First a quick shout out to my darling daughter, Heather. 27 years ago today, she came into the world, our youngest child. She is now a Mommy herself, and she knows what if feels like to love a child too. We are so proud of you Heather, and may you never lose your sense of humor---- as much as you deny it, you are soooo much like your mother!
Now back to fiber things... the subject of my blog.
Oh my goodness a whole week has just FLOWN BY! My darling friends Linda from Tennessee and Rosie from Missouri hit the road last week and worked their way north to my house.
We got a desperate phone call from them when they were 90 miles away in Oshkosh with a vehicle breakdown--- ABS brakes went out and they only had the hard-to-press-feet-to-the-floor pedal! The mechanic there was not able to work on them for a few days, so Steve (our HERO!) said he would drive it himself the rest of the way home. We hopped in our Tracker and buzzed down to Oshkosh while they languished in the luxury of free WiFi at the McDonalds. LOL
Got in our hugs and greetings ... and then while Steve drove Rosie's minivan, we gals all piled in the Tracker to gab gab gab our way back to Oconto. What fun! We started talking on Wednesday night and didn't stop talking till the following Wednesday morning, a week later as they departed! ----- and I am NOT exaggerating!
(left to right: Linda, Rosie and Karen)
The purpose of their visit was to start dismantling my loom room in preparation for moving. They had already helped me decide with photos via emails about who was taking what weaving stuff back to who's studio. They are both weavers. The only item they BOTH wanted was a cute old barrel, that was really lined inside with a thermal layer and plastic, so it was really a cooler! Here they are still figuring out WHO was gonna get that barrel.
Even now as I write this, I am not sure which one got it, but all I know is that it was loaded in the van. Perhaps they are gonna toss a coin when they part ways in Illinois and head East and West to their own respective studios?
One of the items being dismantled to haul away was a rug loom... so here I am weaving off the last rug before we tear it apart. Between the tears falling and the sobs shaking my shoulders I was singing a song to the tune of "It's the Last Song I'll Ever Write For You" by Edward Bear
It's the last rug..... I'll ever weave on you
It's the last time that I will put the shuttle in your shed
It's the lasssst tiiimee I'll ever weave this loom ....
Please keep in mind, I am not stopping my weaving. I am taking along my table loom inside of the motorhome where it has a perfect place to ride along. And in the basement compartment is a rug loom that can be assembled in about 20 minutes. I can set it up under the awning or take it into a rec hall at an rv park with permission and give demos too. Or set up when staying at friends houses or family visits easily in a garage or storage shed. Never fear, I will always be a weaver!
We did some fun things while the gals were here. At one point we NEEDED ice cream, and the gas station about 5 miles up the road has hand dipped Cedar Creek ice cream waffle cones. Throughout the gas station are the traditional Wisconsin tourist items---- including bags of cheese curds, sausage, carved log yard decorations, and yes, even CheezeHeads!
We spent days sorting and packing and organizing... the gals were SO helpful to me, and we got a lot accomplished and figured out. They staged the items in order of preference and necessity in rows in the garage. Then as Rosie would load, they could cull or add as space allowed.
As the loom room cleared out, Rosie had more room around her air mattress, surrounded by yarns and baskets of fibers. Ducky the collie loved sneaking down to bunk out with her every chance she got. Linda was using the guest room with an air purifier as she has trouble with allergies and dog fur.
At night, I had to block off the stairs down to the loom room with a baby gate to keep our dogs up on the main floor... they moaned and groaned and wanted to go back down and sleep with their new friends!
Rosie does get quite a bit of winter snow over in Missouri, but our dear Linda from Tennessee was hoping to see some REAL WISCONSIN WINTER!!! Most years in March, we Wisconsinites are sitting under a foot or more of snow, and having temps in the 20-30 range. If you have been watching the national weather, you will know we are having unseasonably WARM temps in the 70's and 80's! The only snow we could find was this crusty old dirt ridden snowbank for Linda. She sure is happy we found at least ONE bit of snow for her.
(I guess the snow angels she was dreaming of making are out of the question?)
Down the road a bit from our house is a tall pine tree where a pair of eagles nest every year. The female is now setting on the nest and the male is bringing in food on a regular basis to his bride. We see him scanning the area from wayyy up high as he cruises along over the fields and up the river. Sometimes we see a flash of wings and water as he grabs a steelhead salmon that are spawning in the river right now. Off he goes to feed the mommy-to-be waiting in the nest. One year the local University came to film these eagles in their nest. They set up cameras and cords and cables (and left a mess!) so they are not welcome back anymore on the neighbor's farm. Now the eagles can come back and nest in peace.
One day during their visit, we took a little break and buzzed up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to the town of Menominee, to get some pastys (pronounced pah-steez)
History of the Pasty
When one thinks of gifts from other cultures that carry with them great historical significance, one usually doesn't think of food. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan there is a food delicacy that has gone ethnic to multi-ethnic and finally to regional. To many people in the Upper Peninsula, the pasty is much more than food, it is an identifying cultural mark that gives them their own identity. While it is a source of great pride to this region, the pasty itself, especially its ancient history is shrouded in mystery.
The easiest way to describe a pasty, is a pot pie without the pot. Nobody knows for sure where and when the pasty originated. It's thought to have been invented when the preparation of food became an art rather than roasting a hunk of meat on a stick. The pasty came to the Upper Peninsula through Cornwall England. When tin mining started going bad in England during the 1800's the Cornish miners immigrated to America hoping to earn there fortunes in newly developing mines.
We also managed to rediscover The Elegant Ewe fiber store... it moved down the street from it's previous location, to this huge lovely historic home, set on the shores of Lake Michigan and the waters of Green Bay. We browsed and fondled and oogled and ahhed over the delightful treasures within. But remember, I am DOWNSIZING so I kept my wallet in my purse! Rosie was tempted to succumb to her lust, and came out with a bag full.
LOL LOL LOL Here is a link to their shop: http://www.theelegantewe.com/
In between all of our running around and packing and sorting, Steveio was diagnosing and repairing Rosie's brakes. We brought it to a place to diagnose on a computer, and then Steve brought it over to our favorite repair guy too. The guys found a good "fix-it" work around because it was just a bad wire to the boost pump, and not the master cylinder and ABS pump components to replace after all. Honestly, they used WIRE TIES AND DUCT TAPE!!! He was able to get it operational to get them back home, and then she already has a newer van lined up for purchase. Then this one's job is done.
He was also kept busy (and away from us gabbing ladies) by mounting our Tracker tow bar, cleaning the garage, and getting things ready for a showing of our home to prospective buyers! Yes, we had a showing on Sunday! While Rosie and Linda were busy packing up the van, we brought some prospective buyers through the home, along the river, around the yard and through the garage. Will hope to hear from them soon before the house is scheduled to go on the market the beginning of April, as they wanted *first dibs* to get in and look!
Rosie and Linda started organizing and loading. They wanted to keep all of the nice heavy Rubbermaid totes I was getting rid of, but unloaded the contents into soft squishable trash bags, and then stacked the totes into tight columns. The bags got squished in to corners and narrow spaces. What a great idea! Rosie is my HERO when it comes to packing and organizing! They even worked well into the night, packing and arranging, while Steveio held a shop light to see what they were doing.
I made a list on a clipboard of every single thing they loaded...
but Rosie said I could not publish it! LOL
Yes, all of my well-loved treasures were loaded up and tucked in here and there... destined to adorn a new studio and be loved some more! But it is still an emotional thing, ya know what I mean? I also think part of the sadness is knowing that Rosie and Linda will be leaving in the morning and that makes it even more depressing.
Look, there is still room for Linda to ride in the passenger seat. We had seriously thought about strapping Linda to the roof rack for the trek homeward, because of the need for space inside for precious fibers and tools! (just kidding, Linda)
Wednesday morning was D-day... time to pull out. They loaded up a few more things, including a llama... (stuffed one from Peru) and headed out. The van was a bit squatty on the road, but Rosie has hauled live llamas, feed, hay and many other heavy items and knew it could handle it.
They made it safely down to Illinois last night and are splitting up the load and each heading to their respective homes this morning. I cried as I watched them roll out of sight... and watched till the van was far around the bend before turning back to my nearly empty Loom Room. Thank you gals for taking my things to love and cherish.
On a motorhome note, last night Steveio did an oil change on the big diesel engine (28 quarts of oil) and we took it for a little cruise around the country to give it a little exercise. Onwards to our new life!