Sketch Coffee Cups                                     A WORK IN PROGRESS…

Note:  My grand-daughter just celebrated her 13th birthday. I know, I know. I didn’t think I was old enough to have a thirteen year old grand child…and I’m not. Not really. But while My Reader debates the above “not old enough” statement,  please read the letter I sent to My So Little on her Special Day. (My apologies. It is longer than usual.)  However, as a favour, a small favour, please stretch-out and un-limit your normal to short attention span. Just for a few. It’s important and not for a few but for many.

Yes, they’ll know who…

It was on the Wednesday. A Wednesday of the usual Portland winter weather: rain and more rain. Not the sprinkle kind of rain but the downpour kind of rain that makes life with a dog who doesn’t like to get wet but needs daily walks…more than difficult.

Wednesday weather: full on wet.

List: Dog park, grocery items, library book, back home.

Dog: Fashion-purple yet dashing feminine and smart rain jacket securely in place.

Self: Heavy-duty rubber construction-worker bright orange Helly Hansen snapped in place. Not dashing. Not feminine.

Self-looks like a road repair person but with library book underneath arm with dog, dog leash, handbag, car keys, and grocery list in hand.

Car: Now loaded with all of the above.

Ready. Set. Go.

Still Wednesday weather: No let-up.

Dog Park: Dog not wanting to get out of car but, finally, business at hand gets the better of. Business #One done and done. Business #Two not going to happen. Too windy. Too cold. Much too wet. Dog wants to get back in-car. Dog and Self soaked and cold, with Self realizing another prolonged exposure to wind, cold, wet because of [now] definite need to revisit dog park for completion of dog Business #Two. Dog happy. Self: not so much.

Weather: Still no let-up. No kidding. Still pouring.

Move on to Grocery: Shop, shop, and shop. Done. Done and done.

Back to car. Dog happy to see me.

Self: Spy book to return to library. Back cover now reduced to bits of paper.

Dog: So happy to see me.

Self: Not so happy. Still looking at non-existent back cover of book. Speechless.

Dog: Still happy to see me.

Self: Still speechless but beginning to slowly and softly emit sounds that resembles swear noise.

To Library: cancelled.

More Wednesday weather: More wind. Colder. Wetter.

Back to Dog Park: Dog in back of car with paper-bits of book cover sticking to lower lip. Dog does Business #Two in record time. Dog runs to car.

Dog: So happy to be home. Self: _____leaving  blank__________

Self: Call library. Tell “dog ate the book” story.

Librarian: Laughs the “of course dog ate the book” laugh. Send check. Please.

Self: What about dog? Please?

Librarian: No. Keep dog. Just send check.


“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

Your visit, So Little, was going to take us on an adventure to Powell’s Bookstore where I was going to buy you this book. The weather and road conditions between California and Oregon being what it was, our Christmas present to each other was cancelled. So I put a Plan B in place and have sent your present via post.

The librarian didn’t need the book returned. Therefore, I’m giving you Z-Z’s attempt at making a contribution to your literary knowledge. The cover may be a wee-bit damaged but the words contained between the front and back cover remain powerful.

The book is historical fiction based on the lives of two sisters who lived in North Carolina during the mid-1800s, and who did not embrace slavery…even though they were given slaves as birthday presents when they “became of age”. The Grimke sisters, Sarah and Angelina, lived and fictionally recount their lives in a society where women had no voice…and chose to make a voice for themselves…and many others as the story progresses. They became the first female abolitionist agents (those who fought against the practice of slavery), but also because of their having to speak publicly to large groups…became among the earliest major American feminist thinkers. They believed their causes just and true. They persevered under the most dire conditions and at great personal peril.

It is a wonderful story about following your dreams…because it is also the story of Sarah’s slave Handful, the slave given to Sarah on her birthday. Each chapter is an accounting of Sarah’s life and Handful’s life. In short: they both had dreams and never let their dreams be lost to the harsh reality of their time. Hard fought.

I would say to you, My So Little, on your 13th birthday,  that you are going to have many dreams between now and…. all your tomorrows. Stay true and just to those dreams. Make them happen for you even if they may appear out of reach…or too difficult to achieve…or against the tide of what others think is best or right for you.

Stay true and just to yourself. The best is just waiting to happen. It will become a reality if you persevere and make it so.

Note: May we discover our wings this 2016 New Year and soar…










  1. What a great gift. I read the book and don’t know what story I like better, yours in this post or the one in the book. I liked the book and what it stood for, but the story of you and your dog and the 13 year old Granddaughter touched my soul today. Thank you for this, Jots!


  2. As a dog-owner I can so share your frustrations, trouble is mine just isn’t clever enough to digest all the words on a page….😜 Good to see you on great form RRR, JRCRG 🍀


    1. J. Always nice to see you tramping around my place. Same wishes back to you as we welcome this new year…it is definitely going to be a good one. Yes. It. Is. R.


    1. How are you, R? Loved your latest piece…peace. Duo meaning? Yes, most certainly. As I see it.
      Life is grand….grander still if one understands, truly understands…
      Contentment and well-being to you, Russell. Always, Raye.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doing well ~ enjoyed the brief days of sunshine in the PWN, but back to rain 🙂 My last post pretty much created itself, for all life throws at us it is still curiously fantastic. 🙂 Wish you well Raye ~


  3. I came back, I do that every once and awhile, but my comment and your reply not to be found. What the heck. Washed away in a deluge of precep I suspect or WP limit to number of comments per page. Any hoot, I was just going to say, that I am one whom is rather envious of your rain and ocean proximity. I lived in Halifax once on our east coast, and I enjoyed the ocean breathing down my neck. Someday I will get back there to live out my days. Enjoy the rain it is better then cynicism, criticism and most world events.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Dog smarter than her owner. She wants to come back inside…go figure! On another note: for some reason you are treated as “spam” on my site. Any answers to that?


        1. I have such a Dog as well. No, I have no idea. Once put there, you while probably have to place my email address on your White List which takes me off your Black List. Or. This is payback, as I have been poo-foo-ing Spam the can product forever.


  4. I think the drill went something like this: sketch the subject for five seconds. And we did, fast and furious. Stop. New paper. Now sketch the subject for fifteen seconds. And we did, fast and furious. Stop. New sheet of paper. Now sketch for a minute. And we did, fast and furious. Stop. New paper. Now sketch for two minutes. And we did, though not as fast and not as furious. Stop, and new paper. Now sketch for ……. and they called this gesture drawing. The lessen at did not make any sense. But we learned something, eventually. To draw, to use lines to depict what matters most.

    And what a gesture this was. Très bien fait!. All little birds learn to fly. It is not magic but it feels like it.

    So on that, I gestured a cup to raise to your sketched mug. Salut All the best to your Jots and Shtufffs.

    And on the bright side, despite the rain, your dog not only shows good instincts to stay out of the rain, you can also brag of it’s ‘book smarts’ with pride and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I heard you breathing down my neck…not in a bad way…just in a worrisome way about running out of paper. No, worries there. Santa was good! Yes, to smart dog…discerning taste (sorry sorry) in books. Snowing here today then on to freezing rain. Ah…the adventure of climate change when owning a dog who doesn’t like. Today should be fun. I’ll keep in touch…


  5. Love the post and story. My eldest of 7 grandchildren will be 13 in a couple of months time.
    Happy New Year! Can I wish myself that? 2015 wasn’t the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, Of course you can…with the 2016 New Year wishes. This is going to be a very, very good year. Another BFF and I deemed it so….and with that settled…it shall be!! I’ve decided to take a watercolour class and it begins in a couple of weeks. That alone should boost my confidence…you think? Buying a house leaves one house-pour…I shan’t be coming over for a wee bit of a while or I’d be on your studio doorstep, brushes in hand. All my London BFFs are coming to me this year. You should give that a think. Change of scenery always good for the soul. Door is open. Always. Raye

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Monica, Always, always nice to hear from you. So busy you are!!! Congratulations on furthering your education. Always valuable in spite of all the hard work and long hours to accomplish everything. Many best wishes to you this coming 2016 New Year. Always in Friendship, Raye.


  6. The tales preceding the letter had me laughing. Bright orange construction fashion is quite the statement. Meanwhile, gotta love dog’s loyalty.

    As for the letter, quite the prose, and one that should grow on her time because over time, she will understand the profound depth of your words. Cheers to that! … and Happy New Year to you … and may 2016 bring you much joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A Tarantella dance would be nice right now…a feeble attempt at trying to stay warm. Can’t complain though…it may be freezing outside but the skies are cloudless and the sun is shining.
      Ha….Hoping your 2016 celebration will last for another 11 and better than one half months!


