Tuesday, September 7, 2021

At last

At long last, I think I've turned a corner.  It's been 10, almost 11, weeks since my total knee replacement, and finally, the pain has dialed down enough so I can sleep more than one or two hours at a time.
I've also realized, just in the last several days, that I am not always focused on my knee.  I forget about it for periods of time.

Heart be still.

It's been a tough couple of months, but I think I can see the light, and the relief is immense.

Oh, it still hurts, but not like before.  And......it's doable.   More and more, it's in the rear view mirror.  


Here's my new cotton warp for towels....Lois and I put it on yesterday, and I'm hoping to start weaving again, on some kind of regular routine, even if it's not for long each day.
I feel that I desperately need some structure.





Just for the record......this stuff is awful.
I was so hoping it wouldn't be, but it is.




The grands were up to visit last week, and the playhouse needed some decorating.




I am still so amazed at how much happier I am with it as a playhouse, than I ever was as a chicken coop.
Relief, it's a wonderful thing, however you find it.


Once apon a time, I had water in this fountain, in the middle of the labyrinth.  The problem was leaves blocking the water flow, water evaporating, and trying to keep the cord to the house hidden.  So I gave it up, and planted a few succulents in it, and they have taken over.

They surpassed my expectations.


Another bit of good news:  I found someone dependable to mow the areas that need to be push mowed, and he's going to do it on a regular basis.   I am beyond thrilled.
Like I said:  relief is the word of the day.



Lately, Sydney has decided that these dogs are getting too much attention, and every evening, she somehow manages to get her very large self up onto the sofa with me.



Naya doesn't mind at all, but Willie has given her the side eye a couple of times.
Sydney is not intimidated one bit.  She says, "I was here first."

Boom.








Sunday, August 29, 2021

I know that some of my friends totally get why I got rid of my chickens, and still, others don't quite understand.  They are thinking, 'if you like them so much, how can you get rid of them?'

It's complicated.  

I got chicks 8 years ago, for my two oldest grand daughters.  Ill advised probably, because they live a ways away, and didn't get to see them much.  The responsibility was all mine, as I knew it would be, but the joy of seeing them experiencing the raising of chicks was rare.

Then in 2020, I got 24 new chicks, and then for the next 12 weeks, the responsibilities multiplied.  Keeping them safe, keeping them warm, checking their butts daily for sticky butt.

But even when they were grown and integrated with the rest of the flock, there was feeding and watering (carrying water) cleaning the coop, and at least 3 trips a day out to them, to let them out, lock them in, get eggs, and sometimes, more, when a squawking alerted me that maybe something was trying to get in to the chicken yard.

The expense, food, grit, bedding.
Finding homes for all the eggs...........22 a day at the end.
Probably eating more eggs than I normally would, just because there were so many!!

Occasionally beating back the rats, that always reappeared.

Beating a hawk out of the chicken run, with a stick.

And always, always, worrying about them, and occasionally losing the battle, when some predator did manage to evade all the barriers I put up.

In the end, with other stressors in my life, I realized that my friend was right when she said, "you need to lighten your load".

It was time.
The first couple of days, I missed seeing them out there, hearing their conversations.

Then I started revamping the coop, making it into a playhouse.

And as the days went by, I felt this enormous sense of freedom, relief.  A lightened load.

I am glad that I experienced them for 8 years.  I have fond memories, but now, my mind is a little less cluttered, I have less worry, less responsibility.  I think that if we listen to ourselves, we know when it's time for change.




Sitting in the hot tub, there are two treetops that are directly in my vision, an apple tree, and a pear tree.   They have some dead branches sticking up into the sky, and I have sat there and pondered how to get them trimmed, and the get the dead stuff gone.
Then I watched, and realized that those bare branches are the perfect landing place for birds, especially the mourning doves, who are a little bigger, and need more room.  They don't have to bypass the heavy foliage, they can just swoop in and land.  Once again, things are not always the way they appear at first glance.


DH plants way too many tomatoes, that he really doesn't take care of once they start producing.
I've nagged him until he has brought bags of them into the house.  I wash them, cut them up, put them on a pizza tin, drizzle olive oil over them, salt and pepper, and roast at 350 for an hour.  When they cool, I put them in gallon bags in the freezer.  
They will be perfect for the weekly soups I make all winter.

Today there were so many, I cooked some down with some onion and garlic, for dinner.




Part of my washer/dryer project involved me moving everything around in my sewing room.
The desk I used to have my sewing machine on was too big and had to go, so I brought down a table from upstairs..........the only problem being that it had a drawer all the way across the front, which made it hard for me to get my legs under it.....and impossible to use the knee apparatus that raises and lowers the presser foot.
So I took the drawer out, sawed off the supporting board, went to Joann's with a coupon, and bought that little rolling drawer unit, for all the minutiae that was in the drawer.

It works, and didn't cost much either.



Goldie never gets much mention, but he's a really nice boy....he's lived here for years now, and he seems really happy.
He picks the craziest places to sleep, and this box is his latest.



But a chair is always nice, too.




Moving the washer and dryer, has snowballed into other things.......mostly down sizing and reorganizing my kitchen.
There was a cupboard on the wall to the right ......that got emptied and removed........
there was a free standing cupboard under the window, blocking the heat vent, and that also got cleaned out and is gone.

Now I want to swap these two out....put the fridge on the right, and the cupboard on the left near the back door.   Since there is an ice maker in the fridge, that occasionally works, I am going to have to have my plumber come and do it.
That's for another day.



My pantry is not huge, but oh my, it is wonderful.  I can't believe all the stuff I had crammed into the little cupboard space that I had.  

This will allow me to have clean lines in the kitchen, without the clutter, and that makes me 
very happy.






Sometimes I am amazed at how little it takes to make my little world ok.









Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Here I am.


Sorry I have been so absent here.  I have been in recovery mode, and it has not been that much fun, and it seemed to take so much energy.
That being said, I am amazed at what I have gotten done, by simply orchestrating, and getting lots of help.

For a long time, I have seriously disliked my stackable washer and dryer.  They were in a space in the dining room right around the corner from the kitchen, in a place that was built specifically for them.  I never liked them there, and I never liked the front loader washer one bit.  So while I was resting that first couple of weeks after knee surgery, it occurred to me that it might be time for a change.  On one of my first trips to Physical Therapy, I swung in to Lowe's, and bought a new washer and dryer.  ( I didn't actually "swing in", limped/hobbled in is more like it)
They weren't to be delivered until August 3rd.
I put the stackables of FB Marketplace, and soon they were gone.
I had to do some calculating, and moving stuff around, but my new Maytag washer and dryer are now in the sewing room, and I love them.  I took everything out of the storage space, behind the blue insulation board, so I just need to cover that up.


The space where the old washer and dryer were, is going to be a pantry.  I have an old house, with a kitchen that has very little storage, so this will be a great improvement.   It should be happening next week, carpenter is coming.  I can't wait to see it, and show you!


When I stopped being a chicken mama, I said I wasn't going to bother with the coop.  But then I decided to just put a few things in there for my grands, and soon it was a project.  DH took out the boxes and roosts, and cleaned it quite a bit.  Then I paid someone to power wash it.......which turned out to be a wise decision.







So:          power washing $100
                          used Pottery barn table and 3 chairs $50
wingback chair $30
Rattan chair below $25
string lights $20
Dollar store trip  $20
Stick tiles from Lowe's for the floor $30

Those faces ............well, priceless, right ?????




One thing I realized is that I never noticed how much stress I carried worrying 
about my chickens, and whether or not some predator was going to wreak
havoc out there.
What I have realized is the huge relief it is NOT to worry about them.
So I think that this is a great lesson.  We aren't aware of the weight of stressors, we don't 
know how they have impacted our lives, until they are gone.
The absence of stressors is keen..........and a good thing.   I need to remind myself of 
this often.

I admit to a bit of online shopping during recovery mode, to amuse myself.......this is a mini electric spinning wheel........which I have yet to master.  I'll keep you posted.




My appetite is still not right, after 2 months.......I can't explain it.

This pizza that I made last night, was very good, but I could only eat a little of it.

Food is a mystery to me still.

The pizza........pesto, then some fresh, uncooked spinach, then slightly sauteed mushrooms and onions, then feta cheese and a little garlic powder.



My knee is better.  It still hurts 24/7, and it's still swollen, but I can do most of what I want to do, within reason.  I can't walk long distances yet, and riding in the car a long time isn't fun. PT is a mix of feeling stronger and being tortured, yet I still look forward to it.
I am determined to get past this, and I know that I will.  The hard part is keeping a good attitude, and staying positive, when your life is not the same.  We are such creatures of habit, aren't we???  But reading and planning help me make it through.
We never know what we can do, until we have to.

Above all, it has made me grateful, again, for what I have, and appreciative of so many things that I often don't notice.

Sometimes, I just sit, and listen to the quiet, reflect, and feel myself being restored.

Later........






Monday, July 26, 2021

Riding the dragon

You might notice the new "widget" on the right side of my blog......it's a way to sign up
for email notifications of new posts, from FollowIT..........if you try it out, please let me know if it works, or not.
Apparently, Feedburner, that says I have no followers, is defunct.

Google says I have 466 followers.  So who is telling the truth???

I'm still in recovery mode, even though I am improving daily, I know that I have a LONG way to go.

My good friend, Sue, has gotten me out of the house a couple of times, which I am so grateful for.  We made a trip to the Argyle Cheese Farmer, right here in Hudson Falls, and this ginger pear smoothie is a keeper.  I will definitely be going back for more.






I put the chicken run on FB marketplace, for free to anyone that wanted to remove it from my property.  Of course, there were several takers.  The man who showed up first  is older, and not a speed demon, but a steady worker, and I think he will have it gone in the next couple of days.

Next is to get rid of the fence all around the back yard.  My goal is to make it feasible to mow it all with the riding lawn mower.  Simple.  Clean.  Easy.



I realized that one perk of not raising chickens, is that if Ms. Fox comes 
around my back yard, I won't be worried and freaking out that she is here.



I did attempt to weave on the AVL, and lasted about 30 minutes, before my leg started
talking to me.




The warp was wonky, so I wasn't entirely happy with it, and cut it off, to retie another day.




Number one daughter came yesterday and push mowed the back yard where the barn used to be, with my EGO battery powered mower.




I know that a lot of the periphery of my yard has grown up and looks awful, but I also know that I can't do any of it, so I have to satisfy myself with what I can get done.
This back yard is what I see from my screen porch, and at least to look out and see it all mowed makes me feel good.  I have to give up the rest of it.

I can still hear my little fountain from the porch, and it's amazing how much joy it brings, when it was so cheap and easy to set up.
The simple things, yes???


I still have a LOT of pain, on a daily basis.  I am taking Ibuprofen now, and 
thought that when I could do that, it would get better.  
But not so much.  So yeah, still riding the dragon.

Sleep is still impossible, and I am still napping whenever I can.
I try to keep myself amused with books and crosswords and streaming shows on 
my laptop.  I exercise my knee every day, do PT twice a week, walk around the house, and around the yard, and otherwise, 
it seems like I am just counting days and biding time until I am feeling somewhat 
human and not thinking all the time about the pain.
I know this will pass, and every day is one more step towards that goal.

What I want most right now, besides having the pain dial down a bit, is to be able to 
drive long enough to see these sweet humans.

Because in the end, that's really all that matters.







Sunday, July 18, 2021

Three weeks out

Yes, I am three weeks past my total knee replacement.

I will not tell you that they have been thrilling or easy weeks.  They have not.

This is a painful, and tough surgery.   There is no other way to say it.

But it's doable, and you have to keep your eye on the prize:  a knee that works without pain, 
allowing you to stay upright in your later years.

PT is often torture, but I look at it as a necessary evil to get me where I want to go..

I am not using a walker or a cane.  I am driving myself to PT, which is about 10 minutes away.  I wouldn't want to be driving much further just yet.

I am off all narcotics,  just taking Tylenol, and relying on ICE.  ICE.  ICE.  
And God, I hate ICE.

On the days I don't have PT, I am continually exercising my knee, like every hour.

In addition to the knee pain, I have a screaming IT band up the side of my operative leg, from the knee to the hip.  Apparently, that happens.

To say that I am tired of doing not much of anything would be an understatement.

I read, I do crosswords, I get up and walk around and around the house, I exercise my knee.  I started doing some more greeting cards, a few at a time.

And I nap.  Did I say that I napped???????   Oh, to be sure, I am now a serious napper.





Apparently, most everyone who has this surgery, has trouble at night finding a comfortable 
place for their "new leg".  Thus, sleep becomes problematic.  I sleep in fits, an hour or two here, and there, and the rest of the night is horrific.
So in the daytime, when I manage to get comfortable, usually with ice on my knee, I fall asleep.   Once in the morning, and again, in the afternoon.  And I can't NOT do it,  I'm at the mercy of my need for sleep.
So I just go with it.
I am assuming that my body needs it, so I just acquiesce.

 I've had a couple of epiphanies while I'm recuperating.  Both of them have been brewing in the back of my head for a while, so it's not like they are new.

One is the subject of craft shows.  I had one scheduled for August 1st, and I tried to convince myself that I would be able to do it with a lot of help.
But truly, that's ridiculous. 
Then sitting here with my new normal, at least for now, I realized that I don't want to do shows, now, or ever.  
So I put my canopy up for sale, and some lady snapped it up the very next day.
That kind of puts the cap on that.  
And something else happened that really made it simple.
I had posted on FB that I was looking for suggestions for any shop that might take my collage
cards, wholesale, or on consignment, since I have about 300 just sitting around here.  Next thing you know, a local gallery owner has snapped them up, and taken most all my handwoven clothes, and lots of towels and other stuff.   The best part, is it's about 4 miles from my house.
So that made the decision to give up doing craft shows much, much easier.

The other subject is raising chickens.  
I have been raising chickens for 8 years.
And if you have them, or you have ever had them, you know how much work they are.
My grands don't live close enough to see much of the chickens.  True, they like them when they come, but lucky if that's once a month, and mostly it's longer.
And lately, all I do is spend my time finding homes for the eggs.........

So after weighing all the pros and cons, and really asking myself WHY?   I decided to be done with chickens.

Half of them are gone already, to my friend's husband, who LOVES them, and has given them an awesome home.
The other half will be gone by tomorrow, and they are going to my friend, Laura, who will love them every bit as much.
So I don't have to worry that they won't have a good life.  They will.
And I will have lightened my load, cleaned my plate off a bit, which has been overflowing for some time.



Change is tough, but sometimes, it's the way forward, like it or not.


Every week that goes by is a week further away from that surgery, and closer to getting my life back.
One week at a time.
One day at a time.

Doing what I can, and trying to accept the rest.












Monday, June 28, 2021

finally



After griping and bellyaching about my knee for  the last 8 months, it is finally done.

My knee replacement took place last Friday. I stayed in the hospital once night, and came home the next day.
For any of you who have had this surgery, you know that the pain is no joke........
I am still relieved to have it in the rearview mirror..........and every day it gets a bit better.

I have commandeered my husband's recliner, it is where I am most comfortable.   I only had to promise not to ever say that it's ugly, again.  Apparently, I mention it often.

DH has settled in on the couch with Willie for his evening TV, and I have mastered getting in and out of this recliner on my own.
Being that it has been very hot and humid, I am also very appreciative of our new central AC unit.  Now I'm wondering why we waited so long.

Friends and family have been wonderful, coming over to help me, and every day I can do just a little more on my own.

Will blog more later, but for now, thanks for all the encouragement, and support.

It's a done deal!!!!!!!



Thursday, June 17, 2021

Truth.


One thing I have noticed about getting older, is that it is very easy to let fear and uncertainty weasle it's way into your daily thinking.

Thoughts of "I can't", "I'm afraid to", "it's too hard", "how can I avoid this" and then on to........"I hate this", "it's not fair", "why me?"

None of this is any help.

My oldest daughter repeated my words to me the other day.  She said, "you just have to power through".   Ha!!!!!   I can hear myself saying that to her, and her sisters, on more than one occasion.

Then I got thinking about it, and realized that to NOT power through this old age bullshit, is to go back on all the things I taught my daughters, all the things I said to them, that shaped how successful they would be in navigating this world.

It would be cowardly, and I would be unworthy of their respect.

So POWER THROUGH is engaged.   I know that this will be hard.  I know that I would rather not do it.  But the evidence is all there, that it needs to be done, and I need to "cowboy up".

So onward and upward........less than 2 weeks until my knee replacement.   I will do it.  I will get through it, and I will manage the pain, and the inconvenience and all of it.   It will be good.  I will be happy for it in the long run, and it will make my life better.

Every day, I will repeat these things to myself, and tell fear and uncertainly to SCRAM.  You have no place here.


Some afternoons, we just sit on the porch, me and Naya and Willie, and sometimes Syd.  
If I gently rock the glider, this bonehead falls asleep.


I have been using an APP called Brightmind....it's a guided daily meditation, and so far I really like it.  I started with 10 min a day, but eventually hope to get up to 30 min.  I will admit it, it's hard for me to sit still that long.

In light of how my summer is going to be spent, I have not planted wildly all around my property, like I usually do.  No big bed of squashes, no rows of basil.  Nothing so far.
I did  get a cherry tomato plant for a pot, and a couple of basils, and a dill and a parsley.
That was it.
Pathetic.

I concede.  This will not be one of those years.  As soon as I am able, I will go to the Saturday morning farmer's market, and support local farmers.  That's my plan.

I have managed to keep the labyrinth weeded, without chemicals....just by being persistent, and doing it often.  It may be my walking exercise for awhile.




I have a list of things I have to get done.......I've shopped for animal food.....chickens, cats, dogs, birds........and  next week, I'll shop for food for me, since I don't eat meat, and DH does.

In other words, I have to get all my ducks in a row.  Damn ducks.

The computer that I run Weave Point on, that runs my AVL, stopped powering up.   One duck out of line causing aggravation.   So I took it to a local computer repair place, and they said it apparently was not a big deal.   $99.00, I picked it up, brought it home, and it STILL did not power up.  So on a whim, I dug out an old monitor I kept in the closet, just in case, and sure enough, it came right on.  So it was the monitor ALL ALONG.  Not sure what I paid $99 for.

  Lois and I put a warp on the AVL last week, just because it was all wound and waiting, and I didn't want it lying around all summer.  So now the warp, and the computer, are ready, when I get around to them...which will probably be a while.
It's hand dyed silk, so something to look forward to weaving.




I also had a ton of wound skeins of 8/2 cotton, so I decided to dye them all before my surgery, so I wouldn't be tempted to go and do it when I shouldn't.
Cause I know myself well.

And that's my story for now.......busy schedule until the day.......then I will be on the other
side of it, and that will make me glad.  Thinking about it, anticipating it, is awful.


I will be going to the library to stock up on books.  That's a must.

And there's PT, of course.
Lots of PT.

And I tell myself, the pity train has just pulled up to the station named "SUCK IT UP and MOVE ON."

And so I will.  
I'll keep you all posted.





 










Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Wowza

First off.....the soup recipe is in the tab at the top  of the page......enjoy.

FYI it will not be the same if you don't use the red lentils, they cook and break up differently....makes the soup to be honest.


So here it is, my new table and chairs, I think at least one of my daughters thinks that I have lost my mind, but I love it.



I'm ordering a bigger round rug, this one is a bit small, it should be here Friday.

To be honest, this is more me.......I'm not fancy, just never have subscribed to that, it doesn't feel natural to me.  This is old, used, it has been loved.

It's home.



Just one of the chairs has arms.  The chairs don't match the table, the table could stand a refinish.
I still love it.


Several weeks ago, I started having this pain in the ball of my foot......it felt like there was something in my foot.  Youngest daughter went at it with a needle, but found nothing.

So I've been limping around on it, and it hurts.   A couple of weeks ago, I saw a local podiatrist.  The podiatrist I have seen in the past, is over an hour away, so I decided to give this new guy a try.

Big mistake.

He looked at it, didn't touch it........said, nope it's not a foreign body, and it's not a plantar's wart, which is what I thought it "might" be.  He put a FOAM cushion under my sole in that exact spot, and sent me on my way.

Nurses are notoriously lousy patients,  and I am no exception.  I was not happy.

I limped around another week, and made an appointment with my regular guy, and took the drive today.

Thank GOD.  

It WAS  a foreign body, trying to work it's way out.   He performed minor surgery on it right then and there.  When I told him what the other doctor said, he just shook his head.

It's sore right now, but at least I'm hopefully on the healing path at last.  

And yes, it's the same side as my soon to be replaced knee.   Of course it is.



Spending a lot of time on the screen porch, and I imagine it will really be my friend come July.




My lease was up on my Subaru Forester, so here's my new one.

Driving down the highway today, I thought about how fortunate I am, to have all that I have.

Sure, I have things to deal with, but still.........how amazing is it to   have your own home, your

 own car, money to buy food,  health care, family, friends.



And that brings me to all your lovely responses.   Thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to

 let me know that you are out there reading this blog, thank you for sharing that I have

 somehow touched your lives, made a difference, no matter how slight, inspired you, made you

 feel not so alone,  allowed. me to be your friend.   

You truly made my week with all your kind words.

I used random.org to choose the winner. and the number that came up was number 1!!!!

So the winner is Marsha Melson.   Email me your address.....and tell me what color your kitchen is......and I will send your towel right out.


And no, I'm not going anywhere.  Just think of all the time I will have this summer,  to blog 

 and read!!  It boggles the mind!







Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Giveaway

Every now and again, I wonder why I am still blogging all these years later, and I wonder, is anybody out there, other than the handful of people that I am pretty sure  are still hanging on??

So that tells me it's time for another giveaway.......you know the kind, where all you have to do is comment, to get a chance at something from Crazy as a Loom Weaving Studio........this time it will be a hand woven towel from my collection.

Today is Sunday, so I will draw the winner on WEDNESDAY, the 26th, to give everyone a chance.


These next two photos are from a couple of weeks ago, but they make me happy, so here they are.

They love the hot tub, and I love that you can see the chickens in the background.

I

I swear that my living room is not usually quite this messy, but a 7 yr old, a 4 yr old, and a 1 yr old can change all that in a heartbeat.
And I never mind one bit.  It's worth it.



My neighbor's had a yard sale the other day, and because they had run the country store for years apon years, I wanted to see what they were selling.

I bought a few small things, keeping in mind that I have just downsized my house by over  600 items.  But I just could not resist this.
I love things with lights in them.  It's a weakness.





I also bought their dining room table and chairs, and I will be getting rid of mine soon, but that's for another post.

Today I have a Spinach lentil soup on the stove,  it smells heavenly.

Yesterday, I spent a great deal, ok......all day, trying to convince myself that I do not need this knee surgery.   That changed this morning, when I stepped out of bed to extreme pain.  So I decided today to stop whinging about it, and get some stuff done.


I had my little loom on the screen porch, and I've been occasionally amusing myself making wall hangings.  One of them is sold already, the other is pending.  They were a lot of fun to weave.



I am trying to accept the fact that for probably July and August, I will not be of much use to 
myself or anyone else.  But I know that I have to have this done, if I want to stay on my 
feet, and I do.
My oldest daughter read me the riot act this morning, kind of.  Wonder where she gets THAT from?
She said I need to be thinking about this as a positive thing in my life, and if I decide it is going to be good, and an improvement, and it's going to make my life better, then it will, that whatever I put out there into the universe, will come back to me.

So that's what I am doing.


You can comment on any old thing you like, to be entered into the free towel drawing on WEDNESDAY.









Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts