Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I don't use my blog as a "journal" really, but today it might seem like that.  I just have a lot of thoughts jumping around in my head, and this is as good a place as any to express them.  Go ahead and comment, because these are things I want to be in conversation with others about.  Some of them are probably not that important to most people, but oh well, they are what I would talk to my friends about.

The photo above is one I took yesterday in an attempt to create an invitation to the groundbreaking for our new school - the project about which my job is primarily focused at this time.  I had so much in mind with this photo, and tried several complicated things, but as usual, the simple approach turned out to be the best.  Do you find that?
We had a huge hail storm today - broke three windows at the school, and caused major dents to my car.  Pretty dramatic!  Unfortunately, it also probably destroyed the flowers in my flower/weed garden. 

I so wish I had time to get out and tend my garden, but these days I just don't.  So, my flowers are all coming up amongst weeds, and my veggies are still surviving in the little containers waiting for a clear patch of ground to go in.  A sad situation!  But for the veggies, being in the little containers on the porch probably saved them from being killed during the storm today.  That, I guess, is a good thing.  I wish I could say the same for the little tiny baby apples on the apple tree - I haven't had the heart to go back there and check to see if any of them are still on the tree.  I want a good crop of apples this year, and since there was no freeze while the blossoms were out, I had some hope.  But golf-ball-sized hail and even some baseball-size hail do not bode well for apples in the fall.
This boy is away at camp this week, and I miss him.  I miss his encouraging words to me.  I miss his need for me.  I miss his funky sense of humor, and his hairbrained ideas.  I'm glad he'll be home in just two days. 

And, just for the record, I did not get all the things done that I thought I would be able to do because I didn't have to meet his needs.  I think I was less than realistic about what projects would get done without him around interrupting and asking for attention.  So, I cleaned one closet - not that anyone would notice since most people do not inspect my closets.  And I weed-wacked in the yard.  But, that is about it.  I did not do tons of art.  I did not get the guest room cleaned out.  I did not clean out the fridge and start healthier eating habits and make-over my bedroom and do all the finishing touches on the bathroom I painted earlier in the month.  It just didn't happen.  Instead I went to work and I came home, and poor Andy was lucky if I got a decent meal made for him - actually, I did do meals for him all except one night.  Oh well.  I guess I'll just have to keep working on it.
Having a week of evenings with my man (above) has been pretty special.  When J is home our evenings are not filled with adult conversation and doing projects together.  I like times when we can just be together doing stuff around the house.  And meals where we can eat late and sit and chat about everything from aging parents to politics to work issues.  It's been a bit of a treat.

There is so much more on my mind - like:
  • we're going to eat dairy free for the next month to see if we all feel better. 
  • it is funny when I tell some people that we're going off cow dairy they say something like - oh, and you won't be able to eat eggs.  HUH?  Eggs aren't dairy, and they don't come from cows but several people have said this to me.  I think people are lazy when it comes to thinking through what they say.
  • we are invited to no less than three 4th of July celebrations, and can probably only go to one.  Sad to miss the other two, but feeling honored to be invited!
  • I went outside this evening at 10 p.m., and there was still an orange glow on the western horizan from the sunset.  Amazing how late it stays light here!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Back to photos of Tahoe - I've still got many more, but won't post all of them!  It really was such a wonderful trip and it's hard to beleive it is less than a month since we were there - feels like ages already.  We miss our family!

Just so you know, Andy took almost all of these particular photos.  He's such a great guy!  May need a husband honoring post again here pretty soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


He's very social - wants to play with friends every day!

He loves his Papa more than anyone else on earth.  It pains him when his Papa comes home late or can't make it to events.

He talks - I hear about boys who don't, but this boy expresses himself.  If he doesn't, you can see it causing him challenges as unexpressed feelings build up inside.  We have to work to keep those lines of communication open or he might lose his sanity.

He understands points of theology and faith that most people don't get until their are well into adulthood.

He's encouraging to others and very sensitive to their feelings. 

He has plans and dreams for himself that are very reasonable.  I asked him yesterday what he wanted from himself as he becomes an adult - he answered "Kindness.  Helpfulness.  I want to make a difference."

He has plans and dreams that are so unrealistic - He is currently planning to make little cones out of photocopy paper and stuff them full of store bought cotton candy and then make a killing selling them to . . . I don't know who.  He gets plans like this all the time.

He let me know that he's a "professional" at water balloon fights.

He's asleep on the couch as I type, after a long but very good day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010


It is the first day of summer, and the lilacs are behaving appropriately!  They are really starting to bloom!

J and his two friends had a job this weekend.
They set up balloons for the Mounted Shooting competition.  It was hard work, but they loved the fact that they got paid!
In this competition the riders run a course on horseback and have to shoot balloons with black powder guns while going as fast as they can.
This lady did it in a skirt!
It is fun to watch how they turn the horses to get through the pattern set up in the balloons.
Not being horse people, there was a lot for us to learn by watching.  It is impressive what people do on their horses.
Enjoy the beginning of the warm season!  We're hoping to get some of that warmth soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Last night J pitched for the first time this season (in the second to the last game).  He walked one, struck out two, and one guy got a hit.  But he was out of his inning in four batters.  At this level, that is a very good outing! 

I wasn't there to see it - I didn't know he would have the opportunity, and I had a scheduling conflict.  Bummer! 

But Andy says he really kept his composure.  Especially in light of the fact that during the warm up between innings he was beamed in the head, leaving a huge knot and bruise on his forehead.  He still got it together and pitched well.

