Paying it forward

finish what you have promised.

It stares at me from the desk shelf at eye-level, a self-inflicted reminder against malingering lassitude.


Back in the first month of this year, one January 2011, amidst throes of energetic and wafting new year intention, I made a promise on Facebook to send handmade items out to the first some whatever number of people who responded with a like commitment in the comments. A neat creative energizing bump, right? A rev of the collective positive energy engine as it were.

I have, I fear, lagged some in point of actual follow through… but wait! The year has not run out yet, o ye foes and o ye friends– there’s still time to make good.


And so I’ve been doing, packaging up packages of small fulfillment, addressing them to envisioned endearing recipients, readying them for flight into the holiday winds.

Unfortunately, I now face the part of the project that presents the toughest hurdle for me: writing the enclosure notes.

(Weird, right? Remember when we wrote letters all the time? I’d write pages and pages at a sitting– now the prospect of a postcard sets me quaking. Still–)




My mother has a lovely hand-painted floral on blue glass bowl that would have perfectly complemented the Cranberry Relish I made… Unfortunately for documentation purposes, I got so caught up in the festivities prep that I did little process photography.

Regardless, it all went swimmingly, and we enjoyed a warm and bright holiday with the feller’s family chez nous this year, both an honor and a treat.

Good Witch

human comic strip vol. 6043


What I do here is uncomfortably near.

I’m a virtual close-talker. It’s a little embarrassing.








Still, can you fault a girl for trying on the odd pair of clown shoes in a bored and desperate old world?







Please be assured: in an ongoing effort to provide ever-congenial and family-friendly entertainment, all human comic strip characters are subjected to conscientious and regular brushing…




While we’re at it, irregular, as well, both cross-hatch and crosswise scouring of every pixel grit bit of human tedium in dearest hopes of uncovering underlying truths both vivid and substantive.

Piecemeal maybe. Maybe a vain, vainglorious, or spindleveined effort. Sometimes, granted, naught to show but hide shamed pink with dint of one’s own rigors.




Consider influences: starched familial roots, pantomimes of petty tragedy, classical themes etched across a suburban stage. The ranks of narcissists and pedophiles teaching piano-playing and bicycle riding: tools for flight, ultimately.





There are, if one will both recall and imagine, legion looming secondary Art Masters and Mistresses whose roles are granted to deem fledgling sketchers unworthy by self portrait. Weakly articulated chins? Excessively fixed regards? What, expressly, need never be spelled out as such. Only implied, just something– watch those blossoms wither on the vine.






For my part, verbally: overblown, overripe, verbose, voluptuous, purple, floral, obtuse, obscure, confusing. Yea verily. And visually? Doubtless the equivalent.


These days I choose to wear it bright and flabby-stripey, tho it’s true, twice shy, I seldom parade it outside the tent.





In the quiet tick-tock of the settling glade one gathers onward the twigs surrounding, weaves what may, casting homely spells in passing, holds a single breath just that extra moment–

Then lets it go and goes on to the next.


Brilliant Barley Salad

This was a using-up-leftovers dish that wound up serendipitously delicious–

Brilliant Barley Salad

Start with:

cooked & cooled grains (mine was a dinner side dish mix of barley, wild rice, onions, dried cranberries, and corn)


fresh Clementine sections
halved cherry tomatoes
diced avocado
bits of goat cheese

Vois là!

Man, it would be nice if more things worked this well.


Such immediate, direct and satisfying results. Yeah, yeah, life is struggle and growth to learn by, I know, but– Look! So shiiiiiiny.

One word: mayonnaise.

Living the Dream

When I’m quiet, when I’ve stopped the spin and taken one of those long breaths, just closing my eyes and listening inward, I’ve tumbled first upon the snaggy urging boundary edges of daydream, poignant enough–

The prospect is entrancing of a snug and benign century farmhouse with well kept barns for critters and printing & artmaking equipment respectively, golden fields and wooded slices of hillside stretching away, wandering leaf trails, dirt roads, waterways heralded by the cry of red-winged blackbirds, skies wide with song, weather & stars.

And then I’m recalled to the vivid present I inhabit most concretely, surely wonderful enough, daily life prone to glorious excesses of exuberance.

The witnessed world everywhere rife with texture and poetry.

Having entered into a painterly season, we wake grudging the darker face of the alarm clock, grasp after stray bits of daylight wherever we discover them trapped in puddles.

Light plays indeed, plain showoff.

And I aspire to a bolder flavor, fresh with the juice of bright growing.