Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Walk #300...

 


Walk #300 was different.  Millie and I loved it, for sure.  A good snowfall around here isn't something that happens often, but when it does we kind of make a big deal of it.  Why, the weather guys have been talking about this one for more than a week.  I can only imagine how many sleds and snow shovels were sold during that time.  I just made sure we had plenty of milk and bread... and bird seeds.


"When I no longer thrill to the first snow of the season, I'll know I'm growing old."

~ Lady Bird Johnson












"We sleep, and at length awake to the still reality of a winter morning.  The snow lies warm as cotton or down upon the windowsill; the broadened sash and frosted panes admit a dim and private light, which enhances the snug cheer within.  The stillness of the morning is impressive.  The floor creaks under our feet as we move toward the window to look abroad through some clear space over the fields...

                                                                       ~Henry David Thoreau


Friday, January 13, 2023

We make fire...

 



As of today, the new chiminea has now had its first fire.  With Millie's help of course, for she is always with me, I built a fire in this little outdoor fireplace made of terra cotta.   What fun that was for a cold day in January!  Tom Hank's YouTube video here best demonstrates the thrill of it.  Of course, in his case, fire was essential for his survival on that lonely and deserted island, while we only did this for fun.  

I am, in fact, well experienced in the art of making fire (with a lighter or match) having had a wood-burning heating stove for many years.  I love having a warm fire on these cold winter days.









I was really surprised at how much heat the little chiminea made.  Holding my hands above the chimney was a great place to warm them up.  Millie preferred, however, resting in her corner of the shanty.  

It has now been 280 days since we missed walking the trails over our beloved old hill.   I loved the reflections on the pond today.




And, a pretty leaf from a briar vine had fallen to the ground.  Mother Nature surely is a wonderful artist.  




Thursday, January 5, 2023

Hibernating: Week One...

 


Unfinished business..


I have taken up the watercolors once again in an effort to finish last year's journal.  When I realized one of my favorite paintings, The Seamstress, was on the opposite side of this page, I stopped short for fear the paint would leak through and spoil her.  (And it did just a bit in a couple of places but is hardly noticeable after drying. This paper is not designed for water coloring.) 



The Seamstress...
Cloth bows and collar

What with warmer temperatures the first week of the new year, I should think that even the bears would have ventured out to soak up a bit of January's unexpected sunshine. The birds did, for sure, and Millie and I certainly got our share of that glorious shine on our faces. 

Christmas decorations are now packed away for another year.  (And, yes, I did once again make the declaration that this would be the last year that I would put up a large tree.)  The one I packed away, never to be put up again, was frosted with glitter which ended up all over the place, in my hair on the tip of my nose, and even on the cook stove and perhaps in a pot of soup simmering there.  Who would know? 


Early morning gathering on a winter's day...



The Shanty...
Dusted and decorated with dried flowers...

We ventured out yesterday to sweep out the Shanty and stayed a little longer to play around with the dried flowers collected at summer's end.  

The old goose decoy, made of canvas and stuffed with sawdust, prefers to sit in the window and watch the birds at the feeders.  When it's really cold he likes to go inside and sleep in the sewing room with some of the dolls.  



 Goose Decoy...

Created from cloth, sawdust, and paint... 

In places the weave of the canvas cloth and sewing threads are visible. I like that a lot.



January Sunset...



My Millie...


What in your life is calling you, when all the noise is silenced, the meetings adjourned...the lists laid aside, and the wild iris blooms by itself in the dark forest...What still pulls on your soul?

                                                                               ~Rumi



Saturday, December 31, 2022

Photo of the Year 2022...

 

Photo of the Year 2022

"The Weaver"

Who would have thought that a lowly spider's web could win such honors.  :~)  I am quite surprised that the hubby suggested it for he's not much of a bug and spider kind of guy.  



"The Drought Buster"  2022


"The Watering Hole" 2022

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The girls looked through Journal pages and chose their favorites.  I was pleased because these are favorites of mine too.  





"Sing One More Sweet Song" 2022

How can one, even in the cold dark days of January, forget the song of the Summer Tanager?






Millie and I are now back up to 287 consecutive walks.  On February 23, I wrote on my calendar, "Another winter storm hits.  3 inches of sleet and freezing rain.  I am not feeling well.  It was an early walk ahead of the rain & sleet.  370 walks.

Continuing on the 24th, I scribbled, "I am sick.  The ground is treacherous.  There is very little traffic.  Schools are closed.  I did not walk."  My streak was once again broken.  I missed 12 days of walking.  Millie surely was happy when we were back on the trail.  So was I.  






I will not be making resolutions this year.  They are such a bother when I am already doing the best that I can.  I am, however, naming this year, My Big Creative Year 2023, in which I plan to live and breathe all things I consider art.  (Even arranging the refrigerator can fall into that category.) 

"You have to be a little careful with me because I actually make art out of everything."  ~ Dorothea Stuffer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I must continue to follow the path I take now.  If I do nothing, if I study nothing, if I cease searching, then, woe is me.  I am lost.

That is how I look at it ~ keep going.  Keep going come what may.  But what is your final goal, you may ask.

That goal will become clearer, will emerge slowly but surely, much as the rough draft turns into a sketch, and the sketch into a painting through the serious work done on it, through the elaboration of the original vague idea, and through the consolidation of the first fleeting and passing thought".

~Vincent Van Gogh




Happy New Year and many happy creative days to you, dear friends!  Thanks to all of you for your visits and kind words here.  

~Mary



Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Winter Solstice...

 

The night sky picture above was taken last winter with my cell phone (which impressed me greatly).


 I tried to duplicate that same night sky on this journal page.  The quote is from Thomas Hardy in "Far from the Madding Crowd, which seems so applicable at this time of the year.  



"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 

 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  

And the angel said unto them, Fear not for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And his shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."  

~St. Luke Ch. 2, 8~13





~~~~~~~~~~

So, a new season is officially here and, according to all reports, Old Man Winter is going to blast us on the first full day of winter with strong cold winds.  We are expecting rain and snow in the morning changing over to just snow in the afternoon.  Temps will fall sharply, with an overnight low of 2 degrees. We are hoping there will be no repeat of last year's storm.




I have worked hard the past month cleaning house ~ organizing, rearranging, and clearing out some unwanted and unnecessary things. I wanted to make a fresh start come January l, when I plan to go into a semi-hibernation mode.  The picture below, which keeps circulating here and there, is a perfect illustration for what I have in mind. (Except that I would like to be the one resting in the chair.  Ha Ha!)
That roaring fire surely looks good, doesn't it?

I hope all of you stay warm and toasty and have a very Merry Christmas.  Take care....





Happy, happy Christmas
that can win us back to the 
delusions of our childish days,
that can recall to the old man
the pleasures of his youth.
that can transport the sailor
and the traveler,
thousands of miles away
back to his own fireside
and his quiet home!

~ Charles Dickens


Saturday, November 26, 2022

Sage and Me...

 


It has been a rainy day here; perfect for putting up the Christmas tree.  But did I do that?  No.  I did what I like doing best on a day like this ~ cleaning and moving stuff around.   Even Sage, the fellow there beside me, now has a new place to hang. He does look happy, I think.  :~)



As I have said here many times before, I love a rainy day.  This is looking toward the east through the sewing room window.  This is the only room in which there is a bit of Christmas beginning to show up. The little tree has been fluffed but there are no decorations yet. (Granny Marigold I got the idea of fluffing my tree from you!  :~)




Millie and I took our usual walk over the hilltop trail this morning before the rain began.  It was pretty much the "same old bench, same old squirrel, same old giant bowl of spaghetti,"* until ........... There he was watching us - he, the same black coyote that, I feel sure, terrorized us on that dark night trek over the hill that I wrote about in my last post. 



I fumbled for my phone to try to get a picture, but by the time I pulled off my gloves and retrieved the phone from my coat pocket, he had disappeared into the woods.  The wolves in this picture from a Google search do, in fact, look a lot like our coyote.  I loved his dark thick coat and his just being there in all his majestic wildness.  I so hope he can dodge those flying bullets for it is deer-hunting season here and many a hunter would like to bag this beauty.  

I haven't done much water coloring in the journal lately, but I did finally finish the brick paver patio in the Shanty Garden.   The final touch was definitely the addition of a heavy clay chiminea that I got for my birthday earlier this month.  I can't wait for our first fire in it.   






* A quote from the cartoon Oswald that I used to watch with my young grandson.