Friday, May 15, 2020


Sometimes I need reminders of the importance of kindness. I find it on
the Kindness wall at Bondadosa Coffee & Tea Collective in Walnut Creek,
an independent coffee place still open for business.

First, our coffee machine conked out. We were able to fix that before the Corvid-19 pandemic hit California, but that was only the beginning of a series of malfunctions. My new computer that I received in December kept going to sleep and not waking up until I unplugged it and let it sit for a while. It finally gave up the ghost and died. The repair shop was open for drop-offs by appointment only. The computer came back still susceptible to moments of extended sleeping.

In the midst of making face coverings, my sewing machine snarled up, with thread stuck willy-nilly in the bobbin case. Off to the sewing machine shop, with its back-door, hands-free deposit, which made me think that I wasn't the only one who tried to activate a sewing machine after long disuse.

Last week we discovered a leak in the main pipe leading to the inside of the house. Major repair. Once it was fixed, we found we no longer had our instant hot water that we cherished during the drought. Instead, I groaned as I filled bucket after bucket waiting for hot water to flow. To fix our hot water system and ever conscious of drought in California, we needed to replace the old circulating heat pump attached to our water heater, which is already 15 years old and may be good for another two years. We replaced the pump with our fingers crossed that the water heater would continue to work. Oh, and two sprinkler heads are leaking, our ice maker doesn't make ice anymore, and the U-shaped pipe under the kitchen sink fell off spewing water all over the floor. Little broken things.

While I'm thinking about malfunctions, I'm looking for any good ideas of what to make with all these broken pieces of pottery that I've accumulated over the years. Have any suggestions?

For the two of us, it's the little, every day things that are malfunctioning. We need to see our own misadventures in perspective. We look around the world and see the locusts that plague parts of Africa, the pandemic and its economic storm, harsh weather that effects whole regions, governments turning authoritarian, and we wonder. We fixed the malfunctions in our house and they were small compared to what else has happened in 2020. For all of us, every day brings new world-wide, enormous issues that will take a long time to resolve.


On a completely different note, Somerset Studio magazine published my art journal of chalkboard lettering and other black and white pieces. You can see a portion of the article by clicking on the link below:

a couple of pages from my art journal

Somerset Studio magazine, published by Stampington & Co., is filled with creative ideas from many artists around the country. If you would like to be the winner of a copy of the magazine, be the first to email me at


  1. Congratulations, Martha! I hope the wonderful success of your art journal balances out those pesky mechanical woes.

    1. we've just had to laugh at all the things that have broken down since January. Getting published is a real thrill though. Good counter balance.


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