GTFO, whatever

Regarding Social Media

This subject has played an outsized claim on my attention this past week. At work, we are constantly pressured to promote our “brand” on all kinds of social media. I’m fairly proficient at Facebook, less so on Instagram and Twitter, and here on WordPress I sort of fumble along. With all the news of the Spacechild Billionaire acquiring Twitter and his ego and job cutting leading to a mass exodus of Twitter users, I took note of where many of the journalists I follow were setting up new digs – a mysterious new world named Mastodon. Part of the Fediverse. Don’t ask me to explain much. The most I can tell you is that it is a international network of many computer servers, run by volunteers. Some communities are very small, some are bursting at the seams and their servers are having problems with the huge Twitter Migration. There aren’t any ads. There are many different features.

So I spent a bit too much time exploring it last night and this morning. I set up an initial account at and searched hashtags to find a few interesting people to follow, and on the way found some of the journalists that I follow on Twitter. Then I realized that there were art “instances” (communities) that would be a better fit, so I set up another account at The addresses are really confusing. I downloaded two different apps to my phone, Mastodon and Tusky. So far I like Tusky better.

I really need to understand Instagram better instead of diving into a completely new platform with a steep learning curve, because we’re talking about creating a work Instagram account. But, here I am.

During the past few months, I have probably spent more time on Twitter than anywhere else. It’s come to be the place that I go for breaking news and to follow some really great journalists. When I first created an account there, it was to follow Steve Martin. Really, that was about it. I even said that in my profile at first. “I’m just here to follow @SteveMartinToGo.” I follow a lot more comedians and actors there now, and I don’t think that Steve Martin tweets much any more.

While I do have a Twitter account, I don’t tweet much. I retweet others. I rarely have any real interaction with others, and that’s okay. I have a lot of that on Facebook and Instagram, and I’m not on Twitter for socialization.

In that way, Mastodon is very different. It could be that so many new people are searching for others to follow. It could be that it has, at this point, a much smaller pool of users for “tooters” to choose from. So far, so good. I’m keeping my Twitter account, but if it crashes or goes mostly right wing, I have a new place to land where I can follow political posts in a well moderated system.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, GTFO


Last night was not a success. I discovered that I was out of melatonin. I read a book until 1 a.m. – a real book in print – “This Must Be the Place” by Maggie O’Farrell. I recommend it. There was heavy rain and it sounded soothing, but at 2 a.m. I took a Xanax. At 3 a.m. I got up and fixed myself a cup of chamomile/lavender tea. By the time it cooled down on my bedside table, I was asleep. In the meantime, my husband exercised to his video at 3 a.m.! This household schedule is absolutely fucked up.

I do understand that sleeping with cats is a huge part of the problem. However, if I close the door to keep them out, there would be howling and scratching at the door most of the night, and that is worse than them disrupting my sleep in bed. Maybe I need to give them sleeping pills.

Yes, I am talking about YOU, Mr. Pain-in-the-Ass.

The supplement that I started taking is Source Naturals Sleep Science Night Rest with Melatonin. It also has GABA and magnesium. It works pretty well most of the time so I will order some more. I can’t take anything with Benedryl as an ingredient because it sets off restless leg syndrome. I don’t want to take Ambien or other prescription drugs because I have a history of sleep walking that extended well into my 30s.

There are few things more frightening than waking up in a panic and not knowing where you are. It was worst in my early 20s. Once I tried to go out the front door and when I found it locked, woke up as I started to go out a window. Another time I pulled down a bookshelf with lots of heavy stuff on it – it was a miracle that I didn’t get hurt. Those are the two dramatic times that I remember. Most of the time I only knew that I was sleep walking because I would wake up with my head at the foot of the bed, or I’d wake up confused in the dark somewhere inside.

Dreams. For once I had school dreams that ended well this morning! In my recurring dream life, I am a formerly gifted student who has gone back to school/community college and I am sinking fast. I don’t understand any math or science or foreign language and I have to pass these classes to finish my degree. I fail them over and over until my GPA has gone from all As to “fail one more class and you are cooked.” Some, of course, I simply didn’t attend or do the work required. I constantly lose my textbooks so I can’t study. This morning, I had a teacher who I adored look up my grades for me and I had all As, even in the classes in which I had failed multiple tests. She praised my work and uplifted my spirits. So that was a nice feeling to start the day with.

Sandy is still struggling. I worry about him.

I think that I figured out an itinerary for Portugal. Dublin-Porto-Lisbon-Tavira-Dublin. 3-4 days in Dublin, Porto, and Tavira, and 4-5 days in Lisbon, and the second Dublin visit will only be at an airport hotel to catch a flight back the next morning. I realize that I have to schedule in travel time, but some of it will be on trains where we can look at the countryside and towns that we pass through. Portugal is actually 73% the size of North Carolina, the state I live in. It’s hard for us Americans to remember how small the countries in Europe are. I think that September will be a nice time to visit, although it means that I will have a pile of work waiting for me when I get back.

Almost finished with the masks! I have four more to sew the elastic into, and I am done with masks, maybe forever!

Back Forty, coffee pot posts, GTFO, Reading

Saturday schmatterday coffee pot post

I am up to May 2015 on the blog project, so I need to get a move on to check it off my list.

This week I was fatigued and sleep-deprived. Yesterday was my office day and I left at lunch, took a three hour nap, worked a couple more hours from home, and then slept from midnight to 11 a.m.!!! Sandy has been feeling weak and fatigued also. He does a low-impact aerobic video for as long as he can every day. I’ve had foot problems that wake me at night, so I’ve laid off the exercise other than some light walks.

Sandy is making us waffles right now and they are really good! We use Klondike Power Cakes Flapjack and Waffle Mix, which we bought in bulk at Costco a while back. It is the best commercial mix that I have tasted, especially for a whole wheat mix.

Considering physical problems now and in the future, we moved the litterbox up on a table in the back room where we can deal with it easier. This means that some major cleaning has to take place today, as one of the cats didn’t get the message or forgot. Diego is good with it now, not sure about Pablocito yet and he is the dumber of the two – not saying that Diego is smart.

So this goes on the list of things that we want/need to do to the house when we are ready to let contractors/repairpeople into the house:

-Replace laminate floor in back room with linoleum.
-Figure out and fix the ongoing plumbing problems in the sewer line
-Fix the leak in the bathroom sink
-Put knobs/handles on the kitchen cabinets.
-Fix the kitchen drawer and panel under the sink.
-Pull out trays in the bottom kitchen cabinets.
-Replace the ceiling fan in the kitchen to something simple and easy to clean.
-Change the closet sliding doors in my bedroom from metal to wood, make them open and close easily and quietly.
-Strip and refurbish the antique door I bought and put pressed or stained glass in the windows, and replace the hollow ranch style door that is there now.

I am going to hire a landscaping contractor to clean up the back forty, take the rest of the maple tree down that has been broken halfway by invasive vines, and keep the yard in shape for when we put this place up for sale. I will keep my little garden plot, but I am finally giving in to Sandy as far as making the rest of it a more “normal” yard. We can’t deal with it and I can’t find anyone reliable to help. The permaculture guy who said he was coming back stopped returning my texts, and the guy next door broke his finger splitting wood for us. The guy who cleans the yard on the other side mowed our tiny little bit of grass for $20, then came back to say that his price had gone up to $50 for at least two hours work at a time. And he really doesn’t know plants – he called the cypresses that he planted next door pine trees. And I didn’t ask him to make a special trip or cut our grass, just to spend an extra hour cleaning up along our side of the property line for $20, which was his asking price at the time.

One way or another, I am going to GTFO of this country, and that means getting rid of our junk, our collections, and getting the property in shape to sell it after the pandemic is “over” and I reach social security age.

My hope is that by next week my work will have settled down as faculty and admin staff start taking off for the holidays and I can relax and just respond to a few calls and emails a day. Do some art. Do some garden clean-up and clutter disposal.

I finished watching “In the Dark” and will start “The Queen’s Gambit” next. Sandy and I watch an episode of “Schitt’s Creek” together every day. In reading, I finally finished the second book of Octavia Butler’s Patternist series: “Mind of My Mind.” I will move on to the third, but first I am re-reading “Harriet the Spy” which I was able to borrow from What a hoot. It and “My Side of the Mountain” were my absolute favorite books growing up. I also loved the Three Investigators series.

I can’t do politics right now. I am so disgusted with half of the American people and their willingness to destroy everything that we built in order to get their way no matter what, or willingness to be silent about it, and this election won’t change that. It’s not even about the political leadership any more. It’s about the people who allow this travesty, these crimes, to happen with no consequences. It’s about people who see cruelty and crime happen right in front of their eyes and claim that it isn’t true. So, I am not on Facebook much any more. It might be up in the background, but I don’t look at much of it.

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.