coffee pot posts, collage

Saturday afternoon after voting post

I really struggled at the end on who to vote for in the presidential primary. The rest was pretty easy. I’ve been a Sanders Sister for years, even before he ever ran the first time. But I really really really like Elizabeth Warren. I could not decide right up to filling in the ballot, and then my pen automatically went to Bernie Sanders. So there my decision was made. I hope that Liz is his VP, or he is her VP.

Because of this heavy thinking on my part, I found it very hard to stomach all the vitriol aimed at Bernie’s supporters. Also because most of my friends were struggling with the very same decision. I haven’t seen any cult-like or ugly behavior in person, and it pisses me off to be lumped in with a few loud assholes on the Internet. (There are a few loud assholes in any given group, especially on the Internet.) My guess is that about half of my friends and family will vote for Sanders and the other half for Warren. And I am absolutely fine with any vote other than Twitler or Bloomberg, although if it came down to it in the general election, I would choose a sane person over an insane person instead of a third party or write-in or not voting at all.

I am not a Democrat any more and frankly, I despise both parties, but I vote Democrat because I am practical. I think that we need bold solutions fast but I don’t see how other parties or independents have a chance here in the states for the short time we have left to act. In fact, I think that our time is already up but that’s me being negative again. So for me, progressive politics is actually the middle ground.

Now that that is taken care of, I have a wild collage in progress on the work table. I wanted to play and push myself by starting with some colors that I don’t like. I may end up making this into a book cover – I think that would be fun.

I got rid of a bunch of books this week but brought home twice as many from a free pile outside of Pages Past used bookstore. Old books are an addiction, but in this case I was looking for old cloth covered battered ones that nobody wants that can be torn apart for collage. I will give about half of them to the collage group members. Of course, after I picked them out based on color and damage and material, I brought them home and got interested in them, like these…

Two books by the author of Beau Geste, Mary Renault, saucy political books from the 20s-40s. “The Nine Old Men” is about the Supreme Court.

A preachy patriarchal book published in 1914 about how to raise your children, “Life’s Golden Ladder from the Cradle to the Throne for The Young and the Old,” is a delight.

My other project this weekend is to set up the four foot wide grow light. I actually have it out of the box and a space set up for it, so it might really happen! I told the director of UNCG Gardens that I didn’t think that I would be physically able to handle cleaning up my plots to garden there again this year, and so the students in the garden club cleaned them up and put down new soil! She said that they loved the work and would help me more if I came out to direct them the Wednesday after spring break. That really did my heart good, so I’m starting seeds. Once it gets out of the 20s and low 30s at night I will move them out to the little greenhouse.

And I am doing better physically. I think this is the first February in a long time that I have not gotten sick, and my neck and elbow and shoulder is better. My major issue is anxiety right now, to the extent that I nearly had a panic attack for the first time in ages on Thursday. Fortunately, work stuff is about to slow down just a tad, and with Spring Break (shouldn’t they call it Late Winter Break?) next week it will be much quieter.

coffee pot posts, depression/anxiety

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Well, first off, I thought that I had made the last post here private, so if you read it, :::::sigh::::: my first impulse is to apologize, but I won’t. I needed to get some stuff out of my head and to do so I addressed it to the world. Posting it made me feel better, and now it is private, so if you don’t know what I am talking about, good!

Anyway, this week one of my friends that I rarely see on social occasions any more told me that I should find my own drinking buddies. It was kinder than it sounds…I won’t go into the reasons why the two of us aren’t drinking buddies any more but they are wise, necessary, and mutual. The problem is that most of my friends my age either don’t drink beer, don’t or can’t go out at night, or spend most of their spare time with their partners. One of my very best friends moved to New York. My younger friends tend to be ruled by family obligations – either babies, young’uns, or old’uns. So that is frustrating sometimes because I really love going to breweries and taprooms and trying new beers. And it looks and feels weird to do it by myself. It looks terrible if I go out with a male friend, although I never used to think twice about that. Sandy will go with me but often I sense that he is bored and would rather be somewhere else.

After work I was out with a few co-workers and ran into one of my old “drinking buddies” and she came over and hugged me and we will get back together sometime soon. Maybe she read the post? And Wednesday night Sandy and I went to Oden Brewing which is practically just down the street, played rummy, ate fries from a food truck, and listened to live music. That was fun and helped pull my mood into a better direction.

The fact is, I have cut way down on my drinking except for this week when I took a deep dip in spirits, and it is a trend that I need to continue. Drinking and depression do not mix well although it did help my anxiety! Politics, work issues, and weather made a perfect storm this week. I am horrified at the state of our government, as are most people I know. I can barely even think about it without crashing. This is also the anniversary of a tragedy that took the lives of two friends.

Last night Sandy made our signature seafood pasta dish with very little help from me. I sat in the studio/keeping room and answered questions, played with Pablocito, and got my new phone activated. HOORAY! I have a working refurbished phone with an unbroken camera lens for the first time since May 2018. I wish I had done it earlier, but I thought that I would be able to get a free phone at the end of my contract. Turns out that they don’t do that anymore.

I can be quite a miser when it comes to being able to finance my art retreat and travel addiction.

So. Today. I am going to go to the farmer’s market with Sandy, then go to Leon’s Beauty School and get my hair cut. I am tired of it. I am prepared for it to look a lot grayer, but I’m not going to dye it yet. I bought a phone and a laptop this month and I like to keep my credit card paid off. When and if I do dye it, I will do some kind of fun color.

I will attempt to get some artwork done. I dreamed about weaving on a loom last night. The looms and weaving methods in my dreams are always so strange and fascinating. In this one, though, I was struggling to add on to a warp in a weird way because I didn’t have enough of the right colors, but I was determined and I had worked on it for ages. Then a friend of mine walked over with a big pair of scissors and like a flash cut the whole thing off at the front beam. I was shocked and he explained that it was never going to work and he was doing me a favor. Then I was relieved that I wasn’t going to be dealing with it any more.

Tomorrow I need to do some cleanup on the UNCG garden plots and decide if I am going to rent them again this year, as I was sent an invoice for them yesterday. I probably will. I have a massage scheduled for late afternoon.

Monday is my birthday, and we MIGHT go out for oysters that night at Full Moon Oyster Bar. I’ll see how I feel at the end of the day.

Tuesday, I get together with my buddies from the Tiny Pricks Project, which has morphed into a monthly meeting of really cool fiber artists/crafters at our homes. A lot of these artists are also musicians or have partners who are musicians.

I’m still working a couple of hours a week on shifting my photos from Flickr to this platform, which also means changing links. My routine is down, so it is faster. This past week I shifted over the Alaska cruise from 2009. This week I started working on the Ireland 2012 trip. Wow, did we look younger!

I think that I will post this jewel from our Alaska trip in honor of the late great Terry Jones.

So things are better, but my mood swings are fairly severe. I’m going to try to journal here more, but you may not see it. As much as I want to put my mental illness out into the world, sometimes it is a bit too hard. I do think that it is important that we talk openly about it. It helps people like me get help. I wish that I hadn’t waited so long to get medicated. It made such a huge difference in my life, and I might not even be here now if it hadn’t been for that.

Photos will ratchet up from here on out too.

coffee pot posts, collage

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Ha! I already broke my daily habit of posting here. Ah well, it will happen.

Yesterday was a great day, though. I drove to Chapel Hill for the collage study group of Triangle Book Arts. This time we worked on our stuff and I ended up with two collages that I really like and another that is in progress.

Working quickly and intuitively in this way is good for me. I tend to overthink everything so it is refreshing. But I’m not sure that I enjoy the design-as-you-go process in tapestry so much. It is a slow art medium and when I get to the end of it I want to be pretty darn sure that it comes out the way I wanted. That’s the reason that the tapestry diary didn’t work out for me, and the caterpillar, even though I was working with a simple pattern in my head that I took from the memory of a photograph, was a bit of drudgery.

But with collage! I had two nice pieces at the end of an hour!

My plan is to turn out a whole lot of these and put most of them up for sale and in shows. That way I can earn a bit of cash for my art retreat addiction as well as establish a body of work fairly quickly so that I can hit the ground running when I retire as far as applying for residencies and grants. I will also eye these for the possibility of tapestry design.

I finished transferring the photos from Flickr for our 2009 Alaska trip posts. This might work now that I have this laptop. It is much easier on my hands to copy and paste.

There is a piece that I’d like to finish that I mostly completed in a Elizabeth St. Hilaire painted paper collage workshop several years ago. During the trip home it stuck to something else and pulled of some of the paper off the background. It shouldn’t take too long to finish it. I noticed the moon painting that I did in this post. I had forgotten about it and didn’t see it in the studio move. If I find it, that would be a nice project.

Sandy is obviously feeling a bit of artist block misery. I think that I have talked him into spending the afternoon in the studio with me to focus on either the board game he is designing or drawing. He plans to take an oil painting class soon. He needs to find something to do every day.

We bought some beef short ribs from Meadow Farms at the market last weekend and I’ve never cooked them before, so they are in the crock pot after we marinated them overnight.

I finally found the charger for my camera battery so I will take photos of yesterday’s collages and post them next. The Kindle camera really sucks and it is almost impossible to get good photos in selfie mode. (My phone’s lens is cracked.) Boy, will I be glad to get a new phone! I’ve spent all my money on future art retreats but at least I won’t be in debt after they are done.

It drives me crazy to have credit card debt. One thing I did this past month was cancel my Southwest Chase credit card. I was irritated that they forced me to use up my points for a seat on a one way trip because they didn’t have any of the cheaper ones available. ON SOUTHWEST. All the seats are the friggin’ same. The trip is in JUNE. But that wasn’t the main reason. I have considered canceling it for months after I found out that they are a major sponsor of ALEC. And Chase is a major lender to fossil fuel companies. Although few airlines or credit companies or banks are not awful in their politics and greed, those are two of the worst.

After the trip to Ireland, I probably won’t fly Southwest any more. It is only from RDU to Boston for one leg of the trip, mainly because they doubled the points on the flight I needed so I didn’t have enough points for round trip. The rest of the trip is with Aer Lingus and British Airways and American. It might be a bit tricky. I have never booked a trip in separate pieces with all different airlines before. But the whole round trip is costing me around $700 including baggage fees, as long as I keep it to one checked bag. I need to keep it to one checked bag because I will be traveling on public transport and by foot. I think I did pretty good!

Okay, time to play.

coffee pot posts, depression/anxiety, whatever, whining

Self therapy session

My recurring dream these days is that we are living in a rental condo in a very quirky wonderful community but we have forgotten to pay the rent for months and it would take all my savings and then some to pay the back rent. I am afraid of getting evicted because I love it there and often I am planting seedlings in the yard that I raised indoors, and I want to see them grow. I remind myself that in fact we live in a house that we own towards the end of each dream but it repeats itself almost every night.

Despite my absence here I am not in the hole. Lately I feel a bit like I am bobbing up and down as I float in a stream. I keep forgetting to take my meds and I need to figure that out. Sleep deprivation and game addiction are problems. I lost a friend in a terrible car crash a couple of weeks ago, and that was shocking, especially because she was so vivacious and that she was convinced that humans could live far beyond their normal life spans. We had much in common. It made me think deeply about my lack of connections to people “in real life” and the opportunities I have missed by putting them off. I need to find a balance between my need for solitude and my need for in person human friendship.

Work has been busy. I am about to finish one major project and start on another. Much of my mental energy is devoted to reminding myself that this is a great job – it is the best job I ever had and the people I work with directly are fabulous. The university, however, is a frustrating place to work. Because I am fatigued it is difficult to make myself get up in the morning and go to work. When I come home at night I usually don’t feel up to doing art work or cooking dinner. I don’t know how parents manage. It’s a very good thing that we chose the childless life. I fantasize a lot about retirement and I’m only 58.

It feels as if I am living in a band of low static on a TV screen most days.

