Coronavirus Chronicles, Rants

Julia Sugarbaker

I love Julia Sugarbaker.

I went full Julia Sugarbaker on a housekeeping employee in the building yesterday. (At first I thought full “Karen,” but I feel sorry for the undeserving Karens of the world that got popped with this denigration of their names.) Every morning I see this man, working inside our building, with a mask hanging off his ear or on his chin, sometimes shouting at another employee on the next floor up or down the hall. Now that the semester is in full swing and the building is full of students, faculty, and staff, I decided to say something to him since obviously no one else had. Yesterday morning I walked in and he had on a plastic face shield and no mask. He said that his supervisor had told them that a face shield was enough.

Well. I tried. I explained to him that UNCG required all their employees and students to wear masks indoors, and it applies to housekeeping as well. I told him that I had two family members who are immuno-compromised so I was wearing a double mask or N-95 to work every day. He said that he understood, that he had three family members at risk. That’s when I started to lose my temper. “So you should be wearing a mask anyway!” I interrupted.

He said, “Well, everybody’s gotta do what they gotta do,” and that was exactly the response that bugs me more than anything in this world.

“No,” I said. “None of this ‘everybody’s gotta do’ stuff. We are employees at UNCG and UNCG requires us to wear masks inside. Period. It’s not a choice.” He then turned and walked into a small room with vending machines where a couple of students were seated.

I got on the elevator, and when I got off on my floor, our sweet housekeeper was wearing a face shield with her mask on her chin. I explained to her that she needs to wear her mask, and she said that she was told that the face shield was enough. I told her that was mistaken, and she wore her mask for the rest of the day.

My supervisor got on the phone and email with the higher ups in the facilities department and hopefully it has been straightened out, although I did not see the guy on the first floor this morning. I can count on our housekeeper to do what is right, as long as she is not misinformed. I think this is what makes me the maddest – that they put her in jeopardy. And the example for the students is terrible. Why some people think that rules do not apply to them baffles me. We are provided with free vaccinations, masks, sanitizer, and weekly testing on campus. We have health insurance. There’s a Walgreens one block away that gives free vaccinations. There are no excuses for our employees not to comply with the health rules here.

So I went down a “Designing Women” rabbit hole and rediscovered one of the best sitcoms of the 80s-90s.

I don’t remember what led up to this rant, but I think that they had been at a conference and there may have been a lot of gossip?

But this clip might be one of my favorites:

This is the monologue that most people remember, from very early in the series:

This one is from the pilot. This take-down comes back to bite her in the ass later on. It reminded me of a girls night out in my own life, when one of the women at our table told the guys that walked up to us, “I’m sorry, we don’t speak English.” They left very confused.

She had her times when she was wrong. This is the absolute angriest Julia rant that ever aired:

Well, this could go on all day, but here’s one I didn’t remember that is golden:

Here’s an interesting fact about Dixie Carter and proof of her brilliant acting and comedic chops: she was actually a conservative. Julia Sugarbaker was a loud and proud liberal and Dixie hated doing her political rants, but she loved to sing. Later she made a deal with the producers that for every liberal rant she had to do, she would get to sing a song on the show.

I’m not always proud of my Julia Sugarbaker moments, but I am glad that I do not have the personality to tolerate bullshit or lies, either. One time that I was glad that I had the JS gene was when I spoke before the board of directors at Deep Roots, during the dark time when they had a mean, incompetent store manager and the BOD changed the mission of the cooperative.  I was proud of that speech, and I burnt the hell out of that manager. Later the BOD finally understood what was happening to the financials and the manager was fired, only to be hired at another local coop that he ran out of business. Today, Deep Roots is strong and has a great manager who has stabilized it and set it on the path to growth again.

coffee pot posts, collage

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Note: This post began on Tuesday morning and I saved it as a draft and forgot to post it.


I can’t say enough how much I am grateful to my sister and bro-in-law for giving us their 2007 Volvo wagon. Even though it has some wear and tear after 189K miles it is still an awesome vehicle. We are going to be good to this one, which means we are going to find a Volvo certified mechanic and/or take it to a Volvo dealer for service regularly. In the meantime, we will save for and shop for a car to replace the 2008 Honda Fit.

We drove to Chapel Hill to pick up the car and only visited with my niece very briefly. Their tabby rescue kitten, Milo, dashed out to meet me and what a cutie he is! Lisa and Tim found him in the parking lot of the strip mall in Lake Waccamaw. My niece says that he is a little psychopath and bites hard. He didn’t bite me, though. I’ve never had an issue where I had to train a kitten not to bite, at least, not more than the normal play bites. I never could get my boys to understand that they can’t flex their claws into my skin, though.

Then, even though we tried to time it so that we didn’t drive in a storm, Sandy drove the “new” car back in a bad thunderstorm with lots of water on the road. It was a little tense, but he did well. At least we drove a back road halfway home. Sure wish we could send some of this rain west.

Margaret Atwood is speaking at the auditorium close to my house, but wow, the cheapest tickets for us would be $60! I’m becoming one of those old people who bitch about how much everything costs nowadays, blah blah blah. Maybe I’ll hang out by the back door and say hey to her. I know that building pretty intimately from my theater major days.

On Saturday, I cleaned up my studio and divided the work spaces into a wet work space for glue and paint and a dry work space. I cut out the wonky endband on the book that I made in Dan’s class and added those pieces of thread to some small collages I made last year that still needed a little something. I think I’m done with the “handmade” one but the other two still bug me and maybe I’ll just paint over them and start over. I’m thinking about what I will put in the Artists Over 50 show in Greensboro next month.


Saturday update: I watched Seth Apter do a live demo with a couple of his embossing powders on Wednesday and that inspired me to order most of them, so maybe I will experiment with them on these two collages that are too busy for me. Two of the powders create a faux-encaustic look which is really cool.

I continue to fool around with this collage, which was inspired by the lyrics to “Stairway to Heaven.” At first I was focused on “and you know sometimes words have two meanings.” But as I added to it, the line “on a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings” pushed the other line aside and it became an homage to Liz, our white parakeet who died this past year, and imagining her free. I think that I might layer some millet seeds there on the bottom where the bugs are, since those would be what Liz would prefer.


The other news from this week, since Tuesday, is that I went back to get my injured foot checked and x-rayed and the PA who saw me doesn’t think it is broken now. The swelling went down and I was nearly painless. I told her that I could no longer wear the boot because it was causing me more harm than good. So I am no longer in the boot, but I have to be careful and remember not to bounce around as if I am healed, because I am not. I proved that right away by using the stairs this week and paying for it later in renewed pain. However, it has been good to be able to walk to work again. My hips and back need the exercise badly. I just wish that I could do more. I see my other podiatrist on Sept. 1, the one that I started with in June about my bone spur and tendinitis in the same foot.

It’s good to be on the front porch this morning, but I am terribly bored and itching to travel. Sandy was able to get a booster vac on Monday. He had tried to get in touch with his rheumatologist, but couldn’t, so when he went in to get his meds refilled, he asked the pharmacy manager about the booster shot. She looks at his meds, said that he qualified, and gave him one right then. So I am happy for him, but I am still too anxious to get out among people, and I want to be sure that I don’t carry the virus back to Tim when I see him in a few weeks. According to the new guidelines, I would be able to get a booster in mid-November if I had gotten the Pfizer or Moderna, BUT I got the J&J, which continues to be a source of frustration for me. Tim is much more frustrated because he has not been able to get the booster even though he is in chemo, but his medical situation is very complicated.

I have been working on my gratitude and my attitude, but this week has been a tough one mentally and physically, with headaches, sleep deprivation, depression, and anxiety. Therapy has been good for me. I wish that Sandy would go out and do some things without me. He needs the interaction with people. I don’t want him to eat inside restaurants yet until his booster settles in, but I feel like I am holding him back by wanting to stay home.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Listening to Nancy Griffith and the Cranberries this morning, but I won’t be on the front porch until this heat wave passes, which is supposed to happen tomorrow.

I’m closing in on two weeks of wearing this boot, and while I have no doubt that it is helping my foot heal, it is pure hell on my hip. I go see a new doctor on Tuesday to be evaluated with x-rays and maybe an MRI if they think it is needed. Not being able to take anti-inflammatory meds has made a difference in my pain level. I don’t know what to do – I feel like I need exercise, but even normal movement after a couple of days leaves me with hip pain. The boot is not as hot as I thought it might be, though, and I found a couple of old Danskos that level up my left foot to nearly the same height. I’m glad I didn’t purge them.

Yard guy is supposed to be here soon – thank God I got that lined up before all this happened.

I hope that Sandy will feel up to driving to Chapel Hill to exchange my sister’s 2012 Volvo, which they want to keep, for their 2007 Volvo, which they are giving to me. I am pretty excited about owning a Volvo. Even a 14 year old Volvo will be the nicest car I’ve ever had. We will use the money that we would have used for car payments to keep it maintained. Plus if I continue to have to wear this damn boot I want automatic transmission so I can try to drive with my left foot if I need to go somewhere. Sandy has been my chauffeur.

We mailed the notarized title to the Chevy to the auto shop in Holly Ridge on Monday and I’ve yet to hear that they have received it. This is annoying.

I’m worried about Sandy. His spirits seem really low and he usually doesn’t complain when he is in pain. He did say that his back suddenly stopped hurting the other day, but now he seems to be sleeping much of the time.

We rewatched “Master and Commander” last night. Normally I don’t care for war movies but what a great movie that was.

I can’t seem to get into reading anything right now. I’m back to the game obsession. The world is a terrifying place and it keeps my mind in check.

At work, we ended up having our new grad student orientation on Zoom and we didn’t have the party afterwards, since the plan had been to have it outside at Oden Brewing’s beer garden. The heat index was at 100 degrees so that didn’t seem like a good idea.

I’m getting a bit stir-crazy but at least I got in a couple of fun art workshops this summer.

The news that Sandy is authorized to get a booster was very good. My brother-in-law will qualify also. Our department head had a breakthrough infection and was sick for several days. He came into work, masked, because he assumed that it was allergies, as most of us do. His son was positive, but his wife and daughter were negative. Our office manager’s husband also had a breakthrough infection and nine of his unvaccinated co-workers were sick. One is not expected to make it. She and her daughter did not get sick, and she got the J&J vaccine also. Another co-worker with two toddlers was alarmed and took home tests, and she and her wife got false positives that scared them to death. She had given me a ride home one day, although we were masked. I am glad that no home tests are in stock at area Walgreens right now because they are not accurate.

So I have had two negative Covid-19 tests in the week since I came back from the beach!

Mask mandates are in effect again in our county and at my workplace. No working from home again for me, though. I have to go into the office, but I can isolate myself pretty well.

Oh, and there was a young grey fox in my backyard! I was sitting on my front porch and heard my across the street neighbor shout that he saw a fox running back there. So I went back and there it was, standing in the same space that goes under the back building where I used to see the groundhogs, staring at me. I talked to it and it remained there for several seconds. What a rush! I hope they have taken up residence here.


the latest

I’m not as upset as you might think.

First: The foot is a literal pain but it is small potatoes compared to what others in my family are going through right now. I’m beginning to adjust to walking with the boot so that my hip and hamstring doesn’t hurt.

I thought I was doing really well this weekend and made time for rest, but also cleaned under my bed, did laundry, went grocery shopping, cooked a lot, picked figs, and cooked the figs with orange zest, honey, and lemon juice into a sauce. I can’t call it jam or preserves because it’s not thick enough, but it is delicious.

I mean, this boot was made for walking, right? Getting some things done around here was rejuvenating, and once I took it off to go to bed, I didn’t go through the motions of putting it back on when I got up to brush my teeth or go to the bathroom or get something from the kitchen. I noticed that my swelling had gone down and I thought maybe this injury is not as bad as they thought.

But last night my foot hurt really bad in a different place, and the Achilles tendinitis started kicking back in. I was taken off anti-inflammatory meds because they inhibit bone healing, and instead I have to take acetaminophen for pain, which is not doing the job. So I put the boot back on to sleep in, and managed to get a few hours of shuteye. During which I had one of the most horrifying nightmares of my life!

So today, I worked from home with my foot firmly in the boot. Sandy drove me up to my credit union where I got the title for the Chevy notarized and ready to be mailed to the auto shop which basically bought my car for the amount that I would have owed them for the work already done. I am being good and I’ll try to go back to the office tomorrow. This is a busy work week.

The second development: my sister and brother-in-law are giving me their 2007 Volvo. They said that it was a solid car, but they don’t need it and were planning to donate it. She won’t sell it to me, although we have offered. I am grateful for it and for once I am going to accept this gift without guilt. We will take good care of this one, and take it to another auto shop that specializes in European cars. We still have their 2012 Volvo in our driveway so at some point in the next week or so we will drive it to their house and swap it for the 2007 model.

The third development: I rebooked our plane tickets to Ireland for May 2022. I didn’t lose a whole lot on canceling the AirBNBs because I was careful to pick ones with liberal cancellation policies. The Southwest tickets from Raleigh to Boston are easy – they just give you the credit back. Aer Lingus and Orbitz were surprisingly easy and quick, although I paid a little extra. Those are round trip from Boston to Dublin. The only fly in the ointment is from Dublin to Lisbon on TAP Airlines, who apparently does not give a flying fuck about customer service, and is impossible to contact. When I tried to rebook on the TAP site, it only gave me upgraded options at more than double what we originally paid. So that’s an issue. I’ve filed complaints, since that is my only option of communication. I’ve noticed many complaints on their social media accounts.

Our plan is to do most of this trip in Portugal this time, since that is Sandy’s dream trip that he’s wanted to do for several years and I kept promising, next time, next time, next time. I am enthusiastic about it too. Two weeks there will give us more time to explore areas beyond Lisbon. The train system looks to be cheap and widespread. I am working on learning some basic European Portuguese, which is NOT an easy language, but in the urban areas it is easy to get by with English.

This is actually a relief. I am done worrying about whether to do it or not. It is done.

art, book arts

Painted Papyrus Book Workshop


20210731_132327_0720210801_162246The reason I was at the beach: Dan Essig‘s rescheduled Painted Papyrus Book workshop at the home of Leslie Marsh in Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

We made two books: one with the papyrus showing on the cover, which is finished and I’m happy with, and one with the papyrus as a base.  We covered the one with papyrus as a base with crumpled Cave paper, then painted with several layers of milk paint, then sanded or rubbed off top layers in places, then buffed it with shoe polish. The smell reminded me of my daddy on Sunday mornings.

I didn’t finish the second one because I was NOT happy with the endband binding. It was a hard technique to learn anyway and then I was having vision problems. I’m going to take what I did out now that I got the hang of it toward the end and redo the bottom, add the endband at the top, then glue and stitch the covers together.

Of course, since it is Dan’s workshop, we received pieces of mica to include in our books. I was lucky to get a piece with some great black and rust inclusions so it will be featured on the front cover of the second book.

Leslie’s studio, which has been featured in the magazine What Women Create, is the inspiration that made me start ditching my plastic bins in favor of old cigar boxes and baskets.


North Carolina, North Carolina beaches

Topsail Island, July 29-Aug. 2

Hi ya from rainy North Carolina. I sure wish my super power was being able to control the weather instead of blogging. I’d send a bunch of this water out west.

Here are a few pics from my trip to Topsail Island, where we also experienced a couple of awesome storms. These photos come from last Sunday, when I finally had a chance to walk out to the beach near where we were staying.


20210801_180815Fortunately I did not walk far, because I looked up from collecting shells to see this behind me. The wind blew my bag open and dumped all my shells in the waves and I skedaddled back to the AirBNB.

There was definite rotation in that cloud and the residents of the house were eyeing it nervously.


After the storm passed, there was this, which was a huge arch over the island. You could see all of it from the bridge when we crossed to the mainland to eat seafood at Sears Landing.


I learned that parking under a palmetto tree is not a good idea – hard to wash off the debris! It was nice sitting on the patio when I was able to do it.


