Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Looking ahead.

 Making pies for Thanksgiving made me miss my mother.  She used to sit at the counter the last 10 years of her life that she lived with us, and help me.
She would hand me things, open containers, stir when I needed her to.   I didn't really "need" the help, but it made my heart sing to see how much she loved to do it.





We're all going to die.  It's a fact of life.  It's part of life.

We try to forget it, until it comes waltzing into our world, in one way or another.

We read about old school friends and acquaintance in the obits.
Sometimes, we read about people all too young, that we don't even know, but it somehow
makes us catch our breaths.
I have watched my cousin and her husband, dealing with getting older, and also with that dreaded, nasty thing they call Alzheimers.  They should call it something else.  I call it something else.

My cousin, is 13 years older than I am, but she has always amazed me with her energy, and how much she does not LOOK or ACT her age.  Her husband was the same, until a few years ago.
It started gradually, and then by the time it was given a name, it was in high gear.
It is tragic, to see him still there.  In body.  Knowing full well that he is gone.
I am so distressed by it, I cannot sometimes imagine what it is like for her.

But at any rate, it has spurred me to think of how old age and all that it can bring, sneaks up on us all.
I hear so many people say, "oh, I've got lots of time."
Yeah, well, maybe you do.
And maybe you don't.
No one really knows.

So I did something that has been on my mind for a long time.  Something that I felt needed to be done.
I went to my lawyer, and had him transfer the deed to the studio to my three daughters.   My husband and I have "life estate", which means we can live there and do what we want to it, for as long as we live.  But when we are gone, it is theirs, no will, no hassle, no probate, nothing to do.


And if, in 5 years, I should be incapacitated, and need nursing home care, the house belongs to them, and cannot be taken to pay for my care.

I asked my lawyer if there was any down side to this.  He said there was only one.  If you think someday you might want to sell it, then you will have to have your daughters sign it back over to you.   But if you are pretty sure you never want to sell, then there is no reason.  In fact, he said, I don't really know why more people don't do it, it makes such sense, and makes things so much easier for your heirs.
Anyway, it's done.  And I feel relieved.  I may stick around for a long time, or not.  But either way, my girls own the studio, and all my hard work is safe. 

Oh, I know they probably won't love it like I do.  They'll probably sell it, and split the proceeds.
But then, I won't be worrying about it, either way.
And maybe in some way, it will make their lives easier.  That makes me happy, now.

Because family and friends is what really matters, after all.







mm



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving.

Making changes, and doing the Hudson Mohawk Weavers' Guild show has kept us pretty busy.




 Here's a mohair warp going on the Schacht.



I perused Craigslist, and found myself a great new sewing table.
$50.00




I also bought a brand new Rowenta iron and ironing board, both for $20.00.


I took 10 of these towels to the show, and they are gone.
I have a few more on the loom, and then it's time for yet another warp.


I am working on weaving to sew.
Not sure I like this at all, but it was good practice.




Tomorrow I'll be making pies for Thanksgiving dinner with my kids, and we're expecting 9" of snow.

What's wrong with that picture???

Monday, November 17, 2014

Changes

This old house that is my studio has undergone a lot of changes since I made the purchase almost 10 years ago.  
One project that was on my list was replacing the old front door in the oldest part of the house, built in 1790, by all accounts.
It was very drafty, and I wanted some more light in the room.  I splurged a bit, and bought a beautiful fiberglass door with a lot of glass.  I also bought a full length glass storm door.

Yesterday, they were installed.  It is never uneventful, making changes in an old house.  What I love is imagining it, then seeing it happen.
I love it.




 The windows are also going to be replaced, but they are on order.  It will be the dead of winter before they get put in.

Today I was there early, cleaning up the mess, and moving things around the way I want them.
You can see how much light the new door lets in.


This wall is going to be my new computer/check out station.  I may leave the wall cupboard there.   I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but this is all part of planning the move to actually live there.  And we need a living room.



It's all coming together quite nicely.




 The room seems more open, it's going to be a lovely place to weave.
And this was on a stormy, gray day.

This front room used to be my retail space.  What I realized is that since my business is mostly online, I am wasting this great room, when I could be enjoying it.
So the retail is now being reworked in the rather large, center hallway, a space not very useful for much else.




Today was snowy, rainy, gray,  and cold.   
And by 2pm, it was a 10 on the headache scale.

But I am determined not to hate winter.
There must be something about it that I can love.
I'll let you know when I locate it.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

A girl and her staple gun.

Oops, I did it again.

I couldn't resist, but then I never can.

It's a Schacht 46", 4 H, maple loom in excellent condition.   One day after I saw the ad, it was home in the studio.  It will be my designated "throw" loom. 





Today I had some outside work to do.  I have been worried about the wind coming in the opening to
the chicken coop.  And I want them to have a place that gets warmed by the sun a bit, but out of the wind.
So I went out with my staple gun, and a long lead cord, and a roll of plastic.



 
The little extension area with the roof is now protected from the wind a bit.


And then I dragged in two fifty pound bags of sand for the girls to "bathe" in.




Then I put some plastic boot trays under the roosts, since that is where all the poop lands.  We'll see if they stay put, or if I have to come up with some plan to keep them where I want them.




And it's getting cold in the north country, so it was time to put the water heater under the water.

I was concerned about them pecking at the cord, so I wrapped it in chicken wire to make it more difficult, but if anyone has a better idea, I'd love to hear it.

I guess it's not necessary to insulate the coop, although it seems like I should.



Then I spent a little time weaving on my new towel pattern on the AVL.  The studio was quiet and I was loving it.

I like having the AVL in the front room.  When I get cool, I just flick the switch, and the gas fireplace comes on.
And I thought I wanted a wood stove.  What was I thinking???





This has to be my favorite pattern to date.  I just love it.


My rearranging the studio has begun to take shape, and it feels good.  It feels right.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Who's doing it right?

Thanks for all your advice about my chickie girl, Vicky. 
  I think the consensus is that I should leave her alone, and let her just BE.  And I think that is exactly what I should do.
She doesn't appear to be unhappy.
She talks to me, and eats her popcorn and other treats that I make sure to give her.   She sits in the sunny window.
Who am I to say that she's doing it wrong?


I had a quiet weekend at the studio, threading the AVL, getting it ready for towels.
It was cold outside, so I kept the fireplace going.
I thought the cats would enjoy the new "bench pad" but they decided that laying "under" the bench was better.


 ?



Who am I to say that they aren't doing it right?






 This is the  moment that a weaver waits for, from picking out the thread and the colors, winding the spools for the warp, putting all the yardage on the sectional, threading all 480 heddles, and then putting all that thread through the reed, being ever so careful not to make any mistakes............
then finally, you throw the shuttle.
And suddenly, it's ALL WORTH IT.

I think I'm doing it right.




I must be, because it feels so good.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Chicken Question and some moves.

You remember Vicky, right?   She was the chick with the bare neck from being pecked half to death, when she was but days old.
We put Vicks on her neck, which is how she got her name.......and she thrived.
She is almost as big as the rest of the hens, and while she is not hen-pecked, she is probably at the bottom of the "pecking order".

Here's the problem:  she won't come out of the coop.
She is not laying yet.
But she won't come out.  I have driven her out, but the minute I am gone, she goes right back in.
I watched her for the few minutes that she stayed out, and no one was bothering her.  So I am clueless about what has caused this behavior.   She didn't always do this.  It's reasonably new, say in the last two weeks.
I could give her to my friend, who doesn't have a rooster,  but I'm not sure that would even fix this.
1) Should I rehome her, in a "no rooster" environment?
2) Should I leave her alone, and let her do what she wants?
3) Should I take her to a "chick" psychologist?


The AVL is in its new place, where the Cranbrook used to be.  L and I managed to move it by ourselves, taking parts off it, and sliding it through the house on a rug.



My baby blanket stash is growing.
I am very pleased with them.
 



They are every bit as soft as they look.
 



The glider that my friend gave me probably 20 years ago, or more, has found its new place, on the back porch.
It looks like it belongs there, right?


It's very comfortable.
It reminds me of being a kid, I'm not sure why.


I have fallen asleep on this old glider, more than once.

 

I plan on doing it again.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm here.

I've been asked a couple of times why I haven't blogged lately.
Today walking Roy by the river, I thought about that.



I don't like to admit it, but my life is wrapped around my headache.  Or my headache is wrapped around me.  I try to ignore it, but it's true.
So to blog, I either have to talk about it, which is nauseating, even to me. 
Or pretend that my life is something that it purely isn't.
And that's not really my style.
You knew that, right?




Every day is arranged according to my head.  I wake up, and for the first minute or so, I am still, trying to assess how bad it is.  Am I going to be able to get up and jump in the shower, and meet my day head on?  Or am I going to slink down to the kitchen, make some coffee, and curl up in the corner of the sofa, and wait for it to settle down?


Sometimes, my headache is quite calm, considering.  Those days, I whip around much like my old self, and get tons of things done.  I forget about it.  That is the most joyful day.....to just freaking forget about it for awhile.
Other days, it is medium bad. I function, but it's hard to think.  Imagine putting a brick on your forehead, and then having someone tell you to not think about the brick.
Impossible, friends.  Just impossible.  I try to act "as if" everything is normal, and I proceed pretty much that way.  Only someone who knows me would notice the "look" on my face.  Pained probably.  Grimacing, likely.  I make mistakes.    I forget things.   I tell Lois to "watch me"......tell me if I am off track.
She's getting good at it.



Other days, it just plain sucks, and there is no going about my business as normal.  I do bare minimal, and just aim to get through.  Luckily, those days do not monopolize my life.  But when they come back to back,  it is hard to keep my good thoughts coming.

My neurosurgeon says it's my sinuses.   My ENT says it might be, but more likely is my Chiari issue.
The bottom line is no one knows what is wrong with my head, only that there surely IS something wrong with my head.  Nobody really wants to take responsibility for it now.

I am mostly intent on living my life, one way or the other.  I dream of it being gone, but the reality, hard as it is, is that it is quite present, 24/7, for three years now, but who's counting.

Oh, yeah.  I am.



I am still hopeful.  Like the sun coming up in the morning, seems nothing can prevent me from it.
In the midst of my most awful days, I refuse to give up on the possibility that this insanity will end.

I still spend time with my family and friends, I still knit and weave and walk Roy and bake and cook, and do all the things I love to do. 
I am still grateful, as crazy as that sounds.



There are so many things.
Roy snoring on the couch beside me.  A beautiful, sunny fall day.  Weaving at the loom, hypnotized by the rhythm of my shuttle.
Playing match box cars on the floor with my sweet baby Dale.
Sleep and my ability to sleep, no matter how bad the headache.  I am so thankful for that respite.  Sometimes I think that has saved me throughout all of this.
My family, my friends.  
A glass of wine and a pizza on Friday night with DH.


My studio,  with its golden light streaming through wavy glass, old pine pitch floors tread by so many before me, where I feel more at home than anywhere else.

 I still have my life, and what a gift it is.
Who said it had to be fair? or pain free?  That's just something we have come to expect, quite
unrealistically.


Crazy as a Loom is still here, and so am I. 
We're not done yet.



Life goes on, even when it's hard.
I figure it's up to me to make the very best of it.






Welcome to my world.

Because every thread counts

Because every thread counts