Nature Journaling ~ 2017

The beginning of February saw a start to this year’s Nature Journal. It’s a 9×12, 70lb ppr sketchbook purchased on clearance at Barnes & Nobles. Yes, I’m cheap and not ashamed to admit it. But, I like the B&N sketchbooks for their smooth ppr and sturdy covers, so I would have paid full for it. I thought the cover was pretty and reflected nature as about as good as any of the others up on the shelf.

For the opening spread, I just picked up my pencils and started to create an imaginary scene. If you look closely, you’ll see a blue heron, a mallard duck, and some other ducks in the distance. I might add some others as the year moves. We’ll see on that. The important thing is getting started with something. Playing with a technique that involves laying down graphite, spreading it around, erasing in spots, and then repeating the process over and over and over to achieve the look you want. Very time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Each spread takes me several days, even up to a week or more to complete. That’s why I don’t include some of the details suggested in the journaling book I got for Christmas. I do that in my quick sketcher that fits in my back pocket. I could do this sketch in a day, but I must be about my work as a housewife and caregiver. So, it’s family needs first, and art as I have the time.

 

Inheritance?

capture

Image from Google Maps..

The old tenement seemed to shout “Stay Away!”

I didn’t. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t.

This was my inheritance. This was my home.

I wanted to cry.

I remembered the grand days of youth. Days filled with laughter and the joys of playing stick-ball in the street. Days of making stick-houses on the ground and playing house with the other neighbors. Hot, sweaty evenings sitting on rusted chairs in the yard. Oh, those were the grand times.

Now, the years of neglect had taken it’s toll. The windows were now broken and missing. Though not from a stray ball. The front door was boarded over to keep out the ragamuffins and drug infested gangbangers. No, it was definitely not the dream house that my parents believed it to be anymore. I wondered, would I even be able to save any of it. Or, like with the vacant lot beside it, would it to fall to the wrecking ball.

WC: 157

 

This short story is written for “What Pegman Saw” and awesome weekly challenge that transports us to different locations all over the globe via Google Maps. This week, we visit St. Louis, Missouri, USA. If you enjoyed this story and would like to read more, or join in the fun, then join us out at: https://whatpegmansaw.com/blog/  and follow our Blue froggy friend.

 

“To Be So Loved”…

I am tickled pink to say that “To Be So Loved” is now up to 24 serials. Pretty awesome considering I just started writing the series back in February. It started out as a request – uh, demand – from a beloved gentleman named “OldMan” to write about some of the experiences and life lessons I learned while visiting lands outside the USA. Rough start, but I’m starting to get in the groove. Hard to remember some of the things, they’re buried under 35+ years of dust in the old attic of my rattled brain.

If you’re interested, here’s the link to the most recent serial. The others can be found in the archives at the right of the screen. Thank you! And, yes, I love to see a few comments there, too.

The link:   https://exoduschronicles.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/to-be-so-loved-24/

Rebirth… (What Pegman Saw)

capture

Amazon River, google maps image.

She looked out the window of the small sea plane to the river beyond. So much water. She wasn’t quite sure she was on a river at all. Maybe it was just a large, dream-lake, and she could force herself to wake up from the nightmare.

Then, the large canoe floated beneath her window and stopped. She felt the plane rock a little as the Aboriginal in the front of the canoe grabbed onto the leg of the plane.

‘My God!’ Her mind screamed. ‘Were they going to to try to hold the plane back? Couldn’t this nightmare get any worse?’ She reached over and touched the canvas sack on the floor beside her. In the heat, it reeked and the smell caused her stomach to roll. It was a sickly sweet smell. The smell of death too long unburied.

The plane’s door opened…

A baby’s cry filled the cabin.

The Calm…

sky

C. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Dead silent it was, walking out to the car and leaving for work. Driving through a light rain with the knowledge of what was coming hanging heavier than the clouds. Radio playing some pop song from the ’80’s. Nerves wound tight.

Fast food breakfast. Still dark as a cave outside. Hail slamming against the glass windows, wind and rain blowing in the double set of doors. Sounds of crashes. Power jumping a growling roar to silence and back again. Like a war movie bombardment.

Fifteen minutes of pre-dawn hell.

Then calm.

The sun glitters behind powder puff clouds.

Then the warnings to take cover sound… after the storm!

 

wc: 109, forgive me 9 over, had to put in the last sentence since the sirens could have prevented so many injuries if sounded early. It’s not like they didn’t have a full 24 hours warning the storms were going to be bad. The National Weather Service declared that we were hit by straight line winds – Wind Shear. The damages though, are just as devastating as the five tornadoes that hit not 50 miles north of us in the Ohio valley.

If you would like to join the 100 word weekly writing craze known as Friday Fictioneers, please join us out at the blog of our lovely hostess, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We love to see you stop by, and maybe even share a story with us.  You can find us all at: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/03/01/3-march-2017/

 

Ash Wednesday to Remember…

We were awoken early by Maryjane (0450) who just wouldn’t be calmed down. Knowing we were expecting to have pretty serious storms I got up and went to turn tv on. The radar looked bad. I made a cup of coffee and sat down with her to give her lap time. Over the next hour they kept upgrading the severity and adding in several points of radar indicated rotations along the squall line.

At 0600 I got Hubs up, told him he could brush his teeth at McD’s a mile from where he worked. We needed to get on the road and the ground within walking distance to work BEFORE the storm. I’ve never done this (except in winter) before. So, by 0615, I had him out the door and on the road. I should add he really hates his routine screwed up.

By 0630, we were sitting in McD’s. We ordered breakfast and watched the radar on the tv. Then, quite succinctly, all hell broke loose. The windows started to bow, I moved him away from them. The winds pushed in the doors and rain blanketed the entryways and into the dining room. Then, the hail slammed about. Ten minutes later, it was passed. Ten minutes after that, they actually sounded the tornado sirens. Entirely too too late! the storm and tornado warning was expired BEFORE they set off the sirens. So, what are those monthly tests for if you can’t sound the alarm when its needed. I mean, after all, the news and the Nat. Weather Srvc were warning people 24 hours in advance that this storm was going to produce tornados and wind shears. grrrr…..

Got Hubs to work, went home to check on Maryjane and Tiki… and to make sure we did indeed still have a home with windows intact. Took me an hour and a half to make a normally 7 min commute. Many road closures due to storm damage. After arriving home, finding everything okay, except the lack of power. I grabbed my camera and went back out.

Took over a hundred pics. Here are some that impressed even me.

 

The Bell and the Wreath especially impressed me as not less than 6 ft away from them was major destruction. Across the street from the bell at one church sat another church (the source of the downed steeple). The wreath was at the edge of the road just feet away from the picture of the house covered by several fallen trees and debri from other homes. To think that the power of the storm set down this wreath with glass balls so delicately (yes, I checked and the balls were glass.) just astounds me. Both of the trees were ones outside my church, both near to a hundred if not more years old. We just decorated the pine for Christmas with edibles for the birds.

 

Flake!

snow

C. Sarah Potter

She didn’t care what they said about the cold or snow. To her, it was paradise. After four years in the desert fighting a damned war that never should have been fought to begin with, she was home.

H – O – M- E!

She was home, and that was all that mattered, right?

She looked down to the pile of blankets that covered her new stump. She wouldn’t be hitting the slopes this winter, or the tobog that she loved. It didn’t matter. She was home…

And it was snowing…

Cold, wet, blustery…

And she loved every damned flake!

WC: 98

Author late addition: The one to whom this story is based is a Proud hero. They have displayed courage beyond courage and bravery beyond that. They are now not only walking on a new prosthetic, but also running, swimming, and yes – Ski-ing! 🙂 Thank you all for your lovely comments of which I am sharing with them as I type this. They are smiling, giggling, and sharing their own thanks for you liking their story.

 

This story is written for Friday Fictioneers, a wonderful weekly writing challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. If you would like to read more interesting 100 word stories, or to submit one of your own, please join us all at: https://rochellewisoff.com/2017/02/22/24-february-2017/ . Just follow the little blue frog. 🙂