We’ve been in Tucson Arizona for the last month. The saguaro cactus can be seen everywhere and they are incredible. But it’s the huge variety of amazing little cactus that really catch my eye. I just can’t get enough of them.



Interesting note:  the plural of cactus is cacti, cactuses or cactus. All good!


First Day of Travel

We are on our way to Tucson AZ where we will spend a month. Our first driving day was rainy but we didn’t have far to go – 100 miles to Junction TX.

The skies cleared just in time for this beautiful sunset over South Llano River State Park.


Christmas Tree Skirt, Part II

Four years ago today, December 21, 2014,  my brother Ronnie died. It was a terrible blow for our family. Because his death fell so close to Christmas I marked our loss on the Tree Skirt.


I added a small silver angel beside Ronnie’s name. I used the same signifier for my Grandmother, my Father-in-Law, and our very kind Brother-in-Law.

The Christmas Tree Skirt which once felt very joyful to me now feels less so.



Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

~ Van Morrison



Christmas Tree Skirt, Part I

This is our Christmas Tree Skirt –



In 1992, on the day after Thanksgiving I had the clever idea to make this tree skirt. The skirt has a decorated panel for each member of our extended family. At that time I needed 19 panels. How did I ever do the math to figure out how to divide a circle into 19 even slices?

Looking back on the calendar, I see that I completed this project in less than 29 days. In 1992 I had a full time job and a young daughter. The skirt is a combination of machine and hand sewing; lots and lots of hand sewing. I worked feverishly to get this thing finished – every spare minute.

Somehow in my creative fervor, it absolutely never, not once, occurred to me that the family roster would change. But of course, in the intervening 26 years there have been changes. We’ve had marriages and  births, divorces and deaths.

This tree skirt is just a snapshot, a moment in time when I was filled with creative enthusiasm to celebrate my family.



Max, Our Little Pied Beauty


Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.
            ~Poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins
I’m not positive that Max is technically “pied”, but I liked this poem and it made me think of his little odd-ball self.

That’s Steep

While Paul and I were out and about today we ducked into a neighborhood we’d never explored before and were greeted by this sign:



That’s a very steep grade! For comparison, Teton Pass has a maximum grade of 10%.

In Paul’s words “That’s why they call it the Hill Country”.