Lisboa, Getting there and Day One

We are halfway through day two. Yesterday we arrived late in the morning and took a long nap in the afternoon. Right now we are taking a break. It is 1 pm and it is hot. I think this is probably how our days will go. I will edit these posts later, most likely.

Saturday: A fairly turbulent evening delayed flight from Raleigh Durham airport made our connection from Baltimore to Boston skintight. We have also had the luck that in every single airport we have gotten out at the farthest gate from whatever gate we arrived at. We spent the night in a Ramada in Dorchester, just south of Boston, and that’s all we had time to see. We slept late and spent most of the afternoon in Boston Logan. Once the Aer Lingus check-in opened our experience was streamlined and the flight to Dublin was good. The plane was not full at all so we were able to spread out and have some room around us to sleep. Unlike the US flight, Aer Lingus required masks.

Dublin to Lisbon early yesterday was on a smaller plane and when we disembarked there was a very long walk through the airport, first through a Covid documentation check. Fortunately our negative PCR results came through on Saturday night, so I downloaded them to my phone and showed her those and our vaccination cards. The next stop was the passport check in a huge room and I estimated that about 1200-1500 people were ahead of us in line. Nearly all kept their masks on, fortunately. It was pretty efficient considering, and I thought we might make our appointment with the AirBNB host by 1 pm if I called an Uber. Well, that was a bust because I couldn’t find the pick-up spot and it was cancelled. I was so exhausted and worried about Sandy (he kept needing to find a place to sit down) and couldn’t find help in the huge crowd. So I texted with our hostess, and she finally sent her husband to pick us up. I was embarrassed that I was too tired and panicked to handle the situation, but we were lucky to have such kind hosts. They were both working and they certainly did not have to leave work to check us in early!

Anyway, we have public transit cards now and I was told that Uber is much easier to use everywhere but the airport because they are restricted where they can pick you up.20220509_180856

The Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in Lisbon and I chose this AirBNB because of price, proximity to the train station and flea market (more later!), and reviews on AirBNB. Our place is tiny but charming.20220509_154537

View from balcony

The front door

Our balcony from inside

We took a long walk uphill in the late afternoon yesterday. Sandy did okay but had to stop frequently to rest. We were both still tired and had backaches from all the slow lines and airplane sitting, but we weren’t in a hurry this time though, and it was pleasant. It is warm here for this time of year, in the mid-80s. It was a steep climb, as I expected. I had been told to wear shoes with good tread because the cobblestones are slick. I see why now! They are polished from centuries of footsteps.


We found an outdoor spot to try our first pasteis de nata in the Graca neighborhood, the little custard filled tarts that Portugal is famous for. A little ways down was a traditional restaurant that the locals frequent, Restaurante O Piteu da Graca. We got there right at their opening time and got a table. Later customers were turned away. There I had another traditional Portuguese dish, bacalhau, which is salted, formerly dried cod. You would never know that it had been rehydrated. Sandy had fried breaded thin pork slices with plain spaghetti. My plate was prettier, but I liked his food better. The waiter did not speak English and seemed a bit annoyed with us. They only accepted cash, which we expected for some local places.20220509_194049

Heading downhill, we stopped for some fruit and drinks and beer for the fridge. Two pears, two oranges, a tangerine and an apple cost about two dollars for the lot. Two canned teas and two bottles of beer to go cost about six dollars at a tiny streetside bar. Bottled waters at a small shop cost 50 cents each. Later at a restaurant the same bottled waters cost around $2.75 each.


We slept hard and got on the right time schedule quickly. It is very noisy on this street but it is consistently SO noisy that it is like white noise. Sandy said that he dreamed that something was coming in that he thought was a zombie and he asked me to get him his gun. He woke up and it was me snoring. HA! We are not used to sleeping together because of HIS snoring.

coffee pot posts, Reading

Saturday morning coffee pot post

There won’t be anything interesting here today – this is a brain dump and an organizing post for me.

Things to do today:

1. Vote. Local elections and primaries are just as important as national elections. We sure learned that the hard way in North Carolina. Vigilance in all elections is vital.

2. Get the tapestry stitched onto the mat board, put it in the frame, and pack it to ship to Leslie before Friday.

3. Laundry. House cleaning and studio and porch cleaned up.

Tomorrow: Susanne will come over to talk about pet sitting.

