Beautiful Spring Days of Social Distancing

I decided to paint the porch furniture today. The paint from a few years ago is still good. I think I was better at this when I did it last. But such an improvement having fresh paint on the chairs and stools and benches. My back got tired so I will do the touch up tomorrow.

At home I am working on the drawings a day….here is the catch up on those.

I thought I was through

finding wine stoppers down deep.

But no! April Fools!


The very last one.

A honeybee on his hive

for just the sweet wines.


Did I draw this clay

ramekin sometime before

in another book?


Just salad dressings

get mixed in this pottery

jug with its own whisk.


Some cups for Baileys

alcoholic cream mixes

come in “Yours” and “Mine”.


This is my Arrowmont mug.

Each sip brings back memories

of the best of times.


And here are some of the latest wildflowers in the six way book.

Blue eyed grass and Bluets.

Trumpet vine and kudzu.

I am trying to keep my watercolors light but that is going to take much more practice. The darn graphite from my original drawing shows up and then I try to darken the edges. I think it would just be prudent to get a much lighter graphite pencil. I can’t erase on the graphite…it just makes a smudge and then I have to add another leaf to cover the smudge. There are so many pages left in just this one section but I do enjoy drawing and painting these bits of blooms and their leaves.

While we are staying home and I am avoiding going to the store, the cooking gets more creative. With Lee’s dementia, he is satisfied with everything put before him.

I think I found someone to come help with the yard work today. It will be a few weeks before he can be here but that is fine with me. I just need someone to show up. Two hundred bags of pine bark mulch will arrive with fifty bales of pine straw next week. I want to cover all of Lee’s garden beds and the side yard.  He does not know how to operate the weeder eater nor the blower anymore. Now he just wants to sort and stack rocks and branches that he pulls from the woods. Today he wanted to know if he could burn the pile. I told him that all burning has been outlawed for now. He seemed surprised but accepted it as fact. One does not want to hand matches over to an elderly man with dementia and a very big desire to burn something.

This past few days he has been perfectly happy to have me feed his deer and birds. Before that I would load his two buckets  and then he would walk around below the dining room window where I would say, “Put one down. Take the other one and throw handfuls out toward the bushes.” “No, handfuls, not the whole bucket.” “Now do the other bucket the same way, handfuls only.” “Now take both buckets and walk down a ways and throw each bucketful into the air.”

Those exact words over and over and over. Bur more recently I would wait at the window and then find him just standing with the buckets still in the garage. I’d remind him what to do and we’d start again. Now I just tell him it is too cold for him to go out there or say he needs to finish his breakfast so I will do it. He seems happy that I have taken over that chore as well. It only takes a few minutes and then he can take up his spot by the window to watch to see who comes in first to feed.

And I have had the great pleasure of working with one of my students in Australia on her book about days spent in Antarctica. She says it is like I am in the room with her. We have spent many workshops together so I know not only what she wants to say but also how she wants to say it.  I really love how much research that particular group of students do when they get into their projects. I end up so much more  informed on the most amazing things. I am so happy that we have stayed in touch and share our stories with each other.

Not much else new here. It is the same thing almost each day. Tomorrow I might just go to the woods and pick the biggest bunch of dogwood bloom branches and put them in a massive vase on the table.

Lee and I used to do that for our elderly friend in Michigan when we went north to visit her and our kids. We’d stop in Tennessee on the side of the road, gather bunches of dogwood to put in a cooler, just to take them to her and see the look on her face….pure joy. When our kids were little I would take them for walks down the country road and gather wildflowers of all sorts just to put in a box with some plastic bags of water around their stems and mail them to my mother in Florida. It was the one thing she missed when they moved south…..the wildflowers along country roads.  I am sure they were half dead when they arrived but she’d put them in a vase anyway. For my father I would enclose a bag of those super cheap Brach’s chocolate cremes, and they would arrive all melted together. He liked that because he knew he could get a big hunk of sugar and chocolate and not just one piece.

So it’s hereditary, I like chocolate and wildflowers.

More later.