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

Saturday morning coffee pot post

^^^First, birdies.

I have a collection of glass paperweights. At one time it was such a delight to search flea markets, yard sales, and antique/thrift stores for them. After a while I decided to stop collecting them because we have so many knick-knacks in our house that it is a dusting nightmare. I gave a lot of my paperweights away, but I kept the ones that had meaning to me. Here are a few birds from my windowsill in my office. The yellow one came from Florence, Italy. Sitting here at my work desk at home, I see the one that used to be in my mother’s living room for years, and the one that she bought for me when she went to Vienna. I will be giving away more paperweights before long, but those are keepers.

^^^I found this awesome blue jay feather on my walk home.

^^^I played a little with the Diana app on my phone and came up with this.

Bernie is doing okay, I think. He is chirping in there now. Sandy often plays a YouTube video with parakeets singing and squawking. He sings along. He pecks at himself in the mirror.

Today, I am going to concentrate on weaving tapestry, and a little bit of cleaning.

Now, the mental health stuff.

Another rough week. I got out my neti pot and remembered that my sinuses are always a wreck this time of year. It never used to be scary, though. I’m going to look for my humidifier in the linen closet, maybe reorganize and purge that space.

I had a panic attack at work when a well-meaning professor would NOT move away from me inside my little office. She hovered over me reading slowly from some instructions she had written down and kept losing her place and getting irritated if I clicked on something before she said to click it. After asking her to let me handle it several times (she was trying to help with a technical problem, and she is the least technically literate person that you could ever imagine), I finally yelped, “Please, I canNOT breathe in this mask!” and she moved out to the hallway, and at that point I lost the thread of the whole thing, but I know that I shut the door and she came back later and asked through the door if I had resolved it, and I basically told her yes. I hadn’t, but I had a work-around. It was not worth having someone peering over my shoulder in a small space for many minutes.

So, UGH, first panic attack in a long time, and I HATE having panic attacks at work the most. It wasn’t a major one, so I was able to get myself together and work the rest of the day, but DAMN. This does not bode well. I have way too much to do in the next two weeks.

Okay, </mental health stuff…

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, critters, tapestry

Sunday afternoon coffee pot post

On the last dregs of the pot – I got caught up in Facebook.

Yesterday was a better day. Sandy called an old friend who worked for a bird breeder for years and she advised us that Bernie will be okay as a solo parakeet. He will probably bond with Sandy now that Liz is gone, which would be a very good thing since Sandy enjoys having him around. Bernie has bitten the crap out of him twice when he had to handle him. She offered to clip his wings so that he could have him out of the cage but both of us shudder at that idea. We won’t declaw our cats either. Bernie has a big roomy cage just so he has the ability to flutter about. That was one of our requirements if we were going to have a pet bird – he would be able to do birdie things as much as possible.

This friend had ninety birds at her house at one time. Can you imagine the noise?

Anyway, I spent most of the day out of my bedroom and took a walk around the block. Here’s proof:

^^^A long cropped shot of the back of our house from the other side of the block. You can see why we have a problem with water flowing downhill!

^^^The corner bar.

^^^What lies beneath. This is the red clay that our region is famous for. Less than an hour south is one of the oldest pottery communities in the nation – Seagrove, North Carolina.

^^^Tapestry progress. It’s just coincidence that this part looks like Liz.

^^^Robbie Rabbit is still alive and kicking. What a lucky bunny, because it spends a lot of time in the open and we have foxes and big hawks around here. I hope s/he’s still around when our young neighbor returns from Thailand. He will be delighted to see the baby bunny that he fed is all grown up.

^^^Rabbit yoga.

We made a quick run to Bestway Grocery to get a few items, mainly Smithwick’s ale for me since I ran out a while back, and a Smithwick’s after work is a good incentive to get through the day. I forgot that snow and ice was forecast for last night so the place was fairly crowded, although they enforce their masking rule and people were good about spacing. We double masked. Since we were there I ordered one of our favorite meals as take-out from Fishbones next door: popcorn shrimp burritos. It is such a small space and the patrons were fairly spaced out, not quite enough in my opinion, but all the unmasked people in that small indoor space gave me the willies. Thank God I only had to step inside for a few minutes. I feel sorry for the staff.

I will be so glad when we can sit at the bar in Fishbones and drink a pint of Smithwick’s there. It is one of our favorite places.

We had snow around 9 p.m. By the time I got up this morning and looked out the window, it was cold rain and the snow washed away. No ice that I can see. The temperature is just above freezing. I feel for my friends in the northeast who are about to get blasted again.

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

Saturday morning coffee pot post

Hello world. It is bright and shiny out here. I’ve been spending a lot of time curled up in a fetal position under my t-shirt blankie.

Yesterday I walked to work. Now I am putting on two masks for four layers. The ones that I make fit my face pretty well. The elastic goes around my head or neck, below my ears. I have very sensitive ears and there’s not enough room for my glasses and my mask on top of them.

I have to say that wearing two masks outside in winter is a comfortable thing, unless you huff and puff because of lack of exercise and get them moist. Plus I have to drink coffee from my favorite mug, the one that I bought at the sculpture museum outside of Jackson, Wyoming. Let’s not talk about my hair. It looked good the day before.

Speaking of sculpture, I liked this work of art by Nature.

Liz died yesterday. She is the white parakeet. We rescued her and her companion Bernie from a relative who was in the hospital and not really capable of taking care of any animals. We don’t know how old they are/were. They didn’t even have names – we named them. My brother-in-law said that he thought that the white one was a couple of years old when he bought the blue one to keep her company in a very small cage.

At least we gave her a roomy cage big enough to flutter about in for the last year and a half. I am really sorry for Bernie, though, because parakeets are social critters and we do not plan to get him a companion, since we were going to have to find homes for them when we move to Portugal in two and a half years anyway. Sandy plays a parakeet video for them with lots of chirping and squawking and so he played that for Bernie yesterday afternoon. Bernie was quiet most of the time but later he started chirping and singing and squawking with the video. This morning Sandy said that he was frantically looking for Liz. I hear him in there chirping now.

I am experiencing heavy empathy for Bernie right now. Lonely and confused, in a cage. I don’t like having birds in cages or fish in tanks, and I swore that I would never have a caged bird, but this was a rescue operation. We didn’t even know that he had these birds until he asked us to check on them after he’d been in the hospital for 10 days. I wish that Bernie was not so afraid of us, but I don’t see any possibility of taming him. I have been phobic of birds since I was attacked by a rooster when I was a toddler, but having these two have made me a bit less so.

Having spent most of my time working on my laptop, reading, or sleeping, I don’t really have a lot to say other than the news about Liz, but I decided to show up. Because showing up is half the battle, right?

I’m going to weave tapestry today. And maybe make a very brief grocery run. And take a walk around the block, at least. The weather is supposed to be nasty tomorrow. A nice pot of soup would be a good thing.

Coronavirus Chronicles

01-26-21

Here’s the photo I meant to post yesterday. A wider view of the tapestry since I worked more in the middle of it.

Today was a bit better as far as work. I checked my work email last night before I went to bed, and that was a definite mistake. I won’t do that again. It set my brain to spinning and I heard Amtrak go by for its 3:15 stop in downtown Greensboro before I fell asleep.

I didn’t lose my temper, I saw and acknowledged a few mistakes of my own, and I came up with some ideas to fix the problems, as well as explanations for why we could not do some of the things that were proposed. It was helpful to vent a little bit yesterday.

What was funny is that he mentioned that he didn’t know what they would do without me doing the class schedule, at which point I told him to start thinking about it because after this one I would be doing it only two more times before I retire at 62. He was surprised. Apparently I hadn’t said anything or he didn’t remember. But I appreciated that he said that.

My friends who were over-the-road truckers sold their big rig and bought a big RV. If for some reason we can’t move overseas, I will buy a smaller RV or camper van. I don’t want a huge vehicle.

I’m trying to decide whether it is worth it to buy N95 masks now or to double mask with the new variants of covid-19 popping up. We haven’t been going out, but tomorrow we might do a quick grocery trip, and so the plan is to take as many precautions as possible.

Tomorrow the NC Solar Now guys are supposed to replace the circuit panel on our solar panel system. We have been without solar energy generation for over three months now, which is a bit irritating since it was very expensive and we didn’t notice that it was down for over a month. They were supposed to monitor it. I’m trying to decide whether to be generous and not raise hell or to be assertive about some kind of compensation.

And, no 2019 tax refund yet, and again, no indication of whether it was received on their end or not.

“The Given Day” is a good novel that moves right along, so I’m going to forego the weaving tonight and read, then try to get to sleep early.

I was thinking last night about how Harold and Maude might really be my all-time favorite movie instead of Groundhog Day or The Big Lebowski, then this article popped up.

44. Harold and Maude

It’s not ridiculous to say that watching Harold and Maude can change your life. On paper, the film may seem like a dark romantic comedy based on the relationship between a 20-year-old boy infatuated with suicide and an 79-year-old woman who lives each day like it’s her last, but it digs so much deeper than that. Harold and Maude is a celebration of life. Director Hal Ashby wants to eliminate societal tropes like age and gender in order to fully cherish living and appreciate the freedom of it all. It feels like watching a dream that’s speaking directly to you, urging you to understand that life is worth living—not in any particular way, but in whatever way feels authentic. Cult movies are beloved for being weird or campy, and Harold and Maude is no exception, but the appeal goes beyond that. I could go on and on; instead I’ll leave you with the Cat Stevens lyrics that reverberate through the movie:

Well if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are.

—Sean Yoo

tapestry

01-25-21

Taking a break to write a post and to remind myself that I am not my job, and of that second agreement:

Don’t take anything personally.

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

Often I am frustrated with one of the people I support as an admin. This is the sixth year that I’ve been his support admin in two different capacities. He is a smart man, and personally we get along, but he isn’t good at working as a team. I happen to be very, very good at what I do so it is quite irritating to ask questions and hear that there have been email discussions that I haven’t been copied on. I really need to at least be informed in order to do my job well.

I guess a silver lining might be this: if he (and others) really think that there is no need for me to know a lot of what they discuss, it won’t be a problem for them when I retire in two years. HA

The other good thing is that the people that I actually report to as my supervisors are well aware of the problem, so it doesn’t reflect on me badly. And I’m still managing to do a good job despite that.

I’m finding that my back is not at all happy about this “new” weaving activity, but I have a goal to finish this in time to exhibit in the Tapestry Weavers South exhibit this June. I’ll do a little more after my work day is done – at least fifteen minutes.