Wednesday, December 13, 2017


I'm feeling the need for some company.  The turkeys don't like me to get real close, my dog Cooper is kinda bored, too, and the horses are mostly concerned with stuffing their faces with hay.

I've never been good at socializing - making friends.

And now I'm in a new town, without a daily job that would give me chances to meet anyone, and I live on a ranch out of town.

I've met the parents' friends and church family.  But as of yet, no one that has the same type of interests as me.  Not sure where to start looking?!?

My parents are off on a vacation - which is nice - no cooking unless I feel like it :)  It gets even quieter here with them gone.

I do get out to go to doctor type things - I get to have an MRI this Friday to make sure nothing bone and tendon related is going on inside that would be causing the incision to stay open.

I have a picture of the site, but decided you guys REALLY didn't want to see that!

3X times weekly still going to clinic to treat the wound.  The MRI may send us in a different direction, or tell the surgeon to send me on to a wound specialist. Gotta love it...

Weather is making it more difficult to get out and about.  It's currently misty/rainy/freezing.  Wish it would decide to just snow, instead of this in between crap - lol.

Each day I try to go through at least one cupboard, or drawer, or closet.  It's a little harder when mom isn't here, but I've made a little progress this week while she is gone.  The kitchen is pretty much done.  Now I am going to try and get the parents to pick out some new appliances - We are using ones that are over 25 years old, and I think they really need to be replaced :)  The microwave keeps tripping the breaker, so I don't think I want to keep that around.

All for now, JULIE


Friday, December 1, 2017

My current abode

 This is the house I live in now.  I've moved in with my parents.  3 bedroom, 3 baths.  My brother also lives there.  They wanted to keep an empty bedroom for guests - they have lots of guests.  And everyone uses the same bathroom....   Oy.  The things I would like to change here :)  That's why my bedroom is a living room.

We've had unusually warm weather for the upper Dakotas.  It was very windy the other day.  

Tipped over the pony shed....  only 58 mph gusts... LOL.   Usually winter doesn't have wind from the south.  That's why it's like this!  I tipped it back up today. 

 As of about 2 weeks ago, I am now down to having 4 pony girls.  My oldest, DeeDee told me last winter she didn't want to be that cold anymore.  So the decision was made, and this fall after a nice warm summer, I helped her leave her sisters Bug and Queenie, and nieces Buzz and Flutter, and move on to be with her mother, my childhood mare Power Girl.  Even tho the decision had been made long ago, it was still a very hard day and still I have moments of tears for my girl.  She was 26 this spring and all her life she took care of my daughter in and out of the show ring.  

I tried to get a picture of the girls.  Queenie and Buzz aren't very helpful. Silly girls.

Here is a picture of Bug, now the senior mare - she is 24.  I'm hoping this winter is good for her.  In the background you can see the bulls that are next door neighbors for the winter.

  We had a baby this morning! 

 Mama should have been in this pen with the other fall calving mamas.  My dad has just a small group that calve this time of year.  Most of his cows have their spring calves weaned and were moved to a neighbor to go on cornstalks and get wintered and calved by a younger man than my dad.  He's been doing it this way for a couple years.  I'm glad he realized he needed help.  In the spring after the calves are a few days old, we move them back to green grass at the ranch.  See those black spots in the background?

Turkeys!  There are so many around the last few years they are a nuisance.  They get in the feed bunks and eat the corn meant for the cattle.  The get into the barn and eat out of the feed storage bins.  And they roost on top of the house.

They are cool to look at, but they leave the ground messy wherever they go.  My little pup Cooper thinks its fun to make them scatter when they are on the walkout deck off my 'room'.

So on the medical front.  I'm currently going to the clinic 3 times a week to treat the open wound.  Silver nitrate is applied to the proud flesh (that's a horseman's term, I think they call it granulation tissue at the clinic)  It's unpleasant as it's a chemical burn during the application and is a bit uncomfortable for that day.  Daily bandage changes and some discomfort is getting OLD.

No creative pursuits as of yet, but I did last night find, in my unorganized mess,  some hand mending that had moved with me.  I sat and did that before I went to bed last night.  I have a few bags that could be finished, if I could only find my rug warp and tools I use for that!

All for now,

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another new start

It's been awhile since I checked in.

Just a bit preoccupied with several things.  :)

Yup, sold the house.  Of course not for the amount I would have liked, but it was time to move on.

I've had 4 craft sales events since I last posted, the small ones that I didn't expect much from have been my best - imagine that.

Also had my third. Count 'em, 3.  Revision surgeries on the incision from my hamstring repair from last November.   And guess what.... Incision has just started to degrade again.   I AM SO OVER THIS....

My surgeon (3 hours away) is trying to get me in to a wound nurse that is only 1.5 hours away tomorrow since we have a holiday to contend with.  I can't wait until we finally get this thing happy.  I am one of the weird people that don't like absorbable sutures - My system is still working them out from the original surgery.  We had hoped the last procedure in October was the final one, but now it's not looking so good again.

Weaving isn't happening right now - my looms are in my cargo trailer, along with the totes full of warp fabrics and supplies.  Plus a few pieces of furniture I didn't sell.

I'm currently ensconced in my parents lower level family room.  Mother dear tells everyone she has a downstairs maid... funny haha :)  My dad feels quite comfortable giving me a call when his cows get out and he needs someone with legs that work better than his, or if he has a gate that needs watching, or some sorting to do.

I have not attempted to find employment yet - too much medical stuff still happening, and I seem to keep way busy here.  Much purging must happen and I've been slowing working my way through getting a handle on bookkeeping for my parents businesses - Hopefully have the one sold - but still have cows!

It feels as if I've been here for way longer than I have, but in reality, I'm barely getting settled.

I'm hoping to carve out a space for a loom, or find a space elsewhere so I can feel like I'm being productive.  Anyway, lots to figure out.

All for now, JULIE

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It's a crapshoot

New to me sale venues are always a crapshoot.

Last week found me in a town 3 1/2 hours from home at a Threshing Show.  My daughter lives in this town, that is the only reason I considered going to this one.   Free bed :)

While I was researching, I asked numerous times, in numerous ways whether other rug sellers are there.  I was told several times that they had in the past, but they hadn't heard from that person this year yet.  I was then told after I asked, if they came in after me, they would be turned away to eliminate doubles of the same type of item.

This was a 4 day show, a first for me - I've only done 1-2 days.

Well, I won't be going back :)

I paid for an indoor booth.  I had taken my canopy with just in case I decided I needed to create a store like area.  Glad it was a bit rainy, too, as I covered my load with my floor tarp.

See the dirt?  Ended up the indoor was a metal barn with gravel floors and a leaky roof.  Not that that would be a deal breaker, but it sure seems the organizers could have been more upfront with the conditions!  Pure luck had me bring what I needed for those conditions.

And here's the kicker....   A weaving/fiber group- for the last 30 years- demonstrates and sells rugs as a fund raiser for the threshing grounds.  And they have their items priced at a deep discount. 

Can you guess how my sales were?   LOL

This is obviously not my target market --  I was even told to my face I was overpriced!   I did enjoy the weekend, visiting with long lost relatives that recognized my name (my sister is trying to determine how we are related)  old friends of friends, and even some weavers that reassured me that I have not overpriced and they gave me compliments on and admired my rugs.

So I brush myself off, and get ready for the next -- This week I will be at an outdoor event.   There is a winery about an hour from me.  In NorthEast South Dakota of all places :)   Their 4th annual Grape Stomp and Festival sounds like a fun time.  We will see! 

All for now,  JULIE

Monday, August 21, 2017

News. Updates. Announcements.

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted here!

A lot has been happening.  Some good, some not so good.

Bad news first. 

After my last post on June 6, I ended up back at the surgeons office.  My incision from my hamstring surgery in November had degraded --  I was in surgery that afternoon for a debridement and revision of the surgical site.  Fun times.  Antibiotics.  Stitches. Etc.

I took it easy as much as I could.  Did a bit of weaving when I felt like it.  Sold a few things when I felt like it.  Showed the house a  little.

Then I got a bite!  A couple that had looked at the house way back in May, came back. 

More bad news.  My incision reopened again.  Ended up in surgery again on July 27.  Fun times. Antibiotics ( A different one) Stitches. Wound Vac. Etc. 

I took it way easier - my body is tired and worn out. All looked good - a week on wound vac, stitches out at 2 weeks and antibiotics done.

But now, 10 days after I was finished with the drugs.... the wound is looking iffy again.  Immediately back on drugs and watching.  Hope it stays closed, or I'm looking at another surgery.

Somewhere in that period of time I produced these fun rugs.

The warp is striped - each section is either a mixture of blues, or a mixture of lights like white, gray, taupe, etc.   Add the striped solid weft and I almost have plaid.  I think they are cute!

And now today, I signed a purchase agreement with that couple that came back.  Now to see how the financing and appraisals go.

So here I am faced with moving/packing/selling and 3 craft fairs before my closing date in approximately 6 weeks.  Hope I survive!  LOL

All three events I'm signed up for are new to me.  I'm hoping for a good fit and lots of sales!  If I'm up to it, I will try to post with photos and reports.

All for now,

Thursday, May 18, 2017

35 rugs


That's how many rugs came from my last warp of blues.

Here is a mental health rug.... More corduroy! 

I tried to do as many denim rugs as I could stand.

Those are my most consistent seller, and I was basically out of stock.

The rugs are various lengths.

14 denim rugs got hemmed edges, and 13 denim rugs got fringed edges.

That's a first!  I usually make WAY less hemmed rugs.  :)

I'm pretty sure my next warp will be more blues.  I've got alot of denim strips and raw denim in my stash, I can always use more denim in my inventory, and I haven't been collecting much for weft materials lately due to the work/remodel/hopeful move situation.

The next warping will be delayed until I get some other things done around here.  I've been showing the house and acreage like mad.  Crazy how the professional couldn't get anyone to come look last year, and now I am getting calls almost daily.  Maybe they are mostly lookey loos, but at least there is some interest!

A rummage/moving sale is on the to do list, as well as the daily chores associated with helping my parents with their business.  Also need to build fence for my horses to keep them in grass and prepare a place for me and my 'stuff' when this house does sell. 

Craft fair coming up in two weeks, too.  All these new rugs need to be tagged, measured and priced, as well as the record keeping involved.

All for now,  JULIE

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Still Denim :)

Still working on my blue denim warp. 

I've been getting less done, because I've been driving between my home and my parents home more...

Nope on the sale of the house.   Have shown it several times lately, but no real action yet.

Corduroy mental health rug....   Cute little thing :)

I always tell myself to take the roll off and get back to weaving, that the tying / end finishing can wait.
But I just can't!  I've gotta see what they look like finished!   So I set myself up in front of the tv and get to town on tying knots. 

I think I have about one more batch of rugs until the end of my warp, but it sometimes seems the warp never ends when I say that....   We'll see I guess, how many more rugs are left on the beam.

So far I've take 26 rugs off this warping.  Most are in the 45 inch long range, but I've done some 54 -60 inch rugs as I have buyers for those, too.

I'm thinking when I'm done with this warp, I just might put another blue one on.  I've got alot of denim left.....   LOL

All for now,  JULIE

PS.  I've committed to being a vendor at Fort Sisseton Rendevous.  First weekend in June, so here's hoping some of these rugs go home with buyers.   Also been working on records/sales/bookkeeping for my parents ag business.  I'm busy, but I get to plan my own days... Winning!  LOL

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Next batch

Just pulled the next batch of rugs off the loom.

Here's the denim that I'm plugging away at.  There's a mix of hemmed and fringed in this group.

Remember my "mental health rug"?  Here's the finished product....

I think it's cute!

I've already woven my next mental health rug, and it's already tied back onto the takeup on the loom starting the next batch of denims.   Gonna tease you on this one.  Clue - it's another corduroy!

All for now,

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Denim, Denim, and more Denim!

 I've been slogging away at building up my denim inventory.  And use up some of the huge stash of denim jeans...  Just took off a roll of hemmed edge rugs - will get these hemmed up sometime this week.

In the background of this picture, you see a pile of denim and a 'mental health' rug.  I get bored with denim after a bit, and so I have to do something different - That one on top is a flannel shirt, and old blanket bits that seemed to work together.  Using up stash!   :)

 Here's my next 'mental health' rug.  Corduroy!  Went with 4 different blues -  navy, dusty, lavenderish, and a light teal.  Then I threw in a tan neutral.  This one will be fun!

I'm doing stripes - 8 shots of weft for each color and then repeat.  I think it's cute.  Decided this one would be 'busy' enough so I did a hemmed end - something I do rarely.  I don't know, I think my preference is fringes, so I just don't think of doing the hems, until I remind myself that some of my customers prefer hems!

House update.  I'm talking with a couple, trying to come up with a way for me to get what I need for the house, and a way for them to get into it! 

I spend my days rehabbing my hamstring repair, selling personal belongings in preparation of moving from a 5 bedroom house into a bedroom, and weaving.  Sometimes I feel positively lazy....

All for now,  JULIE

Monday, March 13, 2017

Retired.... or not?

For the last weeks, when people ask what I'm doing, I've been saying I'm retired.

That's because I QUIT MY JOB.



My employer just wouldn't work with me on my rehab and reentry into physical labor.  They insisted on misinterpreting my doctors orders for limitations. 

So I quit.

I don't need to physically re injure myself just for them!

Consequently, I now have time to do some weaving.

The wider ones are some I just finished up.  The narrow one is a holdover to fulfill a request from long ago.

I am still restricted a bit by my physical limitations.  Can't handle long weaving sessions, but I'm building up tolerance.

I keep busy with the rest of my day doing exercises and rehab, as well as slowly selling off household items. 

I don't want to jinx the process, but someone is attempting to get financing on my house...  cross your fingers, say a prayer, think positive thoughts if you are so inclined!

Of course I have a few stresses that I try not to think about.  Along with the not employed comes not insured.  My state has only 2 choices for health insurance.  Each of them is tied to a hospital group.  Neither takes the other insurance.  One isn't sold in the county I am going to be living in, so yup, only one choice.  And that choice would cost me 600 - 900 a month.  For just me.   Couldn't do it.  That's why I support the repeal....  Something has GOT to change.

Good thing is. I'm not scared - everything I'm doing is what I need to be doing. 

Onward to the next adventure :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Well, I'm back.   Kinda  :)

Eleven weeks out from my big surgery.  I'm still crutched and braced.  Hope tomorrow at a follow up appointment I will get to eliminate at least the brace.

I've been back to work since the last week of December.  No choice.  No time off, No FMLA left.  So if I wanted a job and it's insurance, I had to suck it up buttercup.  I started with 1/2 days until I literally had 12 hours left before I would get "let go" and then went to full 8 hour days.  Only difference is I'm working sitting in a chair at a computer doing 'dumb' work.   VERY repetative!

This last weekend I had the urge to see if I could get my Union warped.  I had gotten the beam loaded with blue warp for denim, but then the injury...

It took me all weekend, in bits and pieces, to get it done, but I did it!

Tonite I thought I should try weaving.   I had put a little time into strip prep during these last months while I was home and recovering, so was ready to go.

All went well, for about 24 inches!   That's when I listened to my body, and decided to behave and take it easy.   It's a start....

I really loaded the beam up this time.  So long ago I can't remember just how many turns I put on the sections, but I'm going to be weaving denim and blues for a longggg time!

All for now,