More Writing/More Drawing

Our son, Patrick, is opening that beautiful bottle of scotch from Kent. It is delicious.  Balvenie 12 year single malt. I keep up with filling pages of the Covid Coping Book 2.

It is what we all are drinking to get us through….no repeats of labels allowed.

Every couple of weeks I will get a package of labels in the mail from our friend, Marla, daughter, Amy, (always different teas) and her partner, Ben, who are using this time to clean out liquor cabinets and tea drawers. We have all become less particular during covid.

I forgot to photograph the previous days of Lee’s and my socks, so will put them in next time. But the last six pages of Drawing a Day Books are going to be covid masks.

A comfortable

covid mask from Medicare

is so wearable.


Safe Mate covid mask

purchased from Amazon Prime,

three colors, one price.


And another old journal writing about Australia.

Train to Ararat

I watch the land slip by and imagine how it was before farms and houses. The land barely lifts here and there are low valleys, low hills and everywhere it is dry and brown – a greyed brown. Eucalyptus are gathered in groups along the landscape. Old decrepit ones seem abandoned by their kind as they struggle alone to survive. My fellow travelers read a kindle and a magazine unaware and seemingly immune to the drama flying by our window. Tiny dust devils swirl upward here and there across the plowed fields in search of a cloud that may bring moisture and push them back down. I don’t see it happening today between Baran and Ararat, VIC. Just what are those cattle all chewing out there?

I can’t remember if I shared that one before…here is another…


Is there anything like a belly full of extraordinary food and wine – then locked up in a single cabin first class on the Ghan swaying your way into the Northern Territory and listening to the anti war version of Waltzing Matilda” I think not!

I am washed, lotioned and propped up in a space that is pie shaped, 24” at the pillow end and six feet down it is panning to 48”. My door to the hall is across from my daughter Amy’s cabin. A wash basin folds up not six inches from my right foot. All I need is here in this space.

A wonderful dinner with Aussies – full of politics, wineries and family talks and a promise to meet at breakfast. Then there is the window- more than a metre and open to the outback of Australia. What is out there in the dark? I know it is wild, mysterious and beautiful – nothing less. I will sleep through some of this and be sorry that I did. But I am older now than the last time and can trust Australia to be here when I wake. Good night.

And more from the other pages of books. Here I took pages from a John C Campbell catalog and then printed them using a gelatin plate, stencils and acrylic paint. They were bound into a book that serves no purpose other than to have pretty pages and I thought would be a good sample to inspire students in a printmaking class.

And you can see in my desire to have no waste, the folios are of different widths.

Two days ago I drew these lines in a sketch book. They are my matrix for the tether lines in the new poetry book.

After I photographed the sketch I put it into a photo app program to get more of what I wanted to use going from page to page.

I am going to stop and get some tea. And here is a poem about tea that I will use in the book.

Tea Leaves

I tilt the pot and pour

the last of my herbal tea.

Watch the leaves

settle in the bottom.


Wondering about

the hidden messages

of tea leaves,

I pull the cup closer.


It smells delicious.

And before I know it

I have altered what

they were trying to tell me.

til later…


Enjoying Our Company

It was a dreary day yesterday when I wrote this blog in the apartment. Perfect for writing. This Japanese maple in the front yard reminds me of going off in all directions. That is me right now. Yesterday I made banana bread and this quiche for dinner. When it says to put the asparagus in first, do it, the ham and cheese cubes will prevent it from floating to the top.

I did my drawings a day,


He, every night

sleeps in this pull on sweatshirt

and stays in bed.


These are boxer shorts

folded to fit in the drawer

of Lee’s underwear.


We are enjoying having our son here. I am getting more done. He is now in my office in the house doing some work time. It is cloudy and Lee and the caregiver just paid a visit to me in the apartment. This piece came out of that visit and our conversation.

Home Intruders

Other people are living here.

Their names are,

That Other Guy,

The Big One,

The Bad Guy.


I look out the window.

No Sun.

That’s how these strangers

get in the house

and take up residence.


They need clouds,


not the dark of night,

but greyness.

Then they show up.


Staying until

I can convince

not just them to leave,

but the one remaining

that they are gone.


I also had time to work on an introduction to the book titled, “Trusting the Tether Line”. And two more poems for it besides the one above. I think twenty poems would be enough. Maybe two from before that fit the content.

Here is another one from yesterday,

His Work Gloves

Once he gets the gloves on his hands

the memory floods into his fingers.

Now it is time to get to work.

Find a yard tool,

no matter that it might be a shovel

when the rake is needed.

Anything will do as the wrists move

back and forth, up and down,

taking direction from the fingers

who were told by the gloves.


And from this morning working in the shop with Patrick.

Til later….

Something Beautiful and Some Book Ideas

Have you ever seen anything so beautiful as this leaf. Barbara comes on Thursdays when she can to have lunch with Lee and me. She brought the other ones that I tied into a stack so as to see how they would push against each other as they dried. This leaf that has a waxy feel had fallen off the plant and into a protected place where it became this.

