* Plum out of luck

Color Your World: Plum

These gorgeous orchids, with their plum “eyes” and wide-open yellowish lips, are waiting for something, anything, to keep them alive.  Sadly, they are plum out of luck.  I am The Orchid Killer, a serial slaughterer of all things orchid.  I wish it weren’t so!  I’d love to enjoy their beauty all year long.

Plum orchid.JPG

I am going to be a bit embarrassed when the family that gave these to me sees  a pot of dead sticks.

* Moving chestnuts

Color Your World: Chestnut

This is a detail from a gorgeous antique sideboard that my dearest teaching widower and I bought way back in the days of disposable income.  We can pretend that the carvings represent chestnuts, no?

chestnut 2

Here’s the backstory of this chestnut beauty and all our other belongings in 1983.  We hired a moving company to ship everything from San Francisco to North Carolina.  The driver and his wife, both quite short and slight of build, arrived with their gigantic van on its maiden voyage.  We were their very first clients!  My husband and I helped them as much as possible, hauling everything out to the yard for them to load into the van.  Hours later, as we drove off in the icy wind and fog, those novice movers still had ALL our possessions on the lawn, uncertain about how to best organize the load.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  It seemed a long shot that we would ever see any of  our belongings again.

What a shock!  Three weeks later, the van pulled up in Chapel Hill.  Not one item was broken or missing.  We helped them unload all of it, this time in the muggy heat of the south.  They were extremely reluctant to talk about their experience.  I often wonder about them.  Were we their first and last customers?  Did their marriage survive the vicissitudes of the moving business?  To this day, I appreciate their integrity and care.

* One Word Photo Challenge: Manual

Jennifer Wells has created a one-word challenge through 2019!  Yikes!  Thankfully, it’s only one word per week.  This week’s challenge is manual.

I got this manual in the mail, a handy reference guide for the state employees health plan UPDATES.  Are they kidding?  Do you think I will ever look at this?  If you guessed “no,” you win a prize!  What if I send you this manual as your reward?  It’s a couple hundred pages by the looks of it, so you are getting a lot for your effort.


Be sure to follow direction and OPEN immediately upon delivery.


* Gluten-free and yummy

Color Your World: Asparagus

My daughter-in-law and I worked up an appetite after exploring Colonial WIlliamsburg.  Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill was a perfect choice for lunch.  They have a nice range of gluten-free foods, so I had this mahi mahi “burger” (gluten-free bun!) with asparagus.  Totally delicious and colorful.  Yeah, this is totally worse than posting your lunch on Facebook.

Asparagus 1


* 6th grade miracle

Color Your World: Pink Flamingo

6th grade balloons 2

See that pink flamingo-colored balloon?  We celebrated the first day of 6th grade for a student who was never expected to live.  He’s the only known survivor of his condition- in the world.  Every day with him is so precious.  Every day is fraught with peril.

I look forward to sharing his story soon.

* Fuzzy wuzzy Medusa

Color Your World: Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown

Caution:  This post is potentially dangerous.

I mentored a special youngster on the autism spectrum (who is now 52 and still writing to me!) and she was enamored of my hair.  Truthfully, she thought my hair looked ridiculous and she laughed like crazy about it every time we were together.  She tried so hard to keep her hysteria under control but if she looked at my hair, anything could happen.  When we were at an ice skating rink, she caught a glimpse of my hair and before I could react, her ice skate smashed into my chest!  On a hike one day, she inadvertently looked at my hair and dragged us on our bums down a hillside covered with poison ivy.   She was very sweet and made a huge effort not to hurt my feelings, but to heck with my body!

I guess you could say I was like Medusa, who turned you into stone if you looked directly at her.  A Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown Creature, the stuff of legends.

Afro (1)

Yikes!  Don’t look!

* Wreath-itis

Color Your World: Yellow Orange

yellow orange 2

Another Colonial Williamsburg photo! The original residents would not have used/wasted fruit like this, but how gorgeous.  Every time we visit Williamsburg, I get wreath-itis.  My teaching widower assumes I am inoculated by now, but my fingers itch and my debit card burns.  I did love those years when wreaths were in vogue, not because I can create anything worth hanging.  It’s all about the JOY of messing around with pine needles and dried seed pods and bugs and pine sap and poison ivy.