Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Beware: False Friends


My oldest friend is in very poor health, and I worry about her.  She spends winters in Florida and summer in northeast NY.  She's the friend that I can pick up the phone and tell pretty much anything, and she will listen, and give me honest feedback.  Even if I don't like it.
We've been friends since about the age of 5. She insists I threatened her with a laundry pin way back then,  I say she is just trying to get attention.  It's ongoing.
We've grown apart in recent years, our interests and our lives have changed.

We don't always agree, but I never doubt her friendship.  Not ever.

My next longest friendship, is with my friend in Georgia.   She left northeast NY about 30 years ago, and has lived in the south ever since.  We are polar opposites on politics, and a host of other things.
But I know I would only have to call her, and she would be there for me, in any way that I needed, as fast as she could be.  No matter our differences, I never doubt her friendship.  Not ever.

Then there's L, who has worked here with me for the last 7 years, and has become  the friend I spend most of the time with, and the one who knows me best.  Nothing like day after day working and weaving together, and sometimes having fun doing other things, to find oneself completely exposed.
She knows what I am thinking before I say it, and she anticipates my craziness.
And she's helped me through the toughest time in my life, three brain surgeries, and a host of headaches.  She's there for me, and I never doubt her friendship, even when she's grumpy. (sorry L).
Not ever.

That's pretty good, I think, and I am grateful for my friends.  There are others, not as close, that I don't talk to as often.  But they are friends still, and dear to me.  We connect when we can, and it's always a good thing.  They are bright lights in my life.



But I have learned that it is good to make an honest appraisal of people who say they are your friends,  who clearly have other agendas, usually self absorbed.
It brings back that time in my life, when I evicted my alcoholic ex husband, for the very last time.
Sick of being told that it was my fault, that everything was, in fact, my fault.  Tired of the mental toll, the drama, and the feeling of always being on the precipice of falling.

So when so called friends make me feel that way, it is time to take stock.


One good friend spent the day with L and I recently, and I showed her my dyeing routine, and she dyed some of her own.


She was meticulous, far more so than me......


The end result was lovely.
I wonder if I've helped to create another passion here.




I have had a couple of tough months with the headaches returning to their amped up state.  Waking up with a smasher is the worst thing, or certainly feels like it.
I have to feed and medicate the critter crew, make some coffee, put some heat on my neck, and wait it out.  If it's really bad, I eat something so I can take Advil.  That doesn't get rid of it, but it sometimes takes the edge off it, and when you are totally miserable, that's a blessing.

I don't often dwell on it, but to be truthful, there are those days, when I do.  I think about how my life changed 6 years ago, when my head connected with that rock.
They say that it only takes a second, for everything to be different.   That's the truth, but it took me a while longer to acknowledge and then accept that said "second" had actually occurred.

I love my life, and in most aspects I am content with it, but then I am so used to having a headache, every day, that I no longer can tell you what it feels like not to have it.
Most days, I pay no attention to it.  I know that sounds strange, but if you had any kind of ailment on your body, for days, weeks, months, years, you would eventually integrate it into your life.  You would have no choice.  And I have had no choice, so I have made it a part of mine.
And like I said, I am blessed that for the most part I function and do not let it rule my days.

But then, there are the times, when I give in.   Too much, too intense, too awful.  I don't belabor it, I just cave......I do the things I know will help, and I give the rest to a power greater than myself.   And I wait it out.

But I do occasionally wonder why...and lately I have wondered why the last two months have been so unpleasant.  I try to be open to all kinds of things that might affect my fused neck, and therefore my headaches.
One thing is the position of my neck when I sew.......and I have been sewing a lot.

So yesterday I twitched my sewing room around, and put my sewing machine on a table that will allow me to raise it, and perhaps, put my neck at a different angle.  It is a fact, that anything that involves a sustained forward bend of my neck, is a sure bet for more pain.

So we shall see how this works out.


On other fronts, I have long wanted to try some tea dyeing of a warp.  So I did.  Bought boxes of tea bags at the dollar store, put them in a mesh bag, and did my thing.


It's ring spun cotton, and I love the many nuances of shade.


It's on the loom and being threaded as I speak.



