coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Saturday morning coffee pot post

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Cloud porn.

This week was not so bad, but it felt very, very long. The weather is hot and humid, like it is so many places in the world, but it is not as hot here as it is in the north, where people aren’t prepared for it like we are in North Carolina. I will rue the day that we ever have to give up air conditioning. My philosophy about the climate crisis is that of the Deep Adaptation folks…it’s here and irreversible and the best we can do is to make humanity’s descent into oblivion kinder and gentler and less painful for us all.

I’m also making a huge effort to forgive myself when I do not do all the “right” things as an environmentalist. Right now I have to deal with our physical limitations and health with the tools that I have at the moment.

We have figs, and I should be out back picking them right now, but the weeds and invasive plants are so tall around that tree that I dread stirring up the mosquitoes. At some point I’ll throw on some long sleeves and pants and tackle it. We also have peppers in my container garden. Not enough to have leftovers to freeze, but enough for us to enjoy with meals.

We shopped at Trader Joe’s last weekend and I bought plenty of food that was either already seasoned and prepared or cut up to be plopped into a stirfry or a baking sheet to roast. So I’ve been able to cook some healthy meals this week without a lot of standing at the stove or counter. I’m making more of an effort now to cut back on meat, mainly because I really do like eating vegetarian and so there’s no reason not to if I don’t have to chop vegetables.

When I went to my gynecologist on Monday, a long delayed visit, I had my tits squeezed in a vise and my cervix scraped and my bones scanned. I had lost some weight, not a huge amount but made it to a manageable weight that puts me under the obesity line on the BMI. I’m almost the same height, and I have osteopenia in my hips, which is no surprise – that’s been developing for decades. He said that my spine was actually a bit better, which I ascribe to the extra calcium, fish oil, and Vitamin D that I’ve been taking for the last two years.

On the art front, not much this week. I can’t even weave the hem on the tapestry for very long. Sitting and leaning forward aggravates my back, and standing aggravates my feet. So a slow process is much slower. However, if I keep plugging away a little at a time, it should be finished long before my deadline to send it to the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit scheduled at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville in January. As part of this exhibit, I am also weaving a postcard sized tapestry to be part of a collaboration. Each weaver is weaving a letter in the phrase “Follow the thread.” I’m weaving an O, and I made the design for it this week. Because I can weave this on one of my small looms, I should be able to do it sitting and without pain.

I rejoined the Print Co-op at the City Arts Center. I figure that as long as the temperature is managed in that room, paying $40 a month is worth it to have a large work table in a room without distractions. I’ll take my collage and bookbinding work back to there. If it gets roasting hot again, I’ll leave again.

I finished “The Grove of Eagles,” which I thought was great. Winston Graham knows how to write characters with complex desires and vices and virtues and still make the reader feel compassion for them. I started re-reading “The Shipping News,” which so far is every bit as wonderful as it was the first time when I discovered Annie Proulx’s amazing use of similes and names.

At work I am resisting the calls to go to in-person meetings. Too many people are not wearing masks, and unless they say that masks are required, I have to protect myself. Our department is still smart about it. Other administrative departments say that “we are trying to get back to normal” or nothing at all when I ask if they will have Zoom available. This boggles my mind since Covid cases are on the rise at almost certainly a higher number than reported because many people with mild cases are self testing. Another tic in the “yes” column for early retirement – the refusal of our leadership to protect its employees.

I plan to head down to Lake Waccamaw again for a weekend about two weeks from now. It will be nice, even if it is hot, to look out on the lake and see my family. Another reason I am very, very careful about masking and not being in maskless crowds indoors. It would be wonderful if this pandemic was over, but to behave as if it is not is reckless and encourages variants to develop even if it is treatable now.

agoraphobia, coffee pot posts, Reading, whining

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Really, really trying to stay positive. I was in a great mood on Tuesday. I resolved (knocking wood) a sticky problem at work that took WAY too many emails to too many people. My foot finally felt better and I walked home from work, which felt great despite the stifling heat and humidity. Sandy fixed the leak in the kitchen sink, which required breaking off a part that had been glued on, and so I was extremely wary of this effort. The number of ants still appearing are down to less than 10 a day, when they were swarming the kitchen a week ago.

I am working on NOT retreating to my bedroom when I get home from work. This is part of my agoraphobic tendencies and it is a very hard habit to break. My bedroom is my little nest of comfort and safety from the room. But I have been well aware that spending so much time in bed reading and online, even propped up sitting, has been a big factor in my sleep issues. It is difficult, but I’m making my own little “spot” in the living room and bringing my books and Kindle and laptop there.

Today we are going to the paperback book sale at St. Francis Episcopal Church which is always great. Not that I need more books, but it looks like we probably won’t move anyway. Tomorrow I’ll go do some art playtime with friends. I wanted to do a serious deep clean of our kitchen and my bedroom, but it looks like that is not going to happen.

“The Grove of Eagles” by Winston Graham is really great and if you liked the Poldark books you would enjoy this too. I am even enjoying the long descriptions of a sea battle and attack on Cadiz, Spain. We are still watching “The Last Kingdom” together and I am still watching “Mom” and now the latest version of “The Kids in the Hall.”

Sandy started going back to his water exercise classes early in the morning at the aquatic center, so he’s been giving me rides to work and home when I need it. And I’ve needed it. Not only has the steroid shot worn off on my right ankle, my LEFT ankle and foot is now painful. Thursday night I was awakened by what felt like a yellowjacket sting between my ankle and my heel, and it continued to sting me at intervals of about 70 seconds for an hour. When I realized that it was not going to stop, I got up, took a meloxicam, wrapped it in a soft brace, and iced it.  The meloxicam does not last 24 hours.

So now I’m hobbling on both feet, and I switched back to my worn out Brooks sneakers (in case the pain is due to the new Merrill Moab2s, which I don’t believe is the case). I made an appointment with my podiatrist two weeks from now. I think it is my very high arches, since I stopped wearing uncomfortable shoes with no support many years ago. I do love to go barefoot, and this is also a very hard transition to make as far as being at home. I’m doing the best I can to wear shoes inside, except for getting up in the night to go to the bathroom or for other reasons. One of the things I plan to do today is visit The Shoe Market where they have an employee who makes custom orthotic inserts.

I’m beginning to understand the dilemmas that disabled people face. Being overweight has a huge impact on your body, but when your body is in pain, it is nearly impossible to get the exercise that will help you lose weight or at least not to gain weight. If you don’t look disabled to the rest of society, they are going to judge you for being overweight and suggest that you go for a walk or to the gym. If you’re depressed, as many disabled people are, you don’t have the motivation to exercise anyway, and exercise is proven to help depression. It’s a tough spiral.

I’m doing chair yoga exercises and that is about as far as I can go.

Since I’ve walk to work since 2004, I may have to buy a parking permit now and get a handicapped placard for my mirror. And here’s my other complaint and then I’ll stop. I’ve long thought that it is a slap in the face to charge exorbitant parking rates for employees to park on UNCG’s own parking lots. It would do a lot for employee morale to provide free parking at UNCG, yet when it is brought up all you hear is excuses why it can’t be done. It can be done. They just don’t want to lose the revenue. Before this job, I never had to pay for parking at my own job. It’s ridiculous. People are leaving in droves and they better come up with some reasons for their employees to stay because it’s about to get bad.

Now, onward. The new academic year begins soon, and I will be training my successor, because I can’t see that the advantage in waiting to retire is that great. I’ll get 91% of my pension and the same deal on my medical insurance. I’ll try to wait to take my Social Security for as long as I can, but I’ll be eligible to take it early if I need to. Next year at this time, I’ll be retired and looking for either a part time or temp job or recovering from foot surgery or in an artist residency or looking for something else to fill my days. It will be an exciting transition, but I hope not TOO exciting if you know what I mean.

Oregon, Portland, Reading

Portland, July 18, 2022

On our last day and night in Portland, we moved over to McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel in downtown Portland, just a block away from Powell’s City of Books.  We Ubered over for the second time with a driver with a Tesla…that was fun! It was a beautiful car and the window on top went all the way back.

If you’ve followed me very long, you know that the Crystal is one of my favorite places. We dropped off our luggage at 11:30 a.m. and spent the next three and a half hours at Powell’s. How I would love to work there, but I’d probably spend more than I made. We did not check luggage on this trip so I had to keep my book buying impulses under control.

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I’ve been trying to purge my book collection, but the urge to collect books by certain authors is still very strong. One of my holy grails has been a hard cover copy of The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, so I went straight to those shelves. Yes, they had it! It’s been so long since I read it it will be like reading it for the first time again. They had another hard cover of hers that I don’t have, but I was good and didn’t buy it.

