Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Follow up.


On Monday, I had an appointment for my OMT (osteopathic manipulative treatment).   I've been getting them monthly for the last 4 years, and I swear they are the only thing that keeps my headache from taking over my life.

It was a great session, and truly, I drove home with my headache just about totally gone.


You can imagine how thrilled I was, relieved, grateful, hopeful.


A cold, sunshine filled day without a slamming headache is a beautiful day indeed.

But then the next morning, I woke up to find it had returned.   I wasn't too upset, because often after OMT, it takes a few days for things to settle down.  So I tried not to let it get to me.
Mornings are my quiet time...........sitting on the couch in my bathrobe, with a cuppa coffee, the gas stove warming the room, a cat, a dog.    I usually put heat on my neck, sit back, and wait for my head to find some place that's good.   It usually takes an hour, or two, but thankfully, it does get better.

I have had this old quilt, and I don't even remember where it came from.  It's been in my sewing cupboard for years, waiting for me to be inspired. 
I was here alone all day, and decided it was time.   I had a batting set aside for it, and an old sheet for backing.  I had already spent several evenings mending it.
It needed to be washed, but it was so thin, I didn't really dare to put it in the machine.

So I pinned it all together and started quilting it on my Bernina 770.


I wanted it loosely quilted, so it still felt light and fluffy, if that makes any sense.

Then, as I was sewing, I got the jagged light in my eye, again.

A voice in my head said, WTF.......are you kidding me????

So I took some Advil, and retreated to the couch, and put heat on my neck, and closed my eyes.

Back in my 40's, when the migraines started, a doctor told me I had "classic migraines", haha.....like that was something special.  They were "classic"........it still makes me chuckle.

Over the years, I would have 2 or 3 or 4 a year.....that's all, and of course, I didn't have OTHER headaches, ever, so it was pretty doable.

Fast forward, I hit my head and started the headache marathon 8 years ago, never actually imagining that I would still have the migraines.....on TOP of the headache from hell.
Comical, if you think about it.

I have struggled to find whatever starts the migraine.....but really, there's not one thing.  I think it's a combination of things........and to tiptoe through life trying not to create that combination is a foolish waste of time.  It really doesn't work.

Anyhow, I sat on the couch, with my "aura", or jagged light....because I really can't see that well for about 20 minutes anyway.
I will admit it, I shed a few tears.
I felt a little sorry for myself.
I felt a tad victimized, picked on, hopeless.

It didn't last long.

That little voice in my head said, "Knock it off."
So I did.
I got up, kicked myself in the butt, and decided right then and there that this was not going to ruin my day, that I would not allow it.  I had a plan, I was sticking to it.

I sewed pretty much all day, taking breaks.......drinking tea, feeding the birds, doing chicken duty, having lunch.



In the end, I survived, and the quilt got done...........I washed it in the front loader, and all quilted, it did well.

It's like me..........a little frayed here and there, and old, and it's definitely seen better days,  but it's functional, and it's not done yet.


Not nearly.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

And on and on.

In all my 30 years of nursing, if anyone had ever told me that they had endured a headache almost daily for 8 years, I would have probably rolled my eyes.
I imagine that I would have immediately thought:  nutcase, drug seeker, drama queen, liar.

Who has a headache for that long?  Seriously.

So I guess that means that I was a lousy nurse (damn, I didn't think I was) OR a judgemental witch.  Didn't think I was that, either.

Or certainly a clueless, uninformed nitwit.

Because it is true, it happens.  I am the bearer of that good news.

Anyway, as my loyal followers know, it has been a roller coaster ride, and in recent years, it has truly been better......easier.......or I have just gotten used to it.

But sometimes, like on Saturday, I get the migraine super-imposed over the existing dull headache that I sometimes forget I have, unless someone asks.  (please don't ask)

And in this instance, it has hung on.  Google search says that a migraine can last for 72 hours......so about 3pm this afternoon should wrap it up.  Thank you very much.
Maybe the vice will come off my temples.  Maybe I can stop thinking about it.  Maybe I can breathe, and stop forcing myself through the day.

