Breaking Bread


Mr. and Mrs. Mallard were looking for a place to live. But every time Mr. Mallard saw what looked like a nice place, Mrs. Mallard said it was no good. There were sure to be foxes in the woods or turtles in the water, and she was not going to raise a family where there might be foxes or turtles. So they flew on and on.

When they got to Boston, they felt to tired to fly any further. There was a nice pond in the Public Garden with a little island on it. “The very place to spend the night,” quacked Mr. Mallard. So down they flapped.

Next morning they fished for their breakfast in the mud at the bottom of the pond. but they didn’t find much.

Just as they were getting ready to start on their way, a strange enormous bird came by. It was pushing a boat full of people, and there was a man sitting on its back. “Good Morning,” quacked Mr. Mallard, being polite. The big bird was too proud to answer. But the people on the boat threw peanuts into the water, so the Mallards followed them all round the pond and got another breakfast, better than the first.

“I like this place,” said Mrs. Mallard as they climbed out on the bank and waddled along. “Why don’t we build a nest and raise our ducklings right in this pond? There are no foxes and no turtles, and the people feed us peanuts. What could be better?”

-Robert McCloskey, Make Way For Ducklings



“This is the first thing I remember.

In the corner of a lean-to whitewashed attic stood a fine, plain, solid oak bureau. By climbing up on to this bureau I could see from the window the glories of the sunset. My attic was on a hill in a large and busy town, and the smoke of a thousand chimneys hung like a gray veil between me and the fires in the sky. When the sun had set, and the scarlet and gold, violet and primrose, and all those magic colors that have no names, had faded into the dark, there were other fires for me to see. The flaming forges came out, and terrified while they fascinated my childish imagination.

I hold very strongly that a child’s earliest impressions mould its character perhaps more than either heredity or education. I am sure it is true in my case. What first impressed me? An attic, an oak bureau, a lovely face, a bed on the floor. Things have come and gone in my life since then, but they have been powerless to efface those early impressions. I adore pretty faces. I can’t keep away from shops where they sell good old furniture like my bureau. I like plain rooms with low ceilings better than any other rooms; and for my afternoon siesta, which is one of my institutions, I often choose the floor in preference to bed or sofa.

What we remember in our childhood and what we are told afterwards often become inextricably confused in our minds… ”

-Dame (Alice) Ellen Terry, The Story of My Life



15 1/2 x 20 1/2″, colored pencil portrait of a young Beatrix Potter-looking Olivia and Lady

“Thank God I have the seeing eye, that is to say, as I lie in bed I can walk step by step on the fells and rough land seeing every stone and flower and patch of bog and cotton pass where my old legs will never take me again.”

“I hold that a strongly marked personality can influence descendants for generations.”

“I remember I used to half believe and wholly play with fairies when I was a child. What heaven can be more real than to retain the spirit-world of childhood, tempered and balanced by knowledge and common-sense.”

“The place is changed now, and many familiar faces are gone, but the greatest change is myself. I was a child then, I had no idea what the world would be like. I wished to trust myself on the waters and the sea. Everything was romantic in my imagination. The woods were peopled by the mysterious good folk. The Lords and Ladies of the last century walked with me along the overgrown paths, and picked the old fashioned flowers among the box and rose hedges of the garden.”

“Thank goodness my education was neglected.”   -Beatrix Potter

My Definition of a Hero

My Definition of a Hero

At the Heart (coeur) of my Girl Heroes is courageousness. Not in the sense of the turn-off successful; the strong, the bitchy, the step-on-others-to-the-top type. My Girl Heroes are those who show a type of quiet courage, ordinary heroes, the day-to-day courageous. They face their struggles, diabetes, thyroid, emotional issues, family struggles, the get-out-of-the-box and try it anyway, type. The true to themselves type. They remind me of people. Women we eventually hear about, usually honored later when someone recognizes this person has been here all along doing this. Wow. And then Emily is no longer the bane of her family’s existence, abused by her siblings. Beatrix is no longer just the girl who liked to draw science. Like the struggles I have had in my own life, yet I get up everyday, teach, do what I have to, make art. This quietly courageous and enduring quality inspires.


Courage to be Imperfect Continue reading



“Tomorrow, Aunt Decca,” said Emma Tennant firmly, “I’ve booked us to go out to the Longstone Lighthouse on a tour boat. It’s only a three-hour trip.” It was, she added, an open boat: “Better put on several good stout jerseys, gumboots, and a mac. It’s likely to be pouring. Usually is up this way.”

In vain I pleaded – “But  why don’t you go , and describe it all to me when you get back. That way  I can write it up and pretend I’d gone, nobody will ever know… ” Absolutely not, said she, getting quite stern. As a  researcher, surely I should knwo that an eyewitness account is de rigueur?  Properly admonishes, I acceded, and, as Emma had predicted , was very glad I had done so.    -Jessica Mitford, Grace Had an English Heart

The first true media celebrity, the aptly named Grace Darling, whose story eclipses our own Ida Lewis of Lime Rock and her many rescues, whose one deed was one so romanticized as to send Victorian girls both running to and from the perils it proclaimed. and we remain in that quandary still.

When Homework’s Done


“Well” said Stuart, “a misspelled word is an abomination in the sight of everyone.”  -E.B. White, Stuart Little

Now that just cracks me up since the homework in this  piece is my daughter’s book report on Ramona’s World, in which she spells Ramona 4 different ways but never correctly. Perhaps it will all be corrected in time to go out and play before the rain. But I doubt it.

Piedmont, the gerbil-model for this piece, belonged to a teacher friend. He was actually helping with report cards in one adorable photo, but as this needed to be a Fall piece for a  Colored Pencil Magazine competition (Draw the Leaves), I made it a piece about homework. Piedmont is sadly no longer with us so this is a tribute to his big, little character.

Water Ballet

Water Ballet

Today, the pride, the honor, to be who I am, not what I achieved, courses through my veins. Oh, glory days. -Diana Nyad

naiad [ˈnaɪæd]n pl -ads, -ades [-əˌdiːz]

1. (Myth & Legend / Classical Myth & Legend) Greek myth a nymph dwelling in a lake, river, spring, or fountain. Also, water nymph

You are loved unconditionally. God loves with agape, the love described in 1 Corinthians 13. He loves you so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for you, that you might have everlasting life. His love is not based on performance.
oh, but sometimes you do those things that make me want to squeeze you and smile.

The Other Sister

The very ink of history is written with fluid prejudice  — Mark Twain

"She is my death and I am hers" -Anne B

“She is my death and I am hers” -Anne B

“If I must die, then I will die boldly, as I have lived.” ―Carolyn Meyer, Doomed Queen Anne

“And thus I take my leave of the world and of you all, and I heartily desire you all to pray for me.” –Anne Boleyn

My Blog is called Girl Heroes and Animal Stories. As it gets closer to my show, you will hear more and more about this. Here is my daughter, Honor, a special portrait for her graduation, poppies for remembrance (even if the they are a Tommy Hilfiger shower curtain) and the Anne Boleyn necklace, the REAL one that came from the costumers to the show the Tudors as an incentive present from her teacher for completing school a year early. A girl who knows her history has power. A girl who has power and knowledge will go far. Calling her the OTHER sister is a compliment not a slight, quoting a Queen who it is said influenced her country more then any other in her short life is not as morbid as these quotes would otherwise sound. This is a legacy. Honor is my first Girl Hero.