Monday, February 28, 2022

Stand with Ukraine

Once again, the unimaginable. An insecure little dictator moves on a neighboring country, seeking to annex it by violence. Here in the USA, our former president calls the dictator 'smart." And right-wing apologists question why we should care about Ukraine, even as they deride our current, lawfully elected president for being weak.

What do they want--WWIII? Thank god the former guy is nowhere near the nuclear button. 

The former guy is, though, threatening to run again. 

I can't help thinking this would suit Putin very well. With his lapdog back in the Oval Office, he would be free to do as he pleased while his biggest fan cheered him on, without the economic and other diplomatic sanctions that are swiftly being put in place. 

Stand with Ukraine. 

Friday, February 25, 2022



 Almost a year ago I had a brief spell of vertigo (apparently very common in older women and not something that a pill can fix) and began doing head-circling exercises every morning to help rebalance my inner ear. Over time, I gradually grew less diligent about the head-circling till I quit altogether. 

But a few days ago, when I tried to leap out of bed to go let Jenny out before she committed an outrage, the vertigo was back. I had to hold on to furniture and walls to make it to the back door and release the hound. 

It's been several days now and yesterday I was back to what passes for normal--my wonky knee and ankle make me a bit unsteady at the best of times but at least I'm not staggering around like the proverbial drunken sailor.

I've never been in an earthquake but I'm guessing the feeling is similar--a sudden wrongness and the feeling that the earth is moving beneath you.

So, back to the head circling. And even more reason to keep my trusty walking staff at hand. 



Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Josie Is An Author (and Illustrator)!

Guess what! I have written a book! I did the pictures and told Meema the words to write down. You can read it.



Meema stapled it together so it is a real book.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful village and a tiny blue house where a mother and daddy lived with their kid. And there was big green house where the granny lived.

And then the kid and the daddy went out to their car because they were going to see the kid's grandma.

They went to the car, opened up the door, and jumped inside and drove off to see the granny.

And then they saw a beautiful butterfly with a purple tail.

And then they got to grandma's house and grandma was waiting outside. 

The granny and the kid had so much fun together.

The End---I hope you liked it.

Kirkus Reviews: A brilliant debut, reminiscent of early Ann Tyler.

Publishers Weekly: Keenly observed, blending family dynamics, nature, and modern day automotive dependence.


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

I'll Be Back

 Somehow, I seem to have become 79. Dang! My mother died at 69 and one of her friends told me, "She would have hated to be 70." I don't feel that way.

My seventies have been pretty good--though I do find it sobering/amazing that in another year I'll be 80. But I know so many 80+ year old who are living their best life, so I'll just say, So far, so good.

Consider the alternative . . . 

Monday, February 21, 2022

Gilding the Goldfish

I was inspired by the beautiful beaded and appliqued goldfish below (from the Embroiderers' Guild of Victoria) to attempt something similar in watercolor. I quickly saw that I'd not left enough light/white but endeavored to persevere nonetheless.

And then, in a what-the-hell moment, I added some gold . .
I love the original image and shall probably attempt it again, learning from my mistakes.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Two I Loved; A Third Defeated Me

I was entranced by Rules of Civility -- a richly detailed picture of New York City in the late Thirties and one young woman's journey through the various levels of its society. If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton had a love child . . .

It was a page-turner for me.

As was Bewilderment. I was deeply moved by Powers' The Overstory and found a good bit of the same magic at work here. A widower, hoping to keep his emotionally troubled nine-year-old son off the psychoactive drugs recommended by school and the medical establishment, allows the boy to participate in an experiment of neuro feedback. The boy will be trained on recorded patterns from his mother-a fierce environmentalist and animal advocate. And it appears to be working . . . What a premise! Another page turner!

Empire, though, just didn't grab me. Mr. Vidal's a terrific writer and the political goings on after the Spanish-American War (leading to our nation's imperialistic longings) are, no doubt, useful to understand how we got in the mess we're in today. But the book is almost 500 pages long and many of those pages a veritable welter of proper names. I bailed before page 50. I'm still intrigued by the story and may return to it but not for a while.


Friday, February 18, 2022

Spring and an Announcement



The frogs were singing on Thursday and the temperature was in the balmy sixties. Glorious! Rain is forecast and the temps will drop but still, Spring is on her way.


I spied a lone snow drop in the dooryard garden and hiked over to the little cabin where I have a bed of hellebores. Alas, something had been at them--there are usually many in bloom but not this time. Still, they are an always welcome sight.

ANNOUNCEMENT! I blogged about the wonderful McMullen Circle a few weeks ago. Now I get to talk with the author--and you're invited!

This Sunday, 2/20-- Sponsored by Great Smokies Writing Program, Heather Newton will read from and discuss her recently-published short story collection McMullen Circle, in conversation with author Vicki Lane. As always, the reading will be virtually hosted by our good friends at Malaprop's; you can tune in to the YouTube livestream at 3:00 pm.  

The reading is free to attend, but please RSVP. And, if you want to purchase copies of Heather's or Vicki's books, please consider doing so through Malaprop's to support our local indie gem! 


The above was posted Thursday night. It's snowing Friday morning--but the frogs are still singing.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Playdate, Dress Up, and a Creation Myth

Finally my friend came over for a play date. Our last one was before Christmas and we had missed each other very much.

We did a lot of painting but then we remembered about dress up and The Room.

We put together some good costumes, I think.

I dumped the costume box out on the bed, and we chose stuff. 

We changed around a lot.  Dress up is fun. By the way, now I dress myself in the morning and I pick out my outfits. 

I like stripes.

My friend had to leave after lunch, so I did some more painting. These two pictures are from a dream I had when I was two years old. The orange monster in the top picture is shooting out stars and rainbows. His name is Star Shooter Rainbow Monster Man, and he is making the Rainbow World. This happened a long time ago--before me, even before dinosaurs.

The bottom picture is of Rainbow World also.

{Ed. note: It seems to me that in these two pictures, Josie is accessing the Aboriginal Dreamtime to relate a Creation story. The finger dots are characteristic of Aboriginal art--the star stickers are not.}