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2017 First Day Part II

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gowest

So, here is what I’m thinking about for 2017.

There will be a local exhibition of six fiber artists at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC in January and another Tapestry Weavers South exhibition at Yadkin Cultural Arts Center later this year.

I’m planning to go to the Women’s March on Washington on January 21 with a couple of friends. Quite a few women I know are taking buses to DC. We jumped on reserving a hotel room near the Metro station in Alexandria right away for Saturday night before the rooms sold out and the prices jacked up, and will stay in a cheap hotel about an hour away on Friday night. Now I am shaking in my shoes with anxiety about the whole thing. I don’t even like to go to the movies or concerts because I hate crowds. What the hell was I thinking? But I’m going to go because I think it is important. One of my friends will drive and I’ll take my Dramamine and Xanax for the journey.

Winter/Spring is my busy time at work, so I’m not planning anything then except maybe a trip to Lake Waccamaw around Easter.

May 16 is our 30th anniversary. We are going to celebrate the hard work that went into this by traveling to Ireland and southern England for two weeks. We’ve paid for most of the trip already over the last few months. We’ll stay in Howth (on the harbor near Dublin) for one night on the way and one night on the way back, and most of our time will be spent in London and Cornwall.

Yes, I am a fan of Poldark! But mostly, it is because I love sea cliffs and a large branch of my ancestry is from Cornwall.

In late June, Susanne and I plan to go back to Focus on Book Arts for our third time. Because of the trip to the UK, that is currently the only retreat I’m planning. Unlike the last time, I won’t be making it a bigger trip because I need to do it as cheaply as possible. FOBA arranges for room/board at Pacific University and it is less expensive than other retreats. Also, it has a nice selection of both technical classes and loosey goosey creative classes with nationally known book arts instructors.

In June and July I guess I will be blogging those trips!

Sandy and I will try to make it out to Colorado again before the year is out. We both love it there. We’ll try to visit a new national park if we can. We’ve been to Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde, and Great Sand Dunes so far in Colorado.

I’ll try to get back to weaving “Cathedral” again. Now that I have the front porch screened in I know that I will enjoy weaving on the porch bug-free.

I expect that my current obsession with weaving cloth strips and fabric piecework (and maybe quilting) will continue. So there will be plenty of retreat time right here in Greensboro.

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2017 First Day Part I

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“Then what is the answer? Not to be deluded by dreams.” – Robinson Jeffers, “The Answer”

Wow. This is going to be hard. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you skipped this one. I always write a post on New Year’s Day about my goals and expectations for the coming year. I am not a cheery person these days and I don’t want to bring anybody down. But philosophically I have belonged in the camp of the Dark Mountain Project for quite some time. This kind of gloomy realistic thinking does not resonate with most people and most certainly will not get you invited to parties, but I’m not a people person anyway. If I had children, I really don’t know if I would still be sane as this point. Also, I’m not really interested in discussing it, but here’s what is in the back of my mind, and I feel that it is important to put it out there today.

THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES OF UNCIVILISATION

“We must unhumanise our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.”

  1. We live in a time of social, economic and ecological unravelling. All around us are signs that our whole way of living is already passing into history. We will face this reality honestly and learn how to live with it.
  2. We reject the faith which holds that the converging crises of our times can be reduced to a set of ‘problems’ in need of technological or political ‘solutions’.
  3. We believe that the roots of these crises lie in the stories we have been telling ourselves. We intend to challenge the stories which underpin our civilisation: the myth of progress, the myth of human centrality, and the myth of our separation from ‘nature’. These myths are more dangerous for the fact that we have forgotten they are myths.
  4. We will reassert the role of storytelling as more than mere entertainment. It is through stories that we weave reality.
  5. Humans are not the point and purpose of the planet. Our art will begin with the attempt to step outside the human bubble. By careful attention, we will reengage with the non-human world.
  6. We will celebrate writing and art which is grounded in a sense of place and of time. Our literature has been dominated for too long by those who inhabit the cosmopolitan citadels.
  7. We will not lose ourselves in the elaboration of theories or ideologies. Our words will be elemental. We write with dirt under our fingernails.
  8. The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop. Together, we will find the hope beyond hope, the paths which lead to the unknown world ahead of us.

From the Dark Mountain Project Manifesto

So, there is the broader view of my thinking for the years ahead. Next, a cheerier post about our plans for the year.

critters, Upcycling, whatever

T-shirt Upcycling and Life

Just some photos from the last few days

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^^^The Lyle Lovett collection, well loved

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^^^This one was in absolute tatters

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^^^Pablocito actually was taking a bath in the tub, but he wouldn’t do it after I got the camera.

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^^^Theo doesn’t like the camera either, which is a damned shame since he’s so handsome.

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^^^Anybody want some big chunks of beautiful maple?

