Thursday, July 02, 2015

Weaving Anyway

I realized that I'll be climbing the walls before our 45-day escrow closes if the only thing I do is pack, so I decided yesterday to put together my warping reel and wind a warp.  I could see it was going to be a little more complicated than just "put together" when I saw the notice on the top of the contents - Unpack Carefully!
So I identified each piece and checked it off the list.  The instructions were to sand everything carefully - all the pieces!  Then I needed to apply a coat of their special oil to each piece, let set for 30 minutes and then repeat.
While I was waiting I found an inspiration photo for tide pool colors.
I'm limited in my colors since I had my big order of replacement yarn shipped to my son's house in Oregon.  I don't want to pay to ship it twice!
From start to finish it took me four hours.  I was very careful though and I'm sure someone else who is experienced in wood working would have done it in half the time.  Needless to say it wasn't ready to use yesterday so I used my warping board instead.
These are the colors I ultimately chose and the color pairing.  It felt great to be planning a project and just be in my studio.  I'll start weaving on it today.  Mel Sharp, a weaver in Arizona, quoted George Burns as saying - doing normal things makes you feel normal.  This made me feel like myself again.  I'll face packing another day.
And good news on the llamas.  We couldn't get in touch with Toni, the woman we had expected to help us with them.  Her phone was disconnected and no one had the new number.  Her dad is our neighbor but he wasn't home.  When I finally got in touch with him, he explained the Toni had disconnected her landline and only had a cell now - phew!  I called and left a message which was unanswered for several days.  One morning she called early and chatted with Ian.  They agreed to wait until after this heat spells breaks so Ian is going to town today for more hay.  She thinks she knows someone who would like to have a couple of seasoned guard animals.  So another piece of this puzzle has fallen into place.  It takes a huge load off my mind.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Packing

 I decided that in preparation for packing my studio, I needed to finish the projects on both my looms and was Maddie ever thrilled.  She was full of beans, talking her head off, and stole this ball of yarn to torture.  I took it away from here, then gave it back when I realized that I was just going to throw it away anyway.  But that's no fun so she went to sleep instead.
I finished the lap robe for Ian to replace the one I gave away for a raffle prize.  He wanted it a little wider so I wove it at 36" which was really uncomfortable for my neck.  I won't weave that wide again which makes me wonder if I should sell that loom at some point and look for a smaller eight-shaft loom.  I'm sure a smaller loom would be lighter to treadle.
It's really pretty and just what Ian wanted for his naps.  This is from the last fleece I had processed from Ollie.  I have one bag of a little darker fleece and that's it and that's all there's going to be because I went through my fleeces and decided to throw them all away.  I have no time to skirt and I truly don't need any more processed wool.

I went through the 14 bins of processed wool and whittled it down to seven.  I'm taking a lot of it to Mim's for the guild meeting in July.  I cannot believe how much I paid to have fleeces processed over the years, though I am keeping everything from our sheep.
I also finished the Tencel scarf that I dyed in the yarn with indigo.
This is the Walls of Troy draft again.  I think I'll do it one more time in white after we're moved and then give this draft a rest.  I haven't decided yet if I'll participate in the farmers markets out here in our valley this summer.  Our escrow is supposed to close on or before August 21st and at this pace, my participation seems doable.  If the close date is accelerated, I suspect my priorities will be elsewhere.
I haven't actually started packing the studio yet but my weaving is now on hiatus.  I've turned to spinning on the front porch in the mornings with my coffee for my fiber fix - before the day heats up.  We're in the middle of a stretch of mid-90 degree days that are unusually humid, sometimes with afternoon lightening activity.
Every trip to town includes a trip to the thrift store and I have to go in tomorrow.  The back seat is piled with books for the library.
And there is always packing.  I packed up two more 3 cubic foot boxes with pottery today and then turned my attention to books.  The moving company requires no larger than 1.5 cubic foot boxes for books because of weight.  I took a pleasant break in the middle to look at photo albums and now they're boxed.  I've decided to measure my packing by time instead of my amount.  It's much easier on me.  I just poke along.  I ran out of tape but it was time to stop anyway.  It's been two weeks and two days since we accepted the offer on our house and we have a long way to go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Update

We showed the house Friday a little after noon but the prospective buyer wants horse property, and while she loved the house, she wasn't interested in our yard.  We enjoy it so much and have have worked hard to cultivate it.  The thought of someone letting it die just turns my stomach.  About 1:30 I was done in and had to take a nap.  Ian woke me up about 4:00 and said someone was coming down our driveway.  Central Showing hadn't called us so we were completely taken by surprise.  I quickly brushed my hair and took my took out to the front porch, like I had planned it all along.

The showing went very well.  The prospective buyer and her agent were blown away with how cool the house stays without the air conditioner on.  I showed them where the property boundaries are, we chatted briefly, then I went back out to front porch.  She loved our house and asked me what I would do if she bought it - was I ready to move?  I assured her I certainly was.  Her dog loved the yard and she had a hard time getting him back in the car, so she quipped - I have to buy your house for my dog!
The next day was Julia's bridal shower and while I was getting ready, our realtor Brian called Ian to say that we had received an offer on the house from the second showing.  Ian printed it out for me to I could look it over because I had to leave and we only had until 6:00 to reply.

I went to lunch first with Alexia and Christina, my beautiful girls.  Moving away from them is going to be horrible and the only downside to this this move.
Julia and her friend Becky had driven down from Bend the day before.  Becky did all the driving but got tired so they spent the night in Alturas and finished the drive the next morning.  Her sister gave her the shower - a Tutu Shower.  For those who didn't have tutus, paper tutus were substituted.  She's going to be my daughter in law in less than a month - finally!!!  And while I was there, Ian texted me that Brian had sent the documents to him, both my copy and his. We agreed with accept the offer so he created an account for me did my e-signature for me.
I bought a bundle of boxes from U-Haul and am packing one a day.  I'm also taking a load to the thrift store and donating books to the library every time I go to town.  The back end of car is loaded for my trip tomorrow.  I'm picking Alexia up and having lunch with Mommy, then we're going to see a movie.  I'm afraid there will be no packing tomorrow.

I'm going to have to step it up, although Melissa is coming up the first week of July to help me pack.  I have an appointment with Luke O'Brien July 1st for an estimate on moving expenses.  It seems things are falling in place - all except for the llamas.  I simply cannot find anyone to take them.


We got a call yesterday morning from our realtor's office, asking if it would be okay for our buyers to come out, just them, without their agent.  It ended up being a three-hour visit. We seemed to have a lot to talk about and I know they will fit in here just fine. They wanted to walk to the foot of the property, but first to the top of our little pinnacle.  They loved the view from there and the dog was having the time of his life.

You don't realize how rugged the terrain is until you walk it.  It makes me appreciate firefighters all the more. The foot of our property is the green grass on the far right.  It's a hike! And that after making soap, gathering up a thrift store load and packing another box. I woke up pooped today.

I'm also thrilled that our buyers have a great yard in town and love the yard that we've created here from nothing. They're both artists and have a large studio now and want to built one here.  When I told them there was power and water to the llama shed, they knew exactly where they wanted to put it.  I know it's not over until the fat lady sings.

She asked if we have birds and sadly, the birds are quiet in the heat of the afternoon which is when they were here, but the answer is yes we do.  I wish they could have heard the quail coming down in the early evening to scratch under the bird feeders. I will miss those silly birds very much and know I'll miss our place very much.  I'll be homesick but I also know that moving to Bend is what we need to do at this stage of our lives.  To be continued.....

Friday, June 19, 2015

To Be Continued.

Petey has never seen the University of Nevada Reno campus so we met Chrissie for lunch on Monday and Mike came down to join us.  He had to get back to work so Christina gave us the cook's tour.  The statue is John McKay (pronounced mackee here) for whom the school of mines is named.
A number of years ago the old building went through a seismic retrofit and now sits on massive cushions and springs.  I got to take a tour when it reopened and it included crawling underneath to see the new safety features.  Several of the mine companies got together and donated these gold-plated water fountains.  I didn't realize until later that my legs and Darth's head make a startling image.
Morrell Hall is the original building where classes were held when the school opened in Reno over 150 years ago.  Some of the old buildings have been torn down and recently when they tried to tear down an original residence hall, the hue and cry from the public caused them to rethink and Lincoln Hall gets to stay, only this is the last year that it will house students.
This is my favorite place of the entire campus and it was at the far end of this grassy quad where I graduated, May 1990.  Petey commented on how beautiful the campus is and what a nice job they've done retaining the original red brick theme, unlike his alma mater U C Davis.

He left the next morning for Davis and I went in to town for my library book club which I've facilitated for ten years now.  The next day I was back in for the combined guild board meeting, outgoing and incoming, and as the next newsletter editor I'm incoming.  Keep in mind that a trip to town means two hours out of a day.

Our last guild meeting for 2014/2015 was a dye day and I made two hanks of white Tencel to put in the indigo dye bath.  My plan was to make the warp hank dark and the weft hank light but it didn't go that way.  At least the color is splochy so it's still interesting to me.
I'm taking a break from towels while I wait for the yarns I ordered to arrive.  I gave the last lap robe away for a nonprofit raffle prize so I'm weaving another one for us out of handspun yarns.
I was an ordering fool last month and also ordered a Harrisville Designs warping mill.  It's here but I haven't had a chance to assemble it, and anyway, I don' t have the need for it until my yarns arrive.
The five cones I ordered from Georgia Yarn Company came right away, which reminds me that Michael still hasn't sent me an invoice!  I'm not crazy about UKI 8/2 unmercerized cotton as it is pretty fragile, but there are some colors that I need, like Old Gold.  I should have ordered more than one cone of it.  Webs informed me that yarns I ordered were out of stock and are back ordered.

It was a surprising week.  Our friend Carol Lloyd came by Thursday afternoon to sit on the porch with us and chat.  We usually talk about library stuff but this time we talked about Bend and us moving there.  Ian and I started talking about it Wednesday so with Carol's recommendation I called Brian Lessinger on Friday.  His son was graduating that weekend but he said he would come out on Monday for a look-see.
Wednesday he was back with the comps he had worked  up, the contract and the sign.  So it's official, we are taking steps to move to Bend.  Yesterday our listing appeared on MLS and we got a call to show it today.  I bought boxes yesterday from U-Haul but so far I've just been cleaning and getting ready to show our house.  Melissa is coming up for a few days the first week of July to help me pack.

We've surprised everyone including ourselves, but we've wanted to live in Bend for years.  I woke up this morning at 5:30 and started cleaning and clearing all over again and now we're waiting.  We are already working with a realtor in Bend.  To be continued.....

Monday, June 15, 2015

And Life Moves On

Our visit seems have had a couple of common themes, food and brew pubs.  Lunch this day was outside at Ten Barrel.
And this day we ate at Good Life where Petey got another beer glass for his collection.  I only saw my younger son Matt twice during the trip as they were scrambling to move from the house they were renting, which had sold, into another rental.  This lunch was one of only two visits.
Lunch at Riverbend was capped by fried Twinkies wihch grandson Logan had no trouble putting away.  The service was terrible but the food was good.
This lunch was the only time we were all able to get together.  Matt and his fiance Julia have signed a rental agreement with Julia's best friend from 1st grade and her husband.  I've heard about them for years but this lunch was the first time I got to meet them.  Obviously Becky is as big a goofball as the rest of my kids with her drink glowing on top of her cell phone.  I'm hoping their shared living arrangement will be agreeable to all and help them save money.
Laura Cunningham had to come to Bend for shoes for her new job and joined us for lunch at Worthy's, which is one of our favorite places.  It's always good to see Laura.
Worthy grows their own hops so Petey took this picture of us outside of their greenhouse.  We had beautiful weather the entire time and crammed a lot visiting into a few days.  It's always hard to leave and now we've been home for over a week.  Time flies!

Today is bittersweet.  I received my finalized contract from Handwoven and the article for proofing which I did this morning and have returned it with corrections.  It's beautiful and the towels are even prettier in print, if that's possible.  And the other hand, we had our neighbor Tom come down this morning and dig a large hole with his backhoe.  Chrysann Collatos, a large-animal vet, will be here this afternoon to euthanize our three old and ailing Shetland wethers.  It's the end of an era.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Back from Bend

Our friend Petey drove up from SoCal and joined us on our June jaunt to see our kids in Bend.  We stopped in Lakeview, Oregon for our traditional breakfast at the Dinner Bell but the old guy who ran the place is gone, as is his delicious food.  There aren't many places to eat on this route but we're going to look for an alternative next time.

It was the last week of school so we were on our own during the day and wanted to share some of our favorite haunts with Petey, like Lava Butte National Monument.  You're looking at an old lava flow that still dominates that part of the landscape.


He took this picture of us as we walked the perimeter of the cinder cone.


And this is Lava Butte.  You can see basalt from the lava flow in the foreground.  I was surprised this time by a strong sulfur odor.  I heard a couple of college students comment on it too.
Petey is a devoted hiker and DIL Missy is a routine runner so she was happy to take us on a three-mile walk along the Deschutes River Saturday morning.  This is the quiet stretch of the river.
It gets a little more interesting at the top of this loop where we cross the river.
It's a busy hiking trail, for good reason.

 
Petey likes to walk three miles each morning so I gamely signed on for walks from the house.  This particular morning we saw a goose family cross the road from some ponds and slip into this irrigation canal, but the turbulence below this gate was too much for the goslings.  Mom and dad immediately scrambled up the bank but it was really tense for me, watching the babies try repeatedly and slide back down.  I was really anxious but Petey is a biologist and said afterwards that he knew they'd make it okay.  And they did, but it got my heart rate up.  I guess I was thinking of the childrens book, Make Way for Ducklings.

I took all my photos with my iPhone this trip and it has taken me hours to figure out how to move them to my computer hard drive.  I'm learning how much Microsoft and Apple hate each other and I'm still struggling with the new computer and operating system.  Yesterday I naively downloaded iCloud for Windows since I'm paying for that storage for photos, thinking the two would play well with each other.  It moved my photos into a folder but I couldn't open them from there into Blogger.  I have learned more than I ever wanted to know in the past couple of days about computers.  They say that learning keeps the brain young so I hope this counts for something.

I really thought I had it under control and then last night when I finished writing my monthly blog post for the book club I facilitate, I discovered otherwise.  It's a library program that meets the second Tuesday of the month called - the Tuesday Book Club :)  I went to email the link to the 30 members on my list, but I discovered my address book was blank.  I started working on the post at 7:15 and it was 9:15 when I finally cobbled together a work around and stumbled off to bed only to discover why they tell you not to look at blue-light devices before going to bed.  It was midnight before I fell asleep.  

So I fought some more with computer this morning, trying to figure out how to move my photos from my phone onto my hard drive and was almost late to my guild board meeting.  I won't bore you with the hour drive in drenching rain (Nevada?!!) and maniacal demented road work, but I will tell you that the combined outgoing and incoming boards came up with a spectacular year for 2015/2016 and I'm really excited about it.  It took us 4 1/2 hours but I think it was worth it.  And while I was driving the hour home I figured out the solution to my photos.  You just saw some of them - more to come.



Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mini-Retreat

It's a treat to visit Sue on so many levels.  The 17 years she has invested in her yard and garden envelope her house in a park environment.  I left here Monday morning at 8:00 and brought lunch, so we had plenty of time to sit on the back deck and spin until dinner.
But before we got started, Sue gave me the cook's tour.  She has worked for months, getting it ready for the Soroptomist's garden tour two weeks ago and 1,100 people visited over the two days,  She worked hard for months in preparation and it's reputation is well-earned.
Sue is her own landscaper, creating pockets of interest throughout her 3 1/2 acre oasis and she says she's running out of places to plant things.  I was experiencing my own little mini-retreat.
We stopped spinning and ate an early dinner because she had invited a group over for the evening.  It's been a while since we've all gotten together but we made up for lost time by talking and laughing over fiber, food and wine until 10:30.  We all kept remarking about how long it's been and now wonderful the evening was.
Lindsey showed us her spotty bunny with her dotty dress floppy ears.
I brought towels to sell at the tail-gate sale that was scheduled for before the guild meeting the next day, but the group wanted a preemptive viewing.  So they got one.  The next thing I knew there were towels all over the place.

Eva resolved the low lighting problem by using her iPhone flashlight.
The tail-gate sale was a success, followed by a program presented by Faye Schoolcraft who sculpts with raw wool.  This one is inspired by Jackson Pollock and uses thrums from Ingrid Knox.  Faye lives locally and will be offering classes.  I wish I lived locally!
She sculpted this bust from wool and her own hair that she'd saved from her hairbrush for three years.  
She also wet felts on a large scale.  I saw a sign-up sheet with a lot of names on it.  Clearly she had stirred up plenty of interest and there were groups of animated conversation when Sue and I slunk away.

The original purpose of the trip was to visit our friend Dee who is in hospice which we did that morning.  We had also managed to squeeze in a mid-day visit to see Jan Ever's remodeled house and get the full tour, and we were suddenly tired to death.  I didn't fall asleep until after 10:00 and then was back on the road first thing the next morning.

Today Ian and I are doing laundry and packing our suitcases.  Our friend Petey is driving up from from SoCal and will get here this afternoon.  Tomorrow morning we'll pile into our Forester and take off to spend a week with my two sons and their families in Bend, Oregon.