Crazy as a Loom

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Yes, it's raining.

Finally got on blogger.   I am not sure what the issue is, but if anyone has a clue, please fill me in.
I just get the "loading" message, until I want to skid my laptop across the floor like a hockey puck.
Wait.  That might be the headache talking.
I don't think this pressure change with the bad weather does my "battered" skull any good at all.
Just sayin.
But along with that, I must confess, I am grateful.  We missed the storm big time.

Yesterday was better.  I spent most of the day at the studio, and I actually got some things done.
I finally got my web site done.......put the last of the pictures of rugs up.  Thanks, Bizland, I really, really, really wanted to do my ENTIRE site over from SCRATCH.
Anyway, it's done......I know I could still tweak it, and I will.  But honestly, I am kind of sick of it right now.

Back to some weaving.

Working on another shawl/ruana.

I can only work on it for awhile, then my neck complains.  Whines.  Then gets BITCHY.
So I move on to something less stressful.
It's the position of my neck while weaving that causes the distress, so if I do something different, or nothing at all, it's better.

Later, I started a rug, so now I have two looms going.  I think it is ME trying to trick myself into thinking I am getting a lot done.

Did I tell you that patience is a virtue, just not MY virtue?

Monday, October 29, 2012


I wish I could tell you that my recovery is all wonderful, but I am sure you would know that was an exaggeration.
I do have lots of improvement, and a bunch of really good days.
Unfortunately, I have some really crappy days.  Headache, neck pain, just generally feeling like a truck ran over me.
Today was one.
I tried, after a few hours, to make a grocery store run.  It was not a great idea.  About half way through my very short list, I felt like I was going to pass out, or throw up, or both.
Lucky for me, I have a couch companion/nurse/worrier that knows how to make me feel, if not better, at least cared for.

There was a time when I would have been WILD about not being able to do my not so  normal schedule.
But this is the new me, and after a little anguish, I amuse myself, and "allow" myself to stay home.
Oh, my.
That does not mean that I am resting all day.  I do rest, but in between things that make me feel better about staying home in the first place.

So I pickled some red cabbage, an old recipe of my mother's.
If you're English, in her book at least, you eat pickled red cabbage, and pickled onions.
It was pretty easy to make, and since I had cut it all up yesterday and let it sit salted overnight, I was really pretty obligated to finish it.
Now to wait for 2 weeks, until it is "ready".

I had a marvelous weekend though.  I told you about knitting on the bridge over Black Creek on Sunday, but Saturday was a good day, too.
I took a road trip with another friend, "A", to Woodstock, Vt.

For years now, I have wanted to go to the Glad Rags Sale, held at the Masonic Temple twice a year, April and October.
I finally made it.

We had to be on the road early, but it was such a lovely, misty ride.

I am so fortunate to have a few really treasured friends.
That's all one needs, really.
I didn't say "pets", cause they are FAMILY.

"A" and I got a chance to really chat it up.  Friends are those people you can totally be yourself with, and you know they love you, no matter what.
Does it get any better?

We got there at 8:15 a.m., and there were some people in line already.

Apparently, this is a very popular sale.  The clothes are all very nice.  No junk here.

Everyone was very congenial, so the wait didn't seem long at all.

We hadn't been there long, and the lines on both sides of the building started to get longer, very quickly.  Did you notice, everyone has their own bags. They don't provide bags.

 I have to say, that while I love a bargain, and I am a fan of used clothes in general, for some reason I am not fond of shopping in this kind of crowd.  After just a few minutes, I am looking to get out.
Not sure what's up with that, but I can't seem to ignore it.

I did get a few things, and then I waited outside the door for "A".
There she is now.
I guess after lunch, everything is half price.  
But I've had enough.

Off to the Farmer's Market.  Where somehow the crowd doesn't seem to bother me.

Good days, not so good days.  One gets you through the other.  That's my theory.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Trying not to think about the storm that is I am sure so many of you are.

Just a note:  
She has worn this since she got it.  Glad I'm not going to be the one who has to iron it.
Someone suggested that I should make her another one for Christmas.
PLEASE bite your tongue.

I had a great day today.
I think I am learning how to relax.
It has only taken me 65 years.
Talk about being a slow learner.

I think that whatever they did to my brain, was not such a bad thing.

Good friends.
Good food.
A balmy fall day.

We are staying in the moment.

Then, believe it or not, we sat on the bridge all afternoon, and knitted.
We did.
And it was marvelous.
I have not felt so relaxed in a long time.

 Only this time, I am not posting pictures of what I KNITTED, in case certain people who are expecting gifts, might be perusing this blog for INFO.
Just sayin.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Who said Halloween is scary?

Somebody wanted to be a "prairie girl" for Halloween.  Not your usual, but then I wouldn't expect her to be "usual".

All the dresses that we found on line were pretty chintzy looking, so Mimi headed to Joann's Fabrics.

The pattern was a McCall's, and though I expected to pay $11.50, all the McCall's patterns were on sale for 99 cents.
I needed fabric for the hat, and interfacing, but the peach fabric and the cream colored fabric for the dress and the pinafore were part of my bargain shopping in Maine a couple of weeks ago, so they cost under $3.00.
I scrounged the buttons in my button drawer.
So the total cost for this outfit was under $10.00.

The smile on her face:  priceless.   Of course.

 Excuse the messy laundry area.
And the bag of potatoes, since I just went to the grocery store.

 She came for a "fitting", and I only needed to hem it up a bit, otherwise it was a perfect fit.

Now before you say that I am a whiz, please, I have a confession.

It is a SLOPPY job.   I know how to sew.  I can sew.  
It isn't my passion.  So I cut corners, and do it fast, and it could really be a nicer job.

But SHE likes it, and that's all that matters.

Laura Ingalls, eat your heart out.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Normal for us.

The surgery is slipping into its place in history, and things are getting back to what is normal, for us.

I am doing more things that I love to do, like making soup.
This one is quinoa pesto vegetable.   I saw it on Two Peas and Their Pod blog, theirs was quinoa vegetable soup,and then of course, I messed with it, and it became something with a whole new twist.
But I had this half container of kale pesto, well, you know how that goes.

 I liked it a lot, and I think you could use any veggies you wanted.  And anything with pesto is ok in my book.

L, the cat hater, has finished with the "cat house" for the boys outside.  You remember, Nuff (Enough) and Nexxie (Next), who came to the studio as strays, who were found a NICE home a few miles away, then left and came BACK to the studio, where they have now taken up permanent residence?

They sleep in the barn, but they really like the porch.  In good weather, they sleep in their respective rocking chairs, but for cold weather, L made them something much nicer.

First, she dragged this wooden box down from the attic. She painted it white.

You can see it has 4 windows, and a door with a flap.

Only a real cat HATER would put their initials on their house.  Just sayin.

The whole thing is insulated with the sheets of blue insulating board.

And there is a back door, because no cat will take up residence in it without an escape route.
The cord you see is for the heating pad.

Yes, you heard it right.....there is a cat heating pad, it brings the cat's body up to its proper temperature.
They love it.
It even has a little "upstairs balcony".

My question, which has so far been ignored, is what would she have built them if she actually LIKED them?????  I can't even imagine.

I have been putting a warp on the Schacht, for some ruanas.
It took me twice as long as usual, but that's ok.  I'm a work in progress.
Today I wove, and for the first time, it felt right.

I was loving every minute of it, but after a while, I had to admit that enough was enough.  The old neck was complaining, and the new me listened.
Nothing wrong with half days, nothing wrong with a nap on the couch with the heating pad and Roy.
Nothing at all.
Just a new normal.  That's all.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday rewards

I took my mother to the Salvation Army again today....twice in two weeks.......when once a month is enough.  But sometimes, it just works out that way.  My daughters get busy, I was out of the loop for a while, so we do our best to take turns.

She can hear better, since her hearing aid has been fixed, and that certainly improves  living in my house with two TV sets.
And it is easier to converse with her, now that she can actually hear you, and you don't have to get hoarse yelling.
But still, she can be annoying, only in the way that an almost 88 year old rigid English woman can be.
No offense, all you English ladies.  I am one myself.
Though I made a promise to myself a long time ago, that I would fight being "rigid" with my last breath.

Anyway, we went to lunch afterwards, to the same exact place we go every Sunday.......because that is where she wants to go.  
One week, my youngest daughter and I took her somewhere else.  WRONG.  The bread was too thick.  
The soup was too weird.  She couldn't hear the waitress.  blah blah blah.
So today, after taking her somewhere different, running in to get a menu, gritting my teeth when she read the menu moaning and groaning like I was trying to poison her, I turned around and went to the usual.
My drink choice was not my usual.  
I decided to treat myself.   There has to be some reward other than being a good daughter.

And I drank it all.  And it was really, really good.

I think my mother just likes to go to this particular place, because the name of it is Cooper's Cave......and of course, her name is Cooper.  She's funny like that.

I came home, and Roy was waiting.
I wanted quiet.   Serene.   I'm into that, you see.

Come along, on my boring walk.  The only sound was the rustling leaves.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


After yesterday's all day downpour,  the sun today was so welcome.  It got really warm, in the 60's, and the weather was just  incredible.   Then, right in the middle of Roy's mid afternoon walk, the sky turned black, and it THUNDERED.  
Are you kidding me??
And then it poured again, and is still pouring.

You know that since my surgery, I have been slowly getting back into my studio routine.  Or trying to.
But 6 weeks into it, I find that a whole day is still pretty much 'too much'.
Headache, neck pain, general malaise.
And I come home.  I am amazed at how much better I feel today than I did just the first of September, so I am very hopeful that by Christmas, I will be even that much more myself.

But more than that, I have been finding that the studio agitates me.  I get feeling overwhelmed with the sheer magnitude of all my STUFF.   15 looms.  REALLY?
FABRIC..........thousands of pounds.  SOCKS.  LOOPERS.    And on ....and on. Four cats inside, and two cats outside.
Let's not even talk about PRODUCT.  Finished PRODUCT.  It boggles my mind.

So I find myself walking around, feeling like Lucy wrapping chocolates on a conveyor belt that goes faster and faster.  Wondering who keeps turning up the speed.
My daughter says maybe they did something to my brain while they were in there.

Anyway, this morning, I went to the studio, not sure of what to do next.
But when I got there, it occurred to me that I just needed to make ONE room feel NOT CRAZY BUSY.
So I started in the living room.
Then Tammy showed up, and she helped me.

She says that I am finally talking like a normal person.

I just know that I need serene.
I need uncomplicated, not overwhelming.
I need the studio to be what it was when I started out 7 years ago.
Respite. Refuge. Lovely peace.  A safe haven, a place to create and weave.

Just the Hammett in the living room, warped for placemats.  I love this loom, it just fits me.

There are four old chairs in the living room, always covered with fabric of some sort, which is changed periodically to keep the cat hair down.
One chair for each cat.

I am thinking that perhaps my business needs to change, to accommodate having a real life.
My recently revamped brain thinks this is a good idea.

In order to do that, something needs to happen.
I am contemplating giving up custom orders completely.
It's a big move.  It will drastically alter my income.
But it will also free up a lot of time, do away with a lot of worry and hassle.

Secondly, I am going to schedule weaving weekends, maybe four a year, instead of doing them whenever someone calls and requests one. away with weaving weekends altogether.

A long time ago, I told a friend, that if I could, I would just weave what I want to weave, and people would buy what they want.  Period.
No crazy jumping through hoops trying to match fabrics, trying to please customers.

I have realized that there is absolutely nothing stopping me from doing exactly that.  Weaving what I want.  Nothing else.

 Sometimes, more is not better.  I actually spend more money to make more money.   I think I would be just as happy to make half as much, and work half as hard.
I don't now how this is going to play out, but I am just going to downsize and organize one room at a time, until Crazy as a Loom feels like it should.

In my head, there is a list of looms that I know will stay, and a few that won't.  Finally, I realize that I don't need 15 looms.
I just need the right looms.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Yikes yikes yikes

I have been running errands for two days, not getting much else done.
I am not stressing about it, what's the use, right?

When I got home tonight, DH said "let's go to the pasta bar downtown for dinner."
If it involves me not cooking, count me in.
I like to cook, but not always.  Less and less, truth be known.
I like to cook certain things, and I love to bake.

So, in spite of the fact that it was pouring, and had been all day, we headed out anyway.

As we were driving downtown, I saw some smoke that looked out of place.    I slowed down, and saw that the smoke was rolling out from under a porch roof.  I pulled over, and we jumped out.
DH went to the house, pounding on the doors, and I called 911.

They asked me if there were flames yet, and just then, the flames exploded out the front window.  DH made his way quickly off the porch.  It seemed that no one was home.

 The firemen were there in 2 minutes.  I couldn't believe their response time.

Can I just tell you that fire is the most frightening thing.  If you have never experienced it, count yourself lucky.
I had a barn that burned to the ground one winter night, while I was home alone in the country.
I have never been so unhinged in my life as I was that night.

All the while, the rain poured down.   And I do mean POURED.

DH went next door to make sure there was no one home there, since it was only about 5 feet away from the fire.
Here he is getting away from it asap.

By the time we got to the restaurant, we were soaked through, and we smelled like smoke.

It was a relief to be away from the bedlam, and out of the rain.  And the pasta bar is amazing.

And a glass of wine didn't hurt, either.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I've been wanting to show you my scar, but I had to wait until it wasn't Frankenstein scary.
It's kind of weird, how I feel about it.
I am not the least bit embarrassed.  No sir-ee.
It's more like I am happy to show anyone who wants to see, as proof, that I did indeed get through this.

Now this picture is somewhat of a fluke, since I took it myself, and only saw Roy after the fact.
He looks puzzled, like WTH??
Anyway, my hair is growing back, except not right over the scar itself, which gives it a strange look.
The scar is about 6" up the back of my head.
DO NOT look at my messy coffee table.  It is my home office.

I finished the two rugs I started last week.  The doctor told me I would be weaving in 6 weeks, and by golly he was right.

At present though, I am doing my entire web site over, and it is kind of my priority for a while, as much as I can stand it, anyway.

Here is my next venture, if you will, from some of the fabric I brought home.

It is going to make the fattest, thickest little rugs ever.  I don't usually use knit fabric, but I am making an exception.

Cause I love it.  And I can.

Still feeling my way around the studio.  Part of me knows what I want there, and yet another part of me vies for the old scenario.........production, business busy-ness, results.
It makes me feel agitated, and since I don't like that, I came home to walk the dog.
Change is good, just not always crystal clear, or easy.
But I have all the time to work on it, that I need.  It's ok.  

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts