Thursday, December 9, 2010

I've been incubating and fermenting quite an array of ideas, beliefs and conundrums of late. Seems I am living more of an internal life the past few weeks.

This is my photo of a mysterious old greenhouse that was on the property when we bought it. Sad to say, we lost it in the fire. I used to wonder about all of the things that came to life inside of it's glass walls. I'm sure many of the plants now growing wild around here took root in tiny pots carefully started and nurtured by someone long gone but still so vitally present every where I look.

Anam Cara

I have been to the place

where you sleep.

I have seen you at rest

in that land. Your bed

a bower amongst the briars.

And I long to lay my simple pallet

beside you and dream your

sweet dreams, breathe your peace.



Invisibility drives the chameleon’s change,

not the need to impress or entertain,

not the need of change for change’s sake.

Invisibility prevents being eaten.


Night Walker

After a restless night

wandering the dark house,

lonely in my wakefulness, I arrive,

shivering in my night clothes,

at the dawn of never.


The Best Defense

Confidence is the best defense

when confronted by a snarling dog.

The maddest beast will respect

a command to sit, to down

if it issues from a tongue that’s sure,

a back that’s straight and an eye

that finds it’s mark and holds it.


I am off to katydiddy's Embroidery Bee for some relaxation and fun. If you live near Orange County California put one of these sessions on your schedule.

I am going to try to remember to take some time for "inside" in the midst of this Holiday Season which seems to be all about "outside". Join me?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Shadow images fascinate me, especially when they are so sharp. Looking at them gets me to one of those places where I feel like I almost get that esoteric "thing" that explains everything. This is the side of my refrigerator in the morning light.

Reading this now, I realize it may sound a little fatalistic. It really came from a good place, an ah- ha moment.

The ocean is really calling me. I love this old ranch, but I am ready whenever the powers that be see fit to bring the perfect buyer.

I do some of my best thinking and day dreaming in the shower or the bath.

So, by now I am sure you have noticed that I'm off in a bit of a new direction with my journaling.
I am trying to sketch everyday. The experts teach that daily practice can really improve technique. I am learning by doing. Many years ago I drew everyday and surprised myself with some of what I produced. Hoping for a repeat of that experience.

Happy Turkey day tomorrow. Baked 3 pumpkin pies to take to Katydiddy's tomorrow where the entire clan will gather. I love having all my chickens around me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holy Mary, Mother of God

My youngest granddaughter's night prayers include a Hail Mary. Although we have fallen far from our Catholic roots, Mary is still near to our hearts. The best part of listening to her recite this ancient homage to the Mother is when she whispers, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us 'sisters', now and at the hour of our death." The word, according to the church, is 'sinners'. I like her version so much better.

This sketch and this poem come from the same place in me that loves listening to that sweet bedtime request.


Hello little bird
hop, hop, hopping
from Spring into Fall.
Collecting, inspecting
all manner of twigs,
grass, lint, dog hair,
tiny bits and pieces
to weave into the
very best of nests
which you then place
carelessly, actually
precariously, into
rolled shades, onto
the tiniest of ledges,
into the adjared corners
of shutters, and balanced
on unprotected eves.

In heartbreaking shades of
blue, soft speckled brown,
you leave your hopes for
the future, your contribution to life,
proof of your faith in tomorrow,
in your carefully planned,
exactingly executed but
so carelessly placed incubator.

You will sit for days, faithfully
guarding your laughable fortress,
until the day, that one moment
when you must fly, to eat, to breath,
to scan your surroundings. And that
one moment is all it takes for a stiff breeze,
a squinting human, a hungry snake, a
thieving jay, with no effort at all
to sweep in, to break, to eat your tomorrow,
to send your hopes crashing to the ground.

But you silly little hop, hop, hopping bird,
you collect and inspect, you repeat the
careful crafting, the careless placing
and the hopeful laying of, dreams
and tomorrows. You never stop. I shake my head,
say that you never learn.

I no longer carefully build,
I do not trust my choices of placement for
my hopes and dreams, my faith in tomorrow.
I have learned,
I have stopped.
Then I marvel
when one blustery day, from a precarious
perch, I hear hungry chicks chirp, chirp, chirping.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Feeling low, but making the best of it.

I don't think I ever posted this water color I did when we were in Catalina. But Katydiddy said I should make note cards of it. She may be biased, but I love her comments.

This is how I finally managed to feel after days of struggling with Fibro. It's so much better when I just give up and float.

I started this quite awhile ago and just finished up.

This is new, kind of dark and broken, like I've been feeling. Ready for some words.

BTW, the shadows on the left of these paintings are deliberate. It's how I feel, just coming out of the darkness.

I can't stop with the iPhone camera apps. The lovely Swan at Heart put me on to the Pano app. It is for panorama shots and this is the first one I did. Technically, a mistake. Artistically, I think it's fantastic!

This is what it's meant to do. Again, not perfect, but the effect really tickles me. This is where I play, paint, write, languish.

The light this time of year is so magical. I usually post afternoon golden images, but this one surprised me earlier in the day on the East side of the house. I love shadows.

It amazes me how much art can heal. If you know about Fibro, you know that during a flare your whole body can be zapping, vibrating, hurting, burning, fizzing. And there is no way to get comfortable. Doing this page led me to that magical place, out of time and space where I found some relief.

Another thing to be grateful for, Bougainvillea. Even this late in the year, so lovely. And right outside my den door.

The pool, late on a Fall afternoon. This was a few weeks ago when it was still warm enough to swim.

While I've been out of commission, many things that should have happened have not happened and I was struggling to be OK with that. Then, Dispatch From LA brought me just the message I needed to hear. It's so good I have to repost it here. "The cracks. They are big. Sometimes people (things) fall through." Just reading this made all of my angst disappear. Thanks Mary Ann!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just playing

More iPad, Zen Brush fun.

Saw Elton and Leroy together in concert on Friday night. Good fun.
Yesterday we saw Red. More good fun. Especially for the Baby Boomers amongst us.
Those of us of a certain age like this movie because it reminds us we still got game.

More art coming a bit later.

Let's be kind to each other, just for today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Been busy..

making art. It is amazing how much better I feel if I spend a few hours mindlessly painting, cutting and pasting. Oh, and photo editing.

This will eventually support a collage
or cover a book.

This is one of those balsa wood cheese boxes. My granddaughter and I painted a couple of them one afternoon. I have cut pages, accordion style and am collaging them. Then I'll glue them so that I will have a concertina book. Never did anything like this before. Fun.

A dear lady who I admired greatly passed this last week and I spent a lot of time thinking about the card I wanted to make for her family. This is an altered photo of the angel who lives in my front garden. I also have her up as my desktop right now. My gift to you, in honor of my generous friend, if you would like her on your desktop. Just think of me when you look at her. And please don't put her on anything you will sell or mass produce.

I'll close with a quote that I am thinking about a lot this week.

...(life) is like a chick refusing to be returned to the eggshell. Yiyun Li

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What a soft day

An old Irish priest used to start his sermon with this phrase on misty Sunday mornings. I thought of him today. I love this weather, it brings out the best in me.

The Ranch is so lovely. All sounds are muffled.

That bird bath has been here a very long time. The Birds of Paradise are giving it their best for a late season bloom.

This bird bath is the one we bought new for our first granddaughters christening. Over 35 people gathered on the lawn to welcome her into their lives.

Wish you were here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More Zen Brush Painting

Once a Juggler

Once I was a juggler,
a very good one actually.
I juggled balls big and small
all day long, never dropping one.
I wanted to stop but the balls
just kept flying, my hands
and eyes too busy catching
and tossing to see the right
moment in each trajectory
to capture and hold. I asked
for help. I explained that
it just wasn’t fun anymore.
Who was I kidding, it
was never fun. It was survival.
And, while I no longer consider
myself a juggler, I still have balls in the
air. Balls that long ago, I threw so
high they don’t come down
for months, sometimes years.
But they do come down
and my heart stops with
their insistence and urgency.
I want to stop. It isn’t fun anymore.
lm 2010

On the other hand, alone can be very enjoyable.

Very soothing. Sometimes just fun and silly. Something about using this app is stretching my drawing. Somehow I feel more confident. I think it gets me past the terror of thinking of "ruining" a piece of paper.

When I look over this poem and the art, it strikes me as kind of depressed. I'm really feeling pretty good. Got a new prescription that just might work!

Lets all just feel how we feel and enjoy it, whatever it is.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Wow, it's been a long time

I have an iPad. I am totally smitten. Obviously, yesterday's experiment in blogging from said iPad was a flop. Need to work on that, but there are so many others wonders to be had. Here are some early efforts in the Brush Painting app that is great for whiling away many-stress free hours. I have sprinkled in some scribbling that came from the truly funky place I have been lately.

All of these are my originals, written this month.

Like a monkey with a banana
in each hand, I’m afraid to put
one down so that I can eat the other.
I’ll starve to death with nourishment
in my grasp.


My arms are not
nearly long enough
to reach all of
the places I itch.


I pray to you to open a new door
for me. But I wonder if you already have
and I’m here trembling on the threshold.

What is that unknown
thing out there on the horizon?
Is it the monster fed to huge
by all of the times
I chose the right thing
instead of the human thing?


A monk in a funk
afloat in a boat
has, I’m afraid
been swept out to sea.

He dropped his oars when
the noon bells rang and
the Angeles dropped
him to his devout knees.

If I could I would travel
to that kingdom
far across the Milky Way.
Back in time to the day
God was born. Then I could
watch him, listen and learn
how he came to be so benign,
so mysterious, so very far away.


I see Moses come down from
the mountain with an armful of
heavy stone laws and I’m afraid to
climb up and step into those misty
heights. Afraid I’ll come back
with even more responsibility
and crazy to boot!

This is How the Wind...

This is how the wind whistles
through a four chambered heart,
as if it were no more
than a low desert landscape.
Dreams and desires whipped
into dust devils that put
on quite a show but, in the end,
come to nothing.
Piling up regrets like the
ever shifting dunes. Driving
small bits of memories into
stinging eyes that can only
be relieved with a wash of tears.
Old loves are turned into ripples
that look like a quiet pond stirred
by a gentle breeze but are only
the trails of an unseen hand
drawn mindlessly through the sand.
lm 9/2010

I have been many places and done many things since I last blogged and I had planned to post it all. But, really, life (yours and mine) has gone on. To sum it all up, I'll quote, again, John Denver when he sang, "some days are diamonds, some days are stones." All in all, I'm happy to riding around the sun on this crazy planet.

Claremont has developed, in the midst of much controversy, an addition to the old "Village" which is quite well known in the area. If you are nearby, be sure to visit The Claremont Folk Music Center on the original side. People come from all over the world to visit the place Ben Harper hung out as a kid. It is quite charming and is totally a hands on place. They also have an extensive collection of unusual and antique instruments from all over the globe as well as concerts and open mike nights. Tell them you saw it here!

The new area is in no way an addition to the original, but we have been taking advantage of Friday nights in the common area. There are plenty of places to get a bite, great frozen yogurt and a live band until 9 or so.

My other favorite "i", my phone, is filled with camera apps that I love playing with. Here is a peek at last Friday night. I don't know the woman at the table but the scene was so perfect I have made her part of my collection.

And how about this big old moon???

I'm wishing for you the blessings of constant opportunity for the new.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

108 in the shade

Yep, that's what is was earlier this week. Thank the gods it's cooling down. Although they tell us more heat is coming. We should be grateful. This little heat wave is really the first of the year. Usually the entire August is Hot Hot Hot.

Because of these

we can run the air with impunity. AND send power back down the grid. These panels provide electricity for all of the buildings on the ranch for an annual bill that is less than our old monthly bill. If you haven't talked to someone about solar, look into it today.

Been doing some experimenting in the polka dot journal

This was inspired by a wonderful video of belly dancers.

And have made myself a new "painting practice journal" from an altered book.

I don't know who she is, but she sure looks like a sour puss!
I will practice face shading until I get it right!!!

These colors and shapes come from the ranch. The tenacity of life
in the midst of moisture sucking heat amazes me.

Tomorrow my daughter and I bring our art home from the Collage Show. Realizing that the things you imagine happen. And they come almost as a surprise. Wishing you all some lovely surprises.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Polka Dotted Journal, the final episode

So, apparently I do not know how to post date posting. Hmmm.
Here are the rest of the pages I'd intended you to see late in the week.
I like to think that someday in the distant future, someone will look at
this page and wonder what Starbucks Coffee was.

If you have never seen the play of the Lion King
go now. Glad to see it coming around again. The quote
on this page seems a thing I really need to remember.

That gospel story of the hemorrhaging woman
has been stuck in my head since I heard it as a little
kid at Mass. There is something very cosmic and
timeless hidden in there.

The lovely lady standing at this window is on
a postcard made by Vanessa of Fanciful Twist
and sent to me by my daughter who knows I love
that blog.

Thanks for looking through my journal.
Now I'm off to look through yours!

A man once told me, "the most powerful force on
the planet is friendship among women."