And, the coaches, players, and other parents were really supportive of J.  Andy reports that he was the "most grown up I've ever seen him."  That is so good, because sometimes with baseball Andy and J are not on the same page about taking it seriously.  (That would be J being a bit too casual about his effort, and Andy feeling like if you are on the team you give it your best effort regardless of circumstances.)

I'm pretty proud of J.  Just wish I had been there!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


One of the biggest excitements about summer for J is the easing of bedtime routines.  He thinks he should be allowed to stay up to all hours every night, but that's not what we actually do.  And he couldn't really do it either because he falls asleep!

But that is quite okay with Sophie, who loves to have someone to sleep with any time.  She just makes herself very comfortable!
Another big summer activity for J is using tools to make a number of toys.  Here  he is sanding some swords that he drew on plywood and his dad cut out for him.
Summer in Montana is challenging because sometimes we only get a few minutes of sunshine a day.  This whole month has been wet.  As I'm typing this my outdoor exercise is being postponed because of rain.  It keeps everything green, and reduces the risk of fires, but still, it gets tiresome to have so much rain.
But the rainbows are pretty cool!  And the grass grows super fast!  And it looks absolutely beautiful!  So, between rain showers we do our best to get outside if possible.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


These are a few non-people photos I took while we were in Tahoe.

The lake truely is beautiful!
These three photos were taken at Sugar Pine Point State Park, which is also where Andy and I had our "Rehersal Dinner" picnic almost 13 years ago.

Andy and I got an afternoon to ourselves and this is where we went - did a bit of a hike too!

Monday, June 14, 2010


I'll interrupt the Tahoe photos to post a project I did over the last few months.

I used a Maya Road canvas album.

And lots and lots of stuff I had on hand.
It was amazing how many techniques worked on canvas.  I was able to paint on glue and spread micrco beads (above) and the glue didn't soak through, which had been my fear.

Each page represents something I precieve about myself.
I'm sorry if all these photos aren't nicely centered.  Blogger was giving me fits this morning.

Some of the lace above is vintage given to me by my dear friend Tamara - Thank you Tamara!
All of the pages are sprayed with Luminart's Radiant Rains and Glimmering Mists.

I used a lot of flower techniques I learned from Kristii, who is always so generous with sharing information.

So, that is my project. 
I keep hoping to have more projects to share, but right now life is so busy that I rarely get into my craft studio.  Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll get there, clean it, and start to work.  But I've been hoping that for months.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I do!

The first is Joan Biaz, folk singer, song writer.

The second is my aunt, who probably doesn't carry a tune very well, but can draw and paint up a storm!

I've always thought they resembled each other, and as they age I see it even more.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did some PSE work on my aunt's photo because I figured some professional did on Joan's.  But really, all I did was soften some wrinkles.

By the way, Joan is older by about two years.


Fishing was indeed a big part of our vacation.  It was fun to watch all the children getting fish.  H was pretty excited about her fish!  And it tasted good too!
It made for good eating too! 
I will have more fishing photos tomorrow - W caught a fish too!
My Tahoe photos are slowly getting processed, and I like being able to share them.
Last night we had a cook-out and camp out with most of the boys from J's class.  I don't know how those ten year old boys do it.  They were up well past midnight tending the fire and still managed to get up with the sun before 5:30 in the morning.  But everybody had fun, and even with six boys, no conflict!  We look forward to having more of these events throughout the summer!
This summer is off to a good start.  A trip to Tahoe, camp-outs with friends, what more could we ask for?
Well, maybe some summer weather would be nice - we woke up to snow on the ground yesterday morning - hit the panic button about the camp out and had to scramble to get the basement ready for a "camp-in" if necessary.  Fortunately, the boys were tough and determined they wanted to be outside in the tent even though it wasn't too warm.  Snow was gone by noon, and all proceeded perfectly!


My first week of working while J is out of school went well.  He did have to go to work with me a couple of days, but he also had some opportunities to play with friends while I worked, so I don't feel bad.  We have just one more week of piecing it all together before J's camps start, and then until the end of July he shouldn't have to go to work with me very often, if at all.

The school building project is really taking off!  We might even be moving dirt on the property by late July, which will help with the hope/plan to occupy the building for the 2011/2012 school year.

I'm almost done with painting the bathroom - just some touch up on the walls, and the cabinets need another coat.  I'm pretty happy with it, but I wish I was a neater painter.  I've got a bit of work to do scrubbing paint off the floor!

I still get a bit worked up about the oil spill business, but I guess I'll spare you my ranting and raving about so many issues related to all of that.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fishing in Tahoe with Grandpa

Fishing for Lake Trout is about the only non-fly fishing my guys do.  It is a lot of fun for J because it involves catching minows for bait, which means setting a minow trap out the night before.  When his cousins were with us later in the week, I think setting and checking the minow trap was as fun as catching a big fish. 
Those Lake Trout are way out in the deep part of the lake, so Andy rows out the fishermen to set the minows on the hook and lower them to the dark deep.  Then he rows them back to the pier and the wait.

Sometimes they wait quite a long time.  But it is the time to sit and chat.  For the younger ones, to check the crawdad traps too.  The waiting can be close to an hour, with constant visual checks of the tip of the rod to see if there is any action on the minow.  I think this is the "relaxing" part of fishing.

And then comes the reward:
Grandpa always lets J win the fishing contests by letting J pull in the largest fish of the day.  It seems to be a tradition!  Thanks Grandpa!