I’ve already started packing for our trip simply because my nerves are shot. I want to see if I can get everything into my backpack luggage, which is carry-on sized but I will check it. We have a long trip ahead and a couple of our places have washing machines, but Portugal for the most part does not have dryers in homes because of the utility expense. I have no problem wearing clothes several times if they are reasonably clean, but if we wash anything, we will have to be aware that it might take a couple of days to dry depending on the weather. It will require planning.

Also, we will be traveling a lot by train and bus and getting to destinations hours before we can check in. Packing light is essential, and a wheeled suitcase on cobblestones is not a good idea anyway – it is just going to get wrecked. Originally I was going to pack an empty carry-on within a larger wheeled suitcase for whatever goodies we bring back. Now I’m thinking that we will just adjust to that situation if it happens that we need an extra bag. I’m beginning to recall the difficulties with luggage during our Ireland/England trip. We cannot pack those backpacks so heavy this time!

I got everything planted and I’d like to do a little more clean-up in the front yard. The aphids are just going to party on – I don’t have the time or energy for that. Sandy hired another guy to mow the yard for half the price that the person who kept standing us up charged. I may still hire him now and then for larger harder jobs, because I like that he has an organic philosophy and knows his plants. However, I’m done with the ghosting behavior. I find it disrespectful, even though he may not see it that way. He is probably just really disorganized, but when I bought a bunch of plants because he told me he was coming to work at my place that day and he forgot, that was pretty much the third (or fourth) strike.

Anyway, I got the cortisone shot in my ankle (the bursa) and since Tuesday I have had no pain whatsoever. The podiatrist said that as long as they continue to work for me for such a long period I can continue getting them with no worries.

It’s gonna be a busy week and somewhere in there I’ve got to figure out when to do our Covid tests for the trip. It will have to be either a PCR test on Friday morning or a rapid antigen test on Saturday morning. Maybe we’ll do the PCR and see if the results come in on time for our flight leaving on Sunday afternoon, and if not, do a RAT in Boston. Friday is also commencement day at work so it will be a challenge. Of course I did not think of all this when I re-booked the trip in August.

Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. How did I miss this one? It was published 11 years ago! Also, it was a Netflix series? Really? I am so out of touch.

I just finished the fourth Louise Penny mystery. I’m not much into these “cozy cottage” murder mysteries set into quaint villages, but I do really like the characters and the complex backgrounds she created for them. It is the entirely unlikely complicated murders that bother my Vulcan sensibilities, but I needed something light after I finally finished Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago. I wanted to read at least one novel by a Portuguese writer before I left, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for this one. Well, it was a real slog, but I did it. It was worth it in the end, but it was NOT light reading. I now know a lot more about early 18th century Portuguese history and culture, though.

TV: We just started watching Outer Range, with Josh Brolin. I’m hooked after two episodes. The new season of Better Call Saul is out, but I’ll have to buy it since we don’t get AMC. The second half of the last season of Ozark just dropped too.


Back Forty, More gardening, National Parks and Monuments

Weekend round-up

I wrote a long post on Saturday that was unusual for me – it was titled “I Would Prefer Not To.” I felt compelled to write about the inertia and lack of motivation for both of the O’Neills to do pretty much anything we don’t want to do, especially pertaining to diet. I know a lot of this has to do with depression. The post vanished into the ether. I have no idea what happened to it. I didn’t delete it, and normally WP saves it as a draft if something goes wrong.

Anyway, it turned out that writing that post was a catalyst that got me on my feet and propelled me into the yard and kitchen. The laundry was done, the kitchen cleaned, chili cooked, the front steps and porch clutter sorted and swept, and the plants that we bought at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market were mostly planted. I’m irritated with the yard guy I hired. He was supposed to help me and he forgot. Again. I guess I’ll finish up planting after my steroid shot today.

I planted three Cherokee Purple and three Sungold tomatoes, six different peppers, lemon thyme, and sage. I have a few foxgloves and hostas to put into the front shade garden, where I’m trying to cut out the aphid-infested Lenten roses and replace most of them.

We went over to Oden to eat at a food truck early Sunday afternoon (lunch didn’t happen, food truck employee was very late opening and rude about it) and listened to UNCG musicians play classical music in the beer garden. It was lovely. I noticed that there are a lot of old bricks piled up on the railroad side of the fence in the back. I may go back and load some in the car. It’s easy to walk behind that fence. On my walk back home, I picked up a few interesting rusted objects in the parking lot. It has been a treasure trove for stuff like that. Now if I would only figure out how to use them in my art. Soon UNCG is going to build an arts center there and the treasure hunt will be over.

