Wednesday, November 25, 2020


As we head towards the first of two major holidays in the United States, the Covid numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate. Today marks day 188 of Safer at Home and day 245 of overall restrictions. To date, North Carolina has had 347,000 cases and 5,174 deaths. In the United States there have been 12.8 million cases and 261,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been 60.1 million cases and 1.42 million deaths.

While North Carolina Governor Cooper’s latest restrictions were not set to expire until December 4th, he issued a new Executive Order effective November 25th which tightens the mask requirement that has been in effect since July. The new order, which also extends Phase 3 capacity limits and safety requirements, runs through Friday, December 11th.

Previously you were required to wear a mask when it was not possible to keep six feet apart from other people. The new guidelines say masks should be worn at all times when indoors in public places, and whenever you are with someone who doesn’t live with you. Additionally, gyms are being asked to enforce mask wearing, even while patrons are exercising. Before, masks could be removed while doing “strenuous” exercise.

Will this be enough to slow the spread of the virus as college students return home and people gather for Thanksgiving? In this case, truly only time will tell. In the meantime, I will be rocking my fall mask.

fall mask


Friday, November 20, 2020

Covidities - or My Covid Activities

 As we move through our 8th month of restrictions due to Covid, I have looked for additional ways to fill my time. I have made many jars of jam, sewn more than my fair share of masks, baked new types of bread, worked on my photography, pickleball and kayaking skills, and hiked many mountains in the area. But last week I tried something totally new and out of my comfort zone - a watercolor class.

fall leaves
We have many talented people in our community, many of them artists. While I do feel that I have an artistic side, it comes out in my photography, writing and quilting. I have never been confident with drawing or painting, and so I hesitated to sign up for the beginner watercolor class offered by one of the art teachers here. But Jim really wanted to take it so I thought, what the heck, this might be something we could enjoy together.

Due to Covid, the class size is small and it was only Jim and me at our table in the meeting room. We were to bring a leaf to class for our first project. Thankfully, we only had to trace it on the paper instead of drawing it freehand. But first we learned about wet versus dry painting, and how to blend our paints to get the color we want. It was fun, and I didn't think my leaf turned out too bad!

leaf watercolor

Eager to try something else while the class was fresh in my mind, I looked for inspiration online. I found a beautiful tree that I decided to use as a starting point. This one I had to create on my own as I had nothing to trace, so that was more of a challenge for me. I made a couple of mistakes, and found our how unforgiving watercolor paints can be. But overall, I am very happy with the end result. A cousin said that she sees the world's family tree in the painting. As a genealogist, no comment could have pleased me more.

I also created a painter's mark for myself, which appears on the bottom corner of the tree painting, as I didn't really think the KW I used on my leaf looked very cool. I absolutely love what I came up with, and will use it on all my future works. We have three more classes (one per month) so I know I'll have at least three more paintings - ha!

watercolor tree

Monday, November 16, 2020