Monday, October 31, 2011


snow and cold

blooming cacti
red and pink and white
basking in sunshine
pretending it's summer

The sweet, smiling baby in the picture is my Granddaughter, Amanda, at 6 months. She's wearing a feed-sack dress that my Mother wore as an infant.  The material for the dress came from a feed bag, maybe one that originally held grain for the farm animals. My Grandparents were poor tenant farmers who had no money for store-bought clothing. My Grandmother hand-sewed a tiny bit of lace to the collar and sleeves to make the dress prettier.  My mother was born a triplet (she and two brothers) which was very rare in the early 1900's. They were born in the old farmhouse. Only one baby was expected - there were already two toddlers in the family. My mother was the last born and the tiniest, weighing 2.5 pounds at birth. She was swaddled and placed in the oven of the slightly warmed wood stove, which they used as an incubator to keep her warm. 

Amanda and her twin brother will be 9 in February. My Mother and Grandmother died long before any of my Grandchildren were born. So, I tell the old stories, recounting a way of life so different both from my own and from that of my Grandchildren. 

I started this post writing about the delicate blooms on my cacti, but, somehow, I got distracted by that photo and the feed-sack dress.  I have only a few mementoes from my Mother and Grandmother. However, I do have the stories and my memories. Here's what I hope: maybe someday Amanda's own daughter will wear the antique dress, and Amanda will pass along the stories of the capable women, her ancestors, who survived the odds and made a better life for themselves and for their families.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


a faded beauty
bent but not broken
with stubborn tenacity
braves the elements

The last Poppy in my garden still gives me pleasure.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Long White Wait

brief fall colors
'til snow and cold take their toll
leaves drop
ice forms
a long white wait begins

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


We had a young visitor recently. First she stood at the top of my rock garden to look in the dining room window. I thought she'd spook when I went onto the deck, but she approached, watching me carefully, keeping her eyes slightly averted. I think she's newly on her own, possibly born just this spring. She showed no fear and seemed to think maybe I had a handout for her. That tells me someone in the neighborhood must be feeding her. Maybe her mother was also fed and taught the kits that people are a good source of food. I hope she also knows how to hunt for her dinner. It's illegal to feed wild animals - yes, they're cute, but they're WILD. That is part of their beauty and charm. People should respect their wildness, not try to tame them. I've known several instances when people feed and then go on a trip or even move away. The foxes who depend on them suddenly need to fend for themselves. It's sad if they haven't learned how. We usually clap to discourage the foxes from coming too close to the house. I don't want a grandchild having a snack outside being approached by a hungry fox accustomed to being hand-fed.
I desaturated this photo before painting some color back onto the fox's body.
She was a beauty, and I was reluctant to frighten her. Tiny and perfect, she waited patiently for me to produce something yummy.  I finally said goodbye and came back inside. She ambled away, still on the lookout for dinner.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


A lone daisy bends toward the stream, admiring its reflection.

Light transforms ordinary scenes. 
We pause and take notice.