Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Resolutions

It's time again!  A New Year is upon us!  Time to learn to write a new year on my checks, it's time to set some goals with my art, it is time to think about cleaning the closets and time to make my New Years Resolution.   I can never seem to keep them, in a few weeks they are forgotten.  I wonder how many people actually keep their resolutions.  I prefer not to make them, then I don't worry about not keeping them.

This year I have one that I think I can work with.  Oh, it might seem a little morbid to some of you and I am sorry to mention it when most people are thinking about parties and celebrating.  If I have learned one thing this last year, actually in the last couple of months, it is, you never know when your Spirit is going to leave this earth and journey into the next world.  It is shocking to me how many people have made this journey recently.  Oh, I know it is the way of things, we will all travel this road.  Is it because I'm getting older and so are my friends and family, that it seems so frequent?  Did I really think I was going to avoid this phase of reality forever?

We recently lost Richard's sister, Elaine.  It was very sudden and unexpected.  I know we are never ready for the sudden death of a loved one, are we anymore ready if they linger with illness and pain?  I don't think so.  It was a reality that we where not prepared for.  It also brought forth questions between my wonderful husband and I about our wishes for how our death might be handled.  Talking to the children about these things is hard, they are in denial, as I was when my Mother touched on it after my Father passed.

Richard and I have casually talked before, now it seems we should really express our desires.  Not only with each other, we really need to have it in writing, so our children will know.  It makes me squeamish just thinking about dealing with this, no one wants to believe that the end could be as near as the next breath.  If I have learned anything in this lifetime, I have learned that things change at the blink of an eye and we have very little control over those changes.

My New Years Resolution is to get things in writing for anyone to follow, when, the occasion comes.  Because I don't know who exactly might have to manage this event, I must think of everything.  It is not because I want to be in control, it is to make it easier for those left behind that must come up with this information during a time of grief.   Listing everything from my name, birth date, place of birth, social security number, occupation, education, parents names, place of worship (this could be a problem), am I an organ donor, children's and spouses names, grand children's names.  Siblings and friends should also be included.

I should also list a funeral home and disposition, a cemetery and if I own a plot, what about
pallbearers.  Cremation is a choice, do I want ashes scattered and where.  What kind of gathering would I like?  Visitation, viewing and clothing I would want to wear?  Traditions and music, passages or quotes, person I like to have do the service.  Requests to a charity in lieu of flowers.

Other things to be decided, a living will, the last will and testament, executor of my estate, were I keep important documents.  There are many things to consider, it can be as simple or as detailed as you like and of course you could even change it later if you decide to.

I think having these things decided will allow me to start the new year prepared and maybe even having a little in control over something that can be so unexpected.  Happy New Year!  May 2011 be filled with the joy of life, good health and surround you with a loving family and many friends! 

Picture of tipi 2009

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Well Christmas 2010 is just a memory now.  It was filled with so much activity, shopping, cleaning, cooking, bagging and tagging.  I made lists and checked and rechecked, afraid that I might forget someone or something.  Somehow it all came together and became filled with the magic of family memories and good fun.  Our grand children were so delightful, filled with smiles and wonder.  My girls were so helpful throughout the day.  The men helped moving chairs and tables before and after the meal.  It always amazes me how easily it all happens when everyone helps.  I can't believe it is over so soon..........
The month of December was filled with so much activity, that the quiet I find this morning, is a blessing.  I can put the lists aside, we can eat the leftovers and I can watch the birds at the feeders again.  It is nice to just sit and enjoy my morning coffee and knowing I don't have to rush around. 

At the same time, I'm feeling antsy.  I want to go to the studio.  As a gift, I received a new gourd book for Christmas, Weaving on Gourds, by Marianne Barnes.  I also got some tools to try a new technique on gourds.  The tools come from Miriam Joy Gourd Creations, she does very inspiring gourd designs I can't wait to try.  I had dreams in the night of new gourd projects just waiting for me to design. 

It feels so good going to the studio, it makes my heart happy.  I turn on some music, flute music, of course.  I light some sage and say some quite prayers, again I will say my heart is happy.  This space is filled with all the things that allow my creative energy to become inspired and mystical things can happen.  I spent hours working on little ornamental gourds, it was restful and quiet.  What more could I want after all the excitement of Christmas activity? 

Photos:  top left, Tatum Reichert
               middle, Aidan and Kellen Reichert and Cait and Lizzy McDonald
               bottom left, McKinley Reichert      Our Grand Children.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Quiet Mornings

It is quiet in our little house this morning.  I was up early, doing the morning things, shower, letting the dogs out and making coffee.  I enjoy the quiet, when all you hear are the birds outside the windows, before the TV or radio come on, before the phone rings or before activity truly begins. 

It has been especially quiet here, my wonderful husband went on a road trip, helping a friend drive to Florida.  Oh yes, I may have enjoyed the idea of having the house to myself for a couple days, no set meal times and no need to explain why I'm on the computer.  I may have enjoyed having the entire bed to myself, if you don't count one little dog.  I may have enjoyed being a bit messier, using the same coffee cup for a couple days, or leaving the knife and plate on the counter to use again.  Yes, fun for a couple of days and then reality sets in.........

The first night my wonderful husband was gone, I was snuggled in the living room with the dogs, fire going in the gas stove, and a good movie on TV.  I decided to go to bed about midnight, when I walked through the curtains into the old part of the house it was much like walking outside!  The temperature was 54 degrees!  I know this cannot wait until morning, it is way too cold for that!  So all I can think to do is call my wonderful husband as I know they are still driving so it won't be waking him up.  He is puzzled, our furnace is not very old, so he says to me, "You'll have to go outside and check the propane tank to make sure you have fuel."  You have got to understand, the tank sits away from the house, there is 5 inches of snow on the ground and it is midnight and I'm in my nightgown!  So I go and dress, put on winter coats and boots and make my way to the propane tank.  Got out there and raised the lid and I find I'm too short to see the gauge, so I must climb the rickety fence to be tall enough to see the gauge!  Propane level fine..........  Back in the house and another call to Richard.  This time he thinks I should go into the furnace room and flip the switch to restart the furnace. I conclude that all the off and on power outages confused my furnace and it decided to just shut down.  So an hour later, furnace running fine, I head to bed.  Then at six fifteen Tere calls and grand daughters have a school delay because of more snow, could she bring them down in thirty minutes and could I get them on the bus in two hours.  No problem, man, that was a short night!

Of course with Richard gone, I am doing the outside chores.  I admit that isn't all that hard and they are my horses, dogs and cats.  For some reason in the winter time it is always much harder to get the chores done quickly.  The water hose has to be drained after filling the water tank, the hay must be carried and they eat more in the cold winter weather, which means more than one trip carrying hay!  The cats in the studio don't want to go outside and there is the kitty litter in need cleaning and I have a lame horse that needs extra attention!  When my wonderful husband is home, he does the feeding and I do the horse treatments and the kitty litter cleaning. (He does draw the line.)  I just have to say it is so nice sitting in the house, having a little more coffee and watching him feed the horses in the wintertime. 

Yes, I know what you are thinking, "Spoiled!".  I agree, but now he is in Florida, soaking up the sunshine, riding wave runners and enjoying the life of leisure and I am carrying hay to the horses the snow.  I hate carrying hay across the barn yard, the shaft sticks to my fleece jacket and scarf, then when I go to town wearing said fleece jacket and scarf I look a bit like a scarcrow!  So being a creative thinker, I made a tarp sled!  I took a rope and tied to the grommets of a tarp and put the hay on the tarp and let it slide smoothly across the snow to the horses.  Genius!  No more hay in my hair or on my clothes!

Of course Richard is not going to like that I didn't shovel the sidewalks, he won't like that the little dogs hate to go into the deep snow and have left traces of yellow snow on the unshoveled sidewalk.  He probably won't be happy that I had steal a bungee cord off of something he was using it for to fix the mailbox that the snowplows blasted off the post this week.  But when I think of these things........  I remember the text picture of last nights sunset on the beach of the Atlantic ocean or the picture off the balcony of their condo looking over the ocean! 

Oh, I think I'm meandering again, this started off being about how quiet it is around our little house.  It is too quiet this morning and I am ready to have my wonderful husband home, fixing my coffee and morning breakfast, having him sit and share morning conversation before he bundles up for winter and feeds my horses and shovels the sidewalks for me and the little dogs.  It's just too quiet this morning............ 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Delights

This morning I lingered over coffee and birdwatching.  The snow crept in sometime in the early morning hours, before daylight.  Falling gently, unknown to us who sleep snuggled under warm blankets.  When I awoke, just before light, I knew something was amiss, it was too quiet and muffled.  No wind howling and blowing, just beautiful snowflakes landing on every branch.  I love when the pines have snow resting on them, it is a magic time.

I am the one feeding the horses these days, my wonderful husband helped drive a friend to Florida and is soaking up the sunshine there.  Oh, the Florida folks think it's cold just now, for Ohio folks, it is delightful!  The horses knicker as I make my way through the snow to the barn, everything is so white it is blinding, can't begin to see the snow tracked path to the barn from yesterday.  All is filled in, it is clean, quiet and white.

The dogs are eager for their breakfast, dancing and prancing around me like they were starved.  It is hard being house dogs and making your way to the barn in the snow for breakfast!   The cats are fluffed up to keep warm, they rub against the dogs faces and my legs, also awaiting breakfast.  The dogs hate when the cats do that, they are terribly insulted I think.

I must carry hay from the big barn to the horse barn twice a day.  I hate carrying the hay, the hay drops all over my fleece jacket and my fuzzy scarf, making me look a bit like a scarecrow when I wear them to the grocery or post office.  Anyway, when it is cold, horses need more hay to keep warm.  So that means more than one trip back and forth.  A couple days ago, I devised a plan to keep me free of hay shaft and still move all the hay in one trip!  I like being a creative thinker and decided to make a tarp sled to pull the hay on!   I just tied some rope to the grommets of the tarp and magic, a tarp sled!   My horses don't care how the hay gets to them, they just couldn't wait for me to come and feed them.  They also get some grain morning and night. 

This morning, as my dogs accompanied me to the horses, hoping for some horse food as a  treat.   As I came to the gate and scanned the field where the tipi used to sit.  (I always look to see the tipi, even after it is down.)  Out in the field was a coyote with his nose in the snow, hunting mice.  Oh, a beauty it was against the white snow.  The coyote didn't stay long, because my wonderful Lab saw him too and took chase!  I have never seen a coyote so close to our barns.  He looked healthy and I loved his bushy tail!

My horses didn't seem alarmed that the coyote was in their pasture, he does look much like a dog.  Or perhaps they have seen them other times.  From the house I can watch the horses, I am quick to see when they are watching something "different" in their immediate surroundings.   I will hurry to look out other windows to discover what they are watching.  Sometimes it is a flock of geese that have landed in the field.  Sometimes it is deer making their way through, although I have seen deer bedded down in their pasture and they were totally unconcerned with their presence.  People have said that horses don't have good vision, so many times they see things moving across a neighboring field that I would have missed.

I can't wait to get back in the house and have another cup of coffee and watch the birds at the feeder outside while it continues to snow.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I have been having a difficult time getting in the mood for Christmas.  At last it has finally happened!  I am in the mood, the tree is up and decorated and I do love the soft light it brings into our living room.  It will be difficult to take down, now that it's finally up. 

I just don't understand why I drag my feet during this time.  I do like seeing everything decorated, the colors are pretty and festive.  Do I just have a hard time making transitions?  I think how hard it was for me to face fall coming and now winter.  Is this normal as we age, not to need all the glitz and glam to appreciate Christmas and what it's all about? 

On Saturday we, Emily, Richard and I, went to see Trisha and Bill for Aidan's 8th Birthday.  It was lovely spending time with my daughter and her family.  Trisha and Bill have four children and are constantly busy with activities that come with these very active children.  I honestly don't know how they do it!  Just watching was exhausting, each needing some attention with this or that.  I see so much joy and happiness in this wonderful family.

As I sat watching and participating in the conversations going on around me, I looked at their home, their tree was up and decorations sparkled among the lights.  I also saw sitting in special places the Santa's and Snowmen that have come from my own collections.  I decided a couple years ago to start letting the grand children pick something from my decorations to take home and call their own.  Seeing these treasures that were a part of our tradition and are now becoming a part of their traditions.

