Thursday, December 22, 2011

thank you ancients

Thank you, ancients, for giving us so many of our Christmas customs of today.
As the sun diminished, many thought the world was waning.
But evergreens grew; thus, we have Christmas trees.
I welcome the shortest day of the year
welcome the return of sun
welcome winter
hope for snow or rain or both
wish all a joyous Christmas
celebrate family
celebrate the gifts of nature
celebrate the coming of a new year
the sun has set on the longest day of the year
new beginnings tomorrow

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'tis the season

Auntie B (Patrick's name for Brooke) decided it was time to make Christmas cookies.
Patrick helped roll them out, cut them, and decorate them.
Auntie B is very patient.
Patrick wanted the dough, not the cookies.
He takes after Grammie.
The only reason to make Christmas cookies
is to eat the dough - of course!
Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

welcoming the season

Papa, Josh and Patrick welcoming the new season
at Christmas tree lighting - and fireworks.
Patrick watched and watched
and then the big bangs - those that just make noise
He put up his hand in the stop position
but kept watching even though
the sound was disconcerting.
Let this wonderful season begin
and be in the hearts of
each and every one of us.
Feel so lucky to have this new heart,
new eyes,
new soul,
to share Christmas with.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Many mornings this is what greets me on my runs.
It's the little things.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Better late than …

I tried to post these right after I took them.
Blogger had it's own ideas.
I got frustrated and haven't been back here since.
But now - some family Halloween fun. 
it appears Blogger is at it again and will not put
in sequence I want - beginning to end -
but I'll post anyway!

the final product
Oh, this is supposed to be the last photo - Patrick Trick or Treating.
Why is blogger so weird!!
Patrick loved his little pumpkin.

Monday, October 31, 2011

pumpkin hunting

So it was Sunday and time for a visit to the pumpkin patch.
Patrick spotted the mechanical bull.
Ride. Ride. Ride. Ride.
He was mesmerized and that's all he could say.
Auntie agreed to take him.
She screamed and laughed a lot.
He held on like a trooper.

And then it was time to choose pumpkins.
He chose one. Then two.
And then just kept piling them in my wheelbarrow.
We decided he was collecting them like eggs from laying hens.
We let him choose two.
Next up will be the carving.
Love Halloween.

Monday, October 24, 2011

high hopes

 Found this little guy one morning in the Virgina Creeper that hangs from the gazebo.
He was working away on the web,
and each day I would go out to check on him.
One day the web was a mess.
Had a bird eaten him? In subsequent days, the web was repaired,
mr. spider was busy.
The web is gone now.
Still think I can learn something about stick-to-it-tiveness

Thursday, October 20, 2011

a family outing

My little family drove up to Lake Tahoe to see the Kokanee spawning in Taylor Creek.
These are landlocked salmon, born in Taylor Creek.
They swim to the lake for some life, 
then back to Taylor Creek to spawn and die
The circle of life.
the lake is beautiful in the fall;
an outing with the family is the best.

Here they are in their final beauty.
the guys have hooked jaws; the gals turn flashy red and green.

 Grandson Patrick mugs for the camera.
Auntie Brooke, Uncle Perry and Papa look on.

 Patrick and his dad, Josh,
after hiking to the lake's shore.

 Can't get enough of this little guy, standing on the roots of a fallen Jeffrey pine.

 Patrick's mom & dad on the left
Auntie and Uncle to the right

Friday, September 30, 2011

desert in fall finery

The trees are still green
the roses are still blooming
the rabbitbrush is welcoming fall in it's autumn finery
it's plentiful
it's beautiful
… and it's the desert's ragweed
can't have everything

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 generations playing

It was after seeing a fun movie - I Don't Know How She Does It - and me, 
my daughter and granddaughter headed to
Target to buy stuff.
This is how we buy stuff…
and be silly…
and enjoy each other.
This is the fun of being
a mother 
a grandmother.

Friday, September 23, 2011

fall comes to Spanish Springs

It's 90 something.
I'm babysitting grandbaby Parick.
He's pooling it on the first day of fall -
but I do have some blooming flowers
though planted in summer are fallish colors
They won't be in this pot long.
It's the only fall color I have in the garden
and it's coming in the house to say 


soon to visit me inside

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


No photos, just some inspiration from an artist who I follow and I want to share. Her site is 'An Artists Journal,' and today she emailed to her readers photos of stacks of papers she has created by painting, collaging, weathering, etc., and she later uses these in her work. Take a look. She also suggested going to The Altered Page,, where an artist named Seth Apter has started the 'Paper Stacks Project.' He's invited anyone and everyone to take photos of stacks of their inspiration and send a link to him. And there are dozens of people who have done that. Going through those links is just plain fun - and inspiring - though many of them are way too neat. lol. Take a look. Have fun. Happy Wednesday.

Friday, September 16, 2011

just ridin' my bike

If you've followed this blog at all, you know I post cloud photos.
I love our sky - I love the magnificence - I love just watching.
As I was riding my bike through the neighborhood, these clouds 
stopped my feet on the pedals.
The first one looked like the cloud would swallow the houses below.
I was riding towards the other two and couldn't take my eyes away.
Better to shoot an iPhone photo
than crash.
I only wish that you could see what I saw.
But I think you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

saying goodbye

I'm a hanger-on. Not going to let go of summer until the 23rd.
Autumn is my favorite season,
but I haven't had enough of summer -
ours has been so short.
Already mess the easy evenings - sun up so late 
that you feel you have forever to get so many things done.
Miss the warm, easy nights.
I'll get there - to autumn.
Our crisp mornings are drawing me in.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

about two feet of love

Sweet Patrick. The family picnicked at the Sparks Marina
Patrick was there when we arrived. He saw the Kayak and was ready to go,
memories of last week's camping sharp to him.
We carried him in the kayak to our picnic spot.
He emptied the kayak of everything.
Then he rode with his Auntie Brooke on her SUP.
He's getting brave - wants to hang feet over,
touch the water,
lay down on his tummy with his hands underneath his chin.
A granddaughter, a grandson.
Their parents.
A kind, patient husband who loves his family.
Celebrate. Give thanks. Everyday. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Past & Present continued…

And then it was time for Burning Guy - it's our version of the Burning Man
celebration that happens every year at this time in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.
We prefer water by our sand, so we stage our own - Burning Guy. 
We aren't arty, but Josh, my son, builds the guy - 
put together with dowels, no less, rather than nails.
Must have inherited that talent from my dad.
So this is how Saturday ended.

Ah, the pre-burn celebration. Son, grand-niece, granddaughter and two more grand-nieces.

Josh, pouring on the gas…

No, we aren't odd worshipers - this really is our little version
of the big Black Rock Burning Man - look it up. It's pretty famous.
Maybe some of you are there now - they burn the man this weekend.

Move to Sunday morning. That's me with some of Corgis on my SUP.
The two in front are Brooke's; the one behind me is my young one
Frieda. Stella was on shore watching the crowd. 
I was trying desperately to stand up with moving Corgis.
I am still a beginner, after all.

It was a great weekend. We're planning a few trips for next summer.
Having this reservoir to camp on is one of Northern Nevada's gifts.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Past & Present

Last weekend was a camping weekend. Haven't been to Lahontan in years. My kids were young, my parents, sister and brothers-in-law were alive and camping was a family affair. So many memories - haven't been ready to return to the once happy scene. But I ventured out this weekend - with my daughter's family, my son's family, their friends and family. Photos tell some of the story…

 Saturday started with Brooke (my daughter) and Patrick (my grandson - son of my son) building sandcastles. Later, as Brooke and I took to the water with SUPs, Patrick had fund smashing the fortress - he's 2. 
He likes building and breaking!

This is an evening at Lahontan. 
It's in the middle of a desert, water left over from and ice age ocean that covered Northwestern Nevada. 
For many, it's charm is an acquired taste. It's sandy, dirty, hot. 
Get past that - camp in the trees, nap in the heat of the afternoon, 
put your volleyball net in the water. 
Swim, SUP, kayak - it's a lake made for water play.

It actually wasn't until the first evening that it all came rushing back. Why I love Lahontan.
My creative energy returns. The dry, sandy, mountains glow in the sunset.
Clouds become a Monet painting.
My mind soaks in the space - forgets all the negative.
I breathe deeply - I feel like writing again. I feel like I can write again.
I'm not sad for who is not there.
I'm happy that I still have a family I love to be with.

More to come tomorrow - our Burning Guy fun. Stay tuned.

Friday, August 26, 2011

headin' out

This is what we're doing this weekend - playing. Leaving in about an hour for Lahontan where we'll stand up paddle board, kayak, play volleyball, nap and read. It's a weekend at the lake. Shown above Patrick and his Aunt Brooke - my grandson and daughter. Ya'll have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not yet. Not ready. It's only one Virginia Creeper leaf, but it's much too early to start showing color. I'm hanging on to the ease of summer. Not yet. Not ready.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Papa was left alone with his grandson. This is what they came up with. Patrick's first jump. That's love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

busy bees

Busy as a bee indeed. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

the simple life

When 3 wheels and a steering wheel were all you needed…

Friday, August 12, 2011

cruise night

It's cruise time in Reno/Sparks - Hot August Nights. It's been happening for 25 years and this is the first year that my husband and I had a vehicle to take part. This is a line of cars on Tuesday night going down B Street in Sparks. The line went for a couple miles later in the evening. We pulled off with a group to watch the parade. Old music. Old cars. Old and young people. Some of us remembering our glory days. Others still in their prime. It's a come together.

just fun

This is my new paddle board - yes, hanging in the garage. Pretty, heh? and fun. I've had it out three times but can't figure out how to take a photo at the same time I'm setting off on the water. No, I will not take my DSLR on the board. I'm a beginner - with the board and the camera.

This is far more fun than I thought. Had never intended to buy one. Then my daughter took me out - she's a licensed instructor - and I got it. It's you, the water, the board and a paddle, and you move quietly to wherever you want on the water. See the turtles that rest on some pipes, break up the flotilla of seagulls and listen to them squawk, discover a new batch of baby mallards - late for the season. No phone. Just the water, the board and a paddle. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

And then the rain came…

Western Nevada - it's still wild and woolly when it comes to the storms setting in. They're sudden and often violent in the summer. Went to Lahontan to test out my new paddle board. Started with sun; then the clouds started building on mountain ridges. When you can hear the thunder and see the smoke lifting into the sky from lightening strikes, you know it's time to come in from the rain. We loaded the dogs, left my board and Mike's kayak with my daughter (they were camping) and headed for home. Hit this cloudburst but also had the opportunity for some interesting cloud shots from the car. There is always excitement living in the desert.

Friday, July 29, 2011


I took some photos this morning that I loved - and I erased them this afternoon in trying to use my new camera! Ack! So no new photos.

Also, if there is anyone out there who is following my blog, I am not crazy, just am not happy about how my blog looks. Sorry about the continuing changes. It's a BIG sign of frustration.

Tomorrow I'm taking off to Lahontan to use my very own Stand Up paddle board for the first time. My daughter gave me lessons last week (she and her husband are certified instructors), and they will be camping there. A relaxing Saturday. Wow. Will the gardens miss me?

Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Afghan undone
I finished the parts many years ago. Have no idea why I didn't finish it. But it's on my summer to do list. One unfinished project at a time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My summer art

The black eyed susans draw swallowtails

Sally Holmes is making a come back after freezing last year…

The lavender - she's weathered floods, 2 feet of snow & withering heat…

I guess this is my art. Spend most of my free time tending the many gardens. I take great pleasure in this project - one of the reasons I love summer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It's been a few weeks of celebrations all coming together on Monday, July 4th. We have a family Monday dinner every week and all come home for a meal together. We also celebrate family member birthdays on the Monday closest to their day. It started on the 27th with my husband Mike's birthday; then to July 4th with my son-in-law Perry's birthday. Grandson Patrick gets in on all the candle work, so we all figure he's going to think he has a lot of birthdays (we celebrated his 2nd in May). July 4th's Monday family dinner also included a celebration of our nation's birthday - Patrick led the parade, his aunt followed.

Papa & Patrick
Uncle Perry & Patrick

Patrick & Auntie Brooke