Sunday, August 14, 2022

Who is the social head of your family?

This weekend I attended a very nice family celebration, so reminiscent of my entire childhood. Back then my mom presided over the family activities; she was the glue that held us all together. All that was missing this weekend, beside all those old familiar relatives, was a lively card game around the picnic table.

Here is a picture Shelly's best friend took for me. From left to right, my daughter, Shelly; my sister, Janice; myself, the long time writer of this blog; and my daughter, Beth.

We were at Shelly's house to celebrate Shelly's graduation from Ursuline College with an MSN degree; she is a nurse practitioner. The state boards, her last requirement, are set for a month from now.

Shelly is the mother of four of my grandchildren, one of whom lives here in this house where I rent a room. Kay, the house owner, has become the ad hoc guardian of that grandchild, too old to legally need a guardian, but her attention is appreciated. Many long time readers will remember I had custody of those three youngest children until each became 18 years of age.

Beth is the mother of my other two grandchildren, Francis and Caroline. France begins his second year of college in a few more days and Caroline starts her first year in a few days. Some of you followed France on his hiking and biking adventures. He wrote a blog, Summit, on a difficult to access platform, covering his trips on trails in this country (the Great Divide Mountain bike trail, Canada to Mexico) and the Ho Chi Min trail in Vietnam, all before he turned 18. That one made his mother crazy. 

Caroline begins college at Macalester, in St. Paul, Minnesota this year. She's the one for whom I took up sweater knitting again, though France in Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, probably qualifies for cold, too. I have no current pictures of these two, or of any grandchildren, these days. I perused Facebook for some old pictures. 

Here are Francis, Beth, my dear friend Ruth, who is the mother of my son-in-law, Bill, to Ruth's left. They met France somewhere in the Appalachians, at the end of a Francis bike trip, to drive him home. Or perhaps they met him for lunch and he pedaled his way home.

I thought I had a current picture of Caroline, a camera avoider, but I cannot seem to find it. Here she is a few years ago, on one of her father's backpacking trips. She lost no time finding other places to go, like to Grandma Ruth's house.

Her mother is taking the picture. Caroline is the epitome of enthusiasm here. She has grown to a sterling young woman who would have a place in that very first picture. I named that picture The Lytle Women, as each of us is unquestionably a descendent of my parents. Beth named her daughter Caroline Lenore, in honor of that grandparent, and Caroline is my mother's great granddaughter, for sure.

When Ruth, Caroline and I go to lunch this Tuesday, I'll do my best to get a picture of the three of us. I bet Caroline can do selfies.

Friday, August 12, 2022

A blunder of errors

I was not looking forward to yesterday. In the afternoon I would have the second two of four cavities, spread across four teeth, remediated. How does one come up with four cavities, you inquire. My best guess involves six or seven weeks on my back, access to a toothbrush few and far between. None weight bearing broken femur...

Not my mistake. I saw an aid at best two days out of three.

Anyway, as unfortunate as I counted the day of dental remediation, the fickle finger of fate interposed herself to unscrew some dumb errors to my granddaughter's medical calendar. It began with a phone call from upstairs, where my granddaughter has an adequate den across the front of the house.

"Grandma, I know you have a dental appointment this afternoon, but I wonder..." I love that sort of phone call. I find my sister and my daughters willing to grant favors, but it often does not extend to grandchildren.

After a bit of schedule checking on both parts, it was very apparent my granddaughter had lucked into a ride to and from her very own dental appointment in another city, though not for an afternoon appointment for another doctor appointment. "It's OK, Gramma; I can Uber that one."

Unbeknownst to Ms. Lucky Ducky, I intended to send her on two errands as we drove home from her appointment; nip into Dollar Tree and buy a new bottle of Tylenol for me, and into Kreigers for four apples. Turnabout is fair play.

I parked across from a reconstituted building: Belltower Brewing Company, the First Congregational Church one hundred fifty years ago, now a brew-pub. The cast bell, forged in 1867, rings the hour, every hour. I took a picture. My phone rang.

"Grandma, they forgot to put me on the schedule, but can work me in in about an hour. I guess I could Uber home."

Since my appointment was 2:30 in the afternoon, I said I would wait. She was so happy. When she arrived, I told her about the Tylenol and apples. "We could get the Tylenol right at the gas station there!" and I pulled in. I dug in my purse, found four singles, and off she went. In no time she was back with a little box of six Tylenol and less than a dollar in change. I invited her to keep the 'silver' for herself.

When I was over myself we headed for her other appointment in Hudson, and had fun working into Hudson via the back roads from Kent. I realized I could cut through the shopping plaza, get four apples from Acme and get her to her next appointment with an hour to spare.

Things were looking up. I sent her with a card this time, and four nice apples set me back $3.46. I had one for lunch today. Juicy and crunchy. Very good. We'll see if the Tylenol work. I was too beat up from my appointment to take any yesterday.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Catching up with myself

Saturday was the next to last show at Heritage Farm. Although satisfactory, sales have not met expectations, and after four shows, I believe I can blame it on the economy.

Beth has been a wonderful sidekick, but she does not want to do this next year, which leaves me pondering. I was up and down from my chair so much, waiting on customers, I felt like I was doing the therapy exercise, Stand Up, Sit Down (don't plop); Stand Up, Sit Down (don't plop). 

By the end of the day I had far exceeded a week's worth, and Sunday I was so limber I threw myself into some much needed housework. A commitment to next year is not needed until year's end, so I'll keep weaving and thinking.

I've been able to take some lovely end of summer pictures this week. Here are a couple:

Silly that I like them a lot, but the allium frames are still standing, though denuded of their giant flower heads.

This picture has focus issues. I believe the white flower must be allium, but not giant.

I am trying to make a new type of page for my blog; a page with pictures in rows, not just one column. It seems to be a matter of switching to HTML and making a grid similar to an Excel grid. I'm not great in Excel, but think I can manage.

And last, I finally sorted down to the denim thread, and they are in process.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Workshop - Sewing Girl" - Carl Larsson


Carl Larsson was a Swedish painter, primarily representing the Arts and Crafts movement. He is principally known for his watercolors of idyllic family life. He had a childhood of poverty and indignity; the family was often evicted from the current revolting housing. His father, a casual laborer, cursed the day Larsson was born, and Larsson harbored a lifetime hatred of the man. His mother worked as a laundress to keep the family fed.

Carl Larsson's life took a better turn when a teacher at the school for the poor encouraged him to apply to Royal Swedish Academy of Arts. It took him some time to feel settled in and accepted there, but he gained confidence and was promoted through the school.

He worked as an illustrator and graphic artist and his wages even helped support his parents. He settled into the Scandinavian Artist colony outside Paris, where he met his wife, Karin Bergoo. The couple had eight children, and the family were Larsson's favorite models. Many of the interiors he painted were the work of Karin Larsson, an interior designer.

Through his paintings and books, their Little House interiors became world famous and a major line in Swedish design. The house is now in the family and open to tourists May through October. The room in this painting is The Workshop. It was the main gathering room, and when the family outgrew it, Larsson built a new Workshop. Karin at once took over the old Workshop as her own, and it remained a gathering place.

It is surmised this watercolor is of Karin, hemming towels for a daughter's wedding.

The first time I used this piece, we moved around the room naming all we saw. The room reminded me of our first studio, with looms and sewing machines, plants, and tables. I did not see the gun on the back wall until it was pointed out to me. 

Knowing more of Carl Larsson's life and family, it makes sense now. Larson lived from 1853 to 1919. This was a family room in a rural setting in Sundborn. The gun was a practical implement to save the family garden from animal marauders and stock the stewpot. 

If you call up Carl Larsson on the internet, you will find pages of his images and this room in many, including a spinning wheel and a weaver at the loom. There is a watercolor of Karin at the sewing machine. 

My thanks to Cathy at StillWaters, who first sent me a link to the picture.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Rube Goldberg fix

I hope many of us remember Rube Goldberg, the sculptor, engineer, author, inventor, and most of all (for me) the cartoonist. At my grandparent's home on Sundays, the comics of the Cleveland papers far exceeded those of my hometown Akron papers. One of the best always was Rube Goldberg and his elaborate methods to achieve a common end.

You may recall that oversight on the part of both participants in the last warping of my loom left the weaver (me) with a problem to resolve when encountered, namely two threads missing in the warp.

There are two threads, exiting the coffee can, crossing the breast beam and the heavy cotton apron. Then they go...

through the tension box that otherwise is used on the back beam to guide thread into the bouts. Ignore the prescription bottles, they are solving a different problem.

And the two threads come up and join the threads of the bout being woven into very decent towels on this convoluted warp.

There they are, just two more threads in the warp, only special by how they arrived.

This time I've weaving khaki, the color of my father's army uniforms. They may be finished for the show on Saturday. Or not.

I used the tension box solely to put tension on those two threads. It turns out the coffee can and the trip over the breast beam and especially the cotton apron provide enough tension; I could have eliminated the tension box all together. Or not.