Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Them's the breaks.

I set out to the studio today with a plan. I was going to warp two looms for the weaving weekend.
It was raining, and there was just me and the cats....all SIX of them.
But while winding the warp on for placemats, I noticed this.

From september

And on further investigation, this.
From september

My handymand, the one who built the porch, stopped by to say hello, and he tried to fix the break.
But it just wasn't going to happen with the warp on.
So eventually, I gave up, and cut it off. It made me want to cry.
From september

He fixed the broken sectional piece, and left me to my misery.
Start over from square 1.
I mumbled a lot to myself.
At some point I realized that it was the 30th of the month, and I dashed off through the rain to pay my taxes. I wasn't the only one.
Tomorrow will be another busy day. I have to shop for the weaving weekend, finish tying on the second warp that I managed to get wound on, and finish cleaning up.
Luckily, these little guys are going home with Tammy for the weekend.......yay.
From september

She may be the official feral kitty socializer. The position is open.
Once they are touchable, and cuddly, I may be able to find homes for them. Sydney has already made it quite clear that she doesn't need any competition for attention.

Which brings me to a subject that I feel I must mention.
It's indifference.
Everyone says how wonderful it is that I am saving these cats. That it is the right thing to do.
But for the most part, people really want to look the other way.
Now I know you who are reading this blog, can't pop on over and take a kitten, or even help me with them. Many of you have told me that you wished you did live closer. And that is very nice to hear. I wish you did, too.
But for the most part, the sad truth is that the majority of the population does not want to hear about the feral cat population. They don't want to know that feral cats exist because irresponsible people all over the world abandon their unneutered cats, and these cats have kittens that become feral. And on and on.
They don't want to know that the life expectancy of a cat in the wild is about 2 years.
Many people will drop cats off 'near a farm', because they think that the cat will be fine there.
That is so not true. Most farmers are plagued by stray cats, and they do not feed them.
The life of a feral cat is horrific, and the life of a stray cat, who has known the comfort of a home of its own, is frightening.
That is why I get involved. It isn't because it's fun. It isn't because I have nothing to do. It's because I believe that we should be accountable, and I guess it should start with me.

I have had an offer from a good friend to foster the kittens over the weekend, and Tammy, my once apon a time apprentice, just took them home with her, so she can try to socialize them for me. She could be the cat whisperer with a little work.
She is a hero in my book, let me tell you.
This whole subject reminds me of a poem that I love.
By John Fowles.
It is called Amor Vacui.

Six feet from my window the blackbirds
Weave their nest. Such irony. I am
So much more willing than they dream
To care, to wall their world from death.
Or is it one more cunningness?
Suppose they came tapping on the glass,
Asking for wool, for worms, for wire
To protect them from the cats?
One day we should grow too close,
I should tot up the cost of song.

Much better this haunted, helpless air,
This mystery between us.


My favorite line............."I should tot up the cost of song."
Says it all, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cleaning house

Do you remember this?
From Crazy as a Loom

6 bales of selvedge, each about 800 lbs or so.
This dumpster soon to be overflowing with waste.

From Crazy as a Loom

Well, it turns out that there are about 100 bags of selvedge like this in the attic.
From Crazy as a Loom

Overwhelmed? Who, me?
So today, the good fairy and I dragged about 30 bags of it down these stairs.
From Crazy as a Loom

Out the back door, and up to the loft over the barn.
Except for 240 lbs of it that left via UPS.

From Crazy as a Loom

They do make lovely rugs.
From Crazy as a Loom

But the bottom line is that I won't live long enough to weave all this stuff, and I really need to simplify somewhat, to clear my head.
We made a lot of room in the attic, enough to put bags of heel strips up there, and clean up the old kitchen.
Whew.
I feel a little better already.
Weaving weekend coming up this weekend, and then I am taking a break.
Honest.
I'm thinking about a giveaway. Any ideas?
You know my brain is fried.








Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking for a bridge.

Just so you don't think I am really heartless. I took the crate out on the porch, so Momma could see her babies.
From september

And I thought, for a moment, that Momma was going to be on her way to the vet's today. She went into the trap, ate ALL the sardines I put in there (they are supposed to be irresistible) and walked away. I couldn't believe my eyes. The trap slams shut if I breath near it, and she devoured a plate of fish, and it didn't move.
Then I looked out on the porch, and she had a friend over. A white and gray cat that I've never seen before.
After lunch, she decided to take a little snooze. Looks comfy, doesn't she? This table is a mere 6 ft from my back door, but if I open the door, she will be off the porch in an instant.
From september

Here they are, I'd like to call them Lucy and Ricky, but of course I don't know if they are girls, boys, or one of each. I hate to keep them confined, but it is the only way to socialize them, in a crate. Otherwise, they just hide under the bed 24/7.
This isn't my first rodeo.
From september



Anyway, I did get some stuff done today. I uncovered this lovely tapestry loom, and put it on Craig's List. I will never get to it, and I don't need it. Cheap enough at $100, I am in the mood to make room.
From september

