This Week

There is a lot going on behind the scenes here. In addition to Mephistopheles the cat becoming part of the family, our lesson schedule is jumping and there are some massive projects making a lot of headway.

These are all good things. Hell, I even broke down and got my camera gear back out and am back to taking photographs like I used to. The only downside is that, as the cooler weather approaches, neuropathy, headaches and arthritis pain increases. If I take on too much the workload will overwhelm me.

Between the election, events across the country, COVID-19 and maintaining my well-being, I have decided to put official meetings of The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Society on hold. We will maintain the group’s Facebook group, and we encourage you all to hold meetings there.

I love the Wednesday night meetings, but I learned the limits of my strength the hard way. While I hate to disappoint anyone, it would be foolish to push too hard and get sick all over again. We have some awesome things in the works and I need to keep my hand on the wheel.

-Patrick

Mephistopheles Costello

Mephistopheles started coming around the yard during the winter. An emaciated frame filled out with an improbably filthy shaggy coat of fur.

Now he has had his shots and been fixed he has been slowly acclimating to life inside as well as outside.

He patrols the backyard like his own. The squirrels that constantly try to store nuts from our pecan tree inside the house… Let’s just say they have moved away to a new tree. I saw Mephistopheles chasing a squirrel away from a cellar window and the cat’s body language seemed to say, “Oh, you are not coming into MY house!”

The cat’s forays inside his new home are of increasing duration. He seems to like that I let him set the pace.

The only two issues I see possibly coming up in the next few weeks are helping Pooka adjust to another cat and teaching Mephistopheles to play.

Pooka is old and spoiled, but I think she will calm down and learn to enjoy a new partner in crime.

Teaching a feral cat the difference between a playful nip and chomping down on me hard enough to hurt me is going to prove a challenge, but if I could learn the guitar with my teeth I am patient enough to temper Mephistopheles’ bite.

Welcome to the family, Mephistopheles Costello. You are just wild and crazy enough to fit in!

Tomorrow

There will not be a meeting on Zoom tomorrow, but regulars of The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society are welcome to take advantage of the chatroom features of our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/662984850936825

I am in the curious position of adjusting to my amped-up pain levels with the onset of cold weather while simultaneously gearing up for the most audacious project of my artistic life. So, fret not. I am okay. I am just trying to avoid spreading myself too thinly.

John’s New Washing Machine

My Facebook friend John is moving into a new place. Yesterday he posted a video walkthrough with special attention to his new washing machine. I immediately picked up my banjo and wrote a little tune honoring the happy gurgling and churning of John’s new washing machine.

John, I wish you nothing but happiness in your lovely new home.

That Time of Year

I live with a number of things that cause chronic pain. I have arthritis, migraines and peripheral neuropathy.

In warm weather I can get around fairly well. It is not always easy, but there are summer days when my pain level is just a low buzz.

In cold weather the pain ramps up to operatic levels. While I do have a high pain threshold, there are days in the fall and winter when just getting out of bed for a cup of tea takes every ounce of my grit and determination. Yesterday was like that. Today is better.

I will be slowing down now that the days are shorter and my chronic pain hovers between bad and excruciating. For example, we will be holding off from a Wednesday night session this week.

It will be better this winter than last year. I managed to replace the drafty windows and carpet the bare floors in my bedroom and office, making things downright toasty. With the upstairs winterized, a second cat on the bed (Mephistopheles comes inside for the first time today!), my medical marijuana card and help from friends, I am in pretty good shape for the season. I just have to pace myself to keep from getting overwhelmed.

Mephistopheles

So, yesterday morning I woke up and discovered that Mephistopheles had clawed a cat door for himself through our front porch screen and disappeared into the misty morning.

He did not come back until early this morning.

He is doing fine. He ate enough breakfast for three cats, had a brief showdown with Pooka, lounged on the back steps with me for a bit, chewed on the knuckle of my left index finger hard enough to make me howl and then sauntered off happily to snooze in the backyard.

He really wants to come inside, but I have to take that slow so Pooka and Daisy can adjust. For the moment, he is happy roaming free.

My finger hurts. That little blighter has the bite force of a Sabre tooth tiger! I need Advil!

Home

I am camped out on the front porch with Mephistopheles. The old-timers who rescue stray cats here in Crisfield did a great job getting him to the vet to get fixed and all of his shots.

It is a cool night, not great for my neuropathy, but I will stay with him until he is calm.

He already dropped a potted geranium on me – like something from a Three Stooges sketch – proving he has what it takes to be a Costello. He was also sweet with mom, showing good taste and common sense.

I love this cat. Even if he decides not to stay, I am so happy that he is going to be okay.

Next Meeting of the Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society October 7th

The Wednesday night Banjo and Donut Marching Society
Time: Oct 7, 2020 02:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87898815999?pwd=M1grRHo0RUVBWFFqREhld0E1ZmFRQT09

Meeting ID: 878 9881 5999
Passcode: 151607
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Meeting ID: 878 9881 5999
Passcode: 151607
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kckDKblbIW


The Wednesday night Banjo and Donut Marching Society
Time: Oct 7, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82375936998?pwd=UEhocDFUbnJnVHR1TmtXOUliTTJIZz09

Meeting ID: 823 7593 6998
Passcode: 991137
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,82375936998#,,,,,,0#,,991137# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,82375936998#,,,,,,0#,,991137# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 823 7593 6998
Passcode: 991137
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kpU0SkYCT