Monday, February 12, 2018

We’ve Been Very Busy!

When last I wrote, dear blog reader, I told about new friends, Deb and Marilou, coming to visit. As it happens, I have seen them both since then; Deb drove back here a week ago to purchase my Saori Piccolo loom and Bob and I drove out to Marilou’s home where we bought her 40” 8 harness Macomber loom.

My decision to sell the Piccolo was not easy. I have had so much fun weaving on it and it was a perfect traveler. However, I now have a land-locked studio so I can keep a large loom and play with different weave structures. I have my Baby Macomber for workshops. But I don’t have room for three floor looms, so it was time to find a new home for my little “Dora the Explorer.” Deb sent me a photo of Dora ensconced in her new digs. She looks right at home.

Later that week we rented a van and drove to Marilou’s house, south of Tucson, to pick up the Macomber. If the Piccolo was the lightest floor loom there is, this loom is surely the opposite. It is heavy and solid, capable of weaving anything from rugs to fine linens. This particular loom was made in October of 1965 when I was one month shy of my 10th birthday. Marilou believes she purchased it from the original owner in Virginia but Macomber Looms was unable to read the old ledger book with the owner’s name in it, so we will assume that is correct. It’s nice to know a loom’s provenance. Bob and I were able to lift this 250 pound loom into the bed of the truck by taking some pieces off.

It has been a lot of fun cleaning her up and making her look pretty, although Marilou had done a wonderful job restoring her already. She didn’t need much more. Bob is now working on shelving for my room so we can get some things off the floor in the studio.

Bob and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on Friday. Seventeen years! It still seems like yesterday, and yet it feels like there was never a time when we weren’t together. We are still very much in love.

We actually celebrated twice, by going to the movies Friday to see The Last Jedi, and then by going to lunch on Saturday at Seasons 52 in Phoenix. Their vegan options are limited but what they have is very good. Then on Sunday we went to a woodcarving show. Bob has been active in the park’s woodcarving class and the show was just across town. We saw some amazing carvings and turnings.

Bob was able to find some tools he wanted and we had fun seeing everything. We found out that there are even woodcarving and wood turning clubs in the area that meet regularly. It was a fun day.

This week I fly back to NJ to help my daughter out while she recovers from surgery, returning March 3 to Mesa. Bob and Auggie will be by themselves again, but I have no doubt that the neighbors will be stopping by to make sure he’s not lonely. We have a very social neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Day with Friends

On Monday, some fiber friends from Ravelry came to visit. What fun to put faces to names and share our love of weaving and spinning! Deb and Marilou, with Marilou’s husband John, came in the morning and stayed until after lunch.
Bob and John (plus Marilou and John’s wire fox terrier, Meghan) hung out outside and talked guy-talk while we three gals had a great time weaving, spinning, and getting to know each other. We will have to get together again!

Today, Kay, one of the women from the church choir in which I sing came over to see the house. She and her husband had owned this park model for fifteen years, before selling it 5 years ago to the folks from whom we bought it. She was delighted to see the changes we had made, and I told her we’d have her come back when the bathroom was redone. She identified some of the furniture that we “inherited” with the sale as pieces she had bought. Kay told us she had loved living here, only moving because her husband had 15(!) grandchildren and they needed a bigger place. She was pleased that her former home was being maintained and improved.

Temperatures here have reached the low 80s over the past couple of days, and we are loving it. We really don’t miss the cold winters of New Jersey at all.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Final Kitchen Reveal

....and here is the finished kitchen. Bob installed the rest of the bead board backsplash today, as well as the nice white outlets. I am so thrilled with the way it came out.

So what will we be doing with all of our free time, now that we’ve declared a halt to renovations for the season?  Well, Bob has plans to work on his golf swing and I intend to do some weaving. Tomorrow a couple of Ravelry friends are coming to visit and I’m really excited to see them.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Countertop Update

The countertop is in! And I just love it. The nice deep sink and gooseneck faucet are a huge improvement, too.
On Sunday a new pure white stove and microwave will be delivered to replace the old cream and black ones. I’m not sure about the stove, but that microwave is original to the 26 year old kitchen. It took me nearly 9 minutes the other day to pop 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels. One good thing about it is that I can cook oatmeal in it and it will never boil over. It has to be all of 400 watts of power. 

Bob will be adding a bead board backsplash next, and changing out the outlets to white colored ones. Ooh, it’s going to be quite spiffy when it’s finished!

Sunday, January 14, 2018


We are moving forward on the home improvements here. Bob has spent all week on the countertops. He started out with a twelve foot length of cherry butcher block and cut it to size, then cut out the hole for the sink.
We had enough of the butcher block to make new tops for our IKEA kitchen cart and to top a portable small cabinet. We are using Waterlox finisher, a nontoxic type of Tung oil that provides protection against water. After four coats, with 24 hours to dry in between coats, the counter has darkened into a rich color with a light shine. After another three days or so of curing, we can start installing them.
Bob also has brought over the contents of my fiber closet in the coach, plus what was under the bed and the books in my clothes closet. There’s still a lot to be done to organize everything but at least it’s all here now. I suspect that this will be one of our projects next winter, to put up shelves. As well as to paint the bedroom and bathroom and replace the bathroom sink. It will all get done, eventually. This is what my studio looks like at the moment. Excuse the mess.

I’ve also been sewing curtains for the bedroom and living room. And kitchen. Here is the new curtain for the kitchen—I’m very happy with it.
I’m hoping to finish the living room curtains this week so I can post photos of the room all finished.

Between all the fixing-up, we are enjoying the weather here. Temperatures have been pretty consistent with daily highs in the 70s, except for a couple of days in the 60s. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Happy New Year to all my blog readers! My flight back to Arizona on December 30 was uneventful, and I was so happy to see Bob again. Auggie greeted me hesitantly at first, then enthusiastically. He proceeded to sit apart from me and studied me for a while as if he couldn’t quite believe that I was still among the living. I truly think he thought I was dead and gone for good.

I walked into our little home and was so excited about the painting Bob had done while I was gone. Here are “before” and “after” pictures.
The room looks so much brighter and I am thrilled. We went out on New Years Day to IKEA and bought a rolling kitchen cart. Now I have the work space I need to prepare meals.
We also purchased a couple of Lazy Boy recliners for the living room and a cherry butcher block countertop that Bob will be installing. More on that when it is in the kitchen.

Between shopping expeditions (which any woman will tell you is WORK) I’ve been going to the fitness center daily, choir practice, and Fiber Arts group. And am settling into this new place. I had only spent a little over a week here before I flew off to NJ so I had to re-learn where everything was. Bob and I have decided that once the kitchen is done and the Arizona room is set up, we will stop renovating until next winter. We want to be able to enjoy our new home!

We have started emptying out the Arizona room that will become my weaving and craft studio. The ugly sofa bed is gone and I’ve made several trips to the local thrift store, donating unwanted items. It feels good to have all that gone. Hopefully in the next week we’ll start moving the looms, wheel, sewing machine, marudai, books, and yarn into the space. I need to start sewing up some curtains, too.

Despite all the work, we have been enjoying the lovely weather and people here. Temperatures have been in the upper 70s and I actually considered turning on the AC today. Our neighbors have welcomed me back and told me how they had been thinking of my daughter and me, as well as keeping an eye on Bob and Auggie. It’s so nice to be part of this community.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reflections on 2017, Part 2

After our wonderful visit in NJ ended, we once again headed west, stopping first at the Flight 93 Memorial and then at Fallingwater to tour one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous works.
We stopped in Lancaster, OH before moving on through Crawfordsville, IN and Knoxville, IL. We spent a couple of lovely days in Dubuque, IA with my niece, her husband, and her boys.

We lingered by the Mississippi River for a few days in LaCrosse, WI before traveling to Adrian, MN and then on to South Dakota. We saw the solar eclipse in Rapid City, SD, and visited Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park Park, and Custer State Park.

It was time to continue, so we headed north to North Dakota and spent time in both the South Unit and the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park Park, where we saw wild horses, bison, and a nest of baby rattlesnakes. We visited Bismarck and some fine museums there, learning more about the Louis and Clark expedition and Sacagawea.
From North Dakota we turned the motorhome southwest to Miles City, MT and the Terry Badlands, then headed to the Yellowstone area where we lingered for a couple of glorious weeks. We saw loads of elk, bison, a fox, a wolf and bear sanctuary, and the most wonderful views. We visited Old Faithful, the Grand Tetons and crossed the Continental Divide numerous times.
Leaving Yellowstone, we passed through Idaho Falls, ID, stopped into the Idaho State University Library in Pocatello, ID, then moved on to the Salt Lake City area where I was inspired to do a bit of genealogy. We passed through Green River and visited Moab, UT where we saw Arches National Park, Islands in the Sky NP, and Canyonlands NP.
From Utah, we moved on to Arizona, spending a night in Cameron before arriving in Mesa where we fell in love with a park model and decided to purchase a winter home. We spent a couple of weeks in Mesa before visiting friends in Tucson. Then we returned to Mesa for the winter season.
My daughter’s health concerns resulted in me flying to NJ for a few weeks, and I return in two days to my waiting husband and to poor Auggie (who is by now certain that I have abandoned them forever.) I will be returning to help out again when my daughter has surgery in February but until then I look forward to being reunited with Bob and seeing what he has been up to.

It has been a year full of memories, to be sure! And 2018 promises to be an interesting year as well.