Picasso I am not..

Last night, my back road travels lead me to Cooper Red Mountain Winery for a class with artist friend Rachel Schauble- Heglar Talk about an adventure. I am not an artist, nor have I ever dreamed of being one. The only canvas I have ever attempted to slay, was the walls in my home or a stray piece of furniture that needed some touching up. So to even think that I could home with a masterpiece was well perhaps a stretch, but the experience with two old friends, and a chance to meet a couple new ones always has its draw.

First let me say, that Neil at Cooper is amazingly nice, and fun, and funny. His wines, amazing.

Rachel’s mom, Bev, and  I have been friends for somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years or so…one thing that I always know is that when we are together, I am always learning something, being affectionately shoved out of my comfort zone and laughing until my head hurts.. the same of course was true tonight.

I inherited Rachel’s friendship, through my friendship with her mom, but I will take it. Rachel is amazing. I wish I had half the self-awareness, insight, and tenacity that she has, when I was her age. And the talent this girl has is something else. Rachel has an amazing way to put anyone at ease, not only with her painting, but with life in general. She has learned the valuable lesson of not taking self to serious, and to take life as it comes. Her ability to create the life that she wants for herself and for her children is her true art form.

There are so many things that we can learn when we allow ourselves to let go and learn something new… turns out, the “something new” may not just be about your artistic endeavor, but rather about Life in general.

While I may not be a painter…. the art of painting taught me, that if you just stay with it, don’t give up on it, keep blending the edges….. things will turn out ok.

Thanks Rachel, what a great time we had…(if someone wants to take a class like this, Rachel’s business info can be found on FB https://www.facebook.com/BottleAndBrushes

Dirty Road Anthem

Yeah, I’m chillin’ on a dirt road, Laid back swervin’ like I’m George Jones. Rolling down the window, An’ ice cold tea sittin’ in the console. Memory lane up in the headlights, It’s got me reminiscing on them good times. I’m turning off of real life, drivin’ that’s right, I’m hittin’ easy street on mud tires.

I love that song by Jason Aldean…. It’s fun. I particularly like it totally cranked up, windows down.. and flying down the country back roads.

This past weekend I thought I would be staying home helping our youngest get some last-minute homework done. Missing the Farm Chick Show and seeing some of my most favorite girlfriends…. But, as Luck would have it, at the 11th hour, all was caught up, Tom and Matthew were headed to the cabin and I was free to hit the open road.

I had cancelled my trailer reservations for the Sister’s On the Fly camp out at Riverside Park, so I thought I would at least go up Sunday and catch what I could catch. But, turns out I got to help my friend ( and brilliant artist of Latitude Studios) in her booth at the show.. what fun.

At the show we had two very fast and furious days, but I got to see a lot of Old friends some vendors, some shoppers. Some old high school classmates. I am always amazed at how many people come through that place, and how much “junk” goes out the doors.

After the show closed on Saturday, Jody and I headed back to a cabin that her family owned on Lake Roosevelt, which is about an hour away.. which seems like quit a ways, but the down time was good, and the view the next morning was nothing short of a gift.

It would seem that every cheerful birdie in Washington State choose to be at the cabin Sunday morning as well.. as boy did we have a concert. Leading the talent was this darling little quail. For the first time ever, I found myself wishing that I spoke “quail” just so I could hear what he was so happy about. There were also ground squirrels, rabbits, a coyote or two and some deer, just to make the concert more visual.

We really would have needed all the extras as the view of the lake was breath taking.

Sunday brought with it a visit with my brother Bill who I haven’t seen it almost 15 years. He has done a lot of living in those years, but looks great and seems happy, in part due to his beautiful wife Pam who seems to have his back, and is a strong support for him.

Keeping to my personal commitment to slow down a little and to re-connect, face to face with friends. I decided to take the long way home and stop by friends Greg and Gwen Nolan in Colfax. I miss those days of living there. Seems I couldn’t have gotten through being a mom of 4 little ones if it wasn’t for friendships of Greg and Gwen and our constant partner in crime Dori Richardson. To this day, our boys call Greg “uncle Greg” and we have been blessed that he has so willingly played that part.

I love the Palouse, it “speaks to me”, there is such a magic about it.

As I came out of the Palouse and was pointing home, the sky ahead was the perfect exclamation point for me. The Perfect ending, to a Perfect weekend.

Can You Hear Me Now?

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It is weird really, how in a day and age where we are so totally CONNECTED, that I can feel so disconnected.

I mean sure, there is Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, LinkedIn and Google this and Google that. My cell phone with all the fancy apps are never to far away, and then of course there is the laptop and computer that can take me anywhere virtually that I want to go. I can Skype with my friend in Georgia, and even take a meeting or two over NetMeetings, and I can text message, instant message and send everyone I know a picture within seconds of whatever it is that I am doing, I can download video or even listen to a sermon in realtime….Continue reading “Can You Hear Me Now?”

Peace Out!

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Ain’t life funny sometimes? I don’t mean in a “ha, ha” kind of way.. I mean in a… hum, I didn’t see that one coming, kind of a way. The kind of way that leaves you smiling, if not on the outside, at least on the inside.

I have had that kind of a week.

For months I have felt a storm brewing in me, a creative storm, but I didn’t really know where it was leading, where it would take me-if anywhere, and how I would get there. But, I could feel it brewing, like an old man who knows rain is coming deep down in his bones.

I could picture this old man sitting on his porch in a rickety old rocking chair….waiting….waiting.. as the clouds moved from south, and the darker the skies got, the anticipation in him wells up…. and he rocks a little faster. I too, felt my heart beat faster with anticipation of what comes next…what exactly is God preparing for me, what exactly are the next steps. I could hear that sweet small voice, a God whisper, telling me to “wait for it, wait for it” and to the best of my very impatient abilities, I have done my best to do so. Not without taking a wrong step or two… well that is just my MO….so really that doesn’t count.

I have learned that God puts space between where I am … and where I am going, just to accommodate those mis-steps of mine.. to my credit I can say, that I don’t stay down those bunny trails nearly as long as I use to, which is progress right?

As the clouds come closer and they wring themselves out over the old man, you can sense his happiness. Even his body reacts to the unleashing, as even his bones settle into the storm and the aching goes away. And I am sure, if he could, he would join me as I twirl in the fields soaking it all in after what seemed like a forever drought.

In my own way, I am honoring the rain this summer….. and one of those ways is to leave facebook for a while. I love facebook, it allows me to keep us with friends I rarely get to see in person, making the world seems so much smaller than it is. On the downside, it is a great distraction for me, as I can spend days on it. Of course it is also where much of my freelance work comes from, so there will be much to miss as I take little little sojourn.

My plan is to walk away for a season. Beginning June 1 – Sept 1 – a three month Facebook Fast – and in its place, I have books to read, and books to write. Gardens to tend to, friends to spend some face time with, and so on.

In more than one way, I will be spending time to re-write my story, and I will be sharing it on this blog. While saying that I am on a FB diet, I will also point out that my blog has a direct feed to FB so, at times it will seem that I am there.. and I always get my notifications via email, so when freelance jobs present themselves I wont miss them.

SO after tomorrow if you want to talk to me, please call my cell, if you want to share with me, send me an email, and if you wanna know what I am up to…. come to my blog…. Peace Out!

How I Learned To Live A Better Story

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This morning I woke up ready to dig into a new book that had been recommended by a former pastor of mine… well, okay, maybe recommended is a little strong. I saw on his face book page that he was reading it, and since Eric is someone that I admire, I thought.. that sounds perfect….Continue reading “How I Learned To Live A Better Story”

Catch & Release

Catch & Release: What we hold on to, what we let go, and the one that got away.

       There is a rhythm in fishing, a dance, between man and his fishing pole. Not unlike that of a writer and the writer’s pen, both instruments used to lease the mind of all that it holds.
As a little girl, I would find myself sitting on the banks of the river watching my grandfather, who had no idea that I was studying him, as I hid behind my camera lens, mesmerized by his dance with nature, touched by the communion he had with it. Decades later, I can still recall my emotions as I witnessed the oneness he had with the elements around him.
It was always such a treat, to go with my grandparents’ on one of their camping/fishing trips. They, along with several of their friends, and their families, would caravan down the Oregon highway, stopping on the John Day River for a little fishing, before continuing down to the Oregon coast on their annual quest to vacate their normal lives, their yearly ritual appointment with summer and with the great out of doors.
Even now, I love to think about the dance that my grandfather so brilliantly perfected through his many years of returning to the river, it was as if all of nature accepted his presence, as if they somehow remember him, and honored his right to be there, an equal witness to the season.
The witness came in the form of the birds who continued to sing their songs and the bugs who kept true to their constant chatter. By the rodents, who still, in spite of granddad’s presence, scurried to the water’s edge for their drink, while the reed grasses whistled in concert with the rolling water where he stood with his waders, it all had a beautiful, yet somewhat strange, sense of oneness between man, and nature.
Memories like these put a stamp on my heart creating a place for my mind can go when I needed to calm myself, when life became stressful, when hope would hide in the grayness of life. I would close my eyes, breath in and take myself back to the riverbanks, to the awareness of my grandpa, the rhythm of his casting, the whirling of his reel, the rushing of the water, and the sounds of the wind whispering through the breeze. As I bravely opened my eyes to the present, the sweet inner stillness reminded me that all is well with my soul, just as it was for my grandpa there on that riverbank.
In recent years I have taken up fly- fishing, it has become a sacred thing for me, another part of my writer’s process. As other writers know, often times the largest part of writing is done long before the pen ever sees the paper. I believe Writing was the gift given to me, in order to help me handle the things that life knew, as a young child and young adult I would need to be able to process, in order to survive, it has been like an invisible, forever friend, who was always there for me.
However; it was only four years ago, that I gave myself permission to “call” myself a writer, to put my writing out into the viewing world for their assessment, and in doing so, for the first time, I felt as if I had introduced people to the whole of me. Going public as a writer, was my Kodak moment, much like the many, many photos in our family album of my grandpa with his line of fish as he displays them so proudly.
My writing, like all relationships, changed as events in my life changed. It went from being my recue, to my retreat: that sacred place for my dreams, and a soft place for matters of the heart. This forever friend is still the one I run to, as I search for ways to honor all it has been to me over the years. As I look back over my life, I can see that somewhere through the pages of time, my friend has become me and I, my friend. Like the visual of my grandpa on the river, I find that there is now a rhythm between us, one that brings to me a sweet calmness, my writing and I have entered a silent conversation, one between two old friends, one put to pen and paper.
The little girl in me will forever recall my granddad on that river with his fishing pole dancing with nature. But today, when I close my eyes, in the quest of finding that calming place to shield me from the cares of the world, I see me, sitting at my desk, pen in hand, dancing in a rhythm all my own, in deep conversation with my forever friend, about all the stories waiting to be told. My line having been cast into the rivers of creative opportunity.

Batten Down the Hatches….

She’s a gonna BLOW!~

Look, I know that I can enter any situation, much like a storm, leaving some wondering what exactly just hit them.

And yes, I know, I don’t have enough sense to even entertain the thought that there are things I can’t or shouldn’t do. Once I decide to take something on, then it is “all balls out”, (pardon the expression).Continue reading “Batten Down the Hatches….”

Adventures and Miss Adventures

I love writing about my adventures and my misadventures. Those that know me and have traveled with me know that I see the two as the same. I don’t see one as a positive and the other as a negative, just two sides of the same experience. I can’t recall a time that didn’t have both, maybe that is because one without the other wouldn’t be all that memorable.
Some would say that sweet without the sour just wouldn’t seem so sweet.Continue reading “Adventures and Miss Adventures”

A View From The Fork

It is interesting to me, that sometimes the view from the road that we choose to go down lead to moments of disorientation. I am learning that those moments of adjusting our view aren’t necessarily bad… they are more like when your eyes adjust to light… they just take a moment for your brain to catch up with the environment. The true is same for my new work environment. I have to say putting on dress clothes … that don’t really reflect me…. and shoes….with toes.. and socks and stockings…. are all a bit disorienting for me. The very first thing that I do when I leave the office, is to put on a pair of Jeans and my flip flops.. it seems that by that simple act I can breathe again….Oh, don’t get me wrong.. I love the NATURE of my new job.. just struggle with the laced up structure of dress codes. But, I love the pay… the benefits.. the challenge… the creative side….I love feeling like I am a part of the team.Continue reading “A View From The Fork”

New Chapter to an Old Book

New Chapter to an old Book
I think that is exactly how I felt; just like I inhaled, flipped the page, and began a new chapter. Every road I have ever taken has led me… well here… and I like it here. I love my community, my friends, my family, my life….Just like taking stalk of what you have read, looking back on my life I cant believe how blessed I have been. Yet, I am so excited about this new chapter as well. I look around at the group of girls that I hang with and think.. REALLY? these amazing people are my friends?Continue reading “New Chapter to an Old Book”

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