World Watercolor Month – Day One

Work by definition has to be when you woulda liked to have gone out and painted in the afternoon but by the time you can it’s thundering and lightning and raining.

Went anyway.

Not my favorite of recent paintings but hey, wipers and darkish.

World Watercolor Month – Day One

Where did June Go?

Mainly it went in a swirling of brain-drain as I trained and adjusted to doing a new thing while working from home. It has taken really three weeks to go from abject terror to only moments of wondering what-the-heck-am-I-doing, LOL. Toward the end of last week, which ends on Saturday, I had moments of – oh, I know what to do here! Or hearing someone else asking a question in our support chat and thinking, ‘isn’t that…?’ So slow but sure.

Working at home means no forty-five minute plus commute each way, but also means I make my own coffee and breakfast and lunch. And dinner. Sometimes I get to eat one or all of those sitting on the front steps. Sometimes I get to dash out afterwork because the sun is out and I can get a painting in and take photos of the evening coming on.

July brings with it World Watercolor Month so get ready for a more regular appearance of paintings here. After that – August Poetry Postcard Festival 2020 – although with the pandemic in play, some of us started early on that. I did a month’s worth of postcards during NaPoWriMo in April.

I feel the rhythm of my year changing and yet it’s the same. A few photos popped up in facebook of watercolors I’d done in 2016 and 2019 and it was interesting to see what was the same and what was different. Since being home I found a place in New Lebanon where there is a 360 degree view of the sky. Looking back years from now I’ll be reminded of the pandemic by many many panoramas of the sky and clouds and landscape.

Here are photos from today. Mostly clouds and landscape but a few plants and flowers and a couple mushrooms that snuck in at the end. Look close – some of the clouds were being visited by birds and other things!

29 June 2020 out and around.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Where did June Go?

I went in search of clouds

I’m still in the “exhausted by the mental work of new work” phase of working from home. After work, I sat down at a different computer screen with some ice water and enjoyed Billy Collins’ “Broadcast” as he likes to call his 20-30 minute Facebook Live gig. I hope when some of the restrictions lift, someone will say – Billy, you should do this Broadcast on YouTube weekly say and post it on your own website where it can be archived easily and enjoyed by all your fans and used by teachers everywhere.

Well I can hope anyway.

Then I glanced outside and off I went to bring back memories of some fearsome clouds.

Clouds 11 June 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I went in search of clouds

Painting ahead of the rain

Gave myself a challenge because I had a limited time frame to paint in today – try to do somethng with the abundant wild phlox along the roadsides.

Painting ahead of the rain

4 June 2020

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. — Dalai Lama

Had a day of work training, all virtual, today. It’s been a long week and yesterday I allowed as I had hit the Wednesday wall. I was sure that others had too although I had no way of knowing what proportion their mix of work-anxiety to world-anxiety was. I couldn’t really tell what mine was.

Today was better work-wise, for me anyway. I found some hooks to use that gave me some grip of what is to come. Others sounded frantic and I thought – look at you MB, you’ve gotten over that Wednesday wall and found Thursday.

At the end of the day we had just an open talk session, unexpected but going on all over my company. People shared, offered support, cried. We talked about self-care and being aware of our needs and the needs of others but that idea that in order to help others we need to put our own oxygen mask on first. Be strong for ourselves so we can be strong and make things happen in the world.

I thought back over my long years at Apple and of times when my co-workers gave me unexpected but appreciated support and times when I stepped in to help someone else. Because, that’s what you do, right? You care about people and how they’re treated by the world and you try to do the right thing for them. I’ve told customers to leave. I’ve told customers – you’re sick, too sick to be worried about buying a new computer right this minute. Go home and feel better and come back. I’ve told kids – stop whacking your little sibling, because that’s not nice. Like I mean STOP it. Or, those are inappropriate comments and I’ll ask you to stop. OK, you don’t want to stop, I’m saying we’re done and you can leave.

So I pondered these things while listening. And I realized here I am, about to start in a new area of work, feeling very anxious and the world’s not helping me out. In 2001, my hire date for my new job was September 4 and my training was pushed back because our store wasn’t quite on schedule. The training started September 17.

I remember walking in and being so unenthusiastic about the whole thing. I remember thinking – just don’t quit. You need a job. You’ve been unemployed for a long time and you need this job. Don’t walk out. Everyone was so cheery and excited and I couldn’t make it happen. I remember how anxious I was because I really had no idea what the moment to moment reality of this new job would be. We all got through it, and it turns out that’s pretty much a daily thing, more often than not.

There’s been a lot of cheeriness this week but nothing over the top. I think most people have been worn down by the months of covid-19 and being home and moving from one crisis to another. We’ve spent a week together trying to learn virtual things in this new virtual world.

I’m sure it won’t be the last time of overlapping anxieties but let’s work to make the world good, as best we can, where ever we can going forward. Be kind folks, be kind.

All of my unedited cloud photos from today:

clouds 4 June 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

4 June 2020

June 2 More Clouds

I was busy doing training today, but dashed out after work to chase some clouds. Randall cattle make a guest appearance.

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

June 2 More Clouds

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

I went out because the clouds and sky were glorious but the colors of spring are mysterious and fugitive. Tonight I went out to the car because I’d left my snack out there uneaten. I sat there and ate it, pear juice all over my face and hands while I watched the birds at the feeder.

Controlled time is our true wealth.
— Buckminster Fuller

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

May the Second

I sort of took yesterday off, but suffice it to say there was rain to go along with the day. Today though the sun was out and the clouds… well, I took a lot of cloud photos, a lot of photos. The clouds were complex and amazing. I’ll see if I can get them up to Flickr.

I did sit and paint in one spot and watched the clouds roll past.

May the Second

NaPoWriMo – April Thirtieth Already

Lots of wind, my first growler (go ahead, you can laugh, I live to entertain), and other things. What an April it has been and now onto May. You may continue to see some poems here for awhile until the pandemic winds change things around again. I’ve blended this year’s NaPoWriMo into some early cards for August PoPo so more to come.

Or until the DSL lines come crashing down altogether.

The end of April. Long month of grey days
with golden double lines – stay where you are
it warns as it dips and winds around town.
Wind is pummeling the house. Isn’t that
more like March with its half-remembered kites?
And yet, here we are, blown around like
teenagers with an abundance of so
much everything but no experience
to hang it all on, flailing, some flying
lightly, scooping the sky, slurping up
the tough cord, stringing it as clothesline
doing a windy tango of its own
How’s the weather up there, the cord-paying
hand telegraphs, hoping for a tugged reply.

NaPoWriMo – April Thirtieth Already

Today’s Best Thing – Maybe of the Whole Month

This might be the best thing I’ve done in months. Went out to the mailbox this morning as I do and there was a letter – from the IRS. Now, if you’re waiting for a refund, this isn’t exactly what you want to see in your mailbox. Walking back to the house I opened it. I knew, folks, what had to be done, and I did it.

I’m proud of it. I would and will do it again. And I’ll laugh now every few days over this.

Yes, I fed him to the worms, at the risk of corrupting or damaging my new worms in my composting bin, I ripped him up and buried him in there with all my other compostible bits.

Next time Jerk, don’t waste my tax dollars sending me your signature in re to something that’s already freaking happened.


Moisten and prepare your addition to the compost box:

Ensure the paper is adequately damp before shredding:

Prepare a place in the box and add in the new addition:

Cover and let the worms feast and do their thing:

Today’s Best Thing – Maybe of the Whole Month