augggghhhh, Coronavirus Chronicles, critters, Rants

Is it Wednesday?

Hard to remember any more. I have to use a calendar these days to keep track of days. Now that Sandy is retired he has particular problems with not having a steady schedule, and I’ve encouraged him to start keeping a digital calendar, although any kind would do as long as he looks at it every morning.

Warning – long rant ahead. I might have to write two blog posts today.

Monday Diego went back to the vet and it was expensive and I had to leave him, which I do not like to do, especially these days. He didn’t produce enough urine for a urinalysis even after they pumped him with fluids so they didn’t charge for the urinalysis BUT I paid almost $40 for the fluids. So far I’ve spent about $800 on Diego this month, not including special foods and pill pockets. And it will most likely continue because he is on a very expensive anti-histamine now. Doc says that after this week I can alternate them with Claritin to bring the expense down. I am giving him nose drops, one in each nostril. This is fun. I’m putting this off because DREAD but as soon as I finish my coffee I will do it again. I have to get my technique down because I wasted a lot of it yesterday.

He is STILL stuffy, but it is better.

One thing that the vet suggested which has me reeling is the possibility that we have black mold in our house. This is very, very possible. All you have to do is look at the stains on the ceiling tiles in my bedroom to understand. The leak was fixed years ago, but…  to take care of that mold, my friends, would eat up my retirement plans and money. And, wow, I just killed a winged ant. Is it a termite?

So I am not well pleased today.

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I also was furious at the vet’s office when first I had to ask the staff member at the front who showed us to an exam room to put on her mask, then later a vet tech returned Diego to me after his blood panel and the vet tech did not have on a mask. When the vet, who IS always masked as far as I’ve been able to tell, told me that I needed to leave Diego and pick him up later, I asked her to make sure that the vet techs wore masks around him, SINCE HE CAN’T WEAR A MASK, and he is asthmatic! She looked surprised and said that everyone wore masks in the back, and I informed her that this tech did not.

(In case you are not a cat person and don’t know, cats can contract Covid-19 and die from it.)

Then later, as I waited in an exam room for him to be returned to me, I could see through the window in the door to the back area. Very clearly I saw this same tech handling another cat without a mask on, assisting the vet. So she is either lying, or she is totally oblivious to the humans around her. The latter is a possibility, but I doubt it. I stood there for 15 minutes, becoming angrier by the minute, watching this tech walk back and forth, maskless, interacting with other staff and animals.

Finally when he brought Diego in his carrier to me at the front desk, he had on a mask. I said, “I hope you had on that mask when you handled my cat.”

This maskhole said, “Of course!”

“Because I watched you in the back room handling other cats and you did not wear a mask,” I spat out, grabbed up my poor kitty, and marched out.

I really cannot abide a fucking liar.

I barely slept that night because I was so pissed off and conflicted. Then my phone woke me and it was the vet. She sounded so kind and concerned and helpful that suddenly I felt no anger. Obviously I’ve not let go of it because here I am ranting over it, but I do not want to change vet practices again if I can help it. What do I do? She has a great reputation, but her staff sucks. I left this practice once, and then they worked Diego in during an emergency when another practice would not see him. And veterinary workers are burning out in great numbers from the stress. I know, partially because I have a friend who is a vet that works at an emergency clinic. So maybe she has to be tolerant to be able to continue her practice.

What makes all this even more strange is that they went way over what they needed to do last year. Granted, the staff seemed pretty clueless in late March 2020 when I overheard one of them say as I walked out, “Did you hear what she said? She knows someone whose husband died of Covid!” Then when I went back in early April, everyone had on masks, they were selling masks, and then later they changed to pick-up/drop-off in the parking lot only.

Now, this attitude.

I’m looking for gluten-free canned food that Diego will eat. Today and yesterday, Fancy Feast Turkey and Giblets pate was a hit. Tomorrow, who knows. These cats usually wait for me to buy more than two cans of anything before they decide that, no thanks, they’d rather eat plastic. They love the Pill Pockets so far, crossing fingers, but I looked at the ingredients and you guessed it – wheat gluten. The vet recommended them though – I’m confused. My friends are suggesting homemade chicken and rice, including chicken organ meats that a farmer friend says that she can help with this spring.

Okay, time for the nose drops. Hopefully I won’t have to do this for more than a week.

Coronavirus Chronicles, fiber art, Slow cloth, Upcycling

Boxing Day post

What are you supposed to do on Boxing Day again? Knock out your family and friends?

Just so you know, I did get some creative stuff done yesterday. The photo of progress on my tapestry refused to turn out properly, so that is a sign that it does not want any more detail photos until it is done. I measured it at 19 inches with the hem at the bottom. This made me want to try to weave another inch of tapestry so that it will be about 18 inches wide. Maybe two inches if I can deal with the crazy tension problems that far.

And the old girl is performing well. I think it is one year older than me.

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It looks like we will be needing masks for a long time hence, maybe forever! I sewed until I had no more elastic. I’ll order black elastic for the next ones, if it is available. When I sewed the first wave of masks, elastic wasn’t available at all, so I used fabric strips that I sewed and hair bands.

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Here’s a pile of shirts cut apart with the seams trimmed off and stashed away for a rag weaving. The one on top was my favorite shirt of Sandy’s. I have a lot of photos from the 80s with him wearing this shirt. That is one of the reasons that I love weaving with old clothes. The memories.

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We got out and walked around the block twice yesterday and once again this morning. It doesn’t seem like much but it is what we both can handle right now. The weather is beautiful – 71 degrees F. I’m sitting on the front porch with the critters as I write this. Sandy is bringing me a very late brunch. We were up late and awake again early this morning. Pablocito was being a bad kitty around 4:30 this morning. It’s fortunate that I didn’t have to work.

More weaving on tap today and maybe some sewing.

coffee pot posts

Meeeeerrrrrry Christmas

HO HO HO

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Well, if you’ve followed me a while, you’ll know that I don’t really “do” Christmas. I like the pretty lights and the greenery, but the commercial part leaves me cold. I ordered Sandy and I some socks from Nordic Socks and surprised him with them yesterday. That’s as exciting as it’s gonna get around here, folks.

The studio at the arts center is closed today through Monday. I meant to go yesterday but instead I spent the day lazing about reading and playing games. I cut up some of Sandy’s old shirts with the intention of finishing up the blanket made from his old clothes that I nearly finished about 3-4 years ago. Since I gifted myself with some new clothes this holiday season, I’m going to do a major purge of my own clothes. most of which are not really fit to donate anywhere. According to the news articles I’ve read, our American cast-offs cause additional problems rather than helping the poor. Most of them end up in the garbage anyway.

One of the things I have pondered a lot in these last few months is what really makes me happy. There are times when absolutely nothing makes me happy. I just don’t want to do anything but turn my brain off or distract it with strategy games or reading. So it is important that I identify something that really makes me happy, not something that I think “should” make me happy. That is a prime Enneagram One sentiment – this should make me happy so I should be doing it. Sometimes those things change and we hang on to them. I think that happens a lot to me, and in art in general.

I remember having those “flow” days in the little studio in the church when I wove the denim strips into blankets, and Sandy’s shirts became cloth woven squares for the blanket that I mentioned above. And just playing with weaving the cloth strips into different colored squares, sometimes veering off into wild directions. Then sewing them to stabilize them was meditative, whether I did it on the machine or by hand. I owe this direction in my fiber art to Jude Hill, and I am eternally grateful for her inspiration.

So, even though the focus this week is to finish weaving Cathedral and to finish sewing these masks, in between I will be readying for this next phase of weaving cloth strips again and slow stitching. I’m also going to finish warping the Macomber loom and weave a rag rug from the knit shirts that I’ll be discarding. I already have a whole basket of these, as well as a whole lot of denim that someone donated to me long ago. A friend and I went to Reconsidered Goods, a really good local thrift store here with a focus on recycling and catering to artists, and they had a big bin full of torn fabric strips that you could fill a big grocery bag with for one dollar. Some of the printed fabrics were quite fabulous so I did that. If I wear out my hands cutting strips, as I often did before, I can play with them. But I’m going to try to stop myself from cutting too much at a time. I might manage this if I switch from project to project over the course of a day.

We also need to walk. We have to start moving our bodies. We NEED TO WALK, every day, several times a day. We have to do this whether we want to or not.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

Mask weekend

Since it looks like we will be wearing masks for a while longer, maybe forever, I am whipping up some new ones this weekend. It is rainy and icky outside so it’s a good activity. These are the ones that I cut out last Sunday.

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I love this fat quarter with the faces from Norman Rockwell’s “The Gossips” painting from 1948, but I could only get three out of it. You can see the original painting here.

I only finished two masks yesterday – Sandy and I are modeling them here. I may need more elastic. Masks don’t stay on my ears very well, so from the beginning I used elastic hair bands to tie them around the back of my head. Now I would do that regardless of the ear issue, because it is nice to be able to wear them around your neck and pull them up as needed. It also makes them fit nice and snug. The design of these masks makes those metal inserts across the nose less necessary, although I might put them in this batch.

Sandy and I are the Tiger Twins. The backing on his is dark and the backing on mine is light. Today I’ll do the Rockwell ones and hopefully some spiderweb ones, if I don’t go to the studio.

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I feel pretty good today because I got my bedroom really clean. The ceiling fan, the walls, the curtains, and the windows. I threw out the mini-blinds. They are not worth the effort to clean them and the cats had broken several slats anyway. I put up some lace curtains that I had tucked away in a closet and there is a lot more light in here. That’s a good thing. These window panes need to be replaced. I covered the outside of them with bubble wrap for insulation and privacy. Actually, I need to get a home equity loan and get all our windows repaired and have insulated glass put in. This is one of those things that is more expensive because you have to get the historic preservation people involved.

Hopefully this will be helpful for Lord Diego Snufflebutt’s asthma. It did a lot for my mood! He seems a little better today.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles, critters

Saturday morning coffee pot post

It seems that I did jinx things somewhat about Diego last week, but not about the food. His nasal congestion has gotten much worse, so I finally took him back to the vet on Thursday. It had been two weeks since his last visit and so she (a different vet) gave him another injection of Convenia and a different steroid shot, the kind that Theo used to get. When I told her that I was surprised that he isn’t breathing out of his mouth, she told me that cats will not do that unless they absolutely have to. A new cat fact for you. He is still very stuffy this morning. He obviously wants to play, but he’s not up to it. I am worried. He has another appointment on Dec. 27.

Sandy, on the other hand, is doing much better. He saw the rheumatologist and his CK levels were way down into the normal range, after they were so high this past winter that the doctor nearly sent him to the ER. So his medicine is working and the doctor is lowering it with the goal of taking him off this spring. Since this suppresses his immune system, this is very, very good news.

We were just talking about hats, and I was reminded of this hat that we didn’t buy in London because the shop owner wouldn’t get off the phone. I guess he didn’t think we were serious, but we were. We even went back and he still wouldn’t get off the phone and seems like I remember that he turned his back to us. So this photo is all we have of the amazing red hat. Didn’t he rock it? I told him that he should buy a new hat when we go to Portugal.

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Work has slowed to a trickle. I hope to get some new masks sewn up this weekend. Sandy and I were going to the farmers’ market but considering how high the Co-vid positivity rate is in NC with no mask mandate in the county, I talked him out of it. We are going to work on cleaning ceiling fans and dusting today. Isn’t “dusting” a funny word? Shouldn’t it be “undusting”? One of those weird English words that also means the opposite.

The Honda Fit is finally in the shop. We jumped it off and took it over on Thursday afternoon, where they told us that it might be 2022 before they could get to it. We left it anyway. I mean, it was just sitting in our driveway so it might as well sit in their parking lot. I’m going to spend what I need to to get it running properly, get it cleaned up, and consider selling it.

I bought plane tickets for Susanne and I to go to Portland in July for the Focus on Book Arts conference because I found a good deal on United, but then I started feeling anxious about the pandemic and canceled them the same day. We still plan to go, but I’m going to get their credit card so that I can get some perks such as free checked bags and hopefully the refundable tickets will still be at a good price. Then I’ll be looking at United again for our tickets to Boston in May, to connect with the Aer Lingus flight to Lisbon. Gah, this Portugal trip got so complicated, but it is a little bit better than it was when it also included TAP from Dublin to Lisbon. I get nervous thinking about the testing. What if one of us is asymptomatic and test positive before we leave on either side of the Atlantic? We will have to be very, very careful.

I hit the jackpot at one of our little free libraries in the neighborhood – three Louise Penny novels, ones written just after her first one, Still Life. This is significant because one of my “rules” is that I don’t read books or watch TV shows out of order. I left six books in their place, so I’m still ahead in my purging.

We are planning to spend Festivus with friends watching the latest Matrix movie at their house. There has been no mention of when the airing of the grievances or the feats of strength will begin. As for Christmas, I think that we will be spending it at home eating Chinese take-out. Then I have the whole week off!

Hopefully I will have photos of masks to show later this week. I cut them out last Sunday in the studio (see my Instagram @slowturnstudio, or on the right sidebar). I plan to weave more on Cathedral, with the goal of cutting it off the loom by the end of 2021.

coffee pot posts, critters, Reading, tapestry

Sunday coffee pot post

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Yesterday I mostly did laundry and cleaned and read, while Pablocito hung out on the damp warm porch until the storm system blew through that had spawned the terrible tornadoes in the Midwest the night before. I wonder if they have tornadoes in Portugal? Now it is winter weather again, in the 40s.

Diego is breathing much better and sneezing from time to time, which is a good thing because I don’t know how else to get that congestion out of him. I can’t teach him to blow his nose. They both love the new dry food, which I’ve mixed in with the old dry food for now. I hope that I haven’t jinxed this by saying so.

I spent a couple of hours, off and on, weaving the Cathedral tapestry. I turned the photo above so that you can see part of that top section as it will appear when hung. When I step back from it now I can see the form of the tree in the shadows more clearly so I think that this part of the design will still be effective even though I’m stopping about a foot shorter than planned.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy was a stunning, difficult, and wondrously worded read. I have a weakness for authors who create their own languages. This plot caused a lot of anxiety for me as it unraveled, because it is full of trauma and you know from the beginning that it is a tragedy. Yet the children are delightful and the stories behind the characters are rich and complex, so I am glad that I stuck with it. It amazes me that this is the author’s first novel.

Near the end, she quotes the lyrics from “Ruby Tuesday,” and I went to bed with this ringing like a chime in my brain. No wonder it was hard to fall asleep.

“There’s no time to lose, ” I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain’t life unkind?
 
Next up on the stack is The Overstory by Richard Powers, which I bought from Cricket on the Boomerang Bookshop bus.  I’m really looking forward to this one.
 
It is good that I’m getting my focus and concentration back enough to read for more than a few minutes at a time. Maybe soon I’ll be able to watch a movie all the way through. Strange what an ongoing global crisis can do to your mind.
 
Portugal is calling. I hope we will be able to go. The photos coming from Lisbon of all the Christmas festivities make even an old Scrooge like me feel the spirit.
 
I have a date with the studio at 2:00ish and I am planning to keep it. Last Sunday I ended up collapsing at 3 p.m. I just couldn’t keep going. My problem now is that I have too many projects in my head and I need to choose one. I hope to spend a lot of time there during the week after Christmas.

coffee pot posts, Coronavirus Chronicles

A better Wednesday

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^^^Cochineal dyed wool socks from Laura Frazier of FarmGirl Arts

Whew. I starting feeling better yesterday. I put The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel soundtrack on at work and at home and reveled in the music. Peggy Lee has become my new favorite. When I thought about my disappointment about that video, in my brain I substituted the theme from the Benny Hill show (“Yakety Sax” by Boots Randolph) for the part that highlighted my framing fuck-up and made fart noises. That made me laugh and feel silly and now I am over it, but I’m still not sharing it. It’s a lovely short film, otherwise.

Good news: I have been approached several times over the years for the use of my photos that I post here and on my Flickr account. If it is for a for-profit venture, I ask for payment and they disappear. But if it is for a non-profit or a small business, I’ll usually say yes for free. Recently I was asked by a really great journal published by UNC Press and the Center for the Study of the American South if they could use my photos from a 2013 post about a natural dyeing workshop I took with Dede Styles for an article they are writing in the Spring issue. I took one look at the website Southern Cultures and immediately offered up high res photos. (I resized all the photos that I post here to save space, as well as discourage stealing.) I’ll be posting that link when the issue comes out.

Work has suddenly calmed down and I am in the mode of waiting. I am not a patient person. I wish I could go to the studio. Or stay home and weave on my tapestry and sew more masks. We need new masks and I have plenty of cotton fabric and supplies. I stopped making them because like most people I didn’t think we’d be looking at another year of wearing them. Our county did away with the mask mandate and even though my workplace and many other businesses that I support still require them inside, I’ve noticed an increase in people not wearing them or wearing them on their chins or below their noses so that they are “technically” wearing a useless mask.

I turned on the Christmas lights on the front porch. It was that easy because I never took them down. I think that I might put up the little artificial tree that we used to put in my mother-in-law’s nursing home room. I prefer the smell of a real tree, but the vet told me not to do it because of Diego’s asthma. That’s fine – many years we don’t do anything for Christmas. I actually prefer Hanukkah because: latkes. I also like the color blue. Since we stopped “doing” Christmas as an obligatory chore I have been much happier. Sandy doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, and when he was working he often volunteered to work on Christmas day so that others who did celebrate could do so. Thanksgiving is the only holiday that I really care about anymore.

There’s no wish here for others not to enjoy holidays. I just don’t care to have days designated for obligatory cheer. It took a long time for me to realize that I don’t have to participate, and not feel (very) guilty about it.

Still, when I look at the Christmas light balls hanging from the trees in the Sunset Hills neighborhood here, and when I look at the beautiful photos from Lisbon of the decorated city, I do feel the spirit.

Somehow I must find a way to get excited about cooking healthy (or reasonably healthy) food again. We both need to lose weight and Sandy gained an enormous amount of weight this year. He is not going to do it without help. He suggested to me last night that he might go on a diet of eating one apple, one banana, and one orange twice a day. I told him that was not healthy and later I tossed him a copy of The Diabetic Bible for him to look over for a well rounded diet. It is still sitting where I tossed it on the sofa. Even if I cook more whole healthy food, that doesn’t mean that he is going to stick to a diet or eat the food that I cook, but it will help me and hopefully he will get some residual benefit from it. At least it is soup season. I do love to make soup.

 

augggghhhh, Coronavirus Chronicles, Rants

Monday mope

Well, it was…a rough week and a busy social weekend and it’s only Monday and I’m exhausted. I look at what everyone else does and it amazes me that I’m exhausted when I do so much less than they do, yet they keep on truckin’.

Good news: this weekend I reconnected with weavers from our local guild, and got out to see and shop a couple of craft shows, including one at Providence Farm, where I’ve been meaning to go for a long time now. I ate at three great restaurants, INSIDE (ackkkkkk, so nerve wracking), and others paid for my meals! Sandy repaired our dryer and so I was able to get caught up on laundry. Not much else happened as far as art or house cleaning. I did some cooking and had a little more energy. The Christmas break is much anticipated.

Not so good news: I finally took Diego to the vet. He has asthma. He needs dental work. It will be expensive, again. His prescription food was changed and so far they both like it (knocking wood). A week ago Sandy tried to go to his doctor for a med check and about multiple problems like his persistent cough that keeps getting worse, probably polymyositis related, but it needs evaluating. They sent him away to get a Co-vid test so he couldn’t go back for an appointment until late today. (It wasn’t Co-vid. He’s had this cough for years.)

Embarrassing news: Today I was looking forward to seeing the video that was posted on YouTube about the exhibition my collage was in this summer. I got treated to about a full minute (out of about 8 minutes!) of it falling down and the installation team repairing my hanging wire and sighing and saying, “When an exhibition says that the art has to be ready to hang…this is why your art has to be ready to hang.” Well, it hung on my wall; what can I say. I’m not posting the link to it because now I am embarrassed and I don’t understand why they included all that in the film when I didn’t even know that it happened. At least they blurred out my name on the back, but instead of being excited now I have tears in my eyes. Gah. It’s a nice documentary other than that. A small glitch in the scheme of things, but I’m not having a good week and I’m hurt that they didn’t consider my feelings.

Terrible news: a vivacious friend of ours who lives in Japan died suddenly this week. We missed him anyway, but he usually came back to town during the holidays and visited friends, and now we will never see him again. He was a major extrovert and entertainer so he had many, many friends and acquaintances who loved him. More terrible news: a PhD student died this week also. Four people I knew died within one month. The other two deaths weren’t surprises, but the unexpected ones made me dwell a bit on this quote from The Lord of the Rings.

“‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo.

‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.'”

We would never have thought back when we read these books that this quote would so directly relate to us toward the ends of our lives.

And how will we decide what to do, when to do it, and how to do it? How will we manage our health related problems within a health system that only works for the rich? In a country where the working class often has to choose between rent, medication, insurance premiums, childcare, and food? And what do you do when violent people are able to act with impunity, and are encouraged by those in power to attack those who disagree with them? What do you do when governments and corporations with the ability to help the environmental problems refuse to acknowledge that there are problems they have to address for human civilization to continue on this planet?

I had terrible nightmares early this morning and had a full-on panic attack from the first one, heart pounding, heavy breathing from the running I was doing in my dream. I can barely think about the fascism that is being embraced by a minority in this country and who seem to be succeeding in taking power.

I think that I’m going to have to go back to therapy. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay off the anxiety meds.

 

critters, Lake Waccamaw

Saturday morning coffee pot post

I guess it is the view of the lake that makes this living room more comfortable than our living room at home, but that can’t be all of it. I should try to figure this out.

I’m giving the WordPress app on my phone a whirl. I don’t think I have enough space left in my brain to learn many new platforms.

Yesterday we had a quiet morning before we went to Dale’s and ate lunch on their screened porch. It was chilly but not too bad. I had a vegetable plate with double fried yellow squash, field peas, and collards. Sandy had country style steak, Tim had catfish bites, Brooke had fried shrimp, and Lisa basically had the same as me. Sister unity.

That was a late lunch then it was naptime and I did some prep for my dishes tonight. We ate leftovers from Thanksgiving.

We are really so fortunate.

Milo was pretty chill yesterday but he did play with Rascal. Rascal and Sissy have had enough of Milo and Sissy spent most of her time “hidden” under the cover on the daybed.

There were buffleheads out on the lake this morning. Now there is a large mat of coots floating out there.

The house is comfortable with two small electric heaters. I need to take a walk because my hips are groaning. It’s hard to make myself leave this room!

collage, critters, Lake Waccamaw

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

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Now I remember why I bought a Bluetooth keyboard to go with this Kindle. At the time I was trying to avoid buying a new laptop. The space that the on screen keyboard takes up is annoying. I will have to remember to take that keyboard with me when I travel.

Anyway, we are at Lake Waccamaw (which autocorrect always wanted to change to “Saddam” before I added it to the dictionary. I’m not sure how you get from one word to the other on that one). Thanksgiving dinner was awesome, thanks to my sister who cooked ALL of it. We got here mid-afternoon and found out that the big meal would indeed be on the actual holiday, since my brother declined the invitation to come on Saturday and my niece is departing this morning. So I will be cooking my asparagus casserole and butterbeans and deviled eggs today or tomorrow to go with Lisa’s wonderful leftovers.

Tim is doing really well. We spent some time around the firepit before dinner. The kitten that they rescued from a local parking lot came to visit with my niece. It turns out that Milo is a Bengal cat and his nickname is CujoCat, because he will bite. He is already huge for his age and although he was subdued yesterday usually he is constantly running around. He finally let me pet him but you have to be vigilant. He bit Sandy but it was a play bite. He still has those needle kitten teeth. A beautiful cat!

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The heat is broken here in our house, and waiting on a part. However it hasn’t been a problem because Lisa and Tim brought over several electric space heaters, including an electric fireplace, which is a nice touch. We were both actually too warm last night. Tonight will be the test when the temperature dips below freezing.

We brought art supplies but I doubt we will use them. If I do anything it will be to paint this base, which will have many layers and components if it goes as planned.20211121_160616

Last Sunday I had some good studio time by myself. I completed this collage from three of the painted papers I made earlier this month.20211121_16012120211121_16025620211121_160241

I also worked this one a bit more. It needed more contrast. I might put some embossing powders on it too. IMG_20211121_184724_341

Finishing my coffee now and about to head back to my sister’s. Even though it is cold now, November is a beautiful time at the lake, with different birds passing through. Yesterday as we sat on the beach we could hear the coots making purring noises out on the lake somewhere. Apparently they do this in a group as a comforting sound. Seems like there is something different here every time I come here, and I’ve been coming here for sixty years.