Where have I been for the last four months, you may ask. Right here at home, of course, like almost everyone I know. Actually, I was already at home most of the time since the middle of last year. I was going to a mixed-media group meeting in a friend’s home twice a month, but that was the scope of my social life until that ended in March this year.
Last winter I had a number of art projects going on which I wrote about on this blog. But as I got into summer, I was having difficulty coming up with things to write about because I was mostly working in my yard. I’d find myself thinking what can I make quickly to blog about, which is not the kind of art or writing I want to be doing, much less putting on my website. And, by that time, there was so much noise on the internet, with people reposting things they had found online, that I decided to just stop for a while.
Summer in San Joaquin County was either over 100 degrees or clogged with smoke, or both at the same time until mid-October. Then it became a challenge to get the summer work done and prep for winter. I’ve been pruning back bushes that didn’t get done in 2019. I’ve been removing some plants that I didn’t like or were in the wrong place. I’m making some changes that I think will make the maintenance easier as I get older.
The watsonia “basket” I was making turned into a wall piece, and after a few months I added three natural elements and got it hung up on the wall. I made a basket using some of my weaving yarn twinned around some spokes of rope.
My summer activities included cleaning the garage and reorganizing my garden shed where I have basket making materials stored. I brought a few items into the house that I had forgotten I had, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.
In my storage unit I had a shoe box full of colorful circles I made some time in the “80’s. They were to be sewn together to make an afghan, looking like one of those old-fashioned paperweights. I had put the project aside when I took on a part-time job while in Grad school. I brought them into the house knowing I would not make any more pieces and decided I’d sew together what I had. Once I got into this, I discovered that I had started out with six sided circles and at some point, I was only making five sides. This proved an interesting challenge to find a way to attach them.
Other than going to the grocery, my main destination is seeing my dentist about every three weeks to get my braces adjusted. I lost a tooth on the bottom right in January, and she saw an opportunity to fill in that space and straighten some teeth that were twisted. We are getting close to being done, I hope. Eating this year has been a challenge!
My friend, Robert, who lives in the apartment behind the garage, has had numerous problems with his wheelchair all this year. He is no longer able to come into the house to cook with his current loaner chair, an activity he really enjoys. We’ve mostly met on the patio, but it’s not the same as eating together and sharing the kitchen. Hopefully his new chair will be delivered soon.
It has been five years since I had a cat, and during the summer I thought about getting a cat, until I remembered how Tommy insisted on being on my work table whenever I was making art. I wanted a cat who would go in and out of the house independently, and enjoy being with me without needing to be in my face constantly. How does one find a cat like that?
The Next-Door app has people giving away cats (and other things) all the time. Late one Saturday evening about two months ago, I was scanning the latest offerings of free things. There was a photo of a cat who looked exactly like the first cat we had in Virginia forty-five years ago. I read the info: female, about 4 years old, likes to hunt for mice and lizards, needs to be gone by Monday. Sunday, I looked at the picture again several times, and sent a message that I was interested. The family was leaving the state and couldn’t take her with them. By noon on Monday, I was driving back from Lodi with Lila.
Miss Lila is a beautiful cat with symmetrical markings, a white tummy and four white paws. She likes about twenty minutes lap time in the evening. She is very smart, understands things, knew what the cat door was and how to use it. She’s not too sure about Robert yet – he sounds like a man, but doesn’t walk like a person. So, some of my time and energy the last two months has been about having a new friend to talk to, watch, and play with.
I have been so blessed by the Lord this year, being content to tend to my yard, learning to make better collages, gifting me with the perfect cat. Even though I am unhappy with the results of the election, I am experiencing God’s perfect peace that events will play out for the good of our nation.
Wishing you good health and a peaceful spirit in the new year.