Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, September 30, 2012

One step at a time

Sometimes I feel like I am on a slow boat, and the waves keep progress at a minimum.
It's the one good day, one bad day, two good days, one bad day, three good get the picture.
But I am plodding ahead, and I AM getting better, maybe not as fast as I would like.
Some would call me impatient......I can't imagine who would say that.
But I guess it might be true.
I have received compliments though, on my RESTRAINT.   I am being very good at pacing myself, and resting, and listening to my pain level........all things, I might add, that I have not usually been real good at previously.  Ever.
Which all has to do with the level of surgical intervention.
Got my attention, that it did.

Yesterday went for my first day trip since surgery.   My BFF and I went to a farmer's market, where I bought some of the season's last tomatoes, some beets, some cilantro, and some sage-basil pesto.

Then we went to my fave yarn shop,  Cacklin Hens, in Middlebury, Vt.   I admit that in addition to being a loom addict, I am seriously hooked on yarn.
I have tons of it, but it never enough.  I know hope I am knitting for the rest of my life, so I NEED it all.
Then I go into a yarn shop, especially one like Cacklin Hens, and they have so much beautiful yarn, I am a wreck just picking out a couple of things.
Anyway, I have this baby shower coming up, so I bought this sweet pattern.

And it's gonna be in blues.

It was a cloudy/rainy day.  The leaves are beginning to turn colors.

It felt so good to be out with my BFF, doing normal things.
(little voice saying thank you, thank you, thank you)
Sharing a dessert.  Laughing.  Just feeling ok.

What am I going to do with my one wild and precious life???
Since my surgery, that is the only question I have.
But one, you can bet, that I will be embracing.

Friday, September 28, 2012

From here.

We have been on vacay, DH and I.
In our own home.  With Roy.
Cause my mother has gone to my daughter's house, and she's been gone ALL WEEK.
Can I just say WOW?

I love my mother.  You know that.  But living with an aging parent is not easy, and it is not always
And it is evident to everyone, that there is a different dynamic with me, than she has with anyone else.
Somewhere along the way, we switched roles, at least in her mind.  And I am the mother.
At my daughter's house, she has kids to interact with, and I think it is good for her.  She gets to be "Nan".
For us, the quiet is like a soft rain.  There is no TV blaring from her room.  No drama.  No demands.
It is a gift, from my daughter, to me.
When I first came home from my brain surgery, my mother stepped it up.  She kind of hovered over me, making me lunch, bringing me tea, doing things for me that I could not do.
She seemed, well, like MY MOTHER.
But it was short lived.  As I got better, she slid back into her neediness and her comfortable dependent role.  The more I began to feel like myself, the less like my mother she became.

I have told my children that I will never live with them, and I hope that I can keep that promise, because I know how hard it is.
When you have raised your children, and given 30 years of your life to the work force, then it should be time for serenity, which doesn't always happen when you live with a parent.
We thought, eight years ago, that we were doing the right thing, having her live with us.
Now I know, it would have been smarter, to get her an apartment nearby, damn the cost.  It would have been better for us, and it would have encouraged her to hang on to her independence.
Instead, she waits for us: to go to the store, to make dinner, to do a thousand little things for her, that she could probably do for herself.
This was not the best choice.
But here it is, and now we make the best of it.
Which I hope includes more mini vacays like this one.  I think a few days away here and there, are good for her, and us.  She will be glad to be home, and it will be nice to have her home.

Ah, the perspective from vacation. I love it.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Roy the Pit Bull

It makes me somewhat crazy to hear the hype about pit bulls.
Any dog can be mean, if brought up by mean people.

Roy is what most pit bulls are like, in my opinion.
He is my third pit, and I love the breed for their loyalty, their sweetness, and their energy.

Ava loves him, too.
Roy loves kids.

But when there are no kids around, this is where he likes to be, as close to me as he can get.
Touching me, preferably.

Who rescued who, indeed?

Today was a better day.  More PT this afternoon.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.
One day at a time here.
Feeling more like myself every day.  
Just ask Roy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Winner

I am feeling fragile today.
Maybe the Physical Therapy yesterday did me in.
But whatever the reason, I spent most of today on the couch.

Three steps forward, one step back.

 So I am keeping it simple.  
What else can I do??

So without further ado, the winner of the Socketbook is:

I hope she carries it all around NYC, and is my best advertisement!!!!!

Congrats Daryl.

Monday, September 24, 2012

What's your fave?

I don't get much done on my daily visits to the studio.  But I love to be there, and just getting one or two small things accomplished makes me feel good.

Today, I cleaned my desk, #1.

And #2, I did a photo shoot, with L's help.

I give you, the  S O C K E T B O O K.

We have two sizes.  The smaller one is $19.95, the larger one is $27.95.
They are, as I have said, reversible, and washable.
I actually used the smaller one at the fiber festival the other day.  I took my wallet and my cell phone out of my 'heavy' purse, and left it in the car.
Do you know how lovely it felt not to have that weight on my neck??

Tomorrow morning, I will be putting individual purses on my web site with a Buy it Now button.

There will be more coming.

I love the monkeys, but I think I like these purses even more. They are so functional, and so simple.

Getting them all on my web site will probably be my 'big' accomplishment for tomorrow.
Plus, tomorrow is my first day of PT.  Gentle neck strengthening exercises.  I can hardly wait.

I finally got the mitten pattern written up.  I have it in email form, if you want it, and I also put it in the PROJECTS tab, above.  You can highlight it, and print it.
Or email me.

I think I need to showcase the Socketbook in the school system somehow.  Can't you just see all the kids with one.  Well, the kids, and me.
Because they are definitely for everyone.

So check tomorrow.

Get ready for Christmas.
We won't sell as many Socketbooks, as the Iphone 5, but then, we aren't Apple.

We're just Crazy as a Loom.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


One thing I have been able to do in my 'recovery' phase, is knit.
Thank God.
I have been knitting since I was four years old.  My mother, fresh from England, thought that she had to teach me to knit, and to read, before I went to school.
I was scheduled to go to school at 4 and 1/2, so she got busy.

All of my life, knitting has been a comfort to me.  I have a huge box of needles and paraphernalia, and several totes full of yarns, just for knitting.
I didn't knit at first when I came home from the hospital, but the second week, I got my knitting bag out.
I knew it would make me feel better.   And it did.
I am making kids' mittens in various sizes.  

So far I have a small stack of them on the coffee table, with no thumbs. One of these evenings, it will be THUMB NIGHT.
I know, this is almost too exciting for words.

At one point, a few years back, I bought a sock knitting machine.  I had always wanted one.  It took me a little while to figure it out, but eventually I did.
As soon as I cranked out my first sock, I realized that I hated it.
It was too labor intensive, it felt like work, and quite honestly, I wanted my knitting to be my retreat, not another job.  I didn't feel one moment of regret when I sold it.

My favorite things to knit, are mittens and socks.  I like funky hats, too.
Occasionally, I will knit a sweater, but not often.  I can't finish it in a night get the picture.

I have these wonderful instructions for mittens.........I've had it for donkey years.  There are instructions for mittens for 2-4yr, 5-7yr, 8-10 yr, women's and men's, all on the same page.  I love this.
If anyone wants this pattern, let me know.  I will be happy to mail it to you.

And that's the excitement here.  I guess when you are bored, you are boring.
Or something like that.

Except that the show, which L did single handedly, is done, and she did great.
I bet she will be happy when I am no longer a slug.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Let's have a giveaway.

I think it's time, don't you?
We'll celebrate fall, and lovely weather.
Or maybe my recovery.
Or let's just celebrate the good energy that blogging generates, and the friends that it makes.

Before my surgery, I had my newfound seamstress, Angie, making monkeys, and sewing strips for rugs.
Then she had an idea.   She never stops, this girl.  Reminds me of someone........

She made a purse, out of socks.
It was so danged cute, that I told her to go for it, and make more.  Which she did.
So let me introduce you to:


I know.  So silly it could actually work.
They come in two sizes, the small which will be $19.95, and the larger, which will be $27.95.  They are totally washable, and GET THIS, they are REVERSIBLE. Some have cell phone pockets.
Too freaking awesome for words.

It is perfect, for your wallet, and your phone.......or a bottle of water, when you are walking.  It is just enough.   I will take some better pictures soon.
Carrying around my heavy camera has not been an option, so all you are getting are pictures from my Iphone.

I love Angie.  She is a hard worker, she communicates, she is on time, and she is creative.
Thank you, Craigslist.

Anyway, that's the giveaway.......a small Socketbook.  All you have to do is leave a comment about it.
Drawing Wednesday 9/26.

This weekend is the Washington County Fiber Festival at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Greenwich, NY.
I have a booth there, but I am not personally there.
So this is Lois' first solo show.  I told her I would cancel it, but she said no, she wanted to do it.
Check with her on Sunday evening, to see if that was a good decision, or not.
I helped her with a little advice, and that, my friends, is all I was good for.  Couldn't lift, couldn't lug, couldn't do much of anything.
I did, however, go to visit, and check it out.  She is doing a great job.  You're not surprised, right?

I think in life that a lot of our happiness, or unhappiness, comes from surrounding ourselves with people who uplift us, and make us better, or NOT.
Been that last place, done that.

Now it seems that I truly am surrounded by lovely, helpful, supportive, and sweet people.
It's not an accident, folks.
I think it is something that comes with getting older.   If only the young knew.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A little affirmation

Sometimes, I just like to sit and meditate on this rattan hanging.
I bought it for $2 at a thrift shop in Maine.
For some reason, it speaks to me.
I have no idea what it is supposed to be, or who made it.  But I guess that really doesn't matter, because
I love it.

I stayed at the studio for 3 hours today.  A record.  I actually got some fringe tied on some placemats that L is working on.  I feel so productive.  Ha!

My doctor said I would be weaving in 6 weeks.  That means in 3 more, I will be there.  Heart be still.

I look back at my frustration, and the craziness that ensued with me wanting to sell the studio, wanting to quit everything that I loved, and I am humbled.

Have I told you that my family rocks??  DH. My daughters.  They got me through this.
My friends.  All of you.
And L........tell me who has a friend/apprentice/partner in crime......that does what she does??  Taking the entire studio with all its responsibilities, under her wing. 6 cats. So I didn't have to worry about it at all.
M and P who came to the studio to give L some support, and help her with some big jobs.

Nope, I couldn't have been through  what I have been through in the last month without all this help.
My mother brought me tea, made me lunch.  People stopped in to visit.  People sent me cards, gifts, flowers, goodies from the bakery.  The emails.  The calls.  The encouragement. My BFF with my fave cafe lunch,  My friend A walking Roy when I couldn't.

It boggles my mind.  I didn't realize how many people cared, how many people worried.  It makes me determined to get better, to not disappoint anyone.

Every day I feel like I have made just a little progress, and it's adding up, and adding up, and adding up.
I'm coming back.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Yup, it's been three weeks today.
I am gaining, but slowly.
You know it's not fast enough for me.

Check out my new clogs, I ordered them from the hotel, on my laptop, the night before my surgery.
Talk about thinking positive.

 A girl can just knit so much though.

But I am being incredibly 'good'.  I am purposely taking it easy, not pushing myself, not taking any chances.
It's a struggle, partly because I 'want' to be busy, and partly because  I have to rest, and I have to  listen to my body.  Not really my body........but my head and my neck.  My body is fine, thank you very much.  My body is actually wanting to know what the h.e.l.l. is the holdup, if you must know.
But mostly my NECK is calling the shots here.  It is stiff, painful, weak, spasmodic, and generally not very happy, and thus it GETS to call the shots still for a while.
I am not going to post a picture of my SCAR, until it is better looking.

I did hear today that I do NOT have to have another MRI, I am hoping that is because the surgeons are so damn sure of themselves, that they do not need to see what they did.
After that last one, I am no fan, so I am relieved.  I also found out today that I can start Physical Therapy to strengthen my neck, 'as pain allows'. Twice a week.

Getting better from a major event like this kind of shadows everything else.  I find myself really not worrying about things that would have normally had me stressed.
Money.  Food.  Business. Weather. What ifs.
They just don't factor in.
I very much dislike FEAR.
You know the feeling, when the 'what ifs' strike?
That feeling in your gut that makes you want to run and hide?
What if you can never move your neck again?
What if they didn't fix it?
What if the you never have another pain free day in your life?
What if this eventually KILLS you?

I will twist myself into pretzel shapes not to be afraid.

Roy has been given me some pointers.

He thinks I should be picking this up faster.
He is such a good teacher.  I have given him a nickname:  Eckhart.
Cause he lives in the MOMENT.

So all in all, I am progressing.  One baby step at a time.

Don't ever underestimate normal.  Don't ever think that your boring, everyday life doesn't mean anything?  It only takes a little time of "NOT NORMAL", to put that into perfect perspective.

Take boring.  Take humdrum.  Take normal.
Take it every chance you get.
And don't be afraid.
Take it from Eckhart Roy.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting better

Every time I click on my blog, and see the header, I smile.
I love that quote, that someone (one of YOU) emailed to me.  I loved it so much, I put it up there, and I am touched with it each and every time I read it.
Though I must add, that right now, my life is not very wild, but ah, it is 'oh, so precious'.

Let me tell you about my 'recovery'.
The first week, I didn't move around much.  It hurt so bad.  What on earth did they do to me for 6 hours?  Good God.
When someone called me, and asked if the headache was gone, I could only smile weakly, and mumble, "uh, not really."
Apparently, routing out the monster was tough work, and the aftermath isn't easy.  The headache I have now, is different, it moves around, it comes and goes, it is more post traumatic, than evil demon.
They say I will have headaches for weeks, before finally, everything settles.
My neck is stiff, it feels like someone has poured cement down the back of my neck.   I can turn side to side, a bit more than I expected.  But if I want to look at the stars, I will have to pretend I am 9, and lie down in the grass.  I will start Physical Therapy at 4-6 weeks post op, and will probably be doing it for months.
Looking down in front of me is impossible.  Eating is an event.   I pull a regular chair up to the island in the kitchen, so that my plate is nearer my face.  Otherwise, eating is too painful.

And my jaw has been impacted, somehow.  I can't open my mouth wide enough for some things, and chewing makes my jaws so tired, I have to take breaks.  Or eat less. Jello, mashed potatoes, soup, ice cream........oh, how sweet.  A sandwich is a job.  I eat it, but it takes longer.  Forced, finally in life, to eat slowly, savor every mouthful.  Ironic, it seems.

 I am 10 lbs lighter than when I started this journey.  Helluva diet, though.  I do not recommend it.

The back of my head is still on fire, so ice packs are my friends.  Sometimes, there is no pillow soft enough to lay my head down.  That's tough.  I swapped out the Percocet for Tylenol, and the Valium for Flexeril, as soon as I got home.  I am anti narcotic drugs.  I opted for more pain, and less feeling like a zombie.
Every day, I nap.  ME..........a NO NAPPER EVER.
Yes, it's true.  Sometimes a half an hour, sometimes an hour, but I fall asleep like I haven't slept for a day.
Every day, I walk, no, not alone.  At first it was 4 houses down the street and 4 houses back, then to the end of the street, and then around the block, and then around two blocks.
And then, DH drove me to the bike bath, and we walked along the river.  Sweet Roy looked up at me, as if to say, "are we normal yet?"

I have been to the studio twice, since the 27th of August.   The first time, I did too much.  I was only there for two hours, but I didn't stop to rest my head and neck.  I paid for it with neck spasms and more pain.  Stayed home the next two days.  Yesterday I went back, for two hours more, only this time, I took the pillow that L offered.  I made myself comfortable, and sat.  It was better.  And just being there made me feel hopeful.  Positive.  Myself.

I have not driven yet.  I probably could.  The truth is I am hesitant.  Almost ready.  I am listening.
I read a lot.

I am beginning to slowly realize, how impacted I was by HH, or "the monster" over the last 11 months.
I didn't know.  Much, I imagine, like any depressed person doesn't realize that they are depressed.  They "tell" themselves that everyone is full of baloney, 'imagining' it.

I look back now, and know that the anguish, the frustration, and yes, the depression, was inching up on me so deviously, that I really didn't know that it was there.  I only knew that something was SO wrong.  But like having your nose up to the glass, you can't really see.

I do know that towards the end, for at least a month, maybe more, I cried all the time.  Anything, and everything, brought me to tears. It was like a fountain of never ending tears.  But it never helped.

I also realized that the cough I woke up with every morning for the last 10 months, was gone.  I wonder, how many ways did the increased pressure in my brain affect me, that I wasn't even aware of.

I apologized to DH the other day, in Hannaford.  It was my first grocery shopping experience since the surgery, but wearing the rigid collar on all outings, prevented me from seeing things on the bottom shelves.  He was helping me, grabbing things as I directed.
While I am not tearful of late, suddenly I was, and  I took his arm, and said, "I am so sorry for how mean I have been to you sometimes, over the last several months."
I didn't know I was going to say that.  It just came out. It was the truth.  I have at times been short, and bitchy.   He has tried to to understand, and he has put up with me.

He hugged me then, right in front of the stacks of tuna.   We just stood there, hugging, two older people, realizing many things, and grateful for them all.
We must have been a sight, but honestly, it was the best hug I have had in a while.

I think that's when I let go of the monster, for real.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A little story

Two weeks today, although it's hard to think about my measly problem, on the anniversary of such a day.
And hard to believe that such horror could have happened on a beautiful, sunny, September day in this country.

Yesterday, I did too much, and last night I paid for it.  Mostly I am bothered with the muscle spasms in my neck, that force me to the couch to rest.  It quite amazes me, how 'little' can be 'too much'.
 But then on the other hand, I guess I am amazed at how well I have done, given the nature of the surgery.
So today, Roy and I are laying low.
Do you have any idea how hard that is for me?
Do you have any idea how EASY that is for Roy?

I have to tell you a funny story.

My middle daughter has a hectic life, what with a job, two busy children, and being a single Mom.  So often she would text me, or email me, when things were particularly tough, and say FML, which means   "eff my life".
We would laugh then, when my mother would be driving me nuts, and I would text HER, with FML.  It was a little joke between us, that sometimes life is not easy, and the best way to get through it is to joke about it, and plod on.
Middle daughter has received my workaholic/busy/neverstopforlong gene.  Poor girl.

So on the night before surgery, over dinner, my "last real meal" for awhile, we chatted, and laughed, and tried to deflect the fear we both had about what was coming.
It was a GREAT meal.  Neither of us eat meat, so it was a joint effort to find somewhere to eat that pleased us.
I was looking worn out, headache had been slamming me with a 9 for a whole month.

The restaurant was a lovely, bright place, and we had a glass of wine.   Hey, why not?
One last hurrah before the guillotine.
Kind of.

I told my daughter she was the only person under age 50 in the whole place.

I think mine was called the "energy platter".......hummus, falafel, and other wonderful Mediterranean food.
The manager came over, smiling, and asked us if we were driving.  We said, no, we were walking, and he refilled our glasses.

So back to the story.  I told daughter #2 that when I woke up from my surgery, I would say "FML", to prove that my mind was still intact.
If not, well, I was in trouble.

So in the recovery room, with daughter #1 and #2 hovering over me,  I allegedly came to, and whispered to her, "FML".
She started to cry, whereupon daughter #1 became all concerned, asking what was wrong.
When it was explained, they both laughed and cried together.

I remember nothing of this.  Don't remember thinking it, saying it, none of it.  But see, in my mind, which was still working ok, thank you GOD, I knew what I had to do, to put them at ease.

So while I am taking it easier today, I am reminding myself of all that I have to be thankful for.
Having my faculties, being able to walk and talk and function on my own.
Having family and friends who hold me up when I need it, in spite of myself.

Getting better, one day at a time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


I didn't plan on posting today, but I am somewhat overwhelmed by the good fortune that is mine.
I am also painfully aware of the crap shoot that is life.

I had decided, before my surgery, that I was not going to ride my bicycle anymore.  It was stressful enough on my titanium knee, but now with rods in my neck, and guaranteed limited range of motion of my neck, I think it should be crossed off my list, right along with carnival rides and pink motor scooters.

So, I decided to give it to my #2 daughter, who is realizing what running 8-10 miles at a clip will do to one's knees, no matter what your age.
This morning,  I asked DH if we could go to the studio, pick up the bike, and bring it home, so that when she and her family came by later, it would be here.
This was my first "ride" out.  
We went and picked up the bike, the car carrier, and brought them home. Thanks, L, for help in digging it out of the barn where you and I packed it away so well.

We got here, and DH carried it all up to our front porch, in case it rained, and we went in the house.
He said to me, "Leave Roy's harness on, I will be right back, and I will take him for a walk."
He went upstairs, I turned to fill the tea kettle, and suddenly, there was this terrific crash, and leaves covered the kitchen window.

My neighbors came flying out of their houses, to see what the huge 'cracking' noise was.

DH came flying down the stairs.

Can I just tell you that if DH and Roy had gone right out the door,  and he hadn't gone upstairs first, that this tree could have driven them to the ground?

Or if the wind had gusted a little harder, a little sooner, that the tree coming down wouldn't have had to have hit me?  That the sheer force and suddenness of it would have tipped me over, and that my cervical collar wouldn't have saved me from such severe pain/injury that I can't even think about it?

I am sitting now in the window, the wind is blowing, the sun is here now, then gone.
The morning is suddenly so precious, I can barely contain myself.

 Gratitude doesn't cover it.  The word isn't big enough.

Waiting for people to come clear it away, so we can get out the door.
But for now, I am content to sit here and knit a little, before my next nap.
That's just about enough excitement for today, right Roy???


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts