Two years ago, in a quick, 7-week preparation for the tv show, PBS’s Weekends with Yankee, Steve, Pat, Tom and I took the empty shell of a new workshop and added in just enough equipment and adornment to make it look like a working shop for the show.
After the filming, we continued clearing out the old workshop and eventually, just stuffing everything in the new shop. We’d go to look for something, thinking of where it was it the old shop, then had to resort to excavating layers of stuff just dumped in assorted piles around here and there.
Recently, patterns have been found, sorted and banded together for ease of communication. Blanks (hardwood parts that are cut out and ready to carve) have been boxed and labeled. Everything has lids on to keep the ever-present sawdust from infiltrating. This is so much easier on my chemo-addled brain—I can just desire to make something and Voila! Here are choices! Ready to go!
While the downstairs of the workshop is very useable (except for dust collection), the upstairs is a mass of paperwork (custom orders, correspondence, bills, filing, returns) that MUST be dealt with. Six months of ignoring is quite astonishingly scary. Also many technical issues that keep me from moving on: Internet/Verizon, Etsy problems, Microsoft’s new mode, my Android phone, technology in general…
I’m still looking for someone strong and smart enough to help me tackle this horrific mess. Yes, With the holidays coming, I’m apprehensive of Etsy especially becoming overwhelming. there is payment involved, and I realllllly do need help! Please email me (email@example.com) if you know anyone who fits the bill.
Meanwhile, we are so, so, so grateful to Corlis, Rachel, Mary, Leslie, Dan and of course, Ethan for helping the workshop to come back to life.
I still have hair (patchy and thin)! This bout of chemo is much milder, less devastating. I also still have skin and nails on hands and feet. And a prickly feeling (not so much numbness) in my fingertips. How much is due to Tom’s meticulous diet, acupuncture, chaga tea, immunotherapy, L-glutamine powder or yoga I can’t say, And maybe this will change when the weather changes, but for now, I’m pleased to be able to continue working and enjoying this beautiful fall. I’m having tests this month, so before the December holidays I’ll have more news. Fatigue, though, is always nearby, demanding several (sometimes sudden) naps a day…
We’re holding Artist’s Open Studios here in the workshop soon. For the days of the show (November 26 + 27 and December 3 + 4), we’ll shut off Etsy so we don’t accidentally sell something that has already been sold and don’t have the panic of Real Time! Etsy will turn back on the Mondays (28 and 5) following the weekends.
Open Studios is like having a party—clean up everything and make it pretty—not a bad thing! And for us, that means cleaning up the 4 acres of developed property out here.
A friend asked why I put my limited energy into Open Studios and I realized that this off-grid PLACE is my MISSION.
*Teaching and making woodenwares with Solar Power.
*Showing off our systems—water, batteries, composting toilet, heating with the sun, heating with wood.
*Encouraging young people to see how they can fit into environmental issues.
*Living the life—peace and quiet, privacy, self-sufficiency.
*Exposing the difficult side of off-grid life—it’s not always fun.
*Working hard physically and staying young!
Since we are so far down the dirt road, services don’t come out our way. We’re also grateful to neighbors on our road for help with daily functions. ¾ of a mile away, we have trash pickup! And a mere mile away, our packages are delivered to a large dry box (we’re still trying to train some delivery folks to actually PUT packages IN the box…) at another neighbor’s house. And when we’re having water issues, several neighbors allow us to fill our gallon water jugs. Sometimes we just go out with a coffee in our robe and slippers to pick up and drop off!
The Hankie Project
Now that I’m older, I have a drippy nose just like my grandmother. Instead of constantly throwing away paper, I’ve taken to keeping a hankie tucked in my pocket. What a good thing for the environment! I think! I was able to find some pretty, vintage-looking handkerchiefs online (and delivered to the box). I liked them so much that I got more and am giving them away to everyone (friends, nurses, receptionists, my pharmacist, our helpers). I’ve been truly gratified at the response. Here’s a link to the ones I like. They’re not very manly, so I’m considering finding more for the guys.
I turned 70 recently and was able to watch the total Lunar Eclipse from my pillow! What a gift!
I hope you all have happy birthdays and a great Thanksgiving.
Meb and Tom