I don’t like small talk. I often come away from these kind of interactions feeling like I have talked too much or sounded idiotic and I kick myself mentally instead of sleeping. Conversation with younger women often bores me and I find myself thinking about how soon I can get away. I don’t understand a lot of cultural references because I don’t watch much TV. I don’t care about fashion. Every time a friend gets pregnant I know that I am about to lose a friend, because I am horrified about that child’s future on this planet and I don’t think that it would be appropriate to express that. When I see those baby photos, my heart breaks. My talk of cats and travel and books and art probably bores the crap out of these women. I love conversations with the graduate students and faculty and listening to their talk about history and politics. I am addicted to art retreats where I meet other people to whom I can relate.

For most of my life, I have preferred the company of men. If I hang out with male coworkers and friends, I run the risk of rumors, and although I couldn’t care less personally I realize that it is probably a bad idea. This has recently jumped into my head. Sometimes I wonder if I was young in today’s world what gender I would identify as, where I would take that realization. Sometimes I wonder where I am on the autism spectrum. Anyway, I seldom have real friendships with men outside of work any more, and I miss that.

But other days, I feel great. I probably have more friends now than my personality can support – HA! The core group (three of us) of the Tiny Pricks Project Greensboro are getting tightly bonded. The small group of women that Carol and Leslie (our friend who died) began re-extended their invitation for me to join them, and I took the day off last Thursday to do so. The problem is that they meet for lunch on Thursdays, which doesn’t work with my work schedule. However, they do other things too, like go to the beach and the mountains together. I would like to join them. Most of these women are around my age or older. My Facebook friends are eclectic, artistic, and supportive. I feel fortunate in so many ways. I am involved in Tapestry Weavers South, considering the 50+ Artists Community here in Greensboro, and I could always go back to the local fiber guild and Sierra Club.

So I am conflicted and anxious and hopeful and grateful and feeling exceedingly weird.

Thanks for coming to my self therapy session. Maybe I will share some actual news next time! I really am doing some worthwhile stuff. This weekend I will go to Topsail Beach and take a book workshop with Leslie Marsh. So there should be some photos from that next week.

coffee pot posts, tapestry, Tapestry Weavers South, weaving

Sunday Morning Coffee Pot Post

Wow. So much to write about. Guess I will do a bit of catch-up. I already wrote quite a bit on my personal Facebook page this morning and realized I should have been writing here.

I am on my phone on the front porch, where the weather is perfect. There are some clothes strung up on a line across one corner. Hopefully Diego won’t tear it down today like he did last night. I have started trying to reduce my dryer loads, and there isn’t a good place in the back yard to string a clothesline, but I am going to see if I can make one.

The Tapestry Weavers South retreat was wonderful, and it renewed my excitement in weaving again. The people in this group are such a pleasure to be around. I changed my mind at the last minute when a space came open in Connie Lippert’s wedge weave workshop and I am so glad that I did. Leslie Fesperman, the owner of the Yadkin Valley Fiber Center lent me a Schacht school loom and warp, since I did not come prepared. Leslie and Connie are AWESOME.

I ended up with a piece that I love, called “Mr. Blue Sky.” At first I was riffing off a blue jay feather that I have been using for inspiration in Jude Hill’s classes, and “Mr. Blue Sky” took over my head. I decided to let this earworm guide me. Now I have decided to do a series of work based on the earworms that, quite frankly, plague me terribly sometimes. Turning a problem into a plus.

After finishing “Mr. Blue Sky” at home, I have some warp leftover for a companion piece so I thought I would weave “Bad Moon on the Rise,” a frequent earworm for me. However it is the nature of earworms not to cooperate, so as I wove it changed to “Blackbird,” then “Moondance.” We’ll see. The earworms can influence, but once I get to a certain point they will have to step back.

Since the trip I was stung by a yellowjacket on the bottom of my foot and that misery lasted a week. Work has been busy. Butterbeans have been picked, shelled, blanched, and frozen.

I got to see BERNIE at the Greensboro Climate Strike event! I don’t talk a lot of politics here but I have wanted Bernie for president since before he ever decided to run the first time. This was a real thrill for me.

And then there is the Greensboro chapter of the Tiny Pricks Project. That will have to be another post, another time.