Froth, a Missed Opportunity


Eleanor stopped at her favorite diner for coffee, no cream, no sugar. Maybe a slice of cherry pie tonight, it was fabulous.

She didn’t get her dream part, yet again and the big party at the director’s home was celebrating the cast, the brand new cast, not her.

She imagined telegrams arriving in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Kyoto, Japan, with the good news.

No one in Indianapolis, Indiana would remember her name.

There was that one time when she was crowned “Froth Queen” at Mo’s Drive-In but she never let that go to her head.


11 April, 2018


A Branch While Hiking


In my neck of the woods a branch is a small tributary to a creek or larger waterway. Whilst tromping through the woods and glades many ditches, creeks, and branches flowed. The created fetching sights or lovely gurgling sounds. These watery places were part of the adventure and a place to cool off during the heat of summer.

On many occasions there was nothing for it than fording a branch to get to the other side. In warm weather it was off socks and boots and pile the gear high out of reach of the water. Minding the slippery rocks and curious fish I waded. This was my preferred maneuver to cross a branch.

Sitting on the far shore drying in the sunshine gave me time to admire the flowing water and to imagine stories the steam might tell of its course.

My favorite character, Ratty in the Wind in the Willows advised “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”  I have always admired Rat’s view of that world.

I say, “believe me, absolutely there is this one thing, so much worth doing, that is simply messing about in branches.” For me, maybe, more so than messing about in boats with apologies to Ratty.

Astonishing Quality from an Underestimated Brush



I use paint brushes on a regular basis.

New, good brushes are expensive. I get as good a quality as I can afford when I buy them. I barter for brushes. I am giddy to find brushes in second-hand shops that show something of their character. Sometimes I get old brushes for free.

I do not take my brushes for granted. Constant brush care is part of the work. That does not change the fact: I am tough on brushes. Not on purpose but it seems they do not last so long.

I learned to never underestimate what lies within a brush. That is especially so when a brush seems to have given its last best effort in my rough hands.

For in my failure to render a fuller estimation of a battered and bruised brush I have had to, by necessity, ask for more, just a little more of those bristles. I have learned not to paint with a “stock” brush.

I have made brushes of amazing utility and unique application with a simple pair of scissors. The renewed brushes respond with astonishing vigor.

Inside every “stock” brush is a new pedigree ready for one more chance to shade, to line, and to scrub.

And to change the world as a customized sidekick to a rough-handed cheapskate.