We decided to make a leisurely exit for our vacation at Lake Waccamaw since it turns out that none of my relatives plan to be there this weekend as we were originally told. My brother-in-law’s father is dying and I don’t know why my cousin and his wife cancelled. It bothered me a little at first, but then I looked at the silver lining. This really means complete freedom for a few days.

I found a new petsitter who I get very good vibes from. He looks like a football player and he and his wife have been doing this full time for 12 years. Guido and Miss Jazz liked him a lot. It’s a shame that I have to pay for a petsitter but the person who was doing it for the last two years – well, we got what we paid for, and worse. I mean, I should not have to come home and clean up after a housesitter.

Anyway, if anyone should happen to walk in on THIS guy, I’m guessing that it will make them turn tail and run.

I’m packed, and I’m taking nearly the whole studio with me – HA! I have such a hard time with packing lightly. I don’t want to have to go to the laundromat, though. It was hard to pick out projects that I’d like to work on. I took the labyrinth tapestry off the loom yesterday and I’ll do some stitching on it and hem it while I’m there. I’ll probably warp up the tapestry cover for my Feral Family book and begin it.

My main focus will be hats – it’s a great place to make hats. I need at least 24 hours to soak the bulrush and cattails. The cattails are the ones I collected from our family farm last year. This year I will be keeping the leftovers to make paper with, so all of it will be used. I find that so exciting. There’s something about reducing waste and reusing everything I can that gives me a tingle. Hey, maybe I’ll use some of the short pieces to weave book covers. Anyway, because it takes a while to soak the materials, having several days down there is essential so that I’ll have the time to weave them up and not waste them. The back porch is screened with a cement floor, so I can have a view of the lake, sit comfortably away from bugs (in case there is not a breeze), and work with wet materials. Next year, I’ll make paper too!

I’m taking my art journal, and some acrylic paints and pens, and my inkle loom, and a bag of wool yarns and pieces of cardboard for small fun off-the-cuff tapestries. And LOADS of books.

Before I leave, I’ll pick up my paper from Susanne. She says that it is beautiful. I went through my stash of weaving books and picked out about ten that I either have duplicates of or I don’t need anymore. She has a HUGE old 8 harness loom that her husband bought at an auction and she’s interested in learning more about weaving and spinning. It’s nice to have something to give her that she needs, after what she’s done for me.

And ZhaK – she had such a rough time over the past few weeks. Her oldest son, Chris, had surgery for a ruptured appendix. She is, hands down, the best mother I’ve ever met, and yet the doctors made her feel guilty for not bringing him in earlier. She is still on the mend from recent sinus surgery and Chris is just an amazing young man – full of love and strength. Her experience with the medical practice that we have shared confirms my decision to never, ever go back to those arrogant fools. I had hoped that she (or she and her sons) might join us next weekend at the lake, and it still might happen, but I’m not expecting it.

We do have a cell phone now, something that makes my heart sink a bit. You just don’t know how much I hate cell phones – phones in general, but especially cell phones. It seemed to be needed, so there it is. My mother is happy. Believe me, it will be off when I am at home, and I’m not carrying it around with me around town. I used to say that I didn’t understand why people wanted to talk on the phone in the car, because I got in the car to get away from the phone. I’m very vocal about my hatred for cell phones, and now I have one. Sheesh.

Well, I’m down to the bottom of my cup. It’s time to go to Deep Roots and stock up on (reasonably) healthy snacks and drinks for the coming week and then to the vet to drop off a form for the petsitter, then to Susanne’s. I hope by that time Mr. Sandino will be awake and ready to go.