Monday, August 30, 2010


Sometime during the night the tiny bag I’d found (dropped by Miss Ebha when she ran from me) was retrieved and evidently returned to her. In its place in the garden was a little pile of interesting odds and ends: some hand spun wool of a bumpy nature, ribbons, and beads. Beneath the handmade paper was a note left by Liam McSpinagain.
“Dear Artisan,” it said, “Miss Ebha will be glad to have her dear bag back. ‘But I’ll not thank her,’ she said, ‘for returnin’ to me what was mine to begin with!!’ She’s a tough cookie, our Miss Ebha is.”
“But she did ask me to leave you these few things – yarn, beads and such. ‘If she wants an evening bag so blasted bad,’ Miss Ebha told me, ‘let her be makin’ her own!’
“So I’m leavin’ you the makings of a nice, wee bag for yer very own. And as I told ye we’ll never again speak of the terrible thievin’” - Liam McSpinagain.
Since it seems unlikely I’d ever be able to convince them that I’m not a thief I think the best thing to do is forget the entire matter and focus on trying my best to duplicate Miss Ebha’s evening bag.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


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I’m so embarrassed! This morning I found a note in my garden and this is what it said: Dear Artisan – It is with great trepidation that I broach this subject, but seeing as me position dictates, I fear I must. You have been accused of thievery – I know it can’t be, but our Miss Ebha has filed a complaint against ya…she says you have stolen her precious evenin’ bag, the one with the beads and the rest of the miscellaneous trifles. Oh, and a found feather, found plain and simple on the forest floor (we wouldn’t be caught dead killin’ another; we’re not that kind!). Now Artisan, I know Miss Ebha tells the tale many a time (in fact Ebha in the ancient tongue means provider of life, but to her back we call her provider of lies, she’s that big a fibber) and I know she had no business on yer estate but she’s our official strawberry wine taster and a good wine taster she is, too. And it seems that she got carried away with the wine tipplin’, turned herself ‘round and instead of taken’ to her bed in the wee hours she landed in yer garden. So if you’ll just be returnin’ the darlin’ wee bag, Miss Ebha can get back to supervision’ the strawberry stompin’ and we’ll not speak of this matter again..and that’s a promise. Liam McSpinagain.
Surely, he doesn’t think that I stole it! Surely he doesn’t. Needless to say I immediately put the little bag back in the garden.

Friday, August 27, 2010


The neighbor’s dog got loose this morning, before the sun was even up. I had just gotten out of bed and was on my way to the kitchen for my coffee when I heard loud barking coming from my backyard (I always leave the side gate open so the raccoons and friends can get to the water we leave out for them…and so the wildlife coming the opposite direction can get through to the front where they hang out together and watch the coming and goings of the night owls – the human ones, that is).
I grabbed my robe and hurried out the kitchen door, concern that the dog had cornered one of the feral cats - but to my surprise what the neighbor’s dog was barking at wasn’t a cat or a critter at all…it was teeny, tiny woman! And she wasn’t cornered, but instead she was staggering around the yard in dizzying circles mumbling to herself.
“Now Ebha, sweet lass that ya are, you got here by some entrance, sure that ya did and you can leave by same…if only you can find the blamed place!” she cried.
The neighbor’s dog had stopped barking and had parked himself on the lawn and with head cocked to one side was listening as if the little woman was speaking to him.
I stayed motionless, certain that once the little woman moved a smidge to the left she’d see the opening in the fence and from there the trip back to the forest was all downhill – literally. But after watching her bump into an especially large kale and fall over backwards, I knew something had to be done before the little thing suffered a grievous injury, so I coughed softly and pointed toward the opening in the fence. Poor thing! When she turned and saw me, she scrambled to her feet, dashed in, out and around the carrot tops and streaked out of the yard.
I watched her as she tumbled down the embankment spewing words in a language I couldn’t understand (which was probably just as well) and finally disappear among the trees.
When I started back to the house I saw that she had dropped her purse, a rustic, hand spun, woolen bag. Afraid that the neighbor’s dog would drag it off I brought it inside. And here it sits.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I’m worried about the beings living in the forest. I feel sure they’re getting ready for their Strawberry Wine Festival but I’m afraid their boisterous preparations are going to bring the authorities down on them. As along as my neighbors don’t complain about the noise there shouldn’t be a problem but if things get much louder somebody will complain, for sure. And of course a call to the sheriff might not be a call of complaint, but rather a call of concern; the noises echoing out of the forest and up the embankment are bizarre indeed. Last night we were awakened by the sound of drumming as well as a tinkling noise as if made by tiny bells or miniature cymbals, the rhythm quickly followed by clapping and raucous giggling. I know they’re just having fun but I am concerned about their welfare – although maybe I shouldn’t worry, I can’t imagine a full sized person actually catching one of them. And if they did, where would they lock them up? In a shoe box?

Monday, August 23, 2010


Fang (as a teenager) moved in with us about two years ago. He’s an unusual looking cat; white with a tan spot on his head and a tan and white striped tail. And then there are his teeth: teensy, tiny, baby teeth that prevent him from eating dry cat food and two long, protruding fangs that would make a vampire jealous.
On one hand he’s sweet and affectionate – resting his head against your cheek when you hold him. On the other, he’s a vicious tyrant, attacking anything and anybody - including me: trying to suddenly bite me when only seconds before he loved being petted. Taking savage swipes at me when I walk past. And the feral cats? He’s gone after their jugular on more than one occasion.
Maybe it’s those huge fangs that have given him the idea that he can get away with being such a bully. Then again, maybe it’s his baby teeth that prevent him from chewing properly that have made him so angry. Whatever it is, he’s a pill!
One day I looked down the embankment and caught him entering the forest. I tried to call him back, but of course he ignored me. Within seconds he came tearing out of the trees, ears flat, tail fluffed to the size of a feather duster. Close behind him I saw a flash of purple. It seems that one of Liam McSpinagain’s rainbow sheep have finally put Fang in his place – but who knows how long that will last (as the two cats in above picture can verify, you must remain ever vigilant when Fang is around).

Friday, August 20, 2010


It seems we’re having a run of luck…a lucky streak, in other words…not good luck mind you, but luck just the same.
First there was the egg recall and then during our terrible heat wave we’ve lost our electricity two days in a row: no fans, cooler, refrigerator, cooked food…no anything…including no lights to do anything. Pretty boring. And the only info from the electric company was that they didn’t know what was wrong and they didn’t know when it would be repaired, they only knew that there was a problem.
At least when we lived in Taos and the electricity went out it was because of an electrical storm. And even when it was pitch black we could entertain ourselves by watching the lightening flashes through the canyon miles away. It was like watching a war where people were seldom injured and homes were seldom harmed – now that’s a war I could live with.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My phone rang at 5:10 last night. It was a female robot. She was letting me know about an egg recall. I was told that if I felt sick I was to go to the hospital immediately…oh swell. Actually I didn’t feel ill, I felt just fine…until I heard the message! She reminded me that I’d bought the eggs at Ralphs and then she told me how to find the product number on the carton.
“If the product number is 1026, 1413, or 1946 DO NOT EAT THE EGGS!” she warned, “take them back to the store!”
I got the egg cartons out (one from the recycling bin – it was empty, and one from the frig – it had two eggs in it) and sure enough both cartons had the product number 1413. I tried calling the number the robot had given me, so I could find out what symptoms to watch for, but her office had closed at 5 p.m.
Ironically, I had used several of the eggs to make two dozen health muffins full of oat bran, flax seed, honey…the works. I had also made a double batch of pancakes with some of the eggs – healthy pancakes of course made with buttermilk, whole wheat flour, etc. And hubby had boiled quite a few of the eggs and eaten only the whites (no cholesterol for him!). In other words, while maintaining a healthy diet we had consumed twenty-two poison eggs.
I don’t know which is more disconcerting, the fact that I might have been poisoned, or the fact that Ralphs knows every detail about every item I buy and is keeping track of my whereabouts! I believe this comes under the heading of “double edged sword”.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Last night was not a night for sleeping, what with the loud giggling and yipping going on. The voices sounded unfamiliar (rather than yipping our neighbors do a lot of late night guffawing). Of course hubby and I got up to see what was going on and what was going on were midget fireworks: bright yellow, red and blue exploding lights that barely left the ground! This display was taking place down the embankment just this side of the forest. Although we couldn’t make out the individual attendees we were able to discern their actions. As one, the group would move forward, a small but colorful explosion would take place, then a popping sound and after loud squealing from the group they would run for cover in among the trees. It was an unusual sight. I’m not certain if they were enjoying the fireworks, or enjoying scaring themselves.
This morning I found a note of apology: Dear Artisan; I told the wee ones to keep it quiet. “For the love of God, keep yer voices down!” I begged. But all they did was yell in a lower octave …sometimes it seems the devil gets to ‘em and it’s nothin’ can be done about it. But please accept me apology and rest in peace tonight knowin’ there’ll not be another celebration for at least two weeks. That’s when we celebrate the strawberry wine festival – which could be a little more rowdy than last night’s gatherin’…but I’m hopin’ not…for yer sake.

To purchase the yarn “FIREWORKS” go to

Monday, August 16, 2010


Well, it isn’t a photograph – it’s better! I could hardly believe my eyes when I went out to water my tomato plants this morning and found this painting. It was propped against the fence and set up on two bricks to keep the dirt off.
Although I’d pretty much decided the figure in the painting was Liam McSpinagain I eagerly unfolded the handmade paper and read: To the Artisan – I don’t have a camera. In fact I’m not sure what a camera is. And since I don’t have any pictures of meself I was at a terrible loss. But then Dala (which means brilliant light in the ancient tongue) me.. I mean…my…favorite lemon yellow goat …told me that Leonardo di Perspectolio had made a painting of me standing next to her…I should have known! For many times I sensed a friendly presence nearby but when I peered around there was nothin’ there a’tall, a’tall – yet one time I did come upon a sharpened stick as is used for writing, and a snippet of finely made paper, both tossed aside into a pile of leaves as if in a great hurry. I retrieved the implements as they are precious to our people and even though I figgered they belonged to di Perspectolio I put them in a drawer at my home. You see artists (as is tradition) are amongst the shyest of all and I didn’t want to intrude on his quiet life. But when Dala went on me behalf and returned his writing things, she asked in me stead for the painting and he freely gave it…although he did warn her that Mick would probably fight her for it once he found that he was also portrayed in the painting. “Even though he’s-a only a mouse-a,” di Perspectolioe told her, “he’s-a Irish and you know-a how they love a good-a fight-a.” Meself I’d take offense but since di Perspectolio lives the quiet life I figger he just doesn’t know much about other folks…or mice. Enjoy the painting Artisan (even though it doesn’t look a’tall like me – I’m much handsomer…and taller…and more virile). Signed Liam McSpinagain.
And now I’m anxiously awaiting Liam McSpinagain’s next delivery!
To see some of the lamb tails left by Liam, go to

Friday, August 13, 2010


As I sit out in my backyard, wondering if I’ll get a photo of McSpinagain’s sheep, the weather we’re experiencing reminds me of the changing seasons – specifically of fall. It was fall when we moved back here.
We had scheduled a Taos moving company to pick up our stuff - even though we didn't have an actual place for the delivery of our belongings and had to give our destination simply as the city where we planned to live. The movers were supposed to be out at 9 a.m. They finally arrived after dark (but I'll give them this, it was the same day). And even though they had come in advance and seen how much stuff we had they came in a truck the size of a small U-haul. When questioned about this puzzling choice they explained that their big truck was broken.
They loaded up the little truck, and then decided it was getting so late maybe they'd just come back in the morning and move the remaining six rooms of our belongings at that time. I told them they had to move it that night, that the final walk-through was scheduled for 9 a.m. the next day and we still had a 3,000 sq. ft. house to clean. After agreeing half-heartedly they went out to their truck and drove away.
Since we had made motel reservations for that afternoon and since it was already nearing 9 p.m., I called the motel and told them we wouldn't arrive for several more hours but that we were definitely coming. The woman didn’t sound like she especially cared when she replied, "Okay," before hanging up.
Two and a half hours later, as we sat on the floor listening to our stomachs growl (we’d gotten rid of all our food, that morning), we heard a loud engine, looked out the window and saw a big truck all lit up like a Christmas tree. We watched as it pulled up to the house and were happy to see that the movers had come back after all. They'd decided that since it was so late (and whose fault was that?!) that 120 more trips to town in a tiny truck was somewhat inefficient so they got the big truck started and drove out. The only problem was that if they shut off the engine the truck wouldn't start again. So through the noise and exhaust fumes they got all of our things loaded.
Needless to say we were too tired to do any cleaning, during what was left of the night, so we started out for the motel in town after agreeing to get up really early and do the cleaning in the morning. Since we'd gotten rid of our car my oldest son loaned us the old car he’d purchased the day before, to be used as his work car. It was a tiny, beat up, red car with cracked windows. In black, bold letters across the front windshield it said, RASTAFARI. It’s my understanding that Rastafarians are people of a certain religious belief (a belief that was started in Ethiopia or Jamaica), who listen to Bob Marley, and wear their hair in dreadlocks (which is supposed to look like clumps of marijuana - a plant that the Rastafarians like very much). But don't take my word on this, this could be one of the very few times I am wrong about something.
Although the engine of the Rastafari car did a lot of smoking (no pun intended) it did run and in fact got us to our motel which was closed and locked up tighter than Alcatraz (we found out later that the place had a night bell and had we been crawling through the shrubbery we might have spotted it). By this time it was well past midnight and so we spent our last night in the Land of Enchantment driving up and down the main street in the Rastafari car looking for a motel that was still open. I have no idea what time it was when we finally got to bed I just remember that it was very close to the time to get up and start cleaning the house for the walk-through. Good times, eh?
To see some of my spinning (as well as Liam McSpinagain's) go to

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I guess I’m getting greedy; after retrieving the baby skein of Laralaine’s fleece I became obsessed with seeing one of the colored sheep or goats belonging to McSpinagain.
After much thought I decided to write a note myself, asking Liam if he had a camera and if he did would he leave a photo of one of his animals. I’m not very hopeful about my request – after all someone so shy (and from all accounts very, very small in stature) wouldn’t be about to show up in the mall to purchase a camera. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that perhaps he, at some time, found a camera…dropped by a curious tourist…someone brave enough (and naive enough) to enter the dark, over grown forest… and then startled by wild creatures living three dropped the camera as he/she ran for safety. It’s possible!
But while the waiting game continues I have more spinning to do.

To view soft, curly mohair yarn (as well as other items) go to:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Although I still haven’t clearly seen any of the visitors to my garden, I did spot a flash of color as something (or someone) dashed past my fennel plants. This surprise appearance and the baby skein of tweedy looking yarn left lying nearby, served to reinforce my belief that there is something (maybe an entire civilization) living beyond the embankment.
It wasn’t until much later in the day that I caught sight of a piece of paper fluttering in among the string beans. Trained up garden wire that is stretched between metal stakes, the plants are nearly spent now and the handmade paper was easily seen from my patio swing. After carefully detaching the fragile sheet I took it back to my swing and read the spider scrawl: Happily provided by Laralaine, daughter of Lara. A young snip of a lamb, Laralaine’s colors are not as yet set in their ways, hence the wee sections of both black and white along with the tan and turquoise. I gathered up as much of what I call “lamb tails” as I could but seeing as how she’s yet a wisp of a girl she didn’t shed much a’tall, a’tall. But it is soft and pretty by my standards. Signed, Liam McSpinagain.
Laralaine’s wee bit of yarn can be purchased at:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Since Liam McSpinagain’s last communication, I’ve begun to keep a very close watch out my kitchen window – but so far there’s been no sign of him or his rainbow goats and sheep. It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of yellow, green and purple animals (while fantastically exciting), would have seemed ridiculously incredible…but after the skeins of yarn left in my garden as well as the whispered stories of life forms in the trees beyond the embankment, my mind is aflame with curiosity. Although, after hours of useless staring out the window I decided to set up my spinning in the patio, hoping that the singing of the wheel would draw McSpinagain to my yard. It did draw a neighbor with some plump, heirloom tomatoes from her garden. It attracted two young, brown and green iridescent humming birds who stopped in mid-air and watched my brightly colored mohair twist into yarn. And it coaxed a feral tortoise shell cat who wouldn’t let me touch her, but sat a mere foot away as if taking lessons. As for Liam McSpinagain? There wasn’t a sign of him.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Walk Along The Ocean

After hours of useless staring out my kitchen window (in hopes of catching a glimpse of McSpinagain – or one of his cohorts), I decided that today I’d leave the house and take a walk – as they say, a watched pot never boils.
Although it was damp and foggy, Hubby and I made our way across town to walk along the ocean. The tide was out. Dark rocks covered with growth the color of moss, loomed up through the mist. The sight always has a calming effect on the soul. And as we peacefully made our way along the sidewalk an old car stopped next to a trash can in front of us and a wreck of a woman (probably in her forties) got out and began to dig through the trash in search of cans. It was a pathetic sight for sure. Hubby and I both wished we had brought some cash with us.
Further on down the street we saw a man also digging through the trash in search of cans, while his three young children entertained themselves by crawling around on a picnic table. Along the curb sat their old van with the side door open. As we approached we saw that the back of the van was full of clothes and old blankets, and another person was far in the back. Sleeping in the front seat was a young woman and in arms she held a new born baby. This family was obviously living in their car…it was heartbreaking. If only we’d had a hundred dollar bill to silently drop into her lap…but we didn’t.
With our spirits now at rock bottom we started back, but as if our powerful need to regain some peace of mind and a positive attitude was obvious, we were soon entertained by some of the antics of other walkers: an older man jogging while bouncing a huge ball – it might have been do-able if he’d been a basketball player…or at least coordinated – he was neither. But the crowning glory were the three stout women who were very, very slowly making their way toward us by doing lunges (in unison). I figure that even if they only live half a block away it’s going to take them two days to get home.
I’m back at my kitchen window now and after this morning’s experience I’m trying to remind myself that all the world’s a stage and we’re all just actors on it. And as I continue my watch for Liam McSpinagain…or at lest one of his rainbow flock, I focus on sending feelings of peace and hope to those struggling and in poverty – it seems the best I can do at the moment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


From yours most truly, Liam McSpinagain

This yarn comes to you compliments of Maeve. Maeve is one of my old girls…but I wouldn’t say that to her face. And it’s a darling girl she is, too… but I wouldn’t say that to her face, either. She’s a bit touchy now she’s in her advanced years, but I’m thinkin’ she has earned the right to be as grouchy as she wants, and I say that even when I’m the one getting grouched. Shuffled from one end of God’s green earth to the other since she was only a kid she was most likely middle aged when we met up…and it was admiration at first sight…well it was on my part anyway: the darlin’ bouncin’ curls, eyes a lovely shade of green that reminds me so of the Emerald Isles (the land of me…I mean…my… ancestors). She’s heaven come in a small bundle. The old girl has only one bad habit, does Maeve, it’s her voracious appetite. She could eat a ream of paper in two ticks of a tock! I must forever keep a close watch on the darlin’ or my Sunday newspaper (which, due to my habitat makes it very hard to come by) disappears faster than a flea can dance the rumba. But on the odd Sunday she does manage to partake of the Arts & Leisure section before I can get me a cup o’ the creature and climb into me…my hammock. But I forever forgive her, darlin’ that she is. Because I know she can’t help herself…’tis a mild addiction that has its paws on the old girl. But on the other side of her sweet personality is her helpfulness. She learned from Ebna (the blitherin’ old gossip!) that I was sharin’ the lamb tails with another artisan and Maeve immediately trimmed her locks and left them just outside the barn door for me so I could spin them up for you.
Yes, Maeve is a real dear…well actually she’s a goat, but then you knew that all along, didn’t you now?
MAEVE is available for purchase at: