Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cookies and a Giveaway.

Yup, crazy but true.  I made 16 dozen Greek cookies today.
(left to right...Bonnie, L, and me flipping my cookies.....really)

Today was a miracle of sorts, headache low and dull, just there.
Amazing how grateful you can be for "just that',  instead of  a slammer, a screamer, a headache that makes you want to sit down and cry.

My dear friend, Bonnie, spent all day organizing my many cones of, this is not all of it.......this is just all that would fit on the living room shelves.
I love what she did here....all the whites on the right, and then all the color families together.  What a job........!!!!!!
She laughed and asked me how long I could keep it that looks so nice, I will certainly try.

A friend of my daughter's made these sweet little guys.

They remind me of puffles.

We hung them on a little tree.........

I didn't take as many pictures as I wanted to today, cookies took up my whole day.  L stuffed our 'sock draft stoppers' coming.
We are really almost ready for the Open House.......finishing touches tomorrow.

Oh, and a giveaway, Di over at Blue Ridge gave me the idea with hers, and besides, Christmas is just feels right!
So....if you remember my crazy garlands from last year.........

A garland is the giveaway.......all you have to be is a follower, and leave a comment.  I will announce the winner on Sunday the 4th, when the Christmas in Country is OVER, about 8pm or so.
The garlands are made from leftover bits from the Solmate sock rugs.....they are bright, and squeezable...they don't break, and the lights come with the garland.
You can hang it over the fireplace, over a door, anywhere you want.

Funny story:    Roy is a sweetheart, but he doesn't like us to leave him.  Guess he's been left before in his life, and doesn't trust us to come back, still.
So he occasionally puts a sneaker on the couch while we are gone, just to make a statement.
Last week, he took a skein of yarn and when I walked in at the end of the day, he was laying on the chaise lounge with it between his paws...smiling at me I swear.  It was a little more than tangled.
So late this afternoon, I was sitting on the couch, untangling the yarn.  When DH, and my mother, and I all left a little later, I put the yarn in what I thought was a safe place.
We weren't gone an hour, and when we came back, the yarn was strewn down the hallway, and into my mother's apartment.
DH's size 13 shoe was on the couch, along with his leash and his Easy Walker.
When I said, "Roy!" he ran upstairs and jumped into bed.

Now Roy can't talk, but honestly, does he need to???

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moving forward.

Tell me you can't see the disgusted look on this girl's face??
Doesn't she look like she is saying: "Are you kidding me??"

We were organizing the studio today, in preparation for the Christmas in the Country  three day weekend tour, which starts Friday.  Jinx does not like the commotion.

I had considered putting one of those yellow crime ribbons across the driveway, and just not opening for it.  But then I said, nope.....not giving in to this headache.  I will keep it low key, and just do what I have to do to make it happen, and no more.
So today, L and I started with one room, and organized and decorated our way around the house.  By lunch time, my headache had dulled to a roar, and by 3pm, I was amazed at how much we had accomplished.
We make a great team.

Sydney was in attendance every room, and she is not one bit intimidated by any commotion.

We set up  displays, hung lights, moved some furniture around.........the place looks great.

Tomorrow is time to make the cookies, Greek honey cookies that is.  We have a few small chores to do, nothing too difficult, and that is just fine with me.
I am still struggling with how unproductive I have been over the past two months.  I have not felt myself at all,  and it has been very difficult.
I am ready to  get some answers, and do whatever it takes to get back to normal.
Normal...., good grief, that sounds good.

Waiting for confirmation of an appointment with a neurosurgeon, maybe as soon as Monday.
Thanks for all your encouragement, and for just being here.
I count on it, ya' know.
You're all just too much.........and I am grateful!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Head games.

How about a Walking on Sunshine table runner?   One of L's brain storms, when I wasn't looking.
I think it's a keeper though, don't you?

Speaking of brains, it was a rough weekend here in northeast NY.......I am amazed that my head is still on my shoulders.  It should have exploded by now.
I know you are all waiting for some resolution, and I wish I had one to tell you about.  
I don't.
What I do have is a clue, and a little information, and I will share that with you.

My MRI showed that I have a Chiari Malformation.  What that means is this:
Normally the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented space at the lower rear of the skull, above the foramen magnum ( a funnel-like opening to the spinal canal).  When part of the cerebellum is located below the foramen magnum, in other words, it is pushed downward into the foramen magnum and the upper spinal canal, it is called a Chiari malformation.
Some people are born with it.
Adults can come up with it for various reasons.
I did a little google search, and found this.

While it has long been known that whiplash can cause injuries to the cervical spine, a new study published in the July issue of the journal Brain Injury, ("Chiari and Whiplash Injury," co-authored by Ezriel E. Kornel, M.D. F.A.C.S., Michael D. Freeman, Ph.D., and others) shows that whiplash may also cause anatomical changes that can result in brain injury.
The study, one of the few to look at the connection between whiplash and brain injury, examined the MRI scans of 1200 neck pain patients and found that those patients suffering from whiplash were more likely to have anatomical changes to the brain resulting in brain injury, specifically, a herniation of the brain called Chiari malformation, in which the bottom part of the brain (the cerebellum) dips through an opening in the base of the skull after a whiplash injury. Preliminary findings showed that brain injury occurred in 23% of the whiplash cases studied. 
According to Dr. Kornel, a principal with Brain & Spine Surgeons of New York in White Plains, N.Y., "This condition can be quite painful and endanger the patient's health, with symptoms that may include headaches, neck pain, upper extremity numbness and tingling, and weakness. 

Bottom line, I guess I didn't get away with that flip in the air, and that crack to the back of my head, back in August.    Now I need to get in to see a neurologist, to find out what to do about it, and to find out if, in fact, this is the cause of my headaches.
It sure sounds like it to me.
I am trying to concentrate on what is right in front of me, and take this a step at a time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I love your comments.   They make me smile, sometimes laugh out loud.  Sometimes your concern brings a tear to my eye.  It never fails to amaze me, how many friends I have made since I started this blog four years ago.      
( although the first year I am pretty sure I was talking to myself)

How to define 'friend'?
We think we know, and then out of the blue, you find out that there are all kinds of friends, people who send  you good energy when you need it, people you have never met.

Years ago, when I first started weaving, and needed help, I turned to the internet.  There were no weavers to go to locally, so I started asking questions on an online forum.  That's where I met Shirley, a weaver all her life, who was old enough to be my mother.   It started out with sporadic emails, but soon we were in touch almost every day, by email, and sometimes by phone.  She was a 'character'.....that's for sure.  Her best friends called her Flossie, and I soon became one of them.
 She was full of information, which she freely shared, and she never minded my endless questions.  Eventually, when DH and I went to Tennessee to visit his son, we made a side trip to meet her.
We hit it off in person, just like we had online.  She felt like someone I had known my whole life.
The next year, she came to New York, and stayed for a week.  She loved the studio, and we did a lot of weaving, and a lot of laughing.
When she died a few years ago, I grieved for her.   And I missed her.  Some days, I feel her hovering around, and I say her name out loud.  I tell her that I wish she hadn't gone so soon.  And I weave knowing that she helped me get to where I am.

Another friend, and mentor to this day, was also met online.  Chris, of Homestead Weaver answered my many questions in the beginning, and still answers them to this day.  She is a better weaver than I,  and knows more than I will probably ever know.  And we've become good friends.  I have enormous respect for her, and I am grateful for everything she has taught me.
When someone out of the blue emails or calls to pick my brain about weaving, I pay it forward every time.
Friends.  Yup, you just never know where they are coming from.  You just got to have gratitude.

Today L and I took one of my Union Customs apart, and loaded it into the back of my car.  I drove it through the countryside, to my friend's house.  She has a small studio that sits out in her yard, and has wanted a loom for a long time.
It seemed a simple equation.  I have too many looms....yes, I really said that.  And she wanted JUST ONE.
I will go over soon to help her put a warp on it.

Every now and then, I stopped to take a picture that called out to me.

It wasn't a good day, headache wise.   I decided to swear a whole bunch to myself, and keep on keeping on.
I have to get through the weekend, and Monday morning I will be sitting in the waiting room of dear doctor..........uh, results???

