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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 2w ago

Early morning walks are in order as the planet heats up.  I don't want Naya having heat stroke from walking when it's 80 degrees.  I don't walk her in the heat of the day, and I don't leave her in the car if it's over 50.

The bike path was gorgeous this morning, cool and quiet.  I have to try to get myself out there before I start working in the studio. 
It feels good to have the walk done, and to be honest, it's when I have the most energy.





Then we took my car in for an oil change and inspection, and after a long drink, Naya took a little nap while she waited.
She's such a good girl.



This is Lois' method of tying up her warp.  She couldn't remember where she got the idea from, but I believe I sent her the link.   It's from Melissa over at Tangibledaydreams blog.  Thanks Melissa.

It is quite effective.  Saves warp, and time.



This morning we also put a towel warp on the AVL....  8/2 cotton from my stash of UKI.   Trying to use it all up, so the only cotton I have on my shelves is Brassard ring spun, which is my fave.



Some bright colors .......



This is the end of the navy warp.

I wanted a ruana, but there wasn't enough, here it is waiting to be sewn together as a möbi shawl.



I am thinking of buying some fiber from Habu Textiles,  has anyone tried any of it?  I would love to hear if you have.


So here is Lois' project once she got going.

The warp is hand dyed mercerized cotton.........her weaving is impeccable.......really, I am so proud of her.
And I'm very pleased with my dye job.  Together, we rock it, don't we?




The weft is navy bamboo.




So I took your advice,(thanks for that) and hauled out the Weed Dragon, which has been languishing in the shed.

I burned off all the weed growth that had accumulated, and it didn't take long.

Downside:....I needed a shower and shampoo, because I smelled like I'd been sitting by a campfire for hours.

But it's doable, and easier on my neck than bending over and pulling them all out.


But it did an awesome job.....the whole left side looked like the area around the tree bottom right........

I'll do that tomorrow. 
I don't want to use any chemicals, but I get depressed when the weeds start to take over my beautiful labyrinth.

You can not imagine, unless you've done it, how peaceful and restorative it is to walk the labyrinth.   I do it slowly, and sometimes I can just feel the weight lifting from my shoulders.

Old story, for some of you who may not have read it.

Years ago, when I took my two grandsons to walk the labyrinth at a friend's nature preserve, I got my inspiration to build this labyrinth at the studio.
Nev and Logie were 11 and 8.   They ran around the labyrinth like boys run around anything.........and I asked them what the labyrinth meant to them.
Nev mumbled, "I don't know."
So I said keep thinking about it.
Few minutes later, Nev said, "I still don't know."

Logie, who was the younger of them, said, "Mimi, I think I know what it means.  It's where you find the center of your heart."

I still tear up when I think of that.    Two weeks later, my labyrinth was complete, but when I realized that mowing the paths was going to be tough, I put down landscape fabric, which has long rotted, and pebble stones.  I did it with the help of a 16 year old kid that we often hired for yard work, a load of stone, a spray can of paint, and a load of pebbles.  And some hard work.

Nev is 22 now, and Logie is 19.

He still remembers that he is the reason that my labyrinth exists.

Some things are truly priceless.



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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 2w ago
First things first, the recipes.

I will definitely make the banana nut muffins again.   They were a hit.



I think you can enlarge these, if not, I found it on Pinterest.  Or just go to the source, www.craftycookingmama.com.

The rice dish....well, that was flying from the seat of my pants........but here goes.

Hilary's Rice Concoction.

I steamed a whole head of broccoli with a good handful of asparagus.  I also threw in some frozen peas....another handful.
Don't you love the measuring devices I use.

In the meantime, I threw in a stick of butter.....less if you like, into another sauce pan, when it melted I threw in half an onion, chopped, and then a cup of orzo.
When they looked cooked, the orzo was brown,  I added three chicken bouillon cubes, one cup of regular rice, and four cups of water.
Brought it to a boil, turned it down, cooked it covered for 20 min, or until water was absorbed.
I had drained my veggies, and put them in a large bowl......do not overcook.
When the rice mixture was done, I added the veggies to the rice, threw in some shaved parmesan, but truly I think any cheese would do, you don't need much. (If you want to pass on the cheese, you could use nutritional yeast here, for a cheesy taste)  Salt and pepper.
Mixed well, threw in the oven about 325 for maybe 45 min........and that's it.   I ate it for two nights, and put some in the freezer.
Yummy.


Most things I do not write down, and my kids have often been fond of saying that I make "mystery" things, especially soup.....and they have actually warned their friends not to like it too much, because you'll never get it again.
But occasionally, if I like it a lot, I will scratch it on some paper and save it.

I also like simple dishes, without meat obviously, so this one fills the bill.

On the home front, I have been feeling very overwhelmed.   DH is having some health issues, that are 
stressing me out, probably more than they are him.
I have tried to let go of it, and I've realized that none of my worry will change a thing.
So then......back to one day at a time.  Lists help, they do.
I make a a list each day, of what I want to accomplish, even a more general list for the whole week, and I try to keep my eye on those chores.
I do what I can:  talk to the doctor, keep an eye on DH, be a nurse/friend/source of support, but ultimately, I know it is out of my hands.
If I don't get hold of myself, I will be an emotional wreck, and what sense does that make??
You cannot see the future, no matter how hard you try.
Thus, you cannot prepare for it.
Nope.
Even though you think you should.


I also am preoccupied with my friend who is at the end of her life.
We have been friends since we were in preschool, she has been my best friend.  She was there for me through a tumultuous alcoholic marriage, and I'm not sure I could have extricated myself without her.
She was a huge part of my life growing up, and through our adult years, we have never lost touch for very long.  She is one of those friends, that you can just pick up the conversation as if you never left it.
Priceless.
On the other hand, she has smoked for 50 years.....and over the years, I have harassed her, begged her, reasoned with her, all to no avail.
In addition, she has been an obsessive Pepsi consumer....up to two six packs of 16 oz bottles daily.
Again, nothing I said made any difference.
She is possibly the most stubborn, hard headed individual I've ever known.
It certainly isn't that she doesn't get it, she's smart and talented. 

But I've always suspected that she didn't value herself enough to change anything.  
Now her lungs are done, her kidneys are finished, two strokes later, and she will not be here much longer.
Visiting her over the weekend was torture for me, to see her that way.


So  deep sadness for her, to see her losing her life, to know that I will never see her again.

Worry about DH, who has his own path to walk.


Because DH is not well, there is very little he can do around the house.  So I look outside and see the weeds growing, and the place looking haphazard, and I obsess about that, as well.
My poor brain.

He does mow on the rider, and gets the bulk of it done, but all the cutting in does not get done.   Clumps of bamboo aka knotweed, grow here and there.   My neck will not allow me to do what I desperately want to do, which is to go out there and reek havoc on the offending growth........work all day until I am sweaty and dirty and exhausted.
Ah, but that's what I did 20-30 years ago.
Things have changed, eh?

So yesterday morning, I walked the labyrinth, in my bathrobe, at 6:30 a.m.   It was lovely and cool, but of course, the weeds that were sprouting up in between all the pebbles got my attention, and I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how I would possible prevent and/or address the takeover of weeds in my beautiful stone circle.
So I pulled a few, here and there.
And it dawned on me.........if I were to walk the labyrinth every morning, I could accomplish a couple of things.  I could pull a few weeds, and I could center, and focus, and pull myself back together each day.  A little at a time.....the weeds, and me.
Win/win.

And as far as the bamboo goes, so what?  Let it grow in little islands here and there.  What earthy difference could it make???
Live, let live.
Period.
Taking things one bite at a time, small bites, do what you can, and give the rest up.


I'm going to be ok.........I am.


I hated this green on the loom, but all put together, it is much nicer than I expected.

My real weaving success this week came in the form of "mystery soup"........
I used up a basket full of bobbins left over from other projects.....

For this ruana


It is light and drapey and I love it.



I was sure it would sell at the show we are getting ready for next weekend.....but it already sold off my FB page, and today it is on its way to SINGAPORE.

For real.



Today is oil change for the Subaru.


Yesterday I hauled out my kayaks, and scrubbed them both down.
It was on my list.



Thank God for lists.

We will be busy getting all our stuff ready for the show, and packed up; making sure everything is marked and priced, etc.
Then we will pray for good weather on Sunday the 9th, for the Beekman Street Fair, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

It was a great show last year, I can only hope it will be this good again.

But wait, I'm doing one day at a time.  So today right?   Stay in the day.

Later........

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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 2w ago
Naya may have come from Georgia, near Atlanta, but she loves the ocean.  She is not afraid of getting wet.





We took a little trip, just to get away for a bit.   Naya and I walked about 10 miles in two days.


My porch has been cleaned, and organized.   Bubba Lee's recliner is gone, and the table with her "tote" bed underneath, gone too.
The porch looks much better, but I miss her, I'd rather have her back, and a crappy looking porch to keep her happy.



About three weeks ago, I apparently forgot my age and condition, and rototilled the garden, plus two other areas, and weed whacked for a couple of hours.  Needless to say, I paid the price.
I know, I know......dumb.
But it brought me to the realization that  trying to hack back the sumac in the back of our property every single year is hopeless, and painful.
So that big machine next to the chicken coop is leveling the whole area behind the garden and behind the chicken yard, sumac and all.

Sometimes ya just gotta spend the money.



The big excitement in my life last week was going to my grand daughter's kindergarten class to read to them.
As you can see, she has laid claim to me.

Nothing like 20 five year olds to make you feel like a rock star.


So there are two cats at my house now.......Queen Sydney, who lives inside.......and Goldie, who lives outside.

I'd really like to keep it down to two cats.
Is that possible?


It's the time of year to eat lunch on the porch.


It's also time for rhubarb.
Two pies for now.
Two pies in the freezer.


The Union rug loom is gone...it was kind of like ripping a bandaid off, selling it, but once it was done, I was relieved.

I am still trying to sell all the fabric accumulated over the years.  That may take some time.

The "rug room" is now my yoga room, and home to the warping board, and the warping mill.



Somehow, it all feels right.  It was time to let go.


I had company the other day, and while I was sewing my daughter's jeans, my grandson pushed this chair over and got as close as he could.   "Help?  Help?"


Yes, dear boy, you can help.


But unbeknownst to me, my grand daughter decided to change all the settings on my Serger.


I guess those colored buttons are pretty tempting.  But when I went to use it the next day, all the threads broke, and I had to rethread and reset the whole thing.
We have to have a talk.




Our first show is in two weeks.

I have been busy sewing.  Making things from scraps in my scrap stash.



This beauty turned out way better than we expected.  I wound this crazy warp, and Lois put it on the loom, and did the weaving.  I picked out this funky metal thread for the weft, and this is the result.  It is light and airy, the whole thing only weighs a lb.  She did a great job weaving it, then I sewed it up.
It really is stunning.





Banana nut muffins today..........only because I get so annoyed that bananas get soft SO fast, and I
already have a freezer full that I use for smoothies.


This recipe is a keeper.

I threw together this rice dish tonight......with broccoli and asparagus and peas, and it was so good, that I am actually going to write it down.



Keeping busy, as usual, headaches the worst early morning, and then they let up.

Grateful.

I'll say good night with this.
My new fave cup.








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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 1M ago
Yesterday was a quiet kind of day, as my three children were otherwise engaged.
It was different, as we usually get together on Mother's Day, but this year it just didn't work out.

I read someone's post on FB, about not being appreciated on this holiday, and someone else's comment about how the day was fraught with expectations, her exact words were "an exercise in unmet expectations".   Another comment said there was too much pressure to have a "nice day".

At any rate, I had made a plan in my head, that I was going get some things done, and have a nice, uneventful, productive day, and that I wasn't going to get sucked into that vortex of feeling bad because the day wasn't Hallmark card perfection.
 It was OK.

So the very first thing I did, was the thing that had been on my mind for a couple of weeks.  I cleaned the outside porch.
I sent my daughter a photo, with the explanation that it was as good as I could do, given that Bubbalee's heated bed is under that table, and her "chair" is an ugly, green recliner that she spends 16 hours a day in.  And God knows, I didn't want to upset Bubbalee's routine, little diva that she was.


More than ten years ago, Bubbalee appeared at my house.  Wild and untouchable.



 She lived in the barn, and had two litters of kittens, which we caught and found homes for, before we could catch her and put an end to her childbearing years.


She lived between my house, and the neighbors, until a few years ago, when she chose to  permanently stay  at mine.



See her on the roof ??


She had very distinctive white socks.



Here is she when she was very pregnant for her last kittens.



In the solar house.


In the last couple of years, she has stayed very close to home.......she never wandered far from the house, the labyrinth, the chicken coop, the barn.
She met you when you got out of the car, she followed anyone who was outside.
And after years of being fearful of any human contact, she finally decided that she loved attention.
And she got it, from everyone she saw.


She loved to be petted, but never contained.   When I tried to put her in the cat carrier to go to the vet, I ended up in Urgent Care with an infected hand.


But I forgave her.   She just lived life on her own terms.



 I have no doubt that she was happy here.



She ended up being very loved, and loving us right back.


And she was very vocal.


Dale loved  her, called her Bubbalicious.


Cooper followed her around.



Ava wanted to take her home.



 Last night, when we came home from dinner, she was laying in front of the chicken coop.   Because she was quite deaf, I reached down to touch her, and that's when I realized that she was gone.

I don't know what to say.

Bubbalee.   We will miss her so much.  She was part of our days, a constant presence.  

I woke up this morning, and my first thought was, oh my God, Bubbalee's not out there.  When I went out to feed Goldie, it felt so strange.

I am pondering how quickly life can change.  In an instant.   We don't, and can't, know the future, on any given day.

Which is why, once again, I have to remember to "stay in the day", to make it a good day, one that resonates with me.  One that registers on the good, the plus, the positive, as much as possible.

It is truly all we have.

I guess now I'll go move the ugly green chair.
















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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 1M ago
It's a good thing that we don't know, when we are young, what pain awaits us in our old age.
Why worry us?   Right?
No, when we are young, we are blessedly oblivious.  If we are healthy, we have occasional bouts of discomfort, from this or that, but we have no idea of the daily pain that accompanies our bodies going south.

We romp around like these two, blissfully ignorant.


In my particular case, most of it is arthritis, inherited from both parents.......and because I have lived a fairly industrious (ok, straight out workaholic like) life, and have expended a great deal of energy doing what I wanted to do, I have arthritis is just about every possible place there is to have it.

I especially have it in my neck, where the surgeons poked and prodded and readjusted me three times.
One thing that the doctors don't tell you,  is that when they fuse your spine, ANYWHERE, that the discs below it get angry and funky and start to become a problem.

Ah, so the gist of all this.    Pain.   Mostly in the morning.  Pure unadulterated pain.....my neck, my aching back coming right through to my chest,  my hips,  and last, but never least, my ********ing
 head.
We don't like to admit to it, do we?   We look around at a restaurant, or in a store, and we see other older people, and they don't seem to have any problems, they don't look like they are in pain.  But then, do we look like we are in pain????   How do we know if they are, or they aren't? 
We don't.


I don't think I am alone in this.   I do think that some of us are unluckier than others......but I do not imagine that I am the only person getting older that hurts like hell.

I started taking the CBD oil at bedtime, because a good friend, who also suffers from arthritis, and fibromyalgia, too, swears by it.
So far, I've taken in for a couple of weeks, and I am not seeing much of a difference in the level of pain in the morning.   However, I am sleeping better than I have ever slept in my entire life.
So there's that.
It may be worth taking, just for that.
And the dreams, by God, they are entertaining........which tells me that usually, I don't sleep deep enough to dream.   Interesting.
With the CBD oil, instead of tossing and turning because my body hurts in every position, I sleep for 5-6 uninterrupted hours, deeply,  before I wake up.

So the good side is this:   after a couple of hours, the heating pad, a cuppa coffee, I start to move around, and eventually, I come alive and the pain eases up, either that, or I just move to some level of stubborn-ess and persistance, where I take over anyway.  That may be more likely.

Then there are days, like yesterday, when an added attraction appears.

Lois and I were finishing up putting a hand dyed warp on the AVL, when the jagged light appeared in my eye.  It lasts for 20 minutes or so, and no matter what I take for the headache, it descends like one of the Game of Thrones dragons, and I am toast.



The rest of the day was pretty much a waste.  I slogged through it.  Seriously, slogged.

So does she have a point here, you ask????

Well, there are articles galore about living your best life as you age, but where is the discussion about living with the weight of daily, depressing pain??????  And to be clear, I don't believe pain meds are the answer.  You can take a truckload of Ibuprofen (Advil), or Naprosyn (Alleve), but then you'll just rot your stomach out.   Narcotic pain meds don't really address arthritic pain, they would just make you so dopey, you didn't give a damn.  Not for me.  Acupuncture doesn't work for it.  I've tried it.   I've tried about everything.

It's no wonder, really, that people of a certain age are perfectly content to say sayonara.  Enough already.


It does bring me back, to that place years ago, when I learned some valuable lessons.

About "one day at a time", about "staying in the day", and mostly, "acceptance is the answer to all my problems today".

And always, I think of those who suffer infinitely worse things than I am, those who face worse things on a daily basis, and I do that old slapyourselfonthesideofyourhead thing, and I tell myself it's time to start practicing gratitude, for what I have.

I am still on my feet.   I can still weave.   I did some outside work the other day without ending up totally crippled.   I can still read, and dream, and write.
I still wake up with inspired thoughts about what I want to do today, I am able to make plans, and implement them.   I don't wear diapers, or need anyone to feed me, or get me moving.

I have a home that I love, family, friends, my best companion ever, that white ball of fluff, Naya.

I am fortunate, still.
I am alive.
I will get through the pain, so help me GOD.

If ever I feel like quitting, I will go see these two.

Case closed.



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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 1M ago

It's time to walk again....every single day if weather permits.   January and February were brutally unkind as far as walking went.
So I'm trying to make up for it.

I walk the bike path here in town, and I walk some back roads.  The fields are way too wet right now.
I also drive to other trails if I can.


On one of my walks, there are these amazing stone walls.


Look at the size of those stones.



The canal runs through town, this is the path on part of it.



A couple of days ago, L and I drove down to Lock 5.    It was a lovely walk, and a beautiful day.




The Hudson River is high, and fast.



I'm afraid I'm going to have to go farther afield, or run the risk of getting bored with the same routes.
I don't think Naya minds the same walks, as long as there are tons of smells along the way.
But to keep me motivated, I need more.


 Tell me what it is about abandoned mobile homes/trailers???



They are everywhere.



This one will soon be hidden with vines.



On the weaving front.........4 m of yardage, in cotton bamboo and rose yarn.....soft as butter.
And a very pale pink.



4 m of cotton bamboo and hand dyed cotton hemp.........in crackle.


And L's project....a crazy mixed warp with a silk weft.

Smashing.


I had all day company ........and it was a BUSY day.

 

We colored eggs.



We made cupcakes.

We chased chickens, and made lots of pictures, we visited goats, we went for pizza, we got exhausted.
OK, mostly me.




The screen porch is clean, and the best place for  an iced tea and a good book.


Finally, winter is over.
Priceless.


I leave you with this:

2 chickens trying to lay eggs in ONE box, at the same time.  Neither wanting to give up.
I have no words.






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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 2M ago

Sometimes you just have one of those days...no matter how hard you try, you know it's not going to turn out so well.

I finally gave up the battle to make this bamboo warp do what I wanted.  I did have a loom issue, with one solenoid not positioned properly to fire off like it's supposed to.  But even after fixing that, it was still a nightmare.
I didn't realize how stretchy bamboo could be.  A loose thread here, a loose thread there.  You weavers know how awful it is to UNWEAVE.

I went forwards and backwards so many times, I was getting dizzy.  I'd weave an inch or two, get out my mirror and flashlight so I could visualize the underside of the fabric, and find floats before they got too big.
I had multiple weights hanging off the back of the loom.

After four hours this morning, and very, very little forward progress, I had to stop and reconsider.
I've been working on this warp for days, and so far, I have only yardage with floats that may or may not be salvageable. 
So as much as it hurt me to do it, I cut the warp off the loom, cut my losses and tried to accept that I have wasted a week on it.

So to date, I have found that tencel warps, and bamboo warps, put on sectionally, so the warp is at least 20 yards long, can be a nightmare.

I need some reliable, dependable cotton.


At least lunch has been a good experience.   This week is leek, potato, cabbage soup, one of my faves.


My 5 year old grand daughter fell running through the house, landed on her chin, and ended up getting three stitches.

My daughter texted me, "OMG, does it ever end?"  (meaning the worry and anxiety over your children)

I said, "Yup, it will, when you die."


As they left Urgent Care, she had obviously bounced right back, and had to be cautioned about skipping down the hall way.

Note, the bandaid on her chin.



I have been dyeing for about three years, and true to form, I have not kept one bit of record of any of it.
Until now. 
I decided it was time.
So I started a dye notebook, and this week, every morning, before I start my weaving day, I dye one batch.
In my pajamas.

I usually use some picture to inspire me, so I've paired  my inspo pic with the end results, so you can see how I'm doing.


This red and gray is bamboo, for weft.




And this green is also bamboo, for weft.




This is mercerized cotton, also for weft.
This one is my favorite of the three.




There's another one on the drying rack. 

I think spring might actually be coming, but the downside is that everything looks so brown and dirty.
I need some serious lawn work done, leaves raked, branches picked up, but finding someone who will do it and do a good job is not an easy task.
My neck dictates that I NOT do it, even though I would really like to.


I love watching the sunset, and seeing the "girls" soaking up the very last rays of the day.
If you look close, you can see  them out behind the gate.   When the sun goes down, within minutes, they will be going in........like clockwork.

Egg production has been high, all winter long.  That is not usual, and I've wondered why.  Someone suggested that it was their glass enclosed chicken run that was responsible.  I don't know that it's true, but it sure is interesting.

I do have a question for you all.
A chicken question.  A garden question.


My chickens have a huge fenced in area, and when the garden is not in use, they have that area as well.
I have decided to build a couple of raised beds outside the garden, for the few things we want to plant.  Keeping it manageable.

So the garden will be empty, unless I figure out something easy to throw in there.  I want to plant something in there that will be easy to manage, and something that at the end of summer, the chickens will enjoy.
Although, they pretty much enjoy everything,  I keep thinking that there is something that would be perfect, if I just knew what it was.

Anyone?






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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 2M ago

Well, this addresses the "cracked".....my fingers, and Lois' too........around my nails....oh, so painful.

This stuff is amazing, you just have to remember to use it.





"Found" are my car keys......that I lost several weeks ago.  Everyone has tried to find them.....recreating my steps that day, searching the house.  With no success.

In the end they were outside.  I must have dropped them when I got out of the car, and the snow plow guy moved and buried them.
But they reappeared, and the key fob even works.
Little rust on the ring, but that's an easy fix.


 Nothing quite as rejuvenating/exhausting as taking care of your 5 year old grand girl.

She brings the need to sleep, but she also brings joy....lots of it.



We went out for pizza....( homemade manhattan clam chowder first, it's a Friday tradition)


 Then we went to Naya's obedience class, which totally thrilled this little girl.

And a quick stop at Target for essentials.   You know the deal.



She was wired for sound until bedtime.......

but Saturday morning, she had to ease into the day a bit.   She ordered pancakes for breakfast.

What?  You didn't know we run a little diner here????




I love having her.

Even if she does remind me why young people are supposed to have children.

And older people like me are supposed to be grands.

It was a lovely time, and I treasure it.
























This is what Lois is working on.......an 8 harness crackle, with a hand dyed giza cotton warp.


It's going to be a cloak, I think.


I am doing a custom yardage order.......
the warp is navy bamboo.....and the cotton hemp had to be dyed to match this photo.
I think I got pretty close.



And here it is, on the loom........circles, back again.


I have been pondering the complications of life lately....how we plan things one way, and they don't turn out nearly what we imagined; how impossible it really is to lay out a course that will actually resemble what we pictured.
It's one way in our head,
and quite another in real time.
Sometimes I think the joke is on us......even though sometimes it seems particularly cruel.

I do know one thing for absolutely sure.   There is TOO much winter in northeast NY.
I love my old house, I even love the little hamlet I live in.  The countryside is lovely, and it's home.

But the expanse from November to April or May is just too long.  I don't want to do it anymore.

So next winter we are making plans to get out of here for at least 2 months.....maybe 3, who knows.   I know that my psyche, my head/neck issues, my general age and the arthritic changes that come with it, are not happy with frigid temps anymore.  What really clinches it for me, is trying to walk Naya in snow and treacherous ice and worrying about falling and breaking something.

Nope, don't want to do it anymore.  I will try to look at it as a real break, from winter, from working every day, a chance to regroup and take a breath.

Tomorrow, I am going to start doing some spring cleaning.....get myself out of this winter funk.
I have a few areas that need dredging out.   I need to be sending things out of here to be repurposed or loved by someone else.  I think it will make me feel better, at least until I can get outside more.

(I like James Comey, just saying.   I know he's far from perfect, but he is a sensible sounding man, who I believe has a moral compass.
Something we don't see all that often.)

I have a new book, "Where the Crawdads Sing", which came highly recommended to me, so I will say good night.







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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 3M ago
Spent the day with my two littlest grands last week......I am still on pins and needles though.......my daughter and my grandson both got the flu the end of that week.
If I don't get it, it will be nothing short of a miracle.




My daughter bought me some garlic, at Trader Joe's.........she wanted me to try this "new thing".


It's already peeled, and I think she bought me 4 bags.

Then she whipped them up in her food processor.


She took the resulting mashed garlic and put it in a large, zip lock bag, and smashed it out flat.

I took it home, and when it was frozen solid, I peeled the bag off it.......chopped it up into squares, and put it all in another zip lock.  
Now, when I make soup, I only have to grab out however many squares I think I need.
I have to tell you, it's pretty awesome.  Cheating maybe, but awesome still.


Weaving on the David is really sweet.  I do love that little loom.
I have loved it even more after I put a little silicone spray on the rods that the beater bar slides on.
Now it really weaves like a dream.


This is the progression of the warp that is on it.



I think it's going to be a möbi shrug.......it's washed and dried and pressed, and waiting for me on the sewing table.



This piece is cotton hemp hand dyed warp, with a hunter green tencel weft.


This piece was a warp on the Wolf Pup that I was playing with, and it ended up being 240" long.



These are the last of the towels off the AVL.
Back to yardage.


Walking anywhere around here is treacherous........this snow is heavy, slushy, with ice underneath.
The side roads are muddy all along the shoulders.  Yesterday, we had to come in and head straight for bath time.  Naya wasn't happy.




I started doing some dyeing today.   I need a new batch of weft colors, and hand dyed warps, too.
Dyeing is  doable in the sewing room, in small batches,  but will be so much nicer when it warms up some.
I ordered supplies today, being hopeful, I guess.

I have struggled with wanting a second dog, and not knowing if it's the right thing to do.  Plus DH keeps looking at dogs that are way, way too young, annoying since I am the one who does ALL the dog walking.
My daughter was up over the weekend, with her dog who is not yet a year old.  They stayed over Saturday night, and by the time she left Sunday morning, I swear that if Naya could talk, she would have said, "Thank the Lord."
She was definitely a bit jealous, and it was obvious that her patience was being tried a lot of the time.



These two have a nice relationship.  They don't cuddle up together, but they are kind to each other, and they seem to respect the other's right to all sleeping places.
They even share food.
Go figure.


Sydney, however, is the boss.

And Naya is ok with that.





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Crazy as a Loom by Hilary - 3M ago

I guess I wasn't very good at explaining.
I loved the Louet Octado.....it was a beautiful loom to look at, and a beautiful loom to weave on.
There was a learning curve, after weaving on an AVL for a long time, but it was lovely overall.
So why did I get rid of it???

Well, to be honest, I thought Lois was going to weave on it most of the time.  I thought she would like not having to remember her treadle sequence.
But then, Lois still has a flip phone.  So WTH was I thinking?????

Nope, she's perfectly happy to weave on the loom with NO computer, no bells, no whistles.  And I respect that.  It's fine.

So that left me.
And I love my AVL....I would rather weave on it, than anything.
So after much thought, I decided to sell it......it did take up quite a bit of space, and irritated me because it sat there unused.
I thought that perhaps in the future sometime I would try to get a Louet David.......nice size, no computer, 8 harness, and I had heard lovely things about how lightly it treadled.   Plus, since I am a Louet dealer, having it in the studio might help me make some sales.
As it turned out, the lady from Maryland who bought the Octado, was thinking of selling her David.

So she bought the Octado.  And I bought the David, and she brought it with her when she came to pick up the Octado.  It was kind of meant to be.

I also like the idea of having a loom I can weave on if my compudobby has any issues.......or the power goes out!!!  
So far, I LOVE it.  I just wove off 18 yards of cotton in baby blankets, and I must say, it is a dream to weave on.

It is definitely a keeper.......I think I like it better than the Octado.


This is my Saturday morning view.  Naya likes her morning nap, resting up for our jaunt over the tundra.


Could I love her more?????
I doubt it.


I did a little retail therapy yesterday, not my usual thing, but like I said, winter is getting to me.

I shop with "purpose"....meaning I know what I want, I am in and out of the store in as short a time as possible.

I needed a new pocketbook.



I also bought myself four pairs of pajama bottoms........

And a $2 cup, which I did not need for one second.
But hey.
It spoke to me.

There is something about  a cuppa tea in a brand new cup.


Sometimes, I get sad about my two granddaughters who just turned 14 and 15.
They used to be at my house all the time.  They thought Mimi was the coolest person EVER.

We played, and baked, we went to the movies, picked flowers.   They exhausted me and I loved it all.
I felt like the paparazzi following them around.

Now of course, they are busy.....and I have apparently lost my coolness.
I barely see them, and when I do, they are halfway into their phones.


So thank you universe, because I get at least two more goes at this ...........and I am soaking up every minute I can.

Here is one of them.



Yep, spending time with this little beauty and her brother is the reason to hold on no matter what old age throws at you.
Sticking around to see as much of their lives as you can, loving how important you are in their eyes.

The other day, I arrived at my daughter's house, and my 2 year old grandson saw me, screamed "MIMI" and ran down the hall to me, threw himself in my arms, and kept his head on my shoulder for a good 10 minutes.  
Can hearts explode from pure joy??  

Sometimes people will say to me:  I don't know how you manage, how you go on, day to day, with that headache.
My answer is simply, that it's an equation.

You put the headache into the equation, with what you love about your life, what inspires you, what makes your heart full, brings tears to your eyes, and damn, if that headache doesn't get XXXXed/cancelled  right out.


Every time.

And I used to hate algebra.



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