Another Few Days Have Whizzed By

The routine of every day being similar to the last one seems like time would drag by. But it goes rather fast now. Could be age, could be that there is so much to think about doing that even in the not doing there is no time to shut down. I am keeping up and that is all I can ask of myself right now.

I do need to get back to the Responsibility Hands drawings though. Lee has a bit more problem with how he eats things. And how he “helps”. I have to gently remind him to use his fork or take advantage of the knife beside his plate. Soup is an easy meal. One bowl and one spoon. A stack of crackers on the counter is an easy thing for him to figure out.

This morning when one of the cats lost her breakfast, before I could get to it he used the cat litter scoop and couldn’t figure out why it was such a mess. “Thanks, lee, I’ll get it.” In his mind cat mess was cat mess…so it is whatever makes sense to him at the moment. I just have to keep that in mind and move quicker. We can still find some of this stuff funny.

So back to the Bush Book. I have decided that I will have withdrawal when I finish this book so am planning on dyeing some pages with sticks and other debris from outside using some iron and tea and pigments as well. Then once I get it all bound like Lorraine’s book, I will fill the open spaces with paintings of wild flowers from this area. I will even put in those enchanting little pockets that she did. I figured out how to cut my strips of paper to make those pockets without any waste of papers.

Here are the latest two double pages.

I exchanged the mourning dove that I had drawn in for a raccoon. Then I just had to put in a shield bug as the house if full of them this winter. The nuthatch I moved to the other side of the leaf. That white lined sphinx took forever to get looking passable!

Here I put in a Carolina chickadee and female rufous-sided towee and a black bear listening to the honeybee buzzing nearby. The open area between the leaves facing each other were perfect for the backside of a bear. The next set of pages has been drawn in with a red cardinal, bobcat and a few other things. After doing the raccoon I went back to the squirrel and rabbit and improved on their fur. I need to put the tracks in on several pages now that they have started up again. The large bumble bee is the middle of the book so I do have a ways to go.

Here are four days of Drawing a Day and Haiku.

A Peruvian

replica of very old

buried Chancay dolls.


I’m from Africa.

Completely colored with tar

and adorned with beads.


What a lovely tool!

Bought in a second hand shop

down in Mittigong.


It was the door spring

wrapped over the handle end.



Not much else new. I have not been able to get back to the heads down in the studio. Those take me too far out of reach to keep an eye on Lee. I haven’t read any good books lately. I have discovered the section of the grocery store where I can buy pre-cooked pasta like stuffed raviolis. They are perfect to put in the freezer when I can’t get to cooking dinner. Boil frozen for six minutes while sauteing mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, garlic. Then toss in the ravioli with marinara sauce and some parmesan. Super meal in no time!

Tonight it will be chicken thighs with dressing and asparagus. Simple and makes the house smell delicious.

That is it for now. I am just not in a ponderous mood or there would be more.

Thinking of friends in Australia and wondering if a recovery is even possible. So much loss…

Please help if you can. There are so many worthwhile places that need help down there.

Til later.

A Very Good Few Days Here – Bad Days for Australia

This artwork was accepted into the Waterhouse Exhibit at the South Australian Museum this past year. My goal with the work was to press home how very vulnerable Australia is to climate warming. Using the book, Fatal Shore, by Robert Hughes, I cut several Eucalyptus leaves from the pages. Then colored them with the watercolors made from the soils of Australia and finally burned all the edges. I made a dust pan for them to be swept into.

When I left this beloved country last April I gave several of these leaves to friends there and then placed the rest in and among Eucalyptus leaves in some of my favorite places.

I weep for the country and all the suffering to be endured by some of the most resilient people I have ever known. If you can make a donation of any kind to those working so hard to help, please do. I chose the Country Women’s Association of New South Wales and intend to give more to other charities covering the losses of their people and wildlife.

Here at home it has been a good several days. I was thinking that Lee might become too confused with having a student here for a day of white line printmaking. I was afraid that I would have to end our sessions but instead Lee was looking forward to Kent being here and greeted him in the driveway with an offer to help him bring in supplies. I even did some of my own work while working with Kent. A good day indeed!

Also I am keeping up with the drawing a day and haiku.

I had to have this

African incised gourd from

the Smithsonian.


Baskets by Lee Cole

can trigger a return to

beloved Australia.

I knotted in all

my African beads and bronze

while dressing this gourd.


This gourd end has been

turned into a percussion

rattling instrument.


And the Bush Book now has two more double pages.

A bluebird, copperhead snake, box turtle and katydid.

One very big bumble bee.

More later.

Tonight I will make Lee and me some tomato-bacon soup to go with leftover quiche.

I will have some Australian wine and think of the friends there who still may not know if their homes survived.

Til later.

An Update on Lee, The Cost of Holidays and Me

I took Lee for a drive after company left for home. Christmas day was hard for him. He became confused with all the goings on and just put his coat on and went outside. He stayed in his shop with our son for several hours and then returned in better spirits. Too much change from his routine is very difficult.

He also became concerned that we might lose our home and that we were financially struggling. This took a couple of days to make him understand that we own our home and the land it sits on. I could also show him that we have money in accounts to take care of any problems that might arise.

One of the things that helped was showing him the sketchbook I made of the building of this house fourteen years ago. I recorded every step and the cost of each item and labor that went into building the house. I turned the pages very slowly and pointed to the different things that were drawn in. He calmed down and felt good that we can stay here.

Sometimes lately he asks who I am, but not often. When I tell him we have been together fifty-two years he smiles and wonders how that is possible. Frankly I do too. We are very different personalities but it has worked and I am the only one who can get him through this very unstable time.

Today I put on a pot of chili for his lunch. It is amazing what the smell of something cooking can do to make a person feel safe. It is a dreary day of damp rain.

I wish I could find a way to send this weather to Australia. I worry about friends down under and fear for their recovery from such horrific weather full of heat, wind and fire.

A friend from there is just starting to deal with dementia in her own husband. My advice was to find a small room and into a corner of that room, whisper the foulest words that come to mind. (I chose two favorites and just repeat them over as tears fall). Then I wipe my face and get on with it.

When friends call and only talk about all the things they are doing, I am relieved that they don’t say, “How are things, really, Sandy?” Depending on the time of day, Lee’s anxiety, how deep I have dipped into self pity, I can always just change the subject or say “It’s fine.” or find a reason to ring off.

I am glad for the blog outlet this morning.

And I have gotten back to my Bush Book but just enough to get an Eastern Bluebird, Copperhead snake and a good start on a box turtle. Later today I will get some more done…that’s the plan.

But here are the last four days of Drawing a Day with Haiku.

A carved wooden box

slides open to reveal

some hidden compartments.



rattle to hold and shake and

feel my own power.

( I made this many, many years ago and love the clunking sound of lumps of copper I put inside.)

It took some time to

draw Polly Adams Sutton’s

cedar bark basket.


Another basket

of raffia, reed, hide by

Theresa Ohno.


And finally a picture that is what I strive for when I get through using this corner in the bathroom for blue language. It will be my new facebook picture.

Til later.