Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Checking in.

This is a photo from 3 years ago, when the Baldwin Corners trail that ran along the old canal was in its original state.  Fast forward after months and months of big machinery and construction work, and you could drive a truck down that path today. The trees that line it are long gone, and while it is part of the NY State Empire Trail, that spans 750 miles from NYC to Canada, and then across the state to Buffalo, it does not have the charm of the old pathway, and I miss it.



We have been experiencing some brutally cold weather, so I put this old heater on FB marketplace for free.  
I was inundated with messages, and the first person to inquire about it came and picked it up about lunch time.
He said, "we sure can use this",  and truth it was just in my way.



Far better repurposed and keeping someone warm, than sitting in my attic.


I felt that January needed some RED.....so these are the towels that are coming off 
the AVL.

They are bright and should warm up any kitchen.  I might have to keep a couple.



Finally after 6 months, my knee does not hurt every minute, and for that I am grateful.  It's been a long haul.  It could bend more, to be honest.  But I can do pretty much everything that I need to do, and I'm finally sleeping without constant pain.

But keeping it real, now I am dealing with something else.  I have actually had this issue since last January.  I guess I was hoping it would go away on its own.
I have paroxysmal  atrial fib.  I've been to a cardiologist and had testing done, and apparently  this is a common ailment among my age group.   
Terrific.

It comes and it goes, I might not have it for a month, and then I will have it every day for a week.  It's distressing, and annoying and I want it gone.
What I really want is to get off  the medication that I'm on that is supposed to  suppress it, 
because  I am not at all sure it does anything, other than making me tired all the time.
I'm scheduled for an ablation, which will hopefully put an end to it, but it's not until April.
So I just have to get from here to there.  



I'm trying to keep a good attitude, and I'm planning all kinds of ways to keep myself busy, and preoccupied.  One thing about winter, it's a great time to weave and sew.

I've come to the conclusion that getting older is quite often learning how to jump over one obstacle after another.  
"One day at a time" comes to mind, making the absolute best of every day.

And gratitude, always.

Years ago, in a very difficult time of my life, I had a small notebook that I wrote in daily, for a year.  Every day I wrote down 5 things I was grateful for.  It was a great exercise, it really helped. I never want to forget how blessed I am.
My family, my incredible friends, my dogs, my safe, warm home, my health with all its glitches, my life.
Be grateful first, bitch later, that's my motto.


Sesame garlic tofu with udon noodles, and broccoli.
Yum.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

My new obsession

I have no idea what my new obsession means, or where it came from.
I honestly don't.

I am not sharing it here, looking for any praise.   I truly think that 
I am having a mental break of some sort, revisiting my childhood.
Or in some way, revisiting something I shouldn't even be remembering.







Lately, every evening, I drag out my box of pens (you knew I had a pen problem, right?), and I
find myself drawing these scenes from my head.




Every time I start one, I have no idea where I'm going with it.......it begins with a line or two, and then they just evolve.  Somehow, as I'm drawing them, I feel some spark of recognition, though I can't explain that at all.




My eight year old granddaughter loves them, and I take THAT as the highest compliment, since when I am drawing them, I kind of feel like an 8 year old.
How marvelous would it be to be that age again????  
Can you even imagine??????




A lot of the time, I am not thinking at all, they are totally contemplative.

I have to admit, I sort of love doing it.  
Is it just doodling?  Or something else?



I have questioned why I don't put people in them.  I don't know the answer to that.  Maybe I am just not ready to do that, or maybe people aren't the point.



I do believe that our psychological self knows things that we aren't consciously aware of, and I think that the universe is more mysterious than we allow.

When I was younger, much younger, I used to dream about this house.  I was in the front yard, looking down the road, waiting for someone who never came.  The house was as clear as a picture.
I always wondered about that house.




In my adulthood, I have dreamt many times about another house, but I am in the upstairs, and
there are so many bedrooms........and at the end of the house, there are a second set of stairs, that lead to a separate apartment if you will.

I have never seen the house, in this life, but it is very real to me, still.





This one is Dale's favorite, she didn't say why.
She wanted them all.  


This is the first one I drew, the one that got me hooked.



They all make me feel very peaceful, but I guess I better move on, before I start a collection.









Christmas is over.  It took me 5 minutes to take my tree out of its plastic bag, and plug it in.   It will take me 5 minutes to put it away again on New Year's Day.  That's how I roll.





At the end of the day though, this is the real joy in my life, as it should be.
They came and spent the day with me today, and I have no idea why I am not asleep yet.
Til next time.






Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Today

Well, the cold weather has arrived in Northeast NY, and we  can't complain, because we really had a reprieve in November.  It was very warm, some days almost balmy.  Of course, the downside of that warm weather was very active TICKS.


Goldie has finally approved of his new solar house, he had me worried for a while, the old one had some rotting wood issues, so Lois and Claire built him a new one, then DH put the tin on the roof.  He has a heated pad in there, but for a couple of weeks he wouldn't go near it.

Finally, I put some treats in there, and held him so just his head was inside.   He ate the treats, then he took off.
But the very next day, he decided to give it a whirl, and he's been in there ever since.



I treated myself to a new chair for my sewing room.  It's super comfy, and adjusts to the right height, which is crucial to me.
A new sewing table may be next, but I will buy it from the local office furniture supply store, 
good quality, and much less expensive than an actual sewing machine table.



Willie loves everyone, but he does have his favorites.   And my friend Sue is certainly one of them.  This love fest went on forever.


I finally got the warp off the wolf pup.  I made three  rosepath wall hangings, and a couple of 

table runners.




So the Baby Wolf is on the inside porch, waiting for its new owner to pick it up.
The Schacht floor loom that I sold several years ago, is back in the same place it was .

So now this is the new look for the studio.  Just three looms,  a far cry from the 16 looms I 

used to have in this old house.     But honestly, it's better.   


There's a lot of freedom with less looms.  I can focus on what I'm planning and weaving, instead of worrying about a loom with no warp, or looms that I can't get to.  And some days, it's just good to sit and rock.


I wonder why it took me so many years to be kinder to myself.   I sure made myself jump through a lot of hoops.  I had super high expectations of myself, on a daily basis.  I never made it easy.   I hardly took breaks, and felt always pressured to be busier than I needed to me.  Now, of course, I look back and wonder why.  But life has a way of slowing you down, changing your perspective,  and straightening out your priorities.    Getting older will do it for you.  Falling on your head works, but I don't recommend it.  

This past year has been a tough one for me.  Last October I tore my meniscus, and my knee has not stopped hurting yet.  Now it seems that I have some tendonitis, or IT band inflammation behind my new titanium knee.  Whatever it is, it is incredibly painful, keeps me awake at night, and curtails how much I want to be mobile.   So I am taking a cue, and resting it.   Have an upcoming ortho appointment, and hope for some relief. I try to remember that this too shall pass. I am forever telling my daughter.........."one day at a time",  "stay in the day"........"just do today".............
So I guess I will take my own advice.

Can I do today?  Damn straight, I can.  

After all, tomorrow is another day.








Sunday, November 21, 2021

Changing things up.

It would have been nice to leave the wood siding on this old house, but this is the south facing side, and it began to get a bit expensive to keep painting it.

The exterior paints they make today do not last like the paints of old.  Probably that is because
there is no lead in the paint, to help it to stick to the wood.

But whatever, I cried UNCLE, and parts of my house are now vinyl.



To be honest, standing back from the house, you are hard put to tell the wooden parts from the vinyl ones.  The two sides that are wood, just don't get enough sun to warrant the expense of putting the vinyl all the way around.

I do wonder if my lilac bush will come back, my contractor had to cut a lot of it, to get to the side of the house.  He may have been a bit over zealous.



I really have been enjoying my "come back" to the studio of late......I feel more like myself, than I have since last spring.

I finished my neon yellow towel warp, and I'm using up some lace weight wool that I had already wound on spools.

This truly is my happy place, sometimes I think I don't need much more.



I have also come to appreciate the natural fibers, like cotton, and wool........and the dependable warps that they make.  I am thinking that the man made fibers make good wefts, and simplify my weaving life.



This morning I woke up and decided that it was time to clean the studio.   Not just clean, more like regroup.
So all morning, and into the afternoon, I cleaned, I rearranged, I moved things, I got rid of stuff, I vacuumed and dusted, and then by late afternoon, I decided to weave in my new, clean space.
Of course it gets dark so early, I felt like I was doing some "night weaving", even though I quit at dinner time.

The rearranging has changed the traffic flow, made it seem more open, and less congested.  I really like it.



Of course, the dog beds must stay, that is non negotiable.


All in all, it was a very satisfactory day.   Sometimes, I think that should just be my goal.
Satisfactory.
And that, my friends, can have many presentations.  
It's all in your perspective.




I want to give a shout out to my friend, and fellow weaver, Joanne Noragon, over at Cup on the Bus

She has just recently experienced a revolting turn of events, by breaking her leg, and she now has to muscle through the recovery.   Get better soon, Joanne........and get back to the loom.
Please send her good energy.





Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Meanderings

It comes to mind today, that I am not on my own on this journey of getting older.  There have been times, when I have felt alone in it, that it was just me, traveling this road towards the unknown.  And I will admit it, it felt pretty scary, when I allowed myself to go there.

But just this week, I have had occasion to talk to a few of my friends, who are also
experiencing the same thing..........aging......and the accompanying problems, worries, pains, and fears that go along with it.  I am far from being alone, there is a whole generation of us, in our 70's, headed towards the big 80, an age that honestly has sounded totally foreign until just lately.

I spend a lot more time looking back, than I have ever done before. Remembering people, places, and events that made up my life.


(me and my cousin Billy, 8th grade graduation, he's been gone for 17 years, we 
were born one day apart)


  It brings to mind that my mother was often nostalgic about the past, as she got older.  I'm not sure I understood it then, but I get it now.





I wonder what other people worry about, when they think about getting to the end of their life. 

 I know this probably sounds maudlin to some, but I worry about my dogs. .......  my kids, my 24/7 companions.    I worry that I won't live long enough, and that they will be homeless, separated, not loved.  The thought spirals through my head sometimes, late at night, and makes me physically ill.
I know my real children will be fine.   I raised three capable, wonderful daughters, who are totally in charge of their own lives, and their own families.

But Naya and Willie..........they rely on me.  

I move off the couch, they move off the couch.

I go to bed, they are right behind me.

The bathroom trips.....well, yes, they wait outside the door.....or they come right in given the chance.

Whatever room I'm in, that's the room they're in.

I leave..........Willie howls......and when I come back, they are both jumping up on the back door, taking off what's left of the paint.

I try to estimate the years they have, and then I pray to live at least that long.




Crazy??? Possibly.    
Naya will be 7 in January.......not an exact estimation, but close.
Willie, will be only 4.
I never thought about his age  when I adopted him....he was only 18 months old........what was I thinking???
And now, of course, I wouldn't give him up.

I read an article in the NY Times the other day.  
It bothered me for days, and I still don't like to really thing about it.

This couple in CA had IVF......the mom carried the baby, gave birth, and somewhere along the way noted that the baby didn't look like anyone......skin tone was a little darker, hair was black.......so eventually they had DNA testing done, and found out it wasn't their baby...........and they found out that it belonged to another couple, and that couple had their biological baby.  So after a YEAR, they swapped babies.

I'm sorry, but I cannot wrap my brain around this.

So they are saying that the origin of the sperm and the egg are MORE important than the baby that they have bonded with for a year.  They voluntarily gave it away.
I wouldn't give WILLIE away, or NAYA....you would have to restrain me to take either of them away from me.....but these people gave away their year old babies.  The trauma.....I can't even begin to imagine.  The siblings were distraught........understandably.
Will any of those children ever get over this???

I'm curious what you all think.....am I alone in thinking this is horrendous.
I know my daughter has an 18 month old.....and if someone told her that he was biologically not hers, she would never, ever, ever give him up.

I am not so sure that I like the world we live in today.....maybe that's why thinking about the world I grew up in, raised my children in, all those years of my life before now........maybe that's part of why they look so good, and why I occasionally find myself remembering.
I like to think it was better, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

I guess I'll go to bed, and put this brain to sleep.

goodnight all.















Monday, November 8, 2021

A little of everything.

I know Halloween is long gone, but I am still smitten with my daughter's handiwork.  She made all three costumes, and they were perfect.


Meet Wednesday Addams.  Complete with the "look".
 



And a very happy little ghost.


And this poor little zombie with a knife through his head!!!!!



I spent Saturday with these three, and loved every minute of it.  They completely wore me out.


But I have to confess, that the day after, weaving alone with two dogs, I was thankful for the quiet.





Getting back to feeling pretty productive in the studio.



Right now I'm working on a 25 yard warp of towels.





With the time change, the dogs and I are up at 5:30.   They go out, then they come back in for a little early morning snooze.
That doesn't last a real long time, because there is a lot of bitey face that needs to happen.




They are totally silly, and I have no idea what I would do without them.

This year, like last, was a year of no shows.   I am kind of surprised that it doesn't really bother me.
Sometimes change sneaks up on you,  and I think that has happened to me.  I was forced to slow down after my knee replacement, and getting back up to speed has been slow.
Maybe I will feel differently about shows next year, but somehow I doubt it.  

Outside chores have been about completed, and I'm getting myself geared up for 
the season.    There are always so many things to do.....I am never at a loss to keep myself occupied.

Retirement is time for all those things you love to do, and never, ever had enough time for.

That's where I'm at.   It's a pretty good feeling.

Five months after my knee replacement, finally, this week, I can walk down a flight of stairs like a normal person, instead of one stair at a time.   

Eureka!!!!!!!  Suddenly I think a normal knee is in my future.











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.  

NO MORE WEAVING.


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.




Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts