augggghhhh, coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Again, I stayed up way too late and got up early to feed the little monsters, then went back to bed and slept way too long. My dreams were vivid and not necessarily good, but I still wanted to remain within them rather than join reality today. I was brutally honest on a Facebook post yesterday: “I am a bitter, angry person.”

However, last night I was up because I was caught up in reading “The Last Days of Dogtown” by Anita Diamant. It is a thin volume and I had been warned off by the words “not as good as The Red Tent” but I am enjoying it immensely.

Orbitz finally responded to my third follow-up email in which I said that if I didn’t get a response by Nov. 30, the original date of my flight credit’s expiration, I would go higher and go to social media. I hate having to threaten to go to social media, even when I do it nicely, but it seems to be effective. They granted me the same credit that they had in August, with the same conditions, but I have to book before Dec. 31 now.

I immediately went into some kind of frantic angry brain-fogged research and decided that the airfares were now too high for the credit to be worth flying on Aer Lingus again. I filled out a customer service survey that I now regret. Somebody, please, help me get control of my brain back.

Because when I calmed down and thought about it, I looked at my Southwest account and found a lot of miles had been refunded from that trip. Which reminded me that on the original trip, I used those miles to fly to Boston, and booked Aer Lingus through Orbitz from Boston-Dublin-Boston. Well, that is an entirely different scenario. Flights are much, much cheaper to Ireland from Boston. So the current plan is to fly by myself the same way that I planned to this past summer, and the other three in our vacation party can fly together from Raleigh on United. We’ll meet up in Dublin. I don’t mind flying by myself. The only issue left is dates.

Vaccination against Co-vid 19 is naturally the key. If it becomes available as expected, I will not be in the first groups to get it. I’ll turn 60 in February and fortunately in pretty good health. The other three are over 65 and will likely be able to get it in time for summer travel. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see, but as an INTJ, contingency planning is “my thing” and this much uncertainty is driving me a bit bonkers, considering that my planning (with wasted money on travel insurance) didn’t mean much this year.

I remember pronouncing, “I’m going to Ireland even if I have to swim there!” HA! I’m not that strong a swimmer.

Anyway, I am bitter and angry, mostly about politics, but also circumstances that I won’t mention here. Let’s just say that I am very disappointed in a few people and leave it at that. I should store that up for the Airing of the Grievances on Festivus. And I am SO TIRED of all the cheery gratitude and sappy Christmas songs and I’m gonna stop here before I regret that too.

I talked to my sister for about an hour on the phone on Thanksgiving Day. Usually we spend this holiday together, and it is the only holiday that I actually celebrate and enjoy any more. Our personalities have a lot in common, even though our personal styles could not be more different. I love and miss her deeply, but I’m not sure that we could live together without making each other crazy. We have talked about doing that as we get older, and maybe we will both move to Portugal. It could happen, but she will be doing all the interior design and decorating, and I will just try not to embarrass her with my total lack of care about fashion and style trends. She would probably be good for me, but I’m not sure that I’d be good for her.

Just looked at my last few posts and realized that I am obsessing and repeating myself. But whatever. At least there has been progress.

The turkey dinner from Deep Roots was pretty good. The only thing we really did not like was the brussels sprouts – they were tough. But the cornbread dressing was delicious, as was the bacon/swiss quiche and cherry pie. It’s been really nice to have plenty for turkey sandwiches and leftovers. I think that I’ll make turkey tetrazinni today or tomorrow.

I haven’t sewed up my masks yet. I found that 2013 was a very photo-heavy year for me on this blog, in part because I took up a visual journal project. So I got obsessed with trying to get this blog/photo project done and it is taking up a LOT of time. It is also dredging up some unhappy memories and I expect that is part of my current malaise.

The man is up and about, complaining about it being too hot in there and turning off the heat. It’s really funny because we have switched in this respect. Now he is the one who is always too hot, and I get spells where I am so cold I wrap up in blankets and shiver. He used to be the cold one, always wearing sweaters and wrapping up while I was getting ice packs out of the freezer and turning off the heat. We keep the thermostat at 68 F and that hasn’t changed.

Time to finish up 2013 and begin 2014, which was a very, very tough year and I’d like to get that one over with.

Coronavirus Chronicles, Studio talk

Thanksgiving weekend projects

A Take-Out Thanksgiving

I laid awake last night thinking of all the art projects I could finish or begin or work on this holiday weekend. We ordered a large turkey dinner with side dishes, dessert, and a quiche from Deep Roots Market so I don’t have to cook. I just talked with my sister on the phone for an hour, and I deeply miss her.

Then, looking at the mess on my studio table, I decided to open my laptop, at which time I realized that I still have about 6-7 years worth of blogging to finish up. Fortunately I did the big travel posts first, and I slowed down blogging considerably after I got on Facebook. So I may be able to knock this project out and forget about it in time to cancel that expensive Flickr Pro account.

I have a lot of WIPs to finish. The masks I cut out should probably be next. Then the woven cloth blanket that I was making from strips of Sandy’s old shirts and pants. It is awesome and I should finish it.

I have several online workshops that I am in the middle of or have bought and not started yet. I still need to get supplies to do the Leslie Marsh metal cover necklace book, and I am eyeballing Black Friday sales online. (Even though I celebrate Buy Nothing Day on Black Friday.) I bought both of Sharon Payne Bolton’s online workshops. All three of these workshops I have taken in person, but either didn’t have the motivation or the confidence or the information written down to continue working on my own. But all three of them were some of the best workshops I ever took, so it will be good to have the video versions to always go back to for reference.

One project still in my brain is to downsize my massive “old books for collage” collection by offering collage packs for sale. I have many old dictionaries, atlases, encyclopedia, and interesting old books in several languages. I am still working on this idea, but I will probably sell them through this blog and on Etsy. I still have my old store there, but it’s been in vacation mode for so long that it has totally changed and I will have to learn the software again. If you are interested, leave me a comment and I’ll make sure that I let you know when they are ready.

Okay, first things first. Food. Then clean off that studio table. Then transfer a year of Flickr photos to WordPress. Then sew masks. Yes, a plan.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Last night I slept the longest and the hardest that I have slept in months. I did it without alcohol or Xanax or melatonin and if there were any large firework explosions in the middle of the night I slept right through them. I didn’t even get up to pee until 8:30, then I fed the cats, and went back and slept another hour until I woke naturally. It amazes me how much the need to sleep rules my desires. I mean, I forego almost anything in order to wake up without an alarm in the morning. This did not start with the pandemic, but the pandemic and election depression certainly doubled the insomnia and desire to sleep until I wake up like Dorothy and find out that it was all a dream.

I haven’t done much this week – it’s been a particularly bad one for my mental health. I’ve been very angry and cranky about small bureaucratic stuff. I haven’t gotten a response from Orbitz about my Aer Lingus credit despite a couple of follow up emails. The little dipshit technical things at work which usually involve many emails about changing a number from one column to another, or three forms with verified signatures that get sent without copying me, or having to do triple the work to change two letters on a form – those are the things that make me nuts. I will miss my department co-workers and buddies, but I won’t miss the job. It has changed so much since I have been there, in the name of “simplifying” for other departments. I do so many different things I can’t keep up with the changes any more, which makes those people who only see their part of it cranky with me.

I need to be careful what I wish for, though, because who knows what budget cuts might bring next year. I need to keep this job at the minimum until Feb. 17, 2021, which I am not worried about, and preferably until May 1, 2023, when I will be 62 and have 20 years in with the state. That’s my target date.

Thanksgiving at Lake Waccamaw is out. My sister and I decided to follow the advice of the public health professionals. I thought about going by myself to our lake house and backing my car in so that nobody can see my liberal bumper stickers, but that county is one of the red hotspots in North Carolina with the highest rate of Co-vid 19 infections. It is too bad that such a pretty tranquil place is in the middle of a bunch of white supremacists and hard-headed people. And I am not exaggerating about the white supremacists. My brother-in-law and his friend went to a meeting that advertised a lecture about Lincoln. Turned out it was a negative lecture and it was an organized local White hate group, complete with a ladies’ auxiliary called the “Confederate Roses.” They found out a whole lot about their neighbors and local businesspeople.

So I preordered a turkey dinner with side dishes and a pie and a quiche from Deep Roots Market. Although we will miss my sister’s cooking, at least I will be able to enjoy Thanksgiving without worrying about the food prep. I ordered enough that we should have leftovers for a few days.

This will be a beautiful weekend. We had a freeze this week but my front garden with the bricks around it did okay. We brought in the lemon tree and large aloe plant, but I think that they can go on the front porch for a few more weeks at least. I need to clean out my garden plot at UNCG and bring the wire supports home.

I’ve ignored my online classes again. I wish that I was one of those people who could escape into art when they are depressed, but all I want to do is sleep, read, and play mindless games.

I see that I never posted photos of the papers Susanne and I dyed and printed last Sunday. I will try to remember to do it later. I want to work on transferring the rest of the 2011 posts over from Flickr before I do anything else.

Coronavirus Chronicles, GTFO, Obsession

A little talk about the future

Today is my sweetheart’s 68th birthday! We won’t be going out to eat tonight because we are cautious, but I’ll cook him his favorite dish tonight.

Again, I spent a good bit of time this week transferring photos from Flickr to WordPress and updating links. It’s not a terrible task. Once I get into a groove it goes very quickly. However I still have almost nine years of blog posts to finish before my Flickr account renews in January, so I’ve had to make it a priority. The memories have been bittersweet for sure – posts about my mother, my beloved cats that have passed on. I just passed Sandy’s heart attack in April 2010 and am now on our trip to Colorado in June 2010.

Our goal is to move to Portugal in 2023. At that point, I’ll be able to get my social security early and most of my pension from my job. That should be enough for us to live on. We are frugal people anyway. But it really can’t be soon enough. Sandy will be 70 by then and he is getting less able to walk for more than short distances. Hopefully he will see a doctor soon about it. Neither of us are getting the exercise that we need but I have a feeling that this is something more. And the climate crisis is urgent. I truly do not think that we have a lot of quality time left.

It will take a lot of energy to downsize and pack up this house and sell it in the next 2-3 years, and I guarantee you that Sandy will want to wait until the last minute to do it. I have very low energy, myself.

There are services in Portugal that help ex-pats with the logistics of getting visas, residency paperwork, a place to live. I believe that you can ship two times to Portugal as an incoming resident before they hit you with tariffs big enough to make shipping a terrible option. Some people pack their stuff in a large 8×20 foot container and send it by container shipping. I think that would wreck my nerves, waiting almost a month for that much stuff. Although I do have trucker friends…

In the meantime, I think that I will get rid of a lot of these old books I have collected and raise a bit of money by putting together collage packs for sale here and maybe on Etsy. I still have an Etsy account but I haven’t used it for years.

And it sounds like it might be okay to book plane tickets to Portugal this summer! The vaccine news is good. I want to book the tickets by the end of the year to get the no change fee for United. I still haven’t heard back from Orbitz about the credit that I am due for Aer Lingus, but they have raised their prices so much that it probably won’t be worth using it, and I have to book the tickets with a flight originating in the U.S. It’s the principle of the thing. They said I had until the end of November to use the credit, and then they said it expired at the end of June. I am booking tickets for four people this time, so I need to get relatively cheap tickets for all of us instead of booking Aer Lingus again.

It’s exciting to be thinking about travel again! The hardest thing, after figuring out the dates, will be where to go. There is a lot to see and we are not up for any more whirlwind trips and checklists.

Coronavirus Chronicles

Pre-Election Day Jitters


I know I am not the only one in distress. I have been grinding my teeth again and I have to take a Xanax to go to sleep at night.

Life right now in the U.S. feels like sitting in a hospital waiting room for hours to hear about a loved one in surgery. What is the chance of recovery? Are all our lives in this “family” going to change forever? I feel kind of numb. It felt familiar and I finally remembered when I had felt this way before. I don’t know how else to describe it. Sort of in shock, a bit of dread, but also hollowed out. I felt this way in the hospital waiting to hear about Sandy’s heart attack, Mama’s kidney infection, Daddy’s cancer.

Not panicked. Just…waiting. Waiting, thinking that surely the unthinkable will not happen, but knowing that it could.

I can’t not look tomorrow, or even today, even though I know from experience that the polls mean nothing.

Thirty minutes down the road from us, the police made international news for pepper spraying people in a permitted planned protest/walk to the polls event. Children were in the crowd. No one was violent except the police.

We will not be healed, not in my lifetime.