Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The big obstacle

 As was reported to me once or twice, there was no way to get my car started. Instead of running it on some errand weekly, K chose to try to start it two or three times over the many weeks it sat in the garage. She even bought a special battery to try to turn it over, to no avail. She thought probably I'd lost the alternator, too, and suggested I look into a new car.

I'd had the car into the garage back when I was not driving much due to those horrible back spasms. I had full diagnostics run on the car, for a pretty penny, and it was declared completely healthy, save a battery at 50%. I was pretty sure I still had a good alternator. So I went with my plan this morning.

First the basement steps. K went down in front ("You can't bust through me!") and L went behind, holding the back of my sweatshirt. Then she went back up for the walker, and I sat in my car and called AAA. They were one cold hour showing up, but I got what I wanted: a new battery. My car started right up and I drove to the front door and went back in the house. The only bad news, the check engine logo is on. I doubt it's serious; probably involves the new battery. I cannot get it checked until next week.

Back indoors, I set L on washing the blue toweling off the loom. My job this morning was rescheduling all the doctor appointments I cancelled from the hospital bed. Dear Lord, they all wanted to smoosh six weeks of appointments into the first half of January!

The I cut up the toweling, hemmed a couple and put them on my website, sort of. I got the dusty blue towels posted, but cannot get the program to record the quantity available. A problem for Blake!

I ask after Toby from time to time. L spent the day at Bekka's yesterday and came home with a couple of pictures. He looks a few treats over the limit, that's for sure.

On the other hand, he sure knows who he loves.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Late to the party

 I came home to a house with L and K, but several more anticipated. K's two boys, her brother and his wife and their daughters. I did a vaccine status and found all at three shots except the nine year old girls. Nevertheless, I kept my distance, especially when friends appeared and gathered in the big room.

Christmas was a choreographed affair. Other folks' events are interesting. Gifts at nine, dinner at two. We had the tree Laura cut.

The girls solemnly distributed gifts, each wearing a Santa hat. Sweet.

You know who before I moved on to the studio.

The fluorescent lights were tough on K's migraine. We turned them off and she removed her sun glasses.

K's oldest son got two caps he put on one after the other, and looked like Sherlock Holmes.

I finished the run of blue towels, but need L home from visiting her siblings to get them through the washer and dryer for finishing. It will be so nice to start filling in the web site again.

Tomorrow I have PT at 10:30. I am looking forward to it. I am most curious to see how one manages steps with a walker. That probably will not be tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

So good to be home

My sister brought me home Tuesday afternoon. I cleared ten weeks of mail and took a nap. Laura sorted through the frozen foods accumulated and picked a small pizza. One errand accomplished last October was picking up a week's worth of suppers. K put them in the freezer for safe keeping, though she was concerned about my eating such "old" food. I'm not. The pizza was decent. On the whole, food is food. I survived therapy food!

Kai owns my chair now. Her bone is stashed partly down the edge of the chair. She said hello, but little more.

Wednesday I spent putting away the two large sacks of belongings I brought home. L did a load of laundry, that I put away today. I took a nap and woke up late for dinner. L showed me how to use the toaster over, and I was set to handle the other half of the pizza. Except for plugging in the device at the start, it went well.

I had my first visit from home therapy today, and we set my goal as return to the cane and mastering the basement steps. The therapist thinks that will take about three weeks. We'll see. So, twice a week, beginning next week.

Laura and K went off to find a tree at Heritage Farms. It was felled and put in the truck and now is in the Big Room. I will go take a look, then retire to my studio and weave some towels!

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Home sooner than later, it appears

Last Tuesday, the doctor upgraded me to 50%  weight bearing on that leg for one week, and 100% thereafter. This truly is the most simple math you ever will do. When you stand, 100% of your weight is on the ground, 50% carried by each leg.

To put less than 50% of your weight on the leg in question is more difficult, but not imposible. It's like walking with the walker for a cane. A matter of getting the hang of it.

Long story short, my therapy has gone very well. I have been very well behaved and have tried so hard not to reinjur my leg; I can go home on Tuesday. 

I do not know how well things have gone on the home front. I wonder of L andd K have put together my new chair? K had been thinking of installing an upstairs washer/dryer, but in the event that has not occurred, I will engage the local laundry to do mine.

And then there's my poor car. AAA jumpd it twice for me and I drove it to Goodyear have a new battery installed. They told me the battery was new in January, 2021. They charged it to 100% and sent me on my way. When I arrived home that night, I broke my leg. Enough said on that. I asked that the car be started weekly, but of course that did not happen.

When they did start the car recently, nada, zip, zilch. I told K I have AAA, but she had purchased a "jumper" battery and it was at work. We'll see. never a dull moment!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

How to slip out, but only from bed

I've spent my career ruining my back. That's simply one more item to note, seventy nine odd years later. In addition to broken and crushed bits, or perhaps because, my body tossed in fibromyalgia. I wonder how we dealt with it a century ago?

I was referred to an arthritis doctor at least thirty years ago, and kept fairly comfortable with minor arthritic pains. But the day my back went into spasms, like wash boards across each other, the only doctor who listened was my arthritis doctor. Fibromyalgia, he declared. He prescribed a mild dose of Lyrica.

A drug addict I'm not. But I am dependt on several meds for my well being, for relief of back pain. I've used Lyrica the longest, more than twenty years. I'm on my third or fourth doctor; they move or retire. I've weathered several protocall  changes by the federal government, essentially defining which kind of doctor can prescribe different tiers of drugs.

My drug history follows me around fairly well. However, the breakdowns are awful, most especially to me. Three nights ago I looked into the pill cup and saw the ubiquitous statin, some vitamins, and no Lyrica. I inquired, and was told it had been ordered only for thirty days, then they would take me "off" and see how I did. None of this had been discussed with me, the verbal patient who understands, or the prescribing doctor.

Nothing I could do at ten at night, so I closed my eyes and hoped for sleep. I've done withdrawal in the past of narcotic pain meds. It bascially involves one sleepless night and life's the same thereafter. Of course, I hadn't taken the narcotic for twenty years. 

I fell asleep straightaway. When I woke it was not morning and I was not raring to go. It as an hour to midnight, my back was in full spasm and I lay in a pool of cold sweat. That was my night, doze, wake, feel my back in motion, sweat, wet pillow, wet sheets.

The last time I woke was 6:30 ish. I sat up and slid to the edge of the bed, unaware the bed pad and sheet came too. I came to the edge of the bed, then over, like over a vanishing edge. I held the bed rail all the way, and and sat down with (I hope) a gentle thump. Nothing hurt more or less than before and my  back kept on grinding.

No harm, no foul, but what to do now? My roommate, a light sleeper was awake, but neither could reach the call button. Carole commenced pounding the wall and yelling. I scooted across the floor and found my New Balance. Let me tell you the kind of noise that comes from the heel of a NB, slammed to the floor. And it still took three or four minutes before five people came through the door, simultaneously!

I waited for them to check me over and put me back to bed.
Then it was my turn to tell them their job. The arogance of checking nothing, telling the patient nothing. I was assured it woulel be resolved before the day's bedtime. "I have a bridge in Brooklyn" I said, to almost every "promise".

Knowing the resolution was days away, I called Laura to sneak in my private bottle of Lyrica. She did a wonderful job, in her best underhand, duplicitously producing them among a pocketfull of absolute trash.  And I was right. No fix Monday, also no fix Tuesday. I'm promised tonight. We'll see.

In the other meantime, Carol's son sent us flowers. No one can believe I've been here mostly on my back in bed for ten weeks. So, it can be done!

And Laura and Kamaria visited, with a gnome. Handsome fella.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Some prooogress to report

Last week physical therapy read  me the riot act. I have progressed dramatically in physical skills rquired to care for myself in my incapacitated state. There is little left to teach me, that I need to know when I get a new weight bearing status in that leg in three weeks?

Except Joanne, the instigator, already had a new appointment for Tuesday, to get a new number from the young ortho fellow. I was on the way to the nurses' station to be sure I'd picked the correct date for the appointment, and I intecepted the physio person and the scheduler.

The scheduler was on the phone with the doctor's office, cancelling my appointmrnt tomorrow. "It is far too soon to be exposing that leg to another x-ray." Where were they when I was fighting off that chest x-raying fool of a doctor at the hospital?

Long story short, the physical therapy lady and I went back to my room and made a new plan.I can transfer from place to place using the Hoyer lift and the slide board. I also figured out how to get from seat to seat without an intermediary device. But, I have not been trained, or the aides certified. With shorter sessions, we can cover three weeks.

In the meantime, it snowed last night. Also in the meantime I cannot see how to get to the "dashboard" and read your blogs. I'll see what I can do about that tonight!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Wanna see the damage?

Another weekend, boredrome and doldrums. No excitement except self induced! I seem to have a bye week of therapy, though my roommate has been severely tasked!

So, here is the lucky break! My 23 year old hip replacement seems not even to have shifted! But the femur with the big pin took quite the hit!

That's the inside. Here is the outside, when I was brought to Regina after surgery. The 80 staples were a bit of an exaggeration. More like 60'ish.

Plus a helluva bruise. The head wound care nuse and his cohorts have taken dandy fun in caring for it. They said "No drainage, no dressing!" But they were in there daily, changing the dressing. Tim, the wound specialist, was extremly careful to expose the minimum skin to adhesive; I'm allergic!

There was a small (?) intercinine squabble when he gave the patient care supevisor permission for two nursing students to partially remove his bandage and learn what she could teach them from the wound. 

Ignoring my pleas to go easy, off came the tape, woosh! PCS asked what to do next. "Clean and dress!" the excited reply. I asked if they had an order to do so. PCS swooped down and dished non stop instructions, including a very painful antiseptic. I asked several times if this were in the order; no response.

When the wound care fellow appeared next day, his reaction was not happy. A bit of skin was removed with the bandage. He said he was sorry I'd allowd this to happen. He got my version, plus the krap they foisted onto my feet to prevent pressure sores, to which I had an adverse reaction and two aids spent an hour scrubbing away, not successfully.

He excused himself mid redressing. He came back half an hour later and told me the PCS nor her students were permitted in my room again! So far, so good.

So here we are in steri-strips, to fall off as they may. No drainage, no dressing!

L came to visit today. She brought me a new book, "The Boys", to swap for "State of Terror" by Hilary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny. Though no fan of mysteries by any except Agatha  Christie, I must give the book a "Not Bad." I really have little for comparison!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Slight progres report

Yesterday I made an uncomfortable ride to the doctor's office for staple removal. More than fifty. I quit counting. The left leg remains non weight bearing for the next four weeks, when I'll be reevaluated. The femur is one long bone to repair!

Between then and now, my job is to become strong and easy on my non-dominate right leg! I wish I were Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In the meantime, let's be food critics!

This was called beef stroganoff with summer squash. The noodles were dry and sticky, the squash boiled to mush with the hide of a rhino. The dessertwas good for two bites before the sugar overwhelmed.

This is called mac and cheese with stewed tomatoes. Good old Kraft mac and cheese that has been foisted on the world's children. The "salad" is iceburg lettuce, shredded one sixteenth inch wide. It's like chewing green hacksaw blades. I've given it two chances, and the cherry tomatoes three. One more for laughs?

"Welsh rarebit" with steamed broccoli and decent bacon. Let's hear it for that mainstay of American cuisine, American cheese.

For all that gripeing, I am making progress. I'll tell you next time. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

This facility will go from a five review to a one

There has been a sea change in this country over the last two years. You see it in all the "Taking applications" signs lining the perimiters of every business, manufacturing plant, service industry, restaurant around you.

My friend Ann has run a kennel in Wisconsin for twenty years. At this year's end it goes on the market, and probably will sell only for land value. She cannot hire anyone who wants to work.

That is exactly the problem here at Regina. The "staff" see no reason to do a decent job. If reprimanded for a bad job, they leave. Another job literally is around the corner, down the street. Good wages, premiums are offered and taken.

From this bed I can see how understaffed it is here. I think. Perhaps enough people are not doing an honest day's work. I do not know how the "help"affects mobile patients. I know this immobile patient has learned some hard, hard facts.

I can lie as much as four hours in urine. I can go hours without a pain pill, especially if physical therapy is not on my schedule. I can amuse myself for hours finding another was of getting an aid into the room for help.

A friend called last night, in the midst of a four hour pee episode. She called the nurse's station and texted me "Susie is on her way down. Let me know." Forty five minutes later, Susie arrived. We all know I am not beyond climbing the ladder of authority for answers and help.   

I feel like Janis Joplin, dialing for dollars. "O lord won't you find me a helpful aid!"

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The state of nursing homes

I was impressed at the apparent number of rooms and the ease of moving me through the system. Outside a mask outside every room I used there seemed no special protocols. I have since learned last week was the most "normal" since Covid began eighteen months ago.

K came to see me here at Regina and brought "comforts", my very own pillow, for instance. Tom came in the next night with some overlooked items. Then I got a roommate, and no one was allowed in the room. I needed to be able to get into a wheelchair and meet a guest somewhere, wearing mask. 

The next time Tom came, he was not allowed past the front door. His package was taken and delivered.

Then my roommate's daughter called, looking for Mary, who was off being showered. Chris said we were under quarantine.

I quizzed a nurse at first opportunity and learned those twice weekly Covid swabs have a purpose. A hands on worker on our floor has Covid. We are quarantined for a week. No one on or off the floor.

Physical therapy lugs all the equipment to this floor to drill us. It's probably hardest on them. 

Rehab happens; it's harder on the people dispensing it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The road to a broken leg

It takes dedecated concentration to break a leg. Mine began at age 18, when my BFF asked if I wanted to learn to smoke, since we were going away to college. Cigarettes were a quarter a pack from the vending machines.

 And so it began. I smoked a pack a day in the beginning, but that increased as life got bigger. In my 30s and 40s (wish I knew the apostrophy on this keyboard!), as a corporate controller, I was up to three packs a day! I recall smokes were $3.33 a carton. 

I took up weaving at the end of the eighties; Jan and I started our business. She ran the studio; I went on the road. Weaving is not a light weight profession! A pint's (found it!) a pound the world around, and we wove many and sold hundreds of pounds a week. The stock, the booth, the display, and I handled thousands of pounds off and on the van weekly.

I never had the bone density test my doctor wanted. Yes, I'm small boned. My thumb and forefinger fit around my wrist, but I figured I worked smart; lift with the legs and all that.

Then I needed a new hip so badly my weaving career ended abruptly for it to happen, in 2003.  Fortunately I found a job with my township, and life stayed on an even keel. I actually began spinning and selling wool yarn, and Jan took up quilting. Cigarettes cost a lot more. Easy for politicians to hang taxes on! They were going on fifty dollars a carton.

2008 was in the  mix somewhere, and I saw the writing on the wall. Obama was clear in his intent to pay some child health care with cigarette taxes, and a carton in Ohio would cost over $50. I smoked as long as I could, beat the cash register, then quit. 

I also finally had a bone density test. Chantilly lace bones! Mine is genetic, inherited and passed on, at least to my older daughter. I was working out at the gym for bone strength when I twisted my foot, fell and broke my right tibia about five years. This time I'd gone back to PT that very day, and tripped going into the basement on the way home. I fell on clay tile over concrete, and broke my left fibia, the one anchoring that old hip transplant.

Enough for today! Rehab stuff next time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Back in touch

Woo-hoo. A facility administrator just came in and got me going. For some time I have tried to give this little tablet away. It was costing me ten dollars a month, and no obviouse use. It was free with my phone plus ten dollars a month for internet. Last month I could end internet without penalty, and did.  

Last Friday I broke my leg. It was set at AGMC on Saturday, transferred here to Regina on Monday. Much to tell, but at least I am back in touch. I lamented to Beth about ending the contract, and she was amused at my gulleability.

Ma, it,s a device to take into a coffee shop, get their password and write your novel all day.

I asked Blair to shut down my web site, which sports two towels on the shelf.  Time for a nap.   

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Back at it

I had the booster Covid vaccine yesterday, and exactly as anticipated, it laid me low. This shot was easier than the first two; I got there and back and ate lunch before it swept me off my feet. I woke up long enough to consider supper, then fell back asleep until today.

Speaking of supper, I've located a number of sources of ready made meals. I'm currently using one just down the road, in Cuyahoga Falls. The modus operandi of all of them is to have local cooks, and the food is either delivered or picked up. I'm using CleanEatz currently, about five miles down the road. They are pick up only of preordered meals. Here is one of their meals I've enjoyed.

Pot roast. I added a slice of bread, for extra volume, and put the slice back in the bread bag. I stuffed myself on this meal, and when I had the second pot roast meal I'd ordered, I could not finish the last couple of potato chunks.

Another company I'm considering, for their large selection of meals, is CookUnity. I have no good sense of how they operate, and have not tried them yet. They are based out of New York. I believe they use local cooks, then ship. The link is to their service area map. It's quite big.

Anyway, I've solved the meal problem.

I have not resolved the back pain problem, but it is marginally under control, and I'm closing in on small hints at the problem. After all these years, I believe my office chair is letting me down. My leg can be pain free when I sit, and when I attempt to rise, wham, pain stabs.

I've ordered a new chair that supposedly is squishy soft, which is tolerable. 

In the event it's not soft enough, I added a three inch cushion.

Good news, I guess. When I got up from this afternoon's nap, I went straight to weaving, and arrived at the last bobbin before half done. Maybe I'll have this set done by the weekend, and that would be a good thing, as I'm down to three colors again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Some history

My sister and I began weaving about the same time, in the early eighties. In a short time we had more than we could give away, and began exhibiting a local shows. At the time we lived in two different houses, in two counties, a good forty five minutes apart. One day she said if we really were to do this (weave and sell), we needed to be working from the same house.

The two houses were put up for sale and we began looking. One afternoon Jan called me and said she found a contender, and we should look at it together.

We bought the house in 1988, and wove and sold at shows until 2003. Jan was tired of weaving and had already begun quilting. That wing to the left was our studio. It held ten looms, and later on Jan's long arm quilting machine and all her sewing machines.

In 2016, more or less, the house was becoming a little more than we could physically maintain. It was sold, and I moved just a block away. L was beginning high school and I still worked for the township, and needed to stay in the township.

There were two offers on the house, identical in every way except the woman also would pay for the inspection, and the man said I must. I accepted the woman's offer. The man tried to start a bidding war, I turned him down. The house belonged to the woman and her mother, rather like Jan and I began all those years ago.

K, the new owner, was easy to befriend. She and Laura hit it off at once. I once posted a picture of the two of them on the fall MetroPark hiking spree. K has been L's go to person pretty much since they met.

Back to the house up there, K lived here with her mother and her two sons. But in the last five years, K's mother has passed, her sons have graduated high school and are in college, and worst by far, before the vaccine, K contracted Covid, and now is a long hauler. There is nothing pretty about that!

K invited me to come live in the house some time ago, and I turned her down. But thinking of the winter to come, this past summer I called and asked if the offer still stood. So now I rent the two rooms on the right, on the east end.

You can see two windows of the front room, which is my studio. The little window in the middle is the bathroom, the back room is my (old) bedroom. I also have the laundry room, which is under the front porch, and my old bay in the garage (no more snow on the car!).

I hope that catches up everyone, and you will know to whom I refer when I drop new names. At least when I mention K.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Ready for tomorrow

It's Friday, and what a week. I believe every day included a nap, thank goodness! I finished the emerald towels and they are cut and stacked to sew tomorrow.

I went for a much overdue haircut, and decided to go back to my no muss, no fuss, minimal hair. What a relief; the wind can whistle past my ears.

A woman was seated next to me. She left her little dog tethered to a chair leg, out of sight beyond the counter. The old fellow let out the smallest, saddest little yip, and with permission the owner went back and gathered him up.

It's a ten year old rescue who does not trust his person to return. How sad.

In other news, I've scheduled a booster Covid shot. At the beginning of the year, when vaccinations were somewhat of a mystery, I was all over scheduling shots and helped my sister arrange her shot and her husband's. This booster is a mystery to me, but when she announced she and Tom were done, I went to her site and scheduled mine for next Wednesday.

The other big news is discovering ready made meals, for pick up or delivery. There are so many options I believe I'll go a week at a time, checking them out. I've ordered six meals from a national company, CleanEatz, located in Cuyahoga Falls. The week's menus are posted every Thursday, for pickup Sunday. They will bring the package to my car.

The car turned out not to need a new battery.  I knew I'd replaced the battery recently; the clerk came out from the garage and showed me it was this past January. My battery merely needed an hour charge, to return it to normal. I do like the towing company that came to jump the car two days in a row, but I'd never buy a battery from them. It's just not their business.

While I waited for the mechanic last time, I took a look around at the old place. K has been so sidelined by her bout with Covid, maintenance has been furthest from her mind.

Blake offered to come help me with any jobs I wanted and I told him save his courage for spring. That garden desperately needs his and Hamilton's ministrations. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Needs must

Been away a long time, it feels. Back now, and working up to a hundred percent. Had that long needled shot Monday afternoon; slept a lot since. Too much Novocain and dye. But I've been weaving, too, between naps. I'm about four bobbins from done.

I like to pick out the next color and put it to the end of the row of spools. Soon, I hope to use the color I picked!

I'd picked kiwi to be next, you may remember, and then the last of the "real" greens left the shelf, so I picked emerald instead. That soft melon color toward the center presented itself as a good color to go next, until the last of the blue towels left. So, it will be a blue next, probably the next to the last on the left.

Physical therapy is ahead, too. There was very minimal walking these last six weeks, and I will not be back to my cane without serious exercise. That begins a week from Friday.

Today I did put the walker in the car and headed to the post office with an order. It was not as cumbersome as I expected, and the clerks were happy to see me again, though they assured me my deputies had done well.

The car has not been started since the end of August! The door did not unlock by a push of the button. In the driver's seat, the engine had no intention of turning over. So, I sat in the warm sunshine and waited for AAA to come start it. The fellow told me I had about 45% of my three year old battery left.

There is a problem I still must solve. Food! Meals on Wheels will not cut it, at least not the food prepared for Summit County, Ohio. Portage County seems to produce better meals, but Summit is an abysmal disappointment.

Last night I had Salisbury mush steak with a layer of salt gravy, mixed veggies and cubed potatoes coated in salt and paprika. Even limiting myself to the potatoes and veggies, I had a raging headache.

Tonight I had ziti and two tray portions of veggies. Even scraping most of the meat sauce off the ziti, the salt content was overwhelming. My esophagus and stomach burn.

Last night I spent a lot of time investigating the delivery capability of local restaurants, and finally coming to the conclusion I could not afford that. I thought about it on and off today, and a phrase jumped into my mind: Ready made meals near me. Bonanza.

I found a dozen sites on the internet, and the meals look healthy. Something to investigate tomorrow, between weaving, having a car repair made and visiting with my sister.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Idle hands, etc.

These last six weeks have been long! I am a type A personality, I guess. It may be something you come with, but I also know I was raised to not be idle. I learned to pass my radio, and later TV, time with handwork. I didn't teach myself, my mother put something into my hands.

And now, this stultifying pain doesn't give a damn what I am. I defeat it in large blocks of time by sleeping. That generally follows a night of not sleeping, and then, no matter what my plan, I fall on the bed and sleep away two, three, four hours. 

I did that this morning. It put a serious crimp in my plans for the day, which were to pack an order, finish hemming the cerise towels and do the laundry, including changing the bed. In spite of three or four extra hours this morning, I got all of that done except bring the laundry back upstairs.

Dozing over my news feed this afternoon, who came in but L. After hugs and news, guess who lugged up the dry clothes and even made my bed. L, of course.

I did accomplish much of the rest, including this sort of victory lap picture:

This photo taken October 3rd, after the run of lavender was finished.

And this photo taken this afternoon, when I finished hemming the cerise and threw a few shots before leaving the studio. Two weeks. There is hope of accumulating some towels for the township's little show in early December.

I think this new color is emerald. I've had it for two or three years and can't match it well to the color chart. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A day of happy surprises and nice memories

Yesterday a new commenter said a picture by Carl Larsson reminded her of me, but, darn, she could not figure out how to post the picture in the comment section. I googled Carl Larsson.  He is a Swedish painter in the Arts & Crafts movement. His painting, especially water color, is prolific, and in a general search for young weaver and her work, I went through hundreds of paintings, well worth the look, but not what I wanted. I asked Ann to send a link, and here it is:

The young weaver, hemming towels. Her costume is very working class. I wore such a skirt, blouse and jacket as costume to a costume show, and was rather miffed that the judges did not recognize the real deal when they saw it. The loom behind her probably is a counter marche; it already has the next run of towels on it. 

The weaver is hemming her current run of towels by hand, of course. Treadle sewing machines were available then, but no doubt completely unaffordable.  The furnishings of this room are a large table, a dry sink, a cupboard, probably a bed, plenty of common house plants and a bottle of garden jonquils.

This picture took me straight to 1988. Jan and I set up our studio and wove some towels. Our mother asked how we intended to hem them and of course we said "On the sewing machine of course." "You just give them to me," was her immediate response. And for the next several years our work that required hemming had hand felled hems. 

Some people recognized what they were holding; most said "Twelve dollars!  Who would pay that for a towel?!" This is a towel Jan wove. It's an overshot pattern called Dogwood, with Mom's rolled, hand sewn hem. You cannot see the hem. You can see all my sewing machine hems!

Today's mail included a little gift from a recent towel customer. It's name is Flat Rat, and it is a bookmark.

I turned Flat Rat over a few times, admiring all the knitting and crocheting involved in its construction. Its tail is I-cord. I didn't come on I-cord until late in life. So versatile, and far easier than spool knitting.

One interesting result of a brain injury and the memory hole it can leave behind, is the search for the memory. Looking at Flat Rat I remembered I knew a Flat Somebody once. Who? I thought I'd call my sister. My Sister! That's it. It was her Flat Somebody. But who? Sue? Kathy? No, Flat Carol! If that's not right, she'll tell us.

Jan and a guild of quilting friends were going to a mid-western quilting show, one of the largest in the nation. And then Jan's best friend in the guild, Carol, with whom she was rooming, broke her leg, and very reluctantly decided not to go. Jan and the rest of the gang decided they needed a Flat Carol, to go in her place, and show Carol all she missed. 

It indeed was Carol, Flat, red hair and all. She had a blue jean outfit for travelling, a practical denim dress to wear to classes and work on projects, and a lovely outfit for the final banquet, with black pumps peeping from the hem. Flat Carol came back with a stuffed satchel of hand outs and freebies, hotel soap and lotion, more pictures than anyone, and definitely less exhausted than anyone.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Good days, bad days, another week of waiting days

Yesterday I was so mizerble I was hard pressed to be civil. Today I stayed ahead of the pain and had a decent day. I wove off several bobbins, took a nap, visited with L, watched her make some pies.

And three little tarts. The pie is Jack Skellington, for those who know Jack. What do you think?

Tomorrow could be fun. A follow up appointment with my new primary care on the status of my hip. Between that visit to her and now, I visited my endocrine doctor.  He read my PC's notes and said he would like to be a fly on the wall at my next visit to her.

For years he has encouraged me to take bone density treatments. Once he got as far as scheduling me for an infusion and I backed out at the last minute. He says the PC's visit notes say she will encourage me to take treatments at the next visit. And considering my attitude all these years, he'd just like to see her convince me.

But I've changed my mind, and decided to do it.

The best news of all is, a week from tomorrow I have an appointment to have a cortisone injection in my hip. Hooray. It's been a long six weeks.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Interesting blunders

I've lived here six weeks, incapacitated the last four, and for a couple of weeks into the future. I've located appropriate doctors completely on my own, though I do not fault my primary for that. She is practically a chick from the egg, a new doctor into the system. She knew what department to send me to, but not what doctor. 

Or perhaps it was a geriatric test. Anyway...

I persevered, and the last month has been amusing, though extremely painful. All my doctors in various departments, with whom I had appointments anyway would not recommend an orthopedic doctor to look at my hip. I had three separated diagnoses from doctors who should know: need a new hip, have a burse, have a broken bone.

The only one I believe, for sound reason, is the burse, and in two weeks I will have it aspirated and loaded with cortisone. Here on the home front, the people who have helped me are falling away, for good reason.

Beth, my oldest daughter, and her family are flying to Parents' Day, with Francis at the U of Colorado. I never know what L will be up to until the last minute, and it takes a little more that that minute to make a plan. K reminds me I have six grandchildren, surely one of them can help me.

Let's see. France is in school in Colorado. That leaves Blake, who has one day a week off, Monday. I wonder when else he can shop and do laundry. Hamilton manages a restaurant and goes to school. He has no days a week off. Caroline lives a hour away, and seems gone every weekend. Rebekah lives an hour away. That leaves L, who seems to turn up every weekend and says "Gramma, let me help you!"

Thank goodness for my friend Cathy; I haven't burned her out yet. She even volunteered to do my laundry tomorrow.

My sister has made a few meals for me, and they are good. But meals on wheels has been suggested and today I rolled over and started their service. First delivery, a week from Monday, when I also get that shot. We'll see how that will work out.

K told me today she has researched local MoW, and my assessment seems correct; they rank way low on the healthy meal ladder. They come once a week and deliver five or six frozen meals. I'm sure I can cancel as quickly as I began them, about ten minutes max.

Today K told me her son will be here this weekend, in and out. On one of his trips he will bring L from the U, and the two of them will bring over the kitchen table from the barn, where it has been given the anti-mold spore treatment for the last month. And the chairs. It will be so good to have a place to eat.

Between naps I have been sewing and weaving. The cerise is close to half done. Look at this lovely lop sided shelf of inventory!

I've decided the next color will be kiwi; I need a green. I'll do a grass green, or some good green after that.

My friend kiwi is down on the right end. I liked grass green, too. It's tucked between the light orange and the grey. So many colors! Get busy, Joanne.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Moving on

 I feel a small sense of accomplishment today! The lavender towels are fulled and cut, and half a dozen are hemmed. They are listed on the web page. How pathetic my towel wheel looks!

Only six lavender towels are hemmed so far, and that weaving session yielded seventeen towels. I tied on the warp, wound the bobbins and threw a few shots. The next set of towels will be cerise.

There is not a red towel left on my stock shelf. As far as that goes, there are not many towels left on my stock shelf.

Tomorrow I have my semi-annual appointment with my cardiac doctor. Then first star on the right and straight ahead. I'll finish the red this week. I have that little township show the first week of December, and a lot more inventory will look better!

Beth came down this past weekend, and brought Ruth! I have not seen her since early last summer. We went grocery shopping. I told Ruth she would like Kreigers, where I shop, as much as she likes Heinens. She was doubtful.

Kreigers had on their best face. We've shopped at Giant Eagle the last several weekends, and I've used a mobility cart. Enough of that, I decided, and slathered up in CBD sauce, I asked Beth to bring me a cart. I wandered the aisles myself, occasionally crossing paths with Ruth, checking out a myriad of items. As we left, she said it was far more than she expected.

And there I am, looking like a regular person, not one who could not move without some serious prop holding me up. How I paid for that half an hour behind a shopping cart! When this bursitis is resolved, I must go back to physical therapy. My right leg needs more than my cane to keep it moving.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Stupid and whiney

The pain doctor's office was to call me Monday about the fracture the doctor diagnosed. Someone did call Tuesday to tell me I have a spinal deformity. Well, yes, for the last twenty years, and for which they treat me with pain meds. The doctor wanted me in for an MRI; we compromised on him sending the film to my orthopedic doctor, the one who will give me a steroid injection whenever a treatment room is available. That appointment is down to two weeks and two days now.

In the meantime, I have bad days and worse days. At the beginning of the week I tried to get on a waiting list for a cancellation to have the injection sooner. There is no waiting list and also no cancellations. No one but me is bothered that I am in pain 24/7 and nothing alleviates it a bit.

I did buy CBD ointment and applied it several times. It works quite well, until it doesn't. I did come to a reason why it failed one day this week. I got up in the middle of the night for one too many bathroom calls and on the way back said FINE, I'll put on more of this stuff and go back to bed. Not only did my back feel uncomfortable for the rest of the night, it really hurt on getting up. So I read the directions, which said "Do not put under a bandage."  And there it was, under my nightgown, then the sheet, then a blanket, then the quilt. Quite the bandage!

Last night I knew I was cold, but resolved to do nothing about it. The temperature went down to about 45F last night. But I need the stool to reach my goose down, and wasn't about to do that. 

K reached it down for me this morning, and after breakfast I crawled under it. Four hours later I got up and felt mighty good for an old lady with a hip full of bursitis! That goose and I will be inseparable for the next several months.

Here's some good news. The lavender run of towels is off and will be fulled tomorrow. So I will have something to do next week beside complain. I can cut and hem more towels. The next set of towels will be cerise; there are absolutely no red towels on the shelf.

But then, there are few of any of these colors! I cannot wait to be back to weaving.

Sunday, September 26, 2021


The last doctor visit on Friday did not produce the upscheduled injection for bursitis, as I intended. That third visit produced a third diagnosis. My pain doctor said I have a fracture and took a third x-ray to prove it. He'll call me on Monday. He also doubled my pain med to alleviate the pain.

Cathy and I went to lunch. She certainly is smitten by my pain doctor.

For several years she worked in a rehab facility. If nothing else, she walks the walk and talks the talk. I spent my half hour lunch dealing with drug store texts about prescription refills and listening to her review the doctor visit and advocate his solution to my pain. She most of all liked his manner, and that he patted my shoulder on the way out. I think I'll just surprise her.

That night I thought I might as well try his new pain prescription. The films were barely gone when wham, and I knew that was a mistake. There is not enough of me to keep adding more, better, new.

I did keep weaving. I hoped to take off the lavender towels this weekend, but my daily naps got in the way. I think there are three or four bobbins to finish, but probably not tomorrow. There will be more than the usual twelve towels this time; I had a third partial bobbin of lavender and this was the time to use it.

It will be a pleasant change next week to be hemming towels and photographing and updating my web page.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Much to do and doing little!

 I wore myself out yesterday. Beth and I picked out some new TV dinners. Are they even called that any more? She did my laundry and changed the bed. Clean sheets, what a treat.

I managed to weave one bobbin yesterday. Today was much better; I did at least two and perhaps three. That was after an auxiliary nap, from nine to noon. I woke up at three and spent the better part of the next four hours replanting the flower gardens. They do need it, but I put in a tiresome amount of effort last night.

Kai supervises much of what I do. I really don't believe she's found a gold mine of food bits on the floor, but several times a day she checks. Today she investigated the legs of all my furniture. That was a mystery. 

Laura made a surprise visit today. She was working a food truck at the Community Days of a local township, and came by to relax a bit. She said there were two food trucks and only one served fries--the one she was staffing. "I'm so tired," she announced after awhile, rubbing her eyes. "If I rub enough I probably can see straight."

"If you go wash the French fry residue from your glasses, you can see perfectly!" I told her. She did, and was well enough to go shopping with K.

They went to the Indian market in Akron. Here she is making up supper for the two of them. I have no idea what it is. Once she ran into the bathroom for tissues for her eyes, streaming from onions.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Not a happy weaver

I kept the appointment with the hip surgeon today. He put my hip through its paces, then sat down with my x-rays and informed me my hip does not need replacing. I have a serious bursitis that can be fixed with a serious injection of cortisone. This injection is done with ultrasound guidance. I took the first appointment, six weeks from now. That is how backed up a national hospital is by Covid

I took the appointment of course, and came home and put in a call to my pain management office, late this afternoon. They do ultrasound guided cortisone injections; I've had one in my thumb, some years ago. Best of all, they are not backed up with Covid patients. And I cannot abide this pain for six more weeks!

The absolute worst part of not being able to stand is not being able to cook decent food. I've had frozen meals for the last two weeks. To not confuse myself, I decided to stick with the same manufacturer for a week. I picked Marie Callendar for this past week. The week before I pulled seven random packages from Kreiger's. Two weeks of trash. Horrid, horrid food. I've lost five or more pounds, which I don't need to do.

My former restaurateur daughter says she will grocery shop with me this weekend, and run her discerning eye over the offering; we can do better! To be continued...

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Not much to say

I'm here, and unpacked. I've found the pie bird and the night light. Who could ask for anything more?  I could... Three weeks since the one block move occurred.

Unpacking was not as straightforward as packing. I moved into two rooms, not three. Many boxes labelled Kitchen are now on the shelving in the laundry room, labelled Laura. More should meet the same fate, but not now.

In the beginning I unpacked for an hour and took an hour nap. It worked well, until I got the courage to work for two hours, then three or four, and move around some furniture, and some other occupations of moving. 

Somehow, I've hurt myself, enough to warrant a trip to the ER, then to a new primary care physician, and now a referral to a hip specialist, with notation of hip replacement. The only good news that I have to infuse (to quote an Irish anti-English song) is that I called the department, read the strange words and numbers off the referral slip and heard the scheduler say "We must get you in within two days." And so they did. Tomorrow I meet a specialist to begin the discussion.

This hip problem has been ongoing, cumulative. I did not move anything too big, shift anything too heavy. It's the result of doing anything at all. The good news is, my friends who had hip replacements recently were sent home the same day, though in a good amount of pain. But that's ahead of myself; I may get off with a nice big shot of cortisone!

More good news: Laura turned on 125 turns of warp a couple of weeks ago and I sat and tied it and pulled through the warp. Then I quit for a time, until I met the new primary care and was given a script for a heavy duty ibuprophen and the referral. I should not be taking the ibuprophen, so it's to the new ortho fellow to get me past it very soon.

I am weaving about an hour a day. Right now it's a lavender, and quite nice. 

And now there's a nap coming on. I'll report back soon with all the news fit to print.

Monday, September 6, 2021


Moving house is exhausting work! Making it what I think will work, even more tiring. Picking up where I believe I left off, Beth and I went to Syracuse and back yesterday, to retrieve the enamel topped table. 

Sadly, it is being fumigated in the barn because K is very allergic to mold, and the table legs of wood had some. It is being treated with ozone and dangerous things, and we'll have a table in a bit.

Beth and I had a great time, as mothers and daughters can do. We took K's truck, which needs its air conditioning repaired. In the morning it was not a problem. By afternoon, it was. Just like Beth's childhood, and mine.

There was no toll road pass associated with the truck, either, so it was my opportunity to contact Illinois, who hold my pass, straighten out its hijacking a while back, put some money back on it, and also K's truck plate.

Every time we approached a toll reader, Beth, who was driving, held the transponder up to the appropriate place on the windshield until we were through. When we traded seats, I tried to hold the little thing to its place in the window, and no longer have the reach.

A search in the glove box for anything suitable produced a roll of packing tape, with which I am all too familiar of late. That problem solved!

We arrived at the table location. I was reading the GPS, and Beth said, "Oh, that place with the table in the driveway!"

Beth in the red shirt, Nancy in center and her newly high school graduate son left. Nancy is a dentist for thirty eight years, and the table started out with the family back in the thirties, at great aunt Martha's.

As we dove away, I felt like a kid, bending over and looking between my legs. The crew had packed it like a jigsaw puzzle and it arrived home as well as it left the old.

We stopped for lunch at the Elm Street Café, in Tully, New York. Those tomatoes are from some local garden, as is the lettuce. Beth ate every one of those onion rings, after she sent the picture to France, at school in Colorado!

And back home, I'm getting more and more organized. My back remains very, very sore, but a tad better daily. I finished tying on the warp today, and will take up weaving one day next week, but not before a flu shot and lunches with old friends.