Saturday, March 31, 2007

Episcopal Schism?

A friend posted a thoughtful blog entry about the recent Epsicopal lurch towards schism, and the potential departure of friends from her church (formerly my church, as well). She spoke of the many misconceptions and societal errors that drive us to break up - that prevent us from bearing with one another and breaking bread together. Below is a comment I added to her post...

When I read your post today I was sharply reminded of 2 Kings 4:38-41 - the story of Elisha and the poisoned soup. Did they throw out the soup? No - he threw in some meal "and there was nothing harmful in the pot." So what is the meal? What does this mean? Why did it come to mind in this context? I have some sketchy feelings that the meal is what we should be applying to the current situation between brothers and sisters in the Episcopal church, and what should, perhaps, have been done at every schism.

I think of a relatively recently written song used in Catholic masses as a Eucharistic hymn.

gift of finest wheat

music and lyrics: Robert E. Kreutz

You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat,
come give to us o saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.

verse 1
as when the shepherd calls his sheep, they know and heed his voice;
so when You call Your family Lord, we follow and rejoice.

verse 2
with joyful lips we sing to You, our praise and gratitude,
that You should count us worthy Lord, to share this heavenly food.

verse 3
the mystery of Your presence Lord, no mortal tongue can tell;
whom all the world cannot contain comes in our hearts to dwell.

verse 4
You give yourself to us o Lord, then selfless let us be,
to serve each other in Your name in truth and charity.

Could Christ be the meal? {grin} I mean grain, like Elisha threw in the soup.

Why do we leave a church? Because we no longer consider the worship of the others to be true? Because we fear our own faith or the faith of our children may be damaged by hearing what we consider to be wrong ideas? Because we no longer believe the Spirit moves in the presider, and the Eucharist is thus somehow invalidated?

For now I find these questions beyond me, and not mine to answer. This may change.

In my case I did not leave a church in particular, though it was events in a particular church that precipitated my departure. I left organized church in general. I needed to leave, like a man who needs to clear his head at a concert or a party by going outside and breathing some cold fresh air. I was seeing the defects of organized church in a way that blocked seeing anything else. I've become some kind of a cow, I think. Recent visits to church left me feeling sleepy and benign, with dew from the fields still on my shaggy bovine hide. I was OK being there, enjoyed the company and worship, found God there as congenially as elsewhere, but I was happier to return outside. I know God will eventually turn me back into a man (possibly your blog and this conversation is part of that process), but for now I'm learning by being cattle.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite Psalms, one that always seemed the most pastoral, the most foolish grinning cattle-like early morning comfortable love. It's another place I could live forever.

How good, how delightful it is
to live as brothers all together!

It is like a fine oil on the head,
running down the beard,
running down Aaron's beard,
onto the collar of his robes.

It is like the dew of Hermon
falling on the heights of Zion;
for there Yahweh bestows his blessing,
everlasting life.

(See my other post about cows and "The Church of the Great Outdoors.")

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I never did get back to my Texas Trip. We enjoyed the trip, and had several important meetings with clients in Fort Worth and Houston. Here are some photos from Dallas. We drove through and around downtown on our way from the airport area to I-45 towards Houston. The sun was just up and we started on the west side and boomeranged around the expressways to the east side, which made for a few dramatic shots.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Canvas 1

This is my first canvas in many years. I'm wrestling with the lower half. Parts are too simple for a 30x30 canvas - there are sections that look unfinished (lower right). But I don't have anything else I intend to do with those sections. So I'm a bit stuck for now. Partly I haven't worked in this scale for a long time, and I never got comfortable there. Partly it's still about the acrylics, which handle so differently than the watercolors I've learned to love.

So what do you think? Seriously, I'd like to know how this strikes you.

Trouble is that this image works OK at this scale - but not so well at 30x30. So try to picture it two and a half feet square {grin}. Don't you do that sort of thing - wondering what things would be like if they were larger or smaller than they are now? I do this with parts of houses and architecture all the time. Some buildings could be greatly improved in this way - others are hopeless. Some are magnificent the way they are, and I love to feel that by trying to mantally change things and nothing can be changed without departing from perfection.

How about looking at people and trying to picture in detail how they probably looked when they were a lot younger - or how they will look when they are much older?

How about how things would look if a certain item or object were removed? This last one is easier than the others - you close one eye, and cover the item with your hand or fingers or arm so you mind can fill in the scene behind the interrupting limb.

Or how about imagining how something would look in a different color? I do this with cars a lot, picturing them white, in particular, because in that color the shapes become the primary visual element, and I can evaluate the desinger's work. Like buildings, some cars are lovely and perfect balances - others are terrible ugly combinations of forms and proportions that look worse than random. And the rest are in between, where mor games can be played with changing shapes, lowering bumpers, decreasing the size or position of tail-lights, etc.

Doesn't everyone do this stuff? How do you not do this?

Bogart and Bacall

Tonight we watched The Big Sleep. We all talked afterwards about the many books, movies, musicals and other things that are alluding to or visually quoting from this movie, and Moomin Light put together a nice collection of some of the best here.

The dialogue is snappy throughout the movie - it's my chief pleasure in watching it. The fastest exchanges, though, are between Bogart and Bacall. They cut each other off back and forth several times when their characters first meet. One scene in particular is great fun, and it's when the two main characters realize they have some special chemistry (shown here). They pass the phone back and forth, driving a police officer crazy on the other end, pretending to be each other's mother and father, alternately. In an otherwise pretty serious movie, this is like Bringing up Baby.

What we also discussed was the way every woman in the movie throws themselves (with various degrees of style) at Bogart's character. The book shop girl, the cabbie, the hat check girls, both of the general's daughters... The one exception is the only girl Bogart actually insults - the girl who seems to go only for the rats.

The most striking thing to me, was that with all the pretty and sexy women, all in keeping with the style at the time, it's Bacall's face that is the standout. It's not a face that was fashionable; instead it was unforgettable, and still is. What I wanted to find was a photo of her face in the car, just before he kisses her for the first time... I couldn't find one anywhere, though it was a pleasure to rove through hundreds of photos of her, as many in her later years as in her youth. This one is almost as lovely, and captures the famous sultry look.

(photo available at

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Butner Seed Nursery

We've been calling this place "Butner Seed Nursery" since we found out about it, over 15 years ago. It's off Brickhouse Rd up near Bahama, NC. It used to be informally guarded by a huge grey gander who lived at the first place on the left - we actually stopped the car once, my oldest and I, when he was maybe 8, and let the goose come honking and hissing right up to the open car window. His head reached right up so he could look into the car. Once he'd arrived, he didn't know what to do, and he huffed and paced a little, and then turned and went home.

But actually the place is a waterfowl impoundment (the Seed Nursery is at the end of Brickhouse Rd) made from land condemned for Falls Lake, but actually not under water. I always grin at that name - imagine impounding waterfowl? How?
They plant corn and millet in strips over some of the open land, to feed game, and portions are flooded from time to time to attract waterfowl. The field pansies (they come in purple and yellow) grow wild.

Whatever this place is called, it is an open, lonely, lovely place along the Flat River before it flows into Falls Lake. The scenes here are all from one walk last weekend. The pond is where we saw a female kingfisher silently fishing several weeks before.

I used to come here at night with a flashlight, which I then left in my pocket. I would walk the roads by moonlight, listening to beavers slapping the river in warning as I passed. I would hear owls calling to each other. I would startle invisible whitetail bucks, who made a snorting sound I had never heard before, and which a friend at work identified for me the next day.
I also used to ride my Diamondback bike here, having to get off and walk it across the rock causeways (because riding over them would nearly rattle my teeth out). And my oldest and I used to come to look for arrow heads, to identify animal tracks, and to sip tree sap from the holes left by Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers in the maples by the river.

The beech trees (not pictured anywhere on this post, unfortunately) around one of the old ponds are some of the most feminine trees I know anywhere. Their texture against the sky, when the buds are lengthened, but not yet sprung, is one of the most beautiful I know.

I love this place in all seasons. It has a unique presence that is always the same, even as the details change through the year.

Buzzard Parking

On a recent morning commute it struck me that the buzzard roosts along I-40 near the New Hope exit are like bed and breakfast establishments...

Colonial Agrarian Inn
These first two pictures show the oldest inn in town. You may not be able to pick them out in the first photo - it's a lot easier to spot them from a moving car, because the branches in the foreground move and you see the black bird shapes better. Here is a close-up from that same shot - there are three customers (two are in the upper left, and one a bit above center).

Orange View Highrise
Lately I see a large number of buzzards lodging at this new establishment, from which half of Orange County can be seen. The architecture doesn't fit in with Hillsborough's colonial theme, and I'm surprised the Historic Commission approved it, but maybe that's because it's outside the historic district. This photo is deliberately large format so you can scan up and down the tower and see the customers. Last night the inn was only at half capacity - the "Vacancies" light was lit. Some mornings there is no room left on the top - every single one of the best rooms has a bird. I suspect customers prefer the highrise to the rooms at the Colonial Agrarian because there are no obstructing tree branches when they spread their big wings to take off in the morning. Also, the top rooms are probably just the right distance apart for privacy between lodgers. Finally, my wife suggested that this inn may have central heating.

Ozone Rest
What persuaded me to post was the morning this week when the Orange View Highrise was jammed with birds. No rooms available on top or even in much of the understructure. I estimated between forty and fifty buzzards had spent the night. Less than half a mile further I found the rest. The photo I took this morning without birds, but I had noted five fitting quite snugly on top that morning, so I drew some into the photo to give you an idea how it looked.

I hope NC is getting the full hotel occupancy tax from these establishments. With the lottery producing lackluster results, we need all the revenue we can get.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


This was the third or fourth watercolor I did when I started painting again. I was letting places emerge from scribbles on the paper, something I still love to do. It's like a child's drawing in some ways. I want to do more like this. The clouds were great fun; I had no idea what I was doing. Now I would have some idea how to paint storm clouds and I'd have to deliberately forget so I could play like this again.

I think that's what it's about sometimes. When you're a kid you try so hard to grow up and be like an adult. Then you get there and find out you still don't have real control or real answers to most things, and you might have been better off if you hadn't grown up so thoroughly. Can't be helped - gotta backtrack some. Maybe I should try painting with my left hand, or with my eyes closed.

Monday, March 19, 2007

PDAs - Glimpses Elsewhere

This morning Moomin Light had a comment on one of her Saturday posts. The comment used the abbreviation "PDA." I had to think for a few seconds. Personal Digital Assistant just didn't fit the context. Then I remembered - "Public Display of Affection" and my first thought was, "Caught! (again)" and my next thought was a big grin. It's fun being 46, and married 26 years, and caught with my wife...

To get the whole sequence, read the following posts, and their attached comments, in this order:

If you don't like reminiscing and open displays of strong affection - like a couple kissing in the halls - turn your head the other way. You've been warned.

1. From Breakfast with Pandora - this post about Haven Kimmel, with an embedded original story about teamwork in middle school. You're safe to read this even if you're allergic to the gushy stuff - this is just a great, funny story.

2. Then this post from Moomin Light referring to that post and a different experience of teamwork in school. That post and my comment on it led to the further comment from DF about the PDA.

3. And now this post by Moomin Light, inspired by the PDA remark. I think this post has been waiting 28 years for a proper voice. Little My was the right voice. The character behind the Little My category (illustration) is from Tove Jansson's Moomintroll series - particularly Moominland Midwinter , which is still my favorite of her books.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Stones, Rocks, Pebbles, Boulders...

Many who know me closely know that I can't resist rocks. I can be quite happy on a beach blanket, examining or sorting sand, enjoying each small smoothed quartzite and every bristly crystal. I can be overcome with longing to take home a stone the size of an automobile.

It's the same game I play with everything - it's about the shapes, colors, textures, and the play of light on them, composing. Rocks seem so complete, and some have a soothing perfection. Shells get to me, as well, but in a different way. It's as if the shells are the violins, and the rocks are the cellos. I love violins, but the cellos pull at me more strongly.

The photo above is of my desk at work. It's wide enough that I can still work even with my "beach" strewn for five feet across it. I know where nearly every stone came from, and how I felt, and how the light looked.

On the recent trip to Texas I asked my co-worker to stop for me at a rest area so I could get down in a ditch and get some native rocks. They are deliciously red orange and look like they've soaked up eons of hot East Texas sunlight, though I know they were underground for millenia until erosion exposed them. He took the whole thing in stride - he knows all about my desk.

One of the largest stones I've brought home my oldest (when he was about ten years old) helped me get into the back of our old van. It was a huge elongated quartz, pushed up as refuse on the edge of a constuction lot. I drove back and forth past it twice before I decided we were "by golly, just can't stand it any more" going to take it home. We had to flip it down the hill, get it propped on the new concrete curb, and then back the van up to it. We stood it on end and leaned it against the back bumper, and then we brute forced it up and over the edge. It made the van bob up and down when it rolled in; it's a wonder I didn't get a hernia. It was one of the hardest barrow loads I've ever handled, getting it down to a dirt terrace I was building, and into place as a bench in the bank at one side. Later, with the terrace long finished and green with new grass, I sat there with my two year old youngest on my lap, keeping mosquitoes off his legs, talking together for over an hour, waiting for the first flight of bats, listening to the wood thrushes, and finally watching Vega become visible as the first star in the northeast sky.

I have built many retaining walls, for terraces and raised flower beds. I love handling all the stones, arranging and stacking them, turning corners. It's a glorious jigsaw puzzle, but there are an infinite number of solutions, some much better than others. In France I watched a house lovingly being built with stones and mortar - it looked like a wonderful way to build a home.

On our Williamsburg trip we visited Grand View Nature Preserve near Norfolk. My sons and I had stayed on the beach longer, wanting to get to an island we could see up the shore. What we did not know was that the beach would be more and more composed of rocks. Both of these photos are of that beach (including the island in the second). I'll say more about this stretch of beach in another post, but you can imagine how hard it was to get there with all these stones in the way, every one of them begging to be picked up, looked at, and reluctantly put back down. I settled for small smooth black ones, a few unusual clays, some beach glass, and just one large one, still in the floorboard of my car (my trunk still has a fifteen pound slab of shale from Kentucky). My oldest son stuffed his pockets pretty full and had a handful of interesting items, including old sea worn clinkers.

But my youngest put so many stones in his sweatpants pockets that all the way back he had to hold his pants up with one hand while struggling to carry one large white rock in his other. He did it with a big grin on his face. He was triumphant when he got them all back to the van, nearly half a mile away.

I knew exactly how he felt.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Portrait of the Artist in the Act of Creating

This is a portrait of me creating. When I paint or write I feel like I divide myself and converse with myself and part of me loses words and part of me uses words and part of me looks at the rest of me and at what we're making and if I hold my hands just right and suspend disbelief I can later see what we created and wonder where it came from.

I'm not sure which end of the conversation is in control. Which is the puppet. I do know that part of me feels that all of me is better off when I can open up to the infinite possibilities of all of us. It's a weird place, and I can't always get there, and it's hard to stay for long.

But it feels like home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Love Pie

Tonight I had a Gallery meeting to go to, and the ladies of the house had to go to Dance. So I made a dinner and left it for them to eat - I had to leave before they got home.

Lately I've been making pies that have something odd cut as the vents in the top crust. One recent chicken pie had chicken foot prints across it. The very last chicken pie had "Apple Pie" written on it (this is from the movie Chicken Run where Mrs Tweedy says they are going to make pies and Mr Tweedy asks, "What kind of pies?" to which she replies, sarcastically, "Apple." He misses it and says, "Ooooo, me favorite.") That pie's leftover slices went into the freezer also labeled as "Apple Pie." (No one in our house, in fact, can ask any sort of "What kind..." question without someone answering, "Apple.")

Tonight's pie I left as a love note.

Love Pie (recipe made up for tonight):

Two refrigerated pie crusts (rolled up in a box - Pillsbury makes a good one)
1 lb of browned ground beef
1/2 cup of mirepoix*
a lot of ricotta cheese (between 16 and 24 ounces - use your instincts)
16 ox of grated Italian cheeses (mozz, parmesan, asiago, etc. - a pre-packaged blend)
heaping teaspoon of minced garlic (we do mean heaping)
liberal sprinkling of basil, thyme, and salt to taste (cilantro might also be interesting)

Put first pie crust in ungreased pie plate (I like glass ones).
Mix beef, mirepoix, ricotta, 2/3 of the Italian cheese, garlic, and spices in a bowl.
Pour contents into the pie crust, smooth it down.
Sprinkle remaining third of Italian cheese on top.

Put on second pie crust and seal, fuss with edges of crust if you like, get creative with vents.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until brown enough for you.
I put a cookie sheet on the other rack, below the pie, to catch any drippings and to keep the bottom from getting done too fast.

When I got home from the Gallery, I heated up a slice and ate it. It was good enough to report here.

*Mirepoix - a French foundation flavor I make ahead of time and freeze in approx. half cup packages. (We have been calling it mirefoix and even miraclefoix for a long time - probably won't change that.) I make mine in a big skillet. You chop quite fine 1 part onions to 2 parts celery to one part carrots. Then you saute the whole thing as slowly as possible in too much butter for over 2 hours, cool and freeze. It adds rich beauty to all sorts of things (including your arteries... I know.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Visual DNA Widget

I've seen two of these on other blogs - you can do one by clicking the link on the bottom.

I might have picked different things if there had been more choices. As it is, most of my choices were chosen by less than 5% of those who have tried this so far. I think my biggest problem was the "Love is..." square. They almost all apply - I guess I'm fabulously wealthy that way. In the end, though, there was no contest. Strong as other loves are, none compare with what I feel for my best friend, my soulmate, my wife. Even last night, when I was grilling hot dogs in the back yard, when she came round the house to sit and talk while I grilled, all outdoors seemed brighter.


For me a trip happens on several levels at once. If I'm lucky the layers blend somehow. On this recent trip to Texas spring among live oaks and long vistas were blended with thoughts of Under the Tuscan Sun (by Frances Mayes) which I read on the plane. The wild flowers of East Texas are different than those described around Bramasole in Cortona, but they are all mixed up in my head. (Photo from Robbins, where Texas farm road 39 intersects Texas route 7, between Dallas and Houston. We walked back over a bridge to take photos of this ranch.)

A particular passage from the book made me light up. Serendipity at its best, again.

"The five tiglio trees, old world lindens or limes, bear no fruit. They provide shade along the broad terrace beside the house when the sun will not allow us on the front terrace. We have lunch under the tigli almost every day. Their blossoms are like pearl earrings dangling from the leaves, and when they open - all it seems on the same day - fragrance envelopes the whole hillside. At the height of bloom, we sit on the upstairs patio, just adjacent to the trees, trying to identify the fragrance... attracts every bee in town. Even at night, when we take our coffee up to the patio, they are working the flowers over. Their collective buzz sounds like a major swarm approaching. It's both lulling and alarming. Ed stays in the doorway at first because he's allergic to bee sting, but they aren't interested in us. They have their honey sacs to fill, their legs to dust with pollen."
(Photo from Tim Waters' Flickr photostream)

On the contemplative blog Beyond the Fields We Know, the author, Kerrdelune, wrote a post recently that wondered what kind of tree she might become, if she were evolving into one. A number of readers replied, and so did I, realizing that I would wish to be a linden, a tilia. I grew up near an old linden in NY. It was in a pocket of soil, moss, and wildflowers in the middle of a small rocky clearing, on top of a slate outcropping, stunted from lack of root depth, like a bonsai. It bloomed profusely and I remember the amazing hum of the bees when it did. I used to lie beneath it, on club mosses six inches deep and soft as a cloud, looking through the thick blossoms and smelling the pervasive sweet scent, slightly citrus. My soap in the shower right now is a big, french milled, linden bar. I close my eyes and smile a bone deep smile when I smell that fragrance. Sweet, simple, childlike.

So when the passage from the book opened before me, spreading the images and scents at the beginning of the Texas trip, I was entranced. And I realized that I would not only be a tilia, I'd be Tiglio. My background is not Tuscan, but Sicilian. No matter... I'm sure the Sicilians also call it Tiglio, and love it's scent, and pronouce the "gl" in that liquid roll that is neither g, nor l, but somehow both at once. The way my Sicilian grandmother used to pronounce the name of her good friend, Mrs. Foglietta, who lived down a lovely dirt lane across the street, where dozens of tiny red efts would come out after a rain. It's all magic.

Going further last night, I realized I'd be Tiglio Ridonando. Laughing Linden.

(Red eft photo from The Horned Jack Lizard's Flickr photostream).

Friday, March 9, 2007

Tiny Houses

One of the things I have never been able to resist about Williamsburg is the tiny houses. I would love to know how these are laid out inside. Here are several I found on this trip. The first even had a knot garden and topiary corners on its hedge.

Moleskine in Williamsburg

I only did two other sketches while in Willamsburg. This was intense family time, and I only had two moments really alone. One was in the hotel room late, when everyone else was in bed but my oldest son and I. I never looked this closely before at the pattern on his sweater, or the folds of his jacket.

The other moment alone was when the rest of the family went to participate in some homeschooling craft and educational stations set up in a house near the Capitol shuttle stop. I'm claustrophobic and impatient in that type of setting, so we agreed to meet a half an hour later.

I was struck again by the beauty of the Capitol building, and, since I'm discovering that you really know a thing better after you draw it, I sat out in the less than 40 degree weather, on a bench by the shuttle stop, and drew this scene. That's how I actually noticed that the capitol is not symmetrical - the connecting section, which tied the court room to the legislative side, is not centered, and so neither is the cupola on top when viewed from this side.

Next posts will be more Virginia and a Texas trip (business) that I took the very next day (just got back this evening). Lots to write about, and lots of pictures.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

D'Egg and Sparky Donatello

Recently, while planning a three day trip to Williamsburg, my oldest and I mentioned that we'd be near Norfolk, and maybe we could actually see D'Egg. We've been reading about it and its denizens for over a year now at the old blog and the new blog of Wally Torta (Sparky Donatello). The idea grew and grew, amid much laughter and bemused grins from my other kids and my wife, and we decided to actually go even though it would mean over an hour detour from Williamsburg Monday morning.

The whole trip to VA was great - more posts coming - but the trip into Norfolk was one of those rides where you have no idea where it will go. That was part of the draw - we didn't know how this would turn out. It could be a real mess. It would be an adventure either way.

I thought finding our way to East Main would be easy - but downtown Norfolk is just interesting enough that we had to take several detours. In the process we saw the prettifying of downtown that seems to be erasing most of its character. It will end up looking like Norfolk was one of those urban mushrooms that grew overnight in 80s and 90s style architecture. A few buildings are being restored - that was source of some encouragement.

We parked and put way too many coins in a meter and walked to D'Egg. We found it, and a table, and sat down. Immediately we were embraced in the warm greeting and beaming smile of our redheaded waitress, Monica.

After her colorful and heartfelt recommendations, we ordered and I started a sketch. Booths were mostly empty at that moment (except the ones too close to me), so I just started getting them into perspective, etc. I'm new to this, and felt a bit awkward drawing in public (maybe Sparky has a way to do it on the sly), but I was determined to capture something of this place in a way that was more personal than film.
A couple came in and I just drew them on top of the booth I had started. This is my fourth sketch and getting to really like it - but it was weird to chop up drawing with ordering and other restaurant chatter. The results are rushed.

Monica, having heard we were at the beach and had been searching for beach glass, sent her sister Andrea to talk to us, too. It was during that conversation, when Andrea asked where we were from, that I mentioned that we had heard of them from Wally Torta's blog and sketches. It was the sketches that made them recognize who I meant. "Oh, you mean Walter! We have one of his drawings up on the door to the left of the register. He eats here breakfast and lunch most days." (I saw the drawing when I checked out - yep, it's a Donatello, seized by Andrea after Wally drew it on the back of a placemat one day - "It's mine now!") The sisters went on to tell us where he worked, suggested we should go look him up while we were in town... We did actually walk round the curve in Main to look at the building, but we felt going further might cross the line into stalking.

Besides, we already knew that Wally would hear all about our visit - probably twice.

Here are Andrea (left) and Monica (right). They describe themselves as Irish Twins (and the only redheads of five siblings). Andrea said at one time there was another natural redhead waitress there, and then the other two waitresses had dyed their hair red...

We heard about the boat pulled up within sight of the window (a solo around the world race - first one to arrive - a month ahead of the others), about the ghosts in the customs building (because it had been a dungeon), about the work that Andrea's husband does in the port as a longshoreman (he's a rod-man, pulling 40 foot iron rods that lock containers into stacks on those massive container ships), about how Monica went out to the Eastern Shore for the extra low tide during the lunar eclipse last Saturday, about the children's museum over in Portsmouth (the ferry is only a dollar, and runs every 30 minutes)...

The food was good, the service attentive, and the sisters unforgettable. They bring to waitressing the kind of generosity and love of people that make eating out an occasion. (I love to drop into real barber shops in small NC towns for the same reason.) And we found Norfolk has a lot to offer, so we'll probably be back to do more.

After getting home several days later I checked Wally Torta's blog. Sure enough.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Flickr Habit - Some Wonderful Sites

I love to rove Flickr - you can find wonders. Here are three of my favorites.

*antigone* is a veteran journaller and moleskine user, and shares it here:
*antigone*'s photo stream. Her hand created and continuously morphing books, and the fascinating experiments with drawing and painting technique make me want to get wild in my own moleskine and bind my own journals. I'll be coming back to look at her work. Her "self portrait every day" series (her favorite of which is her avatar, pictured here) shows what someone can accomplish with attention and an exploring attitude.

Joey Harrison has assembled a series of his mother's photos, called Mom's World and his mom has written commentaries (her Flickr name is Chalet). In addition to the incredible images, created without the benefit of photoshop, and with simple equipment in the black and white film era, her writing sweeps you back to another time. I have been enthralled with this series. I have some favorites - I'll let you pick your own. Joey's photos are wonderful, too.

Finally, there are the wonderful photos from GoodMolecules' Kite Cam. I've looked at these many times, as well, and really enjoy the compositions, the curves of the planet, and the stories that seem to unfold beneath the kite.