Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Up up and away

It's been a long 6 months, since my mother's health went south.
And it wasn't her fault that it decided to take that trip a week after I got home from the second surgery to my head.
So to say it's been tough time for all would kind of be understating it somewhat.

On the other hand, I had these last six months to prepare myself for what was coming.   I was also a working RN for 30 years, so I've seen my fair share of death and dying.
I knew what to expect.  I got ready in a hundred different ways.
Last week, the finale LOOMED.

At one point, while my first daughter and I sat watching my mother's breaths, I had a revelation.  I told her that we should start cleaning and organizing my mother's belongings, instead of sitting here morbidly waiting for the end. My mother was in the room, but long past communicating.  She was as comfortable as we could make her.
So we sorted and separated, reminisced and remembered, and it seemed like we were sharing it all with her.  There were times we laughed at the bits of things she had stashed. And lots of times we cried when we came across mementos she had cherished.

 Every drawer we opened reminded us of another point in time, another part of my mother's long life.

We kept a few sets of clothes aside, as if a miracle were going to occur, and all the rest we packed up to donate to her favorite church thrift store. 
At one point, my daughter turned to me, and said " I wasn't sure that this was a good idea, but it has actually been very therapeutic."  A couple of times, family and friends came in, and we were aware that our behavior might be interpreted as a little bizarre.  But we weren't doing it for anyone else , we were doing it because we had to keep moving.  We were doing it because it was our way of processing, and grieving.

By Sunday morning, we were spent.  The place looked great, but we were tired, since we had barely a few hours sleep for three days and nights.  Sunday more family came, and we knew the end was near.
It came, with us holding her, and letting her go.

As we speak, my mother is having her most awesome out of body experience.  She is free at last of that old, worn out body that has plagued her for a long while.

I will always love her, and I will always miss her.
But I cheer for her, because I know she is now without fear, without pain, without hindrance.

Rock on, Momma.   Rock on.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

And life goes on.

The last several days have been pretty much indescribable.  

There is a lot of sadness watching my mother fail a little every day, and a lot of stress trying to take care of her.

But then on the other hand, there is joy.   Pure, unbridled JOY.

Still taking it a day at a time.  Dealing with "what is".

I threw together some crock pot enchiladas, that I just had to share with you.

I started with a recipe I had bookmarked, but soon got a little crazy and did my own thing.

Crock Pot Enchiladas-A Variation.

First I sauteed a green pepper and a large onion, both diced.   Then I added  soy crumbles.
Smart Ground (Mexican style) by Lightlife.

 But if you eat meat, you can add hamburger.

I browned these all together.  Then I poured in  (1)  21 oz can of Bush's  Grilled Beans, Texas Ranchero style.....drained.
 Then I tossed in a can of Rotel  diced tomatoes...........mild.

 Then I added an envelope of chili seasoning.

I put two wheat tortillas overlapped on the bottom of my crock pot. 
I then put 1/4 of the bean mixture on top of the tortillas, and then 1/4 of an 8 oz bag of shredded Colby cheese.
I repeated this a total of 4 times.
Then I poured one can of enchilada sauce over the whole thing.

 Now normally DH would turn his nose up, but it DID smell pretty good, so he said he would give it a try.
Two helpings later, he said, "don't change that recipe in ANY WAY".
That's a thumbs up, for sure.

 I loved it myself, and I bet the leftovers are even better.

 As much as I've had on my plate, and as much as I have facing me, I am still hopeful.

That's the power of  a positive attitude. Sometimes I don't know where it comes from, but  I think I'll keep it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Welcome Baby Dale.

When your baby is having a baby, there are no words.

My family is joyeous.   There is no other way to say it.
My little girl has her own little girl.
 Two little dolls.

Like I have said many times before, no matter how tough times can be,  it is still a 
beautiful life.  There is so much to be grateful for.

Monday, September 16, 2013

For Kate

 A picture is worth a thousand words.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This versus that.

This is one of the craziest, most intense, happiest, and still the saddest, most difficult, and most wonderful, times of my life.
How can that be?

Well, it just is.
My grandbaby, Dale, is soon to arrive.  My heart sings.  I get tearful, and so excited, I can barely stand it.

My mother is leaving us, slowly, but surely, and it breaks my heart.

My surgery is scheduled in a few weeks, at the same time too soon, and not soon enough.

Life is full of so many contradictions, it's hard work sometimes, to sort them out.

This morning, on the way to feed the cats at the studio, before I rushed back home, the contradictions were rampant.

I found myself smiling at a truck in front of me, the man talking to his dog who was sitting in the passenger seat, like a friend.  The man would lean towards the dog, and say something, the dog would lean into the man, as if he were listening intently.
It made my heart glad.  He didn't put his best friend in the back of the truck, to take his chances.  He put him in the front, WITH him.  I could tell that his dog was part of his life, and it made me so happy.

Then I get to the roundabout, where it should work effortlessly, like a dance, cars should glide through the circle, in a sweet slow motion.  But no, some jackass has to gun it through the circle, to get in front of someone he thinks he needs to be in front of.  In an instant, I experience the need to yank him out of his car, and slap him.
You see what I mean??
There are contradictions EVERYWHERE.

I feel that way most days, pulled this way, and that.   Happy, sad, strong, scared, together, clueless.

One thing I do is continue to stay busy.  It works for me.
More donuts, per request of youngest daughter.

 But can I just tell you that it is not good to have these on the kitchen counter.....not good at all.
Good thing that two of my daughters made off with a bunch of them.

 And I am getting ready to put 75 yards on the AVL.  That means that I need 40 spools with 900 yards on each.  That is quite a job in itself.  I think I have 10 left to wind.

I've been picking up free things by the side of the road.......tell me you could have resisted this???

My youngest daughter, the expectant one, said......"do you mean to tell me my daughter is going to get hurt on this thing?"
I said, " I doubt it, you didn't get hurt when you had one."
AND has protective plastic over the springs.  HA!

Roy, well, he is practicing for this next surgery....he is my stay at home nurse for that first couple of weeks when I am down for the count.
He is already SO GOOD AT THIS.

Yup, life is full of contradictions.  Good and bad. 
But in the end, I think that the positives rule.  I have to believe that.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Meet the Help.

Most days lately I have been spending all my time at home, not wanting to leave my mother alone.

But truth is, I need a break on occasion, and luckily I have someone trustworthy that will sit with her two or three times a week.
Today was one of those days.
I got to spend a few uninterrupted hours at the studio, and can I just tell you, it was GRAND.

Tammy ( my apprentice before Lois) and Lois, were working on a 7x10 Walking on Sunshine rug.
L and I made two that size, one to Montana, and one to Oregon, but it doesn't make my neck feel real good, and makes my headache worse, so they are doing this 3rd one, which is actually Tammy's WEDDING PRESENT,  without me.
It's a BIG JOB.
Much to their dismay, I videotaped them at work, so you can see what a job a rug this big really is.

Don't they rock????   Really????

Oh, btw, Lois is NOT  a midget...but she is doing the side that I usually do, and I'm tall.  So in order to REACH the treadles, she is sitting on a tiny little stool.  It's awful to be short.

Right, Chica???
Happy Anniversary to Tammy and Shawn!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yes, I'm bad.

I refuse to say "My bad" because I think it sounds ridiculous.  It's bad English.  And deep down in my heart, I'm an old English major.
Good grief.  I refuse to give in to nonsense like that.  What ever happened to just good old swear words.
You know the ones I mean.
My father used to be a "sailor", in the United States Navy, and he knew how  to swear like one.
Today we  string words together in a silly way, and expect people to smile and understand.

But I apologize, for my absence.
Here's the truth, because you know I'm going to tell you the truth.

I have had incredibly tough headache days, where I was banned from approaching all the bridges in the surrounding area.

And my mother is dying.
Is there a nicer way to say that?   Maybe, but that's what is happening.  Her heart is failing, and Hospice is helping us help her through whatever time she has left.
So my children and grandchildren have been here a lot, and it's been a little hectic.
I have only been to the studio for quick visits here and there.  Lois is holding down that fort.

I have been home the rest of the time.
When she rests, I take Roy for walks around the block, or I sew for my grandgirls.

The jean skirt from an old pair of jeans is on YouTube, just google it if you want to make one.

The skirts with the fabric on the bottom are just something I whip up, I measure the fabric to be TWICE around the bottom of the jeans where I have cut them off.
Then just measure the length you need.
Very easy.

They're fun and different, and I love making them, especially because I know that soon they will be older and won't want Mimi to make them skirts.  They won't be "cool" anymore.
So I love doing it NOW.

 I have a SKYPE with my doctor next Friday.  The 13th.  Yes.   Perfect.

This morning, I woke up and knew right away it was a better day headache wise.  Hallelujah.
Only a 6-7.   I wanted to cheer, and dance, but I knew I should be careful.

Youngest daughter came, and while my mother slept, we decided to make GLAZED PUMPKIN DONUTS.   I found the recipe over at Shine's Thyme.    I'm not sure if I should thank her, or throw rocks at her.
OMG, they are so GOOD.  And they had to be tested, you just know they did.

 We made a mess, but it was fun.  It was just the kind of diversion we needed right about then.


I think that as a family, we just need to spend time together, and we have.    It's good, for us, and for my mother.

We glazed some, and we left some plain, and we shook some in sugar and cinnamon.

DH kept appearing around the corner to STEAL one.

 So yes, I'm ok, in the broadest sense of the word.
I am doing one day at a time. 
I keep trying to remember that right now is really all that I have.
Right NOW.
Which I think calls for a donut.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Glitches and dessert.

Summer is over, right??  You wouldn't know by the humidity is northeast New York.  I have been pacing myself, and it seems to be working out.
In the mornings, I get myself moving, and go to the studio.  I have been working on the AVL, plugging away on the red warp, weaving towels.
I re-pegged it yesterday, for a new pattern.
I am really liking this one.

My goal is to finish this 25 yard warp, and put a 75 yard warp on the AVL, before I have to do anything about my head.  That way, I will have a towel warp to work on all winter long.

When I first saw pictures of the AVL, there was a light attached to the loom.  Unfortunately, it didn't come with the loom.  I have searched for a light that would clamp on and do the job, but I haven't had much luck.  I even took the picture of the loom with the light on it, to the lighting store.  They had lights that would work, that were very expensive, but nothing that resembled what I wanted.
Finally, I emailed the previous owner of the loom, and asked her if she would sell me the light that she used on the loom.
She graciously offered to just send it to me, said she should have included it with the loom in the first place.
It finally came!!!
See how it just slips over the castle!!!!

 It looks like it was MADE for a loom.
This loom.

 Here it is, how simple!!!!  Made by Electrix, and impossible to find.

 Thank you Elaine........I hope you like the thank you gift I sent you in the mail!!!
Gee, I wonder what it could be.

Now just this week, I have been having LOOM PROBLEMS.
Very disturbing glitches with the AVL.
It kept missing harnesses, and I had to keep going backwards, taking out my weft, and starting again. 
It was getting tedious.  So today, I got the manual out.
See on the left, where it says "one or more harnesses that are supposed to raise, don't"??
And then next to it..........left treadle isn't being pressed all the way down?

OK, here's the deal.......the right treadle raises the harnesses, and the left lowers them.
But it is 'easy' to allow your left foot to just "ride" other words, just to let the left treadle fall, and not PUSH it down with your left foot.

See far right, where it says.........concentrate on getting both treadles all the way through their travel???

So I wove a towel, and I paid attention.......down with my right, and DOWN with my left, instead of free falling..........and guess what, I had not one problem at all.   All the harnesses raised exactly when they were supposed to, and it was perfect.  
I love it when the problem turns out to be simple, and fixable. 
Maybe this time my head will fall into that category.  For once.

Sometimes in the afternoon, when I come home to rest my head, I eventually decide to bake.
It just makes me feel better.
Last week, I made a chocolate zucchini cake.  It was the darkest chocolate, and as decadent as any dessert I have ever eaten.  I used Hersheys DARK chocolate powder.   I should have taken a picture of it, but we were too busy eating it to care.  Sorry.

Today, I tried another recipe, Almond Zucchini cake.  And this one was hands down the BEST.
I can't even describe it....moist and delicious.  I suggested to DH that we just cut the cake down the middle and pig out..........but in a moment of clarity, he declined.
He did say it was his favorite dessert EVER.

You can find BOTH these recipes on my recipe board on PINTEREST.  See the link above right.
You won't be sorry, unless you eat it all.
I had a super huge piece, but I walked 4 miles first.

I may have to freeze some zucchini.
Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts