My coffee is sweetened with a little bit of dried stevia from the plant I grew three years ago, since I ran out of sugar and hot cocoa mix. I am not a black coffee woman, oh no.

But I do have the blues. Both of my hands have gotten progressively worse at a time when Sandy is not supposed to lift more than five pounds (that’s NOT MUCH) and we have four cats and a litterbox. I changed to clumping litter a week ago and that has worked out well, except that it is really expensive compared to the other. It makes the box much lighter at cleaning time though. Today Sandy will have been out of the hospital for a week, so he can take on some heavier duty housework.

This week he felt great and walked a lot despite the sometimes hot weather and what seems to be a record amount of pollen in the air. They say that heart patients often do feel much better after getting a stent or a bypass. I worry about him doing too much because even if he feels good, he still has heart damage. We had a friend about his age die just a few years ago who had a second massive attack and simply fell where he stood, so it is hard for me not to think about that. I’m going to try to let that worry go and live in the present.

In the past couple of days the stress caught up with me and I was barely functioning at work yesterday, so I came home early and slept all afternoon and went back to bed early. I had nightmares all week and I was exhausted. I had gotten off schedule enough that I wasn’t taking my medication regularly. Physically I feel much better today, but not having the ability to make art or garden or cook without pain or numbness has taken away a major source of comfort for me, and quite frankly, I am depressed. Not nearly as much about Sandy’s situation, since that has actually relieved my mind a great deal. My depression concerns my HANDS, HANDS, HANDS, and related independence, aging worries.

One of our electrical circuits has shorted out – the one that my little freezer and washing machine plugs into, and other wall outlets. I don’t know if running the fans tipped it over the edge or whether one of the cats sprayed the outlet next to the litterbox. There is some evidence for the latter. I shouldn’t have let Sandy talk me out of calling an electrician yesterday. Now I can’t do laundry over the weekend and I guess that I will try to make some paper since the freezer is about half full of paper pulp. I guess that it is lucky that this didn’t happen in late fall when all my freezer space was full of veggies for the winter.

I bought some watercolor paper to make blank artist books for sale and I ordered bookboard and Stonehenge paper for one of my Art and Soul classes in May, and there will be extra. I’ll have enough to make books for the Shindig on the Square now, although I won’t have a lot of handmade paper as I had planned. I painted some papers with old credit cards last night and last weekend, just scraping the paint into the paper for the most part, and using a few handmade and vintage stamps. I hope to have a small variety of books for sale, mostly blank, with mica covers and collaged covers and upcycled book covers. That is what I am about to get started on today, as soon as we get back from the farmers market.