Who is Orange Sink?

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My home town is Rice Lake, a small town in northern Wisconsin. I own Red House Wool Studio~ an in-home wool and rug hooking business. I enjoy collecting and decorating with antiques and primitives. Orange Sink Blog is a journal of my interests and ramblings about life. Cathy Greschner

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Gobbler On My Frame

Happy tuesday! I thought you might enjoy seeing what I'm hooking right now... a Primitive Gobbler design by Anne Nichols which can be found in the Falloween Threads book by Needl'love.  I have wanted to hook this pattern for years!!!  Well with a little prodding by my friend Lisa... she's hooking this one right now too... I decided what the heck, it's now or never!
It sure is a fun design to hook and color plan. I chose a neutral background for this one and you can see some of the wools I'm using in the photo below.
Lisa is hooking hers with a dark background... now I want a dark background one too! LOL!
We egg one another on... or should I say we "encourage" one another!  

We've been sharing photos of our progress on our smart phones.  I thought I was smart when I hooked til midnight last night and couldn't wait to show Lisa via text how much I had hooked.  Well that fast little Lisa sent me a text  at 8:00 this morning with a photo of hers mostly hooked!  I think she hooks while she sleeps!!  LOL!!

The stairway to the basement is coming along nicely too!  Dan the carpenter got the wall boards put up and I am loving it!  I want to hang something ( a rug maybe ?) but I kind of enjoy the nice clean look of a new empty wall for a change!  Will probably wait until the steps and carpet are done now. 

I thank you all for your kind words on my last post!  I have been reading your blogs and not commenting so much as I'd like to.  I feel guilty as I know how much I enjoy reading your comments on my own blog.  Hopefully I can turn over a new leaf!  

Cathy G

Friday, October 14, 2016

Stairway To Wool Heaven!

Whew!  The title of my post may be a bit misleading today... but as the story unfolds, you may get the gist!  
First though may I THANK all my dear readers and friends for your wonderful comments, emails and cards!  Your prayers, love and condolences have meant so much!  They have helped these past few days as my mind is slowly processing all that has transpired since losing my mom in August!  I am trying to regain some sense of normalcy but as the days go it has been anything but! 
Lots of changes still going on here, including one involving the stairwell to "heaven" LOL!!
Actually it is a stairwell to a dungeon!  Yep... our basement!  Yikes! Moving things from my mom's house to ours, it has become a dumping ground of sorts. And we had plenty of our own crap stored down there to begin with!
To make a long story short... I've wanted to open up that cramped and narrow doorway leading down to the basement ever since we bought this place more than a decade ago! I am happy to announce that   process has begun and is nearly finished as I type!
But before I reveal the "after" photos, let me share the wooly projects going on out in the studio... the "wool heaven" if you will!

At this month's second Tuesday Hook-in here, Shirley has finished her gorgeous rendition Harvest Moon, a Heart to Hand design. On my list of patterns to do!

Celeste has finished her wool appliquΓ© of a Buttermilk Basin design! "Autumn" with punkin and acorn!  Beautiful wools and stitching!

Cindy  has a good jump on the Chrismas season with her fun little stitched piece using a Little Bits pattern by Joan. Love that background wool!

Cindy goes right to hooking on her pumpkin rug... I didn't catch the designer but look at those awesome Halloween colors she's using!

Shirley is working on a Little Bits by Joan pattern too... hers is the Gingerbread men! Can't wait to see it done!

When the girls all meet here for our monthly hook-in, some bring projects other than wool applique and rug hooking!  Celeste is working on knitting some socks for hubby! You should see her knitting!  I will try and get a pic of her finished socks next time.... they are wonderful!

Betsy shows off her Chicken rug... again I am bad at getting the designer! But didn't it turn out fabulous!  

Saundra and Lorena are hard at work on their rugs and are already planning their next projects!

Saundra's working on a little design by me... a little owl mat called "Black Tie Affair"! It will be so darn cute when finished!  

Lisa is working on a larger rug with a dove by The Sampler. It is going to be one gorgeous rug!

So as the wool flies in the studio.... the sawdust was flying on my stairwell!
Demolition begins... but my wonderful carpenters built a makeshift wall to surround and it did keep the dust to a minimum! 

I've had this antique post that came out of an old barn in storage forever!   Several times people have asked if I would sell it!   Came close a couple of times but always held back, hoping that someday I'd have the perfect spot for it!

I just love it.... in all it's crustiness and there's even a couple of old rusty nails embedded in it!  What do you think?  Was it worth hanging on to? 

A new white railing...

