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September 2013



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Home from Virginia...with a journal full of sketches

Tuesday Morning Shenandoah

Home again, though reluctantly...I just had a week in Virginia with kateslover  and it was marvelous. This time, just a relaxing, delightful, glorious time...no hospitals, no Hospice, no anxiety.

Even the few things that DID go wrong--my lost suitcase, for part of three days--just reminded me to invoke St. Jimmy Buffet's mantra, "breathe in, breathe out, move on..."

So we did! By the third day, I was wearing Joseph's big henley and a pair of his pajama bottoms and socks, contemplating whether to wear that chi-chi outfit to the party friends threw for us on Saturday (and halfway wanting to!)...then, of course, my suitcase arrived and so did my clothes and other accoutrements!

I'd made a special accordion-fold travel sketchbook to use (it was also in the suitcase, of course!), but by then I was well into the swing of using my journal (which is always, always, ALWAYS carry-on!), so it's still virginally untouched...it's here, the big one on the bottom:

Accordion sketchbook covers

(More on accordion-fold sketchbooks later...that's got to be the easiest journal I ever made!)

The party was wonderful...no anxiety there, either. SO good to spend time with his old friends! Much laughter, many hugs...they're delighted to see him happy, and so am I. I got to meet the infamous Fred, whom I loved, this time, and was delighted to spend time with everyone else. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the tall tales got deep enough to require hip boots...I'll be sorry to live so far away from them...

It rained every day I was there till the last morning, making beautiful soft vistas, achingly clear details, beautiful clouds, and the cozy sound of rain on the roof...I like painting on days like this. The colors are intensified, the details sharply limned...and indoors, plenty of chances to sketch my husband and the animals! More on THOSE later, too...

...but for now, my sketch done with Graphitint's Steel Blue watercolor pencils and coffee. Yep, COFFEE...

Joseph and Sarah and Coffee

The painting at the top of this post was our little "honeymoon" cottage, at Brookside Cabins...I saw the place a few years ago when Joseph and I stopped for a bite of lunch, and I'd dreamed about staying there ever since. We didn't get the opportunity for a "real" honeymoon when we got married, it was too much of a last-minute event, so we've declared our life together a kind of progressive honeymoon. 

Now that is a honeymoon!  So far we've had a night at the grand old Savoy Hotel in Kansas City, a room overlooking the ocean in San Clemente, a couple of nights at a hotel in Henderson, Nevada with palms and mountains, and this...a glorious, private, quiet little cabin with a mountain stream just off the back deck.

The Brookside cabin was my FAVORITE, needless to say. I've always been enchanted by tiny cabins in the mountains, and being there with my husband made it perfect.

I painted on the back deck the night we arrived, dodging the raindrops (below), and did the one at top out front of the cabin itself, when it finally stopped raining and the world was all fresh...

Brookside Cabins, Luray, VA

Check out these delightful little cottages, near Luray, Virginia...beautiful...
And thank you, love...


You're welcome! Our pleasure, sweet... *G*
It was indeed...and more to come.


Masterful watercolours - that first one is astonishingly good. The drawings are so sensitively done, and I'm fascinated to see what can be done with Graphitint, which I haven't yet tried.

Thank you, E-J! Do try the Graphitints, if you get the chance...the color of the Steel Blue is wonderful for this kind of sketching, I had to buy a couple of extras of that color, just for that purpose.
we, too, have never had a honeymoon. it's been almost 40 years. we keep mentioning that it might be nice...but this way, the honeymoon can never be over. it hasn't happened, yet.

by the time we admit to slowing down enough to actually have a honeymoon, it will probably be wheelchair races for the two of us.

p.s. love the luray caverns! used to go there every couple of years when i was a kid. that whole area is so fabulous. i know why my aunt moved there during wwii, and never came back. that green is not duplicated anywhere else in the world!
Ever been to Ireland? Talk about a green that can't be duplicated!
Want to GO!!! Must see Ireland...

And it's funny, flying to Missouri from Virginia, our spring looks to be about 4-5 days behind yours. It's now just about the same, even, *ahem*, to the gorgeous green... ;-)
have never been to ireland. it is on the "list" of things i must do with hubby before one of us croaks. i want to get him back to scotland, too--he has been there, i have not. it seems a logical progression, to me. tromp in the heather and gorse, then stop off in the land o' green to refresh.

hopefully, someday soon! i'm not getting any younger, nor is he! if we can get his deep brain stimulator "balanced", it will be time, i think. can't have a tippy scot wandering the british isles, now, can we??
You said what I almost did, dear girl...before one of us croaks! We're just relative kids though, so hopefully that'll be a while. :-PP

Joseph's been to both Ireland and Scotland, and we want to see both, together. I've never been out of the US!
We never have done the Luray Caverns--not sure my knees are up to it! But yes, it's lovely country...
LOL! Well, taking a honeymoon one night at a time works well for us...lots more affordable, too!


I'm just beginning to catch up with you after two weeks away. Ahhhh. The cottage looks absolutely perfect, dear Kate, and the time you and Joseph had, idyllic. Except for the no suitcase part, but then you come from such hearty pioneer stock (or so I imagine), that the lack of a suitcase's innards is only a minor inconvenience.
Welcome home.
Hi sweet lady! YES, it was perfect...I loved it! Isn't it marvelous when something you've looked forward to for years doesn't disappoint, not even in the slightest?

No, the suitcase was no big deal! The only thing that ticked me off was they kept PROMISING it, so we had to stay home again and again till it arrived.

I was SO grateful this wasn't one of those occasions when I was teaching! I've had all my WC paper and such in a suitcase before, and if that went awry I'd have a BIG problem! I keep my journal with me, and my camera, in carry-on, so the other stuff was just a minor inconvenience...
I love the painting of the cabin. It's such a nice compostion, making the cabin look so anchored and dwarfed around the trees. Love the sunshine you were able to get across!
Thank you, Dee. It was about the first sunshine we'd seen, I guess it made an impression!