The other three, well, come on.  Textile Landscape had been on my list a while since I love Cas Holmes, so I bought it new. Plus I just adore the feel of a Batsford book. At least there was no shipping or sales tax! Mixed Media Books by Gabe Cyr has interesting ideas about what a book is and can be. Lark Books never let me down – there was a time when any book they published would tempt me, no matter what the subject. I’m sad that they’re out of business.  Metal Craft Discovery Workshop is a basic metal working book by Linda and Opie O’Brien, and since I’ve been playing more and more with metal and adhering things to metal, it will be useful.

We walked back to The Crystal and checked in to our rooms. I got the Lionel Hampton room, which delighted me because I used to play mallet percussion in our high school band.

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We ate lasagna for dinner at the Zeus Cafe outside where the street has been blocked off. Then we changed into swimsuits and enjoyed the salt water soaking pool in the basement, then we slept well and the next day, we were flying home.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2bTJwEcJBc]
Oregon, Portland

Portland, July 17, 2022

After a leisurely Sunday morning, we took an Uber to Cargo, a fun import store on Yamhill St. Cargo has a mix of antiques, gifty stuff, art supplies, clothing, and Japanese food. Right after I discovered this cabinet of old Japanese books and papers, I had to sit down. I was blown away. We decided to go get lunch and come back.

Around the block was a highly rated restaurant named Shalom Y’all. I was intrigued with how they might combine Mediterranean and U.S. Southern cuisine, but that wasn’t the deal at all. We ordered takeout and it was brought to us at a covered picnic table on the street. It was one of the best meals we had, and it was vegetarian. Roasted beet tahina spread, hot puffy pita bread, fried cauliflower atop a salad with hazelnuts, olives, and fresh mint tea. If I ever go back, I will definitely go here again.

I realized the potential for me to go completely nuts over these Japanese papers so I limited myself to a $30 budget. I picked out three small books, and two of them had bookworm holes and tunnels, which made me ecstatically happy. The holes in the accordion book looked like snowflake or paper doll cutting. The open book on the right bottom is full of illustrations and maps on very thin paper with lots of fold-outs.

We noshed on the leftover olives and Japanese snacks with ciders in the side garden that afternoon, then wandered back over to Mississippi Ave. to figure out where to eat our last meal in that area, since we’d be leaving for the Crystal Hotel across the river in the morning. During our wandering, we happened on Mama & Hapa’s Zero Waste Shop. I am fascinated with the idea of zero waste, although I’ve given up on the effort to achieve it personally. Our local food coop is working toward the goal of bulk bins with zero waste. Anyway, I could not leave without buying something so I bought this dental floss and two refills.

Dinner that night was inside for a change, but we felt safe enough. We had a small pizza and a green risotto at Lovely Fifty Fifty and I swear to you, the vegetarian food last few days in Portland made me seriously consider going pescetarian. I won’t give up seafood until it is unavailable to me but I could eat a lot more vegetables and be happy. Then we decided to share one scoop of salted caramel ice cream, and that scoop was grand. I wish I could remember what was in the risotto. Basil and umami, for sure.

art, Oregon, Portland

Portland, July 16, 2022

After we arrived in Portland, Susan and I decided to see if there were spaces available in Jill Berry’s Layers and Lines workshop at her studio there. We didn’t expect there to be, since there was a limit of 6, but there were! So on Saturday morning, we got a Blue Star Donut and then called an Uber to take us to Jill’s house.

I had taken a very satisfying three day workshop with Jill at FOBA in 2015, so this made up a little for missing out on our art retreat.

One other student joined us, and we had a lot of fun playing with mark-making and Golden acrylic paints. Jill mixed the heavy body Golden acrylics with methylcellulose to use on Arches text wove paper. This mixture made the paint bond with the paper fibers better, allowing many layers to be painted and best of all, it dried fast without stickiness!

Jill’s renovated house and gardens were filled with artwork, flowers, herbs, vegetables, recycled materials, great style, and a cute little dog named Poppy. She served us a delicious salad with bread, cheese, cookies, and fresh fruit.

Okay, here are the photos of the workshop, then my finished papers.

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Here are most of my finished papers. We did three other exercises as well.

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The one on the left was stamped with silk flowers and leaves in my gloved hand (until I absentmindedly removed my glove and then got acrylic paint all over my hand). The one on the right had salt sprinkled on it and brushed off.