Something clicked in my brain!  My children come home with their families every Christmas because they too want to be immersed in our family tradition.  They want to come and see what they remember our house was like when they were growing up!  The fact that they still come home is my gift from them, could I ever want more?  I am going to finish my decorating, putting out Mr. and Mrs. Santa in the sleigh with all the gold glittered reindeer.  I will again set out the many snowmen in the bay window of the dining room on batting covered lights to look like a winter wonderland.  Out comes the nativity and I'll plug in the star to shine over the manger scene.  I purchased this 42 years ago, the first Christmas of our marriage.  I will set out the special angels that have come from my Mother and even the one I got in fourth grade that is a candle that got too warm and has fallen sideways.  I will set hand crafted Santa's on the hearth by the fire place and wherever else there is an empty place.  I will hang some of the wreaths to the inside and outside doors and maybe even bake some cookies.  Yes, I am getting in the mood for Christmas at last!

Now, if I could just muster up some excitement about shopping!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snowed In, December 12, 2010

We are having our second snow of December.  The first was a bit of a shock, we just weren't ready for cold and snow.  Well, we got ready quickly, it warmed up one day and we had to kick it in gear, the weather forecasters were preparing us for a second storm with rain coming and then colder temps with snow and wind to follow.  Tonight they are calling for more snow and wind, tomorrow could be real mess.

We took down the tipi during the pause between snows.  The foot of the liner was holding frozen water, the liner has been opened and will dry out inside the barn.  The tipi was fairly dry, although the east side seemed damp, it is now in the studio, partly open also being allowed to dry out.  I should have listened to Richard in November about taking it down.  Just having such a hard time giving up summer and fall.  I do love the tipi lodge.

Today, the second storm of the season has come.  The over night rain has frozen now and the snow came.  We cancelled our trip to have breakfast with friends in Columbus.  Richard put the snow blower on the mower, checked the antifreeze and filled the windshield washer fluids.  He moved the four wheeler forward in the barn so when the sleds are brought out, it will be ready to pull the sledders back up the big hill!  (When I was a kid we had to walk back up the hill!) 

I made a wonderful soup today and did little but lounge around.  It is hard to just relax, I've always been taught not to waste my time.  It feels so good to just relax, isn't that what we should do when winter comes, hibernate and rest?  I will get back to my lists tomorrow, after being snowed in for a day or two.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stop Whining!

Our little house from the barn direction.
I'm going to stop whining, it hasn't done any good so far.  It is December and there is a good snow on the ground, it is cold and I can't seem to change these facts!  So, I pulled out the afghans, my down slippers and the winter scarves.  I also have the Christmas tree in place and I'm going to have my grand daughters help me with decorating when they get off the bus after school. 

I'm going to make soup and start the crockpot.  I might even write a few Christmas cards while I sip another cup of coffee with my favorite Baileys cream in it.  I also am going to dig through my stack of unread books and start reading and maybe take a nap.

Oh dear, I must wake up from my dream...........   My grand daughters came before school this morning and I had to get out of my warm bed because of a two hour delay for their school!  The farrier is suppose to come this morning, I needed him here a week ago, my horse has a hoof abscess.  Dang, that means boots, winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves!  It is so cold outside this morning!  I should add some seed to the bird feeders too and find the water heater for the frog pond, I have yet to move the fish to the horse tank! 

So much for lounging around, dang it, I might start whining again.  You know I haven't even thought about Christmas presents for six grand kids either!  Now what is the date today?

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Tree

Massie Creek Cemetery, Cedarville, Ohio
Well it would make sense I'd be talking about "The Tree".  It is December, we even had snow and many are thinking about Christmas.  Folks have their houses decorated with lights inside and out.  Many people are thinking about gifts and parties and all the excitement the Christmas season brings.

I am not thinking of any of these things.  I am still thinking I missed September, October and November!  Where did fall go?  I was slowly trying to make the needed transition in my personal clock when a sudden unexpected death came to the family.  My husband's amazing sister, Elaine, made her journey to the spirit world last week.  All things come to a stop when a healthy person is suddenly taken from the family that loved her.  The holiday season will shine less brightly this year, for she was a brilliant light in our small family.

If you can imagine Elaine as a circle, with another circle being family touching her circle, another circle of students touching Elaine's circle, and another circle of educational professionals, and another circle of friends, and another circle of neighbors.  All of these circles touched Elaine's circle, those circles touched other circles that were influenced and guided by Elaine's circle, all touching the circle next to their circle and continuing to reach other circles, and so it ripples on and on.  The effects one person has on the world in which they live can be astounding!  Those ripples will be forever on-going and shared with the next circle.  Doesn't that make you think about your circle and how your ripples will be felt as you walk on this earth?

Of course, I'm meandering again, none of that has anything to do with "The Tree", which is the title of my thoughts today.  I'm not writing about the Christmas tree either.  I am thinking about the "Family Tree".  The one that connects the past to the present.  The names on the Family Tree are what has sparked this blog.  I wish I'd thought more about the names on the Family Tree when choosing names for our children.  I love that our children did give family names consideration when naming their children.  I hope when their children are grown up they too will think about family names.

This is one of my favorite quotes and I totally believe that "The earth will always remember people as long as we continue to say their name."  Once we stop using a name, as generations continue is that person forgotten?  By continuing to use the names from the Family Tree, the person is remembered into another generation, people will ask, how did you get your name and you would be able to say it came from an aunt or uncle, a grandfather or grandmother, sparking a memory or a story of that person, and they are remembered!  Just look at people in history, the ones that made a difference, their names continue on and on.  Is it wrong to want some immortality?  Maybe that is why I write about our family stories, why I share the little things that I see day to day, as well as my life as an artist, about friends that have helped me on my travels on this earth.  Will my art be treasured by the next generation and will they know how much I loved creating something special from something as simple as a gourd.  Will they remember the music I played on my little wooden flute, will they hold in their hearts my love for them?

My own name has no family history that I am aware of.  My wonderful husband, James Richard, is the third generation to have the first name James, we also gave our son, Ryan, the first name of James.  That has been lost now, unless his girls choose to name a son with that first name.  Ryan's girls have middle names that reflect names from the family tree.  Our daughter Trisha, has a part of my middle name and she gave her youngest another version of our middle name.  Their sons also have family names with their own first names.  And so "The Tree" holds a treasure of names, to ensure the earth will always remember people as long as we continue to say their name. 

I know that the Decembers that follow will bring back memories of Christmas's spent with Elaine and her family.  We will rejoice in her gifts of knowledge and love when we gather as a family and say her name.....  Maybe now I can start thinking about the Christmas tree and rejoice in memories of my sister and friend, Elaine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

What I'm Not..........

I'm not a mall shopper, I really don't like shopping at all, unless it is for art supplies.  Recently, I had cause to be at our local mall.  It is small and I like that, it is old and not fancy, if I need to got to a mall, this is my choice. 

It was a bit of culture shock.  Have you ever been at home in the winter, say when the kids are out of school for Christmas vacation, everything is centered around the home, the farm, your little center of the world?  Then you must go to a high school basketball game?  Suddenly you are thrown into a world that you feel unaccustom, the lights are too bright, the noise level is deafening, the movement takes some getting used to as well.  Somehow the adjustment comes.  That is how I felt while in the mall for only one hour.  The lights were too bright, the noise, the Christmas decorations, the stacks of clothes, the STUFF!  Honestly, how do I live without all this stuff? 

It's easy, in my small world, (the gourd studio, the farm and art/flute events) it's not about how fancy you are dressed.  I must admit the clothes looked very pretty, the colors, the textures, the style, still it's nothing I can't live without.  I am happy in my black shirts and pants with bright scarves, a change in jewelery and a vest if it's cold.  I wasn't drawn to the stacks of neatly displayed stuff as I tried to find my way through a store that had a path to zigzag you through several departments to tempt you with goodies.  The mirrors and lights and pathway reminded me of being trapped in a crazy fun house at the fair.  I almost panicked!

If I go to a mall once a year it is to go in and come right back out.  I can't fathom spending hours there any more.  Oh, don't get me wrong, I felt I had to do it when my children were small.  I was a conservative shopper then, always looking for the bargains. 

My second BIGGEST PET PEEVE, the fact that a few years ago a new mall was built.  It sits between three other malls, all within a fifteen minute drive from one another!  Less than an hours drive from one to the furthest one away, that is with traffic conditions and traffic lights!  It is insane!  Who needs this much stuff?
Why rip up perfectly wonderful family farmland to build another building with black wall to wall pavement and cement.  Are we never happy with what we have? Do we really need to have newer and bigger to keep us interested in shopping for more stuff!  What are we thinking?  I also don't understand businesses leaving a building to build another superstore across the street, leaving the old one behind, sitting empty.  Our county seat has lost all downtown business because they have allowed the merchants keep building at the edge of town, the edge of town is slowly connecting to our neighbors "edge of town merchants".  All the while the center of town is empty and struggling to survive. 

I haven't even mentioned where all the merchandise comes from, is it AMERICAN made?  I will spare you my thoughts on this, I'm sure you have already figured them out..........

I am sorry to be on my band wagon this morning, so close to the holiday season, but really it is important to think about what we are doing.  Shop small businesses, support American made products and maybe just maybe we can make the shift to being a more thoughtful consumers.  But then they didn't ask me.............. what I am not is a supporter of taking the land and filling it with another mall!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Touch the Earth Gently

Touch the Earth Gently, this is one of my very favorite quotes!  It can mean many different things on many different levels.  I always thought it was regarding how we walk on the earth.  Do we tread carefully, trying not to disturb other micro environments.  Do we keep the space that we live free of litter, giving respect to other people, animals, birds, insects and fish that share this space.  I remember growing up and being taught not to litter, this is my BIGGEST pet peeve, I hate litter along beautiful country roads, on interstate highways, on hiking trails!  Come on people, don't throw it on the ground, put it in your pocket and dispose of it properly! 

Touch the Earth Gently, has a much bigger scope than just my small center of the world.  I worry everyday what we are doing to this Earth on which we live.  The scope of stuff we throw away everyday boggles my mind.  They (the greedy ones) don't make things to last anymore, "throw it away, replace it with something better", is the theme of most companies.   It's not always better, my 25 year old washer did a much better job doing my laundry than this new one I have.  The reason I replaced the old one?  Because they no longer make parts for the old one.  Yet again the secret of the greedy minds causing us to purchase new.  Do you know the life expectancy for my new washer is ten years, do the math (if you can) how many of us will be replacing our washers in ten years?  Where do you think they go after they are hauled away?  How many things end up in the landfill leaving your house?  What do you do with plastic razors, plastic containers, tin cans, junk mail.....  the list can go on and on.  I recycle what I can and each time I take thing to recycling I pray it is truly recycled and not just something to give me a little peace about what we throw away.

Touch the Earth Gently had another meaning the other night in the tipi.  My friend and I sat at the little fire talking.  I saw her put her hands on the Earth and just touch.  I watch as she moved them to another spot and then she said, "I can feel the electrical charge from the Earth coming into my hands and I can feel it go up my arms!"  Have you ever sat on the Earth and touched it gently and really felt how alive it is?  It was an awesome experience.  I too touched the bare Earth with my hand, I could feel the prickling electric charges.  At first it is like your hand is going to sleep, then it gets greater and the charges move up your arm like little lightening strikes.  It was truly amazing. 

I recommend that you go and sit on Mother Earth and touch her gently.  Think about what you can do to help protect her from being ravaged and used up. What good will that be to any of us and our future generations to follow.  We should be protecting the place we call home, honor and respect and protect the gifts the Earth provides.  Can we afford not to TOUCH THE EARTH GENTLY?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Painting the Tipi...........

I'm one of those people who believes we are always receiving messages.  Some are coming from conversations with others, some come from something we picked to read and other things come in the way of intuition.  If I'm suppose to "hear" something and I miss it the first time, it will come again and again......  if I am not paying attention.  I may not have been ready to hear the first message, usually by the second or third time, I get it!

For instance, I have been reading a book, it has taken me all summer to read.  I loved the book!  The book is DREAMWALKER, by Mary Summer Rain.  It was a book that jumped off the shelf as I scanned the shelves at the bookstore.  It wasn't a book I felt I had to finish quickly to get to the revealing chapter, each chapter was revealing in it's own way.  What I was mostly struck by, the day I would choose to read a chapter or two, it would address the exact same thing I'd just been thinking about.  On another day I would have missed that message altogether, but just "happened" to read it when I needed to read or I needed to understand something I'd just been pondering.  Some days my friend and I would have just been talking about something, I'd pick up this book and read what we'd just been discussing, giving a clear explaination, I call her and say, "You are not going to believe this!" and read to her the paragraph.  We only can say, "Isn't that amazing?"

My friends and I often find ourselves thinking about one another and then one makes the phone call to the other.  One day I was calling one friend and my phone rings and there she was calling me!  We always laugh and say, "I was just thinking about you!"  Awesome stuff when you listen!

Last January I had this idea to take pictures of the hands of my children and grandchildren, as well as Richard's and mine.  I was having this time of reflection about my own hands, when did they begin to look old, where did their youthfulness go.  Who's hands in the family resemble mine or Richard's?  I decided to take pictures of all the hands in our family and do something with them, although not quite sure what, still waiting on the inspiration or "message".  I still have all these hand pictures.  I think it was the beginning of what I'm about to share now.

In October, I attended a retreat, I have found that at these retreats there is always something revealed to me.  I don't remember anyone else getting this particular message, it was just something I needed to hear I guess.  Before getting this message however, I had a wonderful massage.  While getting this massage I, of course, was chatting.  The topic of aging hands came up, I mentioned the photos of the family hands I have. She began telling me about a trip to Peru and at the end of her work there, all the children put their hand prints on a cloth and someone talked all the Chief's into doing it as well.  She described how wonderful it was, the sizes, the hands receiving knowledge and the hands of the ones sharing the wisdom.  This light bulb idea went off in my mind to do a swirl of my family's hand prints on the cloth door of my tipi lodge.  I was so excited!  It was if I had made the most amazing discovery! Then something was mentioned during one of the sessions of the retreat and hands again were in that message, it was brief, and it confirmed the idea that I had to do the artwork of hand prints of my family on that tipi door.

[I might also mention here, the tipi door I am still using was the same door from my old tipi lodge that was nearly shredded in a summer storm this year.  When I ordered a new cover, I kept the old door to continue to share the spirit of the old tipi with the new.]

In November all my children and grandchildren gathered at our house for a celebration of fall birthdays.  I took this time to explain to them my idea and ask each of them to pick their "spirit" color.   For some that may have been the wrong way to express the idea of choosing a color.  I restated by asking them to pick their favorite color. My objective was for them to pick a color they always think of when they think of their favorite color!  Their hand was painted in the order of youngest to oldest.  Little Tatum, just over one year old, has her hand in the center and they all swirl out and around to my husband's hand being last. 

I can now say I have "painted" my tipi lodge.  I have also decided to order a new tipi door and keep the one with hand prints in the studio for the winter months and use it inside the tipi as art next year.  It has become a treasure, a record of our families hands and their favorite colors in 2010. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Post Open House Syndrome

I debated writing this blog, it is very heart felt and a bit teary.  It seems necessary to write my feelings and then I can move on.  I thought just talking it out with a friend would be helpful, my dear friend understands and is considerate of my pauses to control my feelings so that I can speak clearly again.  She is powerless to do more than listen and agree.  It is something I struggle with whenever my emotions have run high and then all is over. 

I'm eluding to the open house that I just had at the gourd studio.  I spent weeks before the event preparing gourds.  I have to clean the studio, moving storage tubs out, rearranging the space, sweeping, dusting, decorating for a more shop like appearance and less of a workshop.  This major cleaning only happens once a year, so it is a big deal.  I also have to have the house and the grounds acceptable for guests, not that they care, but I do, so it is important.  My dear friend and I talked about all of the preparations, it is like a ceremony, doing all of these things.  Many prayers are said during this time, some are as simple as asking for the strength to get it all done and others more sensitive to the people coming. It is done with so much joy and excitement.  I think about food, coffee and treats.  Thankfully, a friend brought cookies and another friend brought a birthday cake, there were plenty of goodies, what a relief!  I sent out postcards and this year only half as many as usual, something happened to my list in the computer, I lost half of my 600 names and addresses.  Will anyone come? 

The signs are out and the morning of the event comes.  My wonderful friend brings his beautiful flutes and we wait for the first guests to arrive.  Yes, they did come, we were blessed with visitors.  The weekend was packed with amazing people.  The smiles, the hugs, the flute music and the beat of the drum was gifted to all.  The cookies and cake were eaten, the coffee pot refilled often.  The weather couldn't have been nicer, people gathered and visited inside and outside the studio.  They took rides in my wonderful husband's Model A Ford truck.  Horses were fed apples and loved on.  The coffeehouse concert was well attended and other flute friends played their flutes at the open mic.  There was the fire burning in the tipi and friends to share that fire.  There was the hugs of goodbye with promises of getting together soon.  My heart was filled to the brim and running over with gratitude.

Yesterday and today have been difficult.  I went to the studio yesterday to start putting things back into their normal place, so that I might work again.  The studio is quiet, too quiet.  How quickly it was over, I'm not ready for it to be over, I want more, it's like an addiction, I am not ready for it to end. 

I wonder how this happened for me, all of these people who came are so special.   We are all drawn together for the same reasons.  I have discovered it is because of the healing energy and power of the Native American flute.  All else falls away with this family, the insecurities, the doubts, the pain.   You feel the love that each has to share, it is given freely with hugs and smiles, it is also returned.  We are all looking for the same thing, love, respect, acceptance.  We might be a little different in the eyes of the rest of the world, "misfit toys" is a term I've heard used, "they" don't matter when you know you have this family of friends and their love. 

Open house 2010 was awesome, and, oh yes, I even sold some gourds.  Now I'm back on solid ground, I can finish restoring the studio to a working space.  Thanks for letting me cry on your shoulder a little.  It is what I needed today.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day, 2010

I am glad election day has finally arrived, now the home phone will be quiet once again.  I am glad election day has finally arrived and all the negative campaign commercials on TV will stop.  I am glad election day has finally arrived because it will mean the highway corners, country side road campaign signs will disappear.  Imagine the money spent, they could actually be helping fund some of the very tax increases that we are going to the polls to vote on!  I would like to ask every candidate to put that money helping the schools or other worthy cause.

I voted and I wonder about the people I voted for.  If they aren't corrupt today, how long will it take them to become corrupt because of special interest groups funding their campaigns.  I wonder, after watching a YouTube documentary on Electronic Voting Machine Fraud, if I trust our method of voting.  This morning when I went to vote at 8:30am several machines were already causing problems and  had an "out of order" sign on them!  Of course I had the option of a paper ballet.  It all leaves a bad feeling with me and causes me to question things people expect me to believe, just because it was posted in the paper or told on the news doesn't make it true.  Media reporters, paper or broadcasting stations will only tell what they want you to hear.  I fear nothing is as it seems......... illusion, deception, and greed are at the heart of our political democracy.

I want things to be open and honest.  I want to respect the opinion of a person and decide if I agree or disagree.  I don't have time to worry about it being a truth or lie!  Okay, I live in a dream world, believing that everyone is a good person and is only wanting to help save the world.  Is it wrong to want this?

Voting in our small community is much like a social event.  The people at the polling tables are all friends and neighbors. And yet we have to show a personal id when the person has already greeted us by name!  We stand and visit with people we don't ordinarily see.  We leave asking one another who this person was or that person.  Often times we haven't seen them since high school or as least since our children were out of high school.  I wonder how many people go away asking there friend or spouse who I was too!

If we wore our voting sticker to the local coffee house, we got a free cup of coffee.   So we ordered breakfast and saw even more of the everyday locals gather at the big table for their daily gossip session.  Cracks me up that these men have so much time on their hands, wonder when Richard and I will have that kind of time? 

I am grateful that women are allowed to vote and thank those women before me who fought for that right.  I am grateful to live in a country that gives us the right to vote freely.  I am glad I casted my ballot and now I will get back to cleaning my studio for an Open House next week!  This is something I have control of........

Monday, November 1, 2010

I'm Still Here

It has been some time since I've posted, many things going on and too much on my plate to think of a topic to write about.  I shouldn't even be here today, so many things on my list of things to do!  I seem to be in one of those moods, I'm just a little annoyed about things that I can usually just cope with.

First, I have to go and get new glasses today, not because I think that need them, it's been a couple of years since I got these glasses and they have the transition lenses (they get darker in sunlight).  In the last month or so I noticed in the upper inside corner a little spot that seems to be cloudy, this spot is getting bigger and now starting to bug me!  It is like it is always smudged......... this is not good.  So I must stop everything I should be doing to get new glasses and you know it will take a couple weeks to actually have them on my face!

Secondly, I mentioned awhile back the I had to get a new washer, my old faithful washer of twenty five years could not be fixed again!  So I have a new washer and hate it.  Well, I guess it does wash the clothes and I should be grateful I have a washer.  The problem is the new designs in washers, where did the lint catcher go?  I know there is stuff that needs to be "caught", I live with dogs and cats you know!  So I find the "lint" all over my clothes and hope the dryer will whisk it into it's lint basket.  The person who created this new design doesn't live with critters!  Did they ask users of washers what they want in a washer?  I don't think so!  I hate how quiet it is, I never know what part of the cycle it is in as it swishes and whirs through the washing and spinning!  Hanging around until the load is finished to throw things in the dryer is impossible to know with this new washer!  Then it spins things so thoroughly that everything in pressed to the bottom and sides of the washer, I have to hope the dryer takes out all the crease lines.  Many things I hang to dry, if the breeze outside doesn't shake out the wrinkles then I have to iron!   I really don't like my washer, I think it's "efficiency" is not my efficiency!  Not when I now have to pull out the ironing board!

I also have to go and have a prescription filled.  Why do they only make them for thirty days, how many months have thirty one days?  I could use that extra day today! 

The other thing slowing me down this morning is my hair.  For some reason, nearly two months ago I got this idea to let my hair grow out.  Now why did this come to me, I can't answer.  You know that I have had short hair for a hundred years, timing haircuts before an event so it doesn't look "just newly cut" was always a concern.  When I told my friend what I decided, she said, "What, before the retreat, before your open house, before Thanksgiving, before Christmas........ ?"  I have no answer, I am into this hair growing process almost two months now.  It's not pretty..........  What am I thinking?  Don't I have enough to do without curling irons and electric rollers? 

Okay, so why am I writing a blog, when I should be using this time to work on gourds or clean the studio for my open house NEXT weekend.  I can't answer that, I think I am overwhelmed and needed to vent.  All is good and all will get done.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just For a Moment

I am packed, the house is in okay shape to leave for a week, bills are paid and my thoughts are not as frantic as they were in my last post.  What didn't get done will be here when I get back.  If I forgot something then maybe I didn't need it! 

I took a moment to stop everything this afternoon.  I sat in the fall sunshine.  I felt the breeze on my face.  Everything was quiet and yet I could hear things often missed in the crazy everyday hustle.  The leaves rustled in the trees, a few drifted to the ground with the other colorful leaves scattered about in the yard. It smells like fall.  I hear a nuthatch pecking out some insect in the bark of a tree.  An acorn falls, I recall watching a Blue Jay picking some up as I looked out my window the other day.  The wind whistles through the pine trees, I'm being pulled by the wild wolf in me, yearning to go to the woods and rest under the pines.  The sun warms me as I shiver about the thought of being a wolf in a pine forest.

A shadow falls across the yard and I see the turkey vulture soars high above.  There is a place nearby that they gather and roost at night.  Just the other morning I saw them before they caught that updraft to lift them high into the sky.  I was lucky enough to have my camera nearby for a picture.

Nature holds so many delights, all there, just waiting for us to feel, see, hear and touch them.  I'm glad I took just a moment to enjoy them.  I am in constant gratitude.............

You Might Say.............

I know, I know, I should not be sitting at the computer!  I don't know why I am writing a blog when I have so much to do today!  I think I want you to know that an artists life is not as calm and peaceful as one might think!  This has been the busiest month of my entire year!  I have barely gotten to enjoy the quiet beauty of fall and soak up the last warm summer days. 

Oh don't get me wrong, summer was busy, maybe not working quite as much as most summers.  It started when I discovered that I have played far to much this summer.  Going from Washington DC to Florida, Wisconsin and local Native American Flute Events took big chunks of time away from the studio.  Would I do it again to avoid this crunch time in October?  In a heartbeat, I had a blast this summer! 

I should be finishing laundry and packing right now!   I am leaving early tomorrow morning for my annual fall trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.  I am going to a retreat with a friend.  My wonderful husband is staying home to care for the animals and work on the honey-do list I made for him.  I know it sounds like I am having all the fun, but seriously, he also takes his weekend get-aways with his shooting friends.  Then his wonderful wife stays home with the critters and enjoys not having to cook! 

I mentioned the retreat I am heading to tomorrow.  It is called the Mending Medicine Retreat, a weekend of learning about our circle around the Medicine Wheel.  It is really much more now, I am spending time with a family that is called, the Circle of Nations.  I have come to know people from Ireland, France and Norway as well as people from all over the United States.  They all have the same belief that we can change the world by connecting again with the things that are important, getting back to basic needs.   Believing that love, care of our Mother Earth and being connected to nature are the only way to live and survive.  These people that gather have become brothers and sisters in my life.

This yearly trip comes at a good time and a bad time.......... there is a balance here.   I am anxious and even stressed about getting my studio cleaned for my annual open house.  Taking a week (driving time included) to relax and be with friends is a good way to prepare me for my open house mentally.  I know that the important things are not how many gourds I have made or even how perfectly clean the studio is.  It is totally about the people that come to spend the weekend at my studio.  They will be coming to share my passion for gourds and my passion for flutes.  They are the other family that have become my brothers and sisters and I can't wait to see them all again!

Okay, I feel better now.........   I am going to the studio to pack up a mailing, going to the post office, doing laundry, packing my bags, gathering a few flutes, cleaning the car..............    Oh, I know there must be more!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Trisha's Story

My daughter, Trisha is a constant source of amusement to our family.  I have told her often she needs to write this stuff down and yet with four children, I'm pretty sure she has no time for that.  So maybe I'll tell you a couple of stories about her and she'll have them recorded, even if it's by her mother.

If you have brothers and sisters or children of your own, you know that they are each different, even when they are brought up in the same environment.  You have to figure when the environment is the same, genes must come into play in regards to your way of acting or thinking.  I fear Trisha is a lot like her mother, that would be me........  Sometimes she even surprises me!

Trisha has a very strong dislike of mice.  Not due to anything that happened at home, although the cat that our kids grew up with was a great mouser and would insist on hunting a night.  Upon stalking and catching her mouse, she would bring it to the girls bedroom and play with it awhile and then proceed to eat it.  Trisha would tell me of the event in some detail, I will spare you the descriptions.

Trisha's dislike of mice came when she was in college.  First she found the sofa she was using had a mouse hole under the cushions.  Don't think she ever saw a mouse there, just the hole.  The second event occurred when she and her friends rented an old house together one year.  As I recall the story, Trisha fell asleep on the bed with a bag of chips and a book.  When she awoke to the noise in the bag of chips and was confronted with mouse on her bed.  She then discovered mouse droppings in her closet, the kitchen drawers and wherever else.  I will never forget her call to me that morning, she was very upset and needed to know what to do. 

Trisha was off to the store for traps, bleach and poison.  She bleached the silverware for days before she would use it again.  If a mouse was caught in the trap, the trap and mouse went in the trash, there was no way she would touch that thing!  Oh, the days of knowledge didn't all come from the college class room.

Trisha and Bill and their four children live in a very nice new house.  They have a very old house cat that stays in the house, unless she can find a way to get outdoors.  Greta, the cat, has very cleverly learned to open the screen door on the sliding glass door and escapes on occasion.  Upon these joyful escapes, she hunts.  Greta, being a generous cat, brings her mouse to the back door to show her family what a great hunter she is and then she proceeds to eat it on the step, leaving blood drips behind. 

This event sends Trisha, the girl who grew up on a farm, in an old farm house, over the top!   The first time this happened, the cat was allowed back in the house, only after Trisha had thoroughly wiped her clean with Lysol bleach wipes.  It then occurred to Trisha that the cat might get sick from cleaning herself with the cleaning solution on the wipes.   She then proceeded to give the cat a bath.  

Friday, October 15, 2010


Today is my son's Birthday.  He was born in the middle of the fall season, the leaves had begun to change and it had gotten cooler.  I remember the day I knew he was coming.  Something was different, I couldn't put my finger on the difference, I wasn't have any contractions, but I knew time was very close.  We went to a friends house for supper that night and I confided that time was very close.   I remember going to the hospital early that dark morning, worrying that I'd be sent home for coming too soon, we stayed.  After many , many hours of labor, a C-section was necessary.

We had the most difficult time picking a boys name, I found it profoundly important that it fit with the paternal family's first name of James.  There was James Ray, James Wilfred, and his father is James Richard McDonald.  The pressure was on, our first major decision regarding the birth of our first child.  There were several names on the list of boys and girls names, we didn't know ahead of time like they know now.  Interesting it was only after he was born that the name James Ryan came to me.  It was unexpected, I didn't know where this name came from, but it was there and I knew it was his.  Today, I would say the "spirit" gave me this name.

Ryan, was the most wonderful baby,he was very happy, he took naps easily, when we put him to bed at night he went to sleep with little or no crying.  He could drink a milkshake from a straw before he was three.  He loved music and could keep perfect rhythm, I can still see him standing in our little yellow Chevy truck dancing to John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy"!  Ryan was a thumb sucker and at the age of seven we worried he would never stop, he did.  Ryan didn't talk like babies and toddlers do, he communicated by pointing and he trained us well.  His first word was on his third birthday and he said, "pumpkin" because he got a pumpkin for his birthday.  My Dad was so stunned he said, "Well, you little bullshit".  Ryan's second word was "bullshit".   (Truly, it is what happened.)  Ryan didn't stop talking after that and we were sure he had decided not to talk until he could talk perfectly.

Ryan grew up being very wise, he knew exactly how to push my buttons and nothing has changed, even today.  He is the best son parents could ask for.  He talks to his Dad every single day.  He checks in on me if Richard is out of town.  Ryan is always willing to help with any projects like setting up the tipi lodge or maybe helping his Dad work to repair a tractor or truck.  Ryan is a great Dad of two sweet girls and is a good husband to Tere.

In third grade Ryan tried out for his first year of Little League.  All of the Dads of other kids were scouting the "new kids" for Pee Wee Football in the fall. They all came over to check with me to see if he was going to try out for football.  He did tryout and played football and loved it!  Ryan was in 4-H, taking many projects over the years and even won a colt from the Bob Evans Farms in Rio Grande, Ohio.

Ryan went to the Greene County Career Center and took a welding course.  He was employed before graduating and has had the same employer since, that has been 20 years ago.  He is a welder and has worked as a CNC Machining Operator.  Ryan's ability to figure thing out had given him the chance to be in on some developmental work for the company.  The company, Elano, specializes in building aircraft engine components.

Ryan is a guys, guy.  He always has a joke to share, a great smile and a good handshake.  Ryan would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed that shirt.  Ryan is like his Dad, always willing to help another in a time of need.  He also is very involved in his daughters activities, going to soccer games and school concerts, he sits in a classroom on Breakfast with Dad's day and he will also be seen taking the girls to the Doctors office if necessary.  We are so proud how our first born has grown up.  He is a awesome guy and I love him with all my heart.  Happy 38th Birthday Ryan.  Love and hugs!!!!!!!!

