Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fiber friends

If I've learned nothing else during these years of weaving, spinning, and knitting...I've learned that people who work with fiber are *the* nicest people I've ever met.  There's a bond between us that's always there...whether it's in the forefront or the background.  Like waiting in an airport, working on your knitting...and suddenly the person across the way mentions that she's a knitter, or her mother or grandmother knits.  Before you know it, you're off in a conversation that makes you feel as if this person has been your friend for some time.  I just love when this happens.

Likewise, in harder times, we're there for each other...I've seen it time and time again...and this is what I'm writing to you about today.  My dear friend Sandy Ryan, who owns Homestead Wool and Gift Farm, has been hit by the horrible floods that have been plaguing the midwest this last week.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Homestead, it is a no-kill farm owned by Jim and Sandy Ryan in Monroe, Wisconsin.  Along with their son Ross, they provide a safe environment for injured or otherwise non-marketable farm animals to come and live out their lives with lots of love and respect.  The Ryans neither kill, breed, or eat their animals.  Read more about them  in Lexi Boeger's new book, coming out later this fall.

I have been worried all week about Sandy and not until this morning did I get the news that the floodsSteubenwi
actually tore away the foundation of their historic farm house.  She told me she will never ever forget the sound of the two foot thick stone foundation of their basement just ripping apart.  They are among the fortunate, if you can decide who is and who isn't...their home can be saved and will be put up on blocks until a new basement and foundation can be built.

Until then, Sandy is her usual happy, optimistic self.  They are being cared for by the Red Cross and some wonderful neighbors, who are providing water for the animals (all of whom are safe, by the way).  They are able to camp out with the aid of one power cord fromCarinflood
another nearby building.  She told me that FEMA is in the area, there will be help eventually, and their wonderful families are stepping up to the plate to help.  She hopes that after the house is stable on the blocks this coming week, they'll be able to move back in (so long as they don't do jumping jacks!) and she's anxious to get back to her business.

And that's where we come in.

I'd like to ask all of you to consider helping Sandy in some way.  For those of you who already know her, you know that this is a woman who is always the *first* one at the plate to help others but would never ever ever let us know she could use some help herself. While she's painting a rosy picture in her e-mail, I can well guess she had losses she's not telling me about and could use some help in getting her business back on track.   Here are some ideas I have for us to help:

  • If you're a fiber person or hand spun yarn shopper, visit her site and start buying things to support her business (please remember to leave a little bit for me!).  She also sells lots of knitted items for almost nothing...knitted out of hand now for holiday presents!

  • If you know Sandy already, and don't need more fiber right now, drop her a check (you probably already have her address).

  • If you don't know Sandy but want to show a sign of support for a fellow fiber artist, drop a check in the mail in any amount you can spare:  please make your check out to Sandy Ryan and mail it to Taos Sunflower, P.O. Box 506, Arroyo Seco, NM 87514.  I'll see to it Sandy gets all your checks and cards and notes of support.

I've taken the liberty of sharing some photographs I found on the news wires to illustrate the gravity of this situation.  These are photos  taken in Wisconsin, just one of many areas severely impacted by  the storm.  I've spent the last two weeks crabbing about how hot it's been here in Taos...shame on me, when there are people with real problems.  ---Martie

PS:  As Holly EQQ says on her blog, Sandy's server is having problems, so you may not be able to access Homestead's website just yet...but keep trying.  Despite all that's going on, she's hoping to do a fiber update just can't keep that girl down!


Bennie said...

looks like time for more fiber!!...i love sandy's woolies...i am so glad she is alright and the 4 leggers are good also...i am sure it is a lot worse then she is letting probably has not hit her yet....thanks for letting us, bennie (pennylane)

Martie said...

Thanks, Bennie. It's hard to know Sandy and not want to help!

Mandie said...

It's a great relief to know that Sandy, Jim, Ross and all their animal friends are safe.
I'm off to spread the word and shop, there's no such thing as too much fibre!
Thanks for posting Martie - I was feeling very useless so faraway.

Martie said...

Hi Mandie: I feel useless, too, what better to do than buy more fibers? :0)

Linda said...

hi Martie
Thanks so much saw Holly's post and right away posted a note on my blog too tried to get on her site and no go yet?? hasn't worked since last nite so hope they get it fixed or send the $$ to you hope you don't mind me putting your link and all on my blog??? if you do please let me know ok!!! but hope it's alright and happy I found your blog and will add it to mine right away too if that is fine??? will actually add your main link/shop etc!! anyway love Sandy dearly and was so worried about her and had no idea till she emailed me once she got online!!! so scary!!! we had the flooding but all around us but we were spared!!!!! so fortunate really because south and west of us were under water and have just begun to dig out!! anyway thanks let me know if any more I can do!!!! have a bit of tough time with my $$ right now because of work long story but not for here!! anyway will watch when the site is up and will get fiber because always can use that!! but not till paid next time anyway you understand I hope!! thanks!! big giant hugs Linda

Martie said...

Linda...hi! I think whatever each of us can do is wonderful...whether it's purchasing something when Sandy's site gets up again, making a donation of money, or good thoughts, or sending them our love. Glad you were safe from the floods...good to hear from you, and thanks for getting it out on your blog as well.

HollyEQQ said...

Hey Martie!
She is back up... am off to do a bit of retail therapy (or fiber therapy, whichever you prefer!).

Martie said...

Dang! I slept in! Hope there's something left! XOXO

Linda said...

Thanks Martie and will have to check out the site too now!! working and so tired and very little time when get home before I poop out! so off I go! thanks!1 Hugs Linda