Sunday, November 21, 2021

Changing things up.

It would have been nice to leave the wood siding on this old house, but this is the south facing side, and it began to get a bit expensive to keep painting it.

The exterior paints they make today do not last like the paints of old.  Probably that is because
there is no lead in the paint, to help it to stick to the wood.

But whatever, I cried UNCLE, and parts of my house are now vinyl.



To be honest, standing back from the house, you are hard put to tell the wooden parts from the vinyl ones.  The two sides that are wood, just don't get enough sun to warrant the expense of putting the vinyl all the way around.

I do wonder if my lilac bush will come back, my contractor had to cut a lot of it, to get to the side of the house.  He may have been a bit over zealous.



I really have been enjoying my "come back" to the studio of late......I feel more like myself, than I have since last spring.

I finished my neon yellow towel warp, and I'm using up some lace weight wool that I had already wound on spools.

This truly is my happy place, sometimes I think I don't need much more.



I have also come to appreciate the natural fibers, like cotton, and wool........and the dependable warps that they make.  I am thinking that the man made fibers make good wefts, and simplify my weaving life.



This morning I woke up and decided that it was time to clean the studio.   Not just clean, more like regroup.
So all morning, and into the afternoon, I cleaned, I rearranged, I moved things, I got rid of stuff, I vacuumed and dusted, and then by late afternoon, I decided to weave in my new, clean space.
Of course it gets dark so early, I felt like I was doing some "night weaving", even though I quit at dinner time.

The rearranging has changed the traffic flow, made it seem more open, and less congested.  I really like it.



Of course, the dog beds must stay, that is non negotiable.


All in all, it was a very satisfactory day.   Sometimes, I think that should just be my goal.
Satisfactory.
And that, my friends, can have many presentations.  
It's all in your perspective.




I want to give a shout out to my friend, and fellow weaver, Joanne Noragon, over at Cup on the Bus

She has just recently experienced a revolting turn of events, by breaking her leg, and she now has to muscle through the recovery.   Get better soon, Joanne........and get back to the loom.
Please send her good energy.





Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Meanderings

It comes to mind today, that I am not on my own on this journey of getting older.  There have been times, when I have felt alone in it, that it was just me, traveling this road towards the unknown.  And I will admit it, it felt pretty scary, when I allowed myself to go there.

But just this week, I have had occasion to talk to a few of my friends, who are also
experiencing the same thing..........aging......and the accompanying problems, worries, pains, and fears that go along with it.  I am far from being alone, there is a whole generation of us, in our 70's, headed towards the big 80, an age that honestly has sounded totally foreign until just lately.

I spend a lot more time looking back, than I have ever done before. Remembering people, places, and events that made up my life.


(me and my cousin Billy, 8th grade graduation, he's been gone for 17 years, we 
were born one day apart)


  It brings to mind that my mother was often nostalgic about the past, as she got older.  I'm not sure I understood it then, but I get it now.





I wonder what other people worry about, when they think about getting to the end of their life. 

 I know this probably sounds maudlin to some, but I worry about my dogs. .......  my kids, my 24/7 companions.    I worry that I won't live long enough, and that they will be homeless, separated, not loved.  The thought spirals through my head sometimes, late at night, and makes me physically ill.
I know my real children will be fine.   I raised three capable, wonderful daughters, who are totally in charge of their own lives, and their own families.

But Naya and Willie..........they rely on me.  

I move off the couch, they move off the couch.

I go to bed, they are right behind me.

The bathroom trips.....well, yes, they wait outside the door.....or they come right in given the chance.

Whatever room I'm in, that's the room they're in.

I leave..........Willie howls......and when I come back, they are both jumping up on the back door, taking off what's left of the paint.

I try to estimate the years they have, and then I pray to live at least that long.




Crazy??? Possibly.    
Naya will be 7 in January.......not an exact estimation, but close.
Willie, will be only 4.
I never thought about his age  when I adopted him....he was only 18 months old........what was I thinking???
And now, of course, I wouldn't give him up.

I read an article in the NY Times the other day.  
It bothered me for days, and I still don't like to really thing about it.

This couple in CA had IVF......the mom carried the baby, gave birth, and somewhere along the way noted that the baby didn't look like anyone......skin tone was a little darker, hair was black.......so eventually they had DNA testing done, and found out it wasn't their baby...........and they found out that it belonged to another couple, and that couple had their biological baby.  So after a YEAR, they swapped babies.

I'm sorry, but I cannot wrap my brain around this.

So they are saying that the origin of the sperm and the egg are MORE important than the baby that they have bonded with for a year.  They voluntarily gave it away.
I wouldn't give WILLIE away, or NAYA....you would have to restrain me to take either of them away from me.....but these people gave away their year old babies.  The trauma.....I can't even begin to imagine.  The siblings were distraught........understandably.
Will any of those children ever get over this???

I'm curious what you all think.....am I alone in thinking this is horrendous.
I know my daughter has an 18 month old.....and if someone told her that he was biologically not hers, she would never, ever, ever give him up.

I am not so sure that I like the world we live in today.....maybe that's why thinking about the world I grew up in, raised my children in, all those years of my life before now........maybe that's part of why they look so good, and why I occasionally find myself remembering.
I like to think it was better, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

I guess I'll go to bed, and put this brain to sleep.

goodnight all.















Monday, November 8, 2021

A little of everything.

I know Halloween is long gone, but I am still smitten with my daughter's handiwork.  She made all three costumes, and they were perfect.


Meet Wednesday Addams.  Complete with the "look".
 



And a very happy little ghost.


And this poor little zombie with a knife through his head!!!!!



I spent Saturday with these three, and loved every minute of it.  They completely wore me out.


But I have to confess, that the day after, weaving alone with two dogs, I was thankful for the quiet.





Getting back to feeling pretty productive in the studio.



Right now I'm working on a 25 yard warp of towels.





With the time change, the dogs and I are up at 5:30.   They go out, then they come back in for a little early morning snooze.
That doesn't last a real long time, because there is a lot of bitey face that needs to happen.




They are totally silly, and I have no idea what I would do without them.

This year, like last, was a year of no shows.   I am kind of surprised that it doesn't really bother me.
Sometimes change sneaks up on you,  and I think that has happened to me.  I was forced to slow down after my knee replacement, and getting back up to speed has been slow.
Maybe I will feel differently about shows next year, but somehow I doubt it.  

Outside chores have been about completed, and I'm getting myself geared up for 
the season.    There are always so many things to do.....I am never at a loss to keep myself occupied.

Retirement is time for all those things you love to do, and never, ever had enough time for.

That's where I'm at.   It's a pretty good feeling.

Five months after my knee replacement, finally, this week, I can walk down a flight of stairs like a normal person, instead of one stair at a time.   

Eureka!!!!!!!  Suddenly I think a normal knee is in my future.











Wednesday, October 6, 2021

It's always something.


My weaving friends will understand this.  

My non weaving friends can probably compare this to some annoying event in their own lives.

Because as Lois often tells me, "It's always something."

I was weaving away week before last, and the cable from the compudobby to the elift SNAPPED.

Harnesses dropped, elift cable spun out of control.  

NO MORE WEAVING.


The elift cable goes around the wooden cam.  The cable that broke goes around the white plastic cam.


This cable broke 4 years ago, and I managed to fix it.    But you don't think I can remember much about it, do you?????







I did manage to buy a roll of 1/16th" cable, and a supply of the two kinds of ferrules I needed to connect the cable, but the crimper that I needed to secure the ferrules on the cable was $178.
That's quite a lot for something I'm going to use for 5minutes.
Lucky for me, the hardware store 3 miles from my house has one, and they  lent it out to me four years ago, so I asked them to lend it to me again.



It is not something that I can do by myself, it takes two sets of hands.   Finally, when I had my space in my head organized for this task, Lois and I got it done.  Unfortunately, the loom still didn't work.

So after a little more studying, I cut the cable off, and we did it a second time.  The big question was "do the cams rotate the same way, or in opposite directions."  The answer is, they rotate in the same direction, but the cable on the white plastic cam has to come up and around it, before going to the compudobby.

All this being said, I took photos, printed them out, typed up directions and a description of just how it needed to be done.  I put all this in the box with all the extra cable and parts, and even included the lineman pliers that I spent $20 on, the ONLY thing that would cut that braided cable clean.

The loom fired up and works beautifully.
Kudos to me and Lois.

I totally congratulated myself on NOT freaking out, for taking it ONE step at a time, for NOT being intimidated by the scope of it, for believing that it was totally doable.

Because it was.


This is  a picture of Sydney's new favorite place.........the sofa.
She is not one bit put off by a 50 lb pit bull/lab mix on the other end of the couch.
And she has decided that snoring under my arm is just peachy.





On the knee front, yes, it still hurts.  But progress is daily.   I can now sleep on my side, and it is amazing.
I can't believe that I have slept on my back for 3 months.

I also discovered that weaving on the Louet using all 10 treadles is pretty good exercise for my knee, and afterwards, it feels better.

It is still sort of swollen, not pretty, but it is beginning to feel more like it belongs to me.

My three months of PT is complete, so it is up to me now, to get it stronger.  They are not kidding when they say that recovery from a TKR takes a year.
I believe them.




The 40 yard towel warp on the AVL is finally done, on to something different.




It's not just my knee that is feeling more normal.  I am, too.   Being able to weave, planning my next warp, creating, all of that just makes me feel like I am once again comfortable in my own skin.

Now for a couple of recommendations........

Books I've read and really liked:

Matrix, by Lauren Groff.

The People in the Trees, by Hanya Yanagihara

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

The Madness of Crowds, by Louise Penny

Something to binge:   OFFSPRING, on Netflix

Have a great October week......I love October.




Thursday, September 23, 2021

Changes

I am somewhat surprised at how much I am changing/adapting to life.   It's not something I expected.  Ah, but here it is.

Of course, as we know well, physical ailments, accidents, loss of youth, does prompt some changes, and as much as we resist them, sometimes it is just not in our best interests to do so.

Ten years ago, when I fell and smashed my head on a rock, my life changed in a nano second.  I didn't realize it at first, of course.  But as time went on, and the headaches took over my life, I was forced to accept what really seemed unacceptable.
And I adapted.

Eventually, I was forced to admit that weaving rugs, something I had done for so many years, was just too damn hard on my neck.  So I sold all the fabric, all the rug looms, and morphed into a weaver that I never thought I would be.
Clothing.  Towels.  Fabric.  
Imagine my total shock, when I discovered that I loved it, even more than I loved weaving rugs.
Who knew.



I began to understand that sometimes change can frighten, and then, delight you.   That was hard to wrap my brain around, but it proves out time and again.
Besides, what choice do we really have?   I can't undo the crack of my head on the rock.  I can't turn back the clock and be younger.
Today, this day, this body, this ME, that's what I have to work with.

Once again:  "Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today."

I was thinking about this when I woke up this morning with a slammer of a headache......and honestly, I could not remember when the last time was that I did that.  Imagine?????
I could not tell you when I had the last beastly, unrelenting headache, it was that long ago.

If I was more limber, I would jump for joy.  I'm not sure I ever expected to be able to say that.


Once my knee was recovered enough to weave, even for short periods, I began to feel more normal.

A 40 yard towel warp got me motivated.




There aren't words to explain how happy this makes me.

I am blessed beyond belief.



Lois and I fired up the cloth storage system on the AVL, which really makes it easy to cut off towels and hem them as I go along, without wasting any warp.




On other fronts, I took a ride with a good friend, to pick up our sewing machines from their service apppointments.

We stopped on the way at the Water Wheel Village in Galway, NY, where they have the best 
cheese ever.
I always buy their cheddar, and this time I couldn't resist these olives.

 

While wandering around the back yard one day, pondering all the yard work I am still 
unable to do, I discovered that I had a black walnut tree that I have never 
identified before.
The squirrels know, I bet.




When the chickens left, I decided to clean up that area of the yard.
It was pretty easy to find someone to take down all the chicken fence, and then the garden fence.  I gave it away, happy for the chance to get rid of it.
  As I told DH, we are NOT planting big gardens anymore.
Clearing this space out will make it so much easier to keep the sumac and the Japanese knotweed from taking over.

That's my new approach to yard work.....keep it clear, and therefore easy to  mow or weedwhack.



I still love the new space where the barn once was.  Not one bit sorry.


I occasionally think this old house is just too much house for us, but honestly, I can't really imagine living anywhere else.
I am also a firm believer that when older folks leave their homes to downsize, or to please their kids, it usually ends in their feeling lost and unmoored.
This old house is comfort to me, and I love it.




All I  have is today.   It's 24 hours on this earth to be happy. and I'm taking full advantage of it.

There are so many things I am grateful for. 

Too many to count.




New towels.......headed to the McKernon Gallery in downtown Hudson Falls.



OK, break is over....back to the loom.


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.









Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts