A Quick Colorful Post

I have made the decision to not buy any more flowers from the grocery store. I only buy the ones on sale….three bunches of three for ten dollars. No more until Spring….unless I see Eucalyptus bunches on or off sale. I told Lee that we will now collect interesting fallen branches and put them in the large stag and pine tree pottery vase. That will be the center piece on the dining room table until it feels like flowers are needed. I really hate the professional bouquets from the florist. They seem so formulaic…so much like they were made for someone else and a call came in so they put your name on them after sticking them into the ubiquitous glass vase, put some gaudy ribbon on them and show up at your door shoving them toward you with a smile on their face.

When I wanted flowers for a friend who was my age now, I would go to the florist and ask if I could pick through the flowers in the cooler…pick my own bouquet. And when I had a fistful, ask how much and take them home to put my own tie on…usually a string or raffia. Then I’d take them to her in person, arrange them in her favorite vase and be sure there was enough time to sit and have a drink….best to always deliver them sometime after three in the afternoon. I don’t think they allow people to stroll through their coolers anymore. A shame really.

Anyway these on sale flowers are not lasting long and look like they would rather not be here. So enough! Sticks now with a wooden bowl full of Lee’s leaves.

He thinks I should draw each one he picks up and brings into the house. Much like I would draw his feathers. Dried leaves are hard to draw, and only the best can do them justice in watercolors. When I try to paint them they look like those contrived journals that have the leaf painted next to a well placed sketch of the tree it came from, it’s fruit, if available, and all with perfectly calligraphied descriptions curving around the painted bits.

Here are some details of the poplar leaf below.

How could any drawing improve on this back side. It is so beautiful and your imagination races with where any of these trails and river beds could take you if you were just small enough to travel it’s topography. So why not have a bowlful of these adventures sitting on the table?

And the past four days of drawings a day.

A leaf from a pin oak

mostly brown but hanging on

to a touch of green.


Late summer yellow

blooms on the tall and hardy

stalks of leafy green.


An almost white aster

with the delicate thyme-like

leaves on fragile stems.


I only know one

source of these three found feathers.

It’s a cardinal!


And this picture of dead leaves veiling the darkness along the trail.

I opened one of the many jars of Lee’s honey from a while back. Very dark but such a sweet dark flavor. I put it on his French toast this morning. Drizzled a bit on my scone. The flavor brings back memories of collecting and jarring the gift of bees. Lee does not remember.

We are saving the finale of The Silent Patient until tomorrow morning during loads of laundry. I sort of understand why it is a best seller…..but I think male authors…at least most of the ones who write fiction can do a good job of getting in the skin of a female character but as soon as he attempts to write the relationship between that female and her male counterpart, one of those characters will suffer. I just think women fiction writers are better at getting into both skins at the same time. You don’t find yourself saying, “No, he would not have done/said that!”, you don’t get tripped up correcting a character that you knew perfectly well when he was sitting alone on a bench pondering something, and now the author has his character flubbing his lines. And the author can just as easily have the female lead found wanting in places. It’s hard to describe so I am glad he is giving the female lead the rest of the story to handle for him.

That’s enough…I am going to place Sandy Writer on the work table and see what she has to say.

Til later.



Back To That Studio!

Yesterday I received a lovely gift of two linen towels. They are from a friend in Australia who said she thought of me when she saw them….each dyed with elements of that country. Instead of using them as T towels she suggested I cut them into smaller bits to do something else with. I love her idea and her for thinking of me. Aren’t they beautiful? Gorgeous linen!

I even love the soft brown wrapping paper that I might just cut up and add to a book I am making of her sister’s postcards sent last month. It is still sitting on that messy table waiting for me to “fix” it.

But! Because I had two consecutive days in that messy studio and kept looking over at the Sandy Traveler, I pulled it onto the table. And started making changes. First off remove the boats from the top of her head, then coat her severely with Australian soil watercolors. Next gouge out the slash marks, more watercolors to fill in. Then tiny black dots for travel lines. Next cover the neck with all the tea bags collected and drunk with friends abroad. Finally a good spray of acrylic to the head and the addition of more collected bits to each side.  One boat returned to the scene.

Today I finished her up and am quite happy with it. Here is a view from the right brain side.

And the left brain side:

Here are some details:

Right brain loose collections…just pick it up and take home.

Left brain, the need to organize the collected bits.

The compass in the front surrounded with soils.

The boat.

I am satisfied with this piece and glad I listened to it this week as it begged for my attention.

Next up:

Sandy Writer.

I will return to the dormer idea that I used with the Sandy Printmaker. Each side will have one attached to her head and the open dictionary on her head. The right brain will likely be wadded up yellow dog papers with stubs of pencils whereas the left might just get tidy blank pages or very short poems. This one will be fun to do and fairly easy I think.

Then only one more…Sandy Homemaker. It will be the hardest I think. I would love the left side to have a drop down table perfectly set for a dinner party. More engineering will be needed but I am up for it.

My caregiver company is working hard to find just one person to look after Lee three times a week instead of two with last minute substitutes. It bothers me more than him because he just likes someone different to talk to. And he forgets who they were as soon as they drive away.

I just want order….my left brain is trying to take over now that I can’t use my right side so much.

Right now I might just wake him up to read our latest mystery…The Silent Patient. Supposed to be quite the thriller. Then it is deep into a book about preserving the world’s largest owl along the Russian border. Talk about diverse reading. After that an English country novel.

And one last final word on those British 50s series. The clothes! How do they find them all? And in all the sizes needed? And the hero’s hair. Smartly parted on the left so that those waves flow off to the right and the back almost shaved to just behind the ears. It is a very tidy look….the way any decent poet would have his hair cut. Enough. We are near the end of Grantchester. Oh, and those trousers with suspenders, most appealing….fedoras placed just so and ties about one third the length of Trump’s. The 50s and the Brits make brown a desirable color.

More later….

Quiet Day – Little Drama – Waiting For Whatever

With covid 19 we seem to all be in a state of waiting. Now I have even forgotten what for.

Lee is busy picking up tiny bits off the floor to put in the trash. He has vacuumed the porch and is still in cleaning mode. Now he is waving the leaf blower around the driveway. He is so happy to have a noisy machine to operate.

I am waiting for the store to call with the delivery time of the new dryer to go with the new washing machine put in several weeks ago.

We did our usual walk on the trail this morning. Some new things seen along the way.

This toad stool makes me realize why we have to be reminded not to eat some of them. But it does look delicious.

And this lovely happy deer profile.

And what looks like two companions walking through the trees.

Here are the last four days of drawings a day.

The branch would not fit

on just one page and needed

acorn company.


Here’s the conclusion.

I need to draw several

more close up pine cones.




A bigger pine cone

and a very big oak leaf

filling these pages.


I am beginning

to see the pine cone’s makeup –

where all the parts are.


Today is the one day of the week when we order a take out dinner. I pick it up at 4 o”clock. Bring it home and then we have a drink before I heat it up. There were three lovely things on the menu this week, so I added a butternut/apple soup to the Chicken Oscar and steak and egg chef salad. We will have enough for two nights.

Sometimes during the day we will turn on a British mysteries. Our daughter bought us a system where we can do that once it could connect to the wifi extender. Now we are in the middle of Grantchester. I like the actors…the Brits are always good at the amount of angst required for a good drama.

But my favorite parts of these period pieces, the 50’s, is the attention to detail in the sets. The most dreadful wallpapers, chipped china, fragile crowded furniture, and those really horrid lamp shades. You can always tell where the bad guy or woman is living just by those lampshades. They are covered with dust..in fact the whole room looks like smoke or dust filling the air. And the most ornate are edged with fringe. The place where evil happens quite often has the lampshade slightly off kilter. The rooms are darker. Whereas the wealthy and therefore presumed innocent people live in well lit large homes with equally ugly lampshades perfectly straight. Only the Brits can pull this off with such perfection.  Most of the characters smoke and can make it look like they really are enjoying it….I remember that look.

And the costumes, hair and makeup! Even the wealthy look like a shampoo might be in order. And those ruby red lips. That lipstick is literally caked on, and when they talk it is like watching two bright red worms racing along together. Speaking of racing, the cars are wonderful. Where do they get so many vintage vehicles? I got so excited to see the bus come through their little town….it was beautiful!

Lee is now inside. The man called and told me the dryer will be here between 1:30 and 3:30 this afternoon. Right before we go out to pick up dinner.

So it is getting on lunch time. We might watch another episode of Grantchester before they come.

Our cats seem to prefer their boxes cut down a little so they can rest their heads on the edge.

Til later.

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.