I had a mini breakdown today, feeling overwhelmed with work to be done, the mess in the studio, cats not being cooperative, not enough time to spend on the kittens, phone ringing.
So I went outside for a while, and took my camera.
The trees are changing, and the Jerusalem artichokes along the property line are about 12ft tall.
From september

Actually it has nothing to do with Jerusalem, and it is not an artichoke, but a member of the daisy family.
It is also called a sunchoke, or a sunroot.
And it is quite lovely.
From september

I really need a new perspective. I need a day off.
I need a foster family for these kittens. If I can get them socialized a bit, I can maybe find homes for them.
Tomorrow's gonna be a better day.
From september










Monday, September 27, 2010

Sometimes the right thing is the hardest to do.

On the way to the studio this morning, I got to thinking about people who are "emotionally unavailable".
You've heard that term, right?
What the hay is that, exactly?
We've all met someone that we could use that phrase on. But still, what is it, really?
I used to say it about my father.
Emotionally unavailable.
He appeared not to have the same emotions. Or he didn't have access to them. Or he didn't know how to let them show.
I used to think, growing up, that he didn't love me.
Now I realize, tearfully sometimes, that he loved me the best he knew how.
And that the gift he gave me, was the gift of being more like him than I ever imagined.
Except that I think I escaped that gene of 'emotionally unavailable'.
And for that, I am also grateful.
But today, dear friends, I am feeling much like a criminal.
Three years ago, Kizzy's mom had him and a sibling in the barn. By the time they made themselves visible to me, they were almost 12 weeks old. Kizzy fell for the Havaheart the first night. His mom, soon after. But the sibling, a little gray manx, resisted. He was killed in the road not far from the studio a few days later.
So this past weekend, while at the fiber festival, I worried. I knew I couldn't do the Havaheart thing when I wasn't there to monitor it, so I had to wait til today. I prayed that they would stay out of the road in the meantime.
So, first thing this morning, the Havahearts went out on the porch.
They are under the blankets.
From september

Right away, momma cat came up on the porch, and stuck her head in..........9 Lives tuna flakes were calling to her.
I watched, holding my breath.
Then, a streak of gray and white flew by her, and one of the kittens was in the trap. Momma stuck her head in again, and I was hoping she would go in. The trap hadn't tripped with the kitten alone, it wasn't heavy enough.
And just as she stuck her head in again, kitten #2 barrelled by her, flew into the trap, and with both of them on it, the trap closed.
Somebody is really teed off.
From september

She lurked all day. First on one end of the porch, then on the other.
From september

But she wouldn't go in the other trap.
I felt bad, still do.
Taking her babies away. What an awful thing to do.
But then, if I didn't take them, what is their future?
The road.
Their hormones, soon, will take them down that road to more kittens, raised in the wild.
Or soon, momma's own instincts will take her away, to a new litter, and being hungry, and cold, and always in danger.
The life of a feral cat is not pretty. They live on the average of two years. And the north country is cold in the winter. Snow too deep to navigate, no food, no water, predators. It is an awful life.
When you see them romping in the grass in the sun, it is hard to think that their life is not really like that.
But you have to see the whole picture.
If I were God, I would make it so no cat or dog was ever homeless, and never abused.
If I were God.
But I'm not, so I have to do just what I can.
Kitties are in the pink bedroom, and they have a litter box, and another box to sleep in, and a rug under the bed, cause that's what they like to do, go under the bed. Food, water. NPR on the radio, so they get used to peoples' voices. A scratch pad toy with a ball.
Someone said, that room should be called the nursery.
Seems so, cause that's where all my cats have started out their lives, except for Sydney the Walmart greeter, she didn't need any socialization skills.
From september

It didn't help that someone stared at me all day long.
So I decided to just placate her a bit. After all, I want another shot at catching her. She needs to be neutered, soon.
So I fed her on the other end of the porch, away from the trap.
From september


And here they are, not the best picture, but they are kinda scared right now.
But sweet.
Can't you just hear them, calling to ya???? Asking you real nice to take them home?
Make a fool of them, like all of us crazy cat/dog lovers do.
From september

I KNOW ya hear 'em.
You can call ME, or email ME, and I will let them know you called for them.
AND, to whomever gives these babies a home......just in case you thought I was not really that crazy....I am.......I will give them a certificate for $50 toward the spay/neuter for each kitty.
I know you can't resist a great deal like that.
And the love you get will be immeasurable.
You knew that, right?







Sunday, September 26, 2010

Is it dark yet?

The Fiber Festival is over for this year.
From september

There were so many vendors. It was overwhelming. There was so much beautiful yarn, I wanted it all.
From september

It was a very good show for me. There are a lot of people out there right now who are making potholders on the Hip to Be Square Looper Loom. And that makes me happy.
It was 6pm before the car was unloaded, and I was on my way home.
This was the weekend of the balloon festival, and there were several in the sky.
From september

Some of them on their way down.
From september

And some already on the ground.
From september

Shows are hard work, and even though I did very well, it reminded me why I don't do them often. They exhaust me, for some reason.
Now I have to get back to work. Orders, weaving weekend coming up.
Lord, I need to clone myself.
Just a note: today, at the show, as the afternoon slowed down, I decided to try something different with the looper loom.
Instead of putting a looper on every nail, I put one on every other nail, and then when I did the second side, I wove the loopers on every other nail. What happened is that I made a smaller, softer square, that would make a perfect mug rug/coaster.
I took this quick picture just now to show you.
From september

They also would be perfect if you sewed four of them together to make a hot pad.
The best thing is that each one took about 15 minutes to make, if that.
Just sayin'.
So if you have one, you might want to give it a try. If you want.

I saw lots of people I knew at the Fiber Festival. It occurred to me that some people just have to reinvent themselves every so often.
I know I've done it myself.
Sometimes it's just that curve in the road, and there's no way around it.
And now it looks like it might be another early night.





Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not what you think.

Wow.
I am on the other side of exhausted. Way on the other side.
It was a long, but good, day.
And for all of you who wished me luck selling the Hip to Be Square Looper Loom, thanks.
I sold a LOT of them. It was a VERY good day.
And there's still tomorrow.
Alice keeps telling me that I need to be "present" on my blog.....that people want to see me.
hah.
I say, "Whatever for?"
But I gave in.
From september

I did a whole lot of talking, and demonstrating.
From september

Then I got some help!
From september

Although, I am kidding.
My dear friend, Alice, helped ALL day.
Gabby came to visit, and to do some experimenting.
From september

And then.........some modeling.
I had some of the fiesta skirts hanging on the wall.
She said, "Can anybody buy those?"
I said, "Sure."
She said, " Can I buy some?"
So she decided to try them on.

From september

From september

She said, "Are you going to put me on your blog?"
From september

From september

From september

I said, "Of course."
From september

There are those that say there is a little of her Mimi in this little girl.
From september

Which proves, of course......
From september

That looks are sometimes deceiving.
From september

From september

Good night all.
From september







Friday, September 24, 2010

On the road again.

Up again at the crack of dawn, too many things to do, and sleeping in isn't one of them.

I had my car all packed, so after I fed ALL the kitties, I headed to Greenwich, to the fairgrounds.
They opened at 9am, for those who wanted to get set up a day ahead, and I got there at 9:05am.

This is the bridge over the Hudson. My DH doesn't like it, because it sways as you drive over it.
From september

It was a beautiful morning, and I was back on the road at 9:30. I wasted no time.
It was definitely a "driving with the windows down" kind of day.
From september

I ran some errands, and worked my way through a 'to do' list.
Now just over the road from me, one of my neighbor's grows pumpkins. Now I don't mean the kind of 'throw some seeds out back and see what ya' get' growing of pumpkins. I mean serious, dedicated, hard work, passionate growing of pumpkins.
From september

All of his pumpkins are HUGE. None of them can just be picked up by one person.
From september

They bring them from the field with the tractor.
Hundreds of incredibly BIG ORANGE PUMPKINS.
It is a fabulous sight.
From september

The very best part about it, is that when Mr. Pumpkin was talking to me about the pumpkins, and how he grows them, his enthusiasm was tangible. I loved it.
From september

And there are some nice gourds and corn stalks, too.
Now up the road, another family member has the "pumpkin passion".
Don't ya just love that?
Anyway, he only grows TWO pumpkins.
Yes. Two.
He babies them, and mollycoddles them. He trucks water from the pond, because they drink 50 gallons each every day.
From september

And even though his pumpkin patch is quite large, there are only TWO pumpkins growing there, because he pinches off every blossom except for them.
From september

He has little shelters built for them, so they don't get too much sun.
Putting them on a truck when they are full grown, is an event.
Here is one, and this is the color it will stay.
From september

These babies will be soon on their way to the NY Pumpkin Festival and while en route, two of the runners will be immersed in water, so they can drink all the way to Oswego.
Last year his pumpkins weighed over 700 lbs.
From september

And just so you can see how big this really is, I had the good fairy put her hand next to it.
From september


I love pumpkins, and almost brought a couple home, but my car was still full of stuff.

For the next two days, I will be demonstrating how to make a potholder on the Hip to Be Square Looper Loom, and hope to sell a car load of them.
So if you are in the neighborhood, the Fiber Festival is at the fairgrounds right on Rte 29 between Greenwich and Schuylerville, and it is 10-5 both Saturday and Sunday.

I am not going to attempt kitty capture until Monday, since I won't be around enough to monitor the action. So as anxious as I am to get them settled, it will have to wait a couple of days.
Still waiting for someone to email me saying they are desperate to adopt one of them.
I know, I'm such a dreamer.








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