Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I am just beginning to realize how hard I have been on myself at times.

I guess it takes stepping back from it a bit, to really understand.

Rocking a little girl to sleep on a sunny afternoon allows one to ponder these things.

I love having her little hands on my face, while she looks intently into my eyes, or her own reflection in my glasses.  She is amazing.
I am hers two days a week.  It's an experience that I wouldn't miss.
But the pre-brain surgery me would never have done it.
It would have taken me away from the self imposed work schedule that I had.  Oh, the horror.

Tonight I came home and threaded my Schacht loom for whimsy's sake.  Not for production.  Not for retail.  Not for an order.
Just for me.
What a concept. 

 Susan over at Avalanche Looms was kind enough to satisfy my curiosity about some of her work.
She told me to try it, see if it got me buzzed.
Well, it did.
I didn't have time today to stay with it, and I can't wait until I do.  Thank you, Susan.  I am smitten.

The kitchen is a mess, but I can see the potential.

The half bath is now officially in its new place.

There's an awful mess to clean up, but it's done.  I bought a new toilet, but the midget sink is the was hard to find in the first place.

I could have gutted this old pantry, and put in a bathroom right out of Country Living,
but somehow we all know that's not really me.
Instead, while you are sitting on the toilet, you get to admire some of my stash.

C'mon, you know you love it.

It rained today, it seriously rained.

I am not going to talk about the SNOW on the ground as we speak, nope.
I'm going to show you the lovely spring downpour we had today instead.

My granddaughter Gabby was helping me in the studio, and she took about 30 pictures with my camera.  And like me,  out of a slew of photos, I take one that is just right.
This is hers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Oh, my.

I tell my carpenter that when I have crazy ideas, he makes them come true.

He also makes the MESS come true.

Sometimes I do ask myself:  "What the HELL were you thinking??"

(That toilet HAS to go)

Ack, it will be alright.   I think it will be really nice when it is finished.  But of course, one thing leads to another.  Now it all needs to be painted.
And cleaned.
And then there will be a peninsula in this area, with stools on one side.

I want this big old house to be a home as well as a working studio.
That involves a little rehab, and some downsizing.

In the meantime, I am still trying to get the towel warp off the AVL.   My yellow post it note that said 10 on it, just showed up taped to the sectional beam.  So that means I have approximately 10 yards left.

I have woven lots of different colors on this towel warp, so I decided to do the last 10 in a natural cotton flake.

Every once in a while, one shaft sticks, can you see the error???

For the most part, I have become very comfortable and pleased with my AVL folding dobby loom.
However, I never did set up the flyshuttle.   I sent a picture of the parts I have to AVL, and sure enough, there are some missing.
So that's my next project, getting the parts, and getting the flyshuttle on the loom and getting it to work.
It's intimidating, but I know once I figure it out, it won't be.
In the meantime, looks like some cleaning is in order.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Renovations and a guest.

Once apon a time, someone decided that this old house needed an half bath downstairs.

So they built one, between the kitchen and the dining room.

What planning!!!!!

 That's the kitchen you see, looking right through the bathroom....which has two doors.

Here's the dining room side of it.

 The dining room is on the back of the house, and with the big porch, the room is darker than the rest of the house.
The kitchen, seen through that door, is much brighter.

 Looking from the kitchen side.

It is a mini bathroom.
I decided a long time ago, that it had to go.
Something about a bathroom right off the kitchen.......not right.

Today Cory came and started ripping down the wall.

The old lathe and plaster makes a HUGE mess when you tear it down.

The walls under the lathe and plaster are thick, rough boards, with square nails.

Cory, Cory, Cory, you are making a disaster area.

Taking the scrap outside a bit at a time.

 Somewhat stalled by way more wires in the wall than anticipated.
Electrician coming tomorrow.

I can't wait to see what it will look like, with it gone.
The kitchen and the dining room, open.

Oh, hello, toidy.
Do you like my "midget sink"?

On one of Cory's trips to the barn, he came running in to get me.
 We had company.

 Next had retreated to the loft, unhappy I'm sure, since this one is blocking the door.

 He didn't seem too frightened of us.    We wondered if he was sick.
Cory said he might need to get the 22 rifle.
I said we should wait, to see him walk.  If he is rabid, he will walk sideways.

We made some noise, to move him along, and he went around the barn.  As we watched him leave, we realized, that he had an injured leg that he was holding up.
Or maybe SHE had an injured leg that she was holding up, as she skittered under the side of the barn.

We cut up an apple, left it for her, and it quickly disappeared.

Babies, that's what I think.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Stress and some soup.

 The sun is shining, and that's a whole lot to be happy about.
I took Roy for a long walk by the river, only to be annoyed by stupid people.

Oops, that was mean.
But it's true.  Actually.  There are always people who are so ignorant, that you just wonder how they manage to exist at all.

This couple had let their dog run loose.
The dog, very young, had managed to get himself down on the canal, which was PARTIALLY frozen over. 
He was frantic, because he realized that he now couldn't get back up on the bike path, because there was a vertical stone wall along the whole canal.
The humans kept walking, away from the small path that had allowed him access to begin with.

As I approached them, I said, he is not going to be able to get off the ice if you keep going that way.
SHE said, "oh, when we get to the bridge, he can cross to the other side."

"Through the icy water??????" I asked, incredulous.

I guess I was particularly perturbed, because just two weeks ago, a lady who lived in the neighborhood, 64 years old, a talented, much loved, musician, had taken her two dogs down here to walk.  Whether she let them loose, or they got away from her is a mystery.  But they went out on the ice on the river side, they went through, and she went after them.
By the time someone heard her, she had been in the water for some time.
The rescue squad worked hard to save her, but she died at the hospital.

So you can imagine, my patience with these two nitwits was just about NIL.  NADA.  ZIP.

I passed them, but stopped down the path, to make sure that they just didn't leave him.   And to make sure he didn't go into the water.   I had my phone at the ready to call 911.  They saw me watching them.   Otherwise, who knows what they had in mind. 
They finally realized that they had to coax him all the way back to where he had descended into the canal.........and then they put his LEASH on him, just like all the signs direct one to do.

So much for a relaxing walk by the water.
Poor Roy.......good thing he can't talk, or he might be repeating things I said to the wind.

I came home, and made this soup from a book that L had lent me.   I was a little skeptical, but wanted to try it.
Can I just tell you that I think this is my favorite soup EVER.  It is so good.
It is spicy hot, and so satisfying that I am going to give you the recipe.
And even better......hardly any calories at all.

I should be doing something productive.   I guess.  At least that's what that little voice inside my
head says.
What does she know?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

This is what I've been up to lately.
Watching my new grandbaby twice a week, so my daughter can work.

 "Mimi, let me have that iPhone, please."

 She is intrigued by me taking pictures of her.  But so am I.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch studio, Lois made this very cool chunky rug......

And bench pad to match.

The Cranbrook is waiting......I need a day to put a rug warp on it.  My priorities have shifted.
In a strange way, it is what I need, so I'm going with it.

Putting a warp on will be easier than getting this girl to sleep.  But the end result isn't as beautiful, by a long shot.

Today was a lovely quiet day at the studio..........

I cleaned my desk.


I am still working on towels.  That particular warp seems endless.

Working on Eckhart.  Still.
Time for a giveaway.
 And a sale.
Any thoughts?

Monday, March 31, 2014

The size of things

I have had a questionable relationship with food.  My appetite has always been hearty to say the least.
I was always very active, so it was never an issue.  I ran, I worked, hey, I was YOUNG.

For many years, I didn't notice it, my metabolism seemed set high enough to burn off what I put into my body.  But as I got older, I began to get the extra weight around the middle, and Lord have mercy, I looked "matronly" even to myself.
I avoided mirrors.
My profession somewhat contributed to my gain of weight over the years.  As an RN for 30 years, I wore scrubs, and because I worked in a prison, I made sure they were as baggy and loose as I could get away with.  Let's just say it was easy to ignore those extra pounds.
 I would appease myself by telling myself that I was no where near as overweight as that enormous person I saw at the grocery store.
But does it matter, really?
I knew, and have known, for some time, that I needed to lose it.
Seven years ago, I did.  I went to Weight Watchers, and dropped 20 lbs.  I felt great, got into all my clothes for the first time in a long time, and was quite proud of myself.
But it has creeped back on, plus another 5.  My excuse, probably not a bad one, for the last 2+ years, was that I couldn't deal with the headache, AND a diet.  It was just too much to ask of myself.

