Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

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.


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

another poem fromMary Oliver, apt,this weekend

Sunday, 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

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!


this was NOT supposed to happen

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

For the last week or more, one of my dog walking buddies had been telling me about a 4 month old pup her daughter was trying to find a home for. One of a litter of Border Collies, discovered under an abandoned trailer house. The mama and the pups were adopted out. This young female went to a rancher. He didn’t like dogs. Then she went to a young family for a while. They moved and left her behind. Then she went someplace else but after a “welfare check”, my friends’ daughter discovered the pup was being left alone, on a chain with no shelter etc. She has a dog, her DH said absolutely no more and she was desperate to find a home. Well, that did it for me.

I offered to foster the pup, get her healthy and started on her training and then through my wide circle of groomers, trainers and other excellent dog people, find her a forever home.

They brought her over this morning. Within 5 minutes, Beau had brought her toys, dug up bones for her and in general, adopted her. He has always been good with puppies.

Within an hour, mz. Ella had greeted her, no issue. Not much later, mr. Otis, who is generally shy and unaccepting of changes in the household, had also made her welcome.
She came to us with no name, but now answers to “Gracie”. She sits, waits, understands “down” and can walk on a leash. So far she appears to be bright, inquisitive, alert, doesn’t bark and has good manners. Beau is delighted. I am amused.

Tomorrow we will walk the Island and begin the socialization process. I expect it to go smoothly.

Absolutely no housework was accomplished today and I fear it will be minimal the next few days. A friend is coming to visit, I hope she finds this as amusing and entertaining as my cats, Beau and I do.



what the river shares

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

Photos, few words, maybe more later.

    On Thursday and Friday, Beau and I did not walk the Island. We walked alone, down river to see how things had changed since last year’s record high water.


Here are two views of a massive cottonwood, brought downstream from who knows where – someplace between Billings and Yellowstone Park. The lines in the wood reflect the lines the river leaves behind in sand and silt.






Here’s another Magpie photo from our walking buddy, Mike. Last night Beau and I visited Mike’s first exhibit of paintings. Vibrant color, rich texture, all evoking the mood of walking the Island in the morning. This was Beau’s first art opening. he conducted himself well.

Mid June news

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012







This afternoon was spent with more cleaning and sorting in the studio. Will it ever end? I’ve uploaded some small, older pieces to Gallery 4. They are more in keeping with the work in fiber that most of you know me for.  As a reminder, my MayDazed Sale ends on the 15th. On the 16th, things go back up to their retail value. If you are in a location other than the US and want something, let me know and we will work out the Customs/shipping issues!

I’m about at the point of stuffing things in boxes and participating in a Flea Market Sale. This sorting, ironing and so forth is taking time away from the gardens and from the new work I need to be doing.

Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. I am missing Michael. All this clearing out has been therapeutic, if time consuming but it does seem to go on and on. I am finding wonderful stuff in the tool shed now that the major clearing has been done: wooden boxes, rusty keys, interesting bits of who knows what… All vintage, all probably updated with electronic tools by now – but aesthetically lovely. What to do with these things?.

Let’s get the clearing out done with, fix what needs fixing and get on with the outdoor work! There are shrubs to prune, weeds to pull and perennials that did not survive 2011 to replace.






My walking buddy, Ken, keeps a blog about the island and our dogs. His writing is as good as his photos. You might enjoy seeing some of Beau’s buddies, and a very good picture of  Beau as well.

This morning, Beau, Karen and I walked in a different area along the river. It was quiet, no other dogs or people.  Neiki and Beau are a good match and quiet friends, but likely to burst into wild running at any given moment. Fortunately they both have “off buttons”.  Along the way Karen and I cleaned up fishing line (dangerous to the birds as well as the dogs) and a mile into the walk found a still smouldering campfire, complete with beer cans: emptied, half emptied and full. We cleaned it all up but I must admit to being irritated at the disrespect for the Park.

The River is still running high but it was a lovely morning and Beau had good opportunities to swim. Neiki wades.

Tomorrow I will upload a memorial song for Michael on our anniversary, have a quiet day with my dog and dinner with a friend. Friday is the beginning of my new year.

Please join me in marking a significant new beginning.

all best, laura




Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

In the garden:


This peach colored poppy bloomed yesterday. The traditional scarlet poppies are done now and my favorite, a deep blue based red did not survive the winter of 2011. On my outings today and Monday I’ll be looking for replacements but that color is not an easy one to find.

Last Fall a dear friend sent a box of treats, including this Iris. It too bloomed yesterday and is much loved. Thank you!






And in the studio/Gallery 4,  Some new work has been added and the MayDazed Sale continues. Some prices are changing today, more work will be added this afternoon and tomorrow.

This piece is part of a series where the batting is surface rather than filler. It’s wonderful to paint on, tear up and collage  with <G>.

Enjoy this wonderful Day!



a must see

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


I am inspired and moved by this work.




Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

As promised:

Caramel Rolls

The easy way: Live in my neighborhood and I will bring them to you!

If you aren’t close enough, here’s the recipe:


Combine these ingredients, knead and let rise until doubled:

1 cup water-  1 egg, 2T butter, softened- 3 1/4 cups flour- 1/4 cup sugar- 3 t yeast

(if using a bread machine for the first rising, add ingredients in order listed and select Sweet Dough Cycle)

[The dough should not be sticky. Kneading may require lightly floured hands. When it is properly risen, it will spring back after being poked lightly.]

After the dough has doubled in size, roll out to about 13″ x 9″ [the rolling surface should be lightly floured to keep the dough manageable]

Spread the surface of the dough with melted butter (about 2 T), then sprinkle with a mixture of  1/2 cup sugar and 2 t cinnamon. [ I also add finely chopped pecans or walnuts]

Beginning at narrow end, roll tightly. Slice into 12-15 rolls.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan, melt: 1/3 cup butter, 2 T honey or corn syrup, 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add 2/3 cup pecan halves.

Place the rolls on top of this mixture, cover with a lightweight cloth, let rise until doubled [45 minutes to an hour].

Bake at 350 degrees until light brown [about 25 minutes].

Remove from oven, invert over platter or baking sheet, allow caramel mixture to drizzle onto surface of rolls.

Store in airtight container.

Thanksgiving wishes:

Make someone smile, share a laugh, say thank you for small favors.

Step away from anger, regret and “woulda- coulda -shoulda”. Let go of fear.

Do what needs doing, share what you can, take a risk.

Make something. Give yourself away. Allow someone to give to you.

Love freely, unconditionally and as fully as possible.