Thanksgiving Week – A Good One

Our son, Patrick, came down for a week and one of his jobs at Thanksgiving is to help me get another unusual Christmas tree put in place. This year we featured all the reindeer of my iron animal collection.

And even the next morning it still looked okay to us.

Now I am waiting for an order of batteries to come so they candles can light up. Remember when we used matches, wicks and wax?

Also I am going to show the drawings a day with haiku before some pictures of my new project.

From the oven comes

The Second Best Malt Cookies

I Have Ever Had.


I think this is a

sweet potato but maybe

it could be a yam.


I was told that these

nests of pasta hold their shape

while boiling – Nonsense!


I pulled my pasta

back into a nest before

piling on the sauce.


Some Turkish coffees

are not as good as those with

extra cardamom.


These woven strainers

make teas taste much more

like they’re supposed to.

Only the nests of

partridges remain in our

pear-filled Christmas tree.


Reindeer are coming.

Some on rockers to gather

near the Christmas tree.

And now for the new project! I really like doing these drawings a day and wanted to do some more work like this. And since I brought my watercolors upstairs from the studio to make white line Christmas cards I needed to find something more to paint.

So down in the studio I found this perfect book made by Lorraine O’Brien from Australia. I bought it from her when she was a student at Halls Gap a couple of years ago. It is simply gorgeous and packed full of contact prints of Eucalyptus leaves….lots of accordion bound pages. Here is the outside cover.

And here is what I am doing. It was inspired by an artist that I saw on facebook who was painting butterflies into her contact prints. I wish I had saved her name. And it is similar to what I was doing a few years ago when I drew into the marks of my books about Lost Time and Down the Rabbit Hole.


I gathered up all my Nature guide books to fill the pages with only the animals, birds and insects that we have here where I live.

Here on page one is a song sparrow, convergent lady bug and on the next page a woolly bear caterpillar.

I have drawn in very loosely for several pages so I can keep on painting. Some of them will take lots of time to do.

Next pages have a screech owl peeking out of what could be a split in a tree and a field mouse down below. Opposite is a caterpillar and chrysalis.

After that a white tail deer and squirrel. And next will have a large Imperial Moth spreading its wings in the center fold.

Those little triangle shapes at the bottom of the pages are actually folded up pockets. Much as I look at it, I can not figure out how Lorraine got those pockets there! But I will use them to put a bit of information on whatever is painted on that page. Isn’t this a great idea? It is going to keep me busy and smiling all winter and I can do it all while sitting with Lee upstairs.

I ordered some new watercolors the other day. Over eighty dollars for just six tubes of Daniel Smith Extra Fine ones….luscious colors.

Thank you, Lorraine, for this wonderful book and thank you for all the kindnesses via emails/messages during some difficult times here. I will miss you all so much this next year at Halls Gap.

Lee got to spend lots of time with Patrick in his work shop and I had several hours of reading, painting, drawing and cooking up some pretty good meals.

And last week Lee and I went to see a movie. The Good Liar. I have to say it is one of the best stories I have ever seen. The acting superb simply because it is Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. If you have not seen it, treat yourself. The movie stays with you.

And tomorrow we are off to see Knives Out. Also a good “escape your real world” movie.

We did notice that we don’t eat the popcorn we used to. Last time and all the times before a very big box of popcorn, extra butter and we had it gone before the previews finished. We brought it home from the theater and called it dinner after pouring a bit of wine to go with it. Tomorrow we will forget the extra butter and come down one size in boxes.

I am avoiding reading a lengthy article on Knives Out that is in the New Yorker until after I see the movie. I’ll let you know how it is.

Not much else new…just a very good week and grateful to have Patrick here to let me have some time alone.

Til later.