Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Ugly Duckling . . .

A couple of months ago my husband stopped by a nearby garage sale late in the day and saw this unit. He knew I loved lots of drawers and even though it was painted an awful color with paint that had "texture" (aka sand) in it, he bought it thinking he would just sand down the texture and repaint. He paid $30 for it and when he got it home we took the drawers out and to our surprise it was solid walnut. My husband is a woodworker so he knows his wood. We decided to just strip the paint off and try and bring the walnut back to life. The upper unit drawers were turning out pretty cool.

But the biggest surprise came when Jerry discovered that the fronts of the drawers of the bottom unit, when the paint was stripped off, was just made of pine. He started looking very closely and realized he could just take off this extra piece and hopefully the wood underneath was still intact.

We were stunned with what was underneath. My $30 ugly duckling was about to become a beautiful swan.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A few weeks ago I submitted a photography piece for consideration in a national juried art show in Estes Park and I promised my friends and family that I would post the entry when I heard whether I was accepted or not. So here it is:

I received the "thanks, but no thanks" email this morning and after indulging in a few moments of disappointment I realized just how far I've come. Entering this show was a HUGE step for me. I've always felt that putting myself out there was just setting myself up for rejection. And even though my piece was rejected, I was able to put it into perspective that it was, indeed, my piece that was rejected, not me. It doesn't take away from the fact that I love this picture. It was taken on our anniversary weekend last September in a small, teeny, tiny mountain town with this small, teeny, tiny junkyard. I'm still going to frame the picture and hang it in my house. This my friends, is growth.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Family or Friend...


Family - a group of people related by ancestry or marriage.

Friend - One attached to another by affection or esteem.

The other day my husband was lamenting the fact that he had so many cousins he was having trouble remembering all their names and I was lamenting the fact that I had so few. And none my age. I have a LOT of in-laws, some I love dearly and some I . . . well, you know. I have a husband, four children and two younger sisters I love with all my heart, some extended family members and a smattering of "first cousins once removed," etc.

And then there is my 'other' family. My friends. Those caring, supportive, tell it like it is, here's a shoulder to cry on people who are so willing to share so much so often. I have been incredibly blessed by these friendships and I cannot imagine my life without them. I'm a very lucky woman.

Family and Friends. They may have different definitions, but to me they are one and the same.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Yesterday was possibly the most perfect Colorado summer day. The temperature was, for me, near perfection. It wasn't too hot and there was a delightful breeze. Even though the weather people tend to use the word 'breezy' rather loosely here in Colorado (most of the time it's downright windy!), it truly was what most people would define as breezy.

As I was sitting in my backyard I started contemplating my clothesline and decided to sketch it in my journal. You see, I view my clothesline as a work of art. It's made of wood and slightly weathered. I know there are a lot of people out there who think of clotheslines as just a lot of work or, at the very least, an eyesore. And they are entitled to their opinions just as I'm entitled to mine.

I started wondering what it is that my clothesline stirs in me. I grew up in a charming Craftsman bungalow in Northern California in the 1950s and 60s. You could hang all the laundry standing in one place! It had a pulley system from the back porch to the other side of the yard. Hanging out the laundry was one of my responsibilities and one I loved. There was such a sense of peace and calmness that enveloped me as I went through the repetition of clipping on each clothespin just right. Then there was the sense of satisfaction as I looked at all the clothes lined up moving gently in the breeze. Taking them down was even better. I took the time to fold each one as I put it in the basket. I still do. So you see, I could never live in a place where clotheslines are forbidden, because for me my clothesline is another of life's little pleasures.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Farmer's Market

I love farmer's markets. The sights, the smells (think roasting chilis) and the feeling that somehow I'm doing my part. I take my trusty vintage shopping cart and reusable canvas bags and immerse myself in all the wonderful goodness. My first stop is always the organic beef producers who also sell free range chickens. I've shopped with them for years and they've never had their product recalled!

Our farmer's market is held in an old historic train depot.

It has some great artistic architectural elements to it.

And its own lovely landscaping

I love the flower vendors, but unfortunately they remind me that I have no talent whatsoever when it comes to gardening. I'm not quite sure how that happened. I try, truly I try. Most of my art friends have wonderful gardens and I'm envious. The only thing I have luck growing are what my mother affectionately referred to as "pretty little yellow flowers." Dandelions. It still makes me laugh.

And this makes me wish I knew how to make pickles.

Summer saturday mornings. One of life's little pleasures.