An Artist, Photographer, Writer, Poet

Category Archives: Self Discovery

Acrylic 6″ h x 12″ w,
The day was bright, sunny and breezy.
To me this looks cold and brisk now.
Private collection — with Sorrento, ME, Vagabonds, Plein Aire Group and Cataract Painting.

Have You Seen…
Have you seen
my “Helen Keller” paintings?
They are called that because
back in the day you could
tell without seeing,
by touch,
what the painting is.
These days,
my paintings are more
but still
rough and bumpy,
palette knives and fingers,
forming visions of
waves, froth, mountains,
rocks and sand.
Sometimes a surface
gives paint
a mind of its own,
rough or bumpy,
scratchy or
slick as satin.
Come see my paintings
where brush strokes
and knife marks rule.
On rough canvas,
or slick, slippery plastic.
Enjoy the feel of a
sometimes it’s a mood,
touching the heart
or soul;
sometimes a touch,
the artist made strokes
creating images
and feelings
only you know where
they come from.


30 Days of Inspiration 8/18/2011 // Day 06- Earliest thing you can remember .
August 18, 2011

The earliest thing I can remember

is the color red.

I can see it in my minds eye.


My mother said it was because

when we lived in Thief River Falls,

around the age of 3 or 4,

I decided to color the white kitchen cabinets

red with a red crayon !


She told me she had me scrub

the cupboard doors

to get the crayon off,


If that isn’t the earliest


I do remember in grade school,

in Ashland, Wisconsin,

looking at the sky,

it was a bright red,

and there was a huge fire across town

I was told.


But in my heart of hearts,


I deeply think I have a memory

of my sister Vicky

being born

and dying a month later.


I was 3 that week.



I’m sorry I decided to look this up…beyond belief… I am so hoping the ones from Woolworth’s were fake ones.

I can’t believe that the rabbits feet we had were REAL…

“First of all, they were genuine rabbits’ feet.
I LOVED rabbits.
Why would I ever want to carry their foot around
on a little metal ball link key chain?
I’m not sure.
Secondly, the feet were dyed very unnatural colors
like turquoise, purple, emerald green and blood . . .
I mean, bright red.
Third, when you reached down
to stroke your lucky foot
to give you some of that good luck,
you could feel the poor,
dead rabbit’s toenails.
And WHY would my parents get me one ?
I was so sure they weren’t real back in the day.
…….June 5, 2018 … sigh. big sigh. Sigrid
Alphabe-Thursday..“R” is for Lucky Rabbit’s Foot 8/18/2011
August 18, 2011

“R” is for Lucky Rabbit’s Foot


Did you ever have…


why did our parents let us

carry a lucky rabbit’s foot

creating superstitious thinking

in our tender minds?


I can remember being in grade school

and it was “The Thing” to carry

a lucky rabbit’s foot key chain.


Somewhere, somehow,

I found out that it was

supposedly a REAL rabbit’s foot !

In particular, the left hind foot !

ewwww !


I’m sure that I had

a faux rabbit’s foot keychain

bought at my dad’s

F.W. Woolworth Store.


But at the time, I was SURE some poor

rabbit, sacrificed his life, on a full moon,

in a cemetery,

on Friday the 13 th.




Well, maybe…Where’s your rabbit foot

you got in grade school hiding?



Little faces seen clearly now

For Monday Morning Prompt…Contrast;….To See or Not to See…8/17/2011
August 17, 2011
To See or not to See

I always thought
my sight was good…
not excellent, but as good
as anyone’s.
There was a question
in my mind,
even with glasses,
how someone could
see birds in the trees,
deer in the forest,
four leaf clovers,
figured it was just me
and it was just an occasional
life got irritating.
Lights weren’t bright enough,
why didn’t the people at
my daughter’s new apt
make the driveway more
And eventually,
I couldn’t get my sunglasses
clean enough….
and threw them across the car
never to wear them again.
I went to the eye doctor.
New glasses would take
care of the problem.
This was after
I kept going by my daughter’s
driveway and one granddaughter said
“let me out here, I can walk back”
after three passes and missing each time.
The younger had a friend in the car
and as we got up to the entrance to
the apartment complex,
she turned to her friend and said,
“Don’t worry, Nana’s blind ! “
(made sense to them !).
Like looking thru waxed paper was the
not new glasses.
In three weeks,
a miracle.
“blind as a bat”.
“I can see clearly now !”
WoW !

Christmas Eve in Maine
Children’s pageant amazing
angels, sheep and Wise men
families children return with grands
Silent Night sung by Candlelight
Jesus the reason for the season
An annual event at the Preble’s house:
Birthday Party for Jesus !
An all out dinner and singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, candles lit on the birthday cake to boot.
Many of you may not know that I had only very infrequent brushes with church til I moved to Maine.
Christmas growing up was usually driving 3 hours to the maternal grandparents for a nice meal and after a bit of conversation, driving back to West Allis, WI so my father could start inventory at his Woolworth Store… inventory had to be completed by December 31.
I can’t remember ever going to a Christmas church service.
And then along comes Joan 🙂 , the Prebles, St. Dunstan’s
and new family traditions.
Christmas Eve in Maine
Children’s pageant amazing
angels, sheep and Wise men
families children return with grands
Silent Night sung by Candlelight
Jesus the reason for the season
tanka cherita form
prompt: loss of a friend
photo: December 25, 2011 ·
Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus
Remembering my friend, Joan Preble
Photo: December 25, 2007

August 12, 2011,


Aug 12, 2011 would have been my father’s 95th birthday.

We weren’t especially close in the way people think of as close.

There weren’t chats and sharing, a pat on the back, or hugs, kisses.

That wasn’t him.

But over the years I’d get a glimpse of who he was as Karl,

not my father.

What he was like as a person,

not the quiet, nondemonstrative, man of few words at home.

When I remember him talking

it was about teaching.

Driving was one thing.

He’d talk sometimes as he drove,

giving hints of things we needed to know…

“Read every sign,

you never know when it might be important.”

“When you leave the highway,

it will seem like you are standing still going

the slower speed…

that’s why the small towns are called

“speed traps”…the cops know that people

will go too fast.”

We went to ball games, he taught me how to keep score.

And, fishing, he taught me how to cast, and troll,

and keep quiet so not to disturb the fish…

or him.

He taught me about the business world,

in only a few words…

speaking an observation

of what worked or didn’t work for displays

or psychology of pricing.

He loved to dance,

I think he probably had a wicked sense of humor.

He drank “after five pm”…

but often declared, “It’s five somewhere in the world.”

We didn’t see much of each other thru the years,

and he disappointed me

when I was in rehab in January, 1992…

it was the month before he died,

and he, my mother, and brother, decided they wouldn’t come

to family week,…it wouldn’t be a vacation, he said,

it would be a waste of money.

But I learned a lot from him,

by osmosis or the little things he did.

Children learn from the example their parents set

by how they live their lives.

And so it is. Missing someone I hardly knew.


.PS> while I’m thinking of it, one of the things he liked to

do was show how he could type the alphabet backwards on

a standard typewriter…I say standard typewriter, because,

he could type FAST…and that was a feat in its self.

And tho we didn’t find it,

it is told he used to write and that somewhere was a folder with

his writings in it…Dad, I hardly knew you.


1940/50’s playground

August 17, 2011
When I was Young

When I was young,
how narrow minded
the world then seemed then
and now.
In just about everything
in my world,
it was a black and white world,
looking back.
I couldn’t understand how
people couldn’t just like and
enjoy each other
and find the contrasts interesting,
not dividing.
There was a right and wrong
“side of the tracks”
that I didn’t understand.
The tracks of contrast existed
in school,
white and blue collar jobs
and how we dressed
who we married
and raised our children.
There was a right and wrong morality,
but it wasn’t about
right and wrong morals,
but contrasts in beliefs,
as to who to socialize with,
we could/should marry,
where we should live
and work,
buy our clothes…
basically where to shop
for everything
on our side of the tracks.
The contrasts between
the neighborhoods,
where their ancestors
came from,
stood large in some peoples
There seemed to be a contrast
everywhere that was judged
as right or wrong.
My parents were a city mouse
and country mouse.
Fine china, so thin you could see thru it,
a must for my mother,
and silverware, not tableware
of stainless steel.
Fine crystal glasses to drink from
were a must.
A white cup was a white cup to
my father.
Dishes were dishes,
glasses could be jelly jars
as far as he was concerned.
The forks, knives and spoons
were for function, not beauty….
except that the steak knives, butcher knives
must be kept sharp and cut with ease.
Function versus form.
The city mouse family,
one’s ancestors came over on the Mayflower,
(married to an immigrant from the
“right old country”).
They loved fine china,
crystal chandeliers,
oriental rugs and fine furniture,
of excellent quality.
There’s nothing wrong with that.
The country mouse family
came over on a boat
from the same “old country”
(different from that
of the city mouse’s parent)
to find a better life.
They met in a small mid-west town,
and married and raised a family,
that turned out businessmen,
teachers, farm workers.
Hard workers.
But they were “first generation”
versus “from the beginning”
at Plymouth Rock.
Is there anything wrong with that?
There were other contrasts,
as I could go on and on,
but as a young child,
contrasts puzzled me…
I found them interesting,
wanting to know why
they did what they did,
ate what they ate,
wore what they wore,
and why their homes were so
Others found these things
reasons to disagree
and to ignore and stay
away from.
Made me who I am today.
Some people call me a “hippie”…
or “the black sheep.”
I think that’s good.
A blend of contrasts,
forms a third contrast.
A blend.
When I was young
I wondered why all the fuss
in the differences I saw.
When I was young,
how narrow minded
the world seemed then
and now.
April 2018 update
Not much seems to have changed
for the better in my opinion.
People are anxious and fearful.
School killings,
police brutality is charged.
My grands, now adults
grew up in a different world.
I grew up with air raid drills.
They learned to live
with lock downs at school.
How to protect themselves
from gun fire.
At some point
there may be great-grands,
I wonder.
What will the challenges
be for them.
Is there a chance the world
could become less fearful ?

Downtown Ellsworth, a historic theater, two blocks both side of shops and offices.


A different view of the view of Mount Desert Island that people pay so much to see either with summer homes or visiting.


The view

Large and small,
I would think that
most would think of
big cities with
huge buildings and
lots of stores and
My city,
Ellsworth, Maine,
has 7,000 +
two blocks of downtown,
and the big boxes at the
edge of two small malls.
It is called the
Crossroads of Downeast Maine,
because you have to go thru
here to go anywhere “there”.
One has to ignore…
if you know the way,
the strip of stores
that I fear will string
from Bangor to Bar Harbor
one day,
right thru my tiny city
by the ocean.
I have tasted the
“real” cities
that people speak of,
that I long to visit,
and then come back
to my tiny city by
the ocean.
My life living on the
outskirts of Tokyo
and Yokohama,
was a fantasy life,
unusual houses,
a view of Mt Fuji
from my driveway.
Stores with signs
I couldn’t read,
with foods I wasn’t
supposed to buy.
black lacquer ware,
and brocades.
Medieval castles
from long ago,
samueri and emperors,
sumo wrestlers,
Geisha’s and warlords
memories of the past.
Modern day
adults and children
special days and holidays,
visiting the temples
in their finest
visiting the temples
reminders of the past.
Old San Juan
was much the same,
El Morro Castle
and a trip to the past,
as one walks thru
the cobble stone streets.
The narrow streets,
wrought iron fences,
adorned with flowers,
I must admit,
my favorite memory
was my visit to
the Bacardi factory,
the day the bottler
thru bottles
everywhere !
The Rain Forest,
with a giant waterfall,
lush greenery,
pristine beaches with
palm trees
and flowers I’d only
seen in photos
I dream of trips to
to Amsterdam,
to Greece
Then back
to my little city
by the ocean.

photos: Saradunn 2011

For dVerse….A Ghazal: Of Men and Women
August 12, 2011
That the ages of man, women, children, repeat themselves, terrify.
that no matter what the century, the ages of ones life identify.
It’s the worse of times, it’s the end of the human race, is the cry,
as the scholars gather and try to organize, notate and identify.
The teenagers are going to hell, the throngs of parents and preachers speechify.
Teachers, physicians elders say they can thru the ages they know and identify.
At the point of no return, the adults find that they can exemplify,
the growth of virtues, ethics, moral compass that all can identify.
Elders look back, see the ages repeat themselves, as men and women magnify:
the world has changed SIGnificantly, making sure it is something we identify.

photo: free use image

Day 02- Something that inspires you

The sea coast

along the rocky seacoast of

Downeast Maine,

and the beauty that is all around

each season of the year

has its beauty.


the sun shining thru turquoise ice

on the granite rocks,

the snow on the shore,

as the tide ebbs and flows,

and the sun shines thru

to show the glorious.


the lime green buds of new life,

along the shore

peaking thru

pink and gray granite

carved and tossed on the shore

in past ages.



clammers with there hods and hoes,

working hard and fast to beat the tides,

seaweed on the huge boulders

carved, broken, left during times

gone long before us.



melancholy as the life of summer

runs it’s cycle,

the sun warming the granite

we love to sit upon seeing

beauty in dying,

and the earth and sea,

preparing to sleep



spring starts the cycle

of renewed faith in

life along the


sea coast of

Downeast Maine.

photo: free use image: Adventures of an Untamed Mainer