Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

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? 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Before Dawn

I'm awake early this morning, I don't know why.  Maybe my excitement about the day coming, today the Massie Creek Flute Circle meets at our home.  I still have a few things that need doing before they arrive.  Even if those things weren't done, it would be fine. It just seems to be the reason I wake up and go through my little check list in my mind, I snuggle deeper under the down blanket.

Oh, I could go back to sleep, I am still foggy, I haven't really opened my eyes, except maybe to squint at the red numbers on the clock.  Dreams are easier to remember when they come right before really waking for the day.  I love the in between times, when the veil of sleep hasn't quite lifted, magical things can happen then.

The thing is I don't want to get out of bed, it is still dark, sunrise is later now that it's October.  I don't like getting out of my warm bed, especially when I'm first wake up.  I don't like getting up when there is no activity in the house, the dogs are still sleeping, no coffee is brewing.  It is a peaceful time, I don't want to turn on the lights, they seem so harsh and bright.  I will move around in the dark house, hoping to come awake like the sun rising, just a little at a time.  I want my senses to notice the quite time before dawn, before I can really begin the day.  I lay listening to the sounds of this early morning before dawn.  Night sounds, crickets are all that interrupt the quite darkness.  No birds are singing this early, it is fall after all.  If it were spring, even in the darkness they would have started their morning songs.  As I lay there in my warm bed, I feel the coolness coming in the open window, I know I will be chilly when I get out of bed, why would I want to get up so early?  I can't seem to quite my thoughts and finally, I get out of bed.

So this morning I sit at the computer, the light of the screen is the only light on, coffee is brewing, the little dogs are following me around the dark house wondering why we are up so early.  I am writing this blog because when I lay in bed, I wondered what makes me not want to be the first one up.  I love mornings, I am most productive in the mornings.  I remember as a kid, I didn't like getting up until I heard others moving about.  For some reason rising before the sun just seems unnatural to me.  Let the sun be up and I can jump out of bed and get on with the day, it is not a problem.  I cherish this quite time before dawn.  It is just after 6 AM and I am up.  Now if I can just talk myself into turning on the lights and getting ready for 9:30 AM flute circle.  It's going to be a great day.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Hard to believe that October is here already, I know I said the same thing about September!  I love the cool mornings, the leaves dancing their last dances in the breeze.  Are they ready for what is coming, do they have any last wishes?  Do they hope for their colors to blaze in the fall sunshine, before they wistfully dance free from their tether and gracefully float to the ground?  Was their journey here difficult, hanging on for dear life when the storms passed through this summer?  Did they thirst for more water when August brought no rain?  Did they delight with the activity of the squirrels and birds nesting on the branches and did the leaves hide the secrets of their nests? 

Are we so unlike the leaves on the trees, needing to dance in the breezes, showing our beautiful colors to the world by the love and caring we have for others?  Do we hang on tightly when the storms in our life blow through, hoping to survive another day?  Do we thirst for more, more love, more compassion, and more understanding.  Do we share our lives with others, providing shelter and keeping the little ones safe from harm. 

Again, I am reminded, we are all related...........   Happy October first!  Wave your colors to the world, be thoughtful and mindful of the storms of others, shelter, care and love all who walk this earth.