Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raising the Bar for 2010

Happy New Year

So what have you discovered this year: retirement, a new passion, a new perspective, a new direction? We asked ourselves what we could do to improve our little corner of the world. I'm not talking about resolutions, which are promises to ourselves we often don't keep. I'm talking about just doing, getting out of our comfort zones and off our butts, and paying our good fortune forward!
  • We get up early and work out three times a week because we know we can no longer take our health and bodies for granted. We want to live long enough to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in 27 years.
  • Whenever we go for a walk we always take a bag with us to pick up garbage that others have thoughtlessly tossed along trails, beaches and roadsides.
  • We made an agreement with some close friends to quit exchanging Christmas presents (we all have too much stuff as it is) and instead donate what we would have spent to Heifer International and our local Hospice.
  • We learned about Boxing Day this year and the traditions of giving on the day after Christmas. Early on the morning of the 26th we both took everything out of our closets and filled 6 bags with well cared for and rarely worn clothes and shoes and dropped them off at one of our local charities.
  • We have a local non profit called The Children's Village whose mission is to "provide nurturing, stable family homes in a multi-generational, enriched environment for children and their siblings in foster care". We are avid gardeners and they need volunteers to help maintain landscaping. We have the tools and the time, so they are on our list. If you want to find out more about The Children's Village go to http://www.thechildrensvillage.com/
My "Raising the Bar" theme is two fold: (1) a call make time to improve yourself and to help someone else and (2) to spotlight some artisans whose work will help you celebrate the new year and other occasions in style.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Creative Road Trip

I got to make a left turn off the 8-5 Highway 4 years ago. I do 3-6 craft fairs a year which makes for some intensive weekends, but I've always enjoyed the process and interactions. The best part was that I was getting to spend 2-3 days a week in my studio creating beautiful and useful things.

Then I decided to launch myself into the world of the online marketplace. Yikes, homework required! We're talking photography, Photoshop, creative descriptions, meaningful key words, and marketing snippets for Google searches. No fear, I jumped off the proverbial cliff and set up shops on Etsy, 1000Markets and Artfire. Okay stores are open, now what? Oh, more learning curves: marketing, networking and blogging, then byhand.me spotlights, Facebook and Twitter. Oh, did anyone mention the roadblock and frustration zones? Google Analytics says it's tracking my blog, but it's not! It costs how much to ship this? What do you mean the site went down? Why can't I talk to a human?
Now, I'm a card carrying member of the Sisterhood of the Perpetual Learning Curve and I've always loved a challenge. I approached this adventure, as I do most situations, with purpose and a sense of humor. I'm excited to have had 4 sales in my shops since June and I find it totally cool that artisans and shoppers from around the world can read my blogs and look at my work. Fellow shop owners like Julie Magers Soulen have been extremely helpful along the way, sharing their skills and knowledge.
It's taken 7 months to earn $175. I spend a huge amount of time keeping my shops stocked and blogs fresh, which translates to less time to work in my studio and create. What's wrong with this picture?
Many artisans in the online marketplace have probably never done the crafts fair route. But when you start comparing notes you start to see the irony. I made 20 times the amount I earned at my online shops at 4 local weekend fairs in Nov and Dec. I got to communicate face to face with my customers, many returning year after year to see what I've been up to and I get a chance to see, catch up with and trade with other artisans.
How many of you lament the amount of time you spend on the computer to make it all work? Is it an exciting and creative road trip or are you becoming a slave to your perceived dream? When does the joy of creating get lost and your shop becomes more job than bliss? Are you ready to get off the runaway freight and regain your creative soul?
My solution is to continue doing my craft fairs, reduce the number of shops and blogs to one each and close Facebook and Twitter. Life is short. It is more important for me to spend time with my husband and friends, to play outdoors, and to let my creative soul out of its box, than it is to be on the computer for hours a day. What's your solution to balance? I posted this same blog on my 1000Markets site today. I'm really interested in what my fellow travellers have to say.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Art of Giving - Part Three

Liquid Amber December 2, 2009

December: Here we are again with winter on the horizon, it's dark at 5 o'clock, the garden's been put to bed for the season, the woodpile is freshly stocked and the flower bulbs are in.

Giving: It's also the season of giving, but over the years commercialization has obliterated the traditional sense what that means. Whatever happened to the art of homemade and handmade? Our ancestors celebrated with gifts from their kitchens, their hands, their writings and their environment or donated time to help a neighbor.

Rethink: Look at the season and gift giving in general with a new perspective: support a local or independent artisan, shop at your local craft fairs (many of which raise money for community needs) or make it yourself. Get back to the basics and reawaken your imagination. Be creative with your wrapping and use recycled materials you might ordinarily throw out (the comics page, magazine pictures, material, old photos, ribbon and string). Let whimsy, a finely tuned sense of the absurd, or an elegant obsession take over. Make someone laugh out loud or take their breath away.

We all have so much: For most of us our closets and drawers are overflowing we stuff we love, take care of and rarely use. Make a point on the next rainy day to spend some time with your closet or that place where you store the stuff you're surely going to use someday. Harvest those cherished items you never wear or use and donate them to a local charity or drive: One of our local high schools collects coats and jackets every year to donate to shelters. Donate to your local Hospice, Goodwill, or Salvation Army store and support organizations that provide priceless services to the people they serve. The possibilities are endless, so take a little time out and think about what you can do without whipping out your debit card in a big box store. This can also translate to valuable lessons for your children.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wild Horses

This photo was taken in Montana on the way to Glacier National Park

There is nothing quite as magical as watching wild horses, whether they are galloping full tilt across a meadow, kicking up their heels and playing or quietly grazing. We were lucky enough to see several bands on our summer trip through Alberta, Montana, Idaho and Nevada. As I mentioned in an earlier blog I met cowboy poet Sue Parker this fall and she talked to me about the Wild Horse Sanctuary she supports. I decided to look them up and what I discovered was an organization of passion and dedication that works tirelessly on behalf of wild horses and burros.

Their mission is "to protect and preserve America's wild horses as living national treasures in a publicly accessible and balanced environment with other wildlife for future generations". The sanctuary is located near Shingletown, CA on 5,000 acres of mountain meadow and forested land nestled between Black Butte and Mt. Lassen. If you would like to learn more about the Wild Horse Sanctuary and their programs you can find them at: http://wildhorsesanctuary.org/

Just for fun I searched "wild horses" in Etsy and discovered some truly remarkable works of art. I created a spotlight of my favorites on http://www.byhand.me/ entitled "Wild Horses" to go along with my blog. If you click on the thumbnail photo it will take you directly to the artist's site.

Enjoy the Ride

Monday, November 9, 2009

Exploring the Trails of Yesteryear

My friend Trisha and I just returned from a road trip to the Reno area. Our first day was dedicated to haunting our favorite second hand stores, but days 2 and 3 we headed out with our cameras through some historic and beautiful places. This trip became a recon mission for future trips, when we could spend more time.
Though it was the first week of November the temperatures were above 70. We spent one day exploring Virginia City and Gold Hill. The sky was like a moving canvas, causing us to keep pulling over to take pictures. We explored the museum in Virginia City, strolled the wooden sidewalks and checked out a number of small shops.
We usually come home by heading up to Tahoe and coming down Hwys 89 and 88 to the Jackson area before heading back to the coast. This time we wanted to explore so we headed south on Hwy 395 from Carson City and picked up the old Pony Express Trail to Genoa, the oldest town in Nevada. The locals suggest taking Hwy 88 to Markleeville, so off we went, climbing out of the high desert to the evergreen mountains we'd seen from the Washoe Valley.
We asked the owner of the General Store in Markleeville to suggest a scenic route to work our way back home. He said if we didn't mind narrow twisting roads with no center line, the best adventure would be Hwy 4 over Ebbetts Pass. He wasn't mistaken.
It was an incredible drive through constantly changing vistas; along the Carson River, through woods, switchback climbs to over 8,000 feet, rock outcroppings so tall we had to shoot up, and alpine lakes. This small cabin on Mosquito Lake was fascinating. We wondered how long it had been there, how many generations of a family enjoyed this small island in paradise!
It was truly a grand adventure. We arrived home somehow exhausted and energized at the same time and are looking forward to spending additional time in the Sierras. There are so many wonderful places to visit that are virtually in our back yard.
Trisha took took the pictures of the old safe in Virginia City and the Sky Canvas near Gold Hill. I took the photo the cabin on Mosquito Lake.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Haunting Experience - Gold Hill, NV

My husband and I were married on December 21, 1986 at the Gold Hill Hotel in Gold Hill, NV about a mile from Virginia City. The original hotel and saloon was built in 1859 after large gold and silver strikes were discovered in the surrounding mountains. The hotel is located next to the infamous Yellow Jacket mine and is the oldest hotel in Nevada. In 1986 the old stone and brick building consisted of a great room, library, bar and rooms upstairs. We exchanged vows at high noon in the great room and celebrated with all who happened to be there. On our wedding night there were no other guests in the the hotel, so when the owners closed the bar they handed us the keys to the place and said it was ours for the night.

The next morning we started packing and I took some things out to the truck. In the parking lot I ran into one of the staff who had come up to open the hotel for the day and we walked back inside together. My husband asked if I had called his name, I told him no, I was outside. He said someone had definitely called his name as he was coming down the stairs and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing on end. Our hostess simply said "Oh, that was Rosie, she was a working girl here back in the old days and has taken up residence in #4. Other guests have reported the scent of roses and personal articles moved around their room when they weren't there." We're thinking okay, that's cool, and took off on our honeymoon.

We returned to the hotel 10 years later, in 1996, to renew our vows. In the interim since our first visit new rooms and a restaurant had been added. We stayed in one of the new rooms with a fireplace and small veranda facing the Yellow Jacket mine. A blizzard came in the night we arrived so we decided to make a long weekend of it. On the first morning, about 7am, while getting dressed to head down stairs for coffee our smoke alarm started to beep like they do when the battery is running low. We told the staff and they went upstairs to check, said it was fine but put in new batteries anyway. We didn't think much of it until the same thing happened the next two mornings at the same time. We found out that it was most likely the work of William, one of the 47 miners killed in a horrific fire in the mine in April 1869. He has peacefully taken up residence in the hotel and is known as a bit of a trickster according to reports of other guests over the years.

While researching some facts I went to the hotel website and looked through the history pages. On page 3 were pictures of the hotel before and after the renovations. I was amazed to see our wedding party on the front porch of the before photo. There are not coincidences!
These were our first two experiences with ghosts, we had a third one at the old hotel up at Oregon Caves, but I'll save that one for another day. If you want to find out more about the Gold Hill Hotel go to http://www.goldhillhotel.net/. It is a wonderful place to stay and part of the colorful history of the area.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Cowgirl at Heart

To further celebrate our weekend of music and cowboy poetry at Emandal Farm I thought I'd introduce Dave Stamey on the barn stage, doing what he does best. And below, out under the shade trees, near the large organic gardens are Sue Parker and Tamara Adams. Sue is a gifted cowboy poet and western historian and Tam is the owner and passion behind Emandal Farm.
To stay in the spirit of the West I created a new spotlight at byhand.me entitled "Cowgirl Up" with a delicious selection of jewelry and paintings from the artisans of Etsy. Each photo is a link to the artist's site. Please check out http://www.byhand.me/ for additional spotlights I created with artisans of 1000Markets. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Beautiful Side of Somewhere

"For those who are here no explanation is necessary and after we leave we take a part of this place with us. What a great place to spend a small segment of life...." Michael Taraniki, New Zealand

This past weekend we discovered a truly amazing place at the end of 16 miles of back country roads east of Willits, CA. Our reason for going was to attend the performances of cowboy poet Susan Parker and singer/songwriter Dave Stamey at a place called Emandal Farm. The drive was only a few hours from home so there was no question we had to go and spend the night.

What we didn't know is what we would discover once we got there. Emandal is a 1,000 acre jewel nestled in a valley alongside the Eel River. It is a diversified farm, environmental education center and a family camp that has been in operation since 1908. Over the years three families have overseen the stewardship of this remarkable place. Carrying on the tradition since the 1970's is a delightful and amazing woman by the name of Tam.

Our rustic cabin was a short hike up through the woods from the main house with comfy beds and down comforters to keep us from the chill of fall. The bathroom and shower buildings are a little further up the hill so a flashlight is a required accessory.

The food was incredible; all prepared from scratch from the bounty grown and raised on the farm. After a sumptuous dinner on the lawn we sauntered up to the barn for the concert. Preferred seating was hay bales, with blankets provided for an extra layer if it got too cold. After the performance a few of us gathered at the great room to warm up by the fire before retiring for the night. We hiked back down the hill for breakfast about 9:30, visited with other guests, and departed for home mid day. Though only gone overnight it seemed as though we had been away for days. Imagine spending a week at Emandal!

To find out more about Emandal go to http://www.emandal.com/
Susan Parker: http://www.susanparkerpoet.com/ She brings to life the struggles and triumphs of pioneer and ranch women of the old west, mixing her original writings those of the women she has studied.
Dave Stamey http://www.davestamey.com/ Dave is a cowboy, and a gifted singer/songwriter who captures the essence of the old west and takes you along for the ride.
Also check out http://www.cowboypoetry.com/ a website "dedicated to preserving and celebrating the arts and life of rural communities and the real working west"
Life is short, there are journeys to take and roads to be travelled. Make some time in your life for an adventure.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Rock Hound

Riverfront Park, Windsor, CA

I have a thing for rocks. My grandfather was a geologist so maybe it's in my genes. My husband and I have been travelling blue highways for almost 30 years and I always found a rock or two that insisted on riding home with us. His dream is to use all of our road trip rocks to build a BBQ/Bread Oven in the back yard, then we can admire them and never have to move them again. I've wised up a bit and now use my digital camera to "bring them home".

Crandell Lake, Waterton Park, Alberta
The Lost Coast west of Garberville in Humboldt County, CA.
There is a similar outcropping at Walks On Beach at Gualala, CA
The Smith River at Jedediah Smith Park in Northern California

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Morning Walkabout in New York City

On my last day in New York I had several hours in the morning to take a walkabout with my friend Jean before heading back to JFK and the flight home. The architecture in the Times Square area is a panorama of styles as diverse as the population, from the art deco style of the Chrysler Building to the opulence of Grand Central Station, from the dignity of St. Patrick's Cathedral to the plethora of glass fronted skyscrapers. We walked up 5th Avenue to Central Park and back, past the flagship stores of many famous retailers like Ungaro, Tiffany, Prada, FAO Schwartz, Gucci, Versace, Cartier, and Saks. The storefront windows were filled all kinds of treasures and avant garde mannequins in bizarre clothing. My style leans more toward second hand treasures and contemporary flea market so this was a great adventure for me. My favorite site was Central Park and the horse drawn carriages. I can't wait to go back and next time my camera goes with me. It's hard to verbalize it all and a picture truly is worth a 1000 words.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Big Apple

It was cloudy when we took off from San Francisco but I expected I might at least see the Sierras, the Rockies, or the Mississippi River on the way. It was not to be, there were cotton candy clouds all the way across the country, but we arrived to clear skies and mild temperatures. The NYC taxi drivers would do well on the NASCAR circuit, they are masters at threading the needle and making space where there doesn't appear to be any.

Our hotel was on Times Square and right outside the hotel Broadway is closed off for about 4 blocks to create an open promenade. You can grab a cup of coffee and sit at one of the little tables on the street or climb the lighted grandstand to take in the view up Broadway: a collage of architecture, neon, and huge electronic billboards. It's really quite astounding and a the perfect venue for people watching.

My friend Jean has spent a lot of time in NYC and knows some great places to dine, so late Wednesday afternoon we walked up to Fagiolini's for dinner. The most amusing moment of the evening was discovering The Naked Cowboy in Times Square dressed only in a cowboy hat, boots, briefs, and a guitar. He is supposedly the 3rd biggest tourist attraction in NYC after the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I'll let you find him on the web and I'll catch the latter two attractions upon my return. I will take my camera next time!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Country Girl Goes to NYC

On Tuesday morning I take off with a friend for a short business trip to NYC, my first adventure east of the Rockies since I flew to Tampa to see my cousins in 1968. If all goes we'll get to go back for two weeks in October. I'll no doubt come back with some stories to share, so stay tuned.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Art of Giving - Part Deux - The New Romantic

What do we all crave in our busy lives? A little down time. There is no specific definition, the concept means something different for everyone. It could be a little peace and quiet to let your mind wander, soaking in a scented bath, or cranking up the stereo and dancing around the living room. For some it's sitting on a riverbank with a line in the water, for others it might be climbing a mountain. Here in summer there is nothing better than laying in the hammock under our oak and reading.
But fall starts this week and with that comes shorter days, longer evenings, and more time spent indoors. Life is short and its far too easy to zone out in front of the TV or spend hours playing games on the computer. What is the solution? Turn off the remote, back away from the keyboard and put a little romance back in your life.

The Art of Giving - Foodie Basket

As we move into the holiday season thoughts will soon turn to finding gifts for family and friends. Shopping for presents has never been a favorite pastime for me. I wanted to create something unusual and unexpected that would surprise and delight, and be great fun to put together. Enter the gift basket (or bowl, or gourd, or box) perfect for just about any occasion: birthday, wedding, holiday, off to college, house warming or just because. The possibilities are endless. Walk away from the big box stores, support working artists, and put together a truly unique gift.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Harvest Time

About 3:30am I was awakened by bright lights, tractors and laughter. I toddled out to my studio and opened the door. It looked like a space ship had landed in the vineyard next door. Then it dawned on me, it's harvest time! I found out from a friend, who has a small vineyard on her property, that grapes are often harvested in the wee hours to delay the onset of fermentation.
I decided to explore Etsy and 1000Markets with the key word "harvest" and here are a few of my favorites for this week. Support independent artists!
"Goddess of the Forest" by creativityjewellery

"The Harvest" from Jewels in the Garden
"Home Grown" from Burning River Studio

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


If you think life is simply a sequence of passing events
You haven't been listening to the music

One autumn evening we noticed a glow coming through the windows from the sunrise side of the house. The light was so improbably rich and bright we were immediately drawn outside. There we found our neighbors out on the driveway as mesmerized as we were. This was one of those magical moments when a few of the simple elements of our everydays: a late afternoon breeze, clouds and a setting sun collided to create an incredible light show.
Go outside more often: take a walk, listen to the birds, say hi to your neighbors, or go get your hands dirty in the garden. Life is too short to be constantly plugged into that matrix that we call a communication device! Moderation is the key, so back away from the keyboard, find the nearest exit, open the door and step into the new world. That's where I'm headed right now!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Here Comes The Sun

Going out to get the paper early in the morning has its benefits

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Back to Civilization

Snake River near Marsing, ID
Northwest Nevada Hwy 95

As we headed towards home we dropped out of the mountains of Idaho to high prairies and then the high deserts of the Idaho, Oregon, Nevada triangle. We spent our last night in Idaho on the Snake River. Though the river is no longer "wild" this far south it was nonetheless cooling and beautiful.
I don't get to the desert too often, but each time I adventure to these special places I find myself simply awed by the shear openness, the colors and the subtle smell of sage. It is a deceptive beauty that demands respect from all who travel here.
Though we have thoroughly enjoyed this adventure we find ourselves looking forward to home: apple pie from the last of the Gravensteins and grilled vegies from the garden. Of course we are already planning the next adventure.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to the Blue Highways Tour - Lachsa River, ID

We left Glacier National Park and worked our way south and west to the Lewis and Clark Trail (Hwy 12) in Idaho. As we drove we talked about what it must have been like coming west on journeys of discovery. We both have such an affinity for the era we decided that in previous lives we just may have been pioneers. We camped here on the Lachsa River at Wendover in the Clearwater National Forest. It was clear and warm. Once settled we pulled out the camp chairs and spent the afternoon reading near the river. It doesn't get much better than that!

Friday, August 21, 2009

To the Roads Less Travelled

Having just returned from a great adventure, I wanted to feature four Etsy artisans who also seem to be into roads less travelled, and of course pay homage to poet Robert Frost:
"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference"
A click on any of the photos will take you to their Etsy sites Road Less Travelled by Country Dreaming

Blue Highways by Gretchen Simons
Road Less Travelled by Jane Perdue

Road Less Travelled by Robin Cheers

Blue Highways Tour - Glacier National Park

This road trip became a reconnaissance mission for future adventures. We have already decided we need at least two weeks in Montana and Glacier for exploring, fishing and photography.
Our rig was too big to traverse the Waterton to West Glacier connection on the "Going to the Sun" road so we traveled Hwys 89 and 2 to reach West Glacier and experienced some truly incredible vistas along the way.
We camped at Apgar in West Glacier. Once we settled in we walked to town for an ice cream and then strolled down along the MacDonald River via this pathway. Again, it seems more like Spring than the middle of August.

MacDonald River

At Crandell Lake in Waterton Park and here on the MacDonald River at Glacier we were totally amazed by the colors of the pebbles and stones that wash down from the mountains. I have a thing for rocks, this may turn into a theme for another blog entry!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Waterton Lakes Park, Alberta

I don't know what we expected, but the town of Waterton Park was a bit like Aspen: discovered, overboutiqued and crowded. We opted for the more isolated Crandell Campground. Once settled we made the 1.5 mile hike up to Crandell Lake. It is a small lake with a rocky bottom of very colorful stones: red, orange, cream, brown, blue green, white, yellow and black. We were lucky enough to see a young black bear cross the trail in front of us on the way up to the lake. Needless to say we stood stock still for a bit to make sure mama wasn't close and then continue our hike. Crandell Lake
Trail back from the lake to campground

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Fernie, BC

Visited a Saturday farm market in the town of Fernie in the Macdonald Range of the Canadian Rockies. We found an incredible selection of organic produce from local farms and purchased raspberries, cherries, apples and a variety of vegetables for our campfire cuisine.

We also discovered a new food experience called Poutine. It is absolutely not heart smart, but we were on vacation and that means anything goes. The folks in front of us in line said we absolutely had to try it. It looked dangerous so we wisely decided to split an order. Ready? It is fresh cut french fries smothered in brown gravy with grated cheese on top! So bad for you, but oh so good!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Crowsnest Hwy

The Crowsnest Hwy (Canadian Hwy 3) is a 722 mile long road through southern British Columbia and Alberta that provides the shortest land connection between Vancouver, BC and Medicine Hat, AB. It is mostly two lanes and follows a mid-19th century gold rush trail originally traced by a young engineer named Edgar Dewdney. It takes its name from the Crowsnest Pass where the highway crosses the Continental Divide between BC and AB. We picked it up in Hope, BC and followed it until we turned south at Pincher Creek, AB to head for the Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park. I'm guessing we logged about 600 miles of it.

Our first night in BC was at Stemwinder Provincial Park on the Similkameen River. Although it was August what we know as spring flowers were in full bloom everywhere.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blue Highways Tour - Hwy 92

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Stillaguamish River - Gold Basin Campground

The object of our road trip was to stay off the interstates and stay on roads less travelled. Life moves too fast as it is and the idea was to explore with no particular destination or time table in mind. We were able to stop at small town fairs and farmers markets, pull over and wade in pristine rivers, camp in little known parks, watch wild horses galloping across unfenced land and lucky enough to see a young black bear and eagles on a hike in Alberta. This is what life should be all about: unplugged from all of our electronic gadgets and deciding whether to turn right or left each morning at breakfast. Now go do it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Housing Shortage - What is he thinking?

We recently replaced a fence post and installed a new gate to the garden. We decided to leave the post tall and added an old birdhouse we found on the property. The thought was that one of the smaller species of birds we have here would use it next spring. This young vulture, handsome fellow that he is, looks as though he is checking out local real estate for a place to settle down.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Word Play

There is amazing power in simple words of description. They can capture your imagination or tell you a story, suggest a flight of fancy or stop you in your tracks. I work with lampwork glass in all of my designs. I am first drawn to colors and patterns, but it is often the descriptions that grab me. Today's kudos go to JavaBeads.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

What is True

What is true
Is that when you get down
To why you are doing something
Not for the money
Or the ego satistisfaction
Not for the expectations
Or the promises
But for the shear love
Of what you are doing
There exist no droughts
No dried up wells
June 19, 1975

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Did She Make It?

This little one could give Wiley Coyote a run for his money. I watched in fascination as she tried to figure out this new road block. The disc (an old pot lid) spins so it looked like she was driving a car on ice: right, right, right, oops, left, left, left, stop. I was laughing so hard I could hardly keep the camera steady. You'll need to stay tuned to see if she outfoxed me again. Now get on outside and enjoy the day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Home Entertainment - Unplugged

Happy 4th Of July
There are a couple of peanut feeders in the front yard for the nuthatches, titmice and woodpeckers. Soon after they were placed we discovered that the families of red and grey squirrels were quite intrigued and wily enough to figure things out. We keep trying to outsmart them with new set ups, but they continue to prove us fools. Squirrels 6 - Humans 0. We'll try again another day.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Richardson's Grove

A walk along the Eel River is often full of surprises. This particular morning, near Richardson's Grove, dawned warm and sunny, trails refreshed by an evening rain. Footsteps went unheard on the forest floor. The only sounds were the river and the call of a lone hawk.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bucket List - Tututun Lodge - Gold Beach, Oregon

One of those very special places that will become part of the fabric of your life. We have returned annually for over a decade to celebrate our wedding anniversary on December 21st. It is a truly serene and romantic spot on the banks of the Rogue River. If you go in summer taking a mail boat up the river to Agnes is a must. It is a 104 mile round trip through some of the most beautiful back country you've ever seen. Oh, and prepare to get wet, it's the best part of the adventure on a hot summer day!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kortum Trail - Sonoma County, CA

Life passes so quickly there is barely time to touch its colors
Pages turning with a whisper on a Spring morning
Make time to just be quiet and be