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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.”

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.

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

March, already?

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

  
February seemed to fly by. There was a lot happening here but nothing to show you except a wish for Spring, it’s bound to show up soon. What I hope to see soon is color in the gardens.

What I see now is mostly ice.

I’m prepping and packing for the Grinnell road trip, a four day workshop with some favorite people.

Beau, my Number One Assistant will be making the trip with me again this year.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our return, toward mid month, there will be a lot happening in the studio. The taxes will be done, the chores tended to and more. My primary goal will be updating the website and galleries. you may have noticed small changes here and there. A new addition to the blog is in the sidebar, “Material Mysteries”, a menu about some of the materials I have been bringing to the workshops. More updates to come.

Longer days, warmer temperatures and so forth will help. Let’s hope they show up soon!

Michgan morning

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Arrived Kalamazoo yesterday evening after a very long day in the airand airports. This is a pleasant moning. The sky is soft and hazy. The hotel is fairly quiet although the remaining guests from two weddings are stumbling about.  Attendees for Fabrications will begin trickling in soon and the mood should get lively.

Lynn and Kate are hanging the Blurred Boundaries show. The work looks good. There’s a lot of emphasis on surface and texture. The aesthetic is consistent across the selected works, making a cohesive exhibit. There are so many ways to jury a show. I wish I’d seen all the entries for this one. mystery. If photos are allowed, I will take some of the installation.

With a few hours to myself the plan is to relax, to get organized for the workshops that begin tomorrow and perhaps do some writing.

I’d hoped to do some computer work but either the telecom system here has firewalls that are in my way or my little laptop’s OS is obsolete. It is nice to have quiet time and a few hours with no obligations!

this little piece was made in 2004, I think. It would be nice to see it again, somewhere.

***

monday again

Monday, August 16th, 2010

It is a stunning day here. Clear skies, no humidity, a gentle breeze, temps in the low 80s.

The gardens are maturing. Sunflowers, scarlet runner beans and the silver lace vine are reaching their maximum heights. Green beans, tomatoes, sweet corn and more are gracing our meals. My efforts to tame the weedy volunteers have given way to 10 minutes here and there of trimming, pulling, thinning. Maybe this Fall there will be time for a concerted effort. Maybe not. Meanwhile I’ll praise the variety of colors and textures and try to keep the thistles from going to seed. That will have to do.

In a different area I am feeling ahead of the game. The packing for my upcoming teaching trips is well under way. On the 28th I leave for Fabrications in Michigan, then on the 7th go to Colorado for Textile Evolution.  (there may be a place or two still open in the workshops)  It’s a quick stop at home in between the two so I want to be prepared. I hope to see you at one of those two retreats.

Part of the preparation is for a vendor’s table at Fabrications. I have used this work to also stock my etsy shop.

Here are some samples of what’s available (it would be great to sell it now instead of packing it!):

Now it’s time to get back to the little books of quotes and helpful hints, they need packaging. The danger is that I’ll want to do yet another!

“a month of mondays”

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Earlier this morning, a friend described February as “the month of 28 Mondays”. Perfect!

This is usually a month that I welcome.  Once it is over, March is here, bringing Spring and all those nice changes. This year Winter has been relentless. Even though this, the shortest month, is nearly done, it seems the ice ruts in the streets are permanent.

The crusty coating on paths I usually walk with the dogs is stuck in a freeze/thaw, freeze/thaw cycle.

We have had more gray days than not. I miss the sun.

The last few weeks have been spent away: a wonderful visit to Berkeley, my first trip to Northern California. It was a delight. Then just enough time at home to repack and off I went to Iowa for the annual retreat.  Driving allowed Beau to go with me. As always, he acquitted himself very nicely, made friends, had a good time. He travels well and is a good companion, helps me maneuver the ice, keep track of everyone and remember to exercise every day. Now I am home until the latter part of March.

Then there’s a workshop in Florida, the Retreat in Colorado Springs and a new Retreat in Ann Arbor, MI. see my schedule page for details.

Right now seems to be time a good opportunity for re-grouping,  pulling in, paying attention.

some photos from this morning’s daybreak:

what  lovely color as the sun rose. Now it is gray again.

Off to walk the dogs and then will spend time setting things in order around here. what a repetitious adventure that is! wouldn’t it be nice to do it once and have it done? where are the pixies???

October

Monday, October 12th, 2009

The first snow fell here in the Valley a week ago as I was leaving for Chicago. The trees were still in full leaf. In the last few days they have been dropping green leaves onto what is left of the snow and ice – very strange. Each year is unique.

I am home now until the holidays with a day out here and there to visit my sister, perhaps a friend or two. Have finally begun the unpacking from Chicago and will have quite a bit to say about that workshop once my brain gets home. (It was all GOOD!)

Meanwhile have been clearing sorting, rearranging furniture in my office – I want to make this a more productive space, a sanctuary from the studio.

Tomorrow will turn my attention to the studio, which should be a sacred space, devoted to the bringing into being of all sorts of good things. Is there a difference between “sanctuary” and “sacred space”???

it’s been a long strange ride…

Friday, September 25th, 2009

The colors and temperatures are gradually shifting here in the lower Yellowstone Basin.

Fall?

Late September?

Already?

It isn’t difficult to remember where this year went, but oh, it seems to have passed so quickly.

Perhaps things have settled down in the family. Perhaps not.

Meanwhile, I am back at work, writing, making things, planning ahead – in no particular order. Well, actually, given the fact of deadlines, the writing is coming first.

Since July and the passing of family members, this last long whiile has been consumed by professional obligations: teaching (Fabrications, Columbia Fiber Arts Guild), then taping for The Quilt Show – what  a gas. I’ll let you know when the segment airs (sometime next year). All I can say, is it was fun working with Ricky, geting him to totally improvise, and that if weren’t for Liz, I couldn’t have done it at all <G>. The tech crew was wonderful to work with and I am forever grateful to my sponsors: Mistyfuse, Pellon, Artistic Artifacts and YLI. The thank you notes have been slightly delayed, but wlll go out.

Meanwhile, back on the home front, the cats have settled down (3 weeks is a very long time for me to be away!), Sam is himself but aging quickly, and Beau has not only started school but also skipped a grade! He began training last week but was immediately moved up to the intermediate level. I have high hopes he will pass quickly through that, into “Good Citizenship”, and then on to bigger and better things. Truth be told, I am hoping he has the temperament to be a service dog. We’ll see. There are lots of hurdles between here and there.

Apologies for the long silences. I am hoping to get back on track in the next few weeks. Drop a note if you are out there. What should we talk about?

.