... returned from the beaches near Wilmington, NC.
... had beautiful weather, lofty clouds, cooling breezes
... solitary beaches.

The white-hot sun of day was slowly falling when we arrived at Shell Beach. 
Shell Beach --- the perfect name.  
Mounds of shells crushed to tiny fragments, the beginnings of new sand.
Hand size half shells of alabaster and sandstone, 
 piled like drift wood along the shoreline.

The evening sun split blades of sea grass
into thin ribbons of warm light, 
shooting above split rails.

The most spectacular surprise were a dozen or so cactus, in  amazing colors.  Bulb upon bulb, crimson, violet, purple, fuchsia, 
theo-violet....all balanced by greens, blended into blue.

Too quickly, the plummeting  sun was at an oblique slant, flooding everything in golden light.

Then our evening  diminished into darkness and the rush of the ocean waves.

...on the wings of wind
...we closed the day with a sherbet sky
...and a sand bucket of memories. 

 ...smiles: sharon


Four hours until Easter. 
If I don't make too many typo's this will get "published" before midnight.
This has been a great week. (In another post I will share our visit to Roanoke, VA.  A very fun town to visit, especially when meeting one's daughter. Yep, overnight stay, amazing food, shopping and the most amazing and FAMOUS salvage store ever.
Will share that soon.)
Yesterday, made another trip to garden shop and bought amazing PINK geraniums and more lavender plants.  Just had to poke a few E.E in them.

Last years lavender didn't make it. Sad.  I have a friend who planted her entire front lawn in small sprigs of lavender. A test of patience and strong back. Within a few years, she had a Provence Field of Lavender. Can you imagine walking up to her front door, in knee high lavender?????
While I am out in the yard, one more short story.
 While attempting to HOIST upright a very large outdoor umbrella, unexpectedly, a huge bird nest tumbled out, landing on my head! 
( Fortunately, no tiny bird eggs.) Haven't a clue how Mrs. Bird, built it while umbrella is prostrate on the cement patio floor!  
Being a collector of empty NESTS, I was thrilled, despite the debris in my hair. Perhaps it is apropos, my hair does somewhat resemble a bird's nest. 
A treasure trove always lies inside a vacated nest.  This one had cellophane candy wrappers.  Receipt. Laundry lint. Berries and sticks. Skeleton leaves. 

Paying homage to the mother bird who built this abode.
Despite being large, it is now fragile after landing on my head. It cautiously rests in a pottery pot, with a "fake" egg tucked inside. 
FINALLY I made time to do some spring-y, Easter-y sketches. 
If you read the last post, you know that I was berating myself for not filling a sketchbook before starting another.
OKAY, made a good start.  
Hong Kong has many parks, but a real favorite is the Bird Park, where men stroll the grounds with their "pet" bird in a beautiful cage or a simple bamboo. (Rather like going out for ice cream or a coffee with friends.) The men linger and mingle the afternoon away, discussing the merits of one's bird.  A bit of a competitive air.
 No Chocolate bunnies for us this year. Mr. H and I are by ourselves for the first time ever in our marriage at Easter.  I guess that is one reason why I managed the sketches this week. smile. 
Treated myself to three small grocery store bouquets of flowers.
You can tell I was excited by them as they are in many of my photos!
 In Roanoke I saw this large, enamel mug. I loved the words. Six dollars well spent. I didn't think about the fact that I can't use it in the microwave. Oh, well it makes a great vase, or paintbrush holder.
Bavarian papier mache eggs.  
Decades ago, (wow that sounds old), I had opportunities to travel to German speaking countries. Besides everything else, I fell in love with the authentic Bavarian folk painting...Easter...Christmas...Spring...
each season has its own quaint and colorful look. 
The photo below shows a few of our eggs. They nestle inside one another. Lace-like doilies separate the eggs. The interior has delicately printed paper that indicates where it was made...
The small bowl is my attempt at paper-clay sculpting.
So that's about it.
If you have stayed with me to the end, I want to share a fun website.
No doubt many of you will be aware of it, but if you aren't and you love all things French.  French sketches. French pastry. French open markets. French flair.  Then this is for you.
PARIS BREAKFASTS is written by the very talented Carole Gillott.
You can even subscribe to her Paris Letters and bi-monthly received a beautiful, large, watercolor from Paris. I will share photos of mine if someone reminds me!
You will see her post I enjoyed today, via email (you can subscribe to email/no cost.) I love the last photo in her all time favorite spring blossom, which you never see in the south.
And with that, I say adieu, have a beautiful April. 
And for those who celebrate Easter, a prayer for Peace in this struggling world.  Actually whether you celebrate Easter or not. 
smiles: Sharon


I wish I could feel and look this serene right now. I had such good intentions.
Hours ago I had determined to write a blog post. 
I even had an idea of what to share.
When I opened up Blogger, I discovered that MUCH HAD BEEN CHANGED !!!
And no one asked my opinion, or warned me.
Sweet simple Blogger became a maze of decisions and choices.
So here I sit HOURS later, yes HOURS.
Someone must have been feeling a bit sad for me, as things are sort of...well kinda...working out.
Not that I get "rattled" or anything, but for some reason I don't recall what I wanted to share. 
But I do think that sketchbooks was part of it.
You see, I have been lingering, loitering, loving my sketchbooks.
Tonight while I was hysterically lost in blog woes, some in this family needed to be fed.
I cajoled Mr. H. to prepare the corn-on-cob while I sliced up some pretty good looking tomatoes (and it isn't even summer.) 
Zippity-do  corn on the cob and tomato and bacon sandwiches with lots of mayonnaise.
But I digress.
A while back, I pulled out every book that had at least ONE sketch.  There were piles of books of every size and persuasion. Book shelves are now sagging!
I got pretty irritated with myself for not having more discipline and filling at least half of the pages of a book before moving on. 
But life doesn't work like that.  Probably for you, but not me.
It is time for an out loud commitment to fill at least one sketchbook this month.
Right now I Pinky Promise to fill in all of those blank sheets. 
No more scooting around from hither to yon...going to be disciplined.
Life is indeed in bloom here in North Carolina.
Green, green, green everywhere, blossoms popping out, wasps and jumbo bees are buzzing all around our front porch looking for a way in, cardinals and robins are boasting their red feathers, ants are forming trails to somewhere, time to collect the vacated bird nests and wasp hives, three neighbors' cats are sunbathing on our front porch because we have soft cushions on the chairs and I only needed one sweater in the morning!  
Ah life is looking good.
Smiles: Sharon