Unexpected Collection


Digital Camera

These are eleven of my baskets. I didn’t realize how many I have, and how many of them I use almost every day. Until I needed a basket to put cookies in. I started poking around until I found the right one, a small picnic basket with two handles.

There’s my blue fiber project basket, three egg baskets, two harvest baskets, and three storage baskets. Those are just the ones in this picture. It amuses me to see so many, and I really do use them all the time.

My blue fiber basket has 3 spindles and a couple of spinning wheel bobbins in it, as well as some spun yarn and fiber. it’s my ‘grab and go’ for any time I’m going to join friends at a spin-in. Under the shallow harvest basket on the right is my folded laundry basket. Yet, the clothes get folded in front of the TV and put into that little blue basket before they go into drawers.

Women have been making and using baskets for at least 12 millennia. That’s 12,000 years we know of, since most baskets are made of wood and fibers, there’s not much left after a few thousand years to go by. I’ll bet the craft is much older than that. Gatherers need baskets like hunters need sharp points.

I’ve made baskets from plastic shopping bags, t-shirts cut into strips and strips of brown paper. Not the kind of materials that last forever, but common recyclable materials. I stopped making the plastic ones because there’s a nasty powder that gets on my hands and up my nose. I don’t like snorting plastic dust. It makes me feel sick.

T-shirts, on the other hand, appear to be much friendlier to the body. There are dozens of t-shirts around the house that need to be recycled into something. I cut them into 1 inch strips, with a bit of thought I can make one continuous strip of t-shirt material out of the tube part of the shirt.

It’s time for me to go, gotta deliver those cookies.

Relationships and Mental Illness


I know there are people who diligently do their duty, stay married and all that. I don’t see how they do it. Maybe there is a huge difference when the person owns their illness. I don’t know, because that’s not how it is in my life.

“Isn’t not my fault,” is a statement containing a limited amount of truth. Our lives are not defined by our genetics. Our lives are defined by our choices. As in – I choose to ride the motorcycle without a helmet. I choose to play games in traffic. I choose to lie to doctors, family and friends. I choose to say terrible things to the people I’m closest to.

So that leaves me with choices of my own.

There’s nothing easy in the way I choose to live from this point forward. This is going to suck, but not as bad as doing the same things over and over, expecting different results. 

Today is not just another day. Today is The Day to make as many sane choices as I can. That’s not really a big deal.

But choosing to do the sane thing today, will make tomorrow just a little bit easier. 

One step at a time, going forward, not backwards.

Cautious Hope


I thank you all for the well-wishes.

My brother has come from Seattle to help me figure out how the nursing home works. I’ve learned a lot in a very short time. Unfortunately, there is much more to learn.

However, there is good news!

My Dad has gotten much stronger than I expected. He is still struggling with issues of brain damage from the stroke. However, he’s eating, which is a huge improvement, and the Physical Therapy is going well. 

I have discovered that I don’t like nursing homes. I don’t like the way they are always short-staffed. I don’t like the tremendous expense associated with them. I don’t like strangers taking care of my Dad.

Most of all, I don’t like the fact that I have a tendency to break out into teeth and claws when he’s not take care of the way I feel he should be treated.

When it comes to him and his care, I’m not a nice person. I’m a raving bitch.

I’m not proud of that. It’s kind of embarrassing. 

Still, we managed to get him the bladder cancer surgery he needed. The doctor used the laser like a scrub brush to abrade away the cancer cells. Dad was back to his room the same day. He slept yesterday, and was fine today. I’m pleased, it was a load off my mind!

Thanks again for the well-wishes!

Sorry for the Silence


I am sorry that I haven’t updated this blog in over a month.

My father had a stroke and is in a nursing home, an ordeal by itself.

However, I was also forced to leave Jordan’s Croft, by my husband’s mental health issues.

Everything is up in the air.

I’ve decided to do no blogging on these issues. I’ve got a couple of books to finish, so that’s what I’m doing.

I’m okay, for now, just displaced and very, very angry.

Building a Killer Email List


K. A. Jordan:

I’ve created a mailing list for Icy Road Publishing. You can blame David G. for it. LOL Because I’ve ‘known’ him for several years, on Authonomy and beyound, I’m willing to not only FOLLOW his advice, but to tell others about him.

The ONLY thing I’m going to do with it is send out announcements for

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

wanted-alt71-200x300There is a lot of upheaval in publishing today and I think that’s likely to increase rather than decrease. The best insurance policy any writer can have against the future is a targeted mailing list.

I’ve written before about how the author with the biggest mailing list wins, and I’ve invited Nick Stephenson along today because he’s got some great ideas on how to boost your list.

The cool thing about his approach is that it’s something anyone can do. And, as you will see, it really, really works. Here’s Nick with more:

Building a Killer Email List

As an author, I try to read as much as possible. I tend to get excited over 8 or 9 different authors across a few different genres, and I always buy their new releases as soon as I hear about them. Whenever I find out there’s a new book on the shelves, I go…

View original 1,832 more words

So Soft – Just Don’t Pet Him!


Grumpy closer

 

Look at that face! Isn’t he the cutest darn thing?

He hates being petted, which is just TOO bad because he’s SO SOFT! Last winter I’d corner him in the stall and pet his neck and he’d scream “Ewwww!” and stamp his little bitty feet. I’d laugh at him. “Too bad, Grumpy. Get over it! You’re just SO soft!”

I’ve spent most of the afternoon on the back porch, playing with Grumpy’s fleece. I’ve picked it. Carded it. Spun it and plied it.

It’s just so soft!

I don’t know what I’m going to make with it. It’s very fine and a soft creamy white.

Digital Camera

Look, you can just grab a handful and spin it just as fine as froghair, with a drop spindle. My wheel makes it into yarn so fast, the stuff just flies onto the bobbins. The yarn I plied an hour ago needs to be measured and weighed so I know about where I’m at with it.

I’ve discovered how to wash it – just soak it in water for a week. Change the water every day. Use soap and hot water the first day, leave it in the sun the rest of the week. This is a very slow process, but the fleece is just as soft and clean as it can be…after a week. If I go any faster, I get FELT. You can’t agitate this stuff. Even spinning it in the washer felts it.

Now the sad part is that Grumpy appears to have the coarsest hair of the three alpacas. But his is the longest, and the cleanest. I bag it up an ounce per bag – soak it and forget it.

I’ve got more fleece from Atlanta, but I haven’t tried to wash it up yet. I’ve washed one ounce of black llama and an ounce of mouse-colored llama.

Last weekend we went to Wampum Stompup farm. I saw the most beatiful alpacas. Fawns, red-browns and blacks that had some really dreamy looking fleece. There was one red-brown that I’d really like to buy. If he were fixed, which he isn’t.

She breeds her males. I just want geldings. No females, no babies – though her babies are adorable. They are just so hard to keep up. She’s got to deworm hers every 10 days because of some weird worm that comes from the deer.

I deworm mine twice a year. The chickens have developed a taste for Alpaca Poop that defies logic. They like it more than they like horse manure.

Well, the tractor repairman is here, gotta go!

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Had to make the picture bigger so you can get the full squee from that cute little face.