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^^^Proof that I wasn’t a total humbug this Christmas

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Randomness

I think that I can safely predict that from now on I can expect to go into an artist’s block during every major election year. It’s too stressful. Although of course this year’s blew all the other ones out of the water. I wish that I was the type of person who can turn to art when she’s depressed, but that’s just the way it is. The doctor upped my anti-depressant dose, because I’d rather feel sadness and anger than feel hopeless and nothing at all. That’s depression. It’s something people don’t understand until they experience it.

I’m going to try to finish up moving my studio to Susanne’s house this weekend and do something fun while I’m there. It will depend on whether I can get my neighbor to help me move a large heavy bookshelf in his van, but I’m tempted to rent a truck if he can’t. I want to get it done! It will be great to have a kitchen and back yard to use, as well as share tools and equipment with Susanne. We’ve been sharing for a long time, just not in the same space. I want to make paper and books again, as well as continue to play with fabric and stitching and collage. My tapestry studio will remain at home.

Here’s the space:

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You know I’m a treehugger, but hallelujah, Duke Energy has finally decided to put this dying maple tree next to my driveway out of its misery. I will miss the woodpeckers that feed on its insects but they have plenty of other places to go in the neighborhood. They are supposed to cut back my trees in the front yard too. I hope that they don’t stomp my lenten roses and make a big mess but I don’t mind them cutting back my trees. I never expected these yoshina cherries to get so tall, since I was told that they grow to about 15 feet. If I had it to do over again, I’d do edible landscaping.

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Although I am going to continue to try to not write about politics here (I do plenty of that on my personal Facebook page), because of the incoming regime, my thoughts are turning to preparation for the tough times ahead. I don’t mind telling you that I am afraid and freaked out. Don’t tell me not to be, please. It’s not my choice.

I’ve let a lot of the “back forty” garden go because of physical problems and the horrible mosquitoes. I don’t want to use a community space like I did a couple of years ago and then not be physically able to maintain it. That was embarrassing, although I’ve been told that I am welcome to come back. So I will need to adjust my thinking and look seriously at what I can do with the situation at hand. That means not doing too much at once and hurting myself, possibly building some planting space up where I don’t have to squat down, and serious critter and low-maintenance weed control methods, whether my husband likes it or not.

Also, if I can grow enough or buy produce at a low cost, canning. Storing water and medical supplies. Have a couple of well-stocked bug-out bags at hand. Get serious about simplifying again.

At least I don’t have children or parents or grandparents to take care of, so I don’t have those worries any more. Just the cats and Sandy.

I was about to write “We’ll make it” but I no longer have any confidence in anything anymore, so I can’t honestly write that. Emigration has been seriously on my mind but I don’t want to give my great job up so close to retirement age. Our savings have mostly gone into the house and I’d like to enjoy it for a while.

We have a big 40th anniversary trip to the United Kingdom planned and mostly paid for coming up in May. That is something wonderful to look forward to.

Deep Roots Market, depression/anxiety, Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina, whatever

A Bit of Catching Up

Well, you know. You know how it is with me if you’ve been reading my blog for a while.

Anyway, since I last posted, the election brought a lot of attention to North Carolina. Ben Harper showed up at the pub across the street, sang a few songs, asked us to vote for Hillary, then hung out for a while right at our table. I offered him some of my nachos and he took me up on it. I look drunk and excited because I was drunk and excited. Such a nice guy.

Ben Harper plays at Old Town Draught House

Ben Harper and me

Then a few days later Bill Clinton came to UNCG.

Bill Clinton at UNCG

I’m not a Hillary fan, but I dressed as close as I could to a suffragette on Election Day. I don’t do pantsuits.

Election Day

A couple of days later:

Sad and mad

So I’m marching in Washington on Jan. 21. I feel quite steamrolled and helpless, though.

We got our front porch screened in! But we haven’t gotten the second coat of paint on it yet. The weather turned cold and rainy when we finally had the time. It has an outside electrical outlet and a ceiling fan now. We didn’t find a front door that has satisfied both our budget and the Historical Commission yet, though.

Screened in front porch!

Thanksgiving at my sister’s house at Lake Waccamaw:

Lake Waccamaw reflections

Lake Waccamaw reflections

I just moved my studio from the church to Susanne’s house. I didn’t feel safe at the church any more and Susanne seems quite happy to have me there. It will be a much better situation.

The “resistance” group of owners of Deep Roots that I’m involved in has managed to bring some positive changes to the co-op. Whether it will be too late is the question. But the manager is gone and it looks like it will begin to behave like a co-operative again instead of like a private business.

Theo is looking quite frail these days. Diego and Pablo are plump and sassy.

Sandy and I went to Savannah, Georgia for his birthday in mid-November. That will be a separate post.