Rumple strips

Prior to leaving on my present road trip, I decided to re-acquaint myself with my weaving equipment, get the looms ‘dressed’ and ready to go for when I get back.  Well, its been 7 years since I’ve seen my big loom, trying to find the parts, get it together, etc has presented more of a challenge than I had expected, but found enough to put a warp on. Alas, I decided to put on my Horoscope Color project.  Years ago, I had my horoscope read by a fellow weaver. Its based on the planets, houses, and the colors that is associated with each of those planets and houses based on my birthdate.  Wildly random order of Bamboo yarn – was a super challenge to follow. My good friend Cheri read the precise order of the colors as I added the yarn to each 2 inch section (upper left corner).  It took us over 6 hours to get this onto the sectional beam. Whew!  But wow, its absolutely gorgeous!!!

Once it was beamed, I let this all sit, as I was packing for my road trip. With Cheri’s intense curiosity (probably equal to mine), she threaded the heddles for me as I zoned out in a chair from packing that day.  Can’t wait to get out on the road but I am beat!  Then Cheri & I threw a pansy color and an emerald blue color strands of yarn across to see which one to actually weave with.  So many of my friends wanted the purple pansy, but it was too large of yarn, as they company sent the wrong size yarn. But will use it in the future when I get the correct sizing.    As you can see in the bottom 3rd picture, I wove with emerald blue yarn.  This will be a quick weave as its in plain weave, any other pattern would be lost in all that color. And that loom will now have to wait until I get back.

The little floor loom, only one 2 inch section got dressed before I left.  I am putting on a variegated green and white cotton yarns on for kitchen towels.  This will be a technical challenging weave structure of Shadow Weave, I love working on these as you can get a 3D affect. Alas, it will also have to wait until I get back.

So I am off on a Fall trip. Its a quickie compared to my other journeys. This road trip has challenged me in ways that make an unhappy camper out of me, as I have had to depend on a/c due to high 90’s as well as up to 108ºF, therefore RV parks… Other then getting a/c they offer me nothing and I lose money.  I’ve become such a cheapskate, I guess.  So where are the Fall temperatures…you know warm days and cool nights?  I found a cool night (42º) last night up off of Highway 30 in Idaho – that was a quality night of sleep, but it was the only night in this past week.  Egads Mother Nature!  At least the further east I go the less smokey it is.   That picture on the bottom right corner, was taken from my rig at the Mountain Home RV park in Mountain Home, Idaho. The 2nd best RV park I have ever been in. The first was Nellis AFB back in 2011. Both parks are manicured to a T, level paved spots, well organized electrical, water and septic and both cheap, spotless showers too.  Well, cheap for this trip… as I have had to pay up to $55 for one night in a roughed in pit-run RV park. Horrible place.

Soon, I will be connecting with friends, wishing for cooler days and despite my grumpiness on the hot temperatures, it is so good to be back out on the road.

Odds

Odds are good that I don’t have much to talk about. Laughing at that.  And these two odd pictures seemed to round out the odds.  Laughing a bit more at that. I have some friends, who reach out and want to stay in touch – thinking the best way is thru Facebook and that is the worst place to see what I’m up to in life.  They claim they read my blog, but I haven’t been doing it lately – they are so correct.  So this posting is about the odd things I do.  Apparently my routine is not so mundane to others.

So let’s address the draft photo.  I’ve been weaving since 1994 and I recognized that that draft/pattern was for a lift plan for a dobby loom.  I don’t have a dobby loom, so have always ignored these patterns. Well lo and behold, I have just learned how to read them and I am just floored at how easy it is.  I won’t bore you with what it says, as I would lose you long before I finished explaining, but I am so jazzed by this new discovery.  But I’m not using that to dress my looms, so will translate at a later time.

And this orange fruit!!  This is an Orange Watermelon. An outstanding watermelon. My mouth just waters thinking of how good it was and hoping they have another one when I stop by the fruit stand today.  The texture is a cross between a watermelon and a honey dew melon, but the flavor is not similar to anything I’ve ever tasted, but it is so darn yummy. A delightful surprise!   They also had a yellow watermelon, I found it way too sweet compared to regular watermelon and this orange watermelon.

The zoo of people heading to Oregon for the eclipse, postponed my leaving WA. Still not sure if I’m giving enough leeway to escape the mass of people traveling, but time will tell.  My timing is also indicative of the Labor Day weekend, I hope I will find some hole in the wilderness to hibernate in for that holiday weekend between here and where I’m going. An unusual feature of this adventure for me is that I have a deadline, an expected date of arrival.  I am giving myself ample roaming time to get there, but its still an oddity for me to ever do a date imposed trip.  That is the big difference between full timers and part timers, and I will take the full timers method of travel hands down no questions asked method every time.

Interesting enough, that deadline is less now then when it was first decided on. I was heading to friends to house sit/dog sit/cat sit while they go off to Belize for 10 days or so. They felt bad that they dumped that job onto me, considering we haven’t seen each other in decades, so they gave the job to another. But I was looking forward to doing it, alas… now I am freed up to go as soon as they leave.  Problem is, the rest of the friends aren’t available… so where do I go play until then?  Time will tell..  Now this is something I can sink my teeth into… go explore the unknown.

Prepping

Life is good and busy, as it normally is. No drama, no unexpected surprises and its almost boring!  Except, I’m rarely bored, so what’s up with that?  Its called prepping. At this stage, I just want to hit the road, be done with it all.  I’ve actually evaded this leg of any given journey, then later regretted that I did not take the time to do it right.  What am I talking about?  Its called re-organizing, packing and making sure everything is in good shape and then load the rig. This is the time one double thinks, makes lists, double check this and that – I have long since learned, you don’t wait until the last minute, not even the last week to do this basic stuff.

My break time was sitting back and watching my neighbors swap rigs and move all their belongings back and forth.  Both rigs are 5th wheels, now how did they get that one into that parking space the wrong way?  I will have to wait and see.  I finally remembered to caption the photos, so hover over them with cursor.

One of my preps, was to get my tapestry loom dressed before I go. I hope to sneak in an online class as a refresher before I leave, so it looks like I know what I’m doing – laughing at this, as its been several years since I attempted a tapestry. But this is the loom that will now travel with me out on the road.  All its yarns, accessories have been organized and loaded into my RV.  Yesterday, I also loaded my RV with my spinning wheel and fiber to spin up some yarns too.  That’s for the RV, but for the shed, we got the warping wheel setup (see picture above, lower left corner).

The warping wheel is my preferred method of dressing my floor looms.  Dressing a loom, is putting on the warp – the lengthwise of any fabric.  I use sectional beams and this warping wheel allows me the freedom to design within each 2 inch section, if I so choose. But for my small floor loom, decided to put on just 2 colors, alternating all across the warp. I love to weave Shadow Weaves, a 3D effect, and this will be for cotton kitchen towels. Do not yet know what shadow weave I will use, but once I get going, will post pictures of that.  On my big floor loom, I am really jazzed about putting on 12 colors in bamboo. I’ve not worked with bamboo so am excited with just that, but I had my horoscope read years ago and the gal that read it, is also a weaver. She designated each color based on the planets, positioning etc of my own horoscope. So this is a one-of-a-kind project and the first just for me.  You see, majority of the stuff I make tends to find homes before it comes off the loom. So this horoscope weave is just for me. I think this will be a scarf, but not sure. Again, pictures will be forthcoming. And I’m trying like crazy to get both floor looms dressed before I leave… nice little challenge as its been so blistering hot and there’s no a/c out in the shed.

So I need to get back to work. Have a great day!

Yippee!

The little 200 square feet of shed is DONE. As my normal, until it was done did I appreciate how much room I gained. I just couldn’t see it until then.

The very last photo on the lower right, is of my friend Cheri.  She was helping me put together my big floor loom. We had to make 3 trips to the main storage unit to find all the pieces. Why can’t movers put this stuff together on one pallet? Oh no, it can’t be that simple.  But I am beyond delighted to find that both of my looms have found a new location to call home. I have been working non-stop unloading the big storage unit and bringing the stuff to the shed.  Once inside, its a major re-organization in process. The bulk is my yarns and the equipment for this, but I must have a place for my RV stuff too.

I know, I know, I should have painted the inside walls before I moved in. The dry wall needs to be painted. I was just too excited about moving in that I put that off. Well, everyone that’s been inside – “Melinda, why haven’t your painted?”  So it shall be, but not until I’ve finished loading and reorganizing…probably in August. The responses though of those seeing my shed, or as some have said my weaving cottage.. is WOW!   I put down a cork flooring, which gives a nice ‘give-like’ feeling. Its far better than cold hard cement. I sealed the cement floor before laying the cork, so no moisture will work up thru the cement.  Insulated walls are primo, as I discovered on a few of our hot days here.  It was delightfully cool in there.

The last thing painted on the exterior, was the door.  The color is called “prague blue”, but depending on the light of the day is may appear as dark blue, spruce green or even as black.  Very interesting color.  I had no say on what the color of the shed could be painted, unfortunately. It is what it is. And I’ve added a screen door.

So having this wonderful weaving studio once again will be like going on vacation from my road trips. As I’m not done traveling. George, my builder, also built me a desk inside my Lazy Daze. In the area in which my small floor loom had resided, is now a wonderful desk. Am loving the new space, so am re-organzing some of the cabinets inside my rig. That will always be a work in process.

So will continue working inside the shed, so I plan to get both looms dressed before I hit the road. The big Fireside loom will get my Horoscope Weaving project – there are 12 colors and combinations that relate to my own personal horoscope. More details as I work on that one. And the small floor loom (my Baby Wolf) will get some kitchen towels. Instead of trying to figure out colors for that, I am going to do black and white towels in shadow weave – gives them a 3D affect.  Soon, will get started on both. Yippee!!!

Catch up time

Since I arrived back to Chimacum, WA from Why, AZ – I have been swamped with dealing with the VA claim, examinations and trying to find a contractor to build an extension on my 100 sq ft shed. Have been allowed to have up to 200 sq ft, but until now, did not have the money for the project.  I have been heavily on the phone since mid-March all the way thru mid-May – just wanting foundation, shell & rafters to get started, would worry about the interior later, if need be. I had been quoted from $25/hour to $8000.00.  The latter was ridiculous, the cheap one the guy bailed on me. It was frustrating, but lo and behold, I found a retired Math teacher/handy man at $30/hour.  If he wouldn’t have done it, I would have headed back up to Alaska once again, as I had run out of options. I could set something up for next year, but not this year it seems. But as you can see from the above pictures… I found myself a gold mine of a builder for my little shed extension.

George, is my builder.  George is building the new and fixing the old, and then will do an upgrade on electrical and dry wall it. So we have gutted the old, which was insulated but patched with cardboard, peg board and even plastic and a ton of miscellaneous shelving made from rough hewn wood. The old had zero circulation, so the condensation was a big problem. 27 years ago when it was built, they did what they wanted.  I just have to remind myself – Its JUST a shed. Smiling here.  Nonetheless, I want it as a weaving studio. So fixing the circulation issues, adding roof & ridge vents, other venting so it can breath will significantly cut down on mold and mildew. Will also seal the slab (both old & new) to prevent moisture seeping upward. I will heat/cool it when I am in town and use a de-humidifier when I’m not, so hopefully will have safe storage for yarn as well as genealogical records and maybe, just maybe eliminate the heated storage in town or at the very least be able to shrink the size of storage.

The one aspect I so enjoyed when building our house up in Alaska, was the buying of the stuff… junction boxes, electric boxes, wiring, light fixtures, windows, flooring, etc, etc, etc. Figuring sizes, placements of, etc, etc, etc.   I just got the biggest kick out of doing the research, then tracking it down and getting it.  Well, doing it for this little shed just sparks such great memories of it all.  And again…I have to remind myself its JUST a shed. Smiling here. I’m having fun.

And in May, May 10th to be exact…was a mind blowing experience for me.  The whole day was enchanting, magical… it started in the morning with the slab being poured for the shed extension. Yeah, I know, that wasn’t the magical or enchanting part of the day, but it was important in its own right!  Then my friend, Brad, & I headed to Bainbridge Island to take the ferry to Seattle. We arrived and got parked before rush hour. Then started walking. We walked around and thru a college campus to the Space Needle…I’ve never been up there. Wow! WOW!  Explored thru giant art, sculptures, etc. on a campus. Then went out to dinner – I had a superb salad meal. It had the typical feel of a city place that had after-work people drinking wine at the bar to tables full of people eating dinner. It just had that classic feel of a big city place that I haven’t experienced in many years. Nice!  Then we walked to the McCaw building for my very first opera. Oh my…

Opera.  Who would have thought that Melinda, who grew up in a small town, lived in Alaska for decades and now lives in a RV would be so totally enamored, so loss of words of such an amazing event. But I was, I am and will forever be.  The Magic Flute is my first opera. I was surprised that I picked up some of the German in the singing, altho I never really spoke German, like I did Italian.  The music, the singing…my God the clarity of reaching such notes sent chills thru my body and still does when I think about it. The costumes, the story line.  The beauty that was presented to me that night brought tears of joy like nothing I have every experienced before.  There just aren’t any words to express all that I saw, experienced.   Season tickets… tempting.

And to wrap this posting up… spent 4 days down at Fort Steven State Park just outside of Astoria, OR at the mouth of Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean… Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous spot to be parked for a few days.  It was my first May outing with my Lazy Daze family (I’m usually in Alaska by now).  Lots of old friends to see and made some new friends as well.  Our particular campground had more mosquitos then leaves… Laughing here.  I’m sure we got enough protein from them…

As for the photos. The bottom image and the one right above it on right – I was stuck (due to construction) on the bridge – that huge bridge over the Columbia River as I was leaving Astoria. Just taking pictures from my drivers seat.  Of the 3 pictures to the right of my boys Norm & Tucker – the middle one is showing the very last of the shipwreck.  I’m impressed that even that is left after all these years.  All in all, it rained one day, it was cloudy 2 of the days and sunny one day.  I got a chance to go look around the huge State park, but managed to wrench my back out, so it eliminated riding my bike.  I will come back…its a beautiful place to spend time, lots of maritime history, beautiful beaches. And super great to see my Lazy Daze friends.

 

Do it or not!

Ooh boy, it has been a long while since I last wrote.  My annual membership dues for this site arrived and I was extremely tempted to let it expire.  Spent a fair amount of time debating this with myself and I.  The end result…we will do it for one more year, then re-evaluate it at that time.

I was still hanging in the desert when I last wrote, whether I was at Quartzsite or not, in Yuma or not or near Why.  Got my new eyeglasses in Yuma, but not across the border as initially planned. Prices across the border were climbing on eyeglasses since Trump became President..so it was suggested I just get them in Yuma, so I did.  It was a delight to get to know Yuma once again..its been a few years since I had been there. Alas, I was only there long enough to do the glasses before I headed back to Why. After I left Yuma, I stopped in at the SunPro shop and got my cover for my windshield.  Love it, but realize I need to upgrade or simply replace my curtain in the cab, as one still need to turn off the outdoors at night. Smiling at that.  You see, the SunPro is a sunscreen/protector that covers the entire windshield outside and side windows and the windshield wipers. I can see thru it all day, but no one can see in from outside, except at night.  Surprising to me, is that it adds an element of insulation as well.

In Why…having friends around one sure can escape with friends around… but no weaving got done, again. Ah but a little light bulb went off – find an old RV, gut it, and make it into a weaving studio. I actually looked at a couple of rigs, even looked at bigger sites to fit both my RV and studio on same place.  Before I could take this further the weather turned hot. This is February – what is it about February that the darn deserts start doing their rapid heating?  Can I make it thru a week or two of this heat?  As that is what it did last year, then cooled off once again. Not seemingly with my old boys, but going north was out of the question. Hmmmm…  And I only got to see the beginning of an outstanding desert flowering…darn hot weather.

So I left Why and headed for appointment to get my RV serviced at the Sanderson Ford – they do my major service and any recalls, etc. annually. It was cooler here then in Why, so I stuck around a bit…had the honor of staying with a fellow Lazy Daze friend at her abode. Thanks Lisa!!! The above pictures are of a few of the outside of her house, including the chicken coop.  There is one image of Tucker sitting on my loom, not sure how it snuck into this collage. And the last item…drumroll….is an antique spinning wheel. What a delightful visit!

The weather going north was atrocious… there was no easy route and let me tell you I was studying the routes, the weather along those routes, reading about bridges out, landslides, snow, wind, etc., etc.   So why don’t I just sit on it and not go north? I had to be in Tacoma on March 17th for another non-VA physical examination for my claim. They in fact, wanted me there in 2 days, but I managed to push it back for a 8 days.  Problem with this, it takes me a week to do this route when I’m pushing it and that’s in good weather.

So I said my goodbyes the same day I finished with the Ford place. Dry camped at North Ranch Escapees park and headed on north at first light.  I had planned to stop in Barstow or Tehachapi if the weather held. Got to Tehachapi – no place to park – anywhere. I was wasting sunlight and time and finally said to hell with it and went onto Bakersfield. I pushed thru rush hour and got to I-5 and a truck stop and parked it – a very long day. I crashed – didn’t even make it into bed, just fell asleep on my dinette bench with cats wrapped around me.  Got up and first light, again left and headed up I-5.  Had planned to stop near Coalinga…was in wrong lane and could not exit.  So kept going.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous!!!  But seeing all the fields flooded, was a keen reminder all was by no means a-ok yet.  Kept on trucking’ and got north of Stockton and cut across on Highway 12 to go thru the California River Delta to reach I-80 in route to I-505 to go around Sacramento. Once reconnected to I-5, stopped at rest area and parked it for the night.  It rained all night, but in the morning the sun was once again out.

This time, I was only going to go as far as Redding, then take a break. But I got there – the sun was shining…everything was so flooded…I just kept going. And going. And going. No energized bunny here, but the forecast was lousy, but the sun was shining, so I kept going.  The narrow window of opportunity of getting thru the mountain passes pushed me onward.  The brilliant sun was still shining, but dark clouds were showing themselves. I seriously can’t believe I made it to Sutherlin, but I did and I crashed at Timber Valley SKP for 2 nights to regroup.  Dumped tanks, refilled water and did laundry. And slept.  It rained the entire time I was at Timber Valley, but I did not care. The morning I left…the clouds lifted and I was greeted by sunshine once again. The forecast for that day was periods of rain. Rain I can deal with, but it was sun that I had until I got north of Portland.  Wind driven rain pelted me north of Olympia, but I was so close I just kept going.  Pulled into Evergreen on Sunday and realized I had just done a marathon trip even with stopping for 2 nights in the midst of it. Whew!

The exam went pretty smoothly, keep discovering things about my body…they all ask different questions and examine you differently – end result, I learn new things about what my body is doing or not doing.  Such as I did not realize I can’t turn my body to the right. Say what? You know standing and turning your upper body to the left then to the right – I can do left, but not right.  Now to sit back and wait for the results.

The trip north prompted lots of critical thinking.  The idea of putting a studio down in the desert is just omitted. Realization, the chance of me staying for more than a few months in the desert due to the heat rules it out.  If I have to be parked, it will be in WA.  So I am in the process of getting contractors bids to extend my shed 100 sq ft. I’m allowed up to 200 sq ft total. More on that later.

I’m not traveling to Alaska this summer. I have several short trips over the summer in the Pacific Northwest.  So stay tuned for the next posting.

Onward

 

The majority of the pictures above (minus the bottom two) are all from Ajo Historical Society Museum.  A wonderful place jammed packed with history about the area, including the copper mine… I took far more pictures then these, but the glare from the overhead lights did me no favors. So enjoy.  The handwoven coverlet above was in amazing condition despite the edges. A well loved treasure.  The bottom pictures, Norm managed to tuck himself between the travasak and the comforter to get warm one morning.  The sunset was from my rig in Why.

To carry on the story from the last posting…the inverter was installed without issue, even tested it out with my hair dryer. Then I could not use it. Why? My delightful (not!) house batteries decided to really die. Deader then a door nail. So I managed to get 2 new AGM batteries and installed in a timely manner.  So with all this work done, I prepared to leave for Quartzsite (herein referred to as Q, as my spell checker doesn’t want to spell it correctly).

My arrival to Q was so uneventful, no traffic, not even a mini road jam… pulled into the Lazy Daze gathering spot and was shocked to see I was #3.  In all the years I’ve been coming, I have never seen so few people here.  A few more stragglers have arrived, we are now 9, no 8 as one has left.  Roger, the coordinator of this bunch, was a no-show. We thought his wife needed back surgery, but in reality they got tickets to Washington, DC for January 20th. Free tickets they claim… I bet.   Apparently word passed quickly that Roger would not make it, nonetheless…we, who are here, are enjoying meeting the new folks as well as our fellow friends. Its a quiet bunch, very low keyed, laid back kind of people. We see each other at happy hour and around the bonfire, but not rest of the time. Very different from past gatherings.  One of the new folks, went para-gliding over us yesterday…sure looked like fun.

The big tent, here at the Q, has been delayed opening for some reason, but it hasn’t stopped the zillion little flea markets around it from opening. I needed a cheater (to get a 2 prong plug to work with a 3 prong), but there was no way I was willing to wade thru those shops. So went to the Dollar Store…the line was weaving thru the rows at the store. Ridiculous!  So in the long run, it would not matter where I went. But found the adapter, so all is well.  Also found a RV parts store… found a new screen door handle. So got that replaced. Let’s see…. am hoping all the repairs are officially done now.