I really really want this bike!

July 1, 2009

Oh, how I love this bike.  I can just picture myself, little ones in tow riding to the park, to the grocery store, riding home from the farmer’s market cargo hold overflowing with produce and fresh flowers, I might even consider a paper route (not really).

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes
Click the picture to see how you can win too, but hurry, the winners will be announced on July 15th.


More Snow

April 4, 2009

img_7003As I watched these robins in the snow I imagined a retired couple having a conversation about their decision to summer in Idaho. 


The Door is Closed

March 29, 2009


Stephen McMillan

March 27, 2009

Snow Bird

Last night I was lucky to be able to attend a lecture given by master printmaker Stephen McMillan. He is a true master at aquatint, and if you know anything about printmaking you’ll be amazed at what he can do. Even if you don’t know anything about printmaking you’ll be impressed by his images.  

He began by showing slides of crayon drawings he had done as a child, and made the point that at one time we all created art, the difference between artists and everyone else is that artists never stop making art. I liked that thought. He continued to show his work through junior high and high school all the way to the present and it was so great to see his progression.  

He was doing some amazing work as a youngster and I was impressed by the support and encouragement his parents gave him.  I find myself looking at my own kids, especially the older three and wanting to help them discover their talents and do all I can to help them.

I was also inspired to document my own evolution as an artist. I have a lot of art from over the years and there’ve been many times I’ve been tempted to throw it out, now I’m glad I didn’t. It is a timeline of sorts and a record of the journey of thoughts and ideas that have inspired me.

Here are a few more images that were favorites:




January Snow

January Snow

 (the above is my absolute favorite — hint, hint, David)

After the Rains

After the Rains

 Visit Stephen’s online gallery to see more.

The Door is Open!

March 21, 2009

img_6852Welcome back Spring!  It was so lovely yesterday, 50 something degrees, which I know sounds chilly if you live in Arizona, but feels wonderful if you’ve just endured winter in Idaho!  

The kids got home from school and immediately got their bikes out, David and I sat out on the patio, Sophie dug in the dirt and Alex put just about every rock and bit of anything interesting in his mouth.  After a quick ride on their bikes, Parker and Emily climbed the trees, Elizabeth gave Sophie rides on the teeter-totter and then tried her skills at balancing on it by herself, then Emily told me of her plans to make a place of her own in one of the trees where she can sit and read.

There were chores to be done, but it was just too sweet watching everyone revel in the long awaited warm air and sunshine.  It was one of those rare idyllic scenes that cause you to put a halt to busy-ness and enjoy the gift of the moment. I decided chores could wait, and sure enough, they did.

p.s. I wonder if it’s possible to make idyllic less rare?  That sounds nice to me.

Sophie is calling . . .

March 17, 2009


. . . to wish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  She is our official St. Patrick’s Day mascot with her red hair and green sunglasses.  And the rest of the family wishes you a happy day too and happy birthday to cousins McKenzie and Andrew!

So what did you do at school today?

March 3, 2009

Em:  You know how parents make babies?

Me:  Um, yeah???

Em:  Well, we did that in class today.

Trying my best not to laugh outloud I fished for more details, it turns out they had a lesson on genetics and split up into pairs to figure out eye color, hair color, etc. Oh the innocence!


February 18, 2009

David came up with this simple project while we were brainstorming art ideas to teach kindergardeners.  It’s something you can start and finish in one sitting which is always rewarding and doesn’t happen very often around here, maybe that’s why we had such a good time making them.   


Here are some simple instructions for making your own:

  1. First pick some great portraits. Ours are courtesy of the amazing Justin Hackworth. It’s best to choose a photo with minimal background color or value as the ink in an ink jet printer will bleed. If there’s too much bleeding it might muddy the color of the paint. However, we really liked the look of a little bit of ink mixed with the paint. You’ll also want to convert color images to black and white.  
  2. Choose some nice paper that can be painted on. We used Rives BFK and cut the paper down to 8.5 x 8.5.  When choosing a size you might want to think of frames you have on hand or how you’d like to display them  (I thought of this after we made ours).  
  3. Print your image 
  4. Paint around your photo. We just used inexpensive watercolors in basic colors, but I think there are some fun possibilities, I’m excited to do some experimenting. 
  5. Proudly display where everyone can see your little cuties!



For now they look great grouped together on our mantel with Dave’s paintings as the backdrop, but I think I’d like to put them in some frames and hang them in a row down our hallway.  We need to make a portrait of baby Alex too!


February 14, 2009

We’d just spent our first winter in Idaho after nine beautiful Arizona winters, and wow! What a welcome home! Lots of snow and very, very cold temperatures. Following the cold came a wet and dreary spring. I missed not having my own home and I really missed my garden! We lived in a townhouse that had a small patio out back surrounded by little patches of dirt on three sides and so in March I started making plans for a garden. I planted seeds  indoors, flowers and vegetables, and then we all watched and waited.   

As soon as it was warm enough the kids helped me pick the rocks out of the dirt and make them into rows to separate our little crops. David helped break up the hard soil and mix in a few bags of good dirt. Then my tender little seedlings were planted in their new home. Most mornings after I’d watered my garden, I’d sit on the patio and rock baby Alex to sleep. The cool air, warm morning sun, and my tiny garden were doing their job after a hard winter.  Rejuvenation & restoration are the first words that come to mind. 

After I planted, I calculated that my broccoli would be ready in late September, which meant that I probably wouldn’t have any broccoli at all, but I couldn’t bear to give up on my tiny plant.  And look! 


Just one little bite, isn’t it the most beautiful broccoli you’ve ever seen?

I’m already making plans for this years garden at a different home (a 1949 charmer — more on that later), and feeling the excitement and anticipation of garden joy!