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the long weekend

October 13th, 2014

hh-2    Saturday morning at Hungry Horse for the Le Griz Ultra Run (50 miles). We were there to crew for a good friend. It was a long satisfying day in a gorgeous place.

HH-am The weather was variable, with everything except snow. Tamaracks and aspen have turned a burnished gold.

talltrees   fall

Later in the weekend we walked around Lion’s Lake. The trees are so tall. The climate there, near Glacier Park, is more like the Pacific NW than the part of the state where I live. It is semi-arid here.

backyard  west

the view from the house, looking west.

roadhome the road home, today at noon. That snow capped mountain is behind the house.

**
Years ago, in Houston, a random person gave me this quip as an early birthday gift.

It was a delight to see the words on a bumper sticker Sunday afternoon.

the edge

and now it is October?

October 9th, 2014

again? and already?
It’s been a busy year with a lot of changes and reassessments.

sunday-tea  newmooonsky

Studio work was on hiatus while we moved house, now it is back! Hooray

.tracks  fault-line-a  moon-dance

Teaching had been on hold for a long while but I will be traveling again in 2015.

Not frequently, but still: traveling to teach from time to time. (the schedule will be updated as contracts are formalized).

The web site, long neglected, will be refurbished in the coming weeks (if the elves show up <G>)

***

In other news,  our dear, funny, and much loved, ms. Gracie passed away  in late September from complications following surgery. She is missed more than I can say.

She was a confident and happy puppy girl (despite being bounced around so many times before OBeau adopted her) and reminded us always, as dogs do, that the moment that counts is the now.

so-bright  Here she is, prepping for a laser treatment in late August, happy, smiling. her future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades. We honestly thought she’d make it through.

As GK says: “Be well, do good work and keep in touch.”

Summer Solstice weekend

June 23rd, 2014

The majority of the move is complete! Hooray. Until the Solstice, things were being moved bit by selected bit. Boxes were emptied, things put away; boxes taken back to the house in Billings and refilled. My goal was to only move what was needed in this household, would have to be replaced or was of great personal value. Another criteria was that “furnishings”, including artwork, be in keeping with its character.

The house in town is a small, old fashioned cottage in a neighborhood just off the Historic District. This house is open and airy with a circular feeling interior. It was built for the wrap around view. Much of what I had lived with over the past decades had a sort of “funky” feeling that just doesn’t fit here. A few representative bits have moved, but not whole collections. Books have been carefully selected (“Will I read this again?” – or- “is this an heirloom?””)  Art that has meaning to me or that feels right is moving, personal items have been culled.

So far, so good. As boxes are emptied, everything has a place and a use, whether functional or aesthetic. I will not have to deal with mystery boxes in the future!

On Friday we picked up a truck, loaded it on Saturday and got home before dark. Sunday the truck was offloaded and returned to Helena, way ahead of the deadline. We got our shopping done  and made it home in good form. Sadly, there is still one more car trip to finish up with getting items to the appropriate charities, and of course, the dreaded cleaning. That will happen in between the 30th and the holiday weekend.

Sunday 9_17

9:17 a.m. the truck as full as we got it on Saturday. The dogs did help!

sunday11_32

11:32 a.m. Empty truck, happy people, happy dogs.

stella

Stella supervised from her chair. She wouldn’t operate the camera much less supervise the work.

***

Today is Monday, a work day. Half the boxes are unpacked, their contents put away, time has been spent outdoors and in the studio!  We have been to the treehouse once already and look forward to going up again next weekend.

west-dusk   Life is good.

p.s. if you need my change of address, email me please. All other contact info remains the same.

another poem fromMary Oliver, apt,this weekend

November 24th, 2013

“to live in this world

you must be able
to do three things
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go”
― Mary OliverNew and Selected Poems, Vol. 1

rain, on the second of October

October 3rd, 2013

“Last night
the rain
spoke to me
slowly, saying,
what joy
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud,
to be happy again
in a new way
on the earth!
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
and vanished
like a dream of the ocean
into the branches
and the grass below.
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
imagine! imagine!
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.”
― Mary Oliver

hideaways

September 28th, 2013

The theme for this month’s Sketchbook Challenge is “houses and hideaways”. It’s a great opportunity to do a follow up on the last blog post, a visit to the treehouse.

We spent a long weekend there, returned Tuesday. It was as always, therapeutic.

The interior space is quite small but the decks are expansive. Here are some views and details. Perhaps you will see how the place got  its name. From inside, every window looks out to panoramic landscape as well as the branching of the log supports.

nwcorner

the kitchen window
e-deckSouth East deck     morning

looking out to the “driveway”

    butte.nwdaybreak secorner west-dusk

 

jay

In the morning the grey jays fly into the deck for treats: bird seed or bread, or dog kibble in a pinch. Unlike the more showy Stellar Jays, they are not shy birds. This past visit we saw a lot of elk and moose sign but no animals.The dogs may have had something to do with that.

Visit the Sketchbook Challenge Blog to see other interpretations of this month’s theme, and drop in on the personal blogs of other hosts for tutorials, videos, giveaways.

Leave a comment here for the chance to win a pdf of my “Idea to Image” workbook. A name will be drawn at random on October 4.

 

p.s., with any luck at all, the GeoCounter will be back before this posts – that’s an ugly space without it.

unplugged

September 5th, 2013

ridge2

Earlier this week, after too much thinking and not enough planning, we headed upcountry for the first time this season. Being completely unplugged and off grid provides a wonderful opportunity to *not* think, to *not* worry or plan and to *not* get bogged down in the details of  responsibility. Certainly there are chores: opening the treehouse, cleaning up the decks, moving wood and more. The difference is, for me anyway, that I can see and feel the results of my efforts when I am up there. For example, piles of firewood are quantifiable. It is easy to see when wood needs to be moved closer to where it will be used and so forth. Similarly, clearing walkways, cutting back tall grass in my “parking spot” and pruning out young trees are all tasks that need doing every year. I love knowing that I got the work done, can go off for a walk, come back and sit on the deck watching the birds, the dogs and the shifting light.

thebowl       secorner

Although my neighborhood is relatively quiet and the morning river walks are lovely and somewhat solitary, the noise of being in town is constant.  Having the stillness and peace at the “tree house” this week was a gift and a reminder of how important that deep solitude is to me. At home in town, in addition to the birds in my gardens, there is the almost constant electrical whirr of fans, of the fridge, the noise of neighborhood children, dogs and traffic, occasional sirens.

At the treehouse: the soft whirring of the jays, the cries of coyotes at night, the river of a wind storm followed by the rhythm of rain all night and the whistling call of the ground squirrels my dogs find so entertaining. Every once in a while, a large animal will move through. We hear branches breaking, the rustle of grass, the dogs might bark once or twice. This trip I did not see them but moose, elk, black bears and deer all live there, it is their home, I am just a visitor.

My next trip will be in a week or so depending on various schedules. We will stay for 5 days if all goes well. Stay tuned.

***

beau-9-3   Beau, keeping track     gracie-9-3 ms. Gracie, ready to roll, again!

The dogs were ecstatic when we arrived at the gate and they were released.

gate2

By the time I had made the climb up our drive, they had criss-crossed the ridge and met me on the deck, both in full body wag. They spent our time there on the  move, chasing and waiting for ground squirrels that live in the wood piles and downed timber. They would come back to me for a bit, have a drink or a rub, then one or the other would alert and both would take off up the meadow or down the hill. Beau would sometimes lay down for a nap (he has an “off button”), ms. Gracie would still be running had we not come home. She has the Border Collie energy and stamina. She is also still young and at an  age where she will whimper with fatigue but get up and run some more at the smallest opportunity.

already?

July 3rd, 2013

7-1     blanket

It is July and this amazes me. Suddenly temperatures are scorching. It is incredibly dry. Keeping the gardens watered enough for survival is a challenge. The bonuses are vibrant color and daily treats from the veggie beds.

My days begin very early. Channeling my grandmother <G> (minus her cigarettes), I start the morning with a cup of coffee and whatever correspondence awaits. Then it’s out to weed a veggie bed and then to the river with the dogs. When we get back it is time to deal with the chores of watering, household stuff, whatever needs doing. By late morning or early afternoon I am, finally! at long last! in the studio.

This is a radical shift from my habits of 30+ years. My peak time for thinking and making was always in the morning. I’d work until late afternoon then shift gears. With the changes in my life the last years,  it has been necessary to alter my routines. The difficulty was identifying the issue and figuring out how to approach the requirements of my new life.  But here we are, working again and moving forward.

Now it’s time to dig out the tripod in order to get better photos, then I can update the website. There is a relearning curve after the sabbatical of the last long while – for example, I wrote this blog entry and promptly lost it! sigh.

Little things have been a good way to get my hands and eyes working together again.

in-process     strata

Waiting in the wings: a series dealing with my river walks. This piece is ready to be worked on. [altered photo on silk organza, layered on monoprint]. It wants marks, thread, perhaps sticks and stones, we’ll see.

layers

If you are in the US, have a safe celebration of the 4th!

Summer Solstice 2013

June 21st, 2013

shrooms

This mushroom was growing in my ancient crab apple tree. The large cap measured 7 inches across. Michael would have taken a spore print to identify the  specimen.

 

 

 

cranesbill j-blue

In the garden the pink Cranesbill Geranium and the Johnson’s Blue are in bloom. Also, but not pictured: clematis, elderberry bushes, peonies, columbine and more. The weeds and grasses are especially lush as a result of a cool wet Spring. The positive is the lovely feathery texture. The negative is how tenacious these volunteers are and how thirsty.

 

 

beau-maygracie-may

My helpers and walking companions: OBeauHobo on the left. He’s 4 1/2 now and a wonderful companion. Ms. Gracie is on the right, she is one year old now. She is a bouncy, happy pup and makes me laugh every day. They are both herding dogs and high energy so daily walks are essential. This is very good for me as well.

The river is still running high and muddy but every day we watch eagles, osprey, ducks, geese and songbirds. The wild roses and Russian Olives are blooming right now. Their fragrance compensates for the annoyance of the mosquitoes.

No photos from the studio work yet but I am, finally, at long last, back at work in the studio on a daily basis. Things seem to be going well. It will take me a while to get back into the swing of blogging and updating the website, but it is time and I am ready.

Most of the continent has been dealing with extreme weather this last while. We hear about what is going on in highly populated areas, but the disasters are widespread. Flooding, wild fires, heavy wind storms, tornadoes and we aren’t even into hurricane season yet.

Be safe! Be smart.

On this lovely Solstice, I send you warm wishes for renewal and growth.

Happy Solstice!

December 21st, 2012

12/21/2012

Sounds yummy doesn’t it. Tomorrow the light begins returning, the days get longer and although, where I live, the coldest part of the year has yet to come, we will be moving toward warmth. I like warmth!

Please visit my Coaching Page for information on those services and for the limited time special offer!

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