Monday, October 10, 2016


"October's Muse"

I've collected stories like ancient arrowheads
from deep inside plowed ground
and held them like the treasures they are.
When they all pile up on the table,
and the walls are thin enough to hear them rustle,
the lawless summer is over.

It can no longer trim the wildness underfoot
or toss out neatness and order
like overblown flowers
but must stay still,
needing only to breathe the sweet fall air.

(Photo taken in our woods, just along Rocky Ford Creek.)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Cool Promotion!

Amie and Jolie Sikes, the Junk Gypsies, have a new book coming out!  I've read it, and I love it!  Here's a link to the page where y'all can get more information and pre-order it.  I'd like to see this become a best seller for those of us who are creative, family-oriented, and just plain fun! 

Junk Gypsy book

There's plenty to see on their blog,  so here's another link.  Always fun, always great shopping.


I designed this to help promote the book.  Of course it features my donkey boys!

Otis and Cousin Virgil posed nicely, don't you think?  Opie, however, busied himself with grazing!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back then...

This house continues to languish on a corner of a highway.  Just a few words of observation from my heart to my pen:

"Architectural Design"

The remains of a once-fluttering moth
on the screen door,
pinned there forever
or at least until the door is gone,
move us back into the layers of time
when fresh paint covered the trim
and windows were left open
to welcome the  yellow-brocaded sky.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Seeing Mayberry

We live two and a half hours from Mt. Airy, North Carolina, hometown of Andy Griffith and inspiration for "The Andy Griffith Show."  I am such a fan!  I watch an episode or two every day; they're available on YouTube as well as the TV Land network.

I made a special trip this past Friday, August 19, special for many reasons.  Betty Lynn, the lovely actress who played Barney Fife's girl Thelma Lou, signs autographs and chats with fans every third Friday.  I just had to g0!

This is a photograph that I treasure, me with Betty Lynn.  What a lovely, gracious lady!  I told her about my farm animals, all named after characters in the show.  She asked if I'd send photos of them to her, so I put together a little album and mailed it the other day.  What fun!  She will be 90 next week.  Some of the folks in line (a long line!)  came bearing early birthday gifts.  One of the niftest things in this whole experience was being there with kindred Mayberry spirits!  Special place.  (See the stars in my eyes?!)

 Betty Lynn's USO uniform hangs below this suitcase/footlocker.  Because of the glare and
the lighting inside, I couldn't get a clear shot of the uniform.  The Andy Griffith Museum is unveiling its new Betty Lynn area on her birthday.  I'm sure this display will be there.

 Barney's suit, "the ol' salt and pepper."  Snazzy.

Here's Otis Campbell's shirt, sport coat, hat, and really ugly tie.  Look closely at that hat.  See the hole?  Notice it in an episode or two next time you watch!


No visit to Mt. Airy is complete without stopping at the Snappy Lunch, mentioned a time or two in the show.

 I simply had to have their famous pork chop sandwich.  All the way with chili, mustard, tomato, and cole slaw.  Served on paper.  Oh, yes.  Wonderfulness.


Here's a sample of Andy Griffith memorabilia.  So much in the museum to see.

Downtown Mt. Airy shops and restaurants feature beautifully painted musical instruments.  This one is in front of Bear Creek Gifts.

Am I going back sometime to see more?  Oh, yes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Into the Woods

An offering of words here for walking, listening, and remembering.

"Into the Woods"

I learned  subtle meanings of epiphany
in one of those endless memory circles
that I travel,

circumventing time, laying dark threads
across my landscape.

I learned  hazy distances of vision
from one of those quiet forest trails
that I walk,

forgetting secrets, leaving steps
behind my shadow.

There is dark.
There is light.
There is the rhythm of remembrance.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Loving the Outer Banks

North Carolina's beautiful, historic Outer Banks is one of my favorite places!  Here a few highlights from last week's trip; it was only two and a half days, but it was wonderful!

A beauty of a salad at the Blue Water Grill, the first seafood meal of the trip.  This is a wonderful restaurant; it's in Manteo, just before you reach the bridge over the sound. 

My first sighting of the wild horses of Corolla, direct descendants of Spanish mustangs.  These beautiful animals are treasures; they are allowed to do what wild horses do without human interference, but they do have human protection.  This is as close as we were allowed to get on our tour.  Those three mares are watched over by their stallion; see him on the dune?

Magnificent "bachelor horse" strolling by the ocean.  Breathtaking!

We were treated to bear sightings, too.  We saw this little guy in another protected area.  I wasn't actually this close to the cub; folks driving down that road to see these critters are expected to stay in their cars.

I took this photo as our wild horse tour took us along the beach, actually along the unpaved part of Highway 12.  I loved this life-saving station.  (Photo texture from Shadowhouse Creations.)
I travel to this wonderful place once every year, and I always find that it's not enough.  My collection of Outer Banks history books helps fill in that time until I return.  My heart is there.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Art Museum

I treated myself to a"field trip" to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh yesterday and had an absolutely fabulous time.  I took dozens of photos ( allowed, yes, except for special exhibitions) and processed just a few for this post.  Here's a sampling of a few favorites.

This very large piece is "Untitled" by Anselm Kiefer.  (I personally find this title, or lack thereof, to be a bit of a cliche, but I loved this work!)  From 1980-1986 the artist spent his time with oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac, lead (!), charcoal, and straw over a photo mounted on canvas.  It's dark and chaotic and scarred.  There's a vortex of charred paint and spattered lead around the central image.  It's even more impressive in person.  The artist obviously had a very dark vision for this piece. 

I got there before the museum opened and spent a little while in one of several tranquil and pretty outdoor areas.  The grouping of three forever-flowing water spouts is repeated along this particular area.  Just a really nice touch.

One of Rembrandt's copper etchings, around 6 by eight inches, is pictured here.  The museum has several more of them on display, but this lovely country scene was my favorite. 
When I see beautiful art, I frequently focus on the details.  These fire pots are from one corner  of "The Fireside" by Dutch painter Peter de Hooch.  The painting was done between 1670 and 1675.

"Ships in a Stormy Sea off a Coast" by Ludolp Bachuysen (circa 1700-1705) caught my attention, too.  Another Dutch artist.

Loved this landscape from Jacob van Ruisdael, "Wooded Landscape with Waterfall."  It reminded me of the American Hudson River school of painting.  It was done somewhere between 1665 and 1670.

A little contemporary art here, soft white neon that made me stop to wonder about this artist and his circumstances.  It has an immediacy that was said so well. 

What in the world am I doing in this picture?
This interactive screen looks pretty normal from a distance, but as you get closer to it, smoke suddenly bursts from your eyes.  If you stand long enough, the whole screen becomes engulfed in smoke.  As you walk away, your eyes appear at the bottom of the screen.  See those wisps?  They're from people who were there before.  When a new set of eyes appears, an old one disappears.  Somewhat disconcerting and a little weird.  Fun, though.  I got an interesting new selfie from it.  (I've never really like most pictures of myself, but this one's not bad!)
I'll be going back to this wonderful museum in the near future.  I spent just two hours and was a bit visually and intellectually overloaded.  Now I'll be taking some time to reflect on what I saw and to research some of these artists before I return.
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