Being With Brian


I needed to spend some time with my brother, Brian, this morning. He gave me a few key pieces of insight that I still draw upon from time to time. Since I can’t call him anymore, I drew this.

It’s from a photo he posted on Facebook a while back. A day in the early 70s (I’m guessing) when he felt good enough about himself to step into a photo booth. That’s what it took to get a selfie back then.

So glad he did.

It’s times like these when I wish I were better at drawing, but I think I did get close to his Mona Lisa smile. And the point really was to be with him for a while.

The Right Tools


They make all the difference, right?  Like, recently we were trying to tighten up the kitchen faucet and it was looking impossible until we asked our plumber friend, Andy, and he told us about a basin wrench.  Problem solved.

I’m trying to figure out how to rearrange my studio/guest room, so I made this tool with all the elements in the room drawn to scale and cut out in moveable pieces.


So far, I’ve only managed to move the (green in this graphic) filing cabinet across the room. It was kind of hard. And now I don’t want it there because of the infintesimal chance that an earthquake could knock it over onto a sleeping guest.



Healthy Happy Birthday

This is the second fresh fruit “cake” I’ve made. There were no big watermelons available, so I went with a mini-watermelon. Decorated with muskmelon balls, blackberries and grapes.  It’s a little lumpy, but it pleased Antipasta, whose birthday we celebrated at the writing group meeting.

I also made Herbed Polenta bites using the recipe from Jill Nussinow’s The New Fast Food. Polenta is on my menu a LOT now that I can make it in the pressure cooker.

I seriously recommend the Instant Pot pressure cooker if you want to get more fresh whole grains and beans in your life. It’s great for potatoes, soups, etc. etc.!


Fall Invades Breakfast


Tried a new recipe for Whole Grain Corn Muffins by Julieanna Hever, RD, from the Forks Over Knives website.

I really liked these, and will make them again. They are no-added fat, vegan and gluten free, per the original recipe.

Turns out the recipe is a bit flexible!  I didn’t have oat flour (realized later I could have made it from old fashioned rolled oats), so I substituted whole wheat flour.  Also, didn’t have frozen corn, so I cooked a corn on the cob I had and used that. Swoon.

I even left half of the flour out, thanks to my feathery sous chef, Dodger distracting me at a key interval, and they still came out great.

Had them for breakfast with a super-ripe hachiya persimmon.  These are the scoopable type, but I recently discovered that the skin is edible, so I just pulled it open and held it in my hand to eat it. Messy fabulousness.

Art Before Breakfast – Danny Gregory

wpid-20151113_081608.jpgHaving fun with Danny Gregory’s book Art Before Breakfast in which he gives daily 15-minute sketching assignments.

This was a two-day project. The first day I sketched just the outlines in my medicine cabinet. The second day I filled in details. You can probably see that I got a little better as I worked from the top to the bottom. Decided not to confuse things by shading in the background on the bottom shelves…and was running out of time.

Hmm.  Timed writing and timed drawing. Giving myself a time limit seems to help me get out of my own way.  I’d forgotten that!

Really fun book. It makes sketching a scene a lot more accessible already.

The Morning and the Evening Were the Second Day


Morning found us in a Music Improv class with the amazing Tracy Newman, pictured at right.  Here some of us sang about what the room looked like. The exerises were all challenging and fun, and we could have played on for hours. There were 8 workshops to choose from on Saturday. Hard to pick and none disappointed.


Janice found her place in the spotlight. :D


Weezie led a Sixties Song Circle in the afternoon.  Dancing broke out. She and Mary looked good!


Tracy opened the show with a trio of songs.  Click to see the videos Hdyra made of “Before I Die,” “I Just See You,” and  “Mama, I Know You Ain’t Santa.” Great stuff!  I’m a fangirl, yeah.

Now, go to her website and buy her CDs.  They will make you happy.


The concert was an amazing show of talent.  All kinds of music from folk, to rock, to ballads, to jazz and back again. Just one more example of the talent in the room, Karl Lisovsky (who so kindly invited The Harmonistas to do some back up vocals on his CD!)