Just Chillin in Basketland
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Monday, January 29, 2018
By Handmade North Carolina Baskets
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First or all, please let me thank everyone who has been kind enough to send well wishes, prayers, cookies, books, candy, balloons, cards, pound cakes, soup, home-made pot pies, Home Chef meal boxes, T-shirts, Books-on-Tape, etc.  Everything is very much appreciated, believe me.  It is very humbling to know that there are so many people our there rooting for you.  The recuperation is coming along pretty well.  They are increasing my physical therapy to twice a week, and are beginning the major push to get my knees bending as far as 90 degrees.  After that, the priorities are: Full mobility past 150-160 degrees! (ouch!), Strength, Stamina and Stability. We are walking outdoors every day when it is clear and dry, so I am beginning to throw off the cabin fever and claustrophobia that comes from being cooped up and not being able to move around normally.  Like I said before, I am amazed that someone sneaked into our neighborhood and increased the grade of our streets while I have been stuck in the house.  I am still in an elevated chair, I'm stuck on the first floor of the house, still using a cane, etc. but our spirits are good and we are very much looking forward to getting fully back to a normal life, doing normal stuff, going to wherever we want and doing whatever we want.  We still have a long row to hoe, but we are getting there. On the positive side, however, all this free time has allowed us time to brush up on our bread-making skills.  So far, I have knocked out rustic artisan bread, French bread, date-nut bread, sandwich bread and German ground-beef-and-cabbage-stuffed Bierocks. Joni has made some yummy sour dough rolls.  So, you see, the exercise is far more important than for just my knees!  

Several more basket folks have stopped by: Billy Owens on his way to Guilders Weave, Sandy & Al Budnick from Aiken to Cary, NC, and Cathy Rumble came by last week to work on her Daughter's cradle with Joni. The cradle is needed by late Spring and we are hoping that our son, Craig, will be able to help us build the cradle stand!  

Basketing goes on.  Joni has been taking the opportunity to finish up some basket projects that had been hanging around.  Take a look at the pictures for visual details.  She has finished weaving her bicycle handlebar Nantucket, and just needs to finish the rim.  She also has finished weaving a large Nantucket Fishing Creel.  This will be an actual fishing creel, and will sport a newly designed, partly-woven inset lid that we have been planning to make.  The big project at the moment is a 16" tall Oval Nantucket that Joni plans to pimp-out with a lid, double handles and "a lot of scrims".

As I am writing this blog, the 2018 Basket Weaving Cruise is in progress, and the weavers should be spending a relaxing day in St. Johns, Antigua right about now.  We were looking forward to the 2018 Cruise, particularly since it featured several ports-of-call that we had never been to. We look forward to hearing about it and to see photographs from the cruisers.  As noted before, Trisha Brown and her Mom are teaching the classes Joni originally had been set to teach.  Thanks to you two!  Also, we will miss seeing Tonya Cubeta (Melbourne) and Sharron Biardi (Ocala) and their gangs, the other two events we had to cancel in February.  We had very much looked forward to those two groups as well, and hope we will be invited back in the future.

One other event I'd like to mention will take place in California in 2019.  Joni has been invited to teach at the Conference of the Northern California Hand Weavers in June 2019.  This will be the week after Jabez.  Joni taught once before in California, down near Los Angeles.  Many of you know that we lived in CA for a couple of years back in the late eighties shortly after I was out of graduate school.  While I have traveled frequently to CA in my career, this will be one of the few times Joni has been back since then.  We plan to take the camper and make a leisurely return home, seeing the sights.

I think that is all for this time.  Remember, it is truly a beautiful day, don't let is slip away.....Dave Ross, Summerfield, NC

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