Right away I photographed it with a paddle made from Tasmanian Sassafras and purchased at the Salamanca Market in Hobart some years ago for Lee.

I tucked it away with this curling stack.

And the drawings a day.

A hat from many

bought in airport shops for Lee.

Here is New Zealand.


Hawaiian straw hat

A bit rumpled and crumpled

But can do the job.


Leather moccasins

Lee’s favorite any time

he is in the house.


Shoes that Lee will wear

if he is in the right mood

to fit his feet in.


And some more journal writings:



My Savoury Muffins when away


2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Mix above together.

Stir in approx.

½ cup chopped sundried tomatoes

½ cup chopped sliced ham

2 slices cheddar cheese cut up

½ cup shredded parmesan

1 ½ tsp chopped chives

Dash of hot sauce.

Mix in

2 eggs with one egg’s worth of milk

Mix til just moist.

Shape in flat balls and bake 200 degrees celsius  (375 Farenheit) for 20 to 25 minutes.


From a bartender at the International Club in Stanthorpe, Queensland.

Whiskey Mac

Equal parts Stones Ginger wine and scotch whiskey.


The latest poem for the Tether Book:

The Sun Is Shining

The sun is shining

and he wants to be outside.

Back at work in the yard

lining up rocks

or raking leaves into rows.


But when clouds come

and put his day in shadow,

his mind will follow.

He drops the rake

and wanders into darkness.


All I can do is call him back

with hot chocolate,

a funny story,

or point to a bird out the window

still singing.


I will start working on drawing the tether line while our son is here. I can go back in the studio then. I don’t think the soft graphite will do…it needs to be a simple black pen tether line that morphs through the pages below the poetry. Illustrations are supposed to be in service to the text, not distract from it.

I just need to remember to pick it up where it left off on the previous page. Easy.

Speaking of books and making them fit the content, I still have this one left from an idea I had years ago. The idea was that these blank journals were to be used as diaries. And how could I get this across without the old lock and key. I came up with this plan of having to wrap and unwrap it to access the pages. They all had wooden covers that I could drill a ¾” in. Then larks head on a long cord to be braided with a weight on the end…sometimes a large bead, sometimes a coin. After you wrote your secrets, you were meant to wrap the cord over the top and keeping it loose, go inside the front cover, out the hole and pull the bead tight. Then reverse those steps to “unlock” the diary. It seemed simple to me but I had to make a drawing of the steps to place inside each one I sold. Something about pulling that bead down tight made everything inside seem so private.

I also made them with thick book board but must have sold those.

That should do it for now.

Stay safe.

Making Adjustments

Lee and I gathered more sticks for the jug on the table. They are somewhat red and are my only nod to Christmas decorating. Bit meager, right?

I just do not want to trigger a sadness of it being Christmas and not having his family here. Our son may arrive but it depends on Covid testing and there is no way I want Lee waiting in the driveway, so I keep that part quiet.

Today I ordered Lee another pair of sweat pants and a nice flannel shirt. He will stay warm. I ordered for myself some new make-up designed to make old ladies look like better looking old ladies. I will let you know if it works.

It is nice being here in the apartment writing. Thoughts come easier and words flow off the point of pen.

I can hear Lee outside with his leaf blower. His caregiver keeps him occupied and he so loves being outside picking up leaves. He now has at least eight buckets of leaves stored in the garage. He is keeping them for something. Sometimes things are a secret and he worries I might throw them over the bank. I did that last week but now it is important not to. He has one half of the garage to store those leaves since we gave his truck away to the folk school. He sweeps them up, puts them in buckets and then stacks the buckets up. He has such a sense of order now that I can attest was not there before.

And we now have this at his end of the table.

The care giver thought he needed something to do inside so I got out this box of very old blocks and put them in a bowl that he turned several years ago. Now they can sit and build and spell if the weather keeps him inside.

Some new writings for the tether book….


Two Hours

Two hours into sleep he is up,

ready to start the day.

Back in bed, he falls asleep.

Two hours later he is up again.

She yells, “No!”

He yells back.

They lay awake wondering how

to deal with that stranger

on the other side of the bed,

and drift off.

In the morning he has forgotten.

And she feels guilty.


And because things change…


Making Choices


A former friend says,

“You have become so nice,

so understanding, so considerate

and thoughtful in your new role

as carer for one with dementia.”

As if it was a choice.

My response….

“It is my job!”

And because she must have thought

I lacked those qualities before……….


I draw each day…now hats.


Now I am drawing

all our hats hanging around

waiting to be worn.


An Australian hat

one of two I bought for Lee

brown leather cowhide.


And I started stitching on the fox.

That is probably enough for today…

Time to pack up here at the apartment and head home.

Til later….

PS Our son tested negative for Covid so will be here Saturday. Lee will be so happy!