ON the ninth day

Before Christmas

It came as a vision

A flash. No, a scare!


Was just sitting

On a silly green plate

In the shape of a pear.

AS if by a thread

Poised high in mid-air

A twee bit of mistletoe

Was hanging just…there.

WHAT could I do?

How could I not?

Think up such a thing

And not want to share?

MY Seasonal Greeting

Is gratefully sent

Without hesitation

Neither stumble nor stagger.

THIS Holiday FIG

Made special for you, you and you

On a green pear-shaped plate…

That looks more like a platter.




"Oh' What a Beautiful Mornin'


Sometimes things just get away from you. The day. Time. The weather. A swear word (or words) that is or are supposed to be silent but end up being  out-loud swear word(s). Really LOUD out-loud swear word(s). Don’t you just hate that when it happens? Occasionally I do, but most of the time not so much.

The day started out fine. I had a plan and it should have gone this way, and you’ve probably guessed by now…it went that way. In case you’re wondering yes, it was a bad day for hair, too. My Reader is looking for an explanation and I don’t think I have one…other than I thought drawing corn cobs was a good idea.

Glorious corn.

Beautiful corn.

GREAT corn.

I’ll be in touch…





At first it was curiosity and wondering about a word. Then mental machinations and mindless wanderings took the high road and soon profound curiosity became a fever-pitched research obsession.

It was all about a word, and the word was G-R-E-A-T-N-E-S-S.

A good word GREATNESS. A great word.

Greatness (n.): from the adjective GREAT to describe: A great distance; a great while; a great achievement. Or, used as an adverb to modify an adjective: One of the greats; greatly missed; you are great, I am great, we are all great.

And that’s the question: greatness? Huh?

I’m waiting for the TEDWeWantYouToTalk people to call me because I think I’m on to something. Something great…

Hans Eysenck’s book, Genius: The Natural History of Creativity (‘95) points out that a personality trait called “…psychoticism…chief among those [whose] cognitive features is a tendency to over-inclusiveness, i.e., an inclination not to limit one’s association to relevant ideas, memories, images, etc….” Does that just not describe someone you know? Someone who walks a bit off-kilter with a hitch and a bump? Who sees the other side of the moon on a clear day? The creative person. The bravest person you know, e.g.,

Van Gogh Cassatt Hockney Hopper

Eliot Wilde Twain Thurber

Joplin Bernstein Haydn Handel

Leibovitz Toedtemeier Rauschenberg Siskind

…and perhaps the person whose mirrored reflection you, you and you might already see?

Another title, The Arrival of the Fittest: How The Great Become Great (2009) by noted author Bill Dorris, argues the point that those who obtain greatness are credited with solving a “problem”…in a field of study or perhaps a societal malaise such as Woody Guthrie providing a voice for the outcasts of the Great Depression. Well, maybe. We must then ask the bigger question: What is it all about? Do individuals (or societies) know that the underlying order of life [with] additional hard work…may determine the outcome of purpose and design, great or not, due to choices presented and ultimately made? Then there’s this: Do we find and/or define greatness as a destination or a destiny?

Daughter says her greatness comes from the passion and pleasure that being a fibre artist gives her, with or without affirmation from the professional community she subscribes to. She says, “I believe in me. I just do it.” Greatness comes from acceptance.

Long-time friend Jim:  “Greatness I will leave to others. I am content to do my thing and raise my kids to find greatness in their lives. That will be my legacy.” Greatness comes from reorganizing energy, emotional fulfillment, meaning.

I just know the TEDWeWantYouToTalk people are going to call me and I will be prepared to deliver the goods: the greatness of goods that comes from believing.  In ourselves. Individually. Collectively. You, you and you…and me.

Keep this:

“Some people are born to make great art and others are born to appreciate it. …

It is a kind of talent in itself, to be an audience, whether you are the spectator in the gallery or you are listening to the voice of the world’s greatest soprano.

Not everyone can be the artist.

There have to be those who witness the art, who love and appreciate what they have been privileged to see.”
Ann Patchett, Bel Canto



Which brings me full circle to yesterday’s quote, which continues to ring true in finding courage, and in finding one’s own individual greatness…


“If you know something well, you can always paint it,

but people would be better off buying chicken.”






If I wrote to you would you answer?

Not because you won’t but because you haven’t.

Is it because of all those things I said on pages? I don’t know what else to say that would erase all those words expressed with pen to paper. On those pages euphoria of time and place got the better of me. And you know why.

If I wrote to you would you answer?  Because I’m at a loss…. and lost because of the finish. The finality. The ending. This I know…there are no words that apologies already expressed would or could make it better. Make it different.

That is the sorry.  And, yes sadness.

Great sadness.

There is no cause to replay the smiles.

The touches.

The kiss that missed.

The grins.

The tears.

Words, without harming intent became gushing sounds of desperation. Looking back that is probably what you heard.  They were not those kinds of words.

Desperate words.




If I wrote to you would you answer?  There will be no other day to ask if you are doing fine.  If you are well. There will be no other day to speak of mundane things like friends do. To share the splendor of the moment. There will be no other day leading to days because I have to be done with sorry and sadness.

If you wrote to me…would I answer?




Not to bore you with details but the menu was southern comfort through and through: thin sliced smoked ham, Vermont maple syrup laced with baked beans; collard greens infused with pepper bacon; wine and more wine; peach pie laden with birthday candles and what else?  Real Southern Comfort.

War stories recounted years of coloured escapades kept secret and retold only amongst this small circle of precious friends. Birthday presents opened with no preservation of wrappings in mind then quickly shoved to dark recesses too embarrassing to share. A futile gesture.

Jokes bawdy and irreverent.


Tears of hilarious joy fell copiously down cheeks and into smiles.

How many times at a sit-down can you sing that happy birthday song?





What a strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, the other forward. The one is of Today, the other is the Tomorrow.

Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.”

                                              Grandmas Moses, primitive painter





Fetish for FIGS…

Fetish for FIGSFetish for FIGS…

It came as a challenge

It came as a dare,

So I went to the studio

And plopped in my chair.

 What began as the one

But concluded with four,

It became quite apparent

There was room for one more.

 Five FIGS to be settled

In harmonious collusion,

On a bed of fine paper

Seemed the fittest solution.

 With pencil and ruler

With ink, paint and co-lour,

Five FIGS emerged quickly

In good humoured ga-lore.

 The time was approaching

The hour finally right,

To unleash this wild fetish

Of FIGGY delights.

 I breathed hot and heavy

Then named them each one,

On, Fiesty! On, Fester! On, Follie and Fudd

And not far behind came FeFiFoFum!

 Think what you will

Think what you might,

BTG’s challenge stands in good stead

And five fractured FIGS bid each a good night.



 Do you ever find it difficult to put into words…words that capture the event…that do justice to every sensory, audible and emotion felt? Can you convey, really convey what happened? Can you describe the experience as whole and not just parts of the whole?  Can you adequately describe what the mind imprinted, and what now has become a mere block of time with memory images?

Then the words come. Not from inside you but from inside somewhere, someone else. The words are…perfect.

 Lyrics to ONE DAY LIKE THIS* by Elbow

Throw those curtains wide

One day like this a year would see me right

Throw those curtains wide

One day like this a year would see me right for life


One day back from England found me sitting in the hair salon chair telling the stylist about the holiday just taken with good friends, meeting new friends, food eaten, places seen. After all was said and done, both story and hair trim, the stylist turned and asked, “Sounds as if you should still be in England…when are you moving back?” 


Maybe one day just like this…

*ONE DAY LIKE THIS Credit: Songwriters: G.Garvey/C. Potter? M. Potter/P Turner/R. Jupp

 Many thanks to James who not only delivered a print of his I purchased to our Seaford Hill House Bed & Breakfast, but spent the entire next day with us. We climbed over stiles, and walked through sheep pastures.  James then took us to OUR BENCH,  had a photo taking marathon, and then showed us his beautiful view of the Seven Sisters white chalk cliffs in Seaford. Thank you, J. Always, R.     The link to his professional website is HERE. 


What can you write about…a bench?
Why would you write about a bench?
It is  something you sit on.
It comes in all shapes, sizes, and materials.



You can sit on a bench alone.
With a friend.
With many friends. Old and young.
With strangers. Old or young.

Benches can be found…anywhere.
In likely places.
In unlikely places.
In surprising places.

Benches relieve tired bodies after long walks.
Benches give  moments to view the view.
Benches evoke memories of words spoken…
And sometimes words left unsaid  for silent reasons.

This bench reminds me of home.
The England home I left behind.
My lovely and cherished friends.

Who remind me,
Yes, I can
Come home again.


The above water colour is my interpretation of a photograph I saw on http://jdtphotography.co.uk/2012/05/30/found-on-all-great-coastal-paths/. Please click on the provided link to see James original photograph. James and I  corresponded for several weeks prior to this posting. Even with an eight-hour time difference between our two homes, his East Sussex, England..mine Portland, Oregon we found common ground in publishing my work based on his photograph of a bench…which we now refer to as…”Our Bench.” It is with his permission that I am able to publish my artistic water colour rendering of his original photograph.

Accreditation: All effort has been made between James, jdtphotography.co.uk and myself to meet all copyright laws and honour his professionalism.  Please click on the provided link to visit his website and view all his work. My admiration for his view of the view is understated and…endless.

Thank you, James.


I’ve got a confession to make:  I’m in love with Lyle Lovett. I’m fairly comfortable  making this  declaration out loud in writing  because  the only person who reads JOTS is on holiday. (I do so hope My Reader remembers to bring me a present.)

You must realize by now that Lyle and I have a long distance relationship. Very long distance.  He lives in another state. I live here. He’s on stage somewhere. I’m still here. It’s not the distance that gets in the way. It’s the fact that we’ve never met. My Reader says that could be a problem. Could be…

There’s probably not much I don’t like about Lyle. I love his hair and the way it curls straight up. I’m not sure if that’s natural…straight curls…but it looks like he’s always in a good mood because his hair is so…tall. I imagine walking into a room and Lyle saying “Oh, I’m so happy to see you’re still here!”  but his hair says it first. Tall hair. Hair that shouts genuine surprise at seeing someone in love with you. A good thing. (Please, don’t tell My Reader I said that.)

I like the way he stands. Straight and tall. Like his hair. Tee-shirts. White tees under button-down collar shirts. I like how he wears them. I just like how he wears.

I  like the way he shows up in movies. Out of the blue. Through a door. Around a pick-up truck. There he is. Like a gift.

Speaking of gifts. Lyle’s words spoken in melody and sound are my undoing.  It’s his gift of thought.  I told you I loved him. Now you know why.

I don’t have a pick-up truck but I do have a front door. He hasn’t shown up.

Out of the blue.

Standing straight and tall.

Silently asking to come through.




VIEW WITH A ROOM                                                                          Ger, Manche, France

My Reader brought the post in today and set it down on the table. “You’ve received a letter from your lovely Irish friend. You know…the one who lives in Ireland.” Slicing the envelope I quickly but gingerly pull out the sheaves of brightly coloured paper and begin reading heart-felt words written half-a-world away from this place I call home.

This is not about what the letter said…well, perhaps…but first I want you to know something about the drawing above. My Reader is happy I’m done with it, and wants you to know why. This is why: I’ve painted this image four times trying to “get it right”. The expectation of perfection, as usual for me, is keenly sought. Fear of failure to perform, to put on paper what I see in my mind to be captured with colourful imagery, first and foremost. Always. Of course.

The second and third attempts?  Back to the drawing table.

This final attempt I’ve decided is as good as it is going to get. I’m done. My Reader is tired. I’m tired. Time to move on.

“You are boring me. Get to the point if you have one,” says Reader.


 “If you know something well, you can always paint it,

but people would be better off buying chicken.”


It is good this fear of failing…keeps the focus where it should be…out of the hen house.

“Are you done?” Reader asks.

Yes. Finally.

I’m done.

I’ll be in touch…