Conk up: Tree down

I am fascinated by all things fungi.

This particular conk, Inonotus dryadeus, has been featured in my posts before.

It was growing at the base of  a huge oak in my neighbors’ yard.

Another name for this type of fungi is “white rot.”

It is a symptom of the decline of the tree it is on.

The more conks present, the more disease.

Conks are a symptom, not a cause.

Last week the tree came down,

with some help from a team of men with ropes and chain saws.

My neighbor left the conk on my stone bench because she knew I would want to keep it.

Here it is now out of the ground and upside down.

I think it is beautiful.

Maybe I could make it into a hat to match these shoes?


Preening on a Post

I have watched this Great Blue heron for hours.

It has stayed on this post all morning.


Once I looked up to see the post empty.

Next time I looked, the heron was back.


I have spent the entire morning on my computer

while my friend has spent this time preening on a post.

I tried to sneak down to the shore for a close-up,


but it flew away…


to another post.



An Amaryllis Race

Half-and-half has been declared the winner

Half-and-half Amaryllis

in the 2019 Amaryllis Race.


Benifica lagged behind from the start.

A beauty contest will follow shortly.

Will the late bloomer take that prize?

We shall see.


Make Art not Fat

I have found a new place to go for instant gratification besides my kitchen.

(Winter gives me the munchies.)

My new hang-out without food is called Studio 73.

It is located just across the Catawba River in a lovely little town named Catawba.

I gave Rose a gift certificate for time here as a Christmas gift.

I tagged along with my camera and made a project myself.

I have not been so inspired in a long time.

The walls are covered in various forms of art.

Different artists display their work here.  I was impressed by each array.

Rose and I had an enjoyable afternoon creating our own art.

She made a piece for her dorm door.

I created this camper for our entrance.

Stay tuned for another camper coming soon. I found one for the fairies.

I only hope they behave better in it than they did in their pumpkin!

You local folks need to check out this lovely Studio 73.

Just look for the giant paintbrush near the post office.


Phishing in my Pajamas

Attention: Blogger friends

I need your help.

I have finished a book about my daughter’s life with epilepsy.

We have a blog “Seizure Mama and Rose.”

I am releasing stories from the book onto the blog to find our audience.

Could you PLEASE share the link with anyone you know

whose life has been affected by EPILEPSY.

I need to hear from them.

This is my mission, not my hobby.

I have spent many mornings at my desk in my pajamas

phishing and dropping the link,

wishing I had some folks to help me.

Then I thought of all you guys. My blogger friends! Who better to find folks?

I know that should have been obvious, kind of like throwing the ball at the pins.

FLOW is slow!

Thanks for helping us,


Who’s Been Stealing My Compost?

I try to be a responsible Earthling.

I reuse and recycle as much as possible.

I count on my compost to replenish the soil in my gardens.

It’s one of my three dirty secrets.

My Three Dirty Secrets

So I do not take kindly to some critter helping itself to my stash of organic trash.

This has happened twice recently, so I set up the critter camera to catch the culprit.

The sneaky stealer is to the left behind the white bucket.

Opossum at compost, wrong date , really Jan. 2019

An opossum.

I had so hoped for a raccoon!  They are much more interesting.

You get what you get.


Life Lessons in a Bowling Alley

My family went bowling over the holidays,

the four cousins and two aunts and two uncles together.

I am a bad bowler. I used to be better, but something happened.

I watched my niece nonchalantly throw the ball at the pins which then fell down.

My dreaded turn came over and over.

I carefully aligned myself with the little brown arrows in my lane,

then watched the ball wobble toward the pins.

A few pins fell down, if I was lucky.

My score for the first game was embarrassing. (Up on the screen with my face!)

“How do you do that? ” I asked my niece.  She made it look so easy.

“I look at the pins and throw the ball at them.” she replied with a puzzled look.

FLOWER had been focusing on the floor.

I only looked at the pins after I let go of the ball,  when it was too late to matter.

My scores began to climb because I started looking at the target.

Keep your eye on the pins and throw the ball at them.

So simple!

Why didn’t I think of that?


The Oldest Ornament

We have certain Christmas traditions in my family.

At my house my whole family decorates our tree together.

Each person has a box of their own ornaments.

As we place these on the tree we talk about where each came from.

Some were made in school.  Some were gifts from family or friends.

My ornament is the oldest.

I made it in Mr. G’s class in the sixth grade.

Mary has a styrofoam head and is wearing a gown of light blue felt. Baby Jesus is a clothespin.

This precious ornament used to hang on my parents’ tree.

My children decorate their tree while we are there on Christmas Eve. Mom and my two children are in charge of the tree,

while my husband and dad grill the steaks.

Mary made it to my house when my two children were old enough to appreciate her.

When she is placed on the tree each year, I again tell that my twelve-year-old hands made this treasure.

I would like for Mr. G to know that I am still “Singing My Song”.

Now my songs involve a camera and computer.

Almost eleven thousand people from all over the world have heard me “sing” this year.

Thanks for helping an awkward, adolescent girl find her voice.

Bless you Mr G..



What is a Chrismon?

The term Chrismon is a combination of two words, Christ and Monogram.

The original Chrismon ornaments were designed by Frances Kipps Spencer in 1957.

She gave her designs to Ascension Lutheran Church of Danville Virginia.

The original designs are patented.  I am not sure which of the ornaments shown are official “Chrismons.”

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Troutman, North Carolina has the most beautiful Chrismon tree that I have ever seen.

Years ago I was involved  in making some of these ornaments with our pastor’s wife, Rosalind.

We drove to an official Chrismon supply store. The special wire was cut, the beads were counted. These were not the buy-by-the-bag materials. The beads had names and numbers.  Templates had to be followed with precision.  Each had its own list of materials.

I was more of a glitter and glue girl back then.(Still am.) I only completed ONE ornament, and that took several weeks.

When you see a Chrismon tree in a Lutheran church.


Take a closer look.  The details of these ornaments have meaning. Some include the secret symbols of early Christians.  Greek letters have meanings, also. The gold represents majesty and the white stands for purity.


Cross and Crown

Serpent lifted up

Communion Chalice, Christ’s blood

Grains and the cross

Bell, God’s word

Butterfly, resurrection

Alpha Omega, beginning and end

Lamp, light, word of God

Rose, Virgin Mary

I always look forward to seeing this tree in our lovely sanctuary.

Along with our Nativity scene waiting for the baby to arrive.