Wednesday, June 16, 2021



  A few weeks ago, Joe Kendrick of WNCW and Southern Songs and Stories came out and interviewed me and two others for a podcast about the Shelton Laurel Massacre. The other two, Sheila Kay Adams and Taylor Barnhill, did a radio show some years back that had a segment on the Massacre, and bits of that old show are included in the podcast. Sheila Kay is a noted ballad singer, banjo picker, novelist, story teller, and her memories and family stories go way  back.

As Joe directed our conversation, he was attempting to show the relevance and the uncomfortable parallels between the political climate during the Civil War and today's uneasy and undeclared uncivil war. It's a subject that was on my mind during the writing of Crows.

Go  HERE for more information and for a link to Part 1 of the podcast. Along with some interesting Madison County history, there's some very nice old time music. If you enjoyed it, a LIKE  and  a comment would be appreciated. 


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

In Progress

I've had this picture of Josie at the river as the wallpaper on my laptop for months now.  Finally, I decided to brave up and try to paint it.

It's not done--Josie needs a face but it's so tiny I've already messed it up a bit. Also, I forgot to leave some areas of white in the river.  I'll probably fiddle with it a bit more and then try again, maybe on a larger piece of paper. 

Always something to learn...


Monday, June 14, 2021

Josie's Busy Social Life

On Friday I had another playdate with a different little girl. She is almost three and much younger than me but we had a good time. Louise brought her over and Louise is very good at playing. She can get down on the floor like Meema can't.

We played in The Room with my stuffies.

I shared Octalia and then I showed my new friend how to jump on the bed.

It was a short playdate because after lunch I went to visit the place I will be going to school in August. 

And after that, we all went to dinner at BobAGuy and Sue's house. I was the only kid there and I got to play with some neat stuff. Then Mama and Meema and I went home because I was Worn Out from my Very Busy Day.

I think there will be more and more busy days. I will be ready.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

Judy's Chimney

A lone sentinel marks the spot when the thirteen victims of the Shelton Laurel Massacre were held the night before being marched off to their deaths.

This chimney is all that remains of Judy Shelton's cabin. . .

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Painting With Suzy


On Thursday, I had a playdate at my friend Louise's house where the talented watercolorist Suzanne DesLauriers held a mini-workshop for us. Suzy is not only a gifted painter; she is also an excellent teacher. You can check out her Facebook page for more about where she teaches.


We began with exploring texture achieved by various surprising means--string, cheesecloth, plastic wrap, and salt.

Then a quick exercise on primary and secondary colors and the mixing thereof...

Next Suzy walked us through a mountain scene: sky and clouds (formed with dabs from wadded paper towels) and the rows of mountains (illustrating layering washes of color) to the green and yellow foreground where we used the sharp end of a brush to scritch little weeds into the paint. It was a fun exercise--but I'm going to have to go back and put a little more color on the farthest row of mountains--they weren't meant to look snow covered.


We began two more paintings--a sunrise and a stormy sky--but it was growing late. We were thrilled to hear Suzy say we'd finish them next time. Next time!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Josie Has a Play Date

I am getting ready for a playdate. My friend is coming over. I am fixing a tea party with all my castle people. How does it look?

It's almost time. We are going down to meet them at my house.

I am so excited! This will be the best day EVER!

There is my friend and her papa. He had to change the tire on his truck because it was flat but they finally got here. I was worried the playdate might not happen.

She was a little shy at first because she is much younger than me, but she liked playing in the sand pile. I played there some but also in the branch and I got all wet.

Then we came up to my house and I got some dry clothes. 

We had lunch.

She was still a little shy but I think we are getting to be friends.

After lunch I showed her my castle people.

We had lots of things to play with.

I think she liked the tea set the best. We made raspberry oatmeal tea and she was very good at sharing.

I can't wait for our next play date!


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

River Time

What a wonderful thing a river is! I don't go paddling or fishing but just the sight and sound of the flowing water brings a kind of renewal.

I love that it's my neighbor--not close enough to be a flood potential but just a few minutes down the road and on my way to almost anywhere I might go.

The mountain view is always there and always deeply satisfying; the river is a lovely joy--perhaps because I don't see it every day.


Monday, June 7, 2021

Rambling Through a Garden of Memory

I have only one hollyhock this year but it makes me very happy. I always wanted a row of them--against, perhaps a white picket fence but that's not happening. Neither are the masses of delphiniums I once coveted and tried to grow but failed. I walk around and see the ghosts of those garden dreams.

Many years ago I had a bed of fancy roses--but the spraying that seemed necessary to keep them alive and blooming was too much. I do have this fine little red rose--a gift from a neighbor back in '76. She rooted it from her own shrub--put a cutting in the ground and covered it with a Ball quart jar. Forty-five years later, it's still going strong.

Another survivor that makes me happy is this perennial Bachelor's Button.  Therese in France featured one on her blog maybe ten years ago and I was enraptured with the gorgeous cobalt blue and lavender bloom. I acquired a plant soon after and every year at this time, it makes me think of my blog friend in Toulouse.

Everywhere I look, there are ghosts and memories--the tidy Japanese influenced plantings around the goldfish pool that have renounced their dwarf evergreen status and are striving for wilderness designation, the Angel Wing Begonias my grandmother gave me when we moved from Tampa, the lilac that was a gift from a departed friend, the orchid cacti from a tenant about twenty years ago, the Weeping Willow and the River Birch that were skinny sticks when I planted them  . . .

You can grow a lot of memories in almost half a century.