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I’m making an effort to blog regularly again, which is part of the reason for the daily visual journal. l;;3w’;/eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewe (That was Pablo Blondie’s contribution. I can’t walk away from the laptop for a minute. I must admit that I like it when they do this, so I always leave their writings up.) It is useful for me to do these coffee pot posts once a week as well, just to clear my head.

These past ten days or so have seen a lot of heartbreak. My uncle broke his hip and, as often happens with elderly people, ended up getting very sick and he is now in a coma in Hospice. So my sister and I will be making a trip to Clemson, South Carolina soon to attend his funeral and see our cousins. My aunt is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and my cousins have had a very tough time lately. Uncle Wilton and Aunt Louise raised six intelligent, gifted, kind children. Going to their house in Clemson when I was young was always fun because she loved children and gave us crafty things to do (and they had a backyard pool!). They traveled the world and drove their RV all over the country, taking my mother with them for many trips so she was able to join in the fun. Uncle Wilton is a letter writer and wrote his autobiography with a great sense of humor. They were both very successful people in every sense of the word and have lived full and wonderful lives.

Then there’s my friend, the fabulous Zha K, who has been on a wild surrealistic ride not of her choosing anyway, which I can’t even vent about here, as much as I’d love to do it. Suffice it to say that she has been slandered viciously and treated like a criminal without cause for six months now, and the situation has serious implications for the way staff can be abused at our workplace, even with no evidence of wrongdoing.

Her “spouse emeritus,” as she likes to say rather than “former husband,” and our friend, had a massive heart attack about ten days ago, and died and was resuscitated four times. The doctors found severe lung damage from his breathing carbon monoxide fumes at work for years. He was on a ventilator for a week and we were all worried about severe brain damage as well. However, he woke up once they took him off the ventilator on Wednesday and is talking and moving now. Even though he is still confused over what is going on he knows basic facts and recognizes people, and from what I understand is trying to enlist the help of his friends to escape the cardiac ICU. Sandy is planning to visit him today. Their children, ages 18-22, have been put in the position of next of kin and decision makers. It has been extremely rough on this family.

In good news, the boys, Pablocito Blondie and Diego Wolf, have had their final kitten checkups and vaccinations and are cleared for neutering on Nov. 20. They never stop playing, even in the vet’s office, and their coats are healthy and beautiful. They weigh over 6 pounds and 5 1/2 pounds. Theo has finally warmed up to them but he is getting attacked (playfully but roughly) and double teamed frequently. I had to break up the fight between Pablocito and Theo this morning because Pablo was not getting the message that Theo had had enough and I was afraid that another ragged tomcat ear would be the result.

Sandy and I have reservations to take the train to Alexandria, Virginia and spend a long weekend exploring D.C. for his birthday, but it now looks like I will need to cancel our reservations while I can get a refund and plan to either drive and wing it instead of reservations or just plan to go another time.

I’m done working with wet clay and I’m busy finishing the book covers, mainly with simple oxides and stains, and preparing paper signatures for binding. One of the books has a LOT of holes for caterpillar stitches and the holes are too big for the linen threads that I planned to use. I’m going to try one today and see if I need to twist a double strand. I’d rather not make it any more complicated than I have to.

I’ve done a little more natural dyeing on silk, also, but I’m disappointed that I didn’t get clear leaf prints. I have a problem getting that tight bond with the fabric, so I guess that I’ll start clamping instead of binding with thread. I love the marks that the threads make – maybe I will overdye those swatches.

Photos will come along as I post my visual journal.