And my stairway to the dungeon is almost complete!  Next week the wall treatment will go on and I have to shop for some new carpet for the steps!  So I'm off to open the boxes of a new wool shipment and dream of that stairway to WOOL heaven!!
Cathy G

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Little Trip to Bayfield

I want you to know dear friends that I'm still here and doing okay since my mom passed away on August 12th.  In some ways it seems like an eternity since that day she left us.  So much has happened in the past few weeks I've barely had time to think about the reality of things. I've been dealing with the settling of her estate and listing her house for sale.  We received an offer on the house this afternoon.  Oh... I know I should be grateful, but it's yet another bittersweet end of the way things were that I have to accept and get used to.
It's just all so sudden and... final... I guess is the word.
We needed to get away for a couple of days.  So a short little trip to our favorite spot in Bayfield was in order.  We were blessed with gorgeous weather. Lake Superior worked her magic and left wonder, peace and solitude for a still aching heart.
Enjoy some of the pics I took while walking through the gardens and walking trails along the Chequamegon Bay.

It gives one pause to see such beauty and displays of nature. Perhaps hope and faith in better days to come as well.  Life goes on and keeping the memory alive of those we've loved and lost should be priority. My mom loved to garden above all else.  Seeing the beautiful plants and ordering things from the seed catalogs gave her much joy.  
I hope that come spring I can find some time to get back to my own gardens ( they are overgrown with weeds for the present) and carry on mom's love for seeing things grow.

Life is too short for putting things off. The important things.
Like watching the flowers dance in the sunlight!
Cathy G

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Rest In Peace Sweet Mom

My Wonderful Mom
November 14, 1930 ~~ August 12, 2016

Shirley Hoeft Johnston
Survived by children, Cathleen (David) Greschner  Rice Lake, WI
Ronald ( Virginia) Johnston  New Trier, MN
Tracy (Lillian) Johnston  Cameron, WI
Gail (James) Mussehl   Cameron, WI
Michelle (Wes) Sweeney   Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Sister Sharon ( Richard) Brogan  Eau Claire, WI
Brother Randy Hoeft, Milwaukee, WI

Oh so hard.... but knowing she is at peace,  her pain and suffering over, is helping me to cope with losing her.  THANK YOU all from the bottom of my heart for your kind kind words on my last post! It means the world to me and your prayers and comments are so deeply appreciated! 

Cathy G

Thursday, August 11, 2016

When Morphine and iPhone Are Your Best Friends

Hello dear friends and readers.  Since my last post there have been so many changes here in my life and of course for my dear Mom whose life on this earth we expect is only days now and perhaps less.  It seems an eternity since I held her arm and we walked into the ER on July 9th.  The kind Dr. on call that evening was so on target when he said, "Your mother is in the final stages of congestive heart failure."  He added emphatically, "Your job will be to keep her comfortable... " Yes, indeed. It seems every waking moment in my life and countless other people has been to see to it that she is not in pain and as comfortable as one could possibly be as the fluids build up in her body and the heart is struggling to keep the life blood flowing. It has been heart wrenching to watch to say the least.
There have been many bright spots though these past few weeks. The most significant one being the joining together of my siblings, two brothers and two sisters, making the choice to keep and care for mom at home. We've all set aside past grievances and hard feelings to take on this enormous task. 
So very proud of them all... as I watch them transfer her from wheelchair to commode. Leave the next day to their jobs after a sleepless night with a restless mom who is awake all night and decides to get out of bed on her own.  My niece, Alicia, who has been here several days and nights and leaves to take care of a family of three children. 
Hospice. Well, I cannot say enough for our program here with it's countless volunteers, nurses, and a Dr. who made a house call here day before yesterday.
Our every need is met from wheelchair, to hospital bed and medications delivered right to our door. 
Even with all the endless help, for which I'll be forever grateful, I feel like I've been floating in a bubble of pill bottles, phone calls, decisions upon decisions and now recently the bottle of morphine which has become our best friend as it's the only thing that is helping our dear mom with her struggle. I've had to overcome preconcieved notions that this drug is meant to hasten death when in reality death is hastening all on its own. The drug comforts. The Dr. who made the housecall recently said to us, "Morphine will be your best friend." 
Oh, and one more thing... I mentioned the iPhone in my blogpost's title as a best friend too. A couple of days ago I upgraded my iPhone 5s to a brand new iPhone 6s. I now enjoy the hotspot which enables my laptop to work anywhere through my phone. Still learning all the 6s has to offer. During these past few weeks with sibings, doctors, nurses, relatives, hospice people and just Dave and I  trying to coordinate our lives around being full time caregivers, I managed to go over my alloted texting and talking time on my old iPhone.  To the tune of $300.00 or so!! Yikes!  That was a lot of texting and talking!  But our entire family has stayed well connected and organized beyond belief. 
Can't imagine this happening in the days before texting!


Well... I started writing this post a couple of hours ago. 
How fast things change.  Mom is suddenly showing signs that she will be leaving us very soon. 
Not sure how to end this... but asking for your prayers for a peaceful and painless transition for our beautiful mom.  A place of untold beauty and joy certainly awaits her precious soul.
No more suffering, sickness and pain.

Cathy G