A good Bloody Mary (this one with oregano infused vodka) can go a long way in getting the day started.

Amy and Ben moved the day bed from the studio to the guest room.

Then that space left in the studio became the new sewing wall.

Then I decided to move one of the long work tables away from the island in the middle of the studio and switch places with the board shear.

Next the window that looks out onto the wine bottle fish school became the wood carving table (on top of the antique sewing machine) with the small loom next to it.

I switched places between sketchbooks and journals to where all the wood blocks and prints were and vice versa.

The studio is beginning to make more sense now.

The board shear will be given to a young man in the book and paper arts field. Maybe I can talk him into taking a large metal flat file as well. These things should be used more than I am using them and giving is very satisfying for both of us. So now I have a cleared off table designated for printmaking only, a facing table for putting things together, a carving table and another for writing and trimming papers….all separated from each other and the sewing wall. Lots of open floor space. I might even get back to some tai chi again.

I will continue to throw things out and clear even more space. This morning many, many bags went to the dump before we went on our birding walk at the folk school trails.

The news on Lee is not so good. He has been taken to the hospital three times now after falls. Because he can not seem to settle and rest his badly bruised rear end and because they are worried he may continue to hurt himself, the next thing we are considering is a move to a psyche ward down in Atlanta to get him on the right medicines. It is either that or a person who stays with his every move day and night. I am waiting on a call back from our doctor to get proper forms signed so they can find a room for him in Atlanta.

Both Amy and Ben are tech savvy so Amy set up a way for my laptop to access all my photos on the larger computer downstairs in the office. As long as I am on the same WiFi network photos can be exchanged…so much easier than traveling downstairs, locating files and then putting them on a stick to take upstairs and feed into my small laptop. Plus anything downloaded to the smaller laptop can be accessed from the office downstairs. Much better.

Another thing they did was gather smooth rocks from up north to bring down to me. There is nothing like a smooth rock in the hands.

More later when I learn more about our next steps….

A Rough Few Days

This morning it was a walk back to the dam. It felt good to wander and look for birds with my daughter and her birding partner. A passerby complimented them on using real cameras. I will try to do that walk every morning.

Lee is still struggling. Friday his frustration led to breaking the owl picture and turning the television upside down. More sedatives needed. My calling might trigger another outburst so I will wait to make contact via the visual calls.

Then in the middle of the night Saturday I get a call that he had been found on the floor with a cut on his elbow and an ambulance was called to get to the nearest hospital for tests/x-rays. Two hours later the nurse from the hospital calls to tell me no broken bones, just bruises and now bandaged elbow. It is a good thing they check each room every hour during the night. He was sound asleep when they found him and they think he simply exhausted himself by fighting any form of relaxing.

He is eating well and this morning they called to suggest no contact until they get the right dosage to keep him calm and not aggressive/angry. Our doctor is in constant touch with how we are both doing.

I am so glad to have found this place where proper care is a priority.

In the meantime I tried to get some sewing done…three pairs of pants and two shirts so fat.

I really hate this mirror in the guest room. The closer you get, the fatter you look. Surely I need to keep my distance.

I have been served some interesting drinks by Amy’s partner, Ben.  A tumeric syrup with bourbon and sweet cherry garnish…delicious! A bloody Mary with rosemary and garlic infused vodka….also pretty good. It was garnished with his grandmothers recipe for preserved sweet pickled mushrooms and one of his pickled asparagus spears. The asparagus was too sour/vinegary for my taste but overall a good drink. There is plenty to sample during the week while they are here. Yesterday morning he served me my first ever bear bacon…surprisingly good, and last night his smoked mallard duck after a concoction of tonic and herb/peppered vodka. Tonight dinner will be part of a turkey he shot with a side of corn on the cob.

Now they are doing remote office work out on the porch with a promise that after five pm they will get to those high shelves for a good cleaning. But before that I will get on my Migun bed for a good massage while listening to some cds they brought for relaxation. How does “Restful Rain” sound?

Til later

Beautiful Weather and A Look at Old Sketchbook Bindings

I am looking in the studio to see what to part with in the “unnecessary stuff” category. There are so many bindings that I used to stitch pages together for usable sketchbooks, so I am going to post some here in this blog as a way to take another and maybe last look.

You remember when you just learned how to do coptic binding so you did a bunch to fit into a wooden box? And it was so necessary to put marbled papers on the inside covers? Right. I never wrote or drew in these because whatever appeal they had did not last. They are still in this old tools box waiting for me to do something!

And when I thought it was a cool idea just because I had a loom, to weave the covers with collected Nature bits and make pages for drawing/painting to attach inside the covers. And then of course to stitch the books together. How dumb was that!

And one of many covered in fabrics that I just wanted to own a half yard of…coptic again.

And the sensible field journal of soft thick leather. You just wanted to use this book because of how it felt in the hand.

And a patched together kangaroo and cane toad hide book that probably is an all time favorite of the many made to use on Australian adventures.

A very appealing cover of mixed papers and bags from Australia became another favorite.

A large book made for a Penland auction with a section for watercolors made from there housed inside.

A sketchbook for nothing but Eucalyptus drawings with a cover made using layered book board that has been carved into to get the image after having a thin paper covering that is pressed into the recesses. Small cork paper leaves fill the spine so when it is handles you can hear the sound of wind in the Eucalyptus. Images so far are all silver point drawings. I will get back to it.

A favorite wrapped journal with removable signatures and housing local pigment watercolors.

Filling in the concertina pages of contact prints with watercolors of wildflowers. I need to just finish it and not be so critical of how bad the contact printing is on a poor choice of paper.

And some of the watercolors of wildflowers in the six way book. Hundreds of pages to fill in this one.

Final image is of folios done five years ago with the news of Lee’s dementia. Drawing my feelings on these small pages and then stitching was soothing in a way back then.

More later……

First day of Spring

This is right now..blossoms out the window in the woods. But earlier this week:

Rain and clouds to match the mood here. Caregivers did not show twice. Lee left with no way to get outside. But one day without rain he pulled at the wooden pieces that he put there to hold grape vines until they and that section of vines are now gone. If he doesn’t see leaves, it must be dead. No worries. The yard men are coming to put trees and mulch down next week.

Lee also had a tooth extracted yesterday and recovered quickly. A person could go a bit mad trying to explain to a person with dementia that they need to have a tooth out. I just had to go all in and say that if it didn’t come out then all the teeth left would start falling out causing great pain. He got that, liked the ones who told him to hold still and congratulated him on how well he did and then proceeded to tell me over and over how glad he was that I took care of getting him there….a full ride of one and one half hours’ gratitude.

I also had time to write an explicit email to family on exactly how the day goes here from awakening to collapsing into bed. Then they can decide on when to come down after we are all vaccinated. Just not all at once. Those types of holidays are over. Way too much confusion. As our son put it, “We want to be a distraction, not a disruption.”  Perfect.  Also our friend who is like family will come down if I ever need surgery to look after both of us with a caregiver. My annual physical is coming up and of course I wake in the night with thoughts of tragic discoveries. Wish I could keep my imagination in check! But I feel good that she will make the sacrifice.

And the marks book continues.

My counter stools came back from upholsterers and all dining room chairs are now in their hands. An excellent job and I did not have to buy new stools.

After looking at my last post with pictures of my studio I think I need to get rid of things…seriously get rid of things. Of course the first thing I did this morning was buy more linen. It was on sale and who wouldn’t want to wear a pair of pants in “dark lotus”?

But as family arrive with empty cars and trucks they can take some of the things away. Artwork or parts that could be.  After they make their selection I will toss the rest. A while back I had asked the new director of the folk school near here to consider using the barn to host a large garage sale for local artists to unload usable equipment and materials to others looking for same. But it never came to fruition and I can no longer take part if it did, so time to toss. I don’t live in a spot that lends itself to garage sales and again, those days are gone.

A promise from caregiver agency that I will get my four afternoons this next week. But after last week, I wait until I see them before packing up my stuff to escape to the apartment.

Well, the leaking fish pond should be full by now. It takes twice as long because I have to use a different hose. Lee took a decided dislike to the old one that was quicker. And it is getting on lunch time…something mushy for Lee.  Something I can eat quickly for me. Always have to be ready to fix something.

Til later…