Back On Track – Well Sort Of

Walking the trail each morning is a good thing. Here are some scenes from there these past few days.

Bambi, his mom and Thumper having breakfast.

And this morning Thumper with another companion.

And those drawings a day with haiku.

A found wildflower

growing near the storage shed

perfect for drawing.


I think it must have

hurt the crow to lose this part

that keeps him aloft.


Feathers collected

over the last few daily

walks along the trail.


One feather, one leaf

and forty-five short minutes,

they are now captured.


I returned to the studio and looked over the mess at the pieces I started last year. Remember Sandy, Printmaker?

I just plain quit on the overly complex Sandy, Traveler. But yesterday it caught my eye and some ideas started formulating. So even though I have not moved it to a work space, I did start some adjusting. And started liking it again. Not just the memories of places traveled but the layering of different mediums to take it further.  It was a good idea to come back.

These two are waiting for me to get the traveler finished so they, too, get a chance at my attention and intentions.

Sandy, Writer and Sandy, Homemaker.

When I finally finish all four I think they should be placed in individual large cloches. I did find a company that carries the large size that would be needed….19″ inside height and 12″ inside diameter.

Then when I get older I will have them lined up on a shelf across from my chair or bed and be able to say, “I used to be….”

And the shelf below them will hold all my travel journals and sketchbooks. And within reach will be, earth pigment watercolors, papers, brushes, pens, pencils, erasers and books and pads with blank pages.  And some cloth and thread and needles. This sets the priorities for clearing things out.

And if I actually am in the final chapter of a really good book, I might as well make the most of it.

Today it is a look on the bright side.

With a keen awareness that some days are just going to be like this.

Til later.


Lots To Show Today

Lee and I found this passion flower on the trail today. So it had to be the drawing this morning. Here are the last four days.

A few brown dead things

from along the trail and some

from on the driveway.


Couple more dead leaves

dried, curled, rumpled and holey

– just right for drawing.


A very ratty

mud-filled feather is cleaner

as drawn on the page.


The passion flower

remedy for sleeplessness

is difficult to draw.


I finished my sewing as far as I could take it the other day. Now the studio is cleaned up of all the scraps, machine, ironing board, iron, pins, threads, scissors, etc. I miss the needles as soon as I put them away. I might just have to piece together some scraps if for no other reason than to keep stitching.

On the idea of sewing clothes. The thing that I like the best when looking at those who are modeling clothes is the looseness of them. And yes, the models are thin and everything looks loose on them. But when you go to look at larger models wearing clothes, they all seem to be in stretched out to the max knits. Every shirt catches on their bum. It just does not look good nor comfortable. So given a choice, I am going for comfortable. The linen pants I sewed are loose so they create a breeze when I walk. The shirts are big enough to fall away in the back and not get hung up. I added asymmetrical bottom pieces to the short vests I made a couple of years ago. I like the two tone of them. I like how they flare away from the body. I like how they looked layered already. I am not sure I could find anything in the stores that looked like these things I sewed. And I really like how I have been influenced by friends in Australia who just keep putting pieces together until it can be worn out in public.

So once sewed, I threw them all in the new washing machine and dryer to see how that worked on the linens. Then I ironed them and put them on hangers together with matching pants. I think I might do that with all my clothes. Just hang them together so I don’t have to go looking for what goes with what.

I agree with the stories I hear about how Covid and isolation has caused us to become more casual in our clothing tastes. We want to stay with comfortable. Even when this is finally over I don’t see myself buying much in the way of new clothes or shoes. I know what I like and have made sure to have enough to get by. Lots to give away when I get out to give away.

Other things along the trail this past few days.



His mom.

And Thumper.

I found some more faces to work into the fairy book.

This one almost ready to fall off the tree.

One carved in stone.

And this one giving me the side-eye.

I did start another page in the Fairy Book. And wonder what to do when it is finished. If I go to edition a small number of them I may just try to do it myself. The Stoat Story cost me not only the printing cost but just shy of $100 to get the pages shipped from Asheville to here…..a two hour drive but something I really can not do right now with Lee. I also think I would like to use a more fluttery paper to go with the subject matter…we will see how I go on that.

The books I sent to Australia are beginning to show up now. So far they are pleased to get them and make donations to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Center.

And then the other morning while waiting for Lee to finish up in the bathroom down by the studio before we continued our walk, I looked close at one of the pieces that did not make the burial. It is a forty inch square canvas with much stitched and glued to the surface. Lots of shellac afterwards. It was the original idea for Lost Peaces about our penchant for going to war. And while I was staring into the textures I took some close up pictures.

Here a peace dove is shot down.

He ends up in the specimen drawer with others, all have the reasons for failure tied to their stiff and curled feet.

And this hole. I love the doorway-ness of it. “Holes are for taking things out and putting things in”….I read that somewhere. I also think these colors are luscious. I miss the days of just picking up bits and pieces and sticking them onto a surface with the intention of telling a story. I do not do this anymore because there are enough stories out there already and we can only listen to so much before everything becomes a slow meaningless hum in the background of our lives. But this, this one small part of a bigger humming speaks volumes to me. It is loaded with memories of those who were telling big stories at the same time. The ones I loved sharing ideas with….the passions we had to make our own noise in our work. I miss them. I miss the feeling. I want to walk through this opening and return to then. I really do.

And this other bit. The fragility of cloth and thread and paper in the company of organized metal pieces. Hard nails and screws that have had a hard time of it. They all, every piece of this work, seem exhausted by the efforts of keeping peace. And yet some of us just pick up the needle and thread and try like hell to hold it all together. I need to look at this work more often. I need to see the hopefulness and not the destruction. As these times have revealed, some things are worth holding onto and others are simply not.

And a small note on how Lee is doing. He is traveling a bit more into his past. At least twice a week he will hide something he thinks is necessary for his trip “back home”. Yesterday he told me that the house had changed and nothing was familiar….he wanted to know where the other things were…where the other people were. I said, “Let’s fix dinner.”

And yesterday I also finished reading the Australian mystery, The Dry, to him. He does not know so much what the story is about but likes the sound of my voice describing other things, other places. Next I will read him the latest Louise Penny novel about Inspector Gamache. It comes on the first of September.

Thank you to those who ask and those who keep in touch by sending cards and newsy notes. Last week he hid the bag he keeps them all in so I know he values them.

Til later with more fairies, more clothes I used to wear, and maybe even a new bit of stitching.



Getting Through It With Friends and Drawing

Another “brown paper package tied up with string”. And again from Australia. We were told years ago we could no longer do this in our country because the strings catch on belts. Australia must not have belts that are as touchy as ours. Everything and everybody right now is “touchy” here in the States. We just want this year over with and someone besides a sociopath leading us all down the drain of his own swamp.

I have made an advent calendar of sorts to help me get through until election day. I keep this inside a cupboard door. It has 84 more strips to pull off and then he will be empty and hopefully out of office in January. Maybe his supporters will either smarten up or lose their memberships at his golf clubs because he had to bankrupt them to pay legal fees. We can only hope. So far I have only “knee capped” him from his first day in hiding.

But inside the package was this!

What a thoughtful gift! More malted cookies coming up. I might even try putting some in my morning smoothie. Thank you, Jan.

Here are the last six days of drawings a day with haiku.

Deer have helped themselves

to tender leaves while the birds

chose to eat the grapes.


A nasty fungus

that Lee brought in for drawing.

We have both washed our hands!


How about looking

at the possibilities

of flipping over.


Soaking wet feather

from a turkey was the one

good find for drawing.


Sometimes the only

way to draw it correctly

is remove some marks.


Late summer mint stems

are still so full of themselves.

It’s mint julep time.


I am finding little moments to work on My Life in Clothes book. Now have added a clothes line for under wear and other summer outfits.

Also the Fairy book has the start to a new page.

We keep up with our walks. Sometimes alone past a skinny woods and other times being watched.

I still see things that feed into drawings.

Like this owl.

And this watchful tree.

That is enough for now.

Til later. I need to go tear into Trump!


This One Is Mostly About Lee And His Days

This is some of the switchbacks coming up to my studio. I need to get more mulch delivered to finish it off. We walk the trail every morning and search for something for me to draw in my Drawing a Day book. I photograph things along the way to feed into my Fairies Book.

Like this.

A snaggle-toothed elf wearing a pink hat emerging out from under a watchful eye.

Rain on crape myrtle trees bring out fairy faces.

Our dried leaves fall down with every squirrel jump made to shake the wet down on our heads. Some colored as to look like fall is here.

Twin fawns appeared in the yard.

Lee stops to replace the rocks knocked off his wall by deer and squirrels.

Usually I lead, but this morning he got ahead of me. I made a little movie of his feet walking in front of me but it did not like being here.

We return home and I draw in my book. The fourth image of a feather found this morning is the last page of that book. I have two more this size to go before I have to make more.


A wet turkey feather left

for us this morning.


A small and fluffy

taupe-colored tickling feather left

for us this morning.

A knot that came loose

from its branch on a felled tree –

more interesting.


Barely visible

a feather from the trail to

finish out this book.


And lastly I would like to thank all of you who send cards or little things for Lee. You are so thoughtful and it makes us smile. He has forgotten the friends we used to have, much like some of them no longer think of us. And to be honest I have finally let my disappointment in them fade away.

Today he came in from the yard carrying two pairs of work gloves.

“Why two pairs of gloves?”

“I want to take both pairs with me.”

“Where are you going?”


“Where is home?”


“No, you don’t want to go there. It is too cold and grey. That is why we left there twenty-seven years ago. We live here now.”

He looked so sad. So I said, “Let’s bring in the ferns from the deck, hang them up with a good shake, and you can vacuum again.”

“Yes, let’s do that.”

He loves the hum of the vacuum and leaf blower. My job is to make sure one is used inside and the other, out.

Now he is having a good nap and I get to do this….have a visit with all of you who tune in.

Til later.