dawn redwood tree

Next to the new house is a majestic tree that was unknown to me. My tree guides were all packed away so I searched the internet with a description of the reddish, cedar-like bark and luckily I found it fairly quickly. The tree is a Metasequoia, or the Dawn Redwood Tree. Native to China, it’s in the same family as our towering redwoods and considered a living fossil. I love that name, Dawn Redwood Tree. Here are a few pictures I took today.

The Dawn Redwood Tree in front of our house.

The Dawn Redwood Tree in front of our house.

She’s a pretty big tree! Even though the smallest of the redwoods, they can grow to over 150 feet tall. So, my feeling is that this tree is the guardian of our place. I took a closer picture of the bark. When it rains, the red of the bark becomes a fiery orange-red. This picture does not do it justice.

Metasequoia bark

Metasequoia bark

Since moving to this house, I’ve been getting up rather early each morning and this morning I was greeted by a stunning dawn sky outside my kitchen.

Morning sky

Morning sky

Settling in is slow going. Unpacking is daunting (so many boxes of books!) and figuring out where things go takes time. As I get used to the flow of the house, I have to tweak and make changes. The other morning, Brni asked, “So where are the glasses today?”

We also don’t have a clothes dryer yet so I made Brni dig a hole and plant a clothes dryer. I haven’t hung clothes outside in a very, very, decades-long time. I kinda like it.

no dryer yet

no dryer yet


trying to not be part of the problem

I had a moment today. It seems that no matter how long you’ve been established in a home, or how much stuff you have, when you move to a new place you end up needed different stuff. Like a different dish drying rack or trash can because the ones you have don’t work in the new space. I tend to make due for as long as I can but when the jury-rigged rack ended up almost destroying the counter in the new place, well, I broke down and went out to buy a couple things for the new house. Since there’s a Bed Bath & Beyond not so far away, I headed out there.
(now this is not the moment I am writing about, this next bit is)
As I exited the highway to route 100, I saw a young man standing at the side of the exit. He had a sign stating that he was having a very hard time and any help anyone could give would be appreciated and “god bless.” I looked at his face, and he was just so young, and so sad with such a despondent look in his eyes, I waved him over and gave him a twenty. He took it, said “thank you and god bless,” then he looked at the bill. His eyes grew very wide and he looked at me and exclaimed an incredulous thank you and started to say more, but I just waived at him and said, “It’s okay, take care.” Then I went to Bed Bath & Beyond but I was terribly shaken and tears almost happened.
And they wanted to charge me $80 for a dish drying rack and $200 for a goddamn trash can.
Really? After seeing a young man, so broken he had to beg for help on an exit ramp, and acted like a twenty dollar bill was a gift from god, you think I’m going to pay these crazy prices for a trash can?
I was so incensed, I left.
It is just not right, that in a country with so much wealth that this sort of thing should ever happen. So I will continue to help when I can, one person at a time. Just like I did when I was doing wildlife rehab, helping one animal at a time.
And I will not be part of the problem of spending money mindlessly or on things that just aren’t that important when that money could be better spent helping ease another’s pain.

three small paintings

tiny watercolor paintings

tiny watercolor paintings

experimenting with watercolors on a very small scale. 2.5″ x 3.5″


another small thing

small bumble bee

the start of a little bumble bee. 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches.


small things continued

Ladybug by Linda Saboe

Ladybug by Linda Saboe

So the little ladybug is done. I really enjoyed doing this very tiny watercolor. Only 2 ½ x 3 ½ inches.


small things

Just a tiny ladybug in progress. 2½ x 3½ watercolor.


getting to know you

An old internet friend commissioned me to do a double portrait of his sweet dogs, who have sadly passed on. Rooney, a chocolate lab and Magic, a black lab were my subjects. I’d never met the dogs, so only had pictures and my friend’s description of what the boys were like.

It is a funny thing but as I draw, I feel like I’m actually getting to know who or what ever I’m drawing (yes, if I draw a rock, I start to feel I know the rock) and it was the same with these two. Rooney seems such a hopeful, serious sort and Magic goofy and playful. Both seemed open and loving and most of all, loved.

So, here’s Rooney & Magic, approximately 16×20 in graphite. It was great getting to know you.

Rooney & Magic

Rooney & Magic, 16×20, graphite.


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