I am pleased to have the living room of the studio somewhat uncluttered.   Not sure if it is feng shui or what........but it feels so good.
I am aiming to un-clutter the studio, then my home, and ultimately my life.

As soon as I get rid of the monster behind my eyes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What brain?

Did you eat too much???  Like I did???
It was all too delicious.
 I brought my Quorn turkey loaf, and it was made fun of.  But even the ones making the jokes had to admit that it tasted pretty darn good, and the texture was even close to real turkey.
I liked it, and if you put a little gravy on it, you would not even know that it was not the 'once' live bird.

See, that's where I have the problem.  The 'once' live part. I am so comfortable with not eating meat anymore, it surprises even me.
I also made a Pear and Red Onion Gratin, recipe HERE that totally boggled everyone.   It is definitely different, I loved it, and my mother maintains that a foreigner must have come up with it.

Anyway, the headache remained low key throughout the day, which I was grateful for.  But as soon as I went to sleep last night, the headache increased enough to wake me up.  THAT is disturbing.
So when the doctor's office called this morning, to tell me that my MRI was scheduled for Tuesday at 8am, I was both happy, and distressed.  Tuesday?  Really?
So I took L's advice.........the squeaky wheel gets the grease......and I called the imaging center, and told them the simple truth.  "I have had a headache for 5 weeks now."
How about today at 1pm??  Can you do that???
Uh, yeah.  With bells on.  I'll be there.

As soon as they rolled me into the MRI machine, and I saw how close it was to my face, I slammed my eyes shut.  Seriously.  And I promised myself that no matter what, I would NOT open them while I was in there.  I imagined they were  GLUED shut.  I don't think you have to be claustrophobic to NOT LIKE THAT.  And I couldn't take the chance of screwing this test up, so I made the hugest effort I could to take myself somewhere else.....anywhere else.   The noise was deafening.  Thuds, and horns, and bumps.  Crazy.
If you didn't have a headache, not to worry, you would have one when you got out.
But the test was completed, and I was rolled out into the open.  Then, and only then, I opened my eyes, and for some reason, the tears rolled down my face.
What a wimp, eh?
Well, it is what it is today.  For sure.  I will admit to being beat down a bit by this pain.

I managed a walk for Roy, and for me.

It was not as cold as it looked.

And I find, that my headache loses its power over me, if I keep moving.  The truth is, it's hard to get going, but I know that if I do, I can push the headache back a notch.  Other things take center stage.
Roy.  Fresh air.  Walking.  Being alive.  Being grateful.

Then Roy took his nap in the sun.

At times, I can't believe this is happening.  A headache for 5 weeks?   It seems impossible to me, and yet I know that it is true.  It is real.  There has to be a reason, right?
What really scares me, is when I mentally make that list of what might be causing this monster to have taken up residence right behind my eyes.
And then I think, what if they don't find the reason??  And the headaches just go on, and on?

Right now, I am choosing not to think about it.  I can't.
Maybe I'll think about it tomorrow.
After all, says Scarlett, tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Back again.

As you know, I have had some relief from the headaches for about a week, since I started back with the chiropractor. They were present, dull, low key, but not debilitating.  That is, until last night.

It hit about 8pm, and eventually became the worst headache of all.   Advil did not touch it, nor did the heating pad on my neck, the hot tub, or sleep.
In fact, sleep was sketchy, the pain kept waking me up.
So as soon as the doctor's office opened, I was on the phone.  They took me in mid morning.
I figured it was time to go BACK to my regular doctor, and say, HEY.  We need to get to the bottom of this.  It ain't right.
So he sent me off to the hospital for lab work, testing all kinds of stuff, including lyme disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.  And he is working hard to schedule an MRI.  Unfortunately, it isn't easy to do the day before Thanksgiving, but if it doesn't happen today, it said he would shoot for Friday.
He also gave me a prescription for Fioricet, which though addictive, is usually good for headaches.
I might as well have taken an M & M.  In fact, I would have rather.
It didn't touch this screaming, pounding, monster behind my eyes.
After a few restless hours on the couch, I gave up.
Even though I had a nurse.

He stayed like this, with his head buried under my arm, for 2 hours.

Until I decided that I would make pies, since my head was about to burst anyway, how could it hurt.  If I could get through it, I would.
And in fact, I think it took my mind off it for a little bit.  Once I got into the process I knew I could get them done:  an apple pie, a pumpkin, a chocolate cream, all ordered specifically by one family member or another.
So one way or another, we are going to get to the bottom of this pain, sooner than later I hope.

In the meantime, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Inner Critic

Everyone has one.  Don't they?
You know who I mean.  That little voice in your head, the one that tells you you don't do enough, or you aren't good enough.  The one that you would sometimes like to turn off.
Mine can be a real bitch.  I mean it.
She hounds me sometimes.  Pushes me.  Just about drives me wild.
She always has.
She always wants me to work harder, do more, be stronger.  She would like me to give up sleeping, so I could get even more done.
She nags me too.  Like when I eat potato chips.  And I LOVE potato chips, no matter how bad they are for you.
She would have me eating salads and fruit exclusively.

She groans and moans if I watch trashy TV.
When I walk 3 miles, she thinks I should have gone for 4.
Why is it never enough for her?????  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

Since I felt pretty stupid about my decision to do that awful show this weekend, inner critic had a field day.
Can't ya just hear her???
Even turning the music up on my Iphone didn't drown her out.
So I walked 4 miles on Saturday.

And four miles again on Sunday!!!   I love walking on this path, the canal on one side, and the river on the other.
Even with the little voice.

She has her good points.   A lot of my success in life has been at her urging.   She hasn't let me rest on my laurels, ever.
But today, I have news for her.
Bad news.

Don't hate me, I.C., but we're paring down here.  Can't ya feel it??  There's a new breeze blowing.
Time to refocus, regroup, time to take a deep breath, and slow. it. down.
You can keep talking, but change the subject.  OK?

Monday, November 21, 2011


Before this disaster of a show, L and I were working hard to get lots of stock ready for it.
Sweet Bottoms chair pads were part of what we were working on.
We have a STACK of them.  So now, I can put them on my web site.
Somewhere off in the distance, I can hear that song playing, AAAAAAAT LASTTTTTTTT.
I know, I am a bit off my rocker.
It's ok.
I don't think it's terminal.

I do love these.  They make me smile.

I don't get sick of seeing them.
So that's why I'm posting pics of them again.
I know I risk boring you all, but I figure maybe all these vibrant colors might perk you up too.
That is, if your life is as boring as mine.

Don't get me wrong, boring is good.  I longed for boring, day to day, normal, all weekend.
And I have especially wanted normal since the beginning of the 'headache'.

To update the headache saga.......I am going to the chiropractor three times a week.
And today I got my new glasses........the headache is not gone, but it doesn't rule me.
As if it could, right?
Actually, yeah, it can.  And it does.
It's hell sometimes to be reminded of how fragile 'normal' really is.

Oh, yeah, these are Chunky Solmate Sock rugs, and they TOO will now be for sale on my web site, since we didn't sell even ONE at the Crap Craft Show.
I should have put a sign up,  "Made in China", I probably would have been overrun.

Today was crazy busy, sending out orders that came in over the weekend, putting all the product back on the shelves, catching up on paper work,  and taking delivery on 46 boxes of socks.

It was a wild day, but tomorrow is going to be peaceful.  We are going to weave, and take a huge deep breath.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh, well.

You've heard me talking about the Country Folk Art Craft Show that is on this weekend.  Lois and I have been working hard for weeks, getting ready for it.  I had high hopes that it would be a good show, and that we would sell lots of product.
DH and I went to Troy, about an hour away, on Thursday night, to set up the booth.  Then yesterday L and I went down early afternoon, to drag all the product down there, and to set up the booth.  It is NOT an easy task.  Rugs are heavy, the booth sides are heavy, and it takes a lot of coordinating.
The show last night was 5-9, but long before it started, I had an uneasy feeling.  All the vendors I saw on our way in, were heavily 'buy/sell'.  In other words, they didn't make any of their product.
Boxes and boxes of stuff, MADE ANYWHERE BUT IN THE  USA.  Knives, no bake cheesecake mixes, sticks and trees and wooden things with lights, fake wreaths with fake owls stuck in them, roasted nuts, loaves and loaves of bread marked PENNSYLVANIA in 'Amish', but the stuff in my grocery deli looks better.   There were tee shirts, and hats with faces, ice scrapers, cheap jewelry, ah....the list goes on.
There were, of course, a few nice things.  But overall, the show was dark, and depressing, to me.
I was pretty sure I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the show started, it was pretty evident that I was right.  A few lovely people were impressed, and loved everything, they 'got it'.  They understood that they were looking at hand crafted goods, made by me (and L).  Made the old fashioned way.
But most people cruised right on by, and occasionally looked in as if to say, "What are you doing here?"

