Saturday, January 26, 2013


Although I live in a small university town I still seem to have roots deep in the manure of the dairy farm where I grew up.  So I tend to gravitate toward blogs written by farm and ranch wives.  

One of my blog friends, Alica, at “Happily Married…to the Cows,” works a dairy farm with her family in Pennsylvania.  Early in January she put up a post explaining what happened around the dairy on a routine morning.  Among other things she had a load of laundry out swinging in the breeze well before breakfast.

The picture she posted was exactly what I had been looking for.  I’ve been wanting to paint a watercolor of clothes on the line but the weather was too cold around here to find such a thing.  I requested permission to use her photo as a reference in exchange for a color study I would do in preparation.  She was kind enough to help me out.

I used her beautiful laundry, took out the house, added two baskets, 
plus a cat and soon had a sketch ready.

Then I did a small color study which I’ve sent to Alica.

When I started on the final piece I had fun making a background of foliage by first masking out the laundry so it would stay clean and white, then splashed and spattered greens on my paper.

Then I put in the baskets and the cat 
and a little more color to some of the items on the line.

Anyone who knows cats would understand how they like to keep a person company when there is laundry to be hung.

I added the painting to my Etsy Site, Watercolors by Leenie.  In a couple of days it was purchased by a gentleman in Seattle.  The internet is an excellent way to get buyers together with products.

A couple of years ago I put up a post about doing laundry the way my mother did.  I’d found an instruction pamphlet among her belongings and noticed that she had taught me to hang clothes on the line pretty much by the book.

I encourage you to check out not only my post about mom’s laundry book but also the interesting and entertaining comments that followed from all over the world.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


The year 2008 had already been a challenge.The winter snows had been incredibly deep. 

DH had spent time in and out of doctor’s offices and hospitals. There had been my mother’s funeral, the trial of dealing with my parents’ property after years of being their primary caregiver, plus a family reunion, a bathroom remodel-etc. By September I needed a way to vent.  So I did what most people do, I turned to blogging.

My first two posts were about the learning experience of sorting out the stuff in my dad’s shop.
Over the years I’ve worked to keep my posts upbeat and positive.  I like to show off my photos and paintings and poke fun at myself.  

I think the best part of blogging is finding like-minded people and making friends all over the world.  I appreciate a little more the differences and the similarities of the human race.  And I do think most people are compassionate and kind if given the opportunity.

 After looking at the stats on my blogger page (134,518 total pageviews)
 I find by far the one with the most attention is about …

My wide feet with 2606 hits.  It seems this is the most popular photo of wide feet in cyberspace.

 Or maybe multitudes were just jealous of the daisy on my toe.

 There were other posts with photos of my feet such as this one.

 or this one, which, by the way also features one of my own poems.
  They didn’t draw nearly as much attention.

The second most popular of my posts with a photo to “borrow” 
is the one of cat tracks in the snow. I never would have guessed.

 My Pretty LittleHorses post came in third and I agree it is a winner.  I was out with my camera right after a summer rain and caught these little appaloosa babies frolicking in the sun.

So to all my bloggy friends and followers, thanks for stopping by and saying kind things about my photos, poetry and paintings, and commenting on my jokes and rants.  
Here’s to another seven hundred!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Ravens don’t live where I live so when I travel to forested places at higher elevations
 I watch for the great birds.

They are jet black from their knife shaped beak all the way to their toes.
 They are larger than crows and have a thick neck and shaggy throat feathers.

 Heavy skirt feathers come in handy for keeping feet warm in cold weather.

Ravens have a reputation for being among the smartest of all birds.  They have been known to solve complicated problems and are often seen flying straight down highways looking for roadkill.

 Soaking up some thin sunlight in icy weather

Studies done in Yellowstone Park found ravens locating injured elk and calling raucously, attracting the attention of a local wolf pack for an easy kill.

Raven researcher, Bernd Heinrich established that ravens and wolves are close associates.  His data showed that ravens were found near wolf packs up to 99.7 percent of the time in winter at Yellowstone National Park.

It is very possible that ravens and wolves are hunting partners who share the spoils.

I like to watch as they communicate 
and search the area from their positions on favorite perches.

Then, with a low croak, they stretch across the sky in easy, flowing wingbeats,
 the long, “fingers” at their wing tips sweeping the air.

Maybe The Ravens are considered the underdog but I’m still cheering for them to soar into victory.