My sister sent me a picture of a silo tree one day. She came across it last year on the side of a road, and neither of us had ever seen one, but apparently with smaller farms dying out there are many of these trees in abandoned silos around the midwest. The roof collapses, a seed gets inside, and the silo becomes a secret nursery that protects a baby tree from the winds. But the little tree has limited time in the sun and works extra hard to find its way to the top, forgoing a lot of the bottom branches and growing extra tall, finally exploding into a giant canopy at the opening. The silo finds new purpose as a fortress, and a sapling that had slim chances in the harsh Great Plains winds ultimately grows tall and strong. Together they are a work of art.

Everything about the tree reminds me of my sister's tenacity through life, especially this last turbulent year -- one where no matter how tired, sad or hopeless she was some days, she pulled herself up, took care of other people and animals and flowers, and she found reasons to smile.


Thinking today how exciting it is to find anything with real hand-writing on it when checking the mail. Usually there is none, except maybe when it's time for birthday or Christmas cards. Worse than none is the junk mail with fake handwriting to fool you into double-checking, then even more insulting because it tends to be an offer to buy an ugly house, which hurts my house's feelings. 

I used to be a big letter writer, as was my aunt and some of my friends, so over the years I accumulated a big heavy box packed solid with letters and postcards. I finally went through the box a couple years ago and got rid of all but a handful. It felt like a crime, all those thoughts and words going to the dumpster. But I reread them first, and they were words and thoughts meant to only be shared with me --my younger dumber self, not some person who is tasked with sorting and trashing my stuff after I'm gone. I thought about this while going through my mom's things last year, stopping to read some things and feeling intrusive.

The box also had lots of notes. Some as far back as junior high or taped on the doors of my first apartments or under the wipers of my car... How delightful it was to find a note shoved through the vents in my locker. I think the last one I ever got was just the hand-scrawled lyrics of  Journey's "Open Arms."  Too bad I always hated that song.

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Except when they are in my hair....


I just mentioned to someone the other day that coming across a praying mantis or a walking stick was the jackpot in childhood bug wrangling, and there was one greeting me eye-level on the door this morning. It's just as exciting now as then except my feet hurt for no reason.


Thanks to kind folks sharing via the magical roads of the sometimes dark Internetworld, my "Freedom" print of shelter doggies sailing off to adopters suddenly sold quite a bit the last few days, giving
me the funds to help a small pitbull rescue tomorrow. Some previous prints have gone to a local shelter and a couple other rescues.

I have been Santa's elf packing up prints today. I am a VERY very small business, so this amount of shipping all at once is crazy.



Was talking to the neighbor about sci-fi movies and how it would suck to be stranded on a hostile planet with monsters.
I hadn't even really finished that sentence when we realized that's kinda where we already are. Sometimes anyway.


Owls and grumpy little dogs

Here is a clay painting for a friend having a baby soon. It's her nursery colors, and she likes owls. I like owls too, but for some reason I haven't made very many. I think I've only drawn a few since I was a kid...


Now that I think about it, I rarely draw a dog either, and I LOVE dogs. But here is my neighbor's dog in acrylic. I haven't worked loose on a canvas in a long time, and it was fun.


Sheep cannot sleep either.


I wonder who came up with the idea of counting sheep when you're sleepy, and if they were outside
where there really were sheep to count.

I don't have sheep, but sometimes I try to count nothing in particular backward from 100.  I never make it to zero. Not because I fell asleep, but because I got bored,

Here is another clay painting.


Clay pictures

I like to paint, and I like to sculpt...but there are things about each that I get snagged on and lose interest.

Been making these clay paintings that are a combination of painting and sculpting, but just the fun parts of both.

These are the first two:



These are 5x5 inches, and I'm working on a third that is 5x7. I keep thinking of stuff that would be fun to try, but kinda complicated and much larger. Need to just slowly work my way up to there.


On an unrelated note, I found this enormous tomato worm in the back yard. These used to be on our tomato plants when we had a garden when I was a kid. I love how fat and slow they are, and I can see how this would be a juicy lunch for a bird.

Camera focused on Acorn sunning in the background instead of the worm...


And Angus in the background of the other photo. If you do anything outside, these two are all up in
your business.