Thursday, July 28, 2022


There were so many little questions buried in last night's comments that I decided to tackle them in a post.

Can genetics be the key to never getting the coronavirus? I didn't ask the question that coherently; I didn't even ask the question. But I know I have been exposed many times to the virus, and avoided it. I wondered if a thing about my make up that I noticed years ago might be at play.

I say I am immune to smallpox because that's what my father said. Both of us suffered several vaccination, never had the well known scab and didn't have the characteristic little scar. The last time I was "vaccinated" was to go to college, whereupon they gave up on me as immune.

Another thing my dad and I had in common was O- blood. My youngest brother also had O- blood. Neither of us suffered seriously from mosquito bites, and we jokingly attributed it to our O- blood. Sadly, he's no longer around to continue the investigation into covid. I don't know if he couldn't produce a vaccination scar, either. And attributing O- blood and other genetic characteristics to covid avoidance has not basis in reality; it's just family joke kind of talk.

Liz at Field and Fen said she'd begun an article about genetics and covid, but it was basically not interesting, and she could no longer remember its source. I looked at the article's first paragraph some time ago, but The Atlantic's paywall shut me down. The article is linked if you care to look at it. I don't know if the paywall will apply.

Taking one for the team (not really) I splashed my $55 tonight to read it. It was a lot of techno speak about studies that helped break HIV and other not relevant information. Science and technology are listed dead last of the topics it covers. Politics is first. I will cancel while my "subscription" is free.

There was once more question thrown out. Kathy G wondered if there was much lint thrown out when I washed and dried my toweling fabric. It depends on how the dryer deals with lint. With outdoor vented dryers, the process produces a small pile of pure cotton lint, beloved by amateur paper makers. With indoor vented dryers, the lint residue is compacted and rolls up in a ball smaller than a ping pong ball. I wish I could think of a common ball smaller.

And finally, the Larsson print. I find him fascinating. I ran that print one time before and we had a lovely time with it. I'll do some research on him and the print will be the subject of my next post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

No covid, hurrah, hurrah

I wonder if emerging Covid free from essentially two sources of exposure has anything to do with being O-, mosquitos don't bite me, I'm naturally immune to smallpox, not to mention Lysol wipes, mask and, oh, yes, quarantining.

That was written late last night, after our text messages were flitting from phone to phone. The other person felled by covid was cleared! I dashed off that paragraph, intending to write an entire posting today, while the length of toweling went through the washer and dryer.

Then, one of us tested positive this morning, at the end of many days of negative, and was given five more days of quarantine. I flipped over to the news feed, to find something happy to write of. The good news is, it's 72 degrees, going on 80, thunderstorms predicted. I guess that's why I was looking around for my jacket.

I literally found nothing else. I started listing the bad news, and just deleted that paragraph. There was a snippet about Instacart retaining its share in the fairly new delivery market. Currently it adheres to a thirty minute program, and is considering adding a fifteen minute service.

This sort of competition is stupid, but that is only my opinion in relation to my very unique lifestyle. Still, haste makes waste!

I haven't described my lifestyle lately, related to delivery services.  I'm not driving for Instacart, but I have subscribed in a big way. I've settled into a routine of weekly ordering. It's not from my preferred store, Kreigers. That is an independent store and does not use Instacart. I've settled on the Heinen's in  Hudson.

On the whole, it's an excellent service. I keep a running list, and when I'm down to nothing for supper, I call in the order. On the whole the shoppers have been good to excellent. The fails with inexperienced shoppers have been sad. I asked one to substitute Land of Lakes unsalted butter for my brand she could not locate. I got a plastic tub of Land of Lakes butter/canola oil spread. Sad.

However, one of my first substitutions introduced me to Asian cuisine. That shopper knew his way around the frozen entrées. I need to look into the shopper protocol and see how I can select a tried and true. There may be no solution to peanut butter for some time. A shopper substituted Skippy natural peanut butter for my order, and I was a long time stirring up and eating it.

The good news I do know is that the toweling has cleared the washer and dryer and is ready to cut and hem. Here is a happy picture. Remember this? Many of us missed the gun on the back wall. Any ideas on what it is?

Saturday, July 23, 2022

A hesitant post

I am double vaccinated and double boosted. I've had a shingles shot, a pneumonia shot, but no flu shot yet this year. I've read all of those shots, including a flu shot, add to protection against covid. In unison they rev up the old immune system, tuning it up for the job. Oh, yes, and the mask. Don't forget the mask.

A week ago, I learned that one of the four of us in the house has covid. The ground rules for limiting exposure were laid out and time went on. On Tuesday I went to the dentist for the first two of four very expensive fillings. The older one grows, the more ancient and obsolete one's dentistry becomes. Like all antiques, its repair and restoration can become a budget line item.

My head still not entirely clear when I came through the front door, I took a phone call from upstairs. I could be completely wrong on the timing, but no matter. Now two of the four occupants have covid. I was strongly encouraged to move out of the house for a time.

I'd stopped at the house to use the toilet; it was before the drug store on my way home and I had scripts to pick up. So, I turned over evacuation on my way, waiting in line and on the way home.  I decided to stay put. I have nowhere to go; I live here, for crying out loud. I was working on a new web page, and don't have a portable computer. I desperately need to weave, after straightening out my warp.

The threads are skipping everywhere to get to a heddle. If you're not a disciplined fiber person, you may never see it. Here's the secret: it's not how they begin, it's how they end up.

And this is where the thread ends up, in the front of the loom, to be woven. Weaved? Fastened down with horizontal threads. By the time 440 heddles and 220 reed dents have their way, it's a nice warp, ready to weave.

Back to sitting in line at the drug store, I decided I will not leave; there is no place to reasonably go. So I added a large cannister of Lysol wipes to the drug order. I was pleased to read not only its claim of killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, it is proven also to kill covid-19 virus.

My plan became to wear a mask when required and be armed with a wipe when in any common area of the house, like the kitchen or living room. Most everyone who had my explanation of my plan agreed.

So there you have my exciting week, condensed into a short column. I read that Bannon drank his own Kool-Aide. I like that, though I suspect it will be years before he serves his day in prison. I only know what I know about the Jan6 hearings what I hear from you. I have not been able to watch one minute.

But, here is what the new warp is looking like! It's denim blue.

Monday, July 18, 2022

I am so pisscited

Here's a story from the time I was an exhibiting weaver. We exhibitors would arrive at our venue, generally the evening prior, load in our display and our stock, set up an attractive booth. The next morning we arrived early, ran our vacuum, dusted down the display,  stashed our personal belongings out of sight, and waited for the doors to open.

It also was a good idea to engage with the spirit of the show. Customers come to have a good time and it's the job of every exhibitor to help them have a good time. When I was ready to open but it wasn't yet time to open the doors, I often walked the show, exchanging greetings, encouraging new vendors. 

New vendors would ask, "Is this a good show?", and I became so known for saying "This is a GREAT show! I LOVE this show," that groups of exhibitors saw me coming and started the chant "I LOVE this show" when I was still ten booths away.

So, long story short (haha), at a show in Virginia, I had to scoot to be back at my booth on time. though I was safe because I was at the left end of the show. When the doors open and the crowd surges in past the ticket booth, they turn right. I know a lot of things about how people behave!

It was a regular school day, a Friday, and a little girl dragging an older woman broke from the crowd and turned left. She definitely was in charge of her little train, and all the way I could hear her saying "I am so pisscited! I am so pisscited!" They stopped in my booth and I learned she was six and in the first grade, but her aunt had her mother call her off school that day to come to the show, and she was so pisscited.

That's still a good way to be, most mornings.

Shara, the woman who redid my web page, within the parameters of the program, is done. I am so pisscited. I had no idea an old weaver could look so good. Send me more pictures. You all feature large in the new format. The whole site is good. I am so pisscited.

Click on the circle of towels at the top of the column on the right and you go straight there, any time. Or click on the link, Everything Old is New Again.Shop, and there you go, this time.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

A couple more shoes to drop!

Jan came in at ten this morning, to change out spools while I wound on the missing bout. This was yesterday's eleven bouts:

This is today's eleven bouts:

And why do the threads look messy? Because they are! At one time they were so neatly tied on to all those threads hanging from the heddles. But then new bouts cannot be wound on. Sadly, off tension, thread loses much of its snappy, polite persona, and just goes limp. This warp will be the ugliest of my life. I'll treat you to a picture, when it's tied on.

I had just reached turn 101 of 125 when my sister said, "Wait, there's a thread not moving. As she searched the thread run for its position, I searched the reeds, the little metal uprights that hold the thread. When I could not locate the missing slot, I counted. Thirty eight threads, not forty. Two missing. For 100 turns. Well, 101. I put the two through an end slot, taped them to the bout, and finished. 

Not my first time at this rodeo, either, but I gave up the tools to solve the problem around 2002, when Jan and I retired. I believe I can make the tension box work. I will make something work!

My web page is being massaged by a professional. Everything Old is New Again. That is very good news. The first page is about done, a couple of references to fix. There will be another page about cotton and towels and words to be SEO'd, Search Engine Optimization. Is there anything you'd like to see? Let me know and we'll see if it can happen.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The centipede's other feet

Picking up where I left off, I had a loom to tie on. I even posted a picture of eleven bouts, ready to tie on.

Today I began. Why today? It's Thursday, for crying out loud. What kept you busy Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday?

I was sick. Sick. S.I.C.K. I remember saying to someone, "I'm not getting anything done! And I didn't! I slept. I sat in the recliner, totally upright. I slept. And so on.

Finally today I began tying new threads to old. Somewhere past the half way mark I wondered why there were more knots of thread through heddles than bouts of thread on the loom. I counted. There were eleven sets of thread on the loom, the bouts from the last warp, and ten sets of thread on the back of the loom.

There is only one way to solve this problem, and that is to wind on the last section. I called Jan. Now we understand why so few tubes of thread ran out. She did remind me that she was not in charge of counting.

I promised that when she arrives on Saturday, the entire set up will be returned to its Saturday state, like we just took a break! I probably will spend much of tomorrow getting that job done.

There was ample company this week. First, way outside my window, a wabbit. I sat on the bed for a long time, watching it enjoy breakfast. I've seen it before, sans a companion or baby rabbits. It seems quite alone.

And in my window, on the screen, a long-legs. He needs to pay attention, the robins often land on the screen.

And on the threshold, this moth. I do not recognize it at all.

So, back to it. I've a lot of thread to cut and tape down. The beam  cannot be turned in its current state.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

What have I done with myself, you ask

One thing I have not done is clean my room. My feet are arguing with an overflowing wastebasket I am too tired to empty. Tomorrow.

That last show was only a week ago. I spent this week finishing the warp with the intent of turning on a new warp this weekend. That happened; my sister came this morning and watched for spools to run dry while I turned and turned and turned. The older I get, the heavier the beam becomes.

Jan's eagle eye on the spools of thread. Though we both thought at least eight spools would run out, only three came up dry.

Here's a funny picture. Both of us use canes. Hers is the tall one.

And there are 125 turns of thread, ready to be tied on to the old warp. I've met several weavers at the three shows, and none had any notion of sectional beaming. They still do what they were taught, measuring off a dozen yards of warp and threading front to back, and essentially spending as much time putting on the warp as weaving it off. That is completely reasonable if you want half a dozen towels, but not if you intend to make a living weaving.

The other time grabber this week, and next week, has been talking to the web designer I hope can help me improve the web site. I told her I wanted to come up pretty often in a web search, and she asked if I was prepared to compete with Walmart. There are other ways, and we'll get into them next week.

And finally, we aren't going to hell in a handbasket. It's worse than that. We seem to have lost all respect each other. For the right of every other person in this country to have a life and enjoy it. Why the hell does anyone think he/she (basically he's) has the right to whip out a gun and indiscriminately fire. Or discriminately, in the case of the young man in Illinois.

My home town is no more immune than yours. Over the holiday weekend, a "celebratory" shot fired across the Portage Lakes killed a young woman sitting in her living room.

Before that, we had what has become the usual police stop for a tail light violation and the unarmed young Black driver went down forever under sixty or seventy bullets. This week at a street party, guns came out and were fired and an old man and a four year old girl died.

The only way I see to stop the insanity of guns is to advocate. Each of us can contribute. Vote. Vote for any candidate who pledges to stop the insanity that is universal gun ownership. You can advocate for sanity by encouraging voter registration, especially young voters. 

Come November, which is not that far away, volunteer to drive voters to the polls. Ask the League of Women Voters what you can do in your county. Advocate in any way you can, and as if your life depended on it.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Barn swallows and wrens and other news

I looked up from my knitting the other day and through the window saw a tiny house wren on the rail, looking at me. Fascinated, I held its gaze for many long seconds. I blinked and it was gone. Here's a picture I borrowed from the web:

I picked this picture because it looks like my railing and my wren. Why do I like them so? That perky little tail; the stance, ready to take on the world. The little fledglings, as jaunty as their parents. And, I've missed them. After a steady diet of sparrows and the occasional chickadee, it's good to come back to a variety of birds. Sadly, there are not so many varieties without the feeders up. But apparently there still is a male wren, supervising half a dozen nests.

This past weekend was the third Peninsula Flea. The weather was perfect. Low eighties, good traffic, decent sales, good company with Beth, my daughter and wing man. 

At the show last weekend I saw a barn swallow enter a nest on a beam. There was a long twig hanging down, but I could not direct Beth's eyes to it.

Yesterday the swallow flew into the barn, circled a couple of times, weaving through the rafters like a stunt plane. This time Beth saw it and where it entered its nest. Later in the day I saw the swallow fly from the nest, but only clear a couple of rafters before it settled on a rope and stayed. Fortunately it was between exhibitors, because as it settled and surveyed us, there were the inevitable droppings.

I've never seen swallows except at Ann's. Those were dark, front and back, so that was a swallow, as I understood them. Suddenly the barn swallow turned around to face us, and I was dumbfounded by its pristine waistcoat. Here's another picture borrowed from the web:

I'm doing five shows this summer. Three are done, two left, one in August, one in September. I agreed last January to do all five because I expected to be in much better physical shape by summer. Though I've been able to keep up my inventory, I have not defeated the arthritis in my right hip. I will overcome, the question is when.

With that in mind, I've made several decisions on going forward. First I will not do shows next summer unless I am as pain free as last year, when I did the final couple of shows alone. Beth does not want to do this next year, and I don't blame her. She has sacrificed five good Saturday's to help her mother, and I appreciate it more than I can say.

Next, I will improve my web site. It has begun well enough, with Blake's help, but he's busy with his life, and has been stumped by a couple of my requests. To that end, I have an interview Tuesday with a recommended web designer. We'll see what happens.

And finally, I will not increase my prices this year. I probably will not increase prices until Covid is controlled and all fifty states have women's rights on their books and/or in their constitutions. That includes my state, Ohio.

Have a safe and happy July 4th celebration. Get back to redressing the past and improving the future on July 5th.