At the Water’s Edge

There was a time when many people responded to every blog post that I published. I don’t know what happened to all those people. Not many come around anymore. I miss the interaction with friends, although I understand many aren’t even blogging anymore. I’m trying to teach my computer how to recognize my voice. It is not an easy thing to do. Editing seems even more difficult. Apparently, it understands short commands better than long sentences or single words. This post may be a little bit choppy.

Although my life has not changed dramatically since the Great Isolation began, thoughts and questions have come up from beneath the surface. What would my life be like without my husband? Could I approach the transition into deathlessness with the resolution required to go peacefully? How would my children and grandchildren remember me? Life is shorter than we can fathom in the greater scope of things. There is so much I want to accomplish and I’m uncertain if there is enough energy left in me or time left on this planet to get it all done. I suppose these thoughts have always been with me, but I’ve been less acutely aware. There’s really no fear, just quiet contemplation.

In this Great Isolation, I am learning so much about myself relative to my environment. For example, when the tide is going out, or when it is low, there is a sense of tension and a feeling of anxiety. When the tide is coming in, or high, there is a sense of calm and a feeling of ease. The high tide is brimming with sea life. Manatees, rays, dolphins, and all manner of fish coming into the canal bring it to life. There is a soul connection with these creatures who roam the waterways. Along with the emotional sensitivity to the action of the water and the life within it, I feel a strong sense of spiritual freedom in the vastness of the sky. The constantly evolving colors and clouds are like an artist’s canvas under the brush. There is a sacred connection to the world around me.

I haven’t been painting much this year, at least not on canvas. Here is one painting that I did for my stepson:

11X14 acrylic on gallery wrapped pro canvas “West Somerset Railway” original

This is a train that he rode in England when he was a child. The steam and tiny lettering on the plaque were the most challenging parts. It was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I did not have it ready. He returned from the Bahamas at the beginning of this pandemic and we haven’t been able to visit. I have some ideas for new paintings that I have not committed to. Below is a little painting that I gifted to our local diner. I hope they manage to reopen after the governor gives the green light. Most restaurants have continued with take-out and delivery, but The Perfect Cup was struggling under new management before this all went down. We’ll have to wait and see.


8X10 acrylic on student grade canvas (I framed this in a black floater frame) “The Perfect Cup” inspired by The Art Sherpa


Lately, I have been engaged in other artistic endeavors. I’m making draped flower pots out of fabrics that have been saturated in a concrete mixture and making art stones from molded Reddi-Set mortar. Mandalas and other designs are painted on the stones. After the stones are painted, I coat them with epoxy or resin to make them shiny and give them protection. These projects keep my hands and mind busy. The flower pots and stones are for my garden space. The edging for the garden border will be done with reclaimed, painted ceramic roofing tiles. We have not started the edging project yet, because the RS is re-wiring his brother’s boat.

I may get back to writing someday but, for now, I am content with visual and tangible art. Currently, I’m beta reading a book for an author friend. I’ll tell you more about that later.

Are you writing? Has this pandemic with its great isolation inspired your creativity, or have you been working? Or both?

My Brand of Green

This is the most favorite flower in my garden.  It is nothing special, but it means something important to me.  My brother in law gave it to my husband and I on our wedding day and it blooms every year on our anniversary.  The blooms stay fresh for months.  Orchids are funny.  If you give them attention they die.  If you totally ignore them they will flourish. (PS. I am not a photographer.)orchid 002

My yard is surrounded by a green wall of foliage.  Mainly because it creates a retreat in the city, a jungle, an oasis that I can call home.

Also because I have nosy neighbors (one in particular who likes to keep every floodlight on around her house at night, because at 90 years old, she’s afraid someone is going to break in and rape her…please).  I don’t like the light pollution at night and the green wall helps me to pretend that I live in some exotic place in the wilderness instead of a city 10 minutes from the airport..

Sometimes the maintenance on it can get to be a headache, but it is worth it.  I call it The Jungle.  Most of the plants here are horribly invasive and will take over if you don’t spend hours keeping them cut back.

For all of you folk who live where it is snowing right now. I am sending you rays of sunshine and greetings from Florida.


I took this photograph this morning.  Aren’t the sun rays pretty?

A bit hazy for a photograph, can’t pretend to be an expert. HA!

Do you keep house plants or some way to keep the green in your life year round?  I couldn’t live without green in my life.

Green is life.

Mood Setting for Reading


I have places that I love to read certain works.  Some people can read anything anywhere and be taken to another world through their own imagination.  I like to afford myself the luxury of setting the mood whenever possible.

For dystopian fiction or fantasy that is otherwordly, I like to go out on my back porch that overlooks The Jungle with the banana trees, travelers palms, pygmy palms and wisteria creeping invasively though the philodendron.  The hanging spheres of stag-horn fern in globes of dripping greenery  seem to set that mood. IMG_0852The angel’s trumpet with its intoxicating fragrance but deadly seed takes me to enchanted places. For some more wicked reading, I like to go out there during the lightening storms that we seem to have every summer day.???????????????  For a soft sweet romance nothing could be better that  to curl up on the living room sofa and light candles in the dark. images (4) That’s why I love the readers with backlighting.  Or I crawl between the sheets with my husband. fireplace-3d-screensaver-6359 I love classics , like Jane Eyre, at the mountain cabin, in front of the stone fireplace during a long soggy week of rain,

and  for murder mysteries and thrillers I like to seal myself away to the comfort and safety of my bedroom and close the door.imagesI call them bookdrops. I hear from and speak to writers a lot, and writers are also readers.  Do you  enhance or set the mood, or do you depend on your imagination exclusively?

Historic Angel Oak Tree: Charleston, SC


I planted a tree today.  It is a slow growing live oak tree.  I will feed it, water it and watch it grow for many years.  I wonder if I should live long enough to see my great-grandchildren scamper along its branches.

My grandmother had a live oak in her yard and we grandchildren played in its branches until we were too old to think about it and its branches were too high for our children to reach.  She planted another one and wondered if she should live long enough to see her great grandchildren scamper along its branches.

A few years after she died, my uncle cut it down.  It was so sad.  I was hoping she would.

Plant Something

Recently there has been a lot of media attention on people with front yard vegetable gardens in my area of the country. I think it is grand, but some home owners associations and county commissioners don’t think so.  Neighbors do not have a problem with it, they love it.  Neighbors are frequently thought of and gifted at harvest time.  One couple takes their surplus produce during harvest time and makes a big pot of soup.  They take it down to Lake Eola Park and feed the homeless (another practice some folk aren’t to happy about).  I think everyone should have a garden, whether it is in the front yard or the back.  Image
It doesn’t matter whether it is a garden of vegetables or flowers. It makes the world a little bit better place.  Gardening doesn’t always require a lot of space.  When my father was living in a little basement apartment during his divorce, he took seeds and planted them all around his apartment complex. (You may want to get permission from your landlord or groundskeeper.)  He had peppers, all variety of squash; zucchini  yellow crookneck, acorn and butternut, tomatoes etc..and he gleefully handed them out to his co-dwellers who were most appreciative.  There is not much that is more satisfying than digging a hole in the earth, planting a seed or a starter plant and watching it take root and send out greenery and flower and fruit to reach for the the sun.  It adds color and beauty to the landscape.  It can feed the hungry.  It restores the soul.  Plant something, anything, and watch it grow.  It is the perfect time of year.  Watch it progress from nothing to something.