June 2007 Archives

Haven't been blogging in a while. Too many projects, too many options, each one edging out the other until I am often left standing in the middle of my studio unsure of what to do next. I told myself a few years ago that I would not let this happen again, but when you have so many interests it is often times hard to let them go (even one) without remorse. And then there are the things that must be done...tasks that revolve that give no satisfaction unless you slide them into some sort of meditational exercise, which sometimes works for me.

Yes, even laundry can be a spiritual discipline.

But the last few weeks have flown due to cram packed weekends of working on the yard.

And the weekdays have been crammed with running a business, writing a book, photographing this guy (again) for his new book (just the inside jacket, no cover this time) trying to grow tomatoes, learning to compost, stacks of finances to finish, an architect to call...

jewelry to make(cuz apparently it is selling)...

paintings to paint...

food to cook...

toilets to clean...

ok this sounds like some sort of weird domestic rollercoaster. Actually, this weekend my husband and I dubbed it "the wheel of projects". In that case we were giving a name specifically to the overwhelming amount of projects left to finish the remodel of this house. But in fact the concept could apply to my world in general.

But really, I probably wouldn't have it any other way.

Even though I wistfully imagine a simple apartment with nothing needing fixed, working with my laptop with no clutter of any kind...

well that would last for about ten minutes and then my head would implode.

Truth is I need my doors. Some are fun, some are tedious, some are great candidates for procrastination and others I can't wait to get to...

So today I sit with so many doors...eeny meeny miney moe...

How many doors do you have, and how many of them do you actually like?


turtles, deer, worms and hail


Last week it was snapping turtles. Yesterday I caught a worm munching my grapevines. While I was outside tending my plants I felt something fall on me like a mist. Tiny bugs. I had to shake them off. It was ninety degrees then it rained, then it hailed. This morning it was below sixty and felt cold. The forecast is back to ninety in two days.

Typing away I looked up to see a deer looking at me through my studio door. I nearly jumped out of my chair. Whats next? Raining frogs?

or something out of a steven king novel?


deer spots me with camera and bolts


grapevine pest


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When Daniel came home from MICA for the summer we pointed out that in order for him to go back he needed to get a job. We laid out a dollar figure that he had to come up with by the end of the summer "somehow". It was a sobering day for him reflecting on how he was going to raise our said dollar figure having never had a real job before. A little stressful, a little scary. I am sure at the time it seemed impossible.

But then again when he does something it is never small.

Let's just say the planets aligned for our little family to tackle the situation. There were a number of factors to consider, one of the big ones is that we only have one car. If Daniel was to get a job he would either have to ride the bus (and the job would have to be near public transportation) or we would have to get a second car(which we really can't afford with the cost of tuition which is why he needs a job in the first place).

About this time Bryan was experiencing a real crunch at the office, and they were about to troll for design contractors.

Enter Daniel.

At nineteen he has got some pretty good design chops. Having lived under our roof, combined with enough technology to dink around with over the years, plus multiple family projects that have sort of honed skills by osmosis, one electronic media course at mica and add to that a real talent, and bingo.

So for a portion of the summer Daniel is working as a hired designer at the firm that Bryan works at. What a godsend this was. Not only was the transportation issue eliminated (cus he goes to work with his dad) but he is making a really good dollar because of his skill. Although he has freelanced, this is technically his first "real" job. All those years in front of the computer tinkering with programs like Bryce and Photoshop are starting to payoff. And he is totally rising to the occasion of a challenging deadline driven atmosphere.

While the guys were at work, his first paycheck arrived in the mail. We went out for a bite to eat that evening after work at our favorite little wine shop, and while we were waiting for our food I pulled the envelope out of my purse...

"We have something to celebrate"...

And so this day marks the day that Daniel got his first paycheck.

So proud of you son!



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at the risk of this blog turning into a running list of what i had for breakfast... sunday brunch with the folks...

Bryan's home made corned beef hash...

need i say more?



bryan and his mom



very special cake


Bryan's 43 today.

A very unusual birthday request from my husband was to spend the day outside laying bricks. Doesn't sound like much of a birthday but the key ingredient to this was that his dad was here to help. So for Bryan's 43rd birthday, Bryan, Dad and I worked on our backyard while Mom was in the kitchen secretly making something very special.

The birthday cake.

It isn't just any cake. It is a cake that Bryan used to ask for as a boy. It is a cake that has fond memories attached to it. And it is a cake that takes a pound of butter to make.

yea huh.

And since it has been ages since I have made a birthday cake, it worked out great. After Mom finished working her magic in the kitchen she joined us outside, watching the antics as "the boys" tried to outdo each other in who could haul the most bricks down the hill without killing themselves (or each other). Dad won hands down with five bricks stacked on the handtruck. Keep in mind each brick weighs 82 pounds. Bryan's dad is bumping up against age seventy but can run rings around us younger folk and lift more than his own weight exponentially. It is always a hoot watching him but be careful not to blink because while you are standing around trying to figure something out he will have it done without skipping a beat.

So finishing up with bricks and such we settled in for a nice evening barbeque. An unconventional birthday indeed, but ended with the sweetest of desserts.


the oh-so-yummy french-filling cake.


take me out to the ballgame

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Bryan's family was visiting from canada, and it turns out that his mom is a baseball fan. So friday night we decided to do something out of the ordinary for my little family and go to a game.

It was pretty cool.

We are normally museum and gallery folk, and lord knows we have dragged them through a number of those, so baseball seemed in good form for this visit.

If I have ever been to a game before in my life I can't remember it , so I guess this qualifies as a first. Another experience to check off of the list of must dos in life (like scuba diving or seeing a broadway play). The evening was a balmy 90+ degrees until it cooled slightly when the sun went down, but it was totally worth it just to see the smile on Bryan's mother's face. And of course in order to embrace the full experience we all had hot dogs (something I don't even buy).

It was a blast.


it was quite a hike to our seats. here's the fam on the fifth level of the stadium.


mother and son.


the view was great.


and to top it all off the O's won.

writing your own fairy tale

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I realized in reading beautiful blog stories this morning that a person can really frame ones life (or reframe it) in the blog. This can be a very good thing. (It also could be a bad thing and has the potential for a good psycho-thriller if the re-framing is off the deep-end ;-). The art of storytelling of ones own life can be powerful. Such is the blog.

What was originally a vehicle for me to just do "morning pages" a-la julie cameron-artist way has evolved. Of course the point of morning pages is to brain dump and are never supposed to be read by a soul. But for me this (blog) vehicle created an incentive. Then it became a way to really work things out. Then it became a beautiful way to record the adventures of my family which I will be able to treasure when I am eighty. But it does something else too...

keeps my accountable.

The books say this. You know all those books that have all that wisdom... pick one they all mention the act of writing something down as a necessary step to making something happen.

I have always been a list maker, a goal setter, and a planner. Sometimes this practice has granted me the fulfillment and satisfaction of something accomplished and other times it has been a source of torture. That might depend on where I wrote it. Did it land on a sticky that was easy to toss... or one of my fine sketchbooks that you wouldn't dare tear the page out.

Sounds kind of crazy doesn't it?

Maybe so... but sketchbooks and stickies aside... what about the blog? Doesn't it have even more power than a piece of paper, no matter how fine?

It is like making a promise to the world that you are going to do something or be a certain way. And I wonder if when proclaiming to the world what you plan to do, or who you want to be motivates you to do that much better...

or be that much more.

The idea that someone someday (or tomorrow) will read about what you are up to may make you think twice about what you do or neglect to do today.

Like a cosmic accountability group...

or a promise to god.

But how precious it is to understand that we have choices. Whether we write them down or not, we have choices to make every day. And those choices are like pebbles in a stream that direct the flow. That may sound like a scary idea but even the smallest act of kindness can have big results.

But I digress...

A few months ago I started reflecting on the idea of versions of the self. If there was a possibility of having other versions of you what would those versions look like? How can a person help or hinder the creation of a good version versus a bad version...or even a mediocre version.

Mediocre...hmmm is that what it means to be "luke warm"?

Anyway, I became fascinated by this concept of versions of self. Maybe it is my age that makes me suddenly reflect upon this. I am statistically in the "middle" of my life, and I guess that means looking back and looking ahead which makes your reflect on what you have done in the past and more importantly what you still have the power to do with your future.

What a beautiful opportunity to imagine what the best version of "you" might look like and go for that.

Which makes me absolutely stunned when I bump into blogs where someone writes about making choices towards destruction. I don't get that. To willfully choose to proclaim to the world how bad they want to be... I guess that is a notion of youth that will catch up to anyone.

That might make me sound hypocritical, because of course no one is perfect...

but to try for a better version of self seems more sane doesn't it? Unless you are locked into some romantic notion that self destruction might lead to something better... the hollywood ending...

Thelma and Louise, anyone?

And then there are those beautiful blogs where letters are written to babies by their moms and dads for future reading by the child. Hopes and wishes given in love for prosperous futures. Sort of setting the scene and launching pad for the child to become the best version of themselves. These are the best kind of blog posts.

This thing we call blog is such an interesting phenomenon. Ok... it used to be journals, but truthfully I never kept a good journal until the blog. Pictures are key. And now, whether anyone reads what I am up to or not I feel accountable to it because of my own future readings. What a great thing to be able to read about all the richness of your life when your memory might fail you. And in the here and now, isn't it wonderful to be able to write your own fairy tale while you are actually creating it?

If you had the ability to frame your life and write your own fairy tale what would it look like? What would you change?

What version of you do you want to see when you look in the mirror?

morning visitor


The guys have left for the day, I finish making my capp, grab the cup and hear a strange noise. I look out my kitchen window and see this...



He may not look like much but it was about 18 inches long, so proportionately large compared to my brick step. The split second upon spotting it took my brain a beat to translate what I was seeing. What..big brown lump(no)...groundhog(no)...baby dinosaur(hehe)...ITS A TORTOISE!

What strange creatures travel through my yard after a good rainstorm.

artist date: tomatoes and poppies


So today I get to play. Taking my friday was a challenge because other tasks keep calling, tugging at the responsible side of me... wait, isn't taking an artist date the responsible thing to do? oh yea... i keep forgetting that to function as an artist and a human being i need to keep honoring this ritual. someone just hit me over the head please.

So... outdoors to get my hands dirty. Learning about organic gardening has sent me down the trail for home made insecticides. Tomato leaf tea... kills aphids. And to my amazement the tomatoes I planted a few weeks ago are HUGE. Waist high so I caged them. This is another added victory for me...another plant I didn't kill. Though lets wait to see if I actually get any tomatoes ;-)

Then going inside from the heat I picked up a brush and did my best impression of blair doing impressionism. Poppies in a field emerged as I painted. No thin places today, the other muse was the one awake this time. She seems to like broad strokes, bold colors, and big canvas. The thin places muse must be on summer vacation or maybe she has moved on completely. Who knows.

Field of Poppys


herbs and tomatoes


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2007 is the previous archive.

July 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.