augggghhhh, Back Forty, coffee pot posts, depression/anxiety, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina

Saturday morning coffee pot post

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Because we all need cute kitty photos right now.

Hey y’all. I fully intend to work on finishing the travelogue during the next few days. I need to do it because many of my memory cells for details left with my estrogen a few years ago, and that’s one of the reasons I love to document my trips – to revisit them later.

Right now, I am, as most women are in this nation, gobsmacked over the proceedings in Washington, D.C. This one hit so much more personally than other sexual assault or harassment accounts because of the age of Dr. Ford and most of all, the fear factor. I’m repeatedly revisiting an episode in my life that I do not want to think about at all. So many of us are.

The other MAJOR thing that shell-shocked my sister and me this week was somewhat expected, but it is a little like when you have an elderly loved one that has arthritis and other health issues but has powered through many difficulties, and then that loved one meets with an accident and dies. My sister’s home and the house that my grandfather built at Lake Waccamaw are going to be demolished due to the flooding from Hurricane Florence.

Therefore, I am processing grief about my sister and brother-in-law’s loss and I am processing grief about losing the place where I go to process grief. I don’t know yet whether houses will be rebuilt on the sites. My sister had good flood insurance and the FEMA agent was very encouraging about them recovering their financial loss. The other house has never had insurance. We are all reeling.

I haven’t heard from my brother in Lumberton. I haven’t heard from Weezer. I’m not sure that I can talk about it with her yet now that my tears have started. I have always been a place person. I’m not even over selling Mama’s house yet. I will write further about Lake Waccamaw later when I have more information. I, I, I. Yes, I’m aware of all the I’s I am using. I’m aware of the other suffering in the world that is greater than mine.

In addition, there is hypocrisy and drama and devious game playing at my workplace again, despite the efforts of some to bring a unified consensus about who might be our next department head. I’m just praying that it won’t be the same kind of shitshow that happened almost four years ago. My workplace used to have a really great collegial atmosphere except for the usual couple of irredeemable curmudgeons found in every organization, but I have seen a side of people that makes me disgusted and puzzled and exhausted and unsure of what people think of me. I don’t have any faith in the higher administrators. Thank God I can close my office door, play some music and get my work done, and dream about retirement.

So there you have it. My venting is done.

There is a pumpkin in the Back Forty that I’m going to go cut off the vine and bring in. Pablocito is purring on this table – he would be directly behind the laptop if my sewing machine wasn’t there. Diego showed some spunk this morning and raced back and forth through the house and out to the porch and back. There are butterbeans to be shelled and tomatoes to be cooked into sauce.

I’m going to research small RVs and RV camping for beginners. I was planning to buy a cheap camper van from a neighbor when I got back from our big trip but I don’t think that I will now.

Solar panel installation financing has been approved but I have to find some paperwork and it may take longer to get done that I anticipated. There will have to be some rewiring in the attic, and I hope to get this done at the same time.

Next weekend I am going to the Talk Story retreat in Stamford, Connecticut to take a 2-day class with Sharon Payne Bolton and that will be a very welcome stress reliever! I took a class with her several years ago in California and it was a wonderful experience. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these events, I highly recommend it. It is a great choice for a first art retreat, although it may addict you. (This retreat was known as Art is You, but they are reorganizing and renaming it.)

Back to the travelogue, which I will backdate once I finish the series.

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augggghhhh, Back Forty, coffee pot posts, critters, depression/anxiety

Sunday morning coffee pot post

This is how it happens. I think this is why it happens. My mind says, “You have to do this! You should do this! You’re a terrible person if you don’t do this!”

I start to do it and my body says, “Yeah, baby, I’m shutting this down right now since you didn’t listen to my advice when I suggested that you stop.”

So not only did I miss the march yesterday, I ended up with a headache that prevented me from doing any artwork, which was part of the reason WHY I didn’t want to go to the march. The rest of the reason is that sometimes I just have to have a day with solitude. No music, no talking, no noise, no expectations. My energy reserve ran out when I went to Deep Roots for the Taste Fair, and I came home and went to bed.

Of course, the simplest reason is spring allergies. So I took an Allegra and drank elderberry tea with honey, washed out my sinuses with a neti pot. Then I sat on the sofa and did some simple stitching.

All night long I woke up with numb hands. ARGH.

Really, at this point, what the hell? So I’ll set up this free-standing frame I purchased back when my hands were really bad to hold my fabric when I stitch. I have a new chiropractor who I’ll see on April 17, and will try to get a massage appointment with Tonya, who fixed me before but made me cry.

The other bad news came this morning. I stepped out back to take another before photo of the Back Forty. As I turned to come inside, I saw him run across the yard and under that white building. When I looked at the photo and expanded it, there he is, on the left near the back.

Yup. It’s back. Now I know who pooped in the pea bed.

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woodchuck

Now the friggin’ church bells across the street are playing “The Old Rugged Cross” which always reminds me of my mother. They play hymns twice a day during the week and more on Sundays.

