Saturday, March 31, 2012

something for nothing

Because these are my images and words I am able to offer this free journal page for your
use and enjoyment. (Just right click and download ~ it's a jpg file, by golly.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

studio stuff & saori

A colorful zentangle in the journal.

Heather and bricks in Micron pen and Prismacolors.

Another journal page ~ tempera, collage
Micron pen and Prismacolors.

Working the back of the sweater. Perhaps it will be
finished in time for next winter.

Millie and the spinning chair holding the green Corriedale.

Saori that has been sitting on the loom for far too long.

After 15 minutes of weaving.
(You can see where I started beneath.)

After another 15 minutes.

And yet another 15. I love the bumpy mess at this
section ~ how it pops through the warp.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

activity and preparedness

The Squirrel with the Copper-colored Tail.
I don't normally notice squirrels as they are ubiquitous in my neck of the woods. This fellow, however, has had my attention for the past few days. As one might discern, the only means of recognizing him from the general squirrel populace is his copper-colored tail. I've observed him rummaging through last fall's leaves, grubbing for food. There was a spectacular display of play fighting the other day involving a less resplendent looking squirrel that spanned five trees across the front yard. Finally, I caught him at a quiet moment nibbling seeds. I had to photograph him through the kitchen window ~ opening the door would have sent him scurrying.

Ted Andrews' books about the spiritual and magical in animals seen are always readily accessible in my library. Naturally, it was the first tome grabbed for some explanation why this squirrel has come to my attention. Activity and preparedness. Well, fine, but there is more. According to Animal-Speak, I could ask myself these questions:

Finding every little edible seed he can get his maw on.
Am I too active?
Not active enough?
Am I planning for the future, distant and near?
Do I need to learn how to save and ration on any level ~ money, time, energy, etc?
Am I afraid I will never have enough?
Am I getting too hung up on collecting and accumulating?
Am I gathering and not giving?

There is also the reminder to make time for socializing and playing. If I'm honest, a few questions above seem like mighty good ones to ask myself.

One of my other places to find spiritual/magical qualities in animals is at Animal Spirit. Here's their take on Squirrel. (Scroll down a bit.) I like resourcefulness on that list.

Whatever the reason, I'm honored to have noticed Coppertail Squirrel in the vast space of Squirrelness I live with here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

nature abhors a vacuum

Sometimes My Sacred Dove is a Peacock.
And yet we are held together by this vast Nothingness . . . but I digress. The point is I finished the painting with the silvery peacock and the screaming, crying woman. Which meant an empty easel. Which meant I had to start another painting. So I did.
So begins another painting journey.

Friday, March 23, 2012

the kissable places

Spent time at the easel last night to finish the silver on the peacock.

The shiny bits were mesmerizing . . .

and I came to appreciate the negative spaces even more. Like a kiss.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


The black peacock with silver additions.
Sometimes I worry about myself. (And could that statement be anymore narcissistic?) Especially if I haven't been near the easel for weeks at a time and if there's a painting that's been languishing on said easel. Last night, before we went to a relative's for dinner, I picked up the brush and some silver tempera to paint a little more of the black peacock.

It's the little things in life you treasure.

Closer yet.

And some mystical fog on the mountain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

vernal equinox

an equinox haiku 4 u

dawn rosy pink sky
hyacinth kisses the air
morning star rises

Dawn Zichko 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

the lake

The lake at the Western shore.
The lake we live by is a joy at any season, but spring holds its sweetness with a promise of swimming and lazy summer days by the beach. My morning walk found my feet trekking down the path to the community beach to get a gander at the seasonal activity.

There was a light breeze, but nothing that would move a serene lake. The stillness on the outside mirrored the stillness I felt within. I like mornings happening this way ~ smooth, centered. Peeps sent off to their destinations and the house feeling sorted and settled. I am free to take myself for this walk and explore the sights I see everyday. Beginner's Mind everyday.
More of the Western shore.

Not wanting to disturb this pair of geese, I skipped going
to the gazebo this morning.

The lake at evening.

Bennie and I went down to the lake in the evening. It is one of my favorite times viewing the lake because the water sparkles and shimmers ~ like a lake of diamonds. The lake laughs at the day, laughs with the sun passing over, and is not as introspective as it was in the morning. The lake in evening doesn't want to reflect, it wants to shine.

We sit in the gazebo and soak in the last rays of the day, breathing in the spring air. Air completely devoid of any hint of winter or its harsh conditions. The breezes caress and play with our hair inviting a lightness of being. It is the fair weather friend.

We sit in the gazebo . . . There is nothing wrong with letting Life feel easy.
A favorite juniper near the gazebo.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

my signs of spring

Comfrey sprouting despite the chickens' extended visit in
the garden.
Still tending a sore back, I decided against the usual constitutional down the hill and back. Instead, I looked around my own yard for signs of spring. And here is what I saw . . .
Lemon balm also recovering after the chicken invasion.

Obiwan waiting for catnip.

Bodhi enjoying the sun and a small patch of grass.

Crystal watching . . .

the chickens taking a dirt bath.

Bennie and Dirk playing badminton.

Angel sunning in the bamboo.

And me injecting my journal with a little Nature.

Friday, March 16, 2012

back soon

A green Corriedale waiting to be spun along with two
spools from last night and earlier in the day (Archer time,
most likely.)
Perhaps it went where I thought I might like to go today. Maybe to a Parisian cafe. Istanbul? Around the block? Well wherever it went, my back was out for the day. Thankfully, spinning wasn't uncomfortable so with the appropriate NSAID and an Icy-Hot patch, I spun. I spun through several past episodes of Archer, the first three episodes of Downton Abbey ~ Season One and at least three of The X-Files ~ Season Four.

I also hauled out the Lazy Kate for some two-color plying. All in all a productive day despite the physical handicap.
Millie, Lazy Kate and I plying during Downton Abbey.

Gettin' on the green for tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Archer and spinning

Some mohair blends waiting for Archer with me.
It's Thursday. Archer comes on at 10:00pm in my time zone.  This time of night is tough for me. I rise (stumble out, actually) at 5:30am for human rousing and 12 minutes of shamatha meditation. The rest of the morning is then spent moving folks along as the Human Dispatcher. The day does what it does. So when 9:30pm rolls around, I'm often looking at the clock wondering if I can make it to 10:00.

Spinning at this late hour worked very well when I wanted to stay cognizant for Justified Tuesday night I figure I can repeat the action for tonight. Kim has shamed me into spinning more often. She seems to be engaged in heavy fiber activity every chance she gets whether spinning, carding or scouring large quantities of wool. And, AND deconstructing many good quality wool sweaters to harvest yarn. Really. I've not one ounce of this ambition.
The oatmeal mohair blend was nearly finished during
Justified Tuesday night. I hope to move on to the
evergreen-colored blend tonight.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Ze ingredients! (Yes. I cheated with the canned tomatoes,
but they were still lovingly prepared.)
For dinner tonight, Bennie and I made ratatouille using the recipe found at Epicurious. We'd made this same recipe about a month ago with relatives visiting and were met with delicious success. Thought we'd give it another gustatory go.

I don't think I've ever met a meal so simultaneously humble and exalted. Earlier today, a dear friend commented on how she has found more spirituality in doing the day-to-day mundane rather than racing off to some spiritual retreat in the mountains. (I live half way up a mountain so I guess I'm half way on a spiritual retreat on a daily basis.) Ratatouille is a little like that. It is the Divine Sublime of food. It doesn't require a retreat.

American tastes would dictate that some sort of starch is needed to round out ratatouille, but it's already pretty round. We added shavings of Asiago. That's it. Can't get rounder than that.

By the way, the actual recipe used in the movie Ratatouille is this, confit byaldi. Bennie and I are going to try this next time.
Voila! A meal for a Queen despite its humble appearance.

Bodhi catching the afternoon breeze
and sun. It is a dog's life.

My piece of evening sky . . .

Finally, I leave you with this . . .

Yeah. A taste of ratatouille is just like in the animated movie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

driving to Lancaster

A Lancaster farm along the highway.
Dirk had materials to pick up for a job because delivery dates were not working in his favor. So I went along for the ride to Lancaster. The whole area seemed weird. A landscape mixture of wide open spaces and then ridiculous clustermucks of buildings, plazas and condos. I took photos of the wide open areas. Clustermucks aren't photo-worthy.

Seeing the Pennsylvania barns got me to thinking about hex signs. A lot of the barns were too far in the distance for me to see any, but I got to thinking about them nonetheless. According to the Wikipedia link, the Amish are not superstitious and therefore don't ascribe protective or magical properties to or use the hex signs. However, there are many folks who do. I'm probably in with the latter crowd as I feel art is magical in its own right, Folk or otherwise. The classic hex signs also inspired this musing: What would today's hex signs be?

Another, of course.

Fantastic rolling hills that kiss the sky.
An old hex sign
Yet another oldie.
Could this be the new hex sign of today?