I remember that cold, January evening when the star was born. Two minutes later, another star was born. And from that moment on my life was catapulted into the hectic days and nights and months and years of raising twins.

And the first-born twin was Aleta. She was beautiful, with eyes that sparkled and twinkled, a laugh that tinkled, and a heart that went out to anyone in need...her family, eventually her children, her patients. She became a nurse and she was much loved. I remember once, in college, she went to where there were homeless people and talked with them, just trying to understand why their life seemed so hopeless. She loved fiercely.
Excerpt from a teen letter to mom while she visited out of town: "Dear Mom, Hello! I love you alot and boy do I miss you. I just thought I'd write to let you know how much I love you and that I'll never stop thinking about you. You're the best mom anyone could ever have!............... " Several years ago she became a single parent. She worried about her children all the time. Having grown up in a single parent home, she had emotional needs I never knew about until she was grown and told me. My heart loved her even harder then.
A pre-teen little league cheerleader

Once a hopeful bride.

A beautiful young lady.
One of her children is Lindy, and Lindy has Down Syndrome. She called Lindy her little shadow and chuckled when she said it. She took Lindy everywhere: shopping, swimming, camping, working with her one-on-one, teaching her to sign, teaching her about life. A wonderful mother.

If you walk through a park and see a lady sitting on a bench with her hands over her face, shoulders shaking, that's me....grieving. I lost her on Sunday, May 4 in a freak ATV accident in the mountains in the Tahoe area. I never liked it there, even when she first took me there years ago. She loved it. She thought those God-forsaken, ugly, Nevada/California mountains were so beautiful. Not me. She never had a chance as an adult to see the wonders of the Blue Ridge mountains, the Shenandoahs, the Poconos. So she settled for the shale-covered, barren, whatever mountain range that is. Those mountains took her from me, and I hate them. But it's where she wanted to be.

It's where she is now, by choice.

If you hear a loud, haunting wailing in the darkness of the night, that's me, calling for my child to be returned to me. Or perhaps it's her twin, searching for the spirit of her other half.

Excerpt from an email I received on Mother's Day, 2006: "Happy Mother's Day Momma! I want to take this minute to explain that it is because of you that my life is so great. I have taken all your words of wisdom and am practicing them now. It's working just fine. Thank you so much for guiding my life the way you do. I miss you so much. Check your mailbox this week to grab your surprise. It may be late but at least I'm consistent, never without you in my mind as the best momma for me!!! I love you..........God Bless you......Rainbow." That was her nickname. Rainbow. And she was. The thoughtful one.

Note written on a birthday card she sent me in 1996 .....   "I love you every single second of my life! And if you're ever gone, your love will still always be in my heart, my soul, my tissues, my organs, blood and especially my eyes! xox

"Now you're the one that is gone Aleta, and I love you as you loved me.  My heart, my soul, my tissues, my organs, blood, and if I close my eyes I see you standing in the room and I can hear your voice.  Always a talker.

Aleta, a hero. She saved her daughter's life before she lost her own. When she was on that icy forest road, she put the child off and told her to wait while she got across the ice patch and back to a safe place. That's what the "authorities" pieced together.  That's where Aleta's fiance found Lindy - standing by the road waiting for her mommy to come back up that incline she slid over, that heavy machine on top of her.

Things she loved:

- Those mountains
- Guinea pigs and bunnies
- Her dog 
- Family
- Especially her twin
- Camping and Quadding
- Her precious children
- Her work as an R.N.
-Her fiance
- Life
- Smiling - especially smiling

Excerpt from a note she left me after a visit in July 2001: " I love you so much....I'll take care of you forever whenever you need me......(heart, heart, xoxo) Dr. Black, BSN, RN"........We always called her Dr. Black!

Her fiance told me she woke up that morning in the campsite and said" Isn't it wonderful to wake up next to someone you love?"

The week before the tragedy she went to see her twin, and when she got home she sent her beloved twin a bible and a picture of Jesus, with Matthew 5:3-12 marked. She wanted her sister to apply those lessons to her own life.

 There is a heaviness inside me that won't go away. Part of my heart is broken off, and though it will eventually heal over, it will never be repaired or replaced. And how can a twin left behind ever heal?

 There is no creativity left in me. All my paints are now put away. I am colorless.


Just like a beautiful flower. She grew, she blossomed, then she was cut from the stem of life and perished. I am grateful only that she found her spiritual self before she left. I love you my child.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.


May 2008


I was full of memories today and visited my own old blog. Even after 9 years, the memories still bring tears and my heart is still cracked. It has healed over but the crack is still felt. My child is in the mountains where she requested to be, given back to nature now.
Aleta's fiance, even after these long years, still goes to her scatter site and clears the foliage around her cross. Thank you Richard. Aleta told me once you were soulmates. It must be so. 



No talkee. Just Lookee. Enjoy! :)

All of the above including the header are 5 x 7 or smaller and done with T-H20, regular watercolor, or gouache.
Something to consider: A bird does not sing because it has something to say.
It sings simply because it has a song.
-Chinese Proverb-
I'll be back in a couple of days.............................................................................


Courtesan: a prostitute with a courtly, wealthy, or upper class clientele.
Sometimes I name my art before I paint it. This name has been going around in my head for a long time but I just couldn't find the right incentive to sit down and do it. I had thought to use one of my life drawing figures and expand on it, but then I visited Tara at Paris Parfait (sidebar link) and her french window dressing photos inspired me to do this. Thanks Tara.

12x8 water media

Now "The Aviary" is running around in my little pea brain, so I guess I'll have to work on that one next.

'A pipe of Kif before breakfast gives a man the strength of
a hundred camels in the courtyard.' - Nchaioui Proverb


A couple of days ago I spent a lazy afternoon aboard the above 50' Marine Trader Sea Spirit with some friends.

Captain John - holds a USCG Master License
An observer watching us pass from someone's seawall

Heading down the channel to open water

Getting a safety lecture from Captain John

Oh My. Check out the food!

Looking up at the bridge from the lower deck.

The lounge area below. There are also two bedrooms just as lovely.

The lower pilot area. For rainy days.

Me and a diva friend. I'm the one in the hat with...of course...a macaw attached! She is a super art instructor!

Part of the "crew" having fun. Check out her glitter and fuzzy cup holder.

A small seabird sanctuary island we passed.

Some show off guys who just wanted to make a big wake.

A really fun part of the "crew". Trust me, they are! Wearing my 'caw hat for the pic because her straw hat blew overboard. I was up front at the time and saw it floating by. Is blew a word?

Me and another friend. OMG Where's my hair...I'm bald!

This bridge is opening for us. When the new one is completed (you can see it above the opening one) it will be high enough so it won't have to open.

Coming through!

These itsy bitsy cogs operate this big bridge!

A view of Clearwater Beach in the distance

Hulk Hogan's house. Well, his wife's house now. HeeeHeeeHeee

Police patrol. Capt. John said he has been boarded three times in the Gulf because his boat is a type that brings in Haitians and Cubans illegally.

A fitting end to a perfect day.

Just another day in Paradise


detail of Sistine Chapel fresco - internet photo
I can only say I was overwhelmed by my visit to the Vatican Splendors at the International Museum. Aside from the sculpture and awesome paintings, there in a glass case was an old, yellowed, frayed paper, slightly smaller than 8 1/2 x 11 letter size, written in Italian, an invoice for materials used to paint the panels of the Sistine Chapel, signed by Michelangelo Buonarroti five hundred years ago! Oh my. I am still overwhelmed when I think of it.


Ok, the little dude from the previous post is now black. And gold. This is a painting of a baby goofybird that lives way, way deep in the Peruvian jungle and no one, except me, has ever seen one before. Honest. Here's proof! ;)
Um, Dr. John, could this black bird be a clue in midst of the CSI crime scene?

And now I have totally lost it, because I have a baby mosaic goofybird. Or something. I had most fun doing this, because as I was playing around, I thought about Saturday afternoon kids art class, and ...ta daa..........

The more color I added, the more I thought of a little girl I know that might like to have it so keeping her in mind I kept on adding more and more color and some glitter and scribble paint. What fun. Painting is so much more satisfying when you have a goal. And this is the end of this goofybird. You will not see him again, I promise!

Tomorrow I am going with a friend to the museum where they are having a showing called Vatican Splendors. There are supposed to be things there sculpted/painted by Michelangelo. I am soooooooo excited to be going. Wonder if they will allow picture taking?

I'll be of these days.

Supercharge your soul! CREATE!


A friend of mine (Dr. Jo link on my sidebar) is an accomplished author and artist. From her, I learned a new technique, and these pics are the result of it. In case you'd like to try it, here's what you do:
Lay out a large protective cover (I used an old shower curtain)
Crumple a big leaf bag and lay it on the cover
Crumple a sheet of white tissue paper and spread it out on the plastic bag
Make watery puddles of paint, and choosing colors you think you might like to end up with, brush on lightly and randomly. Then go back and splash or spray on some "zinger" reds or purples...something bright.
Let the tissue dry completely then peel it off the garbage bag (carefully or it will tear) and TURN IT OVER to use the back side.
Carefully adhere the tissue to a support (I just used a mat board for experimentation) with craft glue diluted about 50%. Press to get rid of air pockets. You'll end up with a nice crinkled effect.
When it dries, it will "tell you" what it is!
This was my initial painting after it dried.
Does it tell you anything?
OK, so it told me it wanted to be a bird. Here's my bird. A little unusual, but after all it was just an experiment. Can you see the bird in the first photo?
This bird was brought out with metallic paints. Not sure I like that.

Now I am wondering if I should change it to a red bird, or a black bird like a silhouette?
Or perhaps outline it with scribbles? What do you think? I could use some suggestions!
It's still in the experimental stage. It isn't exactly something I want to frame and put on my wall. Maybe the next one! I like the crinkley effect.
Try it. You may have fun experimenting with this.

A teeny wisdom: The speed with which your eyes travel over a painting is determined by the artist.


Regarding the heading "Talent", look at this image below. This is a brick sidewalk chalk drawing being done in Tampa by Hani Shihadi, age 49, born in Jerusalem, art educated in Rome. Why he is wasting his talent chalking a sidewalk, I don't know. But he certainly has it. This is the beginnings of Raphael's "The Parnassus", a Renaissance masterpiece. (Some of you know I LOVE Renaissance art!). Hani states "Anybody that walks down the street, no matter how rich or poor, educated or not, is a schooling for me. It's a great way to meet people. It's the best medium to bring people together. When two people meet and talk and form a relationship...they start talking because of my painting.........We need a Renaissance ourselves".
Maybe he has something there. America, and many other parts of the world, certainly seems to need a Renaissance - a rebirth - and not just in the art world. Only, if I had his talent, I think I would apply it to a canvas to be preserved forever, and not be washed away by the next rainstorm.
Source: St. Petersburg Times

Below is some of my own art...again all small, again all for pleasure and to soothe my own soul. This is not talent, this is just fun!

Watermedia with collage background

Watermedia with collage background

Watermedia with collage background

Watercolor with pen and ink

Watermedia/Gel Pens

......."There is a fountain inside you. Don't walk around with an empty bucket....." Rumi


It's the season.....for arts and crafts festivals around here. And finally...FINALLY...I am finished with the one we have at work annually and I can breathe in my own space again...and find some blogging time hopefully! It's been a very busy blogging break! The banner above is a photo of Beauty and the Beach Art Festival, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. I admit, I did put it together and am proud to say it was a great success, and I'm so glad it's over for this year. It was a LOT of work and I really don't want to do this every year..nope...all those different personalities (80 artists and crafters) wanting special this and special that!

Even though I've been very busy working, still...I found a little time for art. You HAVE to have it in your life, right? These are a couple of things I've worked on. All small. All to relax and soothe my soul.







Tidbit: ...Lightening travels at a rate of 60,000 miles per second!