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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Good reads, grownups only

« Three Hours on the Concord and Sudbury Rivers -or- Me, You, and a Silvery Canoe | Main | Down, Thou Climbing Sorrow* (part one) »


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I've been longing for a kayak, but after reading this--and especially after checking out your imagined vision of yourself while canoeing, I think I might prefer its openness.

p.s. Songlines arrived in the post yesterday!

melissa b.

Gorgeous. Even the supernaturally delicious olive is pretty.

And you? Waterhouse material.


Thank you, ladies.

Patry, I hope you enjoy The Songlines. I'm excited for you, and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

As for the canoe v. kayak thing, well, kayaks are more maneuverable and usually considered far easier to use alone than canoes. However, IMO, a canoe is the best way to travel waters at a relaxed tempo in company with other people. You can have much better family fights if you're all in the same boat. You can also bicker more intimately with your SO, no yelling across a public waterway, just back and forth along an open boat on a public waterway. And of course you can also share the pleasure more easily and closely, seeing all the same frogs, herons, turtles, lilies, clouds, etc., pointing things out to each other, reveling in each other's discoveries and happiness.

I also find canoes comfortable because of the very openness you noted. I'm claustrophobic, as mentioned in a prior post, but also a lot of kayaks are just too small for me to get in and out of easily or sit in comfortably for long, and this was true even back when I had my original complement of limbs and not quite as many pounds. But as you can see, even the narrowest rental canoe, even with a molded plastic seat, can easily accommodate my most generous aspect.

You can also bring a lot of stuff along in a canoe, and even a big dog. We saw several couples out canoeing with their dogs in their boats. The dogs jumped in and swam sometimes. They all looked extremely happy.

And yes, Melissa, I do actually have some Waterhousey-ness going on. I'm not really the hunchback I appear to be in the above photo; it's just the life jacket, which tends to ride up and become sort of a life bra. But I do have long, sort of raggedy reddish blond hair, a pale complexion, and that nice round tummy he painted even on his skinniest subjects. (See? Even The Lady of Shalott has one. No ab crunches for the Victorians, no!) So if I took off the screaming yellow life bra and the baseball cap, put something flowy over my Place for Wild Birds tank top and let down my hair, I could totally do "Lady of Shalott: the Middle Years" -- except that it appears there were no middle years, that she only got into her canoe so she could die of some kind of teen crush on Lancelot, and frankly, the very idea makes me snort. I can see stalking him by canoe, all black ringleted and saddle bejeweled as he was, but dying over the sight of him? No.

Curse indeed. Hormones, more like.

Hmm. I might actually be Post-Raphaelite. Never mind.

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