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

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

Lop lop loppers

On the drive in Friday, Tom flinched every time a branch scraped against Xena on Booger Hollow’s narrow and rhododendron-infested roads. So today, I got out the loppers to trim them back. It was a three-hour chore. But the destructive beast inside me was growling with delight to be off the leash. Loppers were unfamiliar to … read more Lop lop loppers

The oak, falling – Part 2

I could hear the chainsaws across the valley a little after 8 a.m., and I knew it was at my house. I sat on Sara’s deck, looking out into the obliterating mist, and cried. She came out and sat with me. We talked and drank coffee. Finally, I got dressed and drove to my house, where a 10-ton oak … read more The oak, falling – Part 2

The most lush spring ever

Self-centered creature that I am, I’ve been feeling as though this spring was designed and built JUST FOR ME. With a long winter of struggling through recovery from brain surgery, I felt shrunken and afraid. Then the flowers bloomed. And bloomed. And kept blooming. It has been a spring of tremendous abundance. I hoped to see one … read more The most lush spring ever

Being an idiot

Stupid. Idiot. Dumb-a**. Fool. Nitwit. Dope. Dipsh*t. Brainless.   You use those words much? I have. They’re insults we throw around all the time: while driving or shopping, in heated Facebook discussions, yelling at the TV. Maybe we even mutter those words at ourselves when we make a big mistake. In nearly seven months since my … read more Being an idiot