Tuesday, October 6, 2015


This really is what Charlotte looks like when it gets good and autumny, in the backyards and parks and woods, wherever nature has her way. A sight to see. It brings to my mind the work of biologist David Haskell who observed a tiny patch of earth in the Tennessee forest - a few minutes each day for a solid year - and learned across the curriculum of life. Everything is connected was his great takeaway. I imagine there were October days when he observed something akin to Romare Bearden's collage here. Connections. 
(Mecklenburg Autumn: October - Toward Paw's Creek. Romare Bearden, 1983)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

heart places

The morning was for apple-picking at Sky Top Orchard. Mucking along rain sodden rows of Cortland, Fuji, Granny Smith, Johnagold and Honeycrisp, filling a red bucket while visions of cinnamon-sprinkled pie swirled through our heads. Rows of apple trees that seemed to go on forever, air smelling like perfume. When the foraging finished, there were hot homemade pumpkin donuts dusted with sugar. A picturebook autumn outing. 
Then on to a favorite poet's house. Can you see it there in the misty distance? Connemara, Scottish for  'rock hill,' is the beloved home in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where Carl Sandburg lived with his wife and three daughters for more than 20 years. Today this historic gem and its 30-acre site are part of the U.S. National Park Service.  
The family loved reading, playing music together and birdwatching. There are more than 17,000 books in the house. It's a little spooky to walk through the uninhabited rooms, but a feeling of love lingers.  
Lillian Sandburg and the girls raised champion dairy goats while Carl wrote. Walk over to the red barn and you'll encounter a few of them, well tended and adored.
While down the lane a sweet old scarecrow keeps watch over it all.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

beauty book

I was admiring this book of beautiful, page-filling photographs when it dawned on me that I could actually create one of my own. And you could, too. So why don't we?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

from August to zinnias

Z is for zinnias, five dollars a bunch today at the Farmer's Market. For zesty, too, and the way summer is zipping right on by. It's already August, month of dog days and fireflies, cricket din and hummingbird flutter. This is gazpacho weather, especially when a friend drops off a sack of tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers (red and green) from her garden. There was a blue moon the other night, a rare second full moon in the same month, and the Perseid meteor showers are expected around the 11th or so. There's still time to to toast summer with a peach Bellini and homemade pesto pasta. Still time to catch a baseball game and hit up the Chick-fil-a drive-thru for a lemon swirl. Time actually seems to stand still in early August, just like the sultry air. That's a gift of summer.

Friday, July 31, 2015

the lemon treatment

My niece is a newly-graduated, board-certified psychologist with so much knowledge and heart it's astounding. To know her is to adore her. Chloe's always sharing a great nugget, whether a book recommendation, a recipe for easy enchiladas or the kitchen timer technique, which is part pop psychology, part life hack brilliance. You can buy one lots of places and in a variety of shapes,  including the perennially popular pomodoro. I just ordered this zesty lemon on Amazon. I'm supposed to set it for 25 minutes whenever there is a project I need to start but keep putting off (write a brochure, do some bookkeeping, clean out the basement, etc). That's enough time to get a chunk done and there's a good chance I'll keep going for much longer. Maybe even complete the dreaded task in one swoop. This lemon and I have lots of chores and projects to squeeze in over the next few weeks. Together, I know we can do it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


It literally means letterbox. Not surprisingly, there are many images of mailboxes among my Italy pictures. This one seems to fit Rumi's words below on a Sunday morning: 
Do you know what you are?
You are a manuscript oƒ a divine letter.
You are a mirror reflecting a noble face. 
This universe is not outside of you. 
Look inside yourself;
everything that you want, 
you are already that.

- Rumi

Friday, July 17, 2015

seventh heaven

It "has enough ink to "write 1.7 meters per day for 7 years" and glides across a page like pure silk. That it's orange and bears an exclamation mark is just icing. What kind of a dear friend bestows a treasure like this on a person? Katie, that's who. I could write 1.7 meters a day on her lovingkindness alone. My challenge is not going to be using up the ink in a meaningful, joy-filled way, but keeping up with this instrument of creativity and communication for the next 7 years. I had to make a U-turn in downtown traffic yesterday thinking I left it at a client's office! This pen and I have places to go and things to say. We'll be in touch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

J is for journalist

Life being a journey, it's helpful to jot down footnotes as you go along. Some would call this journal-keeping. Notes-to-self that help you know yourself. No particular template need be followed. Just your thoughts and words arranged any way you choose on the page. Doing so can fuel another great j-word, joy.

Monday, July 6, 2015


Collecting your thoughts is what summer and the beach and abandoning routine are all about. Sifting memories, sorting ideas. Remembering who and why you are. Soaking in energy, basking in possibility. So good to get away. Then so good to come back.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

prayer pause

Outdoor altars adorn many homes along the streets of Italy like beautiful little prayer stations. Faith, hope and love abound, they remind me, on this holy walk of life.
(Positano, summer 2014)