Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Intensity, Movement and Change

When I close my eyes, to sleep or just daydream, I often see colors.   These colors are not like what I find in my tubes of paint or my colored pens.  The pigmentation's I see are much more intense.  Sometimes the color I see is totally one single color, as I watch, it changes.  The other night when I closed my eyes in the darkness I could see a mosaic of turquoise that were irregular shapes like stones and surrounding each shape was a darker shade of turquoise that was not quite blue.  I wonder how I can see these colors with darkness surrounding me and my eyes closed.

Other times the colors will change as I watch them with my eyes closed.  A dark purple will come with a corner of it becoming lilac.  Eventually these colors merge and change into a rosy pink tone.  How does this happen?  I don't want to move or distract myself during these moments with the colors for fear of loosing them.  I often notice these brilliant colors move like a lava lamp, the background will be a beautiful green and the globs of moving color will be dark blue.

I have no answer for this magical moment of wonderful brilliant hues, is it my aura playing little games with me as I close my eyes?  Who do I ask about this world  of brilliance behind my eyes?  I suppose it doesn't really matter that can see these colors, I have been able to do it for a long time and I don't think it is harmful.  I look at it as more of a gift, a beautiful gift of intensity, movement and change.  I suppose I would describe my life as these things, are my eyes open or closed?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting My Flute Fix

I have been gone from home for five days.  My dear friend and I attended the Potomac Native American Flute Festival, in Arlington, Virginia.  This is a gathering for anyone who might be interested in the world of Native American style flutes or for people like myself who loves everything about the Native American Style flutes!  They like to call us "fluties".  I met people from all walks of life, some had never held a Native American style flute in their hands before and took one home this weekend.  I smile when I write that, I know they are going to be surprised at the effects this flute will have in their lives!  I've been there, I know this to be true!

At this event we attended seven or eight workshops and learned how to play duets with a friend, tips on flute circle gatherings, how to project your music to a large room and enjoyed a workshop on flute and other instruments being playing together.  There was another workshop on healing sounds of the flute and an amazing glimpse of flutes from around the world.  Wonderful information was shared by many talented people.

There were also vendors of these Native American style flutes.  So many choices it is overwhelming.  Each flute maker has his own style when it comes to the finished flute.  The beauty of the wood is often all that is needed to pull me to a flute.  There are other flutes that are beautifully painted or wood burnt or some have an unusual "bird" on the top that catches your eye.  Flutes are made in different keys, even the same key will sound different from maker to maker, even player to player.  The choices are overwhelming and it truly takes the entire weekend to try them all! 

The concerts in the evening were varied and amazing.  Most of the artists I had never heard play before and I now have a some new favorites.  Their music is as different and varied as the flutes I described.  It was wonderful to just sit and listen to the artists perform.  I have new Cd's that came home with me too!

The best part of the weekend was connect-ing with the people.  Everyone at the festival  was open and friendly.  They would talk about the flute they just purchased, we would play for each other and we discovered that most were filled with the spirit the flute brings to your heart.  I was again connected to people that I have known from other events, they have become friends now, people who hug and promise to keep in touch and they do.  People who share a common interest in nature, peace in one's heart and love for all around them.  I am touched by the concern these friends have for one another, the prayers that are said for those who need them.  At this event were vendors, shoppers, performers, teachers, healers, elders, children and the one that we couldn't see but felt was Spirit.  

Being away for five days was like being gone a month.  I call events like this a "flute fix".  It is like filling my gas tank, only with flutes, music and friends.  I am looking forward aways to the next "flute fix" in my life, it's only a couple weeks off.  I get excited just thinking about it!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Windows to the World

Sometimes it takes so little to make me happy!  Today it is having clean windows!  I love to wash the windows of my house.  We have very large windows, four bay windows and then other big windows.  I often wonder if having four bay windows is extravagant.   Maybe, but as we remodeled this room or the other over the years, when it came to windows I wanted big! 

I have no curtains on my windows, maybe a valance, just so it looks like I have thought about dressing them.  I want to see out, I want to know what the birds are doing.  I love watching my horses from the windows.  It is always exciting to see the horses watching something, I run from window to window trying to see what they see.  I am often rewarded by seeing deer or Canada geese or other small critters walking around in the pasture.  

Today when I got up, Richard said, "You missed all the excite-ment!"  Oh no, what?  He saw a coyote come around the barn and walk toward the road.  As Richard ran to another window, he saw our barn cat, cowering in the grass and then scramble up a fence post.  She too was watching the coyote.  We don't often have coyotes in our horse pasture, hmmm, that will make an interesting story some night in the tipi!  

Year round, I can look out the east windows in the morning and watch the sun come up while having coffee.  In the evening I can sit at the dining room table or in the living room and watch the sunset.  

Washing windows inside and out is much like throwing open the doors in the summer.  I feel like I'm out in nature, even if I'm in the house.   Clean windows have a certain invisibility about them, I love that!  One thing about having no curtains, I don't have to worry about washing curtains for spring!  A real time saver and water saver!   I'm feeling very GREEN today! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Being Inspired

Oh my Gosh!   I love being inspired!  I have a friends, that just keep posting the most fun and interesting artwork.  It is acrylic paint on a canvas.  I know they gather, this bunch of clever and very funny girls, to paint together.  I haven't actually been to one of these painting parties, but I must go sometime!  Just running into them outside a painting event is enough to keep you laughing for days! 

I think when they plan these events, they have very clever names for them, for instance, Cork and Canvas and Sweet & Tweets.  They do serve some wine at their painting parties!   Now that could be fun or a little dangerous for those of us who don't drink often!   When I see photos of their finished projects, I want them all!  Jen has a blog and some artwork is posted there, you can find her by going to;

So, I have been inspired by them to do my own loose painting on a canvas, just to see what would happen!
Oh my Gosh!  What a wonderful time I had!   You all know of course, there are no rules in artwork, maybe that is what draws me to art!  There are NO RULES!  I'm not a rule kind of girl!  This type of painting has my name all over it!  Don't you just love what I painted yesterday?

I have another friend and his wife that have inspired me greatly.  This time it comes with my gourd work!  He is the most amazing flutemaker, carving the most beautiful birds and animals on the end of his flutes.  His wife paints them with an a wonderful amount of detail.  But get this, she is considered legally blind!  How do they do it?   If your are interested in checking out Billy Crowbeaks work, go to:  it will be worth seeing his beautiful Native American Flutes.

My inspiration from their beautiful flutes has given me the courage and desire to carve and paint more detail into my gourd work and I must say the rewards are breathtaking to me.  I have now done two Red-Tailed Hawk gourds that I am very pleased with.  My gourd work has stepped to another level!

My wonderful art teacher, Amelia, has gently guided me in lessons on shadows and backgrounds, acquiring some dimension to my work.   She has helped me so much, not only with work on canvas but I can use the same techniques when painting my gourd designs! 

I love that all of my friends are willing to share and teach one another with such love and spirit!  I have decided, while sitting and painting yesterday, that I must have a time every month this summer to bring my grand children into the studio and have a little art fun, maybe I'll call it " Art, No Rules with Grandma!".

Pictures:   upper right -  many feathers
                lower left  -  Red-tailed Hawk carving on gourd

Friday, March 19, 2010

We Are Always The Same Age Inside.

Well, after nearly a month of finding ways to celebrate spring, it is going to be here tomorrow.  The first day of spring.   Well, that is what the calendar tells me.  I know it didn't suddenly happen, spring has been growing daily, becoming spring doesn't happen overnight.

The same can be said of my birthday.  Today is my birthday, I didn't become who I am today, overnight.  I have taken sixty one years to become who I am today.  It has be a slow and steady journey.  I began my journey on the Medicine Wheel in the East, the place of the rising sun, the beginning of all things new, a season of spring.  Maybe that is why I find such joy in Spring.

I wonder how I came to be this age so quickly.  I can remember things so clearly in my mind of fifty years ago, as if it were yesterday.  I remember thinking when I was a teen, that thirty was OLD.  I changed my mind about that about the time I was twenty-eight.  Of course, when I reached thirty, I was sure fifty was OLD.  I think I wish I was fifty again, that seems young to me now......   What seems old to me now?
I'm afraid to say, I fear as soon as I say it, I will become it.  I'm not ready to go to that place.

How does time pass so quickly?  Have I really been married almost forty one years?  Good grief, we dated when I was sixteen, married when I was twenty!  Have we really raised three wonderful children and now have six wonderful grand children?  Sometimes I'll pass a window and see my reflection and wonder who that person is!  She looks so much like her Mother.  Then I understand it to be my reflection.  I see myself in my daughters too, if not in looks, but in the way they can move and run after the children.  I really don't understand what has happened to that person, when did it change for me?  It didn't happen over night, it crept up on me and changed who I thought I was.  I am still that person, inside.  I still think I am young.  I am shocked when I look in the mirror and see more gray hair than I thought I had.  I am surprised when I look at my hands and no longer see the youth in them.

Don't get me wrong, gray hair doesn't bother me and I love that my hands tell the story of the work they have done through the years.  My knees are creaky and I wear glasses, but that is not what I am, it is a part of who I am.   I still love everything to do with nature, I just can't get out and walk the trails as far as I'd like.  I can  sit quietly now and do things I would never had patience to do when I was younger.  I love diving into an art project and spend hours trying to create something amazing.  There are so many things left for me to discover.  

Today I find myself on the Medicine Wheel, looking to the east, seeing the beginnings of new things, the season of spring.  I am here today and happy to be here again!  Happy Birthday and Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Springs Birthday

It's almost here!  Can't you feel the difference, see the difference, hear the difference?  No, not just talking about my birthday, but maybe I will, right now I'm talking about spring! 

I want to throw open the windows, I want to  feel the fresh air moving through our house!   There are no bugs coming into the house yet and it actually lets those pesky Asian Ladybugs out!  They do annoy me, leaving their tracks on the windows, falling dead everywhere.  The other night one bit me when I crawled into bed.  Why was he in my bed?  When I finally captured him, he left a terrible smell on my fingers.  I think I am meandering...........    I want to share the good stuff.  Although, I have a friend  that would remind me, you must have bad to appreciate the good, it's a balance.   I was telling this same friend, as we stood out at the tipi lodge one summer evening, about the wonderful little wren that had built a nest in the buffalo skull I have hanging in front of the tipi.  I mentioned to him as much as I loved that little wren singing all summer long, I didn't much like that she sang her song from the top of  the lodge pole.  Of course this means that she also dropped little droppings on the tipi canvas, leaving spots behind.  My friend reminded me of the having the good and the bad creates balance. Thanks JTH, I often need to be reminded.

I love spring flowers coming up, have you seen them too?   Although the daffodil is suppose to be the March flower, it rarely blooms in my backyard for my birthday.  I have chosen another spring flower to enjoy on my birthday, the pansy!  I LOVE, LOVE the pansy!  Have you ever looked at the flower of the pansy?  I swear they have faces!  They just seem to smile and rejoice in spring sunshine.  Every year I get some pansies for my birthday.

The song the birds sings fill me with joy, I love the hear them begin their morning songs, sometimes long before I'm ready to get out of bed, often times before the sun comes up.   They are certainly singing Happy Birthday to everything being reborn to Mother Earth again!  Oh, it could be they are also singing Happy Birthday to me!  That is why I love that my birthday is in the spring!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birthdays as a Kid

I remember fondly my birthdays as a teen.  I always got to have a slumber party with my girlfriends!  You know how slumber parties are, not much sleep going on.  We always had lots of good food and birthday cake.  Not carrot cake, I had not yet acquired a taste for carrot cake in those years.

The girls I ran around with were all from my class, we grew up in a small town.  There were only 54 in my graduating class.  We went to school together from first grade to twelfth grade.  We all pretty much were girls from farm families, we were all in 4-H together and of course went to camp together.  You'd see one of us, the others were not far behind.  I have to say, I was thrilled our children went to school where I grew up and their graduating classes were also small, pretty much from K thru 12 with the same kids.

Slumber parties were always pillow fights, intimate and quite conversations about the boys and then loud very often uproarious giggles that would go on and on.  We played those wonderful 45's on the record player the entire night.  We loved the Beach Boys, Surfer Girl..... was a favorite.   I can hear it today, it is burnt into my memory.  I still have a pile of 45's, my kids will run across them some day and not know what they are or how to play them. 

Not that long ago, oh gosh, maybe in 1989, (that was just yesterday!)  we all got together and had a slumber party at our house.  All my girlfriends came that I'd spent so much time with in high school.  Not one of them had changed, we picked up like a moment of time had ever passed.  Our conversations were now all about our families.  Pictures were passed around, laughter and tears were shared.  It was good to know that for as much as things change, some things are always the same........  how can that be?

As an adult, I also used to go to a slumber party that was with other horsewomen.  There was no talk of husbands or kids here, it was all about horses, rides and  trails, rigs, shoeing, feeding, veterinarians and horse gear.   We didn't stay up all night, we were a little older and wiser maybe.   We were filled up just sharing the love of horses.

I am glad the tradition of slumber parties is still with us.  My daughters had slumber parties and my grand daughters have had slumber parties too.  I think you never get too old for them.  Actually, whenever anyone comes and stays in my tipi lodge, it's like having a slumber party. A nice campfire burning, good conversations and lots of laughter! Come to think of it the last slumber party was last summer.   This was my first co-ed slumber party and it was too much fun!  We stayed up until almost three in the morning and we are still laughing about it today!

I can't wait for the next slumber party!!!!!  Anyone interested in a night in the tipi?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birthday Cakes

I have the funniest story to share.  My wonderful husband has a January birthday.  His favorite cake in the whole world it the Wartime Cake.  This is a cake I learned to bake when I was a kid at home.  My Dad had a real sweet tooth and he loved when I baked.   He would always say, "Now that was pretty tasty, but I think you need a little more practice."   He said the same thing about my yeast rolls and cinnamon rolls.  I loved to bake!

So anyway, I always made Richard's favorite cake for his birthday.   One year, feeling neglected or something, I complained that he NEVER bakes me a cake on my birthday.  Can you hear the whine?  I'm not sure he even knew what my favorite cake was.  When he ask what cake I wanted for my birthday, I could see a hint of panic in his eyes.  He thought he could get off with something easy, but noooo, my favorite cake of all time is a Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing! 

Not long after sharing this information with him, he ran into his sister and told her about his dilemma.  She said she would gladly bake a carrot cake for him to give me.  It really must have bothered him, this whole idea of having to bake a carrot cake.  So when he ran into my sister a few weeks later, he mentioned to her that he was going to have to bake me a carrot cake, she too could see doubt and panic in his eyes and said she'd gladly bake a carrot cake for him to give me.  

My birthday was fast approaching now and he is still worried about this cake.  Trisha calls her Dad to see if anything is planned for my birthday and he tells her he has to bake a carrot cake and doesn't know how.  She takes pity and says she would happily bring a carrot cake down when they come to visit.

Suddenly, my birthday is here!  Richard brings me my coffee that morning and wishes me Happy Birthday and says he is sorry, he just doesn't know how to bake my favorite cake.  Later that day, my sister arrives, she has the carrot cake she promised back in February.  Then Richard's sister arrives with the carrot cake he'd ask her to bake back in January.  Then Trisha and her family come with a carrot cake for my birthday too! 

Richard had totally forgotten that he'd ask everyone to bake these cakes.  We found that carrot cake freezes nicely.  I celebrated this birthday for months to come!  It is still one of the big family jokes when my birthday rolls around!  And yes, Trisha brought carrot cake down yesterday, when they came to celebrate my birthday. 

Thought I'd share the Wartime Cake recipe with you.   I found this in a very old pamphlet cookbook that was printed during WW II.   It is eggless, butterless and milkless...... all of these items were rationed during the war. 

                                                 Wartime Cake
                     1 cup of raisins                                1 tsp. cinnamon
                     1 cup packed brown sugar              1 tsp. nutmeg
                     1 cup warm water                           1 tsp. cloves
                     1/2 cup shortening
                  combine above ingredients, heat until boiling and simmer 2 minutes
                  Cool one hour

                     2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
                     1 tsp. soda
                     1/2 tsp. salt
                     1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
                    resift flour with soda and salt.  Stir into raisin mixture, add walnuts if desired.

                  Turn into a greased 9inch square pan and bake in a slow oven.  (300*F) for
                   50 to 60 minutes, or until cake tested done.   Cool and sprinkle with powered sugar.


Our Miracles

Well, I may have mentioned before, this is my birthday month.  Now, it is my birthday week!  Yesterday, was a gathering of my MIRACLES.  I hadn't thought much that my daughter wanted to come and visit, she and her family live about an hour and a half away.  Like all young families, they are very involved in their family, school and community.  We don't get together every week, sometimes it can be a month between visits.  When she said they were all coming down, it was just time to visit.  I didn't know she'd contacted her brother and sister and that all were coming to celebrate my birthday.  It was the beginning of my BIRTHDAY week. 

Trisha and Bill, with Aidan, Kellen, McKinley and baby Tatum arrived.  Not far behind was Ryan and Tere, with Cait and Lizzy.  Then my sister, Margaret and my neice Kara stopped by and then came our youngest Emily.  What a surprise to have everyone together on this rainy spring day!  Trisha brought a cake and Happy Birthday was sung with McKinley singing loudly the cha, cha, cha between verses.  It was a hoot!

One of the miracles in my life has been my children.  No one could have told me when I was young the joy of having adult children.  Oh, they all shared how wonderful babies were.  Everyone knows the joys, challenges and difficulty of having small children in the house.  It is not an easy time, but I loved being home while my children were young, raising them they way we'd been raised.  We live on a small farm, there are animals to care for, responsibility was learned early.  They knew the way and why of life, living on a farm.

