Monday, November 30, 2020

Holing up

 Well, I had my phone fixed this afternoon. There are two places to put it on Do Not Disturb. I didn't know about the second place. The ever helpful fellow at the phone store knew. Now I know, too. And I left the store to the tinkle of all the incoming texts and messages.

Laura moved over the weekend. Everything is in her studio except the bed. All her help bailed except one stalwart friend, and they got it all moved except her bed. Too big for the car. She's not fussed.

I learned all this when I called to see when we could get together, for help with my shopping. The awful season has arrived; we are under a winter storm advisory from today through Thursday. The snow total is forecast at four to six inches. The news feed for Peninsula warns it will rain for the next 120 minutes. That's two hours, bringing us to 8 p.m., and that is when the snow will begin.

The hang up with Laura and shopping is that she has no car. I am more than happy to go get her, but a bit of planning is required. The ten mile drive takes twenty minutes. That's essentially an hour total travel time just for that pick up and return, and I'd prefer to start before three in the afternoon.

I gathered myself up after lunch and went grocery shopping, brought it home, got it in and unloaded and put away. My hoodie was in the dryer, on high heat, that entire time, and still feels cold and damp several hours later.

I finished the rust warp and it's sitting on the washing machine, waiting for tomorrow. I ate supper, and here I am, writing a blog entry about shopping before the storm.

Tonight I'd intended to write about the envelope of pictures from my father's trunk. Although all the pictures are scanned, any information on their backs is over in the desk drawer, and I'm not getting up again until bedtime.

That is a picture of my father in gingham and a bandaged toe, holding his brother, in yesterday's post. The picture of the class has an arrow pointing to my father and his name written below. Here's another picture of a class he was part of. The next time I post, it will be more pictures, and the story of the envelope.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Review of real life

 Months ago I came across a recorded book that I immediately downloaded. The little review on screen introduced the subject(s) as Appalachian refuse made good. The author was in a car down where he grew up, Middlefield, Ohio

I downloaded Hillbilly Elegy; it sounded like one more book about my dad's life, sans the car. Around that time I read a string of books about the little guy persevering for a small win against Big Industry/Pharma/Chemical/Legal America.

Dark Waters
attorney Mark Bilott realized unexplained deaths in his hillbilly portion of West Virginia might be, and indeed were connected to DuPont manufacturing chemical discharge in and around Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Another was Just Mercy, way further south, but still about poor people running out of resources against unrestrained power. I'm an Ohioan born and raised watching Appalachian transplants coming to make good in factories on all four corners of this state, and in between, north and south, east and west.

Some did OK, some did not. You may remember Starlett, a gifted artist who battled drugs all her adult life. She gave up life back in her heaven on earth, Coker Creek, Tennessee. I've been around for seven decades now, seeing the turning wheels that put chemicals in creeks and more drugs than can be consumed by the entire world out for Americans to have.

Hillbilly Elegy became a Ron Howard film that, again, I merely stumbled across. I had no idea I was watching Glenn Close  until I read others assessments of the film. The film deviated from the book in several unimportant ways. For me, it was another film dedicated to the trashing of America in all the parts of the heartland these manufacturers have used and left.

Why aren't they leaving behind enough money to educate the children of all the men and women who came to work for them. Why aren't they cleaning up the land, water and air they polluted. Why is it taking thousands of investigative attorney hours to show all the laws broken, violated, just to get a ruling for a stingy bit of remediation.

I could continue rambling on, as seems to be my best ability these last several years. I wrote this because I see so much truth in Hillbilly Elegy, both the book and the film. The point to me is not simply the triumph of one young man's family, but the concentric circle surrounding the story and reaching out to all corners of both my state and my country.

Those responsible for all the kinds of pollution are not held accountable or responsible. The success of one young man is wonderful; the surroundings he succeeded against, reprehensible.

I should go back and edit this screed into a tight couple of paragraphs about the shortcomings of hillbillies and how they can be fixed, especially before they fall for another bad president. And I still am capable of that, but it would take me a week, and even then would not erase one Pentecostal church offering a solution to poverty and ignorance, when the solution actually is the accountability of the people who underwrote the problem. 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

How the day flew!

 The middle of my day was making a raspberry crostata. I waited for it to bake, then shamelessly ate half of it for lunch.

As I was working on assembly, I could not help but notice the mystery mess atop my stove. I do not know the source, and I doubt it's dandruff.

So as the crostata baked away, I sprayed the bottle of Lysol that I purchased when the pandemic came over the hill to terrorize us last spring. Me, the person who drilled warm water and soap and a dishcloth to clean up the mess and another towel to dry it, into my grandchildren. I kept a roll of paper towels on the counter, and Laura was allowed to buy a new roll every couple of months. I noticed she hung one up to dry as often as possible.

And the crostata baked, and I cleaned the stove. And the microwave and the counters.

I talked to my oldest daughter, the one who may be reverting to silver hair. She is cooking turkey for one, she said. Caroline does not eat turkey and Bill is off with Ruth and Francis is off with the wind. France is somewhere out west and hopefully on the way to his aunt's house for dinner. Sacramento, I believe.

I talked to my youngest daughter, the one who will be Teutonic blond for life. She's with her husband in Florida, eating fried chicken. Her husband has so many relatives there; I guess she may be surrounded.

After lunch and supper I found and answered emails and texts from so many virtual friends, wishing me greetings of the day. That was so sweet. The part about the slow death of my phone is irritating. I must go out on Monday, and the phone store must fix my phone. If they don't, I'll just buy a new phone.

A happy Thanksgiving to all of us.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Short of ideas

 I truly have little to nothing to post about. I've reduced my life to the basics of get up, take care of the cat (who was a snotty fellow today because his food bowl was empty and "she" doesn't bother herself until her teeth are brushed and her clothes are on), eat breakfast, weave awhile, watch TV, weave some more, eat lunch, weave, TV, weave, supper, blogs, bed.

Tonight, several hours ago, I was struggling with a blog here in my office, the lighted end of the trailer. Suddenly there was a pounding on the window, but it was dark and I couldn't see the pounder. I scuttled down to the door. That's a joke; I move at only one speed.

Cathy, my neighbor was at the door, to tell me Ann had tried calling for several hours, and now I should be home from anywhere and still didn't answer, so Ann called my sister, who called Cathy, in case Cathy knew anything and now my sister would be on her way over except Cathy said wait, "I'll go check!"

So, she pounded on the window and scared the crap out of me.

That kerfuffle sorted, I talked to Ann for an hour, then deleted the pathetic post I'd begun and read blogs until now. It's an hour till bedtime, and I did accomplish a stack of towels on my shelf of inventory today, so here are some pictures.

 I hemmed almost the entire dozen of yellow towels today. I really, really need a haircut, but not until next week.

I posted their picture on the Towels for Sale page.

The next color is called rust. I really like it. I'm still listening to Edith Wharton. I'm on My Antonia, and I like it so much I may listen to it a couple more times.

And that's how I've waited for time to go by, since the last time. Let's all stay home for Thanksgiving, and probably for Christmas and New Year's. I hear those all will be celebrated this year at the White House, with large parties. I hope the house is tented and disinfected before January.

Friday, November 20, 2020

How pleas the defendant?

 Back in the beginning of time, when I had two brothers, my youngest brother was a tad wild and crazy. Before he was married he had an on and off roommate whose temperament matched his own. This young man also had a wild name that I believe he was assigned at birth, though his friends may have bestowed it at some time.

At this very moment I cannot recall the roommate's name, so I put in a call to my sister, who is eleven years more cognizant than I. If she calls me back before I post, we'll know the other young man's name.

I went into the studio one day this week, and saw the shambles on the shelf of towels, and thought of my brother and the trials of the poor dog he and his roomie lived with. My roomie being a cat, a trial could never occur.

But their poor dog would be called to  view the undisturbed evidence and asked if he pleaded guilty to eating the rug, desecrating the trash, knocking down the lamp, eating the bowl of popcorn and so forth and so on.

Being a dog, this fellow would sit with a silly grin on his face and listen to the evidence presented. At the end, the dog was allowed to plead "Not Guilty!" And my brother and his roomie would look at each other and one at a time, each would announce "Guilty!"

And the poor dog lost, two to one.

I'll bet a few of you fellows have put your dog on trial, for want of excitement after a boring day at work. Fess up. Did the dog ever win?


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Long time since last Saturday!

 There was a terrible storm last weekend. All through Friday night, all day Saturday, shake, rattle and roll. I think there was some snow on the ground Saturday morning. The wind simply never quit. My trailer never quit rattling.

But, I had much to do. This Covid business has me in a groove. I worked steadily on the new blue warp, accompanied by the wind against the trailer. Mid Saturday afternoon I was satisfied I could finish the run of Dusty Blue towels come Sunday, and I walked my aching back to my television recliner. 

The cat came, too, and took as long to settle as did I. I had no idea how he acquired a sore back. Eventually he looked over, and I picked up the remote and powered up. Then the little finger dance to Netflix and my choices. It was Saturday after all, and I'd read in the newsfeed that Netflix was releasing all of  The Crown on Saturday. 

The little Roku device considered, and then informed me I had no service. Shake, rattle and roll from my trailer as I went down the hall to my office to ask my internet "what the hell?" Easy answer, No Internet! 

Fortunately my phone is smart enough to answer some questions, too. Yes, thousands were without power in my area. I heat with electricity, too (not by choice!), but my power was on. Our internet cable follows the electric lines, though, and repairs were scheduled for Thursday.


It's possible to accomplish a vast amount without television and internet. All the dusty blue towels are finished, up on the color wheel at the twelve o'clock spot of honor, and available for sale. I'm a fourth done with the yellow bobbins, and they should be available by early next week.

Except, my Obama memoir arrived in the mail today. And I haven't begun watching The Crown! Choices, choices!

I must say these last four days with only my phone for company have been enlightening, and probably will be expensive. Our electric company gives us the ability to report an outage on our phone. 

Perusing this for a bit, I realized their map of lost service locations and estimated time of service restoral was a map of every electric pole they own. I could drill down to the pole causing my outage and see its estimated date of repair service was Thursday. Oh, well. I had lots of yellow bobbins to get through.

I got up this morning, had a shower and was dressed before I thought to try internet on my computer. Shazam: I had internet. I wonder if Spectrum's internet folks are riding around on the Illuminating Company's trucks, riding up in the bucket to fasten back the downed internet wires. Whatever, thanks for these fellows for being a day early for repairs.

Here's the answer for Tom:

Mary Marvel:

    Grace of Selena
    Strength of Hippolyta
    Skill of Ariadne
    Fleetness of Zephyrus
    Beauty of Aurora
    Wisdom of Minerva

Billy Batson:

    Wisdom of Solomon
    Strength of Hercules
    Stamina of Atlas
    Power of Zeus
    Courage of Achilles
    Speed of Mercury

These are the words in the current Captain Marvel. The word Shazam dates back to the 1930's.

Saturday, November 14, 2020


 I learned only recently the meaning of Shazam! A wonderful concept. I opened my door yesterday to a shazam moment. I wonder if I should have italicized the concept one more time. I was getting ready for bed, and checked my email before shutting down. A package had been delivered.

Last night was below freezing, no environment for a package. Down the hallway, turn on the kitchen light, went to the door and found the package. The interior package was a little white box, so charming I've tossed it into a drawer I occasionally go through.

The contents, the night light I ordered the day before yesterday. Think about that. One night I muse about the need and find and order the light, the next day it appears in time to be used.

 The hall, the kitchen light switch, my bedroom, dark unless I've deliberately left on the bedroom light. The new night light is there at the top of the grill device. I could have mounted it lower, on the solid panel. I may change it.

The best picture my phone could capture last night. It's wonderful! The instant I turned off the kitchen light, it was on and beaming. Shazam! I could see the hallway.

Now we need a shazam moment to turn the country. What a monumental problem for the new president. My friend Ann despairs of explaining the voting process to a friend convinced the election was stolen. It is not possible, but a great number believe it was. They don't know the process of voting and believe whatever was in their recent Kool-aide. 

Accept that the "stealing" was done by individuals stealing away, taking up new ideas, voting for a different candidate.

I've come to realized that the loss of my two best friends in the midst of this presidential cycle by their choice, not mine, is a sad indicator of the direction we are taking, as a country. I've tried several times to bridge the chasm, and I probably will not stop trying.

It's another bright, bright sun shinny day. I off to the studio that is full of sunshine at this hour, and the blue towel length will be off this afternoon. Shazam!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Busy week

 The blue warp is half woven. I like to keep after a set of bobbins until finished, but this week is busy, and interesting. First, lunch with Beth and Ruth yesterday. I certainly cannot say I'm the best mother she ever had, but Ruth definitely is the best mother-in-law. How I love her. 

Ruth is shorter than I, if that's possible, and does not like tall tables. Nevertheless, she made it up, and Beth appeared and we all had a nice lunch. Then the charge slip Ruth was filling in fluttered to the ground, and under my seat, apparently. I could not see it. Beth had left. 

"Give me your cane" came from across the table, and I did.

The errant slip was secured, until she asked a passing busser to retrieve it. What do we call buss boys these days?

As long as I'm in a tattling mood, Beth, my oldest, commenced going grey in her teens. She dyed the offending strands commencing in high school, and we seldom saw her beautiful real hair, except when she was pregnant. Then, of course, all my old friends and I had to run our fingers through it, and beg her to keep it. 

Must have been as awful as having one's pregnant belly caressed. The little watermelon eating granddaughter is sixteen this year. And in all that time, we've never again seen the wonderful hair.

The last time I saw Ruth, I realized she has used the "lock-down" to stop staying blond and reveal pure silver hair. Through and through. Beautiful. When I had lunch with Beth a month ago, I wondered if she were back to silver hair, too. She said NO.

I wonder if I'll ever know where the silver is.

There was a mystery I've solved on my own. It's about falling back an hour, in this new house. The old house was a big open square with windows in every room. I could turn out lights behind myself and get to my room without stumbling when it was already dark at five.

But here in my cozy little place, I have a hall of pitch black, between the kitchen and my bedroom. It has no outlets for a night light. What to do, what to do? I'm a slow thinker. It came to me, battery powered, motion sensor. 

Then I wasted an hour looking for a really cool one. And I found them aplenty. Shaped like animals. Projecting every color in the universe. But all of them were not motion sensor. So I settled for a little ten dollar unit, with four double A's included. Just a couple more nights of trailing my hand down the washer and the dryer, and telling the cat he'd better not be underfoot.

Monday, November 9, 2020

What's going on...

 It's the next to last day of lovely weather. I've just made it back to my desk, after a morning at the loom and peanut butter and crackers for lunch. The cat, left in the living room for his afternoon snooze, always hears the click of the latches and is on the windowsill before the window rises.

Tomorrow he has his buzz haircut for fall, his magnificent tail excluded.

I've changed the header, too. Somewhat more derelict than the last as more and more fall moves in. But still no snow, not that it has not come down.

My morning was fine, when I got to the loom, and I put in my hour, before my back quit. Another hour this afternoon and another day done. I am pleased with this blue.

I was weaving and considering supper. I have a cabbage, and cabbage and noodles sprung at once to mind. Then I thought of roasting the beast, and Mr. Google assured me it's easily done. Then I thought of all the vegetables I have on hand to roast, and realized it's not near enough. So after I post this, off to buy half a dozen more.

Tomorrow I'm going to lunch with Beth and Ruth. It may be the last day of beautiful outdoor dining. Our Covid numbers are rising, and after tomorrow, temperature numbers falling. Clean hands and masks and clean hands. I wish I knew a jingle to sing with it.

Friday, November 6, 2020

It all straightens out

 I went out first thing this morning for blood work, got home before noon, and checked results again, before lunch. Still counting. That is so impressive. What a massive turnout. We should be proud that so many voters are registered and voted. And since there is no winner yet to be declared, I ate lunch and went to tying on more ends.

I kept at it yesterday until six bouts were tied, leaving only five to tie today. I started at one, and was done at three. Why all the moaning?  I need to find a slightly taller chair, to keep from leaning on my bad shoulder. But, I haven't, and to tie five bouts was a Herculean task for me.

Look at that wonderful tangle back there. Not to worry, it all straightens out.


It's not magic, unfortunately. I go to the front, wrap six bouts around one hand and five around the other, and with the brake off, pull hard. Damn hard. Every knot must come through a heddle and then through the reed. I tied it to the apron, and left it to rest overnight. A lovely new warp, ready to weave.

I cannot believe it's Friday. So many days have passed since Tuesday, and no days at all. Ann called me Wednesday morning. She needed to talk, go through her day at a Wisconsin polling station. Listening to her was wonderful; such an experience, even for an experienced poll worker.

I need to call my friend Cathy, but not before the weekend. She's an overthinker, and right now no amount of thinking will change the votes on the uncounted ballots. I'll give the election another day to straighten out.

As for the bad attitude of the president, please. The world is watching.

I believe we did a magnificent job at voting. Now, we must roll up our sleeves, wash our hands and defeat Covid.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

I stayed up too late last night

 I suppose many of us stayed up too late, and then got up too early this morning. Election day wore me out, and today kept on wearing. I'm simply bone weary today, from good hard work. 

The election must take care of itself now; we all have done our part. I see the shenanigans have commenced, and until I must rise up and find a part to play, it's time for an election to unfold gracefully, as it did four years ago.

I postponed my shopping until yesterday, to coincide with better weather. I thought I'd found someone willing to bring my groceries up the stairs, but that someone backed out the day before.

In the meantime, I worked nonstop at getting on the new warp, and my back was past tired. I considered giving it another day off, when Laura texted. She had Tuesday off, and could come help me with anything.

I was back from voting by ten, Laura came in a few minutes later, and we set out to go shopping. We shopped first for the cat, who doesn't have the option of going out for a meal or to toilet, when his supplies run low. He doesn't even know they run low. 

He did get a treat, on sale at the register for three dollars, not ten.

He's very happy with these silly corrugated cardboard toys, and will spend the next month shredding it. And Laura and I went shopping.

She even put them away, while I went looking for two Advil. Laura is still moving into a one room apartment in the next several days, and went home with a box of useful items.

And in a lovely twenty year old problem solving manner, she chided me for attempting to find help with shopping. She would always be available, she told me. While it's on offer, I'll certainly take her up.

So today I did look at the count from time to time, and spent an hour listening to Ann tell me about the biggest turn out she has ever seen working the polls. I went to the post office, and then I began tying on bouts. Oh, yes, I made a crostata. For lunch tomorrow.

Monday, November 2, 2020

A change of plans

 Before I went to bed last night, I reviewed my plan for the week. Monday I would shop, which involves a minimum of three stores. Tuesday I would vote, then finish winding the warp onto the loom. And the rest of the week I simply would attend to business.

My first peek from the window this morning changed that plan. Today's high is forecast to be 44, which is a decent amount of heat given sunshine and no snow. Tomorrow's forecast is for 53 and sunshine. Is that an omen, or what?

Tomorrow I will vote and shop. If there is energy left, I will commence tying on the ends I wound today, for I finished the last seven bouts. Two on Saturday, three on Sunday and the balance today.

The project that precipitated the tumble that hurt my back is also close to a wrap. I recorded the ISBN number and the first word of the title of each book I own. I am going to try reselling my books at sell back your

I again own far too many books. My best method of dispensing with them has gone the way of Covid. Our local library is barely open, and their best method of using donations to raise money is gone for now. Friends of the Library have not held a book sale once in 2020. Gone are the days I could empty a shopping bag of books on the library's counter.

Here's a good story from a recent book sale by Friends of the Library. They had a surplus. More books than they could deal with. So the first day of the sale would feature free books. They set up a twenty by twenty foot tent on the lawn, with aisles of tables and boxes of books. Probably a thousand square feet of free books, since there were three rows of boxes on each line of tables.

In the middle of the night the director of the library had a phone call from a Peninsula police officer. The officer was very sorry to wake the director, but...on patrol the officer saw many flashlights illuminating quite a few people inside the tent. On investigation, he found citizens going through boxes and accumulating armloads of books. Some people already left. What did the director advise?

And the director chuckled and said "Well, the books are free."

He did ask the officer to check the tent when he didn't see any more browsers, and be sure the tent was secure. Peninsula being Peninsula, the last one out did secure all the zips. Tidy as expected come morning. Empty boxes stacked under the tables and the remaining books redistributed to restock the display.