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Crazy as a Loom

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Moving along

(Random studio pictures)

Sometimes I think I am being tested, then other times I think no, it's just life, and life can be tricky any time at all.





A few months ago, we had a huge wind storm, and there was a lot of banging on my roof.  Apparently, the cap on the chimney came apart.
In addition, I started having  this issue in my upstairs hallway, with creosote stains coming down the walls.  I knew it was a chimney issue, and I assumed it was related to the chimney cap.

So I called in the chimney people.  They were quick to respond, and very pleasant, but their news was so not good.

First of all, the person I trusted to put the chimney cap on, L's brother in fact, did the worst, and cheapest, job possible.  So far, the chimney people, and a roof contractor have seen it, and were both blown away, that anyone would do that.
Secondly, the ridge cap, put on years back by another contractor, was not a real ridge cap at all, and thus leaking, as was the crappy flashing job around the chimney.

The bottom line is:   

The chimney is over 200 years old, dangerous, and cannot be used at all, ever.
The chimney needs to be repointed, and permanently capped, the roof ridge cap and flashing etcetera all needs fixing.
To vent my oil furnace out the wall requires something called a side slip vent that is very pricey.

My plumbing and heating guy, who has not steered me wrong in 20 years, suggests ditching the oil furnace, and for $4400 getting a new gas furnace that can vent out the wall, is cleaner, more efficient, and will save me lots of $ in fuel in the long run.
So furnace is coming tomorrow.
Got the quotes from the roof guy, and while I am sure they are fair, they stopped me in my tracks.
$8000 for all the roof work.

And I didn't mention the plaster damage in the upstairs hall......from the water pouring down.....that's another $1900...


Don''t bother adding it all up....it's nauseating.




Then yesterday I had no water.  I panicked thinking I needing a new well pump, since mine is about 44 years old.   That would be a $2000+ price tag, and I am hemorrhaging money at this point.   But the well people came yesterday, and it was not the pump, but a pressure switch on the side of my water tank in the basement.  $278.
The upside of that is that after years of having crappy water pressure in this old house, I now have incredible water pressure, which I am thoroughly enjoying.


Then the other night, the hose that connects the toilet upstairs, to the water line, sprung a huge leak, and water was spraying everywhere.
It just never ends.



All this has been overwhelming, but I realized, doable.  The hardest part is not having Bill here to do it all with me.  That is so true about problem being half as bad when you have someone to share it with.  It sounds cliche, but in reality, it has a bite.


As I sit here bemoaning the bad things that have
befallen me, once again, the little voice in my head, tells me to stop.
It reminds me of ALL the things I have to be thankful for.

My personal opinion, which I have probably shared with you all before, is that we Americans are spoiled.
Spoiled rotten.
For the most part.
We have so much, and yet it is never enough.  
We spend our lives acquiring money, and property and 
STUFF.
We forget what is important.



I know all these problems won't last, and I know that they really aren't 
tragic.  I just have to muddle through them as best I can, and I have to look around me, and practice gratitude for all the amazing things in my life.
Above all, I am grateful for my serenity, an inner strength, that I believe we all have, that gets me up every morning, and pushes me into the new day.

Onward!








Thursday, June 27, 2024


I have been long absent again.  
I frequently ask myself if I want to keep blogging, and 
I haven't yet come up with a good answer to that.

I have made a commitment to myself to not talk politics, on FB or anywhere else,
for my own sanity..

And sometimes I don't feel like I have much good to talk about.  This
year has been hard.

The good news is that my HIP is healed, and feeling good.
The bad news is that making my legs even, after so many years of having 
one leg 1/2" shorter than the other, has made my KNEES very angry.
For some time, they were grossly swollen, but I think at last they are starting to adjust.
I have had to adjust myself, wanting to get walking again, 
but finding that I have to do it gradually, and not 
jump right into it, like I would usually do.

Last week I went for a boat ride on Lake George, the "Queen of American Lakes", 
it has recently ranked the cleanest lake in the United States.  Pretty impressive.
You can see to the bottom in shallow water, and it is beautiful.




I do admit though that I am not really a fan of "speeding" down the lake in 
a boat.  I much prefer a more meandering type of boating. 
I guess I'm officially old.

We traveled to the end of the lake, where I grew up.  I was stunned
at how much it had changed, and in my mind, not in a good way.
I guess I prefer my memories of that place, to the way it is now, 
and I reminded myself that I don't have to see it if I don't want to.


My perennial garden is looking like the cottage garden that 
I envisioned when I started it.

The bee balm has multiplied like crazy, and so have lots of other plants.
I love the crowded, unplanned look it has.


Walking between the plants is crowded, but I love it.



Missouri primroses have popped up everywhere, even in the middle of the Lamb's Ears.



One of several phlox in my garden.


And a sweet hydrangea.....one of several......they are my faves.


In the studio, I am weaving more, and just did a "sewing" day, to clean off
my sewing table.  


This is a hand dyed Möbius shawl I just finished.






But I have to admit, for the most part, I am settling into my life.
It seems to me, that the last two years, without Bill, have been a practice
session that I really didn't want.
To be honest, there have been a lot of times, that I really had no idea
what I was doing.
Or more importantly, why.
The 25th  was two years to the day, and I realized that I am becoming
accustomed to this life I have now.
It has a rhythm of its own, unlike my life before, but it is my life, for sure.
I am also accepting that everything that happens here in my old house, 
is for me to deal with.
Whining about it doesn't change it.
Ha! Who knew.



Friday, May 3, 2024

Healing


Every thing I do takes at least twice as long as it used to.   I am still using a cane, because  walking without it is pretty painful.
So showering, doing dishes, doing laundry, feeding dogs, feeding  my  outside cat and his friends, cooking dinner, getting the garbage and recycles out, everything, is an event.
Today is  three weeks since my surgery.  I have already started driving myself to PT this week, and yes, I have been weaving.  Thank God, or I think that mentally, I would be in worse shape.






I don't weave for long, but it is so good for me.

I am also planning ......future weaving projects, and future weaving workshops...........that's a good sign.


I know that gardening most likely will not be in my future this summer........and I am grateful that I have an amazing kid who is keeping my lawns mowed and trimmed and looking awesome.   It hurts a bit financially, but I think that it's worth it not to have to worry about it, or actually, even think about it.




I feel so guilty that Naya and Willie aren't getting walks, and haven't for months.   They deserve better, and I just can't do a thing about it.

They are my ever present companions though, and I don't know what on earth I would do without them.

They call them rescue dogs, but truly, there are days when they rescue me.



I am not sure what happens after a surgical "assault", but I do know that it's unwise 
to underestimate it.
I was at PT the other day, and I told my therapist that I was struggling with the pain, it just wasn't getting better very quickly.   
He said..........."does it feel like they cut off your leg and reattached it?"
Horrified, I said, "What?"

He repeated.
" Does it feel like they cut off your leg and reattached it?  Because that's what they 
did.  And it's only been two weeks."

Enough said.

I am also amazed at how tired I am since surgery........just exhausted much of the time.  Naps feel like heaven every one.

I also can't concentrate long enough to read a book.
So Netflix and Britbox are my friends, and mindless work like Kumihimo, making cords
that I don't need.










I have yet to get my screen porch  ready.  The floor is mostly the issue.....it needs sweeping, vacuuming and mopping, all things that are difficult for me right now.

The furniture has been covered up with plastic all winter, and all the cushions and chair covers and such are washed and put away in the attic loft.  This is the first time ever that I have done that in the fall.  I always waited and did it now, in the spring, but for some reason, I got organized last November, and I am so glad that I did.  Once the floor is cleaned, I won't be far from being able to use the porch.
The dogs love it, I love it.

They run in and out of the dog door a thousand times a day, and I don't have to let them in or out.  Marvelous.




I am struck lately by the incessant need of the mind to project into the future.  Should I do this, or should I do that.
What if I moved here, or changed this, or started this, or gave up this........a constant barrage of what to do, or how to do things, in a time that has not arrived.
It is such a total and complete waste of time.

As we get older, it gets even more ridiculous.  Years ago, when I was in the midst of extricating myself from an alcoholic husband, I had a sign over my sewing machine, it said, "Stay in the day".     It's solid advice, and one that I still, after all these years, need to remember.
Now that I am 77.........WTH..............is there any sense at all to wasting one minute planning for a future that is more tenuous by the day????   I think not.

I heard some good advice the other day, it said, "Every day, do what you do, and do it well", because that's all there is.

I think I am going to make a few little cards, and position them in places around the house, that say, once again, "Stay in the day."  It's so simple, yet so difficult.
We are bombarded by media telling us to put the future right in front of our faces, even when our logical minds tell us that's crap.


In an effort to decrease inflammation in my old body, I am trying this mushroom coffee.  Lots of reviews say it's very helpful in that regard, as well as lowering cholesterol.  And since I am dead set against taking statins, this is my plan.
I've heard things about how bad it tastes, but I have to say, I like it.
It tastes like coffee, but earthier somehow.  I use a little creamer, and drink one a day.
We shall see.  My opinion is that the medical community often throws meds at us, when natural remedies can and often do just as much for us, with less side effects.





I will keep you posted.  I'm planning on drinking it for two months, and getting labs 
drawn, and taking stock of how I feel overall.




I also think about what this "recovery" would be like, if Bill were still 
here.  

Being alone is one thing,
 being without someone you have spent so many years 
with is something else.

And being slightly disabled and recovering alone is truly something I never imagined, 
or saw coming.

















Sunday, April 21, 2024

Reboot

Photos are random, from the last month or so, as I am not doing a lot right now.

I had my hip replaced last Thursday, the 11th, after dealing with the pain for several months.

The last 3 months were horrific, and I could barely walk, and every step was torture, so you

 can imagine that I was anxious to get it done.
 
The surgery went off well, and my whole experience at Saratoga Hospital was a good one.

My middle daughter picked me up, and I was home by 5:30pm.   She stayed with me until 

Sunday morning, which was an incredible gift.


There's a dog in there.   Willie has a penchant for sleeping while being completely covered up.

That's his chair, which is why it is ratty, and I don't bother to have it recovered.

Nobody sits in it but him.




Before my surgery, I was intent on having the two Louet Davids in the studio warped, and ready to weave.
On the smaller one, I put on this "sherbet" warp, I had a hankering for pastels.

It takes both feet to treadle, so I knew it would come later, but it would be ready.



On the bigger David, I have enough warp for about 20 of these towels, and 
I purposely planned a simpler pattern that requires me only to use my LEFT (good) leg.
I will be able to weave that in 15-20 minute increments to start.

Getting back to normal as soon as possible is good medicine in my opinion.


I am going to PT, and relying on friends for rides.  I won't be able to drive for a while, since it is my right hip that was replaced.
I am walking at home as much as I can, and doing my exercises, and I am intent on doing everything right.

Outside my window, this guy keeps tabs.



Being housebound for the most part, I am grateful for the things I love in my house, one of which is this Oxalis, which I have had for over 20 years.  It was my mother in law's before it was mine.
Every January, I cut it back level wit the top of the pot, and I put it in my attic loft, where it is dark and cool.   I mark my calendar, and take it out March 1st.  I put it back in its sunny window, and water it, and here it is just 6 weeks later.  

Happy.
Proof that we all need a good rest sometimes.



On Sunday, after my middle daughter went home, my youngest daughter came 
with my three youngest grands.
They were excited that I had three new looms that I bought for 
weaving workshops.  
Of course, the two oldest each claimed one for their personal loom, and the weaving began.


There are no words to explain how happy this makes me.


I love how intent they are.


They took their finished samples home to show Dad, because they were very proud of them.
As was I.




On another note, my oldest daughter is destined to have a house full of dogs.
She has three already, but decided that she had to foster this mini Australian shepherd
to keep her out of the shelter.
She is two years old, and lost a front leg.  My grand daughter and bestie have bonded
with her on sight.




I don't think this dog is going anywhere.........guess that's what you call a "failed foster"??????



But it's totally understandable.   
I say "welcome home, pup, you have just won the lottery."



So I'll be here recovering, healing, regrouping for a while.  I am grateful for the doctor and technology that gives me a chance to walk normally again.   
Getting older is often just doing whatever it takes to stay on your feet, and be happy.

On days when I get a tad discouraged about how long it takes, and I get impatient, I remember that I only have to do today, and eventually the todays will stack up and I will get to where I want to be.
I am so thankful for my daughters, and ALL my friends, for their help, their support, their encouragement.  I could NOT do this without them.  It's not fun to feel helpless, or ineffective, or dependent, but if you have to, there is nothing as reassuring as people who care.   And I am blessed to have them in my life.









Monday, March 25, 2024

The good and the bad.

I am once again shocked at how long it has been since I've blogged..........

Goldie is even asking me WTH???

If you haven't met him before, he is my outside kitty.  He's been year for many years, and refuses to come inside.   I have tried, and he raises quite the ruckus when I do.
The only time he has stayed in for any length of time was last year, we had a below zero spell, and I scooped him up and made him stay in the studio with the doors closed, food, water and a litter box, for 3 nights and days.   The only time he didn't cry, was when I was in there.

But I did it for him, because I am not sure how old he is, but I feared for his safety in such a deep freeze.
He has two houses one on the porch, and a solar house just off the porch, and a heated water bowl, and food every day, and he's happy with that.   But he doesn't watch the weather, and I do.

After that three days, he was skittish of me for a while, it took him some time to get over his snit.



A couple of months ago, I made an impulsive decision to buy a very expensive loom.

Here it is, in my studio with its first and only warp.   It's a Louet Megado with a mechanical dobby......it is 35" wide, and it's beautiful.
So why don't I want it????


Well, things have changed here.  Lois is gone, to weave no more.
I am getting older, and not really wanting to keep up with three looms.   I was fine with two, but for some crazy reason, I thought I needed another.   
I don't.

So I am selling this loom at my wholesale cost, for $10,500.  
It just has to be picked up in Hudson Falls, NY.

I am trying to give it to the universe, and not be impatient.  If it's meant to happen, it will.




Feel free to share.



It is a crazy good deal, as it retails for almost $16000.






Oh, and it's 16 harnesses!!!!




I must say, Louet makes some awesome looms.  I already have two Louet Davids.






Other than the fact that it takes up more real estate than I am willing to part with, I am 
mostly embarrassed to have not given this more thought.   
You would think as you get older, that you get wiser, and less capable of doing things that 
you almost instantly regret, but I guess that's not true.

The longer it sits there and stares back at me, the longer I get to mull that over.




So after I recently taught my friend's two grown daughters to weave, on a mini weaving 
weekend, I decided that maybe I wanted to teach again.  I haven't really done any 
teaching in several years.

Last weekend I had a basic weaving workshop here, with three students, and it was
really enjoyable, for me as well as them.


I've decided to do more workshops.   I think it is good for me, and I love the thought that
I have introduced weaving to more people that will carry it forward.

There is a slight hitch in this plan.......I have been limping/gimping around for months now, and  finally have a plan to get myself more mobile with a hip replacement coming in three weeks.
Honestly, I can't wait.

I have had two knee replacements, and I'm somewhat shocked at how debilitating and 
painful a bad hip can be.

So I say, "bring it on".



I leave you today with photos of my CONSTANT companions, and actually, often the 
best parts of my day.



Willie.



Naya.



I am going to try to get back here more often.



Sunday, February 25, 2024

Studio time


January and February are usually a great time to get really productive in the studio.
It's too cold and nasty usually to do much, and I'm a hermit at heart, so it 
works out.

These are a few of the garments I've finished lately.









I love dyeing my warps, and I love how the finished product turns out.



I am also trying to downsize my stash of chenille.......even though I love the end result, it's not my favorite thing to weave.


This is one of the last pieces that Lois wove.  It had issues on one side, she 
was kind of oblivious at the end about threads breaking.  But I cut that part off, and used 
what was good. 
I think it turned out well.

Lois is now in memory care nearby.  While on one hand it is heartbreaking, on the
other is it a relief, not to worry about her at home alone, AND driving her car.

She's not sad, and she's not upset about being there, it is too late for that.
She seems mostly relieved.
She is safe, and as her Alzheimers get worse, she is exactly where she 
needs to be.
She is close enough to visit, and she can go out on little day trips.
Her sisters are nearby, and several friends, too.  So she has a lot of company.

d
I am still trying to hang on to the Lois I have known and worked with all these years, 
because that person is gone.   But that's how I want to remember her.


Waiting for one more ortho appt this week, but I guess everything is pointing 
to a "new " hip in my future.

It's been a tough couple of years.    I'm ready for a wee break.  
But apparently, I'm not getting one in the very near future.

Thank God for the ability to AMUSE myself.




Fun dyeing and weaving, then some sewing.



A few weeks ago, I had a friend and her two daughters, and a grand daughter  here for the weekend, 
and we had a bit of a weaving workshop.
It was a lot of fun, and I've decided to start doing some day workshops, and maybe even a 
couple of weaving weekends.
I may have to work them around hip surgery, but I guess I will do what I have to do.
Isn't that always the way???


Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts