Category Archives: asthma

Rhode Island “Spring”

It’s been a busy year as we learn to be Rhode Islanders! Sorry y’all for the delay in posts, but you can see what you missed by checking on Facebook. I’ll copy some of those posts here so you can follow our transmogrification from North Carolinians to Rhode Islanders.

March 14  It’s Pi day, my engineer tells me, so I mixed crust, he opened cans, I added brandy for flavor.

Dirk w pies 3:17 Nice treat after shoveling—4 in of VERY heavy Slush! If this had stayed snow we’d be having more to move… It’s been raining the past 3 hrs., making mush. I was wet through after 40″ out there. Crocuses & snowdrops had somewhat recovered yesterday, now under snow again. Inside the house, under a grow light, vegetables for our future garden are thriving–such a lovely contrast!

Snow back yard 3:17

Seedlings 3:17

Snow again, sticky, perfect for a snow man, & school’s out.
Here are two of five little cape/shawls I’ve made from Dirk’s mother’s left-behind sock yarn left-overs. Some have gone to friends, the rest to church for their prayer shawl program.

Interfaith Vigil at Holocaust Memorial in Providence on March 5. All our Rhode Island elected senators, representatives and Governor Raimondo as well as rabbis, immans & pastors and 300 or more people from our state were there. It was a large crowd, in spite of the temperature about 10 degrees by wind chill, which had already started to thin by the time we made a united circle around the central stone, Rabbi Aaron played and sang some rousing songs, and we placed  our own small stones there to say, “Never again–we remember.” What a strange world this is, for there to be bomb threats at Jewish temples and community center/schools in Rhode Island, where Roger Williams came specifically to form a colony with religious freedom. RW is on top of this tower.

Feb. 23– Our first crocuses are in bloom six weeks later than we saw them in NC. Such a treat to see an actual sign of spring. Dirk is wearing his new argyle sweater from our own wool. This project took about 5 months, including spinning the yarn. Only the orange is commercial. I’ve started cleaning up flower beds, including stems of last year’s flower heads, now completely empty of seed. Just hung up another bird house. I need to find seed for veggies that mature in a short season. So disappointing last year that bell peppers & Cherokee red tomatoes had to be picked green and small the day the killing frost was due. Suggestions?

Maeve and Emily enjoy the daily walks Dirk takes with them. Sometimes I go (when I’m not updating my blog!) or vacuuming up pet fur. He recently met a neighbor around the corner with chickens and more eggs than she needs. He dropped off the empty egg box with some of my Almost Lost dish cloths (thanks, Katie Verna) for which she was thankful and gave him another dozen eggs! Finally I’ve found someone with chickens to whom I can give egg boxes to recycle them.

Dirk's argyle; walking dogs 2:17

Emily is slowing down, and at 12, for a Great Pyrenees, I guess it’s time. She was barking at about 1 a.m. last night, so I let her out. She slipped on the icy deck and did a belly flop, and no foot found anything to grip. She looked at me so mournfully, those sad eyes, so embarrassed… as though I had made this situation happen. I brought out a throw rug and rolled her back and forth to get it under her for traction, and she popped up and took off. She loves to patrol all around the fenced  half-acre back yard at night, just like she did in our sheep pastures in her early years. I know we have a fox–my nature camera took his picture. I’ve seen deer, turkeys, smelled skunk, and my neighbor has muskrats, mink in her wetland back yard garden area–and then the perpetual vermin, coyotes, are everywhere. No one in this neighborhood has seen fisher cats yet, thank goodness. Those cousins to hyenas or badgers are a real threat. My hosta is never eaten by deer, in contrast to my friends’ gardes–I guess the dogs keep them away, which is great!

This is an afghan I made for a friend we left behind in NC, mostly from yarn Dirk’s mother left-behind. She died in Oct., and his father boxed up all her yarn and patterns and sent them along. I used her pattern in his argyle sweater. Both the “dog patch,” and the “sheep patch” are from my homespun yarn.  There’s a pocket in the center of the yellow square the right size for a cell phone or anything else that’s small that might fall out of her recliner or wheel chair. (She was delighted with that feature 🙂 These socks are from commercial superwash wool, cozy in winter, and I’ll wear them for St. Patrick’s Day. And last but not least, this is a picture of our church in Wickford, from the side, the First Baptist Church of Wickford. It’s lovely inside also, the glass still the wavy old 200-year old windows. I wish we could fill it up Sundays… We’ve made lots of friends there.

Narragansett wavesDirk & Judy, trop storm, Pt. Judy

This is one of the special things about living in this area. Narragansett Pier is right here, with the large beach and sea wall. Here you see a snow bank pushed up after one of the storms, and the lovely breakers rolling in toward the breakwater. I can be there in ten minutes, any time I want to watch the water roll in at high tide, which is invigorating! People walk their dogs on the beach all winter, parking is free until May or so. This was one of the big reasons why we moved north, to be this close to the salt water. The lower picture was taken during a tropical storm which turned out to be only lots of wind, at Point Judith Light, where the Narragansett Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. My pulmonary Doc was right–my asthma does like the salt air!

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Filed under asthma, climate, dogs, Family, gardening, Homespun yarn, knitting, Weather, wildlife, Writing

American Indian bead work

 

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June 3, 2013

We’re off on a 2-week trip to places north, and cooler, and out of this heavy, damp air loaded with my nemesis: mold and pollens. First day we visited a museum in WV’s Charleston, and I took pictures of some beautiful Fenton glass, which one of my daughters used to love to collect. There’s an immense Czech crystal chandelier in the center of the Capitol dome, which is worth a walk to visit.

In a museum at Niagra Falls we saw Iroquois Indian beading on slippers, a purse, and other things. Now I’m learning to do some Lithuanian bead work, I was amazed with the extremely fine beads and the sophisticated use of color and deisign. Somehow, it’s not “overdone,” looks beautiful without being “over the top.” What an art. I wonder whether there are Native Americans teaching that craft these days? If so, please speak up and tell me where to sign up!

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Asthma related to spinning wool?

Jan. 14, 2013

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Heidi with Biden; Judy with Obama, back seat of the Honda van; Border Leicester/Blue Faced Leicester crosses, about 6 mo. old, wethers

About 4 years ago we bought 2 lambs from a neighbor with Border Leicester/Blue Faced Leicesters to add to our aging flock–not a wise choice, and we later regretted it for several reasons. It was Obama’s first election year, we had one black and one white sheep, so obviously they were named Obama and Biden.

I just found a bag of seconds I forgot I had from about 3-4 yr. ago, and had more of Obama’s hogget fleece to deal with. It’s carded in with the rest of the seconds for an afghan for a cousin in MI who had heart surgery followed by stroke and a pacemker last month. It’ll take a month at least to complete the project, and I’m glad Obama’s fleece will have been well-used in it. I’ll smile giving it to my cousin, since his sensitivities politically are opposite mine, and I wouldn’t want to let it be known to him that Obama was keeping him warm 🙂

I’ve had one virus after an other the last month, so will disappear for a while until the flu and other viruses have made their rounds without me to catch them–I hope. Came back from my Dr. check up with a rotavirus. There’s just no mercy!! And now Dirk is coming down with it.

And then the ongoing nagging comment of my doctor that my spinning is making my asthma worse. Since I don’t get a flare unless I’ve been exposed to infection, or in one case to a heavy load of dust and pollen when helping a friend clear some tall weeds from a corner of her pasture, I’m not seeing the connection. I’m getting older each year, and she made no mention of a mask when I’m carding and spinning. When I complained that masks fogged my glasses, she threw up her hands and said, “Then it’s not keeping dust out, if air comes out around it!” Logical. So stopped at the drugstore on the way home and bought a different style which does not leak around the edges. My husband will soon forget what my face looks like, since I’m wearing it nearly all the time. Hope it helps. I do most of the wool preparation outside–pulling grass out of the fleece, and later carding it after it’s washed in shampoo. Where can I find journal articles to share with my doctor to indicate relationships between wool and asthma in a home situation, rather than in industry? I don’t know that anyone does research in that. I’m listening…

Since Dirk now has my latest virus, I just came up from the barn chores. It’s 69 outside, and so muggy I’m soaked. Winter in the piedmont of NC. Want to know what summer’s like? Add about 30 degrees to the temp and keep the humidity, and you’ll have it: a hostile environment to shelter from for about 5 months of the year!

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