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Month: May 2014

Watching Paint Dry and Other Adventures


It’s a pretty unusual Saturday in that we have nothing scheduled except to work on things we’ve been needing to work on for weeks and months.

For me, the need to work on is my eBook, It’s a Sketchy Life. Today’s adventure is made possible by a generous grant from our social life which has agreed to take a few weeks off of being in plays, and going to workshops or parties. It’s being made more fun by the fact that today I’m writing between breaks from painting a magnetic wall in my new studio (more on that in another post).

Thing2 was kind enough to observe that my masking tape outlines were a bit off but that it was clearly a design choice (it will all be white when I’m done). I’m not sure if it’s the glow of the coloured pencils or the fumes from the magnetic paint, but I think I’ve just discovered that watching paint dry – under the right circumstances – can be really fun.



Turn Right At the Flower Stand

where all the flowers went
The flower stand was at the corner at the bottom of our hill for as long as any of us can remember.  It was really more of small shed with a shelf for extra cuttings from a local flower farmer and an honor box.  I meditate on it whenever I park at the corner to wait for the school bus.  There are daffodils in the spring, sunflowers in the summer.  Turn right at the flower stand, and you’re almost home.

It’s slowly been falling down for the last few years, and today when I went to wait for the bus, it was gone.  It was time.  I’m sure the owner of the property was rightly worried about safety, but I already miss seeing the extras from the flower farm.

Mother Knows Best


Snoop, the fatter of our black cats, was sitting in the middle of the gravel path when I got back from dropping the kids at the bus stop.  In the winter he’s a committed house cat, rarely moving except from bed to bed and then to the food bowl.  Spring comes, however, and a young cat’s thoughts turn to chasing chipmunks, and the morning’s victim was already wriggling in Snoop’s jaws when I came up the path.

I’ve watched this dance often enough to know the game had just begun.  I never interfere in animal kingdom games – I figure Mother Nature knows what she’s doing (and, as a vegetable gardener, I do have a dog in this fight).  Today, though, the cloudless sky and lush trees newly-dressed for spring created a such feeling of peace that I couldn’t believe she had allowed another torturous game of cat-and-chipmunk to begin.

Snoop stopped near the daffodils and dropped the chipmunk.  The chipmunk shook its head and started to run, but Snoop got in his way.  The fuzzy rodent backed into the forsythia and then, deciding humans were less dangerous than cats, raced over my foot and into the woodshed. Apparently cats are susceptible to fits of arrogant laziness because Snoop waited and watched the chipmunk for a minute before barreling past me and trying to corral his victim again.

I started walking toward the door, reasonably confident how this would end, but as I glanced over my shoulder, I saw the chipmunk make one last heroic jump into a crack in a pile of firewood.  Snoop pounced, but he was too slow, and the peace was preserved.

As usual, Mother knew best.  Remember that kids.

How the Garden Grows

Asparagus May 21

It’s been a cold spring in southwestern Vermont this year.  It’s been so cold, it’s even easy to forget it is spring until the leaves on the trees explode into view in the space of a week.

Last night I wandered out to the garden with the weed bucket and noticed the asparagus was up.  From the look of things, it had been up for some time.  Most of the plants had bolted into tall feathery tendrils.

I noticed one last spear, still recognizable as something that should go on a plate and broke it off.  Every food you grow yourself tastes better than what you can buy in the store, but this little sprag was especially sweet.

I can’t believe I almost missed the spring while hiding in my cave from the cold.

The Secret

secret of boys

The kids are in the school yard when seven-year-old Thing2 hops out of the car.  He never climbs out.  He hops.

When he’s done hopping, he runs up to one friend.  Then they run to another friend.  The three boys run from spot to spot because why would you ever not run from spot to spot?

Watching them, it’s impossible not to wonder what secret they have that infuses every movement with happiness.  I would ask, but I’m not sure they even know what they have.

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