Monday, March 30, 2009

Wind & a Rant

We've had a bit of wind. I don't know how far into the ground this limb is stuck, but it is far enough that it is supporting the weight at an angle. I'm glad nobody was under that tree.

Saturday we toured a Memory Care Facility about 40 miles away from me. We're just checking out another spot for respite weekends. The current one she goes to is 80 miles away, so I spend a good part of my day off just driving her there. The first person I spoke with assured me that they can do just a weekend, as long as they have availability. The salesperson that gave us the tour said that she would have to check with the executive director to be sure they can do that short of a stay, their usual respite stay is one month. Great, thanks for wasting my time if the executive director doesn't agree. They knew from my initial conversation that we were only interested in weekends.

There is another MCF about 20 miles from me, but their minimum respite stay is two weeks, and there was no budging them on that. They said that they have found that a stay any less than two weeks really isn't beneficial for the caregiver. Right. I'm an adult, I can decide what is beneficial for me. And since I can't afford to pay for two weeks, I would get no respite at all if not for the MCF 80 miles away. Or I suppose I could go all year 24/7 with no break at all, just so I could afford the two weeks. That doesn't work. I have found that by about week 6 I am starting to break down, week 8 I start crying a lot, and week 12 (I think that's the longest I've gone without a weekend off) I am curled up in a fetal position in the corner sobbing uncontrollably. In my head, at least.

What is the answer? Is it just the MCF's in my area that are like this? How do you other caregivers out there get respite? I really want to know.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Daily Dose of Fiber

This one is mostly silk, with some mohair and wool in the mix, and then plied with a cotton crochet thread. I made this yarn years ago.

This very large (13 1/2" across the top) bowl came home with me from Luticia Clementine's too. I found it on their clearance shelf, and suggested that I use it to store the fiber I was spinning that day. I thought it looked more attractive than the plastic bag I had it in. I fell in love with it. It is wood, or a reasonable fascimile thereof. Even though it looks beautiful sitting on my dynamite box in my living room too, (still filled with fiber), I also wanted it for the threshing bee I spin at. They don't like to have plastic stuff about. I usually use baskets, but they can often snag the fiber. This bowl will be perfect for the threshing bee too.

Today's title reminded me of a story. Several years ago, I was getting my hair cut at a walk-in salon. Chatting with the stylist, I mentioned that I had llamas. When she asked me what I use them for, I replied, for their fiber. She then asked what they taste like. Huh? Yep, she thought I meant that they are a high fiber food. I may have managed to keep a straight face when I explained my use of the term fiber, but I don't know how.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to the Real World

This is definitely the most comfortable, pretty and fancy spot I've ever done a spinning demo. Usually I'm in a tent, or on a porch of a historical building. I was surrounded by beautiful things. The proprietess is wonderful, and sent me home with a bag of goodies, including some cookbooks and a great shaker toy ladybug rattle for Mom. Mom loves it, carried it around all day yesterday. I had to almost pry it from her fingers so she could pick up her fork to eat.

Isn't this ingenious? There aren't any steps down to their mailbox, so they built a trolley for it. The mailbox travels up and down the trolley so they can retrieve their mail. I love it! Maybe I should build a little train for mine when it is -40 and I don't want to walk my fairly long driveway!

This is in Independence. I loved the circle window.

This is in Kansas City, MO. Painted on a wall, somewhere near 18th & Vine, I think. They were driving all over, so don't quote me on that.

It was a long weekend filled with food, music, art, and new and old friends. Wonderful. Restorative.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm taking a bit of a break and heading south to Missouri to visit friends. I'll be doing spinning demonstrations at Luticia Clementine's, on the Square in Independence on Friday. Stop in and say hi (and do some shopping) if you're in the neighborhood!

I'll leave you with this wonderful whirligig yard art we saw last weekend. It was mesmerizing, there are so many things moving on it.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Yesterday Mom and I went to my sister's place, then the three of us went eagle watching on the Mississippi. The eagle congregate here as they follow the open water north. There were a lot of eagles!

It was a beautiful, sunny, 50+ day. We walked with Mom along the river, and at one point tried to stop to take a photo of her. She was having none of that, and kept pulling us along. She refused to stop. It must have tuckered her out as she fell asleep as soon as we got back in the car. It was a really nice day.

On the way home, I was admiring the sunset and finally had to pull over to take a photo. It was a deserted county road, so no worries there. I was trying to beat the sunset, and started snapping photos as soon as I turned the camera on.

I forgot that I had it on manual focus.

I like the first one better!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Still Dreaming

Well, that dream got shattered pretty quickly. I drove over there and checked out the building. Now, the listing said to be torn down or moved. I could not figure out how they thought you could move that building. It was surrounded on three sides by buildings, and huge oak trees on the other side. I did not see any way that it could be moved in one piece. It would have to be torn down and then put back up. That is way beyond my abilities. Hiring it done would be cost prohibitive. Man, did I want that building though. He was nice, and gave me first refusal (he had two others interested but wanted to give me first crack at it because I was close) but I had to pass. Insert heavy sigh here. Even if I had been able to get it out of the yard, it was tall enough that I think the utilities would have to come out. I counted at least 17 line crossings, and at $250 each, that wouldn't happen either.

To torture myself, occasionally I go to this site and drool. They save and restore old buildings. Check out their barn and cabin inventory. Sigh. Do you think they would barter for a whole bunch of handspun yarn?

Monday, March 9, 2009


Isn't this the cutest building you ever saw? Oh, maybe it's just me.

It is Craigslist listing that turns out to be only 8 miles away from me. It is 14' by 28', has a second story with a staircase. The roof is bad. No matter, I want it so bad I can taste it.

I am imagining a farm store/studio. Fiber/supplies storage on the second floor, yarn/fiber store on the first floor, with room to spare to hold classes and spinning group meetings. I also imagine my friends sitting around picking guitars, mandolins, autoharp, and a mountain dulcimer or two. A wood cookstove maybe for heat.

I also picture adding a screened porch to one long side, where Mom can sit in bug-free peace looking out over the garden. Yes, I already have the spot to put it all picked out.

Now if only I could also imagine the money to pay for all of it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Killer Maples

I think my trees are trying to kill me. At the very least, they are making me miserable. Right around this time of year for the past couple of years, I get allergies. I never had them before, so I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on. For a while, I thought it was those pesky Asian Ladybeetles, because it seemed to happen when the beetles start getting active again when the sun warms the windows in February. When they bite me, I get a huge welt too. Come on, it's not like anything blooms in February around here!

I found out today using the trusty Google, that maple tree allergies usually start in February in my area. Bingo. There is a reason I call this place Maple Corners. I have maple trees all around me. Lovely.

The site I found also said that allergies can cause mental dullness and fatigue. I'm totally using that as my excuse for my mental dullness. I forgot to close the chicken coop door last night. Everybody is fine, but the stupid roosters were right outside my window this morning before 6 crowing their fool heads off.

Pardon me, I must blow my nose now. Have a great weekend!

P.S. Can any allergy sufferers out there recommend a seriously non-drowsy OTC allergy medication? I can't take anything that might knock me out or make me loopy(er), I have to remain able to be on full alert with Mom, of course.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fiber Storage continued

When I bought this place, the living room had curtains that were not to my taste. At all. It looked like a 70's wedding dress had thrown up all over the windows. Yards and yards of tulle with flounces and bows and ruffles. Eeew. I took it all down immediately, stuffed it in a bag, and put it upstairs. I offered it up on Freecycle, but had no takers. I can't imagine why. So it has been in a bag taking up space for almost nine years. When my friend was over a couple of weekends ago, we were working on organizing the fiber room. I found this bag of tulle and decided it just had to go. I hate throwing away (packrat much?) something like this, perfectly fine fabric/curtains that I had no use for. The bag went out in the hallway in the pile of stuff to get rid of.

Then we came upon the idea of the shoe organizer/fiber pocket storage. But where to hang them? All of my wall space in the fiber room was already used. The guest bedroom had some wall space, but I really wanted to try to keep it as guest bedroom like as possible. We happened to be standing in the guest bedroom, then walked out into the hallway/landing. Duh! Perfect wall space right there in the stairwell! Look at all that otherwise wasted space! I decided I would make my own fiber pockets. As I was rummaging around in my fabric stash, I found the perfect almost canvas-like base. But what about the pockets? Why, the tulle! It would be see through, so I could see what fiber was in the pocket, I could make use of the tulle, perfect! Let me tell you, that tulle is slippery crap and hard to sew, but I did it.

I hung it on a dowel suspended by two cup hooks screwed into the wall. That is the stairwell. I have room for another shorter one, to the left of this. I have to sew it yet. There is still wall space left though, so I didn't stop there.

I hung long lengths of roving on the one wall, the two over the door pocket organizers my friend gave me hold finished batts, and the pocket organizer I made holds loose dyed fibers. That is, dyed fibers not in roving form. More dyed braided roving went on the little landing wall where the steps turn the corner.

It is like a huge design wall. I can stand there in one spot and see all of the dyed fibers I have to choose from when designing a batt colorway. I can already see a color combination I wouldn't have thought of without seeing it first. (The melon roving in the middle, combined with the teal to the left of it, and maybe the blue to the lower right of it. It would have a Southwest feel to it.)

My fiber room no longer has a huge pile of little bags of dyed fiber. Now it just has a huge pile of huge bags of roving from the mill. At least I can walk in there now though. And the stairwell is a lot prettier with the roving covering most of the ugly brown paneling. Win all the way around!

Anybody want some tulle? I still have a whole bag left, I only used part of one curtain panel. No really, anybody want some?

Monday, March 2, 2009


The mosaic shows the progression from colorway inspiration photo to finished piece.

In the end, I went with something completely different. A comment about the organic nature of it reminded me of a couple of deer antler buttons I had. One of them even had a tinge of bluegray on it, so I went with that.

Unlike some, I don't have an issue wearing/using a button made from deer antler. I'd much rather see it put to a use other than hanging as a trophy on a wall. Besides, for all I know, this could have been made from a shed antler, found before a mouse or other rodent ate it for the calcium.