Wednesday, August 31, 2022

...the equal of any brush trembling with fever and emotion.


"Make your studio a sanctuary for inspiration." ~Agnes Martin.

 So, I brought the old canvas decoys from the Garden Shanty.  I like them here.  I sketched them, of course.  However, this little room is no studio.  It is a mere 10 x 11 sewing cubby.  It is close to the kitchen so I can go running when needs be.  (And, when Hubby comes in as though I have been laboring all morning over a hot, steaming cookstove. ;~)

"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better."

~Maya Angelou

These little Jude Hill inspired nine-patch blocks keep popping up.  My needle is threaded.  The "trickster" here in the sewing cubby needs a place to hide.

"...period imperfection, before the days of everything being standardized and mechanized and automated, everything's done by humans by human hands, nothing is perfect and imperfection is part of history."  ~Bernadette Banner

If my count is correct there are now eighty-three finished (or almost finished) pages in the new little journal.  This little book is already not wanting to close properly because of the slightly ruffled pages caused by water coloring many of them.  (Yes, I know I should have used proper paper for this, but I wanted to use this little book because it was a gift from my granddaughter) so I have been thinking that perhaps I shall have to write more and draw less which might also be equally inspiring.  Beautiful expression with words is one of the finest forms of art, for which the great painter Vincent Van Gogh would readily agree.  He once wrote on this subject in letters to his brother.

"To put it no higher, my God how beautiful that is.  Shakespeare - who is as mysterious as he? - his language and his way of doing things are surely the equal of any brush trembling with fever and emotion."   

And, with that I decided to try recreating Van Gogh's Self Portrait here in my journal.  If I had known the sketch would turn out so well, I would have moved it farther out onto the page, so his entire hat was visible.  I was so excited about him that my brush almost trembled with fever and emotion.  :~)

August ~ almost out the door.  It has been a month of beautiful sunsets, for sure.  And we'll not be forgetting here on the hill that this month brought us much needed rain, for which we are so thankful.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Late into August...


One must be careful about stepping out to the garden for just a quick look around.  In today's case, I had wandered off leaving a cake baking in the oven.  Thankfully, I did make it back before the cake was burned, but only by a hair's breadth.

Surely, we all remember the Gilligan's Island episode in which a famed butterfly collector comes to the island in search of the rare "Pussycat Swallowtail," and the castaways try to help him find it so he will shoot his flare gun and rescue them.

Well, it wasn't the Pussycat Swallowtail that detained me in the zinnia patch just now, but close... It was a very large yellow swallowtail, and a gorgeous black one too that appeared just as large as the yellow one.  I have pictures...  

Never mind that the zinnias have taken over the garden which is not going to work.  They need a room of their own, for sure.   I, and the other plants, need space too, so there is much planning and work to be done before the summer tanager returns next spring to sing another song.  

It was coincidental that the subject of yesterday's journal post was the Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly.

The out-of-control zinnia patch...

It has been sheer craziness at the hummingbird feeders the past few days.  I have pictures, but it is hard to capture such chaos.  I focused on only three of the feeders, but there are eight more, so one can imagine.    


Thursday, August 18, 2022

More Adventures...


My bedraggled and holey old shoes finally passed over these well-worn old cow trails for the last time.  These new brown Keens, waiting in the sidelines, were ready to be called out to continue on.  I notice from these pictures that my summer tanned legs are almost as brown as the new shoes.  It has been one heck of a long hot summer, for sure. Millie and I are ready for some jacket weather.

The new journal is filling up with the oh-so-many fun adventures here on the hill.  Why, I even made a sketch on one page of the new shoes.  I can't afford to miss any opportunity for there are still lots and lots of pages waiting to be filled.  But I am enjoying it and learning oh so much.      


Weekly chores have now become adventures to record.  It was the perfect opportunity to post these Basic Rules for Clotheslines.  I have lived these from childhood to the present and wouldn't think of breaking a single one...well except for the one about never hanging a shirt by the shoulders. Those little peaks on the shoulders will never be noticed, do you think?  (Actually, I don't hang our shirts and dresses by the shoulder; only did that for a better picture.)

I certainly couldn't let this first week of the new school year here go unmentioned.  There have been so many first days of school for me through the years, first as a student then as a teacher.  I miss going to school a lot, expecially on that oh-so-wonderful first day, and still have dreams about those days gone by.  I even remember almost all the upper and lower case Zaner Bloser Cursive Handwriting letters.  But, to think, these are no longer taught in our schools.  What a shame!  The granddaughters do everything in manuscript and do it well, though.  And fast!

Those girls are all about school and were so excited to be going back on Monday morning.  Playing school has occupied them for many a long hour, for sure, so they have had much practice in the art of schooling.  

I still remember their names...  

Happy school days, Kiddos!  

Until next time,


Friday, August 12, 2022

Summer's Slippin' Away...

Summer is slipping away.  The signs are going up wherever we care to look.  The Orb Weavers are busy on every corner, and the birds have hushed their songs.  

Wilbur, in Charlotte's Web by E. B. White said, "I've got a new friend all right.  But what a gamble friendship is!  Charlotte is fierce, brutal, scheming, bloodthirsty - everything I don't like.  How can I learn to like her, even though she is pretty and, of course clever?"  

The hummingbirds have been on a feeding frenzy for the past couple of weeks or more.  They too are making ready for the big event.  Migration is not to be taken lightly. I was reminded of these pictures from last year's album of one little hummer's own feeding frenzy at the bee balm.  Of course, I just had to see what I could do with my little set of watercolor paints.  Can you tell which one is the imposter?  Ha Ha!

When the Summer Tanager went missing last week, I supposed it was migration that had taken him away.  But then yesterday, through the kitchen window, I saw him perched on the barbed wire fence.  I grabbed my camera, for one never knows when the last time will be just that...the last time.  I said aloud, "Oh please, just sing one more song."  But, in the next moment, he flew up into a tree and I saw him no more. 

Safe travels, Friend.  I'll see you next year, and maybe you will sing me one more song...

When I fell in love with these little water colored nine-patch blocks, they became another journal page.  I wonder what this is trying to tell me.  As I told a friend, when I have finished the next one hundred pages, maybe I will know what I want to be when I grow up.  

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Journal Pages...


Much to our delight, there are now new sights and sounds along the trail following the oh-so-wonderful rain that fell here a few days ago.  I recently updated my Hilltop Trails Map for the new journal, so I am posting it here for reference.  The picture below was taken just north of the pond where a spring of freshwater, which ceased to flow in the two-month long drought, is now back in business.  The soothing sounds of falling and trickling water, along with the croaking of happy frogs are welcome sounds along the trail for sure.  

I have added other pages to the journal as well.  My granddaughter who gave me the journal did write that it is for "documenting my fun adventures", didn't she? "  I have been both writing and sketching, usually on facing pages, but here I will just post the sketches.  I estimate at the rate I am working, I might have the pages filled in one hundred days.  One hundred adventures?  Ha Ha!  What an exciting life I must lead for someone who rarely leaves these old trails I walk!

As I have written here before, Millie and I do enjoy watching the coyotes.  They don't have many friends here, except for Millie and me.  We respect them.

Farm work can be a real adventure, often times a bit too much of one, so there will be pages for those times.  Here the first of the heifers has just gotten a new purple ear tag (it's a bit like getting one's ears pierced.) and her vaccinations.  The rope is only a prop and was used no way in the process.  The fence is made of strips of cloth, as is the purple ear tag.  

We all know how much I love the summer tanager, so it's no surprise to find him here.  I like the depth I created here.  The bird is cut from a tiny piece of rosy red linen.  

Now, I am wondering what new adventure there will be for tomorrow.   Maybe we will spot a magnificent Red-Tailed Hawk, or could it be the day that we finally encounter a bear on the trail...

Until next time,