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 Mr. Blue and I go way back… (Almost five years — which is an eternity for a bluebird!).  He and Mrs. Blue moved to the “neighborhood” the year after Peter and I did.  We were delighted when they took up residence under our eaves that first year and we’ve kept our fingers crossed every spring since, hoping they’d come back… And they have, year after year!  Every summer we’ve kept a wary eye on our carnivorous felines  — praying they wouldn’t betray the Blues’ confidence in our hospitality.  And so far there have been no casualties — a few close calls!!! — but no casualties.

Our relationship with the Blues has been a cautious one.  We’re not exactly BFF neighbors.  We don’t bother them.  They don’t bother us.  We occasionally remember to fill up the bird feeder with seed.  They sometimes sit still long enough for us to admire their brilliant colors.  We’ve pretty much kept our distance…

Until today!

This wasn’t my telephoto lens, either.  I was THAT close.  I could have touched him easily.  I’m not exactly sure what he was doing just sitting on the fence for so long — and I’m less sure what he was thinking letting me get within twelve inches of him (with my noisy camera, no less!!)  But regardless of his momentary mental unclarity, he really seemed to like having his portrait taken!  Maybe he’s contemplating a future career change??  The modeling industry is lucrative… and with a bod like that, I don’t blame him for trying! 🙂

I was worried that he might be injured (said felines had been roaming all morning) but after about ten minutes of me sitting within a foot of his wings, he finally flew off — obviously unhurt.


Nothing shouts “spring” as loudly as a wild buttercup!


Need I say more??? 

I’m finally getting around to posting a few pictures from our anniversary — for those of you that like to experience our snow activites vicariously from the comfort of your warm climates!  🙂

It was a blissful day with fantastic fresh powder and lots of first tracks…  AND I got to spend it with the love of my life doing something that makes me feel soooo alive.  It just doesn’t get any better!  (Next time we’ll take some video — then you can really experience it vicariously!)











… but I’m READY for spring!


















Merry Christmas to all my wonderful blogging buddies and faithful blog-stalkers (you know who you are!)  I am richer this Christmas because of the friendships I have made through this blog.  Love you all! 


So they weren’t kidding when they said to expect “more snow” all week!  Whew!  It has been snowing furiously all day.  It is so, so pretty.  As long as I don’t have to go anywhere, I really enjoy days like today.  I feel like I am in a snow globe and someone just shook it really hard! 


I am totally disappointed in these photos.  I am going to have to experiment a little.  You can hardly even tell it was snowing.  And, boy, was it ever snowing! — great big flakes that piled up quickly…  Thousands of flakes filling the sky, turning everything white and muffling all sounds except snow-sounds.  They were coming down so quickly, I got dizzy just looking out the window!


I had an interesting day — I was completely disconnected from the world by no choice of my own.  Ahhh, the joys of rural living!  Our phone line has been down for days, and today our satellite internet connection wasn’t working due to the storm… AND my cell phone broke!  I literally had no way to contact anyone other than my neighbor with a red flag out my front door (and where were you, Sarah???)  We don’t have TV (yes, shocking, I know!)  So the whole world could have gone up in flames and I would have been blissfully unaware…

At first I was a little panicky!  What if someone needed to get a hold of me???  Then I started to realize what a gift it was… Aha! people couldn’t get a hold of me!  (Although I am truly sorry to those of you that tried!) I had the whole day to be unplugged (well, thank God, unplugged from the rest of the world WITH my blessed electricity!!!)  And I really, really, enjoyed it.  Guess what I did?  (besides cleaning up the entire bag of cat food that Joanna  spread all over the living room floor — more on the “Meow Mix Incident” later!)  … I wrote Christmas cards.  By hand.  🙂

It made me contemplate once again, how much much simpler life must have been a hundred and fifty years ago. For the record, I am certainly not volunteering to give up my cell phone and laptop for good! — But I live where I do partly because there is a side of me that longs for the simplicity of life without wires… without artifical connections… I love living where I can watch the seasons pass, marking the years, lending a natural rhythm to life — reminding me to slow down and savor the moments because this season will soon be over…

So much of my life over the last few years has become woven into the world wide web — education, business, shopping, entertainment, communication, (journaling!)…  It’s becoming increasingly harder to separate the virtual from the actual.  I don’t have a negative view toward it.  I appreciate the convenience of the internet!  I appreciate the information available (thank God for Google!!)  I appreciate the relationships I have because of it.  I get to interact with wonderful people and peek into their lives — I get to laugh and cry sympathetically with friends from hundreds of miles away…   I can’t imagine life without it.  But on the other hand, I don’t want to become so intertwined with virtual reality that my actual reality suffers.  I don’t want my real-life relationships to get less than my e-relationships.  Or become so dependent on that I walk past the little book store on the corner.  Or use up my time blogging and have none left over to journal privately!   Hmmmmmm…..  Finding the balance.  Seems like a theme of mine lately. 

Here’s some brilliant fall color to brighten your day!  These leaves are all gone now (see “Fall post: part two”) so I’m glad I captured this color when I did a couple weeks ago.  I hope it brings a bit of autumn cheer to those of you in the South!  🙂



My guest photographer wanted you to know that he was out on a grueling two week back-country expedition far into the heart of the Beartooth Mountains in Montana and came across this herd of elk high on a wild, frozen plain.  Said photographer was on his faithful steed, wearing his Stetson, looking all rugged and manly as he whipped out his Nikon D200 to take the shot.

Hee Hee… J/K.  🙂  The real story is much less melodramatic!  Said photographer was actually driving to Coeur d’Alene early in the morning and came across this herd in a field just off the little back road he takes as a short-cut. 

It’s rather unusual to see an elk herd this size around here.  We spot a lone elk every now and then, but we don’t often see this many at one time (or at such close range).  And look at the bull’s rack!  Anyway, the early morning fog lent itself to the romantic rendition of the story!  😉

Here’s a closer look at these beauties.  Elk are so majestic.



What a glorious time of the year!  Every time I go outside, I just want to stay out there all day!  The light is golden and the sun is still strong enough to warm my shoulders as I work.   I am soaking up the warmth of it and storing it to remember during the months ahead.  The signs of the impending fall season are everywhere, but summer is still clinging to it’s last days of warmth.  The air is crisp and the nights are chilly, but we haven’t turned the corner into full-blown autumn yet .  It’s coming soon.  Inevitably, one of these nights the temperature will drop below freezing and a frost will cover the ground as a precursor of the snow ahead… the frost will kill my tomatoes and peppers and dahlias, but will also bring a rush of intense colors to the landscape… Soon I will start the process of putting the garden to bed for the winter.  But for now, we get to savor the last drops of the summer sunshine and continue harvesting the garden.  Part of me is a little sad that summer is almost over.  This is very uncharacteristic for me because I love fall!  Usually I am excitedly anticipating the change; but for some reason this year I’m not quite ready to let summer go…


I love the warm golden glow as the sun reaches the horizon… We went for a bike ride last night to enjoy it… Ah, the simple things in life are the best.  I need to remember to slow down more often to enjoy moments like these.  Peter and I used to spend so much more time outside mountain biking and hiking and climbing than we do now.  It’s crazy that we let ourselves get distracted by all our responsibilites and projects that we often miss the opportunities to enjoy the simple pleasures of being alive: drinking in that warm glow… breathing deeply and fully… feeling the wind in our faces as we coast down a hill…  it renews the soul.



We are blessed to live near a fantastic network of private dirt roads and little trails in the woods for mountain biking.  Some are definitely too steep to take Jo with us… so we just enjoyed a short ride down the highway to a little country road with great mountain views.  Pictures simply can’t capture it.  Thats the most frustrating thing for me about taking photos… sometimes the lens is too small and limiting!!

But it’s still satisfying to try!




A little about me…

Wife. Mother. Friend. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Student. Adventure-lover. Photo-taker. Book-reader. Organic gardener. Granola-maker. Green smoothie drinker. Snowboarder. Soccer-player. Aspiring rock-climber. Sometime health nut. Passionate about justice and mercy. Adoption advocate. Business owner and jewelry designer. Wild at heart. Crazy-blessed to live out in the country with my awesome family.

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"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do." {Helen Keller}

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