Friday, February 6, 2015


Did you know that trees shed their skins, much like snakes? Or, at least, some of them do.

The largest of our cedar elms does so on a regular basis, and it's one of my very favorite things to watch.

You know it's coming when you spot little patches of bright rust peeking out from all the gray.

Once the process is complete, this tree will be all cinnamon-smooth, sinewy muscle -- at least, for a while.

One just can't top Mother Nature when it comes to artistic flair, can one?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Stumbled upon this book at the library the other day and decided to give it a whirl, primarily because it involves two of my very favorite things -- Paris, and time-travel! I'm only a third of the way through it, but loving it so far, and getting quite the history lesson regarding the French Revolution. I'm especially excited because it seems to be dealing with an issue I've been grappling with myself. I can't seem to wrap my head around why, no matter how many revolutions occur in how many countries, we always seem to end up right back we started -- like a crazy pendulum that follows the same arc, over and over and over. I'll let you know if I get any answers.

There's one thing I do know for sure. It's books like this that keep me coming back to YA fiction, over and over and over!

Monday, February 2, 2015


getting uninterrupted time at one's art table!

So last night I decided to pull out this...

and get to work!

I also did a bit more research on the interwebs...

and according to Google, Sudanese brides...
  • usually hibernate at home with their female relatives for a least a month leading up to the wedding. During that time they are scrubbed, massaged, "smoked", pampered and transformed for the big day.
  • are decorated with henna and scented with perfumes and incense which the women may gather to make and apply at perfume and/or henna parties.
  • wear red for good luck
  • sometimes learn up to 100 dance steps or routines, which they then perform in front of a large group of women. This bridal dancing, or Sobheya , may involve as many as four costume changes.
  • Dokhan (the getting smoked part) is a tradition where, every day for at least a month, the bride-to-be spends a bit of time wrapped in a tent-like robe while seated on a special chair over burning Taleh (fragrant ember-wood) in order to make her skin glow, among other things.
Hurray for the Super Bowl!