Trying to Stay Busy and Feeling “Why Bother”

The last of our gorgeous rhododendron…depleted efforts. It is a bit autobiographical this week. I feel a bit spent.

All the things that have been done just end up as a reminder that there will be more to do. This week of national racist turmoil on top of the restrictions of avoiding the virus can feel so hopeless. Add to that the watching of Lee’s growing confusion and trying to stay on the positive side of the road while negative thoughts get stuck in my head.

Here is another good image via Nature on the struggle to hang on to what was.

That leaf might just have contracted Covid 19. And the very next day on the same driveway I found this. It is as close as I have to an Eucalyptus leaf. A gentle reminder of my times in Australia. It made me smile and be grateful for its successful attempt to lift me up.

A poor old diseased pin oak leaf still has something to offer.

This week the tree man came and cleared away some of the deluge of green density. It took a couple of days as he circled each Japanese maple and snipped with a careful eye. He waded through poison ivy and other vines to cut down some trees that were becoming oppressive and went on to take out branches that touched roofs and extended into the driveway. He trimmed the rhododendron above and snipped at other overgrown bushes. And when he was through with it all, he would not take any extra money, thanked me for the trust I had in him to work on our property, and finally looked me in the eye and said, “If you need any other man job done that your husband used to do, please just call me.”

I have to quickly change the subject when these kindnesses come from strangers because it makes me tear up.

Speaking of which, another fun homemade card from Australia came this week….in an envelope made from a full page magazine picture of an oil painting that featured one of those beautiful Renoir period women wearing a hat. I carefully open them using a paring knife to make the slit and take my time pulling out the contents. I know they will make me laugh so I want it to last. Thank you.

And here are the last four days of drawings a day. I moved from outside to the contents of this working bag of tools brought upstairs. perfect for starting another sketchbook.

This a small awl

that in my hands feels so smooth

and aptly designed.


Isn’t this fancy?

And yet it fits in the hand

just right for the job.

Isn’t this the best

little hammer purchased at

St. Andrews market.


Thirty-six inches

is a difficult thing

to draw folded up.

That’s it for now I think. The printer corrected a wrongly sized image of the Bush Book, and managed to do it making me feel it was my fault that he forgot to resize it when he did the other fourteen.  Now I have all ten books glued together and draped around the studio waiting til I get a break on Monday afternoon. Lots of careful folding to do before all the covers are made.

Most of these books have been spoken for. Then it is on to The Stoat Story. I think I have got it all sized and laid out on the computer. This one I think I will print myself because it has the text below the images….and I am not ready to give more business to the printer.

I just took a break to stop Lee from hacking away at roots with his ax. Sometimes he can be an accident waiting to happen. I got him back on his mangled rake dragging rocks around. Hopefully it will wear him out and he will come in and take a nap.

That’s it for now.