On Monday morning we walked some down on the south end of the island on the sound side of the inlet. I was surprised because the water was clear and cool without waves and the bottom was sandy with no shellfish to step on and there were people swimming, fishing, paddleboarding, and kayaking there. I would like to go back here with an umbrella and a kayak or float. I forgot to take my phone so no photos.

During the weekend, I regret to say that we were not covid-careful. Nobody was wearing a mask anywhere. We went out to eat at five restaurants, all very good! The first night we ate on the patio of Surf City Line and enjoyed a good singer and an older guy who got up and sang “Rocky Raccoon” so you know we all had to sing along.  Daddy Mac’s Beach Grill on the oceanfront had a long wait but Sandy’s baby back ribs and my shrimp gratin were delicious. I don’t usually care for ribs, but YUM. I wasn’t so crazy about Santino’s, but my nerves were shot and I wasn’t hungry. The cheesy Italian bread was good though. Sandy had grilled scallops and I had fried oysters at Sears Landing. They have several good house made sauces that they put out on the table. They are on the Intercoastal Waterway so it has a very nice view and boats can pull up there.


Then for lunch on Monday, we ate inside at Cora’s Deli in Topsail Beach, where my classmates had ordered lunch for takeout all weekend. Sandy had an Italian panini and I had the turkey, brie, and balsamic strawberry jam panini – what a great combo! I highly recommend going inside to see all the posters, many of which have Cora’s head (the namesake of the deli) substituted for one of the heads in the poster.



I’m back, without my car

Wow, what a roll this week has been. As soon as we unloaded at our AirBNB in Surf City last Thursday night, we headed out for dinner and my Chevy Lumina just stopped, and then would not crank back up. Some would say that we should have known better than to drive a 25 year old car several hours away, but I thought that it was in better shape than the Honda, it had a working radio, it is a more comfortable ride, and it had just been inspected and checked out by my mechanic. Or SO I THOUGHT.

I won’t go into it in much more detail, except to say that by Monday afternoon, we gave up on the Chevy and exchanged it for the work already done, as junk. This was more emotional than you might think, because my mother loved this car and I bought it from her because it was hard for her to sell it. And I am angry at my mechanic because the mechanic at the beach said that the car had never been maintained. I counted on my mechanic to check it and do what it needed every time I took it in, and I assumed that he had done so. Yet the spark plugs and wires were the originals, the fuel filter had never been changed, and I found that the coolant and oil was low.

Our AirBNB hosts were extraordinarily generous and they handed over the keys to one of their cars for the weekend. Then my sister called and said that they had just bought a new car this weekend, and she and my brother-in-law drove to Topsail Beach and left their old car with me on Sunday afternoon on a detour on their way to Lake Waccamaw.

So, even though the plan was for one of us to follow the Chevy to Chapel Hill and drop off my sister’s car on the way home, my sister’s car is sitting in our driveway, and we need to start shopping for another car.

Car prices are shocking to us since we have not shopped for a car in 13 years, but I knew that they would be. Sandy and I seldom need both cars though, and so we may save up for a larger down payment for a few months. I can’t drive right now anyway because…


My foot began hurting more when I was at the beach – I was standing and walking more, a couple of times in loose sand – and when I came back to work on Tuesday, I couldn’t stand to keep my shoe on. Then I started getting stabbing pains, so Sandy took me to an orthopedic urgent care on Tuesday night, where they put my right leg in a tall boot for six weeks.

The x-rays did not show a break, so I was surprised at the concern. The PA said that it was either bone contusions on three bones on the top of my foot just before my toes (I can’t remember the medical terms) or a stress fracture. So they are treating it like a stress fracture. I get x-rayed again in two weeks.

My Europe trip is scheduled five weeks from now.

Will post photos from the workshop and the beach in the next posts.

coffee pot posts

Sunday morning coffee pot post

AKA “brain dump.”

Even though the past few weeks have been hell in many ways, we have also gotten a few things accomplished. I can use my washing machine again without having to carry the outgoing water out to the garden in buckets. It was what I thought: a huge clog of grease in the outgoing pipes that had been building up for many years. The plumber also found a leak under the kitchen and replaced that piece of old pipe. In doing so, he found that the electrical cord to my dishwasher was rubbing against the hole and was frayed, and he fixed that. He and his helper reattached a drawer front and a wood panel that had come off in the kitchen. Then, between him and my husband, we got the bathroom sink faucet fixed, although in the end it ended up that we had to replace it and that wasn’t cheap. Sandy was able to replace it himself. All in all, we spent over a grand on these way overdue repairs.

Also, I now have a yard maintenance guy who knows plants and he has done one clean up session and one basic mow this month. That is a huge relief.

Credo sent me an upgraded phone for free because we had to for their network upgrade. It is a refurbished Galaxy S9. Even though it is annoying to redo passwords and get used to a new format, I realize that because my S7 still works perfectly fine as a mini-computer/camera, we can take it as an extra phone to Europe. Maybe get a SIM card for it instead of the new phone while we are there, and have extra storage for photos.

I’m sitting on the front porch right now. Even though it is humid it is not bad. Sandy decided to go to the big farmers’ market next to I-40 this morning. I decided to stay home. My friends sell at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, but it is nice to have a market that sells on Sunday.

My anxiety is starting to ratchet up about Co-vid again, and I’m sure that I am not alone. I’m worried about our trip to Portugal and Ireland. If I have to reschedule, when would I do so? I’m going to buy a bunch of N95 masks for the trip. The good thing is that these two countries are getting a lot more vaccinations done right now. The bad thing is that I don’t trust people on the plane to be vaccinated or to mask properly. What would happen if either of us got a breakthrough infection over there, or over here just before the trip? So many scenarios going through my head!

In a way, it would be a relief to reschedule. But I feel a time pressure to make this trip while Sandy is doing fairly well, and who knows what could happen in the future to stop us again? Will it ever be “safe”?

My friend Jerry just had a heart attack two days ago. I think that he will be okay. He got a stent and I understand that he will get more on Monday. It is amazing what heart surgeons can do these days.

Seems like everyone has health troubles right now.

I don’t think that I ever said what happened with my eye appointment. My eyes are healthy other than allergies. He prescribed me some eye drops but I keep forgetting to put them in twice a day, so I’m still dealing with fuzzy vision. It was a relief that that was all it was. I don’t even need new lenses.

Sandy just got back with corn and shrimp and andouille sausage. Guess we will eat well today! I was thinking of making squash casserole, and I have a few little potatoes from the garden.

I’ve done just a little bit of cleanup around the house, but I’m going to do more. Still trying to rest this foot. I have some paste leftover from our paste painting session on Wednesday in the fridge. I think that I’ll get that out and play. Maybe finish the lake tapestry. HAHAHAHAHAHA! How many times have I said THAT in the last six months?

I am looking forward to this weekend when I go to Topsail Beach for a three day workshop with Dan Essig at Leslie Marsh’s studio. This will be my fifth? workshop with Dan. I always learn something and come away with my most satisfying work from his classes. It’s been so long since I bound a book that I could use a refresher class anyway. I miss book making. Dan was the artist who introduced me to it. Anyway, I will try to remember to take photos this time.

I hope that I will be able to sleep sharing a bed with Sandy at our AirBNB in Surf City. He stopped using his cPAP machine several months ago and even took it back to the place. Stubborn, stubborn man. I can’t use earplugs any more because I’m pretty sure I have psoriasis in my ears. That’s another worry for the Europe trip – damn! At least in Ireland there will be a spare bedroom. If there’s a sofa in the one in Portugal, that would be good. I slept on the sofa at the lake for two nights – fortunately for me, it is very comfortable!

Therapy is going well. I am afraid that I have become that person who often says “My therapist says…” but I really, really, really like this person. Some of my best sessions have been the ones in which I am feeling good. So much about my life is changing. I think that I am moving in a positive direction, despite my worries this weekend.

art, coffee pot posts

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Well, let’s pretend that it is still morning. Technically I began this post at 11:55. But I am still finishing the coffee pot.

Above is my latest collage, which I began working on last fall. That seems to work best for me with collages, to let them percolate a while before finishing up. I still need to trim it a bit but it is mounted on a cradled wood panel painted white. The final element came when I attached one of Liz’s tail feathers.  (Liz is our late parakeet.)

Last weekend we went back down to Lake Waccamaw and four friends joined us. We ate a lot of good food and unhealthy food and played games. We didn’t go anywhere this time other than quick trips to the grocery store with masks on – I am not feeling good about going out down there right now. That county has a low vaccination rate. One couple brought a strategy game called Quirkle Cubes and I want to buy that one. We also played Sequence. The weather was hot and muggy some of the time but the breeze was up on Saturday night and we sat out in the yard looking out at the lake and drank mixed drinks and cider.

Tim and Lisa mainly did stuff on their own – they have ongoing renovations at their house and Tim was recovering from surgery nine days before, but on Sunday, he attempted to give our friends a ride on the pontoon boat. Once he got it off the lift into the water, it wouldn’t crank. So he got into the water (it is only about knee deep) and was trying to keep it from bashing into the pier next door. I had on my bathing suit so I tried to hurry into the water to help him, and wiped out on the bottom slick step of the pier and whacked the top of my right foot and shin on the steps. It is fortunate that I crashed into the water instead of hard ground or it would have been very bad. As it was, I was able to walk over and help him push the boat back onto the lift. It’s kind of amazing how easy it is to push a large boat in the water, but he should not have been doing it.

Anyway, after I walked out of the lake and rinsed off the cut on my foot, my sister doctored it up and we sat on the pier and enjoyed conversation for about an hour. I had my leg iced and elevated but it swelled up like crazy. My cut never got infected though and that was my main concern.

Anyway, I’ve spent most of the week working from home and elevating my foot. Tuesday was bad because I didn’t take care of it, because we had to pack and clean up the house on Monday. Sandy can’t do it all these days. The swelling started going down on Wednesday and I decided that I didn’t need to go to the doctor. Friday I was able to put on my shoes and walk to work and back, and I soaked in Epsom salts last night. Today I was greeted with a multi-colored foot and leg that could easily belong to a zombie – I am fascinated with the colors. Greenish yellow, blue, deep purple, brownish red. The only normal color is a circle around the cut. I’ve never had an injury like this and it amazes me that I’m not in severe pain!

So the idea was that we were going to make paste papers at the lake, but none of us were in the mood for it considering everything that was happening, or not happening since we were all TOO relaxed. On Wednesday evening three of us made paste papers at Susanne’s house, and I brought home the leftover paint and used it all up. So I now have a lot of background and collage papers to use, along with a few pieces nice enough to use for book covers.


I am not very confident about the safety of going back to a normal schedule at work once the semester begins. The administration seems to be determined to make everything as normal as possible, which I understand, but I also understand that there are a LOT of young people out there who for whatever reason have not gotten vaccinated. Fortunately, most of our employees have, according to a survey. I am nervous because I’m not so trusting of the J&J’s effectiveness against the Delta variant. We need to go ahead and get Sandy an antibody test this weekend.

Oh well, the problem with waiting so long to post is that there is too much catch-up to do. I didn’t take any lake photos. I don’t know why – usually I take so many but I didn’t even think about it this time! I will try to post again tomorrow, because I have plenty to write about.

art, fiber art, tapestry, weaving

Progress on the lake tapestry

The lake tapestry has taken an unexpected turn as I inched (millimetered?) my way to the finish line. I decided to weave a strip of the brown/grey threads at the top for a hem, and started on the right side and took a break.

When I went back to it, it seems that my lake needs a cliff jutting out into the water in the background. Which means it is no longer Lake Waccamaw, which is round.

Yet, this weaving was abstracted anyway. It began with a very quiet photograph of raindrops on the lake and the blue sky just beginning to poke through the clouds and reflect on the tea-colored waters of Lake Waccamaw. I cropped the photo down to a small area and increased the size. I added the movement of the water on top and below the surface, and it became much more animated. The raindrops would not have really looked this way on the surface if the water had been moving.

Now it seems to me that the raindrops in the tapestry have transformed into boulders and rocks in the water. There are no boulders and rocks in the swampy sandy waters of eastern North Carolina. Not naturally placed ones, anyway.

What do you think? I need to make a decision.