Thursday, June 21, 2018

We Got Rain!

Finally, after so many unfilled promises, we got rain yesterday!  It might rain across the river, at Fee's office, just north of us, but still leave our neighborhood isolated, high and dry.  But yesterday, we got rain!  

Reading:   There were more, but these are my recent favorites.  Will review them on my book blog...eventually.


Incoming Mail

from Connie

 Love the washi tape sealing the back!

from Hannah

and today--from Penne M. !

All of these artistic fish are fun, but I think I like the Warhol best.  :)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Good Week

"Having a stash of things is not junk, it’s inventory!" (source)

What a fun mail day when Penny's little box of treasures arrived!

I added another patch to my studio shirt
using some of the buttons!

And from Teresa!
I have to get busy and answer my mail.

  I did make it to the Highland Open Studio on Sunday,
at least to Ricky and Teresa's open studio where several 
artists displayed their work.

I had a chance to visit with an old friend that I only see every few years.
Carla had driven in from Texas, and it was so nice to catch up in person.

I've shown Teresa's lovely library several times,
but this time I listened to the live music, visited with a friend,
and admired their garden!

I wish I'd taken pictures, but...I was too busy talking.

Erin's birthday was Tuesday!
Our lovely daughter--
we are so proud of both our girls.

In our back yard, I'm loving the lantana.
Like the milkweed, lantana is fiesta in a flower.

The day lilies have had a great year, 
but the buds are getting fewer now.

Does anyone know what this obnoxious bug is? 
Last year, I found a bunch of them, but I don't know what they are.
I love the yarrow, but it is invasive and taking over a section of the garden.

Milkweed seeds--I've planted some and just blown most 
into the breeze hoping they will find a fitting place to grow.

Monday, June 04, 2018


May was the hottest in our area since they began recording temperatures in 1875.  It was also the driest May on record (source).  Conversations around here have centered on the  heat and the lack of rain.  But yesterday, the high was only 92!  Four of five degrees can make a big difference, and 92 was so welcome!

Along with everyone else in this area, I'm relieved to see that the temperatures in the weekly forecast are looking better.  There is even a possibility of rain for tomorrow!

I love this shiny grass.
Fireworks is the perfect name.

Both milkweed plants are growing like...weeds.
The other one is golden, but this is my favorite.
A fiesta in a flower!

Reliable dianthus

 All of a sudden I'm finding these little devils.
I was pulling vines out of a dark corner when I realized
some of the "leaves of three" were mixed in.
I  immediately headed for the shower.
All clothes went in the washing machine,
 and poison ivy treatments applied to hands and arms.
Lucky this time. :)

A hunt throughout the garden uncovered several more,
coming out of the shrubs or underneath them.  Ugh.

  Incoming Mail

From Anna :)

A copy of Sabrina Ward Harrison's visual journal Spilling Open,
which has been on my book list for years arrived in the mail.  
So...what did I think?  
Certainly an honest and open look at life from the viewpoint of a young person in her late teens, early twenties --full of angst and self-questioning and attempts at self-understanding.
Most of us can probably remembering feeling much the same in college.
First published in 2000, it was a ground-breaking book 
for folks who were interested in visual journaling.
Now, I believe most of its appeal would be among young people
who are still puzzling their way through all of emotions of that age.

Outgoing Mail

 Attitude is everything...

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


I love words and have a wide reading vocabulary, but my spoken vocabulary is limited.  Sadly limited.  I'm frequently reduced to describing a common object:  "Please hand me that...thing with a handle."  When the girls were little, I said things like, "You with the freckles."  Knowing the definitions of words and being able to call them up when I need them is a paradox that frustrates me.  

 Every once in a while, I find a foreign word that so aptly describes a feeling or emotion, but has no English translation.

I read an article in The Guardian several weeks ago that had this paragraph: 

 "There is a Welsh word, hiraeth, which means something like a longing of the soul to come home to the place where your spirit lives. I’m pretty sure there is no Yorkshire term that expresses the same idea – it’s a little too lyrical for Yorkshire –but it is a word that I understand innately, and a yearning that is present in most of the characters I have ever created: home sometimes a tangible place, sometimes a psychological one."  (source)

Definition:  hiraeth m (uncountable)
  1. homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, or for a home which may have never been
  2. an intense form of longing or nostalgiawistfulness
  3. the grief for the lost places of your past    (source)

I wondered how to pronounce it and found these three similar versions.  Will I ever use this word in conversation?  Probably not, but I love it anyway and have added it to a list of foreign words that have no  precise English synonym but which describe an emotion we all recognize. 

----Hiraeth will make a great art journal entry.   My mind is accumulating a number of places I've longed for over the years (and still do, of course):  the porch swing at my maternal grandmother's house, the "sleeping porch" at my paternal grandparents' home, a valley filled with purple loosestrife in the Montana Rocky Mountains that enchanted my six-year-old self as I sat on a boulder looking down at the field of purple....  Wow, the list goes on and on.

How about you?  

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This and That Thursday

This past weekend, Erin, Brandon, Max, and Mila came up from Baton Rouge for a visit!   Mila's birthday is May 29th, and she is definitely teenager one moment,  kid the next.  :)

Books/Reading -- Lots of books that I haven't reviewed yet, but my favorite is Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper!                                                                                                Devastated by the loss of the fishing industry, the folks of the small Newfoundland village of Big Running gradually abandoned their homes to find work elsewhere.  The Connors, however, have hung on, trying to wait for the cod to return to their waters.  Our Homesick Songs is a beautiful tale of  tradition, the power of songs, and mythic family stories.  Loved it.

After watching a video of Craftyhodges making "Artist Trading Coins,"
I decided to try my hand at it..  I don't have a 2 1/2" circle punch, 
but did have some circle tags that I used to trace, cut out, and collage.  Fun!

I have a couple more in progress and can see that I will have 
a number of possibilities to try using all the bits and scraps, 
stamps and ephemera that accumulate on my desk. 
 Kind of learning as I go...nothing new about that.

Incoming Mail

 from Connie
card from Penny B.


Thank you notes that went out last week to
my lovely daughters for Mother's Day gifts!

Response to Penne M. for her latest letter.

 early morning

Ever want to tell someone what you think of their parking?
This person printed up notes to put on windshields of folks
who can't park between the lines.  :)


Thursday, May 17, 2018


I saw something on Instagram(?) (at least I think that was where I saw it) asking if you were happy with your "joy to complain ratio."  An interesting question, and one that can make someone stop and think.  We all complain, but how many of us have stopped to consider the ratio?  

   Some "joy" to balance some of my recent complaints:

These tea towels from Amelia make use of some delightful artwork
by Holy Angels artists Molly and Sharon W.!
 I love looking at them!
They lift my spirits. :)

What was left of the baked delights from Erin and crew
after Fee and I made our first few helpings!

Some wonderful incoming mail!
from Teresa and Ricky
 Ricky made the heart from a horseshoe and the postcard is from 
one of Carolyn Dorman's drawings of wildflowers.
Carolyn Dorman dedicated her life to the preservation of native ecosystems.
The Carolyn Dorman Nature Preserve continues her mission.
Here is an interesting post about "Carrie" Dorman, her work, and legacy on Teresa's blog!
Thank you, Ricky and Teresa!  I love the heart and the card!

The promise of daylilies!

This fan letter from a child to James Preller and his always thoughtful reply.  It is so generous of authors to reply to fan mail, and James Preller's replies make me happy.

Cartoons on stamps appeal to my sense of whimsy.  I have several 32 c stamps depicting characters from old comic strips that I love.  Recently, however, this article gives some examples of Royal Mail takes on cartoons.  

This stamp hits very close to home!
(Oh, yes, I plan to write a letter to an anonymous person
which will include a "to do" list of household chores.)

A fun book about a ghost that reminds me of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  A light ghost story about an old house, the ghost who wants to know how he died, and the young woman who plans to turn the Marlow House into a B & B. about your "joy to complaint" ratio?