Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Foglia 02 a Abigail Doan 2007

A few months ago I was snooping on the Vancouver Craigslist artist's section and ran into a site called neo-images. There was a large portfolio of works from various artists from New York.
I started scanning through it alphabetically and stopped dead at D. D for Abigail Doan.

There were a series of extraordinary and breath taking images. I had never experienced anything like her work. I wrote to her, something I rarely do. She wrote back.

Abigail Doan has become my favourite artist. Her use of materials and the sensitivity in her works takes my breath away. She reminds me that possibilities are hopeful and without limits.

You have to see her blog a http://www.abigaildoan.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Needle Painting

Stitch after stitch. Line after line. Back and forth and up and down for days.

So far the creation looks just like a shoe polishing rag. Something to do the dishes with?

Making a foundation cloth for further embroidery. Only using stitches and "Solvy". It takes less time to spin the threads and weave the cloth.

The result so far is a ragged remnant and a sore back.

Burnt some small balls for jewelry. They worked very well.


There is an interesting little struggle going on at the studio. It is about fumes.

The William Street Building has a number of studios that are divided by pony walls. The studio spaces are reasonably priced and fairly large. We are aware of one another when we work.

I have been working with a wood burning tools with windows wide open and fans going. It smells a little like burnt cookies. I have also worked with silicone and some glues which are probably more solvent based.

One of the other studio tenants has complained that there is a burnt wax smell in the building lately and that batiking is forbidden! I haven't fessed up because I am not working with wax.

Dale, a painter, has had complaints regarding the smell of his oil paint. Lilias got a complaint when she was ironing fabric.

Some of the "artists" are really more like manufacturers. They are in the building all the time and produce commercial product in volume. Others work with digital stuff. Downstairs has an upholstery place and someone who fixes cars.

I don't blame people for being careful with fumes but it reminds me of people who move into the country and try to shut down working farms because cows and garden manure stink.

I think I'll push for an area with a hooded fan and proper sinks. Maybe stinky people should all be in one end of the building.
Speaking of stinky... this city is now one month into the garbage strike. Garbage is piling up everywhere and the rodents are showing up for feasts.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lichens and Judy

Lichen Hand painted and Embroidered Quilt Judy Coates Perez

More Judy Coates Perez. This time she is exploring lichens. My favourite vegetation.

I don't use colour like this . I am usually attracted to a more earth bound palette and objects that are less representational with more direct application. However, some of Perez's quilts push the edges.

Savon de Corps

Calf Balls Cast Aluminium Nicola Costantino
Leather Goods Nicola Costantino

Nipple and Anal Pucker Soccer Balls Nicola Costantino

Naughty Peter, my former assistant, sends me amazing and inspiring imagery as little gifts every once in awhile. Yesterday I opened my e-mail and found out about this artist.
Nicola Costantino is an artist working in Argentina. She has cast body parts including nipples and anus as surface in her line of shoes, boots. bags and soccer balls. She has also used fat from her own lipo-suction to create soap. Savon de corps.
Find out more about her at www.nicolacostantino.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Globes and Pods

Globe Collection each globe approx. 10 inches across Patricia Chauncey

These are some of the pictures of my globes. I have been working for the last few years with globe and pods and focusing on creating deep textures within the form. The most simple form to explore is a globe. It is egg or cell and has an almost infinite surface. Light transforms them through changing shadows. Each view or aspect reads in a different way. Globes and pods have insides and outsides and allow for perforation and consequently air and light. They encourage translucency.

They are a reminder that a relationship with simple materials like paper and ancient methods like burning satisfy.

Stem Cells

The images on Judy Perez's Blog Painted Threads are incredible. She has the ability to draw well and to transcribe that into beautiful textiles.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Lesley and Yvonne

Pods Lesley Richmond

Cape Yvonne Wakabayashi

Construction Yvonne Wakabayashi

Lesley Richmond and Yvonne Wakabayashi taught me textile art at college.

Every class held new magic. Both of them were experimenting with different and new techniques. Both had an extraordinary visual language and skill set. Both were generous with the information they taught and patient enough to allow for complete disaster through experimentation.

Lesley is a wry and funny person. She is elegant, willowy and English. She speaks in a quiet voice.
Every year the textile student population seem to go through a "feminist" phase that includes graphic illustrations and constructions of the female anatomy. I remember walking into her office and it was strewn with projects to be marked. Many of the pieces were softly constructed vulva and labial forms.

Lesley looked around and said,"Dear me... some days I fell like a gynecologist."

Luxurious samples of her work made me want to reach as far as I could in my exploration of materials. No holds barred with the exception of poisonings and explosions.

Yvonne is a tiny but substantial woman who always teaches at 150%. She is conversant in textile work from North America and Japan. She spends time working in both countries and travels extensively. Her experimentation with materials have included constructions with pleated wax paper and indigo. She gives new meaning to the world of shibori.

Yvonne and her family were interned during the Second World War. The West Coast of Canada moved everyone of Japanese decent far away. This experience comes through in her work.

Both of these woman win prizes and awards all over the world.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Flesh Decays

"flesh" Patricia Chauncey mixed process embroidery (detail)

Today I looked up on the wall where "flesh" was hanging and saw that it was deteriorating.
Hunks of the carefully worked surfaces have fallen away. It looks like the heat from the studio wall has melted some of the "indestructible hold anything " glues. It looked so safe but imposing hanging over my sewing table. Under the table were flakes, crumbles and chunks.

Fabric is a temporary thing. It is not meant to last forever. I just thought we'd have a little more time together... that's all!

I made "flesh" when I was contracting in the film industry as a precision dyer and breakdown artist on shows like the X Files and The Outer Limits. There was either a load of waiting time or non-stop work. One of my days was actually 23 hours long. Downtime could last for weeks. Materials were hauled out and "flesh" was the result of a sleep deprived and adrenaline rushed week.

It is made with an old shower curtain, insulating tyvec, rice paper, natural rust dyed silks, bubble wrap, 3-D mediums, tea, acrylic medium, bee's wax, and cola.

Every morning a group of old Chinese woman do Tai Chi in the little park near this house. One morning I was burning a 14 foot piece of tyvec and it was twisting and turning in my hands. They came screaming over and climbed on the porch to watch the gyrations and my ecstasy. They named it "Dragon Flesh". I just called it "flesh.

A local paper referred to " flesh" as "something dug up from the earth or the human body and exposed to daylight". I think it was also something referred to as something from an "anti-smoking ad".

Perhaps it wasn't the heat but the cola. Mom always said it would dissolve anything!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Hanky Panky

Donkey Hanky from http://www.hankybouquet.net/

I feel like a raw thing. The last few days have been exhausting to me and I have accelerated that into worrying about everything and picking on Tim.

I feel like I haven't done things but I can't remember what they are. I feel like my studio partner is annoyed with me and she isn't even there. I missed my studio play date with Hilary and I really needed it. I even missed seeing my little cousin Kat because of legal stuff yesterday.

Probably the old butt just needs to be taken to the studio and forced to work.
I will just miss deadlines if I don't do it. I feel so distracted and overly sensitive.

At least my ma, Katy, has contacted me and she will be home in few days. I feel grumpy about how long she has been gone but I talked with my brother George tonight and he sounds positive about her trip. His life sounds great. She sounds just fine.

Extreme textile of the day is a self indulgent hanky to blubber in...Boo Hoo.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Safe and Sound

Our Vashti is safe and sound. She returned to Canada a few days ago and we didn't know yet. Chris is sailing and just contacted us....PHEW!

Everything else seems like a small problem.

Fetal Position

D.H.S. Security Blanket. Image from Alterna Crafts

Today I am just going to curl up in the fetal position for awhile. The "Good Eats Gallery" developments over the last few days have left me exhausted.

I have to re-evaluate how it is that I am going to get work done. I have to let everyone know.

Sometimes things just don't work out.

My son Chris's beloved, Vashti, is an archaeologist who has been working in Lima, Peru. I woke up this morning to news that a horrible earthquake has happened there. There is a tsunami warning and she is on the coast. She is physically very strong and a capable survivor but I feel worried and sad for the people there. I realise, once again, that we are small specks in a big world.

Today the extreme textile of choice is my security blankie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

No More

The "Good Eats Gallery" in Wells, B.C. is no longer my reality.

We withdrew from the deal this morning after a long period of uncertain time waiting for answers and information. The extra costs associated with the gallery weren't planned for. It was just one last straw in our decision making process.

Tim has had to take on so much of the responsibility for all of this and we still might have some legal costs to excuse us from the purchase.

Tim is very sad about it but I have a sense of relief. I don't really want to become real estate poor again at this age. I like having a little money to play with and I don't want to give up my studio in Vancouver. I love my studio partner and the other artists in the building.

Wells is an amazing community and maybe I'll get there at some point. Now is not the time or this would have been much easier.

Political Art

Harriet Powers Quilt using some of the Slave Codes
Harriet Powers African American former slave

There has been so much conversation lately about political art. Certainly the traditions connecting political art and textiles are an easy thing to trace.

Black slaves in the United States used quilts to point their way to the underground railroad and freedom in the North and in Canada. Quilt makers like Harriet Powers used the textile scraps of their masters to tell stories and that tradition is still carried on with the Gee's Bend Quilters.

The women in Nicaragua used their little doll quilts to talk about the oppressions they were experiencing , to record life and death in a revolution, to talk about their pain and to raise money.

The Bayeaux tapestry in France recorded the exploits of the Normans and recorded a political invasion. The weavers recorded their thoughts and gossip in the margins of the tapestry. Some of my family's own history is recorded in that textile record.

There is a huge connection with the woman's movement and political textiles. Every woman I knew took up the needle as a political statement in the early seventies. It held a great connection to the struggles of our grandmothers. Projects like "Woman House" and Judy Chicago's "Birth Project" used textiles to document and honour woman's history.

The enormous social project the "Aid's Quilt" has been used as a memorial, as a teaching tool against homophobia, and as a way to rally for further political action.

Much of this is documented in collection of essays in "The Subversive Stitch" by Rozsika Parker.

Each time I pick up a needle, learn a new stitch and sort through my cloth I am reminded that it is a political act.

Monday, August 13, 2007


The globe is finished. It was a successful experiment and is exactly what was expected.
It has been ages since I completed something that took a full month of work. Stamina builds stamina!

The other globes are now in process. The problem being that I can't gas my studio partners or neighbours, Oona Clothing, because they are working to heavy deadline and don't need to deal with my fumes. All of the silicone has had to come home for the tiny pods and skins. Home is just distracting.

Yesterday my studio mate Jay Rudolph and her momma worked like fiends getting ready for needle lace workshops. They are so organized and professional. They made lace pillows and kits for everyone in the workshop and provided a full kit for the classes at the Gibson's Fibre Festival. She did a t.v. interview this morning with citytv. I hope it went well.

I stayed up last night and watched my niece's wedding on the show" Wedding SOS".
She was pregnant, had a hyper mother in -law, and a brat of a husband. I like hubby a lot. He is very warm and sweet and Melissa is a little peach. I was a gleaming and proud aunt in the church and they got a great shot of my back, her step mother's bosoms, and her father looking wistful. Mostly the show was taken up with the wedding planner whining. I just remember her getting in every one's way.

Now there is a little baby and a happy little family.

Today I just figure out how I am buying the Good Eats Gallery in Wells. On Friday I was informed that it was gonna cost a further $10,000 in GST tax. Lawyers, notaries, real estate people, vendors and purchasers and accountants. All too much for my fuzzy brain and poor pocket book. Jeannie Kamins, the fabric artist/ realtor, has educated me in the process. She is working on political pieces about uranium and is finding ways for artists to have studios. She will get a nice dinner for this!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Studio Day

GIFT OF MYSELF Patricia Chauncey 2005
Flogger made with artist's human and synthetic hair 5 feet long Indigo dyed and devore silk velvet wrapping cloth.

The weather is very temperate today. The Williams Street Studio has been about 100 degrees but the weather has been rainy and overcast so it is possible to get some work done.

Today I did a serious burn and got about 1/3 of one of the globes done. I paper mached big balls and will be able to do a wrap tomorrow. Burning will continue if the weather holds. Not so hot that things dry too quickly and crack; not so humid that things go moldy before they dry.

Tonight I will do a silicone dip for one of the more complex spheres. The larger table will be required for the silicone skin body bag and it can't be done until my cute little assistant helps this week. More monkey and muscle but fairly methodical and energetic. The samples have held up beautifully but the image transfers keep altering.

The hot weather is great for the paper casts. A large hive cast is in order if it heats up again.

I am so glad that I listened to Barry Goodman regarding figuring out how to return to my more visceral work and communicate some of what I learned while trying too hard on "Sordid Details". I have to remember that I was really sick and medically altered. A good recipe for creative frustration and upset. I am happy now and so much better.

The pupae are working out better than expected and I really love playing in goo and burning things.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Nathan Sawaya Sculpture from Lego Bricks

Lego was the most important toy that my brothers and I received as children. Hours were spent planning and constructing and knocking apart many structures. My own children scattered the hard little bricks, like shrapnel, all through the house when they were growing up. Midnight bathroom runs were fraught with the danger of stepping on these sharp little menaces. The boys weren't allowed toy guns and figured out how to create intricate ones from the tiny bricks. My father was once in intensive care and asked for Lego bricks to help him work through his situation and the problems of designing a building he'd been working on.

Nathan Sawaya takes Lego building to another realm entirely. He was once a corporate lawyer and gave up big bucks to become a designer for Lego. He now earns $13 bucks an hour and creates Lego miracles.

More sculptures can be seen at www.brickartist.com

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


I found a great craft site, http://www.extremecraft.com/ and it features crafts made with tampons.

This one is for Lizzy and Michelle.
You can also check out www.tamponcraft.com

Hard Pink Wieners

Wiener Bench Christine Dominic Brooklyn New York

This bench looks so funky and comfy. It is made of 369 recycled yard crafted wieners. She has unraveled the yarn from old sweaters and dyed and re crocheted them all in a process she calls "Upcycling".
The desire to crochet these comfy creatures has also been part of what I make. Something dubbed "cock cozies" for Christmas ornaments and for part of my "Sordid Detail" series. Mrs. Mac Gregor was my Grampa's naughty girlfriend and she giggled and laughed while teaching me to make them.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Dustin Yellin

Dustin Yellin: Suspended Animations Show, Robert Miller Gallery NYC August 2007

Dustin Yellin works layer by layer until he creates an animated and 3-d imagery.

I have been trying to capture creatures and memories in amber substances for years. I use wax gut, acrylic medium and glass. Anything that works.

He draws layer by layer with acrylic and this is what happens. Abigail Doan describes this work as "arid" and "with a taxonomy all it's own"


OPENINGS Patricia Chauncey silk collage, photo transfer, hand painted, pyroed, patinated and stitched.

I hope you are proud of yourself.
Way too hot for a parade!!!
Happy, happy Luli, Chris, Jon(my Yanny), Charles, Cherbeau, Peter, Peter and Peter, Kat, Ellen, Sadie, Jo-anne, Ruthi, Rosey, Nadeau, Orangina, Geina, Donna, Gayla, children, Tammy, Linda, Linde, Bradley, Nina, Jesse, Lizzy, Barbie, Kare and Oggie the gay dog(may he rest in peace)!

Saturday, August 4, 2007


microstoma Tom Volks Fungus of the month
gyropixis Tom Volks Fungus of the month

I have been dreaming of lots of projects like a multi-layered and multi- reversible quilt.

There are so many fascinating mushroom and fungus patterns that I am going to incorporate in my creatures. There are a number of fungus that actually have over layers that would make the most incredible lace. They can also be used with the burning patterns.

I have been drawing for days and have been playing with negative and positive spaces for texture and shadow. I have to pull out the imagery I found of fungus and rot and look once again at the richness of texture and colour.

Tomorrow I am going to the studio to assemble the parts for at least one of the globes and work again on the Eden Skins.

The best part about getting the flu is that I always feel so creative when it lifts. I always feel so much lighter and inspired.

Both Tim and I have the heebie jeebies about buying the Gallery and are now in the process of pulling together the business plan.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Dr. Nancy Greig Curator and Entomologist

I am so amazed by Nancy's accomplishments and am proud to have shared youthful experiences with her. We were both members of L.R.Y. , the infamous Unitarian Youth Group, students at the Pooh House Free School, partied at 1119 and Farkel Farm. We even dated at least one of the same boys.
Nancy studies bugs. Butterflies and cochroaches. She is the Entomology curator at the Natural Science Museum in Houston.
I remember catching a June bug outside of her house and then running and jumping into the leaf pile outside of her house in Elbow Park in Calgary. I remember making out with a sweetie in those leaves. I remember her mother made me tea.
She wished me well when I got sick so I looked up what she was doing and was so impressed that she likes bugs even more than I do.
Nancy Greig, Ph.D.

Curator of EntomologyJoined the museum as Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center in 1994. In 2005 transferred to the Collection Department as Curator of Entomology.Although my current title is Curator of Entomology, I was originally hired by the museum as Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Both of these jobs involve insects, but I am actually a plant ecologist by training (my dissertation research investigated the factors affecting distribution and abundance of the 50 species of Piper (shrubs and vines in the black pepper family) occurring at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica). How did a plant ecologist get hired to do entomological work, you may well ask. My standard response is “Butterflies must be good botanists to survive!” But more seriously, my major professor in grad school, Dr. Larry Gilbert of the University of Texas at Austin, has made a career of studying the interactions between plants and insects, especially butterflies and their hostplants. Indeed insects and plants are closely tied in many ways, so it makes sense for a botanist or plant ecologist to know something about insects (and vice versa, although this is often not the case!). From 1994 until mid-2005 I served the museum as Director of the Butterfly Center, coming on board when the center was not much more than a hole in the ground, and leaving that position to concentrate on a very exciting project as Curator of Entomology. I am still closely tied to the Butterfly Center, as I am heading up the renovation of the Center’s entomology hall and insect zoo, which will be completely transformed into a new “Insect Wing” scheduled to open in mid-2007. In addition to the renovation project, I oversee the museum’s collection of preserved insects (some of which, along with living specimens, will be incorporated into the new “wing”). Interns are currently reorganizing and making an inventory of the preserved collection, which includes several hundred thousand specimens and is particularly strong in showy butterflies, moths, and beetles. We also hope to “beef up” our collection of local insects in general, so that we have a good synoptic representation of insects found in and around Houston. The museum is fortunate to have the collaboration of entomology professors from Sam Houston State University (Dr. Jerry Cook) and Stephen F. Austin University (Dr. William Godwin and Dr. William Gibson), who are acting as pro-bono advisors/consultants for the entomology collection as well as for the new Insect Wing. I am also involved in the preservation of the W. 11th Street Park, a natural area in central northwest Houston where a group of interested residents plant wildflowers, maintain butterfly gardens, and remove exotic species. I am also an adjunct professor at Rice University in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where I have taught plant biology and a field course in tropical ecology.Education
B.A. (1980) Department of Linguistics, University of Texas, Austin
Ph.D. (1991) Division of Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin
Dissertation: Ecology of co-occurring species of neotropical Piper: distribution, reproductive biology, and seed predationLanguage Skills Fluent in spoken and written SpanishProfessional Employment
2005–present Curator of Entomology, Houston Museum of Natural Science
1994-2005 Director, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Houston Museum of Natural Science
1999-2005 Adjunct assistant professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University
1998 Temporary lecturer, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University (spring semester)
1993-1994 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
1991-1993 Instructor and Course Coordinator of "Tropical biology: an ecological approach," Organization for Tropical Studies
1988 Research Assistant to Dr. Alan Smith, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (5 months)
1984-1990 Teaching Assistant, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin (six semesters). Honors1986-1987 Graduate Fellowship, University of Texas1980 Phi Beta KappaAwards and Grants1987-1990 Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation Ecology Program1986-1987 Graduate Fellowship, University of Texas (stipend, 18 months)Summer 1985 Tinker Grant, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas (for support of dissertation research)Professional SocietiesAmerican Zoo and Aquarium AssociationAssociation for Tropical BiologyPublicationsJournal and book articlesGreig, N., and DeVries, P. J. 1985. Observations on the diurnal gregarious roosting of Ocalaria sp. (Noctuidae) in Costa Rica. Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society 40: 124-126.DeVries, P. J., Schul, J., and Greig, N. 1986. Synchronous nocturnal activity and gregarious roosting in the neotropical skipper butterfly Celaenorrhinus fritzgaertneri (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 89: 89-103.Greig, N., and Mauseth, J. D. 1991. Structure and function of dimorphic prop roots of Piper auritum L. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Club 118: 176-183.Greig, N. 1993. Predispersal seed predation on five species of co-occurring Piper in tropical rainforest. Oecologia 93: 412-420.Greig, N. 1993. Regeneration mode in neotropical Piper: habitat and species comparisons. Ecology 74: 2125-2135.Greig, N. 2004. Introduction. In: Piper: a model genus for studies of phytochemistry, ecology, and evolution. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Pp. 1-4.Conference papersGreig, N. 1994. Hindsight is 20/20: opening a live butterfly exhibit in a hurry. Proceedings of the 1994 annual Invertebrates in Captivity Conference, pp. 156-162. Sonoran Arthropod Institute, Tucson, AZ.Greig, N., and Watts, J. R. 1995. Cockrell Butterfly Center: the first year. Proceedings of the 1995 annual Invertebrates in Captivity Conference, pp. 12-17. Sonoran Arthropod Institute, Tucson, AZ.Greig, N. 1996. Economics or extravagance?: the butterfly rearing program at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Proceedings of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association 1996 western regional meeting, Denver, CO.Greig, N. 1996. Butterflies are not free: live butterfly “zoos” in North America. Proceedings of the 1996 annual American Association of Zoo Veterinarians meeting, Pto. Vallarta, Mexico, pp. 271-279. Greig, N. 1997. Plant collecting abroad to enhance exhibits. Proceedings of the 1997 annual Association of Zoo Horticulturists meeting, Galveston, TX., pp. 123-126.Greig, N., and Stuart, C. 1998. Welcome to the Crawloseum: the Insect Zoo at the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Proceedings of the 1998 annual Invertebrates in Captivity Conference, pp. 67-77. Sonoran Arthropod Institute, Tucson, AZ. Greig, N. 2003. From cultivating plants to cultivating donors: creative fund-raising in a cash-challenged economy. Proceedings of the 2003 annual Invertebrates in Captivity Conference, pp. 114-122. Sonoran Arthropod Institute, Tucson, AZ. AbstractsGreig, N. 1989. Association between habitat type and method of propagation in congeneric rain forest shrubs. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 70 (Supplement), p. 128.Greig, N. 1990. Seed size and predation: large-seeded, low fecundity species lose more seeds to predispersal seed predators. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 71 (Supplement), p. 174.Greig, N., and Marquis, R. J. 1993. Vegetative propagation allows a neotropical understory treelet to exploit adjacent areas of higher light. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 74 (Supplement), p. 257.Books editedGreig, N. (ed.). 1992. OTS 91-3: Tropical biology--an ecological approach. Organization for Tropical Studies, Durham, NC.Greig, N., and Morris, M. R. (eds.). 1992. OTS 92-1: Tropical biology--an ecological approach. Organization for Tropical Studies, Durham, NC. Greig, N., and Webster, M. S. (eds.). 1993. OTS 92-3: Tropical biology--an ecological approach. Organization for Tropical Studies, Durham, NC.Greig, N., and Blake, J. G. (eds.). 1994. OTS 93-1: Tropical biology--an ecological approach. Organization for Tropical Studies, Durham, NC. Research InterestsButterfly-plant interactions, tropical insect and plant communities, butterfly gardening for the public and schools, conservation

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Mother

My mother, Katy, is currently charging acroos Canada in a little Honda with three French women.This is something to celebrate because she has the guts to travel in the most spontaneous way. She calls me every three days to worry me. She calls me because she is worried that I am not worrying about her.

Her last phone call came from a phone booth in Montreal. My mother and I were both born in Montreal. She was raised there and I was half raised there and half raised in the prairies. Today she seperated from her friends because they chose to go to mass and she chose to go look for her old home. She was more than wistful.

My mother has a serious health problem and she doesn't let it get her down at all. Unlike me.
I am fully capable of moaning and groaning at a little hangnail and I have survived cancer. I haven't done that quietly. My mother is a master martyr and can suffer in the gravest silence.

My mother's best friend is my"Aunt Ruth". "Aunt Ruth" called me tonight because she was worried about my mother. She thought she would hear from Katy today and so did I.

All I know is that my mother and I both have meltdowns with people we travel with occassionally. It is even worse when we travel together. I just hope she is behaving herself and that she realizes that four women in a Honda are a frightening crowd.