Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

As I write this I’m listening to the song “When Everything Old Is New Again”, sung by Peter Allen ( on You Tube).  The song, co-written with Carole Bayer Sager, so fits where I am right now. june2017

These lines, especially, resonate with me:

“Dreams can come true again
When everything old is new again”

So true! They make me smile. Remind me to grab hold of my imagination and fly. Encourage me to keep on dancin’ down that path.

I took this photo today, June 1, at 6:00 PM. The scene is the path that leads to the steps that go down to Sand Creek here at our place in Jordan, Minnesota, USA. Those of you who have been here in the summer will recognize the ferns and the bench. Same old place. Nothing new. But not so. It’s different now. It’s different because as of yesterday this is the backyard of our home as well as our business. Yes. Dan and I have moved in! The Prior Lake house now belongs to another family with dreams and plans of their own, while we are re-configuring the former Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts into a space and place that will nurture both our Wee Folk Creations business as well as ourselves.


The experience of moving, after living almost 40 years in one place, has made me appreciate anew all of you who have shared your stories of challenges and change. It’s not as easy as it appears from the outside! You are my sheroes and heroes!

A little humor has helped in this 1 and 1/2-year process of downsizing and moving. The grandkids thought it was funny to sit on the couch one last time as it rested in the dumpster at the Prior Lake house.  They helped to make the moving day a joyful one to remember.

The old living room couch will never be new again.  And it obviously didn’t make the move with the rest of our things to the Jordan location. But the loving and living and laughing and learning that took place in that living room will never grow old.

Here’s to dreams!








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A Conversation
the Pippsywoggin
Addie Brianne






Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, like just last week, and in a place far, far away, on the river bench that overlooks my garden studio, I sat in some state of despondency and contemplated the little door that is nailed to the base of the old willow tree.


I didn’t really expect the door to open or anyone to come out of it, as I knew all too well that it was only a fake door, and that my friends from the edge of imagination, the Pippsywoggins, were not real at all. But I wondered, given a chance, what the Pippsywoggins might have to say to me, today, in the midst of the turmoil that is permeating our world.









And so I sat on the bench, by the little door and stared at the muddy waters of Sand Creek, feeling compelled to be there, but also feeling a bit like a fool.  And then it happened.






An image appeared before me, addiebposter157that of the 5-inch tall Pippsywoggin Addie Brianne, who plopped herself down beside me, crossed her hands under her chin, and looked expectantly over at me with a grin.

I grinned, too, for of course it would be Addie Brianne who would show up. I remembered her story, which begins like this.

Addie Brianne is content with life.  She doesn’t have any great ambition to be a dancer or a seamstress or a writer.  She doesn’t have urges to gather the largest strawberries or the sweetest nectar or the shiniest pebbles.  She is just content to relax and to respond to life as it comes to greet her.


Ah, but don’t think that she is lazy.  No, not for a moment.   Above her front door is a sign that says:  THE FIRST THING TO DO IS TO SHOW UP.  And this she does.  Every day.  With as many of her senses of sight and sound and touch and taste and smell as she can marshal together.

Her little house hangs like a basket in the middle of a clump of willows that grow on the edge of a small farm pond where cattle come to drink, where a pair of Mallards yearly raise a brood of ducklings, and where the neighboring Irish Setter routinely comes to bark at crabs.

Because she has made it a habit to show up, she has been there to see the new calf get his first wobbly drink.  She was present when the littlest duckling got swept through the drainage ditch by the sudden spring downpour, and she glimpsed the look in the Setter’s eyes when he came face to face with the giant snapping turtle.

She shows up, and because she does, opportunities for learning and growth and amazement are continually hers.  The other Pips are a bit jealous of her charmed life.  But, you know, the funny thing is that even though they have visited her little house in the willows many times, none of them have seemed to notice the sign above her door that says:  THE FIRST THING TO DO IS TO SHOW UP.


riverwestposter57I bent down to pick up a twig to throw into current as I contemplated Addie Brianne’s story.  Now what, I said. So what if I show up? How does that change anything in this messed up world and my messy life?

As I said this, Addie jumped up and ran towards the little door at the base of the old willow tree, throwing these words over her shoulder as she entered the door, “It may not change the world but it might change you.”

I hardly had time to think about the implications of what she said when Addie was back in front of me holding a sign that said:



Show up.

Keep it simple.

Keep it honest.

Be true.

Those Pippsywoggins! Always with something new to challenge me!  But I took Addie’s poster home with me and nailed it above my own front door.  You’re welcome to make copies for yourself, if you like. I’m sure that Addie B wouldn’t mind.



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Mind Mapping

Calendar says October.
But the Morning Glory
that creeps its way
over the garden arbor
just says “Good Morning”.
Doesn’t seem to know
that any day now
there’ll be a frost.
Or maybe it knows
and chooses to bloom anyway?

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I love it when people surprise me with their wit and humor, curiosity and imagination.  My friend Dawn-Marie Quinche does that quite often, as witnessed by her take on the ordinary rhubarb plant.  Dawn-Marie has been painting her kitchen cupboards, and what better image to put over the door to her compost bucket than the lovely rhubarb plant?  What better image, indeed.

Brings back memories of those long-ago days when my sister and I would pick rhubarb to take in to our mom, then would use the discarded leaves to make lovely skirts and hats.  They were sooooooo BIG.  My romantic, nostalgic reaction to rhubarb is much different from my husband, Dan’s, who thinks rhubarb is best left in the garden all together.  But me?  I love Dawn-Marie’s rendering and the gentle way it takes me on a walk along that inner garden path of memory.

For a treat with words, click on the link to Dawn-Marie’s blog, and scroll down to the April 29 post to see what she has to say about Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Road Less Traveled”.  Made me smile!  And how about the earlier post about the rabbit being painted near the … ( I won’t give that part away.  You’ll have to click to read it!).

And be sure and scroll through her postings about her mural and faux finish work as well.  Delightful!  Dawn-Marie Quinche blog

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stackablesallThe world – or at least my corner of it – is humming today with the sounds and abundant energy of spring. And that kind of energy, spring energy, is full of hope and trust and thrust. It trusts that the seeds planted today WILL turn into succulent ears of corn come fall, and that the nest built so precariously in the crook of the crabapple tree WILL sustain itself long enough to shelter a new brood of robins into being.

Now I’ve been in this world long enough to know that sometimes the corn does dry up and wither in the heat of July. And sometimes a windstorm, or the neighbor’s tabby cat, does leave the nest – and its contents – splattered on the sidewalk. But without that hope and trust and bone-deep, spirit-filled belief in life, this world would come to a crunching halt.

My question today, as I listen to the hum within my own being, is whether to choose to align myself with spring energy or with that of fall?

“All my life’s a circle”, and “To everything there is a season …”, and yet might I also choose to see my big-life picture as one of spring energy? Trusting. Believing. Building. Doing. Knowing. And still humming along? Always? Forever?

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Do you ever wonder what’s happening in the garden when you aren’t looking?  I imagine that there are conversations happening in the trees and under the old logs.  But I’ve heard them only in whispers on the wind.

But, in winter, snow gives us a clue, as we can see the footprints of those earthbound creatures who walk on top of it.  But what of those who fly above?  Or creep beneath it’s surface?  The fresh snow on this polymer clay mushroom is, as of this moment,  touched only by the flickers of sunlight which peek through the trees. 

This mushroom will stay outside all winter as a place for imagination to linger.  And, who knows what else might happen by …

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