Monday, July 31, 2023

Something old

The universe finally properly aligned for me to do something long overdue. When I was first married, my mother-in-law gave me a Revere ware pan, an extra in her collection, though used. My husband was pleased; it was the pan (pot?) in which she cooked spaghetti noodles and potatoes for mashing.

It's the biggest pot, there on the bottom of the stack.  There are two more Revere ware, added to my collection late in life, found at the thrift store for a very good price. I have not cooked since I lived in the trailer; time to gift them to some grandchild. I'll begin with Caroline, next week, and keep trying on up the line.

I remember the sort of embarrassed shuffle we did when Jim's mom presented me with the pot. She put it in my hands, but said to Jim, "Remember our spaghetti dinners? You two need to come to the house and we'll have a regular spaghetti dinner."

Jim could have said "Thanks, Mom, we'll do that soon!" or some such thing, but instead he stumbled around and finally said, "Gee, Mom, Joanne makes good spaghetti." As much as I appreciated he defense, I didn't appreciate being the one of us who dug out of that one.

And it all was so very long ago, please don't hypothesize about why it happened. It just did. I cooked in it for years. So did my kids. So did Jan, when we all lived together. Except for the last two years, it has been in constant use since 1964.

This afternoon I was in my white chair, eating ice cream and watching the construction and realized it's been awhile since a progress report. This really should be called The View from the White Chair, or The View from the Cat's Pillow.

Occasionally we watch together, but Kitty watches far more often than I do. Today they were pouring more concrete:

There are three doors visible here, and today they put a concrete pad in front of each and did some more grading. That ladder has been there since forever and has been the access for building the upstairs, roofing, shingles. Yes, young men ran up the ladder with a bundle of shingles on one shoulder.

The only other thing going on is progress on lime towels. I am half done with the lime thread. I staged the rest of the thread according to how fast the color came into the comment section. So, the next color to weave will be the rusty orange, third from the left in the previous post.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Short fillers

Kitty was so fond of her Blue Mountain "Real Chicken Liver" treats I first gave her that I bought one each of the other Blue Mountain treat varieties and had them rejected, out of hand. One sniff and her back was all I saw. Eventually I gave them to Beth, who had no trouble dispersing them among her non discriminatory male cats.

I bought a new jar of "Real Chicken Liver" treats to use when the old ran out, and that was this afternoon. On schedule Kitty woke up and came out of her 'secret' spot that literally every one on the floor knows and peeks into. If you are recognized, Kitty merely stares back. If not, Kitty quietly bolts, to under the back of the bed.

When she appeared her first stop was for the RCL's. But they have been pushed to the back of the table, no longer visible. I shrugged and showed her two empty hands. First she was huffy, and then she departed, with a long, casual stretch. It will be interesting to see her evolving demeanor.

This morning was my chair yoga class. This class one relaxes me to the point of sleep. We work mostly seated, but some standing moves, too. When I started I did not have the strength confidence to stand, but now I do. 

The instructor also brings samples of scented oils to class. I enjoy them, but put my Q-tip in the trash on my way out. Today's scent is peppermint. The instructor has previously brought peppermint mixed with another scent or two, but never straight peppermint. to my knowledge. It is still on my desk, for my enjoyment.

The yellow warp is off the loom and being hemmed. I've made yellow towels often in the past, but this run is my favorite. It has good hand, as weavers say, which only means it feels good to the hand and ostensibly for any other purpose.

This is a towel, still attached to all the previous towels, and its other end being surged. The sun was blasting through the window when I set up the phone to camera, and then quit for the rest of the afternoon. In it's favor, we did have a very big storm come through.

I put the yellow towels on the web site last night, before I went to bed. There were four towels with zero stock left as place holders, and it was such a relief to finally delete them and put yellow up, live. To my surprise, I woke to an order this morning. Thank you.

The lime is off the shelf, to be wound on bobbins. I need more definition on the color to weave next, after lime. Tell me the count from left to right, if it's the top or bottom color, and your name for it. 

PS: Kitty came out for the evening and asked for "Real Chicken Livers" again. I relented.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Another new tooth and more

I am on the road to a new tooth to replace the one recently pulled. It can't happen too soon to suit me, but it's probably still ten weeks to enough healing for my dentist to make the replacement. Sigh.

The three antibiotic capsules a day will be gone soon enough, but the vile mouth wash probably will endure the duration. Chlorhexidine tastes awful. Worse yet, "do not eat, drink or rinse mouth for at least 30 minutes after use." It says to discard the bottle after a year, and to rinse twice daily until gone.

Other things are happening sooner. I need more care tags and floundered around a bit trying to find my old supplier. When I did I had fun exchanging notes with the rep. I ordered only 100 this time, which will get me to the end of my towel warp and weft. The last time I ordered 500, way at the beginning. Here is a bag of 100.

My daughter found one we've had a good chuckle over. She thinks mine would say DINNA DRY CLEAN YA NUMPTY!

Every time I change floors, I pass the hall windows overlooking an outdoor area. Recently we've had a lot of sunshine, minus smoke, perfect for sitting out. Today I saw one of the men availing himself. I thought his shirt wonderful.

So in conclusion, the yellow towels are nearing completion. Probably over the weekend I will be cutting them into towels and hemming. Next I will start on one of the colors on the shelf.

I'm thinking that lime green, tucked away on the right. But I'm up for suggestions, too. Let me know. My warp is good for about nine more colors, but I have fifteen colors up there. 

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Two a day, perhaps more

Not much to talk about to day, except first, I remembered I still had towels consigned to the art gallery in Peninsula, and second, to say I have decided to repost all the posts I took down a year and a half ago. 

First the remaining towels. They were completely out of mind, until I shorted one order. I was writing the email, apologizing and saying I would credit her card, and suddenly they came to me. I told her what is available and offered to send her choice from those towels. So, we resolved my error from my stock at RiverLight, and it made no sense to leave the remaining few towels since I would never replenish them. They are back up on Everything Old is New Again.

Then, reposting. I remember when I was converting everything to draft status, I threw a monkey wrench into a lot of feeds. When my blog appeared on a feed, some folks had to click through all the drafts. Not good. Nevertheless, I had promised to remove the posts. A rock and a hard spot, for sure.

Why did I remove them? I had rented a room in the old house and moved back hoping to help Laura with the garden. Maintaining them was her job there, and she was in over her head. I missed gardening; it seemed like a win/win situation. Sadly, K has a paranoia about being stalked, and has passed it along to my granddaughters.

Then, of course, I fell and broke my femur, and come the next summer I still was not able to garden. That led me to researching "old folks homes" and now I'm here where I'm getting help recovering my physical strength.

Why did I decide to repost? When Kitty broke my vase and my sister and I gave it the full Kintsugi restoration, I also wanted to reference when my grandmother made it, and couldn't, because I didn't know how to get to the old drafts. That really was simple, and thanks for the help.

However, I'm sure the same feed problem will occur, so I am restricting reposting to a couple a day. I'm also enlarging the type of the early posts, in type almost to small to read. So, time for lunch and then to weaving. The yellow towels are almost woven.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Two surprises!

Hard to believe in surprises any more. How can something happen that has never happened before? In short, what is new? Nothing. Nothing new under the sun, I told people in my booth as I admired the clever cut of their clothing or some sewing technique I did not know.

Surprises can be sabotaged. They can be short circuited! That latter I perpetrated on myself. You remember my grandmother's vase that has survived since the turn of the century before last? That is, until Kitty lost her grip on something and took down the vase, too.

I was loath to repair it. As neat a seam as I made, it still would be a glue job on a vase I had guarded for so many years. I decided I would be the person who put it in the trash, relieveing my heirs of all future responsibility.

And then the genii who comments suggested kintsugi. 

Genius. I put the money on the next outgoing email and by return:

Following instructions for formulation of glue and gold and assembly, I made a helluva mess. Fortunately, something removes gorilla glue. I think it was WD40. I thought around for steady hands, and came up with my sister at once!  I gave it to her, glued together, and then forgotaboutit. 

Looking back, I see that was more than a month ago. On a phone call recently the vase flashed back and I asked if she was going to be able to get around to the project, or was just going to return it. That happens, too, in our long history, and is perfectly OK. And this time she said she had finished the project and would return it in a couple of days!

Is that not stunning! I see I should get in with a Q-tip and WD40 and clean up the rest of my initial mess up. Some day.

So, back to the day I outed the vase, Jan had called to tell me of an unbelievable occurrence. Some of you have been hanging around with me since the beginning of time. Our mother had left the earth, or joined it, as the case may be, when I started the blog.

Our mother was the first quilter we knew. It was her passion. If the frames weren't up in the living room, its because the next quilt was still in process. Perhaps you remember the little lost quilt adventure, Mom's childhood tulip quilt. As an adult it was a quilt she no longer could account for. It meant so much to her she decided to recreate it, from memory, and nearly nailed it. 

Check it out on the site that Jan still maintains, about quilts. Look under the tab Mom's quilts and look at her childhood quilt and the recreated quilt. We found that lost quilt when Aunt Flo surrendered a trunk of quilts that were under Grandma Rolf's bed. She also confessed selling one to someone who begged her for it and offered her $250. 'Nuff said.

Jan came home from work one day to a box in the living room. It was from our cousin, Ken, and contained a Cathedral Window quilt. It was the quilt we'd wondered about. Mom had showed us her box of Cathedral Window squares completed. It was a quilt she never expected to complete. Yet when we went through her stuff at the end, we didn't find either the box of squares, or a completed quilt. It remained a mystery until Jan opened that box from Ken.

There was a note from Ken. The quilt had been a wedding gift to Ken and his wife, Jan. But they had no further need for it and were returning it. As strange as that sounds (and how very like Ken and Jan), it's probably not unusual to return such a unique gift to its maker at the end of its current life.

Mom embroidered her name and birthday on the back, Ohio, where the quilt was made, and dates in 1970 and 1987, indicating when she began and when she finished the quilt. I can date some fabrics back to the forties (a pair of my childhood shorts). Some probably are older, from her ongoing scrap bag. So Jan can add it to the collection above. I wonder if there are more missing quilts.

Monday, July 10, 2023


Beth picked me up for the vet appointment last week. Even though Kitty's carrier had been innocuously hanging about for a week, I could not touch her yesterday. When Beth put a firm grip around her, it still was a small struggle to get her into the carrier. Too bad! In she went and off we went.

I raised my girls in Lake County, near Lake Erie. When they were raised and gone, and I was transitioning from being an "important person" to a working artist, I wound up going back home, to Summit County, where I was raised. It has become quite clear to me over the intervening years, "home" to my girls is Lake and Cuyahoga Counties, on Lake Erie. "Home" to me is Summit County.

As Beth and I set out, I asked "where is this vet, anyway?"

"Just up 306" she said. Good old 306. Our home for almost thirty years was on a street off 306, in Mentor, Ohio. Mentor is about 35 miles north of Aurora. 306 once was very rural, and Jan and I used to drive it, looking for antique shops. Of course, it is very not rural now.

Katherine's new vet is Dr. Chips, Silver Creek Veterinary. Many years ago Jan and I bought wool from Silver Creek Farm. In fact, I taught Molly how to skirt a fleece.

But anyway, Kitty and the Vet.  

Kitty underwent a new patient exam, which showed her insides to be in place, her temperature normal and her exterior as would be expected. She is a Torty; she did not cooperate without being totally obnoxious. Vet has a Torty, too.

Dr. Chips deduced, from the vaccination record we have, that Kitty received one dose of rhinovirus vaccine, but did not receive the the follow up two weeks later, sort of like the shingles vaccination for people. That could account for her constant wheezing. She prescribed a powder to sprinkle on her food daily. 

Today I'm waiting for another family member and another doctor appointment. Does it never end? Does it ever end? This time Jan is taking me to see Dr. O, to assess a dental implant, top left. Then I could chew again. That would be wonderful!

She's bringing a couple of surprises. They would be total surprises to me except I stumbled upon one of them. The other was such a mind blowing surprise, I'll wait until it's in hand and I can take pictures.

And in the meantime, I need some advice. I've decided to repost much of my blog. However, I do not know how to find it and really don't have the mental energy to find it. Does anyone know a straight forward way to find the posts returned to draft status?

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Dusting off the edges



The zip codes zero through six went in today's mail. I need Tyvek flat rate bags for the last two or three shipments.

When the dust settled, I actually have six towels left in stock, two cream, two periwinkle, a blue cobalt and a dark green. I finally updated the web page, but I see it still has trouble catching up with itself.

It is hot today. Over ninety, going on one hundred. I pulled the curtain on the double window. It's better already; the unit isn't running nonstop. A break in its running is a relief!

Kitty has a vet appointment this afternoon. She has an upper respiratory problem and is sneezing, sort of.  Her carrier has been out and open on the sofa for a week, and today is the day she won't let me touch her! Crating up will have to wait until Beth gets here. At least I have Kitty's paperwork.

The kitchen staff put on a wonderful meal yesterday, for the people still here. Shis kabob! Chicken and steak kabobs, and salmon, just in case. The chicken and steak were done as stir fry, I think, and the veggie skewers were grilled. 

I didn't want to commit to a helping of steak, so I settled for a serving of salmon and a veggie skewer. Our whole table was back for seconds at once. Just smelling the aroma from the veggie skewer was heaven. And then, they were crispy, not over cooked. 

To make the meal even better, because Margaret was away we filled the empty chair with Maddie, who had no table mate for the afternoon. The three of us knew Maddie in passing, but the extended time with her was a treat. A new perspective on the same old same old. There was a lot of laughter.

All the kitchen help wound up in the dining room, serving and then clearing. Only two of the regular college kids were present, and I suppose it wasn't so awful, giving them the holiday off. Although, this seems to be the week most college students head off to Myrtle Beach and that's where ours were going, if we asked them.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Great solutions

I took a picture for each subject of this post, and its length will depend on the pictures coming along. I wish I understood the last phone upgrade on pictures. Sigh,

I was talking to my daughter one day and bemoaning the fact I could not lift the windows up. I have to lean over the radiator unit to lift, and it takes a lot of core strength I just don't have. If I could get on my knees on the unit and lift, all would be well. "You need a window jack!" Shelly said. We chuckled and she went on, but I was on Amazon, looking up jacks. I found one that lifts my windows.

I selected this picture simply because the window is so stupid. I can't get to it any way to open it. So I hung my stained glass there, and it's Kitty's window. She does use the other window and its unobstructed view, too, but its quite consumed with construction ever since she has lived here. Some day it will be done.

I'm weaving yellow towels now, and am a few bobbins from half done.

This is all the colored thread I have left, but only about enough warp left for seven or eight more colors of towels. Then I am done. Mary Moon had commented on her blog that the red towels she ordered had arrived and pleased her. A reader said yes, she had three. They were nice, but she thought them pricey. That's an adjective indicating expensive or unduly expensive.

Anyone who does work by hand knows the unrecompensed hours involved. And I have the cost of the thread and shipping postage, which I totally underwrite, because it is so expensive. I buy the finest ring spun cotton available in North America. Before the shutdown, I knew how much I netted from towels. About half of the price of each towel was mine to keep, or reinvest in more warp and dyed thread.

Then came Covid and the bottom fell out of the world. Prices rose so insanely I could not see any way to pass them along. I remember writing about how to increase prices and concluding it was all some sort of greed I wouldn't be involved in. In addition to the cost of thread, the cost of shipping went up. Exponentially. The hell with it, I would just keep weaving. And I have.

Do you know, when you lose money three years in a row, the IRS no longer considers you a viable business. This is the second year of  losing money on my "pricey" towels. But I was actually looking forward to investing my own money in the next round of thread. But no more.