At the end of August, Olive passed away. I still have not recovered from her death. I had no warning when I dropped her off at the vet that it’d be the last time I’d see her. She was very old and not in great health but I was in shock. I feel guilty for taking a job I couldn’t take her to every day, and that I didn’t spend every evening at home with her, and most of all that I didn’t notice she was losing weight- she was so small! I would’ve spent every possible minute with her if I’d known she had so little time left. I miss her tottering around, nuzzling into my armpit and snoozing in everyone’s lap. We took her on a lot of great trips and my life is so much richer for knowing her. I made this mini for Boo-le-Bark, Athens Halloween parade for dogs.

Olive and Cooper, cuddle buddies.

Mega Maneki-neko

A couple years ago, I decided to construct a giant lucky cat. She was hastily created with a base of woven rolled newspapers and light layers of paper mache for Experimentique Night at Flicker Bar. Jessica, Emileigh and I played chimes behind her. That spring, Trio Gallery had a cat-themed art show so I took that opportunity to give her a makeover- fattening up her cheeks and painting her pink. When I moved to my much smaller space, I gave Maneki-neko to my friend Rebecca, the children’s librarian at Oconee. I’m so glad she’s able to have a good second home.

Kris helped me transport her to our little Flicker show AND babysat her afterwards as I ran off to see Run the Jewels.
Jason helped me transport her to Trio Gallery in an insane rainstorm. Hahaaa, that was a really crazy afternoon.

The Rock Garden

October 2018

Tucked behind a church in Calhoun Georgia are 50+ fairy sized structures of castles, cathedrals, houses, and more – all volunteer-crafted with pebbles, cement, wire, glass, and seashells! The detail is precious but there is no gallery preciousness to the space. It is so cool that kids can climb all over the castles and Colosseum! I also loved how perfectly these miniatures complimented the surrounding woods, creek, and wildlife. I hope I can visit again in spring or summer to see the snakes slithering around this tiny town. 💚

Reliving Florida

My Pisces Birthday Twin, Jessica, and I went to Crystal Springs, Florida right when things were starting to get hairy (mid-March, Friday the 13th!). Nothing had closed yet and no one was staying home but you could feel the shift. I know America should’ve been sheltering in place much earlier, but I’m so thankful we have these memories. The manatees and are still pulling me thruuuuu.

We picked the perfect time and it was just us on the tour boat. I had never seen a manatee in real life before and I cried a little because it is so awesome to see a giant creature like that swimming right under you. At first I thought it was a mama and baby, but it was actually a large female and little male mating. Hahaaa! She ate through the whole thing!! We also saw in the distance three dolphins. I guess this behavior is specific to the gulf, but the dolphins got real freaky and kicked up a dirt circle to trap fish. I hope to go back one day during manatee season to see them all in the springs!

Rainbow Springs! The springs are so beautiful and clear. Lots of lush tropical plants that Jess knew way more about than I did. Also, a trio of manmade waterfalls. They were very beautiful tho sized for the birds.

Remnants of the old zoo before Rainbow Springs became a state park.
On the way back, we stopped at the Gainesville Butterfly Rainforest. I think we may have visited on their last day open. There were so many butterflies and we stayed until close.

Babies outside the University of Florida on our drive home.
Our manatee tour guide recommended the Icebox. I tried boiled shrimp for the first time and we listened to ‘Free Bird’ while drinking bud lites. We probably heard that song 6x on this trip.

Quarantine Scenes II

Recently enjoyed things: virtual watch movie clubs, faint meteors, distance drinking into the night, ebiking, seeing a baby possum (!!!), and reading for hours (a rediscovered joy). I also had the surreal experience of watching a video of Lydian as it was streamed out of the living room above me. Actually, really cool!

Coronatimes seem more unclear than ever, but April dragged me out of those larger anxieties and back into some good old personal depression. I hit a low point on a friend’s birthday and nothing’s really gotten better. But, hey. Spring is still beautiful here. I scaled back on running and am now enjoying brisk morning hikes. Gotta relish this weather before summer shows up! Still keeping in touch with friends and mom, cuddling cats, eating too much dessert, and getting thru work. I also chopped my IG n FB time down to 10min a day which has been a super positive change for the moment! Hope you’re all doing whatever you need to hang in there. ❤️

Springtime Quarantine Scenes

March 16-April 14

On Monday, March 16, Amber and Kris brought two delicious birthday cakes into work for me. Shortly after, we all packed up to begin working remotely. At the time we were told one week but this has been a slow response emergency where the bad news is micro-dosed. Those first two weeks were extremely hard for me to get through, but here we are sheltering in place, a month later. I feel relatively healthy and I’m thankful for my cats, horror movie birthday drop-offs, snail mail, eating dessert every day, and having a job- even tho it stresses me out. I’m a rule follower but I broke the rules 2x (I know!) and that helped me pull through as well cuz I really miss seeing people! Anyway, it’s an awful and uncertain time but I’m glad for small things, and to be cooped up in Athens rather than anywhere else. I hope this time radicalizes people’s thinking for major change going forward. Be well!

Sweetwater Creek

I was incredibly hungover on this beautiful Sunday at Sweetwater Creek State Park, but I’m glad I went- I’d wanted to go for so long! The textile mill ruins and the rocky bluffs make it one of the prettiest short hikes nearby. I laughed a lot at Tallulah saying the muddy rapids looked like chocolate milk and telling us to be quiet and listen to the sounds of nature.

New Year’s Day at Raven Cliff Falls

Heading into 2020 with a leisurely hike at Raven Cliff Falls in North Georgia. It was my favorite type of weather- brisk but not toooo cold, sunny but enough cloud cover to keep the light soft. We went around lunch and the crowd was TOO MUCH- but I laughed a lot at Jason getting mad everytime someone wished us a happy new year. Hahaaa! It was worth every muddy step. Afterwards, I cuddled my favorite chihuahua and Kris made us a good luck feast (collards! hoppin john! cheese grits! jalapeno cornbread!).