New house

[Sunday, Jan. 15] We slept soundly, and woke up this morning in our own bed at last. It squeaked. Loudly. In the dozen years we’ve owned it, the frame hasn’t squeaked before. The movers left off some screws when they reassembled it. I’ve always loved the smell of this house that emanates from the raw wood … read more New house

Late-night cleansing

It’s the day before Moving Day, when all our belongings will be moved back into our rebuilt house. The last interior work is being completed; the workers were delayed by snow, which made it impossible to drive to our house for four days. The empty house is filthy. When I walked in, the hired cleaner, David, … read more Late-night cleansing

Attention to details

I’d put it off as long as I could, but today I had to face the file folders in my office. I hadn’t done a thorough sorting of office paperwork in maybe four years – not the superficial kind of sorting where you are only stuffing more paper into existing files and tossing the junk … read more Attention to details


My biggest accomplishment today was that I got a very low level of Internet service for our house. The service, which tops out at 5 Megabits per second download, is what we’ve had for the past nine years living in the mountains. That’s considered very sub-par by national standards – the FCC defines “broadband” as 25 … read more 1Mbps????

Pictures on the mantel

They aren’t expensive frames. Plain black wood, the kind you have to sort through in the display racks at the drugstore, and check carefully to find a couple that aren’t scratched or dinged. After I’d put the two 8 by 10 prints in the frames, and set them on the mantel, I sat and looked at them … read more Pictures on the mantel

The curious woodpecker

I was quietly enjoying my research this morning when a visitor came to my second-floor office window. It was a pileated woodpecker, clinging to the window frame as he peered in. He just sat there, looking at me, and I stared back. He wasn’t pecking, he just looked and looked. At me, at my office, around … read more The curious woodpecker

Playing with 13 Rectangles

In making a fused glass version of Kandinsky’s 13 Rectangles, I intended to explore his philosophy of color while translating the painting from oil to another medium. I certainly learned about his use of values, which I didn’t expect; and a bit about blending, which isn’t possible in glass the way it is with paint. After playing with 13 … read more Playing with 13 Rectangles

What I learned when I almost died

Exactly one year ago today, to the hour, an axe hit me in the head. A brain aneurysm ruptured and flooded my head with blood. The extreme pain, dizziness and nausea cut a dividing line through my life – one second I was fine, the next I was on the verge of death. I can … read more What I learned when I almost died

Lemon joy

This butterfly is not rare in Georgia, but I don’t remember ever seeing it before. Seems odd, given that its color is such a bright lemon yellow. This summer was the first time I’d noticed it flitting around. I never got a good look at it because I was always rushing somewhere. Today Tom and I finally … read more Lemon joy

Copying a master

Art students are always told to study the masters, and to copy them. Coming from a journalism background, I was at first taken aback by this approach – it seemed at worst a kind of plagiarism, and at best an exercise that would stifle originality. But once I tried it a few times, I realized that it … read more Copying a master