Category Archives: Environment

The Rise and Fall of the Arrow Man.

Astonishingly ugly utility boxes.

Astonishingly ugly utility boxes.

The sorry situation:

Our 1980s-era house came equipped with these astonishingly ugly and poorly placed utility boxes attached to the structure’s outside back wall. They are situated right beside the deck so that I might contemplate with almost daily frequency what fool would have placed something so butt-ugly in such a prominent and visually unavoidable location.

After three years’ contemplation of these warts upon our dwelling, I could tolerate them no longer. However, I am strongly averse to spending money on cosmetic house repairs that might be better spent on something like, say, a backpacking trip to Death Valley National Park in mid August, so a quick and economic fix was the only acceptable solution.

“Make it so.” Patrick Stewart would love me, I’m sure of it.

From the fabric store came a couple yards of fuzzy-backed tablecloth vinyl; WalMart supplied a few cans of cheap spray paint in random colors: yellow, two shades of purple, navy blue. The yellow would provide a base color on the vinyl fabric and I could then adorn it with some stick figure florals using the other colors. Voila! For $25 and change, a masterpiece would emerge that I could hang in front of the utility boxes.

The playthings:

From white to happy yellow.

From white to happy yellow.

The tools of my trade.

The tricks of my trade.






But then. . .

The prospect of spray painting floral stick figures rapidly became ho hum, unimaginative. Sad, actually. The endeavor began to seem too mainstream Hobby Lobby. My interest lies in finding unexpected uses for everyday items, such as turning wine bottles into garden edging or teaspoons into wind chimes, but I’m mostly devoid of true artistic ability. My creative bursts are usually solo efforts, but I like to give people, strangers mostly, the opportunity to think differently and perhaps have a unique, fun experience. I want them to see that they can go beyond just thinking outside the box, they can throw away the box altogether. The icing on my creative cake is collaboration, and the sugary rose atop that is anonymity. Why not take a board from Tom Sawyer’s fence? Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: The Hue of You

Wait, wait! I know I’m diving under the wire for this photo challenge as the volunteer crew is sweeping up the trash and folding up the finish line banner. I have a hue of me for you!

Continue reading


No Parking.

This gallery contains 31 photos.

While the boys in Washington, DC figure out who has the bigger penis, I thought you might like to join me in a virtual tour of a few National Parks I’ve visited recently. Just in case you haven’t heard, the … Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through My Eyes

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I rarely go anywhere without chalk — it’s in my purse, in the Magic Bus’ glove compartment, outside my front door, and in a plastic container where my driveway meets the road. I started chalking when something very dear to … Continue reading


Weekly Photo Challenge: CURVES

There are curves, and then there are CURVE-SSSSS.

This bold creature explored our front door recently. Marvel at the graceful curve across the door jam and the firm grip around the door knob. Note the way it languidly drapes its end around the skull and crossbones magnet. Nice touch.

And now, one of my blog tags is “creepy.” I can hardly wait to greet the visitors that term will bring to The Magic Bus Stop.

“I can’t. . . quite. . .reach. . .the doorbell.”



About your butt. . .

The first day of June was National Trails Day, which is a country-wide invitation to the populace to get out to their national and state parks to help clean trails or just take a walk in the woods. From a list of  nearby parks I chose to pick up trash at a park I hadn’t yet seen,  Pocahontas State Park near Richmond, Virginia. I pictured myself tramping along a woodland trail, lugging a black trash bag while being almost totally wrapped in protective clothing since I can develop a reaction to poison ivy merely by looking at it. I brought a dozen 30 gallon trash bags and hoped that would be enough to hold all the garbage I assumed would be awaiting my gloved hand. The weather was forecast to be hot and sunny, so Mike and I arrived early to the park to do our duty before the temperature hit meltdown.

We were almost the first volunteers to arrive and had to hunt around a bit to find someone who could direct us to the mountains of cups, plastic bottles, tissues, and fast food wrappers we so eagerly sought. Andrea, the impossibly young park ranger, welcomed us warmly and suggested we pick up around the amphitheater where a concert had been held the evening before. That wasn’t quite the vision I’d had of our park service but I figured if that’s what they needed to have cleaned up, who was I to hold out for the more environment-saving, headline-making task of dragging old tires out of their lake? Off we marched, toting our black plastic bags with us.

So, take a look at what we saw on our approach. Continue reading


Sometimes, you just have to find your own shoes.

This gallery contains 30 photos.

Now that all the happy hubbub of being Fresh Pressed for my first Grand Canyon post has subsided (blush, blush, Mad Queen straightens tippy crown), I’ve got a few stories about the place, the trip itself, hiking overall, with maybe a … Continue reading