Photo:  Ryan just recently purchased himself a little toy for his birthday,
                       oh, the boys and their toys.....

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today is filled with tens.....    What exactly does that mean to you?  There are many who believe this is of major importance in an energetically spiritual way.  I dunno, I guess it is always interesting when all the dates and time are in line, a rarity for sure......  a once in a life time minute. 

Did I think of this day back in 1978?  No, I was only thinking about the new bundle of joy that was brought into our little family.  Her Birth Day was predetermined, she came by C-section in the morning around 8am. (oh dear, what kind of Mother doesn't remember the exact time?)   All pink and perfect she came to join her brother, Ryan and her sister, Trisha, each three years apart and all with fall birthdays. 

My memory of Emily about that time was what an easy baby she was to care for.  She seemed very contented and comfortable in her family.  What I remember MOST about this time was her "awake" time was between 10 PM and 2 AM at night.  Most babies are happy, talkative and most alert during the morning or maybe afternoon hours.  No, not our Emily, she loved being awake in the late hours of the night, when I was most tired and needed some quite time!  She was also a thumb sucker.   I actually liked that she was, you know the thumb never gets lost!  However, before she got braces they put something in the roof of her mouth to stop that thumb sucking.  She remembers that well, even today.

She also had a favorite "blankie".  Actually, she had two that were identical, I was smart enough to know that two allows one to be washed and dried while she carried the extra one around.  I always laughed at how important the blankie was in times of stress.   Although, I think it may have actually been more important to her sister, Trisha.  Trisha also had a blankie and she loved it so much.  She found great comfort in it when she was upset or tired.  So whenever Emily cried, the blanket was the first thing Trisha grabbed to give her baby sister.  Trisha also did this to our family friend's baby.  Their daughter was born between Emily and Trisha, my two girls created another blankie baby.  The interesting part, when my friend's next baby was born, between my two girls and her older sister, she too became a "blankie baby".   Oh, the things we teach are so innocent and subtle sometimes.  It's only afterwards that you can connect the dots.

Emily took her first steps in a Seattle airport, she was nine months old.  We had taken a trip out to Seattle to spend some time with my brother and his wife.  When most babies are beginning to eat baby food from a jar, Emily would have nothing to do with it, she wanted real food.  Her first "real" food was a fork smashed baked potato, I believe this was on a trip to Maine with friends when she was about six months old.  We never got her to eat another jar of food after she tasted that.

Emily tagged along after her brother and sister, learning from them all the things she needed to learn.  When she wasn't happy with something they took from her, she took matters in her own hands or should I say mouth!  She would bite them if she wasn't happy!  Mostly she did this to Trisha.  Trisha would come and show me the red tooth marks on her arm or shoulder, crying.  I'd finally had enough and told Trisha to bite her back.  (What kind of mother was I?)  Anyway, Trisha did and Emily's habit of biting stopped that day.

Emily grew up playing soccer, being in 4-H and playing volleyball.  She went to the Greene County Career Center her last two years of high school.  Where she took the computer class and upon graduation spent the next two years at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio in the same field.  After graduation, she decided she didn't like computers and attended Wilmington College to become a teacher.  She is an Intervention Specialist teacher in Springfield City Schools.

Today you can find her riding her bike, running or working out at the Fitness Cellar.  She wears tye-dye shirts that she created, they are usually pink or blue in the color.  She has a cat that you don't want to try and pet and she is the coolest "Auntie Em" in the whole world. 

To say I am proud of Emily is very true.  Emily's greatest talent comes from her heart.  She is always there to help me with anything just for the asking.  She is often doing the little things that help make the big difference.   I know she has many friends that find this to be true for them as well.  Her sweet nature mixed with sharp wit and a little sarcasm make her a true delight and joy in my eyes.  I love my youngest with all my heart.  Happy Birthday Emily on 10-10-10.   Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Photo is with her neice, Tatum.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gourds, Gourds, Gourds

It is October and all I can think about is gourds!   I went to the Ohio Gourd Show a couple of weeks ago and purchased many new gourds.  I love theses events, there are so many gourds and so little time!  I filled my car with sizes and shapes I use for my gourd artwork.

It is October and I really have started thinking about my WILD GOURD STUDIO OPEN HOUSE too.  I now have a month to finish decorating gourds, I am trying to make the inventory number of 2,000 numbered gourds in ten years of numbering.  I have really done many more than that, I just don't number the gourd ornaments, Santa's or snowmen, necklaces and such.  The last number I put on a gourd before coming in the house last night was 1,989!

It is October and I really have to be working on my post card mailing for the Open House.  You wouldn't think this would be so difficult, but it is time consuming.  I use sticky labels for the date, November 12,13 & 14th, 2010.  I also use a label to announce my guest, Billy Crowbeak, a wonderful flutemaker and musician.  He will have amazing flutes at the open house and be entertaining with music all three days.  There will also be a drawing for a gourd and I will also have some specially selected gourds at treasured prices. The third label is the address to my guests, there are over 600 names on this address list!

Now this may seem like a lot to do in a month.  It is only half of my plans for October!  I am also a special guest of Kathy Moulton for the Yellow Springs Artist Studio Tour.  She has invited me to display my gourds at her studio during the studio tour.  Kathy does the must wonderful 2D artwork about places around Yellow Springs, the images are animals instead people.  They are so wonderfully charming!  The event is in it's tenth year and held in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  Studios of artists around Yellow Springs are opened to the public for visiting!  How cool is that?   This is held on October 16 and 17, 2010.  Maybe I'll see you there!

I am also involved in the Village Artisans, Dare 2B Square show hanging in the lobby this month.  This is artwork of outside artists as well as members of the Village Artisans.  All the work is 12 x 12, in any medium and it is hanging in the lobby for sale.  Artist reception is on October 15th, between 6 & 9 PM.  The entire town is open late for this third Friday!

Now thinking about what happens after the WILD GOURD STUDIO OPEN HOUSE.  I will be doing a gourd class at my studio through "Getaways for Women" on November 20th.  If you might be interested the class is limited and you will need go to for more information.

That isn't all I'm planning before I can call the season finished.  I am also doing an art show in Eureka Springs, AR over Thanksgiving weekend!  It is called, ARTS EUREKA FALL ART SHOW and is held the 27th and 28th of November.

OMG, did you get all of that?  Too much, my head is spinning and yet I am trying to stay focused.  Anyone want to come and clean my studio before the OPEN HOUSE?