Back On Track

I walked through the meadow a couple days ago to check on the house and deliberately get close to this pile of red soil near the gym. I pause there to appreciate how much it reminds me of being in Australia.

And you can see where it was dug from the rise behind under the trees. So there is more where that came from. I love it. And when I got to the new house, the drywall had been delivered to every room.

Naturally the following day I walked back over expecting it to be hung, at least in one room….not so. But one of the men I stop to have coffee with told me that if the drywall hanger is still the tall worker (6’8″) then it will be hung quickly. So tomorrow morning I will go back over to see if it is underway.

Last week I also had a chance to walk along the river. I took the down stream side and endured hundreds of mosquitos just to see how the high river was affecting the shoreline.

Geese swimming close to the path,

With so much soaked soil, a tree toppled taking some of the trail with it.

The mimosa trees are in full bloom. Pink powder puff blooms that don’t last long before covering the ground beneath.

Today I packed a couple more boxes and told the cleaning lady to not come back for four weeks instead of her usual two. By then the big moving truck that my son is going to pack full will be gone with much of the furniture and artwork.

I had some time to draw in my building book.

These two by fours are getting tedious. The book is close to the halfway mark and things should get more interesting once the drywall is in. Next will be shelves, shower tiles and doors, texturing walls and painting before flooring and cupboards arrive. The appliances are waiting in storage.

Packing so many of my books to take with me. I have had the grocery store bagger bring out sixteen boxes that held four gallons of milk each. Any larger than that and it is hard for even movers to pick up when loaded with books. Those sixteen should hold just the ones in the living room. Those big coffee table books that were in the den took three boxes. They are so heavy! I even found an old hardcover Australian cookbook. I might make myself a Pavlova with my new oven once I get settled. Too bad we don’t have passion fruit here….

Til later…..

Trying Hard

I am trying hard not to feel such hatred now….but there’s a long way to go getting past this urge to throw the pain back into the lives of those who have caused this turmoil to so many.

Our country has suffered and declined with the rise of a new kind of fascism that far too many of us hoped we weren’t seeing. Who among us would want to admit it really could happen, and here of all places. Who would have thought that our trusted sources for truth could so easily manipulate the gullibility of so many who just wanted to find a way to matter in a world moving at a pace that was hard for them to keep up with. Who could have possibly imagined that their salvation would arrive in the form of a man so obviously corrupt with his own self interest. A man that would be positioned to become what history will claim the worst president in American history.

He rode into power on vile behavior and lies to an appallingly ignorant and lazy base of his political party. A party that has in turn seen their opportunity to push an agenda solely created to benefit the tiny percent of wealthy donors that keep them in power. In four years everything had been set in place to oppress the disenfranchised, crumble the safety nets we all assumed would be there forever, and lie, lie, lie to those so desperate to believe.

Lying has never come so easy to the Republican Party. And it has never brought them to the exalted positions they feel they deserve as it has now in 2022. Whatever they are selling, a good amount of our citizens are buying it. How else could so many sit in places of power that make decisions for the entire population of the United States and by extension, the world?

The slimiest among them, Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, Jim Jordan, Kevin McCarthy, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Marjory Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gomhert, Mo Brooks, Ron DeSantis, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, Josh Hawley, and more, have tainted the entire party with their desire to be seen as loyal to a disgraced leader and prove themselves worthy of his support in their political campaigns to move even further up the ladder of leadership. They make me sick.

Over the past several years I have wondered what their wives, husbands and children think of them. Why don’t they speak up, move out and get away from the suffocation of lives under the weight of insatiable egos. My own children try to tell me that the reason they stay silent is that they value the prestige garnered among their closed, small-minded, selfish circles and would not seek to give any of that up. Their hands are continually held out to be rewarded with private schools, nice cars, fancy clothes, and friends just as shallow as they are.

And in our country, as it has now become, the children will also attain the power of their parents on the backs of of another generation of people so easily pulled along on a string of lies.

The most egregious move the Republican Party has accomplished came through the Supreme Court’s ruling to reverse the guarantees of women’s rights over their own bodies. A right that has been “settled law” for fifty years. The court was packed with three lying, manipulating justices appointed just the last few years. They joined others just waiting for a majority to put women back where they belong…breeders and white breeders at that. Those of any other color will find it much more difficult to get the medical help needed.

In many states there will be no exceptions to their banning of abortions…not rape, not incest, not natural miscarriages, not babies who cannot survive outside the womb…..all, every one, must be carried to full term at great physical, financial, and mental cost to the families . involved. And several states like Texas, have made it unlawful to help these families in any way and to report those aiding the suffering to the authorities so they can be properly punished. Fascism.

I am obviously not a member of the Republican Party.  I lean left, not right. I was raised to help the less fortunate. I was raised to care and not hate. I am having a hard time with that not hating part. Today I am filling up with it. It is a good thing I am not attending the protests around the country. It is a good thing I am not confronted by a young pro-life christian man who thinks he has the right to push his beliefs down the throats of women everywhere. It is a good thing that for today I sit at home hating him and what he and his people have done to America.

Today I have donated to the campaigns of all those around the country who might be able to bring us back to where we can have the respect for ourselves that the world once bestowed on us.

Nice pictures and news of my house will come later…

Til then..



Off the Walls!

Late in the day, a very busy day. Just downloaded pictures and poured a gin and tonic. Yesterday a workout at the gym and walk over to the house.

Insulation is complete and the builder told me the drywall will be finished by middle of next week.


Today a shortened workout and walk at the dam…..

Humidity and restless sleep seemed to have gotten the best of me….until…

The helper with no fear of heights and a willingness to clean walls and touch up with paint have resulted in this.

Tomorrow it all goes into boxes. Today it was enough to wipe off years of dust on all the high hung African masks and foundry molds.

Most everything has a planned place in the new house. I drew up sketches of wall spaces with the pieces that go on those walls. The first thing I see when walking into my new house will still be the Australian Aboriginal art woks. The fun is working out new configurations.

And because I was exhausted before even driving home this morning, there is nothing like a car wash to cool you off and make you feel something is being taken care of.

Til later….

Moon, Books, Walks

I did get up at five a.m. to photograph this rose-toned moon the other morning. It hung so heavy in the sky before it gave up any more ideas of floating and sank into the trees.

Walking over to the house paid off two days ago with the discovery of insulation being almost completely installed.

But while there was nothing new happening I did find things on the site to draw in my building book.

This morning I headed over to the river. It was so high with not much movement, that there was a smell of rotting plant life. But still beautiful to see early in the morning. I won’t even bother to walk on the downstream path because that is bound to be covered with overflow.

And the garden at the foot of the bridge.

On the walk this morning a couple passed me from behind. From under his t shirt flowed the perfect pattern of diagonally plaited basket weaving….down both arms to the wrist. I couldn’t help but wonder if the pattern curved around and down his chest to finish in a large potato basket on his stomach. But enduring the pain of all that to end up with potatoes just did not seem logical, and I was happy not to have asked him. Tattooing is beyond me. The pain and that creepy blue of impending doom…..

I have called the moving company wondering if I should get on a list for an undetermined date in August. They said not to do that yet and to wait til mid July to see if I have something affirmative from the builder. So far no one is scheduled in August. They have worked with my builder before and know he is pretty accurate in his estimates.

Then I asked my electric company how I change accounts from here to there and what could they recommend about their internet service. Simple, just call when I am ready and they have a plan that is sure to give good internet at a much lower rate than I now pay for an outside company. This moving just gets simpler and simpler. All I need to do is tape together more boxes and fill them.

And before I could stop myself I bought two more books this week. I read about Suzanne’s on a FB feed from an Asheville, NC gallery where she will be giving a talk. I had seen her work and admired her dedication to documentation. In fact while I was doing a two week artist residence she came down for one week to record the Nature of the area. So, while I was on the internet ordering her book, I added my one and only Beatrix Potter. One artist draws the brutal reality of road kill and the other dresses her little animals in perfect attire for wandering about in their homeland.

Both of them make me want to draw, draw, draw. I think the last thing in a box to be moved will be my pencils and watercolors. I am missing Burke and Wills while they are safely tucked into that old field portfolio. But I need uninterrupted time to get back to their story.

I started to read Suzanne’s book this morning. Only meaning to read the preface…but found it hard to put down. I can appreciate how she says the art is not enough and needs her words to complete the story. And I so admire those Nature artists who spend so much time with research and live (or dead) specimens. It is a good book and more than worth the twenty dollars it costs.

It makes me wonder if I should take one of my blank journals, made before I packed up the studio, and dedicate it to documenting all I see in the meadow between my new house and the gym. In just the few months I have been walking through there it has changed so much. And it would be perfect timing to start in late summer to see the landscape and all it supports die off only to re emerge next spring and peak into full bloom like it was earlier this month.

It is going to be another hot humid day…..pack boxes or read?

Til later….