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The one on the left had my original marks in black gesso. The one on the right was a ghost print of the one on the left. Then the paints were added.

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My intention for all of these are for collage and book covers and pages, but Sandy wants me to frame the one above. I don’t know. We have a whole stack of artwork on a chair that we need to find places on a wall to hang.

Jill graciously drove us back “home” and we got take out sushi from a place a few blocks away, ate it in the garden, and called it a good day.

coffee pot posts, depression/anxiety

Sunday sweep

Just a quick update to say that my migraines are gone and my ankle is much better, although I am still babying it today. The ant situation is much, much better now too. Only a few confused ones are still showing up for dinner, and finding Terro on the plate.

Watched the first episode of Ted Lasso last night, and I can see why everyone likes it. T-Mobile gave us a year of Apple TV free and we had yet to use it.

Other than weaving a bit of the hem on Cathedral, doing laundry, and making a pitcher of peach tea with honey and mint, I’ve been extremely lazy and I’m fine with that. My mental health is stabilizing and I’m able to focus on reading and watching TV for a longer period of time. I’m finally beginning to accept that we probably won’t move out of the country. Note the word “probably” and not “definitely” though! This was a difficult thing to let go, since I had become obsessed with the idea.

My therapist floated the idea that I may be ADD, and as crazy and surprising as that sounded at first, I sort of see her point now.

I hope to go down to Lake Waccamaw for a long weekend next month or in September, and I signed up for a workshop with Leslie Marsh in late October at her studio in Topsail Beach, but that is the only travel on my agenda right now, and it’s all in-state.

Oregon, Portland

Portland, July 15, 2022

Do forgive me, because I know how much I preach about consumerism and slow living, but I went a little crazy shopping in Portland. I did, however, manage with difficulty to refrain from buying the black truffle salt and bergamot bitters at The Meadow, although I bought a packet of hot dark chocolate mix that made our following mornings with coffee special. Photos are of a few shelves in the shop. There were tasters for the bitters and I have to say that I was very, very tempted.

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We started the morning at Blue Star Donuts, and hobbled our way up and down Mississippi Avenue for a few blocks in each direction. The Meadow was the first stop. We drifted through GiftyKitty which was as cute as and a bit more artsy and twisted than the name implies. At PDXchange, we both bought rings and I bought this absolutely awesome coffee mug, even though I had sworn a solemn oath not to buy any more coffee mugs. I had planned to buy a new ring in Portugal and didn’t, so that was my excuse to buy this beautiful silver labradorite ring.

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A few doors down, Flutter was aptly named because its mix of new and vintage definitely made my heart twitch. I was very good here, only buying a long length of lace from a $10 basket, a little of it shown here hanging down around the light bulbs that I bought at Sunlan the day before. Susan was also very good, because she really really really wanted this parasol, and it was SO SUSAN, but she left it behind. It was awesome inside and out.

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We then hit Rock Paper Scissors, a stationery and card shop with some art supplies, and Susan bought a few pencils and I bought a couple of felt pens and a few sheets of printed lokta paper.

At this point, we were D.O.N.E. So we ate a margerhita pizza at Tartuca at a streetside table. Nearly everywhere we ate had outdoor seating, extremely helpful when a particularly contagious Covid strain is making the rounds. This was one of several vegetarian meals that were amazing.

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We collapsed for several hours and then walked up N. Williams Ave. in search of banh mi. The restaurant that we were looking for didn’t sell banh mi anymore, so we kept walking and discovered Dick’s Primal Burger, and Susan ordered a wild boar burger and mine was venison, goat cheese, and mushrooms. It was the best burger I have ever eaten.

The next day we would be getting our art on at a day workshop in Jill Berry’s studio.

coffee pot posts, Reading

Saturday afternoon coffee pot post

Finished off the coffee, though.

Today will probably be a wash. My bone spur is punishing me now and I’ve had cluster migraines since I got back from Portland. I feel sure that it is weather-related because I didn’t have a single headache that I remember in Oregon. Yesterday I had an ocular migraine which doesn’t happen often. It’s so weird and hard to describe. Sort of like I’m looking into a pool of water that is being stirred, but no pain. Thankfully, it was short and the headaches don’t last more than a couple of hours, generally.

Anyway, I’d planned on getting a lot of house cleaning done this weekend, but now I know that I’ve got to rest this angry ankle. It is in the high 90s today so I have an excuse to stay inside, at least. Sandy just went out to get us lunch and a few basic groceries because not only is there not much food in the house, we’ve had a major invasion of ants, the worst I’ve ever seen. So I have little squares of Terro set around the kitchen where the cats can’t get to it, and the bread will have to go into the fridge when he gets back. The cats are being kept off the front porch because they freak out if the door is closed, and we need to keep the house cool. I am so grateful for air conditioning and count my blessings in that respect.

I can sit down to weave the hem on the Cathedral tapestry, so I’ll work on that this weekend. Maybe I’ll have a cutoff party when the time comes. At the very least I will have Sandy video it. I’ve also joined a collaborative postcard tapestry project with Tapestry Weavers South in which we each weave a 4×6 inch tapestry with a letter on it. The tapestries all together will spell “Follow the Thread,” which is the name of our exhibition at the Folk Art Center next year. I chose the letter O. I was awake several hours last night because I could not turn my brain off with ideas for this! I need to sit down with pencil and paint and do some sketches.

We have been watching “The Last Kingdom,” which is a lot of fun, not least because at some point in exploring my family tree on familysearch.org I have found both Uhtred the Bold and Alfred the Great as ancestors. Now, I do take all this with a grain of salt, but it is exciting to find famous people in my tree, whether the research is correct or not! From what I understand, the Mormons are pretty good at genealogy though.

Not only that, but I’m reading “The Grove of Eagles” by Winston Graham (author of the Poldark books) and it turns out that my direct relatives the Arundells are characters in it. It could be the most boring book in the world and I wouldn’t know it because I keep stopping to look up a character in my family tree.

That’s the news from Greensboro, and I’ll get back to blogging my Portland trip, which was so much fun and exactly what I needed, despite what my foot says.

Go west, Oregon, Portland

Portland, Oregon: July 13-14, 2022

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Focus on Book Arts was canceled in May. I cried. It was probably the last time I would have gone, since I’m planning to retire within the next year. I suspect it was probably because they raised the prices of the classes so much, but my guess is that they raised prices because they had no choice. They weren’t trying to make a profit. Regardless of the reason, they canceled it for low enrollment.

Not only that, but I chose to attend Focus on Book Arts instead of Convergence in Knoxville, Tennessee, which my tapestry guild was heavily involved in and it was a driveable distance away. Not to mention the art retreat in Ireland that I had laid down a deposit for in 2020, but I would not have been able to do Portugal and Ireland in one year anyway. All scheduled at the same time this year.

The three of us, although we bought travel insurance, had non-refundable plane tickets. Travel insurance didn’t cover the cancellation of an event. One of us was able to get a travel credit to use in the next six months, which was good because she unexpectedly got a new job. The other two musketeers, Susan and I, went to Portland anyway. We had the refund from FOBA and we used it to rent an AirBNB in Portland and have a good time.

The plane trip went incredibly smoothly. I guess I used up all my bad luck on the Portugal plane trip. On the flight between Chicago and Portland, we got lucky and sat next to a woman whose job was to transport puppies from the seller to the owner. That’s how we got to cuddle with Miss Bonnie as we flew west. She was so soft and so gentle and quiet…and didn’t pee on us once!

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^^^Miss Bonnie sleeping on Susan’s heart.

We rode the Metro and a bus most of the way to our AirBNB, which was between Mississippi Avenue and Williams Avenue in NE Portland, within a short walking distance of both streets with their restaurants and shops and the bus stop. Our place was in the basement of a Craftsman bungalow, cute but so, so cold. We closed the vents and made the best of it. We spent time in a sweet little garden on the side of the house, because the weather was absolutely gorgeous the entire time we were there.

Susan and I were both mobility challenged. She has a partial knee replacement coming up and I have my bone spur pressing against my Achilles tendon. We took a lot of breaks from walking but we did fairly well, considering. We ate out for every meal. On the first evening, we ate fish tacos at a bar called The Rambler, and drank local ciders and ales. They asked to see our vaccination cards before we could sit at the bar inside. Luckily I had taken a photo of mine and had it on my phone, because it wasn’t the only place in Portland that required proof of vaccination. Then we went “home” and crashed. We were still on East Coast time.

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The next morning we went to Gravy for breakfast and I was surprised that it was not crowded and we were able to get a table right away. Susan got a fried egg sandwich and I got smoked salmon hash and eggs and hashbrowns, not knowing that I would be served about five pounds of food. The waitress brought us a takeout box so for some reason I thought it was a good idea to take the leftovers back. The leftover salmon hash in the fridge became a running joke until I tossed it in the compost bin (as instructed!) on the day we left.

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^^^The infamous smoked salmon hash.

On our way back, we stopped at a very unusual light bulb and lighting store, Sunlan. I picked up a couple of very cool light bulbs for my antique floor lamp.

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Then we walked to the bus stop and took the Metro to Washington Park, where we got on the park shuttle to visit the International Rose Test Garden and the Portland Japanese Gardens.

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This was my third time at the Portland Japanese Gardens so I tried to focus on being in the moment instead of taking lots of photos. If you want to see past photos of the gardens, I blogged them here and here. I also looked up a lot this time at the reflections of light through leaves as well as the shadows on the ground. My favorite photo this time was of the shadows that the water bugs cast on the bottom of the pools as they walked on the surface.

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We had tea and appetizers at the Umami Cafe. This fruit and nut cake was so delicious!

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After a break at “home” we went to a Thai place on Mississippi Avenue, split a bottle of vinho verde, and ate more appetizers. A little bit of Portugal on the U.S. West Coast. We bought a few non-alcoholic drinks and a 12-pack of assorted ciders to have during our stay at “home.” That night we sat out in the side garden, told stories of our lives from way back when, and laughed a whole lot.

That’s the first two days of our trip!

art, coffee pot posts, critters, dyeing, Nature printing, tapestry, weaving

Sunday Rainy Morning Coffee Pot Post

While Portugal and other places in the world burns, we have a sweet reprieve from the oppressive heat since a cold front with rain came through last night. Diego and I are sitting on the front porch. The rain is pattering and gurgling, wind is wafting, a cardinal is chirping, and a train horn is blowing. Now a mockingbird sings. We have many mockingbirds in the area.

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This weekend so far I have not left the house except to pick a couple of hot peppers for our chili last night. An ancho and a poblano. They didn’t seem so hot after I did a test nibble, but after I minced and seeded them, soap and water did not clean my hands and I wiped my itchy face with my hand. I remembered a tip from my sister and dabbed some sour cream on the stinging areas. (Cream cheese works too.) It worked and the chili turned out perfect.

I’ve been concentrating on finishing “Cathedral.” I know that I have been saying that for years. But I actually have the top edge of the left side finished and it’s a matter of weaving up the right side and middle to match it, then weaving a hem. When it is cut off, I’ll ask Sandy to make a video. Standing at this loom is not good for my body and I will probably sell the Shannock loom when I finish Cathedral. I have many looms to choose from, mostly small tapestry looms. I have reworked the section on the right of the top photo several times. It is time to let it go now. I’m content with it.

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Last weekend I needed to do something that was easy on the brain and would give me a dopamine hit, so Susanne and I did a couple of natural dye pots and rolled up paper with various leaves on copper pipes to make prints. This time we dipped the paper in an alum/water solution first. I experimented with three different papers and I had no expectations. We didn’t have much in this particular dyepot other than some rusty iron bits and a few old pecans with hulls that I found. It was also still dirty from the same time I used it. Susanne also did a dyepot with avocado pits but I haven’t seen her results from that one.

The first papers were Susanne’s handmade “dream” paper, speckled with herbs. It didn’t hold the leaf prints as well but I think that the yarrow leaves that I put in one of the bundles dyed everything a brilliant yellow. The texture is very nice.20220709_114441

The second paper bundle was a thin commercial paper that may have been too delicate for the dyepot, but I was experimenting. I did get prints and one section near the top of the bundle that was torn is so pretty that I’ll do something with it. This paper will be good for collage.

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The last set of papers just floored me. I was so pleased and surprised when they came off the pipe bundle. These were heavy cream colored watercolor papers that I had torn down to make book signatures with. They turned out so beautiful and vibrant that they will have to go on covers, I think.

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Leaves used were sweet gum (called liquidambar in the rest of the world, I think), black walnut, pecan, redbud, oak, willow oak, swamp bay, and the black/purple areas were from dried petals of black hollyhock flowers. I grew one several years ago and it didn’t do well, but I dried and saved the petals. There are a few strawberry and rose leaves in there too.

People always ask about the lines. Those are the string marks from tying the paper bundle tightly. It is on the outside of the bundle so that part picks up the dye in the dyepot – in this case, the iron bits and probably residue from the last time I dyed with black walnuts.