        1. Oh, aFa…so light on their feet…all three and one-half minutes. I’d most certainly need to leave the dessert trolley untouched and standing in the corner for a good long while before hoping to achieve those quick steps or anything resembling quick steps!!


  7. What a very lucky granddaughter you have! The weather here in the east is finally turning toward its rightful version of winter, and the thermometer promises to actually dip into the 30’s. At least the allergens will be put to rest for a while. My daughter is experiencing her first exposure to the PNW in non-summer months, so we’ve been hearing about the rain. We tried to warn her.
    In other news, ahhh Powell’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darling, we’ll meet at Powells next time. I’ll [still] bring the beer! No doubt you’ve talked to daughter and have taken to heart her tale of woe and of how many layers of clothing she and all Portlanders are wearing during this time of Arctic Blast? Freezing wind and soon-to-be freezing rain? True story. At least the sun is shining……


  8. Raye, I think the rain may have washed the book downstream. Great advice to “My So Little.” She is entering that tough time when the unchecked hormones are flying and other kids can be cruel. Tell her to keep a good sense of humor. Take care my friend and have a healthy and happy 2016. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, pleeeze, P. let me be the first to polish your rose-coloured glasses!! Rarely do I do the shopping…much too busy teaching my dog to read. Which leaves me with a wish (I’m allowed three for the year and will use one now): I wish you, My Lovely Lass, to do more of what I failed to do in 2015 but hope you (and I) will accomplish more of in this new and improved 2016 year. My wish for us: do more drawing, painting…art. Do more art.

      Yes, a wee wish.
      We can do this!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The length of this post was akin to one of those never ending essay tests whose purpose, let alone question, was never clear. Thanks, Hugh for fighting your way to the end of it all! With grins and in “following” friendship I hope you and yours make this new 2016 year a good one. A year that is going to count because we need to make being accountable a priority. Here’s to our choir….salute’!


  9. So many unexpected things in this post.
    A. You are a grandmother. (Far too young and such a shocker, but what a lucky girl to have a Gran like you).
    B. You have a bookworm of a dog.
    C. You do normal things like grocery shopping. (Daft, daft, daft, I know but I have a rosy image of you painting and writing in your beautiful apartment where domestic things rarely impact your world).
    On a more serious note, your lovely gift is inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carrie….I used to think my own grandmothers were cool…never imagining I might be in the “cool category” myself. You do realize (and understand) however…I’m still waaaay to young to be old enough to be a grandmother. But…I can still be cool, right? Young but cool. I like it…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hitting close to home:
    1. My grandson turns 13 today; (I know. . . I don’t look that old either)
    2. I lived in Portland, OR for 2 years (early 90s) and loved Powell’s. Actually, I think you can get “Stinky and the Night Mare” there;
    3. Was born and currently live in NC.

    Well aimed and well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, you don’t look old at all, I agree! Goodness, too many coincidences don’t you think? Means we must be related…especially since you “…loved Powell’s.” Yep! Related!! Thank you, Skip for your comment. We shall both take on this new year with gusto….! Yep! I can feel it….!


  11. Oh Raye… you just never, ever, EVER fail to pull me into whatever story you are telling. I’m always left bereft when it is over.
    Zeke doesn’t under stand Z-Z’s problem whatsoever. Right now he is lying on a mound of snow, slowly getting covered by the falling snowflakes (you know, looking like all those signs that say: Do not leave your pets outside!!)
    What a most beautiful gift you are giving to your So Little (love that too) to go out and stay true and just to herself. Brilliantly said indeed.
    I wish for you a most happy 2016 and will be sending you a love note via email shortly! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that you and I are related (see above), leaving no question in my mind that our parents failed to tell us something very important. Loving you from my side of this land mass. I may even beat you to the punch in the email department. xxooxRaye

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely. Loving you back from my side. I was speaking to a friend of soul mates and we were discussing how there are many forms. You’re mine. xoxo Dale xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Even though he is now gone almost a year, I can still relate to trips outdoors, in pouring rain or flying snow, with Opus in tow. He knows he has to go, he knows that he’ll get wet, and stands on the edge trying to make up his mind, need versus holding it.

    What a great post, and I love the stay true and just to yourself. Very well said.

    Have a wonderful New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There you are, My Friend!! Yes, I wonder about my sanity (do I have any?) at getting another dog…but…once a dog walker always a dog walker under any and all conditions. HA!! Happy New Year to you and Mrs. It is going to be a good one. Can feel it in my bones. True story!

      Liked by 1 person

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