I love love love my new Compudobby......after finally getting it to work, I have totally enjoyed playing with it, changing drafts from one towel to the next, and creating this x's and o's one along the way.





Fall is here, thank goodness, so it's time for some vegetarian chili........this one I knocked out of the park..........totally in love with it.......too bad I don't write this stuff down.




And here I am, hair going white, wrinkly neck and all........but hey, I'm 70, and it hasn't been all that easy getting here.
Sometimes I'm hard on myself, but then sometimes I pat myself on the back for pure persistence.

Making the best of it, moving ahead one day at a time.

And there's that Bubba Lee, I still cannot believe that she has let down her guard.




I'm sticking around, I've said it before, and it bears repeating.........



There may, in life, be sharp turns, false friends, tough times, bumps in the road,
but there is so much more.......family, true friends, and flowers, and sunshine.............for as long as I've got on this crazy planet, I'm going to love all of it.




Thanks for coming by.........it means a lot.






Sunday, August 20, 2017

And more.



Annoyed is the word of the day.........catching a skunk in a Havahart trap does not mean you are not going to get "skunked".    For the third time in about three weeks.
I can't even talk about it.

I've been staying busy.  Even though it's been hot and humid, the house has been reasonably comfortable, with no AC.

I've been working on my latest quilt, in between weaving and other things.



This one is for my almost 4 year old granddaughter, for her birthday.


Lots and lots of little pieces, Lois says I'm crazy.  I'm inclined to agree with her.


One more after this, and I will have completed my mission this year, to make quilts for my 3 daughters and 6 grands.



Ever since I bought this house, and installed a shower upstairs instead of the tub, we have had issues with the drain leaking.   Of course, that involves the ceiling right below it, and makes for a mess, each and every time.
The problem is that you stand on the drain, and pull the drain away from the pipe.  It's not a huge bathroom, and thus not a huge shower.  It's also the only place in this huge house where the floor is definitely not level.   
Last year, we put an entire new shower in........and still, last month, it leaked.

So I had this idea, and so far I am very pleased with it.  
I just hope it does the trick and keeps the weight of whoever is showering off that damn drain.

It's a teak shower mat. and it fits the space quite well.  
We shall see.



My Compudobby is on its way back to me.....hopefully should have it by the end of the week.  I'm excited.
I did some rearranging, to get the Compudobby closer to the computer tower.   I think this will work. I won't actually be able to see the computer while I am weaving, but I really only need to see it if I want to reverse, and then I can spin around on my stool and do what I need to do.


My view from the loom.......

 I like the blue......



But red's ok, too.


Sea Creature II, a baby wrap, is on its way to London, England.  

Hand dyed cotton warp.  Hand dyed bamboo weft.






Knitting socks is my  evening project, when I can stay focused on it.


Sometimes when it's hot, you just have to give in and throw your paws hands up in the air.

I do question the sense of laying right in the SUN though.

Hmmmm.


I am trying to stay positive, but to be honest, the news is getting me down. It just keeps getting worse and worse and worse.  There's no end.
 Then today, on the phone, an old friend made a derogatory comment about Jews that totally floored me. I never knew she had such bias. I had to get off the phone.  I had a lump in my throat, and I wanted to sit down and just cry.
Why are people so hateful, what the hell is wrong with us?????  

I find myself turning inward, to be safe. Staying in my comfort zone, doing what makes me feel good, productive, worthwhile.
I am so disappointed in people, I can't even describe it.  I'm sure some of you know exactly what I speak of.


I can see these flowers from my bedroom.  Sometimes, when it's quiet, I go up and lay on my bed, and just look down at them.
Sydney's usually purring in my ear.

For a moment, the world doesn't seem so awful.









Monday, August 14, 2017

Flying


Just to update, Miss Puss is doing fine on her insulin twice a day.  We've got a routine going on, and it's really not as hard as I expected it to be.


Sydney isn't concerned.


We had a family get together for my middle daughter's birthday.

It was just for lunch, but it was nice to spend time with my three girls.


Somebody loves her aunts.
  And they are smitten with her.


And now we have another for them to dote on.


I love the bunch of them.


On the way home, I spied an osprey nest on the telephone pole.......I wanted a better picture, but didn't want to bother them.


The first tomatoes of the year........heart be still.


So you know what we had for lunch, right?  yum.....nothing quite like it.



Good news....my Compudobby had a bad processor, they are replacing it, upgrading it actually, and sending it back.
I needed to do something different about the placement of the computer, and how it hooks up to the Compudobby, so Lois and I switched the computer from one corner to the other.....it used to face the other way.....and the cord was in the way.
We thought, to be honest, that this was going to be a very difficult job, but it went very smoothly.
I don't think that there's much that L and I can't do, if we put our minds to it.
I'm going to turn the loom around, so the cord will be along the wall, and I'm going to put the tower in the cupboard.....I may have to take the door off.

I will be so excited to get the  Compudobby back and get weaving with it.


The bonus is that now I can look out the window from my desk.  Now why didn't I think of that before???






 This is my trumpet vine......I planted it here to hide the propane tanks........and believe it or not there's an arbor under it.   It has gone completely insane.   I hate to cut it back, and I know that I can't move it........decisions, decisions.
I will probably wait until the hummingbirds are done with it, then I will cut it WAY back.



I appreciate all your kind comments, and I'm especially pleased to hear that something I've said here has been encouraging, or in any way made your day better.

One thing that I learned in Al Anon years ago, is that sharing our experience, strength and hope is a powerful connection.

I dreamt that I was flying last night.   My mother, the psychic, always said that when you dreamt of flying, your soul had really left your body, and was flying free.  She said that sometimes you felt it when your soul returned to your body.
I can't predict it, but I dream of flying every now and then.  It's always spectacular, and I'm always disappointed to wake up.
I don't know if my mother was correct in her  evaluation, if indeed your soul leaves your body, or if maybe you are dreaming of a time when your soul did fly free.  It doesn't matter.....it's an amazing feeling, and if that's what happens when we die, then I'm not afraid for a minute.
If that's what's in store for me, then the adventure awaits.

Sometime I'll tell you more about my psychic mother........she was a trip.





Saturday, August 12, 2017

It just is.


It's been a strange summer in a lot of ways.
I'm exhausted, to be honest.

And I've come to some conclusions, hopefully in my best interest.

People come and people go in your life.  Everyone has their own journey, and it belongs to them.
I'm too wise, too old, and too tired to be bothered by it.

 We get older by the day, and with age come many things, some good, some hard.  Life sometimes
does not turn out in amy way we expected.


There's the SHIT truck................



Then there are beautiful flowers..............

As Sally Field said in "Forrest Gump".........Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.


At no time ever, are you so settled into yourself, as when you get older.   For some people, my mother was one, that meant that she settled in to being very rigid.  Because I didn't like that feature about her in later years, I vowed to try very hard NOT to be so rigid.
I try to go with the flow.  And while routine is comfortable, sometimes it is good to push yourself OUT of that box.
It just makes you appreciate what you have more, when you come back to it.

I find that some things that would have bothered me mightily in years past, really don't bother me that much today.  It's all in the perspective, isn't it??
Hard times, pain of any sort, do make one resilient, if they don't actually kill you.

I'm resilient.  I can weather most storms, I think.  I can live and let live, I can let go.
I'm ever thankful to Al Anon for these skills, for being able to see that my path is mine alone, one day at a time, and that I am not responsible for anyone else's decisions.

Every day I decide to be contented with my life, right here, right where I am.  Every day is special in some way, ways that might appear silly to someone else,  But that's ok.

I still have the occasional slamming headache, but it's doable.  Really.  They occur sporadically, maybe once this week, twice next week, not at all the week after.  I am grateful beyond what I can explain, that I do not have them every single day like I did for the first couple of years after my accident.  I can function, I survived, I'm here loving what I do.   And that's priceless.

 My daily life:



I just finished my middle daughter's birthday present, a log cabin quilt, and I am TWO quilts away from my goal to make my three daughters and 6 grandchildren, and DH, quilts of their own, this year. Of course the baby only got a small one when he was born,  so at some point I will make him a bed size one, thank goodness I have a little time.

