Whew! It’s almost too hot to drink coffee this morning. Hot and muggy. This house has aluminum siding and I think that it makes it into a solar oven. It’s supposed to get near 90 today and the next few days, and it’s humid. Still, I hope that we can put off turning on the AC as long as possible.

I do turn on a small window unit in the studio. When it’s hot like this, it gives me even more incentive to go out there and play where it is comfortable. Last year we had it in our bedroom, but a certain somebody who was housesitting lost his key and broke into the house by removing it from the outside. I decided that I was not comfortable with that kind of vulnerability.

My husband can handle heat much better than I can. We lived together for 13 years without AC before I went peri-menopausal and decided that enough misery was enough. We installed two window units in that house. Now we have central AC in this house, but we use it as little as possible. Obviously last summer when the temps went into the 100s for days at a time it was running a lot.

We have ceiling fans in one half of the house, and the windows are placed in that half so that we can get a breeze moving from the front to the back. The other half of the house where the two bedrooms and the computer room are are harder to cool because there isn’t a way to get a cross-breeze going. Remember that if you are planning to build a green structure. Very important.

Anyway, I didn’t think that I’d be writing about heat this morning, but that’s what happens in these coffee pot posts. You never know where they will go as the caffeine hits your brain cells.

Yesterday, I got so excited about my art journey that I thought that my head would explode. I get like that – I tend to have panic attacks when I’m overwhelmed, whether it is with fear, anger, joy, or ideas. It’s one of those things that shuts me down artistically, for obvious reasons. But I have not had a panic attack this week, although my chest is a bit tight with anxiety. This is a very good thing. I can work with this.

What happens is that I get blocked for months, sometimes years (in the last case, quite a few), and then the dam breaks, and I am nearly manic with all the ideas and projects that I want to do. I am obsessed. It’s all I want to do, all I can think about. People talk to me about serious subjects, and I hear them, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking about what color thread I’m going to use to bind this particular book.

So I’m spending most of my spare time creating. The Back Forty is finally at a point where it is simply in the business of growing, and I have little to harvest other than cherries and turnips. This is what is great about my method of gardening – most of the work is done in the winter and early spring, then I slide through the hot summer months, if I do it right. There will be a sparse period right now because I didn’t plant enough early enough, but that’s fine.

My epiphany yesterday as I was sewing up the slits in the Elements tapestries, and I’m sure that all of this was just barely below the surface, was that I’d use them for the covers of a book. Then I knew what I’d do for the cover of Squirt and Mama Kitty’s book – a tapestry of the two of them. I pasted up a quick idea for the cartoon. The title might change. Remember the Ferrell Family from the Carol Burnett Show? That shows my age, but for some reason the Ferrell Family really cracked me up. That’s why I wanted to name Squirt “Daryl Feral,” but Sandy wouldn’t go for it.

a feral family cover

So here’s when it hit me, and I don’t know why it seemed so earth-shaking when it was so obvious. Has anyone suddenly asked you what you would do if you could do anything? I would make books with tapestry covers and handmade paper from plants in my garden. Maybe other covers with natural found objects.

So that’s what I’m going to focus on. TA-DA!

Oh well, this was lovely, but I have to go pick up my chicken now. It will go into the crockpot so that I don’t have to mess with a hot stove.