I think that I can safely predict that from now on I can expect to go into an artist’s block during every major election year. It’s too stressful. Although of course this year’s blew all the other ones out of the water. I wish that I was the type of person who can turn to art when she’s depressed, but that’s just the way it is. The doctor upped my anti-depressant dose, because I’d rather feel sadness and anger than feel hopeless and nothing at all. That’s depression. It’s something people don’t understand until they experience it.

I’m going to try to finish up moving my studio to Susanne’s house this weekend and do something fun while I’m there. It will depend on whether I can get my neighbor to help me move a large heavy bookshelf in his van, but I’m tempted to rent a truck if he can’t. I want to get it done! It will be great to have a kitchen and back yard to use, as well as share tools and equipment with Susanne. We’ve been sharing for a long time, just not in the same space. I want to make paper and books again, as well as continue to play with fabric and stitching and collage. My tapestry studio will remain at home.

Here’s the space:

You know I’m a treehugger, but hallelujah, Duke Energy has finally decided to put this dying maple tree next to my driveway out of its misery. I will miss the woodpeckers that feed on its insects but they have plenty of other places to go in the neighborhood. They are supposed to cut back my trees in the front yard too. I hope that they don’t stomp my lenten roses and make a big mess but I don’t mind them cutting back my trees. I never expected these yoshina cherries to get so tall, since I was told that they grow to about 15 feet. If I had it to do over again, I’d do edible landscaping.

Although I am going to continue to try to not write about politics here (I do plenty of that on my personal Facebook page), because of the incoming regime, my thoughts are turning to preparation for the tough times ahead. I don’t mind telling you that I am afraid and freaked out. Don’t tell me not to be, please. It’s not my choice.

I’ve let a lot of the “back forty” garden go because of physical problems and the horrible mosquitoes. I don’t want to use a community space like I did a couple of years ago and then not be physically able to maintain it. That was embarrassing, although I’ve been told that I am welcome to come back. So I will need to adjust my thinking and look seriously at what I can do with the situation at hand. That means not doing too much at once and hurting myself, possibly building some planting space up where I don’t have to squat down, and serious critter and low-maintenance weed control methods, whether my husband likes it or not.

Also, if I can grow enough or buy produce at a low cost, canning. Storing water and medical supplies. Have a couple of well-stocked bug-out bags at hand. Get serious about simplifying again.

At least I don’t have children or parents or grandparents to take care of, so I don’t have those worries any more. Just the cats and Sandy.

I was about to write “We’ll make it” but I no longer have any confidence in anything anymore, so I can’t honestly write that. Emigration has been seriously on my mind but I don’t want to give my great job up so close to retirement age. Our savings have mostly gone into the house and I’d like to enjoy it for a while.

We have a big 40th anniversary trip to the United Kingdom planned and mostly paid for coming up in May. That is something wonderful to look forward to.

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