small things matter

My dearest little bother found a beautiful yellow river rock, that was flecked with brown spots. 
The rock was tumbled perfectly smooth by the river. He gave it to me.

When a child gives you a gift, even if it's a simple rock they just picked up, show genuine gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, & they chose to give it to you.

 I made the rock into a little pendant that I wear often. I always think of him when I do.


Toads in a jar

Two of many, many toads caught during the summer by my little brother.
Did you know that a group of toads is called a "knot" and a group of frogs is called an "army"? 


Dear August

This is just a whimsical note to say that you have been truly wonderful; I have enjoyed every moment of you immensely. I should really address this post to "Summer" because my summer has been beautiful. However August, since you are my favorite month, I shall leave this addressed to you….

If I were to pick my favorite part of you, or something I did with you, I couldn't… I simply have a favorite feeling; it feels like you, August. I love love love the heat & dryness of summer. Low or zero humidity, temperatures in the 90s. Perfect lazy days, days that where you could do anything. Days spent outside. Days spent beneath the summer sun. 
There's a lot of beauty in the ordinary….

It's the windows down, driving fast & silent back roads with blowing hair feeling. 
It's when I can walk straight outside without pausing to fish out a jacket. 
It is curtains dancing around my room because of the breeze that pushes against the fabric. 
My arm hanging out the window, the air rush through my fingers. 
Closing my eyes with the sun shining bright on my face.
It is reading in the hammock.
Butterflies fluttering through the air. 
Heat waves far on the horizon. 
Picking veggies in the garden.
Kayacking down rivers. 
Dusty bare feet. 
When I smell the flowers before I see them.
Warm breezes & dry heat.
It is sunsets after dessert. 
Running at dusk. 
Soft grass & crickets chirping. 
Riding my bike, chasing the sunset.
The smell of moist dirt in the garden. 
Lawnmowers & the sound of rain beating against the windows. 
The purr of a cat, the river's roar in the distance. 
The nighthawks flying fast & silent. 
The motion of rocking chairs on the front porch.  
When it starts to rain, just as the party is ending. 
Clouds flowing over the face of the stars. 
Pockets of shade & long walks along along the river. 
Sunlight sparkling on deep water. 
Thunder echoing in the mountains. 
Golden wheat fields, rippling like water. 
Late nights spent with friends. 

I don't have a favorite moment, I have a favorite feeling. 



Isn't it funny how day by day 

nothing changes, but when you look back 

everything is different? 



The garden in August

                 Eggplants: here's how I like to cook them!  

Gardneing this year has been good, for the most part. Between thunderstorms & insainly strong wind, it has been very hot and dry. We've run the sprinklers regularly every night for the past 3 months. But I have actually been able to stay on top of things a bit more, then in years past. (Even then, there are many weeds.) It's been a constant battle: me vs. weeds.

Here's what growing this summer:
Eggplants, green beans, amazingly sweet corn, deliciously crunchy carrots, red onions, squash, zucchinis, watermelons, & several varieties of tomatoes & peppers. There are also lots of flowers in the garden & yard blooming.

My back is sore from all the beans I've been picking!
So far, I've picked over 70 pounds! We have canned 72 quarts of beans.
(There's still some beans out there...)
I had never canned anything before - but it's really not hard to do.
It's just an all-day-stay-by-the-stove process.
The kitchen gets hot. 

Here's another post from last year; it has my favorite recipe for green beans. Check it out! 

My garden.


Art I Admire —

Blue Canyon, by Edgar Payne (1883-1947)
What I love about it: The feeling of great distance. The hugeness of the rocks. The beautiful rich colors- you can never have enough purple tones within a painting! The composition & subject matter are great too. And I really like his brush style.

Cousins' Retreat, by Tyler Murphy. What I love about it: It's people, doing what they do! The highlights & contrasts are superb; it really captures that intense afternoon mountain sunlight. Just close your eyes are lay there... This painting is even more vivid, in person.

North Country Morning, by Josh Elliott  What I love about it: This kind of impressionism! There's almost a sense of urgency to it, but it looks so bright & real too. 
Glacial Carvings, by Josh Elliott   What I love it: Everything about this painting is EPIC. Bright colors & shadow tones. Mountains, snow in shadow, the bright sunlit colors… Mmm
I am always moved by bold, colorful painterly landscapes. This style is frequently found among plein air painters. Those who paint to live in the open air. Big fan of Jill Carver

Cheese! This piece of art was not titled, it's by Pecorino Ginepro. I have no idea how I found his website - But I really like all of his "cheesy" paintings, & have admired them for quite some time! They are really fun, he paints on wood, & always gets some nice textures. 
Ponte San Giuseppe di Castello, by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
There is NO getting around it. In my option, Sargent is the best ever watercolor artist! I simply LOVE his watercolors! He captures things beautifully. There are excellent complementary color uses; warm tones & cool. The composition is suburb, as is the placement of brush strokes... 

New Song from Park City Music!

Hey guys! Give it a spin! It's a cinematic song that my brother composed.