Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How to really, really lo

I am inured to sleep! Add to that extra hours sleeping off broken bones, and I’m a prime example of a sleep slug. I reveled in hours of sleeping off my craniotomy, took a year and a half off and broke my femur. A sleep addict bonanza.

When I retired from weaving, I took to sleeping nine or ten hours a night.  I remember I also had my hip replaced and then suffered a stroke, so who knows. I slept and enjoyed it. 

Going on nine at night my eyes begin clapping shut. I must be involved in something really, really good to make it to ten. In my defense, I am up by eight in the morning. Unless I go back to bed for half an hour.

I was up at seven this morning (mother nature), and saw, down at the other end, Laura might not be up. She wasn’t. “What are you going to do?", I asked, and she mumbled “I don’t know”. It’s been seven years, and she’s missed the bus exactly once in the past.

Eyes still cranky from yesterday’s exam, I said, “OK, we’ll leave at 7:30,” to drop her at school something before eight.  I got dressed, put eye drops in my cranky eyes, which I seldom must. I took care of the cat, and met the kid in the living room. She got to school on time and I came home for breakfast.

Then I went to Ravenna, Ohio, to sign some custody paperwork. Google maps put me on the backroads, an interesting half hour plus looking at all the storm damage from the weekend. Fortunately, I knew my own way back; Google was oblivious to a bridge out and I listened to that exasperated tsk-tsk, click-click (U turn!) a couple of times. Turned that off!

Now, real trouble came right up on me. Cards! Cake, from Birthday Sunday! Not any cake, but cake with custard filling. Peter was absent, and his piece couldn’t go to waste. Or the half piece Greg passed over. When I took it, I admitted to being pretty darn high on sugar. Afterwards I admitted I might as well be drunk. The two of them shuffled and dealt and chatted. I just played. Oh, yes, and I won.

They were thoughtful enough to ask if I would be OK driving home. I was, and took a nap until Laura came in. No, until she called me for supper. Now I’ve read blogs, read the news, wrote a blog. I’ve stretched time out to eight in the evening.  If I get ready for bed very slowly I can stretch bedtime to almost eight-fifteen.

I have things to do tomorrow, and I intend to be up to them! No sugar!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Monday morning, rescued

If you live west of the Mississippi, it probably wasn’t a great weekend, either. I can tell you about the weekend east of the Mississippi. Rough.  The warm temperatures were completely ruined by the heavy, pelting drops of rain and then the increasing force of blowing wind.

I went out to investigate some rattling down the street, and discovered a length of my downspout bouncing in front of one neighbor’s house, and another piece in my opposite neighbor’s front yard. 110 pounds of me had a sore trial against sixty odd mile per hour wind gusts vs. gutter rescue.

First I took the uphill, wind to the back side. It had to be done, but the wind almost put me down. I had to park myself and jam the cane tip at an angle and lean against it. But I got the little curvy end from Dan’s front yard, and turned back down the street for the long length of downspout actually dancing up the road toward me.  I got it, too, and stashed both pieces leeward of the trash cans.

By the time I went to bed at ten, my exterior walls took solid blasts, but my trash cans were intact, and I was tired. I also was not looking forward to today, and an eye exam and the need to select new frames. I hate eye exam day, and being sight impaired for the rest of it.

This morning trash cans remained intact, but the rain barrel was toes up, faucet down at the foot of the steps. Laura passed it further down the drive on the way to school, so it blew there. I got it on its bottom and left for the dreaded appointment.

Last year I needed one lens upgraded, but passed. I like my frames too much, and could not bear giving them up for a week to have new lenses made.  This year both lenses needed another boost, as I knew they would, and I made my way from the exam to glasses, shoulders sagging.

There was a new optician at the desk.

I sat down across and launched my tale. I like these frames so much I did not get new glasses a year ago. But this summer my glasses were involved in the tragic accident to my femur, and have never been put right in spite of several trips here for re-adjustment!

“Well, put them down on the table,” said the new optician, and she rocked them up and down on their current pivot point. Axis? Who knows. “This is a very simple fix,” she announced. It wasn’t that simple; three trips to the back room were required. Then they fit perfectly.

And there I sat, torn between perfect frames and new lenses.

“Now,” said Ms. Magic, “let’s see if these frames are still in production.” Two and a half years later, they still are! She apologized for the extra couple of days to get the lens templates, but so what!? I will be seeing again, through perfect frames.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Weather or not

I really haven't a lot to say about the weather. We have just a slice of the current storm going by. Wind, large rain bullets, and fifty degrees, though it's not pleasant out there. The wind is up to fifty miles per, so the entire scene is weird. When I hear a trash bin go by, I look to see if it's mine. 

The power has been iffy all morning. Never exactly going off, but setting off my battery back up for the computer. Eventually I gave in and shut down. When I went to make lunch, I see the electronic clocks in the kitchen fared poorly.

My towel flags are on the downhill side now. There are almost 150 around the world, doing their job. I am pleased for them. That many towels only mean 75 kitchens, but that's good. 

With luck, I can be done and have the loom battened down for the move. Then I believe I'll try a pop-up venture that's been on my mind a while. I do need to talk to the gallery owner, but nothing will happen before fall, so plenty of time.

I need to make some sample fabrics this summer from the sort of thread now available to me. Gone are the days of my pick of the gleanings from any sweater factory or dye house in the East. But I still see wild and crazy in my head, and I can make it work.

Here is a garment I lifted from Pinterest, and have no attribution except that and its negative number. Too much fabric for me, but an example of putting so many things together.

I'll see if Diane would represent me on an "if come" basis. Not even a dedicated space, but silly things here or there, on a pop up basis. Now you see it, now you don't.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

It is what it is; we are what we are

Stephen Colbert said last night, concluding his monologue, "Donald Trump isn't committing a crime, Donald Trump is a crime." The sun is shining today, the world is relatively good, and so you see how I drifted into a post title.

What do I have to talk about? Almost nothing. Have you read the news this morning? But, it's out of our control. It's like the Yellowstone geyser. When will it blow, not if.

So, here in my little corner of Boston Township, USA, my goodness, you all sure do like the red that I already decided will be the only red I will use in future. 

My new weaving career began with towels I intended to give away. I bought and wove several colors, including a red that appealed--on my computer's screen.

It was a screeching color, and I will not confess where the first towels are now. My new red is called, by the red namer, cerese. It makes me wonder if there are vials named red, green and blue locked up somewhere, like a meter and a kilogram are perfect, precise, and locked away.

I don't see my cat first thing in the morning. Sometimes I hear Laura leave at 6:30. That's nice; I turn over and go back to sleep until 8:00. I get up, fill Toby's food and water, clean his cat box, and then take care of my breakfast. 

Mr. Cat may appear by then, or I go looking. It's so big here! I look on the sofa. Then I look in the studio. Studio it was today, as it has been most of the winter, on the bench, by the register.

That's the next color, down there on the floor, periwinkle. I assure you, there is no standard periwinkle locked in a vault, but this is a nice rendition. I'm also amused at this little scenario.

The box of bobbins originated about where Toby's back end is on my bench. That means he pushed them far enough along to jump on, then pushed the rest of the way off. Any further retribution he considered, for being on his bench, seemed to be put off until this morning. Now it's 1:30 p.m., and his morning has yet to commence. The bobbins are cleared away and put where they really belong.

And finally, here is where I live now:

Laura has the master, the living room has a sofa and two chairs. Bedroom #2 has the loom, Bedroom #3 has me.  It was fine for three people, or two and a loom. But for one, come this June, way too much. 

The final choice of floor plans isn't in yet, but one bedroom units are pretty much the same. Living room, kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, bedroom. So I downloaded a typical plan:

Pretty close to perfect, don't you think! And going on half as much. Mr. Cat and I will be in pig heaven. I'll pass on the cottage garden, but all the shabby garden concrete decorations will come, and all the spiffy ones, too.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Another winter storm

There is a storm warning for tomorrow for winter weather, ice, snow, freezing rain, from the time tomorrow begins, at midnight, until the temperature rises above freezing tomorrow afternoon. The high temperature will be thirty eight degrees. 

There I am in northeastern Ohio. In the blue belt of rain is a weather symbol I cannot interpret. A couple of chicken feet. Are they attached to a chicken, head first in a gutter overflowing with  icicles?  I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt and calling it sunshine emerging from freezing rain.

There is so little to tell you about, aside from slippery slush as I came home from cards today. I told Laura she should salt or risk a fall in the morning. She came in and said she saw what I meant.

Nancy had a double pinochle today. Woo-hoo. We still lost.

I'm ready to start again with towels. Here are the first three dozen plus I will begin with.

The colors are back, left to right, cerise (red), pumpkin, cayenne (an orange/brown spicy). In the front are four cream and two plum. I'll start tomorrow sending emails. I'm not going anywhere, until the sunshine melts the chickens out of the gutter.

Sunday, February 17, 2019


My Visa bill came last week. That and the electric bill come monthly to my mail box. I try to do as much as possible on line, but I still need the Visa in my hand in order to look over and reconcile the charges.

This morning was the day to figure out how I had come to spend so much money in January. Sadly, they all rang true save one. CondeNast NY for ninety dollars. I was changed from "associate" to "associate" until we hit on it. The New Yorker. Yes, I'd done that. Actually, for the second year in a row.

I grumble about this to my friends and they grumble back. I'm adding you all to the list of grumblees; I will not do this next year!

I read everything on line. Everything! A few years ago those annoying pop-ups began. You have read three of five free articles so far this month. Of course there are more than one reporter and one newspaper in this world, so I would see who else had covered the story.

Sadly, I suppose, New Yorker is far more than journalism. It's commentary helps me sort out all the facts. But then, the essays, the cartoons and poetry! And I am caught by the pop-up, and subscribe another year.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, or a free newspaper. That pop-up has got me for the Times, the Post, and even my local rag, The Reekin' Journal! I don't need an annual subscription when I can be intelligent about selecting another free article or not. I generally don't read for another grain of truth. I read because I am addicted, since I read "Spot walked to school with Dick and Jane", and the list of ingredients in Cheerios. 

A melted ice bird, taking off from my drive the other day!

Last week's flowers still look good, so we didn't buy a new bunch.

And now I will return to researching how to play Pinochle. Nancy and I are loosing awfully, and the guys could not contain glee last week. I know it sounds like whining, but you play the cards you're delt. 

That was one of Greg's many power meld hands last week. He eventually outbid Nancy's run of diamonds, and we all know, if your run is not trump, only the marriage counts.

We've met five times this year. They are four hundred and five points ahead. Today I am going to study power pinochle strategy.

Friday, February 15, 2019

After breakfast

Lynn and I went to breakfast today for the purpose, after a good long chat, of raising our spoons to February being on the plus side of gone! I took a detour through the township to take some sunny pictures, like the brightness that struck us when we left. 

It did not all work out that way. I decided to go by the old Black Farm, a National Park Service property in our Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Yesterday, in a comment on Tom Stephenson's blog, I indulged my opinion of waste in my backyard by my federal government. I even called it evil. It's not fair to use another blog this way, so here it is again, on my blog.

This property is among the hundreds purchased by CVNP back in the seventies, to flesh out the park being established. The properties were purchased by eminent domain; some transactions friendly, many adversarial. As the director of the park told me, when I worked for my township from 2003 until a year ago, the pleasure of a family's outing to the park will not be increased by knowing more than 450 families lost their homes to the creation of this park.

I believe it's good to know, so I occasionally revisit it. 

Here are current pictures of the Black Farm.

The horse barns. I am not ready to walk that field so here it is from the road. All the roof vents are broken. That is the most to be distinguished in this picture, so, moving on,

An outbuilding. The bottom door and the loading door above have stood open for two or three years.

The main barn. Boards have been off and downspouts on the ground for two or three years.

Another outbuildng and the pasture fence: When I stopped last, a year or so ago, the fence was intact and a lock hung in the gate. Now the rest of the gate in on the ground.

The home. The park's property manager has renamed this place Briar Rose, because of the unmanaged vegetation. In truth, I don't find that either amusing or truthful. It is the Black Farm, hundreds and hundreds of acres, spreading from this road it fronts back to the next township road behind it. 

The park purchased this farm, and hundreds more, because they had the money. But not the money to maintain the properties, or return then properly to nature.  Instead of saying, "Oh, Briar Rose. What a shame!", they should return upkeep money to this and to all the national parks.

The National Park infrastructure maintenance is more than eleven billion dollars in arrears. Parks are closing areas to the public for safety reasons. The administration is telling them to charge and use entrance fees for up keep. 

In my PollyAnna mood on stepping into the sunshine this morning, here is a happy picture of blue skies and melting ice in the marsh.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Uber the river

I want to have a blog post, one of those that flows from finger tips to cyber space, with maybe a pause at auto correct because no three letter word is correct. Even two letter words. Proof reading remains the last job before post. Even then…

I suppose it’s the thick atmosphere choking me these days. My brain really sags under Foggy Bottom. The Prez who got a wall. We’re used to that insanity. How about the federal parks bill just passed by the Senate? Some deserving parks and Joshua trees received great help. This park I live in was passed over again, for the usual road and building repair backlog.

The Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems to be the only park that leases back farm land to wannabees. The same farms emanate domained a mere fifty years ago, allowed to fall into ruin, and now a half dozen of the four hundred odd small holdings have been renovated and leased. One of the farmers is loved and supported by the community, but that not enough to weather the shutdown. Their CSA program is axed for 2019, as the National Park system attempts its 11.6 billion dollar maintenance backlog.

I turned to more local clips for better news. Sometimes the local local is best of all. In Chagrin Falls, a village enough bigger than mine to provide Uber service, some poor mother still was called upon to drive her son home. The Uber driver exited the car often and circled it, bemoaning driving in snow. Eventually he returned to the village, and that alternate mode, Mom, was engaged, a week ago. When it snowed.

Shots fired, Wilding Chase! This also from the Chagrin Falls police blotter, completely stumped me. A Wilding chase. How dreadful. Chagrin Falls roads are like ours, winding, uphill and down, two lane, through the Chagrin River valley. After much unfruitful thought, I searched the definition of “Wilding”, and google returned Wilding Chase, a residential street in Chagrin Falls.

The National Weather Service issued a Pup Alert!, a small dog warning. The storm that left inches and inches and inches of snow from Washington State to Ontario, Canada, has a wet underbelly of massive rain and heavy wind. A winter storm underbelly in this country generally means rain in the Ohio River valley and south. 

But this storm’s snow ended in Detroit, and the rain began at Lake Erie. Laura told me over supper, she walked almighty fast to get to the bus shelter this morning, and not be blown down the road or soaked to the skin.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Catherine and Peter and other happenings

Supper generally includes a “What happened in school, today?” segment, and tonight Laura led with her win in “Eastern Civs”.  Her presentation was a summary of Peter the Great, followed up by defending Peter the Great against Catherine the Great, as presented earlier by another student.

“You mean you presented him as greater than Catherine, and defended that!?”

“Oh, he was not prepared!” Laura said of her opponent.

“Ah, you out-Catherined him with Peter!”

“It didn’t hurt that I ended by comparing Peter to Inigo Montoya.”

We have et mighty high on the hog since my stand against water soup. Last night I followed my nose to the kitchen in advance of supper being announced.  The only smell I recognized was bacon, and it can be difficult to let that alone.

Laura was making soup from a mix she bought. The bag was full of split peas, lentils, and more stuff. Alphabet macaroni were promised, but we think the split peas gobbled them down. The recipe is on the bag, as are the very best recipes, so I must keep an eye out for this one on the shelves. Tonight was leftovers, and now it is gone.

In the last important news, Laura’s quilt is penciled in on Jan’s calendar, when we get back from grocery shopping tomorrow. Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Since you last heard from me...

Yesterday was such a nice day. I opened the door, and it swung shut, several times in a row. So much for a strange winter and shifting foundations. I slid Fat Man over to do his old job.

I've mostly been weaving. The stack on the left is called "cayenne". Pretty close. Then two of the plum color from the previous warp, and some cream.  I try to finish a warp in the color of the warp, rather than risk coming up short of weft.

Today has rained all day. At lunch time there was an email that my new warp was delivered, to my mailbox. Our mailboxes are communal, with boxes on the lower tier of various sizes for delivery of packages. 

I retrieved my box of warp in a reusable grocery bag from the car's back seat. The box was ten or twelve pounds, and I managed it with no fear being in trouble. But what a long way still to go!

Back in the loom room, a glance out at the wet, wet weather. Today was in the fifties and rain all day. Tomorrow the same, then back to winter on Friday.

The cone flowers out the window have great sections of seeds missing. I have never had a cone flower from seed, so I will put the missing seeds down to sparrows. 

And that is most of the news that's fit to print. Laura passed her follow up joint smoking test, as she should have.  

Tomorrow I need to make a trip to the post office, and I believe I'll stop at management's office and see if any plans for one bedroom units have arrived. Sadly, probably nothing until February, the longest month of the year, is past.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sunshine all weekend and we hardly went out

Laura worked on her quilt top

Filling the bobbin

I wondered if any pockets on my jeans "made the cut"

They did

Pressing open seams

I took off a "double" run of towels, to cut and hem today

And since I really have little I feel like writing about, here on the back door my piece of stained glass. My neighbor likes seeing it. 

And a selfie. The fall leaf came in a thank you note.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Hate is a cancer

Winter has peaked; we’re on the downhill side. I wonder if ever we will be on the downhill side of undesirable human traits and behavior, or come to an acceptable way to eliminate unacceptable behavior.

Remember the #MeToo movement in its beginning,  exposing so much sexual harassment and sexual assault. How many well known men were caught up, and many famous and powerful, under the force of public opinion, left their post or office. 

Accusations against Senator Al Franken were a sad disappointment to me, and after a short reflection on his championship of women, I admitted to myself there is no do over, just a start over.

Which brings me around to things still so very wrong, and we do not have the national will, or even individual will to address. Seventy percent of Americans feel the government is failing at combating corruption, up from fifty percent two years ago. 

The man in the red hat was going to drain the swamp. And, it’s almost two years until our next opportunity to start over.

We have the governor of Virginia waffling on owning up to being the fellow in black face or the fellow in KKK sheets or neither or both of them, but he can’t remember, and blablabla. He must resign. No do over.

Do we really understand how pervasive open racism is in our country now? I admit I came of age in the March on Washington era. One of the originals, when Peter, Paul and Mary sang. I always tried to see us getting better. It’s close to impossible, now.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) spent his first week at work since the government reopened harassing a Muslim colleague on Twitter with suggestions that she hates Jewish people. Both were named to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Rep Zeldin was named the second ranking member and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) a freshman representative.

His accusations were based on an anonymous anti-Jewish voice mail he received.  Rep. Zeldin invited Rep. Omar  to co-sponsor his resolution naming her and known white supremists as examples of anti-Semitic hatred. That in response to her invitation to tea and a discussion of fighting religious discrimination.

How to start over. I don’t know. I wonder if it will be warm enough tomorrow to cut back the sedum and butterfly bushes, or if we should leave them through this week’s snow storm for protection for birds and mice, and cats.