Our miracles, grew from babies to teenagers, we were really LUCKY, our three didn't cause us much trouble.  Since Richard was a teacher, it was difficult to pull the wool over our eyes, there is a great underground among the teachers, news travels fast and our kids knew this!   There were the usual growing pains, but they were respectful and responsible, they did well in school, and moved on to being young adults.  Ryan is a weilder, actually he is more than a weilder now, new position in a job that he has worked at since high school, 19 years?  (wait I can't type, my head is spinning, is it possible he has worked this long!!!!)  Trisha graduated from Wilmington College and is an athletic trainer, her athletes are her four children, right now.  Emily also graduated from Wilmington College and is a Special Ed. teacher in the Springfield City Schools.

Now our miracles have given to us more miracles!  Cait, is nine.  She is sweet and loving and she loves the horses!  Her sister, Lizzy, is seven and a half, she is a little shy, very loving, and likes to ride horses to.  I am constantly amazed at their ease around the horses and their love and knowledge of the animals in their life. 

Aidan is seven and a couple months, he is Trisha and Bill's oldest.  He loves his sports and loves to joke around.  Kellen, will be six in July.  He is quick on his feet and thinks he can do anything his brother can do, he probably can.  He already knows the skills Aidan does at school and he is in Kintergarten.  McKinley is three and she thinks she is already a big kid.  Her vocabulary is out of this world, and her hand/eye coordination is amazing!  Baby Tatum is almost seven months, she is eating babyfood, sitting up and loves being in the middle of sibs activity!

So our miracles are wonderful adults.  They are kind and loving parents, they are responsible adults and they came yesterday to spend the afternoon together for my birthday.   I love that about them! 

Picture: upper right,  Aidan, Kellen and McKinley drumming
             right middle, Tatum
             bottom right,  Cait, pink cast and Lizzy

Friday, March 12, 2010

Almost Forty One Years

Richard and I are ready for spring, we have been locked up too long together in this house!  Oh dear, you'd think that after almost forty one years of marriage and almost six years of retirement we'd have this all worked out.  Well, we do have it worked out.  We have found that if we both have things that keep us busy, maybe it is the routine, we are much more able to spend our time together in better humor.

We have spent the mornings this winter, sleeping late, having coffee and chatting about this and that for another couple of hours and then we start making a move to do something.  In the wintertime it could be moving snow, writing a blog or reading a book.   Oh, there are days when we have important things to do, but mostly it is a leisurely time for us.  This winter has been long, we are both anxious to do something to give us more of a routine.  It's starting to effect our conversations in the morning, we suddenly don't understand what the other is saying.  It's as if we speak foreign language to one another or maybe it has always been this way, now it's just getting on our nerves........   I say this with all the humor I can find.  We have been married for almost forty one years, we are bound to still discover differences.  Maybe not so much a discovery but after a long winter I need to practice more tolerance!

Richard is the kind of guy that loves to be busy, he is not happy about inactivity.  He has been busy, if you like to move snow.  He has this wonderful old Model A 1931 Ford pick-up truck.  He is devouring catalogs of parts and making wish lists and constantly talking about this or that part.  All of which I hear, but don't understand most of the time.   I have heard the same conversation about the same parts wish list for the entire winter...............

I am looking forward to the mornings starting by 7am, coffee and breakfast done by 8am and we are both moving into a productive day.   He takes care of a farm and house on the other side of Cedarville, in the summer he mows 30 acres a week of "yard" for the non resident owner.  When he walks out the door, then my day can start too.   I don't have to explain why I'm on the computer, I don't have to explain that I'm running to get some supply or another to finish an art piece.  Life as we know it again becomes easier.

Don't get me wrong, I love my wonderful husband.  He is one of the "good guys".  He would do anything for me and does.  I have mentioned before that I give him short lists, a thing or two that just has to be done before flute circle or whatever, he does it willingly and without question.   I wish I could be like him!  Why do I question everything?    He also is so wonderful about fixing coffee and my breakfast every morning!
He unloads the dishwasher, he has fed my horses all winter.   He cleans the walk from the house to the studio when it is snow covered, he cleans off my car, just in case I have somewhere to go.  He takes out the trash and catches the studio cats when they won't come back to the studio in the evening.  I could go on and on.

I love that he can talk to everyone, that he supports my artistic life, he never questions my need for a new flute or that my dear friend and I are going on a road trip.  He supports my need to be who I am.  He loves his children, they always call on him when they need a hand with something, knowing he can fix anything!  Richard is always available when anyone needs a helping hand, his heart is always in the right place.  I love him for all these things and more.

Whew, there is nothing like putting it in writing to see that I am the one that needs a little attitude adjustment!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I told myself not to sit down at the computer, knowing how much time gets lost reading my emails, checking out my friends on Facebook and reading my friends blogs............   I told myself I had other things to do, important things.  I've been gone most of the day.  When I go out, away from my little world, I try to run all my errands at the same time.  Today's list was long:  Updated my license tags on the car, take stuff to recycle, stop at the print shop to proof new work, go to art class.   After art class, stop at the printers again, proof finished changes.  Then the question is, do I wait another an hour or more for the work or make another trip tomorrow to pick up the finished greeting cards.  I chose to go home, I have things to do.   And then I stopped for just a moment at the computer and now I am writing a blog......

I wanted to write about how warm it has gotten, sixty one degrees on my way home, how wonderful it is to see the earth again. I would love to share my new spring sightings, the red-wing blackbirds are back, I also heard the Killdeer and there are green sprouts of sweet grass showing.  No, I cannot be excited about these things.   With the snow is mostly gone, now all I see is the trash along the roadsides.  I get so angry about this.  It is one of my biggest pet peeves.  Why are people so inconsiderate?  Why can't they take their trash home and dispose of it properly?  You've seen it, you know what I'm talking about, plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags, trash from the drive thru food place.  I don't know how people can do this to our beautiful countrysides. 

I remember once picking up trash on one of our back roads, when we turned around to walk back to our truck, there were new pieces of trash laying along the road.  Didn't your Mother and Father teach you not to litter?  Is this what you do to your own property?  Have you no respect?  What are you teaching your children?  It makes me very upset, it allows me to see something other than the beauty of our world.  It forces me to voice my irratation to anyone who will read this post.

I just don't know what else to say on the matter...........  Sure, I can go and pick it up and I certainly have, but it never makes a difference, people are still being rude and inconsiderate when they throw their trash out the window of their cars.  We don't need another law to try to enforce, we need to teach respect for the earth we live on to our children to make a difference.  Lets start now!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Sunday Drive

When I was a kid I remembered loading into the car and just taking a drive.  I don't recall that we went any place special.  Being the oldest I always got a window seat, my sister in the middle and my brother the other window seat.  I think it wasn't always the best arrangement because my sister tended to have car sickness....

I remember trips into southern Ohio.  The land is hilly there, those hills look like mountains to me.  I loved looking into the wooded hillsides and wondering how people climbed those hills. I love doing that today, looking into those trees.  Sometimes I see the secrets of a past time.   I also wondered if a horse could climb those hillsides.  They seemed so steep  and sometimes tangled with undergrowth.  I envisioned myself on a horse, making my way over the mountain. 

I look back on this and wonder if I manifested this, years later I did ride my horses over mountains in Ohio.  If you aren't from Ohio, we don't really have mountains, we do have some pretty good hills!  Riding a horse on trails in Ohio's rolling hills was an act of trust and faith.  I spent a year or two being totally afraid of riding these kind of trails.  I learned to trust my horse and he and I shared a common faith that this was were we needed to go and this was the way to get there!  When we trusted ourselves and each other, we could do anything!

Life is much like riding up the mountain trail.  You can worry about how to get to the other side, if the trail will be rocky and slick, you can worry about many things that could happen on the trail.  In the end you have to trust and have faith that all will be well.  Our lives are often rocky and a slippery fall comes now and then.
You get muddy and scratched and you are often tired and sore at the end of the day.  The accomplishment that comes from climbing that "mountain" is so fulfilling.  You learn the lessons along the way to go around those muddy bogs, you know to duck so the branches won't whack you and you trust all will be well.  One of my favorite quotes I read on a church sign, it said, "Faith is like driving in the fog".  I love that!  I think of that when I am having some doubt or concern about something going on in my life.

I think I am meandering again, I really wanted to share that my dear friend and I took a little detour coming home yesterday.  We traveled some back country roads, I showed her a herd of Bison and from their field you could see trees down by the river that had the Great Blue Herons nests, empty now, but soon to be filled with activity.  You can't see these nests when the leaves come out on the trees.  It was a good day to check them out.  We also drove to a canoe launch at the Little Miami River and got out to enjoy the sunshine and hear the water moving down stream. 

My friend hears stories of when we'd haul the horses to Yellow Springs, unload and then ride back home, crossing the river in this exact spot.  The time I broke my rib when I didn't duck low enough in the saddle and got scraped off.  I rode my horse another six miles home before I could get of and moan in pain.  Another time a good friend got tossed off her horse in this river on a cold fall day and had to ride that same six miles, wet to the skin.  It was fun to remember those moments.

Horses taught me long ago to get back on and try again.  That is the way of life.........  spread your wings, wait for the draft and then fly, soar and live this moment.  This buzzard was waiting on that draft, so he could soar, soon he did and we headed home from our little Sunday drive.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Massie Creek Flute Circle

This morning the Massie Creek Flute Circle met in my studio.  We have been meeting since last June.  Actually, I am not positive when we started, but I know our meetings were held on the porch of the studio all summer.
We have been meeting on the first Sunday of every month.  Our average number of people all summer was maybe five.  I loved the ease of this little group that gathered and played and talked and played and laughed.  The mornings always went quickly.

Today we met on the first Saturday of the month.  The change was due to a conflict with the Sunday meeting.  It turned out to be a great change.  The studio was packed full with fourteen Fluties.  I consider my job in all of this is to clean the studio and have enough chairs for every one to sit.  I don't usually have a plan, things just seem to evolve.  For instance:  My dear friend Linda and I were playing flutes together last week and discovered that the flute we were playing sounded like a particular animal or bird, I don't remember exactly.  The inspiration was to write down things that make noise (birds, animals, wind, rain and so on) on a card and have each person draw a card and then try to make that sound on their flute.  The idea behind this technique is to use embellishments to make your flute music more interesting.  It was so fun listening to leaves fall, butterflies dance, a mourning dove coo, or a dog bark.  Besides the interesting music each played, there was also lots of laughter.

During another meeting we used our flutes to ask our neighbor a question and the neighbor answers  the question on their flute. Some conversations are very abrupt and insistent!   This is not my idea, our flute circle leader in Columbus used this idea at her circle.  We also will play to some music on Cd's designed to be back up music for a flute player.  It is always amazing how the same background music will inspire each flute player to play their own song, no two songs are ever alike.  This music is coming from the players heart.

At the end of each Massie Creek Flute Circle we do a little work on keeping the beat.  I am very challenged in this area, but have seen some progress as we continue to practice this technique.  We gather around the big pow wow drum and a beat is set, we then take turns playing our flutes to the drum beat.  Bells, rattles and shakers are all used to accompany the drum.  We have had as many as eight people around the drum at one time.  It is a wonderful ending to our flute circle, although this can take quite awhile to actually end.  Everyone seems to love the drum.

I love our flute circle, I didn't want to see the morning end, it was just too much fun.

Friday, March 5, 2010


It is amazing the change in things when the sun shines on your life.  Your entire being absorbs that light and reflects it out.  We have been in a long period of winter and gloomy sky.  With the snow on the ground, everything is black, white and gray.  I feel like an old bear in the den, waiting for brighter and warmer days.

Today sunrise was showing clear skies.  The sun is bright and sky is blue once again.  The birds are singing songs of spring.  They too are happy for the sunshine.  It is March, spring is close and have I mentioned?  This is my Birthday Month!   I really think that is also the reason for my JOYFUL outlook on spring!  I have another chance at watching Mother Earth going through her rebirth!   I am a part of that rebirth, taking each day and living it as if it's my first and last.   I am humbled and grateful for this gift, I will celebrate accordingly.   

This is the second day of full sunshine in Greene County!  The snow is beginning to melt, I can see patches of what will soon be grass in my yard.  I also see the limbs that must be picked up before anything like mowing will happen.  This is a normal routine, the trees shed what is broken and damaged, making room for new growth.  I think we all do that, it just isn't so obvious sometimes.

I took my two shaggy little dogs to the groomer today.  They haven't had a hair cut since before Christmas, they like their winter hair in the winter.  The hair around their faces I try to keep trimmed, but after awhile they start looking like weird hairy dogs with little heads.........  something out of proportion and for an artist that is just wrong!  Spring haircuts are a must!

Of course all this sunshine will also bring mud.  Something you cannot avoid when living on a farm.  The driveway is soggy and the horse barn area is not only soggy, it is also sloppy.   I always know spring is really here when the horses start taking mud baths.  My white horse turns into a crusted muddy brown thing with legs.  I suppose it is partly due to the itching hair that they will start shedding very soon.  I once took a picture of them covered in mud, sent it out as a greeting card, the caption was, Spring Has Come!  All of my horse friends understood, they had the same in their stables.

Sunshine also brings people who smile more.  They too have been locked in their caves, waiting, just waiting for the sunshine to draw them outside.  I love spring...........   did I mention..... oh never mind, I think I did.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another Strange Thing......

Funny, I've been waking up all week thinking the sun is shining and it NEVER is.  It has been cloudy and gloomy outside for days, maybe weeks.  It feels like weeks.  I am determined to make my own sunshine!  I turn on lights, turn on music and find the sunshine inside my space.  It has not failed to work and I am becoming a master!

Something strange happened to me this morning.  I actually felt like cleaning!  You might call it Spring Cleaning because I am moving stuff and running the sweeper under things.  Things that maybe haven't been moved for awhile.  Yes, this is very strange, in my world if it is tidy, it is clean enough!

I know some of you were thinking this blog would be another encounter with the tipi spirits.  Sorry to disappoint you.  I am dealing with another type of spirit, the spirit of contentment.  You know that feeling, the one that says "yes, you have done a great job!"  Even if it is only catching those dust bunnies!

When I was younger, when my children were home.  My job, if you will, was to do the work of a Mom at home with her children.  It was never ending and even if I didn't love doing it, I did it because it was necessary.   Now, I am older, everything takes twice as long to do as it did when I was younger.  Is it the enthusiasm or the energy that has left me?   I now save my energy for the important stuff, art, flutes, family and friends.  Not in that order necessarily, it seems to change with the day.

I look at all the things I have collected through our married life.  I wonder why I have the need to have these things, they only need dusting.  As I dust these things I remember the event that happened to cause me to cherish it and have it out to continue to remind me of that moment in time.  I don't want to forget those special times.  We have a room called the Trophy Room, it is really a morning room to most.  It is home to trophies, photos and ribbons of when the kids and I rode horses and won these mementos.  I keep birthday cards, letters from friends and old photo albums.  There are pictures that never made it to photo albums.  I have baskets hanging and sitting everywhere.  I love baskets, they are for gathering, giving and receiving things.  I continue to collect things I love, although the cherished things have changed and been added to the things from the past.  Now I collect drums and flutes and I have started trading my art for other people's beautiful art.  I am getting a wonderful collection of amazing pieces. As I dust these pieces, I see the work and joy put into the piece from the artist I traded with.  I cherish getting to know that artist and having a piece of their sunshine in my life.
What really compounds the problem, my wonderful husband also collects things.  I won't even go into the things he is interested in, it would boggle your mind.  We each have our rooms that we claim for ours.  These rooms are rarely seen by friends and even family.  These rooms are often reorganized, but rarely cleaned on a regular schedule.  Did I use the word schedule?   I usually clean for the next big event that will happen at our house.

Strange then that I feel the need to clean.........   there are no big events about to happen, except maybe SPRING!  This is all very strange.  If spring isn't in the air, it must be pledge.................

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More Strange Things

2005 was the first year for our tipi to sit in the horse pasture.  Fall came and the November full moon.  I knew the tipi was going to come down soon.  The full moon afforded a chance to get some great pictures of the tipi lodge and the full moon.  I took our three wheeler out with a little hay for the horses, I was hoping they would like to be in the picture with the tipi and the full moon.  I took an entire roll of film while out there, I wanted to have them developed the next day when I took another roll of film to be processed.  I remember how very cold it was and took pictures very quickly, one after the other, only a move to one side of the tipi to the other.  Sometimes the camera didn't have time to recover and would not flash for the next shot. 

The pictures I am posting are just a few from the roll.  One picture would show something and the next would show nothing.  What appears to be smoke from a campfire is NOT.  There was no campfire.  The little white dot in the sky is the full moon.  The hay lays untouched by the horses, oh, they came to see what I was up to and were slightly interested in the hay.  They quickly changed their minds and snorted big time and raced back to the barn.  My horses are not afraid of camera flashes, they think they are poster horses for some horse magazine because of all the pictures I've taken of them.  I can tell you it was very cold out there that night.  The one that looks like my thumb is in the picture, it is not my thumb.......
When I had the pictures developed and looked at them before walking away from the counter, I called the clerk back and ask her what happened to my pictures!  She looked at them, looked at me and took them to her fellow worker.  They both looked at the pictures and came back to me.  She said, "I don't know what is in your pictures, it is nothing we did, but we know what is on the negative will be developed as shown." 

Many people have seen these pictures, no one has an answer as to what was there that night at the tipi.