Learning From Friends

I love learning.

Podcasts in the morning at the gym (today Brain Food by Lisa Mosconi) , or a stack of books from the library.

Recently I had coffee with a friend who shared information about the FODMAP diet, one I had explored but not fully embraced. After living with IBS for years, I finally decided to get on board. Day Three, folks, and it’s a miracle.

That’s not to say this is going to be easy. I LOVE onions and garlic. But if not eating them makes me feel better, then I’m in. Of course, it could be something else– fruit? yeast? chemicals?

I’m doing this step by step to see if I can figure it all out. The thing about gut issues is that it’s complicated. Sometimes stress causes it (I’ve had some of that recently), and sometimes it’s not the gluten in bread but the yeast. Non-yeast sourdough bread is often acceptable for the FODMAP diet. It might be bananas because you eat them ripe. Or even too much of a low fodmap food can mean trouble (ie lentils).

I can’t wait to read Lisa’s book and see how it fits into the FODMAP system. After all, a healthy gut means a healthy brain, too!

 

 

 

Photo credit: Chiot’s Run on Best Running / CC BY-NC

Howling


If you’re like me, you try to hold everything together. Were you raised like I was with the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all?”

I’ve discovered the last few years I need to stop being a stoic. When a friend of mine at camp mentioned her father’s favorite line, I asked if I could print it. The card now sits in one of my wooden stands on my mantel where it reminds me that it’s ok to cry, to be unhappy, or yes, to howl.

Once the emotions pour out, I am a new woman.

Figuring It Out

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Getting a clean print from my Golding Pearl #1 can be challenging. I thought I’d learned her secrets.

But, oh no. Yesterday and today made me scratch my head, take a break, and rethink the problem.

You can see the image on the right is blotchy. I assumed a packing problem, so I spent time changing thin to thick paper under the Tympan, even trying a piece of printer’s blanket I’ve ended up with. Some improvement, but not good enough.

Next, I tried more ink on the disk. Logical, right? Nope, I still couldn’t get a good print. After playing around for several hours, I decided to head home and try again this morning.

The first thing I did was to take the chase out of the press and try inking it by hand on the proof press. Bingo. That told me I wasn’t getting enough ink from the rollers to the type. I’ve had to remove and add tape to the rails many times, but this time I took it down to nearly nothing and printed. With the rollers getting closer to the type, it worked!

Why my other  metal type didn’t need so much tape removed is a mystery, unless– this type is fat, and the wide letters don’t print as well on my press? I’ve been using much thinner, lighter type recently, and I think that’s the difference.

The print still isn’t as clean as I’d like. My sweet little press isn’t great for getting solid prints from wood cuts, either, though. To get this ornament to print, I had to put the chase back in the proof press and print it separately. Plus the uneven texture of the print indicates my platen may need adjusting again. I haven’t had to do that for over a year, but I’ll consider that soon.

When I first brought her home, I struggled to get any good prints. A friend then told me to relax, that it would take a year at least for me to get to know her. Ha, he was right! I do love the problem-solving. And I’m also ready for a bigger press. I guess I’d better get ready for more of that :)

And people wonder why I only print a handful at a time…

Pushing On

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.

Marissa Mayer

I am not sure I always did this. But at some point in my life, I wanted to figure things out. Printer broken? Take it apart. Need a room networked? Run the cables.
So I am trying to do this with my printing as well. But, wow, does it take time. There are so many variables that can go wrong- ink, lock up, type, pressure, humidity in the air. Each time I get ready to print, I check the packing, the placement of the base or the type, and even the different paper styles I use.

People wonder why I even bother to do this. “You can print whatever you want digitally now,” they say. “This looks like too much work.”

Yes, but it’s fun work. It’s the figuring it out that I love. And when I get a print that is nearly perfect (because nothing in letterpress is perfect), I smile with satisfaction.

Problem Solving

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The images are terrible, but I’m excited about the progress. Photo 1, no packing. Photo 2, heavy packing on the first line, Photo 3, light packing on the first line, Photo 4, light packing on the top line and two runs through the press.

It’s not perfect, but we’re getting there.

“Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” 
― F. Scott Fitzgerald