Till next year

Embracing the color nature provides before the snow flies.
These pictures were taken early September
picking (mostly eating) huckleberries amongst the pearly everlasting, fire weed and aster.
 Its been one heck of a gorgeous summer- free from the wild fires that raged our forests last year
can't complain
Oh summer- my favorite time of year
you will be missed
Till next year.


Slow days

These are the days when summer has made its exit and fall enters
a slower pace
Fewer outdoor projects and plans are in a rush to be done
Removing window screen, washing windows
 fall curtains ironed ready to be hung insulating against the Montana cold.
Canadian geese overhead
Starlit mornings
Breakfast by candle light 
A dusting of snow on the mountain
 colder days are ahead
 we are all waiting
 flowers in the garden lean towards the sunlight
holding on to the smattering of warm days left
But for now we enjoy slow days sitting by the fire with hot tea reading
 the routine of it all sets in
time to relax into it and enjoy slower days


Yarn Studio

When we moved to Montana with 3 small children which I mostly homeschooled, life was full. Then number four showed up- life became even busier. As they grow up and move out to college, I have started the whole empty nest syndrome thing which is pretty terrifying and sad for parents, or at least for me, as my children were such a big part of my life.
On the side to earn a little extra income during the child rearing years I was a freelance maternity and baby photographer- however scheduling clients with my big family became tricky. It was tough making it all work.
 Then one day on the North shore of Kauai I sat on the beach and told my husband I wanted to spin and dye my own yarn....and there it was.
That's how it all started 10 years ago. Changed my life.
Since then I have worked from my upstairs studio and dyeing in the kitchen or outside weather permitting. Having more time on my hands I can now commit so much more time to this hobby/ part time work - so we built a studio where I could dream, create and be messy.
I've tried to think of as many things as possible to make this space ergonomic and useful. We have used inexpensive materials and reused as much material possible too. This is my counter and sink. To the left is the space for the stove that will hopefully arrive sometime this week. Shelving that has been built with repurposed wood to hold the dyes. All trim are from old jobs sites when Pierre worked as a carpenter.

It sits just right off the house so the commute is pretty short- even on blizzardy Montana wintry days.. I can still make it in to work! There is more to be done but I am so grateful and excited. I feel settled something that has taken me some time - dancing around my family, other peoples schedule and working in less then ideal areas. This is my space and that feels good.
More to come...


Of the north

Living in the north is a blessing
 mountains surrounding in every direction
 there is comfort in seeing the tips touching the sky
sometimes sheltered from the storms that roll in
 and from the world, mostly.
Montana can be a very lonely place, quiet if you let it
a place of solitude

 Of the north I grew up in the mountains and by the sea
 here I am fortunate to live in the mountains once again and the ocean is replaced now by lakes.

It still feels raw and untouched in some places

I climb the mountain.
These peaks offer fresh perspective and champagne air.
Removed from the sea of noise that people make,
 breathing deeply, listening to the wind whispering softly
as it caresses my cold face
In the midst of pines, moss and grass
it all grounds me and I feel part of the earth 
Surrounded by these huge mothers of mountains gazing down into the valley,
 in the distance I see the one we live under - how small I feel.
 a squall passes through in the west
 I have learned the art of storm bending in Big Sky
storms clear the mind
 and clears the slate
my compass led me to the north again
on this mountain I think I can see all the way to the Pacific if I stand on my tip toes
but I don't
   the wild of the ocean
  I miss
tucked far away in these blue mountains with the heavy skies above
a place I have grown to love with all my heart

Of the north
I stand tall today
grateful to be here


A new path

This spring I set out to explore
in much need of inspiration and creativity as I was feeling stagnate
 searching for a new path
I went  to university for a semester, studying psychology and fractal geometry (which was actually pretty tough)
Stepping outside my comfort zone really helped open my mind and heart
 but the shoe still didn't fit

 Early May I almost lost my horse Bella to colic- she had to go to the hospital for a week and lost over 200 lbs- which is pretty grave for a horse.
Nursing her back to health which included
medication and feeding her every 2 hours for the first 10 days,
talk about reliving mother hood all over again.
Bella is once again her happy horse self and gained all her weight back.
Panicked doesn't even describe what I went through.
Waves of gratitude washed over me that her life was saved.

 Amerced myself in a lovely summer here in Big Sky country- lots of swimming, sup boarding, floating on the rivers, fly-fishing and hiking with family and friends.
Summer is like an elixir
Hard when it abruptly comes to end.
Canadian geese fly over head reminding us the cooler weather is arriving 
and fall descend upon us once again in the mountains.
My oldest headed out to college in Missoula and our daughter started college locally
wasn't it just yesterday that they started first grade?

 During the summer we built a little studio in the back of our house.
No longer  allowed to dye yarn in the kitchen, my husband kicked me out! 
Wiping down splashed granite counter tops and mopping up color stained wood floors was probably not the best solution.
This will be my own little creative space
where I can be messy and dream up beautiful colorscapes for yarn again.

I'm back to photography and I'm back to blogging- oh how I have missed it!

Time is what I needed
 think thoughts through
clear my head
away from routine
open my mind and brighten my heart space.
the road leads me back again
all I needed was a few degrees of adjustment in order to find the right path
home again.

I hope you all are well  - wishing you peace and love.
 Until next time.


Look down

As a kid I was always told to look up
 watch your step
 don't look down or you'll trip and fall

grownups say the stupidest things

 often what was on the ground was more interesting than then the surroundings!

forever an expert at avoiding the cracks in the pavement
skipping or jumping over them
There are all kinds of cool stuff on the ground
bugs, bottle caps, rocks, feathers 
 not to mention money
money to buy a piece of candy at the kiosk

 these days I find dimes on the ground
aware that dad drops a few from heaven 
so that I know he's watching me

Reading Pippi Longstockings as a child and to my kids
a particular chapter I loved- when Pippi taught Annika and Tommy to become a "thing finders"
when out with my kids and the distance became to long for their short little legs
I challenged them to become "thing finders"
which turned the whole walk into something fun
scouring for treasures

These days I do it for myself especially when my camera takes me for a walk
 Montana is still really grey makes the surroundings rather bland
so I look I down.

On my walk I found rocks displayed into interesting designs
compliments of mother nature

Lichen, delicate yet rugged
the perfect balance
the lime blends so beautiful with the greens and teal-
I get inspired to knit a sweater when I see the colors and texture it offers
contrasting with pretty whites and pinks of the birch tree

Lilly’s soft cream colored tail against the brown pebbles and the debris

The pitter patter of rain drops on the asphalt – also a secret favorite smell of mine
wet asphalt
I found a spot where fairies live in the “Moss Woods"
snuck up on one or two as they were gathering some fire wood

my last shot do you see what happened?
A Viking split a stone in two while in  fierce battle
..it's all true.

look down you might see some magic too


Spring Days

Springtime is the land awakening.
The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Lewis Grizzard

Spring is in the air
 This is one of my favorite seasons ...
More light is pouring in from morning to evening
Grass starts to spout a little all to be dumped on again by snowfall until June here on the 48 parallel
 little buds on the aspen and the pussy willow with their little fuzzies..it's all so beautiful.

 I think this might be why I chose lavender and yellow the colors of crocus I see around here. I bought yarn online for the first time in many years and was SO pleased with the quality and service. This yarn is not only yummy but it's squishy, soft and yummy.
 Craftsy.com has a really good selection
especially if you're on a budget
The lavender yarn is being knitted in the White Pine pattern

Found an old favorite my Green Mountain Spinnery knitting book from my book shelf 
 lovely pictures, patterns and they offer exquisite yarn
this time around I will use the yellow yarn and knit
"Moriah's wild flower cardigan"

 Heading out to Sherbrook Quebec to visit chefs family this spring break
  we are spending 2 days as per my request in Vermont.
Burlington and Stowe is on the itinerary.
The kids want to visit Ben and Jerry's...who doesn't?
 As I was looking through my book I noticed that Green Mountain Spinnery is located in Putney- unfortunately is just to far for this visit but I did see that Burlington is loaded with neat fiber shops this one in particular is on my list

I can't wait to explore and travel it's been a year since we were in Taos and Santa Fe

Any plans for spring break friends?


Up the road

If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.- Lewis Carroll

It was one of those days, grey winter days in Montana. Earth still frozen and too cold to do anything in the garden, itching to be in nature and too restless to sit inside by the fire. We took a drive up the gravel roads up the North Fork, enjoying the view and talking about how spring feels like it's almost around the corner, new hikes that needed to be explored. I found some new fishing holes it's easy to walk the river beds as the snow is still holding strong on the mountains, finding these new spots and visiting these views always remind us how we are in search of a cabin of our own up here for our family...one day.
I have come to the conclusion no matter how bad it is inside - going outside makes my insides feel better...always. When "grey" is the weather forecast, nature always has something to new up her sleeve to draw you outside and explore. In Montana all you have to do is take a road, any path or trail it will lead you to peace of mind a place of contemplation and appreciation. Nature and wilderness is where it's at and in Montana that's what's it all about.

But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need - if only we had eyes to see."
Edward Abbey