Monday, November 29, 2010

Changing light

We walked down the road hand in hand and the light glowed golden yesterday afternoon.

It was our anniversary and we were talking about the seasons we've been through together.

Some dark times, some splendid.

Just like the views before us, changing by the moment.

While we love the golden moments we treasure the harder seasons too because difficulties soften us, teach us compassion and build into us greater depth and trust.

Hand in hand we counted our blessings and talked of things large and small.

Hand in hand we returned home in the changing light and the soup left simmering on the back burner.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cold outside and warm inside

Sometimes your heart overflows.

Around our Thanksgiving table, each person tells what they are most thankful for. This year there was not a dry eye in the house. It was emotional. Memorable. 

Is there anything more precious than family?

What a beautiful thing it is to be part of a family.

The outdoors mirrored that beauty and was equally splendid today.

Snow for Thanksgiving.

Cold outside and warm inside.

May you, too, be warmed inside and out. 

May you feel the love of family and friends
and have so much to be thankful for that your heart overflows.

God bless us every one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chilly. Snug. Cosy.

Autumn turned to winter today.
Time to dig out the wool scarves and practical boots.

Winter has arrived. 
Autumn leaves are suddenly a thing of the past.
The seasons have shifted.

Snow. Early snow.

Twenty five degrees! Brrrr.
I retreated to the studio (full disclosure~ I retreat to the studio almost every day of the year, regardless of weather or circumstances!) 
It was a morning to crank up stereo and heater, printing press and imagination.

Inks, paper, letters are calling again...

This time it's a broadside for the bathroom. After printing, I went to it with nibs and ink.
Hurrah for the cosy season.

Today I spotted the first icicles of the winter and decided to work into the wee small hours purely for the joy of a crackling fire and a happy deadline.

Bring on the chill! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheap thrills

The swirly lower case "g" caught my eye years ago. Carved from wood, that oddly graceful little font without a name seemed like something I absolutely had to have. 

"I'm in love," I whispered. "I NEED this type."

And so began my love affair with letters of wood and lead. It continues to this day. 

There's Playbill, the font that reminds me of a circus. One glance and I have visions of prancing ponies, flying trapezes and everything else that smacks of the Big Top.

Greeting Monotone, Engraver's Bold, Centaur, Marble Heart. Even the names are intriguing. Admittedly, vintage type is a rather (ahem) pricey vice.

But today it was a cheaper object that caused me to suck in my breath and laugh with pure unadulterated glee. 

A pencil.

A brand new glossy black pencil.

Number 6H, to be specific. 

I could wax poetic about the thin ribs of an ordinary pencil, the way the hard lead lays such a smooth gray line on paper, the simple happiness of a common pencil sliding into the sharpener and coming out with a satisfyingly sharp point.

These may be hard economic times but for less than $1.50 anyone can still buy hours of enjoyment and amusement when you purchase a brand new pencil. You can draw anything you can imagine. 

Woohoo for cheap thrills!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bare bones

At my feet a riot of color.
Strong winds and lashings of rain have swept the leaves away.

You can see the beautiful bones of the walnut, beech and maple now. Their essence and strength are revealed in ways we didn't see when they were clothed with summer's lush excess.

So it is when difficulty pares us down and the essence of a person shows through.
There is no hiding behind the temporary things. The real self is revealed.

And I am so thankful that I like what is shining through. 

It's been a season when many of my friends and yes, even I, have found in the autumn trees a metaphor for our own lives.
How wonderful that the roots are strong. The branches are holding firm. 
Let the winds blow. We're living lives that are deep.

It's autumn and there is much to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What I saw today...

What's not to love about your own neighborhood?
Hayley and the kids planting out my extra raspberry shoots...

...barns and autumn leaves.

This morning's rain gave way to a stunning afternoon. Even the puddles shimmered.

I love my neighborhood. And my camera!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Why is it that mushrooms always seem magical?

Their gills a work of art.

So fragile and ephemeral.

Autumn's secrets, rising from the earth.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A thoughtful quote

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life... Don't be trapped into living with the results of other peoples' thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. ~ Steve Jobs
What a wonderful quote. 
It's hard to admit, but I have not been trusting my own instincts enough lately, have allowed myself too often to get trapped by the demands of modern life and business, with shoulds and musts.
Isn't it something how one little quote can make you come full stop and re-examine your priorities.
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for making me think. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Beautiful Hawaiians

If there are people more beautiful than the Hawaiians I can't imagine who they are.
It must be those golden sunsets touching their skins. 

The children possess a remarkable sensitivity to the earth and sea that surround them.

No wonder they turn into adults that seem to wear their way of life like a second skin.

You have to hunt for the Hawaiian people among the tourists, but they are there if you look.
Certainly there is plenty of faked "real" Hawaiian culture, but I am referring to the quiet beauty that is natural and not for show.

After exploring the gardens, hiking their trails and tiptoeing at the edges of family life, I am an admirer. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bird watching

"Too bad you don't have your camera," he whispered.

Darn right.

Guess who raced like the wind back to the condo, grabbed the photo bag and dashed back?
I was not going to miss the juvenile black crowned heron hunting in the lily pond.
Never mind hot and sweaty, I wanted those pictures!

And it was worth it.
Hawaii had birds galore.

Brazilian cardinals were everywhere.
I found them charming.

One day I noticed this little fellow on a ledge...
when suddenly he flew down and I caught him midair.

I know it's not the best photo in the world but I was thrilled to snap his picture in flight.

At McBryde Garden (part of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens) we spotted gallinules with their chicks but this was the only semi-decent photo I got. It was raining buckets most of the time.

More about the Gardens tomorrow. We couldn't resist visiting multiple times this trip.
Even with passing downpours it was stellar.

I had no idea I looked like such a mad scientist... even worse than usual.
Maybe one day I will get a sense of style but I am not holding my breath.
My girlfriends will have to come to the rescue or continue to put up with my lack of fashion sense.

But wait til you see my plant photos. Those gardens are amazing.