There were times, when my headache was so bad, I sent DH out to buy a bag of Cheetos for me. A big bag.
It didn't help the headache, but it made me happy regardless.
I didn't share either, by the way.
Being a vegetarian does not mean that you will get fact, I find that I eat more carbs than I ever did, to make up for it.  Not good.  Not good at all.  Occasionally, I consider eating meat again, but I just can't get myself there either.

I have researched so many options.  The internet is full of diets, and plans, and theories. But since WW worked for me before, I see no reason why it won't work again.  The trick, for me, is not to think about it as a diet, but as a change in life style.  It is about being cognizant of what I put into my mouth.
My daughter said that she read someplace that exercise is just the tip of the iceberg, the bulk of the issue is what you eat.  I believe that.
I know that I don't want to get obsessed with some new fad that won't last.

Since I am not a meeting person, I joined WW online.  There's a free APP for my phone, and I can track what I eat, and find points values no matter where I am.  I have been doing it for three weeks, and I have lost 10 lbs.  It works.  And honestly, it really isn't that hard.  It is just MINDFULNESS about food.  
I still go out for pizza on Friday night.  I just PLAN for it.  No more willy nilly, eating whatever is in front of me.
Paying attention.  That's my game.
My 50th class reunion is this summer.  My lifelong friend and I have decided that we are going to look "mighty fine" for our age.  Not to impress anyone else, hell no.  Just to impress ourselves.
Just to feel really good about our weight, for once.
I am also tempted to buy (5) 5 lb bags of sugar, and put them somewhere  where I can see them often.
Because that is what I've been carrying around.  10 down, 15, maybe 20, to go.

What really clinched it was a photo that my daughter and I took while I was in Florida.  We were sending it to my son in law, to make him feel bad that he wasn't there, in the sun, drinking his favorite beer, Kalik from the Bahamas.

Against every fiber of my being, I would much rather ERASE it.........I am going to share this photo with you.......because in a few months, I am going to be sharing a photo of me WITHOUT that spare tire.
 Nothing like putting yourself out on a limb, eh????

 Yup, I am ok with getting older.  What point would there be NOT being ok with it?
And I don't mind the wrinkles, and the hair getting whiter by the day.   I put up with the achy joints, I know that's just part of the whole picture.
But the ghastly weight around my middle......well, I don't have to put up with that.  THAT, my friends, is up to ME.

I am on a mission.

I may be getting older, but I am also getting thinner, if it's the very last thing I ever do.

Stay tuned.

And no, I am not a big beer drinker.  I would never give up points for that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Impending storm.     Wow, what a surprise!!!

Some things I have discovered/decided:

1.  I  hate spinning.   I have tried and tried to like it, but I just don't.  I can do it, pretty well actually, but it bores me to tears.  So I am going to sell my Louet S10 double treadle wheel.  It's a part of my downsizing efforts

2.  I love croissants.   I could eat them every day.   And I have decided that no matter how hard they look, I am going to make my own.

3.  I am going to buy a new furnace for the studio.   Then when I am gone for 3 months next year, I can just pay for oil, and not worry.  And pellets won't have to be carried from the barn.
I will also need to buy less pellets!!  My poor old house has had the same old furnace for about 40 sounds like a VW bug when it takes off.

4. I am pretty much done with custom orders, unless they are easy, or wicked fun. Call me ornery.  I don't care.

5.   The only thing that matters is being happy, being ok with yourself, and being with the people that you love.  All the rest is bull**%*&&#!

6.  I will never arrive, I am always on the journey.  I need to remind myself of that, often.

Mostly, I am grateful.
You think I'm crazy?   (she's had a headache for over 2 years, and she's grateful?)

Yup, grateful to be here.  Grateful for the chance to go on living my life.  Grateful for my incredible family, and my fantastic friends.
I think, in fact, a little more gratitude is in order.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts