Our community  library has a magazine swap table.  This is great for me as I could bankrupt myself on magazines.  In  a recent batch I perused an issue of Better Homes and Gardens. 

On the wall of one of featured homes was one of my larger paintings.  During the period of 1995-1999 I created a series of fairly large scale paintings I called the Cloisters and Cathedrals series.  The one in the magazine was a painting that sold via a gallery and I never knew where it went. And now I do.

This afternoon I watched my latest NetFlix CD, an excellent British TV Mystery series  called Rosemary & Thyme.  In episode 2, the unfortunate and soon- to-be-murdered victim is a successful, but older, rock star.  He is shown in his studio composing his latest song…..and he is wearing one of MY bolo ties.  I backed up the frames, froze it, zoomed in, enlarged it and I’m 100% certain it’s one I made.  The design is so unique that I doubt it could have been a coincidence.  I was thrilled.  I have to wonder how it found it’s way to rural England. 

This shouldn’t surprise me as I have seen other pieces of my jewelry on television before….TV anchorwomen seem to appreciate the pins, brooches and ear rings I made. I can only remember making 50 or so bolo ties.

I estimate I had made/sold over 30,000 pieces before I quit making jewelry all together. I still have enough supplies to make a few thousand more pieces.  I suppose I should pass these supplies along as I cannot imagine I will ever use them. 

Sometimes artists are like that.


I have two large pots of stapelia gigantea that I have had for at least 25 years.  They have been blooming each August for the last 3 years.

The common name for these unusual plants is Carrion Flower; a name that is common with a wide variety of plants that emit an odor that can be likened to the smell of rotting flesh.  The function of this putrid smell is to attract flies, primarily the green bottle fly who finds the scent irresistable. These flies then aid in pollination of the species.

For the past two years, I have not been offended by the exotic and infamously malodorous star-fish shaped blossom.  But, with the opening of this years first bloom, the carrion flower has certainly lived up to it’s much maligned reputation.  Last evening, I went outside into the heavy air of dusk and almost gagged.  The scent was thick and strong and was easily detectable for several hundred feet. 

Today, I wanted to take a closer look at the one fully opened bloom and the 7 buds yet to come.  Once more proving what I read about this plant in my gardening books, the bloom was dotted with green bottle flies.  While holding my breath, I moved the pot onto a table on my front porch so that I could see this unusual sight from my living room window.  If the other blossoms rival the first, I’m sure I’ll be finding another spot to store this plant until the blooming cycle is over. 

Isn’t nature fascinating?  Not always pretty and certainly not always sweet-scented, but endlessly fascinating.   

Joe Pye Days

It looks a lot like autumn here on my flat-topped mountain. Most of the trees have lost half their leaves and they swirl and twirl in the warm late August winds as if the calendar had suddenly skipped to October. Those resilient leaves that refuse to let go, have curled in the recent drought.  They have already started synthesizing their sugars and wear their fall mantle way to early.


These are what we mountain folk call the Joe-Pye days.  For those not botanically in the know, the Joe-Pye is an indigenous wildflower that grows in ditch ways and  untended fields in late summer.  It’s scientific name is Eupatorium purpureum.  It’s rather voluminous heads made up of many smaller individual blossoms resemble spherical shaped, soccer ball sized displays in a soft lavender color at strong stems that can easily reach six feet in height.  The Joe-Pye is often kept company in those summer meadows with the Ironwood, which sports a royal purple head of flat topped flowers offering that spark of dark purple that only helps to accentuate the soft airiness of the Joe-Pye.


The Joe-Pye days is actually nothing more than a colloquial naming for a period that is more widely known as the Dog Days of Summer; a period of long, hot and humid days occurring in August and early September, where the very air takes on an unworldly weight.   On the high seas, another name for this period is referred to as The Halcyon Days; a time of usually calm seas in the north Atlantic that is a precursor to the first storms of the upcoming winter season.


I’ll end this blog with a list of random thoughts that sort of hits the high points of the last week.


·        Dave had Lasik Sugery to correct his abysmal eyesight.  Within an hour of the surgery, he was seeing better than I can with my most recent pair of bifocals.   He experienced no pain of any kind; in fact his eyes were never red or showed any sign that a laser beam had sliced off a portion of his cornea. Absolutely amazing.


·        I continue to deal with my typical daily pain issues, including the damaged facial nerve that has tortured me for almost a month.


·        For reasons that will probably remain a mystery, I became obsessed with Argentinean Tango music this past week. Tango music, digital photo manipulation, reading and the Beijing Olympics took all of my focus this past week.

The bright candy-red sofa is angled to take full advantage of the view from the bank of huge floor to ceiling windows on the opposite wall. Our townhouse sits high atop a hill offering a really lovely view, and since my favorite sitting room is on the third floor, the view is only better. From this height, and from this comfy sofa in this sleek, yet warm room, I can watch the entire city of Nashville spread out for approximately 40 miles in a 180 degree arc. From the sunlight gleaming on the downtown skyscrapers to the sprawling suburbs, I can even watch all the arriving and departing planes at the Nashville airport. A sight that I doubt will ever fail to amaze me.

Growing up in an air Force family, airports have always been a factor in my life. Although my father never flew or worked directly on aircraft, he was instrumental in developing and maintaining the early radar and communication systems used in so many military transports. Insomuch, I spent a good part of my early years in close proximity to airports. I remember many times when my friends and I would ride our bicycles to a grassy knoll at the end of one runway or another and gasp with delight as each huge gray bird lifted off the ground right over our heads. The sound of those engines buffeting us with enough pressure to push us into the grass and threatening to burst our eardrums. These miracles of flight could not have been more magical to me if an elephant itself had just leapt over my head and into the azure above. For this very reason, I have resisted absorbing the knowledge of how aircraft really are able to obtain flight. Of course, I did have to learn the basics in that it has to do with speed and lift, but I lefty it pretty much at that. It’s exactly the same with a FAX machine. I just want to believe it works by magic. Plain and simple.

I especially love to sit up here at night where the lights of this city sparkle brighter than the celestial show above. In the darkness, the airport is a more exciting place to watch. Those inbound and outbound flights create a moving light-show not unlike the summer lightening bugs at my country house in the mountains. They mesmerize me for hours and I never tire of the mysteries those lights unleash. As each plane lifts off the ground and rises into that stygian darkness, I always wonder, where are those folks going? Are they on a business trip? Or perhaps, a family going on a vacation to a place they have never been before? And similar thoughts occur on those lighted wings descending out of the darkness. What brings these folks into this place? Are they tourists here to see the home of Tammy Wynette? Are they children who are coming home to visit their aging parents they have been missing for so long. It is so very easy for me to become absorbed in my reveries; I sometimes have to force myself back into the moment, to sense the softness of the sofa cushion beneath me.

I cannot write about a blog entry about any form of travel without paying homage to one of my favorite passages in all of songwritingdom. I’m not sure that songwritingdom is actually a word, but I think you know what I mean. In his song, “A Foreign Affair”, the brilliant Tom Waits penned this line.

“…..Boats and trains and planes and buses, all evoke an attitude of blue, unless you have a suitcase, a passport and a ticket, and the cargo they are carrying is you.”

Nothing could capture what I am feeling right now better than those 31 words.

As many know I’ve recently been on the great Hwy 127 World’s Longest Yard Sale that snakes through these Appalachian highlands each August.  Now it’s time to begin researching some of the things I found along side the road. One thing that has me really curious a framed weaving of a what appears to be a map of old town Krakow in perhaps the period from the 1300’s – 1500’s.  It has the words that translate to Casmirus and Cracovia on the medieval depiction of the old town. A series of what I assume to be coins of the period are depicted above.  There is an old label on the back of the piece that is from Krakow and some European handwriting that I cannot read.  Is there anyone out there who can? The picture attched to this post is the label in question.  

I’d be ever so grateful.

Humor- Rules To Blog By

BLOG TIP 1:   Be sure that your avatar looks NOTHING like you.

BLOG TIP 2:   Be sure your template is done in the worst possible taste imaginable. Kittens and fairies work well, as do praying hands, pirates, scantily clothed nymphs, Country Westrn—Nascar themes.

BLOG TIP 3:   NEVER NEVER give a fellow blogger the benefit of the doubt….ALWAYS ASSUME the worst. take everything and anything they say in the WORST POSSIBLE LIGHT……..then go on the ATTACK.  

BLOG TIP 4:   be OVER sensitive……. divulge some inappropriate feeling or experience, then get insulted if they don’t see it exactly your way—get mad at anyone who DOES NOT rush in to give you sympathy.

BLOG TIP 5:…..take LOTS of screen grabs of statements made completely out-of-context so you can throw it in thier faces later. THAT’LL SHOW EM!

BLOG TIP 6:   way overestimate your own popularity, then when you threaten to NEVER BLOG AGAIN, imagine that people are actually losing sleep over it.

BLOG TIP 7:    make everyone uncomforatable with inappropriate personal revelations. things like: I JUST FOUND A CANEROUS CYST ON MY VULVA, Or, “My husband beats me.” or “I just found my 13 year old daughter’s pregnant again.

BLOG TIP 8:   Take a political postion to the hilt. Write long tomes about how only a mutant idiot would take a different view than yours. Then take solice, that you have spoke TRUTH TO POWER (or at least in this case, truth to a bunch of people who make thier living selling pink poodle toilet paper covers and other such crap.)

BLOG TIP 9:……..be really way out there with your religiosity, promise thousands of angels are on your side…..overestimate your own spirituality, imagine you have powers to send healing energies across the blog, and if anyone questions in the slightest way how deep your spiritual motive is,,,,tell them they can GO TO HELL.

TIP 10:    If you find that 2 or 3 people consistently comment on your blog, you now have “a following”.  This ‘following’ will result in a false sense of celebrity which, in turn, allows you to be a consumate ass. I say this assuming that the gentle newbie has no following as of yet; and is therefore not already a consumate ass. 

TIP 11:   CHARACTER CREEP. As you describe yourself to others you’ll find yourself undergoing what we call—”Character-Creep”. Character-Creep results from gross exaggerations when describing yourself to others. (Beautiful avatars of other people, triple digit IQ’s, higher educational degrees, exotic travels, ALL can be yours by a few quick key stokes) As no one actually can see or hear you this is easy to get away with. Within a month, your character will have creeped so far, that friends and family members wouldn’t have the remotest clue that the person Blogging was you.

TIP 12:    Do a title search for your ID often. If your ID appears anywhere in someone else’s blog title, you have now entered the “Pantheon of the God’s. Not only do you have a following, but your followers are recruiting other followers on your behalf. This is a rare happening, and usually only happens to those bloggers whose consumate assdom has reach epic proportions. Be warned though….being in ‘The Pantheon’ opens you up too greater attacks from the lower ranks of blogville. This results in your declaration, I WILL NEVER BLOG AGAIN and, as stated above, imagining that there are people actually losing sleep over it.

TIP 13:   When blogging, be sure your emotional sensibilities are at their peak. Imagine that you’re being really understood for the first time in your life. Make wild declarations of love and friendship to people you don’t even remotely know. It’s OK. In a matter of days you’ll move onto your next soulmate and forget the old soulmate(s) ever even existed.

TIP 14:   Remember that school safety in third grade back in 1968? The one who made everybody’s life miserable? That person is most likely in here, right now, blogging away.   


TIP 15:   If you think the day that the “Laughter Died:” was that dark day CBS cancelled “Three’s Company”, then you have the perfect ‘blog-sense-of-humor.’ Humor can be a dark and confusing place for many a blogger. All because of that evil word, “IRONY”.  Blogs with double meanings, where someone doesn’t actually MEAN what they say are to be avoided at ALL costs. Are they serious? Are they laughing with or AT you? Are you actually being made fun of? Who knows!!???

Paying for It, BIG TIME

If you are fortunate enough not to have Fibromyalgia or Sarcoidosis, then you will never know how dearly those who do pay for it when they engage in normal activity. I expect that I mentally blocked some of my day-to-day pain during the past weeks marathon yard sale adventure. Although the Tic Douloureux ( what a great name for a horrbile ailment) kept me popping pain pills all day and holding the right side of my face like I had several teeth in abcess, the other bodily aches and pains were mostly pushed to the back of my mind.  Until the day after the sale ended.  And then it was as if the floodgates of lake pain had been opened and I have been awash in contstant pain since.  I desperately need to go to the grocery store, but I honestly do not think I could make it through the store. If this flare is typical, it should abate in another couple of days.  It’s no wonder that many with this malady become totally sedentary.  I’m glad I didn’t give in to it last week and had as much fun as I could squeeze into each day, but it comes at a heavy price.

The other night a chicken snake ate my baby robins.  My friend, and artist extraordinaire, Laura Brookhart, wrote about our visit the other day, and this story on her Blog.  Here is the link to the article.  You will need to cut it and paste into your browser’s address bar.