Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and loved antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good morning! Thank all of you who have expressed good birthday wishes, I am 80 and thrilled and grateful to get to this in happy shape! I look forward to a nice day, the second of 4 painting workshop days this week taught by friend Chuc Mauldin.

Jack made us a private cake last night, just a regular round one from Duncan Hines. We will make the big sheath cake for the family next weekend. Jack and I have four grown children and their spouses plus all their kids and a two great grands. Almost all live here in Fredericksburg. Only my oldest daughter Cheryl and her husband Glen live away from us, at the edge of a national forest on the outskirts of Redcliff Colorado, higher than Vail pass! Cheryl worked in Vail for over 20 years, with a difficult and dangerous daily drive to get there.

I speak with Cheryl often on the phone, several times a week now. As Glen has retired, so has she and is painting almost full time. It is bitterly cold, often below zero. The weather has eased now a bit and a trip for supplies and a meal out is again possible. Wed Thurs and Fri, the temps will rise almost to freezing in the afternoons. Clearing snow and ice is a constant requirement.

It is harsh living in that cabin on the mountain side, where a puma might leave tracks over night, or an elk or a bear wander through, and a whole family of wild fox know them as neighbors and a few will eat from Glen's hand. He can step outside in the morning and call down a mountain Jay they call just "Bird" and Bird will come and take food from Glen's hand. A family of raccoons visits all summer long, they sleep in the winter. There is a small squirrel called "Brave heart" who delights them by begging nuts and daring to run right under their old pet cat's nose to grab cat kibbles. For 18 years they have lived in a wonderland of sheer wild beauty, their photos to me show this. All of these creatures and more are the subjects of her paintings. I love best her paintings of the foxes.

In summers they travel to the national parks with a camera, she tells interesting stories of walking quickly backward down a road shooting pictures of a great buffalo moving toward her. Her photos of wildlife are gorgeous subjects for her paintings.

All over the US this is starting off to be an epic winter! My friends in Maine send emails and pictures of it all. I am going to go enjoy a piece of chocolate cake on my birthday morning! Warmly, Edyth

PS I have finally added some pictures of Christmas decorating to an older post in December, to see them look below the Blond Greiner doll post to the December 14th post.

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