Retirement: I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This is the most stressful time for me at my work. It’s helpful to look at articles like this and documents like this in case our plans to emigrate to Portugal go awry. Our goal has been to see as many national parks and monuments as possible. Here are the national parks both of us visited so far (together). We’ve been to many more national monuments. Looks like we’ve got some traveling in the U.S. to do.

  • Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
  • Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
  • Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado
  • Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
  • Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
  • Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
  • New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (West Virginia

National Monuments and Historical Parks, Memorials, and Battlefields:

  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Alaska and Washington)
  • Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado and Utah)
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (Colorado)
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument (Georgia)
  • Craters of the Moon National Monument (Idaho)
  • Minidoka National Historic Site (Idaho)
  • Antietam National Battlefield (Maryland)
  • Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland)
  • Aztec Ruins National Monument (New Mexico)
  • Bandelier National Monument (New Mexico)
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico)
  • Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina and Virginia)
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore (North Carolina)
  • Guilford Courthouse National Military Park (Greensboro, North Carolina)
  • Moores Creek National Battlefield (North Carolina)
  • Wright Brothers National Memorial (North Carolina)
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park (Oregon)
  • John Day Fossil Beds National Monument (Oregon)
  • Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania)
  • Fort Sumter National Monument (South Carolina)
  • Ninety-Six National Historic Site (South Carolina)
  • Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (Tennessee)
  • Shiloh National Military Park (Tennessee)
  • Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Virginia)
  • Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
  • Petersburg National Battlefield Park (Virginia)
  • Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
  • Fossil Butte National Monument (Wyoming)
  • John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway (Wyoming)
  • Lincoln Memorial (Washington, DC)
    National Capital Parks (Washington, DC)
    National Mall (Washington, DC)
    Thomas Jefferson Memorial (Washington, DC)
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Washington, DC)
    Washington Monument (Washington, DC)

There are some sites that should be on a national list but aren’t…

  • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (Washington)
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (also a UNESCO site) (Illinois)

I know that there are a few that Sandy and I have been to separately, but for this purpose I’m only including the ones we’ve visited together. (Also, it’s possible I may have forgotten a few of the historical and military parks – we’ve been to so many.)

Family, Lake Waccamaw

Easter at Lake Waccamaw

20220416_192942It’s a gorgeous day. Even yesterday with its rainstorm was great. We spent about an equal amount here at the lake house and at my sister’s house, visiting, eating good cheese and grilled chicken. This morning we could hear the birds sing, and the occasional car or truck on its way to and from Easter services or the boat ramp – you know you can find God in either place.

I did my usual poking around for natural objects that are attracted to me. Including the mayflies, which have to be the most harmless critters in the world.


That weird bone is why you should be careful when handling a catfish. They stick out from the sides of their head.

Sandy and I wandering along the canal looking for the Easter Gator. We finally found her trying to take a nap. She said to feck off, she is out of eggs.


Purty little purple wild asters haven’t been mowed down yet.


My sister has my grandmother’s high school diploma. She graduated from Welsh Neck High School in 1904.


Now I have to go make the deviled eggs. It is Easter in the U.S. South.

coffee pot posts, Lake Waccamaw

Saturday morning coffee pot post

20220416_111330[1]Lake Waccamaw edition. We are here for Easter weekend, and it is a good thing that I love my sister and bro-in-law so much because so far this Saturday morning is a bust. I had a tough night’s sleep from indigestion from our usual indulgence of fried seafood at Dale’s last night, but we were lucky to get tables on the screened porch because the mayflies on the screens apparently turn the other diners off. We did not want to eat inside – this part of the country is heavily Trumpy and anti-vax and anti-mask. But the fried seafood at Dale’s is heavenly.

Inspector Loud Outdoor Gadget has been mowing and weedwhacking his dozen blades of grass two doors down since 8:30 a.m. This is the dude that was jackhammering cement the last time I was here. I wonder if he is OCD. And the wind is wafting the lovely sulfurous smells of the paper plant across the back yard, and radar shows a big storm system about to hit, which will at least bring a merciful end to the noise of Detective Monk down the road.


But I still love the lake house, and the view, and every now and then I can hear birdsong when Mr. Motor relaxes his hand on the gas leaf blower or the pressure washer on the spotless white slab of cement that covers half of his small yard. I raise my cup of coffee to my lips and enjoy the sound of my living husband snoring loudly in the next room. “I don’t feel like I’m dying!” he proclaimed to the therapist when we went together last Monday. I’m glad, actually. I get frustrated about his denial about his health challenges, but on the other hand, we are all dying, so we better get a good handle on living until the time comes to die. Maybe his way of thinking is best.

