Finish line

I did manage to cross the finish line for the Blogging from A to Z.

It was a bit tricky because I had a last minute trip. I got the tickets last Sunday and flew on Tuesday. I flew back on Friday and got home on Saturday. I traveled super light: no laptop, no big camera, only phone and a small day pack and one change of clothes, so I washed some by hand daily. I am proud that I still got the A to Z done!

I feel more like a finisher than a winner. It does feel good to share so much of my mother’s artwork. Helen Burling Ottaway died at age 61 in 2000, so her artwork did not have much of an internet presence. She is present in the Lake Matinenda Cottage Owners Association here. She and my uncle and other family and friends worked on a Matinenda flora of the wildflowers and plants. There have been two more since.

Hooray for everyone who contributed to or supported or read the Blogging from A to Z this month and hmmm, what should I do next year?

The color of fame

I never thought I would be famous. I never thought I’d be a zombie either, but a famous zombie? In demand for murals?

When the zombie illness first hit, hundreds of years ago, we were hunted nearly to extinction. The discrimination was terrible and we were killed in heartless horrific ways. We hid and never ever spoke to humans. We often starved. And the movies that depicted us! We were never saying “Brains!” We were saying “Pains!” And get over the idea that we want to bite you! We don’t. It just hurts so much when we are hidden in the deserts and can’t get food, that we bite in despair. After all, our neurological fine motor skills only work when we are fed. Not with brains but with color! Color, crayons, paints, pencils, glorious and exquisite color.

Doesn’t this pain you too?

Browns and greys and tans and muds. The blue sky helps a little and the yellow of the sign, but any zombie suffers horrifically in this sort of environment. Parts of us start falling off! You think we are rotting, but you humans are wrong so often. You think you know everything.

But we finally managed to communicate! Someone threw their paint cans at us, a graffiti artist, and we were off. He was a mere amateur with color. No one can color like a zombie! The humans are jealous and beg us to teach them. A few have even begged to become zombies, so that they can see color the way we do. No way. We aren’t stupid enough to do that. You’ll just have to keep paying us to paint the beauty that feeds us and that you long for now too!

I am so proud of my art and proud that we zombies have been freed and at last are welcomed by humans.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: colorful.

The previous zombie story is here.

Daily Evil: Z is for Zzzzz

Sleep is not evil. Nor is snoring, though you might think someone is evil at 2 am if their snoring is keeping you up.

This is a small watercolor, 9 by 6 inches. Again, no date, but it is a view near my parent’s house in Chimacum. They loved that house and the views. They moved there in 1996 and my mother was diagnosed with cancer a year later. I want to end with this painting because they were so happy there, even with the cancer. They had wanted to move to the northwest for years, but waited until my grandmother died. She was in her 90s and they were afraid to move her. After she died, it took three years to find a place and sort things and move.

So let’s end with them sleeping and waking to morning and the sun coming over the mountains and the farms around them and the views.


It has been horrible to have the zombies take over cities, but the surprise has been color. The zombies love color and it mesmerizes them. We all carried paints and spray paint and brushes for the zombies at first. Hand a zombie any paint and they won’t bite you! People quickly realized that the more brightly we color everything, the less chance of being bitten. Now our clothes are rainbows of riotous color, black suits gone forever. There are now well known zombie artists, hired to brighten and decorate nearly anything.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: zombie.

Time ripples

I found this calcedony nodule on North Beach about a week ago. The lines in it are layers laid down over years and years, as the mineral crystals lined a space and precipitated. The different colors in the stripes mean different impurities. This is one of the biggest pieces that I’ve found on the beaches here.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: ripple marks.

Daffodil lawn

I have daffodils in the back yard that are slowly spreading. I do hope they will take over the lawn. I am also encouraging parsley, thyme and oregano to take over. Then no mowing! I got a book out for Earth Day called Food Not Lawns. I think a lawn of mostly herbs would be quite wonderful. Also, the deer won’t eat those unless they are really really desperate.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Daily Evil: Y is for Yellow

Yellow can mean fear or cowardice, but it is also a color. Sunlight, summer, warmth, daffodils, spring and tulips.

This watercolor by Helen Burling Ottaway is from 1999 and my daughter chose the mat. I love her choice, the orange picking up all the oranges and yellows in the painting. Orange would never occur to me, but it is wonderful.