Over these last 8 years, the one thing that has sustained me is "staying in the day".....I know that there is not much that you can't get through for one day.  And so often, I ask myself....."can you do today?"

Always the answer comes back, "Hell, yes." 

And so I go on.

February has worn me down a bit, I must say....the cold, the snow, the ice, not enough sun, no place to walk.  Then the headache as frosting on that crappy cake.

Ok, I've vented.  Thanks for listening........onward and upward.
I can do today.
Oh, yes, I can.



Sunday, February 24, 2019

Windy,Stinky.Meditative.

Three times this week we have been "skunked".  I believe the little  *********  is living under the back porch.  Last night it was so bad it woke me up at 4:30 a.m.  
He/she has to go.

Tonight there are high wind warnings, and I am praying that we get through the night and still have power.  Never a dull moment.  It rained all day, and for most of the morning, my yard was like a skating rink.
Why, why, why, do we live in the north in the winter?????   What earthly reason could there be?


This is very frozen Lake George.......from the Ticonderoga Town beach.

I grew up there, and yesterday went there with my daughter.  Her best friend's brother had died, and she wanted to go to the funeral, but wanted me to ride up there with her. It's a little under an hour away.
I didn't know the deceased at all, so I took Naya and we walked.

The man coming off the lake had an ice fishing sled, with fish on it, and Naya was very interested.
I told him, she eats eggs coming from the hen house, so I know she'll like fish.  Better watch her.
He laughed.



Then we went to the other end of the lake, and walked some more.  That mountain in the background is where I spent most of my youth, climbing up and down and across it.  The lake is down there at the base of the mountain.


Over all though, I don't like to visit my home town.  It barely resembles the place that I grew up, and I like remembering it the way it was.

On the way home yesterday, I had the jagged light "aura" for a migraine, and for the rest of the day I was pretty useless.
Fast forward to today, and I had the dull, persistent headache that often follows that migraine.
I did accomplish a little, but not much.

I made broccoli soup for L and I to have for lunches this week.


I marinated some mushrooms that I baked for dinner.


I made a Coconut crustless pie.....DH is still searching for the crust. (ha!)


In between rain drops, Naya made a few forays into her yard, unimpressed.




I loved the suggestion from Joanne from Cup on the bus  that I should have stuck with prayer flags.  I am pretty sure she is mixing me up with someone else, I don't think that I ever mentioned them, but  nonetheless I started googling prayer flags, and got very interested. (Thank you Joanne)
 It kind of matched up with my fascination of late with "slow stitching".......so I got the scrap box out and started playing with it.
Now don't get excited, they are not amazing or anything, and I have no idea what the finished product will look like....although my idea is to have 4 or 5 of them on a rope......but let me just say this.....I am having so much fun doing it....it just doesn't matter if anyone likes them or not.




The idea is that the words on the flags will fly away on the breeze, and the good thoughts will be taken to others.   Passing good stuff along, you might say.



At any rate, it is a contemplative endeavor, and very relaxing to do of an evening.

While DH watches horrible (IMHO) TV, with his headphones on, I sew little scraps of stuff
to leftover handwovens.


Now really, what could make more sense???????



Thursday, February 21, 2019

Just another day?

My friend keeps telling me that if I had known I would live to be this old, I might have taken better care of myself.
Yep.  My birthday.  Today.   72 years on this planet, in this body.
And true, I have not been kind to this body.  I tell my girls all the time, to think about the things they do.....lifting things that are too heavy, putting too much stress on joints and bones and generally not considering the outcome.
But of course, they probably won't listen, anymore than I would have.

 I am brought up short, thinking of my cousin, Billy, who was more like a brother all of my life.

Born a day before me, we were inseparable.   The fabric of my life was woven around him.  He was my friend, my protector, my safe place.



He's been gone 15 years now, from esophageal cancer, a very unpleasant way  to leave this life.
I miss him still.
Yesterday, on his birthday, I got to thinking about all the things that I have lived in this last 15 years, that he was robbed of.  So much life in that span of time, grandkids born and loved, time with family and friends, living my passion in the studio.
Gratitude for those years, and sadness that he didn't have them, are one and the same.

Every time I gripe and complain that this hurts and that doesn't work the way it used to, I try to remind myself, that he doesn't have anything to complain about.   He can't watch the sun come up, in front of the fire, drinking his coffee.


 I breathe deeply, and I'm grateful for every day that I still get a chance to do it all again.  It's always the simplest of things that matter the most.
Sunrises, sunsets, birds singing, a video from my littlest grands wishing me a happy birthday, hugs, friends, the lull of the loom, the shuttle passing back and forth.  A cup of tea, a good book.  A fat cat snoring behind me on the back of the couch. All my memories, good and not so good,  of a life lived fully
Gratitude, my friends, is the attitude.

And that is my philosophical take of the day.


Naya does not seem to be too upset by the snow, even though she came from the south, she takes it in stride, running in it, playing in it, and even sitting in it in the sunshine.


In the studio, some towels on my blue warp.........changing drafts at the click of a mouse.  Ah, technology, sometimes you are priceless.



Sometimes these towels sell off my FB business page as soon as they are done......nice, yes, but harder then to build up stock for shows...........got to get Lois weaving them as well.



She just finished this ruana....which is lovely and soft........and missing a stripe on the upper left.
I am trying to come up with something to offset that in the visual of it.
Buttons?  A brooch?  An embroidered design??
Or just leave it???


               I have changed up my stool
on the AVL.   
It seems to help.  My PT guy seems to think that weaving with the elift is not hurting my hip.....it's weaving on looms that require me to "lift" my hip.
That is VERY good news.
I am still only weaving a couple of hours each day, then finding other things to do.
The PT seems to be helping gradually.


While I am not really vain, and certainly not a fashion plate, I have long wanted my hair to be like this.
My father was totally white like this by the time he was 70.  Mine just keeps hanging on in gray mode.

But then, on the other hand, I am very resistant to spending money on frivolous things like this.

But should I?????   What do you think????




Today will be a quiet day at home.  Weather permitting, I will take Naya for a walk, and that will be it for me.  And that's ok.  I  don't need bells and whistles.   
Serenity.  That's my birthday gift to me.
Yeah.








Monday, February 18, 2019

February crazy

I had this crazy idea to make a fabric collage from all my weaving scraps.  I finally figured out the mechanics of getting them on a surface that would hang on the wall, but the results were less than inspiring.
I have a lot of scraps, can I just tell you?




I finally did take them all off, and then I put them all back up with wrinkles, valleys, and hills.....in other words not flat.  They looked better, but I still wasn’t feeling it, so I took it all apart, and decided that it just wasn’t working.
Maybe another time.


I’m much better at creating new dishes for myself.  Meatless, plant based mostly.






Towel warp on the AVL.............



The other day Naya and I decided to walk on the road to one of the locks on the canal.



She found a plastic cup, that she apparently thought was quite a prize.



Even though it was a sunny, bright day, it turned out to be a terrifying one.  I parked at one end of the road, and by the time we got almost all the way to the other end, I realized that we were being watched.
Quite a ways away, there was a very large dog......or a coy dog/coyote sitting perfectly still, staring at us.
I stopped dead, then started to back up.   He started coming forward.....I yelled, and he stopped.
We turned and started running back towards the car.

It was much too far away.  My titanium knee does not like running.

I kept turning back to see if he was coming, and he was, so I yelled again....he stopped......we ran.....we did this about three times, and then finally there was a car coming from the other direction, and the animal ran off the side of the road.
By the time I got to the car, my exercise asthma had kicked in, my knee was screaming, Naya was happily oblivious, probably wondering why we were running.

I sat in the car for a bit, not sure what was happening down the road. I suspect that the person in the car was watching this animal do whatever it was doing.

My fear was that it was a coy dog, that was rabid, otherwise, he wouldn't be out in the daytime, so blatantly.
Last year, a woman  in town was attacked by one, not far from where I was walking.....she was in the hospital for a while.

Let me just say that we won't be walking down there again any time soon.


Interestingly, disturbingly, it was the first time I didn't have my phone in my pocket in I can't say when.


Back in the studio, I made some new pieces from a pattern from Style Arc, this is the "Mickey Cape".




And this one from scraps...........






Sydney says:   "Just stay home.  It's way safer here."




Can I just say that I am OVER FEBRUARY......it's making me crazy....with the cold, the snow, and the skunk that has graced us with his stinky self three nights running.  Isn't he supposed to be HIBERNATING???????

I am also over the squirrels....they are fat and brazen and they never get enough.
But I may have a secret weapon......
Look closely, the squirrel is in the upper left corner.....he wants to cross the window sill
and get to the big feeder on the right .......but he spied Syd in the window.
She gave him the "evil eye", never moving, unless you count the tip of her tail.
This went on for 10 minutes, and the squirrel left.



I may put pictures of her in every pane.


Please spring, come soon.



Thursday, February 7, 2019

In Retrospect

I have been trying to retrieve photos from my blog, back to the beginning.  I have a project in mind.

It's not easy........I started this blog in 2007.......wow.   I'm up to 2015, and I'm moving photos I want to a folder.   It's interesting to see where I've been, photos are so revealing.

As I was going through it, I  couldn't help but notice that so many of you have supported me through several years of my life, some of which were not easy.
I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating.
Thank you, for all your support, your advice, your kind words, for just being there, for listening.


Currently I am dealing with tendonitis in my hips....both, but much worse in the right one.
I know how it happened, but that doesn't really help me right now.
The offending "rug loom" will be fixed/ rigged so it doesn't cause such pain, or it will be gone.

I've had an injection...and now I'm going to PT.    It's been suggested that I give up weaving for a month.  And yes, I am on board with that.   Does that tell you how much pain I am in????   
YEP.   
I'm not kidding.....it's brutal.   Keeps me awake at night.



 I am finding other things to occupy me, so I am not making the hip issue any worse.
That weaving above, well, that will be sitting on the loom for a while, unless I can cajole L into finishing it for me.

She has been weaving ruanas............


This is a little on the heavy side......but boy those colors are something, aren't they?



I am thinking that a lot of dyeing could get done in the next month............




Recently this was given to me..........can I just say.....I LOVE old buttons.  It's an illness, I think.  But I do.



The new Lopi gas stove is a joy.....no more hauling pellets, and no more dust from them.
I swear, pellets are just as dirty/dusty as burning wood.

And I think in the last three weeks since we got this, my headaches have been a bit better......no sinus issues.  That's crucial, to me.

Not to mention that it keeps the room the exact temperature you set it for, instead of having it be 80 degrees because the pellet stove was so hard to regulate.


So yes, that was a good move.   Very happy with it.


There were a couple days, before the rain, when Naya and I were able to walk on the skidoo trails.......it was packed just enough so that I didn't sink into it....and she loved it.


Now however, the fields, and the trails are mush/slush and not passable.



I have not minded this winter when I can get out and walk, but for the last couple of weeks, it's been very difficult......
Too much snow in the fields, the bike path isn't plowed.........the snow banks on the roads make walking on them treacherous....even the back/dirt roads are slick with ice, with mud on top.
Naya is not happy about it, and neither am I.

We need to work out a backup plan.

But it's February, right......spring can't be too far behind.
Can it?









Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts