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yarnwench [userpic]

Yoga and my back and hurricanes

September 12th, 2018 (04:27 pm)

Since my back issues arose in mid-August I've barely been on the yoga mat and I'm missing it terribly. It seems that most times I've tried to do my yoga routine, even hugely modified, I end up having middle-of-the-back spasms. I've never experienced them before in my life and those suckers hurt! I'm also having lower back spasms but it's different right now then when I "throw" my back out. When I do that I have major lower back spasms that happen whenever I'm in certain positions. That kind of back issue goes away within a week with ice, heat, hot baths, ibuprofen and rest.This is more like I have general irritation in my spine. I'm having occasional pain in my lower spine, in the coccyx on the left side off and on during the day and if I do anything more physical (getting up OFF the yoga mat is one example) I get a hellacious spasm mid-back. I've read that the middle back will often spasm if there's something going on in the lower back and it's usually something muscular going on there.

I am trying to get on the yoga mat at least every couple of days to work through this stuff. I'm stretching my spine as much as possible and that feels good. Weird things though will cause me to spasm - child's pose, of all things! I can't currently do that.I'm trying to do some gentle work because I'm afraid I'm going to lose the core strength I've build up these past two years and I can't stand that thought.

Next week I see the doctor. I've learned that my PCP is kind of wishy washy and you have to direct her to take action on things. I went a whole summer with my wrist in a splint because she didn't think an x-ray was neccessary. Granted, my wrist eventually healed but I was beginning to think there'd been a fracture, and who knows - maybe there was but it healed on its own. This time when I see her I'm going to insist on some imaging and maybe some PT.

I hope I can handle the 6 hour car trip up to central NY and back this weekend. We'll need to stop often so I can stretch.

I'm so scared for everyone in the path of this hurricane and worried about the environmental damage that might result because of it. There are so many nukes in that part of the country and pig sewage lagoons (ugh!) and superfund sites.I hope FEMA can get in there and give aid to all who need it. I understand $10.5 billion was taken out of FEMA and reallocated to fund ICE"s baby prisons so there's that. And 45 has been all over the news patting himself on the back on the fine job his administration did in PR last year when Hurricane Maria descimated the island and nearly 3000 people lost their lives. My guess is that since there are a few white people involved in the path of this hurricane things will get tended to a bit better, and after all the mid-terms are coming up.

I'm reading both Bob Woodward's Fear and The Handmaid's Tale (third time to read but it's been years) at the same time right now. HT is definitely not feeling like any kind of escapism, that's for sure. I can certainly understand why women are donning the red cloak during demonstations.We are also watching season 1 of HT on Hulu and I think it's wonderfully done. Elizabeth Moss is an excellent Offred.

Well, enough rambling for now...

yarnwench [userpic]

Hurricane Florence

September 11th, 2018 (08:02 pm)

I feel really bad for Rachel and Matt. They've so looked forward to this vacation in Virginia Beach and only got to enjoy two days out of the week they had reserved in their beach house. Last night the order came to evacuate by 8:00 this morning. They're headed home to Cambridge now and Rachel is trying to decide if she should go back to work on Thursday to save two of the vacation days for another time. Bleh. Disappointing.

I'm hoping those in the path of this storm are getting out of the way. I think it's going to be pretty devastating for parts of the Carolinas. 

yarnwench [userpic]

Water, water everywhere

September 10th, 2018 (08:32 am)

We've gone from sweltering, humid, air-conditioned summer to chilly, humid fall weather literally overnight. Tropical Storm Gordon moved in on Friday and the rain began to fall...and fall. It's still raining three days later and isn't expected to taper off until later this afternoon. We've gotten half a foot of rain in three days. Thank gawd Kevin dug an additional French drain in our yard last spring! It was his first big project upon retirement and it's saved us from flooding numerous times since. There was already a French drain running alongside the house but it never completely did the job and we've flooded in the basement twice before.We also have a pump going on our patio with a hose running out into the yard as our patio is unfortunately somewhat sloped towards our house. We live at the bottom of a hill and the water comes down through our next door neighbor's yard as a small stream and then cuts across our yard toward our house. We created a berm around my rock garden which directs the flow into Kevin's drain and carries it through the side yard and into the front yard that is sloped towards the street. Right now there's a river flowing down both sides of our street and into the storm drains. So far we're staying dry save for a small area in the basement that is ironically next to our dehumidifier where water has percolated up. There's also some wetness in the garage.Hopefully this will end without any major damage as we've had to dry out our storage area and our media room the past two events which is a lot of work. Drainage is always an issue in clay country.

And speaking of rain and flooding, we are keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Florence. Rachel and Matt and six of their friends are in a rental house right on the ocean in Virginia Beach right now. They booked this vacation months ago and the timing of this storm couldn't be worse! They have the house until Saturday but are keeping watch on the storm and will evacuate if it looks like they need to. I'm just hoping they give themselves enough time as traffic getting out of the coastal areas will be slow going and this storm is looking major. They may also find themselves traveling up the coast with it as they will be heading back to Boston.Ugh.

So far the weather looks to be warming back up into the 80's in Pennsylvania and New York and drying out later this week but I wonder if Florence will change our forecast. We are headed back to NY to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival (my favorite) over the weekend and stopping in to visit Alex and boyfriend Scott again (no weed pulling this time!) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weather stays dry. There's nothing more fun than slogging through a fiber festival!

yarnwench [userpic]

Mueller

September 7th, 2018 (04:11 pm)

So, I'm really totally sick over this Mueller Business. Mueller can just go to hell, as far as I'm concerned. What? Why are you frowning? Ooooooh!! Naaaah. I didn't mean THAT Mueller. I'm talking about this Mueller:

Mueller is this fucking huge back brace I've been wearing for the past almost month during the most sweltering, humid part of the summer. I'm so done with Mueller! For that matter, my back can go to hell too.

I've had a lousy back since elementary school. My first memory of back pain happened in the fourth grade. A group of us girls were out on the playground levitating each other. Did you guys do that, too or did I just hang out with the witchy crowd? This involved one girl lying on the ground and maybe four other girls surrounding her and placing two fingers on each hand (palm up peace signs) under her head, feet and sides, while chanting magic words and then trying to lift her up. We didn't have a lot of success in levitating anyone further than a few inches until they got to me. I have always been very small-boned and thin and in the fourth grade I probably weighed 60 pounds, if that. The girls tried to levitate me using only a total of 4 fingers each but were not expecting such success. Lo and behold - my body rose...and rose...and rose, until they had me nearly over their heads at which point they all simultaneously freaked out, screamed and dropped me! Ouch. My fucking back troubles began...I can usually expect for my back to go out for a week or so several times a year.

Last month we drove up to central New York state to visit my daughter Alex and to see the house she'd just bought for the first time. We came with a load of IKEA furniture and our garden and workshop tools and Kevin spent the weekend reinforcing the walls of her detached garage and I spent the time cleaning up an overgrown garden. Alex and I pulled down bags full of bindweed and uprooted various weeds, planted grass seed, brought down a giant trumpet vine that was trying to devour her old house and generally wore ourselves out. We accomplished a lot that weekend but once Kevin and I got back to Pennsylvania my back decided it had had enough of me. My UPPER back went out on me ON the yoga mat! I've never, ever had upper back pain before. It was awful! Then my lower back began to spasm.It's been an off and on thing for almost a month now and I was finally beginning to feel better and managed to get back to my yoga routine (with Mueller on) and I thought I was on my way to healing when the back failed me once more. I'm sidelined from yoga, the garden, biking, and all the other stuff I love for now and I have a doctor's appointment in two weeks.

Yeah, I'm pretty sick of this Mueller thing.

yarnwench [userpic]

marigold garland

September 6th, 2018 (03:07 pm)




This morning I went out into the garden and the gate was swollen shut with humidity. Yes, it's been that hot and awful! After Kevin worked on it to get it open I harvested green beans, bunching onions, and tomatoes and then decided to capture a little bit of summer to enjoy this winter. Usually I dye with my French marigolds but I'm not feeling it this year. I think it's the sweltering heat and humidity. I may still end up with a dye pot later in the fall when it's cooled down. For now I harvested a few dozen marigold heads, got some linen thread from my weaving fibers and ran it through some bees wax, and then threaded the marigolds through the center of the stem and out the flower top until I ran out. I ended up with about 4 feet of garland.

I tied it into a loop and hung it from a carved wooden hanger from India that I've had for years. I'm going to let them dry for a few months and then I will be adding to them with a project I started a few years ago that involves sari ribbon, felted flowers and handmade pom poms. For now, it will be simple and I will enjoy it in the dead of winter when heat and humidity is but a dream.

yarnwench [userpic]

Dropping in

September 4th, 2018 (04:55 pm)

It's been quite a while since I wrote a journal entry here and it took a discussion on Facebook to make me consider picking up this blog again. Will it work? Who knows? I haven't blogged in so long and am well-trained in getting my point across on social media with few words and many photos. I'm just not sure what my attention span will be with anything heftier. I'm tired. Social media is a huge part of modern life and running an online store. Sometimes I feel like it's one big commercial or a bad soap opera.The list of characters is long and ill-defined.The politics are vicious. Everyone plays a bit part and few people really, truly know each other. I do feel like there is a small group of women out there in the fiber community that are kindreds though. We've known each other for quite some time though many of us have not met in the flesh and most of us connected initially on LJ - where you actually can form whole sentences and paragraphs and complete thoughts. Imagine! Anyway, it's going to take a little bit to figure out how this all works again. I'm hoping to see some old faces show up in my feed and I'm hoping I find the time and energy to see this through.

yarnwench [userpic]

Lynn's Portobello Burger

February 6th, 2017 (03:07 pm)

I recently had an amazing portobello burger at a local restaurant which led me to try making my own version. After making it several times, I felt like I'd perfected it. Last week I went back to the restaurant and ordered the portobello burger and guess what? My version was so much better! I'd tweaked it to my taste, substituting goat cheese for gouda, adding fried red onion, and nixing the tomato. I had a number of people ask me for the recipe after I'd raved about it online and decided I'd write it up here. The marinade I used came from allrecipes.

Marinade:
6-8 ounces of portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar                                  
2 tbsp olive oil                                                    
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Put the portobello mushroom caps into a zippered storage bag. Combine the rest of the marinade ingredients and pour over the mushrooms and seal the bag. Let the mushrooms marinate for at least 20 minutes.

While the mushrooms are marinating, fry up enough red onion in olive oil for 2 to 4 sandwiches and make the aoili mayo. My super quick, easy version iof aoili mayo is as follows:

Combine approximately 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, add a couple of squeezes of lemon and 1 clove of garlic, minced. Set aside.

Grill the mushrooms if possible but you can also broil them in the oven in a pinch. Grilling tastes much better!

Now to assemble the sandwiches. This recipe will make 4 smaller burgers or two enormous ones. I use ciabatta rolls and divide the grilled mushrooms between them as a first layer. On top of the mushrooms I put roasted red peppers, and grilled onions, followed by goat cheese (I've also done it with provolone but goat cheese was ah.maz.ing). Finally spread a thick layer of aoili mayo on the top bun.Wrap in foil and heat sandwiches in a 350 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve a little extra aoili mayo to dip your sandwich in. Enjoy!



                      

yarnwench [userpic]

Christmas photos

January 4th, 2017 (08:51 pm)

Haven't had it in me to do a post lately but I do have some Christmas photos of a trip we took to NY to my daughter's house the day after Christmas. Both daughters and their guys were there plus our old neighbors were up from Florida. It was a really nice visit and was good for the soul. And god knows, we're all needing a little something good for the soul right now...

I



My husband is poorly represented as he got a new camera for Christmas and was behind the lens in all but one of these.

Anyway, I'll try to catch up with things sometime soon. Happy New Year!

yarnwench [userpic]

2016 - you suck

November 22nd, 2016 (05:47 pm)

Has it really been over a month since I posted on here? I guess so. It's been an absolutely ridiculous November and I'm just so over it. My entire sense of time is messed up beyond belief and my sleep cycle has been shot to hell.
Read more...Collapse )

yarnwench [userpic]

French marigolds and crushed bugs

October 16th, 2016 (04:58 pm)

My garden is bursting with French marigolds and I've always wanted to try my hand at dyeing with the blossoms so yesterday I gathered up enough to line the bottom of my stainless steel dye pot. Earlier in the morning I had mordanted a few skeins of wool yarn with alum and so I set about making the dye. I covered the marigolds with hot water and set it outside on a burner to come to a boil. I allowed it to boil for an hour or so and ended up with a lovely ruby colored brew.


I took my wetted skein and immersed it in the dye and set about simmering it for an hour or so. It was amazing to see the color transition on the yarn as morphed from a dull pale yellow to an amazing chartreuse.


There was still a little red dye left in the pot after I finished this skein so I added some cutch powder to it. Cutch comes from the heartwood of a tree that grows throughout Asia and creates beautiful warm browns.

After I was done dyeing with cutch I added some cochineal dye. Cochineal comes from scale insects that live on prickly pear cactus in South America and the dye has been used for hundreds of years to dye fabrics, cosmetics and food products. It's a very intense color and the half tablespoon I put in my dye pot yielded enough for three skeins of yarn to be dyed in a gradation of color with a little dye left over.


I've only done a few natural dye pots here and there so this was a fun adventure. I think I'd like to get into this a bit more. Here's a photo of my results with the three cochineal skeins on the left, followed by the marigold chartreuse and ending with the brown cutch skein.

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