Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Patience







For a long time, I've been wanting to play with this technique of laying threads in the shed, to make a tapestry type of design in the weave.   I put a linen warp on, but for some reason, the linen kept stretching and giving me fits, and my patience was sorely tried.
So much so, that I cut it off, before I got very far.

I plan on doing more of it, on a cotton warp.





I woke up this morning thinking that "this too shall pass", and my next thought was, "when?"

It's definitely exhausting, this world of ours.  I see it in the faces of family and friends, I hear it in their voices.  We do what we can, and what we are supposed to do, and we wonder if we will see out way clear of it.  I try to imagine a world where we don't wear masks, and it's not easy.

I find myself being more and more a hermit.  I put off going to the store, I find every excuse not to go.
When I finally am almost forced out the door, I combine errands, so I don't have to go again for a while.  It's beginning to worry me. :)
I miss those day trips, rides through the country, eating lunch out,  good conversation.   They seem so long ago.

I find myself thinking and dreaming of people long gone,  people I have loved who are no longer in my life.   I guess as you get older you have to get used to that, at least that's what my mother told me.  But somehow I guess I never believed it.

I thought my parents would always be here.  I thought my friends would always be at the other end of the phone.  I find myself being very pensive about it all, and sad.   
I don't have to like it, and sometimes I just find myself being really angry about it.





Believe it or not, I am still finding things to get rid of.  I evicted nearly 20 items yesterday, and they 
were well received by someone who needed them, wanted them, when I didn't.



My last flock of chickens are laying up a storm.......I gather a dozen, or more, eggs every day.  I have so many eggs, that some days I have no idea what I am going to do with them all.

I suppose I could get rid of some of the hens, but I really love them all, and I am pretty sure that this will be the last time I raise chicks.........  I've raised them twice now, and it's very time consuming, and I was worried about them for the first 12 weeks of their lives.




I just ordered some "scary tape" recommended to me by a fellow chicken lover.......to scare off the hawks, I hope it works.  I really don't want to chase another one out of the run with a stick.


Today it snowed almost all day, but late afternoon, it finally cleared, and the sun shone.

It does make one hopeful.


Monday, February 1, 2021

February doldrums


I know, I've been a lax blogger of late.   I'm trying not to go down the rabbit hole here.

Weaving at a snail's pace.  Not too inspired, I have to admit.

I can't take credit for these gorgeous pinwheel towels.  Other than wind the warp, these are totally Lois' work.




I need to have a vision of something I really want to weave, and then I need to get busy doing it.
But not today.

The steroid injection lasted full tilt about a week, and then began to disappear rapidly.  Now it just hurts, so I guess I'm on to the Viscous gel injection next.
I'm resigned.



As I promised, I dumped my web site.  I got sick of being annoyed, spending money, and always feeling like I wasn't doing enough.   These are selling on my FB page, and it doesn't make me anxious.

My 30 (actually 31) day challenge is done.....I got rid of over 500 items out of this house.   Then I put it all on FB Marketplace for FREE.......and two very nice ladies came and fetched it right off my back porch.  Guess they are planning on a spring garage sale, either that or they just needed something to do.
One of them said, "we'll have fun going through it"......so maybe that's pandemic entertainment these days.
Anyway, it's gone, and it felt SO GOOD.

Even though I finished, today I got rid of more.  I gave a long LL Bean coat to a treasured friend, and I know she will rock it.
Then another good friend came and picked up these canning jars, to make candles in.






I even pulled this old gumball machine out of the cupboard, and I'll be giving it to my grandson, who thinks he needs it.




I dug out these two books, because I need to keep sorting and deep cleaning out.  I will read them and pass them on to another friend, who is currently in sunny Fla.




Keeping it real here, I ended up in the ER the other night, with atrial fibrillation...which lasted about an hour and a half.   I think....for what it's worth......that it's thyroid related, but I had to see a cardiologist, and now I have to have an echocardiogram.  And the doctor told me I need to lose this extra 20 lbs I'm carrying around.   So, yup, back to WW.  I did it before, and it looks like I will be doing it again.   You think I would get it.

My son in law is always calling Miss Dale, mini Mimi.
She doesn't like to wear clothes, she has  the same haircut, and the look on the face, well, maybe Daddy is right.



Snow storm tomorrow...........I need to get motivated to do something productive.


Friday, January 22, 2021

Start again.

The more I thought about the 30 day minimalist challenge, the more intrigued I was.  Could I really do it????
Doing the math, it amounts to giving up/throwing out almost 500 items in 30 days.

I didn't want to wait until February 1st,  I was afraid I would lose the wild inspiration that I felt.  So I decided to catch up to the date.  For two days I filled boxes with stuff that I didn't need, didn't really want, forgot I had.  I am now up to the 25th, and I have divested myself, and this house, of about 300 items.  I am amazed, excited, and a little afraid.



By my calculations, I have about 200 more things to find in this house that are not going to stay.  This is going to get much harder, I think.  My middle daughter asked why I just didn't get rid of 4 or 5 things a day.   I answered her this:   increasing the number on a daily basis pushes you to really, really dig deep, in your home, in all the little corners that you stuff junk, but also in your head.......asking those questions that really reverberate.....how many cups do we really need?  how many towels?  how many pairs of socks?

I am pretty sure I can do ONE day in my sock drawer.  I know I have a day's worth in the toy box that I keep for my grands.  Another in the cupboard in the bathroom, and another in my yarn (knitting) stash.  Then there's my fabric scraps.  And on and on.  You get the drift.
It also makes me think a lot about stuff that I bring in to the house....stuff that I buy.
DH is really, really bad about buying things that he doesn't need, and never uses after he opens the package.  Some of those things will disappear soon.   

You may  wonder where all this stuff is going.   A big bag went right in the trash.   New bestselling books went to the library....they were happy to get them.   Clothes to the thrift shop.   A couple of friends took single items that they wanted.   Weaving books are getting sold on FB, as well as Handweaving magazines.   Knitting books gifted to someone I don't even know, just for the price of shipping.
Boxes of miscellaneous are being picked up later today ..........free.........to someone that contacted me on Marketplace.
The key is:   IT'S ALL GOING.

I feel strangely liberated, and I'm not even halfway through.  

I am saving the attic space over the studio for last.......that will be my ACE in the hole.

Maybe this is just another way to get through these times.  I wonder.  My world feels small, confined mostly to my house, the studio, the chickens, dog walks and occasional trips out for necessities.


My day starts like this, soft light through the windows, fire in the stove.  Cuppa coffee.  The NY Times Crossword.   I'm a addict for it, I'm afraid.


Then there's these two, taking their morning snooze, next to me on the sofa.  They are such creatures of habit.  I really don't know what I would do without them.


The good news is that the steroid injection worked, and I have relief, even if it's only for a while.  I am grateful, and hopeful, in spite of the evidence.  Isn't life just like that sometimes.  I always want to look towards the sunny side of things.  Maybe I can push this  surgery ahead to a non Covid world.  That would be nice.

I did walk the dogs with L yesterday, and it was nice.  So far, so good.  I'm trying to do a few days a week, not pushing my luck.



I am doing a little weaving, here and there.  No pressure, really, to produce, so I'm just (for once) doing 
what I want.
To say I am relieved that 2020 is over would be such an undertatement.  And maybe I'm foolish to imagine that 2021 will be better, but I have to imagine that, or go crazy.


When I think about all the negatives, I could lose myself in the pity pot.  Life is just 
damn hard sometimes.  Harder for some, than others, that's for sure.
But always, I come back to gratitude.
I have so much to be thankful for.   I just have to stop, and remind
myself.



I have also come to the conclusion, that in many ways I am way too hard on myself.  Lately, when I realize that I am wallowing just a wee bit, I curl up on the couch and take a little nap.  Naya and Willie are all too willing to take one with me.   It's probably a comical sight to see the three of us cozied up on the sofa together.   I sleep deeply for 30-60 minutes, and when I wake up, the world looks different to me.  So I have to conclude that maybe, just maybe, I have worn myself out.

So for now, I will just keep plugging away, doing my best to do what I do......weaving, reading, making soup, walking dogs.  Whatever is right in front of me.


Moroccan Lentil Chick Pea


If I begin to feel overwhelmed, I ask myself............"can you get through this day?"

Well, of course I can.


And I"m hopeful.   New beginnings.   Change.   So very welcome.


 
















Wednesday, January 13, 2021

No surprises.

I've been listening to the arguments in the HOUSE regarding impeachment of YOU KNOW WHO, and to be honest, none of the insipid, pandering support of those same Congressmen who have been on his side for the last four years, surprises me one bit.  I had to turn it off.  My head was about to explode.
I doubt that the results will be a shock to anyone.
Now I'm on the sofa, with a roaring fire, two sleeping dogs, and a cuppa tea.  So there.




On the other hand, I went to ortho today about my knee.  

Seems removing part of my meniscus, caused the already narrow space in my knee joint to get rather "bone on bone".  Basically, my knee is on fire, in lay terms.   They did surgery on a knee that was already a train wreck.  I knew that.   I don't blame them.

So now, I do need a total knee replacement......and yes, that little voice in my head says why didn't we just do that in the first place?

Well, there's Covid, so they can't do it now, and they prefer not to do it too soon.  So I got a steroid shot in my knee, and in the weeks to come, we can try the "viscous" injection, all in the attempt to put this surgery off until some normalcy prevails.   Am I surprised?  Not at all.  I knew from the level of pain, that it was not good.

Truth is, I wrecked my knees when, in my forties, I decided I wanted to be a runner.   And run I did, 3-5 times a week, 3-5 miles every time.  I kept a calendar.  You're not surprised???  Oh, yeah, I kept track of the miles like weaving yardage off a loom, like pretty much everything I have ever done in my life....full board.  My knees, unfortunately, took the brunt of it.
At the time, I was married to an emotionally abusive alcoholic, and that's how I coped.
I remember one day, with half a load on, he commented as I jogged down the driveway, that I had the calves of  Russian weightlifter.   For a moment, I was hurt, and then..............I smiled.
It  actually made me run more.

I've been following a blogger in Wales, who is big on minimalism.  I got interested in the 30 day challenge that she is doing.  I wanted to find someone to do it with me, on a bet, so to speak.  I'm not having any luck.

But I think I'm going to start it February 1st, with or without another person to compete against.
I think it will be good for me.

I have places like this..........with drawers full of MINUTIAE.......



I am sure it will be difficult towards the end......but I still think it is doable.




The doctor said I can start walking, apparently it is too late to worry about doing any harm........so there's that.
Even though I am enjoying playing with all the color I've got going on the AVL, I still miss getting out with L and the dogs every day.  I'm going to work my way back into it, and pray I get some relief from the steroid injection.   

Oh, and by the way......since I have dumped my aggravating, time sucking web site, I have put my towels on FB, and they are available at the top of the page, here, under the tab  AVAILABLE TOWELS.  I will add them as they come off the loom.



I read something the other day, about finding meaning in our lives.   The upshot of it was, there really isn't any.   All there really is, says the writer, is what we do every day, no matter how menial or insignificant it seems.  It's about the structure and the integrity of our days.

There's something very freeing about that, and something that stops me in my tracks.  I may have spent way too much time trying to figure out what the meaning of my life was, when maybe, it's just as simple as having a cuppa tea while talking to you all.
Who knew?




Sunday, January 10, 2021

For the record

I don't often get into the political scene here  on my blog......it's not my thing.  But for the record, I have to say this.
When the POTUS goes on camera, and says in all seriousness, to the crowd taking over the Capitol Building, "I love you.  You're special."...........well, that's seriously the most egregious and disgusting thing that I have ever heard.
I do not say this being uninformed.  I watch the news, I read the NY Times faithfully every morning.....I listen to the radio most days in the studio.  I DO know what is happening in politics.  I DO pay attention.
And in my 73 years here on this earth, I have never, ever experienced anything that has made me feel this sad, and disenfranchised, and angry.  
That being said, I have no idea why Joe Biden wouldn't rather retire on the beach somewhere.  He's walking into the worst mess........can I say "shit show" here??............on the planet.  I do not envy him the job that he has to do.  
I hope that he gets the vaccine out in massive quantities.........I hope that he restores to us the normalcy that we used to take for granted.

I know one thing.......I will not miss the craziness coming out of the White House.  I will not miss his face, his lies, his total lack of caring.   I hate all of this, as so many of you do.   The pandemic has torn all our lives apart, and it didn't have to, it could have been handled so differently from the beginning.  As a nurse for 30 years, I am pretty positive that had we known about this virus when HE knew, we would be in a very different place right now.  You may ask yourself how one man can impact so MANY lives.   Well, google Adolf Hitler, and  see how easily it can happen.

I have tried, very hard for some time to "self soothe".......doing things that make me happy......attempting to take myself far from all that is going on.  It doesn't always work.  Sometimes it does.



On the subject of my knee....well, it is not good news.  The pain level is increasing...on the inside of my knee, where the meniscus tore....so I don't know if it has torn again, or it's just not healing.   Advil/Tylenol.....nothing......helps anymore.  I am still not walking the dogs, thank God for L and friends.
I see ortho this week.....I'm sure they will want to do another MRI.....$$$$$$$.......and go from there.

I want to be able to walk.....it's one of the things in my life I am not ready to give up.
It's funny, because back in October, I was worried about a total knee replacement, which they said I don't need.  But if I had gotten a new knee back then, I would probably be much better by now.  Ironic.

Life has a way of changing, and taking away stuff, whether you are ready or not.  I hope that is not the case now.  It seems like 2020 is seeping on over to 2021.........we are all ready for something better.

I audibly sigh here, because it's hard to see it right now.

Driving to the store today, I remembered my friend, Gayle.  She died last summer, and I miss her still.
Every now and then I reach for my phone, thinking of something I want to tell her.  Today I was thinking about how when we were 13, we discovered that we could send each other messages in the dark, with flashlights in the windows. We didn't know Morse code, so not sure how we thought we were going to manage that.
She lived quite a ways away, but there was a clear shot from her house to mine, over the fields.   It's gone now, people have built houses.  It's like so many things that are just so different.

I have to remind myself that today is all we have.......just today.   We can make it better, any way we can.
Or not.

Back to my tea, and my book.  I'm trying.











Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Working onit


Some days I am disappointed, and some days lately I am aimless.  That's the best description.  I have a lot of thing to do, or things I could do, and can't get interested in any of them.  This is not usual for me, nor has it ever been, my entire life.  So when it does happen, I flounder a bit.

Yesterday, I was going to surprise my youngest, and get to see my grands, since they and I have been staying home, and are pretty safe.  Then I found out that my daughters were meeting and having their Dad for lunch, so I stayed home.  I could have gone, I am on good terms with him, we have been apart for 35 years or so.  That doesn't mean I want to spend the afternoon with him.  
So I decided to get over it, and get busy doing something, even if it was wrong.   I have an empty Louet David, my favorite little loom, so I finished winding a warp, then I sleyed the reed, threaded the heddles, and beamed it on......it took all afternoon.  I just finished by dinner time, and soon it was ready to weave.



As I suspected, I got through the day fine, and set my sites on next weekend.
Empty looms disturb me, and have since I started weaving.
Dressing the loom takes concentration, and I am unable to worrry, or stress, or let any imagined problems go wild.  It's a good thing.


Lois is weaving pinwheels on the Baby Wolf.
It's fussy work, and she does it well.



I've been doing some knitting, and this is one of the owl hats I finished.  I was using buttons for the eyes, per the pattern, and they were really awful to sew on.   Then I had an aha moment, and tried SNAPS......they went on in no time.......( I did want to say "in a snap")....and they look better in my opinion.   If you zoom in, you might agree.


My AVL loom has been acting up, and I've been emailing AVL and talking to my neighbor who is brilliant about figuring out stuff.......and finally today I got it working.  I hope it lasts.



I've been trying to eat healthy.  Here's my garlic sesame tofu with soba noodles.  I ate it two nights in a 
row, it was so good.  The best part....it comes together in no time.





I'm sure I am not alone in my efforts to get my husband to pick up after himself.  Even a little.  Even every now and then.  It's hopeless, let me tell you.
 So sometimes, I lose it.  Yes, I really do.

This has been on the counter for two days.
In my present state of mind, it may stay on the counter for the rest of the month.


OK, it's a childish response, but oh, does it make me feel better.   





















Sunday, December 27, 2020

Moving along.

After the hawk incident, I found myself once again, trying to get my brain wrapped around the idea that you cannot control everything.

At the end of my brainstorming all the options, which I have done before, it came down to one thing:

"Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation – some fact of my life – unacceptable to me, and can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake.

Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world, as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

Yes, you have heard me say this before, for a good reason, because it is the truth.

I cannot keep my chickens from getting killed by predators on occasion.   What I can do is every possible thing to minimize that probability.  So far, they have an automatic door, a solar chicken run, rocks all around the bottom of the  fenced in yard, electric wire all around the top.  I lock them in at sunset, every night.

So today, I took my $8 purchase of aluminum cake tins, some wire, some cord, scissors, a hammer, some nails, and I put up a hawk deterrent.





I also have an 18" tall  owl with a bobble head coming from Tractor Supply, as an added

item that hawks do not like.  Predators beware, I'm on a mission.

I did not travel to have Christmas with my daughters.  I erred on the side of caution, and stayed home.  To keep myself from feeling emotional about it, and getting maudlin, I cleaned.  And cleaned.  And organized.  My Overstock dealbuster rug came, and I put it down in the studio.  Naya and Willie will love it.



I moved magazines  and books from shelves down near the floor, to shelves that are more easily accessible.


I dusted and I attacked every surface.

Sometimes the simplest fixes make me happy.


I have a few more areas that are on my list.......I figure I'll have my spring cleaning done before spring gets here.

I have found myself thinking of my mother, who lived in England during the depression, and was in the English women's army, the ATS, through WWII.  Her family was poor, and the cardboard in her shoes as a child, led her to be obsessed with shoes later on in life.   

Until the day she died, eggs, and potatoes were her favorite foods.  And butter.  Lots of butter.  Things they couldn't get in tough times.

I imagine what she would say about all that's going on today.  I think she would make tea and say, hold the line, this is a hard time, but it's not forever.


So I'm going with that.  Think I'll go put the kettle on.














Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts