Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Joy 2021

Happy Holidays ~



by Mary Oliver
If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don't hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty 
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that's often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.
Devotions - The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (Poems from Swan, 2010)

Monday, July 12, 2021

A Rainbow on Gray Cloth

Gray Goods: fabric that is freshly off the loom, woven but unfinished

April 1, 2021

The 7-yard JST Muted Color warp has been woven and cut off the loom. It's beautiful.

The next step in the process is finishing which means checking and repairing any weaving errors then washing/drying/pressing the fabric. Since all my hems are hemstitched I won't need to worry about fraying when I give the cloth a nice hot bath and air dry.

Eventually I'll cut the eight sections apart and figure out how I want to finish my hems. But for now I'm enjoying the pleasure of gazing upon my colorful woven cloth.



Happy Spring 2021


~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 


July 12, 2021

My, it's been awhile.

So the cloth - most likely dish towels -  has been washed and they're sitting by the sewing machine waiting to be finished.

Yep, the gray cloth is still waiting but I'm at least going to finish this blog post and hit the publish button.

Er, Happy Summer 2021

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Like a Boss

Oddly enough when I woke up this morning Card-Making was the furthest thing from my mind. In fact, I had thought my day would include scrubbing the bathtub, laundry, and other fun chores. Woohoo

My To-Do list had gone unchecked because I had spent the last two days crafting all the things. I spent the better part of Monday outside spinning, spinning, spinning. When I finally went indoors I ended up weaving on a pin loom and then weaving on the Lil' Gem floor loom.




Tuesday was spent knitting on a pair of socks - I turned both heels and now it's just a straight shot to the toes. Lucky me.

This week I've been able to craft all the things because The Man is on a camping/fishing trip.



When we saw The Man disappear down the driveway Zeke, Jack, Boots, and I danced our "Home Alone Happy Dance".


So, anyway, back to card making. In between the crafting projects I also spent a goodly amount of time (as one does) on Etsy looking at stationary and handmade cards; I especially liked the embossed cards.

So this morning while I was on the computer I entered "DIY embossed cards" and found a simple tutorial. Fortunately we have white Card Stock (110#). After cutting a sheet of paper in half, I was back at the computer to google, "how to make a torn paper edge (deckle)".

I gave it a try and it was amazingly simple and satisfying.

For the second sheet I took pics.

First I folded the paper in half lengthwise. This is where the card will fold in half.


Using the back of a knife I scored the length of the long edge.


Next I painted water on both sides of the paper along the scored line. When it looked soaked through I carefully pulled the edge off. It magically tore away on the scored line.




When the paper dried I cut it in half, which makes two 4.25" x 5.5" cards.



Next up, DIY Embossed Cards here's the link to the tutorial again.

I made a stencil/template which is fancy talk for cutting a square out of a greeting card. Yes, I know it sounds simple enough but I'm terrible with a sharp blade and I especially lack Xacto knife skills.



Using the window as a lightbox I traced the inside edge of the square with a big fat wooden knitting needle.


 Ta-da, an embossed square.



The word "stencil" tickled a memory and in the kitchen drawer I found a package of baking stencils. I put the Xacto knife back in The Man's desk drawer. phew


 I positioned the stencil on the front side of the card, you know, the public side.



The stencil is under the paper and you're working on the inside of the card. This time I outlined the heart with a wooden crochet hook. See the multi-crafting theme here?



Ta-da, embossed like a Boss.



Psst, I'll be doing housework tomorrow. In addition to the chores on my To-Do list I'll have to corral the craft projects scattered throughout the house. Really.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Oil and Massage

An unexpected sequela of last week's storm was a very sick goat.



I first became aware that something was wrong when Mama the goat refused her special treats. Every afternoon she receives a teaspoon of powdered apple-flavored aspirin mixed with kitchen scraps. Usually she's waiting by the garage door to receive her "special treats".

It was very unusual for her to turn up her nose to the apple core, lettuce, and kiwi peelings. Perplexed I made another batch of ASA with bits of bread and COB (goaty granola), she sniffed it and turned away. Next I tried a couple of peanuts, she mouthed it, dropped it, and walked away.

Here's the thing about Mama, as The Man likes to say, "She's a tough old goat".  She suffers from arthritis and has been receiving daily aspirin which seems to help. The warmer months are easier for her and every winter we think it'll be her last but every morning she's standing and waiting to be let out of her house. On colder mornings, it takes her awhile but Mama eventually makes her way out of the pen to find some breakfast.

For Mama to refuse food something was wrong. Her thick winter coat covered her abdomen but when I placed my hands through her fur I noticed quickly there were no bowel sounds. I could not feel or hear any gurgling and her belly felt tight as a drum.

As I gently palpated Mama's belly, she didn't move away as she normally would but instead stood with her head hanging low and I could hear her grinding her teeth. It's a terrible sound, it's the sound of pain.

I thought of the stormy winds that had swept through the oak trees and then covered the property with fresh green oak leaves and wet oak moss.  I thought of the way the goats looked with green beards as they dined on the lush lichen.

We have experienced this sudden and dangerous condition before - goat bloat.

I started to rub and pat Mama's abdomen, concentrating mostly over her left side, her rumen. The Man came by and he helped me administer 5 ml of Goat Probiotic. We bedded her down in the garage, it was warmer and we didn't think she could walk the distance to the pen.

The next morning she was standing by the door to be let out. She left the garage and headed to the dog house. There were only a couple of goat poops in the garage, not nearly enough.

Mama stayed in the dog house all day. It was large enough for both of us as I sat with her and massaged and thumped on her with cupped hands. We gave her more Probiotic and 1/4 cup Canola Oil (orally with a syringe) to help break up the froth and release the bubbles. She drank water but did not eat anything and spent another night in the garage.

The next day she seemed better. She had started pooping again, her abdomen was softer, and less distended. Most noticeably she had stopped grinding her teeth. One more Probiotic dose and an occasional pat and rub when I could catch up to her.


By the fourth day Mama was back to normal - chewing her cud, eating, burping, and pooping - her usual goaty self.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Wicked Wind

Just as predicted the winter storm arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday. It was the wind that woke us up, it shook the house - shook the bed - and howled through the walls. The strong steady oak trees swayed crazily against the night sky.

Our weather station with it's whirly gizmo on the roof recorded sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts between 50 and 60 mph. It was a wild and woolly two days of wicked wind. The rain fell steadily at a sideways slant.

At first light we were able to assess the damage. A large oak on the adjacent ranch had dropped it's huge heavy limbs. Unfortunately those limbs crashed down on our side of the property and crushed a section of our fence.



We lost a couple of our own trees but they fell without damaging any structures. It pains me to see old oaks fall.

The most astounding sight is the amount of debris that litters the property. Gnarly pieces of oak, branches and twigs, and leaves everywhere.


All hands on deck. The clean up has begun.




Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Winter Prep

It was 29° this morning when I headed out the door to let the animals out of the pen. Brrrrrr

The rest of the day was sunny, cold, and bright. The calm before the storm.

We're bracing for a large winter storm, predicted to arrive in the wee hours of the night bringing with it strong winds and many (many) inches of rain. It sounds like it's going to be a doozy.

The Man and I spent the day getting ready. The Man added more firewood to the stack in the garage, tested the generator, and did other manly emergency preparations.  

In the pen I covered the chickens' coop door and the goats' chain-link door with plastic feed bags to keep out the rain and especially the wind.


On the outside of the pen I noticed that the Acorn Woodpeckers were using the pen as their granary and storing acorns for their own winter prep.


At the end of the day The Man parked my car outside and parked the tractor inside the garage. The tractor has proven itself invaluable after a storm.



I think we're ready. 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Repair Man

Another day spent dressing the loom. Yup, "dressing the loom" is doing all the preliminary steps before being able to weave on a floor loom. I guess it's a good thing that I really enjoy the process.

Today's task was sleying the reed. All in all it went pretty well. There was just one hiccup early on.

I found a mistake.

Even though I thought I was being excruciatingly careful yesterday I found a threading error. Two heddles were found sitting cozily side by side. Psst, they should not have been together.



Luckily, I had only sleyed about 3 inches of the reed.  But, still, I wasn't too keen to pull all the threads out and have to start all over.


I told my story of woe to The Man and mentioned that sometimes people make their own DIY repair heddles. He asked me to bring him a heddle. He looked at it, went into the garage for a tool, and simply snipped both ends. We went into the Loom Room and The Man slid his repair heddle onto the heddle bar.

I fixed my threading error and finished sleying the rest of the warp without further incident.




It was the end of a good day.



Friday, January 22, 2021

Palindrome Days

Did you notice Wednesday's date? 1/20/21 it reads the same backward or forward.

Did you notice yesterday's date? 1/21/21.

How about today's date? 1/22/21, cool beans, right?

Speaking of today, continuing the process of dressing the loom, today's task was threading the heddles.








 . . . and Bob's your uncle.