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Tuesday, September 22

by the sea

We often rent a house at the beach when we are here in Oregon. Sometimes for a weekend, sometimes for a week. This year it was a weekend and we packed the car with kids, grandkids, dogs, luggage, bags of food and headed out. I have a new respect for the "clowns in a Volkswagen" schtick. The kids were remarkably patient considering the level of discomfort.

The beach was at the end of our little road. The Oregon Coast is beautiful, no matter where you pull off to experience it. The State does not allow anyone to "own" a piece of the beach, so no matter where you go there is free, open access to the ocean. There are often huge rock formations in the water, little islands, whimsical but solid.

Off we went, down the road to the beach,adults, kids, dogs. The sun was warm, the breeze cool, the ocean cold and churning. It was awesome.

I have dipped my toes in the Pacific again. Life is good.


That is the only word I can come up with after visiting Bryce Canyon. There are 19 "pull outs" on the suggested route through the park and we stopped at all of them, camera in hand. You could only get  a glimpse of the view as you pulled into the little lots. Thick log railings protected and obscured the view. So, it would slowly reveal itself as you walked to the rail. I couldn't help but say things aloud as I approached. Insightful things, like : "you gotta be kidding!", "Get out!",  "Holy crap!". I took a lot of pictures.
But I also forced myself to put the camera down and just be there. Be at the edge of this marvel, in the warm Fall sun, the soft breeze, the circling hawk. This is where you are supposed to admit to "feeling small". But I didn't feel small. I felt connected, expanded, blessed.

Tuesday, September 15

the crying man

We drove through the Utah wilderness at night, the mountains  unseen but present. Few cars on this lonely stretch of road and little Oliver  is restless. Russ thinks he’s cold, I think he is affected by the unfamiliar toography because his little head swivels back and forth like doggie radar. Once night falls, he is spooked by the looming shadows of the mountains. He trembles until I pull my sweatshirt over him, but soon he has popped his head out to check and the trembling begins again. I hug him to me but that only helps for a moment. I can’t wait to stop for the night, if only to see him happy again.

We find a pet friendly Comfort Inn in Richfield, about 2 hours from Bryce Canyon. Nice place. Beautiful hotel, friendly people, coffee and cold drinks available all night and a crying man in the lobby. I check us in, find that the credit card I am using for hotels is missing. I was very organized this trip. This card for gas, this card for hotels, this card for “stuff”. Losing my hotel card would screw the pooch as they say. I assume I will find it, but the crying man cuts into my concentration and I pull out the gas card and tell her to just use this, I will have to do what the GPS lady does: recalculate. My OCD whimpers.

The crying man is tall, black, handsome, big like an athlete. He has a a trendy hair do, like tiny braids close to his head and a red shirt, loose over his jeans. He is pacing in tiny circles and whimpering. By the time we get into our room, just a ew feet from the front desk, he is weeping. I turn to him and say “are you OK?” but his reply is garbled and my concern makes him cry harder. The women at the desk keep asking what is wrong and can they help. The crying intensifies. I close my door and hope this ends well, but it is sad and a bit scary.

Russell goes out  to find us some food. I peek through the little glass thingy in the door every so often to see what’s happening. His weeping has turned to wailing. It is real and I can feel his heart breaking and nobody can get through the pain to help him. I know they will need to call the cops and they do. I hate to say it, but the events of this past year flash through my mind when I look through the peep hole and see this  black man losing control, with 3 white cops surrounding him. My heart is in my throat. But I needn’t worry. They were so kind to him, so gentle . They tried for quite a while to reason with him, find out what was wrong, let him know they were there to help. His anguish intensified. And then he started yelling for them to shoot him. “Please shoot me, please. Shoot me!” He wailed and pleaded for them to put him out of his misery.  My heart was breaking for him. Russ came back with food and said there was an ambulance outside. He goes out to get our bags.

I wait a few minutes and see that the EMT’s have come with a stretcher and now they and the cops are trying to get the man to go with them for help. They need to cuff him and all hell breaks loose. He is terrified of being handcuffed. He begs, he pleads, he screams, but they cuff him. They have to. 

And then he is on the gurney, tied down, crying, but on his way to help. I pressed my forehead to the door, beneath the little peephole and listened to the quiet and tried to make sense of what had taken 10 minutes to unfold, but felt like a lifetime. I felt so sad for him. For whatever made him cry and ask to be killed by three strangers in uniform.

The desk clerk said he had been working up to this all day. From the time he checked in, he would come into the lobby and pace and stare at the TV and go back to his room. Russ asked the cop if he thought the crying man would be OK and he shook his head no.

It felt kind of wrong to turn on TV, and pull out our fast food, to carry on as if nothing had happened. The two of us and our dogs, safe and happy, looking forward to tomorrow. The big man in a red shirt, strapped down in an ambulance, looking forward only to pain.  I don’t know where to put all of this in my heart’

stormin' the mid west

Nebraska, I hate to say it, but your endless flat fields of corn and brush can be boring. We decided to consider them calming and zen-like, but, truth be told, I read a lot. Around 8 we decided to stop at the next town for the night. We were enjoying the dramatic sky. To our left, clear sky with the beginnings of a golden sunset over the fields. To our right, black clouds with flashes of lightning buried deep within. The ragged edge of the black clouds inched over to the gold and  the light show started in earnest. Rolling bands of lightning that lit the night. We were not yet alarmed. In fact, Russ was taking video.

Then all Hell broke loose and, as loathe I am to use such a hackneyed phrase, I gotta say it was exactly that. With no warning we were slammed with wind, hail, rain. It was like a body blow. The cars stopped dead in the road. Slowly, the drivers got their bearings and began to inch cautiously to a shoulder they could not see. We all stopped then and waited. The rain was so intense, the hail so thick, that the car became a cocoon. There was no light save the occasional lightning and the two red circles of the brake lights in front of us that looked like carnations through the ice. The car rocked. Russ inched forward and it was like driving over rocks. He stopped. The storm didn’t.

I was terrified. All I could think of was that a tornado was coming. We were on the border of Iowa and Nebraska, in the plains, in a violent storm. All I could see was Dorothy riding her bike with Toto in the basket. I saw cars spinning up into the clouds. I ran an endless reel of old movies showing people clinging desperately to door jambs and car doors, only to be swept away and found in trees later. Yes, it seems silly now, but I was out of my element. I can handle a blizzard, this was nature on attack. AT one point I told Russ to please stop inching forward and he said he wasn’t. the car was in park. It was the wind.

The storm seemed to never end. I was whimpering “Oh my God” over and over. I admitted to Russell that I was afraid. Really afraid. I never do that. I am the brave girl. The dogs were silent and still, their ears down. They huddled together. They never moved, never whimpered.  Russ was taking video.

After what seemed like forever, but was probably 5 minutes, there was enough of a lull that you could see out the windows again. A big truck went by and Russ pulled out to follow him. The road was coated with hail stones and it felt like we were riding over rumble strips. I was trembling and my heart was beating so hard I swear my t-shirt was moving to its beat.

When we finally checked into our room, I lay in the bed, taking deep breaths and both dogs came to lie beside me: Quincy tucked himself along my side, Oliver put his tiny paws on my shoulder and rested his head in my neck. I like to think they were soothing me, but it may have been a mutual comforting.

Emergency blasts came over the TV several times in the next few hours, but we were safe, warm, together. I am always thankful when that it the case, but never more than that night.

Wednesday, September 9

stuck in the middle

The world starts to change when you hit deep into the midwest.  New York is green and lush and rolling. Ohio is green but flat. And then you hit Iowa and the air is like a blanket of heat, rich with mist. It feels like work to walk through it. The sky opens up and the shape of the world we live on is revealed. It curves at the edges, dips into the sunset, defies boundaries. Sunsets here are different than the charming ones we have over Lake Erie. They are intense. fire on the ground, gray chasing red across the fields. It is here that I start to feel that we are on a journey. The dogs are calmer here, as if the flat earth and open sky soothes them. We will stop soon. I want to catch Stephen Colbert’s debut.  We will bring in the cooler and snack on tomato sandwiches with tons of salt and mayo. fontanella cheese and watermelon, oatmeal raisin cookies, raspberry tea. I’m hungry thinking of it.  Tomorrow we head toward Nebraska, the last flat state, the entry to the mountains and the world spins and changes again. When we tell people that we are about to drive cross country, the question always is: How long does it take? I want to say “several lifetimes” but they wouldn’t understand. The last sliver of fire is slipping off the edge. The sky behind it is slate and blue with streaks of white. 

My quote of the day? Enjoy the journey.

lessons learned, blessings earned?

It’s been a long time since I blogged. Months and months. Yes, I’ve been busy with shows and work and doctors. But I’m thinking the demon between me and my blog is Facebook. I spend creative time replying, sharing, liking, pontificating, LOLing. No time for creative writing. Enough.

So..Let’s review the Summer show season this way: rain, rain, wonderful, lousy, wonderful, heat, pretty good, frustrating, wonderful and wonderful. I would like to share words of wisdom about making a living as a show artist, but since I haven’t figured it out for myself yet, I would be a false prophet. I’ll put it like this…you have to love the life, love what you do and be willing to eat pasta 4 nights a week. We are on a month-long road trip right now and my show money pretty much is paying for it, so I am content.

What did I learn this year? Well, I learned that it is a balm to the soul when people respond to your work. Since moving into more collage work, what I am showing and selling is part of who I am and that makes acceptance and rejection more personal than I would like. I get a lot of incredible feed back from potential customers, but it is hard for me to close the deal on a purchase, no matter what the price. And, trust me, I am underpriced. As a fellow show circuit artist likes to remind us: we don’t  make anything anyone needs. Well, I think people need art, but I know whet he means.

I love making collage. I do. When I started out, I was a papermaker. That didn’t last long. I liked it, but it was labor intensive and messy. When you can get a beautiful Thai marble 2 X 3 ft sheet for 5 bucks you not only get better paper, you get time to make stuff with it.  So I became a book maker. (Who knew you could make books??) I was unable to part with even a scrap of the papers left over from making books, and so I worked them into collage, starting with cards, then magnets and, finally, large pieces. I work quotations  in because I believe words are art and people respond to them. 

And so, here we are. Another Summer show season “in the books”. Another holiday season on the horizon.  And, in between, a road trip. It’s a good life.

Oh, and speaking of that, Doc says he sees no new cancer and what he does see is apparently scar tissue. He’s been watching it for a while and it has been stable so it seems to be “inactive” or some such thing. So, no more chemo. We are just going to watch it. He smiled at me.  My joints already feel better, my nails are growing back and we are on the road.

As one of my quotes reads: “nothing is worth more than this day”.

Tuesday, March 3

finally, Marge

Marge Piercy went to college with me.Not literally, of course, but her writings taught me about being a woman, an activist, a lover of cats and rain. She gave voice to my fears of what womanhood meant and raised a flag to it, she did not cower. She snarled and purred and chanted about sex and love and loss and periods and the heartless and Janis Joplin. And sometimes she made me smile or laugh out loud. I wanted to be the characters in her books because then we would know each other.

 In my mind she has always looked as she did on her book jackets. Full, lush, a heavy fall of jet black hair and a look of amused irony on her face. I wondered what she would look like now, approaching 80 and I pictured her with heavy fall of white hair, all other things intact. And so it was that when the lady in the front row rose after the intro, I was uncertain. I had noticed her because her jet black hair was so obviously dyed and you could see her scalp through the thinner hair on her crown. When she got up it was slowly, and she walked to the stairs and it broke my heart to know that, yes, this was Marge, and she could barely make the stairs.

 The podium almost dwarfed her, she is a short but not small woman and she read the note on the mike that advised to not adjust it, the sound man would make sure she was heard and the audience chuckled. She held up her new book, she was just seeing it for the first time and her delight in it was real "this is my most beautiful book". Without preamble, she read her first poem and I knew she was still Marge, finally in the same room with me, still able to bring tears with memories of her tough childhood, her cold mother, the pain women inflict upon themselves, the casualties of ill gotten war.

She brought laughs with her poems about how to survive a blizzard. She was luminous, funny, real. And I loved her.

 I was 2nd in line to have my book signed. She fumbled about with the woman first in line, calling for her pens, perplexed when the woman didn't need to have her name in the autograph "are you sure? is it for you?" She seemed, sadly to be, again, the elderly woman with the bad hair in the front row and not the engaging, brilliant woman at the podium. I smiled at her, told her my name was Pat. Cat? Many people think that. No, I said and spelled it. We chuckled. She first wrote "from Pat" and then scribbled it out to read "to Pat" and the rest is pretty much illegible. I wanted to tell her that she brought my womanhood into focus, that she created heroes for me, that her words have always moved me, that I have red almost everything she has written, that she influenced my life, who I became. But I just looked into her eyes and said "Thank You" and she smiled back into mine and said "you are very welcome". It is enough. It is more than enough. I held the book to my heart and walked out into the cold.

Saturday, February 21

what I found

Day 2 of the studio clean and reorganize. I decided that the best way to deal with the chaos without losing my mind would be to assign a small goal for each day. Yesterday was frames. I had them stored in places I didn't remember, so what I found was twice as many frames as I thought I had. That will take me easily into the first few shows. The framed work sells the unframed work, prints, cards, etc. It brings people in, but most people think it will be cheaper to frame it themselves. Listen and trust me. It is not. If you bring it to a framer they will charge you tons of money. If you decide to buy a frame and mats to do it yourself,  it will cost you more. This is not a sales pitch to buy framed work, it is a public service announcement. We get our frames wholesale and many of us cut our own mats. A frame service will charge 20 bucks for mats. It costs me 50 cents.  I usually add 20-30 dollars for a framed piece. Depends on what the frame cost me and how many mats I had to cut. You cannot do this  cheaper.

That was your consumer alert for the day :)

I also found an earring that was 1/2 of a pair I bought at Mt Gretna last Summer and absolutely loved. How it got up there, I have no idea. Now I have to remember where I put the other one.

After I finished upstairs, I baked bread and made marinara sauce and there is baked ziti in the oven.

To continue on my search for inner peace, Russell and I are visiting a local Buddhist group tonight. We have always been drawn to the teachings  and this should be interesting. A friend from work has belonged for years and invited us to be her guest after I expressed interest.

Between my cleaning and baking forays, yoga lessons and now meditation and chanting, I am going to be interesting to live with.

Stay tuned!


Friday, February 20

braving the iceberg

OK, maybe not an iceberg, but I really have to organize my studio so I can actually, you know, make stuff! As crazy as it may feel today, the season starts in about 8 weeks. I have ideas for new work, but  I need to get going on it before the muse gives up on me and moves on.

I brought our little space heater up, turned it on, closed the door. Maybe it will be warm enough to just make sense of things up there. Like frames.... I have bunches of frames from several sources. An artist friend advised me that most of my work would look best in sleek, black, modern, so that's what I have the most of, but you know what? They bore me. I may bring back my original idea of hunting down interesting vintage frames and incorporate those. After all, my work uses recycled papers and things.It seems fitting. I will enjoy hunting through thrift shops and yard sales. So, job one will be to collect, sort and store the frames I have.

The second big job will be to organize my papers. The collage uses scraps of papers, sometimes as small as an inch square. I have tried collecting and storing them by size or color or type, but it doesn't work. I get better ideas sorting through boxes of scraps and coming across a paper that triggers an idea. I think I will just try sorting by size. That will last about a week.

I have spent as much money on boxes and bins and jars and accordion files as on art supplies. Or so it  seems. And yet, I lost my favorite embellishment: a small box of tiny, baby starfish. I love them. I can order more, but it frustrates me that I can't find that box! Russell thinks it fell into my trash can and he's probably right but that doesn't stop me from searching.

We stopped at Hollanders on the way home from visiting the kids and the high, the buzz, I get from being there and buying papers usually spurs me to get going. I got some beautiful papers and they are still rolled up in their tube, waiting for me.

The interesting thing about this cold snap is what it brings into focus. Small things like walking the dogs without freezing feels as exciting as a trip to the Caribbean. Being able to use my studio without thawing it out first feels like a luxury.

It make me realize how sweet the small joys of  life are. And it also reminds me to embrace what is special about this deep freeze. A community united against a common foe :)  Exchanging cold jokes with strangers . A family snuggling under down comforters to watch TV and read books. An excuse to do just that. Hunker down, snuggle, read, watch old movies.  It could be worse.

Monday, February 16

remembering zero

I want to remember this when I am riding my bike along the river this Summer or buying peaches at the farmer's market. It is so cold that even the banister in our old house is cold to the touch. The ceramic, uninsulated floor in the kitchen was so cold when I scooted down there to get a quick it made me hop and screech and run for the rug in front of the sink. We spend most of our evening TV watching in bed, hunkered down under the down comforter with each other and our 2 dogs. They are like having heating pads tucked into your side. It is wonderful except Quincy snores like an old Grandpa. Your nose snaps shut when you try to breathe outside. Your eyes water. Even with gloves on, your hands start to feel unhappy after just a few minutes. This old house cannot heat itself enough to keep us as cozy as we like.
We love our quirky old Victorian, but there are things one must accept when you are a lover of things old. Slanty floors, no insulation, nothing is standard size so even buying a new storm door is a project. The basement is made of huge boulders and only exists under the center oval of the house. The rest of the foundation in uninsulated crawl space, ergo the scary cold floors.  But there are enormous windows and funky little fireplaces are scattered about. The ceilings are high, the doorknobs are glass, the tub has claw feet.
I wonder about the people who lived here in 1887. How did they heat the place? Where did they cook and how. I think the bathroom attached to our bedroom was a bedroom once because it looks like the hall closet used to be a hallway leading to it. And I doubt old houses had en suite bathrooms.
So, here I am, under the comforter, watching a TV show that follows people buying houses and when I listen to what they are turned on and off by I realize we will probably never be able to sell this house unless a young couple with renovation ability buys it in order to live in our currently trendy neighborhood.
I need to get my studio organized and cleaned and ready for the season but it is too cold up there in the unheated attic and I don't think the space heater would do more than offer me psychological comfort.
I have plans for new work that I can't wait to get my hands on, but my hands would be claws under the current conditions. I will have to be patient.
I choose to consider these few weeks as a hibernation, a resting place, a gift. A chance to hunker down with my warm and cozy companions, 2 legged and 4 legged. An excuse to climb up to bed early with a cup of orange zinger tea and a cookie. Before long the days will be longer than the nights and we will sleep with the windows open and soft breezes pushing the curtains into the room. We will delay putting the A/C into the window until the nights are just too stifling. I will go out to our little herb garden outside the kitchen door to pull basil and chives from the sweet soil. I don't want to forget what a simple joy that is.
I want to remember zero.

Sunday, February 8

starving artists?

I just watched a wonderful documentary about poverty in America called "American Winter" It made me think about people's perception  of the struggling class and brought me to tears a couple of times. And it made me think of artists.
I'm sure that the majority of people that visit our little canopies think we are making tons of money for a weekend's work doing nothing of value. Let me divest you of that notion.
When you consider the amount of time spent in the studio making whatever it is you make (not counting here the hours you spend pondering and hoping for inspiration and networking with other artists), the cost of materials, travel, booth fee (in the hundreds believe it or not), jury fees, only the highest of the high end are living large.
I know some scary stories. A high end jeweler had a husband with chronic stomach pain that needed a CAT scan but they had no insurance and the Dr had already done them many favors. There was no cash for the hundreds of dollars needed to pay for a scan. Thankfully, he is OK now. Another artist, after learning she had been rejected from a show that was her best income maker, lamented that she now would be unable to pay her mortgage. A woman in her 60's who is a very talented mixed media artist, lives in an unheated mobile home. Many artists sleep in their vans during show weekends to save hotel costs. Some actually sleep in their canopies and hope they don't get caught. I got a million of 'em.
You might be tempted to say "well, they should just quit this art show thing and get jobs". You probably never met these people. :)  Most of us choose to have  few luxuries in order to live a certain way. It's OK.  We do work hard, believe it or not. This life is not for sissies as I have written before. We choose to live simply for the great luxury of freedom to do as we please in a way that enriches us.
I'm not saying that there isn't a whole lot of bitchin' going on during a slow show. It gets hard to greet your potential customers with a smile when you are slowly losing money. But you do it. Because this is your choice. And the next show may be a winner.
So, don't ever say to someone (as the man said to his son, inspiring the creation this very blog) "look at these lucky people, they don't have to work for a living". We work, we do. And we are lucky. But remember this the next time you are tempted to ask an artist "can you take less for this?"
I never regret leaving the high pressure, low respect civl service job I held for 25 years. It almost killed my soul. Because every Summer I get to be an artist, surrounded by the things I have created, earning the respect that my government job never gave me (but should have) laughing with and enjoying the visitors to my tent. It's a trade off I am happy to live with.

Sunday, January 18

stealing inspiration

There is a lot of chatter on show artist boards and list serves about allowing people to photograph your work. Some folks get all knotted up about it. Post pictures of cameras with lines through them or just signs that say "no photos". This strikes me a a tad pompous, actually. As if our talent is so Louvre-able that hordes are itching to steal our work.

Let's be real. The way I look at it, take a picture and go try to do what I do. I can't even reproduce one of my own collage for a customer. It's pathetic, really. And, to be really honest here, if your work can be copied from a photograph, made and sold, you're doing something wrong. It shouldn't be that easy.  You need to up your game.

I think it is a real problem for photographers and 2d artists because, apparently, there are cameras so sophisticated, they can take a photo of a photo and then reproduce it at will. That would stink, I agree. Those artists should have as many of those obnoxious little signs all over the place as they wish.

But let's also be real about "theft" of intellectual property. There is nothing new under heaven Horatio (or something like that). It's all been done somewhere by someone. Did that great idea come directly from your brain with no input from the outside world or did you notice something interesting in a gift shop in Idaho one day on vacation and that image percolated in your brain for 2 years to be born as an aspect of your own work? What do you think?

I shamelessly stalk the web sites of artists that do what I do. I steal from them. They inspire me. This, for instance, from the Uncommon Goods site:

Sweet, isn't it? It is a collage made of papers, but totally unlike what I do. What did I steal from this artist? The idea of incorporating the writing right into the design. Of course, I think I will need to practice an interesting "font" that I can do and I will probably write it on tracing vellum and weave it into the papers. And my designs are abstract. They don't presume to mimic a seaside as this one does. I don't think I can do that very well. But had I not run across this, I probably would still rely on using computer printing on vellum over handmade paper bits and placing them, static, into the design.  Like this:

This artist inspired me, so I "stole" from her.   If you are truly a creative soul (and I believe almost everyone is) you will, every day, see something that gives you a little tummy thrill when you see it. You will either envy it, buy it or copy a bit  from it. And all of our little ideas will live on, sometimes in a completed work of our own or in little bits in the works of other people. I can live with that. I kinda like it, actually.

So, if you run into us at an art show this year, feel free to pull out your camera. I will not draw a line through you  :)

Saturday, January 17

what I don't know

I have been a bad blogger. Now, it is true that life during show season gets crazy, but that's not it. Facebook has become a release and a habit. Random thoughts are so easy to post there, the need to elaborate on them forgiven. It occurs to me that I am feeling the absence of thought and reflection. So, I am back.

Show applications are coming in already. I actually missed the 1/10 deadline of one of them but they are extending it for me because I have done it for so long. So, deep breath, camera at the ready, pencils sharpened. Off I go.

It is so cold. The body wants to be still, be covered, be resting. Our old house has little drafts that come on from places I cannot track. The furnace never stops running. My studio is too cold to be usable and the space heater barely touches the iciness of the air. They say we are due for a moderation of temperature. Please?

So, I have been hunkered under this blanket, often with a dog on my lap and the remotes for various devices at my side, doing little. But I think. And it occurs to me that I have been unable to make sense of the world lately.

I don't know why Israel and Palestine can't work it out.  I read up on it but the complexities elude me. I want them to just stop.

I don't know how our politics got so hateful and punitive. What happened? Do people really research before they vote? Apparently not. And I don't know why.

I don't know how to use my time properly, dividing it between art and work and home. That inability is what anchors me to this chair, under a blanket, remotes at the ready. The cold is  just an excuse.

I don't know what direction to take  in art. I love collage, I get a lot of positive feedback, I get into some pretty competitive shows with it, but sales are disappointing. Of course, when I compare with friends we all seem to be in the same ballpark financially, so it may not be the work, it just may be that art sales have flattened. It is a discussion we have over and over and over...

I don't know how to be a healthy vegetarian. We use too much dairy, pasta and rice. I need to work on that.

I don't know why people kill in the name of their god.

I don't know why kids send naked pictures of themselves from their iPhones. I remember being embarrassed if a button on my shirt slipped open.

So, I have obviously been pondering things. I blame the weather and this comfy chair and the lack of physical movement needed to switch from TV to Roku to Netflix. But I need to blame myself, too, for my willingness to hunker down and let the world spin without my active participation.

My family surprised me with a late Christmas/early Birthday gift of a beautiful Canon Rebel. Photography is a love of mine. I'm not good at it, the complexities of the technical aspects sometimes paralyze me, but I have a "good eye" and I like what taking pictures does to my creative side. I need a creative outlet that I pursue for joy, not just profit. I will be sharing my  journey on my other blog (also neglected far too long) "Morning Lens".

Hello again. I will be back. Hopefully on a regular basis, as we wander toward Spring.