Saturday, May 25, 2024

A couple of weeks in review!

 I suppose it's to be expected in an old folk's home, but it's still taking me by surprise. There are some really old people here. Audra turned one hundred last week. A fellow named Merle will be one hundred in December.

In addition to that, we celebrated the seventieth wedding anniversary of a couple, Faye and Fred. Neither of them is ninety yet! There is only one other married couple here, but one is in this building and one is in assisted living. They are Bert and Gert.

As someone who is terrible with names, I am fascinated by all the help from the names themselves. There are three Mary's here. I only fastened on Jean's name after I realized there was a Gene and a Jean, not related. Gene has gone to another facility, but I got Jean down in time.

It seems most everyone has a name not currently popular. My particular friends are named Maddie (Madelaine), Marcia (my great grandmother's name), Rose and Betty. The last is a version of Elizabeth, my daughter's name.

I bought a couple of crooks for hanging plants in one of the outdoor atriums, and asked Maddie to buy mandevillas to hang there. She called from the nursery to tell me all the mandevillas were already trained on hoops. I hadn't considered that old problem. Laura and I always deconstructed them and repotted into my metal hanging containers.

But ever resourceful Maddie had a solution, dipladenias. Best yet, buy one, get one. She came back with two of them, red, and her son and dil helped her plant everything she brought. I didn't think to take a picture this morning, so here is one I stole from the internet.

And last, but not least, the thread I ordered is scheduled for delivery Tuesday, next. I hope to be started loading the new warp soon after. Tuesday I have a dental appointment (cleaning) and then a picnic at my sister's, with some of the grands. Hamilton, Blake and Laura. Maybe Bek.

So, I'll get serious after that. I've decided first to weave off the few spools of thread left, and then to weave with red, yellow, blue and green to start. The new pattern will be rosepath.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Today was cleaning day. Any day is "cleaning day" if I see something that needs done and I can do it. A while back I grabbed the Swiffer and dusted all the chair rungs. It was a mental throwback to an early job when I was at the bosses' home, having "tea" with his wife and some others. We were sitting on the floor, around a lovely low table. Suddenly she looked under the table, took her napkin and began dusting the table legs and rugs. "A place the cleaning lady never looks," she said.

Such I always thought about the cleaning staff, and what the hell. They have a lot of rooms, and people with differing habits and wants, and then the whole huge building. I can dust my chair rungs every so often. And Diana was just leaving my bedroom when I grabbed my Swiffer to clean the chair rungs. She asked what I was up to, and I told her. I blamed it on the construction dust from outside.

"Not so," she said. "It's all from your humidifier."

You probably cannot see, but against the lamp standard rising in the back is a faint cloud of steam from my little humidifier. It is a cold air unit, or as my father used to say, it flash fries water and spits it out. I bought it the winter before last, and it ended my bloody noses at once. But according to Diana, it is responsible for this:

All the white, powdery stuff that settles on everything in the apartment. I don't know. I'll keep running my humidifier and dusting the furniture rungs.

I've also emptied my loom and am ready to embark on a new project. I think it will be towels. But I need a new treadling. The Shaker towel I've woven for years is a little workhorse of weaves, dense but not heavy. It sops up water.

There are other interesting weaves that I'm sure would work. One is a pattern I first found in a Dover reprint of an nineteenth century weavers manual. I wish I could remember its name. It was a list and description of what a journeyman weaver should be able to produce. Sort of the thing Benjamin Franklin might have set and printed in his brother's shop.

The pattern is a variation of herringbone twill and was called Irish Fancy. I threaded it up more for the name than the pattern, but it turned into a staple of our weaving studio. We wove all the fabrics for our heavier garments in the twill. One popular garment was an over shirt with a Henly throat, a thick, soft cotton in that twill.

My daughter and her boyfriend way back then each had one. After a camping trip Rich told me the shirt was incredible. Dried him off after a swim and he sleep in it at night. All around versatile. I bet it will dry dishes well, too. 

The other possibility is Rosepath. It's another twill weave, but one I've never tried. In my opinion, it needs to be expanded as an overshot weave, and that is very time consuming. But I found a Rosepath treading that expands the little flowers with a bit of plain weave between the rows of flowers. Interesting.

So, I'll thread up each and see which I'll choose. Then I'll have to order more thread, fix my web site again, etcetcetc. Several price increases of thread later, I'll have to recalculate cost. I wonder if I'll be shocked.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Things happening this week

I glanced out Kitty's window this morning and saw men unloading scaffolding from their trucks. Great, I thought, they will start putting the roof on the new building.  Wrong. I left Kitty eating her breakfast and went to eat mine.

I came back from breakfast to see the scaffolding set up right outside of Kitty's window, and then for the next couple of hours the loud noise of cutting the mortor from between rows of bricks. Two hours of incredible noise. The man handling the grinder has ear protection! Here is some of the work. I wonder if it's to point up the bricks.

Laura visited a week ago, and borrowed my wheelchair. Her friend's mother needed a chair to go with them to a concert. Laura left behind a norovirus that left me incapacitated much of last week. It's awful to be out of commission.

One afternoon I decided to be a recliner vegetable and settled in to watch Netflix. I bought a Roku stick for my fairly old television about eight years ago. The Roku controller is probably that old, and has fresh batteries, I knew, because I replaced them quite recently and had to buy them first.

Nevertheless, my controller, henceforth known as The Clicker, didn't work. I could not get it past Hulu. Eventually I quit its game and asked Beth to come have a go. She did and eventually announced the Down button did not work. She could still navigate with the Up button, but nothing down.

All the replacement clickers on Amazon said for Roku television, not for Roku stick. I got on the Roku web site. No phone number, but a chat site, with a robot. It didn't know what I wanted, and offered to connect me to a technician. First it wanted credit card info to handle a one dollar charge.

My bank objected and asked me to authorize a charge for fifty five dollars (apparently refundable to one dollar). I did not, and that was the end of Roku. Back to the search. I may have found an old bit of OEM clicker. It should be delivered today. If not, I'll just click backwards.