Not one more thing.

I do not need any more hobbies.  I read, I sew, I crochet, I make jewelry, I binge-watch Netflix shows, I meddle in other people’s affairs,  I cook (that is a big fat lie.  I do not cook. Ever. My future grandkids had better have another grandma that bakes cookies for them, because I will not be that grandma.  I’ll be the grandma that takes them to bars).   Goodness, I’m such a Renaissance Woman!

But I digress.

As I said, I do not need any more hobbies.  But when my favorite niece sent me a picture of a fairy garden, I fell in love with it. She had seen it at a Renaissance Fair (How many people do you know that can work Renaissance two (now three) times into a post? Not many, I bet), and on-sent it, suggesting that I should start working on a similar one immediately.  I have some experience with fairy gardens, having spent the better part of last year building an inside landscape for fairies, but this one will be outside, amongst the wisteria vines.  And Bruce is all for it, already figuring out how to mount the various platforms and stages.


Isn’t it beautiful? The best part of this garden is it’s populated! It has actual fairies in it – lounging  about, sharing fairy gossip, muttering incantations and spells, plotting mysterious adventures.  So my first thought for my garden was that I needed to start making fairies immediately!


My sister had given me this fairy several years ago, and I thought that I could surely model my fairies after her, working with oven-baked clay, sometimes called Fimo or Sculpey clay.  I made a couple of very simple bodies, and they turned out ok, but realized afterwards that I have to clothe them at the same time, before I bake them, so I put those away.  In the meantime, I went to Michaels and spent a lot of money in a frenzy, buying ALL the different colors and kinds of clay, a couple of molds, a tool or two…in short, setting up a new hobby. Which I didn’t need in my life.

One evening I got everything out, and started rolling clay, shaping it into bodies and parts, pants and plants, keeping it fairly simple, but still, I spent the better part of three hours, without a whole lot of product at the end.  I used almost every kind and color of clay at least once, to see what results I would get from each one.  I then carefully placed them on a pan, read the directions carefully from the side of one of the packages, set them in the oven, and wandered off to read and snuggle with animals, pleased with myself and my burgeoning sculpting talents.  About 30 minutes later, the timer dinged and I leapt up, excited about seeing the first denizens of my fairy garden!


Need a closer look?


Anyone have some spare time to fill , but need a starter kit?  I can make you a deal.  As it turns out, I really don’t need another hobby.


Willows and Books

In my paradise of a back yard, we have a volunteer weeping willow.  Volunteer because it arrived unnoticed, took root and grew without us (Bruce) planning or planting it.  And the tree is one of my very favorite things.  It’s leaves and branches sway and dance in the slightest Texas breeze, and watching it is more soothing to my soul than even an aquarium.  It is especially beautiful in Spring, when the leaves are just budding out in lime green against the deep azure sky, lovely and graceful.

And The Wind In the Willows is one of my favorite books; Mole and Ratty and Mr. Toad, who, at first glance live in a children’s book, but I re-read this book at least every year, and find just as much joy and laughter in it as an adult.

Which brings us to today’s rant.

Daughter and I were at Cracker Barrel, shopping in the country store, as you do after a much too large breakfast, and she found a book of children’s stories, picking it up because it had wonderful illustrations.  It included The Wind in the Willows, Black Beauty, Treasure Island, and about 5 others.  BUT EACH BOOK WAS ONLY 20 OR SO PAGES.  Literally, The Wind in the Willows started on page 100, and Black Beauty started on page 122. I almost lost my pancakes, I was so horrified.  How can you appreciate Badger’s wisdom, and Mr. Toad’s adventures, in only 20 pages?  How can you cry your soul out over Black Beauty’s horrible mistreatment, holding the story in your heart forever, in only 20 pages?  How can you become a fierce pirate and sail the seven seas in only 20 pages?  This book is a travesty, and, while I abhor censorship in any fashion, feel that this book is certainly at the top of the list, no, the only one ON the list, to be burned.

Ok. Rant over.  Here is a soothing willow for you to view. Carry on.


Postscript:  My squirrel brought her babies around to visit!baby-squirrels