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Sidetracked By the Full Moon

Good Morning from Hammy.

“The mind of God is all the mentality that is scattered over space and time, the diffused consciousness that animates the world.” Baruch Spinoza

August 4, 2020 Tuesday

I have always loved the Beatitudes. Probably because it was one of the few things taught by my Catholic school nuns that didn’t depend on guilt and fear, the twins of faith when I was young. So when #6 popped up today in my book of devotions, I knew I was meant to share it. I did do a series on the Beatitudes about a year ago and this format will allow me to quickly insert those posts and tag them for you to find easily. But not today!

So I missed a few days, but have posts started and in draft mode so I can add them when I have time. Because I have some fun things to share.

This morning I got up and settled into my soft seating “prayer chair” just in time to see a doe and her 2 fawns in the front field. Just like the alpacas do, when the drizzle started, their heads popped up, they stopped grazing and off they ran for shelter. The fawns were covered in spots. So beautiful.

I love our deer.

Last night the light from outside our bedroom window was so bright. I said to Jay, “That’s what happened today! It was a full moon!” My day was so off track. How about yours?

Yesterday I started out with the best of intentions. I even had a schedule and if I had followed it to the letter, I would have gotten everything accomplished with time to spare, BUT now that my brain fog is lifting, I’m discovering deadlines I’ve let creep up and projects that need to be done immediately. It’s ok. I’m almost caught up. Without going into detail, I’m starting fresh today and I’m glad it’s raining. It’s cozy and comforting some days.

A new egg in the barn nest. It’s hard to take a picture so I had Heuston stretch up with my camera and take one-he’s taller. I usually have to put the ladder and stretch over. He did good.

To make a long story about my discombobulated (don’t you love that word?) day short, Jay has been ordering movies “for me” from Netflix. We’ve been watching the oldies but goodies and some sweet new ones, like “Mary Poppins Returns”. Last night we watched the original Disney “Pinocchio” from 1940. I keep trying to tell Jay that Disney movies are very layered and always have interesting messages and the kids don’t usually get the deeper meaning. I missed this one entirely. Haven’t seen it in a while? It’s worth watching. You may remember that Pinocchio is a wooden marionette. We had a Geppetto (I still have G) and a Pinocchio marionette as kids. I thought Pinocchio was mine and Geppetto was my sister Janey’s but I don’t know where he went. We also had Cinderella. She was so beautiful. We loved playing with them but never got the puppet part down pat but that didn’t matter because they were fun. So Geppetto is an old wood carver with a heart of gold who makes the puppet Pinocchio and “when he wishes on a star” 🎼 his dreams come true. The blue fairy tells Pinocchio that “To become a real boy you must first prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish.” Then the adventure begins. How else would he prove himself without mistakes. But he meets up with an evil white haired man who wants little boys, “the bad ones” so he can teach them to do “bad things” and then he whispers in his evil cohort’s ears and they laugh. They take the boys (including Pinocchio) to a place called “Pleasure Island”. I’m not making this up. I haven’t seen this in a long time but notice any similarities? Frightening.

Watching the Original Pinocchio from 1940.

Well, that story wouldn’t go over too well today but it was a great lesson for us as kids. Next best thing to nuns. You can’t go to sleep with a scary story so we had to watch a Seinfeld. I love that show. You THINK you know what it’s about and that they’re all self absorbed singles (and they are!) talking about nothing but it’s so funny! Seinfeld is like a magician who has you focus on one thing so you don’t notice how he pulls off the magic. So this episode is about “The Sniffing Accountant”. It’s also about the judicious use of exclamation points. Or is it? I love it!

I had watermelon gazpacho from the Ligonier Country Market and “Out of the Fire” for lunch.
Gotta END with alpacas.

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

He stuck a needle here and what happened next will shock you!

Can You Adapt to the New Format? Time for my Acupuncture.

“Will and intellect are one and the same thing.” Baruch Spinoza

August 1, 2020 Saturday

It was time yesterday for my acupuncture adjustment and I couldn’t wait. Apparently I was so looking forward to it that I was an hour early. I had put the time I needed to leave on the calendar instead of the appointment time and thought that my appointment was an hour earlier. It worked. I had enough time to go next door to DeLallo’s and pick up a few things for dinner before my appointment.

The pyramid of peppers.

If you’ve never been to this store, the first thing that will probably strike you is the incredibly stacked and beautiful produce. Everywhere. It’s an engineering marvel. Each pepper or carrot or whatever is lovingly balanced and each row rests comfortably upon the row beneath. It kind of speeds up your trip because there is no need to pick through. Each piece is perfection. so I did my best to make my way quickly so I wouldn’t be late for my appointment.

Fresh local corn.
That colors make me think of Ireland how they are laid out.
How about some Chianti with that?
The cheese looks like pumpkin pie. I couldn’t find the name of it.

I got a little hung up at the prepared food counter. I haven’t figured out their system yet. Seems like some days you need a number and some days you don’t. Some sections like the sandwiches and cheese (which bookend the prepped foods) you do and the prepared food you don’t. So eventually my turn came up and I got their melt in your mouth Mediterranean seafood salad and some stuffed cod for dinner. I was intrigued by a spicy cabbage salad so got some too. Would it be like kimchee? We’ll find out. Then I asked for ice. That stopped the whole production. No, they don’t give you ice. On a hot day. Buying prepared seafood. Okay. An older deli gentleman pointed me to the freezer case and the bagged ice. That would work. I had forgotten my cooker since I haven’t driven my own car in a while. So I made a last stop at the bakery and went to check out with time creeping up on me.

This is such a cozy store. They have such a huge variety of Italian classics yet it feels like a neighborhood market and as such, has its quirks. I decided to go through a different check out lane this time because the one I’ve gone through in the past is kind of sloped at the end. You get your cart so far and then it starts to roll while still trying to empty it. Surely that was because it was a repurposed building or something like that I thought. So into a different check out lane I went and sure enough, same thing. Must be intentional but I didn’t have time to find out and didn’t want to bother the check out associate. When I politely asked her for another plastic bag, she pretty much threw it at me. I wanted to put the ice in it with the seafood and then I was delivering some things to a friend. Thinking it was great DeLallo’s PR, I wanted one of their bags. Off to my appointment I went and arrived in time.

After having my temp taken, answering a few questions and getting settled, I had time to look at the acupuncture posters in the room. Did you know that each of our ears is shaped like a fetus in the womb and that is where the acupuncture affects our bodies? I did not.

Dr. Gerold came in and I was full of questions. I wouldn’t get to see Dr. Gallagher today but I was in good hands with this Dr. G. He questioned how the supplements were working, if there was anything new I’d experienced? It really is a mapquest approach. We don’t want to go too far and get totally off course. I was still pretty energetic-almost hyper. I talked all the time to Jay’s dismay. I was behaving like I did BEFORE I had my thyroid irradiated 20+ years ago and worst of all, I couldn’t stop. He said that it didn’t seem to him that I was talking fast or over him…but I felt like I was. Surely I was? No, you’re not. Well, that’s good to hear but I told him that it feels like I am all the time and fast! I’m talking fast. He asked if I felt manic. And I said yes. Like my mind is going a mile a minute and I’m getting so much done. He said that was great sign that things are working. Well I guess that’s good news. I mentioned that for the first time of having my yearly eye exam, I hadn’t needed a new prescription for lenses. She said the change was so small that it wouldn’t make any difference. That’s fantastic he said. Oh! And I told him that I had been stung by about 20 bees. That’s good, he said. Really? And my hands swelled up. That’s good he said. Really? And I took prednisone. That’s bad he said. And I quit taking it. That’s good he said. The stings are great for your immune system he said and asked if my mouth or throat had closed. No. Then don’t take the prednisone. We’ll explore this further. In the meantime read the article my friend Mary wrote for my newsletter about onions and bee stings Don’t Let a Little Sting Ruin Your Summer

He set about the treatment. To make a long story short, the acupuncture is being used to treat my cholesterol, thyroid and adrenal system. As he inserted the needles (which are like thread thickness and you can’t feel pricks or pain) I asked questions. At one point, he needed to put a few in my abdomen and I needed to lower the waistband of my knit skirt. I felt a twinge in my back on the right side around my waist. There were a few needles in there already. I didn’t say anything thinking that I had just twisted wrong. So when he finished the needle placement I asked him to go over again where they were and what they were for. He said that a few were for my adrenal gland and pointed to the exact spot I had felt the twinge in my back. Incredible to me but no surprise to him. He said that my adrenal system will get a chance to relax now and he left me in a darkened room for 20 minutes. It’s like the relaxation at the end of a great yoga practice, which I have to do more.

After the treatment, I got to talk to the nurse and she helped me navigate through my new directions. Reducing a few of the supplements and explaining a few that I wasn’t clear on. My cholesterol has always been on the high side but thank goodness what makes it high is the good cholesterol. He still wants to get it down so I’m on a supplement called cholesterol factors at twice the recommended dose. It’s a proprietary blend with a red yeast rice extract as a base and I have a friend who used it and lowered her cholesterol by 100 points. I know that it works. I was hesitant to try it because traditional medicine says to stay away from it if you have thyroid issues. So home I went, feeling peaceful, calm and confident that I’d live another day.

I dropped my goodies off to my friends, got my hair styled by the wonderfully talented Ivana and spent the rest of the evening canning my tomatoes.

That’s a story for another day!

Remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home but if you MUST go out, wear a mask and keep the length of a full grown llama (which is bigger than an alpaca) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!

The Cholesterol Factors.
Stay tuned for the canning episode.
Morning visitors.
I love to see them grazing on grass. So much better to eat fresh.

Dizzing Black Roving From the Drum Carder for an Order

July 11,2019

Practice puts brains in your muscles.”
Sam Snead

I got an order for 7 oz of black roving and because I’m so bad at updating my online store (on my list!), realized that I only had 4 oz and needed to make an additional 3. I skirted, washed and dried another pound of fiber and then set about making the roving. You take the washed fiber and card it on a drum carder, then “diz” it off into beautiful waterfalls of fiber ready for spinning. Usually-I’ve done it a million times and for whatever reason, it was falling apart, impossible to get off in one piece. So I practiced, practiced and practiced until I put it down, walked away and did something else. I washed and dried more fiber, tended the alpacas, caught up on some errands and then went back to it. I changed direction and it worked like a dream. I made one adjustment, looked at it from a new angle and I had my prize! Now if you’ve never seen how much fiber is in an ounce, one day I’ll show you, but for now I’ll tell you that from the full drum carder I can get about 1 1/4 oz of dizzed roving. So I did this process 3 times: You load the fiber on, run it through the carder, take it off, run it through again, take it off and for me 3 times is usually enough and then I diz-that’s for one oz. But I got it done and can’t wait to card more!

Dizzing off the drum carder (you use the same process for off the hackle too).
The beautiful nest.

I went to yoga yesterday and boy have I missed it. Terri is a wonderful guide (her preferred word). I’m adding that back into my schedule.

Then home to care for my team. Those crazy alpacas insist on doing their business in one section of our tiny barn, so I cleaned it out, hosed it down, and locked them out of it so it can completely dry out. With this humidity, it’s hard enough to dry out and when you add in their contribution…well, just yuck! In the winter they lay outside under a tree (while having access to this same section) without a thought. For some reason, they HAVE to be inside in the summer-they have lots of shade. They crack me up. We had a talk and I told them they were exiled to the great outdoors (full of shade trees!) until they got some better manners. 6 of them squeezed into the one section leaving the other 3 outside. Hammy, Kapi and Rebel get to be outside and they weren’t happy with me.

The grass always greener.

Here’s a picture of Hammy munching on a little snack through the fence. The grass is always greener on the other side.

Our little nest is full again. To bursting this time. I think if one of them moves, someone will be ejected. They are getting pretty big.

Our barn swallows.
I just love the color of this echinacea.
Back to dizzing.


Have a great day!

Fairs, Flowers and Snakes

“I am a huge believer in giving back and helping out in the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a person’s life is the affect they have on others.”
Steve Nash

Another fair is in the books. My job is filler. I go where they need me and yesterday it was to the potting shed. The organizers work tirelessly all year to plan and prepare. This was the 70th year and all funds raised go back to the community. It’s a great way to meet the neighbors.

Then I came home and planted the plants I bought there and weed whacked. This guy crossed in front of me. I must have disturbed him.

It looks like another nice day.
Have a great day!

Please Don’t Let me Buy More Yarn!

Mohair Yarn to be used as a core for corespinning.
A few of the treasures I got today. I’m going to try and use them as a core for corespun.

I’m headed over to help out with our church St. Michael’s of the Valley Episcopal Church

Lots of good stuff. Signature mushroom sandwiches (meatless sandwiches before it was trendy! Soooo good!) antiques (real antiques) beautiful clothing, live music, kids activities and a wonderful plant area (where I’ve been assigned).

It also happens to be Worldwide Knit in Public Day and someone donated a boatload of beautiful yarns-merino wool, mohair, cotton and more. I mean lots of yarn! If you are a knitter, you need to be here. Alysha
I can’t buy anymore!

Have a great day and hope to see you at the fair!

Rain, and More Rain

“We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.”
Bernard Williams

According to my intel for all things water, we have now reached 40% more rain than the 98 year average. I suppose we should be grateful that we aren’t plagued by fires or drought. My barn drainage is working very well. I’m extremely grateful for that! (That’s the picture of the water going out of the drain through the fence.) The potted garden my sister in law gave me is drowning. I think I need to drill a small hole near the bottom to release some of the water.

I’ve never been one for traditional exercise. I like walking and yoga. And now hulahooping! Wow!! It’s a FUN full body work out blended with a massage. If you’ve never tried it, join me Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 at the Grove Hoop Fitness Classes at the Grove with Dawn Georgevich. NO experience necessary!

We’re watching “Turn” on Netflix. It’s about Washington’s spies during the Revolutionary War. Once I figured out who was who and what was what, I couldn’t stop watching. What these people went through and the perils they faced to win our independence from England is incredible. Jay is a student of history and can usually explain what’s going on (both past and present) so it’s helpful to be watching together. It’s especially interesting to see George Washington as a person. His love for his purpose and how many people thought he was protected by God in his mission. There are a few episodes that touch on inventions like invisible ink (who didn’t send secret messages with lemon juice ink as a kid?) lie detector machines and believe it or not, a one person submarine. The rebels ingenuity with sending and receiving messages makes our current P.O. look lame and I am constantly googling to see if something was true or not. There has to be a bad guy and Turn provides one in the form of Major Simcoe. This guy is evil and I can’t wait for his deeds to catch up to him.
Rain continues for the next few days but the weekend looks good for the Flood City Music Festival.

Today I will continue to work on the drainage inside my little barn. I’ll also feed the bees. Yes, you need to feed a new hive, we found out.

Have a great day!

What’s With the Pen?

February 18, 2018

Mark 9:23
Mark 9:23

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 NIV

“Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.”
Washington Irving

So what’s with the pen? On Friday we got a call that the wonderful Fr. Charles Martin was on life support after a fall. When we first came to Johnstown, he welcomed us to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church with open arms and heart. Always cheerful, with a sardonic smile, he blended Godly teaching with earthly wisdom to lead his flock and develop deep friendships. Later on that Friday, I was packing my fiber off to send to a mill and filling out the forms. My dependable pen conked out so I rummaged around in the drawer of my studio for another. I had just moved all of the supplies to the studio a few months ago…every tool, every pen and pencil passed through my hands. Except this one. I have no idea where it came from but picked it up and continued working. Not long after, we learned that Father Martin had passed. I showed Jay the pen, musing that it was so distinct and I was surprised that I didn’t remember putting it in the drawer. His response….”you don’t think it has something to do with Fr. Martin? One of your Godwinks? Amazing how you discovered it today and it is a verse from St. Mark?” Thank you Fr. Martin for being a part of our lives. I hope to see you again someday!

Being Alive and Having Friends is The Best Reason to Celebrate!

July 23, 2018 Sunday

“Where there are friends, there is wealth. “
Titus Maccius Plautus

Yesterday we had a few friends and family (and friends who are like family-but a few very important ones were missing and very much missed due to conflicts) over to celebrate and share the goodness that is life and the blessings that God has entrusted to us. As I looked around, I saw people from all different backgrounds, chatting, laughing, eating, drinking and just enjoying each other and I was so grateful to be a part of it. Whether they all know it or not, they were here because they’ve seen us through thick and thin, ups and downs, and good times and bad. In ways they may never have known, they’ve given us a hand up when we needed it.

So, true to my needing to have activities, we asked everyone to bring a piece of fabric that would represent something about themselves. The plan was to use a vintage rigid heddle loom that we’d strung onto a hammock frame to weave all of the pieces together into a rag rug. I thought it would be amazing to have everyone add their own piece and watch the rug grow as the party progressed. As people arrived, they handed me their fabric and shared stories about what it meant, and the thought that went into selecting the fabrics blew me away-from a scrap of a first child’s soft cotton flannel pillowcase, to favorite sports teams, mother’s old chenille bathrobe and business logos, we got some amazing additions. Well, we got the loom set up and that’s about as far as we got.
It got a little complicated and I will be grabbing pieces out of a bag and adding them randomly-no planning -which would represent how people entered our (party) lives in no apparent order but when God thought it was appropriate.
Unfortunately, I was too busy to take any pictures, but it was an amazing event and I think we’ll have to do it again because we have a system now and we are definitely going to need more fabric!
Thanks to PRESS Bistro for providing the delicious food, Batter Bake Shop for the best cupcakes in town, Shades of Blue and Striped Maple Hollow for glorious music, our car parkers who made arriving for our guests effortless.

The fabric everyone brought.

Most thanks to the love of my life and partner in party planning Jay, and my most beloved first born and friend for making the trip to celebrate.

Sorry I’m late today but for the first time in years I slept until 8 o’clock.

Have a great day!

Our loom.
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