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What's New - January 11

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Dear Henry,

This week I had to say good-bye to my beloved Subaru, which, after 10 years and 199,997 miles, had its transmission fail. I'm rather sad about it.  Fish and I will be car shopping today.

The carless situation has allowed me to focus on one of my New Year's goals - Spend More Time Editing - and so, I was able to get several new 16 X 20 canvas wrapped prints, including "The Forgotten Fall", up at the shop

I think the "Gerbera Back 2019" turned out especially well.

I also got a little personal this week, revealing the details of an auto-pedestrian accident I experienced so many years ago.

There was some interesting military research this week, beginning with Warrant Officer John K. "Jack" Morgan, a helicopter pilot who was killed during Desert Storm.

Out of the WWII military roles, I discovered Staff Sergeant Frank Rosynek, who was stationed in the Pacific during the War as well as Major Katherine Tolen Harris, a flight nurse who evacu…

The Beauty in the Broken

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Dear Henry,

I found this cute, little mushed flower and decided it would be a work of art.

Ever since the accident, I have a soft spot in my heart for the bruised and the broken and when I realized this little flower was overlooked because it was rumpled, it broke my heart (yes, yes, I got entirely too emotional about a flower).

Because of this soft spot, I am quite drawn to the Japanese Kintsugi pottery repair method, where the pieces of broken pottery are reassembled and repaired with gold (or other precious metals) to enhance damage and to reveal the piece's history and resilience.

Kintsugi is also a philosophy, one which recognizes the history of breakage and repair is a history to be celebrated and acknowledged, not hidden.

It is difficult to do in practice though. The easiest way to wear damage is with the titles "victim" or "survivor", titles that I have never liked because those bring the focus exclusively to the damage and I will, forever, be so much …

What's New - with Purple Dahlia

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Dear Henry,

I always seem to be a little quieter and more contemplative during the holidays - using the forced manual labor of Christmas decorating to recharge and regroup.

It doesn't mean I haven't been busy though. I have been sifting through different publications, looking for additional facts - it's a never-ending search and a labor of love - and reminds me of a quote from the book 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster "I prefer facts but sometimes sense is all you have to go on".

With the glut of historical articles, I ended up discovering an Antarctic Exploration Tale, one of the many scientific expeditions that occurred right before the onset of WWII.

My recent research brought me Colonel Hans Christian Adamson, who with Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, spent 24 days adrift in the Pacific Ocean following a plane crash. I also discovered Colonel Rosemary Hogan, a career Army nurse, who was held as a prisoner of war at the Santo Thomas Internment Camp with 77 o…

The Executive's Mountains

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Dear Henry,

I read about an odd mountain range called "The Executive Committee Range", and I have to admit, the name had me intrigued.

It sounds like where the secret organization who rules the world hangs out, right?

Even more ominous-sounding, this mountain range is completely isolated and currently doesn't belong to a single country. 

Does this sound like an even more promising for the location of a hidden lair?

Maybe, if the average yearly temperature didn't hover around -50. The Executive Committee Range is in Antarctica.  And not just any part of Antarctica - This mountain range is in an obscure and difficult to reach corner in the most difficult to reach continents on earth.

In 1939, the United States Antarctic Service Expedition was created using resources and personnel from the US Navy, State Department, Department of the Interior, and the US Treasury.  The expedition was also funded with private donations. The objective, per order from President Franklin …

What's New with Autumn Staircase 2019

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Dear Henry,

The winter "rainy" season has begun.   This is great, because, it also means the waterfall season will start shortly and in another couple of weeks or so, the waterfalls in the area will be flowing (picture opportunities!).

Of course, winter here also means that everything here has turned shades of brown and grey and there are no flowers. But I suppose asking for both flowing waterfalls and flowers is akin to asking for the cake and eating it too, right?

One of the "city" things that Fish and I did recently was to see The North Forest Lights exhibit at Crystal Bridges and I can't recommend the show enough.  The show was designed by Moment Factory and I am now on on the lookout for more of their work.  I cried during the piece "Memory of Water", it was an incredibly moving piece.

I did manage to get in one cyanotype between the rains, a collection of maple leaves.  Art prints are available and I have used it as the image for my exploration…

Don't Spit In the Soup with Cyanotype 102819

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Dear Henry,

How much would you pay for a good bowl of soup?  Does $30 sound excessive?  How about $100?

Depending on the quality of the main ingredient, a good bowl of Bird Nest Soup will put that kind of dent in your budget.

When I first heard of this soup, I pictured a small bunch of twigs and mud floating in broth, and couldn't, for the life of me, imagine its appeal, much less its price tag. 

As it turns out though, the nest of the swiftlet bird doesn't use any type of twig or mud. They are made out of spit. Seriously. And while that doesn't sound all that appetizing either, I do eat honey, with is another salivary product, so I feel I should at least give Bird Nest Soup thoughtful consideration.

The nests are the product of the swiftlet, a cave-dwelling bird species, mostly found in South Asia, and, unlike most birds, can use echolocation, like bats.  The nests are created by the males, on cave walls, over a period of about 35 days. The nests are formed in the shape o…

What's New 11.1.2019 with Dogwood November 2019

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Dear Henry,

Have you noticed that dogwoods steal the show during the Spring and Fall?

The cold and frigid air this week has done wonders for my productivity and I have developed a new product line - Journals!

I was also able to put together a cyanotype triptych of the abyssinian flowers that I had created earlier this summer for the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Women's Group Annual Holiday Bizarre.  The group spends all year putting together home decor, jewelry, and other items and this bizarre, along with a bake sale, and cafe is their biggest fundraiser of the year. The Women's Group does a lot for the Bella Vista community and I am happy to support their cause.

Have you noticed that when you put your efforts into something, other things fall aside?  I was only able to review one book - Bird Box and memorialize one sailor - Lieutenant Harriet Ida Pickens, who with Ensign Frances Wills became the first women naval officers of African descent.

We hope to get out again this weeken…