Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Some thoughts and a GIVEAWAY.

I am not sure what is going on, but I am not inspired much to blog.  That's the simple and unvarnished truth.
It could be that I am not feeling so well, thanks to the Alleve I was prescribed after my last surgery.
I stopped it after a month, but I now have severe spontaneous reflux to the level of my clavicle......so the report said.  My daughter's theory is that if it did such a job on my stomach, maybe it simultaneously did a job on the bone growth in my head.



I got myself off Prilosec back in 2010, and now it looks like I will be taking it, or something like it, again.  Disturbing.  I am hoping this time to take it only to 'heal' my stomach, and not as a long term solution.
It is just one more thing on the list of things I must learn to deal with.  And I know that there is always someone with a worse scenario to deal with than mine.  I would never have imagined that I would have all these medical issues in my 60's...........I saw myself as very healthy and active, and figured I was good for a lot longer than that.  Ha!   Imagine that.
Life is so full of surprises.


It has been said, not to my face, but in an email, that I have been "obsessed" with the monster headache.  While that comment hurt me more than I can say, it also made me angry.
I wanted to reply that it is impossible to ignore a metal stake in the middle of your forehead.
For TWO YEARS +.  No matter how hard I have tried to live my life around it, to be productive and engaged, there is no way I could have ignored that.  I have acted "as if" many, many many days...too many to remember.....just because I didn't want to give in and be an invalid.  I have done the best that I could come up with.  Some days weren't so hard, others were a real struggle.

Ack.
I am letting that go.  I have to.



We are getting ready to trek south to warmer climates, and I can't wait.  We are driving, because I would not ever put Roy in the belly of an airplane.  And I wouldn't go without him.
Roy and I  are planning on walking and walking and walking in glorious sunshine.  And I am hoping that my head likes the better weather.

My kids are all coming to spend time in the sun with us, and that will make it the best vacay ever.

But first, while I am still in the frigid northeast, I think we need to have a New Year's giveaway.

"What will it be, Mimi?"


 It will be a cotton dish towel, I just took a bunch off the AVL.  You can pick any one you want off my web site.



All you have to do is comment with one thing that you have learned in 2013, and one thing you want to do in 2014.  Easy right?
I will draw the winner on New Year's Day.

For me???
1. In 2013,  I have learned that while sometimes I feel overwhelmed, I can ALWAYS do one day at a time.
2.  In 2014, I am going to make a bucket list for the year, and then I am going to mark it off as I do the things I want to do.  I am not going to let my headache stop me.


Sounds good, Mimi.





Sunday, December 22, 2013

A little looking back.


"Iced in" here in northeast New York.  I do not dare go out the door.  I know if I fell my head would gravitate to the pavement first.
Murphy's Law.
So I am baking my annual huge batch of Greek Honey cookies, and the house smells 'loverly'.  I will then distribute them QUICKLY because otherwise, I will eat way too many.  They are so addictive.



The GOOD NEWS for the WEEK............Next is home!!!!!
He must have gotten himself snowed in someplace, and didn't want to plow through the deep snow.
He was gone for several days, and L and I both worried that the fox had gotten him.
But nope, he's back, loud and lovable as ever.

What a relief.




I finally took the finished products off the AVL, just because I knew what  hemming job I had facing me, and figured it might be smarter to break it up.  So I hemmed 24 towels and 6 table runners, and put them on my web site.  Now I'll finish the rest of the warp.

I am still not sick of this pattern.  It quite mesmerizes me while I am weaving.
Not a bad thing.

I love the 8/2 unmercerized cotton, they make hefty, thirsty towels.  But I also love the feel of the Cottolin, which is a cotton/linen blend, so I think I am going to do some towels in that next time around.

I just read The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan.  It was hard to put down.  A good read that definitely pulls you into another world for a space of time.  Also not a bad thing.

Maybe it's the time of year, or the circumstances of this particular year, but I find myself meditative, contemplative, reminiscent......... more than usual.
Maybe it's getting older.  Thinking of times past, people gone, parts of my life that only exist in my mind and heart, and sometimes, in my dreams.
Ah.  How life changes over the years.  It is good, I think, that you don't really know that, when you're young.  No matter how much someone may tell you, you don't really get it until you are older, and so much of your life is history.
And maybe it's because there is a lot more history to remember, than there is future to anticipate.
It's just the way it is.

My mother wrote in a diary faithfully, from 1969 to just a couple of months before she died.
I used to joke with her, that no one would ever read them.
Not so funny now, not at all.
I've read them through 1975.
On one hand, it helps me to remember the way my mother was, in her forties, and fifties......instead of in her eighties, like I knew her at the end of her life.
She was a gardener extraordinaire, and a seamstress.  She was a doting mother of one: me.  And she adored her granddaughters from the minute they were born.
She was a huge part of our lives, for so long.
And reading them, also reminds me of my own life, and how things were back then.  So different.
Names, places, events, things that I had forgotten, were suddenly right before my eyes again.

But I will never understand, really, my mother's style of writing.
It certainly does not resemble mine.
She talked of meals and bowling and gardening and dishes and ironing and "puttering" and a myriad of daily things.   If I had a dollar for every time she said she made tea, I would be a rich woman.
It is hard to read, because you have to plow through all the trivia.   In fact, if you weren't there, and you didn't know what really happened, you could never guess from her diaries.  You would think that this woman just had a boring life of a bunch of repetitive things.
You wouldn't know about her joys.
Or her sorrows.
Or her doubts.
None of that.
She referred to troublesome, sad, disruptive, painful, and even wonderful events, with one liners.
And never how she felt about any of it.
And the real disturbing things.........she left those out completely.  I could read a reference to going here or there, and know what was unspoken, but other than that, her life reads like a monologue of days.
There were times, reading it, when I was stunned.  I wanted to yell at her, WHAT?   You didn't even mention what happened???  You didn't even say how we cried???  How we hurt??  How angry you were???  How our lives were impacted???
No, nothing.
I wish now that I had read them while she was alive.  One at a time.  I could have gone in to her room, and asked her, "Mom, how did this really make you feel?"
And strangely enough, she would have told me.
But she wouldn't write it down.
Wow.
I guess the part that really gets to me, is that she wasn't a 'flat' person.  She was very passionate about what she loved, and what she didn't.  But apparently, there was something that did not allow it to flow from her pen.  For reasons, now, that I will never really know.

                                 My mother with my daughter, Morgan.

And I guess I am just the opposite.  NO FILTER, I've been  accused of having.
I'm just me, and I'm out there, pretty much exposed for much of the time.
And the people who love me, well, they just do.  And the people that don't, well, they don't.
And they don't have to read my blatherings.

 I'm pretty sure though, that if my daughters ever go back to read my blog, to see how I felt about
something or other, it won't be a mystery.   They'll know.
And that's not a bad thing either.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Beep, beep.

 Tonight I was hemming the 25 towels and the 7 table runners that just came off the AVL, when I got a text message from a dear friend.
 This is what it said:
"Beep Beep Beep....This is an alert alarm.....Your blog needs updating, your minions are crying out for an eyeful"........

And she's right......I have been a slacker, for sure.

It's not the headache......that's just the usual, and I can handle it.

I am just not all that excited about this whole Christmas season.  I'm missing my mother.  I'm sadder than I've been in a long time.  I feel a little lost.  And that's the truth. 
And on top of it, Next has been missing for several days.  Not good.  Not good at all.

The good news is that I spent some quality time with my youngest daughter, and my youngest grand.


A picture is worth 1000 words, right?


God, how I love my family.

And Christmas means I will get to see them all.


Help, Mimi, help!!!!
Vicious Roy!




New at the studio.  Adirondack Bark Rugs.







I love the earthy colors, and they are super durable.  Just put them on my web site.



There are also 40 new monkeys on there for Christmas, in some fabulous new colors.

And that's it for flagrant marketing.


Right now there is a pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream with MY NAME on it.

I'm sad, I'm not dead. :)



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still

 

But sometimes  it is a relief to say what is on your mind, as long as you are doing it not to hurt anyone else, but to just be clear about your boundaries.

I have been brooding of late, but last night, I slept better than I have in a month.  Even with my stiff, aching neck.  I think that getting something off my mind that has been bothering me was good medicine.
This photo is the kind of serenity that I long for.  I think we all do.



I love it when I am out and about, and some perfect stranger says to me, "Your neck looks kind of stiff, huh?"
Uh, yeah.   Silence.
What else to say?

It's an art, knowing when to speak up, and knowing when to shut up.  I have not always been good at that.   I find myself giving it a lot more thought these days than I have previously.


Smasher since Sunday, but the sun is shining this morning, even though it is bitterly cold, so I am hoping that the headache dissipates as the day goes on.  My youngest daughter said to me last week, "I don't know anyone who could have gotten through two years of a headache like you have."

Now I am sure that I am not the only one capable of this, but wow, isn't it nice that she thinks that of me?  I was very touched by her comment.  It makes me more determined to stay as strong as I can be, to walk this path that I have been given, with as much grace and courage as I can.
Good days, bad days, accepting them all.  Doing the best I can with all of them.





My first daughter, (not allowed to say oldest :), came to the studio yesterday.  She is going to help me with Crazy as a Loom, taking over some jobs that I think will get her acclimated to my business.   We spent the day together, me showing her what I do on my web site, and explaining what parts she could do.
Later, on the phone, she told me that she could 'go to work' THERE every day, and love it.
I said, "hmm, you are beginning to sound like your mother."

 So life goes on, daily stuff.... like Roy getting a bath.  Look at that face.  He hates it, but he doesn't move a muscle until it's over.


Sewing socks, and more socks, and more socks.........there is no end.  But somehow, the monotony of it is sometimes soothing in its own way.
I'm weird, I know.



And after your bath, there is no place like your blankie on the couch with your Mum.
No place.




Sitting with my second cuppa coffee, finally the sky is blue, the sun is pouring through the windows as I type.  The headache is lifting.  I am hesitant to leave this quiet little cocoon I am in at this moment.  Pensive, sad for things gone by,  but still hopeful, still grateful.

There is so much to be grateful for.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Low pressure



" What's this Christmas Tree you speak of... "

 (that was her Daddy's Facebook post, and I loved it so, I blatantly stole it, so you could see this thoughtful little girl giving him the eye)

I love her so much!  We all do.

It was a busy weekend at the studio.  I did not sign up for the annual Christmas in the Country tour,  the second year I have opted out.  I wasn't sure how my head would be behaving, so decided to just be "Open", and leave it at that.
I guess some people figured I should be on their route, so they stopped anyway.

I was intent on  weaving table runners.
Still loving my AVL ........
 

There's a mistake in this one, didn't see it until I saw the photo.
Can't swear here, right?


We have a new "sock" rug that you might like.......the colors are more earthy, and the rug is a little thinner than most sock rugs, and super durable.
I think it's a winner.
Not sure what to call it.
 
 

My head, or my personal barometer, says that a storm is coming.  The weatherman concurs....he calls it a winter advisory.
 Days like these, I just try not to think about it.......I keep busy, and trudge onward.
Blue skies are coming.  I just know it.
I'm setting my sights on them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Weaving and babies.

Hi everyone.

I make my Mimi smile, even when she has a headache.


 Do you blame her????



She actually makes me smile even when she's sleeping.
Her name should be JOY.
 



This is what L has been up to lately.......she has talents she's been hiding.  




Weaving means something different to every weaver.
We all find our niche.


This might be hers.

I love them all, don't you??


On the studio front, I have about 50 bags of small loopers, that do not fit my Hip to Be Square looper loom.  So in the spirit of ZERO waste, I have purchased some small plastic looms with hooks, that the loopers will fit on.
I am selling these kits for Christmas for $14.95, with instructions, and enough loopers for about 10 potholders.   Will have them on my web site soon, but you can email me if you're interested.  They will be in my next newsletter, along with MORE monkeys.  Yep, they're back.



Other than that, I am just doing one day at a time, because it still works.

That works and a good night's sleep.  Amen.



Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm back.

I'm ok, honest. 
I guess I have been pretty quiet here lately.   I haven't had much to say.   Amazing, right???
Sometimes it's just that way.  

What's that phrase............"you act like you've lost your best friend?"
Sometimes life  leaves  you feeling  that way.





I've been keeping busy.  Weaving on the towels on my AVL......loving the pattern, and especially loving it with this variegated blue 8/2 I found in my stash.

I've been taking Roy for frosty, early morning walks.



At home, I've been sewing socks together, for rugs.

I have had some awful headache days, when there are storms.  But on clear days, my headache has been pretty doable.  And you know I will always take that.
I have books from the library, lined up, and I'm sitting in front of the fire reading them whenever I can, escaping to other worlds.

I recently read........We Are Water, by Wally Lamb......very good.  And one that surprised me........The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, by Rhonda Riley.  I highly recommend both of them.


The cats are all fine.  Next still resists coming in.  He has his solar house, and a heated bed in the barn, and another bed on the porch.  Every time I bring him in, he cries and cries, and is not happy until he's outside again.

Miss Puss says:  he's stupid.


I think that's a bit harsh, don't you???


This little girl brings smiles no matter what the weather.


Love for my family puts it all in perspective.

Thanks for worrying about me!!!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I want to be Stella

You know Stella right????   






I listened to myself telling you how I was not on top of my game.  When I woke up this morning, I decided I needed to work on this.
I need to get my groove back.  No matter what.


After taking Roy for his morning constitutional, I headed to the studio.


 When the cats were all fed, and the stove was roaring, I started to take the studio back.
Not that it has been taken away from me, but the last two years have been a struggle.   I haven't been
pulling my weight, and the only reason the business has stayed open has been because of LOIS, pure and simple.
I couldn't have a better helper or friend.

But she can only do so much, and the place is looking rough.

So first, I cleaned the kitchen counter, it is always the FIRST sign of pandemonium.



Then I cleaned the stove and  the toast and tea center.




Then I moved into the living room and cleaned up my "winding station", and put away the 50 cones of thread I had stacked about.
 

Then I cleaned all around the AVL which has been pretty much the only loom that I can comfortably work on.

THEN..........I cleaned my desk, and had lunch on it.
 

And  a lovely lunch it was.


Finally, feeling that I had actually made a DENT, I did a little weaving.
I find this pattern mesmerizing, and I love trying it out in different colors.




I know that I haven't been "perfect" at anything these last two years.

YOU who have FOLLOWED my journey here, know that it has been somewhat difficult.  I am in no way looking for sympathy.  I have had a good life, and if it ended tomorrow, I would still not need sympathy.  But I do need family and friends to understand where I've been and where I am today.
Mostly, they do.

Two years ago, in June, my dog died.  Poor Eddie, I found him in the pool.   Yes, he was 14, blind and deaf to boot.  But the trauma of it was gut wrenching.  That seemed to be the start of a whole lot of bad luck.
So 6 weeks later, I fell and hit my head.  The infamous "head meets rock" story.  After 5 hours in the ER, I went home thinking that I had actually gotten away with it.

Two weeks later, DH had a stroke, which came with its own recovery issues.

Soon after, the damage done to my head became evident, when the headaches came and took over my life.
This was followed by a year of doctors and tests, medicines and injections, pain and more pain, no end in sight.
Finally, August 2012, first surgery, followed by months of recovery, March 2013, second surgery, more recovery, October 2013, third surgery.
All this while my mother, who lived with me, declined in health, became more difficult to care for, couldn't be left alone, and eventually died.
And not to forget the ray of pure sunshine that came with Baby Dale, a few days before my mother passed away on September  22nd.

So yes, you could say that the last two years have been stressful, and just plain hard at times.

There have been many days when I ended up on the couch with Roy and my slamming head, wondering if this was what the rest of my life would look like.  I have been depressed, discouraged, disheartened.  Overwhelmed.  Both sad and angry.
Then I would kick myself in the a**, get myself up and out the door.  I would dig down deep and find hopefulness, and I would become determined to take my life back.  I forced myself to work when I could, walk the dog, act "as if" my life were normal, even though it was far from normal.

 I have been distracted, and not my usual self, for a long time now.   Too long.

It is SO TIME to get my groove back.


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts