Tuesday, October 15, 2013


"As I pass, my friend the birch nods its head and turns slightly. Its leaves are tinged with just the slightest hint of yellow. I wonder how it will fare - autumn is coming. But the birch is having none of that. It waves its arms in rhythm with the wind. 'You worry too much, it laughs. Wait till you see the song I sing right before winter.'"

Friday, September 27, 2013

A cute alternative to a wedding card

Happy days ahead, Tessa and Mark.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A memorable experience

I've been underground for nearly one hour in a 44 degree environment. My hands are cold yet I'm sweating in my jacket because exploring this 1.7 million year old cave proves to be a bit strenuous.

Our little tour group of ten cave explorers slowly descends the slippery marble steps into the largest room of the Oregon Caves known as the 'ghost' room. After pointing out interesting features in the room, our Ranger guide allows us time to absorb the immensity of the cavern. The only sound is water dripping from calcified formations. The quietness of our surroundings is nearly palpable.

Our of our group, an older gentleman named Arnie, asks permission to play his harmonica. "Oh yes!" says Emily, our guide. "The acoustics in this room are incredible."

We quickly realize that Arnie is no amateur musician. His notes from his harmonica wail and quiver as he plays Louis Armstrong's, "It's a wonderful world".

At 220 feet below the surface of the earth where it takes 1,000 years for a stalactite to grow 1", where molten lava and and water under high pressure created this pathway deep into a mountainside, Arnie could not have chosen a better song.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

and life goes on....

The task of caring for an aging (ailing) parent is gargantuan. And our (aging parent) doesn't even reside with us....

I have acquired a healthy dose of respect for all who are involved in their elderly parent's lives. The task comes with emotional potholes complete with triumphant highs and despairing lows. We comb thinning hair. We help with general hygiene and toileting. We cut food into manageable tidbits and when those tidbits cannot be managed, we spoon feed. We show up again and again because we love and because we can.

It is a tender duty filled with moments of poignancy. We laugh - a lot. Thankfully, Ellen is a good sport and laughs along with us.

Ellen has the means to afford this room in an adult family home. This picture was taken before we personalized it with a few pictures and quilts to make it feel more like home. She is safe here, fed home cooked meals and monitored closely. We feel fortunate to have found such loving and attentive care in this beautiful home.

So.... with Glynn and I feeling a bit frayed around the edges since his mom's hip fracture in March, April's terror attack in Boston, the deadly tornado in Oklahoma, not to mention the I-5 bridge collapse last week, I've certainly had my days of wanting to crawl back into bed in the morning and put the covers over my head.

I made time to create yesterday. Often I sit down with no agenda in mind and then marvel at what message my soul is attempting to communicate to my brain when I finish a piece.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013



Horrific violence. Lives lost. Limbs severed. Flesh punctured. Dreams shattered. And on it goes and goes and goes.

In the hours (and days) after a tragic event, we are inundated with reminders of the violent act. The same footage is shown again and again. I could likely mimic Bill Iffrig from Lake Stevens, WA as he stumbled and fell when hit by the percussion of the bomb blast while he ran the Boston marathon. But, I would rather put it out of my mind altogether.

I acknowledge and mourn the tragedy with exclamations of horror and even tears. Then, wrapping my mind around the event as best as I can, I compartmentalize it, tucking it away from of my stream of consciousness after surrounding it with healing, loving, positive thoughts.

A verse of a poem by friend, Kathleen Overby, says it well:

   I sequester myself in the garden, 
an antidote for the headlines
repeated over and over again --
as if only despair and destruction
could make the front page news.

Because life goes on and I choose to live in light and loveliness.

My sincere hope is that each living victim of the Boston marathon bombing will find a way to redeem this sad experience into something good - even if its simply recognizing the compassion and kindness and hope of the American people. 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pound cake with rhubarb compote

 So.... day 5 of 'acute' bronchitis and I'm climbing the walls out of boredom in between bouts of napping, coughing and wishing I had a new set of bronchial tubes.

Glancing through a magazine in the doctor's office yesterday I came upon this recipe.  (Yes, I'm one of those magazine page thieves. I can justify my actions.) Rhubarb delights me as does pound cake.

Today, the photo op of the baked product caught my eye. Subtle greys, delicate patterned china plate,  pink toned rhubarb compote. "Surely I can re-create this in water color", I mused. 

Before you form an opinion please allow me to explain that I am a water color novice with a capital "N". I know I cannot learn to paint without trying so I put on my brave girl panties and here is the finished product: 

Although it looks more like fried egg on toast with a huge splash of ketchup, I do like the fork and the plate has potential. Please notice the subtle shadowing. I'm quite proud of it. 

The next step involved replicating the dessert in real life. Lucky for me I had a few, ripe stalks of  rhubarb growing in the garden. It is as delicious as it looks.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Over thinker

I'm working on changing my habit of over thinking. It tires me.

No sooner had I posted this post when I came across this on Pinterest:  

'Nuf said.