Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Recent Reads: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

What does one do when they are laid up from a recent knee surgery other than find a very thick book and be appreciative of the opportunity to read for hours without excuse.  I did just the thing after my ACL reconstructive surgery and savored every moment of The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

The Luminaries is the recipient of the2013 Man Booker Prize, and an excellent story that follows the lives and the interconnectedness of several characters in the 1860’s New Zealand Gold Rush.  Scandal and theft run the line of the plot, as one might expect with the prospect of gold, but there is also love, or the convenience of, and the untidy mess that love between two people might bring. Only the moon knows how these people and their relationships might be connected through the turn of events, and, eventually, the reader does, too.

Catton captures the timeframe and place of the story remarkably, as well as the tone of each individual character’s expression through action and language.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Small Stone #43

A field of snow and my brain says it's December,
                          not spring.

Physical therapist says, "Bend your knee, just a little bit more,
                                                                                     a little bit more...

See knee, we aren't doing anything bad here."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In my notebook: Calm

Spring snow and ice has contained much of my time to our house.  I had to take a drive just to get out of town, just so I could see beyond the houses that make up my skyline.  I drove out towards Sheep Mountain on Hwy 230. My sister and I used to take the same route when we were going to school at the University of Wyoming so we could escape life and have a few hours with good music and beautiful surroundings. 

The evening was cloudy with evidence of another spring storm on its way.  The unrest in the sky matched my mood, but I was surprised at how calm I began to feel just as I left town and the view of the plains and the mountains opened up.  Those “university days” drives my sister and I would take were years away, but the familiar feel of escape and freedom, if only for a quick drive, were easily found.

I drove just over 20 miles out of town and stopped at a little lake surrounded by cottonwoods.  The water in the lake, the stones around the shore line, the trees still lifeless from winter all seemed gray.  I related with thoughts of upcoming knee surgery, recovery, along with other stressors in life.

But there were hints of green below the pale grass that covered the plains, and the surrounding mountains held on to the last snow storm and stood out against the dark sky. 

Calm- was the word I thought of as I drove back home.  Nothing more than calm…

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Words in the Week: Featuring Barbara Brownskirt

In celebration of National Poetry Month, you must be introduced to Barbara Brownskirt,Poet of the People. She is the self-appointed Poet-in-residence at the 197 bus stop. If you don't understand poetry now, you may not even after this video; but you'll laugh. I'm still laughing....

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Small Stone #42

Oh, Snow.

      60 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday,
      and today you ride in on the Wind.

I just pulled out my sandals,
my skirt.

Oh, Snow.
      You are cold when it comes to change.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Foto Friday: Campsite Dreams

There are many nights I dream of our first campsite at Lake Powell, what a view to wake up to.  We tried to stay there again this year only the lake had lost 20 feet of water and we could not maneuver our way in to the alcove.  Thankfully we found a new site and made new memories; however  I do love returning to places that have touched me, and where I have enjoyed my time there.  Perhaps that's why this certain location is so often in my dreams.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Words in the Week: On Poetry #1

April is National Poetry Month.  To celebrate, Words in the Week will focus on thoughts about poetry throughout the month.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Small Stone #41

There are many ways to find the glass half full-

                          through my husband's eyes,

                          the bumper sticker that reads "It gets better."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thank you!

I want to say thank you to all the people who have sent me well wishes, thoughts, and prayers since I tore my ACL at the end of March.  Your support is very much appreciated and I feel as though you are all a part of my posse!  Thank you!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Small Stone #40

From my recent trip to Lake Powell... meals...
   run beside the shores of the lake...

                           .....these are the only things that fill my days here...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Small Stone #39

            "to be, not to seem"

                              oh, the relevance

Thursday, March 6, 2014

In my notebook: Longing for green

In March I long for green.  Other places must see the color already out in nature.  In Wyoming there is more snow, more gray, the grass still brown.

I wait to see green, even imagine its presence, for as brief of a time that the color exists in the West's arid climate, sometimes the imagination is as close as one can get to such a color.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Small Stone #38

Isn't it amazing
                  how the sun can shine,
                                              even in the midst of a snow storm?

I certainly think it is.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Finds in the Week: Vintage Poster on Food, 1917

I like the simple advice on this vintage poster put out by the U.S. Food Administration in 1917, especially how the advice never ages...

Friday, February 28, 2014

Foto Friday: Snowshoeing in the woods

My family and I had a very special visit from my aunt.  Snowshoeing in the falling snow was a perfect activity for us.  I believe my daughter was in pure bliss, a bed of snow to lie down upon.  I'm ready to get back out into the snow, the quiet; and so glad we could share an afternoon with her.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Finds in the Week: Logs at Sunset

At one of my favorite places to walk I was captured by the view of logs piled up in the lumber yard.  They looked as though they were waiting- for what? 

As I continued to walk the sky began to change colors and I loved the look of the contrast of wood that was once trees now laid horizontal, when so often I would instead see the logs as trees and pointed vertical towards the sky.

Perspective, perspective.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Recent Reads: Gaining Daylight by Sara Loewen

I am a frequent reader of 49 Writers and it was from this site that I learned about Sarah Loewen, an Alaskan writer who was one of their featured writers in 2013.  I enjoyed the essays on writing that she contributed there and was intrigued to read her book, Gaining Daylight: Life on two Islands. 

Sarah has a way of pulling the reader into her life, her islands, her home.  In Gaining Daylight her essays focus on her life as a mother and a wife for part of the year on Kodiak Island, AK, and continue to follow her life at her family’s fishing site on Uyak Bay, a much more secluded location, where they travel for part of the year for her husband’s work as a commercial fisherman.   Her life revolves around these two places and includes going back and forth between a modern life and one that follows more old fashioned ways of living.

Since I have young children and work towards being a writer I was connected to her essays and her struggles with balancing the two on top of work, marriage, and some kind of leisure time. Plus both of our husbands do a lot of fishing, mine more with a fly rod. Composed in her essays about her life and her husband’s occupation as a commercial fisherman, Loewen writes about her connection to her natural world including the discomforts that can arise, even in a place one considers as home.  Amidst the history and stories about her life on her two islands is Loewen’s steady voice that causes one to pause and take a look at their surroundings, consider life in the past, and to appreciate each day as they move and change with the seasons.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Words in the Week: February: Love #2

These are my favorite lyrics from the song "Spread the Love" by Kenny Chesney and the Wailers.  Just in case you want to hear the message of the full song, or just enjoy a little Reggae, see the video below.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Small Stone #37

What of raw materials?
        We all have our own.
Minutes, seconds.
         Fleeting thoughts captured on flash paper,
                                                                   in the heart.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Longing for Color

On winter days when bare trees stand out stark against the gray skyline and temperatures are in the negatives, I long for coral colored sand, a deep blue sky, and bare feet.  I think of a tent in the desert where we sleep with a constant influx of open air and how the smoke from the campfire remains in our clothes for days.

In this photo my kids play at our camp site on our trip to Lake Powell, UT.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Finds in the Week: Chris Hardman's ECOlogical Calendar

One of my friends keeps a daily planner as a bit of a diary and a way to keep track of her gardening and what she does from year to year.  Besides journaling about my day and life in general, I too like how the list of the small things that take place in every day life begin to make up my life as a whole.  I find I can be more intentional with spending my time wisely instead of watching the days move by in a blur, even though they still go all too quickly.

So when I found Chris Hardman's ECOlocigal Calendar that keeps track of time based on the seasonal changes of nature, I knew that I had found the perfect planner for me.  Each week there are various "bands" that chart the sky, the sun, the moon, the Earth, and the tides. Therefore the week is constructed more around the lunation of the moon, the location of the stars and the unique aspects of each season.  Each day is given a name- flora, fauna, astronomical, meteorological, and geological- associated with the season in which they take place, and when read produce a poem.

The calendar helps me to focus not only on what is happening in my life from day to day, but to remember to look at and take note of all the natural phenomenon's that are present in our world.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Small Stone #36

This year:

      Meaningful distractions,
                         not chaotic conscious.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finds in the Week: Dan Toro's Murals in Motion

The murals around downtown Laramie, WY, a part of the Laramie Mural Project, are fascinating to admire. The following is a video of Dan Toro's Book Shelf, one of my favorites around town, as he creates the mural piece by piece. Have a look at how time, vision, and creativity can make an ordinary wall on a building a masterpiece.

Murals in Motion: Dan Toro from Brian Guice Media on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recent Reads: Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness as told to by Robert Specht

When I was young my mother would read the book Tisha on a yearly basis.  I too have read Tisha more than once, not as many times as mom did, as I never tire of the story of a young woman in the late 1920’s moving up to Alaska on her own to teach in Chicken, Alaska.  "Tisha" is how teacher sounds when the native Alaskans say the word.
The story is written by her grandson, but has the clear voice of Anne Hobbs throughout the book.  Besides dealing with the harsh elements of Alaskan winters, Anne also finds herself in the midst of long held prejudices between whites and native Alaskans in a tight-knit community. 
I find her story inspiring as someone so long ago, female no doubt, cannot sit aside and let the prejudice continue in her school room or in her personal life and relationships. 
Anne Hobbs has a strong spirit, a light heart, and a passion for justice and equality that guides her as she teaches the young children of Chicken, Alaska.  Each time I read the book I am encouraged by Anne’s ability to put aside what society sets as right, and instead follow her heart.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Words in the week: Jan 15, 2014

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Small Stone #35

Old place, new place
Why stay in when there is much to see?

Winter of the body
Why close your eyes to the world around you?

It's a metaphor and a question,
to be answered within a search.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finds in the Week: Drizzle and Dip

I like to take photos of what I'm cooking or baking, as you can tell in my recipes section.  So when I found 10 tips for food photography on Pinterest, I had to find out more.  Not only did I find some great tips, but a fun, new (at lest for me) website on cooking and baking by Samantha Linsell: Drizzle and Dip.  Yum! to the recipes, and Thank you! for the tips and an inspiring sight for food photography.