Saturday, July 4, 2020


With all that is going on in our country and around the world on this July 4, 2020 I found myself turning back to this piece created many years ago. It bears words that from long, long ago that spoke to me then and continue to do so today in the midst of the upheaval.

Again, I ponder the words. What do I find worthy of honoring? What would I choose to cultivate? And what, really, on this Independence Day does freedom ultimately mean to me?

So I thought to share these thoughts and the questions that arose from them with whatever follower chooses to read this sporadic blog and hope that you, too, will be moved by these words from another time and another place that just seem to continue to echo down through the years.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020


As I drift off to sleep each night the sound of a lone owl softly hooting in a nearby tree brings a gentle smile to my face. It is a lovely sound that somehow brings the solace of normalcy (or is it the normalcy of solace?)

The sounds of nature are often what brings comfort to counter the aggravations of a given day. Whether the soft lap of waves on the shore, the hoot of the owl, the cooing of doves, the trickle of water in a lovely brook, or a soft breeze blowing through the trees, these sounds in their very softness temper the noises of our everyday world. Hearing these things, I for one find myself eased by them.

What are some of the sounds that lift your spirits?

A creek in a canyon

Saturday, June 27, 2020


In the garden
"Working with goals in creative work is tricky business."__Beverly Cassell, founder of Artist Conference Network

Beverly's words have stayed with me over the many years since being active in ACN. They were just some of the many words of wisdom that made for breakthrough creative process.

So, goals. In 2019 one of many goals was to write this blog two times each and every week. And, yes, somehow I seem to have managed that. It just made sense then to continue, to "Keep It Simple" as I titled the first blog post of 2020. 

The "tricky business" part seems to have shown up primarily in the form of Covid-19. It seems that (again, keeping it simple) I have lost my commitment to the goal.

We have all been affected by this pandemic in one way or another and sometimes in many ways. So commitment to a goal might have come up for many of you as well. For me, the blog-writing has fallen away in part because it has at times felt there was nothing about which to write. Sure, I know that is incorrect. But, in trying to avoid talking about the elephant in the room I just seem to have found myself lacking inspiration.

Still, I could write about what small things I have been creating. The gardening, which seems to have taken a large chunk of some days, could also provide writing fodder. What about plans for creating workshops in the future? Where are those plans in process now? Or write of the beauties of nature on the many walks each week. With my love for the sights and sounds there should be plenty there. So, yes, there are many things to write on this blog.

The "motor" stalled, but right now I am committing again to the goal. Beverly also stated that the creative process "doesn't tolerate much in the way of 'shoulds' around goals." No "shoulds" here then; just a commitment to being in action and to simply observe what shows up instead.

For right now, I've begun. Now back to the baking and the gardening. Back soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2020


OK I think most of us are familiar with that song from Sound of Music about "a few of my favorite things." Well, I got to thinking the other day about gratitude and what are some of my favorite things. It really got me going. I would have said I was pretty fussy and there wouldn't be all that many, but I thought to divide up into the senses. I WENT NUTS!

So here goes...

Not sure why but I started with sounds:
the call of black oystercatchers
the sound of waves crashing
first birdsongs of morning
the hoot of the owl late in the night
the harsh cry of an overhead hawk
the rattle sound of a crow
cooing of mourning doves, ..."who are you, who are you?"
the sibilant sound of rain starting up on the roof
the whir of hummingbird wings
the strange sound of a tree chock full of bees
a beautiful area that goes straight to the heart
joyful, free laughter (and of course the child's shy giggle)

Then, smells:
night blooming jasmine
orange blossoms
bread baking
new-mown grass
sweet scent of newborn babies
hot-mulled cider on the stove
sweetpeas, especially the lavender ones
freshly sawed wood/wood shavings
white roses

the tang of sweet lemon squares
the first sip of strong morning coffee
bread straight from the oven
watery crunch of romaine lettuce
sour bite of a ruby red grapefruit
sweet spicy mix of cayenne with sugar
warm salty taste of chicken soup when down with a cold
sweet liquor taste of amaretto
nutty sweetness of dark chocolate covered almonds
lemon pepper on grilled fish or steak
sweet crunch of coconut (texture good too)
flavor of just about any greet vegetables
creamy sweetness of butter pecan ice cream (my mother's fave too)

plumeria in full bloom
the far off view across miles of ocean on a gray drizzly day
sparkle of sunlight on the midday sea
billowing clouds scudding across the sky
pelicans soaring across the ocean before their sudden dive
blown bubbles, iridescent on an afternoon breeze
fresh green of springtime hills
the smile on the face of a child
looking up through tall, dense trees
waves of yellow mustard on a hiking trail in the hills
a scurrying lizard who stops to do pushups

Oh, how I miss touch...soon, oh, please, soon! Until then I don't think I'll go there.

And, of course, there are always those uncategorized things that just cannot be left out:
The crows in all their glory, the sunflowers, the hibiscus, the "old-timers" from my grandmother's long ago garden--gardenia, camellia, hydrangea, and iris...
and not to ever be forgotten, my wonderful family and friends.

Oh, of course just one more thing: the feeling of dancing around the room all alone to Bruno Mars๐Ÿ˜…

And there will always be "one more thing" that I've left off, but.......

I hope this has prompted some of your thinking too...feel free to share in the comments section.

Friday, May 22, 2020


Memorial Day weekend. I think picnics and barbecues and other friend and family gatherings. But, alas....

I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss hugs and kisses and even friendly smiles (the downside of masks.) I miss my workshop students and teaching them. I miss camaraderie and laughter and sharing of stories. This time of year, I miss the gathering of fellow artists and artisans as we pick a spot and build the booth that will be home away from home for 66 days of summer at the Sawdust Art Festival here in Laguna. I even miss all the decision-making that goes into that venue for each of us.

Yet, while I miss these and so many other things, I am happy to have my health and a roof over my head, food on the table and gas in my car. I am thrilled to be able to walk 4-5 miles each morning, whether in the neighborhoods, in the hills, along the beachfront, or the harbor. I am lucky. I am grateful. I am hopeful that all these things I miss will return.

But I have to admit I'm still sad; I still miss all of it and all of you. So stay safe and healthy, practice that social distancing and wear that mask and do whatever else it takes so that we may all come back together....PLEASE.

Lots to do

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


Glorious day
 It's a pretty phenomenal day outside after yesterday's light rainfall. Super spring weathery! AND I'm STILL in a crabby mood. I accept it and move on. Every day just can't be emotionally lovely, right?

Camillia's angel

On another note, though, I received this fun angel from student Camillia yesterday. The angels just keep trickling in ๐Ÿ˜ƒ If you have done one, don't hesitate to send it my way. And Camillia did a smart thing. She copied her angel so that she can use it for many cards or other.
Good thinking!

What are you doing to keep busy and in touch even when not in a great mood?