“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Unexpected gifts

This star glows every night.

See it there? On the table? It was enclosed in a Christmas card I received several years ago from my sister-in-law's mother. With instructions about how to make it glow. I sat it on this table next to my bed, where it would receive plenty of light from the window, or the lamp, or even from the candle sitting next to it - in that little milky white box. I cannot tell you how happy this star made me, and makes me still. It was one of the best gifts I've ever received, and it wasn't even intended to be a gift - those are the best kinds, don't you think? Those surprises? Kind of like the limb you see reflected in the mirror - it looks like the light in the hallway is attached to the end, but it's not, they're in 2 separate rooms, but they lined up perfectly when I was taking the photograph. It made me smile. The limb itself is one of those surprise gifts. It was blown out of a tree in the yard during a storm, and it has this perfect curve that I just fell in love with, so I brought it inside. What I didn't know at the time was that birds would love that curve also - they can see it through the usually open bathroom window, back beyond that hallway light, and in they come to sit a spell. I've walked into the bedroom more than once to find a bird perched on that limb.

So surprises. Unexpected gifts. Somerset Life is one. It is out, and I am in it. Robin is in it. Maddie is there, as are Sandra Evertson & Susanna, and tons of other talented women. I feel quite humble about it, quite shy about it, as Robin once said to me. Back in the fall, Jenny Doh - editor extraordinaire & lover of fabulous shoes - contacted me & asked me about myself, about what I do, about how I do it. And so I answered, and was surprised to discover the evolution of this little blog. I was surprised to discover it is the storytelling I have come to love the most. In the past, when I would hit creative dry spells, periods when I wasn't painting or building collages or drawing or anything, I would complain to Michael that the problem was that I had nothing to say. Nothing! That I was all about just the aesthetics. I didn't care about what anything meant. Which would make us laugh, but I thought I was being truthful with myself, I thought I meant it. Even now I think I did. And yet, here I sit, saying nothing day after day, and actually receiving recognition for it. I keep expecting an email or a phone call from Jenny, telling me she's made a mistake, what could she possibly have been thinking?

But it doesn't come,
and the magazine is out,
and I sit nestled in the pages with women I so admire.
A gift with a capital G.
Thank you all.
each day comes with its own gifts - untie the ribbons. ~ author unknown


  1. Oh goodie! I was hoping you'd write a post about this so I could congratulate you in just the right place! I saw this on robin's blog yesterday and I couldn't be more excited for both of you. The recognition is perfect!

  2. But WE, WE are the recipeints of the best gift! The pleasure of reading what you and Robin, et al have to say! Along with the captivating images. The insights, the stories, the weaving of such beautiful word and image tapestries. You do it so effortlessly (or so it seems). The outcome is always beautiful and connects us all.
    Who would've thought that 'cyberspace' could provide such deep and meaningful connections amongst us mortals?

  3. I have to get this issue, my Tyler blogging friend! You are such a wonderful story teller. And such a gem of a person to find the beauty in the limb, and in all the things you find pleasure in. You have a creative soul. And THAT'S the telling of a true artist!

  4. Maybe if the Christmas light decorations keep up she'll end up on the Tacky Light Tour at http://www.tackylighttour.com

  5. Oh, a few moments here at the end of the day. What peace. :)

    Tango - It's pretty cool to be in the same issue with Robin. We were able to agonize over our articles together. LOL! Thank you!

    Paula - As always, you are so kind & such a friend. Thank you for everything!

    Brenda - Stories are just everywhere, I think. I hope to grpw up to be one of those sit around the bonfire storytellers!

    Anonymous - Ahh, but these lights aren't tacky. And therein lies the dilemna.

    :) Debi

  6. so awesome. congratulations! :-) and the picture surprises are awesome too.


  7. I love your photos and the kitty photos!

  8. Debi,

    Giddy, excited, thrilled!! Not too strong words to use to tell you how happy I am for you. REALLY! I don't have the issue yet, but I am going to a bookstore tomorrow. What wonderful company you do keep.

  9. Coming here and reading you reminds me to untie the ribbons*

  10. smile. smile again. i'm smiling can you tell? you are amazing. shy, humble and talented. i love the reverse view from the mirror. and reading about your star because
    number 1. i believe you feel exactly that. happy for receiving this simple, shining non-gift. and
    number 2. i have had the same kinds of experiences. you know like loving the wrapping of a gift as much as the gift itself? a white box from my daughter once that she decorated with images from magazines and lined the inside of it with black and silver paper. i still have it.. it sits atop a shelf in my art room and i have no idea what the gift was that was once the reason for it's decorated life. it is the box that i love.
    and you. i love you. you are a perfect friend to sit beside in that magazine.

  11. Oh, congratulations! you deserve it so. The thing that makes me keep coming back to your blog is your gift for storytelling. So now we are all receiving gifts! I just wish I could find a copy of this magazine, I suspect I will be ordering a subscription soon.

  12. Julie - Thank you! I still feel a bit overwhelmed!

    Bonnie - Thanks for stopping by & thanks for liking the kitties! My babies!! LOL!

    Relyn - I hope you were able to find a copy; it's such a beautiful magazine. The bookstores here still don't have it. But I sent my aunt a copy & she thought she'd never seen such a gorgeous publication. "They sure do a lot with buttons" she said. :)

    Hele - I love the fact that you too can read my hidden words. Thanks for wanting to untie the ribbons!

    Robin - It's so true!! I have a couple of boxes Lulu has sent gifts in, and the boxes (blue & white stripes, thank you very much Land's End, I think!) are just as wonderful as the gifts! I am so glad to be able to be next to you in the magazine. I'm not sure I'm brave enough to stand alone!

    Suvarna - Oh, thank you! I hppe you can find the magazine also - it is just full of wonderful stuff!

    :) Debi

  13. You Debi, are a shining star. You glow on every page, every post, in every photograph, painting and word.

    Keep twinkling...and we all shall keep stargazing.


  14. i love coming to visit your blog for your photos and great stories.
    I think i will have to go purchase Somerset Life tonight.

  15. Jaime - OH! I wish I could twinkle!!! How wonderful would that be?

    SYW - You will be amazed at all the beautiful things stuffed into one little magazine. Two words: fairy door. :)



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