coffee pot posts, fiber art, Greensboro North Carolina, Slow cloth, Uncategorized

Sunday morning coffee pot post

Did I catch a flying saucer in this photo?

My love/hate relationship with Daylight Saving Time continues. Even though I love that extra hour of sleep in the morning I do not love the earlier darkness at the end of the day. Then spring is so hard to adjust back! I have always had a very regulated body clock. My husband does not and can stay up all night and sleep most of the day on the weekend then switch back to an 8-5 weekday schedule. I envy that and his ability to fall asleep in less than 60 seconds, but I also believe that it affects his health negatively.

My spirits are better this week although it seemed like time dragged. Last Sunday I made myself go to the studio and then made myself sit down at my sewing machine just to play with tshirt scraps. I ended up with a block I liked and will do more in this vein.

Friday night Sandy and I took his little bongo drums to the drum circle that meets in Center City Park on First Friday nights. (They won’t meet again until March or April.) That was fun but I think I’d like to get a bodhran, which is an Irish drum. The vibration on my fingers is a little too much. Then we went to Little Brother Brewing, a new micro brewpub on South Elm, and listened to feminist poetry. An Asheville-like evening in downtown Greensboro.

I’ve been purging collage materials from my studios, trying to get ready to consolidate them if necessary. When I get blocked, I reorganize. I have a lot of pure junk paper that I am recycling, but I also have a lot of old dictionaries, textbooks, natural history books, music sheets, maps, and atlases. My plan is to make collage variety packs to sell at a very low cost because I know there are artists who would love them. I’ll include painted and handmade papers as well. I’ll probably get this going around Christmas when I have time off and sell them through here, my Facebook page, and Paypal.

I think that I’ll make paper and fabric garlands and prayer flags too.

Now, going to work on “First, the Seed” and “Flow” books for the Triangle Book Arts show if I can get my worktable cleared off!

Back Forty, Blather, coffee pot posts, Uncategorized

Saturday morning coffee pot post

This really will be random.

Last night, for the first time since surgery, I could turn over in bed without my insides feeling like they are rolling around! Sometimes the absence of a thing feels like a real thing. So I’m pretty happy this morning. Haven’t even taken a Tylenol yet, although I will.

I think I’ll go to the Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market and buy broccoli and some combo of locally raised beef and pork and chicken. They have wonderful lean brats and
sausages there too. I always see a lot of great people there. Back when I was agoraphobic it was one of the first places where I felt comfortable as I was healing.

My field peas are about done but my butterbeans are having a big end of season run. I picked twice this week and shelled, blanched, and froze them. My tomatoes are about done too and I’m going to dehydrate my last batch this weekend.

The California fires are nightmares and my heart hurts so much for the terror and trauma and loss of the people there. Fire is a particular dread of mine and I’ve lost some loved ones to it.

I went to two Art-is-You retreats in Petaluma and one of my classes with Roxanne Stout went to beautiful Cornerstone Gardens in Sonoma to sketch and take photos. I hope they survive this. What beautiful country it is there. It’s little wonder so many people have moved there to retire. It seems from the news reports that many of the elderly residents could not escape in time. So horrible.

I’ve been fantasizing about moving west again despite all this. I keep thinking about a co-housing community near Forest Grove, Oregon. We met one of the residents at a bluegrass jam in a tiny brewery there, and he asked us out to a cookout there the day we were leaving. Even offered to pick us up. Unfortunately it was 100 degrees that day and Susanne had to get on down the road to Eugene to meet her boyfriend and turn in the rental car, so we couldn’t go. I looked it up online yesterday. I would really love to live in that area. I think Sandy would like it too.

I picked the glue out of my belly button and I’m so glad about that. It was driving me crazy. The little things, you know. Also, I never thought I’d be typing that sentence.

Also on my mind: if given the opportunity to sell my part of my cousin’s lake house, will I do it? Anyone who has read this blog for long or knows me well knows of my intense attachment to it. I don’t consider it partly mine because my cousin’s wife has lifetime rights but she can’t tear down the house or sell the property, so apparently it IS partly mine. I don’t pay a cent in taxes or expenses for it but she encourages me to go down there and stay as much as I want. I hear that she is considering making us an offer, which I’m sure means that the house will come down. The lot is what is valuable.

I could use the money for retirement, or buy a nice camper and go where I please.

