Who is Orange Sink?

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Rice Lake, WI, United States
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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Friday, November 27, 2009

The Finished Mat~A Bittersweet Thanksgiving

These colors make me happy. There is a nostalgic feel about this little mat. It reminds me of old wool mittens, snowpants and those cute little plaid wool coats we all wore as kids in the 50's. Yes, the 1950's. Remember those? I must dig through my Mother's old photos and see if I can come up with some of those cute coat photos!
We are moving my Mom to an apartment in an elderly complex this weekend. I will come across the boxes of old photos. However there won't be much time to browse through them. We have lots to move and a few hours to do it. It is a bittersweet time for our family. Mom knows she has to make this move for her safety and well being. It's very tough. "The apartment's too small" she says. "Where will I put all my stuff?" I take a deep breath and softly say "Maybe this is only temporary." Maybe, but most likely not. "We'll see come spring. Let's just get through the winter and see how you like it. Maybe it will feel more like home."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The first Thanksgiving. The dog is center and front. Gotta love that! Have a blessed Thanksgiving! You have  permission to eat all you want!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Hooking Hangover! It Was An All Nighter!

Every now and then she becomes obsessed. Last night was one of those times. It was raining, yes raining(November 22 in northern Wisconsin). Had it been snowing....yeowzer!, we'd have a foot of it on the ground today. Nope, it rained all night. I know because I was up all night hooking like an obsessed mad woman!

This rug was talking to me. The wool was whispering sweet songs of twinkling lights, pine scents and delicious reds and greens. How could I put it down and go to sleep. Just one more loop, one more row of "comforts of joy!".

Every now and then a rug I'm working on will talk to me. When it starts I best not turn a deaf ear. It doesn't happen that often. So I hook. Into the night and wee hours of the morning.

So today I feel like crap.

I'm looking at my little mat today and wanting to pick up the hook again. I want to fill in all the blank areas with red and stand back for a look. Will it talk to me again? Will it say "There ya go crazy woman! Was it worth it? Hooking all night like a nut!." I'll tell ya tomorrow.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

He Hunts, She Hooks.....At least He Brought Home Some Venison!

I'm out in the studio wondering what in the heck I'm doing! I've had this gorgeous wool laying around for some time now and it never seemed to want to be included in any of my hooking projects. I hated to cut it. It has a nice Christmasy look and feel. Well, yesterday it got the better of me so I cut it. I randomly started to hook  to see what it looked like.  I added a bit of the Yellow/Gold wool. So now what? I'm kind of stuck here. Why do I do these things??!! I have a habit of charging ahead without doing the full color planning thing. In this instance I didn't even have much of a design in mind. I only had in mind pulling some loops, to see what happened. Well, it happened. Here it is in all it's loveliness. Waiting to see what it decides to be. What IS the matter with me??!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hearts, Disks, Ramps and Mittens-Or is it Mice and Kittens?

About the time you think all is well and you can carry on life with a little normalcy, the phone rings. On thursday Mom had what we thought was a routine check-up six weeks after her heart valve replacement surgery.  My younger sister and brother were so kind to drive her to her appointment in Marshfield, a two hour drive from here.  I couldn't believe it when my sister phoned to tell me they heard a funny sound near the valve that was replaced.  One Dr. said it sounded like a kitten mewing.  Another Dr. said he thought it sounded more like mice scratching. Mom quipped that since it was a pig valve she had that shouldn't it be oinking they were hearing?! All righty then....... so much for scientific analysis.  Don't get me wrong, Marshfield Hospital is the biggest and best around these parts for heart problems. To shorten this story,  Mom needed to stay overnight for a TEE test the next morning. That's the scope down the throat test for which she needed to be sedated. They admitted Mom to the hospital and it was decided that my sister and brother would come home and the next day my sister and I would return to Marshfield.  To make another long story short, we didn't make it home til Saturday, my Mom's 79th birthday.  What they found was a leakage near where the heart valve was replaced. To make this less complicated I'll just say they decided since she was showing no signs of heart failure or stress like difficulty breathing, swelling etc., they recommended not to repair it.  They felt Mom was still too vulnerable after recent open heart surgery to go through another difficult surgery.  We all felt somewhat relieved at that news but could be a problem in the future.  For now she is feeling fine and seems to improve with each day. She has gone home for a few days.  We hope to find her housing for the winter in an elderly complex near me. Oh yes, we celebrated her birthday on the way home from Marshfield when we pulled over to put fuel in the car.  At a Hardee's fast food joint with good burgers. Mom was delighted. No birthday cake though. I had planned a little get together here last Fri. for her birthday which didn't pan out. We were glad she didn't have to spend the entire day of her birthday in the hospital.

Now the second chapter of the last few days.   You didn't really think that would be the end of it did you!?   Upon my arrival home, my dearest hubby met me at the door with his story.  It seems Smokey, our diabetic dog was acting sick.  We've been watching him the last few days because he was throwing up in the middle of the night but then seemed okay in the daytime.  But right on cue, as soon as I left Thurs.  he  got much worse so Dave took him to the vet.  To make this long story short(this blog would take two days to read otherwise) the vet diagnosed him with a partially ruptured disk on his upper back. With abrupt movements(this dog is usually just one big abrupt movement ) the pain was causing him to throw up and finally just slow down. Not wanting to eat(his biggest pleasure) and wimpering and putting his head down. Totally not Smokey. Doc even said when examining him that no, this wasn't Smokey. Doc had a treatment he wanted to try but since Smokey is diabetic he couldn't use it. The next best thing was Tramadol twice a day.  And to take it easy and no more jumping off the bed!  Upon my arrival home Sat. afternoon, I was led to our bedroom to see the giant plywood and carpeted ramp Dave built beside the bed.  Not exactly a designer's choice when it comes to bedroom decor, but he did make it so I could fold it down.  He even put little wheels on it to make it easier to slide under the bed for storage. What a handy man I have. Also the best when it comes to caring for our two furry boys.


So we are carrying on here.  Taking it one day at a time.  Oh, I finished those hooked mittens!  That was before the phone rang on Thurs.  I actually had a few days to hook!  LOL  What more could I ask for~!~

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 14th~International Diabetes Day

I think I mentioned before that my beloved dog Smokey has diabetes. He gets insulin shots twice daily. This
video is probably geared for humans but I think it is interesting. I didn't know there was an international symbol for diabetes.
Lisa, when you see this......it's dedicated to you.
Please click on the link below to watch the video

Monday, November 9, 2009

Santa Rug on My Selling Blog! It's Really Not Too Early!

I thought I'd make a little announcement that I finally have something for sale on my selling blog. I worked all day on it for just one item. I don't know if this is going to work or not, selling on a blog. I could just put my things on Ebay I guess. The hardest part is getting things ready to sell. I kind of lost my job at the gift shop I used to work at. They had to hire someone else to cover for me when my Mom got sick. I thought rather than try and find another part-time job that pays lousy I'd just try and get some type of business going at home and on the internet. The selling blog is seperate from this one. That way I can keep this one for ranting and rambling and whatever. It's just a beginning.....maybe it will actually be successful. I think anything is possible on this WWW. That is if the power grid doesn't fail..Lol it better not! Click here to go to my selling blog or on the permanent button at the top right of this blog! Thanks to everyone!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Mitten Progress~November In The Northwoods

I made a little more progress on the hooked mittens.  I steam blocked the hooked part and sewed together the wool palms.  The linings are lime green velour. Velour is not the easiest thing to cut and I wouldn't recommend cutting a double thickness of it like I did.  Trying to save time isn't worth it sometimes. Oh well, the linings won't show when they are done!
The weather was absolutely gorgeous around here this weekend.  Not your typical first week in November weather.  In the 60's and sunny, that is until we decided to take a drive to a remote area known as the Blue Hills.  The sun took a dive under the clouds and stayed there all afternoon.  No matter, it didn't spoil the beautiful scenery and quietness of the wilderness.  I'll leave you with some photos of our little jaunt.(and please please click on the photos for the enlarged view!)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hungry Mouths to Feed~A 40 Dollar Skirt!

There sure are a lot of hungry mouths to feed around here lately. Last but not least the big one in the photo above. Every few hours the trip to the basement finds it waiting to devour another chunk of that carefully seasoned firewood Dave so judiciously prepared earlier this fall. With temperatures in the 30's at night already we have gone through a fair amount of our pile usually preserved for the later part of November. With Mother living here we are keeping the house a tad warmer than we would like. I don't like to see her shivering and uncomfortable after her recent heart surgery not even a month ago. Turning up the gas heat would likely be easier but financially a disaster! So it's down the steps to the cast iron beast like a faithful march to the alter of Old Man Winter.

Then there was the 40 dollar skirt. While searching for wool for the background of my hooked mittens, I discovered that my stash is lacking much in the creams, whites, and lights. Anything I've acquired in those shades I've tea dyed and dirtied up because of the primitive hooker I am. I've always considered them to be nasty, not fitting in with the drab, dull colors of the primitive patterns I tend to favor. Not that I don't like color, oh yes I do.......but WHITE......I've only recently started to use it in rugs, and then only for Santa's beard! I found a few little pieces of cream that I decided to use for the background(Gayle you were right, the cream did it for me too) but not enough for both mittens. Then I remembered I had bought a cream wool skirt at a thrift shop a while ago. Upon finding the skirt still in the bag from the store I proceeded to throw it in the washing machine. Whoa!! I hadn't noticed the original price tag still attached when I bought it. The skirt was brand new with the 40.00 price tag and extra button too. A size 10.......MMmmmmm.....Maybe not. Don't think my waist is going there any time soon. What the heck, I only paid 3.50 so throw it in the washer and get it over with. Now I'm wondering if I am the only one who ruthlessly washes beautiful wool clothing to shrink and strip for rugs. I've closed my eyes and plunged gorgeous Pendleton jackets, skirts and pants that cost a pretty penny into the washer and dryer. I must say it has gotten easier over the years and sometimes a downright pleasure when I've scored a particularly beautiful piece of wool for a song!

Here are the mittens in progress. The hooking is complete on the left one. I hope to get the hooking done by this weekend and then try and figure out how to sew these little babies together! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Prevention Tips for H1N1 Flu

Some Good Advice for this time of year..... My sister is a respiratory therapist and sent me this email today. It has some simple things we might not think about doing and could be very helpful.

> Dr. Vinay Goyal is an MBBS,DRM,DNB (Intensivist and Thyroid
> specialist) having clinical experience of over 20 years. He has worked
> in institutions like Hinduja Hospital , Bombay Hospital , Saifee
> Hospital , Tata Memorial etc. Presently, he is heading our Nuclear
> Medicine Department and Thyroid clinic at Riddhivinayak Cardiac and
> Critical Centre, Malad (W).
> The following message given by him.
> ========================
> The only portals of entry are the nostrils and mouth/throat. In
> a global epidemic of this nature, it's almost impossible to avoid coming
> into contact with H1N1 in spite of all precautions. Contact with H1N1 is
> not so much of a problem as proliferation is.
> While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of H1N1
> infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms,
> and development of secondary infections, some very simple steps, not
> fully highlighted in most official communications, can be practiced
> (instead of focusing on how to stock N95 or Tamiflu):
> 1. Frequent hand-washing (well highlighted in all official
> communications).
> 2. "Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to
> touch any part of face (unless you want to eat, bathe or slap).
> 3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you
> don't trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the
> throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms.
> Simple gargling prevents proliferation. In a way, gargling with salt
> water has the same effect on a healthy individual that Tamiflu has on an
> infected one. Don't underestimate this simple, inexpensive and powerful
> preventative method.
> 4. Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every
> day with warm salt water . Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or
> Sutra Neti (very good Yoga asanas to clean nasal cavities), but blowing
> the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds
> dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral
> population.
> Neti pots and sinus rinse kits are available at the drug store
> and relatively inexpensive..under $15.
> 5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in
> Vitamin C (Amla and other citrus fruits). If you have to supplement with
> Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.
> 6. Drink as much of warm liquids (tea, coffee, etc) as you can.
> Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the
> reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat
> into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
> I suggest you pass this on to your entire e-list. You never
> know who might pay attention to it -- and STAY ALIVE because of it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Progress on The Hooked Mittens!~ A Choice to Make

You gals are pretty good guessers!  Gayle and Kim from Cabin Creek Farm guessed mittens and so it is! I bought this kit/pattern from Tish Murphy (Tishkits) Minneapolis, MN.   I don't know if she has a website.  I will do a search later and let you know what I find.  The kit has all the wool and fleece for the mitten linings included. It looks a little tricky to sew them together so we'll see how that goes.
I'm not real crazy about the colors of the background wool that came with the kit. As you can see they are teal and blue. Beautiful colors but I just don't like it with the colors  in the circles.  So.....I am faced with a choice.  What direction do I go with the background here.  I've been holding everthing from black to grey, cream, lime green(the color of the fleece lining), a soft mauve pink.  I've changed my mind at least twenty times already.   I have to decide something pretty soon as I get real impatient to finish something when I finally get  started.  I hook all night sometimes like a crazy woman.  Lately though, with all the care giver duties and stuff going on with my Mom  I have been so dead tired at night I can't stay awake.
We have Dr. appointments this afternoon and I need to grocery shop so I will have to wait to get back out in the studio until later.
Speaking of the studio, Dave and two of our best buds installed electric baseboard heaters out there last weekend.  So far I have been keeping real toasty. We will have to see how well they work when the temperature falls below zero this winter! The pic above is of the fellows, cute as heck don't you think?  Dave is on the left, Dann and Mike (from PA.)  Thanks guys..........
On a side note: Kim from Cabin Creek Farm asked about the little white resin Jol in the photo with my White Jol Hooked Mat.  I bought several of them last year at a country shop we have near here. I have been trying to find the company that makes them online, but no luck yet. They are the best looking little things I've found and use them throughout the house.  If anyone knows the company that makes these let us know. It would be fun to offer them for sale on my selling blog (just a thought).


Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Can Hardly Stand It!~ I'm Hooking Away Again!

I'm so excited! I finally started a new hooking project! Something I've had stashed away for nearly two years now. Any guesses as to what it may be? I'll elaborate tomorrow.
There I go changing the look of my blog again.....Why you ask?   I guess because it's just too fun!  So please bear with me until I find something I think will do......for now.