Crazy as a Loom

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Some Favorite Things

I am not usually a fan of doing consignment, but this spring  I was asked if I would like to put my hand woven goods in a new shop in Hadley, NY, and for some reason, I said yes.

The ladies who opened it are very nice, and I sensed a lot of good energy, so I decided to give it a try for 6 months.

The other day, Lois and I took a ride over there to restock, since some of my things had already sold.

Loving my rug hanging over the railing.

They have done wonderful things with their space.  I saw it when they first started, and I am very impressed with what they have done.

Lots of Adirondack gifts, everything hand made.

When we left, we stopped by the river.

It was really a perfect June day, and a lovely day for a ride in the mountains.

 We really should do this more often.

Lois treated me to lunch at the Upriver Cafe.

We ate on the porch, overlooking the river.

I had a fantastic salad, blueberries and strawberries, candied almonds, goat cheese, beet ribbons, over arugula, with a  poppy seed dressing. 

I guess we should get back to work.  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

All the new s that is news

 Lois's brother has pumpkins and corn  planted across the road from the studio.....I walk Roy down around the field, so he can mark the trees all around the edges of it, to keep the deer away.
Can you see my house up by the road??

We call it Roy's "job".  He's very good at it.

Then we cut through to another field, by the firehouse, and walk around that one.
 It beats walking on the road.
And now that Roy is getting older, he can't take the long walks we used to do.
Let's face it, we're both getting older.

I had this old cupboard that I took out of the house, DH and I put it on the side of the chicken house.
Since it's near the garden, I thought it would  be a good place to  store garden tools and such.  I was worried about it getting wet over the years, then I saw this window well that had been hanging around since my first renovations here 10 years ago.  And voila, it fit perfectly.  It kind of looks like it was made for it.

My E-lift finally arrived.  With the help of my neighbor and friend, JOSH, it is finally operational.
It took a couple of hours to get it on the loom, then he came back the next day to tweak it a bit.

I absolutely LOVE it.  I am so glad I went for it.   I think my HIP likes it, as well.
This means I will be able to weave until I'm 90ish.
That's what I'm talking about.

I found a draft I really wanted to do, so I spent some time re-pegging the dobby bars.  Me and a glass of wine.

I think it looks like clamshells.

Of course I tried it in black.

One towel ending, and another beginning.

Sadly, I got to the end of the warp, so tomorrow, we'll be putting on another 100 yards for lots more clamshells.
Do you like them?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Putting on the brakes.

Sometimes looking back is good.  It is especially good if it is illuminating in some way.

I realize now that for the worst of the 3+ years I had the monster headache, my brain was a bit more than scrambled.  I remember thinking that I had to move to Maine.  I was a bit obsessed with it for a while. Not that I don't love Maine, I do.  But I wouldn't move there, when my family and friends are here.  I would visit, vacation, but not relocate.
Yet for a time, it seemed the only logical option.
Now I know, I was just trying to find a solution to my pain, a geographical one, to be sure, that would not have really helped one bit.  But when you are in relentless pain, you don't see that.

I also am quite aware, now, that I gave a lot of lip service to slowing down, cutting back, and generally not pushing myself on a daily basis.  I know that it was just lip service, because now I am really doing it, and I know how it feels.
I wasn't doing any of it back when I was talking it up.  I wasn't "there" yet.
I am now.

As we get older, we have to adjust, adapt, and somewhat reinvent ourselves.  Our bodies don't do, nor do they want to do, what we have done in the past.  That's been tough for me, I admit it.
But acceptance of a different stage of life is not that bad, really.  It definitely has its perks.

 Like helping baby Dale climb her first tree.

Or taking Roy for a leisurely walk down a path we've never been on before.

Weaving a little M's and O's.

Oh, joy!  Getting my E-lift installed on my AVL, at last.

And getting back to weaving on my towel warp.
Hip be damned.

Wondering if I will ever make the move to a computerized loom, or if pegging my dobby bars with a 
glass of wine will be enough for me.

Making a gigundus salad from my Farmer's Market foray.
And eating LOTS of it.

Yes, there are so many perks to slowing down.  I am trying to enjoy them all.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday check in

I see this old barn every time I take Roy for a walk.  It makes me sad that it is so neglected.

I have been taking it pretty easy, still getting settled, figuring out this new "semi-retirement", and basically enjoying the process.

On a medical update, I don't think that the gin and raisins are a viable option for decreasing arthritis pain.
Not to mention that they are disgusting.

I have been going for my osteopathic manipulative  treatments for the last month or so, and the incredible news is that my headaches have decreased in severity 50%, and some days even more than that.
To say that I am 'over the moon' would not do my feelings about this any justice.
I am amazed, grateful, relieved.  It's been a long 3 and a half years.
As you who follow me here, know all too well.

So on my last OMT, my doctor said, I think you should try a gluten free diet for 6 weeks.


Yes, he thinks that it will help my persistent stomach issues, and more.  In fact, he said he is 98% sure that I will feel better on many levels.
And because I love him (how could I not?) and trust him, I said OK.

I've been on it 7 days today.  One week down.

 It has definitely been a thought process.

 I have had to shop with it in mind, and cook with it in mind.
And of course, I already don't eat meat, so this really complicates things.

This is my meat free, gluten free, burrito bowl.
It was delicious.
Brown rice, sauteed red peppers and onions, black beans, cheese, lettuce/tomatoes, avocado, and a little salsa.

I figure if I could deal with a headache for over 3 years, I ought to be able to do a gluten free diet for 6 weeks.
And if he is right, who knows, maybe it will be a way of life.
I'm open.

This weekend I started some 2'x6' runners, here is the first.

I love the vibrant colors.

 And you know me and color.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


The big news in the "north country" as we call northeast New York, is that two convicted murderers have escaped from a local maximum security prison.
Prisons are big business up  this way, in fact, they employ a great number of people around here.
As you know, I worked in one, Great Meadow Correctional Facility, for twenty years, as a nurse.

The convicts escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility, in the little town of Dannemora, NY, not far from the Candadian border, and 2 hours from where I live.
Somehow, they managed to get the power tools necessary to cut holes in the walls behind their beds, access the pipe chase between the two rows of cell blocks, climb down 6 stories, cut through a double brick wall, cut INTO a stainless steel pipe, crawl a long ways through the pipe, and cut OUT of the pipe, and up through a manhole that was chained closed.
Incredible, for many reasons.

Where did they access the power tools?
Why didn't anyone hear them, because they did not do all this work in a day?
How did they know the layout of the bowels of that prison?

I have been on those cell blocks,  the old prisons are almost identical in the way that they were built.  The cells are 5' x 9'.  Where on earth do you move the bed, so that you can cut a hole behind it???
There is traffic up and down the walkway, or "company" as they call it, all day and all evening long, correction officers, medical staff, counselors, and more.
It is inconceivable to me, that they could have done this without someone hearing them.

It has come to light, that a woman in her 50's who worked there, and supervised BOTH inmates in a tailor shop, has been found to have assisted them.  They found calls on her cell phone to one of the inmate's family.  The morning that they escaped, she presented at the hospital in a panic attack and got admitted.  She finally confessed that she was supposed to pick them up, but changed her mind at the last minute, if you can believe that she didn't take them somewhere first, and THEN have a panic attack.
She should have been in a panic LONG before that, in my opinion.
I have heard people say, "how could she get involved like that, with a prisoner, and especially one with such a violent crime?"
(One of the inmates killed a sheriff, and the other killed and dismembered his boss.)

It's actually quite common.  Women, by the droves, get involved with incarcerated felons.  Some of them knew the men before, and some of them answer ads in the newspapers and start a relationship, or some "friend" hooks them up.  It is crazy, to most of us, but perfectly reasonable to the women who do it.  They often end up marrying them.  Women who work in the prisons, who get involved with inmates, lose their jobs, often their families, and certainly their reputations.

The inmates have everything to gain.  If you have a woman on the outside, she can send you letters, and packages of things you want, she can put money into your inmate account so you can buy food and stuff from the commissary, and she visits you in the visiting room and breaks up your boring, monotonous life.  She accepts collect calls from you, so you have that to look forward to on the nights that it is your turn to use the phone. And if you get married, you might even qualify for trailer visits for weekend sexual encounters.  What' not to like from their perspectives??

The woman's life suddenly revolves around making this incarcerated man happy, costing her loads of money and time, and emotionally she can fool herself into thinking he is the love of her life.
And these guys are very good at making a woman believe she is everything to them.
What else do they have to do???
One woman who came to visit an inmate where I worked, was shocked when one day she came, and he wasn't there.  His WIFE had picked him up on his release.  SHE had been obsessed with this relationship for a few years, only to find out that she wasn't the only one.
I have seen several women fired for having relationships with inmates, women who were bright and who appeared to have their lives together,  but who gave it all up for "love", totally hoodwinked by a criminal mind.
 A nurse that I worked with became involved with the inmate who cleaned the hospital area, she lost her job, she married him, and as far as I know, she is still waiting for him to get out.  He has been in jail since 1984.   I wonder, still, how she makes that work in her mind.

Everyone in New York and Vermont is on the alert.  The manpower being used to hunt for these guys is incredible, and expensive.
We can only hope that they are caught before they kill someone, because they are certainly capable of that, and at this point, they have nothing at all to lose.

From my own perspective, having worked in a max prison,  I feel the same way about it now, that I did all those 20 years there.  Women like this woman who helped them escaped make all the women who work  in corrections look bad, women who support their families, who take their jobs seriously, women who are strong in their dealings with felons.   She makes them ALL suspect. 

And to be blunt, that just pisses me off.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


I love early mornings.   Sometimes I sleep until SEVEN.  Oh, the horror.   But most often, I am up between 5am and 6am.  After feeding the cats that swarm around me the minute they hear me move, I sit on the couch in my bathrobe, with my coffee, Roy snoring as near as he can get.

The glow of the dawn is amazing in this old house.  I never tire of it.

I email and do my morning HARD word search, the only one I do.   I figure it gets my brain to wake up.  And I read.  And sometimes I just sit and enjoy the light coming through the wavy glass windows.  And sometimes I ponder.

Yesterday I went back to the house we lived in for 11 years, to help DH put the stairs into the pool.   Today is the OPEN HOUSE, and I am crossing my fingers that someone will love it.
I don't miss the house one bit.  But then I wouldn't, since I have been in love with THIS OLD HOUSE since the day I walked into it.
I do, however, miss the walking there.  When we were through with our job, I took Roy down to the river, and walked the path between the river and the canal.   It is a beautiful place, and the only thing, really, that I liked about living there.
But since my good friend, Sue, lives over there, I guess we could walk together when I'm in the negihborhood.  The best of both worlds.

In THIS neighborhood, walks are tougher.  Not much traffic free walking, I'm afraid.  Not even much of a shoulder on the roads.  But the views are stellar.

Roy and I made a great find on this walk.

Nothing wrong with it except that it was filthy from being left outside.  Two scrubs with Comet and a brush, and a rinse with the hose, and it is ready for baby Dale.  Just have to get some dishes.

Speaking of which,  my neighbor and Mr. Nuisance Control, was here to eradicate the bee population, to make it safer for Miss Dale, and everyone else.

For ten years, this place has been the "studio", and my place of work.  Five days, six days, sometimes seven days a week, I have come here to work and make my weaving business successful.  I am amazed, looking back at it, how much effort goes into making a successful small business.  For the last FIVE of those years, I have had a partner in crime, in Lois, who has worked hard here, too.

But on April 24th, when the movers brought our furniture here, and we suddenly lived here, something changed.  A lot of things changed.
Most importantly, I think I gave myself permission to semi-retire, to make my own schedule, to be the old lady in the big house that weaves, nothing more.

I find myself here, in the moment, settled at last.
Strange, and beautiful.

How little we really need, when we stop to think about it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Little of this, little of that.

As I mentioned previously, Lois and I are working on a stack of 4'x6' rugs,  here are two of them.
 We have 4 made.
We do half a rug, and quit.  This is our new retirement mode.
We finish it another day, then the next day we start again.

 What is that saying about slow and steady??   
We've had to change it up, since I am the treadler, and I usually work on the right and use my left leg to stretch to the center where the treadles are.   My left hip is still not happy, so we switched up and I am on the left side, using my right leg, and LOIS is the BRAKE operator.   
Which I love, by the way.
She's getting quite proficient at it, I must say.


She's just finised some blue jean rugs, 2'x3', they are also on my web site.  We're going to be doing a lot more 2'x3' rugs, I am liking this size.

Just a few random things:

I have had a porch runner hanging in this spot in the past, and I think I am going to take the old wheel down and do it again.
It needs some COLOR.

Lois' rhubarb is going full tilt, and I am the designated pie maker.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I have a glass of wine, or maybe one of my remaining Kaliks.

I LOVE my screened porch.  Doesn't it look inviting???

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts