coffee pot posts

Saturday morning post-Portugal coffee pot post

Here we are, back in Greensboro, North Carolina after a very, very long trip home! This is mostly an organizational brain dump post. I worked on several posts from the early days of our trip about a week ago and I’ll edit and release those today. We also have to grocery shop today, but I have some very nice lettuce growing and it will be nice to have a fresh salad after airport food and snacks for two days.

The weather here while we were gone was crazy, from what I understand. Extreme heat and humidity and storms. I can tell from my solar production reports how up and down it was for sun and rain. When I thanked my neighbor for sweeping the front porch and steps, he said that it was windswept from Thursday night. This storm system was part of why it was difficult to get home yesterday. The other reason was that we missed our connection to Greensboro in Newark because a young man in front of us on the plane in Boston had a severe seizure that looked very much like a stroke…it was a serious medical emergency and fortunately it happened when we were still at the gate and a paramedic was on board. Then a paramedic team came on board and took him to a hospital.

Something like that happens in front of you and it makes you understand how fragile life and health is, and helps you reassess what is important.

The rest of the flights to Greensboro were canceled, but the United personnel were so helpful and we managed to get the last two standby seats on the next flight to Raleigh Durham. So it worked out well that we left our car in Chapel Hill! A passenger who had sat near us on the plane from Boston happened to be going to Greensboro too, so we were going to try to stick together and give him a ride to Greensboro, but there were only two seats and he was so kind to give us his seat so that we could fly together. We were kind to him, and he responded with kindness. During a time of great distress in this country, this was uplifting.

So we are home, but our two bags with most of our stuff are not. Mine was lost somewhere between Lisbon and Boston on Aer Lingus, and a United employee told Sandy that he would send his bag on to the Greensboro airport because it was not at all sure that we could get on a flight to RDU. So we didn’t check the baggage claim because we also thought that there was no way that it could be transferred in time. Whoops, I think that Sandy’s bag is at RDU. We will have to check on this and maybe drive back. My bag will be shipped to me if they find it because Aer Lingus doesn’t have service in North Carolina. All my flea market finds, my souvenir magnets, and some of my favorite clothes are in my bag. 😦 However, it means that I have very little unpacking and laundry to do today.

We came home to cats who were well cared for, but happy to see us, and a verdant and very wet garden. The weather is beautiful and the birds are singing. I am very aware that even though I loved the birds in Portugal, there were not many songbirds around. Most places there were only pigeons and swallows and seagulls, although I appreciated them very much too.

Once I have gotten settled and bags located, I will have a lot more to say about Portugal. In the meantime, the posts from the days in Lisbon will be released as I check them over.

Bom dia!

coffee pot posts, Reading

Saturday morning coffee pot post

There won’t be anything interesting here today – this is a brain dump and an organizing post for me.

Things to do today:

1. Vote. Local elections and primaries are just as important as national elections. We sure learned that the hard way in North Carolina. Vigilance in all elections is vital.

2. Get the tapestry stitched onto the mat board, put it in the frame, and pack it to ship to Leslie before Friday.

3. Laundry. House cleaning and studio and porch cleaned up.

Tomorrow: Susanne will come over to talk about pet sitting.

I’ve already started packing for our trip simply because my nerves are shot. I want to see if I can get everything into my backpack luggage, which is carry-on sized but I will check it. We have a long trip ahead and a couple of our places have washing machines, but Portugal for the most part does not have dryers in homes because of the utility expense. I have no problem wearing clothes several times if they are reasonably clean, but if we wash anything, we will have to be aware that it might take a couple of days to dry depending on the weather. It will require planning.

Also, we will be traveling a lot by train and bus and getting to destinations hours before we can check in. Packing light is essential, and a wheeled suitcase on cobblestones is not a good idea anyway – it is just going to get wrecked. Originally I was going to pack an empty carry-on within a larger wheeled suitcase for whatever goodies we bring back. Now I’m thinking that we will just adjust to that situation if it happens that we need an extra bag. I’m beginning to recall the difficulties with luggage during our Ireland/England trip. We cannot pack those backpacks so heavy this time!

I got everything planted and I’d like to do a little more clean-up in the front yard. The aphids are just going to party on – I don’t have the time or energy for that. Sandy hired another guy to mow the yard for half the price that the person who kept standing us up charged. I may still hire him now and then for larger harder jobs, because I like that he has an organic philosophy and knows his plants. However, I’m done with the ghosting behavior. I find it disrespectful, even though he may not see it that way. He is probably just really disorganized, but when I bought a bunch of plants because he told me he was coming to work at my place that day and he forgot, that was pretty much the third (or fourth) strike.

Anyway, I got the cortisone shot in my ankle (the bursa) and since Tuesday I have had no pain whatsoever. The podiatrist said that as long as they continue to work for me for such a long period I can continue getting them with no worries.

It’s gonna be a busy week and somewhere in there I’ve got to figure out when to do our Covid tests for the trip. It will have to be either a PCR test on Friday morning or a rapid antigen test on Saturday morning. Maybe we’ll do the PCR and see if the results come in on time for our flight leaving on Sunday afternoon, and if not, do a RAT in Boston. Friday is also commencement day at work so it will be a challenge. Of course I did not think of all this when I re-booked the trip in August.

Reading: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. How did I miss this one? It was published 11 years ago! Also, it was a Netflix series? Really? I am so out of touch.

I just finished the fourth Louise Penny mystery. I’m not much into these “cozy cottage” murder mysteries set into quaint villages, but I do really like the characters and the complex backgrounds she created for them. It is the entirely unlikely complicated murders that bother my Vulcan sensibilities, but I needed something light after I finally finished Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago. I wanted to read at least one novel by a Portuguese writer before I left, and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for this one. Well, it was a real slog, but I did it. It was worth it in the end, but it was NOT light reading. I now know a lot more about early 18th century Portuguese history and culture, though.

TV: We just started watching Outer Range, with Josh Brolin. I’m hooked after two episodes. The new season of Better Call Saul is out, but I’ll have to buy it since we don’t get AMC. The second half of the last season of Ozark just dropped too.


coffee pot posts, Lake Waccamaw

Saturday morning coffee pot post

20220416_111330[1]Lake Waccamaw edition. We are here for Easter weekend, and it is a good thing that I love my sister and bro-in-law so much because so far this Saturday morning is a bust. I had a tough night’s sleep from indigestion from our usual indulgence of fried seafood at Dale’s last night, but we were lucky to get tables on the screened porch because the mayflies on the screens apparently turn the other diners off. We did not want to eat inside – this part of the country is heavily Trumpy and anti-vax and anti-mask. But the fried seafood at Dale’s is heavenly.

Inspector Loud Outdoor Gadget has been mowing and weedwhacking his dozen blades of grass two doors down since 8:30 a.m. This is the dude that was jackhammering cement the last time I was here. I wonder if he is OCD. And the wind is wafting the lovely sulfurous smells of the paper plant across the back yard, and radar shows a big storm system about to hit, which will at least bring a merciful end to the noise of Detective Monk down the road.


But I still love the lake house, and the view, and every now and then I can hear birdsong when Mr. Motor relaxes his hand on the gas leaf blower or the pressure washer on the spotless white slab of cement that covers half of his small yard. I raise my cup of coffee to my lips and enjoy the sound of my living husband snoring loudly in the next room. “I don’t feel like I’m dying!” he proclaimed to the therapist when we went together last Monday. I’m glad, actually. I get frustrated about his denial about his health challenges, but on the other hand, we are all dying, so we better get a good handle on living until the time comes to die. Maybe his way of thinking is best.

It’s family time, and we’ll enjoy hanging out with them, then I will go back home, take Monday off, take some big deep breaths, and then dive into the emails that I see are already piling up on my work account, over a HOLIDAY weekend, on Tuesday morning. I made sure to keep my promise not to open any. Why some people cannot stop themselves from working on a holiday, I do not know.

This is why I need more than one full day at the lake – to fully relax. April is the cruelest month in my job and these April Easter weekends are much needed. Early retirement is much needed, and a little over a year away if things go well.

The new T-Mobile service on the phones is great. Much, much better. This was the test, bringing them down here where the service is often spotty for all cell phones.

Now, the birdsong is back. I’ll go out on the screened porch, watch the ducks and herons, walk along the canal and look for the Easter Gator, and hope that the wind has shifted for the day. I have two good books and some slow stitching supplies…which may or may not get used but it is a comfort to have the choice.

Back Forty, coffee pot posts, critters

Saturday morning coffee pot post


Here I am, in all my “just out of bed” glory! I think it might be time to cut my hair.

Let’s see how much I can write before the Great Sandino gets up and wants to go to the Farmers’ Market.


Pablocito is crying as if somebody is beating him, but he is just bored. He slept on my pillow beside my head last night and got his whiskers in my nose. Now he is behind me on this chair, head butting the back of my head. I’m just waiting for the love bite to the scalp. He’s a pain in the ass, but I adore him. Diego is doing fine. He got lots of attention this morning and I combed a lot of his undercoat out.

I think a little too much about the complications of moving these guys to Portugal with us. I mean, one of the reasons we moved into this house (next door from our old house) was because I couldn’t bear to leave my feral cats behind.

This week – oof. It was a tough one. Fortunately I was very busy at work, so that kept my mind occupied for the most part. That’s the way it is this time of year. Thomas did come and work on my yard last Sunday, so it looks pretty good. He says that he will continue working for me this year. His fee has gone up, so I might need to call him less frequently, but since that the main mess was cleared out last year, that should be okay. The asparagus is coming up, and I will have to resist the urge to pick it for a year so that it will become established.



I decided to switch our phone service from Credo to T-Mobile this week, after getting feedback from my Portugal Friends group about the service in Europe. One flight attendant said that she uses it. One of the most stressful things about our last trip to Europe (Ireland and England) was that we were told that my phone would work and then it didn’t. We had luggage, faced a long steep hill, and couldn’t get a cab. We thought Sandy was going to have a heart attack at one point and left him sitting on the sidewalk halfway there, and when I got to our B&B to find no one there, I sat down and cried in the rain. I AM NOT DOING THAT AGAIN, PEOPLE.

So T-Mobile it is, and we will try to switch our phones over this weekend. Nowadays, with all the multi-factor authorization I have to do multiple times a day with my personal phone just to do my job, this is no small deal. They said that we could move over our old phone numbers, but didn’t seem entirely confident and said that we might have to go to a T-Mobile store to finish up. However, we are getting so much more data for so much less and a free tablet with phone and internet service that in the end I think it will be worth it. Sandy has already said that he gets so many scam and spam calls that he doesn’t mind losing his old number, but I hate to tell him that probably won’t change!

I registered for Focus on Book Arts this week along with my friends who are going with me. It’s gonna be a artsy hen party, y’all. We are all so excited. Mostly we are taking different classes, but we are staying together in an AirBnB house and then a dormitory suite at Pacific University. This time it will have air conditioning, thank God! The last two times we went there was a heat wave and it was tough without AC. It was hotter than North Carolina both times.

Today, I have an appointment for my second Co-vid 19 booster, and Sandy will get his at some point soon. He was waiting to get his doctor appointments over with this week, and that was the biggest stressor of the week. I looked at the results of his echocardiogram and asked to go to his cardiologist appointment with him on Wednesday because it was scary. Turns out that I had a reason to be worried during that 2017 trip to Ireland/England. The man was in heart failure back  then, and I didn’t know it, and he says that he didn’t know it. What the fuck. I don’t know how to process this so I’m hauling his ass to therapy with me on Monday afternoon. He had a CAT scan on his lungs on Friday to make sure that his respiratory problems are not from something other than the polymyositis. He is sick and tired of going to doctors. We were told that he has to go on a strict no/low sodium diet. No eating out. This is not going to happen. We will be in Portugal one month from now. Our moods are not good.

Portugal will be a trip full of fascinating, very hilly streets. I have to be able to call Ubers or taxis. Fortunately it is very safe in Portugal so if he needs to rest a lot I will feel comfortable going out on my own, although I definitely need a lot of downtime too. For most of the trip we plan to take trains and buses.

Last night we went down to the corner bar for a drink and had some good conversation. A couple brought a bunch of produce that they said Harris Teeter was throwing out that was still good, and put it in a booth for anyone to take. We picked up a cantaloupe, watermelon, and grapes. Now it’s time to go to the Farmers’ Market to get some more fresh produce, since we will be cooking at home a lot more, if we can make ourselves do it.







coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Sunday morning coffee pot post

A two-fer blog day, since I just posted a back forty update from several days ago.

It’s been a good week. We got fantastic news about my brother-in-law’s cancer scan. Miracles do happen, y’all. They didn’t see ANY cancer in the scan, although the oncologist says that there is still cancer there. BUT, given the original diagnosis, this is quite amazing! He is much healthier and will be able to greatly reduce his chemo sessions. We’ll be doing our normal Easter weekend at the lake again this year, and this time a couple of friends will go with us. Easter is late enough this year that the weather should be excellent.

We are going to get our second boosters in the next day or so. Never in my life did I ever think that I would get excited about a shot. I am not afraid of needles any more since I learned to control my breathing so that my vasovagal syncope doesn’t kick in. I was more afraid of passing out than I was about the injection. I’m also looking forward to getting that steroid shot in my heel in four weeks. It might sound painful, but the first one did not hurt at all.

Thursday night we sat outside in the beer garden at Oden and ate really good food from the West Coast Wanderer food truck and listened to live jazz. The students from UNCG come there every Thursday night and play. Then last night we went over there with a couple of friends for a stand-up comedy show that was really mixed in funny-ness and got much bluer as the night progressed. We were tucked away in a little space under the stairs near the front and the last comic targeted us and proclaimed that we looked like we grew pot, but sold cabbage at the farmers’ market, especially Jerry with his hat and Susan with her pigtails. She had us laughing pretty hard. It made me want to develop a stand up set. It was a dream of mine many years ago. Watching Mrs. Maisel has made me fantasize about this more.

Yesterday Sandy and I met a friend for lunch and then went to a great quilt show where there was also a silent auction and a yard sale…oh my god it was so dangerous. I bought some linen, a bag of sewing stuff mainly because there were two vintage packages that I wanted for collage and some trim for a book, a drop cloth, two great books on art quilt design, and a clear two foot ruler for $4.00!!! Robin got a big bag full of great fabric for $7.00. Man, if I wasn’t downsizing…oof. I could have gotten totally out of control. Then I went back to check on the silent auction because there was a small piece with recycled denim and khaki (17″x24″) that I bid on and it was getting close to the end. I won it, asked for the artist’s name, and it turned out that it was made by a friend of mine, Judi Bastion!


So I’m feeling pretty lucky today. Thomas is supposed to come back to work on basic yard maintenance, but he hasn’t texted yet so who knows? I don’t have to be here for that, though. I’m going over to Susanne’s this afternoon and hang out a bit while she marbles paper. Instead of having Jerry’s Artarama frame my tapestry I picked out a piece of matboard and a frame, and I’m stitching the tapestry to the matboard and framing it myself, because it fits perfectly into a 8″x10″ frame. I am learning to size work that I want to frame into standard sizes. So I’ll work on that and have it ready to send to the TWS show, since I’ll need to do that before we leave for Portugal.

Portugal is only five weeks away! EEEEEEEeeeeeeee. I need to brush up on my Portuguese for real now. Especially my numbers, since I tend to mix them up with French, Spanish, and Italian. So I not only need to learn my Portuguese, I also need to forget some numbers in other languages. Bom dia!

coffee pot posts, collage, Mixed media art, Reading

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Boy, I feel like I really socialized a lot this week, although I guess this is what “normal” used to be. So yesterday was a rest day for me. Sandy woke me at 10:30, so I got over ten hours of sleep. (I really need this on Saturday mornings.) Then we went to the farmers’ market, where I bought cheese and soap, and Sandy took me to lunch at M’Coul’s for the first time since B.P. We ate upstairs at the end of the bar and it felt pretty safe because there was no one near us. It’s hard for me to understand deep down what is danger and what is not. I had a breakfast boxty and smoked gouda grits – so good.

Thursday evening we went to College Hill and sat in a booth and talked some with the people in there, who we are getting to know a little better. Friday after work the history department and grad students had a get-together at Oden Brewing, and we spent half that time outside and then moved inside to a table and enjoyed talking with a group of guys who I either currently admin for or have admin-ed for in the past, which shows that I do have a great relationship with my co-workers. I’ve missed socializing with the department, but afterward I was thinking – WTF was I doing inside with that unmasked crowd drinking? At least at College Hill we were separated by at least six feet.

I did not get any artwork done yesterday, but here’s a photo of the progress from last Sunday. I added the found objects and a few more touches. I need to get more precise with my stenciling technique. I’m not pleased with the Novacan patina so I’m going to collage over these and probably give the Novacan away. However, the technique of doing photo transfers on top of gesso was pretty nifty.


If my foot can stand it I’m going to weave a little on my tapestry. I tried to go to Jerry’s Artarama to get my lake tapestry framed, but they were closed for a power issue. Normally I would use a local framer but I am feeling all the money I’ve spent ahead of time for our trips and I have a big coupon that expires today, so I might try to go out there again today. The yard guy is supposed to come around noon to help me get the asparagus planted and dig compost into the bed. There is a “vintage” flea market at the farmers’ market today also, so this afternoon will be a full one.

Speaking of flea markets…I signed up for an online class with Alex Castro Ferriera, a mixed media book artist who lives in Lisbon whose work I’ve admired for some time. Ironically, the online class takes place when I will be in Portugal, but we have access to the content after the class. So I emailed Alex and told her. She offered to meet me for coffee and go to the Feira da Ladra flea market in Lisbon while I am there. What fun is THAT going to be!!! I chose an AirBNB specifically because it was near this market, which takes place in the street on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

I gotta tell you, I have written SO MANY blog posts in my head this week, but I could never make myself actually write them on the computer. Not diary entries, but thoughts about life and the world today.

This week I have been slogging through Baltasar and Blimunda, which I can see that it is very good writing and most likely deserved the Nobel Prize in Literature, but the long run-on paragraphs with no quotes or attribution of who is saying what makes for difficult reading. I will finish it, but I can definitely tell the cognitive damage this pandemic has done to my brain. I have also started the fourth novel by Louise Penny, A Rule Against Murder, for something lighter.

We are, of course, enjoying the current season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is right up there on the list of my favorite TV shows ever. I don’t binge shows that I love because I want to stretch out the joy as long as possible. I also enjoyed Being the Ricardos. If you couldn’t tell by the name of my blog, I have always had a fascination for comedy history, even going back to Greek times, but vaudeville, farce, and physical comedy have always intrigued me. I’ve learned more about the routine Lucy did since I wrote “Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk.”


coffee pot posts, critters, depression/anxiety

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Diego is sitting on the arm of my chair, wondering what happened to the mouse they chased last night. I disposed of the little body a few minutes ago. I grew up with mice in the house so I’ve never had disgust for them. While I am pleased that the cats are doing SOMEthing to earn their keep, I always feel sorry for the mice. If I can get to them in time I will rescue them and put them outside, but usually the shock kills them anyway. So I told the little mousie that I was sorry, and that I knew that she was just trying to feed herself and her family, and then out she went to the garbage.

After a helluva good run of mental health and a fantastic weekend last week, I feel like I walked into a wall last night, a brick wall that bonked me in the head and said, “Why aren’t you paying attention? Danger, danger!” I’m training my inner self to counter with the serenity prayer, etc., but my spidey senses feel panic on the street. Fear of the panic is as bad as the source of the fear. It comes back to the choice of staying informed and staying somewhat sane. I won’t go into Sandy’s personal stuff, but it hasn’t been good either.

We had a good week, however. I have been trying to get used to the new reality of many people around me going maskless. On St. Pat’s Day we took our great new folding rocking chairs over to Oden Brewing and enjoyed a couple of stouts and Mediterranean food from a food truck and a Celtic band named Banna outside in the beer garden. It was a lovely evening, and St. Patrick even paid a visit. I bought a t-shirt and a CD from the band. The world almost felt “normal” again.


So last night and this morning I am doing laundry and trying to pump myself up to do some cooking this weekend. It’s hard to describe just how much I do not want to cook this weekend, or nearly any time. I would rather go hungry than cook most of the time. I take my lunch to work, and it is usually a frozen dinner or crackers and cheese or chips and guac, and fruit and granola and yogurt. Not terrible nutrition but I could do a lot better.

What I want to do is weave and finish up my metal collage cards for the show and tell/critique part of my online class tomorrow. But it is also supposed to go up to 79 F (26 C) today, even though it is cloudy and cool right now. Since it has been raining this week it would be a good time to weed and get the garden bed ready for my asparagus roots that should be arriving today. I texted my yard guy and he says that he can come next week to help me, but I can’t count on that.


I have a stack of these musty raggedy nineteenth century magazines which I think came from the attic of my grandfather Parham’s house. They are in my mother’s hope chest where I keep family photos and other mementos. I had thought about including parts of them in the collage packs that I will sell if I ever get up the mental energy to get that project going. Right now I’m going to start using some in my collage. This one has aired out enough that it is okay for my allergies to work with, and I plan to seal it with matte medium once I use it. This issue is August 1876. There are a lot of Victorian fashion plates, advice for wives and mothers, and serial stories in these magazines, and of course they are all in black and white.

I can barely think about Portugal right now, but our trip is less than two months away. In a couple of weeks I will register for Focus on Book Arts in Forest Grove, Oregon in July. Last night all this seemed impossible. I have to change my inner narrative.

coffee pot posts

Saturday afternoon

A little brain cobweb cleaning. I have had a nice relaxing morning at home and got a bit of house cleaning done. I’ve decided to start combing the felines with a flea comb everyday to get rid of some of that undercoat before the spring shedding spreads more of it around the house, and it will give me a heads up if I need to dose them with Revolution. Last year I did not have to deal with fleas at all, and I don’t like to dose them if it is not needed, no matter what the vet says. It was almost as if the universe said you have enough to deal with – I’m not adding fleas to it this year. Diego has twice the hair that Pablocito does. Fortunately he loves to be combed. Pablocito, not so much.

This week was intense for everybody in the world, especially the northern hemisphere, and I’m just mentioning the war in Ukraine for a reference point when I re-read this in the future. I think that it is worth mentioning as well that all refugees from war should be welcomed and helped, not just the ones from European countries. However, I’m not saying that to diminish the plight of the Ukrainians – it is truly horrible what is happening and I wish that the US and NATO would do more to help them.

We had a health scare this week – Sandy has heart problems again, although I guess that we shouldn’t be surprised since the heart is a muscle and he has polymyositis. He went to the cardiologist appointment by himself, and I am definitely going with him to the next one. He came home with a misinterpretation of his tests that sounded much more dire and he either neglected to ask some questions that needed to be addressed or he forgot the answers. Anyway, he was told to go on a low sodium diet and stop eating fast food and processed food. We’ll need to go grocery shopping with this in mind today, because he needs to learn to read labels, and he doesn’t like to cook. I don’t like to cook any more either, so this is not making either of us happy. I’m not home for lunch any more and he has to deal with this.

What really threw us is that his other lab work earlier this week came back great. His A1C is back to normal range, his cholesterol is much better, and his blood pressure is normal. But his heart is not pumping as it should.

I went with him to the pharmacy to pick up his new medication for this condition. He had been warned that it would be expensive and that his insurance might not cover this new one, but he had a coupon for the first month free. The pharmacy tech told him that his insurance (Medicare!) does not cover it. He asked how much it is without insurance and we were told a jaw-dropping $795 per month.

Another reason to move to Portugal. My god. Why are people so afraid of socialized medicine? When we are there I think that I will pop into a pharmacy and ask prices for some of our meds.

Anyway, his insurance company called and said that they would cover it yesterday but didn’t say how much the co-pay is. And he didn’t ask how long he might have to be on this medication, but my guess is that it won’t be forever if he makes some lifestyle changes.

I was going to do an alcohol-free weekend, which is normally not so hard for me, but I really want that one drink when I come home from work. I had a tough anxiety afternoon yesterday for no particular reason – I was thinking a lot about the past – and crying some – and just everything, all the things seemed to be piling up. As I neared home I could smell that Sandy was burning stuff in the fire pit, so I decided to walk down to the neighborhood store and buy a six-pack and have a beer back there. Lo and behold they had Smithwick’s down there – I was surprised! On the way back as I walked by the local bar I noticed two friends at the end of the empty bar near the door and stopped in. I have not been in this bar for years but it used to be our regular haunt. One of the friends is technically my pastor, although I don’t go to church anymore. It was nice to have a porter and talk with him. What a difference from the ministers I grew up with!

So there was a little bit of fire pit, and a little bit of front porch sitting, and a little bit of cooking, and we watched an episode of “Mom” that made me cry – dang – two sitcom episodes with funerals two days in a row!  I got a good laugh watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Thursday though because of Mrs. Weissman’s matchmaking client who, upon telling her that she had a loom, was told about “after marriage revelations” and then later that they would “destroy the loom.” I never knew! Luckily Sandy married me anyway.

I accomplished some of my goals this week – made GP and podiatrist appointments and cleaned up the studio some, found places to put the stuff I brought home from the Art Center print studio. I wove. I went to therapy. I’m doing better. It is helping.

I like to make pronouncements about my plans for the weekend on Saturday and the first day is half gone. The weather is lovely so I plan to do some yard work and not hurt myself doing it. I bought some lettuce seed and will plant some and later I will have some asparagus roots to plant in the “womb” garden in the back, so I’ll get it ready this week. This coming week is spring break so there won’t be many people or cars around. Maybe I should call the yard guy to see if he will come over since there will be street parking. I need to get my lake tapestry framed and ready to hang in the TWS show in June and not wait until the last minute since I won’t be around for most of May.

A friend posted about a Turner exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Art that will be up when we are there so we might meet him there on the free morning we have in Boston before we fly to Lisbon that night. That would be really nice. He and I went to high school together but only got to know each other through Facebook. I’ll just have to get the timing right in case we have to get tested while we are at the airport. Everything is changing so rapidly.

Wow, I wrote a lot, and I didn’t think that I had much to say!

coffee pot posts

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Not a lot happened yesterday because I really got into reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry. I did weave a lot on Cathedral, but my good natural light bulb burned out and the photos are washed out. I’ll have to buy another bulb because it’s a kind that I don’t have extra in reserve. It’s harder to weave too because the quality of your light really makes a difference and I’m interpreting color as I weave, so finally I gave up and picked up a book.

20220227_10341920220227_103351I did get my work table cleaned off somewhat. At least you can see the table now. The painted wood panel on top of the cutting mats is meant to be a base that I’ll cover with found objects from Lake Waccamaw, but I can’t make up my mind how to proceed. Maybe I’ll make another and do two. At least I can do some prep work for Leighanna’s Zoom class that begins in a couple of weeks.

Could be that it will be a good sewing day. It is cloudy and rainy outside. I know that Sandy will push me to go do some errands with him – and he should, because I need to give input into some of the shopping – but I so much do not want to leave the house or even go outside. I started doing some little stitch meditations while listening to Zoom meetings this week. I’m not crazy about them, but not everything has to be good. It’s best to do anything rather than nothing.


I watched the movie CBGB this week – it had not been on my radar despite Alan Rickman starring in it. What a strange role for him – proves that he really could do anything. I had no idea what CBGB was, even though the Talking Heads and a lot of other bands I loved got their starts there. Then that sent me down a Talking Heads rabbit hole. Turned out the lyric I interpreted as heebie-jeebies was CBGB: “Life During Wartime.” Appropriate for this week.

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
A place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I’m getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto,
I’ve lived all over this town
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now
Transmit the message, to the receiver,
Hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
You don’t even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
Everything’s ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
I might not ever get home
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain’t got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
Somebody see you up there
I got some groceries, some peanut butter,
To last a couple of days
But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no headphones,
Ain’t got no records to play
Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can’t write a letter, can’t send no postcard,
I ain’t got time for that now
Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
We blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we’re tapping phone lines,
I know that that ain’t allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don’t know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender,
We make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, I’ll do some driving,
You ought to get you some sleep
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won’t help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
The burning keeps me alive

So after listening to the Talking Heads most of the week and watching the Stop Making Sense concert footage and their fantastic video work, I woke up this morning thinking that the lyrics of some Talking Heads songs would be a great jumping off point for some abstract artwork – I’m thinking collage like I did with “Stairway to Heaven” and “Hotel California,” but those came out of some printouts of music I found in the recycling bin at work. These would be more intentional. I especially like the idea of working with different lines from “And She Was.”

And she was lying in the grass
And she could hear the highway breathing
And she could see a nearby factory
She’s making sure she is not dreaming
See the lights of a neighbor’s house
Now she’s starting to rise
Take a minute to concentrate
And she opens up her eyes
The world was moving she was right there with it and she was
The world was moving she was floating above it and she was
And she was
And she was drifting through the backyard
And she was taking off her dress
And she was moving very slowly
Rising up above the earth
Moving into the universe and she’s
Drifting this way and that
Not touching the ground at all and she’s
Up above the yard
The world was moving, she was right there with it and she was
(Hey, hey)
The world was moving, she was floating above it and she was
(Hey, hey, hey)
She was proud about it, no doubt about it
She isn’t sure about what she’s done
No time to think about what to tell him
No time to think about what she’s done and she was
(Hey hey, hey hey, hey)
And she was looking at herself
And things were looking like a movie
She had a pleasant elevation
She’s moving out in all directions oh, oh oh
Hey, hey, hey
Hey-hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey-hey hey!
Hey, hey, hey
Hey-hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey-hey hey!
The world was moving, she was right there with it and she was
(Hey, woo hoo)
The world was moving, she was floating above it and she was
(Hey, hey)
Joining the world of missing persons and she was
Missing enough to feel all right and she was
And she was
And she was
And she was
And she was
And she was
And she was!
And she was
And she was!

Somewhere in my ramblings, maybe in the liner notes for Sand in the Vaseline, I found that David Byrne wrote this song about a “hippie chick” that he knew who would do acid and lie down in a vacant lot and fly.

I’ll never do acid (probably – some work is being done with LSD as a treatment for depression) but I would love to fly with the world as it turns.

coffee pot posts

Saturday morning coffee pot post

This week has been better on a personal level – war in the Ukraine is a world nightmare and producing still more WTF moments in US politics. Can’t wait to get out of here! Maybe I will tell people in Europe that I am a Canadian. Most can’t tell the difference in North American accents – at least they couldn’t in Ireland and the UK. But an Irish person can tell if someone is from Cork or Limerick or Donegal, for sure!

We got out a little this week. The weather outside was beautiful on Wednesday so we went to Oden Brewing and sat outside and watched the first part of Ghostbusters. Wednesdays are their outdoor movie nights. It made me realize that either I don’t remember Ghostbusters or I didn’t see it. I remember Ghostbusters II. It is likely that I didn’t see it. Sandy and I were working at night a lot during that time and couldn’t afford to go to the movies anyway. I’m surprised I didn’t rent it, though. Oden has a good stout right now called Bee’s Knees. This version was “vanilla latte” so I had a taste first. I don’t want a stout that tasted like a milkshake or a floofy coffee drink. It didn’t – it was damn near perfect so I had two and brought home a four-pack. Because I’ve cut back on my drinking so much those two pints put me straight to sleep. I looked it up later and they were 7% ABV – higher than what it showed on Untapped.


^From the women’s room at the City Arts Center last night

Then last night Sandy took me out to dinner at Cafe Europa because we thought it would be nice on the patio. After we sat down and ordered the wind picked up and we ended up eating inside, which I’ve refused to do in the past four months or so. However, we found a spot at the end of the bar farthest away from everyone with a space between us and the next couple so I think it was okay. I guess we’ll see. We are friends with the owner and he likes to play big board games. Sandy (and maybe I) might play a game with him at the restaurant soon on one of their slow nights. I don’t worry about being around Jakub because he has to be very careful about not getting infected too. This was one of our regular haunts at one time so it was good to be back.

Still, I am not eager to go out into public indoor spaces. I need a specific reason, like being out of coffee or onions.

I think that I feel less anxious because there is nothing left to plan about our trip. I have no control over whatever comes next, and that is curiously calming. Every now and then I look at Google Maps and read articles about fun things to do or public transit or Portuguese food, but I’m not obsessed like I was.

My goals for this week: Make doctor appointments. God how I hate this but I can’t keep putting it off. I’m getting low on anti-depressants, and I’ll need a steroid shot in my heel soon, and I need a pap smear and mammogram. I need a chiropractic adjustment. I’ve kept up my dental appointments, thank God. What I hate most is having to see a new GP. My old GP retired at the end of the year. Having to explain all the stuff as you get older takes a lot of time and concentration. Not everyone feels the same about prescribing meds for mental health and that makes me anxious by itself. At least this time I can tell the doctor that I see a therapist regularly.

Other than that – weave and clean up the studio so that I have some workspace! Same as last week, I guess. Clean up the front yard. The daffodils are blooming and some of the other spring flowers will do so soon. I generally leave it alone over the winter so that the birds have some food under the leaves and on the seed stalks. I will have to remember to get on my knees and not squat down – that is killer on my achilles tendinitis. Hopefully I can get yard help again this year. My guy from last year was great – when he showed up.

On the critter front, Diego has been much better but he has been sitting behind me making strange grunting breathing noises. When he went to sleep he stopped, so I wonder if he is doing it on purpose. I switched him over to taking loratidine every night and it seems to work better than the Apoquel did, and it is much cheaper. I think that I forgot to dose him last night so it looks like I’d best not skip a dose.

I suppose that I should check the news now. I’ll try to write tomorrow with some artwork photos.