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Mossy Hillock Spruce Up! Slug Will Return!

CastleofHeart:Snail 1Usually, by the beginning of July, the Mossy Hillock is in full summer swing and has been tended and enjoys some extra mistings to get it through the July Jolting-heat! However, this year, the MossTender has been creaking along and staying more atop the mountain tending through her own jolts of tender aches and pains in more shady spots, working on hopscotch, swing areas and slides down the rocks for her Grand Guy and Girl! The Hillock has had to fend for itself! And I must say it has done a very good job on it’s own, even through these disastrous dry spells. Again I attribute it to THE RESILIENCE OF MOSS! and natural surrounds.
And now with the exciting news of being one of many moss gardens featured in my friend and mossin’ meimei’s upcoming book, “The Magical World of Mosses,” the fairies and mosses have appealed for my help! Thanks to my first ever ‘garden gloves,’ that I can stand (given to me by Cindy, my sister-in-law), I get on my knees and lovingly smooth all the fallings from the mossy carpet, and pull the many things that have rooted in it’s last holdings of moisture.
1/4 of the 200 square feet is done and back down to sweat and sweep as many square feet today as I can. And then, a little repair work to dwellings and amateur bonsai trimming. Lastly comes hooking up the miles of hoses and cleaning little inchworm measurers out of the misting spouts so magical mystical water can work miracles with its moss meimeis. The mosses then will not only come forth themselves….but they will call to it NEW LIFE from NATURE! On the display spread before them as brand new, they will all come! Enter Slug, Squirrel, Owl, Turtle, Snail, Snake, Worm, Butterflies will come forth from cocoons, and Damsel and DragonFlies will dance along with Toads, and Frogs and Waterstriders as even the Pond will teem with NEW LIFE! Worth a little sweat I should say!

Francklin at the Hillock

Francklin is really the muse that makes moments come alive down at The Hillock.  Or at least he’s the ‘prime noticer,’ the one of bigger consciousness in the process. Nothing is out of his reach nor does it sneak by undetected. Having already defied the 4-legged rule for dogs by being a Terrific Tri-paw, here he is moving on up to a Two-paw stance to observe his lizard friend by the PondHole.

Francklin on 2 legs!

Meanwhile, I’m working away at pulling the weeds and working through the wild happenings of my life to sit long enough to listen to Francklin and the Mosswhispers trying to speak to me of what to write next. I miss my painting and work on my books. Writing has continued but not in post mode lately. For now, I’m readying for my next big posting period and forgiving myself for my lapses. All the while grateful for each precious Mossy Moment with my grand-children, grown-children, and great-parents and Alex. Grateful for spring and trying to learn to accept or at least deal with these ticks in our meadow. Gotta love the whole journey! all that’s in it!

Castle of the Heart and the Diamond Trail

As I prepare to paint the next page of  Martha Julia Agnes Adele, I need to revisit The Castle of the Heart, Char the dragon, and the diamond trail. Here’s a photo of the trail left by a real slug (the one that kissed the fairy!) one day down at the Hillock. I need to work on how I want to paint it. Yesterday’s painting didn’t do the diamond trail justice.


Martha Julia Agnes Adele 15

I did it! I pushed through INERTIA! back into Martha Julia Agnes Adele’s adventure at The Hillock in search of her shoe! Pushing through inertia must be like jumping into the magic pool or finding the doorway to the wardrobe when all conditions are right to enter Narnia! Now to get some new pens that haven’t dried out and mix new colors, and if I can just remember how to draw a little bit more!  I’ll need to go back and work on ‘who’s speaking’ and to whom later…but for now, don’t worry Martha Julia Agnes Adele, won’t leave you anymore til you find your shoe!Martha15withtext

Magical Messages Frozen in Time

Today Francklin, Lacy and I took a walk down to The Hillock to see what we could see and hear going on about Martha Julia Agnes Adele’s search for her lost shoe. There was no snow but rather lots of ice covering the pond! It was full of crystals and swirls frozen still as a painting.Frozen@Hillock1Closer looks revealed a painting extraordiaire painted by Old Man Winter himself!  Shadows and swirls and bubbly domes etched of a story only told in fairie language. Though we could feel the magic, we could only decipher the freezing frosty smoke that billowed from our breath! It it just spelled B r r r r r r rrrrr! Frozen@Hillock2 Frozen@Hillock3

MossTender Busy in the Fall!

The Hillock is UNDENIABLE in the Fall! As everything around it begins to fade or turn brown, the Mossy Hillock THRIVES and brings forth an array of every everGREEN moss possible. As the MossTender, I work ‘overtime’ to sweep away the crinkly crunchy leaves as they fall, for moss needs air, moisture, and light to thrive. A layer of leaves would keep it moist for awhile, but would smother the tiny sporophytes and gametophytes, making it hard for mosses to spread by dispersing spores. Also, since they get their nutrients from the air, they would be a little starved, not to mention no light to make chlorophyl!


I’m a little limited as to how I can clear off the leaves since Francklin, my 3-legged wonder dog, has an unfortunate history (my fault!) with rakes. When he was just a tiny 3-legged puppy, I would try to get something done while I was outside with him, so I raked paths in the woods. Francklin constantly wanted to play, and very early on decided the rake was his playmate! He would crouch like a kitty and POUNCE on the rake when it got close enough. Hence, the rake attacker game came to be! For me to accomplish any raking, I had to rake really fast and sort of narrate as I raked. I guess it was like playing with a 2 year old! Well, now, I’m paying the price. If I were to bring a rake with me to The Hillock, Francklin would WIN and go off with the rake. That’s what happens when puppies become big dogs! So I’m reduced to using my hands and a small stick! I’ll have to say, though, that it’s really the best way to be a MossTender. I’m much more connected to the earth, the moss is less disturbed, and sofar, no snakes or spiders have intervened in the process.

Another thing I notice about The Hillock is that it’s no longer just a hillock, with knolls, emerging magical dwellings forming a community, and beautiful pebblestone streets. It’s NOW a truly MOSSY Hillock! The small clumps of moss on the north side of trees have now spread and the WHOLE Hillock is mostly covered with moss! It’s so amazing! Moss is even growing between the pebbles on the pebblestone street! I don’t know if I could ever move away from this land because of this special place….hmmm…maybe we could someday way down the road sell the house and keep the studio and the hillock?

The Hillocks 4:30:13

What I DO know is that NOW is the time to have Teas at the Hillock,  bring children to the Hillock, invite school classrooms on field trips. I need and want to SHARE it! So soon I will send out fliers or invitations! It’s where stories grow for my books and images grow in my mind. It’s where I go to create, re create, meditate, and just BE. It’s a place for Aha’s and Amen’s and Aciu!

Martha Julia Agnes Adele 13

This particular page took a lot of  text editing and reworking. I’m working on being a better gauge at how much space to leave with calm background so that the text will show up. This page worked except that I haven’t quite got the sizing right to match my paintings to a horizontal page. Hence, some of Marth had to be ‘cropped’ out of the picture. I’m also including a few photos of the real Artist’s House down at The Hillock. I added the bottle tree. Makes me think of my friend Deter who’s spirit is in this book and in my heart. She had a beautiful bottle tree in her yard.



Chocolate Mushroom Cafe: to be or not to be?


I’m struggling with the text for the next page of my Martha Julia Agnes Adele Adventure. I refer to The Chocolate Mushroom Cafe, and I’m wondering if I should worry about if this could be encouraging children to nibble on mushrooms they find in the woods.  I bring up this concern after having parented a precious and adventurous 2 year old who had a tendency to put woodsy mushrooms in her mouth. Often we would end up in the E.R. to ‘decide if she was exposed to some dangerous one!’

Here it is:

“Oh, what a grand Adventure Day!”

“We’re near the Chocolate Mushroom Cafe!”

“Step right up by this giant stone shoe!”

“You’ll especially love their acorn stew!”


Slab reaches behind him and pulls out a map.

From a hidden pocket in his shoulder strap.

“Let’s sit at this table and make our plan…”

“While we eat our stew and custard flan.”


And here is background information:

Slab and Martha… are about to discover that they are very near the Chocolate Mushroom Cafe. This is another actual place at The Hillock that is adjacent to the Queen’s Stove, that they stumbled upon on the last page. The Chocolate Mushroom Cafe is a flat top of one of the high mounds at The Hillock, underneath the Maple Tree that has The Market at its roots on its other side. There is a large, shoe-shaped rock, about size 6, that leads to a pebblestone trail to stone steps that go up to the flat top of the mound. On the mound are a few ‘stone tables’ where customers can enjoy acorn stew, custard flan, and more than likely chocolate mushroom dishes.  There is a tiny flower pot on each table, one holding meadow flowers, and one holding green moss. It got its name from some dark brown mushrooms growing on a log by the old stone shoe.

Painting for this page is in process. Here’s the Chocolate Mushroom Cafe in its early winter stages: