Month: July 2014


Not even 


and stones

can shore up a hillside



and water

conspire against them.


the hillside crumbles around us
the hillside crumbles around us

As some of you know, I have been primary medical and personal liaison for my almost 93 year old father since my mother’s death three and a half years ago. During this time, my siblings and I came to the realization that he has a form of dementia and last year we put him into a nursing home where he would get really good care. He continued to be as independent as possible, going out to lunch and dinner, going out to concerts and staying as active as he possibly could. Recently, a combination of physical and mental changes has caused his caregivers to limit the way he lives his life, purely for safety reasons. He has balked, he has cursed, he has threatened to sue and he has very clearly told me to get out of his life. Life has never been easy with this man but I finally hit the wall, so to speak, and am, for the moment, relinquishing my role in his life to one of my sisters. My hope is that my own life will stop being pulled down the hill by the force of his gravity and my tears. 

For some reason this picture spoke to me tonight. Being a caregiver, even one that is not on the front line, is so very tough, it takes a very large toll on one’s well-being. I am hoping to patch up the hillside of my life and strengthen it so that it can withstand further assaults. We’ll see if I am successful.

proof positive

A flash of color

catches my eye

orange and black on lavender.

Could this be it,

could it really be?


take a picture

with my iPhone

before it flies away

shyness oozing from its wings.

The picture emerges



but proof positive 

that there in front of me

in living technicolor

is a Monarch Butterfly

see, I told you so!
see, I told you so!

For those of you who haven’t been following my blog, you will want to know that I planted a bunch of milkweed in the spring around my property in the hopes of luring more Monarchs to make their homes away from homes here. I have been holding my breath to see if any show up so imagine my excitement (and my relief at being able to breathe again) when I saw one this afternoon. Unfortunately, I only had my iPhone and not my better camera so the picture is not great but still…

It has actually been a terrible year for butterflies in general here on my property in MD. Swallowtails, in abundance last year, are few and far between. Even the little guys are short on numbers. It is very sad when there is a dip in the populations of some of my favorite insects. I can only hope that it is temporary.




A pine cone

decides to fall

on the road.

I stop to look

as the sun 

and the leaves

work closely together

to dramatically light

the composition.

I am grateful

to find 

this particular pine cone

at this particular moment

in its  amazing life.


a lighting designer couldn't have done a better job.
a professional lighting designer couldn’t have done a better job.

blue green

The blue sky

proudly stretches 

over the rows

of vines and


that herald

the coming of

more wine

for me to drink.



blue green
blue green

These two pictures come from Rockbridge Vineyards just off of I-81 in Virginia. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the wine was, I ended up buying three bottles, all of which mysteriously disappeared (okay, not really) before I got home two weeks later. 



I contemplate a life

well lived,

a life full of

little things

stored on a shelf.

A life of creation,

a life of death,

a life that is no longer,

except in my head.

full view
full view
rear view
rear view

This sculpture was the result of my two week class at Penland School of Craft called Sculptural Weaving, taught by Nathalie Miebach. It was an amazing class. I finally learned some traditional basketry techniques but was encouraged to work them into a sculpture instead of making a vessel. If you want to see more pix, visit the Contemplation of a Life page on my website.

Contemplation of a Life is in response to cleaning out my parents’ house last year with my siblings. I found myself creating a somewhat loose replication of the clutter we had to deal with. My mother had difficulty throwing things out (“you might be able to use them someday”) and therefore, two years after her death, we had to be fierce and fill two dumpsters with stuff including furniture that had disintegrated. It was not a pleasant job physically, mental and emotionally. I have dedicated this piece to anyone who has had to go through this ordeal.


I have such little time

to transition

between classes.

Dyeing fibers


natural things

makes way for

two weeks

in the

mountains of

North Carolina

making basket sculptures.

Must pack.

Must hit the road.



getting warmer

On a day

when the mercury

climbed up and up

we worked on warm colors.


(goldenrod and turmeric)


(cochineal and annatto)


(madder and pokeberry)

all cooked over

the open flame.

When they hit the right


they were draped

on the clotheslines

for drying

and display.

A magical day.




Yup, it was a scorcher today, but I was prepared with plenty of water and took some breaks when I felt myself get a little steamy. It was so very exciting to see the colors though, it was an amazing moment when things started coming out of the pots. I still think that this is a difficult thing for someone with ADD to do as there are so many steps and they are all different depending on the fiber and the dye base. But I am managing to get something done…I think.

Stay tuned…tomorrow, the cool blues and greens!