It’s family time, and we’ll enjoy hanging out with them, then I will go back home, take Monday off, take some big deep breaths, and then dive into the emails that I see are already piling up on my work account, over a HOLIDAY weekend, on Tuesday morning. I made sure to keep my promise not to open any. Why some people cannot stop themselves from working on a holiday, I do not know.

This is why I need more than one full day at the lake – to fully relax. April is the cruelest month in my job and these April Easter weekends are much needed. Early retirement is much needed, and a little over a year away if things go well.

The new T-Mobile service on the phones is great. Much, much better. This was the test, bringing them down here where the service is often spotty for all cell phones.

Now, the birdsong is back. I’ll go out on the screened porch, watch the ducks and herons, walk along the canal and look for the Easter Gator, and hope that the wind has shifted for the day. I have two good books and some slow stitching supplies…which may or may not get used but it is a comfort to have the choice.

Back Forty, coffee pot posts, critters

Saturday morning coffee pot post


Here I am, in all my “just out of bed” glory! I think it might be time to cut my hair.

Let’s see how much I can write before the Great Sandino gets up and wants to go to the Farmers’ Market.


Pablocito is crying as if somebody is beating him, but he is just bored. He slept on my pillow beside my head last night and got his whiskers in my nose. Now he is behind me on this chair, head butting the back of my head. I’m just waiting for the love bite to the scalp. He’s a pain in the ass, but I adore him. Diego is doing fine. He got lots of attention this morning and I combed a lot of his undercoat out.

I think a little too much about the complications of moving these guys to Portugal with us. I mean, one of the reasons we moved into this house (next door from our old house) was because I couldn’t bear to leave my feral cats behind.

This week – oof. It was a tough one. Fortunately I was very busy at work, so that kept my mind occupied for the most part. That’s the way it is this time of year. Thomas did come and work on my yard last Sunday, so it looks pretty good. He says that he will continue working for me this year. His fee has gone up, so I might need to call him less frequently, but since that the main mess was cleared out last year, that should be okay. The asparagus is coming up, and I will have to resist the urge to pick it for a year so that it will become established.



I decided to switch our phone service from Credo to T-Mobile this week, after getting feedback from my Portugal Friends group about the service in Europe. One flight attendant said that she uses it. One of the most stressful things about our last trip to Europe (Ireland and England) was that we were told that my phone would work and then it didn’t. We had luggage, faced a long steep hill, and couldn’t get a cab. We thought Sandy was going to have a heart attack at one point and left him sitting on the sidewalk halfway there, and when I got to our B&B to find no one there, I sat down and cried in the rain. I AM NOT DOING THAT AGAIN, PEOPLE.

So T-Mobile it is, and we will try to switch our phones over this weekend. Nowadays, with all the multi-factor authorization I have to do multiple times a day with my personal phone just to do my job, this is no small deal. They said that we could move over our old phone numbers, but didn’t seem entirely confident and said that we might have to go to a T-Mobile store to finish up. However, we are getting so much more data for so much less and a free tablet with phone and internet service that in the end I think it will be worth it. Sandy has already said that he gets so many scam and spam calls that he doesn’t mind losing his old number, but I hate to tell him that probably won’t change!

I registered for Focus on Book Arts this week along with my friends who are going with me. It’s gonna be a artsy hen party, y’all. We are all so excited. Mostly we are taking different classes, but we are staying together in an AirBnB house and then a dormitory suite at Pacific University. This time it will have air conditioning, thank God! The last two times we went there was a heat wave and it was tough without AC. It was hotter than North Carolina both times.

Today, I have an appointment for my second Co-vid 19 booster, and Sandy will get his at some point soon. He was waiting to get his doctor appointments over with this week, and that was the biggest stressor of the week. I looked at the results of his echocardiogram and asked to go to his cardiologist appointment with him on Wednesday because it was scary. Turns out that I had a reason to be worried during that 2017 trip to Ireland/England. The man was in heart failure back  then, and I didn’t know it, and he says that he didn’t know it. What the fuck. I don’t know how to process this so I’m hauling his ass to therapy with me on Monday afternoon. He had a CAT scan on his lungs on Friday to make sure that his respiratory problems are not from something other than the polymyositis. He is sick and tired of going to doctors. We were told that he has to go on a strict no/low sodium diet. No eating out. This is not going to happen. We will be in Portugal one month from now. Our moods are not good.