Ay yi yi. Probably won’t happen but it set my brain in motion. And I’m still smarting over selling my mother’s house.

Okay, better get to the farmer’s market. Time has run away from me. I’ve signed up to do this, which I pretty much do all the time anyway.

Uncategorized

Recovery a week later

A week after my surgery, I was humbled about listening to my body and to my doctor’s office. The art work I did wore me out. It did not help my healing to put the pages on the floor and rearrange them on Monday. I had to rest all day Tuesday. Then I went back to work on Wednesday because I had decided beforehand that that was the date I was going back to work, even though the doctor’s office suggested two weeks out and then when I challenged that they said that one week would probably be fine since I have an office job. So I went back six days later, walked all over the place because it felt good to be up and around, and ended up back in bed at 2:30 that afternoon with an ice pack and stayed in bed through Thursday.

After a solid day and a half of rest and a good meal last night I am back at work sitting in front of the computer, but I took the elevator and I am going home if I begin to feel bad or exhausted. I’ve ditched the opioids because they weren’t doing me much good anyway. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen and icepacks are helping me just as much.

Needless to say I am tired of being in bed, I am bored, and I am frustrated, but I’m willing to admit that I was stubborn and wrong and not as tough as I wanted to think I was. I’m actually happy to be at work today. The weekend is ahead and even though there are many fun things to do in Greensboro, I’m going to try to listen to my body.

The deadline for the book arts show has been moved to a later date so I don’t feel the urgency that I did this past week. I’ll work on this again on Sunday afternoon and post photos. I took photos of the book stretched out in its final order on the floor so I won’t have to bend over and futz around with that now. It will all be sitting work.

Back Forty, coffee pot posts, fiber art, Uncategorized

Sunday morning coffee pot post

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Whew. I am SO SORE from carrying bags of potting soil and the yard work I did yesterday. It is disheartening because it doesn’t seem like I did that much, but I guess that’s what laying around all winter will do for you.

My focus has been the front yard, although I did plant sugar snap peas, Oregon giant snow peas, Nantes carrots, and arugula in the back forty. Now that I get a little more sun on the south side of the front yard, I’m going to take advantage of it before the neighbs let their yard grow into a jungle again. I do miss their butterfly bush, though.

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Moving herbs to the south side because they are being taken over by Lenten roses. I also moved some flower bulbs (don’t know the name, will find out) and weeded a lot of the hated liriope and wild onions and ivy and other invaders. One day if I am not broke from traveling and house remodeling I’m going to hire somebody to dig out all the liriope and English ivy. The last person I asked for an estimate for cleaning out the English ivy and other vines in the back forty was the guy I hired to cut the little bit of grass and weeds we had back when neither Sandy or I could do it. He looked at it in horror, backed away without giving me a price, and I never saw him again.

I’m going to plant yarrow in the pathway since it doesn’t mind being walked on. The edge is made with fieldstone that I dug out of the beds in the Back Forty years ago. There was once a big dirt-covered mound back there that contained all kinds of crazy junk, but digging for the fieldstone was like digging for treasure.

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Anyway, I have hopes that my front yard might produce a few vegetables this year. I’m going to plant some in containers on the south side. The yoshina cherry trees have such big shallow roots that it is difficult to plant anything that needs a big hole. One huge root is heading for our house and I guess we need to cut it with a chain saw. I regret planting these trees in 2002.

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I want to get more bright colors in there, but the shadiness lends itself better to Lenten roses and hostas. I’ll plant some foxgloves and more purply foliage such as coral bells. The bloodroot I transplanted last year really took off and that was very pleasing. The Solomon’s seal is probably my favorite plant and has expanded a lot since I planted it near where the gutter empties rain from the roof several years ago.

I planted lettuce and parsley in the containers on the (what do you call that) wall next to the front steps. There has to be a architectural name for that. My brain doesn’t do words the way it used to.

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In the studio: not much. A little random sewing of scraps. I’m going back home today and weave on my tapestry on the front porch. The cats are loving it. Sandy moved Pablocito’s cat tree out there. We both spend hours reading together. This screened porch is a good addition to our lives.

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So, it’s been a pretty good week, other than a sore neck and back. My chiropractor closed his practice to teach at Duke. That’s how good he is. He treated me for twenty years. It is hard to make myself find another chiropractor but I probably need to do this for my neck before I go to the United Kingdom. It sucks not to be able to turn your neck when you’re being a tourist! But work has been satisfying and I’ve probably partied a bit too much with friends. I need to cut down on my beer drinking because I’m gaining weight again.

In books, I am totally hooked on the Poldark series by Winston Graham. I am way ahead of the TV show – at the end of the sixth book and ready to order the next three. Cornwall awaits!

Uncategorized

What shapes me

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I’m at the studio, looking out the kitchen window at the bird feeder, the cardinal couple and chickadees and sparrows and what I think is some kind of thrush. They are flitting around but not eating. I look to the side and the orange cat from next door, Ralph, is napping nearby in the leaves, eyes almost but not quite shut. He’s lucky that there’s not a mockingbird around.

Today as I left the house, there was a crow with one white tail feather in my neighbor’s yard.

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I’ve decided that it’s time to start writing again, whether here or in my journal. This blog has gone through several transformations since I began it in February 2005. First, it was almost completely about my back yard garden and permaculture. Then things got a little crazy at work and it became a place for therapy. (Later during the difficult transfer from GoDaddy to WordPress I did not transfer a lot of the early, more personal posts.) I talked about depression, anxiety, and panic disorder, and my experiences as a recovering agoraphobic. Mostly my focus was on simple living, organic/local cooking, and food issues, particularly honest labeling.

As I moved forward (step by step, inch by inch) in my healing I was able to do some of the traveling that I had dreamed about all my life. Then I suffered major volunteerism burn-out with the food and environmental organizations. Other writers in the area were blogging about local food and I felt like I had said what I wanted to say, so I pretty much stopped writing about food and wrote more about my personal life and travel.

I made the switch to writing about mostly my artwork and travel as my focus shifted there. The two are interlinked. I stopped writing so much personal stuff. I started feeling weird and preachy about politics. I lost most of my readers to other social media, and I stopped reading many blogs as I got addicted to Facebook.

And you know, that’s a good thing.

I’m a grown-ass woman, and my mama is not around any more to complain about what she hears from people at church about my writing on the Internet.

So I’m going to write about whatever I want, in my voice, which means if I want to say that something is fucked up, I’m not going back to edit it. In real life, I curse like a sailor. If it offends anyone, perhaps this is your chance to move on.

For those of you who don’t know me in real life, this is what shapes me.

My politics are unapologetically leftist. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Communist, and I might be a Democratic Socialist if I have to fall in with a party, which I do not plan to do in the near future. I love Bernie Sanders with all my heart.

I was brought up in a Southern Baptist church that my parents were heavily active in, a church that was somewhat moderate before a hard right turn in the mid-eighties. Now I am unaffiliated in religion as well, although I joined a very progressive Presbyterian USA congregation about the same time that I started the blog that really helped my outlook on life. In actuality, I’m probably an atheist. Or a Quaker. Or a druid, although I dislike the magic part. I’m too logical to be a pagan. I am fascinated with Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. I’m an ordained Priestess in the Church of the Latter Day Dude.

I’ve stopped labeling myself with what I do for a paycheck. However, although my official job title is “Administrative Support Associate” I refer to my job as “Secretary.” I honor my mother and my aunt that way. I don’t like it when people take perfectly good words and make them pejorative. It makes me stubbornly cling to them.

When people ask me what kind of artist I am, I really struggle with that. I think that almost any endeavor can be art if done with the right spirit. I will call myself an artist, though. That’s progress from the first half of my life.

It should go without saying that I am a feminist, but many feminists annoy the crap out of me.

I am quite pissed off at the protests that dilute their focus by trying to please everybody, because I know it’s impossible. I’m not pleased with people who get hung up on semantics. I believe in courtesy, and listening, but I’m not paying attention to those who think that I’m not doing the right thing or that I’m not doing enough or that I don’t care about their passion or issue because I’m not talking about it. Once they get into scolding, I’m out.

There’s not enough room in my head for all that.

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Last night I dreamed that I was walking to my childhood home, about five miles away. I was exhausted and I called my mother and asked her to come get me.

“I can’t,” she said.

“But I’m so tired,” I cried.

“Go pick up your niece. She needs you.”

“I can’t,” I whimpered. “My car has broken down.”

I called my niece at her college about a four hour drive away. “I am coming for you in about four hours. I don’t know how, but be ready.”

My niece: “Sure, great? Who are you?”

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I’m doing the best I can.

I’ll keep doing the best I can.

I hope that you will too, whatever that means for you.