They were looking for the $5-$15 item, and sorry, but some of the tacky stuff people were dragging around with them was just plain embarrassing.

I was disappointed, but not devastated,  to quote L's response to all this,  "Buck up."
And I did.
I drove home late last night, fell into bed, and got up early so I could take all the extras that we had loaded in my car, back to the studio.

Then when I got to the show this morning at 10am, I quickly loaded all the extras we had under the tables, into my car, for the ride home today.   I knew that it was highly unlikely that we would sell them, so to take them home before the end of the show on Sunday, meant a quicker, less painful, take down then.

I doubt much that I will make the $580 booth fee.  So lesson learned.  
I should have scoped out this show last year.  If I had, I would have known it was not the place for me.
Instead, I put myself, and a few other people through this annoyance.

My lovely middle daughter came to the show today, and said to me, "Go home.  I got this covered."
Dear sweet girl, and sweet granddaughter.  So I did just that.   I took stuff back to the studio, I dropped in on a surprise birthday party for an old friend's daughter, and then I took Roy for a 4 miler.
Roy is wearing his "Easy Walker".....which he and I both LOVE.  Thanks to Karen over at THISOLDHOUSE for suggesting it.   I highly recommend it, and must admit to being totally shocked at how well it worked.

So, hey.   I screwed up.  I admit it.  I made a poor decision, and it just didn't work out.  But you know what???  It's ok.   I'm human.   I tried, and now I know.  I'll take the lesson, and move on.

Times like this, I am inspired to rethink things, and regroup.  I am suddenly so grateful for what I do know, and what I do have, and who I am.
Tomorrow, the last day of this foolishness, will come, and go.
Monday is the start of a new week, and a new mindset.  Which is good, because soon will come a new year, and I want to meet it joyfully.

Life is a process, and I have to be satisfied that I will never get it perfect, I will just give it my best shot.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I aspire to it.
I am so envious of people who are REALLY computer savvy.
Although I will admit that I try.  My kids laugh at my nerdiness......I think they expect someone my age to be resistant to technology, not smitten with it.

I wanted a wireless credit card machine, until I called the bank, and found out that they cost around $800.
I crossed that off my list.  But I still figured that there was  another way.  So I googled.

And I found SQUARE, a different way to process credit cards.  And all I needed was a new phone.
Well, THAT was easy, since I have been lusting after the new Iphone, ANYWAY.

So off I went to the Verizon store, and ordered up my new Iphone 4S.
Which came in the mail.  I got it in white.

I downloaded the app for Square in about 3 minutes.

Square was free to sign up for, and they sent me the attachment that I needed, for NADA.

The attachment plugs in to the top of your phone, and you swipe the credit card through it.

Once you've swiped the card, the screen asks for the amount, and gives you a place to sign it, with your finger.
Once the sale is complete, it asks you if you want a receipt texted to your phone, or emailed to you.
You get to put in the cell phone number,  or your email address.
We have taken a test drive with it, and the receipt comes to you almost immediately.  The money is deposited into my business account, and they charge 2.75% for each swipe.  There are no other fees.

I LOVE IT.  Easy, and problem solved.  No more keying in credit card sales the day after a show, wondering if all the cards were valid.  They usually are, but it is nice to know up front.

I have had a few cell phones, but this is my fave.  I love this new Iphone.  It is the easiest one I have ever used.
NOW if I could only get my Icloud to work.
Guess I will have to wait for my 14 year old grandson to figure it out for me.

Just in case you thought I knew it all.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts