Daily Reflections From My Window

October 1, 2021 Friday: A New Month Ahead, Be Prepared, I’m on a Rant


“Here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright.”

Beatles, ‘Here Comes The Sun’

The last few mornings have been absolutely glorious! Sunshine every morning. Our leaves are slow to change this year, but I have a feeling that when they do, it will be quick. Yesterday was a full day in what Jay calls, “the Factory”. As I shared with you before, I am way behind in my festival preparations. It’ll all turn out. I’ll have what I’m supposed to have. I have a little less than a week to go.

I used to be pretty efficient. I was definitely in the mode when doing MacKid. Have you ever noticed that the busier you are, the more efficient you become? That’s how I am. There’s something about being creative though that, in me, at least, it’s hard to be creative for one season when you are working in another. I don’t know how designers do it years or at least months in advance. I read an article the other day that threw out there that they (especially designers at runway shows) just throw things together and say, “Let’s make something really ridiculous and see who is stupid enough to oooohhh and ahhhh over it and then we pare it down for regular folks.” We’re at their mercy. I DO like reading about the color forecasts. That does help a bit. Here’s my idea of fashion. On the way to hooping. Day 97. And at hooping with Mary. She’s a good sport. After hooping, Jay and I headed to the Johnstown Culture Crawl, and I changed my pants and shoes. I think I’m liking this uniform thing. It’s a lot less thinking. I’m looking forward to not having to take pictures as much. Dawn reminded me that Sunday is the last day. No, you won’t find this dress at Goodwill on Monday! I really do love it!

On to the crawl. We started at H. Wonder Coffee and Records, grabbed a map and had one of their amazing specials. I’m sold on the Dandelion Hot Chocolate. It was perfect for the cool evening and I felt confident that it was ok for my gut health-Madison made it with oat milk. They were busy and had done some updates in the back of the space. Notice how clean and fresh it looks? What a great update!

Next, we headed next door to the Creators Square project and had a tour (thank you to our tour guide of whom I took a picture in the wood shop) of the space. They are keeping the industrial look and exposed brick. It will really be a great space to create! Next, we toured the studio of Taylor, the artist in residence. She’s a wonderfully talented metal artist whose focus is jewelry.

Here’s her info. She does beautiful things!

Here are a few quick peeks into the rest of our stops. Classic Elements, the State Theater and then home we went. I was tired from Dawn’s hula hoop workout and hungry! Dawn, that towel has your name on it.

The stairs to nowhere at the State Theater. But no-there is a real way up. We just got here while the tour guide was on his tour.

There is so much happening in our little town and hopefully there will be enough money to make it happen. The guy from the State Theater told us that he was thinking big! A Speakeasy themed restaurant, of course the theater and more. Go big or go home? 100 million? It’s ok when it’s OPM.

That could be an intro into what’s really on my mind these days, but…do you really want to hear it? I’ll just say that a few years ago, with the booming economy and everything being open, I’d be all about it. It was exciting what was happening because the money was real. But the government doesn’t CREATE anything. Nothing! They don’t make money, they just take ours and pretend they give it back. The US can’t run on grant money.

What’s going on here, in our country is crazy. A friend shared a conversation she had with her parents the other day that neither she nor her husband, nor her kids have had the shot. Her mother was incredulous and said, “But the FDA approved it!” To which my friend replied, “as they did, opiates, and look how that turned out.” Touché’, my friend! We have border patrol agents about to be fired for not getting the shot while 50,000-90,000 more refugees are headed to our border as the day begins. What sense does that make? None. Drugs and human trafficking can flow through like water. But we’re not the compassionate ones. I want a border. And legal immigration and businesses to be able to make decisions on their own and for us to have rights over our own choices and bodies again. And common sense. Where did that go? Meanwhile, in Alaska, the home of probably the most free (in a good way, in respect to individual rights) thinking folks in our country, this is going on.

As container ships sit in ports all over the place waiting to be unloaded, because US citizens are too good to work, and parts are needed from our buddies in China, we’ll feel the pinch. I NEVER understood how it was cheaper to ship components to make things in another country, pay to have it sent there and returned, and still be cheaper because of labor costs. Look what it costs in the long run. American jobs and ingenuity have really suffered. And we get cheap Chinese junk and think it’s ok. Look at dollar stores. Where does that stuff end up-in our land fills. Do you think they really treat their workers that well? I just read in EcoTextile News that a dye factory just blew up and they are requiring mills and manufacturing plants to meet energy requirements finally. Would you want to work in one? Nope. They probably don’t even have the proper PPE.

In the long run, we’ve taught our citizens that what we do here is too expensive to buy and not to think about where or the people who made it elsewhere when it’s cheaper. We had some neighbors who were all about buying only American Made goods. It was hard, but they did it. They DID NOT have a lot of junk. They were ahead of their time for sure.

Boy am I off topic today! But not really. As I prepare for this upcoming show, one of the questions I always get asked is…”why is it so expensive?” Here’s the answer. My business is funded with our own money. I make what I can by hand. I purchase equipment from other artisans that are made in this country. One day, I’ll list all of my equipment. When I need larger quantities spun (for socks or for yarn or large felt sheets and insoles) I have it spun and made in the US with other fiber farmers. I have been focusing on having it all made in PA this year at mini mills. I pack up and ship boxes full of raw fiber which costs money to these mills, both to and from. Let’s not forget that shearing costs money too to have it done by a pro. Add in vet costs, feed, hay and other supplies and my time, which I never add in and that’s how it adds up. There’s no grant money here. I’m trying to keep my prices down and still feed my fiber producers who work no matter what. They don’t care that China is imploding and that our President is a dimwit. They just need food and water to be happy. They earn it. I’ve really got to get to work! More dryer balls are on the agenda today and soap sacks.

If you’ve read this far, God Bless you!

Here’s how our view has changed in the short time I’ve been ranting..oops! I meant writing! The sun is out and there’s a lot to look forward to. It’s a new month and we’ve got food on the table, our family, our health, and a warm bed. Life is certainly good and it will be alright, as the Beatles say. In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!