Fifty years ago… today and tomorrow

#winkathemoon #apollo11

Fifty years ago… today and tomorrow

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Twenty-Nine

Can’t believe it’s almost over, since it feels like I’m about to fly

Arms outstretched,
as wide as I
horizon line
air and ground
with the sun
so warm in my eyes
my head glows
while my feet
live in shadow
air and ground
Fingers spread
a small jump
let go of
gravity.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day Twenty-Nine

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day One

And we’re off, today taking a quiet lesson from the wee beasts I live with:

This morning, I turned off the radio,
needing to believe that evil will not win.
In the end, it will not conquer.
So, silence the news, the repeated din,
Three cats thumped down the old stairs
just ahead of me.
They’re the old toy, unremembered name,
that clicked and clacked its way down
a slant with baby carriage or barrow.
they wait by their bowls,
three and a snack-spare
accepting my ear rub and food.
The house is still.
Light comes in each window,
dims and returns, a passing cloud
not noted by the feasting cats
who daily rejoice in breakfast
before seeking their spot of light.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Day One was originally published on

Coping, Dealing and Being Kind

I’m resurrecting this from July 2012 after the Colorado theater shooting, when I reposted it from 2001. We’re all dealing with a lot, coming from all different directions, on top of the normal wear and tear of living.

In the moment, the best we can do before doing anything is to think, BE KIND, both to others and to yourself.

We may not agree with everything everyone else thinks, but nothing is gained by name-calling or accusing others of being crazy etc. We need to be able to live with people and ourselves day to day and months from now.


This was sent to me after September 11 by my friend Gail, who got it from a co-worker. Much of this parallels what is taught to EMS providers about post-incident stress reactions/stress management. Continue reading

Being An Artist and Why Moms Rock

Tonight after we messaged our good nights, I get a message from Mom with a link

6 Ways to Balance Your Day Job
with Being an Artist

It tells of a doctor who also teaches pastel classes and how he combines his work life with making art, in six ways. I’m going to list them here but do read the article for his details. I was so touched by Mom sending me this link and also pretty happy because some of these things I have been figuring out on my own and they’re true! The article discusses these:

1. Do 20- to 30-minute timed studies, without prep work.
2. Always have a palette and painting gear ready to go.
3. Keep painting clothes in the car.
4. Learn to love what’s local.
5. Teach or join a class.
6. Set goals and clear intentions.

1. I used a timer when I quilted both to keep on task and to keep from over-doing and causing injury. Painting, I’m trying to get started sooner, more directly, and do more shorter/smaller paintings. I tend to get too fussy and stopping sooner and staying simpler is a continuing theme.

Sketching in scene at OOMs

2. Gear is in the car and has been for awhile. Recently I moved from an LLBean type tote bag to a backpack and upgraded my tripod. My goal was to simplify my gear – it’s way too easy to bring way too much stuff – to make it easier to go a little distance more easily. The tripod fits into a side pocket of the pack and a couple clips take care of my folding chair. Having it all in the car though means I can stop on the way home or after an errand or I can grab out a sketchbook and small palette and brushes and just go do something. I would add to this: have some duplication of gear if you can so that you don’t have to take everything out of the car if you want to work at home.

3. I don’t keep painting clothes in the car except for big brimmed hat and my hiking boots. My work clothes are pretty casual though and I’d wear them anyway. (I do keep a couple t-shirts in there in case I get called to a current-events type rally/protest)

4. This came up in class today, that you can spend a lot of time driving around looking for places to paint or you can just figure out to paint in your yard and spend the time painting. Although I have painted a little in the front yard lately, I have figured out a few places along my travels and not too far from home to go and paint. I can choose based on light conditions or where I’m going but it saves a lot of time. I figure if Monet could paint a cathedral multiple times I could find something to paint at my local pond or master the geraniums. I do try to take alternate routes when traveling to scout out new places to paint.

5. I can say that I’ve enjoyed each watercolor class I’ve taken locally. I’ve been encouraged and supported and learned stuff. And, even more importantly, it is a commitment to spend time doing this. Side bonus: people think you’re more serious if you say you’re taking a class and that’s ok too.

6. I don’t know if I have set goals exactly but I’m sort of going with – what’s the point of waiting? Do it now.

Bonus: Buy flowers and fruit to paint and use the cats as models. Thanks Mom!

In order to arrive…

A facebook friend tagged me in his post of this great quote, saying it was quoted by the poet Robert Lax shortly before the German invasion of France in May 1939. It’s a keeper, no matter what your denomination.

In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything,
desire to have pleasure in nothing;
in order to arrive at possessing everything,
desire to possess nothing;
in order to arrive at being everything;
desire to be nothing.

Book One Chapter 14 of “The Ascent of Mt Carmel” by Saint John of the Cross

From the Quote Box

It is something to be deep in the snow in winter, to be deep in the yellow leaves in the autumn, to be deep in the ripe wheat in the summer, to be deep in the grass in the spring. It is something to always be with the mowers and the peasant girls, in summer with the big sky above, in the winter by the black fireplace. And to feel — this has always been so and always will be. — Vincent van Gogh, 1885