start at 7:00am.........done.
Who knew retirement could be so lovely.
I look back, and remember that it felt normal, to be on the road in the dark, to hear the gates clanking behind me as I checked into a maximum security prison, day after day, to set up the clinic for inmates  who arrived every few minutes for my entire shift.  Then there were emergencies, fights, stabbings, cardiac issues, sick call, doctor's appointments, testing, lab and so much more.  Patients brought in sometimes in handcuffs, and sometimes leg chains.  Correction officers standing behind you at every turn.  For twenty years.

It felt NORMAL.

Why am I telling you this??  Because it occurred to me, that sometimes the most horrific things are made normal
Not right.  Oh, never.   Never right.
But in our perception, normal events.
And I am not telling you that it is necessarily a good thing.  It's not.

After I left the prison system, it took months before I computed that it was not my life anymore.  I had to readjust to the world outside of that freakish normal.  It was probably not that much different than a criminal who is released.

I watch the news, and I think.  How many people are fooled, that THIS is normal?  Or is this our NEW normal, now??
And then I go do something creative, because I can't absorb any more of it.

My solace is being able to stay home, weave, bake, just be myself.

This was a winner.  Rosemary parmesan bread.  And simple.  And delicious.......I could have eaten the whole loaf.

We had it with some ribolitta, which is synonymous with clean out the fridge soup.

And after two days of fighting with this warp, 50 yards of golden glow is on the AVL, and restocking towels is the order of the day.

My loom should be named "Serenity", cause that's what I find when I weave there.

My conclusion is:   this new normal we are about to experience is not normal.   It isn't, it can't be, it won't be no matter what anyone tries to tell us.
Prison wasn't normal, even after 20 years, it was never, ever normal.

Make your own normal, your safe place, your life the way you know it should be.  That's the only way for me.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts