Wednesday, October 28, 2020

A little pondering

 Thank you for the program suggestions. I've already seen some, and tried others. I've dipped into The Queen's Gambit several times, but have seen less than an hour. There's been enough to realize the title is from that opening move in chess and so the plot probably is about the actions of characters who might be considered like those pieces.

I'm sure I'll get back to it, but not while it can engage me too emotionally. Right now I'm not up to orphans, and dark dealings. It also seems the young girl was intended to be a victim too, and survived unscathed, by the standards of the day. Broadchurch was far easier for me.

The Repair Shop got me with the first episode, and is such easy watching that I'll go on awhile. I engaged in a stern lecture from and to myself to turn off the television and get back to work! And, all the suggestions are on a slip of paper tucked in by the cushion.

Watching the repair and restoration of the items brought into the shop, I wondered how significant the work would be to the generation these objects were destined for. How I can still remember my own pleasure at having, using, restoring items I considered valuable and heirlooms, and having them rejected by the next generation. Not only my own children, but nieces and nephews rejecting their father's and mother's treasures.

Those experiences devolved to sending the pieces to people who wanted and appreciated them. Turn them down once and gone. So much was auctioned. My daughter eventually made a family joke of "selling our inheritance" that they did not want.

Anyway, the warping tree is loaded, and the twenty tubes I will empty are on the floor in front of it.

And, the forty threads are distributed in the tension box, the knot is tied and put in the bout cord. The whole set up is pretty insulated from potential disaster. Oh, and the thread guides are set on the bout pins. And the crank is on whatever the crank inserts to.

Another good night's sleep and I probably can wind. I didn't mention that I gave my ribs a good thump yesterday, and they remain damn painful today. Another day should do it.

Speaking of, that Gerbera daisy will not recognize the changing of the season. Will Not! Another bud is poking out from under the leaves. Here are the two buds in blossom, holding up rain drops.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Big jobs, little jobs

 I spent a busy, quiet weekend. Who am I kidding there. Almost every day is qui-et! The only voices come from the radio or the Mp3. Or the very occasional cat meow. If he's waiting at the door in the morning he turns and heads to his end of the house. He looks back to assure I'm in his wake, but his progress is steady.

If he jumps down from the cat tower, he generally has something to say. As if I don't know the routine, and I won't continue to move on without encouragement. He's almost in the "cat room" when he leaves his tower and I'm still on my bedroom end. He beckons me to catch up.

I spent the weekend finishing towels. That is a not so big job, especially since I have a re-warping facing me. I will do my best to suck it up and get this warp beamed before the week is out. Then I will suck it up again and get it tied in a week. I do hope to finish another happy color of towels by Thanksgiving.

The problem is, I've run out of alternatives to beaming and tying. I finished The Crown. I've finished Schitt's Creek. I've started David Letterman, and that could be bad. For my time. I cannot listen to Mp3 and count turns. Can't go there again until I'm tying.

This morning I had a pleasant interaction with my state sales tax collection agency. I received another past due notice for not filing a monthly return. Sigh. I won't retell the sad story of incompetence from them over more than a year. 

Suffice it to say, for the first time I spoke with a woman. At the end of telling her what she needed to do she said "Just a moment, I'm fixing it now. There. Done." I asked her if there would be a confirmation number for whatever she had done and she said No.

Pause. Then she said "But my name is Karen and here is my badge number:" 

If I write about this topic again, it will have nothing to do with her.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Where is the land of lost days?

 I lost yesterday. I did not miss it until I got up this morning. "It's Thursday. Must remember the trash". And La-de-da, I worked my way into the kitchen with my bedroom and bathroom trash, and headed for the studio trash. Passing the window I saw the trash cans gone. Yep, Larry had them all out front.

First I thought I'd slow down and take care of the cat and eat breakfast, then take care of my trash problem. But, I didn't. I didn't even take care of the cat. If I was confused, he could be, too. Apparently it is Friday, and I had an appointment this morning to have my hair cut.

And by golly, I did. I'd take a picture, except Mel gets carried away with the gel and the "styling" and all that, and it won't be a real haircut until I have a shower tomorrow.

I think I lost yesterday to the weather, mostly. It was eighty yesterday, just as it has been all day today. Every window open. Every time I looked, the cat was following the sun, window to window. I wove all morning, gave my back a couple hour TV break, wove all afternoon. I am so close to the end of that warp, I can taste it. This green is lovely. Tomorrow it probably will be towels.

Yesterday and today have been immersed, in addition to heavy weaving, in Edith Wharton's The Song of the Lark. Did she really write so many books! Did I lose them or did I never read them? Surely the former, or how do I have a Master's in American Literature. 

This "lost" book has captivated me like Little Nell did several years ago. I hope I am not disappointed by the end.

Tomorrow does not bode well. Today's eighty will be forty tomorrow. There is a severe storm warning until tomorrow morning and a current lightening strike warning. A shame, but that's what weather is all about. I went out to take a look after supper tonight; it's still warm and lovely. But change is coming. Here's the sky:

And here are the first drops of rain. See them? It's probably raining right now in Illinois. Or Missouri.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020


 The other day I could not switch to the next episode of Schitt's Creek. I could not stop the action. After I assured myself no button on the Roku device was activating I said well, damn. The batteries must be dead. I wonder where they are. And fought my way into the secret recess, and found triple A. 

A methodical search of the house turned up two half packages of double A. I turned off my old TV with the separate control (so old I need two controls to watch my TV), put the Roku device in my purse, just in case those no name batteries were not triple A. 

But of course they were, and this afternoon I even gave myself a lesson in all the symbols Roku puts on my TV screen to navigate programs, episodes and so on and so forth. Almost like Blogger. Long story short, I got back to the interrupted episode and finished it.

My life has entertained some lovely moments since Roku's batteries crapped out. Every morning I've woken to rain on the window. We've had lovely temps since then, which make for a decent frame of mind. I had an errand this morning, and left to beautiful sunshine.

All the sun turned the water on the gerbera daisy into bits of glass. The sun was leaving as I drove down into the valley. It may well be my last opportunity to record the color this fall has given us, so here it is, under the growing overcast.

Another pretty picture on a corner in Peninsula:

I had one other surprise this morning. A ping to my phone, and I found this picture:

It still seems so strange she's in another county. 

Sunday, October 18, 2020

1:30 on a cold and wet Sunday afternoon

 Thanks for all the tea and sympathy Friday. Dan is a sad specimen. I've put up with him for the last four years, and know his type from all these years of just knowing people. He was nicer back when he had Joe to push around, and we were happier encouraging Joe to find a new position. And life goes on.

Laura came yesterday to help me button up for winter, and to tell her good news. She came in all smiles for telling me about it. First we said good bye to the mandevilla.

Much as I wish I had a way to keep them, I don't. They made me happy this summer. That was the very best red mandevilla ever. May next year's be as lovely.

Miss Thumb's Up. I nearly added "little", and for shame. She will be twenty this year. She is a registered voter with her absentee ballot signed and sealed. She remains undecided about mailing, delivering or voting.

Her happy news, she found a studio apartment to move into. It's in the immediate neighborhood she lives in and she will feel quite comfortable living there. She showed me pictures she'd taken, and I do like it. It's an enormous room with a wall of windows facing the yard and garden of the home.

I made a mental note to find a box to put "things" into. I sent her away with some towels and a round butter dish, and I wonder which pleased her more.

Today I've divided between weaving and watching the British Bake Off. Laura and I used to watch cooking challenge shows. Laura loved them, and all I guess I can say is I believe I'm over them. I'll be surfing Netflix for something else next time.

Laura still loves cooking. She's working at Chipotle, and has a job one day a week at a Mediterranean food truck. Hard work for a good worker. I'm off for left over mac and cheese, with a side of peas, and am quite pleased.

Friday, October 16, 2020

What a beautiful day

 Last weekend had a cooking mishap at my house.  I baked my lovely squash, but in the process a baking dish exploded. What a mess.

That was only the beginning of it. There was glass in the tray underneath, and all over the squash, which was baking upside down. I cleaned off the squash and ate them this week. 

I sent the picture of the mess to the park manager, who will no longer admit people to her office. Having no answer, I sent the picture to the park super. No answer.

The park super is grumpy past description. He really is not the ideal superintendent at any time. His sidekick quit and went to another facility maintenance job we hear he really likes. So now the super takes care of three parks alone, and his temper flies wherever.

I heard nothing all week, but no matter. I can bake a potato in the microwave. By yesterday I decided I would just use an oven full of glass. My mouth was set on mac and cheese!

There was a bang, bang, bang on my door this morning. I  invited the super in, and he came with my doorbell in his hand. He yelled "Why didn't you answer the bell?" and I said probably because it needs a battery and I can't pull the case off.

Then he looked in the oven, and all hell broke loose. He boiled it down to my problem. I stood my ground. He left, went to his truck and came back with a small vacuum, not powerful enough to inhale Pyrex pieces. 

It was a long job, lots of yelling. Enough said; he finally finished and left me to clean the inside before the racks went back. When the door closed, I cried like an old fool.  In the end I had to call my neighbor to come put the racks back in because I wasn't strong enough to push them in

Cathy came and slipped the racks in, easy peasy. Like butter. Those racks have been upside down for a year and a half, always difficult to pull out to access whatever was baking.

I took a package to the post office, stopped at the dollar store and bought a teeny weeny battery for the doorbell, that now rings. The sun is shining.

The cat has yet to recover from all the yelling this morning. He is not pleased that I went outside to admire the sunshine. He might be less pleased to know there is a frost warning. Laura is coming on Sunday, to take down my plants.

And there will be mac and cheese for supper! The nice crumb topping is Laura's tip. From the toaster crumb tray.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Take a peek! Just look at that!

 Guess how many "looks" there have been at towels out at work. Oh, wait. I'll tell. Just short of 1,400. Not counting me. There are twenty five "owners" represented, and I bet each of us has not looked fifty times.

I know how many have promised pictures, but haven't got round to it yet. If you haven't changed your mind, send it along. 

The new cerise towels are finished and posted. The next set will be dusty green, a popular color from the past. Then it will be time to put a new warp on the loom. We'll see how much grumbling will be involved.

It is so easy to be distracted by nothing to do these days, especially in relation to how it upsets the real routine. I hope I explained that well enough. We all have a friend whose plate is piled high these days. In case you've meant to and haven't, drop a note to Procrastinating Donkey. Jenny_O might enjoy a fluttering of emails to let her know we remember.

These new times have left me with a string of photos I've not been able to use, so here they come now.  The first is the first of the full moons this month. The next is the blue moon. I'll try for it, too.

I took this at least one day after the "full moon", and I can see the first slice of "going to rest" in the west.

We are having a decent autumn of color here. It's kept me busy snapping.

Yesterday was completely overcast, but the colors still were nicely stacked.

I went into town to mail a package. The post office was closed. Not until I was back home did I remember. I won't mention the day. I did pass this pretty little tribute to the holiday at the end of the month.

And another one. It's a very big tree, with a gnome's door. Sorry, it's closed.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Macramé Tree

This is how I would make a macramé tree using this picture as a guide:

Select the cord. Find cotton twine or cord from a knitting or weaving shop. Find your old box of beads and select as many as you count here, or more or less. I'd be inclined to disassemble some old jewelry and use those beads.

The coarser the twine the more realistic the look as bark, but the harder on your hands. Birch trees have lovely smooth bark, like a good cord.

Find a hoop. I estimate the twine lengths as 4 times the diameter of the hoop. 

Elmer's glue. Small binder clips or clothes pins, to hold unfastened twine ends.

Draw a sketch of your tree and branches. The number of branches are the number of twine lengths to cut. Fold each in half and set aside, with the beads. Wind from the cut ends to the fold, into a neat ball.

This hoop is wrapped over and over with the twine. Start by wrapping a whole lot of cord on a bobbin or thread card, for ease of handling.

Use a dab of Elmer's to fasten the end of the twine to the hoop. When it is dry, begin wrapping the twine around the hoop, packing it firmly as you go. Glue down the finish end. Consider this the top point. There is a hanging cord here.

Now set the branches. This tree has branches spaced around half the diameter. That makes a nice bower of branches. 

Set each branch by putting the the folded and balled twine branch around the hoop, passing the rolled ball through the half way fold and pulling snug. This tree has half its branches on each side of the hanging cord.

At this point hang the hoop somewhere sturdy, like a towel holder or curtain rod. All the floating twine branches should be accessible for ease of working. 

Slide beads on one strand of the twine, according to your sketch. Twist the cord before and after the bead to hold it in place. Roll the twine in your fingers, or pass it front to back to front to back. Follow your sketch or the picture to determine when and where to braid.

When the braided trunk reaches the bottom of the hoop, begin tying off the twine. Begin with the middle twine and work to the end.

Wrap the twine once around the hoop, once around itself, pulling the end through and snugging up. When all is to your satisfaction, put a drop of glue on each knot.


This is how I would go about making the tree hoop. Please feel free to post this anywhere you want, add instructions or instructional drawings, but not attributed to me. Have fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

America will always prevail

Warren Buffet said that, America will always prevail. One of these times we will get it right. We reinvent every time. But so effing slowly. And it all must be the law of the land, or it does not stick. So, let's make sure people go to the polls.

I wrote about the two hour line the first day of early voting. I didn't include the big human interest story of the man who collapsed twice in line, and the second time left in an ambulance. Well, he made it back to the line this week, and cast his vote.

No, I did not make that tree of life wall hanging. But I easily sussed out how it was made. I have a cone of cotton cord that I have not been able to dispose of for grandchildren and cat's cradles. Perhaps some cold winter evening I may sit in front of the fire and make it.

If anyone is interested, I'll write out what I think is the procedure and send it along. It's a new take on macramé, all the rage in the seventies. My most complicated piece was a Roman shade, and the hardest part of that was correctly stringing the cords so the shade folds rose and fell evenly.

A bizzy weekend. The cerise towel yardage is off the loom and in the dryer. If it comes out before I post, I'll include a picture. But probably not.

I downloaded a series of Willa Cather novels, last read in college. The bad part is that my MP3 indexes by author, and at this point I have to remember how many I've listened to in order to move along in an orderly way. When I have to charge it up again, I'll delete the ones I've listened to. Probably except Death Comes for the Archbishop. It is so lovely I could listen several times.

There was a kitchen adventure this afternoon. I bought a butternut squash when last shopping. It's been on the counter going on two weeks, wondering why I didn't cut it. And I, eyeing it from time to time, wondered if I could cut it, or would have to call my sister. I invited her to afternoon tea and cutting my cabbage in half, recently.

Watching her at that cabbage though, I realized it's like loading and unloading a van load of very heavy totes and display equipment. It's all about leverage. We never did get to weaving gossamer, and cotton is so heavy.

Aren't they beautiful! An hour and a half bake in the oven, I had one for supper and one for tomorrow.

Washed, dried and folded. My work today is done.

Friday, October 9, 2020


I know how this plays out. Remember Trafficant? That man's chicanery was repeating a lie often enough for a few to believe. A demagogue. Even in prison he carried his persona. America did not crumble.

We accept holstered men. We accept gay activities. Women's political strength expands. People of all color are taking responsibilities for our common good. People are good. People are kind.

America will not crumble. Neither will America return to good old days. There is little good about days directed by bad laws and bad men and women.

People should do as they please, within the law. Stockpile guns. Shoot targets to smithereens. Hurt someone with that gun and spend the rest of your days in prison.

I started this post yesterday, thinking about all the comments from you filtered through the grey brain of an old lady who remains a tree hugger. Then a group of buddies in Michigan decided their "militia" could start a revolution by that tried and true method of kidnapping the state's governor.

And you know what happened. They fought the law and the law won.

So here we are, in another reinvention, boosted by Covid and the  need for new thinking. This one is a biggie. Not only must we outwit Covid, we must address this country's great underclass. And those are not the "militias" that grow up occasionally and feel they can reform the nation by taking over a national area, or a governor.

The underclass is the other ninety plus percent of us,  

We all know the end of the underclass is equal opportunity. Equal access to medicine, to education, to housing. There is enough money in this country to rebuild third world countries and feed and vaccinate the world's children. Spend that money at home, too.

Spend that money at home to provide the education that produces teachers, doctors, mechanics, thinkers, producers who work and live in adequate surroundings. Money at work to this end provides more than more money. It provides a better world to live in.

It's eleven this morning, and I'm past my best thinking time of the day. Fortunately the best tool I have left is my ability to type my little message. I believe we, on the whole, are committed to the continual reinvention for the common good that is this country. 

Be kind. No more political talk from me until after the election. Oh, by the way, absentee ballots in my county are delayed.

Remember to have a plan to have your vote counted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I wonder if we will remember all that must be restored.

 I'm wrapped in such a sense of anxiety. Time cannot pass quickly enough. It's like the last days before the baby is born. I remember that feeling, rising through my body. It was there before my divorce was final, before my mother died.

Watching this year's events unfold, that sense has started up in me often, and I've sent it away. Literally tell myself "Stop this. Get on with something else!"

The last few mornings, I've read the news summaries in my night gown. The first morning was to assure myself the President still was alive.

My home town paper scrabbles along, and I subscribe on line. A while back I cut back to one big city paper and chose the Washington Post. I don't know why I picked it over the New York paper, and all that matters is my attempt to keep abreast.

That home town paper is Akron Beacon Journal, known affectionately is the Reekin' Journal. The front page story today is early voting, written in their sad, human interest style. The line is a two hour wait. One of those public interest groups spawned in my kind of home town advises the elderly and infirm to bring meds and water and juice.

The rest of the story, on an inside page, drops my explosive. Instead of the usual 150 booths, there are 50. The cause is the pandemic.

I won't go into any of my solutions. There is one. There are many. It's too late, and no longer the point.

I wonder if we will remember the entire list that must be restored.

This is not a third world country. It is one of the longest surviving and improving democracies on the planet. There have been setbacks, we've lurched forward. The latest setback is the whole of the anxiety, the foreboding.

The questions are the answer. How many poor people does it take to make one rich person? 

I don't know. I'm going to weave now.

Friday, October 2, 2020

No overthinking

I slept in half an hour, another day. My second  (?) winter on from a broken leg, I recognize change of weather equals change of pain, from accepted normal to too much. 

Last winter how I wanted those metal rods removed, and the sweet young surgeon said sure, he could do that, but what if a strong wind broke that bone again. So, another winter to get through.

And the news this morning, POTUS and FLOTUS are Covid positive. My stomach turned and my brain thought "You dumb fuck!".  I truly am sorry, even though the two of them walked in, eyes wide open.

I went to the post office this afternoon. The one closest to home, with all the urban cross roads. A bright red truck zoomed out of one, causing me to brake sharply (warning ding from the monitor) and curse softly.

The truck flew two flags from the tailgate, each big enough to swathe my car. On my left, that new American flag with black and white bars and one blue, for all our first responders. I used to respect that flag. Perhaps I was dumb.

The flag on the right was an American flag. So, the standard calling card of an American redneck. I wondered if he would "blow coal", though I also reasoned he probably was not smart enough or old enough to understand diesel and standard shift. He made an unsignaled right turn, and then I saw the entire center of the flag proclaimed TRUMP. 

This year I have read too many books on racism, cast, underclass. I've even set a couple aside, too much to stomach. I've started Caste, by Wilkerson, Deep South by Theroux, Entitled by Marnne, among others. The only book I finished, and read deeply and recommend is Deep South, by Paul Theroux. I could relate to every page of the book, and some of it has even happened to me.

We deliberately maintain an underclass in this country. Not you and me, but the system that only trusts fat white men (and women). The power and the money only goes where the holders of the power and the money wish it to go. 

Theroux has travelled the world and written widely of cast and underclass, and all those places in South America, Africa, India, touched by the money of the Clinton Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He's also travelled our deep South, where the money has never gone.

But of course, there is other news. I've finished the Slate towels. As soon as I post this, I'll post them. And three more towels at home came into my box today. Now that is fun.

It is cold, raining most mornings. The sun was brilliant later in the day and the sky still is cloudless. How I hope to see the full moon tonight. In the meantime, my flowers are between some paragraphs, and here are the new slate towels.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

So done with September

 Admit it. September was one discouraging month. I even made a deal with the calendar. If today was October, I would clean the big bathroom. It was and I did.

I am numbed. Life was not always measured out in teaspoons. Finding spontaneity in four walls is not possible, even for the cat. Even his dead run of sixty feet has the same obstacles to avoid. He has regressed to treating me as if he's my dog. 

The children around me are back in school. I read in the paper of schools all around closing their doors, but the two private academies have full parking lots. I used to remember to avoid the road they both occupy, from one cross road to another, when the School Zone lights would be blinking. 

I don't remember that, now. I amused myself with pictures on my way through the four way stop. 

My letter to the people was published in the last issue of YCN. Be sure your vote is counted. If you don't vote, you don't count. Stark, and true.

Life within four walls--groan. After I watch the cat bound, end to end, until he just flops, little remains. Sometimes I cook, even two or three days in a row. I made cauliflower soup the other day. So good, especially with some Swiss cheese and bacon crumbles. Two or three days are stashed in the freezer. Well labelled.

Another keeper is the bruschetta spaghetti. As a not Italian, I've deduced the meaning of "bruschetta" in front of spaghetti. I take it to mean "raw", as in spaghetti from scratch. The noodles wind up coated in red sauce, and are red, and not from a separate pan, or from a can of sauce.

Other people in my world are alive and well. Just not "in". Laura is rooming with Kamaria and sharing her life. It includes bicycling and veganism. Nothing with eyes, I think. Kamaria sent a picture labelled "Back from a six mile bike ride and Laura went up the apple tree!".

Speaking of trees, and other women in my family, Beth has sent pictures from time to time of the progress of the pergola in her back yard. The pergola has been a plan of hers for some time, and life fitted together this year to get it done.

First, the old pear tree in her back yard gasped its last pear last year. The tree was there when she moved in, and that was while her G'ma Lytle was here to admire her house and her accomplishment. Past that, let's just say her children were raised on pear sauce.

Several years ago she and the children laid a patio under the tree, and entertaining moved there. A few more years of shade from the tree, and then it was gone.

Over the course of this summer I received snaps. This is dated August 30th:

A couple of weeks later:

Progress. More stepladders called into service. And Saturday my phone went nutz with a flurry of pergola pictures.

I will save the close ups of the overhead screening and struts and uprights for a really slow day. Here we have Beth's husband, Bill, her college roommate, John (also the primary builder), and the pergola.

And the author of the event? Since the men aren't available to make a picture, wait a bit. Beth's chair is the red chair.