Just Pretty

I used to live down the street from this church and these beautiful trees. When I came along here earlier in the week, March 31, for an art drop-off, I found the trio in perfect spring dress. I remember so well this sight every spring when we lived here. It is hard for me to believe that 17 years have gone by since we moved. I would not know it from what the trees show me; they bloom as bright and strong as ever.

I don’t come up this way much; even though I go through downtown Wyncote pretty often, this street is a block off the main road I travel. I am glad I was here on this day.

Art Drop-Off 4/2/20

Really really early on April 2 my husband and I took a nice wandering walk from our house into Glenside, PA, about 1.5 miles away, and through the business district before we headed back home. Nice long walk, about 5 miles in total.

I left a tile from the recent tile project in town. This one:

Clay Bird Tile 9 3-20 4x4009

I set him in a planter along Easton Road, the main thoroughfare, nestled among the flowers. You can look at him in place and enjoy him, or you can take him with you.

Glenside is an area of small shops and businesses. Pretty much every place had a notice on its door explaining its closure. It’s very hard to see these notices. I feel that each one is hiding despair and the desire to cry behind a stoic face, with their wordings that express the unfathomable in dry and plain talk, beginning, “by order of the Governor”, or, “In order to safeguard public health…”, or similar phrases. It hurts.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (7)

I have never seen Easton Road with zero traffic. It has a stream of cars traveling along it any time day or night. Not this morning, when in usual times it would be seeing a pick-up in work traffic. This morning I stood in the street to take these photos.

We walked down the street toward the railroad overpass. Wait a minute. Look at that!

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (8)

What is it?

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (10)

Here’s what. A collaborative art project – college, municipality, transportation authority.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (11)

I’ve seen it in the daytime but since I don’t go this way at nigh, I have never seen it lit up. In fact I had no idea. Wow! It’s just beautiful.

Even this guy at the karate studio down the street thought so. He couldn’t stop staring at it.

Art Drop off Glenside 4-2-20 (9)

All right. That’s helped me today. Thank you, art, once again, for stepping in. You made a difference to this one person today.

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.


Art Drop Off – April 1, 2020

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.

Here is the second tile dropped off from this group:

Clay Head Tile 3 3-20 4x4001

Since it was such a beautiful day, I took a walk from my house to Curtis Arboretum, about a mile or so from home. This location is another township park, formed from the grounds of a former residence, like Robinson Park yesterday . This residence, however, was in a whole other league: the owner was the founder of Curtis Publishing (Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal, etc.) The estate was called Lyndon; the house has been demolished and only the ballroom remains, along with 45 acres of gently rolling land planted with specimen trees.

First I’ll show you the drop-off site. I set the tile on the exit gate stone pillar. It’s facing the road, so if you drive by you will see it. Stop quick (there is not much traffic on Greenwood Avenue right now) and get out of your car and grab it if you want it; otherwise just give a wave.


I walked into the park. Since I’m not a car, I can go in the exit. I headed toward the building. It’s now rented by a catering company who made improvements, with township input and cooperation, to the building and grounds. The features were all part of the estate’s structures.

And here is a view of the park.


I turned and walked up to the front of the building. Fun fact: this is where I vote. So I get to see the beautiful interior of this building a couple times a year.

Odd-looking little place, isn’t it? Take note of its features. I found a photo from about 1925 that showed the estate (when the house still existed).

If you look at the image (I’m not showing it because I’m not sure about copyright, but you can find it here, courtesy of Hagley Digital Archives, Hagley¬† Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE) you’ll see what I describe next.

In the photo, the mansion is the big structure in the lower left. Looking at the building, you can see the ballroom attached to the left side of the building. I got so excited at seeing this photo and pinpointing the features of the house – I had never seen the ballroom as it was meant to be.

All right. Moving along, I left the park and continued my walk.

I’ve written some posts related to Curtis, Curtis Arboretum, and the Curtis Building in Philadelphia (home of the stupendous mosaic Dream Garden, colored glass designed by Maxfield Parrish and executed by Tiffany). Take a look:

Curtis Buildinglook here

Curtis Arboretum and the Sunshine Projectlook here




Art Drop Off – March 31, 2020

I’ve made a group of tiles for art drop offs. Here is the whole array:

If you want details on their creation, I wrote three posts about it on my art blog. Here is a link to the first one and from there, look for the other two to learn about the project in sequence – they follow over the next few days.


All right, here is my first drop-off.  This tile was the subject.

Clay Bird Tile 12 3-20 4x4008

I took a walk from my house down the hills into my former neighborhood, which is only about a mile away. We lived here from 1992-2003, and then we moved to our current location. As you may imagine, the old neighborhood is still very familiar to me, being so close. I decided to set the tile on the stone wall surrounding a park:

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (2)

I placed it so that it is visible and if anyone wants to take it, they can, but it can also be enjoyed as it is, if a passerby would rather not pick it up. I want to be cognizant of people’s feelings these days.

Let me tell you a little about this area. This section of Cheltenham Township, Old Wyncote, was built up about about 130+/- years ago. It surrounds a commuter rail station that in the past would have been a quick link to the city of Philadelphia when other transportation was slow or uncertain. Therefore, this area, like a lot of my township, was originally a place for wealthy people to build large estates for a country place, or for affluent people to have a summer home out of the city. The houses are large and many are elaborately decorated with patterned shingles and lots of porches.

This park, Robinson Park, is the remnant of one of those estates. It’s low-lying and for water runoff issues was saved from development in the 1990’s, becoming a small park instead. The house the land belonged to is right behind it (reddish-roofed house).

The park has a pond (what we would call a runoff basin these days) and in warm weather a fountain sprays.

There is a small community garden:

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (6)

but otherwise it’s just a peaceful place.

The stone walls are from the estate days and, like much of the area, are protected under historic preservation laws. Our house in this neighborhood, which was located up the hill off to the left of the scenes I have showed you, was one of these houses. The exterior of the homes cannot be altered without permission (except for paint). When we moved here these homes were not desirable and many were in bad condition. Since then, things have changed, and the houses are getting cared for.

The stone walls, as I was saying, are extensive.

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (3)

In this view I am looking up the street. The house in the picture marks the end of the park. In this next view, I have walked up to that point and am looking back.

Art Drop off 3-31-20 Wyncote (5)

It may interest you to know that Greenwood Avenue, running alongside the wall, is normally a busy street – cars come one after another all day long. On this day I was able to walk in the street, only occasionally stepping up on the sidewalk as a car came along. It is not an experience I have had before.

Anyway, the tile is at Greenwood and Bent Roads, facing uphill. If you are in the neighborhood, say hello!

Green Plant

In my dining room I have this tiny succulent set in the window.

I think it looks like he is reaching out to hug me.

Hugging Plant 3-20

Art Drop-Off 3/30/20

And how do you know? Just look at the sign! I left these two tiles in front of the sign for the high school across the street, yesterday morning about 6 AM.

Art Drop-Off 3/27/29

We had a beautiful day on Friday, March 27. I was busy with projects but in the afternoon went out for a walk. I chose my familiar neighborhood route, circling the athletic fields of our local high school right across the street. Each loop is 1/2 mile, so it’s a nice stretch.

Here’s the front of the school:


And there is my house, over there.


I took along a tile to join the one set out previously on a bench.


Here they are together:


After a couple of loops I turned and went along the parking lot. A gingko tree had been cut down recently. Here is its stump:

The sap glistening in the sun caught my eye. I prodded it gently – it has resistance, but is still sticky. Not quite amber yet. I smelled it, wondering if it had that gingko odor (why I thought it might, I don’t know) but no. It smelled like pine.

I did a circle, observing a couple of student drivers…the high school, with its array of parking lots and drives, is a time-honored location for local teenagers learning to drive. You know them when you see them – the sometimes lurching stops, the hesitant turns, the young person with a death grip on the steering wheel, the older adult in the passenger seat sitting at attention…stay clear of these vehicles if you are walking!

I then went a few laps around the lacrosse/softball fields. The little flowers scattered across the grass attracted me to take a closer look:

I need my friend Diane to classify these little guys for me. I wish she were here and we could maybe do it together. There are plenty of these little clumps, we could easily stay 6 feet apart and yet be here out in the sunshine chatting.

After all of this wandering, I went home and set up my lounge chair in the back yard. It was cool in the shade but I got a light blanket and a book and I was all set.


Art Drop-Off at Sunrise

A couple of days ago my husband and I were out for a pre-dawn walk. We didn’t go far, just circling the athletic fields in front of the high school across the street. You can get in plenty of miles without going far from home – it’s a half-mile circuit. Here is our house, way across the softball fields, from the high school side of things:

Art drop off 3-25-20 (5)004


Anyway, we left a tile on a bench at the school. I took these photos after a couple more circuits, giving the sun some time to make its appearance:

As the sun came up, the apartment buildings across the highway warmed up, too.

Art drop off 3-25-20 (7)005

My New Gym (for the time being)

A couple of days ago it was pouring down rain. No outside for me today, I thought

But – shout out to the Ambler YMCA in Ambler PA, thank you! – I have some classes on the computer to stream, courtesy of my Y membership. We have the Les Mills series of classes that we do there and I participate in Body Combat.

So I went to the Y’s special site, fired up the old computer, and got kicking and hitting. Where did I do this? My basement. I cleared out a space and set the computer on the freezer –

Basement 3-20 (2)

with my clay table to the left

Basement 3-20 (3)

and the slab roller to the right, both of them cheering me on.

Basement 3-20 (1)

I’ve got to tell you, it worked out great. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do a familiar activity.

I had plenty of room and I especially enjoyed the instructors’ setting (inside that little computer..) – they were doing most of the workout on a platform set out a little way into the ocean, off the coast of New Zealand. How about that!


Spring is Wild Glove Season

When the weather starts to warm, you find gloves perched in all kinds of places. They escape and get out on their own. I think the reason why is – you’re going along on a cold day, but things warm up as they do in spring, and you realize now you don’t need the gloves you started out with. You think you put them in your pocket or your pack, but…one gets away.

Then, with some assistance from passersby, they find themselves a branch to occupy.

Here are some we saw on the Pennypack rail trail on 3/19/20.

Here are two who’ve found each other and plan to stick together, it looks like.

Gloves 3-19-20 (2)

This black glove, and what a graceful pose it has struck.

Gloves 3-19-20 (3)

Here is an exotic creature that really stands out in the brown woods.

Gloves 3-19-20 (1)

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