Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Small successes.

I admit I have been overthinking this new dog in my house.

On the one hand, he is the sweetest thing, and I'm already falling in love with him, and on the other hand, he has issues.
There is a little voice in my head saying "WTF?   you did not need a dog with issues."

But then today, on the way to spend the day with my youngest daughter and her two little ones, I had a long talk with myself.

Earlier in the week, I had decided to take both Naya and Willie to a local doggie day care.  I had heard very good things about it, and figured that it was something that both they, and I, needed.  So even though I was very nervous about it, I signed them up.

 I dropped them off at 8:30 a.m., and felt like the worst doggie mother in the world, talk about guilt;
I picked up bagels, and headed down the highway.
And I said to myself, we need to talk.

The upshot was this:

I can not send him away, to another kennel, or to someone who will crate him all day while they work.
Truth is:   no one is going to give him as good a life as I will.  O.K., he has some issues.
We've worked out the walking issue, now we just have to figure out how to address his separation anxiety.
This morning, he busted out the screen on the screen porch, when I had the audacity to leave him to feed the chickens.

That being said, he's only been here a week.  Good God, give the boy a break.

So right then, I committed myself to figuring out how to acclimate him to the crate, and reassure him that I was not leaving him, that he was safe, at last, safe.

I called the doggie day care about noon, and they said everything was fine.  I was worried.

But when I picked them up at 4:30, and got the report that they were both fine all day, and welcome back anytime.........I was somewhat relieved.
In the car, they both promptly fell asleep.  Willie actually snored with his head on the console.

We walked in the house, I fed them both, they were ravenous.  Then something occurred to me, and I walked him over and nudged him in his crate.

He is still there, asleep, 40 minutes later.  When he wakes up, I will let him out, but right now he appears comatose.
Crating him when we leave will solve a HUGE problem.

So apparently, talking to yourself can be a good thing.
Who knew???
I think sometimes I just work myself up for no reason.  Or maybe I have reasons, but they have nothing to do with the problem at hand.

Anyway, I read this on FB, and it was so appropriate.

I'm paying attention.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

On a roll

I do seem to be on a roll, posting more often.

I can't actually explain why.

It just feels right.

Since adopting Willie last week, I have had moments when I asked myself if I'd lost my mind.
Naya is so easy, and quiet, and sweet.  Not a problem in the world.
Willie........ah, not so much.

He was running loose in the next small town, owned by a family of yahoos that had a bunch of un-neutered, free ranging dogs.  He was picked up by animal control, and languished at the vet's boarding facility 5 miles from me, for about 3 months.  His owners were called and called, but they never came for him.
So consequently, he has a few issues.

Let's start with the positives:

He's a total lovebug.  He loves everyone.
He's great with Naya....they play they follow each other around, they sleep.  They eat side by side, and exchange aggression, no fighting, nada.
He loves kids, and he is a prince around them.
He is mostly ok with cats, except when he tries to get Sydney to play, which is not acceptable to her.

He is house trained, at least he has not had even one accident.

But the other day, I walked the two of them on the bike path.   He pulled constantly.  I stopped every 10 ft, trying to show him that when he pulled, we didn't walk.  It was torturous.   He was reactive to everything.....walkers, bikers, just everything.  Then a man came along with two small dogs.
Willie was on his hind legs, 46 lbs of crazy.   I held on, he flipped over on his back, got up and went at it again.
Hard to understand his behavior, because he is not aggressive with other dogs at I guess this is just fear aggression.
Whatever it is, by the end of the walk, even though it was cool out, I was sweating.

My neck! my knees! my back!  I felt like I had been in a wrestling match, and I surely did not do well.

So I went to the local pet store, had a long conversation with one of their employees, who is by the way a dog trainer, and I bought a prong collar.  I know that a lot of people say that they aren't good, but I have used them before, on two pit bulls, and had great success.
And, I was desperate.
I want Willie to have a home, and a good life, but I can't have him yanking me around, with my fused neck.  It has to change.

So yesterday morning, L took Naya, and I took Willie, with the prong collar on.

From the moment we got out of the car, he didn't pull.  He felt it on his neck, turned and looked at me, and he got it.

Here he is, and you can see how the leash is slack.  We had a nice walk, and he didn't pull once.

Well, until the GOOSE walked out to the road.  He did get a little upset about that.
But even so, I was able to control him, and keep him in one place.

I feel very relieved about the whole thing.

Now the only issue is his separation anxiety when you walk out the door.  
But hey, one problem at a time.

The other day, I had a sewing day.   The finished woven pieces were calling to me, so I worked
on finishing them.

Here's a möbi shrug.

A Mickey cape with wool inlays.

A ruana in mercerized cotton, with fringe.

And another Micky cape, in cotton and rose yarn, hand dyed.

It was a very productive day.

Yesterday, I put a warp on the David, sick of seeing it sitting there bare.

I really love that loom.

I tried several wefts, until I finally found one that moved me.

I'm still occasionally playing with my fabric/weaving waste collages.

And I'm still loving it.

Cooler weather has made me more ambitious about planning weaving projects.
I love the fall, and I'm looking forward to it.

I was upstairs winding a warp, and when I was done, these two were on the stairs waiting for me

It's nice to be loved.

For sure.

Friday, August 23, 2019

August is almost over.

I finally got this piece off the loom.  The warp is hand dyed silk, the weft is hand dyed cotton hemp.
It turned out to be quite lovely, and I'm happy with it.

That's always a good feeling.

I must say that I have not gotten as much done this last couple of months, as I usually do.  The humidity has really bogged me down.

Sometimes you just have to be ok with that.

Remember my cardboard cut out on my sewing machine........well, it worked, but hey, I decided I deserve something more permanent.
And here it is, custom made for my machine.

It's called a Sew Steady table, and I LOVE it.  $199.......a helluva lot cheaper than a $2000 sewing machine table.

Willie has passed the small children test with flying colors.

He loves them as much as they love him.

They aren't allowed to sit on the dogs, or make them uncomfortable in any way.....unless being petted and scratched continuously might be considered  upsetting.

While they were here, Dale asked me to make a doll for her crib.   So I cut out a shape, and sewed it together, and stuffed it with some cut up quilt batting I had laying around.   Then the hole had to be sewn by hand, and she insisted on doing it.

My friend Alice had stopped by, that's her hand on the right...holding the seam together.......while Dale sewed it up.
I have to tell you, she did a really good job.

And the love the photo, it says volumes to me.

Someone thinks that my ottoman  is for sitting on.

They each find their own spot, then sometimes they swap places.

They always look so comfy.

There have been a few times this week, when I have wondered if I might have lost my mind, adopting such an energetic dog.
Then I happened to read his paperwork from the vet, and it said that he was 18 mo to 2 years.....not 3 years old like they told me.

No wonder.

But whatever reservations, or worries, appear in my brain, when I see these two together, I know that it is ok.

They play, then they sleep....then they play some more.

He is kind of tough on the end of a leash, but I know he will come around in time.
It will just take work.

And his personality is very special.  He is one big MOOSH.  He loves to be held and touched and loved.

It's only been 4 days.   I know that in the weeks to come, he will learn and adjust and grow.

Willie is a part of this pack.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Willie and more.

My daughter brought me a brand new puzzle.  Apparently, no one at her house was interested.

It was a challenge, but probably good for my brain.

But now what?  Tear it apart and pass it along?  Or seal it and use it
on some table top somewhere in the house?

Along with the humidity, that is miserable, there are some things about summer that I do love.

One is watermelon.

And the chickens love what's left.

Another thing is gazpacho.   I used to think that cold soup sounded ridiculous, until I tried it.
It's an explosion of freshness and summer in your mouth.
I love it.

This is Ina Garten's recipe.
I don't own a food processor, I've given away every one I've ever had, so I use the Kitchen Aid blender that I got free with points from my credit card.
It works just fine.

In the studio, I've arrived.

That's what I call it.

You wind the warp, you dye it, you put it on the loom, thread it, sley the reed, 
dye the weft, pick out your draft, and you're ready.

You're not really sure how it will turn out, so when it ends up like this.....
well, you've arrived.


Every morning I plug in my festive little light string, over my retail display.
I just bought this string of little globe lights, after my last string died.

It makes me happy to look at them.
That's just enough reason to do it.

Yesterday we went to the vet. Naya had to have her heart worm retest.

We were also there picking up our new family member, Willie, a stray who
has been kenneled at the vet's for 3 months now.

He has the exact same brown spots on his ears as she does.
He is about the same age, maybe a year younger.

After the initial 20 runs around the dog yard, they eventually settled down.

He likes to be touching someone at all times.

I know that Naya is going to be a bit jealous for awhile.

But she does like him, and they do get along well.

Everyone just has to adjust.
And we will.

I am so glad I didn't go out and buy a new couch, like I was considering a month ago.

Someone likes to make a huge mess.

He is thin, but hopefully will gain a few pounds

We just went for our first walk........just up a back road near the house....because Willie has never been on a walk in his life.
So it was an interesting time.   He pulled, he yanked, he about took me off my feet.

Little voice in my head saying, "Are you serious?  Getting a dog this young and strong at your age?

What were you thinking?"

Then I remember, that first month with Naya.  She was horrible on a leash, had no clue at all what I wanted.
So I told myself to calm the hell down.  Take it one day, one walk at a time.

It would be easier if I had a walking companion, one dog each, but for the most part, I'm going to
have to do that myself.

Which, in the scheme of my life, with DH ailing, is what I do every day, all day, anyway.

So, I tell that little voice, "Get over it.  Get on with it."

By the end of the walk, he was actually trying to keep pace with Naya, who is a good influence on him.
I may, however, have to get him an EZ Walk harness.  We'll see.

Bottom line, he is saved.

I will give him as good a life as possible.

Because I can.

Score one for all that's good.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Well, well, well.

That post certainly woke some people up.
I put a link to it on my FB page, something I don't usually do.
It certainly stirred up some conversation.

It's amazing to me how the supporters of this craziness respond to any criticism
at all.
Any factual information.
Not things anyone has made up, but things that POTUS has actually said, or done.

They immediately get defensive, and then shut down.

I thought a lot about that, and decided that the reason that they have to shut down, is because they
can't let their heart, or their conscience, get involved.
So closing all the doors, ASAP, makes it possible, apparently, to ignore what is public knowledge.

You know why????
Because you can fool your brain, sometimes, a lot easier than you can fool your heart.

Your heart, even when you won't admit it, knows.
Your heart knows.

And likewise, your conscience knows, too.  What's right, what's wrong.

It's like me when I come across a FB post about cruelty to animals........I either whip right on by it, or I delete it immediately.
Because I can't stand it.  I know it happens, but I can't look at it.  I will be up all night, worrying it like a hangnail.
I know that I do what I can, saving cats, adopting dogs, supporting rescues.
But I can't see the horrors.  It's too much.

Same thing happens when you talk to one of his supporters.   They can't look at it.

If they do, they will have to do something, and for some reason, some belief, some pressure, some fear, they don't feel that they can do even one thing differently.

Partisanship....such an evil parent.

OK, enough about that.  
Thank you for your comments.....yes!!  Vote!!!!  Standing!!!!!!   Women power!!!!!!

I know I'm not alone.  And that's a good thing.

So I've been making a lot of cards........and I'm still having fun.

Who knew that all my scrap fabric and thread could be so useful?

Even the waste off the serger, gets used.

It's amazing.

For those of you interested, I start like this, making a lasagna type layered mess.

I started out using Solvy, a water soluble thin stabilizer.  I put it on top of all this, pinned it in place, then quilted over the whole thing on my sewing machine.  Then I put it in hot water for 15 minutes, and the Solvy dissolved.

I then washed the piece, dried it, and ironed it.

And it looked like this.

But today, the humidity was brutal, and I imagine that was the problem.  I couldn't seem to quilt across the was just too sticky.
So annoyed, I took the Solvy off, and tried quilting it without the stabilizer.
I had to go slow at first, but it did work.  It required a little patience, and focus.
But it worked.

In fact, I think I am going to dispense with the Solvy altogether.  I think I like that the $$, and not use

I have already ditched the glue that I was originally using, and now I'm sewing the collages and the quotes to the cards.
Simplifying the whole thing makes so much sense.

I have to share this, because it makes me so happy.  Penny, the dog my daughter and her partner adopted, has quickly become a part of their family.

Yesterday my daughter texted me that it looked like Penny was going back to the shelter.

With this picture.

Yeah, imagine that.

Can you stand it???

I love it so much.

Penny, you've hit the doggie lottery, as I'm sure you know.

I made some zucchini muffins today.

And pickled some beets.

Then I walked Naya, but it was miserably hot and muggy.

I'm convinced that we are each responsible.
For our own happiness, on a daily basis.
For our conscience.

For the health of our souls......the kind you nurture every minute.

I know for myself, I have to try to  be the best version of myself that I can be.
Not perfect, no.
But the best that I can do.
I have to stand up for what I believe in.
Speak out, speak up, stand up,
for as long as I can.

Otherwise, why am I here????

Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts