Thursday, November 21, 2019


If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.
~Loran Eisely

Aquamanilia (or aquamaniles) for Art Thursday. An aquamanile is a pitcher-type vessel that usually contained water for washing hands as part of upper-class meals or the Christian Eucharist. (The word itself means "water" and "hands.")

Bronze aquamanile in the form of a mounted knight
Germany, 1200s
Metropolitan Museum of Art
photo by Postdlf

Aquamanile in the Form of a Unicorn
German, circa 1425 –50
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Aquamanile featuring Aristotle and Phyllis
First half of the 15th century
photo by Vassil

Samson Aquamanile
12th century
photo by FA2010

Valle della mosa, acquamanile a forma di uccello fantastico, 1150-1200 ca.
photo by I, Sailko

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.
~James Earl Jones

This week's topic was inspired by Austin Kleon (although I should have thought of it sooner myself!). Austin wrote:
It really helped me as a parent [of someone who stutters] (and a human and an artist) when I learned about neurodiversity from books like Steve Silberman’s Neurotribes and Andrew Solomon’s Far From The Tree. In his essay “Stammer Time,” journalist Barry Yeoman writes about how he thinks his stuttering makes him better at his job and how he and other stutterers are starting to feel that fluent speech is overrated.

Tips from the When I Stutter (the movie) site:

While there is no cure for stuttering, there are many approaches and philosophies that can help. The aspect of ACTIVE LISTENING is an element that should be employed when talking to a person who stutters. Interrupting a person who stutters or even finishing their sentence is, often times, not helpful and undesired. Just conveying that you are there to listen is GREATLY appreciated.

Finding a good speech therapist can also be helpful in one's journey. There are several to choose from and you should investigate which approach aligns with your communication goals. To find a speech-language pathologist press HERE.

The role of support groups such as the National Stuttering Association (NSA) can also be extremely beneficial in that they offer people who stutter the chance to share their experiences with other individuals who understand. The feeling that "you are not alone" becomes evident and can be life-altering. To find out more about the NSA and other organizations that support people who stutter press HERE
More resources:

* Books on Stuttering, includes sections on children's, adult, professional, Spanish, and French (The Stuttering Foundation)
* Popular Stuttering Books (GoodReads)
* How to Respond if Your Child Stutters (Scholastic)
* The King's Speech

Monday, November 18, 2019


“It is a very beautiful day. The woman looks around and thinks: 'there cannot ever have been a spring more beautiful than this. I did not know until now that clouds could be like this. I did not know that the sky is the sea and that clouds are the souls of happy ships, sunk long ago. I did not know that the wind could be tender, like hands as they caress - what did I know - until now?”
~Unica Zürn

Bonobo for Music Monday:

Thursday, November 14, 2019

To Cast Light

A president cannot defend a nation if he is not held accountable to its laws.
~DaShanne Stokes

I tried to find a selection of poems relating to the events of this week, but it's a bit early for impeachment poetry. Instead I found poems relating to Trump and the Statue of Liberty.

photo by Darshan Simha

Statue of Commodities
by Craig Santos Perez

Give me you roil, your labor,
Your fresh produce selling at wholesale fees,
The shiny products of your factory floor.
Send these, the cheap goods, gift-wrapped to me,
I raise my debt inside the global store!


Liberty Enlightening the President

by Steph Burt

I give. I’m tired of your poor
Attempts at reason, your muddled hassles, your breath, your information-free
Refusals to learn, your tempests when tweeting. I’m sure
We can send you back home in less time than it took me
To raise my right hand. Take your gold. You can use the front door.


Twelve Reasons A Woman Might Hold Up One Arm
by Jane Hirshfield

There are innumerable reasons a woman might hold up an arm.
One: to signal, here.
Two: to signal, stop.
Three: to beckon a boat or a taxi.
Four: because her other arm is occupied, holding an idea or an infant.
Five: to reach for some sweetening fruit from a tree.
Six: to cast light.
Seven: to shade her own eyes from what the light shows her.
Eight: because she is fixed in a previous era.
Nine: because she is waiting for a new era.
Ten: because she refuses to lower it.
Eleven: because the locked ladder inside it is learning one of the 40 languages that vanish each decade from earth in a silencings low-motion earthquake.
Twelve: to wave farewell to the words that are leaving, to wish them safe travels,
a home in some other woman’s new country, in some other woman’s new future


Head Wound
by Patricia Smith

The lamp is still lifted. But the woman’s muscled
arm quivers, her neck bulges with strain, copper
teeth grind, raining green upon the man below
her. He blocks the golden door with the slop of his body.
She pulls in a real American breath and brings the lamp down.


Some poems on McSweeney's made from Trump quotes.

Today's Little Ditty has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Michelle!

Charles Conder

Many anecdotes testify to Conder's gregariousness and his preoccupation with social life as well as his charming and attractive personality.
~Ursula Hoff

Works by Charles Conder (1868-1909) for Art Thursday. Conder was born in England, but was sent by his parents at age 16 to Australia to work for his uncle, a land surveyor. Despite his parents' intentions, Conder ended up becoming an artist, as you can see:

Departure of the Orient
by Charles Conder

A Grey Day
by Charles Conder

Night in the Garden in Spain
by Charles Conder
by Charles Conder

All on a summer's day
by Charles Conder

Going home (The Gray and Gold)
by Charles Conder

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Health Journals

Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.
~Pat Conroy

I get a lot of Wellness Wednesday ideas from my daughter Ariana. This time, thinking about how useful her health journal has been for her. Keeping track of what is going on from day-to-day makes finding patterns easier. It also makes it easier to figure out whether a medicine is working. There are lots of people who might benefit from keeping track of their medicines, or their sleep schedule, or their exercise, or their symptoms.

Ariana says, "It took me a little while to realize that the most important things to write down for me are food, symptoms, med changes, and activities...Maybe for someone else with a different condition, food wouldn't matter that much but it would be important to take & write down blood pressure every day...You want to find a system where it takes you less than 5 mins to fill out so you will actually keep up with it."

* Bullet Journal for Mental Health from Well Ella
* Wellness Journal from Space and Quiet
* How to Start a Daily Health Journal from Healthy Habits Reset
* Bullet Journal Set-up from Diary of a Journal Planner
* Health Trackers for your Bullet Journal from Just Bright Ideas

Regular notebooks work great. These are also cool.

This journal spread by Brie Lentry helps track actions for building healthy self-esteem habits: