Potion House II

There are so many different potions to concoct and they’re made in so many different ways! Makes sense that there would ALSO be so many different ways to create the spelling of POTIONS!

After all, potions have rare powers that need to be approached in a variety of ways! Some are dry, some are soaking or soaked, and some are mushed!

Some are soaked or soaking.
Some are mushed!

Some need to steep like powerful teas, and some need lifelike containers. Some even grow!

The Potion House

Introducing THE POTION HOUSE of Thunder Mountain! Potions don’t just ‘happen’…they are products of the alchemists of time! Maybe that’s just my fancy way of saying that they began brewing even BEFORE the births of each of our Six Grand Children! In fact, they probably started even before we acquired The Little House that we first moved to our Pleasant Green House at Riverbend Station back in 1983 before Will was born. Only when we happened to notice this clue written just outside its door, did we realize what was magically happening to The Little House….

Let me back up a bit to give a history of how this brew came to be……… There have been so many wonderful happenings in the last few months that I haven’t wanted to miss a chance to capture them in words and pictures before they fleet on.., mingle with the clouds and lose their place in my memory. Christmas day was such a day! The magic of grandchildren exploring the land makes my heart dance and my memories merry.

When we moved here from our Riverbend Station on Pleasant Green Road, I thought we’d be leaving all our memories of children there and I’d just need to keep them alive in my heart. Never know what blessings grow in the future of the unknown. But JUST in CASE, Alex and I decided to move ‘the little house’ that the railway people gave us for free. It used to be on the side of the railroad tracks near Caboose 359. It had already had a lifetime of memories itself…as a Switch Office by the railroad tracks near where Hwy 55 is in Durham. When we moved it to Pleasant Green Road, to Riverbend Station, it briefly became a tool/garden shed…morphed into a play house for our kids, a studio for my artist friend, and lastly my Fiddlehead Fern Fairy Shoppe! Then after we hauled it to Thunder Mountain and nestled it among the trees, atop the hill and beautiful moss-covered boulders, it first served as a Sleeping House, though I was mostly the only one who wanted to sleep there! I remember only a few winter nights sleeping under a comforter fluff, and walking out under the trees with their amazing shadows dancing around me enlightened and enlivened by a gorgeous winter solstice full moon! Owls were actively conversing. When weather warmed and bugs and snakes crept forth, Sleeping House slept no more and gradually became ‘The Place to Put It’ …It and all things that were in the way of Life’s next steps. UNTIL…Fall of 2019! Alex and I emptied it out, vacuumed, power-washed and then bleached the walls to eliminate mold and other crud-critters growing there! It was then that I put up one of the favorite garden signs I had given my mom which held the wise word: METAMORPHOSIS. We were hoping the Grand Kids would enjoy it in whatever fashion they chose.

We added a table, a shelf and a few small cast iron pans, thinking the grandkids might enjoy turning it into an outdoor kitchen. Next came the children, Nora, Finley, Andrea and Oliver…cooking up their own ideas for the ‘lil house’….

It LOOKED like they were cooking as they filled each bowl or skillet with berries, leaves, moss, acorns, and more! They were cooking alright! But much more than just ‘pretend food’…they were cooking up ‘real magic’….POTIONS! that is! Soon signs began to appear inside and out of The Potion House!

Renewal at The Hillock

Been clearing last bits of leaves from The Hillock so the mosses can keep spreading! Freshly washed blue skies, mosses soaked with green and sunshine, spring peepers and a pond full of frog eggs waiting to hatch! These were the greeters of the day! The dogs helped me rescue more praying mantis egg sacs before bush hogging makes room for the wildflowers!

Story Time With Joe

It’s been about 20 days, actually, that Joe (4 yrs), his baby brother, Alex (8 months), his mom, Catherine and Dad, John have been staying inside their 2 bedroom home on the 11th floor of their Apartment Building in Beijing. There are only a couple of cases of the Coronavirus in another building among the whole group of buildings that make up their large neighborhood. Now deliveries are only left at one of the gates which Catherine picks up at different times of the day, masked and covered for protection. They are quite resilient and patient!

For about the last week, Joe and I have been have a special story time every evening through FaceTime. It’s been quite fun! We spent alot of time reading different dragon adventures and now we’ve been reading about making maps. Tonight, their morning, we began working on placing objects on paper and making a map of his room and his mom and dad’s bathroom.

It looks like I’m having a mapmaking session only with myself, but he’s got his own paper on the other end of the phone on the other side of the world!

Here is the map Joe was making on the other side of the world . It’s of his bedroom on the other side of the world! His bed and floor are the same color, in case you’re having trouble figuring out what’s what. He really did an amazing job of getting all the furniture in the right places. I know because he let us sleep with him when we were in Beijing at the end of the summer!

It would be so awesome if we could play Harold and the Purple Crayon and draw maps to each other’s houses and airplanes to get us there!

Picture of Joe having ‘class’ with his preschool online!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele: Rough Text and Paintings 29 pages.

Here are the pages before I’ve made next writing edits and painting edits. It’s a good way for me and others to get the gist of the story. Now that Old Owl has found Martha’s Shoe, I’m challenging visitors to my Mosswhispers website to see if you can find these discrepancies in my paintings: 

Challenge 1: On which pages is Martha wearing a tennis shoe instead of a red leather shoe? There is one page where her shoe never got painted.  For a bonus point, what is that page number? List the page numbers where is Martha wearing her shoe on the wrong foot?

Challenge 2: List the pages where Slab is missing his shoulder strap and map.

Challenge 3: Slug helps Slab find clay. Where does he usually do this for Slab?  Who is Slab’s other clay helper and where does he help him with his clay? He actually is not pictured in the story and is only mentioned once. 

Challenge 4: What do the fairies know about the One-Winged Bird’s missing wing?

Challenge 5: What is the name of the Cafe where Slab and Martha make their Search Plan?

Challenge 6: There is one character who is actually performing  family role reversal in this story. Who is it? And what is the role that should be played by a different family member?

Challenge 7: How many places on social media would you be willing to share my moss whispers website?

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Martha Julia Agnes Adele 29!

Doing this last page was a challenge. Not sure why but I have many ‘suspicions’….•finishing anything has a charge to it! (is it ‘enough’? what will I do next? I’ll miss this little project so might be hard to ‘let go’ and ‘move on’ •have I really reached the end? • painting what’s in her mind (PLUS what’s in MY mind!) gets complicated. • I need to stop and learn how to paint ‘firefly glow’ • I need to practice how to get her body moving right and figure out how to merge the different sizes and scales. • I’m wiped out from a bunch of woodworking I’ve been doing • I MUST procrastinate and take a break!

I guess I’m good at making such lists! Now finally here’s a rough last page!

Way to go ME! And way to go Martha Julia Agnes Adele! We’re all proud and relieved to have done what we’ve done and learned what we’ve learned!

Now comes the really fun part!!! Re-editing and re-editing everything from type-os to mistake-os! And rewriting the book, changing words, concepts, plot and all! For now, we’ll let you ‘Sit and rest a spell, Martha Julia Agnes Adele! Thanks for this adventure!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele Parts of 29

Something about this last page seems to be asking my imagination to pull together lots of pieces, to practice with pens, pencils, and paints, and maybe procrastinate a little in between each part? So here are a few pieces waiting to find their place in the last painting.

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 28

I spent all day on this one painting! It was actually quite fun since I did the drawing yesterday and got to start on the painting early in the day while my hands were sort of nimble. Then after I had loaded it on my computer and added the pre-written text, I realized that the fireflies somehow were not on the page! They must be off on some other twilight job, so will add them when they return! One more page to go! And it may take awhile to map it out! We’ll see!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 28

Hard to say goodbye to her friends at The Hillock, but Martha’s excited to have made new friends and learned something new! I identify with the energy involved in going on adventures and then heading home. Feeling a little fatigue which can be helped by a good night’s sleep! Sleep well everyone!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 27

Been doing a lot of rewrites of these last pages and even ended up adding an extra page! Also trying to paint without using the ink drawings. Still ended up adding ink at the end! I’m looking forward to the day when I can paint without drawing first! Still learning as I go! Thank goodness!

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