Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hi this is daughter number three...

My mother had her surgery on Tuesday morning.  Her two hour surgery took four hours but went very well.  Her doctor removed both bone and scar tissue.  By Tuesday evening she was asking for her book and eye glasses, and a return home on Thursday was looking very good.  But Wednesday morning she began having some back spasms as a result of the muscle manipulation done during her surgery and was in a lot of pain.  So you would think that a Thursday return home was not in the cards?  Well think again... Despite being in pain, though managed some what on Valium and Percocet, she made the five hour trip home today and is resting on the couch with nurse Roy as I type.  DH made her staple mashed potatoes and my Nan is on tea duty.  It may be a while until she can respond to all the lovely well wishes an such as she needs lots of rest but don't worry she will be back.

Oh and the pressure behind her eyes is gone...  ; )


Monday, March 25, 2013

It's time.

Don't have a lot to say tonight.......but I know that you are out there wondering about me.

Tomorrow is the surgery. 8:30a.m.  Seems my brain isn't perfect.
Who knew?

It's going to be a much shorter surgery, two hours, and not six.
And recovery will be easier.
I'm counting on it.
I know you'll all be sending me good energy, and saying small prayers.
And I thank you.
Give me a few days, and I'll be back.
I promise.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

From another POV.

   With my surgical date fast approaching, I am parceling out my time.
I did go to the studio, and did some catching up, but my head that RULES said no weaving today.
No sewing today.  NO LIKE REAL WORK TODAY.
So I listened, and came home.
One of my priorities is to walk Roy every day before I go, even if I have to push myself to do it.

I've discovered, that if opening your eyes widely is painful in the sun, you can really walk with your eyes half mast, as long as you're on the road, and you know where you are.  With my eyes closed, or very nearly, I am most aware of Roy's little BIG feet tapping quickly along the pavement, his tags jingling on his collar, and the sound of the wind in the trees.
It was a cool wind on my face, but not the kind that makes you hurry to get home.  It was refreshing, and good.
We walked for an hour, and now he's snoring beside me.
That was my priority today.
I'm going to hate leaving him, he's somewhat attached at my hip.

Someone said to me the other day......."you're so strong."

Ah, not so much.

The plain, unvarnished truth is that I looked at the situation from all sides.   I  tipped it up, and turned it over, investigated,  googled, stayed up all night worrying. 
I imagined every possible thing that could go wrong, every unbelievable and tragic outcome.
I cried.   I hated it right down to my toes.  I talked it out. 
Then I cried some more.
Then I shook my fist at the sky, and said, "This is not what I expected."

Then, unnerved, and a little disgusted,  I said to myself.  "I need to make a plan."
So I did.
My plan is simple.  To the point.
Just like I learned in AlAnon so many years ago, when my life seemed so unmanageable.  I'm living  it one day at a time.
I do what's right in front of me.  This day.  This minute. This hour.  It's the only thing that really belongs to me. One foot in front of the other.  Living my life like Roy does.
Walking when there's a walk to be had.  Napping when the sun in on my favorite blankie.  Eating when my dish is full.  Life on life's terms.   What a concept.
Worrying about what's coming tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day, is simply a waste of my time.  Worrying won't change one whit of it.
So I refuse to do it.
I am going about the business of living, to the best of my ability right now, one day at a time.
 And I'll do that very same thing, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

I don't have to like all this.
As Sydney says:

"This is a revolting turn of events."

I agree Syd.  But like it or not, I do have to accept it.
This is my life, and my path.
I can only do the best I can do.
One. Day. At. A. Time.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


In spite of 24/7 banger behind my eyes, I refuse to give up on possibility.

I get overwhelmed, it's true. when my 89 year old mother announces that she hasn't had any ice cream in 3 or 4 days, and she feels that she just might go crazy, AND she's serious. when my 9 year old grandbaby calls me to tell me that she had her nose cauterized ( after weeks of nosebleeds) and I tell her that I am so proud of her, and that she is SO BRAVE, and she answers me with: "Now it's your turn, Mimi."

But while waiting in the car at my mother's dental appointment, I put my head back, and dozed off with the sun on my face.
And I had visions of happier times and places. Possibility.
It gave me hope.
When I think about it, there are so many things to be hopeful about.
It's up to me if I don't treasure every single one.
Like the beauty in weaving.

And good friends!
Nice job, Michelle~~!!!!!!  

There is always something that makes me smile.
It's nice to know that I can choose to be happy, even with this pain.
I have monkeys.
I have a fantastic family that loves me.
I have dear and faithful and trustworthy friends........

AND..........drum roll PLEASE..................I can finally go public with the best news of all.
I'm going to be a MIMI for the 5th time.

Here is my little pumpkin.


And here are my little pumpkins parents to be.
Are they not the handsomest couple you ever saw???
Is this not going to be the SWEETEST baby?  EVAH?????

Can you tell I'm psyched??  My whole family is  super excited.

So it's up to me.  Think scary bad stuff?
Or think beautiful, happy, positive, life affirming thoughts?

I got this.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Getting through the week.

I'm moving kind of slow this week.
The headaches are alternately blinding, and "well, ok, I can function a little".
Unfortunately, they don't get any better than that.
I can't take Motrin preoperatively, which did take the edge off.
Hydrocodone, which my GP just prescribed to get me through the week, does not touch the pain, just puts me to sleep.
And that isn't always a bad idea, but since I am anti drugs anyway, it's a theory that's a bit hard for me to swallow.

I have long ago gotten over my need to be productive.  Well, maybe not gotten over it, but at least now I can be philosophical when I'm not productive.

I take comfort in getting any little thing accomplished.  It's humbling.

I decided to have a big "I'm having brain surgery again" SALE.
It's not actually my brain, they are leaving that alone, but my cervical spine is IN MY HEAD.  So maybe I could just call it SKULL SURGERY, to be specific.
Anyway, the sale is a DOOZIE.
You all asked for more loopers, after the last sale when  I sold a stash of chained loopers I had, ready to make rugs out of, for $4.00 per lb.
TODAY, I sent out a newsletter with more loopers on sale.
This time I have SIXTEEN bags of chained loopers, colorful Solmate sock loopers, for $3.00 per lb.
Unheard of, methinks.

Yes, you do have to buy the whole bag, but that is just because L might kill me if I made her weigh out 4 lbs at a time.  Which is why I decided to discount them to this price, to make them even a better deal.
And you don't have to CHAIN them.   It's already been done for you!
What's not to love about that?

Go to my web site Crazy as a Loom and then click on the Sale Sale Sale page, which is right after the HOME page.

I think we might have to come up with a POST SURGERY sale.  Any ideas??
Something to speed recovery!!!

Today, my all time favorite quote came to mind.   I think I would like it to be the first thing I say when I wake up in ICU.  Do you think I can remember this???

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

OK, maybe that's a little ambitious.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nothing but blue skies.

I didn't blog over the weekend.  I didn't have much to say.
I guess it's because I was into my own thoughts, and trying to work them out.
Sometimes, it's just that way.

So yesterday after the obligatory trip to the Salvation Army with my mother, where the pastor made rude and inappropriate remarks about the President of the United States, and I ceased trying to hide that I was reading my Kindle throughout the ENTIRE SERVICE;   I took myself for a ride.

It was chilly, but the sun was beyond lovely, and I needed to get away from all human form.
I needed to be with ME.

I knew what was coming today, and I needed to prepare myself.  There were places I needed to go, and tears I needed to cry, and feelings I needed to acknowledge.
And I did.

Even though it was still winter in the woods, it was beautiful to my eyes.  It was soothing to my soul.

Next week, I am having surgery AGAIN.  This one is a Posteria Fossa Revision, or in other words, a surgery to remove the scar tissue between the rods on my cervical spine, and thus stop the displacement of my poor brain, AGAIN.

So yesterday, I processed all this.
Today, I am being Scarlett O'Hara.  I'll think about it tomorrow.
Right now, I'm knitting, and being in the moment.

 I'm thinking about blue skies, even if they are all in my head.
Pun intended.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


I finally heard about my CT scan, and I can't keep you in suspense.
I needed some good news, because  I have more porch rugs to weave.

 Here is what the doctor said: 

The CT of the spine is somewhat reassuring.  The bone does not seem to be growing.  The bone does not distort the brain or spinal cord on this study.  You only would need a second surgery if you were having a tough time.  You are not in danger.  If we need to do something it would be just drilling out the middle of the fusion mass.  There would be no need to redo the fusion.  While not a minor surgery it would be no where near the stress of your previous surgery.  I will show the films to Dr. Latefi if he is available tomorrow and could call you afterwords if you would like. 
 You can bet I told him to call me tomorrow.  I asked some questions, and I want to know what the other surgeon says, the one who fused my spine.
I am encouraged today. 
I know now that if there needs to be another surgery, they can do it.
And it is also very reassuring to hear him say that it would not be as difficult a surgery as the one last August.

 So tonight, I will take some Motrin for my headache, put some heat on my neck, and pray for some relief.At least there is an answer, and if it doesn't go away, or ease up on its own, there is a fix.

That is a gift, my friends, a real gift.  

I want to grow old(er) quietly, weaving my life in color and texture, one day at a time.

Giving thanks for every chance I get  to do it again.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Post

"Oh, no, here comes a camera.  Now it will start;  first she has to start hamming it up so that Mom
will start clicking pictures of her.
Then the same old line over and over again, "Does this rug make my legs look short?"
She's lucky I'm not Tanya Harding."

I try to ignore her, but it's hard to ignore.........the "elephant in the room"....hee hee........I know I'm
being catty, but I can't help it, you have NO idea how hard it is to live with HER.

"Are you talking to ME?? "

"OR, are you talking about me.....AGAIN??"
Sydney asked with a smile.

 This has been a guest post, photos and text,  by "L" (Lois) otherwise known as the apprentice weaver who does not like cats.
Yeah, right.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Back to the core.

Well, here it is a few days later.
After my last post on Friday, I cried a lot.  I stomped around.  I got angry, and then sad.
I felt overwhelmed, cheated, duped, tricked.
I stayed awake all night, thinking about all the horrible things that might be about to happen to me.
I worried.
The possibilities, the pain, the recovery.  Or the lack of one.

I cried some more.

I asked the UNIVERSE, WHY?
I looked for some meaning in all of it, and came up empty handed.

I had a headache on Friday and Saturday that just about put me to my knees. That didn't help my
I got offended when those close to me tried to pacify me with platitudes, like "everything is going to be just fine."  I wanted my fear to be acknowledged, even if it couldn't be driven away.

Then yesterday, my headache lifted a little. I took a breath.  I tried to find my center.  I tried to push the craziness away.
Today, again,  was more bearable.

This morning, over my morning cuppa tea, I took myself over to Vicky's blog, that I've been following for a long time.
It's HERE.
I listened to her last post, with my heart.  It's hard to listen to her any other way.
I was humbled.

I took Roy for a morning walk, and through even more tears was grateful for more things than I can count.
And I turned it around.
I started thinking about something other than the "what ifs".
I thought once again about that saying that has been my life raft for 20 years now.

"And 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 I 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."
There is more, but that's the first line, and the one engraved in my head.  Along with some extra bone, so the story goes.  (Ha!)  The extra bone is the reality,  that I need to accept as mine, no matter what.

I went to the studio, and got busy.  I refocused to what was right in front of me, because that's always the best place to start.

I cleaned the Living room, and moved some things around.  The clutter  was bothering me.

 I looked at this day, today, and made it mine.

 Then I wove for a while on my towels.  This was my view over the loom.
I listened to classical guitar on Pandora.
I practiced gratitude.  Big. Time.

For those of you who were upset with my doctor, please don't be.
He is a fine surgeon, and a fine human being.
He wanted to do a Skype with me, to save me from the 4+ hour drive one way to his office.
I was the one who said, we don't need to Skype, just shoot me an email.  Enough already with the details. 
I just wanted to know.  That was ME, not him.
Dr. Harold Rekate was the one who looked at my MRI, and identified the problem. It was the same MRI that  I had dragged around for a year, the same one that other neurologists and neurosurgeons had looked at and saw NOTHING.
I don't want another doctor.  Seriously.
You can read about him HERE   He has the kindest face, and when he speaks to you, you know that he really IS that kind.

My CT scan is tomorrow, and I am all set up for our SKYPE appointment afterwards, to discuss the

I read something today that resonated.

It said:     God only gives you what he thinks you can handle.
               Apparently, God thinks I'm a BADASS.

Thank you all, for being out there still, and for holding me so close.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Soup, towels, and news

My new favorite soup.  L and I agree, we could eat it for lunch every day.
You can make it in your slow cooker, but I made mine on the stove.

It's Cannellini Bean and Kale soup, and the recipe is HERE.
You are going to LOVE it.

I was inspired by Sharon over at In Stitches.
She has been a little obsessed by "turned taquete", and now I know WHY.  Her towels are lovely!!

O.M.G.  I love this.

And it's so easy.  Well, threading 480 threads through the heddles, and sleying the reed was a little time consuming, but the weaving is pure joy.  I'm weaving it on the new (to me) Schacht 36.

I have been convinced that the weather was at the root of my headaches post surgery.
Super sure.
Then today, just a while ago, my surgeon emailed me about the MRI that I had on February 22nd.
Can I just say I was not expecting what I read, not even close.
You know I try to keep you in the loop, right?  Cause I know you all worry, or at least a lot of you do.

Keeping it real, even if it isn't always pretty.  You'll have to be content with unrelated pictures of weaving.

My headache has been increasingly disturbing,  to the point where I said to myself recently: "Something's wrong with my head."
And unfortunately, I was right.
My doctor informed me that the bone morphogenic protein that was used to make certain that my cervical spine fused well, has gone a bit crazy and overgrown much more than they expected.
So now I have to have a CT scan to see what is happening with the overgrown bone, and what can be done about it.
So since I doubt that there is any magic wand that can be waved, nor is there any cure all potion, I think the method of "fixing" it is clear enough that I don't even have to say it.

Can I tell you,  I am very, very disappointed tonight.  I can't really even think very straight about it.
It's just too much to digest.
Maybe I'll just go have a good cry.  Then I will kick myself in the butt, and get over it.
I think.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another day and a winner.

Some days you do what you can do.
I coudn't get motivated to work on certain projects that I knew would be problematic, so I wound a warp.
Methodical, routine.  I could handle it.
Sometimes it is good to know your limitations.

These colors moved me.  They make me think of the wall paintings in  my favorite Mexican restaurant.

This is my halfassed hybrid way of putting a warp on from the warping board.
It works.
That's what matters.

It's March.  That means April is coming.  Just knowing that gives me hope.

Until it does, we're one day at a time, here in northeast NY.  Waiting for clear skies, sunshine, warmth.

Cats sleeping everywhere, inside and out.

The giveaway winner of the rug hooking frame and wool is LISA of  Ewes Crazy & So Is I

So email me Lisa, with your address, and I will let you know what shipping is.
Congrats!!!!!  Get HOOKING!!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Everyone kept telling me that yesterday was going to be clear and sunny, so I should look forward to it.  I didn't have much faith.
News bulletin:  my head is not impressed with 3 hours of partially sunny/clear/cloudy 40 degrees, followed by supreme overcast conditions almost immediately.
It doesn't work for me.
I need the skies to clear.  I need the clouds to move on out, and the sun to shine.  That's when my headache is doable.
Heard from the doctor's secretary, who said he JUST read the MRI on Monday, was out of the office on I am hopeful to hear sometime this week.
And tis true, if I was in DIRE condition, he might have called me on his day off. 
Imagine that.

My faith in people is somewhat suffering today.
On Sunday I found a dobby loom on Craigslist, close enough to go fetch, and reasonably priced.  I have always thought I should have one.
So I emailed the lady back and forth, told her I POSITIVELY wanted it, when could I pick it up?
She said Saturday.  I arranged to call her Monday evening to get directions and time and such.
Well, Monday was not a good headache day.  So at 10:30 that evening, I realized I had not called her.
In a panic, I emailed her at 10:36, apologized, said I would call her Tuesday evening, reiterated that I wanted the loom, offered to send her a check to hold it.
So Tuesday evening, I called.  No answer.
This morning, I get an email.

I received your phone call.  Unfortunately, I waited Monday until 9:00 pm for your call.  Since I didn't hear from you, (and I don't know you), I then went ahead and made arrangements with someone else for Saturday.  If for some reason this doesn't work out with her, I will contact you next week to see if you are still interested.
Best of luck.
Well, that just plain sucks.


Dogs don't do that to you.  Cats don't either.  You can depend on them being who they are, no games.
And while I am fuming on the one hand,because I was SO adamant that I wanted it, and since all my emails have my web address on the bottom, so I am easily identified as an "acquirer of looms" on the other I am trying to process the thought that it probably wasn't meant to happen, for one reason or another.
But she could have called me.  Or emailed me, and asked.
I just don't understand people.  I really, really don't. 

So I did errands, walked Roy, and went to get my overdue inspection taken care of.
And as I sat there knitting, waiting for it, the tech came out and said, "Can you come into the shop for a minute?"
I said, "This isn't going to be good, I can tell."
And it wasn't. 
It took $900  to pass inspection.  Four new tires and an alignment.
 I didn't need a loom anyway.
But boy, does my car ever ride nice.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Just a couple of things.

I can't wait to start posting picture of green and sunshine.  I have never longed for spring as badly as this year.
Thanks Peg, for the tip.......I tried to reply, but your email address didn't come up.  I appreciate hearing how other people do things.  Sometimes, you hear just what you need to hear.

 While I was weaving yesterday, I happened to notice that my "neighbor" was tapping out a tune on the tree next door.

 I got all the towels done, got them all on my web site, and TEN of them are gone already.
I am happy that they turned out so well.  And pleased that they are so well received.

 We have some bags of the small loopers, already chained together........50 lbs in all.  I'm going to do a newsletter.....but telling you all first.
$4.00/lb until they are gone.

 They are BRIGHT.
 They will make great rugs!!!

Still waiting for the doctor to call/skype/email/sendcarrierpigeon.  Anything.

But maybe no news is good  news?
I'm skeptical.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another giveaway????

Crazy, I know. 
But those nice people who brought me the rug hooking stuff a couple of weeks ago, came back.
And they brought MORE stuff.

Here is another lap frame, made by Appleton Krafts, a hooked rug in progress, and a large bag of wool pieces, some of them cut.

Yes, I could sell them, but I want to "pay it forward".  They were given to me, because these nice folks felt that if I couldn't use them, I would know someone who would.
So, one more time, I'm doing a giveaway.
All you have to do is comment and tell me what wonderful things you would do with this stuff, if your name were picked.  I will choose a winner on Thursday, the 7th.
You will have to pay shipping from 12839.

In addition to this stuff, they also brought a cutter, a really beautiful Rigby Model B cutter.  I decided to do something a little different with it, because I did some research, and was right about its value.

 It comes on a homemade stand, which is very handy to have right next to  you while you are hooking rugs.

It will make a lovely cutter for someone.

It comes with the blade that is on it, plus five extra blades, and three fingers.
It sells new for $200, and each blade sells for $33.  They are also hard to find new.

I am going to put the whole thing on Ebay starting at  $200, and then I am going to donate the money to Out of the Pits, the organization in the capital district here in New York state, that does incredible things saving pit bulls, like ROY.   Cause Roy is an Out of the Pits alumni!
If anyone is interested in it before I put it on Ebay, please let me know.
It really is a find for a rug hooker.

I think I am done with POINT TWILL for just a is my finished warp....I counted FOURTEEN towels.
I got some cutting, hemming and washing to do.

Sydney says:
I can't help you right now.  I'm busy checking out the backs of my eyelids.

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts