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update on the chickies! and miscellaneous other things

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Oh they are cute and have more than quadrupled in size. We started them in a “brooder” created with Ms Gracie’s soft-sided pen, used while her broken leg was pinned. A heat lamp was NOT a good idea but a seed starter heat mat under the bedding worked great. We monitored the temps, kept adjusting as the littles got bigger and then one day, as if by magic, they seemed too big for the available space. Plus they wanted to stretch their developing wings.

Having read that a major challenge with not-quite-adult-chicks is familiarity vs. change, we put together their coop and installed it in the dining room. It took up a bit of our living space but worked great and was highly entertaining for everyone in the household. Within days they were able to climb the ladder or fly into the roosting area. At some point we removed the heat mat and nothing in their behavior changed. Hooray! They were obviously comfortable.

Now they are 6-7 weeks old and almost, if not, fully feathered. They are able to regulate their body temps and do well as a group. Outdoors temps are quite warm during the day (finally!) and usually above 50 at night. We moved the coop outdoors this morning. They had nothing to adjust to except the availability of grass and ground, which makes them quite happy, thank you very much.

The coop is temporarily situated in between a new raised garden bed and a straw bale bed and is sheltered by the S/SE angle of the house. They have grass, ground, sun or shade and everything they are accustomed to and seem quite content.

Zooey is still very protective and the coop-run is predator proof, plus is close to the main entrance to the house. Stella, the cat, has basically lost interest since the chicks got bigger. We will ensure they are secure at dusk.

Life is good for the Star House Chickens. Next project: build them a portable run  (aka “chicken tractor”) that can be moved around the yard and orchard. With a little luck that will happen this weekend.

*****

In other news, we enjoyed a lovely lunch today with a local friend. He’s an art appraiser and a collector of contemporary art and western writers. It was great conversation, stimulating and challenging. Living outside this small town is a rich experience. People are very interesting, there are good overlaps,  we’ve been made welcome and are “at home”. Life is good.

*****

I have finally begun to feel more myself after a long recovery period from March’s unfortunate illnesses. There’s a lot of catching up to do, socially, in the gardens, the studio, office and elsewhere. This all takes so much time and tests my patience. Saying “NO” got to be a habit the past months, now I get to decide when to say “yes”. <G>

The reset button has been employed: I am not behind, rather right where I should be. All will be well.

 

Are you well? What’s going on in your lives? Drop a note, here or privately.

Be well, do good work…..

 

following one’s own advice?

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Today, September 10, has been spent clearing out boxes of papers, stored since my move 2+ years ago.  The good news: there’s very little “trash”. The good news? much of what had been stored may now be obsolete. The better news: this draft blog post is still relevant, if not quite so much. Written at the end of May, it was a reflection on being at Crossroads. I no longer feel quite like that. Several exhibitions have come and gone since then – there’s been a lot of new work made over the past two years. There are two invitationals to deliver work for in the next month.

memory-mont    meditation-map   moon-1_02

***

draft post

For nearly three decades (yikes!), in one format or another, I taught, coached, facilitated – whatever you choose to name it- I worked with creative people, individually, in classes and in small groups. Whether in a formal setting such as a University classroom or professional symposiums or more casual retreat environments, my basic task was to help folks make the next move or next jump in their creative process.  Along the way a lot of processes, techniques and possibilities were shared but the underlying focus was always on each individual’s journey.

Every person is unique and each set of circumstances is very particular. Still, the basics of creative work are consistent from my point of view: learn the required skills and language, master your tools, improve constantly and most important, show up! Make one decision and then the next. Then the next. Be true to your initial creative vision, each subsequent decision should match that.

Life: Circumstances change. We find ourselves, every so often, just moving with the currents, perhaps adrift. It can be difficult (and is certainly time/energy consuming) to re-orient. Having just come through one of those multi-year situations, here were major challenges: My studio discipline was shot. The daily work habit needed to be rebuilt. I went from a decades long consistent daily practice to not being in studio at all. Part of this had to do with all that accompanies a major loss, from coping to surviving to putting myself back together, and then to building a new life. What did/do I want that life to look like? what is an appropriate life/work balance, now? I used to know the answers to these questions, has that changed? Actually, lots has changed and I am adjusting and choosing and celebrating!

Confidence, well, where did it go, if it ever existed? (Is the work any good? what happens next? how should it look? why am I doing this?  In short, all the questions we ask ourselves as we build what is generally, a very solitary work life.)

Identity: Marge Piercy said: “every artist lacks a “license”. This is true. We can self describe, self identify as artists, with or without degrees, with or without an exhibition record, sales, awards and external acclaim, but many of us face a certain sense that the outside world places little or no value on what we do. A friend once told me that what people like me do is non-essential, therefore without value. Is this true? For that friend it was. I’ve almost always had a strong sense of self, of who I am in the world, but at times the self-doubts can be challenging. There’s no shortage of reinforcement for insecurity, is there.

***Now, on the other side of this reflection from late May, I am still not in studio daily, but am creating new gardens, new pollinator habitat, new community relationships. This matters. My little cottage in Billings is on the market and has required major work in the aftermath of a renter. sigh. There’s been a lot of work at the treehouse – hooray- and here at the StarHouse. This has been the season of paint on my shoes <G>.

Some decisions have been made in light of personal changes as well as the change in the “market”.

  • Travel for teaching is no longer in the template of my life. I will miss all of you whose relationships have been so important over the years. thank you for the gifts of your friendship and for how you allowed me to see through your eyes.
  • A greater focus on putting the work into the world is important. Perhaps (if there is something to say <G>) I will begin writing again.
  • Primarily, it has to be about what happens in the studio. Without that, there is nothing to share, nothing to say.

As we approach the Equinox, colors are shifting; the habits of birds and wild critters are changing, there’s a welcome chill in the dark hours and lovely warmth in the afternoons. The higher peaks behind the house have snow. The light is wonderful.

wishing you well.

as we begin a new month

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

“Three Things to Remember”, Mary Oliver (from A Thousand Mornings)

As long as you’re dancing, you can

break the rules.

Sometimes breaking the rules is just

extending the rules.

 

Sometimes there are no rules.

***

sunfleur
It’s a new season in my  life. “Rules” in all variations of the term, are being considered and reconsidered.

At the beginning of August we are into full Summer. The garden is producing, the bees are happy and busy of course, birds come to the feeders. Decisions are being made in the studios – both the physical space and the more important “studio between the ears”.

My sabbatical is officially over.

 

 

the long weekend

Monday, 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?

Thursday, 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

Monday, 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.

just the details

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

There are new images up in Gallery 2 now. These are older pieces, exhibited but not previously offered for sale. Clicking on the detail will take you to the full image and specifics.

detail – “fragments: evening shadows”

 

detail: “night garden”

 

detail: “Peeling Onions”

A percentage of all sales from my website will be donated to Hurricane Sandy Relief.

If you need to make payment arrangements, let me know.  thanks for visiting!

october textures

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

October 31’st. Warm and windy here but clear. The leaves are all down from the big trees out front but still hanging on out back. The lilacs will be the last to let go.

Our morning walks are beginning an hour later in the morning now, partly because daylight is slower to arrive, partly because the later it is, the fewer critters are out and about, tempting the dogs to run and chase. I’ve managed to find a walking route and routine that (for four days now) has kept Beau from collecting nasty burrs. This is important. He’s a wonderful companion but spending an hour and a half each day trying to comb him out gets frustrating. He doesn’t like it and it feels like a struggle. Saturday he had a serious grooming and “detailing”. That should help. Gracie has a smoother coat and is much easier to comb out.

A light snow, combined with heavy wind brought almost all the leaves down last weekend. What an interesting carpet texture.

Outside the studio door, the “Burning Bush” is in full glory. What astounding color. I hope it holds for a while.

***Most of my time the last two weeks has been directed to learning more about Social Media, rethinking the museletter and working with Coaching Clients. If you subscribe to the museletter, you can expect a new one in the next few days. (updated subscription information is not available yet. If you are not on the mailing list and would like to be, drop me a note and I will add you. You can opt out at any time).

I have room for two more Coaching Clients right now.

If you want more information, click here.

***

Of course, for the past several days, my thoughts have been with family and friends and everyone on the Eastern Seaboard who has been, and will be, dealing with the Storm and its aftermath. I am grateful that my nearest and dearest have come through, but heartbroken at the widespread devastation.

Here’s how to help:

http://t.news.msn.com/us/heres-how-to-help-sandys-victims

I hope you are well and safe and if the storm impacted you and yours, I wish a speedy return to “normal”.

all best, laura

call for artists in all media, all disciplines

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

A day or so ago I made this comment on Facebook:

“I believe that in my office storage space, I have about a dozen unused white 2” Avery Binders. I am willing to send these out to the first dozen people who commit to doing something “artful” about women and politics and roles or WHATEVER, before the election. Only a few Rules: you pay the postage, and agree to send me .jpegs of your artful interpretation before Nov 1 – yes, that’s a tight deadline.

If we are going to be in binders, eventually the men in our lives are as well.

Use humor, satire, make something fabulous. I’ll put it all on line, on my website, my museletter and one at a time on FB. If you have your own unused Binders, let me know if you would like to participate. If you dress for Halloween, males and females, consider “Binder” costumes.

Send me photos! I will put it all on line. Make a statement. I do not care (HAH) about your candidate of choice but some things are unacceptable. Let’s use art to say so.

*****

On further reflection I have a few changes to make:
*It’s less expensive for you to purchase or upcycle an existing binder, or even create a “binder” than it is for me to send you one, even if you pay for postage.

*Binders* can have a number of different meanings. Be creative.

*NO LIMIT on what or what you portray or target, how or what sort of statement you want to make or end up making. No size or materials limitation.

This participation is open to all, regardless of gender or preference. Everyone and anyone prompted to respond to this phrase is welcome.  IMO, the implications of this phrase have the potential to do grievous harm to equal rights for all of us. But maybe I’m over reacting.

Even if I disagree with your point of view as I see it in the imagery:

**I will post everything unless it condones or promotes violence, or is pornographic.**

Please send a short statement giving me permision to post your work and that it is copyrighted. if you do not want your name published, please let me know. (I’ll use initials.)

All imagery is due November 2 (this allows for performance pieces that might take place on Halloween. Please send at least two images of your work.  (images should be low res (72dpi) and no larger than 4×6 (aka 450 dpi wide or tall). That way I won’t have to spend a lot of time editing and my computer won’t crash <G>.

I want to start posting images ASAP before Election Day. I want this to be an event!

LMK if you plan to participate, so I can plan my time. Thanks.

You need not be a US citizen or resident to participate. IMO the implications of the sort of thinking the phrase reflects has the potential to affect things globally.

Facts count.

Our candidates are using words to tell us what they think. “Women in binders” is a loaded phrase.

Show us what it means or implies to you!

                                          

**p.s. this is the serious part:

No matter where you stand on any of the issues, it is important to consider them carefully.

If you are a US Citizen, please VOTE.

If you live in a state that is trying to intimidate voters, e.g. trying to disallow students who did not give their dorm room number, object! Stick up for your rights!

(FWIW, my state allows early absentee voting, so I have made my decisions and cast my ballot.)

 

 

 

mid September

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

“From time to time, to remind ourselves to relax, to be peaceful, we
may wish to set aside some time for a retreat, a day of mindfulness,
when we walk slowly, smile, drink tea with a friend, and enjoy being
together as if we are the happiest people on Earth. ”
Thich Nhat Hanh

The color are slowly shifting. It is obvious that Summer is leaving us. So much of it was too hot to enjoy; it was not a good year for the gardens and the smoke from regional fires has made getting out of town an iffy prospect.

Every morning the weather forecast includes red flag warnings and smoke alerts. Maybe this weekend I’ll venture off grid, go check on the treehouse

and remember what silence is outside the bounds of city life.

Here at home and in the office things are happening:

The new “coaching website” is up and running. Right now professional rates are fairly low. They will go up when I hit my optimal daily client limit.

There is still a lot of free content available to you in the pages section – look in the right hand column of this blog. You can expect to see some of these expanded with visual content added and for some of the info to become available as downloadable e-books. in the near future. Editing and anthologizing (not necessarily in that order G>) takes time.

Also in process is an anthology of the Museletters – I’ll keep you posted.

The musletter service is available to you at no charge, (subscribe here) but I have recently begun accepting donations to help defray the costs.     thanks for your generosity.

 

wishing you a fruitful harvest if you garden, whether it is out of doors, in studio , or in imagination.

all best, laura