Portugal will be a trip full of fascinating, very hilly streets. I have to be able to call Ubers or taxis. Fortunately it is very safe in Portugal so if he needs to rest a lot I will feel comfortable going out on my own, although I definitely need a lot of downtime too. For most of the trip we plan to take trains and buses.

Last night we went down to the corner bar for a drink and had some good conversation. A couple brought a bunch of produce that they said Harris Teeter was throwing out that was still good, and put it in a booth for anyone to take. We picked up a cantaloupe, watermelon, and grapes. Now it’s time to go to the Farmers’ Market to get some more fresh produce, since we will be cooking at home a lot more, if we can make ourselves do it.







coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Sunday morning coffee pot post

A two-fer blog day, since I just posted a back forty update from several days ago.

It’s been a good week. We got fantastic news about my brother-in-law’s cancer scan. Miracles do happen, y’all. They didn’t see ANY cancer in the scan, although the oncologist says that there is still cancer there. BUT, given the original diagnosis, this is quite amazing! He is much healthier and will be able to greatly reduce his chemo sessions. We’ll be doing our normal Easter weekend at the lake again this year, and this time a couple of friends will go with us. Easter is late enough this year that the weather should be excellent.

We are going to get our second boosters in the next day or so. Never in my life did I ever think that I would get excited about a shot. I am not afraid of needles any more since I learned to control my breathing so that my vasovagal syncope doesn’t kick in. I was more afraid of passing out than I was about the injection. I’m also looking forward to getting that steroid shot in my heel in four weeks. It might sound painful, but the first one did not hurt at all.

Thursday night we sat outside in the beer garden at Oden and ate really good food from the West Coast Wanderer food truck and listened to live jazz. The students from UNCG come there every Thursday night and play. Then last night we went over there with a couple of friends for a stand-up comedy show that was really mixed in funny-ness and got much bluer as the night progressed. We were tucked away in a little space under the stairs near the front and the last comic targeted us and proclaimed that we looked like we grew pot, but sold cabbage at the farmers’ market, especially Jerry with his hat and Susan with her pigtails. She had us laughing pretty hard. It made me want to develop a stand up set. It was a dream of mine many years ago. Watching Mrs. Maisel has made me fantasize about this more.

Yesterday Sandy and I met a friend for lunch and then went to a great quilt show where there was also a silent auction and a yard sale…oh my god it was so dangerous. I bought some linen, a bag of sewing stuff mainly because there were two vintage packages that I wanted for collage and some trim for a book, a drop cloth, two great books on art quilt design, and a clear two foot ruler for $4.00!!! Robin got a big bag full of great fabric for $7.00. Man, if I wasn’t downsizing…oof. I could have gotten totally out of control. Then I went back to check on the silent auction because there was a small piece with recycled denim and khaki (17″x24″) that I bid on and it was getting close to the end. I won it, asked for the artist’s name, and it turned out that it was made by a friend of mine, Judi Bastion!


So I’m feeling pretty lucky today. Thomas is supposed to come back to work on basic yard maintenance, but he hasn’t texted yet so who knows? I don’t have to be here for that, though. I’m going over to Susanne’s this afternoon and hang out a bit while she marbles paper. Instead of having Jerry’s Artarama frame my tapestry I picked out a piece of matboard and a frame, and I’m stitching the tapestry to the matboard and framing it myself, because it fits perfectly into a 8″x10″ frame. I am learning to size work that I want to frame into standard sizes. So I’ll work on that and have it ready to send to the TWS show, since I’ll need to do that before we leave for Portugal.

Portugal is only five weeks away! EEEEEEEeeeeeeee. I need to brush up on my Portuguese for real now. Especially my numbers, since I tend to mix them up with French, Spanish, and Italian. So I not only need to learn my Portuguese, I also need to forget some numbers in other languages. Bom dia!

Back Forty

Back Forty Update

Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while. There still isn’t, and won’t be, much going on in the back yard gardens any more since the groundhog families are here to stay. In fact, one of them ran up close to me when I was standing still pondering the state of the Back Forty. My neighbor across the street has named them and feeds them so they are probably getting fairly tame.

So, given the state of the Back Forty and its wild inhabitants, I decided to plant the womb garden with asparagus. I may be wrong, but over the past few years, the groundhogs have left the little bit of asparagus alone. It may be because it was surrounded with feverfew, which was one strategy of mine. I also needed something that would be low maintenance and perennial, so asparagus and walking onions is the plan for now.

I weeded what I could without causing myself a lot of pain, and then Thomas, “The Plant Guy,” came over and dug and planted my asparagus for me. Here are the before photos.


Behind the womb garden is the blueberry bush, an elderberry bush that is just beginning to thrive, a raspberry cane that needs to be moved, and a big-ass fig tree that didn’t get pruned this winter. Thomas is going to help me move the raspberries to their own bed later on. I’m going to get some bamboo and build a trellis for them.


Hey, let’s talk about that washpan! One of the most useful things I own that I brought back from my mother’s house. It is lightweight aluminum but sturdy enough to hold water and heavy things easily. I don’t know how old it is. I remember mostly using it to carry laundry to the clothesline before we got a dryer. Sandy has eyeballed it for donation several times and I think he is nuts. I’ll probably take this sucker to Portugal with me! Anyway, in the photo above I soaked the asparagus roots and crowns before Thomas planted them.

I picked four spears from the old plants to add to a pasta dish this week, and that is the most I have picked at one time so far. Two years from now, if we are still here, we should have plenty of asparagus to eat.

coffee pot posts, collage, Mixed media art, Reading

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Boy, I feel like I really socialized a lot this week, although I guess this is what “normal” used to be. So yesterday was a rest day for me. Sandy woke me at 10:30, so I got over ten hours of sleep. (I really need this on Saturday mornings.) Then we went to the farmers’ market, where I bought cheese and soap, and Sandy took me to lunch at M’Coul’s for the first time since B.P. We ate upstairs at the end of the bar and it felt pretty safe because there was no one near us. It’s hard for me to understand deep down what is danger and what is not. I had a breakfast boxty and smoked gouda grits – so good.

Thursday evening we went to College Hill and sat in a booth and talked some with the people in there, who we are getting to know a little better. Friday after work the history department and grad students had a get-together at Oden Brewing, and we spent half that time outside and then moved inside to a table and enjoyed talking with a group of guys who I either currently admin for or have admin-ed for in the past, which shows that I do have a great relationship with my co-workers. I’ve missed socializing with the department, but afterward I was thinking – WTF was I doing inside with that unmasked crowd drinking? At least at College Hill we were separated by at least six feet.

I did not get any artwork done yesterday, but here’s a photo of the progress from last Sunday. I added the found objects and a few more touches. I need to get more precise with my stenciling technique. I’m not pleased with the Novacan patina so I’m going to collage over these and probably give the Novacan away. However, the technique of doing photo transfers on top of gesso was pretty nifty.


If my foot can stand it I’m going to weave a little on my tapestry. I tried to go to Jerry’s Artarama to get my lake tapestry framed, but they were closed for a power issue. Normally I would use a local framer but I am feeling all the money I’ve spent ahead of time for our trips and I have a big coupon that expires today, so I might try to go out there again today. The yard guy is supposed to come around noon to help me get the asparagus planted and dig compost into the bed. There is a “vintage” flea market at the farmers’ market today also, so this afternoon will be a full one.

Speaking of flea markets…I signed up for an online class with Alex Castro Ferriera, a mixed media book artist who lives in Lisbon whose work I’ve admired for some time. Ironically, the online class takes place when I will be in Portugal, but we have access to the content after the class. So I emailed Alex and told her. She offered to meet me for coffee and go to the Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon while I am there. What fun is THAT going to be!!! I chose an AirBNB specifically because it was near this market, which takes place in the street on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I gotta tell you, I have written SO MANY blog posts in my head this week, but I could never make myself actually write them on the computer. Not diary entries, but thoughts about life and the world today.

This week I have been slogging through Baltasar and Blimunda, which I can see that it is very good writing and most likely deserved the Nobel Prize in Literature, but the long run-on paragraphs with no quotes or attribution of who is saying what makes for difficult reading. I will finish it, but I can definitely tell the cognitive damage this pandemic has done to my brain. I have also started the fourth novel by Louise Penny, A Rule Against Murder, for something lighter.

We are, of course, enjoying the current season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is right up there on the list of my favorite TV shows ever. I don’t binge shows that I love because I want to stretch out the joy as long as possible. I also enjoyed Being the Ricardos. If you couldn’t tell by the name of my blog, I have always had a fascination for comedy history, even going back to Greek times, but vaudeville, farce, and physical comedy have always intrigued me. I’ve learned more about the routine Lucy did since I wrote “Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk.”