Friday, June 13, 2014


A new journal page -- inspired by the return of my Circle Journal, in all its seasonal splendor, and by a favorite song from Joni Mitchell. But, most of all...

by this little girl -- drawn by Melissa McCutcheon -- who was hiding in the back pocket of my journal when it came home.

Many thanks to all my fellow Circle-Journalers. What a ride!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


A Sunflower Bouquet From The Bountiful Sprout
There is always a bit of a lull between harvesting seasons -- when the cool weather gardens have died down, but the hot weather gardens have not yet begun to produce -- which means slim pickin's at the farmers' markets and at The Bountiful Sprout. Well I'm here to tell you, the famine is over!

TBS Pick-up Site, Behind Leaning Pear's Old Stone Cottage
Look what I ordered from TBS this week:

peppers and green beans...

the sunflower bouquet you see above, and a good grillin' steak from a new producer...

tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and, of course, peaches!

Of course, this is a mere sampling of what was actually available. I really have to rein myself in this time of year, having a tendency to buy way more than Hubby and I can consume before it starts to go bad. However, after I placed my order, I pulled out my recipes and started listing all of our favorite summer meals: Tomato Sammiches, Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce, Tomato Pesto Tart, Greek Salad, Tomatoes Caprese, Baked Cherry Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Salade Provencal, Pasta with Lago's Roasted Tomato Sauce, Roasted Tomato Bruschetta with goat cheese...hmmmm. Do you see a pattern here? Well, it was painfully obvious that the one little box of tomatoes I had ordered just wasn't going to be enough! Fortunately for me, the little Wimberley Farmers' Market is held on the same afternoon as our TBS pick-up, and right across the street from it. It may be small, but there is deliciousness to be found there, including this pile of Black Krim tomatoes -- one of my favorites!

So what did we feast upon last night, to celebrate famine's end?

Tomato Pesto Tart
Crisp Cucumber Salad
First Bite of the Season
It was or-gas-mic!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The last Circle Journal that I was to contribute to happened to arrive here on the same day that my own journal returned home to me. I'm ashamed to admit that it just got shoved aside while I spent a couple of days reconnecting with my own journal and all the wonderful art that had been added to it along it's journey. When I finally did get back to Miss Janice's journal, I found quite a surprise inside. Prezzies!

It seems she had found some wonderful black & white botanical print fabric at Ikea, which she cut up and turned into bookmarks. She "colored" them in with those wonderful Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels that we all love so much.

She then tucked them all into the front of her journal, inviting each contributor to keep one as a little thank you gift.

The hard part is choosing which one! Hmmm, wonder if Ikea still has any of that fabric?

This is the beautiful journal they arrived in, which means Janice must have taken a workshop with the amazing Donna Downey. I have one just like it, in green and white polka dots.

Cover Page
Janice's Own Artwork
 Here is the "sign-in" page for all the contributors, with one blank spot left por moi.

Now all I have to do is figure out what to paint in it. I'm thinking...something with...Seasonality!

Monday, June 9, 2014


So this is what my apnea appliance looks like.

The one on the left, which pops onto your upper teeth, has a tiny hook coming down from that metal bit and, as you can see, the one for your bottom teeth has a well that the hook drops down into. Once they are both in place, and the hook has dropped into the well, you slide it back into that little notch.

You then insert this key into a wee hole on the front of the appliance. Each rotation of the key causes the lower teeth to ratchet forward just the tiniest fraction of an inch. Then you remove the key and go to sleep. You start out at a minimal setting the first night. Then, every few days you add one more rotation -- until you reach the setting that keeps your oxygen readings at a safe level throughout the night. This is discerned by sending you home periodically with a little oximeter to clip on your finger whilst you sleep.

When you wake up in the morning, you pop those out, and pop this little gizmo in, just for 15 minutes or so.

It just reminds your teeth to go back to their original position, so you don't end up with a bulldog bite.

The good news is that I was able to sleep through the night with it from the very first night -- no gagging, and no allergic reactions. And, if I, the queen of gaggers, can handle this? Anyone can do it! Also,when I say sleep through the night, I mean sleep through the night. As long as it's in my mouth, I never snort myself awake.

So, I go in for my two-week checkup, thinking I must be the doc's star pupil with the way I've aced all this. He has me put the appliances in, hook them together, wiggle my jaws around etc., then tells me to separate them and pop them out -- something I've done every morning for the last two weeks. Only I can't get them apart. The hook is hung up on something. The doc bends over to take a closer look and discovers this -- something he has never seen in all the years he has been doing this.

The little hook was lifting the metal well right out of the lower appliance.

Turns out that, though the appliance itself is not normally made from acrylic, the glue that holds these metal bits in place is, so the manufacturer had to experiment with different materials to find something else they could use. File this experiment under FAIL.

So what does the doc do? He Super Glues it back in place, swearing to me that it is completely "bio-compatible". I suppose that's true. I do seem to remember it being used to close wounds in field emergencies. But still, Super Glue? In my mouth? The only problem was that he couldn't get the glue to dry (shoulda been our first clue), so he had me sit there shooting air at it while he went off to deal with other patients. Finally, it set up. I tried it on again and tugged at it with the hook. Nothing happened, so he sent me home saying "If it looks like it's trying to come out again, stop wearing it immediately! We don't want you swallowing anything in your sleep."

The first night it worked like a charm. Friday, however, I woke up to discover what you see above. I called his office immediately, to see if they wanted me to come in or try gluing it myself. I got a message saying "We will be out of the office until the 16th." So, for now, it's back to the ol' sleep-snort-awake-repeat routine.

I have a feeling they're fixin' to rue the day I ever walked through their door.

P.S. In case you didn't know, untreated apnea puts you at a much greater risk of stroke and heart attack. Not to mention all the issues that come from sleep deprivation.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


One thing I noticed, as the year progressed, was that the work I was doing in everyone else's journals was highly influenced by the time of year. No surprise there, since I'm a tad obsessed with living life according to its seasons, and that whole "embracing change" thing, right? Once I got my own journal back, however, and was able to flip through all the pages at once, I realized I wasn't the only one who was being influenced! Summer sunflowers segued to fall leaves. Then came snow and wind... 

From Emma, in California
From Cat, also in California, who happens to be Emma's daughter.
From Donna, in Georgia
followed by signs of life in the garden...

From Merri in Spokane, WA
From Jeanne, in Amarillo, TX
From Lisa, in Michigan
and finally, we segued from winter's hibernation to a life lived mostly out of doors.

From Denita in Florida, and the organizer of this adventure.
Well whad'ya know? My little circle journal's got seasonality!

Know what I love most? The wonderfully imaginative "calling cards" that each artist left in the little pocket at the back of my journal.

Another good thing is that working in other people's journals inspired me to do some of my best work yet. On the down side, all of my best work is now living with other people.

Good thing there's still plenty of blank paper left in the journal, huh?