Tuesday, September 30, 2008


...Understanding All the Pieces...
of my "chain of consciousness" interpretation of the theme
in Jennifer's little Maruman sketchbook...
(Click on images to enlarge)

From left to right above...
my art...Jennifer's art...and a wee peek of Anita's art...
Jennifer's pages have a quote about the universe...
It reads:
"The clearest way to the universe...
is through a forest wilderness."

A close up of part of my 10 pages in Jen's book.
The quote reads:
"You are part of the universe
no less than the stars and trees.
And you have the right to be here.
Whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt, the universe is unfolding as it should."
~Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

Yet closer views of my pages...
here I attempted to show the vegetation of the desert,
the forests of Maine and Sweden, the flowers of the fens,
and even a corn plant from Illinois... (where I was while working on Jen's book)
The bubbles just happened to "float in" from
Anita's art work on the back section of the book. LOL:)
The sun "rays" and the roots of the plants mimic
the lightning and patterns of growth shown in Anita's pages following.

An ancient petroglyphic figure emerges supporting a tree
whose branches intertwine and change into Jennifer' forest.
The three "squiggles" is the Hindu symbol
"Aum" or "OM"
a Hindu sacred sound that is considered the greatest of all mantras.
It represent several important triads:
the three worlds - earth, atmosphere, and heaven and
the three major Hindu gods - Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
fondly worshipped in Indonesia and Bali!

"Om" mystically embodies the essence of the entire universe.
To me
it was a perfect symbol to include here.

Well readers...in a nutshell...
"that's my story...and I'm stickin' to it! "
In my post the next two days
I will reveal the rest of my pages in Jen's book.
Stay tuned! :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

"She's At It Again...!"

...More Nocturnal Activity...
Showing off 5 of her bloomers to her batty late night friends
for the third time this summer season!
What a "flirt" my Night Blooming Cereus is!
I can tell
she's even lining up more activity for the coming nights...
flower buds are sticking out of her everywhere!
One thing she isn't...is shy!
One thing she is...is the local queen of the night.

Here's a bit of "bling"
left just dangling from one her arms this morning...
some "spent blooms" from her Saturday night out on the town!
Should I "ground" her?
...her life's foundations thus far have been pretty "rocky".
Oooh...but, she is such a pretty child...oooh!
What's a mother to do???

I confess, though, that
I did take a peek inside some of her personal things
in an attempt to try to figure out what makes her tick...
and I think she will be just fine.
It's just one of those "stages" youngsters go through! :)

Happy Cactus Monday All!
May all your cactus children treat you well!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

"From Soulbrush..."

"Ooooh! " I said squealing with delight!
"Lookie here!"
This awaited me Saturday after sleeping overnight
in my blogland message box!
Thank you
so very much Soulbrush!
a boisterous "WooHoo!" was heard all throughout the land!

This is an award for arty blogs in WORDS,
Joyfully presented to:

Brenda at Amber Ridge Desert
Susan at Socially Sketching with Susan
Anita at Anita Davies
Kathleen at Hammeredplayer
Lisa at Artsyendeavors
Sandy at Myfiddlestix
Karla at Ramblin' Roads
Mia at Miasketchbook
Julie at A Succulent Life
Shirley at Paper and Threads
Claudia at Time Passages
Pippa at Pippa's Porch
Alberta and Ava at AmusingMuses
Deborah at Silverwoman Studio
Serena at Art By Serena
Arty Em at Creative Art Journal
Angie at Artvizions
Fran at Artsyfran
John at John A Lookin Around
Stephanie at Deliberately Creative
Lisa at Lisa Reed How I See It

You know the rules, now pass it on!
Spread the JOY! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

"Politics Bugs Me!!..."

Click on photo to enlarge...I feel like bee #3
It always has...! :(
The Presidential debates left me in a really dark funk tonight.
I tire of the posturing,
and the creative interpretation of the "truth",
and the fingerpointing,
and the double talking,
and the "I, I, I'ing..."
and all the rest of the bunk.
It drives me Bonkers!
It happens on both sides...all the time...and it bugs me!

...then there is the $750 Billion"Bail out"!
I'll save that for another night.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"All For One..."

"Winter is an etching,
Spring a watercolor,
Summer an oil painting
Autumn a mosaic of them all. "
~Stanley Horowitz

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Nothing New Here?..."

... Just the "same old...same old"!

Doesn't matter where you live...yardwork is inevitable!

When we were back in Illinois
Scott and I worked one day
using a small hand saw and tree clippers,
to trim overgrown bushes and trees and hedges and the like...
bagging 14 jumbo recycling bags full of yard waste
and tying together 4 huge bundles of thicker limbs
to be carried off the next day by Waste Management.
That didn't even include mowing the lawn, edging, pulling weeds,
"yadda, yadda, yadda...!"
It was just more or the "same old..same old..."
we have done every summer.

We knew yard work in Arizona was inevitable too,
and we also knew it was a different animal...entirely!
Everything growing in the desert has some sort of thorn or "bite" to it
and it is ferociously fearsome to tackle!
This morning , Domingo and his 2 man crew
worked for 2 hours using power "whackers" to tame
8 thorny bougainvillea bushes,
5 Mexican bird of paradise,
2 spiked Palo Verde trees,
and one Canary Island palm...
all gone "wild and woolly" since we were away.
Thorny prickly yard debris was everywhere
piled 3-4 feet high in places
from front to back!
Palm fronds and branches and limbs
were lifted with pitchforks and thrown into
the back of a huge open "soon to be overflowing" trailer cart.
Like a myriad of snowflakes in a windstorm,
papery dried bougainvillea blossoms were spun everywhere in the air
given flight by blasts from two powerful yard blowers.
Nothing new here...
Yes, again, the "same old...same old"-just Arizona style.

"Nothing new here..."
In proofing these words, now in the wee hours of this day,
I find my spirit unsettled.
I have spoken only of mundane things.
Trying to be witty and clever and light...
Chores, and routines, and piles of yard waste...
the "same old ...same old."
Not once thinking or speaking about a bigger picture.
My heart aches for those who are experiencing
numbing loss this year due to uncontrollable forces of nature.
Lives and spirits and property have been brutally bashed.
No one ever knows when strife will happen.
No day should ever be the "same old same old..."
Every day really counts...Lives must be lived with gratitude,
Blessings must be counted daily.
I pray that with faith and hope all will be able to
piece together the broken bits of their spirits
their hearts, their homes and their days...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Yet Another..."

...sketchbook peek...
from my Midwest Travelin' Journal
of two favorite late summer Illinois garden flowers.
To me...
the Indian Blanket flower heralds the coming of autumn
with her bold graphic display...
while the delicate Hollyhock bloom whispers nostalgic stories
of sentimental bygone summer days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt.9"

...ROAD TRIP TO the state of WISCONSIN
and to the
Beautiful Geneva Lakes Area!

And relax...ahhhh...we most certainly did...
right there on the shore
sitting comfortably basking in the sun...and sketching!

It was a gorgeous day...
everyone in sight seeming to be enjoying
the last lingering bits of summer.
It was so refreshing to sit by a body of fresh blue water...
cool breezes on our faces...
a pleasant change indeed from our desert home!

We hiked a bit along the lake...mainly near Williams Bay,
then sauntered through the town and shops
of Lake Geneva herself.
We stopped for an informal bite to eat ...simply delicious...
and sat outside
watching all the people either casually strolling by
cruising the streets in their vintage cars.

It was a glorious day...we took lots of pictures...

Of beautiful vintage lamps... and homes... and shops...

...Staying until almost dark.
After stopping at the Yerkes Observatory on Williams Bay at sunset
for a quick peek at its fantastic architecture
we made the star lit journey back to Illinois.
It would be just a few quick short days remaining
before we would head back to Arizona.

"Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind."
Yes...I agree...road trips really do rock! LOL :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Indian Summer..."

...Thanks to an online open invitation...(see my side bar )
from Soulbrush.
This is is an all day event that transcends time zones!
Click here for the specific details if you like...
There is still a bit of time to join in! :)
Hope to see you there!
Click HERE to see what everyone is bringing...
Here is what I am bringing...

"Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit,
resign yourself to the influences of each."
-Henry David Thoreau

best of wishes to each of you for
a "Happy First Day of Autumn Cactus Monday" !
Now...were about to be a havin' us some real good fun! LOL

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Change Is In The Air..."

Farewell, Pastel Summer...we bid ye fond "Adieu"...

Hello, Jeweled-toned Autumn...we warmly welcome you!

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
~Albert Camus

"Live each season as it passes;
breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit,
resign yourself to the influences of each."
~Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt.8"

"Illinois Prairie style!"

...Perky ebony Black Eyed Susans...

...Chirping emeraldy crystal-winged Cicadas...

...Powdery pink-purple Cone Flowers,

And, last but not least...
a grouping of lily-like ivory white Hosta
...drawn during an all-day rain shower...
now nestling safe and dry in this artist's traveling sketchbook!

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt.7"


"Main Entry: chore
Part of Speech: noun

Synonyms: assignment, duty, effort
errand, housework, job, scutwork, stint, task, work..."

I guess it doesn't matter where you live,
or how you view the world,
or what you do for a living,
well...that is, unless you are a "gazillionaire"
The immediacy of "Chores" continually surfaces in our lives.
It's a curious little concept...
for it's just a matter of one's perspective
as to whether the chore is a positive or a negative task.

For us...actually, just Scott...on our Illinois trip...
it involved scraping,
and painting
outdoor window sills, trim, and garage door panels...
readying the place for the onslaught of cold, wind, and snow.

For me...
there was no scraping or priming involved...
Just a bit of lead free "efforting" in my sketchbook
one Illinois summery sunny afternoon.

Looking back on the day...I think both our painting efforts
turned out just the way they should have....
living proof that...
it's true
the results of chores...
just like the results of life...
are determined by a simple matter of one's perspective.
Oooh, yea...
and when the going gets tedious
it doesn't hurt if you "whistle while you work" a bit!
(A nice cold Corona with lime works "magic" too!) LOL

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt. 6"


...Spigots and Outlets and Vents...Oh MY!

...Hinges and Handles and Lamps...What JOY!

...A Front door, a Wreath and two Handles more,

...A yellow Weber Grill...right by the back door!

One day it rained from morning 'til night...
And being from the desert...this was a great sight!
Puddles, and spashes...bricks and toes soaking wet,
'Twas a great day for sketching...think of it always? You BET!

I hope you've enjoyed this artsey "house tour"
For when the drawing bug bites...there just is no cure!
A last fact to add...and...I do so with glee:
Is that the sketches above were all done "Lead Free! "

WooHoo! :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Midwest Travelin...Pt.5"


...In acknowledgement of
in some cases celebration for,
our common experiences of...

...all the local festivals, and craftshows, and tractor exhibits,

...all the grandiose and inspirational international ceremonies,

...all the emotion filled national public gatherings,

(...regardless of what one's preferred political party affiliations...)

...and of all the universal unstoppable humbling forces of nature...

In acknowledgement of each of these ...
these experiences which shape and color our days
and build or destroy our worlds...

A simple artist's journal preserves the memory of them all!
Everyday Matters! :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt.4


...Sharing wonderful stories about the glorious "olden days",
...Reading mail and postcards from family members,
...Looking through photo albums and reminiscing,
...Tending to the tomato garden and the pretty summery flowers,
...Enjoying, daily, a delicious Steak & Shake chocolate shake!

M-M-M-M...Good, good times!
We Love you Ollie! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

"An Autumn Picnic...! "

Soulbrush has decided to organise an Indian Summer Picnic.....so I am joining her.... I would love you all to join me/us.

The plan is simple: decide what you would like to picture on your blog for the picnic on September 22.Use your imagination - It can be anything you would like to prepare, bring or do at your picnic.You may want to take a picture of picnic places, picnic things you have, the wonderful foods you will prepare, birds that might visit us, something you might wear, a pet you would like to bring with you, flowers, games to play, books to read, poems to share, anything at all. Anything.

Take a picture that expresses your Indian Summer Picnic. Post it along with whatever you would like to say about your contribution on your post. This is an all day event that transcends time zones.

You may also extend this invitation to all of your readers!

Everyone is invited.If a friend is not yet a blogger and would like to attend ask them to send you a picture or comments to post on your blog for them.

If you would like to attend,
1 RSVP in comments on this post.
2 Copy the invitation and paste it in the margin of your blog.
3 Check the comments on this blog to see who will be participating
4 Visit with each other on the 22nd to see what each of us has brought to the picnic.

I would love to see all of you, and all of your friends, on September 22nd.

Please come! I know this will be lots of fun!

"Oh, What a night!..."

"Oh, what a night.
You know, I didn't even know her name,
But I was never gonna be the same.
What a lady. What a night."
-Frankie Valli

Mamillaria melanocentra
Blogged before
here...dressed for some tropical daytime fun...
But now...out for the night...in all her glowing glory!

Happy Cactus Monday All! :)
Being back in the desert is "a really good thing!" :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Midwest Travelin..." Pt.3

"Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do. "
-Ricky Ricardo (I Love Lucy Show)

Now, You are probably wondering...How does all this dental stuff...

Stay with me...Explanation to follow...:)

Our recent trip to the midwest
was actually a trip "home"...
a bit of a "working vacation", if you will,
visiting the place(s) where we lived
before moving to Arizona four years ago.
Scott and I both have family in Illinois.
Scott's dad and his sister and her family live"out in the country"...
my brother Mark and his wife live north of Chicago along the lake.

How do those two sketches above... go together???
While visiting my brother Mark, who happens to also be our dentist!!! LOL
I completed the top sketch...lead free...waiting in one of his exam rooms.
The second sketch...
"SUPERDAWG" is a "must visit" place if one happens
(click here to see what I mean)
to be anyway near the northwest side of Chicago...
which we were...at sunset...right after our dental exams...:)
The place is world famous and a great "slice" of Chicago food culture.

we planned to stay in Illinois for three weeks...
to visit family, take care of appointments, prepare our home for winter
and the like.
We were busy every single minute of every single day it seemed.
Extending our stay an additional week was indeed a brilliant decision.
My travel journal will take you along
to all the places we visited, appointments we kept,
through all those crazy chores and busy mundane daily stuff we did.
I hope you are enjoying my this visual diary of our "midwest travlin!"
She was a joy to fill! :)

Hope my "splainin" these paradoxical drawings helped! :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Pt.2


Isn't it amazing how carrying along a sketch book
take the "sting" out of waiting...

...whether it be at the salon...

...or at the optometrist...

...the department of motor vehicles...
...at the local public library
just waiting for a computer to become free!

(I think it is definitely time for me to purchase a wireless notebook! )

"And I'll be...taking care of business every day,
Taking care of business every way.
I've been taking care of business, it's all mine,
Taking care of business and working overtime.
Work out!"
Bachman-Turner Overdrive :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Midwest Travelin'...Part 1

First off...
This is my first and only illustrated travel journal...ever.
And, so as not to disappoint anyone,
it is NOT at all exotic...
nor is it filled with wondrous architectural monuments,
or glorious vistas.
It's pretty much a mundane visual diary...a record of
the things, the appointments, the chores, and the everyday matters
that keep us all busy day after day.

I really had a great time completing this journal.
I hope you will enjoy looking though its pages with me.
And so we begin... (click on images to enlarge)

August 12...departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor
en route to Chicago O'Hare
and on to the rich farm country of Dekalb County in northern Illinois.

The sky that morning was simply glorious...the sun was just rising

and everything was awash in corals and lavenders...

It was simply stunning.

Waiting at the gate is always an interesting experience.

Since our flight was delayed a bit I had plenty of time to sketch!

I put my actual baggage tags in my sketch book.

More installments of my journal will be posted daily...stay tuned! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008


like so many others,
remember exactly everything
about that fateful September morning in 2001
all of our "knowns" became "unknowns".

September 11th, 2001
started as routinely as any regular school day.
My lesson plan for social studies that day was to
introduce the concepts of
"Fact...Opinion...and Rumor..."
as part of understanding current events.
That is the absolute, unbelieveable, undeniable TRUTH!!!
I still get chills every time I think about it.

Needless to say,
during those seconds, and minutes, and hours
of that teaching day
throughout the infinite lessons and journal entries
and broken hearts, and tears, and the thousands of questions
of those days that followed ...
undeniably was one of the most powerfully moving and
spiritually inspiring
moments of my entire teaching career.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday...
it is crystal clear in my heart.
My personal memories of it are wrenching and raw
yet paradoxically serene and filled with hope.
Seeing the world through the eyes of a child is very special.
I was a privilege that day to be a teacher.

I dedicate this post to the memory of those souls lost that day...
to the junior high students who were in my classes then...
to Matt, my team teaching partner,
who "held my hand" throughout it all.
I wish you peace...

Remember...Every day REALLY does matter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Jennifer Lawson's little Maruman, "Transistions", and I landed at Sky Harbor International airport in Arizona early this morning returning from northern Illinois and a month of midwest "adventure". Hence, after having endured a thorough photo/scanning session this evening, she and I both are looking forward to a well deserved rest tonight!

But...come the morning..."Transistions" will depart, yet again. This time she will be flying solo to visit a bit with Nina Johansson in Sweden before she finally, finally heads home to Jennifer. This little traveller certainly will have many "miles" of creative experiences tucked between her pages! The wonders she will have seen...Lucky, lucky book!

Below, are three little peeks of my 10 pages in Jennifer's book...

"Transitions", you have personally taught me a great deal...It has been a rewarding adventure exploring my imagination with you by my side!
Bon Voyage! :)