Spring Survey

For the past two days, I have been able to resume my walks around the path with Mot.

This was an activity that had been discontinued months ago when the snow made passage for a cat way too difficult. For a person? Speaking only for myself, I was not interested in clomping around in the snow, cold and especially wind.

A constant when you live on top of a hill.

Looking east to the barn.

Starting out on the path means heading westward. Upon looking behind me I see the barn looming quietly.  His back bone has a subtle, tired dip in the middle.

I noticed the other day, when driving from 92nd street, that there were several shingles missing on the southwest slope. I have seen them lying in the driveway.

I will be calling a barn specialist this summer.

Looking back at the house.

 I take a last look back toward the house. It looks bright in the sunshine. It stands out clearly, now that there is no snowy competition. It gives the eye a relief from all the tawny browns.

My roaming buddy, Mot.

Mot, who follows me faithfully, stops to revel in the warm sunshine. It is obvious that this one hasn't had much active exercise over the past few months. His girth is impressive. These walks are important for both of us, me thinks!

The furthest, western point of the nature trail.

 The nature trail is a large, quarter mile circle behind the farm yard, surrounding the top of the hill.

 We live on one of the highest points in Kent County, MI. Now there are trees blocking the view to the west and part of the north, facing Grand Rapids.

When my family moved here in 1968, you could see for miles in both directions. The property goes back from the house in a big 27 acre swath. Trees cover the sides of the hills.

My brother Mark, comes over with his tractor every spring and cuts down the very top of the hill, in the center of the path. This forms a beautiful meadow of what was once a cow pasture.

looking west through the trees.

 You can get an idea how how high we are when looking through these trees. In the summer, this is nothing but dense foliage. You would not know you were on a high hill. This is the furthest point of the trail before it veers north.

Around the corner and heading north.

 I look back every few minutes to see my constant shadow, following at a distance. Pretty soon, he will run up silently and zoom past me. A very unusual cat! I have to smile when I imagine my "house cats" following me like this. It just wouldn't happen!

We have rounded the southwest end corner of the path and are heading north, toward Grand Rapids.
I am really looking south to my buddy, as I walk north.

There is a stubborn little patch of snow yet. Today, I'm sure it will be gone. The green in the path is moss. It is nice and soft on bare feet in the summer time.

walking back from the northwest corner of the field.

We have now rounded the furthest point of the trail and are coming up around the north side of the field. Looking north from where I am facing, lies Grand Rapids, far in the distance.

This is a nice view of the farm yard. The house and studio are on the far left and the the little house, closest to us.

Mark planted the pine trees around the farm for my mother. One is in honor of his late wife, Margaret. Mark lives about a mile away and is very helpful to us. It was Mark who designed and created the nature path.

Awkward pose!

Fork in the path.

 We now have traversed most of the trail. At this point there is an option to go straight to the house, or left, around to the "little house" or "Michele's Cabin". The Merizon Studio is straight ahead, behind the tree.

At the end of the road, on the swing.

Looking north from Leah's swing that sits in front of the little house.

Resting now on Leah's swing. We are looking back to the fork in the road and beyond to Grand Rapids. You can barely make out the city skyline between the trees.
Back in the day, there were no trees and you could see from one end of the horizon to the other.

Thank you for walking with us! Have a wonderful, Easter weekend!


March 27th

I do believe, that in spite of the weak attempt to cover our earth in white again, Mother Nature has finally decided to gracefully move ahead with plans for spring.

The sparkling sun on the tree limbs outside my window is doing wonders for my state of mind this morning. I feel open and receptive to all that is good! (wink at Aimé!)

This past week has been a rather humbling learning experience for many in my family. You would think that by the time you reach your fifties and sixties, that you would have it all worked out. No more stupid decisions. No more impulsive actions.

Wrong! I am now inclined to believe the tendency to goof up, never leaves us! Maybe the forgiveness and ability to pull ones boot straps up and go on, is a little more forthcoming. Thank God for that, I guess. But yeah, when being led by the heart, sometimes the mind gets ignored.

The wonderful thing is that all is ok. Maybe better than ok. That is the mystery of life.

I want to wish my brother, Mark a happy birthday on this past Sunday, the 24th. He is now 60 years old! I find that incomprehensible. May you have a wonderful year, my best and only brother! I love you!


Mot, again...

It's that time of day again. It's Mot time.
I can't just come out and see him any old time. I have to wait until the Big House cats are: a) sleeping, or b) eating!

Otherwise Maudie and Deezil both, just give me the most horrible, guilt provoking looks! But the worst of it is, should they get a wiff of Mot cat on me, they might just squat and pee right then, right there,
where ever they happen to be!! This terrifies me because cat pee is awful, seriously.

So basically I feel terrorized by my Big House cats, because I spend time with lonely, Little House cat.

And I love Mot more every day!
He is overflowing with character and comical cuteness. His purr is loud, and sort of like a baby raccoon. Kind of wild and insistent.

He does not seem to take me for granted like Maudie and Deez! We both just sit here, listening to classical music. His ears tell me that he is listening. I leave it playing when I go.

He loves to be brushed and let's me scrub away on him until finally he gets weary of it and takes a quick swipe at me. All the while, motoring away.

He's seen both sides of life, Mot. To have and to have not.

That's why he has so much love to give. That is why he has so much gratitude.

I hate to say it , but his life circumstances have made him so much more interesting.
No wonder the Big House cats get so pissed!


Hi. It is mid March and although I am happy to see the snow lose a 

little of it's vim and vigor, I haven't truly embraced this new 

year. I mean, wow! I don't want to sound all cliché, but where the 

hell has the time gone?

I thought that since there is no impending event or show scheduled 

for these first several months of 2013, that I would have all kinds 

of time to just read and coz out with my cats and hubby. Enjoy the 

quietness of winter, you know?

I seriously agree when I hear people saying that the culture in 

which we live is way to hectic and jam packed with stuff. I mean, 

give me a break! Is it because I am 55 years along? Seems to me that

winters of past, I had time to just, you know, do nothing, for long 

stretches of time.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean that I don't want to get out of bed

in the morning or any such thing as that. I just want to be able to 

get a handle on things. But enough of my rambling gripe.

Songs from the White Album are floating through the air. Very 

apropos! I am eating chocolate kisses when I should be making 


 One thing I have been doing is posting paintings by my dad daily on

facebook. I would like to begin posting them here as well. So here 

are a couple to start us out with.

 The one on top is a self portrait of my dad that he did around the 

time that I was just a little tike. He was always a little scary 

even though I was used to seeing him around. The guy behind the 

painting is my baby, Deezil.

This one is just cool! That old car with the reflection reminds me 

of good things. Times gone by.

The old store front and the car are the only non abstracts in the 


This one is a more recent painting, from the new, 21st century 

anyway. I am not sure of the exact year. When my dad began losing 

his eye site our whole family was freaked out. What would happen? 

The artist would adjust, is what. The artist would ultimately

become a much better, more creative artist for it. It still sucked