Believe

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We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.  Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

– E.E. Cummings

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Because there is just so much good to believe in.

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Delightfully Ordinary

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I had a delightfully ordinary day today.  I won’t bore you with all the details, but my day went something like this…

wake up in my own bed

take the dogs for a stroll around the pond

make coffee

work in the shop till early afternoon

make pizza dough

take the dogs for a long run up one of the local mountains

stop by the store

work ’til early evening

make pizza

enjoy pizza

stop feeling sorry for myself.

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i know, sorry…maybe that was too many details.  but, the point here is my day was nothing but ordinary, and it was truly delightful.  i am also trying to make a point of preparing myself meals while being home…and being without PB.  cooking just does not have nearly the same excitement eating alone as when you are sharing it with others. one of the things i am missing the most about not being in the methow valley this summer is being unable to cook for my favorite firefighters and friends.  i don’t mean to brag, but we can throw a pretty mean dinner party; and purely because i glean an incredible amount of satisfaction from feeding and sharing delicious food with the people i love.  well, my theory of wether or not i would be just as satisfied eating a good meal by myself proved to be true.  enjoy the following food journey.  i hope it makes you smile, because I sure enjoyed it!

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Rounding out my 20’s

untitled-30 I’ve reached the end of the decade over here.  EEeeek!!  The honest truth is, it feels great…I feel great.  I sat in bed this morning, after Waylon our GSP came and got me up at about 6:30, just thinking about all the absolutely fantastic things my 20’s have held for me. This list is more for me…I always think if nothing else maybe this blog will be fun to show my children when they are old enough…but I thought it important, and interesting, to highlight a few moments of triumph.  So, here you go and here’s to hoping this last year of my 20’s will continue to offer many more incredible adventures!

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-Meeting the man I would marry while studying abroad in the Himalaya’s of India

-Meeting so many of my still to this day best friends on that same trip

-GRADUATING COLLEGE…don’t underestimate this one…academia is not my strongest area!

-Leaving the city and moving to the country to live the rural dream…and never ever looking back

-Growing enough food in my own garden to limit our summertime monthly grocery bill to under $100 (well at-least when PB’s gone on fires)

-Learning how to can and preserve enough food for us for an entire winter…and beyond…with lots to give away as presents (don’t worry friends you will still be receiving relish and pickles from me this year) 🙂

-Holding and enjoying NINE different jobs before finally starting my own business

-STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS

-Successfully hunting my first big game on our honeymoon through Idaho, Wyoming and Montana

-Learning how to fly fish and catching and filleting many a fish on solo backpacking trips throughout the magnificent western mountains

-GETTING MARRIED

-Running my first marathon

-Seeing my photography work published

-Seeing my writing published! (This one seemed bigger than my photography, because I mainly write for myself)

-And, having an INCREDIBLE family and wonderful friends to share these places and moments with.

Have a wonderful day friends, and go ahead and do something extra rad…just cause!

XX

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That Time of Acquaintance

IMG_0131Whenever I transplant myself to new grounds, there is always a period of toe-stepping tenderly, of breaking in the land, forming new habits and reaching a level of comfort with place.  It is as if I am traveling on a bed of ancient mosses, none of which I want to damage or harm; knowing how long and hard they have worked to make it this far in life, but inevitably trampling a few on the journey to discovery.  I figure-eight myself through knowing and not.  Learning the subtle movements of weather, shifts in winds, calls of birds, habits of creatures, and the ever waxing and waning of light over land.  I am a creature of daylight.  Syncing myself with the evolution of day.  Sun-up calls my name as I quietly slip my fox and beaver fur slippers on my cool morning feet.  I dress in the dark, so not to wake Patrick, as he is less a creature of the sun than I.  I cautiously climb the narrow and rickety ladder down to the heat of my creatures.  They eagerly greet me at the base of the stairs.  Ryley putting paws on the second stair, so I can kiss her pink nose before even stepping foot on solid ground.  These dogs and I, we have a pretty legit routine.  I feel my grounding root deeper, knowing some things will always stay the same.  The morning continues on as usual; make coffee, check emails, do a quick clean of putting dishes away, sweeping the floors and making a plan of how the day will unfurl.  I prefer to run in the mornings, as it surges my body with all the mixings of the fresh evening air and the newness of a dawn day.  Mountain sage, frosted leaves, warm beds and lots of bright eyes as we travel the hillsides in search of that euphoric feeling brought from stride over earth.  I love to run…maybe live to run.  I am by no means a competitive athlete when it comes to running, but for me, the act of running deepens my sense of self.  It allows me to push boundaries, explore intimately and be free with the rhythm of it all.  It seems so pure and human-powered.  So simple and so primal.  So easy and very cathartic.  We have connected and linked miles upon miles of rough cut cow trails directly behind the house, to form an interconnected network of zany routes.  All of it is mine to explore.  Mine to connect with.  Mine to widen and bank and curve and wind with.  It feels so selfishly good, to know the chance of seeing another soul is as likely as sitting next to a grizzly bear at the breakfast cafe….well, you get the point, anyway. 🙂

This, all being the easy part of the day.  I have finally had three good days in the shop.  Three uninterrupted, long, hard, solid days of work.  My hands feel alive with the reverberations of hammers and hum of machines again.  My brain is purging idea after idea into likely sketches.  This cycle of work and rest, of moving and settling, of knowing and not…has finally tipped a balanced in my favor.  An ease to this part of the day now, as well.

Then the sun reaches the crest, makes that dip westward towards horizon once again, and this is when the un-ease crawls out of its’ dark cage.  Do I know this place well enough?  Do I feel comfortable exploring such an intimate place as a true outsider.  They will know.  All of them…I do not belong here.  This place is not my home, I am just a visitor in this vast, wild and harsh landscape.  I swallow my fears of the unknown and my embarrassment of ignorance, and know we all must go through this tangle of the knowing and not.  I tell myself comfort comes with exploration.  And, exploration deepens the hearts’ understanding of life…of cycles…of all of it.  I decide knowing is better than not.  That the wildness in me must grow again, and so I do what comes so naturally.  I pull my boots on, wrap a warm scarf twice around, swing my camera around my shoulder, scoot the dogs out the door, and shut it quietly behind as we set out to find comfort with place.  It’s beginning to feel like home , I whisper quietly to myself as we lose ourselves in the vastness of landscape and time.

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The Time In-between

Yikes, I can not believe how whirlwind these past few weeks have been.  Between filling orders, stocking shops in town, finishing up custom projects, developing a new website (still in the works!) and packing up our house, I was pleasantly surprised as I was going back through old photos, at just how much fun I got to have in the ‘in-between time’.  For those of us who are just meeting, this time of the year allows me to release a sigh of incredible relief and thankfulness.  My husband, brother, sister-in-law and majority of our best friends are wildland firefighters, and they are all finally home safe and bright spirited.  Summer is their busy season, which means a lot of alone time for me.  While I thrive best hermit style, I am left with quite a void in my life when they are absent.  I am not a worrier by nature, but there is this ever-present tension in the air when they are gone on fire assignments.  A knowledge that mother-nature is wholly unpredictable and ever-wild, helps me keep reality in perspective.  This season was unfortunately especially difficult, with far too many tragedies and losses.  My heart aches for every one of you, who were affected by these events.  These people, this tribe of nomads, of selfless individuals who risk their lives for our land and protection, have my utmost respect and admiration.  Their wives, partners, children and families, who stay at home, turn the gears and keep life running smoothly in their absence, I just want you to know how amazing you are.  Bless you all…you all are a true inspiration to me!  Wherever your winter’s take you, I hope they are filled with wild adventures and lots of warmth in the arms of those you love.  Here’s a little peek into a few adventures I got to take with my little fire family, before we moved onto our winter home.

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Grouse hunting with the hubs and the dogs

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A high country camping trip with my sister-in-law :: And a really good place to have a campfire and drink coffee

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A quiet morning tromp around the woods and an evening to myself while PB was out deer hunting

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A float down the Methow River with the hubs and my father-in-law

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Patrick’s birthday is coming up in a few days and I have taken advantage of this time I have alone (he’s out elk hunting right now), to plan our next big adventure.  Shhh…he thinks I am dutifully working in the shop catching up on loads of orders I have to fill…but, all in good time.  Life is all about balance, right?!  Now, off to work peanuts, hope life is treating you well.

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That Time of Transition

Well, we did it again.  We packed up all our belongings, sorted the necessary from the not.  Dropped house plants off at friends and shared last meals with family and loved ones.  We kissed their children on the noses and asked them to be good to their mothers and fathers.  Said our goodbye’s to the place and the people who make our lives whole and bright.  Boy, do I miss you guys…

Moving always has this pungent bitter-sweet essence for me.  I attach myself deeply to place, reaching out with tendrils, grasping neighboring needle or branch and become one with the rhythm of it all.  I thrive on change, but am driven by habit and routine.  I function best in solitude, but shine deepest in the company of friends and kin.  I have become a nomad…I guess I have always been a nomad.  Picking up and moving from summering to wintering grounds.  Adapting to seasons and environment.  Each move, each new place, each new sense of belonging allows me to grow and nurture this inter-connected web of life I lead.

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We left this with heavy and full hearts

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We arrived here ready to unfurl and root down

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So, here we are…boxes unpacked and countryside explored.  What do you think?  I know this will be so very good, for the both of us.  This place is the perfect combination of Patrick and I.  Open and wild.  Soft and harsh.  Gentle but rough.  Honest yet mysterious.  Seasonal.  Whimsical.  Country.  Quiet and calm.  Yes, very quiet and calm…just the way I like it.  I can’t wait to share more of this place with you.  I hope to have the shop open and running in the next few days, but in the meantime we can connect here.

Happy weekend, you wild pack of beauties.

XX

Never Stop Adventuring

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A few evenings ago my sister-in-law and I decided to head high for a little adventure. Having her around more has been a very welcome benefit of the government furlough.  The two of us have a very easy relationship.  Honest, fun and very lighthearted.  The type of friendship that I subscribe to.  As we packed the van with the few essentials that we would need for an overnight trip, I couldn’t help but feel extraordinarily grateful for the warmness and goodness that true friends and family bring to my life.  Those blessings coupled with a setting with truly unrivaled natural beauty, helps me realize just how fortunate this little life of mine is.

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IMG_9301IMG_9310IMG_9316A few things I have been so very grateful for lately::

my husband

family

true friends

mountains

the goodness and wholeness of blue

the effervescent river

river rocks

orchard apples

ripe tomatoes

great books

nature poetry

garden beets

simple truths

knowing goodness always triumphs over evil

nurturing a kind heart

speaking the language of truth

and, knowing a mountain adventure cures almost anything

IMG_9321Because when life feels like it’s a little too wild, it is best to re-connect with those simple and honest truths.

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