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?





My Reader probably heard the rumour?

The rumour that all the weather men in the Pacific Northwest finally got it right?

Rain, snow, sleet, ice, winds, blizzard conditions, freezing rain, more snow, resulting in driving hazards, walker nightmares…slips and slides on wheels and heels.

Weather conditions we don’t usually get…we received with a vengeance. All in three days. Plus, they say, just the one more. Predictions say it will all be gone by Monday morning, leaving  long-winded weather conversations with friends and strangers; images of cross-country skiers using city surface streets as unlikely playgrounds; and neighbourhood inclines as future Olympic one-man sled qualifiers.

And…benches covered in white velvet…

“I often lay on that bench looking up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above.”  Georgia O’Keeffe, American artist

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






“Day after day, day after day

We stuck, nor breath nor motion

As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge



My Reader believes that we are what we quote, undoubtedly because of the folder I keep stuffed with scraps of paper of others’ words, albeit quotes, that resonate to the core. The folder on my desk is a cornucopia of borrowed lines. Words written by the famous, infamous, and sometimes nefarious goons who, on occasion, receive their fifteen-minutes of fame. But quotes, none-the-less, that go ringy-dingy in a mind that quickly over-loads with colourful, electric charges that morph quickly into my shouts of “Oh, bugger, I wish I’d said that!”

Personally speaking? I am visual in most aspects, which includes a passionate, colourful artistic view of…most everything. Which most certainly includes my emotions.

Over-the-top? Definitely. Sometimes a fleeting moment. Sometimes not. Mostly? Not.

 Quotes have practical uses. I can think of two: 1.) impress friends of one’s memory prowess, or 2) whether it be in words or drawings, capturing that vivid experience  that could be lost in transience if not recorded.  As a friend explained, “I can’t quite experience what I experience until I write about it…” I agree with that premise, however, my words become the visual jottings rendered by hand in pen and ink.

 This has been a year of great personal and parent loss. It has also been a year of discovery of new vistas and relationships. Expectations met and others, not so much. My heart is broken. Will I ever learn? Most likely not in this lifetime.

 I am whom I quote: from “In Sunshine and In Shadow” by Mark Halprin…

 Though he had never stated it, he felt from early childhood that life was magnificently intense in splendor overwhelming, in sight demanding, and in time very short. And that therefore the only worthwhile thing other than a noble showing in the face of its dangers was the ravishing connection of one heart to another.


                    FIGUES a la’ DECO

To My Reader, and yes, please quote me… “Carry on…and SPARKLE.” 

I’ll be in touch…











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.



Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You
For this challenge, we want to keep it simple: share a photograph with a prominent color (or assortment of colors) that reveals more about you. It could be a symbolic, meaningful shade; a color that expresses how you currently feel; or a combination of colors that excites you and tells a visual story.

BENCHED Photograph by Raye                                                                       BENCHED

BENCHED TWOPhotograph by Raye                                                               BENCHED TWO

I know I know…My Reader may think I’m over doing the “bench” thing.

Benches are ever so important. Mostly just to me.

My Reader will just have to get over it.

I’ll be in touch…


 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.


Yesterday was one of those delirious yet delicious happy days. Therefore, this is going to be one of those delirious yet delicious happy stories that may not go down well especially if My Reader woke up this morning in a bad-ass mood and  is not  in a delirious-delicious happy receiving mindful place. I’ll be kind and ask My Reader to leave the room so as not to ruin it for everyone else.

Just leave and don’t slam the door. (My Reader…such a puttz.)

Alone. At last.

Yesterday and two days prior…we received not inches of rain but yards of rain. Rivers in the streets. Flood watches.  Moisture records set.  It is green and lush here for a reason but to receive three months worth of wet stuff in three days is almost asking too much of Northwest Humankind.  Be patient. This isn’t the happy part.

Yesterday.  It’s raining.  I’m on my way to meet The Daughter for lunch. I’ve just come from the doggie wash . Dog is in the back looking clean, fluffly and white-on-white but smelling like the rotten egg damp dog that she is.  Life is good. So very good.   The wet dog smell?    Not so much.  

Clean, fluffly, white-on-white dog.

Here’s the beginning of the happy part…

…..it stops raining and (here’s the happy happy part) the sun comes out!!! Traffic practically stops.

No kidding and true story.

Traffic. Stand. Still. Stop.  Now aren’t you glad you waited for this…

Enter Lyle Lovett*.

Cars stop long enough for me to dig through the dog biscuits in the console and find the Lyle Lovett and His Big Band CD. Sun is still out. Zowie. Glorious sun. Windows rolled down…in hopes for a quickie left- arm tan line. Music begins and I’m in love all over again….I’m dreaming Texas-Two Step dancing’ with Lyle (he‘s leading)….singin’ harmony (she’s the alto-tenor) with Francine.

I’m just a peachy-keen-smiling‘-and-feelin‘-that-sunshine-singin‘-fool!   Lovin’ it Maximum!!


I’d just forgotten  how, on an  albeit brief sunshiny day,  Lyle made that sunshine last just a bit longer… and how I’m still very much in love with him.  The understanding: in a non-obsessive sort-of way.

The rain (and some predicted snow)  returned.

My Reader returned and snidely commented that I’d forgotten to mention another favourite Lyle song…


…which makes My Reader so much more than a puttz…

Francine, Sweet-Tea, can you give me a call?  Let’s talk…..

*I’ve previously confessed my love (not to be confused with an obsession) with Lyle in a previous story.
It‘s around here somewhere……………..


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.



My Reader is so excited…a trip to Ireland and no bags to pack! There will be no tickets to buy, no baggage fees and best of all…no jet-lag once we all arrive. Accommodations will be provided by MeticulousMick (you OK with that MM?), and I’ll buy the first couple of rounds at the corner pub. It just doesn’t get any better…

MeticulousMick, photographer extraordinaire and travel industry guru, has combined his photo “Last of the Leaves” with a watercolour, pen and ink drawing I did of that [same] photo in today’s post on his website.

Artistic Licence – Collaboration

Linked and Re-posted here: http://meticulousmick.wordpress.com/   

My Reader is a stickler for all the legalities, legalese, please(es) and thank youse most especially when it comes to permissions, propriety, proper punctuation in a partnering production. For My Reader’s benefit I did all that.

MM did all the heavy lifting, at my request. Consider it a grace period for JOTS as another fandango fig watercolour/pen&ink drawing is giving me fits at the moment. At MM’s suggestion, I may staple their arses to my drawing board if they don’t start behaving….

I’ll be in touch….


 “I found I could say things

with color and shapes

that I couldn’t say any other way…

things I had no words for.”

Georgia O’Keefe



Mother let us know, her four children, that we were Christians. “Us” four were products of a “his kids, her kid, our kid” union. A conglomeration loosely labeled as family. Most of the time we were intolerable. Most other times we were compulsively and openly despicable. Come hell-or-high water it was Mother’s fervent belief that physical and verbal discipline, always in the name of Christianity, would mold us into civilized, decent, respectable young adults.

Which meant that Us, my three siblings and I, had to sit in the front row of each and every churchly Sunday sermon Mother could find from the time my Oldest Sister got her driver’s license and drove us to our weekly appointed church. Us called it “Driving to Heaven”. That, sadly, became one of only two family jokes my siblings and I shared. When Older Sister left home, she gave the “Driving to Heaven” honour to Second Oldest Sister, until finally, the honour passed to me, Younger Third Sister. Even now I find it amusing that Mother never came with us.

[Insert: There will be no second-guessing as to why that was…]

One of Mother’s rules was: it was gambler’s evil to play any kind of card game, especially on the Sunday, any Sunday, every Sunday, and all Sundays. So we didn’t.  Except when we did…which was almost every Sunday. We were farm kids. We knew we’d be forgiven because we were farm kids working hard to crash the gates of heaven. We were also bored. It was difficult being a bored Christian farm kid. I can honestly say that many hands of poker saved me from my languid adolescent life many, many times.

My three sisters and I shared a dormitory-like bedroom: three windows, three beds, three desks, three dressers, three closets. It was Mother’s idea to have everything in our room lined up and orderly, including us. One. Two. Three. Like prison. Albeit a Christian prison.

We were not allowed to date until we were exactly 15.5 years old. Older Sister got around this rule by meeting her boyfriends in the utility closet of our local library.  Second Oldest Sister met her boyfriends at evening church. And me, the Younger Third Sister?   Never dated.

I was so afraid of hell freezing over if I broke any of Mother’s arbitrary, meaningless-ever-changing rules, especially after watching the two Older Sisters play life at home with a daily-roll of the dice. I didn’t dare do any (well…many) UN-Christian-like behavioral discrepancies, disdainful or otherwise.   Didn’t date, didn’t cheat at cards, and continue to this day to have skin-crawls at objects lined-up, in a neat row and orderly. One. Two. Three.

Or…get naked.

Which brings me to the most opportune time to mention nudity: nudity as in naked. Yes, we had clothing rules during my Christian childhood. We wore clothes all the time. What I mean is: All. Of. The. Time. Therefore, when my career bent was leading to doing ART, as in being an artist…this meant essentially I was going to hell. Artists then were known for their wild, wanton and totally naked ways. Hell had finally frozen over according to Mother’s House Rule Of All Rules: Thou shalt not do naked-ness in any form which included being an artist, doing art, life drawing, nude models, naked drawing or drawing naked. Becoming an artist meant, to Mother, that I would be doing naked-ness in any and all nude forms. Period. She was convinced I was going to hell.

That was then. This is now. I shall call this my “Bringing Up The Bodies, an Artful Period of Exploration” or “Buff, the True Cold Colour”.

Disclaimer Part A: The artful naked-ness of the professional model(s) presented herein may not be appropriate for the under aged, the over-excited, the weak or infirm of open minded-ness, or non-open minded personages who could…and most likely do…include Republicans (Tea-Party associated or not) and non-believers of the body beautiful.


Graphite Sketch: NUDE ONEGraphite Sketch: NUDE ONE

Graphite Sketch: NUDE TWOGraphite Sketch: NUDE TWO

Pen & Ink Drawing: NUDE THREEPen & Ink Drawing: NUDE THREE

Disclaimer Part B: No life-drawing models were harmed or mistreated during any part of the closed session life-drawing classes. Someone opened a window and one model got goose bumps, which are difficult to draw…so the window was closed. That’s about it.

Disclaimer Part C: I obviously have overcome my avoidance of nudity brought on by years of living life as a purported Christian and heaven gate-crashing youngster. 

Be assured this artist was fully clothed during all life-drawing class sessions, especially and perhaps only after the instructor asked me politely to put my clothes back on.

Thank you. I’ll be in touch…




meticulusmick posted a gallery of Irish bright green photographs. He put out a challenge not too difficult to deal with: show a bit of Portland Oregon green.

Portland’s real colours are a few weeks away according to the weather man, but this sampling is just a wee bit of what is to come in my small part of the world….

I’ve shown you mine.

Show me yours. It’s part of the deal…


FIRST: If we were friends, I mean the kind of friends who lived in the same town or close-by, and saw each other often…met for coffee at least once a week we’d know a lot more about each other. Or, if we had grown up together, had feather-flying pillow fights at sleepovers, or spent tongue-wagging gossipy hours on the telephone as teenagers, we’d certainly know our deepest secrets.

Let us say we are those long-time friends and you are going to understand…

I’m going home tomorrow…to England. This trip has been planned since the last trip over…two years ago. My friend Janie (whose husband always regrets not coming with us) and I are travelling with best friends I met while I lived in London. If you could meet Rosie and Keith, Penny and Stephen, you’d love them, too. It will be three weeks of sharing time together with walks, discovery of places we have never been, or in Rosie’s case re-visiting a pub on the Norwich coast her Auntie owned a long time ago. Or Stephen’s wish to go to Houghton Hall to see a marvelous once in a lifetime art exhibit. We’ll spar for time in our cottage kitchens cooking simple but grand meals and take turns with the washing up. We will be together.

We will be family….

A homecoming for all of us. You understand.

We have cottages let. We have maps for walks on the Norfolk Broads. And…there is an entire North Sea to look at. Did I mention Rosie has found a recipe for Rock Cakes…my favourite. We shall be baking! And we’ll probably buy some Eccles Cakes for pure pleasure. Mine. Mostly. Everyone gets to have their favourites: Keith loves his Daily Mail rag sheet (inside joke between friends) and sausage pasty, and Stephen is quite fond of pasta and being in charge…but only when we allow him to be in charge. You see, it really is going to be a three-week sleepover, and if we, you and I,  were friends..I mean the kind of friends who lived in the same town…met for coffee…you’d want to come, too.

You can come but…only in spirit and mind. I’ll think about you and bore you to tears with photos and long-into-the-night conversations when I come back. Granted…it won’t be the same. It never is. I know you understand.

LAST: Mother died this Sunday past. If we were friends…really really good and long-time friends, you’d know that Mother was difficult. She was conflicted and on good days…angry. She was not able to give large or larger gifts. She parsed out small ones. I cherish the few. That’s a good word: cherish.

My friend, James, gave me a gift several months ago. It is a photograph he took months ago that I’ve redrawn…much like OUR BENCH. This pen and ink drawing is James’s and my bench but a different view. (He and I call this bench “ours” only because we can.) We’ve chatted and with his permission I can share the drawing with you. Honestly, it is not very good…it was penned between coming and going to hospital to be with Mother. Thank you, James.

Janie, Rosie, Keith and I are going to sit on that bench and eat our take-away lunch. Perhaps James can join us if he’s not working. I am hoping our lunch will include more Rock or Eccles Cakes and, of course, no rain. Regardless, we will enjoy the view and celebrate loving friends and…peace.

Let us say you and I are, indeed, long-time friends and you are going to understand when I ask for no comments. James has promised me a hug and I know it will be from all of you. That is what family and friends give each other…gifts. Large and larger.

We’ll have drinks and that sleepover when I get back…












WAY OUT                                             LA SORTIE

Today he was going home. He never liked it here. Now that she was gone, liked it even less. The memory of his house came and went, just like everything else. Did he have a house?  Where was the car parked? He was tired of this. He was going home.

Jake had left his day clothes on the bed and before leaving asked him to dress himself. He tried. The buttons on his shirt wouldn’t work. His fingers were too big, the buttons too small. She always helped him dress. What happened to her? One side of his shirt was now longer than the other. She fell? Why didn’t you tell me? He tucked the tails into his jeans, forgetting to zip his fly. He pulled his braces up and around his shoulders. He waited. What happened to her? She fell? Where is that guy who helps me?

Today he was going home.  He hand-turned the wheels on his chair and glided through the doorway of his room towards the elevator. He knew he had to get downstairs. That was where home was, downstairs and out the door.  The elevator was across the hall and past the stair-well.

He stopped. Stopped at the stair-well and looked down.  The chair was edged as close to the landing as possible. A kiss of memory. He remembered. Off balance and with shaky legs he stood, pushed the chair back, and clumsily fell to the floor. Taking one stair at a time he continued down the stairs on his bum dragging the wheelchair behind him. He knew he would need it because today he was going home. Down the stairs and out that damn door…

Friday morning I physically moved my Step-dad into the memory care wing of my parent’s assisted living facility. He has everything he needs, except my Mother. She’ll be released from skilled care soon. She says she will miss him, but especially in their bed…”We snuggle to keep each other warm.”  They each celebrate ninety years of living.



 in-flec-tion \in’flek-shen\ 3. A change in pitch or intensity in the voice. Brit.sp. in-flex’ion. Webster Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary.

 For reasons not listed anywhere, I don’t pretend to be a writer. It takes me a while and then more of a while to string the words together that finally…paint my sentence vision. I think some call it “visual thinking”, I just know it is oft-times easier for me to draw emotions than emotionally write them.

 ABBA’s song “Chiquitita” lyrics found me this morning as I ran my usual 3.5 mile west/east river loop, hitting the play/repeat on my magic music machine the entire time; hearing the words over and over until I was in tears.

We are what we quote and sometimes-good quotes, words from sentence artists or songwriters, serve as canvas…


There is no way you can deny it

I can see that you’re oh so sad, so quiet.

BABE In Memory  12.30.2001--06.27.2013In Memory of Babe    30.12.2001 to 27.06.2013


You were always sure of yourself…

You will have no time for grieving.

Good Grief...Or NOT...

Get a hair cut at a salon that serves beer…

 But the sun is still in the sky and shining above you.

Eagle Point OR Firework Display with...Eagle Point Oregon Firework Display. Just the one…

...my son and family.

My son and family drove up from Oakland, California and i drove down from Portland to meet in the “middle” (southern Oregon) for the July 4th holiday. Then….

Flew to San Diego California to see Eloise...The Keeper, Eloise at 92.

…I flew to San Diego to see Eloise AND watch the Lone Ranger movie with my dearest friend, Kemosabe who lives on Coronado Island, San Diego California, then…

...and see the Lone Ranger movie with my Girlfriend Kemosabe.Coronado Bay Bridge, San Diego California

coming home to an “empty” house without Babe greeting me was still too much to bare…so painted the entire inside of my flat…

New Paint...Every room. Every wall.


So the walls came tumbling down

…and it seems too hard to handle…

My 90-year-old Mother took a serious fall and is now in a skilled nursing home for a few weeks until she can be returned to her assisted living home. My Step-Dad, also 90, is trapped in the dark Alzheimer world of no memory and no return.  After a long and happy marriage, Dad will be moved to memory care…and Mother will remain in their apartment once she is able to come home. It has been a struggle that many of us orchestrate as caretaker’s of aging parents.

 Let me hear you sing once more like you did before…

1Point in Portland Meet-up

Meeting 1PointPerspective and his beautiful Mrs. 1Point during their family holiday to Portland was probably the highlight of, and the happiest three minutes I’ve spent in a very long time. He may have a different version, but the meet-up was long enough to get the above photo…

Just the one.

What surprised me the most was that he was a wee bit bigger than the 1-inch square gravatar on his WP website.  In case you are confused:  I’m the one in black/white all over…

Personally yours: sincere thanks to El G., James, FrankA. and Z. for care and concern.

You’ll be dancing once again and the pain will end…

Always just not there quite...…always just not there quite…


ABBA’s “CHIQUITITA” was originally recorded in 1978, and the revised version released as a single in 1979. The song about a former lover now in the arms of another premiered at the UNICEF gala “A Gift of Song” event. To this day, all proceeds of the song go to UNICEF in recognition of the United Nations’ “International Year Of The Child” held in New York, 1979.

 “CHIQUITITA” lyrics in italics and credited to songwriters: Benny Goran Bror Andersson, Bjoern Ulvaeus, Marcelo Kotliar.




As the struggle to re-introduce my right hand back to full use with daily hand exercises, I also continue to sketch and practice endless scales on the piano. My ultimate quest is to learn how (by teaching myself) to watercolour, and [again] play complicated Haydn and Bach duets with my friend, Rosemary.

Let there be no mistake here…the above image is a pencil/graphite drawing not a watercolour. LE CAFE’ could be called my value study, so important in the painting process. The next logical step is to re-sketch LE CAFE’…which I’ve done…map the colour scheme…which I’ve sort-of done, and begin the process of watercolouring with…colour…and…water.

I think I have artist brush-block. My Reader thinks I’m stalling.


I’ll be in touch…


 To save time I shall paraphrase the proclamate found on the ABOUT JOTS page: “…non-bearing of grudges and certainly no annoying voices of gripes, vexed-ness, and/or bad attitudes.”

 Much to My Readers dismay, and with shovel in hand to better dig the hole deeper, I shall also direct My Reader to HALF-TRUTHS. A post written when I was young and foolish…two years ago when I had concentrated time for the poppycock of politics.

It seems I am still foolish..however not as young and should know better. Just because you can peg your laundry, knickers and all, in front of your neighbour’s picture window…doesn’t mean you should.


The salvaged water coloured paper UNEVEN TEARS is  torn bits of pencil, pen and ink drawings, woven into a simple warp/weft collage. Uneven tears: rip apart or tear to pieces, or tear to rags or tatters, or tear limb from limb.

UNEVEN TEARS                                           UNEVEN TEARS

My university undergrad program was an independent study in the Fibre’ Arts: primarily the discipline and ancient art of weaving.  I had sheep to shear; fleece to wash and card; roving to spin and weave…on looms that required a farm, time and space. The farm and looms are gone…as are the sheep…but the lessons learned from the intricacies of weaving spill over into the fabric (if you please) of my everyday life. Through this, since I’m making an analogy of fabric-to-life, it is the uneven-ness of a fabric tear that can bring one up by the short-hairs…when things go wrong and can’t be repaired…or put back together the way they were. Things don’t always turn out as planned…or at least turn out the way you thought they should. Some fabrics that are torn…stay torn. And, in this, my fifteen-minutes-of-anger-fame-instance…should.

That’s my gripe and certainly my vexed-ness. Since this is my post-of-apology and My Reader is now folding the laundry that blocked your picture window view, a quote from E. M. Forster:

“Personal relations are the important thing for ever and ever, and not this outer life of telegrams and anger.”

and another from our friend: Edna St. Vincent Millay:

“It is not true that life is one damn thing after another…it’s one damn thing over and over.”

and from me:

Half-truths will always and forever be whole-lies.

Thank you.

I’ll be in touch…




Winchester Cathedral Hampshire, EnglandWinchester Cathedral   Winchester, Hampshire, England

What better way to end the day than to sit in solitude in one of the greatest churches of England, dated from 1079, and reflect on words penned by Emily Bronte:

“No coward soul is mine,

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:

I see Heaven’s glories shine,

And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.”



Ham House Garden Patio Ham, Surrey England

Ham House Garden Patio Ham, Surrey England

I look up to My Reader. Admire My Reader. I think My Reader is the Toot’s Potatoes…please excuse my personal coined phrase for Brilliance Plus.  My Reader has accomplished the un-accomplishable, and has left no emotional room for anything less than inspired adulation.

 El Guapo has written a heart-felt post about why he decided to blog. Of course, there was the coveted book deal;  the getting-rich money thing; the posting of naked snow angel antics; the book and money-thing again…but most important…the dream of jet skiing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Wait! That’s the small stuff…

What I heard him whisper behind the hand that covered his mouth was that he really blogged because of us…

You. Me.

I think what happened on the way to the Book Dealer with Pockets of Money was us. You. Me. 

 …as in Us.

A community.

A family of sorts. Sometimes in-sorts…and sometimes out-of-sorts. Us found a level of respect (never leave the toilet seat in the up position) and safety (choosing our own levels of what we share and what we do not)…which now brings me to, Susie, My Other Reader. I will admit to being a groupie and one of Susie’s WILD RIDERS.  Combined with all the other WILD RIDERS we make a huge US…a tight knit community…a family of family.

There are times when you need everyone home, sitting ‘round the table and milling about the house. There are times when endless pots of coffee need to be made and poured, stories to be told and strength passed from hand-to-hand like cream and sugar.

 It’s us, Susie…we are all here. We are all home for you.




Timeout for Art: END OF MY ROPE…


Thursday “Timeout for Art” challenge….using one’s left hand. Since I don’t really have the choice of which hand (it will be the left)  for the next couple of weeks…we’ll all just have to grin and bear it as my left-hand gets the full monty of use.

Check out artist Lisa’s ZEEBRA DESIGNS & DESTINATIONS for more Timeout for Art….and more “just for the challenge’ left-handed artistic attempts.


If You will take your seat we’ll get started. Let’s pretend this is an unofficial White House (“room”) Press Conference and…Mr. Obama won’t be coming because he doesn’t know anything. Clarification:  he doesn’t know anything about my injury and why I’m now delivering this press conference address and most other comments in…lower case…and why I won’t be entertaining much of anything but my [now] usual afternoon nap.

Remember my previous post MYRNA AND ME? For My Reader who did read that missive…thank you so much.

You didn’t? Yes, I’m talking to You the other person in the room seated in the last row. You go have a look-see at “Raye’s Portland Sunrise” picture…and then imagine me tripping [envision crashing hand/face first] over a moored ship’s line on the west side river wall right about…there…that dark spot down in front.  See? If there was a question and answer time, which there is not You might be asking, “What were you thinking…?”

 ABBA. I was thinking ABBA and listening to “Dancing Queen” and making hard-fast time: 3.5 miles in under fifty minutes. Satisfied?

 No more questions for You. Period.

 Right hand will be in a cast contraption for a long while. Pavement burns disappearing. Bruises once purple and ugly now yellow and ugly.

Left hand working overtime:

+There are good hair days and bad. It is difficult to tell which is which.

+Have given up wearing anything with zips, snaps, small hooks.

+Elastic, spandex. pull-ups and pull-ons are my best friends.

+Along with Morphine, Valium, oxycodone, Tetanus injection…and aspirin shooters.

 +Hoovering is not a priority…which means my cats who sow kitty litter like Ohio farmers planting spring corn…leave grains of litter everywhere:  floors, rugs…my knickers…since I fall down while pulling them on with one hand. You can be sure that’s an ouch on the cheek and I’m not talking face…..

+Piano-ing Haydn, Beethoven or Bach, Joplin or Brubeck two-handed…a long slog away according to my twelve-year-old-looking hand surgeon.

 This White Room Conference sans Mr. Obama is now officially closed…not to be repeated, regurgitated, reviewed or re-examined. It does not surprise me that My Reader, and now You, are better informed on not only my hand injury…but…most everything else.

On that extreme high note  (no pun) indulge my Left-Hand in celebration of a left-handed attempt at pen & ink, watercolour and collage’ in recognition of: E.R. and Hand Surgeon Docs who give care, healing advice, hugs and some wee drugs; perfect strangers for helpfulness; friends for assistance; family for unconditional love; ABBA for reminding me that the “Dancing Queen” crown belongs to someone else…temporarily.

I am calm and yes..I will always carry on….

"Dance me to the end of love..."   Leonard Cohen

“Dance me to the end of love…”  leonard cohen














Remember Myrna? Electric Company? In early days, Myrna was the Queen Instructress of the Possessive Noun. Here’s a refresher……

Capitalizing on Myrna’s possessive nature, I’m going to take you with me on my six-in-the-morning, 3.5 mile fast-walk along the Willamette River.

Mind you, in possessive Myrna style…

Raye's Portland Sunrise

Raye’s Portland Sunrise

Raye's Steel Bridge

Raye’s Steel Bridge Over the Willamette River

Raye's Walk Under the Bridge Over the Willamette River

Raye’s Walkway Underneath the Steel Bridge

Raye's Morning Walking On Water...

Raye’s Morning Walk With Others

Raye's Burnside Bridge Over the Willamette River

Raye’s Burnside Bridge

Raye's Morrison Bridge

Raye’s Morrison Bridge

Raye's View Looking West to Downtown Portland

Raye’s Hawthorne Bridge

Raye's Walking Map

Raye’s Map

Raye's Mis-Matched Trainers Because She Dressed in the Dark...

Raye’s Mis-Matched Trainers Because Raye Dressed in the Dark…

Myrna’s closet has a matching pair of these trainers…!



Due to a recent editing error in Friday’s Review stating the gallery was slated for an April opening,  the article should have instead read:  April closing. Lively yet wrong speculation over this now closing event begat rumour-mill drivel.  I apologise for any circumstance in or beyond my control this may have caused. Even though I tried to make this closing  event not about me, it became as such. To the point: My Reader would like me to… move on.

Abbreviated version:  my job is moving to another location. Actually, another state.

Additional  abbreviated version: My job is moving. I am not.

I have been pathetically confused and lost. Honestly?  Mostly pathetic.

I find myself sitting at the breakfast table well into the noon hour still wearing pajamas instead of my sleek and snappy three-inch Franco Sartos tucked neatly underneath my computer desk in my stylish art gallery.  It has been several slogging month-long,  pajama wearing afternoons coming to terms with (dare I say it?)…retirement, she whispered through pursed lips.

Three years ago, at the younger age of sixty-two, I drew the blinds and locked my dressmaking studio doors for the last time. My small dressmaking business became [yet] another victim of an unforgiving and devastated US economy. My handmade products were caught in the shipping lanes between here and all foreign out-of-country ports selling garments/wearing apparel for women and children.

Not one to wallow in a broken-hearted stupor for longer than necessary, and finding that swearing was actually cheap and beneficial to no one except myself…My Reader once again encouraged and harangued  me to…move on.  Very quickly I found another job as a research assistant to owners of  an art gallery within walking distance of my flat.

My job: research signature authenticity, provide provenance, explore unknown artists for historical information, and correspond with major museums and historical societies throughout the United States. I answered the phone. And, yes…got the coffee. My master’s degree is in art education. I’m an artist. This was a perfect job. Yes, it was I confess, all about me and my life-long passion for all things about, to and for…ART.

This was such a perfect job…I worked for free. Yes, River City residents, again I confess, I volunteered. My bosses were absolutely the toot’s potatoes and going to work was a joy. The job had purpose. So did I. It was educational. I was swept up in an artistic vortex. My mingling amongst those who extrapolate their view and then transpose it into something new and different was not unlike an emotional experience of falling…up. It was THE perfect fit.

Consider me…fortunate.



 Watercolour R Self Portrait

What this means, I say, is a younger-old life staring at me square in the face.

 And again this is what I see: opportunity.

 Again a confession: It took a wee-while to get to this place.

I can now look in the mirror and see my view not only for what it is but, and better still,  for what I can make of it.

Yes, consider me…fortunate.