Friday, March 31, 2023


Work in progress. Autumn and Winter panels for the Castle People back drop mostly done. Josie loves all the colors in Autumn. (The paper is curling because I wanted to paint to the very edge, thus didn't tape it down. I'll press them all under a heavy book when I'm done.)

The yellow thing in the middle is meant to be a magic path to a portal--but it needs work. 

It's great fun and a bit of a challenge to keep the continuity flowing. And sometimes things change. I hadn't intended a stream, but it insisted on being there in one, so I had to add it to the others. 

Josie has requested an Allicorn (Winged unicorn) in the Summer sky so I've got to fit that in somehow.

As I said, great fun!


Thursday, March 30, 2023

New from the Workshop

The weed pots are from apple wood (thanks, Suzie and Nancy!) There is colored resin in the natural cracks.  The wood is beautifully spalted--the result of decay/fungus.

The two bowls are from a fallen ash--also spalted.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

How Dare They Offer Thoughts and Prayers Yet Again!


In Guernica the dead children were laid out in order on the sidewalk

In their white starched dresses

In their pitiful white dresses

On their foreheads and breasts the little round holes 

Where death came in as thunder 

While they were playing their important summer games

Do not weep for them, Madre

They are gone forever, the little ones

Straight to heaven to the saints

And God will fill the bullet holes with candy.

These lines (from a song by Joan Baez, based on a 1943 poem by Norman Rosten) came to mind as the news of yet another horrific school shooting was met with declarations of thoughts and prayers by the same people who cling to their assault rifles (and their campaign donations from the gun lobby.)

 No matter that statistics show a leap in mass shootings since the GOP ended the ban on assault rifles. The "pro-life" party has nothing to offer but thoughts and prayers and a call for more guns.

If ever there were an argument for the non-existence of a good god . . .


Monday, March 27, 2023

For the Castle People

I'm working on a four-panel backdrop for the Castle People--specifically the Fae.

The scenes will merge into one another, moving from Autumn to Winter to Spring to Summer--a kind of magic wood.

Once I get them inked, I'll begin adding a bit of water color, trying not to overdo it.

Will Josie care? Probably not. But I'm having fun.


Sunday, March 26, 2023

A New Day

A new day--filled with those events that alter and illuminate human experience...

If those words after the dash sound familiar, you too are older than dirt. What am I quoting? (Hint--it was the lead-in to a popular TV show back in the Fifties.)


Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Bailey Report


Bailey is doing very well. She is getting along with Bob and Jenny and Otter. She is learning about riding in the truck. She has to be put in but as the ride progresses, she seems to enjoy it. She and John take walks with her off the leash and she knows now that the itchen is where good things happen.

She needed a bath VERY badly but we wanted her to settle in a bit before doing something that might be traumatic. (I doubt she'd ever had a bath.) But Thursday was warm and John gave her a bath on the front porch--lots of warm water and a soothing, anti-itch shampoo.

She did surprisingly well, thank goodness. The next step (probably next week) is to get her to the vet for shots and mange treatment meds. Eventually she'll be spayed, but we'll keep her up till then. 

We were concerned that her coat was dull and dry, and John got some fish oil to add to her diet. Then I spent an hour brushing her; an amazing amount of dead hair came off and underneath it some nice shiny hair.

So, real progress. She's a lovely dog and has fit in well--a nice addition to the family.

On a sad note, my older son and his wife had to say goodbye to their beloved Tally a few days ago. Never easy. But I suspect there's another lucky dog in their future.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Josie at the Library Again


I love our library! It has dressed up bears, and you can pretend to be a carrot while your grandmother takes your picture.

 Of course there are lots of books and I picked out a bunch to take home. This is a comfy chair for reading in.

There are lots of things to play with too like this really great castle.

I always put my name up with the letters.

And I played with the trains. It was too wet to go out to the playground. 

When we went home, I did my homework and I read this book to Meema. She helped me with some of the words like Squishy and Squashy but mostly I read it myself.

Reading is fun! And I can do it!


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Black Birds


  Black Birds

When the crows come
black against the darkening sky
their wings obscure the sun
and small sounds drown
in their strident caws. 
They storm the walnut tree
snatch the green fruit
drop it from great heights
retrieve the cracked kernels.

Again and again they dive
From tree to ground
feathers gleaming
where stray sunrays touch.
And when the mountains turn blue
with the haze of evening
the crows lift off in ebony formation
head toward some secret roost
where they blend into the night.

Lisl auf der Heide

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Fixed the Problem

No wonder the weather's acting like Winter! I forgot to set my astrolabe to Spring. This happened a few years ago and the weather got better soon after I adjusted the instrument. It may take a few days but I'm hopeful.

The dratted thing was reading halfway between Jan and Feb before I set it right.

I felt better immediately and began taking down the fairy lights that were all over the living and dining room and began the process of swapping out the blue and yellow for greens and turquoises and pink, as well as moving pictures and quilts and more.

On my way to pick up Josie, I saw this spring-like sight . . .

In the Spring a young man's Tom's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, as Tennyson almost said.


Monday, March 20, 2023

The Vernal Equinox

The sight of the sun rising due east, right in the middle of our horizon is a welcome sign of Spring's arrival--even if Winter
is still hanging about like a particularly annoying ex.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Goodbye to the Daffodils?

So far, the daffs have endured some very cold nights but the next few may be a challenge for them. So I brought a few inside for us to enjoy--and for the pictures that I may use as subjects to paint later on.