Saturday, August 30, 2008

Honey, I Took the Fishing Boat

Joanne Hulsey read this at Gail's memorial service.

Honey, I Took the Fishing Boat

I took the boat out fishing,
And I didn't tell you that I went;

Then before I knew it,
All my fishing time was spent.

Some angels pulled me over and said that I must dock.
I wasn't even startled, so I must have been in shock.

They wouldn't let me make a phone call,
Just said they'd let you know.

Then they said, "Lay down the fishing poles."
And to heaven we did go.

They dressed me in a flowing robe.
I guess I'm in the choir.
I sing decent alto, but I can't go much higher.

Well. it looks like I'm here to stay, so you must follow aft.
Don't worry that I took the boat.

I did leave you the raft.

--Rosie McFadden

Please Let Me Dance

Joanne Hulsey read this at the memorial service.

Please Let Me Dance

Look at you there watching me;
Let me be asked if I might take this dance.
Please ask me to dance.

I've stolen this time to be here, you know,
I meant to be working and, yes, I'm wearing a dress.
Please let me dance.

You know that you want to,
You are just too shy to ask me.
Please let me dance.

You did not ask me so I asked you,
Can I take this dance?

We have danced.
Still I had to ask.

Yet, the last dance you came to me and asked
Will you dance with me?

--Kelly Berry

Saturday, July 26, 2008

In Her Own Words

In Her Own Words: Gail wrote these words recently on yellow paper. I found them on her work table the day before her memorial service and chose to read them at the close of the remembrances section of the service.

It was a pleasant late spring day, warm and a little cloudy. It was a perfect day for fishing, but then I tend to think all days are perfect for fishing. I got to my favorite stream early. I love the anticipation of fishing. As I got into my waders and vest, I was planning which order to use my favorite flies. I grabbed my lunch and fly rod and got ready for the short hike to my favorite spot. There were no other vehicles so I knew I was ahead of the other anglers and could have my choice of spots.

Heading down to the lower part of the stream I kept an eye out for any animal activity or hunting birds. I’ve seen just about every kind of animal along streams and ponds. My favorite is the eagle or osprey diving for fish. They come from out of nowhere and I must admit their success is a bit better than mine. Before wading into the brook, I scan the water for any hatching insects. I also turn over a few rocks to see what larva might be crawling around lurking in the dark places.

I was savoring the quietness and solitary of the day. As a woman angler I meet a lot of people. Everyone wants to stop by and chat. I often am the recipient of much unsolicited advice from well-meaning men. (margin note: guys impressing me with misinformation) This year I passed my Maine Guide’s test on the first try for fishing and recreation. It’s funny, now that I have a patch on my vest and truck, I’m receiving another kind of attention. Now men come running over asking where to fish, what fly to use, where are the holding areas, is there access further down. There are plenty of opportunities to guide for free and now my opinions are suddenly very important.

Back to fishing. I could fish every day from dawn to dusk and beyond. There’s no end to the variables which can cause success or failure, and also no end to what can be blamed for an unsuccessful day.

These words are from her application to teach fly fsihing for the L. L. Bean Outdoor Discovery Program:

I am an avid fly fisherman. My husband taught me how to fly fish seven years ago and it is my opinion that you can’t fish too much nor can you catch too many fish....I actually got married on Opening Day (that’s right, April 1st); I wanted an anniversary I could remember. In my other life, I was reference librarian and believe me, fly fishing is a lot more fun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sent to me by Robyn to share...

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, t heir
conversational skills will be as important as any other.

THREE. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

FOUR. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

FIVE. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

SEVEN. Believe in love at first sight.

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams d on't
have much.

NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way
to live life completely.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

ELEVEN. Don't judge people by their relatives.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

THIRTEEN! .... When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer,
smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great

FIFTEEN. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

SIXTEEN. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and
Responsibility for all your actions.

EIGHTEEN. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

NINETEEN. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to
correct it.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your

TWENTY- ONE. Spend some time alone.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Words From Gail's Memorial Service--Dad's Words

I am here today along with Mom, Gail's Mom, to express our love and to tell Gail how much she has enriched us in so many ways.

Gail grew up here in Litchfield, attended the local schools, graduated from Monmouth Academy and then went on to the University of Maine graduating in 1972. Then she earned a Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Kentucky.

The onset of Gail's life was pretty much chaped by her mom. I was working two jobs so Mom had to take over on many occasions.

Gail's talents went in different directions than her two sisters, Anne and Barbie. In the world of music, Gail couldn't carry a tune and this is where she fell right in line with Dad--he couldn't either. My mother-in-law used to tell me in church "Gene, Just stand up and we'll do the singing." So that's what Gail and I used to do--just stand up and listen.

During the girls' youth, with no boys in the family, Dad boiught bats, balls, footballs, gloves, skates, hockey sticks, etc. And Gail stood out in these sports. She could run, throw, and kick better than any of us. She could throw a football with a beautiful spiral at least 30 yards and beyond sometimes.

Gail could handle all of the carpenter tools in her tool box as well as power tools and create works of art with them. She could also weild a paintbrush and produce that finishing touch.

Later she became an expert at fly fishing, using her talents in tying her own flies.

Gail had a great sense of humor and loved to express it herself with her friends. For instance, while home from college she wanted something different for her dorm room. She found this old flush on the farm, painted it pink, and then went back to school with this bright colored flush. It became a focal point for her room. All her friends would line up to sit on her throne.

Another time Gail wanted to make some root beer. With all the ingredients in hand she produced one dozen bottles and after capping them--and a working time--the bottles began to EXPLODE--4 bottles remain from the explosions some 35 years ago. They still are on a shelf in the basement. I wonder what the root beer would taste like now?!

I would like to make a recommendation to God. If you are looking for a third baseman with great hands, a pitcher with great control, a quarterback with a great spiral, and a point guard that can shoot, Gail is your best bet. By the way, she is pretty good at fixing things too.

I will say good-bye till we meet again on the other side. In closing, this prayer is what we would say together at bedtime:
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
God bless us all.

Messages from Friends

"We are all given terrible
trials sometimes, things
that we think will break our spirit and kill us, and they make us
stronger in
the end. They seem like the cruelest blows, but in a funny way they are
compliments from God. If He didn't love you and believe in you, He
give you challenges like this. They're opportunities for grace.
You'll be stronger from this. This is God's way of telling you that He
loves you and believes in you. It's a compliment from Him to you."

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls,
career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the
country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack
had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his
wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, 'Mr. Belser died last night. The
funeral is Wednesday.' Memories flashed through his mind like an old
newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

'Jack, did you hear me?'

'Oh, sorry, Mom Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him.
I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,' Jack said.

'Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were
doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the
fence' as he put it,' Mom told him.

'I loved that old house he lived in,' Jack said.

'You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure
you had a man's influence in your life,' she said

'He's the one who taught me carpentry,' he said. 'I wouldn't be in this
business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he
thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral,' Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his
hometown. Mr. Belzer's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children
of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see
the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over
into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly
as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of
furniture....Jack stopped suddenly.

'What's wrong, Jack?' his Mom asked.

'The box is gone,' he said

'What box?' Mom asked.

'There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must
have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was
'the thing I value most,'' Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it,
except for the box. He figured someone from the Belzer family had taken it.

'Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him,' Jack said. 'I better get
some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.'

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belzer died Returning home from work
one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. 'Signature required on a
package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next
three days,' the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and
looked like it had been mailed a hundred years a go. The handwriting was
difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. 'Mr. Harold
Belzer' it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the
package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook
as he read the note inside.

'Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett.
It's the thing I valued most in my life.' A small key was taped to the
letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked
the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the
cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

'Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belzer.'

'The thing he valued most time'

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared
his appointments for the next two days. 'Why?' Janet , his assistant asked.

'I need some time to spend with my son,' he said.

'Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!'

'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments
that take our breath away,'

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it's 100% true.

1. At least 2 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like

4. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

5. You mean the world to someone

6. If not for you, someone may not be living.

7. You are special and unique.

8. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably
won't get it, but if you trust God to do what's best, and wait on His time,
sooner or later, you will get it or something better.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come
from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you
most likely turned your back on the world.

11. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

12. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude

13 . Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better
when they know and you'll both be happy .

14. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Gail Thompson Hulsey 1951-2008, My Sister

LITCHFIELD -- Gail Thompson Hulsey, "Queen O' Trout", age 57, of Oak Hill Road in Litchfield, died suddenly as the result of an accident in Belgrade on Friday afternoon. Gail was on her way back from camp after three days of fly fishing at her favorite spots. Gail was an avid outdoorswoman. Though she only began fly fishing in 2001, she rapidly became known by many for her ability to practice the art. Through practice and research, she evolved into one who could read water and determine which fly to use. This was proven by her ability to outfish anyone who was with her, constantly.

She was born in Gardiner, Jan. 16, 1951 the daughter of M. Eugene and Jean A. (Morris) Thompson.

She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Maine in Orono and her Masters in Library Science at the University of Kentucky.

Gail was a Registered Maine Guide. She was also on the staff at the L. L. Bean Fishing Store and an instructor at the L. L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School. She was to have instructed at the upcoming Casting for Recovery event. Recently, a new fly was created by Abbott Fishing Gifts and named "Gail's Glory" after her.

Gail approached everything she did in her life with great gusto and enthusiasm. She sought out new challenges as opportunities to learn new skills, including quilting, ballroom dancing, Feng Shui, and fly tying.

Gail was a perfect wife to Richard and mother to her son, Samuel 'Sam' M. Rothman of Litchfield and Kennebunk. She is also survived by her parents, Jean and Gene Thompson of Litchfield; two sisters, Anne Thompson of Litchfield and Barbara Thompson and husband Wayne of Lisbon; a nephew, Andrew Clemons of New York City; and by several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wed., July 16, 2008 at the Litchfield Plains Baptist Church, Plains Road, Litchfield with a reception following at Gail's home.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Casting for Recovery, a national non-profit, support and educational program that provides fly fishing retreats for women who have or have had breast cancer.

Donations may be sent to Casting for Recovery, P O Box 1123, Manchester, VT 05254 or electronically at

For Gail

The Summer Day

Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?


from New and Selected Poems, 1992
Beacon Press, Boston, MA

Copyright 1992 by Mary Oliver.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced with permission

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

apples and pears

Last Wednesday I took my first class in stained glass work. I was prettty nervous to start with but Jim and Rachel at Maine Art Glass Studio in Lisbon Falls calmed me down right away. If you've never been to their gallery it is well worth the trip. Jim is a bug nut and there are the most beautiful arrangements and displays of butterflies I have ever seen. They also show glass art created by a variety of artists. Right now there is a quilt show too. The gallery is located in the interior of an old brick church--just a beautiful spot for all this glass work.

The first part of class I practiced cutting lines of window glass, straight and wavy, and then breaking them off from the bigger piece of glass. I thought this would be hard, but as long as I used good pressure on my cutting tool, I did pretty well. Jim then gave me a pattern to trace on more window glass that had to be cut out in a certain order--which I figured out right away--in order to get all the rectangles and triangles. Then I got my first pieces of art glass--gold, red, deep green, and a bumpy-textured brown--and a pattern of an apple and a pear. I traced the pattern onto the glass pieces, cut them out, took them to the grinding machine and smoothed all the edges, washed them, dried them, and then began to copper foil the edges. My homework assignment was to finish foiling the pieces, which I did. My next task in class will be to solder the pieces together.

My other homework assignment was to design my next piece. I actually found a photograph of a water lily that I loved with parts of two lily pads showing in the water around it. I enlarged the photograph and traced the outlines I chose to use in black marker. I have all this beautiful glass, so I looked through the boxes and chose some pieces that I think will work. I'm not much of a pink person, so even though the photo showed the water lily in shades of deep to lighter pink, I am reinterpreting it in kind of a pinky brown and white glass with deep green lily pads and deep blue-green rippled glass water.

I'm not going to class tonight because the weather forecast is so bad--certainly don't want to drive 30 miles or so on ice. I've traced the pattern onto the pinky-brown white glass and think I will try to cut it out on my own before next week's class. I'd love to be able to take in pieces ready for the grinder.

The other idea I'm batting about is how to make the lily stand 3-D out from the water and lily pad glass even a little bit. So I'm going to cut some extra pieces for base pieces to solder the upright pieces to and I think that might work. The more I can envision what I want to do, the more Jim will be able to help me bring the idea to reality.

I'm already working up an idea for a waterfall for another piece. And then there's the ideas that are percolating from the children's book FEATHERS FOR LUNCH. I made some shrink art jewelry pieces of the cat and some of the birds and I think those designs would work as patterns for stained glass. I've already resketched the cat to look more like my calico cat Miss Joon--as she is my oldest cat, about 20, it might be nice to immortalize her in a way in glass. Plus all her patches could be really cool in different tones of black, brown, and orange.

My mind is working overtime...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

more water and mist

Here are a few photos of the water and Memories Mist technique I wrote about yesterday.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

water and Memories Mist

Tonight's experiment involved water, Memories Mist, and a package of time cards. I found the time cards at Marden's--250 for $10, they're larger than the biggest tags I have, and are manila tag weight and plain on the back so they work like tags. I had watched a video on Craft TV Weekly that showed how to do this...I spritzed water on a tag (placed on a craft sheet), gently carried the tag flat to a small cardboard box (balanced precariously on top of the full laundry basket--what's more important, creating art or putting the laundry away?!) and sprayed it with Memories Mist. The water acted as a resist and left manila spots where the water had been and the rest of the card absorbed the inky spray. Then I spritzed some stamps and water-stamped images on the tags, put them in the box, and Memories Mist-ed away...the images almost look bleached on the tags. Next I put stencils on top of the tags and spritzed those, gently removed the stencil, and sprayed with the Mist--more soft images. In all I used four stencils and two stamps, a tiny bit of water and Mist and I have a dozen tags ready to use on cards or whatever...FUN! If you don't want to wait for the images to dry on their own, use a heat gun like I did and watch the magic happen more quickly. This was a lot more fun for me than bleach or the Castaway pad, was less messy (as long as you don't count the green clogged mist bottle that sort of leaked all over my right hand), and involved very little cleanup--one paper towel.

If you haven't seen Craft TV on TV, you can watch episodes on your computer like I do (because, believe it or not, I do not have a TV)...all kinds of great ideas in 15 minutes or less, each episode focused on a particular technique and/or product. The shows are archived so you can go back a few years and learn some neat stuff. Just Google Craft TV Weekly!

Monday, January 28, 2008

working with artist canvases

For nearly twenty years my parents did wildlife rehabilitation here at Jean's Jungle. In fact, the Woodshed where I live used to be the rehabilitation center--my kitchen was the fawn pen, beaver and ferrets were housed in the livingroom along with a cage of flying get the picture. Anyway, Pilgrim was a runty Great Blue Heron that my dad cared for, nursed to health, and released to the wild. Every year Pilgrim comes back and fishes in our pond and visits on the opposite shore. We know it's him because he is so small and he doesn't take off when Dad talks to him. I made this canvas this weekend for Pilgrim. I inked up the edges of the canvas and stamped 3 heron images on the left. I photocopied photographs of a blue heron taken by Pat Bither, attached them to pieces of black cardstock, and added the puffy letters. I cut three strips of paper (Basic Grey) and attached those to the canvas with glue dots. I added the heron photocopies, and the two envelopes, and some bamboo pieces from another card I deconstructed, The smaller envelope has a tag with Pilgrim's name on it. The larger one holds the story of Pilgrim that my mother wrote before her stroke. I glued a piece of ribbon across the bottom of the canvas, added a punched circle from the same background paper, and made a doodad from an earring mounted on a rollabind disk.

The other image is of the second canvas I made this weekend, 18"X24", GRUNGE 1-9. I picked up my digits and punctuation grungeboard at Your Maine Stamper on Saturday and could hardly wait to start playing. This stuff is amazing! It's paper but totally flexible and has almost a suedey feel to it. To start my canvas, I divided it into triangualr sections and cut pieces of scrapbook papers to fit which I glued on with Scotch Tacky Adhesive. For each grungeboard piece I tried different techniques. 1: Shabby Shutters crackle paint. 2: Versafine Satin Red ink, Versamark, Firebrick Red Distress embossing powder. 3: pine needles distress ink, shabby shutters crackle paint, Glossy Accents and copper ultrafine glitter.
Parentheses: black soot distress ink and copper embossing powder. 4: Versamark and copper embossing powder (looks like metal!). 5. tea dye distress ink and tea dye distress embossing powder. 6. gold embossing powder, glue pen and ultrafine copper glitter. 7: walnut stain distress ink. 8: Pesto Adirondack Color Wash. AND: shabby shutters crackle paint, pine needles and black soot distress inks. 9: tea dye crackle paint and walnut stain distress inks. Exclamation Point: tea dye and shabby shutters crackle paint. I adhered the grunged pieces to the papers with glue dots, added some antique buttons and a beribboned buckle. I LOVE this piece!

canvases were purchased at the Christmas Tree Shops for cheap--9X12 $1.69; 12X18 $3.99

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tim Holtz Challenge

If you are not familiar with Tim's blog, check it out! There were great tag challenges in December and a new one posted yesterday for January. Each tag challenge includes very detailed instructions illustrated by photographs of Tim at work. The December "12 Tags of Christmas" directions are archived. Robyn and I are hoping to get more Tim Holtz stuff into Your Maine Stamper in Winthrop so we make more of this cool stuff and maybe even teach some classes to inspire others to try these materials and techniques.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


One evening this week I watched an online video on cutting glass for making jewelry and got all excited about the possiblities of using colored glass in my work. The next day my friend Jeanne called to ask if I would like some glass. Someone she knew had cleaned out a closet and Jeanne had two boxes of colored glass that needed a good home. Talk about synchronicity! I drove down on Saturday afternoon to get it. The colors and textures of the glass pieces are amazing. Soooo beautiful. The tools that I need as a beginning glass cutter were also in the bottom of the box. Now I just need to set up a space for this that is separate from my living quarters--think it's time to clean off the 8-foot store counter in the other room as that would be a really good place to work. There's so much glass--everything from a quartsize container of tiny glass pieces for mosaics to sheets that are nearly 8"X10" and all sizes in between.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Keep This! Box directions and photos

To begin with, I inked up the whole box a bit with Ranger's (Tim Holtz) Distress Ink in Black Soot. I also added distress ink to a piece of purple paper (one of the 4X4 pieces), rubbed on Keep This and the wiggly arrow, added cardstock stickers and bubble numbers for 2008. I taped this to the top of the box using doublesided tape.

The other squares shown are sample pages I have placed in my box. I'm up to over thirty of these little squares in my box now. I used rub-ons, stickers, my own journaling, rubber stamping, collage papers, ribbon, and all kinds of other stuff from my stash of stuff.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Getting Started--My First Blog Entry

Here first blog entry. 2008 promises to be a very creative year for me and hopefully for my readers as well. My goal with this blog is to inspire others to release their artists within. I hope to post photos of some of my work with directions/suggestions as starting places for creating unique projects. I know it's only the 6th of January, but I've accomplished so much already this year! On New Year's Day I cut up an old LLBean wool sweater and made a great big slouchy bag with outside pockets (appliqued a flower, antique button as the center) and a matching pair of mittens. The 2nd was a snow day (no school) and I made rabbit dancing in the snow cards and mailed off a half dozen of them. On the third I met with a group of twelve to create keepsake boxes to focus on key words and intentions for the new year. (I'll post phots and those directions later this week.) On the fourth I found a great sale on scrapbooking supplies at the Gardiner Reny's and filled a shopping basket with goodies. On the 5th I took Robyn's class at Your Maine Stamper in Winthrop and had a great time creating and embellishing five cards using Hero Arts 2008 new stamps. Later that evening I created a book for my friend Connie who sent me 20 small squares of colored paper with the challenge to do something interesting with them. The little four-page book is called "C D B!" and that page is illustrated with a stamped bee and beehive. The other pages also are stories in letter code (each letter on one of the little squares) with stamped images to help one decode the sentences. What fun I had with that! (Thanks to William Stieg's CDB for inspiration.) Today I've been investigating blogging and here it is...

I chose the title Notes from the Woodshed for a couple of reasons. First, I live in an apartment in what was once the woodshed attached to my family home while I help to care for aging parents. Secondly, there's a jazz/music reference here--that beginner players were often sent to the woodshed to practice is one take on the phrase. I also chose the word "notes" because I am a writer (National Writing Project Fellow 2002) and the primary tool I will use in this blog is writing notes about what I'm dreaming up and creating.

Tomorrow I'm going to figure out how to attach photographs to this blog so I can illustrate more clearly the things I write about.