coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety, Studio talk

Slight movement

I spent most of the past 24 hours in bed, and boy am I feeling it. I was really surprised when I slept eleven hours last night, mostly solid. Sandy remarked that it is because of depression, and I suppose that he is right. Another reminder that depression is not sadness, because I don’t particularly feel anything at all. Sandy’s doctor wants him to wait 2-3 weeks before seeing him for his muscle weakness – he wants time for the statins to get out of his system.

My massage therapist is out of business now…so I guess it is up to me to get pain free again, and that won’t happen by laying in bed for hours.

I finished watching The Queen’s Gambit. This is why I don’t binge good shows. It’s so hard when you finish one and can’t decide what to watch next. I happen to be between good books also.

I did get a little bit of house cleaning and purging done. I vacuumed the curtains behind my bed instead of taking them down and washing them, and the molding around the window, and the plaster walls around it. Hopefully that will help with the allergies.

Searching for some particular pages in all my collage stuff proved to be frustrating, and so I purged a bunch of junk that I had at one time thought that I would use in collage. The truth is, it was just junk, junk that is easily replaced at any time, so into the recycling bin it went. A few more things went into the donation box.

I cleaned off and organized my studio table so that it is ready to go this afternoon. Guess I’d better get to it!

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety

Saturday coffee pot post

Feeling kind of flat, but I am trying to break my spell by making a big list of tasks that need to be done around the house, with checkboxes so that when I do a simple chore I can check it off and feel like I have accomplished something. I am going to try not to retreat to my bedroom every day until I have accomplished at least a task or two on the list over the next month.

An hour of artwork/play is on my list for my every day tasks, as is reading, watching TV/movies, and blogging. I have to do these before I play any games. Also, I have to go outside and take a walk or work in the yard every day.

I won’t have to go back to my office for three weeks, thank God, because the virus is so virulent that it is truly frightening to leave the house. My office feels pretty safe, and we have a zealous housekeeper on our floor that keeps our bathroom squeaky clean, so it’s not so bad. Hardly anyone is in the building. In a way, it is a safe way to get out of the house for a while and talk to a couple of different people. I am still working from home but our winter break is Dec. 24-Jan. 1, and there are two weekends in there. We don’t get it all paid holiday – we have to use a couple of vacation days or make it up – but it is still SO MUCH BETTER than any job I ever had. I plan to put a message on my email and really shut down, because when you work from home and the people you work with are on salary instead of an hourly schedule, it is necessary to draw boundaries. There is not much that can happen that can’t wait until Jan. 4.

We did another grocery trip to Bestway on Thursday night, and I think that should do it for a little while. I have to go to Walgreens for a prescription today, but I feel pretty good about both those places, as well as Deep Roots Market. I have to remember not to be chatty with one of the Bestway cashiers, who has pretty much shut me down twice now with negativity. We will probably go back to having groceries delivered again from Deep Roots or Costco. The only reason we haven’t done Deep Roots Market the last couple of times is that I wanted Smithwick’s ale, and Sandy likes some really unhealthy frozen meals. Hey, it’s his body.

What worries me is that Sandy really likes to go out and do errands, and sometimes announces that he is going out to buy something that is not essential and can be ordered online. Then he gets mad when I object. I have convinced him so far to order his new headphones and a new router online, and although we don’t really want to order stuff from Amazon any more, that way got us our orders quickly when other orders are stuck in DeJoy postal limboland around here. He is vigilant about mask wearing, but I don’t think that he keeps up with the ones that are clean, and of course, masks are not totally preventative.

That router has improved our wi-fi so much. One reason we decided to get a new one was that our solar panels went incommunicado on Oct. 21. At first I thought it was because the company changed monitoring apps. Then Sandy thought it was a bad port on our router. But none of these things have solved the problem, so NC Solar Now is sending someone to take a look at the box outside on Monday. Fortunately this happened in a low energy month. I would have noticed it right away in July or August because of our electric bill. One thing is for certain is that I need to keep a better eye on the monitoring app. I am glad about getting the new router anyway.

I felt really good after my virtual appointment with my TIAA (financial) rep on Thursday, because she said that I have saved enough to be able to retire at 62, and that I’d even be able to do it at age 60 if I really wanted to or lost my job to a budget cut. So May 2023 is my retirement goal now. A couple of years ago I was told the same thing, but with everything that has happened I wanted confirmation.

It’s good to be frugal. Also not to have children.

We are definitely going to have to spend some money on this house once the pandemic is over, though.

I am booking my ticket to Dublin (and then to Portugal) in September 2021. I have to do it before the end of the month or lose my $542 credit. That means I will still have to pay $135 plus baggage and insurance, but at least I will have it settled and can stop thinking about it at 1 a.m. If the prices don’t change before I call them. I’ve seen them change in the middle of looking them up. I have to do it through Orbitz, unfortunately. This will probably be the last time I use Orbitz.

My brother-in-law is okay after his surgery, although they were not able to fix his heart after six hours. He will have to take a ton of meds instead. He was home the next day and when I called my sister yesterday he was taking a bike ride, ten days later. Amazing. We won’t see them for Christmas, but we seldom do Christmas at all any more since my mother died. Sandy got in the habit of volunteering to work on Christmas to let the workers with family have it off, and he got holiday pay. This year he is retired but it is too dangerous to get together with anyone inside.

Okay, back to the Flickr project, now on late 2017. And I am going to plug in some Christmas lights – I do like that part of Christmas.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Now, actually in the morning!

^^^My next-door neighbor’s house. I have the nicest, coolest neighbors on this street!

I need to get back to moving the photos, since I found that I posted a lot more photos in 2014 than I expected. The nice part of this was reliving my first visit to the Oregon coast at Pam’s cabin – it was maybe the best travelogue that I ever did. It was organized around this poem that was posted in front of a house in Portland. The bad part was that I know that afterwards I was falling apart. I was drinking so much that I almost got taken to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, and I lost that awesome purple fedora that I am wearing in some of the photos. Instead of writing about my pain and grieving, I either posted nothing or I posted a visual journal photo, so you won’t see any of that on the blog. I was furious with my husband. I was helping to clean out my mother’s house, and that was major. My sister did most of the work since she was retired. Between the emotional anguish and the allergies from dealing with packed mildewy mousy closets, deciding what to keep and what we had to let go, it was a rough time for both of us.

That’s why I was avoiding 2014. It dredged up a lot of memories of grief, anger, and shame. 2020 was very, very bad, but other than my wonderful trips out west, ordinary life in 2014 was worse. I did not cope with it well at all. I think that it is important to acknowledge that now.

One reason that I’ve thought of this time lately is because I have cut down on my drinking so much. I figured that I would want to drink more alcohol during the pandemic, when the opposite happened. Occasionally I will have two beers in one evening, but usually I have one beer around 5:30 and then I don’t want another. Sometimes I don’t drink any alcohol at all. I used to drink a lot at home. Sandy hardly drinks at all any more and he has never drank at home much. I enjoy my porters and stouts and dark ales, and I talk a lot about Smithwick’s red ale, which I consider to be a little taste of heaven. Surprise! I am more of a social drinker than I thought.

As bad as it has been, I am actually much better as far as my mental and physical health goes than I have been at other times of my life. The years 2002-04, 2007-08, and 2014 come to mind right off the bat. Sandy mentioned one time that he and I are actually well suited in personality to deal with having to stay home. That is somewhat true, in a way. I am not the kind of person who needs to go out much around town. When I’m in Greensboro, I mostly stay home or go to work. Sandy and I miss going out to eat in restaurants, but we still get take-out once or twice a week. My biggest grief has been missing the art retreats and big travel trips that were my sanity savers.

I thought that working from home and not being able to get my monthly massage was going to be murder on my back. I have actually been in much less pain because I have a good office chair and I get up and walk around a lot more frequently. When my back does hurt, I can lay down flat on my bed for a hour and that usually does the trick. My neck pain is almost completely gone these days – I need to knock wood here – and I don’t remember the last time my neck hurt. So I will be very reluctant to go back to the office on a regular basis.

I do need to get more exercise and I’m going to try harder to make that happen. My hips are getting stiff again.

It looks like from the timelines I have seen posted that I am in this for the long haul, unless my high cholesterol is considered heart disease, and my BMI crosses the line of obesity (I stopped weighing myself – it may have by now) I will likely be in the very LAST group to get the vaccine. Wow. But I accept that. At least I won’t have to worry so much about other people being sick or contagious.

Okay. Back to finishing the 2014 posts and moving on with the day.

Coronavirus Chronicles, depression/anxiety

Saturday coffee pot post

Should I even pretend that I don’t go back to bed after I get up to feed the little monsters at 8 a.m.? Nah, I want you to think better of me than that. So let’s pretend.

I didn’t want to get up from my last dream this morning. For once, it was helpful. I dreamed that Sandy and I were visiting some friends in the mountains, and I wanted to go hiking, but no one else wanted to, and I was annoyed about it. Then I realized as we were packing up to go home that the little cabin we were staying in was mine. There were clothes and furniture in it that I had brought on my last visit. I didn’t remember it, so that concerned me, but the overwhelming joy that I felt when I realized it was wonderful. There was a pair of high top purple chucks (Converse sneakers) on the floor. “Are these mine?” I yelped. Yes, they were. I was so happy. I brought in some trays of seedlings that were going to get frozen, and put them next to the window.

As I cleaned up, I told Sandy that I didn’t want to leave yet. “We’ve got all day,” he said. And I knew that I could drive back to this place whenever I wanted, since it was a hour’s drive away. Far enough to get away, close enough to be doable on a regular basis. I could leave my stuff in there and not have to pack up to go back and forth.

I’m taking away a couple of things from this. This house is mine and I can (and usually do) whatever I please here, and so I need to remember that when I curl up in the bed and daydream about hiking. I am not going to be able to hike anywhere if I don’t stop curling up in the bed in a cocoon waiting for the world to change because I won’t physically be able to do it! There are plenty of beautiful trails and neighborhoods for me to take safe walks by myself. I am in control of this.

The other is that I absolutely need to buy a pair of purple high top Chucks.

I am really tired of this emotional roller coaster where one day I feel hopeful and motivated and then severely depressed for three days or more. Today should be good, and I’m rolling with it.

This week I accomplished a couple of major tasks at work so I feel a lightening of weight.

I sewed enough masks to give to the co-workers that I saw at work on Wednesday and Friday, and I have another stack in different stages of construction ready to sew.

I made it through the tough part of moving the photos over to the blog, the time period when my mother grew sick and died. I honestly never thought that I would grieve so much over missing my mother, but I still do. I am up to August 2014 now, when I made my first trip to Pam Patrie’s lovely cabin on the Oregon coast, so those will be some good memories to bring up. I canceled my renewal to Flickr Pro, so I have until Jan. 3 to finish this project. I can do this now. I think that a few hours on a couple more weekends will be enough time.

It is cold outside today, but I am going to make an effort to get out for a walk. I’ll set a goal of moving 2014-2015 over to the blog, and sew a few masks. We need some new ones.

I am settling in with the acceptance that we probably won’t be able to travel overseas this summer, and I am considering booking the ticket for early September or over Christmas break. Those are the two times during fall semester when things slow down because I am mainly waiting on other people to send me stuff.

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.