I must admit it is different for me to have a goal not related to "business", i.e. the weaving studio.   And it feels really good, I have totally enjoyed sewing these quilts.  My purchase of the very expensive Bernina for MYSELF, was a good one.  I have loved using it all year.  It's amazing.

I just sent a baby wrap to Romania, that's a first.   And I'm weaving away with my mechanical dobby, so glad I did not get rid of that whole set up.  Now that I know how suddenly the Compudobby can stop working, for no apparent reason, I will keep all those mechanical dobby parts SAFE.  At the same time, I hope when the Compudobby comes back from California, it doesn't have any issues for a long time.


Hand dyed cotton warp, hand dyed bamboo weft, going to London.


In the meantime, L just finished a Möbius shawl warp.



My next project is going to be some dish/hand towels in a long warp, in a straight draw.  Hopefully, with the Compudobby, I will be able to experiment changing drafts every towel.


So yesterday the sun was shining, today it is gray, and looks like rain.  One day is easy, another not so much.
In the end, I choose to be positive, why would you pay attention to the SHIT truck, when there is such incredible beauty in the world.















Monday, August 7, 2017

Forward, march.


It has been an interesting few weeks.

The thorn in my side.....isn't there always one????? has been my new Compudobby.

It started out to be stressful, taking all the mechanical dobby parts off my loom, putting the Compudobby on and getting it operational.  Then there was a short period of JOY, then it died.

I was understandably upset, disappointed, frustrated.
Eventually, AVL told me to send it back, so I retrieved the box that it came in, which I had thankfully stored in the attic, and shipped it back to California.

I knew, at that point, that it would probably be gone for 3-4 weeks, and I am in the middle of weaving an order.  So with MUCH trepidation, I got out the bag of pieces parts of the mechanical dobby I had taken off.  And NO, I did not think to take pictures of what it looked like with the mechanical dobby installed.  So, by the seat of my pants, which seems to be the way I have lived much of my life, I threw myself into putting it back on the loom.
This was after I took a couple of days to be depressed, miserable, and furious.
Then I calmed down, and took charge.

Amazingly, I got the whole mechanical set up back on the loom, and it works.



I was somewhat shocked at how easily that occurred, and it kind of took the edge off my being totally disgusted with the whole situation.


So I picked up the weaving right where I left it, muttering epithets under my breath, about computers and all that aggravation.


I said I wasn't going to make any pickles this year.  But my garden has been crazily pumping out cucumbers, so many that we can't keep up, even giving some away.  Must be all the rain.


I love them, but you can just eat so many.
 


So I made a few jars.  I am not processing them, I hate what it does to the pickle.  These are going right in the fridge, and if my kids want some, they can do the same.
Makes it so much easier all around.
And really, how many pickles can you eat????

I've also been dyeing some cotton hemp.
Mixing colors to get what I want.


I  love this whole process.  There's something about it that really moves me.


This was the view from the show we did yesterday.
Heart of the Park, in Long Lake, NY.
The Adirondacks, always stunning.


Three shows in three weeks, with L doing the first one without me.


We did well, and now we need to restock.........more towels, more möbius shawls, more scarves.
 MORE WEAVING.



This is a shirt I just recently put together, someone asked me if I used a pattern.
I wish I could say yes, that sounds so much smarter, but no, I didn't.
Flew by the seat of my pants once again.



I have, however, gotten my knitting out again, after months of not being interested.

And YES, I do use a pattern, this is the one I'm working on.


And no, my nails aren't yellow from smoking..........my fingernails change colors periodically, depending on what color dye I am using.





I bought myself a gift yesterday at the show........pottery with scenes of the mountains I love.
Sometimes it's good to buy yourself things.



It's been a busy summer, but I won't be sorry when August is over, I am not a fan of heat and humidity.  Give me sweater weather any old day.
I think sometimes, too, the constant struggle to keep the grass mowed, the weeds beat back, and the outside work done takes the fun out of it.
October is so much easier.  Pretty much things have stopped growing at a mad pace.

I am stuck on the premise that you can't live life backward, no matter how much you would like to revisit parts of it.
It can only be lived forward.
And fast forward is what it seems like a lot of the time.

I leave you with a picture of a cat.
What else.
Bubba Lee, apparently she missed me yesterday.






Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts