basically a huff and a puff should do it

a dilapidated building in the quaint little town where we lived two summers ago, is thankfully
 still standing…barely... and i was thrilled to see it again. 

the roof is more caved in, if that's even possible and the nailed on back door to keep trespassers out, is no longer doing its job, but otherwise, it was like visiting an old friend.

even with the back door all askew and it practically begging me to crawl through it, i didn't. if it had offered me a helmet, steel toed boots, work gloves and a "help, i've fallen and i can't get up" necklace, well then i would have…not.  i mean i'm sure my up-to-date tetanus shot would have kicked in the moment a piece of jagged metal ripped through my jeans and into my leg, but i truly believe some things are meant to just sit ready and waiting, like a tetanus shot for example,  instead of actually being used.

you have to admit, the place kind of draws you in, doesn't it? deep down, you want to see more of it, don't you? or are you secretly wishing you weren't here right this second and that i'd go and take photos of herons flying over a pond instead?

but really…look...even the weeds see this building as the most perfect place to grow. maybe we could learn something from them. you know...that whole "bloom where you're planted" thing. 
or not. 
i mean sometimes where we're planted sucks and you just have to make the most of it. right?  
just keeping it real people. just keeping it real.

{written while in a coffee shop with lots of distractions…obviously}


oh, and what do you do?

For years and years before my husband retired, I was an executive's wife often finding myself at awkward gatherings and being asked, "oh, so what do you do?" OR "so, where did you go to school?" and I couldn't help but always think, really? That's the best you got, huh? That's what you really want to know about me? 


because I would have loved to have told you how I'm passionate about photography and writing  and how nature calms my nerves or how I have the tendency to fall into books and devour them and that I'm fortunate to remember all the corners of my grandmother's house.

But you didn't ask. 

So today…it's your turn 
I'm asking

are you

believing, devouring, enjoying, forgetting, remembering, noticing, loving, questioning, holding, feeling, watching, cherishing, choosing, making, needing, wanting, anticipating or realizing

most importantly
what are you passionate about

this post was written as part of the bella grace blog hop in recognition of 
one lucky person will win a copy of the current bella grace magazine, just by leaving a comment here on my blog. a winner will be chosen on wednesday, may 11th.


the shadows are the icing on the cake

i know. i know. more photos of the house i know nothing about.

actually, i do know something about it. 
it continues to beg me to come back.


you should have been saved...

last week, when we should have turned right, we went left. 

i had been told about a hiking trail whose name was foreign to me, so when the weather begged us to come out and play last week, away we went. at a very dangerous "yield if you want to" three way corner, we should have veered right, but with the skewed signs holding names of roads that were just too similar to each other and hard to read, we veered left instead.

i'm pretty much a stickler for directions, having even written them down on paper before we left, but  i'm a sucker for backroads and always feel that if you're going to go off the beaten path, by choice or by  mistake, backroads are your roadmap to finding the beautiful things in life.

i'm not sure how to describe the amazing, abandoned property we came across, other than breathtaking. it was instantly obvious that back in "her" day, this house and her barn and all of the outbuildings surrounding her like children who never wanted to stray far from home, had been taken care of with hands who loved her and still love her and all that she has to offer. 

someone still shows up. someone still keeps the grounds as manicured as one can when land becomes nature instead of a lawn and is now filled with animals and rodents that have taken up residency in and around it. someone remembers what it was like to live here, or to visit here and someone still cares. 

funny. now that i think about it, maybe that's all there really is to life and all that we really need…someone who shows up and someone who cares...

anyhow, we did eventually find the hiking trail.

the mud, camouflaged by multicolored leaves lost when the winds blow in and make fall disappear into winter, made walking treacherous. other times, when my legs felt heavy with each step, i believed that this must be what quick sand feels like. had i been alone, the first slip of my foot or the sucking feeling the mud was enjoying, i would have turned around and headed straight for the car, but my hubby said, "we can do this" and after having not hiked for months, i had to agree. we could do this. 

finally at the top, the trail opened up and even though it was quiet and the sky felt like i could touch it and i could see for miles, mother nature was too late to impress me that day. the hands of humans had already done that.


we took the wrong road, but found something right

the hiking path was ridiculously slippery and with each step we took, the heavy thick mud hiding  underneath a blanket of leftover leaves from fall, grabbed our feet just daring us to keep going.

so we did.

{i'll spare you the gruesome  details of what our shoes look like}

obviously, spring has waltzed her way into wisconsin and both yesterday and today, we slow danced with her. yesterday, was a road trip to the above mentioned hiking trail, where accidentally taking the wrong road to find it led us to the most amazing abandoned homestead ever {photos to come soon} and today, well today i needed groceries. 

grocery shopping without a winter coat on is a gift. a gift i tell ya!

and tonight…tonight we're firing up the grill. oh yeah. hellllllloooooo steaks!!!


all curled up in the time out chair

i'm not really serious about punishing myself for not being here for over a month, 
but yet, i kind of am.

so hello {beautiful old it hasn't been sat in for 30 years and was found sitting in the cottage we're going to renovate} time out chair.

writing down the words {that fill my head to capacity} and sharing them here side by side with the photos that magically {almost beyond my control} fill my phone or camera, has for years, "been my thing." lately though, "my thing" has been out to lunch. oh hell, who am i kidding?  "my thing" has been out to breakfast and dinner, too and then taking every opportunity to disappear during snack time.

maybe this is simply "just winter." and maybe this is just what winter wants us to do. maybe we're supposed to slow down, sleep a little bit later on those dark cold mornings, feel lazy, be lazy, drink more tea, wish we were at the gym when we're eating chips and then contemplate the writing and sharing that we want to do, yet find impossible to actually do because we're too busy doing and being what i mentioned above. or maybe this is just winter being an ass.

all i know for sure is,  i haven't been here...yet my notebook is filled with ideas and quotes and words and things i want to remember and share, and i'm fine with that being enough…or at least i convince myself tell myself that i'm fine with that being enough. sheesh, what it is with women always having to remind themselves that we are enough…and that what we do or don't do is enough?

deep breath...okay...and now, if you're still with me, i have a few things to finally share:

1. i love elizabeth's blog and truly wish that she was my next door neighbor! our husbands have so much in common! they're both married to crazy women :)

2. i absolutely do not need this, but i love it.

3. i want this. then i want to live like that!

4. the opening day of this movie is on my calendar.

5. this is my new best friend…especially in my laundry. see, you really don't need stinky makes me choke and my eyes water scented laundry detergent. we are humans and were never meant to smell like a moonlight breeze, tropical sunrise or apple berry twist. seriously, give me a break!


your perfume is stuck on the back of my tongue

since i wrote my last post, surprisingly about writing here more often, with regularity and possibly a schedule,  i have failed miserably.  sure, i could tell you i've been super busy living in my kitchen while creating  new recipes in order to maintain my gluten free diet or that my studio gobbled me up and forced me to produce some amazing paintings, but that would be a lie…unless "creating new recipes" means eating gluten free chocolate chip cookies by the dozens and "producing amazing paintings" means organizing the shelves in my art closet. see, i have been busy!!!

okay, let me at least start with the honest fact that i'm still eating gluten free. 

now stand back while i throw my arms in the air {think gilda radner and superstar} and then lower them to rest on my hips in a power pose move. i'm only on day thirty three-ish and surprisingly, i'm hanging in there...and this is where i need you to let me follow that up by telling you that i rarely stick with anything, so that you'll truly be amazed at my abilities instead of yawning over the fact that someone else has gone gluten free and click over to read the next blog in your line-up.

now for random stuff 
because outside my window it's thunder snowing

1. i can't stand chunks of tomato in my tomato soup. just puree my soup, please. no chunks.

2. please remove the stitching on the back of your jacket holding down the "vent" opening. it's only there for shipping purposes to the store you bought it from and it's to be removed when you wear it. lately, i've been seeing this everywhere and it's driving me crazy. so if i come near your butt with scissors, you'll know why.

3. i used to be a shoe nut. lots of shoes. give me shoes. give me more shoes. but not anymore since my feet tend to hurt all the time. instead, jackets. give me jackets, lots of jackets. i love jackets.

4. if i make a perfect cup of tea with the most brilliant steeping of earl grey, almond and vanilla with a bit of honey and a splash of creamer, it's heaven and i don't need something sweet to eat with it. if my cup of tea is off just a bit, please bring me a rolo and a vanilla creme filled cookie and then i'll be satisfied. call me weird if you haven't already.

5. last but not least, another public service announcement regarding perfume. please stop dousing/bathing yourself in it. if someone tells you that you smell good, it means you have too much on. a little dab on certain areas of your body while you're naked is all you need. then put your clothes on and if during the day you get little whiffs of what you're wearing, perfect, as that perfume is for you, as it's your choice and it's there for you to enjoy...but dousing yourself in it before you walk out the door, forcing me to breathe "you" {not to mention gag and choke} while you're standing in the aisle at target, is so wrong. 

{i always feel that i will hurt someones feelings when i talk about perfume/cologne the way i do, but i truly feel that this needs to be out in the open. i put it in the same category as to why those who smoke, have to go outside to do it and can't sit in their offices/cubicles or walk through the mall puffing away around those who don't. i know some will say that smoking kills and perfume doesn't, but to those who are allergic to it, well…hopefully you get my point.}


the corners of my mind

dull and murky like the corners of a very used watercolor tin and then magically changing, becoming lighter and brighter, like someone has thrown water all over it. 

my description of a wisconsin winter sky when the sun fails to shine. 


i'm not sure where my blog is going to take me this year, but i hope it's somewhere wonderful.

unfortunately, it seems that so many bloggers have found instagram and facebook to be easier ways to communicate and where they spend their time writing and sharing and i have to admit, it's easy for me to fall into that same trap. i don't think any of us who are tried and true bloggers want to give up on our blogs, but in a world filled with immediate gratification, it's happening.

this space will always be a "home" of mine no matter what and it's really up to me to decide how cozy i want this place to be and how often i want to open the door up and say, "well hey there, come on inside." i keep hoping a feeling will come over me and that i'll want to rip up all the dull and dirty carpet in this so called "home" and with white painted hardwood floors instead {because that's what i would do in a real house built from 2x4's} you'll find me dancing all around and throwing words and photos all over the place. 

it's this new year, as it's still quite young, i'm not going to put any pressure on myself by declaring anything right now, but what i think would maybe work for me, is a schedule. a schedule that includes two days a week where i have to spend the majority of those days in my office/studio, making something. no laundry or grocery shopping or cleaning or anything else could take place on those days and instead, only creating would/could happen. 

so for now, that's my idea. that's what i think might work...

and at this point, this is my second blog post in ten days, which should be considered a record of sorts, so i think i'm doing okay. oh, and i'm sitting in my studio/office, not on the couch or in the family room, so wow, i just kind of impressed myself. 

ps…the above mentioned cleaning thing. yeah, i really don't hardly clean anymore. sure, i pick things up and the house to the naked eye looks clean, but don't get your face close to my hardwood floors, okay?... and whatever you do,  don't look in the corners of anything. what is it with corners? 

pss…this photo was taken with my iphone 6s. why is it that my big girl camera, my dslr with my beloved interchangeable lenses, seems so heavy and big and awkward lately. remember that immediate gratification thing i mentioned above. guilty. often.


hello 2016. i've been waiting for you.

i'm not sure i actually ever gave up on 2015, but holy crap. i surely could have.

it was a year that chewed me…us…up, spit us back out and then…well…let's just say i'm beyond ecstatic that it's behind us.

i've been reading blog posts, instagram feeds and facebook pages and actually everyone seems to be opening their arms and bringing 2016 in for a "where have you been all my life" hug, making me realize i'm not alone in rolling 2015 up into the kitchen rug, throwing it over my shoulder, tossing it in the trunk, driving down a deserted country road and finding just the perfect spot to pull over and dispose of it. okay fine. so i watch a lot of murder mysteries, which won't be mysteries anymore, since now you know that the bad stuff is always rolled up in the rug. oh and just to be honest, i could never carry that rolled up rug over my shoulder. but i could drag it.


in the past, oh i don't know, maybe 6 years now, i've been finding a word to carry me into and through the new year {with susannah and hundreds of other women} instead of making a resolution {as we know that those never seem to work anyhow} and now if you're ready…oh the excitement is building now... the word i've chosen for 2016 is…drumroll please…LOVE.

granted, i am so incredibly blessed to love and be loved, so that's not the kind of love i'm talking about. instead, i want love to be the common denominator in everything i do and see and hold and say. i want to really love getting up in the morning and i want to love my dreams and the food i choose to eat and the paths i walk and the words i write and the photos i take and the things that take me by surprise and the clothes i wear. i want to love everything, or at least a whole lot more things, the way i love fresh sheets on the bed and long hot showers and unopened milk weed pods.

that kind of love.

so will that mean i'll do less complaining? maybe. ah sheesh, who am i kidding, probably not. will it mean i'll be more laid back and i won't let the little things get me all riled up? absolutely not. if that were the case, my word would have been patience. duh.

honestly, looking back at what i've just written, it's clear to see that i really don't know exactly what expectations i have of LOVE or even know how it will guide me and maybe that's the whole point and maybe trying to figure it all out ahead of time is possibly the worst thing i could be doing and the biggest waste of time. all i know for sure, is that when i started concentrating on finding my word this year, LOVE jumped out at me everywhere and constantly. for days. i kid you not, it was actually a bit scary.

so here's to 2016 and to LOVE…unless i change my mind. oh the joy of being a woman.

ps…this was my word last year

pss…until i changed it to this

and even with changing my word,  last year was still really sucky. just saying.