Monday, October 21, 2013


Not been feeling my best for awhile, but I spent the afternoon making a book! Haven't made any kind of journal is a long time and this was just what I needed.

The cover is made from one of those inserts that hold something (can't remember what) in the box during shipping and a beautiful birthday card I got last year. The pages are some of my poems pasted onto old resume paper from my business days. I love when something from that life ends up being art!

Scrounged around the art room and found some fine wire, few pearls, distressing ink, old art papers and there it is.

I have been writing for a very long time but I never thought of myself as someone who would make art of any kind. I am grateful for all of the people who have crossed my path and encouraged me.

Here's what I'm thinking: I talk about my old life and my new life, but I am learning that there is only "the life" and it is never any more or any less than I make it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A funky day

so my thoughts are going places not usually visited. For whatever reasons, I scrolled back through my photos and came upon these; some of my first attempts at mixed media art.

 I made stencils

I sketched daily

I collaged with my photos

Made tags

Collaged with found images

Combined painting and photos

Altered my photos

And combined my drawing with collage.

I was on fire. I had discovered something that really was just what the doctor had ordered, but I was still working and had to squeeze this in when I could. And guess what I realized? I think I did MORE art when I had LESS time! What's up with that? (a very dangerous questions at times like these).

Not feeling up to par today. Too much introspection disguised as resting.

Here's what I'm thinking: Good thing I have a dinner date with a granddaughter to snap me out of this.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Ahoy! Tall Ships in the harbor

Spent a lovely Sunday afternoon at the Tall Ships Festival. I wish we had seen them under sail in the afternoon. The harbor is visible from our deck so we had hoped to see them from home when they set out for their sunset sail but the marine layer was galloping in. They looked like ghost ships out there and my camera was just not up to the job of capturing this spectacle. By the way, there was no fee to park or enter this festival. If you wanted to tour the ships you needed a ticket, but you could see them up close from the dock. I found this refreshing. The food booths were highway robbery, but there were no restrictions on bringing in your own food. Good news for families, and there were plenty of those there picnicking and having fun.

The photos I did get were not what I was hoping for but given the size of these ships and the crowds of people to work around...well, see for yourself.

It's sort of like Ren Fair meets the ocean. I have some cute photos of some 18 something year olds who were waiting for the shuttle with us. All decked out in pirate and wench wear and willing to pose for me. I do not, however, have their permission so I don't feel right about posting their darling faces.

Here's another good thing about our outing. I walked all over! Fibro be damned! And I am grateful.

Here's what I'm thinking: The world is filled with things to see, do and think about. All you have to do is step out of your door. The world is filled with funny, warm, friendly people. All you have to do is open your heart.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Friends Indeed!

As I have reported, we are making new friends in our new town. And what friends we have made indeed! After a few outings and dinners we feel very connected to Lee and Dena. They arrived for dinner at our house (yes, I cooked!!!) with the most unforgettable hostess gift ever. Lee walked in toting a large potted plant with a cocooned monarch butterfly hanging from a leaf.

They plant milkweed in their yard to attract a non-migrating costal monarch butterfly. They have enjoyed several seasons of watching the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis to repeat the cycle of life again and again. And they brought an entire plant from their yard so that we could share the miracle on our deck. Dena told us what to look for and offered countless tips on midwifing!

I checked this baby several times a day

The gold spots are incredible. They look like jewels.

                                  Then, one morning, there are the unmistakable wings

                            Next day, white spots, no doubt about what's growing in here
                                 So, after days of faithful watching, I missed it emerging
                                 but here she is, still damp and weak

Wow! She is out of the pot. Flexing wings, waving legs around, doing push ups
                          And there she goes. First flight to the rail, then onto the wild blue
                          my spirit soaring with her. Beautiful. A priceless gift from special

Here's what I'm thinking. A little piece I wrote a few years ago;

The potential of the butterfly
motivates every caterpillar
and the wisdom and patience
of the caterpillar must be honored
by every butterfly.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

This creature is growing in my, I use the term loosely, yard.

I love the usual orange Bird of Paradise that grows all over out here. But THIS is something else. These plants are huge, 10' maybe, and the blooms are also very large. The Humming Birds love them, they are sticky with nectar. They look purple in this photo but they look black and white in person. Can't stop looking at them. Who knows what they are?

Friday, July 19, 2013

A gift!

So many things can be a gift and the best ones are the surprises. The other day the Husband brought home the mail from our old box and there was a copy of the Summer edition of Art Journaling Magazine from Stampington & Company. They have so graciously published my work several times in the past 2 years and always send a copy of the issue my work appeared in. But I have not   sent anything in many months. Opened the envelope to find the customary note that says "Congratulations, you've been published". And sure enough, there is a blurb on techniques showing the journal page that they actually used for the cover of a previous issue. I was especially happy because that is one of my favorite images.

I am always thrilled to be included in their publications. They are, in themselves, works of art. An honor to be included among such talented artists. So, get yourself a copy. It is filled with techniques, ideas and eye candy.

Here's what I'm thinking; I need to remember that my intentions, my work and my path are always supported. I am grateful. I just have to pay attention and check the mail more often!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baltimore Catechism

 Q. What is a Sacrament?
A. A Sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.
Q. What grace do the Sacraments give?
A. Some of the Sacraments give sanctifying grace, and others increase it in our souls.

My Sacrament.

This is how I
sprinkle water, 
confess impure thoughts, 
break bread, 
speak truth,
pledge troth, 
consecrate effort 
and face eternity.

no threats of exclusion
no special rooms
no golden cups,
no slapped cheeks, 
no binding,
no impossible promises,
no threat of damnation.

This is how I
bring myself to grace, 
forgive my faults,
consume what is holy,
take a stand, 
give myself,
minister as I feel called, 
and this is how I pray to pass,

with a smooth gliding pen 
and a painted page to inscribe.

lm 7/8/2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ortega Hwy to Temecula Wine Country

Today was in the 70's and sunny; a perfect day for an adventure. We have not been doing as much exploring from our new base station here at the beach as we would like and decided to hit the road this afternoon.

Temecula California has become a contender in the Wine Country game and while we have cruised through the area, we have never visited the wineries. We chose the scenic route, a twisty 2 lane road that winds through the Santiago mountains. Just the thing to cure our longing for the kind of scenery we were so used to at the ranch.

                                      Heading out on Ortega Highway

I love the variety of formations in the California mountains. And the guy driving is OK too!

Lake Elsinore 

Temecula Wine Country

Temecula wine! 
Got 2 tastings at Thornton Winery, A Taste of Chocolate (heavenly) and one I'd never heard of before, Nebbiolo (not bad, not remarkable).

Brie in pastry with candied walnuts and honey glaze. Lucky husband, got to eat all the walnuts. I am suddenly allergic to them!

Where the magic happens. I love this photo, trees all leaning to the right, near vertical
rows of grapes and horizontal utility lines.

Lake Elsinore on the way home. It's a pretty big lake and I wanted a better shot than I got on the way out. We stopped at a lookout and I got out of the car. The wind was crazy blowing and the dirt was flying. I still have sand in my hair! I feared for my camera lens so this is all I got.

Back on the beautiful Ortega. It looks so much
 like the drive up to the ranch. 

I took about 20 rapid fire shots of Old Glory billowing in the breeze to get this image. I thought it appropriate for Memorial Day.

Here's what I'm thinking: A beautiful day like today feeds my soul, reminds me how much I care for my partner of 48 years, inspires me to count my blessings and reminds me how beautiful this country is. 

Watching Old Glory dancing in the wind I found myself choking up. Thinking of everything that flag has seen in her more than 200 years, I decided to hang onto my faith in my fellow Americans. Long may she wave over a land of peace, prosperity, freedom and justice for all

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Look what I did this afternoon

My daughter, Laura Bray, adopted a red tail hawk for me from a bird rescue and today I got to release him back into the skies. What an amazing experience. I have a thing for red tails I think because I spent so much time with them at the ranch. Thank you so much Katie ( that's what I call her), I will never forget this.

Here's what I'm thinking: The mystery lives, right here among us. Nameste

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has sprung...

at least here in SoCal! It's 60's and 70's, foggy and cloudy, but when the sun does peek out it's fabulous!

Been keeping busy with the new adventures.

 Remember this?

Several weeks ago, the amazing Charlotte Backman, my painting guru, invited a Tibetian Monk to teach us to paint these amazing works? Well, I began to think of my piece as the never-ending painting.

But, at last, I see progress. I have been working on it but not really seeing progress until yesterday!

I think I may actually finish. I have never made anything this complex. Working on this has taught me a lot about painting and about my self.

I have also been enjoying the company of my new writing friends. Something is really going on with me these days and I am creating up a storm. Here are a few recent works.

The Answers
are not
in the moment.

shuns the 

Fashionably late
Clarity arrives
the day after.

lm 2/2013

Mourning Brew

I find you 
in the coffee
I am spooning 
into the pot
it is an electric coffee maker
not a stove-top percolator
and you are a memory
not a strong hug
and dancing eyes.
lm 3/201


Riding heavy and low
in the blue-black sky,
the midnight moon marks 
the estrus of shadow.

Close your eyes,
open your mind.
Breath in the
fecundity of the night.

So often the beautiful
and promising Dark
is faulted for the weakness
of those with no imagination.

The ones gifted with the magic
see the nocturnal plane 
resplendent with cardinal life; 
feral, timeless and powerful.

Here, the ancient lovers, 
Yin and Yang, who dare merely flirt 
beneath the sun, dance wildly 
to surrender in impassioned embrace.

The conjurers greet
the blinding, rising sun
as spirits renewed,
winking at the hubris of the day.


Red Sky at Morning

The sunrise
was red and gold
this morning.
A sign to beware 
the day’s foul weather.

I read your words
this morning and
I wondered if they 
were a warning 
of stormy hours ahead.

lm 2/2013

In keeping with the "make new friends but keep the old" theme from last post, I had the most wonderful time with my old Wranch Writers who so kindly took a road trip to have a meeting here. After the usual invigorating sharing and critiquing of our work we headed to a San Clemente favorite for a hearty Italian feast.

I actually have made myself a plan for three writing projects and I think I might even DO them! Well, one of them at least. The short one! More on that later.

And, the other day I listened to As My Guitar Sadly Weeps and felt very sad to see my old gal sitting dusty and alone in the corner. I don't even think I can play anymore. But what if I could. What if I got out one of those old books and just picked around, so to speak?

Just got this page painted. Thinking the sentiment is where I am hanging out.

Here's what I'm thinking. Am I weird or do you like to look into your house from outside? It's like seeing the room for the first time, every time. I think that's because it's a metaphor for looking at myself from the outside once in awhile.
Everything looks different, I notice things I do not realize when I'm in there.
I think that's what I'm doing these days. Looking in instead of out. Interesting view!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Things are starting to feel like home here. When we moved to So Cal some 30 years ago we found a house and lifestyle that we stayed in for 18 years. Then we moved to the ranch which was only 6 miles away, door to door. Same neighborhoods, stores, restaurants, doctors and, maybe most important of all, same friends. We enjoyed our 14 years in the wilds and have now been "at the beach" for 6 months. This move was, however, a much bigger deal. Maybe even bigger than moving from Ohio. Young kids really direct your life as did the jobs we had. We quickly found our way and it seemed no time at all and our lives were up and running.  We delight at the visits and lasting friendships with the people who have become so important to us in the past 30 years. I treasure these friends and hope to always have them in my life but the reality is that day to day contact is difficult to maintain with everyone's busy schedules. Even on the level of family, things have changed. While we enjoy seeing much more of the kids to whom we are now closer, we miss the regular contact we had with the kids who live closer to the ranch. But it is important to me to maintain a life that does not burden my children with the responsibility of keeping me company and entertained!

Coming here, just the two of us, just out of reach of our old connections has required conscious effort to get established. And we are! Finding our favorite places to eat and shop, got new docs and making new friends. The husband has joined a service club and I have found some of my people at a the delightful painting class I've blogged about recently. These talented people who taught me the finer points of painting, mandalas and thankga, allowed me to share my messy world of art journaling with them. Here is what a day of wild mind journaling with them led me to.



Now, thanks to my daughter's introduction and my own gutsy butting into a conversation I overheard in a restaurant, I have new writing pals who I recognize as more of my people. After all, a woman does not live on comfortable houses and fantastic views alone! There will surely be many posts about these creative folks and the amazing things I know I will learn from them.

I am even using the range and ovens in this place! Yes, I am cooking a bit, which is a bit more than I have been cooking lately. The cold rainy days of winter have brought out the soup maker in me.

My creation, Chicken Vegetable Tortellini Soup

I really miss the wildlife at the ranch, but am finding new connections to the beasties as well. I have always loved pelicans and, while I cannot enjoy them from the house, I look for them at the beach. Click on this photo to get a look at this beauty.

 And there is plenty of this 

and this 
to be enjoyed simply by making a stop on the way from one errand to another. I like that a lot.

So, here's what I'm thinking; Blooming where you are planted is clearly a choice. Seems I have learned that Life is game best enjoyed from the field, not the bleachers. If I wear my heart on my sleeve, I will be recognized by kindred spirits.  And, note to self, never ever take the abundance and gifts of all that is holy for granted!