Housewifery Holiday

“Do you want to go walking earlier Monday?”  The text came from my exercise partner and BFF.  (Can you use that term when you’re over 50?)  She spends her days solving complex problems in a research laboratory.

“Earlier???  Off tomorrow?”  I’ve lost track of holidays.

“YES.”  She must think I’m nuts to forget Labor Day.  The unofficial end of Summer.

“Mmmmm….Off from work.  Must be niiiice.”  I texted back with subtle sarcasm.  I had just returned home from yet another grocery store run.  Parking in the driveway I winched at the uncut grass.  This is the week to do yard work.

“Speak to your HR dept.”  She smirked back.  Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor?

 “My HR dept is taking a nap with an orange cat lying on his belly.  I’ll just check my employee handbook.”  Who says housewives don’t have a sense of humor?

Its a good thing too!  If I had an employee handbook the HOLIDAYS/VACATION section would have one entry:  PUT ANOTHER LOG ON THE FIRE.

I recently heard this titled Country Western novelty song the end of a long day of Housewifery – Laundry, Ironing, Meal Prep, General House Keeping.

It was evening.  I was wrapping up chores: gassing up the SUV, checking tire pressure – after visiting 2 gas stations to find a working air pump – delivering clothes to the dry cleaners and shopping at two grocery stores.  On the way home I was bemoaning the fact that the task of unloading and putting away groceries still awaited me.  But then this song came on the radio.

Laughed waaaay too much!  Good thing I was alone in the car.

So to all my working sisters – kick back, enjoy your day off.

I just might join you and spend the day making art!♥


FULL DISCLOSURE: My hubby is nothing like Tompall Glasser’s song.  I am the “kid sister” and he has taken me fishin’ – once. HA! HA!




The Cat

THE INSPIRATION: I recently posted Claire the Cat’s somewhat apologetic letter to a little girl.  If you are new to this blog, you may want to read Claire’s backstory: Claire the Cat .  Want to read more posts about her?  Type “cats” in the search bar.


THE CHALLENGE:  Animals move.  Cats move a lot.   Unless they are taking one of their daily 12 1/2 naps.  So one would think that would be the best time to sketch a cat.  Not for this artist’s model!  Evidently the scratching sound of charcoal on paper was enough to awaken and annoy Claire the Cat.  Who promptly walked away to find respite in her favorite human arms.

I followed.  Tried sketching again.  To no avail.  And had to resort to photography.  Claire the Cat was not pleased – as evident in finished piece.  Oh the paparazzi!

THE SKETCH: A tiny 5 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ ACEO piece.  Pastels and watercolor wash.

THE TAKEAWAY: The artist’s eye can see sense emotion better than any camera!  I’m going to try again when Claire is in a happier mood – perhaps a more wakeful moment.




Because Cats Can’t Write

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

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Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.


Dear Little Girl,

 I am sorry I scared you when you came to my house to pee.  You were standing between me and the front door to FREEDOM.  I was just trying to escape.  It wasn’t about you.  It was about me.  My female hooman wanted me write a sentence lots of times to show you how sorry I am.  But cats can’t write.  So she wrote them for me.  And gave you a toy dog to play with.  I hope we can be friends anyway.


 Claire the Cat

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Me-I-ow will not scare tiny people who visit my hoomans.

Crying Baby Image Credit: Osborn


GARDENING · Southernisms

A Memory Garden

Dear Mr. Garden Guy,

Do you remember the day I had to hide Momma’s yard tools?

A few years earlier we had finally convinced my then 84 year old mother to stop cutting her own grass. “Convinced” is a nice way of saying my brother took her push mower away for servicing and never brought it back.  Over the next couple of years, I took over her yardwork.   Momma, not satisfied with my loose interpretation of hedge trimming would redo her bushes wielding the most dangerous looking pair of clippers you ever want to see in the hands of an unsteady octogenarian.

Thoughts of a horrid implement haunted family, friends and neighbors.

fi-clippers clippers

So I hid her tools.  An assortment of handheld clippers, hoes and rakes made their way to my house.  I told you about it Mr. Garden Guy.  We both felt sad that an avid gardener could no longer enjoy her work.

Then one day her neighbor pulled me to the side:

“Yo momma been outside cuttin’ them bushes again.”  She said in a concerned whisper.

“What?!  Bbbut I..I… took all her tools!”  I stammered in disbelief.

“Well she was.  An’ she had a pair of long, rusty lookin’ clippers.  I think they must have been yo daddy’s.”  The neighbor’s testimony rang true.

My stepdad had been dead for decades.  It never occurred to me that some of

fi-nate-brelsford Brelsford

Richard’s tools may still be around.  Momma never threw away anything.

It took me a while but finally – on the backporch, under the chaise, in a crate, inside a wooden box – a plethora of ancient handtools.  Found and removed.

Miss. Daisy was not pleased.

Today, age is beginning to slow me down.  One day someone will take away my tools.  And Mr. Garden Guy I’ll miss growing my veggies, canning my pears and cutting my grass.

Foreseeing such a time,  I’ve begun a “memory garden” afghan.

Rows of simple granny squares echo my gardening process.  Starting with brown and black squares symbolizing the composted soil. Then seed.  More colorful squares – reds, yellows, greens and even purples- flowering and fruiting.

The afghan’s rows repeat like the rhythm of the seasons. Its an ongoing project.  Finished only when it is big enough, warm enough to hold all my cherished gardening memories.

Vegetables Credit: & Christa Richert
CRITTERS ETC. · Southernisms

Sewing With Claire the Cat

This is Claire the Cat.

img_0053She is head of quality control at ArtReach.  A perfectionist, she can be overly critical of my sewing skills.  And remains unimpressed with my use of a vintage Singer machine.

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Under Claire’s watchfulness I’ve made a  variety of items including those microwavable heat therapy pillows everyone loves so much.  The slides feature material used to make a pillow inspired by van Gogh’s Starry Night.   My completed work met Claire’s approval. Yay!  I’m thinking of adding an “Inspected by Claire the Cat” Q.C. label.

HEALTH & WELLNESS · Southernisms

If It Ain’t Broke…

“You must have some symptoms.  What are your symptoms?”  My friend  pressed me.   Carolyn works in a medical research lab.  She wanted facts, statistics.  Sure I had been running a slight fever.  No.  I didn’t check my temperature.  It had been hard for me to concentrate.  No.  I can’t really account for my lack of focus.  My responses were too vague for her – as what often happens  when an artsy fartsy is besties with a research scientist.

“Oh well.  You just can’t deny science.” She said with finality.

The beginnings of an infection had showed up microscopically in the yearly lab work requested by my GYN office.   I had none of the classic symptoms of the infection peculiar to us ladies.  Nevertheless One Pill was prescribed to nip it in the bud.  Pun intended.

Days had passed since the lab work was requested.  And I was still symptom-free.  The prescription was ordered and picked up on a Friday.  I didn’t want to ruin my weekend by unnecessary suffering when I could just swallow One Pill.

At this point I wish I could tell you that medical science saved the day.  But then it wouldn’t be fodder for this post.  Shortly after taking the One Pill I became the poster child for its side effects.





  • Disturbing Dreams
  • Agitated Sleep
  • Itchy, crawly skin
  • Excessive Thirst

And that’s for starters on Friday night.

  • Low energy
  • Taste problems
  • Generally not feeling well

Yes!  Relief Saturday morning and into Sunday

  • Muddled thinking
  • Excessive sleeping

TGI-Monday and Tuesday!

Experts say that it takes about 7 days for the One Pill to get out of your system.  Can’t wait until Friday again.  Until then, I’m drinking lots of water to flush my system out.  Yes.  Pun intended again.


True science, like my true friend Carolyn, will always have a place in my life.  HOWEVER I will first trust what my body is telling me.  I will give my body a chance to heal itself.  And above all –

If it ain’t broke, don’t break it!


Featured image credit: Scheiljen





An Old Farmer’s Tale

Summer afternoons shelling peas with my stepfather Richard was a time for both work and storytelling.  His tales rooted deep in the South added a sympathetic rhythm to the endless flow of purple hulls.

Richard was born in 1902.  He was 74 years old when Momma married him.  I was fascinated by this old “farmer” 24 years my Momma’s senior.  Richard, who had long given up his chickens, still kept a large vegetable garden and a few fruit trees.  He was an expert pea-sheller, fruit canner and storyteller.

This one of his fables.

There was an old farmer who worked his fields every day – even on the Lord’s Day when he should’ve been restin’ and readin’ the Good Book.  Before the sun grew too hot, the old farmer with his faithful little dog trottin’ by his side would hitch up Joe the mule.  Shoutin’ “Git up!  Git up! Git up Joe and lets go a-plowin’!”  and the three of them – the farmer, his little dog and old Joe – would be off to work another long day in the fields.  Day after day, year after year the farmer demanded “Git up!  Git up! Git up Joe and lets go a-plowin’!”  Yes even on the Lord’s Day.  But early one Sunday morn when the farmer shouted “Git up! Git up!  Git up Joe and lets go a-plowin’!”  Joe slowly turned to the farmer and said:

“Every day you shout ‘Git up!  Git up!  Git up Joe and lets go a-plowin’!’ Even an old mule needs to rest sometime!”

FI Bethan Hazell Bear

Well on hearing the animal speak his mind, the farmer reeled backwards and fell to the ground!  Shakin’ up from the shock, the farmer mumbled to himself “Well in all my born days I never knew a mule could talk.”

To which his faithful little dog replied “Me neither!”