Back Forty, coffee pot posts, critters, tapestry, weaving

Sunday afternoon La Croix sparkling water post

Tapestry weaving on the front porch yesterday. I actually got a bit farther than this. When I go back home this afternoon, I hope to finish the blue grey part, but that also depends on working the dark part, and that might build on top of the right side, so that’s how it goes!

Sandy and I cleaned out the shed in the back and filled our city garbage and recycling bins. Most of my tobacco sticks that I used for trellising beans and peas have gotten rotten, so we’ll burn them in the fire pit. Disappointing, but it’s my own fault for being sloppy and lazy. We removed a lot of English ivy and wisteria vines, but as to be expected after a couple of years of neglect, there is much more to be done.

I planted peas and carrots over here at the Wharton St. studio. Susanne prepared this bed last year, and it had some of the biggest longest earthworms I’ve ever seen! In the process of weeding it out, we discovered some healthy asparagus. We are going to add to this once the peas are done.

Theo is growing more frail and losing weight. He will only eat very little. The only thing he wants to eat is Greenies Hairball Control treats. So I’ve given him six on top of his canned food twice a day, but this is confusing him and he doesn’t find all of them. I give him 1/4 of a loratidine a day for his allergies, but I think that his sense of smell is gone. Of course it is all speculation. I don’t want to put him through a lot of intense medical care. Right now he enjoys being out on the front porch, but it is possible that we might make the decision to euthanize him before we go to the UK if he doesn’t start eating enough to sustain himself. I will miss him but I am not going to force feed him and I don’t want him to suffer.

I’m one of the few people in North Carolina who has not been glued to college basketball watching the last several days. North Carolina lost hosting several tournaments because of a discriminatory law the Tea Party insists is about protecting women and children in bathrooms, but which has nothing to do with bathroom safety. I’d so much rather that they protect children by providing them food to eat, good public education, and free health care, and I’ve never worried about being attacked in a bathroom, much less by a transgender woman or man pretending to be one. I just wish the state government would pay more positive attention to my rights, water, air, soil, health care and place of employment. But, hey, let’s pretend that we’re under attack from the “gay agenda” while losing all kinds of businesses who would have hired people and paid taxes here.

Anyway, the only reason many people know about Greensboro is ACC Basketball. We don’t care about pro basketball here. We don’t care much about college football. Baseball is meh, okay. But college basketball? Get out of our way.

I’m putting this photo here because the bottom one is what Facebook chooses to show with my post.

book arts, cloth weaving, depression/anxiety, papermaking, Slow cloth, Upcycling

Saint Patrick’s Day

Thinking about Ireland. Aching for it. I wish that I had the courage to throw everything to the wind and take a chance on trying to move there. Like, NOW. This is a photo that I took on the Burren in May, 2012.

Since I last wrote, spring came and then left.

When this weather system came roaring through, I had cluster migraines all day. I always feel concerned for the farmers when we have these false springs.

I read “Long Quiet Highway” by Natalie Goldberg this past week. It was time for me to read something about Buddhism. Do you ever wish that you could get back a feeling that you treasured and you don’t understand why you can’t? I don’t understand why I don’t care about certain things that I once cared about. It occurred to me months ago that maybe I should get out one of my many books on Buddhism or mindfulness or simplicity but I didn’t care enough to do it until this past week. I want to care. I want to care about cooking and gardening and even watching TV and movies again. I want to feel present again. I guess this is depression. I feel so lazy and blah. Anyway, Natalie’s book is excellent and it stirred something up that needed to surface. Let’s see if I can get moving forward.

The book also made me want to go to New Mexico. I think that Sandy and I will go there in September, if we have the money.

I meant to go see Natalie at her stop at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Sunday, but I started making a book and that took me into a time warp and I forgot.

It was the first book I have made in many moons. I didn’t have a real plan. My sewing machine was in the shop and so I got out the denim paper that I made last spring and a piece of the recycled denim woven cloth to make a cover. A couple of scraps of old pajama pants decorate the front. This one is for me to experiment with stitching on paper. The paper is very soft so if I make another book with it I will need to reinforce the signatures where the pages are folded and stitched to the cover.

I just picked up my sewing machine and I look forward to some frustration-free sewing this weekend.

cloth weaving, critters, political activism, Slow cloth, Upcycling, weaving


I guess it was inevitable that I would get burned out on outrage. I’m still keeping up with news until I get my mojo back though. Another bad cold did not help matters, but I got over this one fairly quickly. The next major political action I intend to take is the People’s Climate Mobilization in D.C. on April 29, 2017. I’m taking Amtrak up there early in the morning and a friend will meet me there, then I’m coming back on Amtrak late that afternoon. No overnight stay this time.

Work is busy, and a lot seems to be going on at high levels behind the scenes, which is disturbing for us who actually implement the policies. I’m grateful for my job, and I love my work. I hope that I will be able to keep it until I am at least 60 years old, when I will be able to receive most of my state pension if I leave the university. I would like to retire there, but not if I am not in the same department, which is one of the best places to work in the university. Unfortunately a lot depends on state politics here.

Craving studio time. Weekends are the only time I’ve made it over here so far this year. Right now I am weaving together more subtle checkerboard squares to mount shirt pockets on, for the blanket. Also I’m sewing random bits together to make new cloth, with no real plan on how to use them. Maybe they will go on the back of the blanket. It is curious that my passion has moved to sewing, considering the mental blocks I had to overcome. I wish very much that I could sew by hand, but at some point I accepted that my tendinitis is just not going to allow it except in very small amounts.

My problem is definitely not artist’s block now. It is time management and energy flow. I have a billion ideas. I want to get back to making paper and books again. And plant my garden. And plant a garden here at the studio house. Too many things!!!

The weather was beautiful week before last and I moved the Shannock loom out to the front porch for one day. Looking forward to weaving on the porch more often now that I have it screened with a ceiling fan and electricity. Susanne, Marianne, and I enjoyed the porch at the studio house too.

Registration for Focus on Book Arts opens tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. PST. Susanne and I definitely plan to go, and I think that Judy will come for part of it. This will be our third time going to this conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove. We’ll stay on campus because neither of us will have a lot of spare cash since we both are going to Europe on separate trips this spring. I have a voucher from Southwest from volunteering to give up my seat last September that will pay for my airfare or I wouldn’t even be able to consider it. The dilemma is what class(es) to take during the first three days? I know that I want Leighanna Light’s class on the weekend. I had thought to take a more technical class on leather binding for the first three days, but my heart says no. I thought about Jill Berry’s class, but I’d like to take at least one class from someone I haven’t studied (or played, depending on how you look at it!) with before. Now I’m thinking about the Chinese thread book class. That seems interesting.

Now, for your amusement, this is Diego versus the rug. Trust me, it went on much, much longer than these few seconds.

I guess the rug won this round.