I’m in a dark place right now so I’d appreciate any positive vibes sent my way. As long as they are not “thoughts and prayers.”

augggghhhh, coffee pot posts

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Whoa, stayed up way too late last night, reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. This is not an endorsement of this book. Rather it is the desire to finish it and move on to an author that I like better. He does hook me enough that I can’t simply not finish the book though. I read 1Q84 and I really wish I had those weeks of my life back. I tried this one on a recommendation because I’m usually willing to give a writer another chance.

To lighten my reading up I went back to the Poldark series by Winston Graham, which is so fluffy it is a huge relief and I can pick it up after weeks and not be lost. With Murakami I find myself searching backwards constantly for clues I remember but can’t find. This must be satisfying to his multitudes of fans but it drives me crazy.

This weekend I have been petsitting for my neighbors, which is a pretty big undertaking. They have three geriatric dogs, two cats, and a parrot. In exchange for our brief periods of care, they have taken care of our cats for our long and more frequent vacations. It works out well, since our cats are extremely low maintenance these days. I am reminded of how much I am intolerant of the smell of unwashed dog, and how much I love the smell of my cats’ fur. Although when Squirt went through renal failure he smelled awful. The parrot and I are wary of each other after we scared each other the last time, but this weekend he talked to me and I tried not to jump when he took his fruits and veggies from my hand. I am not a pet bird person at all.

These dogs don’t seem to like being outside, which baffles me. They have a great fenced in backyard.

I’ve been thinking a lot about feminism with the #MeToo movement that happened this week, and its connection to fighting sexual assault and harassment. I like to think of myself as radical and far left, but I get a bit fed up with radical feminism sometimes. One of the posters that the organizers of the Women’s March handed out proclaimed “Women are Perfect.” WTF, really? Some of the worse sexists and bigots I ever met were women. Then a bunch of feminists got all pissed off because Bernie was invited to speak at a women’s rights conference. We’ll all be better off when we a) acknowledge that women need to also take responsibility for their own bad behavior, including Hillary, and b) stop lumping all men together as deplorables, and accept that they sometimes make mistakes as young men and can change with guidance. And yes, accusations of sexual harassment can sometimes be used as a weapon. I’ve seen it happen to a friend, and a woman was complicit.

I say this from my own experience as someone who has been sexually assaulted twice and sexually harassed more times than I can count. All of our experiences are unique and they should all be taken seriously and listened to as separate experiences. But if you don’t know yet that there are some women in this world who are fucking evil, you are not paying attention.

Speak up if you can (I didn’t and still can’t), get help (I didn’t), and know that nearly every woman shares your experience. Don’t blame yourself, but do realize that when you’re young and alcohol is involved, bad judgement can happen on both sides. Consider that if violence or coercion was not involved, that the other person’s judgement may have been just as impaired as yours. In one of my experiences, the guy was wrong, but we were both hammered and I can’t hate him for reading the situation wrong, although I do wonder how attractive a young woman who had just thrown up and passed out really could have been. That was on my 20th birthday. In the other, which happened when I was 18, I’d put him in prison if I could, lock him up, and throw away the key. But at the time, all I could think about was not putting my parents through that pain of knowing, and that I was stupid for not getting out of the car and running. And yes, worried that they would not support me.

Above all, be kind to yourself.

The election of a sexual predator to “lead” our country has done more to unravel my psychological health and bring up terrible memories than anything in my whole life up until today. The worst of these experiences happened in the late 70s and early 80s when I honestly did not know what to do and blamed myself for letting myself get in the situation or didn’t want to “rock the boat” at work because it was so hard to find a job. Some of my first serious run-ins with sexism came from women.

Now that these sexual predators are empowered and in charge, at least they are being exposed and we are bonding together in fighting them. They have always been there, and like the white supremacists they are scurrying around like cockroaches in the light. Don’t forget the female traitors who uplift them. They are just as bad.

Yeah, it’s pretty likely that I’ll come back and delete this post.

augggghhhh, whatever, whining

The Apocalypse!!!

All eyes on the East Coast are on Hurricane Irma, while Texas is still underwater and the West is on fire.

Climate change deniers confuse and disgust me. I’m a person who depends on logic, and this kind of nonsense wouldn’t sit well with me even if it didn’t mean the destruction of our planet as we know it. The worship of money in this country causes such mental dysfunction that even the fate of the children and grandchildren doesn’t get through the psychological walls of the brainwashed.

I resigned myself quite a while back that it’s too late to do anything meaningful on a large scale now. You can say that’s pessimistic or selfish. I say it’s being realistic, and I don’t much care what other people think about my attitude. So I do what I can in my small corner of the world to make things better in the time we have left, thank God I decided not to have children, and hope like hell that I don’t get reincarnated. I support without criticism whatever anybody is trying to do to improve or save our land, water, air and soil, because all the money in the world will not save us if we don’t save them. The great work is being done without the idea of being rewarded for it.

And there’s the social catastrophe in the United States. You can’t even have a civil discussion here on any controversial subject without getting attacked, even from those who agree with you. Nobody’s listening to each other. There are kneejerk reactions to everything according to whatever filter that person is using. People believe insane things that are based on bullshit propaganda and celebrity tweets. I am very glad that I am a political independent, but no one seems to be immune to this sickness. That’s the way I feel today, and why I won’t address social issues here. It might change by tomorrow. I’m distressed right now.

The current forecast is for Irma to skirt the east coast of Florida and make landfall in Georgia or the southern South Carolina coast and come up through the Carolinas. I feel like we are ready here. We haven’t had any real damage from a hurricane since Fran here in Greensboro, but North Carolina has had more than its share of flooding. Floyd drowned eastern North Carolina. Hugo proved that even 200 miles inland is not immune to serious damage. Matthew submerged the little towns along the Lumber River where I grew up last October.

The states in the West that I fell in love with and hoped to migrate to for our retirement are burning up. Oregon has had much more intense heat waves that we have had in North Carolina this year. Glacier National Park is burning. The Columbia River Gorge is burning. People can’t breathe because of the smoke.

I am concerned that we plan to fly to Colorado for a few days next Wednesday, as we try to do every year to visit my aunt and cousin and celebrate my cousin’s birthday. Right now it looks like that plan is still on track, thank goodness.

But I don’t count on anything. It’s a crazy world, and nothing surprises me anymore.

augggghhhh, Back Forty, butterbeans, critters, whining

Catching up

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The front yard container garden has been producing tomatoes, despite its propensity to dry out every day and some blossom end rot. I should have remembered to put epsom salts in the holes when I planted these. The peppers are really unhappy. A few of the plants’ miseries have finally been put to an end, due to an early invasion of aphids that I didn’t control when I was traveling. I made chili with ground bison and tomatoes and peppers from this garden last night. Even the Romas that had blossom end rot were fine – I chopped off the ends. The Beefy Boys, which Sandy picked out, are a hit. Very sweet and dense, the right exact size for two sandwiches. Even when they split, they patched up just fine.

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Butterbeans are here. I hope to have enough for a little taste for everyone when I go to see my sister and brother-in-law at Lake Waccamaw this weekend. We have also eaten a few green beans. That patch did not germinate well at all, but I combine them with potatoes as they get big enough to pick and they taste good. The celery is ready but I haven’t tried it yet. The broccoli is all leaves. The woodchuck has been enjoying munching on that.

Also, the semi-shady spot next to my steps seems to be a great place for lettuce and parsley.

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My big trips are over for the year while we pay off credit cards and concentrate on home for a while. I wish that I didn’t bunch them up together, but May-July are the best times for me to take off from work, and flights are much cheaper before June. I’m lucky that I get so much time off at this job – it is one of the reasons I love it here so much. However, it does come at the expense of regular pay raises.

I came back from Portland with a raging case of food poisoning – certainly the worst I have ever had. Once my fever came down to the point that I could think straight and use Google, I played Dr. House and self-diagnosed myself with e coli from the cherries from the farmers market that I munched on from Sunday to Thursday, which I forgot to wash. I chose not to go to the doctor, although I had my husband on alert that I might have to go to the ER or urgent care. From what I read, you just had to stay hydrated and suffer through it, and doctors couldn’t do that much for you. So my lesson was learned. I will never be cavalier about eating raw unwashed food again, especially food that has been handled by the public.

I spent another week getting my stomach back to accepting normal foods and healing from the muscle aches. Now I’ve turned my attention back to healing my neck and shoulder, which, in the words of my massage therapist, is all “cranked up.” She recommended that I see a different therapist who specializes in pain management, and I’ll go to her this afternoon. On Tuesday morning I went to my regular GP for my six-month blood-letting and she prescribed me muscle relaxants, which haven’t kicked in yet. Gawd. What a mess. It’s hard to get anything done when I’m in this kind of pain. Heat helps, but in mid-July I’m not eager to curl up with a heating pad or use a patch.

I want to weave and dye and weed and plant and do a lot of things that keep me from healing, and I’ve been too stubborn to stop with the yard work. I can’t stand to see the weeds and vines take over. My worst fear is that I won’t get better. In that case, I have to find a way to keep doing the things that I need to do. Stopping permanently is not an option, but I may have to stop for a while longer.

There is some good news. The new chiropractor I saw in June fixed my lower back and hip problem! Hooray!

Anyway, I hope to start posting more art-related photos and topics here very soon. Please bear with me!

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Diego and Pablocito have been enjoying the front porch. They stay there until we make them come in, most of the time. Diego often enjoys the swing, but they have to share the cat tree. It’s fun watching them watch the birds and squirrels. You should have seen Pablocito when the woodchuck ran by. The expression on his face was priceless.

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