Drawing Class


Two turnips and a head of garlic

I have completed the colored pencil botanical drawing class. I actually missed two of the five classes: one while babysitting my granddaughter and one due to a death in the family.

Each of these drawings took about three hours to complete. I feel like they are “okay” and that I could improve a lot if I took time to draw regularly. Which isn’t going to happen because the process isn’t fun for me. And why spend three hours of your life on a mediocre drawing, if it isn’t fun?


magnolia leaves



The crocus drawing was hampered by the fact that my $40 set of colored pencils had no purple!

I have decided to stick with the sewing, as I find it far more satisfying.


Vision Board


No secrets here.

Long have I resisted creating a vision board. I dislike visual clutter and I quickly get bored with images in my living space. But this past month, the idea of using one to promote healing has come up in several divergent places: conversation, a magazine article, a demonstration project I was walking by. Okay, okay. I get the hint.

I gathered images and words from several different publications over several weeks. I just cut out stuff that I liked, without giving too much thought to the meaning behind the images. But when I was putting the board together, I noticed some interesting things. I had cut out a couple of photos of butterflies (just because they are pretty, I thought) but they have long been a symbol of transformation. Hmmm.

In a month devoted to pink and red hearts, I cut out a page of pure white ones. Hmmm.

There is a lot of nature in those pictures, and I love being outside, but I spend a lot of time indoors. Hmmm.

I propped the thing up in the closet on top of the dresser, so it is not cluttering up my space.

Travel and Healing


I put this bad boy together while my granddaughter was at daycare.

This past week has involved a lot of travel. I went to Ohio to help take care of my granddaughter for a couple days, while her parents were busy with work commitments. What fun we had! And I assembled the dresser for her brother who is due in May. It is an IKEA product, and I have to say, they do an excellent job with the instructions.

I arrived home Thursday evening. Early Friday morning I drove up to Springfield for some routine medical appointments and to visit with friends. What is healing about all that you ask?

The conversations.

I have alluded to a generalized fatigue that was troubling me before I retired, that has improved, but persisted until now. Once I retired, it was no longer a physical problem, but years of not enough rest had contributed to the malaise I felt. Now, it was unprocessed grief. My own and decades of other people’s grief that I encountered in my hospice work.

Here is how the healing occurred: The first healing conversation occurred with my son. I was explaining to him my experience of processing these old emotions and he listened deeply and gave thoughtful feedback. There is no better medicine than being understood and loved.

On my way to Springfield, I could access the joy that has been hovering in the background for decades. I shared this with a dear friend who witnessed the glow of the emotion.

Then I had lunch with another dear friend, who has been witness to the struggles of my marriages and child rearing. We discussed the process of embracing our wounds in the pursuit of wholeness.

And then before I left town, I had appetizers with two friends that I had worked with for decades in hospice. They reminded me of the excellent care we gave for so many years, and the people who were helped, and the honor of work we shared.

On the drive back, I reflected on the strength and purpose of my life so far, the quality of the love I have been privileged to know and I kinda glowed all the way home.

I think you could have picked me up on satellite.

Whereby I Discover Craigslist: Free


Ruby Allen Carter was my grandmother.

As our home gets lighter and lighter, mom is willing to part with more stuff. Although, truth be told, the spiders had a lot to do with her being willing to let go.

As a life-long environmentalist, I really want to re-home and repurpose anything that can be used and keep it out of the landfill. The difficulty has been in finding the right person for the trash (er, treasure.) Then I discovered Craigslist: Free. I had used a website called Freecycle when I lived in Springfield with good results. What follows are some photos of some of the stuff I have gotten rid of via Craigslist: Free.


pile of wood scraps


second pile of wood scraps


a couple of 2″ x 12″ boards


pile of bricks (there were two of them this size)


2 sets of wooden shutters


stack of 30 1″ x 12″ pine boards


four wooden columns


2 copper pots


three ceramic pots


a basketball hoop


2 hollow core doors. I saved one, because I am going to make a table out of it.


Dentil molding


And this bag of colored pencils, leftover from my children’s elementary school days. I bought new, fancy ones for my drawing class.