Sunday, August 31, 2014

Homage to William Carlos Williams

( Before the homage, take a look at Jacob's photographs from yesterday to see his interpretation of the bamboo forest sketched on the left side of this page.)
 Nothing makes up

the humidity and heat
    of late summer

like the arrival of figs,
     plump and glazed with cool droplets,

in the market.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mixed Bag

Time to get divergent.  I've been doing tight drawings of seeds mostly for the past couple of weeks.  It's not comfortable, but I feel like I need to loosen up and see what happens.  None of these drawings are finished, just messing around.    This first is a study for a woodcut, pulling on some old imagery and incorporating some new as well as a few seeds thrown in.
Ditto this one.
Back to seeds and flower heads but much looser, using an old paintbrush and a tin of watercolors with touches of the black pen I always use.
I was working at BookWorks this afternoon while I painted these seed heads.  I found the seed heads in the garden there.
Later Jacob came over and we went on a little adventure, starting out up on the high hills behind the house.  Then we walked down through a neighbor's road and fields to some woods where I knew there was a falling-down cabin.  We tromped through woods, poison ivy all over the place, the trail vanishing then re-appearing then vanishing again, and eventually we found the chimney and one falling down wall.  Here are two sketches of the chimney.
We came home through the woods, and when we came to a neighbor's bamboo grove, we climbed up the slope and went into this cathedral of a forest.  The bamboo is a giant variety, so dense in places it was impenetrable.  J lay down on his back and took straight-up shots while I sketched this little section.  We arrived home in time for dinner that P had cooked, a quick shower for J, and canasta for all three of us.

Friday, August 29, 2014

I seem to be getting into a pattern of posting two days together a couple of times a week, and that's fine with me.  I really don't enjoy staring at a computer monitor, all flickery and blue; so skipping a couple of days a week makes my eyes happy.  I started a little series of drawing out of the bedroom windows at different times of day and different light conditions.  The sculptural quality of sunlight and shadelight on the woods behind the field across the road is a reminder of how ephemeral everything is.  The bluebird house makes an altered appearance in every drawing, but the trees become so different depending on which branches are facing the sun at what time.

The drawing below the two woods drawings are of the rhododendron bush right outside the window and our  neighbor's fencerow beyond it.  At the bottom are two of our neighbors who walk together every morning, going and coming.

On the right page are two drawings of a tiny flat fold-over wallet that F designed and made a prototype of over the past few days.  This is such a tiny whisper of a wallet, perfect for slipping into a pocket or tiny bag like those flat travel bags for around your neck.  It's made of aluminum coffee bags so it provides an RFID shield for the credit cards within.  Soon to be available on our blog for probably $11 including postage.

 And below here are today's drawings of the out-the-window-scenes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Coracle and Grooming Turkeys

This first page is all I got done on Tuesday by way of drawing.  On the left is a rather ordinaryy plant in a plastic pot sitting in a beautiful basket on the table that stands underneath the coracle (drawing 3071) that hangs upside down from the ceiling.  Jacob and I made that coracle over a couple of summers when he was around 10 and 11.  We wove the basket part out of willow branches that we cut from the bank of a neighbor of a friend's pond.  We fashioned a seat out of ash with engineering help from P, who showed us how to make a thin board remain straight and not swoop down in the middle.  We covered the coracle with canvas and then waterproofed the canvas with black roofing tar.
We took it out for a trial ride one sunny afternoon a couple of summers ago and it floated!  We played in it and took turns trying to paddle it all afternoon.  We decided it was too wide for us to paddle effectively.  Should we ever make another, which we know we could do in a few hours , having done the job once,  we will make it smaller and more easily maneuverable.
This morning I glanced outside around 10:00 and got to see all nine of the turkey adolescents grooming themselves madly on the fence right outside one of our living room windows.  How great they look when they're grooming and moving about.  They're really as good to draw as Jesse IF you can get up as close as I was AND if they stay relatively still for a while, as they did this morning.   The mother was so close I actually drew her portrait (3077).  I think I could pick her out of a crowd now. 
At the end of about half an hour the whole pack abruptly moved into the sunny spot in the nearby back yard and a few closed their eyes and took a little nap, while other continues grooming.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Seed Jewelry

Seeds, with their seemingly magical properties, seem equal to jewels to me.  Here are some of my seed necklaces.  These are all from either Belize, Honduras, or Costa Rica.  The one made of green peas with the two metal leaves is from either Costa Rica or Honduras and has little pieces of what looks like quartz before and after each green pea.  The three on the right are from Belize and are made of both black beans and ceramic beads.  The black one on the left with the flat seeds is made completely of seeds, and I really don't know where this one came from or how it came to me.

I'm sure that if I cut one of these necklaces apart and soaked, then planted the seeds they would germinate. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In Which We Give Up

 Okay we have given up.  The turkeys and their adolescent brood have taken over our yard and gardens.  Neither Jesse skirting the perimeter of the yard nor P flapping his arms in his most menacing manner while walking slowly through the massed crowd of eight large juveniles and three, sometimes four, females can impress these birds.  Today they marched out of the yard in a straight line ahead of P, and then came right back as soon as he and Jesse vanished inside.  Here are two mothers and one teenager picking at the grass.

Jesse is capable of looking threatening, but it just isn't enough.  Here he is grooming himself after his failure to rout the turkeys.
Late this afternoon I went for a woods walk.  The weather has turned cool after the miserable humid and hot week.  Up at the top are the high mountain tops visible from our fenceline and also from the end of our road.  Dark clouds are scudding across the tops of the mountains, and the wind is really blowing.  In the woods there are lots of bright red maple leaves already on the ground.  

This page is a scribble of things that I drew in the woods, along with another detail of the sunflower pattern, this time showing some seed sockets from which the seeds have fallen out.  Once you start seeing the patterns they are everywhere!  Even the human-built little rock cairn that I found along the trail seemed to follow some kind of Fibonacci sequence.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Early Morning Canoeing and a Giant Sunflower Seed Head

 Jacob and I went down to the lake where we keep our canoe and took it out for an early morning spin.  We paddled around the lake and down some backwaters that have changed enormously in the nine years we've been canoeing in this lake.  These Jerusalem artichoke flowers were in the wild area beside one of the little streams that the lake flows into.  The other drawing is of the stream as I drew it  from the front of the canoe while Jacob was exploring a bit on the bank.
I got home and went back to the table on the back porch where I've been studying seeds and  geometry.  I brought in one of the  giant sunflower seed heads that was hanging very low in the garden along our front walk.  The seeds grow in a golden spiral, incorporating a Fibonacci sequence.  The patterns in this seed head are exquisite.  I got as close as I could and as detailed as possible.  Each seed starts off as the ovary of a tiny flower.  At the stage of this seed head, the seeds are all fully formed, and the tiny flowers are popping off.  They are attached to the seeds by a small pedestal out of which grows the vase-shaped flower containing anther and sepals.  The anther goes all the way through the flower and base and is anchored in the ovary, which has grown to become the seed itself.  Somehow the little flower things reminded me of rows of black corn kernels.  It would be interesting to investigate the patterns on an ear of corn.  I wonder what all of this is going to have to do with this art piece.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Stacks of Things, Jesse's New Inappropriate Favorite Toys, Seed Geometry

This morning, eager to draw after yesterday's Day Off, I decided to draw all the stacks of things that I could see without even getting out of bed.  First was our sloppy little wood pile out on the front porch, which I can see through the window that looks out that way.  It reminded me (well, not really, but it made me think enviously of) the first time I was in rural France and I was so amazed at the patterns everywhere-- the perfectly stacked wood, the rows of trees, the beautifully stacked stone walls.  I drew one of the French wood piles, and it was nothing like this one of ours!

On the right is a stack of towels in one of our big African baskets.  In the middle is a sort of stack but really just a spilling of Jesse's plastic Jesus finger puppets, which he stole from P's bathroom where they ride in a little paper boat in the soap dish by the sink.  The Jesi came in a box of Jesus bandaids as a premium  They're perfect Jesse toys I guess.  He likes to bat them both around at once.
On the left of this page is a stack of books from the bedside book shelf.  This is only a corner of the whole thing.  And under the bookshelf are another Jesus and one of the old furry mice, victims of combat?

On the right is a diagram that I made of the process of mitosis or cell division, which all of us learned in high school biology.  In conjunction with SEEDS, I am so curious about the microscopic level of things.  I read some seed stuff in one of Robert Lawlor's books,  and I copied the most important quote here.  Lawlor is writing about the sacred geometry, or basic, underlying geometry of the universe as it is manifested in seeds and cell reproduction.  I love this stuff, how one divided in half becomes two rather than one plus one equals two in the process of mitosis or cell division.
And then I painted the vesica pisces, which is the main geometric proof underpinning the creative act, be it in seeds or the birth of stars.  It is  surrounded by cells in the processes of fertilization and mitosis.  One year I was on sabbatical and I spent the best part of many days working out geometry proofs from this same book.  I know that geometry is going to work its way into this seed book.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seed for New Work

I'm starting an artist's book for an exhibition that has as its topic "seeds" or "book as seed".  My interpretation of seed includes the idea that seeds, like eggs, are made from two different packages of material, as opposed to bulbules or tubers, which essentially produce clones of the parent plant.  Therefore my book will start out with two different ideas.  One of the two ideas in my piece will be seeds as literal plant seeds;  the other seems to want to be this little print that I made today from a sketch I made a number of years ago of a bride in an Italian village wedding.  As in the seed-making process, I want to force-fit these two ideas together and see what will generate itself.

Top left is a drawing of a photograph of a microscopic view of a poppy seed.  I didn't count it because it's just copied from an internet photo.  Below that on the left side are some seed containers from my garden that I enjoyed for lunch today, along with a stem of lavender from the herb bed.  On the right, another seed-like object, half a bird's egg that I found in the woods this evening, glowing pale in the near dark.  Under the egg is a dessicated stem of Indian Pipe, left from last summer, with a few seeds inside its ovary.  Then there is the bride, a sketch done with carving knives on a rubber plate.  And in front of her some abstracted seed forms based on the luffa and poppy seeds from yesterday.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jesse and Turkeys; More Seeds

 The turkey family has developed the habit of roosting on our dilapidated old wooden fence.  Today I glanced out the living room window and had this close-up view of one of the three mothers (a new one has joined the pack) and several of the adolescent children.  I could draw only three of them before they began jumping down from the fence.  As soon as all the turkeys were off of the fence, Jesse appeared and leapt to the fence, assuming his fierce steam shovel position.  The turkeys are unimpressed by him these days, but he still watches them carefully.
Back on the seed topic, F loaned me her collection of seeds today, and here are some of them.  The luffa seeds look like small flat black bugs;  the money plant pods rustle like silk paper;  the Mexican sunflowers are like flies.  The words for today:  pattern, sets, geometry, architecture, arch, sculpture, projectile, and poised.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Strange Mutants in the Garden

I spent some time in the bakery line today as you can see.  New variety of chocolate almond cake pop along with a NYC deli-style chocolate cake, whatever that might be, and a new offering-- simple unadorned croissants. 

Meanwhile back home and poking around among the ten thousand fiercely blooming bright yellow-orange rudbeckia vista (which we used to call Black Eyed Susans or even Railroad Daisies in New Orleans) I spotted a few flowers that have magenta stripes on their petals.  I counted five on one plant and then two on another plant.  These plants originally came with us when we moved from Indiana in the mid-80s, and we had gotten them from a family farm in Michigan.  The plants in our garden are all descendents of the half dozen plants we brought with us.  These plants are perennials, and they also seed themselves all over the place.

The great curiosity to me is how these two plants came to have variants.  I suspect the little Rudbeckia gaillardia (Indian Blanket) plants that came in a packet of seeds from our son and daughter-in-law in New Hampshire.  The Black-Eyed Susans are so prolific that they tend to take over wherever they plant themselves; but the little Indian Blanket plants were there last year, among the Black-Eyed Susans.  Somehow those two Black-Eyed Susan plants must have been pollinated by pollen from the adjacent Indian Blanket, thus making at least one or two seeds that contained hybrid information and that were sown by whatever sows those seeds in parts of the yard away from the parent plant.  Anyway, that's my best guess.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Seeds That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, and Turn

I wrote a bookbinding book for children a number of years ago that had the title Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, and Turn, and today's seeds put me in mind of it.  (The most interesting aspect of that title was that the publisher's marketing people allowed it to be -- a 17 word title, which my editor told me was the longest title she had ever heard of.)  Anyway, [Jesse has lately started climbing onto my computer table, sauntering across the keybpard, activating ALL CAPS, grooming himself excessively, and then falling asleep every time I sit down at the computer]  my interest in these seeds today was that they are mostly from plants that are beloved for their flowers, unlike nut trees or evergreens.  These seeds did show a remarkable amount of twisting, turning, popping, flying, and also sticking, springing, and growing enormously long antennae-like anthers.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ancient Silo and Seeds Again

Only one drawing today, but it took so long and was such an arduous hike to get to that it should count for a whole day's worth.  J and I hiked across a couple of very grassy fields under a very warm afternoon sun, slid under several electric fences, kicked and thrashed our way through knee-high weeds in order to get right up to the ruins of the old brick silo that stands at the end of our road in a farm field.  J climbed inside through a window to take some shots of the sky through the open top.  I stood in the shade of a big fencerow tree and drew him inside the silo.  Check Jacob's blog over the next few days to see his photos from inside the echoey, spidery, possibly wasp-nesty cylinder!

I realized today that I failed to link last night's post to Facebook, so I'm editing it and adding tonight's post to last night's.  Today I am back on the trail of seeds, wandering in the woods and wondering how it is that science has never found evidence of any kind of brain in a plant;  yet plants are able to make seeds, make food, defend themselves from predators-- and all without brains or any help from chemists or Google or medicine or any other experts.  So my words associated with seeds today are:  self-sufficient but plugged into something bigger than everything;  temporary shelters; dark; protected; juicy first, then dry and hard;  geometric in form;  encyclopedias of esoterica;  coded; brainless in the sense of a separate intelligence or ego.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Epicenter of Late Summer Drama

 I like the very end of summer, the slight shrugging of the giant fug of humidity and heat, the frantic activity of butterflies and insects to Get Those Eggs Laid, to do whatever else they have a very short time left to do.  But especially I like the silent drama of seed production deep, in the bellies of the spent flowers. 

I've been especially attuned to seed production this year as I'm starting a new project for the ILDE book arts festival in Barcelona, and this year the big topic is SEEDS.  To get the ideas rolling I decided to spend some time studying and drawing a variety of seed pods and tattered flowers:  the Siberian irises, the bearded irises, the daylilies, the semi-wild aster-like flowers in the front garden, the bergamot, the coneflowers, the zinnias.
Here are words that come to mind as I draw them:  secret, dark, precarious, information package, factory, incubator, winter quarters, envoy, fortress, crucible, patterned, egg-like, tough, expansive, self-sufficient, elegant, cell, time capsule, explosive, infiltrator.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Culling Part II

I came home from a l-o-n-g day today late this afternoon, during which I had not drawn a single drawing, and decided to blow off the whole project tonight.  P and I snacked for dinner then settled in to watch the last episode of The Killing.  I got a second wind after that, and decided that I could do a little sketching;  so I reached into the children's kitchen drawer and came up with this handful of toys.  Not exactly Educational Playthings (those pristine wooden expensive Swedish or something toys from the early 70s), these were cheap and plastic for the most part, but well-played with by many children during the past 13 years, and very much fun to draw now.  (Erik, I am holding on to the kitchen drawer toys in deference to your request.  Don't forget your box for transporting them, along with the archives from the bedroom closet---  okay, we can discuss it.  )

From left to right, stiff plastic container of french fries, so labeled in case there were any doubt; fake key that arrived in the mail alerting us to the possibility that we had won a car in a sweepstakes;  plastic lobster, provenance unknown;  Mr. Jolly Roger-- half a foam plastic pirate's ship that Maya and I bought at A.C.Moore and assembled into a fleet of bath tub boats, the boat part and other ships long gone;  three magic beans from scarlet runner vines that we grew four years ago on the front porch posts.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Culling the Abandonned Toys

My friend A is in the middle of two projects:  she's writing a series of essays about the process of getting rid of stuff;  and she's in the throes of reducing her very large inventory of books by about a third.  We were talking yesterday about the essays, and then about the culling itself.  We were trying to deconstruct the uncomfortable feeling that the collecting and keeping of stuff helps to keep at bay.  I'm sure it's different for different people, but maybe there's a common element.  I'm pretty smug about not being a big collector, but compared to my mother who was known to rip the duvet off a bed and pack it off to hurricane victims while the owner was spending the night at a friend's house, I am deeply addicted to holding on to a few certain things.  So what's that all about?

I can easily go through my clothing and get rid of bagsful with no remorse.  I can even flick books off of shelves and never even look through them before tossing them-- if they're mouldy or sticky, away they go.  If they're books that I don't even remember reading, away they go.  I don't acquire tons of kitchen things, and we don't even have a proper basement or an attic.  But there is one area that makes me really sad to cull:  the old grandchildren toys.

I never had trouble dumping the children's toys and outgrown clothing and equipment-- my sister-in-law and I would sling bags of baby clothes back and forth across the country to each other, not even sure who actually owned what.  We were so happy to be finished with two-year-olds, with four-year-olds.  No nostalgia there!  When the first grandchildren arrived, I began to assemble a little collection of books and toys and art supplies for when they came to visit.  And since the grandchildren have never actually lived with us, all my memories of their earlier selves and these earlier days are totally pleasant.  Predictably, these toys have taken on a magical (if fictitious) significance. 

But now the reality is that the really young grandchild lives far away and spends at most a week here each year;  and the local grandchildren have grown far, far beyond the sacred toys.  But still I retrieve these things from Jesse, I dust them sometimes, I don't even consider getting rid of them.  And why on earth is that? Do I really believe the pre-teen kids themselves will come looking for that yellow plastic pounding toy? that dried out plasticene clay?  And we'll all sit down for one more round of playing dinosaurs and lego man?

I decided to face the uncomfortable feeling and clean out the old toy shelves tonight.  It felt risky to toss the plastic animals-- suppose someone wanted them?  What would happen if the little raccoon book was gone?  I'm really curious about this feeling of uneasiness about getting rid of stuff. Anybody care to comment?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Pathetic Garden and Its Wan and Lumpy Produce

The past six weeks of more or less constant drizzle and humidity that is so high it  might as well be drizzle has resulted in a pathetic square foot garden (this after its great enthusiastic early summer burst of growth).  I decided to go out in the drizzle this morning and document its patheticness, and here it is.  You will note that this is a scientific drawing, and the tallest plant, an okra, is all of 24" high.  Not only is the okra ridiculously short, but it has produced a total of four pods all summer, two of which are just now starting.  To the right of the okra are two back-up okra plants that I put in about six weeks ago when the original two plants were doing so badly that I thought I would try with new starts.   The back-ups didn't grow at all, but one did develop a yellow leaf with spots on it. 

Then there are the lacinato kale plants that I grew from seed out side the square foot to augment the curly Russian kale starts that I put inside the square.  The lacinato did pretty well for a few weeks; then overnight it was stripped by a few little green caterpillars, leaving all the lacinato kale plants looking like pine twigs.  Drawing 2962 is of one of the curly Russian kales, bigger, but with leaves reduced to lace by a slightly fatter and browner but still small caterpillar.  And finally on the right are two deeply disappointing eggplants.  The larger (5" tall) of the two actually produced a miniature purple eggplant that is still maybe growing.  Unfortunately the plant is so short that the eggplant is drooping onto the magic compost soil and will develop mold or be eaten by slugs, also thriving in the moisture.
The garden isn't a 100% failure.  The cucumber vine has produced many gigantic watery cucumbers that make decent cucumber soup.  This particular one was growing through a hole in the turkey fence mesh and developed a small head on one end.  The paste tomatoes, while not exactly prolific, are beginning to ripen;  but unfortunately they drop off the plant almost immediately and fall into the slug-infested area under the leaves, where they quickly rot.  Even those that I grab while they're still partly ripe have odd spots on them that develop into mushy areas that need to be excised.  There is one beautiful and thriving basil plant and a parsley that has managed to not bolt.  The carrots are sprouting and will maybe have time to develop before the ground freezes.  The inside-the-square kale plants and the Swiss chard did great (until the arrival of the caterpillars).  My list of things to do differently next season is very long.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Today P took photographs of artwork for a group of friends from the Book & Print Art Collective that I belong to.  My job was to press the button on the umbrella that made the flash work.  That wasn't overly taxing, so I amused myself by sketching some of everybody's work.  The work was beautiful, intriguing, moving, astonishing.  My sketches give only a cursory introduction; but they helped me appreciate the work as I slowed down and really studied it to draw it.
This piece consisted of 8 different prints from the same collograph plate  and with stitching, drawing, and painting.
The piece on the left and top right needs color to really give an idea of it.  Each page was an abstract seascape, more of a thumbnail in lush colors.  At the bottom right is a hornet's nest that the first artist to arrive brought with her.  She had found it in the middle of the road that leads to our street.  The outer skin is gone so you can see the inner construction.  I at first thought it had been sawed through because of the gaps, which looked like saw kerf marks.  But each layer was one cell deep, and the construction is actually like a parking garage built around a central stairway or rampway.  It was soggy from all our recent rain and completely empty of hornets, and it's out on our back porch now.
Two people are represented on this page.  Again, color would have been good, but by then I had been given a couple of other jobs-- squeezing a handle that wouldn't stay squeezed, fetching tea, etc.-- so just getting in a few sketches was all I could do.

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to Make a Case for Your Pirate's Spy Glass and Other Small Happenings of the Day

Yesterday my daughter-in-law called me and asked me if I could make a carrying case for a pirate's spy glass that she found on line for Nate's fifth birthday next week.  So F and I scrambled around and found some glittery exciting gold buttons, an old leather bag with clunky hardware, and a pile of gold buttons for treasure to put in a little pouch inside the spy glass case.  Then I went home and found some scraps of buffalo hide.  And today I made up a pattern, very simple-- really just a shrunken version of the man bag I made for Nate last year -- and sewed up a fine case.  On the left above is my preliminary sketch with some planning notes.  On the right is a drawing of all the pieces cut out and assembled:  2 large rings from the old bag, the strap from the old bag, the golden button with its handsome anchor and chain, 2 front panels (each 2.5 x 5.5"), a side and bottom panel (2.5 x 13.5") and 2 fold-over ring holders that look like little toilet seats.  Oh, and also there is the front flap, 2.5 x 6.5"and curved at the bottom.
On the left is the finished case, which took about half an hour to make.  I began by sewing the flap to the back panel, right sides together, no hems, making a stitch 3/16" in from the raw edge and using my treadle machine with a leather needle.  Then I clipped the ring holders with the rings inside to the two ends of the side/bottom/side piece and stitched them so that the rings were attached to the long piece.  Then I clipped the long piece to the back panel beginning just below the flap stitch, right sides together, and made a stitch 3/16" in from the edge.  Then I rounded the corner and clipped the long piece to the bottom and sewed it to the bottom, and then rounded up the other side of the back panel and sewed that.

To complete the job I clipped and sewed the front panel to the long side/bottom/side panel just as I had done the back panel.  I then sewed the button on, stuck on a piece of Velcro to close the flap, clipped on the strap to the rings, and there you have it.

I took it to the post office and mailed it, along with the little bag of treasure;  and on the way home I saw the sheep, newly shorn and looking just like goats, grazing in the soft rain in the green green grass like a scene from Ireland.
The other studio job for the day was to finish carving a logo rubber stamp for one of my favorite places in Asheville, Regeneration Station.  They had ordered a rubber stamp made from their logo, and I had almost finished it.  Now it's all done and mounted on a wooden base, and here it is.  The next time you're in Asheville be sure to visit this antique/repurposed/recycled furniture and stuff place.  You'll find some real treasures there!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Catch-Up Post No. 3: Enfield and Home via First Class and One World Sapphire!

The little barn cats in Enfield like to sleep curled up in the garden.  Smoke is gray and Soot is a sooty black.  The shoes on the right are out of sequence.  I went back and filled a blank page.  These were shoes in the NJTransit waiting room when we returned to Maplewood on Sunday evening.  So many great feet and shoes!  
On the left is a drawing that B made in the moving car; hence his shaky lines. Great clumpy grass and tree limbs!  On the right are two of the sand castles that we made at Storrs Pond Saturday. These two-- a pointy mound that no one could quite identify and a Great Sphinx-- were already made when we arrived.  They were right at the edge of the pond where the water washed onto the beach, and they were protected by walls of sand.  At first I was going to draw while everyone else built, but I quickly gave that up and became one of the builders.  Too much fun!
 The man on the left was one of the leaders of the sand sculpture project.  He told stories about the ancient monuments as he worked, and he moved around helping different people and projects.  On the right is a Roman Coliseum and below that is a Mayan Observatory, which was soon amended to smooth out the angles to be more authentic.
T and I wanted to build something, and I thought of an Etruscan tomb or tomba.  I sketched it on the top to explain how it needed to look;  then I drew it after we finished.   On the right is L's drawing of the haunted shed from the day before.  He really got the rugged, creepy quality of this little unfinished part of the house.

Sadly, we had to head home the next morning.  Here is a view of White River Junction done from the train station.  On the extreme right of the drawing is an old diner where we occasionally ate breakfast in the past.  Now it seems to be fading into the land beside the tracks behind some weedy trees.  We took the train to Penn Station, then NJT to Maplewood for a last dinner and chance to visit.

Our last day was spent in airports, beginning at 5:15 a.m.  We had a lot of time to get to know the airport as our flight was cancelled five minutes before it was scheduled to board, and we couldn't get a flight that left before 10:45.  We DID get bumped to first class however;  below is a picture of Maya enjoying the amenities of first class.
On the right of Maya is my view of the cockpit from our seat in row 1.
I noticed that every person within range was plugged into a digital thing except for the woman on the left above in drawing 2938.  
Once we got to Charlotte, we had another four hours to wait until we finally got on our flight to Asheville.  We had also been elevated for our final flight:  we were classified as One World Sapphire, which meant that we had little blue globes printed at the bottom of our boarding passes that entitled us to join the ranks of the elite, premium, platinum, One World Emeralds, and One World Sapphires and PRE board!  Our seats were at the very back of the plane opposite the port-a-potty, but we had the questionable advantage of scrambling into them first and got to start in on the crossword puzzle before anyone else.  Love the airlines and their mysterious reward system and well-honed euphemisms!  Pre- boarding maybe means "pre-running of the bulls boarding"? Another curiosity was the announcement, made over and over, that the airline had recently changed to a NEW system of boarding called ZONES.  Who really cares?  And how is it new when they've been boarding by zones for a long time now;  plus they always say "If you don't have a zone number on your boarding pass you may board at any time."