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?

Friday, May 15, 2020


Katherine's postcard:I am grateful for so many wonderful students.
One of my favorite all time poets is Mary Oliver. She  wrote of nature in such a way that you could be right there with her,  tasting, smelling, touching, feeling.

She also wrote often of gratitude. In a couple of my favorite poems she asked these questions:

What did you notice?
What did you hear?
What did you admire?
What astonished you?
What would you like to see again?
What was most tender?
What was most wonderful?
What did you think was happening?

I have found over the years that if I ask these questions in most situations I am ultimately able to arrive at gratitude...sometimes when I otherwise might not.

Why not give it a try? I'd like to hear back if it works also for you?

Monday, May 11, 2020


Pretty sure she had a sense of humor :)
OK, so now I seem to have lost my sense of humor.

The "doing without" started with hugs, sequed to t.p. and hand sanitizer. Close contact with friends or family not residing in the same house went next, followed by just one thing after another.

Living with someone with health issues I have agreed that much of this (well not the t.p. and hand sanitizer) was a necessary evil to stay healthy. I've managed to accommodate all of these, but "not sorry," as Reese's says. I just cannot tolerate losing my sense of humor.

HELP!!! Now I guess, along with chasing down the muse, I will need to be on the lookout for my sense of humor. That oughta keep me busy for a little while.

Saturday, May 9, 2020


As I write this the day before Mother's Day I cannot help but ponder the many things that have arisen for me personally out of this pandemic. And, while that is not what this blog was supposed to be about....

Well, here goes: "Life in the No Contact Zone" could easily be the new heading for the blog itself. Having set in play that I would have the goal to do two blog posts per week way back at the beginning of 2019, I have failed miserably at this in the past week or so. What is there to say, I have wondered far too often.

But for some reason, the coming of Mother's Day seems to have triggered something. This will be the first Mother's Day that I have spent without a mother and I find myself thinking of her and, ultimately, how glad I am in some ways that she is not here to be part of all this. At the end, she was on hospice and they took such wonderful care of her. I still marvel that her skin as I stroked her arm on that last day of her life felt like a baby's--smooth and soft and completely unblemished in any way. I'm sure there are still many in hospice and still receiving that wonderful care. These caring folks must be really struggling during this pandemic just as the doctors and nurses and other healthcare workers are. They, too, are to be honored.

If my mother were still alive, I would be grieving the loss of being able to see her. And, while I am grieving her loss, at least there is the knowledge that not only is she at peace, but I can be too, knowing that I am not failing her in any way.

Still, a solid two months into all this, I miss my sister, who is also a mother. I miss my daughter, who is also a mother. I miss my many friends who are mothers and wonder if they too are missing their loved ones. My own sense of loss is, though, as nothing to what so many are experiencing. My heart hurts for the losses suffered by so many others. The grief is immense. 

And yet, though I feel lost without being able to connect with others in the usual ways, I respect the No Contact Zone and frequently find myself angry with those who cannot seem to "get it." While a part of me would like to really go off on them here, I will strive to respect their right to a different way. I only wish they could respect mine. This No Contact Zone is not fun. But my mother, while we did not agree on many things, did teach me to respect the rights of others, to respect science, to use discernment over judgment, to cherish each day, and so much more.

All that said, (and yes, I know that I have been rambling).....