Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Getting Through the Holidays

Christmas intensifies our emotions. Good times are brighter. Sadness is heavier. This is Marley's second Christmas with us, and he grows dearer everyday. No home should be without a dog. He's so goofy and happy and spoiled and always glad to be hugged and played with. In case you can't make out the dark photo above, it's Marley sniffing at the Christmas tree.  He's such a polite little gentleman, never tears anything up. If he gets interested in sniffing a book or something I've left lying around, I'll say, "Oh, no. That's Mommy's." And he looks so guilty, as if he'd done something terrible.

I woke up sad this morning, though, due to a mixture of our Christmas plans getting changed for us, family members who are seriously ill, and I've been going through an especially bad place with migraines, just a lot of stuff. You know what I mean. I'm struggling to find the sunshine that's been hiding behind the clouds for a couple of days now. But I'm a hopeful gal, if nothing else.  I always expect things to get better, and they invariably do. There's a book I'd like to recommend. It's called The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.  It is life changing as it helps us look at life's challenges differently. I bought it on Kindle, then bought 2 hard copies, one for me and one for someone very special to me.

I'm writing, a lot. And I've joined a little group of ceramic artists. I look forward to getting together with them on Tuesday mornings. Jim has been gone stalking Bambi for a week in Texas.  He's coming home today. I didn't even ask if he got a deer.  I don't care.  My cards are sent out, the house is decorated, and shopping is mostly done. Since I last posted, I've gone Gluten Free, which isn't as hard as I'd expected.  I'll share more about this later, but honestly, food tastes better, and I'm seeing some encouraging results.

I have plans to be a lot more present on my blog next year, along with selling some merchandise with my art on it (on another site).
I wish you Sunshine and Abundant Blessings this Christmas.

Hugz, and thanks for stopping by,
Cat & Marley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Growing Old Ain't For Sissies

I feel young, mentally and spiritually. My body doesn't always agree, but mostly I make it just fine by taking care of myself. I eat so healthy my M.D. told me to splurge occasionally, and I have an on again, off again relationship with exercise and walking. But I always come back to them.

I was active in my youth and adolescence, cheerleader, walked to school (really), roller skating, bike riding, etc., and I guess that's part of why it's not too hard to get back on the wagon after my lapses, and I figure intermittent activity is better than no activity at all.

I mentioned my doctor, well actually, he's my former doctor. I rarely went to see him, anyway, skipped all of last year, but when I would go, for the flu that wouldn't go away, for my ribs when I fell and almost broke them while cleaning out the hot tub, stuff like that, I could tell that he was pretty much marking me off as another "old lady". I'm not even close to throwing in the towel, but whatever I asked him about he'd end by saying, "You know you're not that young anymore."

I'm very health conscious, research meds before I even think of taking them, would rather go the herbal, natural route, and he ALWAYS wanted to put me on a ton of steroids, antibiotics, pain relievers, etc., that had scary side effects that were worse than the ailment, so we argued over that a lot.

I truly felt that it was all a cop-out. Yes, I'm a senior citizen, but I'm not dead, and I'm just as important as his under 50 patients. So, we parted ways. I didn't make a show of it, and he doesn't know (or care). One of the challenges of aging (in addition to taking care of ourselves) is finding care givers who will treat us as worthy of their time and talents. There'll be another time when I need a medical physician, but I hope he's a better doctor for folks my age, and I'll try to be a better patient.

Anyway, I said all that to say that I think a big part of staying young is keeping interested in life and finding creative things to do. If I can stay active, I'd like to live to be a hundred or so, just to fit in all the arts I'm interested in doing. Here's a ceramic piece I painted yesterday.

And I've come to realize you need a pet. No matter how my hair looks or if I'm feeling on top of the world or a little down in the dumps, Marley is here with me, happy with whatever attention he gets (which happens to be a lot). I don't know if that's a little old lady attitude or not and don't care. We all need to find what works best for us.
Thanks for stopping by,
Love, Cat and Marley

Friday, September 9, 2011

Save Our Bookstores!

Books have always been my best friends. They're how I learn, they entertain me as TV never could, and they don't get mad at something I've said or didn't say or should have said or maybe thought of saying, and pick up their marbles and go home. I would be miserable in a home without books, and one of my happiest little pleasures is to spend an hour, two hours, half a day (no, seriously, I have) in Books-a-Million, browsing, reading, lounging on a big, soft chair and drinking coffee, maybe even splurging and having a giant cookie, for which I'll feel adequately guilty later.

When Borders went out of business, it shook me. We didn't even have a Borders here, but it was the end of an era in some ways, and if it can happen to them, why not Books-a-Million or Barnes and Noble?

I have to take responsibility, though....we all do. Remember when the first Wal-Mart came to your town, and everyone said it would be bad for the local economy, and you shopped there anyway because it's so convenient and has great prices? Well it was/is bad for the economy. When Wal-Mart came to Batesville, within a couple of years, centuries old stores like Barnett's Department Store and Maxfields closed their doors forever because they couldn't compete. They sold quality goods that Wal-Mart never heard of, but people gravitate to whatever costs less.

Well, that's what we see happening now with the internet and fun places to shop like There's not a week goes by that I don't order something online, usually several somethings. And when I got my iPhone and realized I can sit in my Books-a-Million store and scan book barcodes through and be told immediately that I can buy that $20-$30 book for as little as 1 penny plus shipping, I went a little crazy. Heck, you can place the order right then and there. My friends (the books) take a few days to get here, but I'm saving like a gazillion dollars (I never was good at math). Woo-Hoo!!

But then Borders closed, and it got me to thinking that I'm to blame! Oh, not me alone, but I'm one of the culprits, and so I turned over a new leaf, and yesterday, I found three books in BAM that I couldn't live without, and I ordered two of them, but I bought the third one in the store and vowed never to buy books, compliments of their store's hospitality, from an online business without buying at least one at their checkout. I don't mean to preach, but you know you're guilty, and I hope you'll mend your careless ways, too, so we can save our bookstores.

Oh, and Marley? He's not much into books. When he was still a puppy, he chewed the corner of one of my friends, but we had a serious talk, and he never has even noticed them lying scattered on the floor around my chair again.
He's such a good dog.

Thanks for stopping by!
Love, Cat & Marley

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Poke Sallet is the South's equivalent of spinach. My husband wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole, but I like the boiled tender leaves for 1 or 2 meals in the spring. After 17 years, he's still certain I'm going to poison myself with things I gather wild. Poke Sallet is sort of like my spring tonic. I have a few stalks that I allow to grow at the edge of my yard. It beats hunting it down in the woods when spring arrives. This one got caught in the sprinkler, and I thought it looked sort of cool.

I know a few wild plants that are edible, but my maternal grandmother know many. I only had her in my life for 5 years, but I think of her everyday.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Playing Catch-up

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get. I've got a new project that's taking most of my attention lately. It's not pottery. I'll tell you about it eventually, but in the meantime, I've been attempting a Picture a Day album on Facebook, and hey, I'm almost at 2 months, which is a record for me. So I thought I'd borrow some of those pics and get caught up here.

In May, we had our usual round of baby birds hatching everywhere. Jim fights the sparrows so the bluebirds, mockingbirds and thrushes will have a chance. We were happily watching these mockingbird babies, but one morning they had vanished. Darn cats!

I signed up for summer pottery classes, was ecstatic because I finally got to play on the throwing wheel, had connected with a former pottery teacher who was going to make me a heckuva deal on her kiln, wheel, etc., and then I got such awful tendonitis (tennis elbow) in my left arm, that I've gone back to handbuilding and don't think I want to buy the equipment. This phase has lasted longer than some.

I'm having way too much fun with my iPhone, yes, me Cat Bounds, who used to detest cell phones. But this is an elegant little computer I take everywhere, and I use the camera and photo apps (examples above) more than I do my serious cameras. Literally, whatever I can think of, there's an app for that.

My sister had multiple strokes; this is a photo of Ian in her hospital room. She lost all use of her right leg and arm, but she is making amazing progress since she went home and even drove to church last Sunday.

My herbs have done pretty well, despite the searing heat and drought that began in June. I've dried a few, but mostly I like having them growing fresh so I can pinch off some stems to toss in whatever I'm cooking.

And of course I've been cooking summer veggies. Tonight we're having another veggie meal, this time including fried green tomatoes. Can you believe I've lived in the South all my life and haven't had them before?

The best thing about Facebook is reconnecting with family and friends I wouldn't have contacted any other way. I got to chatting with Lynne, one of my former junior high English students (I only taught for 5 years), and she and I went to lunch, and then she brought Mickey (another one of my darlings) over for supper. Can't tell you how much I enjoyed seeing them again and catching up......and I have this thing for Perrier. That company will know when I die by the drop in sales. Anyway, Mickey brought me a gift of Perrier, which totally touched my heart. He said he remembered the bottle always sitting on my desk in front of the class.

Marley thought we'd brought him home a live chew toy and was a little dejected when we gave it away the same day.

Oh, and here's our kitty adventure. Jim and I were headed into Little Rock, and at the same moment we saw a kitten on the edge of the freeway raise its head. That little image was burned into my mind, and I said, "We need to see about it!" Which began a small argument about why we shouldn't. "It's probably dying," he said, hoping that would end the matter, but I thought that's the most awful place to die, alone and scared. At least it should die with people trying to save it. So, (long story short) he unhappily found an exit, and we backtracked along the service road till we spotted the cat again, now lying flat. I navigated the knee-high grasses and standing water, a towel in hand, and scooped it up, expecting to find it bloody and broken, but amazingly it seemed to be okay. We took him home and did the best we could to make him comfortable, but I've got cat allergies and was already stopping up. We knew this couldn't be our kitty, and he wouldn't eat or drink. I posted his photo on Facebook, and my nephew, Josh, texted me to say his brother-in-law might want the cat. Eureka! Things were looking up for this pitiful little guy. Josh and Trista came that evening, and Trista immediately had him eating and clinging to her. They took him home and found he was covered in fleas, so after a good bath he perked up a lot. Yesterday they took him to her brother, and I'm just thrilled that Kyo has a new name, a new home, and someone to love him. Anyone with a heart would have stopped just like I did; it's the heartless ones who discard animals the same way they litter the highways with their trash.

And that's mostly it for now. Marley is hibernating indoors. We can hardly get him to go out to pee. I don't know how he holds it sometimes. I credit him with opening my heart to animals....... maybe Kyo owes his life to Marley.
Thanks for stopping by.
Cat & Marley

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Visit with the Herbal Healer of Rose Bud

I've mentioned my migraines to you occasionally and that one of my quests is to find a remedy that actually works. Well, my sisters, Nan and Tressa, heard about Barry Joneshill in Rose Bud and paid him a visit recently. Turns out he's something of a legend as an herbal healer, and I, who grow herbs, study herbs and have tried everything I've ever read or heard about, am the last to know in the state of Arkansas. They came away saying I should visit him. The remedy he prescribed was for Tres; we had no idea how life-threatening her condition was at the time or that the window for herbal healing had closed........but that's a whole other story.

So yesterday, I gassed up the Kia and drove 30 miles over verdant rolling hills dotted with goats, horses and cows. My kind of scenery. I passed the Rose Bud city limits sign, population 429, Sal-ute! Shortly afterwards my GPS proudly announced that my destination was on the left. I had arrived at Remedies. It's a pretty building with lots of glass in the front and interesting little walkways with well kept plants along the way.

Inside, there was a homey atmosphere, murals on some of the walls and even on the floor, with a large room off to the side filled with mirrors, red velvet chairs, dark shiny wood and tasseled lamps, like a Victorian parlour; price tags hung on them and a sign overhead said, "Your husband called. He said you can buy anything you want". The main room was lined with shelves filled with supplements and herbs, not the ordinary variety you can buy at Wal-Mart. There were 2 very large women, a child and a teenaged boy perched on a long sofa with the man I assumed to be Barry in front of them at a small table, writing on white cards. A few feet beyond them were 2 rows of chairs where 3 more people were waiting. Ah, the waiting room. I dutifully parked myself there so as to get in line, but the room fascinated me and every now and then I'd be drawn over to this shelf or that to read labels on herbal and homeopathic boxes, bottles and tubes. There was also a book rack. I could spend all day in this place. The coolest shelves were built on either side of a group of French doors, very Shabby Chic.

There's no privacy, so I all the while I was listening to the conversation with the people on the sofa. It seemed they each had an ailment, and Barry found a connection between them, prescribed some potions, and stood up, indicating that their consultation was over, but they were relishing their position at the front of the line and remained seated, bringing up more supporting ailments. I was thinking, "Go on already. Your turn is over." Finally they did, and the next group was up, a mom, her adolescent son, and probably his aunt. They'd come for the boy's upset stomach, but again, they all had ailments, and all were diagnosed in a matter of 10 minutes, never having been touched by Barry. He just asked a few questions and wrote on his white cards. I Googled one of the supplements he prescribed for them, just curious. The photos are also courtesy of my iPhone.

Barry has the reputation of knowing things about you, things that amaze his patients. He's a good lookin' soft spoken gentleman with silver hair and appears to be in his late 40's, but it's said he may be closer to 80. For a fact, he's highly educated and has created his own line of remedies called Thaumaturge, which means "Bringer of Miracles". We're all hoping for a miracle.

When those 3 left, it was my turn. On the drive up, I'd mulled over what to tell him. Over a span of 40 years, I've poured out my heart about the migraines to a gaggle of doctors and specialists; how severe, how often, what I have and haven't tried, arguing with them when they want to put me on meds that leave me in a drugged stupor....... it's very much like flailing a dead horse. I needn't have worried. He only asked why I was there. Lifelong migraines. Writing on his cards. Did I have thinning hair? Some, but not so much. I said that most people in my family who had these migraines had stopped by the time they were my age. "How old are you? 36?" Laughter on my part, no, turn that around......and I thought, he said it jokingly, but had he known my exact age? Hmmmm.

Well, here's what you need to do, and he came over and sat beside me and gave me the card with a diagram of what he determined was going on in my body, along with a prescription for apricot juice, tonic water, nutmeg and herbal tablets from his shelves. He said to follow it for 3 weeks, four times a year, and he indicated the calendar dates to begin each round. Will it stop the migraines? I pray it does. But either way, I enjoyed my little journey to Remedies, and I'll probably go again.

And Marley? He'll just be happy if his mommy has more happy days to play with him.
Much love to y'all and thanks for stopping by.
Cat & Marley

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Playing in the Mud......and Notes to Santa

I'm not a quitter, not by a long-shot, but I almost dropped out of my pottery classes for 2 reasons. One was the 9 AM time slot on Monday mornings, dealing with Little Rock traffic, and it has rained/stormed almost every Monday since I started, and then there were 2 weeks of flooding when I could have gotten to class by way of Dallas but opted to stay home with Marley who's terrified of storms. I'm a country girl, and while I can drive in crazy traffic, it's no fun for me, and these days, if it ain't fun, why bother?

The second reason was that all we've made in class are boring little 3 inch pinch pots, slab boxes, and coiled pots, and they're just dynamically ugly! This is the hand-building class, and they won't let us touch the throwing wheel till next semester. (I wonder why they call it throwing; seems to me it should be a spinning wheel. I guess the yarn makers already glommed onto that name.......but I digress.) Anyway this week, I brought home some of my clay and made a few pieces on my own. Duh! Of course this is why they teach us the techniques on ugly little pots, so we can transfer them to pieces we might actually want to claim.

I fell totally in love with my clay this week, even though it's an absolute hassle that everything has to dry, in stages, but not too quickly, and then be wrapped and boxed and precariously carted back to the Arts Center for firing, glazing and firing again. Before the first firing, it's so fragile you could pick up a piece and push your thumb right through it. I really wish I had my own kiln! Are you listening, Santa?

This little log with roses on it was my first pottery creation on my own. I've made tons of roses in cake frosting and in paper sculptures, but trust me, clay is easier. It has a lot of little sticking-out petals and leaves that I'll worry about in the firing process because we don't get to do that ourselves. Seriously, Santa, I need that kiln!

I made a bunch of these little herb plant markers. They're sorta messy but will be just fine hanging from wires in my herb beds; I need to buy some letters for stamping words in clay. When I die, the art and craft supply dealers are gonna miss me.

I'm not sure what this is........but it's not horrible. When it's dry, it will all be pale gray. The dark middle is where it's not quite dry yet. I just rolled it out and stamped the image of an old plastic Christmas place mat into it and then draped it over wadded up newspapers in a free-form fashion. It'll be interesting to see how well it glazes....or not. Oh, and I also need a slab roller, but for now, a rolling pin on a canvas covered board works fine.

This is a vase, about 10 inches high, that I made by wrapping a slab around a pretzel jar, and then I stamped leaf patterns all over it, played with the edges and added little strips to look like toggle buttons, and when it was stiff enough but not completely dry, I slipped it off the jar and added a bottom.

If you've ever made a lattice top on an apple pie, you know this technique. I'm liking this bowl; it's about 4 inches deep and 8 inches wide at the top. I cut strips from a slab, using a fettling knife, but it would be really cool to have an extruder. Uh, Santa.

And here is what I was working my way up to, and had no idea if I could do it, but she turned out not half bad. Anyway, she's a beginning, and I'm sure Jane will point out areas where I could have used better techniques. I predict more figurines in my future. I would have loved to have a banding wheel, so I could turn the piece as I worked on it, but I managed with just a small plastic board....still, it would be nice to have that banding wheel.....if a certain someone is listening.

My week went whizzing by, and I'd wake up each morning thinking of what I could make in clay. Marley hates it when I play with clay because he doesn't do loud noises, and I'm always pounding or slamming the slabs of clay around, and he takes off for his bed in the kitchen. But the storms had a positive outcome for him. He now sleeps in the bed with us full time. He gets so overcome with happiness and gratitude at bedtime we haven't had the heart to tell him not tonight, and anyway, he's a very good boy, and if he gets shoved by a foot during the night, he just scooches over and goes back to his soft little snoring....and besides I have cold feet. Shih Tzus are very warm.

I'll share more of my work as I progress, and I'll show you how these look after firing and glazing. My first attempt at glazing ugly pots was pretty awful. I guess it's true; you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Wish me luck with these, and I'd welcome any suggestions as to colors.
Marley and I are so glad you stopped by!
Cat & Marley

P.S. I looked up the term, and here's what I found. I still think it should be a spinning wheel.
The Old English word thrawan from which to throw comes, means to twist or turn. Going back even farther, the Indo-European root *ter- means to rub, rub by twisting, twist, turn. The German word drehen, a direct relative of to throw, means turn and is used in German for throwing. Because the activity of forming pots on the wheel has not changed since Old English times, the word throw has retained its original meaning in the language of pottery but has developed a completely different meaning in everyday usage.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Morning Walk: Practicing Love

Sometimes I'll catch myself expending more energy on negative thoughts than on positive ones. Negative thoughts suck the energy from us and from the Universe while positive ones make us all richer. This morning on my walk around the neighborhood, I reprimanded my brain good and proper and focused on things that I love, like, or appreciate instead of fuming that the trash guys never pick up bottles or paper that spill out of the cans.

As I lock the front door, I'm grateful that the tornadic winds didn't tip over my tall clay pots this time and didn't even damage the fragile irises blooming by the fence or the baby oxalis in a lower pot. Strange how those lethal winds seem to pick and choose their victims. I can hear Marley behind me, trying to scratch his way through the window, and I love how he loves me.

And now the storms have passed at last, and I love how deeply, richly blue the sky is and how the breeze feels washed and crisp and clean. I like how the sunlight glows on that little bunch of yellow pansies by a neighbor's mailbox. I enjoy how my muscles begin to stretch and relax as I get into my stride. Sometimes I listen to music when I walk, but mostly I think better if I walk acapella. In my jeans pocket, my iPhone jingles to tell me I've got a Words play; I won't stop to play now, but I like knowing it's there, waiting for me.

Oh, and I really like that patch of hundreds of pink primroses nodding in the wind, and there's an iron chair in the middle of them. Good idea. Maybe Jim would like to dig me a primrose bed. I love that when I meet neighbors walking they nod or say Good Morning; I meet 3 together, walking slowly, heads bent to the center, talking intently. Part of me wishes they'd ask me to walk with them, but I'd have to walk slower, and we'd talk about someone's sick child or grandchild or what the dog tore up or last night's corn casserole recipe, all good and worthy topics, but I'm busy practicing here.

In a long stretch of perfectly coiffed lawns, I wonder why this one has gone raggedy and weedy. Someone might be sick, or there may be a divorce. Nope, we're thinking positive! I'll bet they're in London, camped along the street to watch the Royal Wedding procession. He didn't much want to go, but she said this will be her birthday gift, and besides, he never wants to do anything fun, so he made the reservations and even wore the ridiculous hat she bought him with a red, white and blue silk band. I love that they're having such a great time.

As I'm about to turn right and head toward home, I notice that the street to the left has way too many cars parked at the curb, so I turn left instead to check it out and discover it's overflow from the middle school, having some sort of outdoor celebration, I'm guessing a belated Earth Day, and I love that I don't teach anymore and that I'm free to do what I want. Teaching has it's rewards, but for the most part it's like trying to coerce wild bunnies into becoming upstanding rabbit citizens, very hard and mostly impossible. So I turn towards home, and I'm grateful for my curiosity. It has led me into some sticky situations as well as into discoveries that changed my life for the better.

Finally, as I make my way back up my street and open the front door, I love that I have Marley waiting for me, all squeaky and happy and a little bit psycho, needing desperately to give me kisses. You'd think I'd been gone all day rather than 45 minutes. Yeah, there's an awful lot still left in this raggedy ol' world to love.
Thanks for stopping by to visit Marley and me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pottery, Paintings, iPhones, and Almost Eaten by a Bulldog

Okay, it's spring......again. We had spring, and it ran away, and we went back to winter clothes, and now it's here with a vengeance, rain, storms, hail, and near 90 degrees a couple of days.

Marley hurt his foot (we still don't know how), but I took him to the vet, and now it's all better. I was a basket case, though, almost as much as when Dave used to get sick or hurt, and when I told a couple of friends afterwards about the ordeal, complete with an American bulldog that kept lunging at us (for 2 hours) while its skinny owner thought it was funny that she had no control over him chatted happily and preened herself in her spike heels and jeans with the knees blown out, Colleen said I should have taken pics for my blog........she was right. But I do have some things to share with you.

I've been going to pottery class at the Arkansas Arts Center for 3 weeks! It's just as interesting as I thought it would be but painfully slow at getting to the exciting stuff like using the wheel (which won't come till next semester) and glazing and using the kilns, which we're (hopefully) doing next week. My first impressions are that this is an art you'll probably be good at if you like it, but of course people who have been doing it for years are better than us newbies, by far. My humble little pinch pots, coil pots and slab pots are not things of beauty, but I'll show them to you once they're glazed. Three weeks and not one finished piece yet........sigh.

But I think these pieces of pottery showing glazes and colors do look like art.

This is Jane showing us how to wrap a slab around PVC and newspaper for support. She's a good teacher and knows her stuff.

This is a painting within a collage that I finished for my kitchen. I'm probably the only one who likes it, but sometimes that's enough. Those are pear leaves sprayed gold, and the driftwood came from the Oregon Coast, my real home I've been longing for since I was 2 years old; I dyed a piece of cheese cloth for it, and that's a piece of iridescent stained glass that I cut in that little square. I wanted a finished edge for this collage and the other 2 I showed you earlier, but I couldn't find the edging I wanted at Home Depot, so Jim made it for me. What would I do without him? Collages on wood just look sooooo much more finished with an edge.

This is a peek at the painting that's been dragging on for a while. It's not there yet, and I may just paint over it. I'm more interested in playing with clay right now.

And I've also been playing LOTS with my new iPhone. It's the second best birthday gift I've ever gotten, Marley being first, of course. But who knew I'd like it so much? I love apps, and there's literally one for everything. I even like the camera, and I have an app that gives some really fun photo effects. Of course you can do those in PhotoShop, but it's more fun to see the effects as you're shooting. Camera phones have come a long way, Baby, since my first one. The first photo at the top looks a little like infrared photography.

This effect is unpredictable but colorful.

And this is an abstract, posterized, pic of Marley. He's on the left side, looking right, and you can see his little nose sticking up.

Next time I'll share some more effects as well as some of my pottery. Thanks very much for stopping by!
Cat & Marley

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This 'n That

I have a painting and a collage in the works but nothing ready to show, so here are a few pics I've taken lately that I thought you might like.

"No, Mom. I haven't been digging in the herb bed because I distinctly remember you telling me you would whack my fuzzy little butt if I did."

"Me, sniffing the poppies? Of course not! Why do you ask?"

"Nope, Dad. I don't remember where my new golf ball came from, but it's definitely not one of your collectibles!"

My sister Nan and I spent the day together, and we stopped by the Old Mill park.

Nan on a bridge, Senor Dionico Rodriguez, a sculptor and artist, was responsible for all the details of each piece of concrete work made to represent wood, iron or stone, as well as the designing of the foot bridges and rustic seats. Rodriguez's secret techniques were so detailed and exacting that you can identify the species of trees in most of his work. Rodriguez worked without any written plans, but there are unwritten stories that describe how Rodriguez envisioned many of his works. "A black locust tree grew in the soft earth on the bank of the little stream. When it reached a certain height it was blown down, but continued to live. A woodsman who wanted to use the trunk of the tree as a footbridge cut off the limbs and..."

We thought the park would be lush with spring blooms, but there weren't many yet.

Jonquils were in full bloom on Deb's table, though, when I drove up to visit her, Dave and Mollie. I thought this was such a pretty arrangement using soft drink bottles in the little basket.

Mollie's compact horse.

She showed me the rest of her menagerie, including hermit crabs (camera shy), baby chicks, ducks, geese, rabbits, dogs, cats, and all kinds of critters; it's like visiting a petting zoo.

And that's it for now during these busy, happy spring days.
Thanks for stopping by!
Cat & Marley