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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.

hideaways

Saturday, 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

Thursday, 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.

Happy Solstice!

Friday, 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!

To sign up for the Museletter go here.

(more…)

Friday, morning walk

Friday, October 19th, 2012

When the light came up, the cup of coffee finished and correspondence completed, the sky was bathed with coral.    We headed out to the Island, the light was up and every plant, every leaf was burnished with perfect October gold.

    

The old trunks are among my favorite “found” forms.

The textures looking across the middle of the Island are wonderful. Color is not as intense as a week ago, but here we are, nearing the end of leaf season. With heavy wind storms the increasingly low temperatures will soon bring all the leaves down.

 

Right now there’s a wonderful contrast between the skeletal structures of weeds that have lost their seeds and leaves and the plants that are still hanging on.

 

If you look closely, you’ll see ms. Gracie, running, above, mid frame. She loves to go full tilt boogie.

Beginning my day like this with the dogs, the cycles of the seasons , keeps me focused and centered. It’s easier to come home and work, after a meditative walk.

10/10

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The dogs and I went to the tree house for the weekend.

This is the view of the “Bowl”, a volcanic formation. Michael situated the treehouse for this view.

If the weather holds, we will go up again at the end of the week. It’s the last opportunity for this year, IMO, and there is much to be done, having neglected the space all Summer.

Highlights: clean air, no smoke! A wild cat screeching one night. Absolute quiet aside from the local critters. Eight inches of snow, but drivable roads in, mud driving out. ick. Crystalline skies with all the stars and satellites – no ambient light from cities, towns, ranches, roads or neighbors.

The dogs had a wonderful time.

Downside: since I’d not been there all year, there is unfinished business plus chaos caused by visits from bears. Next year I must return to a regular schedule of being there.

Despite our long absence, the gray jays  were waiting for us and our handouts. The Stellars are more dramatic looking and  a wonderful blue but more shy. No pix this time, sorry.

Gracie, at 5 months, still does not know she is a puppy rather than a big dog. She runs hard and gets tired, but is always willing to keep up with Beau or whoever. She had a fabulous weekend.

Now it’s time to write a museletter and update a few other things.

I have space for two new coaching clients if you are interested.

hope you are enjoying this dramatic changing of seasons.

equinox

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Today is the Autumnal Equinox in North America. I had my week confused (imagine that!) and thought it was yesterday. Wrong. Here we are, shifting seasons. If I sent you an equinox greeting yesterday in private mail please just consider it an early greeting <G>.

The dogs and I began our day as usual, walking the Island. Gracie (above) , at 5 months, does not know she is a puppy. She acts like and thinks like the big dogs. Sometimes they have to put her in her place, but she spends a lot of energy trying to organize games and trying to keep the larger groups sorted out. It is a Border Collie’s job: herd the sheep, even if they are other dogs or cats, or whatever. It is a lot of fun having her in the household but a challenge as well. Unlike Beau (who adopted her immediately), Gracie has no “off button”. She will run and run, and then curl up on the car seat and whimper in exhaustion until we get home. Then it’s nap time – and then it’s time to play  – more- more- more.

We have our work cut out for us here. Fortunately, she’s super smart, affectionate and motivated to please – and Beau is setting limits, which is very good. Honestly, I had only intended to foster parent her, but she has won a spot in the heart of my other 4 legged housemates and in my heart as well. Who can control love?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the gardens, the drought tolerant plants are showing off. Sunflowers, Sedum, Cosmos are all in wonderful color now. The non-native trees are shifting color, the native trees and super hardy shrubs (lilacs for example) are holding their green. We’ve managed to get through this horrid hot Summer with little damage in my yard/gardens. Although I have been extremely moderate in my use of  it, I am grateful to have well water instead of using city water to keep everything alive.

OTOH, the Winter of 2010-11, with the sustained sub zero temperatures,  did in a number of shrubs, including the grapevines. There is serious pruning/removal of dead shrubs to do in a month or so. It’s an opportunity, I suppose, to reconsider the landscaping, to reinforce my belief in  xeriscaping. In the last month or so, I have put in new shrubs to provide additional privacy since the French Door went in: bottom line – everything new must be drought tolerant and hardy to 40 below.

This is the “Silver Lace Vine” a polygonum, my “living fence”.  (it separates the front yard from the North yard and gardens, providing privacy as well as a limit for Beau who can breathe himself over the front picket fence if a  squirrel shows itself.)

This vine comes into its own in the early fall with cascades of vanilla scented flowers. In years past it has climbed up the roof, but took a serious hit a few years back when someone decided to eliminate its support, cut it way back and so forth. I’ve spent quite a bit of time this year trimming and training it, and hope that next year it will fill in some privacy spaces. Braiding, twining the sprigs provides an interesting Winter texture. We’ll see how that goes.

Otherwise, it has been a quiet day. A few wonderful conversations with people near and dear to my heart, a nap (imagine that! I never have been good at naps) and a lot of list making and reassessing.

As we move into the new season, I have to consider where my time and energy are best invested. There are decisions to make, resolutions to follow through on and so forth.

Wherever you are in your life right now, I send you wishes for renewal as we move into Autumn.

please check out the coaching page, feel free to subscribe to the museletter, and remember that there are information pages in the right hand column of the blog page.

all best, laura

 

who knows where the time goes?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Do you remember that song? Sandy Denny, what a wonderful voice, what a beautiful song!

Last week a friend visited from out of State. On Friday we drove the Beartooth Highway, all the way up, then back down to explore Red Lodge (I lived there in the 70s and it is a charming town, just 62 miles from where I now live)

Charles Kurault referred to this highway as the most scenic of all. He was right, but driving it can be a challenge. Hairpin turns, people hugging the center line when there’s no margin for error, fast motorcycles, etc. Still, every time I have visitors from elsewhere and the road is open, we take the Day Trip. Debi B was awed and took hundreds of photos.

All these photos are credited to her. I was driving, so my camera never came out, even when we stopped <G>.

 

This one is for Bob! Last year, August 5, 2011,  there was snow on these rocks. Dressed in shorts and a tee, he climbed to the top. I wished we had documented that. He was not warm when he returned to the car. This formation is on Hellroaring Plateau. at approximately 14500′ elevation. The wind is constant. We began our day last year (as this year) in  Billings in the high 90s. It might have been 40 above up there.

 

 

From the highest elevations we can look down at sterling lakes. This is an example. Our disappointment this year was that the air was smoky due to fires all around the region. If you are not from here, you wouldn’t notice the haze.

 

 

 

 

And now it is the ending of August. There’s a Blue Moon on Friday and the earliest signs of seasonal shift are here. The river is very low. I will collect cottonwood roots, either this evening or early tomorrow before meeting my dog walking friend, K and her border collie.

Beau, K’s dog and ms. Gracie all do very well together as they are all herding dogs, very very smart and with similar temperaments. Gracie keeps up with the big dogs, despite her youth and size. This is an important clue. Having a border collie pup presents particular challenges. I am resolved to protect her “wiring”, to not expose her to neurotic dogs or their people, to  help her become the best dog she can be, given the absence of real sheep in her life <G>. Finding “substitute sheep” is a lot of fun <LOL>

Now it’s time to think about a museletter. Maybe later this evening, or in the morning after my walk. There are only so many words available to me at any given time <G>. The concept of writing ahead of time and scheduling ahead of time just does not fit for me. Maybe some day.

***Big and important news flash: There is a lot of demand for the Coaching I am currently offering. The fee as  listed under “coaching” on the side bar to the right will change as of September 3. Registration before then will be honored at the current price.

Beginning the 4th, fees will go up. At that point I will offer a discount for committing to a 3 month plan instead of month to month. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, go make something or weed in the gardens, or sit and watch the sky.

Fill your well.

 

thanks for visiting!

laura