Tuesday, March 31, 2009


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Spring is here even though the nights are still cold, the wood stove is still chugging along. Today felt like snow. I know we will have more rain..hence the "Growing Gills" time of year when I always feel as if I live in an aquarium. Beauty is all around us in the budding trees and the emerging flowers. It is time to start the vegetable garden and this coming year will be the first in a very long time for me to have chickens. I am so excited to get back to that. I also have some blueberries in the ground and they are big enough that we will have some wonderful harvests this year. Hooray for all of the home goodness.
I am also going to say goodbye to this little spot. Growing Gills is going to go gentle into that good night. There is so much to do now and I have not been a good shepherd of this spot lately. I will always be checking in to see how others are doing and keeping in touch. It has been such an adventure for me and I may in the future morph into something else. Who knows?
I do want to thank all who have stopped by and given encouragement and companionship. I appreciate it more that I can say. If you have been a reader who has never commented, I appreciate your readership too.I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful people through this wee spot. It is a blessing that I do not take for granted or take lightly.
Happy Spring to all and may goodness, peace, comfort and love be yours.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Nothing Ordinary About a Raindrop".....

...Ted Kooser's wonderful words.

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"If you can awaken
inside the familiar
and discover it strange,
you need never leave home."

Amen, my words...well, really his beautiful words, but words that echo my feelings..beauty is in my surroundings, in the little things, in my home, in the smallness of where I live and breathe ...and yes, where I find my meaning.
A whole world contained in a little drop of water; a drop that reflects the sky and holds the awareness of the wonder of a world at home.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Repeat of Some Pictures...

....because they make me feel warm and safe, secure and comforted in an insecure and scary world.
Wishing all a warm and safe and secure week.

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Run With Your Scissors....

...find your old calendar that you have loved...
....make fat hearts, long and skinny hearts...cut them in half, limiting yourself ONLY to those heart shapes.....,no cheating...to see what you can create...
...sacrifice some of your beloved artists; Gainsborough, Bonnard, Winslow Homer, Klimt, Vermeer, Rodin, Monet, Blake, Bruegel, Hassam, Cezanne,Botticelli, Goya..on and on...
..keep trying...
..and realize how much fun this was and how exciting to try it again without the so restrictive constraints of half of a heart.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Avoidance Behavior....

......keep your nose in the books,

.....make some of the above,

.....keep those needles clacking, mix up some flour, water, a little yeast and salt, plunge in with both hands. Have a great day while the laundry goes undone, the dog hair continues to sprout from the carpet, and the spiders industriously build their little condominiums on the window sills.

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This is much more enjoyable. The laundry, unmade bed and everything else will still be there waiting. It won't disappear on you. (Drat!)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


"I love the light for it shows me the way. Yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars." (Mandino)


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Going Green...

...in the grocery store. I made these two shopping bags and am donating them to my grandsons' school fundraising auction. I like both of them, but especially the embroidered one, because it is just darned cute! (at least I think so)
I tried and tried to make a collage, but Picasa is not cooperating with me all all. Darnit!


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Not Exactly My Colors.....

Grams." I have had the wonderful experience of teaching my just twelve year old grandson to sew. And yes, these are not his colors, this is a bag he would never carry...and I probably would not use it either.....But, it is what was on hand, someone, a little girl might like this and it was a good beginning for sewing and matching up seams.
I think that he did a fantastic job. The only thing I did was show him what to do and I did do the pressing..showing him the difference between pressing and ironing.
I also helped him to sew a pillow case..no pictures..but flannel with "POW and SMACK and SOCCER and FOOTBALL on it.
I am amazed at how well he did. do click on to see how wonderfully he did


Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Give yourself up to love, no matter how old...life is too short not to love and to be loved...too short not to embrace the wonderfulness of being alive and being connected...too short to say I am too old to connect with those who are too young... too short to say I am too young to connect with those who are too old...too short to ignore and deny the the deliciousness of life...too short not to shout out..."I am here and I matter and you are here and you matter!"... too short to not dance the dance, see the sky, be burned by the moon, smell the sunflowers, embrace the darkness, be kissed by the rain, be changed by the words, carried away by the music, be reduced by pain and concern for others.... too short not to rise up each day to the wonder that is out there...too short to not raise our hands in help, too short not to love and shout out, "Here I am and there you are, aren't we so fortunate to connect and be together?"...too short not to wonder at all of the wonder....


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birthday/Valentine Present....

....for a dear friend. My inspiration came from a wreath featured in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.
Mine is not quite as perfect; it's a bit off kilter, but I think that she likes it!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thank You....

Sarah, for pointing me in the direction of his poetry.
I had never read any. I love this one....


by John Updike

The shadows have their seasons, too.
The feathery web the budding maples
cast down upon the sullen lawn

bears but a faint relation to
high summer's umbrageous weight
and tunnellike continuum—

black leached from green, deep pools
wherein a globe of gnats revolves
as airy as an astrolabe.

The thinning shade of autumn is
an inherited Oriental,
red worn to pink, nap worn to thread.

Shadows on snow look blue. The skier,
exultant at the summit, sees his poles
elongate toward the valley: thus

each blade of grass projects another
opposite the sun, and in marshes
the mesh is infinite,

as the winged eclipse an eagle in flight
drags across the desert floor
is infinitesimal.

And shadows on water!—
the beech bough bent to the speckled lake
where silt motes flicker gold,

or the steel dock underslung
with a submarine that trembles,
its ladder stiffened by air.

And loveliest, because least looked-for,
gray on gray, the stripes
the pearl-white winter sun

hung low beneath the leafless wood
draws out from trunk to trunk across the road
like a stairway that does not rise.

Isn't this lovely? Oh, to be able to stitch such beauty together with word and intent.
Aren't we blessed to have such loveliness to read? Each stanza (is that a correct word for what I want to say?) fills me with gratitude and, what..I cannot explain it. I love all of this, especially: "And loveliest, because least looked-for..."
Perhaps, we should all seek the "loveliest and least looked for, and the shadows that have their seasons, too".


Monday, January 26, 2009

Early Evening.....

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piebald beans, ham bone knuckle whiteness
tender greens
ruffled goodness of purple
red tomatoes
falling darkness
richness of ground coffee
a call to come outside to see the star
I run with the blessings of
white knuckle bone
freckled beans, richness of red scent
and perfect purple ruffles
to see the beauty of the white
spot in the sky.


Monday, January 19, 2009

It's My Birthday.....

Yesterday was Poe's birthday, and if I could have, I would have left some cognac and roses for him. I would have.
I would have put up an adorable picture of me to celebrate this momentous birthday of mine, but it seems a bit crass at this time. Although I love Poe, and I am happy to have a birthday, nothing comes close to the Man Who Came Before; his vision of freedom for so many, his hope for this country, his peaceful messages, his commitment to so many, his belief that peace and goodness, love and acceptance could be made manifest. And nothing comes close to this man, who I hope, with everyone's help, will lead us into a new world; full of peace, understanding, acceptance and safety...all peoples, all over this planet.
He won't be perfect. He will have clay feet. He inherits a world of such overwhelming problems. We all do.
Let us join hands, all of us throughout the world to make a better place for our children, for all people of all religions and faiths. It will take a world.
And when it comes to everyone's turn; may each be able to say, "I am glad to celebrate my birthday. I give thanks for just being here in this precious place."


Sunday, January 11, 2009

No Title......

At the center of the universe is a
loving heart that continues to beat
and that wants the best for every person.

Anything we can do to help foster
the intellect and spirit and emotional growth
of our fellow human beings, that is our job.

Those of us who have this particular vision
must continue against all odds.

Life is for service.

Fred Rogers

I do not make New Year's Resolutions, but if I did, this would be mine.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Big, Huge, Scary Wind.....

We experienced a tremendous wind storm several days ago. It was so frightening. We have many big trees around here and although it is exhilarating, it can be discomforting.
The next morning after my grandsons arrived and were out and about, one of them came in and told me that we had a pelican in the nursery. Did I think he was imagining..yes!
We live about 40 miles inland from the coast..and even at that, most of the pelicans either live further south or much more up on the north coast. This poor guy/girl had to have come at least 40 to 50 miles.
I spent almost an entire day trying to find some rescue for him. I must have called every agency I knew, the Chamber of Commerce people on the coast..on and on.
He/she did not survive the night. I will forever call the wind that was so terrific and terrifying the Pelican Wind. I wish that I could have helped he/she.

I know that we will have such winds again...please may we not have such vulnerable animals buffeted so far from their home.