Crazy as a Loom

Monday, July 8, 2019


Here is the poem that I referenced, a couple of posts ago.

Lonesome Boy Blues
by Kenneth Patchen
Oh nobody’s a long time
Nowhere’s a big pocket
To put little
Pieces of nice things that
Have never really happened
To anyone except
Those people who were lucky enough
Not to get born
Oh lonesome’s a bad place
To get crowded into
With only
Yourself riding back and forth
A blind white horse
Along an empty road meeting
All your
Pals face to face
Nobody’s a long time


 Yes, I realize that I just posted two days ago.   I have no idea what I am doing.

For awhile now, the proliferation of weeds in my labyrinth has been driving me crazy.  I thought I had someone younger and more flexible than me that would weed it for me.
But I waited.  And waited.
Patience in something that needs to be done, is not my long suit.

So one day I went out there with a 5 gallon bucket and a pair of gloves, and I weeded about 10 feet of the path.     Then the next day, I did the same.  And again, and again.
I started seeing some progress, and I was inspired to keep going. 
Then yesterday, it was actually a beautiful summer day, with very little humidity, and I kept going back out and doing a little more, and a little more.
So today, I am a achy, but it's done.

Can I just tell you how good that feels???

Here's my spread on google earth.....actually only 1.2 acres, but it's mine.   Zoom in and you can see the labyrinth behind the barn.

While I got to weeding, I got to thinking as well.   It all reminded me of a lesson I learned in Al Anon, 25 years ago.
"Sometimes, you have to just do what is right in front of you."

It has saved me more than once.   Not overthinking what you can't change anyway, but just doing the mundane tasks that are right in front of you, that need doing.   There's something so simple and satisfying about it, and it puts your brain back where it belongs, in the present, this day, that we are gifted with.

This coming weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I will be having an Open House here, for the Artisan Trails of Washington County.
So I have some organizing and  getting ready to do.

But today, finishing this piece is right in front of me.  It's good to have purpose. 

Every day morning over my one cup of  coffee, I go over the day in my head.   I leave free time, but I always have things that need doing, so I usually scratch them on a note pad, for happy crossing off later in the day.

First up this morning, is throwing some clothes on, and hitting the trail with Naya, while it's cool and lovely to walk.
She needs it, and so do I.

Later in the afternoon, I will sit, on the porch if it's not too humid, with a book, or my Ipad.   I'll read or dream, or maybe I'll even dose off.

And I'll have a cuppa tea, because when you grow up in a house with an English mother, everything means a cuppa tea.
You have one when you're tired, when you're happy, when you're angry, when you're relaxing, when you are in the middle of a chore. 
The truth of it is, everything is better with tea. 

It's not like coffee.   It's so much better, and deeper, and more meaningful.
You have to be a tea drinker to understand this.

And with that dear friends, I'm off on a walk.

Have a great day.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Heat wave

My best friend died last week, after a long illness.   While I am relieved for her, because she suffered, and had no quality of life, I will miss talking to her more than I can even explain.
She was that friend who could tell you the unvarnished truth about yourself, and you didn't get mad at her.  And the reverse was just as true.   We had been friends since about kindergarten.  I can't even remember my life without her in it.
While looking for pictures of her in my boxes of photos, I came across this one.

That's me, at the time dealing with my abusive, alcoholic husband.   My friend, whose name was Gayle, coaxed me through it and out to the other side.   I am not sure how I would have done it without her.

The truck was the "blue beast".  The cat was Morris.  The little boy, all grown up and married now, is my cousins son, Michael, who was visiting with his family.   They came from England for two weeks, and luckily drunken husband had moved out for a while, which I remember worked out well.

Ah, memories.   The loss of someone so much a part of your life, seems to make those memories appear nonstop and swirl around in your head at record speed.

Goldie is managing in his role as the only outdoor cat.   He sits on the other side of the screen, and he and Sydney discuss her disdain for him.
Sometimes, she stares while he does this.  I swear he is taunting her.


A couple of years ago, a bad storm flattened one of my high bush cranberrys.   Lois and Claire and I tied it up, propped it up, and  prayed for the best.

Here it is, a complete success story.  I planted it from a little 2 ft high twig, so 
saving it was important to me.  It is covered with red berries in the winter.

The heat here has been horrific, as it has been in many places throughout the country.

I  try not to complain about it, I know that summer has a lot of good things about it.

But I still don't like it.

One of my favorite breakfasts:   a peach, strawberry, kale, protein shake, with some turmeric
thrown in for good measure.

This was a couple of weeks ago, when it was still comfortable to sit on the porch.  It certainly isn't
this week.

Some nights we go down the road to grab a bite at the local brew pub.

They have the most awesome onion rings on the planet.


And the beer is good too.

I've been trying to take pictures of all my hand woven clothing, but I missed the 
window of cool evenings to do it. 
Now I have to wait until this heat wave is over.

So between worrying about DH"s health problems, and mourning  my friend's death, the last month has been pretty stressful.  Awful.

I have tried to keep myself busy, it's the only thing that has really helped.  I have cleaned the loft of the barn, the loft over the studio, I have downsized dishes, my clothes, all the fabric I had stashed over the years for rag rugs.  I've exhausted myself, and found myself still right here in the middle of it anyway.

It reminds me of a poem that I always liked, about meeting yourself galloping back and forth on a white horse down a lonely road.

That image, well, that about says it. 

So I decided to maybe slow things down, and just let it be.

I spent some time playing around with alcohol inks.

It's very relaxing, and a little hypnotic.

And then of course, there's always these two.   They manage to put things in perspective every 
single time, reminding me that life goes on, that every day is a gift, and that all any of us can do is the very best that we can, each and every time that we wake up and are given one more day.

The jewelry's not bad either.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Control Theory

Summer is Dames Rocket and Fireflies, in my humble opinion.
After that tomato sandwiches with mayo.

Little excitement here re: the health of DH......couple emergency room visits, one by ambulance, and doctor's appointments following, plus more pending.

It's been a hoot.
You might say. 

 In an attempt to get control over some part of my life, in between all this medical stuff, I decided to do some purging.  
The loft of the barn was in horrific shape, with so much clutter there wasn't room to walk.   So I proceeded to sell and gift things on FB.   A lot of the junk left that way.
Then I threw the rest out of the window onto the driveway, then dragged a lot of that out by the road, where crazy people picked it up and took it home to THEIR barns.

Then I loaded the truck and took a LOT to the dump.  

The last small pile was wood scraps and that got burned in what was supposed to be an outside fire pit.

I also decided, that since the rug loom was gone, and I had made the decision to forgo weaving any more rugs, that the 100 lbs of remaining fabric strips should be moved along.
Back on FB.

Unbelievable the folks that asked me if I would "deliver" this FREE fabric to them.

One lady annoyed me so, that I asked her if she wanted me to bring lunch with me when I delivered the FREE fabric.
She did not respond.

But THIS  lady drove two hours from Vermont, and arrived at 8am, to take it all.  She loaded her Chevy Yukon and it was packed full from the front to the back.
My kind of girl.

This little space, off the sewing room, was used to store big bolts of cloth that I procured somewhere years ago.
I dragged it all out, and hit FB Marketplace once again.

Amazing how fast someone can get to your house, if it's free and they want it.  the guy kept saying, "you sure you don't want some money?"

And I felt incredibly lighter once it was gone.

The loft of the barn is about empty, except for a few things that are easily pushed to the sides.

All in all, I feel much relieved to have made so much progress in the last couple of weeks, while the rest of my life goes completely off the rails.
I guess that's how we deal with things any rate, it worked for me for a while.

I still have a few areas in the house that need sorting and purging, and that will be happening soon.

Then perhaps I will have to face the rest of my life that cannot be controlled, but to be honest, I think I might do a Scarlet O'Hara, you know, and think about all that another day.

And here's Henny Penny, who has been free ranging for two weeks to get away from the pecking queens in the coop.  She had a sore place on her head, and they were determined to make it worse.

So she's been gallivanting around the property.
Her head has healed, but in the morning, when I open the coop door, she is waiting, and she hops out.

She comes up on the porch often during the day, for a snack and a drink, and she appears to be having the time of her life.

I hope she doesn't think she's coming in the house.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Back again.

Early morning walks are in order as the planet heats up.  I don't want Naya having heat stroke from walking when it's 80 degrees.  I don't walk her in the heat of the day, and I don't leave her in the car if it's over 50.

The bike path was gorgeous this morning, cool and quiet.  I have to try to get myself out there before I start working in the studio. 
It feels good to have the walk done, and to be honest, it's when I have the most energy.

Then we took my car in for an oil change and inspection, and after a long drink, Naya took a little nap while she waited.
She's such a good girl.

This is Lois' method of tying up her warp.  She couldn't remember where she got the idea from, but I believe I sent her the link.   It's from Melissa over at Tangibledaydreams blog.  Thanks Melissa.

It is quite effective.  Saves warp, and time.

This morning we also put a towel warp on the AVL....  8/2 cotton from my stash of UKI.   Trying to use it all up, so the only cotton I have on my shelves is Brassard ring spun, which is my fave.

Some bright colors .......

This is the end of the navy warp.

I wanted a ruana, but there wasn't enough, here it is waiting to be sewn together as a möbi shawl.

I am thinking of buying some fiber from Habu Textiles,  has anyone tried any of it?  I would love to hear if you have.

So here is Lois' project once she got going.

The warp is hand dyed mercerized cotton.........her weaving is impeccable.......really, I am so proud of her.
And I'm very pleased with my dye job.  Together, we rock it, don't we?

The weft is navy bamboo.

So I took your advice,(thanks for that) and hauled out the Weed Dragon, which has been languishing in the shed.

I burned off all the weed growth that had accumulated, and it didn't take long.

Downside:....I needed a shower and shampoo, because I smelled like I'd been sitting by a campfire for hours.

But it's doable, and easier on my neck than bending over and pulling them all out.

But it did an awesome job.....the whole left side looked like the area around the tree bottom right........

I'll do that tomorrow. 
I don't want to use any chemicals, but I get depressed when the weeds start to take over my beautiful labyrinth.

You can not imagine, unless you've done it, how peaceful and restorative it is to walk the labyrinth.   I do it slowly, and sometimes I can just feel the weight lifting from my shoulders.

Old story, for some of you who may not have read it.

Years ago, when I took my two grandsons to walk the labyrinth at a friend's nature preserve, I got my inspiration to build this labyrinth at the studio.
Nev and Logie were 11 and 8.   They ran around the labyrinth like boys run around anything.........and I asked them what the labyrinth meant to them.
Nev mumbled, "I don't know."
So I said keep thinking about it.
Few minutes later, Nev said, "I still don't know."

Logie, who was the younger of them, said, "Mimi, I think I know what it means.  It's where you find the center of your heart."

I still tear up when I think of that.    Two weeks later, my labyrinth was complete, but when I realized that mowing the paths was going to be tough, I put down landscape fabric, which has long rotted, and pebble stones.  I did it with the help of a 16 year old kid that we often hired for yard work, a load of stone, a spray can of paint, and a load of pebbles.  And some hard work.

Nev is 22 now, and Logie is 19.

He still remembers that he is the reason that my labyrinth exists.

Some things are truly priceless.

Monday, June 3, 2019


First things first, the recipes.

I will definitely make the banana nut muffins again.   They were a hit.

I think you can enlarge these, if not, I found it on Pinterest.  Or just go to the source,

The rice dish....well, that was flying from the seat of my pants........but here goes.

Hilary's Rice Concoction.

I steamed a whole head of broccoli with a good handful of asparagus.  I also threw in some frozen peas....another handful.
Don't you love the measuring devices I use.

In the meantime, I threw in a stick of butter.....less if you like, into another sauce pan, when it melted I threw in half an onion, chopped, and then a cup of orzo.
When they looked cooked, the orzo was brown,  I added three chicken bouillon cubes, one cup of regular rice, and four cups of water.
Brought it to a boil, turned it down, cooked it covered for 20 min, or until water was absorbed.
I had drained my veggies, and put them in a large not overcook.
When the rice mixture was done, I added the veggies to the rice, threw in some shaved parmesan, but truly I think any cheese would do, you don't need much. (If you want to pass on the cheese, you could use nutritional yeast here, for a cheesy taste)  Salt and pepper.
Mixed well, threw in the oven about 325 for maybe 45 min........and that's it.   I ate it for two nights, and put some in the freezer.

Most things I do not write down, and my kids have often been fond of saying that I make "mystery" things, especially soup.....and they have actually warned their friends not to like it too much, because you'll never get it again.
But occasionally, if I like it a lot, I will scratch it on some paper and save it.

I also like simple dishes, without meat obviously, so this one fills the bill.

On the home front, I have been feeling very overwhelmed.   DH is having some health issues, that are 
stressing me out, probably more than they are him.
I have tried to let go of it, and I've realized that none of my worry will change a thing.
So then......back to one day at a time.  Lists help, they do.
I make a a list each day, of what I want to accomplish, even a more general list for the whole week, and I try to keep my eye on those chores.
I do what I can:  talk to the doctor, keep an eye on DH, be a nurse/friend/source of support, but ultimately, I know it is out of my hands.
If I don't get hold of myself, I will be an emotional wreck, and what sense does that make??
You cannot see the future, no matter how hard you try.
Thus, you cannot prepare for it.
Even though you think you should.

I also am preoccupied with my friend who is at the end of her life.
We have been friends since we were in preschool, she has been my best friend.  She was there for me through a tumultuous alcoholic marriage, and I'm not sure I could have extricated myself without her.
She was a huge part of my life growing up, and through our adult years, we have never lost touch for very long.  She is one of those friends, that you can just pick up the conversation as if you never left it.
On the other hand, she has smoked for 50 years.....and over the years, I have harassed her, begged her, reasoned with her, all to no avail.
In addition, she has been an obsessive Pepsi consumer....up to two six packs of 16 oz bottles daily.
Again, nothing I said made any difference.
She is possibly the most stubborn, hard headed individual I've ever known.
It certainly isn't that she doesn't get it, she's smart and talented. 

But I've always suspected that she didn't value herself enough to change anything.  
Now her lungs are done, her kidneys are finished, two strokes later, and she will not be here much longer.
Visiting her over the weekend was torture for me, to see her that way.

So  deep sadness for her, to see her losing her life, to know that I will never see her again.

Worry about DH, who has his own path to walk.

Because DH is not well, there is very little he can do around the house.  So I look outside and see the weeds growing, and the place looking haphazard, and I obsess about that, as well.
My poor brain.

He does mow on the rider, and gets the bulk of it done, but all the cutting in does not get done.   Clumps of bamboo aka knotweed, grow here and there.   My neck will not allow me to do what I desperately want to do, which is to go out there and reek havoc on the offending all day until I am sweaty and dirty and exhausted.
Ah, but that's what I did 20-30 years ago.
Things have changed, eh?

So yesterday morning, I walked the labyrinth, in my bathrobe, at 6:30 a.m.   It was lovely and cool, but of course, the weeds that were sprouting up in between all the pebbles got my attention, and I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how I would possible prevent and/or address the takeover of weeds in my beautiful stone circle.
So I pulled a few, here and there.
And it dawned on me.........if I were to walk the labyrinth every morning, I could accomplish a couple of things.  I could pull a few weeds, and I could center, and focus, and pull myself back together each day.  A little at a time.....the weeds, and me.

And as far as the bamboo goes, so what?  Let it grow in little islands here and there.  What earthy difference could it make???
Live, let live.
Taking things one bite at a time, small bites, do what you can, and give the rest up.

I'm going to be ok.........I am.

I hated this green on the loom, but all put together, it is much nicer than I expected.

My real weaving success this week came in the form of "mystery soup"........
I used up a basket full of bobbins left over from other projects.....

For this ruana

It is light and drapey and I love it.

I was sure it would sell at the show we are getting ready for next weekend.....but it already sold off my FB page, and today it is on its way to SINGAPORE.

For real.

Today is oil change for the Subaru.

Yesterday I hauled out my kayaks, and scrubbed them both down.
It was on my list.

Thank God for lists.

We will be busy getting all our stuff ready for the show, and packed up; making sure everything is marked and priced, etc.
Then we will pray for good weather on Sunday the 9th, for the Beekman Street Fair, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

It was a great show last year, I can only hope it will be this good again.

But wait, I'm doing one day at a time.  So today right?   Stay in the day.


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts