Friday, January 3, 2014


“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you'd better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying.” 
― Sarah DessenJust Listen

Alas, on this very cold, post blizzard day in this new year the "time" has come.  I have had "time" on my mind since March 2013, the last blog. Somehow I sensed I needed time for myself.  I took it and am so grateful that I did, I could and that it bore fruit beyond what I could have ever imagined at the time. 
Why is it so hard to do? Do we need to justify it, understand why, throw caution to the wind, feel decadent, be selfish or find some reason we could or should allow ourselves or "just do it"?  Is 'being' enough? Knowing? Listening to our heart or soul? Do we need to hear voices or do we feel compelled? Is it enough? Is it just that "time" of life that these things happen? Why? Should I take a chance? Should I believe myself? In myself?

Turns out that I have run across a lot of folks talking about the same things. A favorite is from a fellow islander that is currently teaching in Korea.
Lots of food for thought and certainly on the same wavelength. It also has to do with perspective and life view along with generic temperament.  All those factors play into how we each look at life along with where we are on the time line. What are we experiencing now?

Today's saying:  

Life is fragile, like the dew hanging delicately on the grass,
crystal drops that will be carried away on the first morning breeze. 
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Ain't that the truth?

Where are we headed? What lies ahead?

What do we value?

Who will we travel with and to where? Who will we meet along the way?

What kind of adventures lie ahead? Who all will we walk with on this journey? 
Will there be someone to help me if I need it?

Don't each of us hold our happiness in our hand each moment of our lives?

Think about it.  It's time.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Freed chimps and a Hippo planter

Since I have been feeling animals and their plights lately, here are a couple of things that will open your heart.  I heard today about a "chimp haven" in Louisiana for a bunch of chimps just released from biomedical research. 
See the video.

Another Hippo is born!!!

The first hippo was a trade which ended up being a really huge gift to me on several levels from my dear friend Sheila for her Mom, Ann.  I was gifted a joyful journey of cosmic proportions. I have missed the first hippo so badly that I decided to make another one and here it is.  I solicited suggestions of future animal planters from my potting buddies at Portland Pottery.  The list of 16 is now down to 15.  Oh, the road of joy in front of me!  I will keep you "posted" on the births as they come along.

Of course the token hinie shot. 

Have a look at the first hippo that found a home in Pennsylvania! It was the beginning of a great adventure for me that we hope will not end for a very long time.

Handsome, huh?

Remember Ladies!

Isn't it beautiful that we all have choices and we get to make them for ourselves.  It is great that we can talk about it and share without having to shove our choices down someone else's throat.  I can believe the way I do and make the choices I want and so can you for you! 

Remember all the sisters and the courageous women who came before us who make it possible for us to have choices today.  Let's build on what they started for future generations and don't let anyone ever take those choices away.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Five H's


The first "H" is connected to another "H", my dear friend Jamie Hogan and a link to info about this stunning new book about the migration of humpback whales.  Written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated beautifully by Jamie. It is both beautiful and you'll learn something you did not know about these amazing creatures.

Habitat endangerment

Hence the Panda planter so it can carry around it's own supply of bamboo.  This is one of those things that makes me smile.  A perfect pairing if I say so myself. 
There are so many animals just trying to "be" in the midst of selfish, thoughtless destruction of habitats for all kinds of animals. It is truly the point when excess becomes disgusting. Apparently not disgusting enough for those raping and pillaging our Earth with only the thought of money. I often think of the relationship of native Americans with their earth mother. Respect. Is it truly a thing of the past or do we have it in us to revive it?
I am on a roll with the "H" theme and the animale thing so here is to Heffalumps.

 Of course I mean elephants but needed to fit the "H" in.

There is a commercial on TV that makes an elephant a symbol of the disease COPD that I find revolting. An elephant is not a disease, it is a beautiful creature that has been captured and used in a circus show and again is being used.
I go over the edge at photos of elephants having been slaughtered for their tusks, sometimes an entire family. 
If you ever see anything about elephants and the people trying to study them and help them you will discover how connected they are to each other and their world. They have an intricate language. The beauty and wisdom of these creatures is readily apparent to anyone with eyes to see. Why murder them?  Money seems to be the answer to all these questions. Doesn't that seem incredibly stupid and sad to you?

  Here is my latest planter waiting to be bisqued.  It might be fun to plant some tall grasses for this guy to carry around.

We must have a rear view! Cute hinie, huh?

4th "H" is Home

It has been such a snowy winter and the beauty must be appreciated after all the grumbling about shovelling, the inconvenience and the horror of the parking lot down front where some park when we are going on the boat across to the big city, Portland.

Winter does have it's own stark beauty.  I never lived anywhere with 4 seasons and I must say it is an amazing experience as an adult. I adore the shifts (mental, physical and spiritually) that occur in conjunction with the shifting light and weather.  I do see the value of the transitions that take place, easing you from one season into, and preparing you for the next. One of the many joys of living in Maine.

Sadie and I love our walks in the snow.  She has a passion for snow and delights in it's every feature. Tomrrow is her 10th birthday, in the winter of her life according to the average life span of an Old English Sheepdog.  I hear her snoring in the midst of her morning nap as I write-one of those things that makes me smile!

The most delightful scenes get even better in the snow. This foundation and these basement doors were painted when there were way too many deer on the island. It is called "deer proof flowers" and never fails to bring joy to all who see it.  Priceless! Lovely to have flowers of this great beauty all year long!
Sadie & I say, "Aren't we lucky dogs!"

Hope for all

May all beings be free from suffering.
May we nurture our relationship to all living things and our earth.
With love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Time blows by!

OK, we have had a New Year come along, Inauguration Day in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day, Ground Hog Day, a monumental storm, the State of the Union tonight and Valentines Day in a few days.  Tell me where is all goes and goes so quickly! Regardless, as the door says it's not what happens but how you handle it. One of the all time greats as far as I am concerned.

Our wonderful friends Jamie Hogan and Marty Braun who have been doing posters for Portland Stage  for some time invited us to see Greater Tuna thinking we might enjoy it because of our connection to Texas and because it is set in Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas.  Here is the set behind Art & I. The two actors Tom Ford and Dustin Tucker play 22 parts during the course of the play.  It was wonderful and histerical. Go before the 17th-you won't be sorry.

The record breaking storm was beautiful and oooohhhh so much snow. Portland broke the 78 or 79 record by receiving 31.9 inches in this 2013 Nor'Easter. It was light, fluffy and very dry snow. When I later took Sadie out, my snowshoes were going all the way down to the ground. Inconvenient to say the least, but beautiful.

In the middle back of this photo there is a Dayak fence post and the wee man is buried up to his bits, literally. The birds love the feeder under the eve of the house. They spy on us all the time and we do likewise.

Once the sun came out, everything took on that marshmallow look. Just imagine if it all was marshmallow fluff! Sadie worked really hard to help break trail so we could easily get to our different routes for our walks.  Her goal is to eat all the snow she can find. As you can imagine she is a happy old girl at the moment.
We did go backshore to see if the tree trunk had gone out to sea. It had moved but it was still there.  Considering 20 foot waves coming right at it during astronomical high tides, it really is a miracle of sorts. Funny how that tree has come to mean so much to me over the years.

Trying new things this year has been easier than I thought since a gal on the island has been making regular arrangements for a model for life drawing.  I have been both sculpting a little clay to soften my body sculptures as well as trying my hand at drawing which is way out of my comfort zone.  Both have been fun and inspiring. Nothing like getting out of the old box now and again.  Thanks Nancy.

During the 2012 election season, students at Maine College of Art got assignments from professors relating to the current conversations. One I loved is above.  I hope you see what I see in this too. I meant to include this in a previous blog but never managed it. As it goes, I am thinking this is the time. With all of the recent deeply disturbing evidence of women still not being perceived as human I am ever more hopeful that the time has come to have the whole conversation on a global level.  I pray our time is now to meet our vision of the best humanity can be with a deep abiding desire to have it apply to the whole. The entire whole.  In regards to everything.

I also pray that this is our time for our country and all the countries represented within our country to find a way to deal with issues that we understand all too well in our own lives.  Maybe a look back at history would find a time when we all banded together and looked at the best we could do for the most instead of what I affectionately call the "lawyers way".  Maybe a good dose of humanity (the real deal) could help pave the path. Yes, I am an optimist and I see the best in us all.  I know this can happen. Just keep your chin up and your heart open and we can change anything. Believe!

In closing, may you be delighted by this wonderful photo of the Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina. It was taken a while back when we were visiting dear friends there. Things like this just make me happy!

Happy Valentines Day to all!
Let love abound.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Not so subtle shifts

Before my sister in law, Donna, passed away I had been mentally preparing several blogs in my mind about subtle shifts I had been witnessing in my day to day meanderings. Since then, I have come to realize that subtle shifts are signs of an impending major adjustment, like an earthquake!  I had forgotten this, in spite of the fact that I am married to a Geologist and had to take 14 hours of Geology for my own degree. I believe I will remember next time. I do so want to live a conscious life.

subtle shift #1
Several times a week all year long Sadie and I go backshore and walk along the ocean side of Peaks.  It is never "old hat" as the color of the water changes, who you are with might change (other than Sadie and I), the weather is different, the wind, the smell, the time of year, time of day.  Anyhow, you get my drift.  There is a tree that has been in the same place, despite many severe storms, that appeared seemingly immovable.  It got to the point that Sadie and I would go just to see that this was not the storm that would knock it loose.  "Sandy" moved it.  Our hearts sank as we thought it was gone forever only to find it nearby.  We hope it will stay there for a while we know nothing is forever in our landscape. 
It was included in my blog on September 11, 2009:

"A little further along the same walk, this part of a tree that is seemingly grounded in the rocks, that has survived many a storm and has not moved nor washed away. It reminds us that despite many changes, some things do stay the same. We are grounded somewhere, even if we cannot see it at that moment."
Please know that despite how it "looks", things are not the same.  The tree used to be over on the right against the rocks. "This too shall change" is ringing in my tiny noggin.
subtle shift #2
Onward through the fog!

I am the queen of change. I have done nothing, if not change since the day I was born. I excel at change. It is my thing!  I now see that if you live somewhere 18 years, you become complacent. It has been a new experience for me. I never saw it coming.
So, the best laid plans of mice and men.  As my dear friend Peter says, "Voila!" 
Where exactly are you headed?
subtle shift #3
Can you see where you are going or is it another case of complacency?
Plans are being made for a new venue.
Include serenity regardless!
subtle shift #4
I have been gathering data for some time about an alternative source of heat for the PPE studio.  A pellet stove won out. It has been a good choice but as with anything, it is taking time for us to get acquainted.
keep trying new things!!!
Thank you to Susan Hanley and her Dad for sharing the 4 slip cast molds for a 17 piece nativity.  What fun! It has been a wonderful experience that I always wished for.  There are more sets to come now that I have a feel for the process.  Thanks for expanding my horizons and fulfilling a long standing desire. I hope it honors your Dad appropriately.  Thank you so very much!!!
The finished product in low fire slip.

God bless Lisa Evans for being such a great friend and getting me psyched to get involved with Watershed.  So many forces came together that got the wheels moving to go for a wood firing in October and a gas reduction firing in November.  Hooray!!!  Never easy living on an island and committing to firings an hour away (Newcastle, Maine) once you hit terra firma.  You must be nuts!!!  EEEGADS!!!  I did it anyways and many thanks to Lisa.  Oh, sweet friend. They are closed for the winter but watch out!  Lots will be happening in the Spring.

Loading wood firing.


The promise of what it might be!

What it was.  Some luck in the draw.

While we were at Watershed, two residents opened the first firing of a new soda kiln.  Just like opening a treasure chest.  Yummy!  WOW! How glorious!  We are cheap dates. What a thrill!

Some of my results.  Lots of disappointment but that is how it goes. Live and learn. The "Sadie" was made by my dear friend Jo Israelson long ago. I had been waiting patiently for a wood firing. Perfect, eh? Jo is also a sculptor extraordanaire! She has made two Sadie's, both wonderful!
A lot of my pieces in the wood kiln attached themselves to other pieces and did all kinds of crazy things. WOOOOHOOO!

In November, having been bitten by the bug, a reduction gas firing came up with the opportunity to learn how to fire this particular kiln.  God bless Reed,  who taught us how. Reed is a gift to all at Watershed.  His kind and gentle ways speak with a loud voice. Thanks Reed! It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot too.

At the end of the year before  Portland Pottery stops classes so they can do a thorough cleaning of the studio and have their holiday extravaganza. We put in our last bits to have out before everything closes down. Trying to get in the last things you might be able to sell at the holiday sales on the island or maybe just have some people stop by and buy. Regardless, another year has slipped by when you were not looking and you assess and make plans for a better "next year". 

Wishing y'all the best this new one has to offer. Greet the new year with virtue, compassion and mindfulness.  Always have love as your companion and you'll be fine. And love, choose to love anyway, regardless of anything.
All the best to you and yours in 2013.
Have a wonderful new year. Cheers to new beginnings.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Today's reading connects us all

Compassion is the heart's response to sorrow.
We share in the beauty of life and in the ocean of tears.
The sorrow of life is part of each of our hearts and part of what
connects us with one another. It brings with it tenderness, mercy,
and an all-embracing kindness that can touch every being.

Jack Kornfield

from "Awakenings"
Buddhist wisdom for every day

Todays reading puts words perfectly in order to describe how I have felt in the last few days.  The outpouring of love and kindness from everywhere has been amazing. Thanks to all who have put forth expressions of love and kindness for our families.  I am so grateful for the connection, the tenderness and mercy, and so humbled by the all-embracing kindness. Namaste.

Donna Jean Austin Lantrip was laid to rest today in Oklahoma.

Long before we’re ready, we sadly say goodbye. But there are those in a far more beautiful place who are saying “welcome home”.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A sad day for our family

Today our sister in law Donna passed away peacefully around 4:15am central standard time. It has been a day of waves of peace and comfort knowing she is with God and waves a deep sadness missing her beautiful light and the pain of my lack of understanding for this situation. Donna has been in my life since I was a teenager. She married my brother Steve just about 40 years ago. Their daughter Debbie is married to Justin Erwin and they have 5 amazing children that Donna adored and spent every spare moment with. There are so many lives that Donna touched. She was always a warm, soft place to land no matter the need, she was always there in the lovliest of ways. She has a beautiful family that has always been loving and supportive. They have all been there for her, Steve and Debbie in these months of difficult and trying times. There are too many memories of her kindnesses and her fun loving ways that are causing waves of heartache and waves of gratitude at the same time. I called her the "Saint" of our family and surely if there ever was one, she was it. I will love her and remember her as long as I live. She stands as an example of a wonderful, fun, kind, caring woman who was most certainly a child of God. She stands as a shining example to each of us what it means to be a child of God and pay it forward every moment of your life. Her attributes are beyond and on top of that she loved her alma mater University of Oklahoma. Steve, my brother, graduated from University of Texas! That's love. It is not our job to understand but it is our job to accept in our time as we are able. Donna will be sorely missed by the world for surely it is not the same place without her light in it. I pray all the strong women of both our families were there to meet you and show you the way. I cannot imagine anything more appropriate and perfect. With love, Peg