Wednesday, October 6, 2021

It's always something.

My weaving friends will understand this.  

My non weaving friends can probably compare this to some annoying event in their own lives.

Because as Lois often tells me, "It's always something."

I was weaving away week before last, and the cable from the compudobby to the elift SNAPPED.

Harnesses dropped, elift cable spun out of control.  


The elift cable goes around the wooden cam.  The cable that broke goes around the white plastic cam.

This cable broke 4 years ago, and I managed to fix it.    But you don't think I can remember much about it, do you?????

I did manage to buy a roll of 1/16th" cable, and a supply of the two kinds of ferrules I needed to connect the cable, but the crimper that I needed to secure the ferrules on the cable was $178.
That's quite a lot for something I'm going to use for 5minutes.
Lucky for me, the hardware store 3 miles from my house has one, and they  lent it out to me four years ago, so I asked them to lend it to me again.

It is not something that I can do by myself, it takes two sets of hands.   Finally, when I had my space in my head organized for this task, Lois and I got it done.  Unfortunately, the loom still didn't work.

So after a little more studying, I cut the cable off, and we did it a second time.  The big question was "do the cams rotate the same way, or in opposite directions."  The answer is, they rotate in the same direction, but the cable on the white plastic cam has to come up and around it, before going to the compudobby.

All this being said, I took photos, printed them out, typed up directions and a description of just how it needed to be done.  I put all this in the box with all the extra cable and parts, and even included the lineman pliers that I spent $20 on, the ONLY thing that would cut that braided cable clean.

The loom fired up and works beautifully.
Kudos to me and Lois.

I totally congratulated myself on NOT freaking out, for taking it ONE step at a time, for NOT being intimidated by the scope of it, for believing that it was totally doable.

Because it was.

This is  a picture of Sydney's new favorite place.........the sofa.
She is not one bit put off by a 50 lb pit bull/lab mix on the other end of the couch.
And she has decided that snoring under my arm is just peachy.

On the knee front, yes, it still hurts.  But progress is daily.   I can now sleep on my side, and it is amazing.
I can't believe that I have slept on my back for 3 months.

I also discovered that weaving on the Louet using all 10 treadles is pretty good exercise for my knee, and afterwards, it feels better.

It is still sort of swollen, not pretty, but it is beginning to feel more like it belongs to me.

My three months of PT is complete, so it is up to me now, to get it stronger.  They are not kidding when they say that recovery from a TKR takes a year.
I believe them.

The 40 yard towel warp on the AVL is finally done, on to something different.

It's not just my knee that is feeling more normal.  I am, too.   Being able to weave, planning my next warp, creating, all of that just makes me feel like I am once again comfortable in my own skin.

Now for a couple of recommendations........

Books I've read and really liked:

Matrix, by Lauren Groff.

The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

The Madness of Crowds, by Louise Penny

Something to binge:   OFFSPRING, on Netflix

Have a great October week......I love October.

Thursday, September 23, 2021


I am somewhat surprised at how much I am changing/adapting to life.   It's not something I expected.  Ah, but here it is.

Of course, as we know well, physical ailments, accidents, loss of youth, does prompt some changes, and as much as we resist them, sometimes it is just not in our best interests to do so.

Ten years ago, when I fell and smashed my head on a rock, my life changed in a nano second.  I didn't realize it at first, of course.  But as time went on, and the headaches took over my life, I was forced to accept what really seemed unacceptable.
And I adapted.

Eventually, I was forced to admit that weaving rugs, something I had done for so many years, was just too damn hard on my neck.  So I sold all the fabric, all the rug looms, and morphed into a weaver that I never thought I would be.
Clothing.  Towels.  Fabric.  
Imagine my total shock, when I discovered that I loved it, even more than I loved weaving rugs.
Who knew.

I began to understand that sometimes change can frighten, and then, delight you.   That was hard to wrap my brain around, but it proves out time and again.
Besides, what choice do we really have?   I can't undo the crack of my head on the rock.  I can't turn back the clock and be younger.
Today, this day, this body, this ME, that's what I have to work with.

Once again:  "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."

I was thinking about this when I woke up this morning with a slammer of a headache......and honestly, I could not remember when the last time was that I did that.  Imagine?????
I could not tell you when I had the last beastly, unrelenting headache, it was that long ago.

If I was more limber, I would jump for joy.  I'm not sure I ever expected to be able to say that.

Once my knee was recovered enough to weave, even for short periods, I began to feel more normal.

A 40 yard towel warp got me motivated.

There aren't words to explain how happy this makes me.

I am blessed beyond belief.

Lois and I fired up the cloth storage system on the AVL, which really makes it easy to cut off towels and hem them as I go along, without wasting any warp.

On other fronts, I took a ride with a good friend, to pick up our sewing machines from their service apppointments.

We stopped on the way at the Water Wheel Village in Galway, NY, where they have the best 
cheese ever.
I always buy their cheddar, and this time I couldn't resist these olives.


While wandering around the back yard one day, pondering all the yard work I am still 
unable to do, I discovered that I had a black walnut tree that I have never 
identified before.
The squirrels know, I bet.

When the chickens left, I decided to clean up that area of the yard.
It was pretty easy to find someone to take down all the chicken fence, and then the garden fence.  I gave it away, happy for the chance to get rid of it.
  As I told DH, we are NOT planting big gardens anymore.
Clearing this space out will make it so much easier to keep the sumac and the Japanese knotweed from taking over.

That's my new approach to yard work.....keep it clear, and therefore easy to  mow or weedwhack.

I still love the new space where the barn once was.  Not one bit sorry.

I occasionally think this old house is just too much house for us, but honestly, I can't really imagine living anywhere else.
I am also a firm believer that when older folks leave their homes to downsize, or to please their kids, it usually ends in their feeling lost and unmoored.
This old house is comfort to me, and I love it.

All I  have is today.   It's 24 hours on this earth to be happy. and I'm taking full advantage of it.

There are so many things I am grateful for. 

Too many to count.

New towels.......headed to the McKernon Gallery in downtown Hudson Falls.

OK, break is over....back to the loom.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

At last

At long last, I think I've turned a corner.  It's been 10, almost 11, weeks since my total knee replacement, and finally, the pain has dialed down enough so I can sleep more than one or two hours at a time.
I've also realized, just in the last several days, that I am not always focused on my knee.  I forget about it for periods of time.

Heart be still.

It's been a tough couple of months, but I think I can see the light, and the relief is immense.

Oh, it still hurts, but not like before.'s doable.   More and more, it's in the rear view mirror.  

Here's my new cotton warp for towels....Lois and I put it on yesterday, and I'm hoping to start weaving again, on some kind of regular routine, even if it's not for long each day.
I feel that I desperately need some structure.

Just for the record......this stuff is awful.
I was so hoping it wouldn't be, but it is.

The grands were up to visit last week, and the playhouse needed some decorating.

I am still so amazed at how much happier I am with it as a playhouse, than I ever was as a chicken coop.
Relief, it's a wonderful thing, however you find it.

Once apon a time, I had water in this fountain, in the middle of the labyrinth.  The problem was leaves blocking the water flow, water evaporating, and trying to keep the cord to the house hidden.  So I gave it up, and planted a few succulents in it, and they have taken over.

They surpassed my expectations.

Another bit of good news:  I found someone dependable to mow the areas that need to be push mowed, and he's going to do it on a regular basis.   I am beyond thrilled.
Like I said:  relief is the word of the day.

Lately, Sydney has decided that these dogs are getting too much attention, and every evening, she somehow manages to get her very large self up onto the sofa with me.

Naya doesn't mind at all, but Willie has given her the side eye a couple of times.
Sydney is not intimidated one bit.  She says, "I was here first."


Sunday, August 29, 2021

I know that some of my friends totally get why I got rid of my chickens, and still, others don't quite understand.  They are thinking, 'if you like them so much, how can you get rid of them?'

It's complicated.  

I got chicks 8 years ago, for my two oldest grand daughters.  Ill advised probably, because they live a ways away, and didn't get to see them much.  The responsibility was all mine, as I knew it would be, but the joy of seeing them experiencing the raising of chicks was rare.

Then in 2020, I got 24 new chicks, and then for the next 12 weeks, the responsibilities multiplied.  Keeping them safe, keeping them warm, checking their butts daily for sticky butt.

But even when they were grown and integrated with the rest of the flock, there was feeding and watering (carrying water) cleaning the coop, and at least 3 trips a day out to them, to let them out, lock them in, get eggs, and sometimes, more, when a squawking alerted me that maybe something was trying to get in to the chicken yard.

The expense, food, grit, bedding.
Finding homes for all the eggs...........22 a day at the end.
Probably eating more eggs than I normally would, just because there were so many!!

Occasionally beating back the rats, that always reappeared.

Beating a hawk out of the chicken run, with a stick.

And always, always, worrying about them, and occasionally losing the battle, when some predator did manage to evade all the barriers I put up.

In the end, with other stressors in my life, I realized that my friend was right when she said, "you need to lighten your load".

It was time.
The first couple of days, I missed seeing them out there, hearing their conversations.

Then I started revamping the coop, making it into a playhouse.

And as the days went by, I felt this enormous sense of freedom, relief.  A lightened load.

I am glad that I experienced them for 8 years.  I have fond memories, but now, my mind is a little less cluttered, I have less worry, less responsibility.  I think that if we listen to ourselves, we know when it's time for change.

Sitting in the hot tub, there are two treetops that are directly in my vision, an apple tree, and a pear tree.   They have some dead branches sticking up into the sky, and I have sat there and pondered how to get them trimmed, and the get the dead stuff gone.
Then I watched, and realized that those bare branches are the perfect landing place for birds, especially the mourning doves, who are a little bigger, and need more room.  They don't have to bypass the heavy foliage, they can just swoop in and land.  Once again, things are not always the way they appear at first glance.

DH plants way too many tomatoes, that he really doesn't take care of once they start producing.
I've nagged him until he has brought bags of them into the house.  I wash them, cut them up, put them on a pizza tin, drizzle olive oil over them, salt and pepper, and roast at 350 for an hour.  When they cool, I put them in gallon bags in the freezer.  
They will be perfect for the weekly soups I make all winter.

Today there were so many, I cooked some down with some onion and garlic, for dinner.

Part of my washer/dryer project involved me moving everything around in my sewing room.
The desk I used to have my sewing machine on was too big and had to go, so I brought down a table from upstairs..........the only problem being that it had a drawer all the way across the front, which made it hard for me to get my legs under it.....and impossible to use the knee apparatus that raises and lowers the presser foot.
So I took the drawer out, sawed off the supporting board, went to Joann's with a coupon, and bought that little rolling drawer unit, for all the minutiae that was in the drawer.

It works, and didn't cost much either.

Goldie never gets much mention, but he's a really nice boy....he's lived here for years now, and he seems really happy.
He picks the craziest places to sleep, and this box is his latest.

But a chair is always nice, too.

Moving the washer and dryer, has snowballed into other things.......mostly down sizing and reorganizing my kitchen.
There was a cupboard on the wall to the right ......that got emptied and removed........
there was a free standing cupboard under the window, blocking the heat vent, and that also got cleaned out and is gone.

Now I want to swap these two out....put the fridge on the right, and the cupboard on the left near the back door.   Since there is an ice maker in the fridge, that occasionally works, I am going to have to have my plumber come and do it.
That's for another day.

My pantry is not huge, but oh my, it is wonderful.  I can't believe all the stuff I had crammed into the little cupboard space that I had.  

This will allow me to have clean lines in the kitchen, without the clutter, and that makes me 
very happy.

Sometimes I am amazed at how little it takes to make my little world ok.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Here I am.

Sorry I have been so absent here.  I have been in recovery mode, and it has not been that much fun, and it seemed to take so much energy.
That being said, I am amazed at what I have gotten done, by simply orchestrating, and getting lots of help.

For a long time, I have seriously disliked my stackable washer and dryer.  They were in a space in the dining room right around the corner from the kitchen, in a place that was built specifically for them.  I never liked them there, and I never liked the front loader washer one bit.  So while I was resting that first couple of weeks after knee surgery, it occurred to me that it might be time for a change.  On one of my first trips to Physical Therapy, I swung in to Lowe's, and bought a new washer and dryer.  ( I didn't actually "swing in", limped/hobbled in is more like it)
They weren't to be delivered until August 3rd.
I put the stackables of FB Marketplace, and soon they were gone.
I had to do some calculating, and moving stuff around, but my new Maytag washer and dryer are now in the sewing room, and I love them.  I took everything out of the storage space, behind the blue insulation board, so I just need to cover that up.

The space where the old washer and dryer were, is going to be a pantry.  I have an old house, with a kitchen that has very little storage, so this will be a great improvement.   It should be happening next week, carpenter is coming.  I can't wait to see it, and show you!

When I stopped being a chicken mama, I said I wasn't going to bother with the coop.  But then I decided to just put a few things in there for my grands, and soon it was a project.  DH took out the boxes and roosts, and cleaned it quite a bit.  Then I paid someone to power wash it.......which turned out to be a wise decision.

So:          power washing $100
                          used Pottery barn table and 3 chairs $50
wingback chair $30
Rattan chair below $25
string lights $20
Dollar store trip  $20
Stick tiles from Lowe's for the floor $30

Those faces ............well, priceless, right ?????

One thing I realized is that I never noticed how much stress I carried worrying 
about my chickens, and whether or not some predator was going to wreak
havoc out there.
What I have realized is the huge relief it is NOT to worry about them.
So I think that this is a great lesson.  We aren't aware of the weight of stressors, we don't 
know how they have impacted our lives, until they are gone.
The absence of stressors is keen..........and a good thing.   I need to remind myself of 
this often.

I admit to a bit of online shopping during recovery mode, to amuse myself.......this is a mini electric spinning wheel........which I have yet to master.  I'll keep you posted.

My appetite is still not right, after 2 months.......I can't explain it.

This pizza that I made last night, was very good, but I could only eat a little of it.

Food is a mystery to me still.

The pizza........pesto, then some fresh, uncooked spinach, then slightly sauteed mushrooms and onions, then feta cheese and a little garlic powder.

My knee is better.  It still hurts 24/7, and it's still swollen, but I can do most of what I want to do, within reason.  I can't walk long distances yet, and riding in the car a long time isn't fun. PT is a mix of feeling stronger and being tortured, yet I still look forward to it.
I am determined to get past this, and I know that I will.  The hard part is keeping a good attitude, and staying positive, when your life is not the same.  We are such creatures of habit, aren't we???  But reading and planning help me make it through.
We never know what we can do, until we have to.

Above all, it has made me grateful, again, for what I have, and appreciative of so many things that I often don't notice.

Sometimes, I just sit, and listen to the quiet, reflect, and feel myself being restored.


Monday, July 26, 2021

Riding the dragon

You might notice the new "widget" on the right side of my's a way to sign up
for email notifications of new posts, from FollowIT..........if you try it out, please let me know if it works, or not.
Apparently, Feedburner, that says I have no followers, is defunct.

Google says I have 466 followers.  So who is telling the truth???

I'm still in recovery mode, even though I am improving daily, I know that I have a LONG way to go.

My good friend, Sue, has gotten me out of the house a couple of times, which I am so grateful for.  We made a trip to the Argyle Cheese Farmer, right here in Hudson Falls, and this ginger pear smoothie is a keeper.  I will definitely be going back for more.

I put the chicken run on FB marketplace, for free to anyone that wanted to remove it from my property.  Of course, there were several takers.  The man who showed up first  is older, and not a speed demon, but a steady worker, and I think he will have it gone in the next couple of days.

Next is to get rid of the fence all around the back yard.  My goal is to make it feasible to mow it all with the riding lawn mower.  Simple.  Clean.  Easy.

I realized that one perk of not raising chickens, is that if Ms. Fox comes 
around my back yard, I won't be worried and freaking out that she is here.

I did attempt to weave on the AVL, and lasted about 30 minutes, before my leg started
talking to me.

The warp was wonky, so I wasn't entirely happy with it, and cut it off, to retie another day.

Number one daughter came yesterday and push mowed the back yard where the barn used to be, with my EGO battery powered mower.

I know that a lot of the periphery of my yard has grown up and looks awful, but I also know that I can't do any of it, so I have to satisfy myself with what I can get done.
This back yard is what I see from my screen porch, and at least to look out and see it all mowed makes me feel good.  I have to give up the rest of it.

I can still hear my little fountain from the porch, and it's amazing how much joy it brings, when it was so cheap and easy to set up.
The simple things, yes???

I still have a LOT of pain, on a daily basis.  I am taking Ibuprofen now, and 
thought that when I could do that, it would get better.  
But not so much.  So yeah, still riding the dragon.

Sleep is still impossible, and I am still napping whenever I can.
I try to keep myself amused with books and crosswords and streaming shows on 
my laptop.  I exercise my knee every day, do PT twice a week, walk around the house, and around the yard, and otherwise, 
it seems like I am just counting days and biding time until I am feeling somewhat 
human and not thinking all the time about the pain.
I know this will pass, and every day is one more step towards that goal.

What I want most right now, besides having the pain dial down a bit, is to be able to 
drive long enough to see these sweet humans.

Because in the end, that's really all that matters.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts