Sunday, October 31, 2010

October Harvest

Isn't this gorgeous?

Today was the last growers market day in Grass Valley so I couldn't resist scooping up as many goodies as I could.  I bought out the pie pumpkin lady's entire remaining stock along with tomatoes, acorn squash, bell peppers, kiwis, avocadoes, butternut squash, apples, pomegranites and fuyu persimmons.  It's still hard for me to believe I can buy kiwis, avocadoes and persimmons that came from local trees, but I'll get used to it somehow.

The next couple of days I'll be busy roasting the pumpkins and freezing the mush for pies.  I'll be making plans to spend a day at Apple Hill soon to get a whole bunch of apples, yum.

This season is bittersweet in many ways, bringing us a great abundance of beautiful produce along with the certainty that summer has ended and the long winter has begun.  On warm sunny days we linger outside, dressed in jeans and thick sweatshirts, happy to feel that last burst of fading sunshine mixed with chilly air seasoned with the smell of woodsmoke.  The night drops more quickly into blackness and the wool blankets come out of storage to make cuddling a delightful past time on icy nights.

A great good friend has experienced great loss in this month, death and sadness which has made this a difficult month to bear.  My own health event has marked this a significant month.  And so we talked of endings and pondered ways to find peace in the midst of grief.  I believe we can only try to temper the grief and loss with memories and take the small celebrations to heart.  This month means leaves fall and the air turns cool and I for one start to dread the bleak November just ahead, which magnifies the losses of October.  I'm going to work hard to find beauty in the next month and will share with you.  And if that fails I'll bake up a pumpkin pie, smother it in fresh whipped cream, pour myself a large glass of wine, start the fire and call a friend.  I figure at least one of those things will warm my heart and my feet.

Love you A, you always make me laugh.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Earring Galore

What do you think?  These are a great jumble of color and movement.


Simple and fun, they are coming out in a lot of pretty colors. I love them!  All that hammering has my arm ringing a little, or maybe it's my ears, ha!

Tomorrow is a huge one year anniversary for me, sort of a landmark date.  Leave a comment if you remember what it is.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Pile of Pretty

Jenelle Aubade is one of my favorite lampwork artists.  Along with a great number of extra gorgeous regular sized beads she also makes these wonderful little gems, about the size of your little fingernail and smaller.  I spent a couple of days making a nice pile of new earrings and one new bracelet. 

And a bit more organized.

Another great day.  We romped through the Empire Mine, spent some time outside blowing leaves off the driveway, worked in the studio making some beautiful things and now we're curled up and peaceful.  Here are my boys, Dandy (Champion Fernbriar First Class) and Bode (Alltrade Fernbriar Xciting Bad Boy) doing what dogs do best, aren't they cute?


Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

What do you do when it's raining like crazy and you don't have any heat in the house?  I fired up the oven and baked, first some oatmeal cookies and then the first pumpkin pie of the season.  I used real pumpkin made from pie pumpkins I roasted and it tasted great!  

I spent a peaceful day wandering around the Yuba River at Bridgeport a couple of days ago, before it started to rain.  I'm glad I got the chance to wade around in the water at the sleepy late summer stage.  I can imagine the river is raging right now.

This covered bridge is really beautiful and fun to walk across.

Inside it's beautiful wooden beams and windows along the way to look down at the river.

More classes coming up soon.  Intro to PMC (Metal Clay) and a very fun Resin class where we will make some sentimental ornaments with pictures and vintage printed material.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Busy day, happy day

I've been busy all day getting some new classes put together and preparing my pictures to apply to be juried into a gallery.  This necklace came from the new larger earrings I've been making.  The pieces are larger and they are designed so they don't lay flat, it's pretty cool, sort of scuptural and not for the timid.  I love this line!

This piece is made from bronze clay, some gorgeous ametrine and fine, fine lampwork by Jenelle Aubade.  It says, "Only Love Can Mend a Broken Heart".
Other than that and a really excellent walk with the boys I didn't accomplish anything else, but that's enough.  The sun was pouring in the door of my studio, the air was cool and fresh and the music was fine.  Have you ever heard "Hold On, I'm Coming" by Eric Clapton and B.B. King?  A great piece of music, for sure.

Don't you ever be sad
Lean on me in times of bad
When the day comes and
you're in doubt
In a river of trouble
about to drown

Hold On, hold on
I'm coming, I'm coming
Hold On, hold on
I'm coming, I'm coming

I'm on my way your lover
When you get cold
I'll be your cover
Don't have to worry
Because I'm here
Don't need to suffer
Because I'm here

Hold On, hold on
I'm coming, I'm coming
Hold On, hold on
I'm coming, I'm coming

Reach out to me
For satisfaction
Call my name
Quick reaction
Hey hey hey

Don't you ever be sad
Lean on me in times of bad
When the day comes and
you're in doubt
In a river of trouble
about to drown

Don't you ever be sad
Lean on me in times of bad
Hold On, hold on
I'm coming, I'm coming


Monday, October 18, 2010

Leave the Gun, take the Cannoli!

Oh my, saw the Godfather on the big screen at the Del Oro, what a great movie.  It's got so many great lines but I loved the one about the cannoli the best, I'd do that too.

The three hours just flew by, this time I actually paid attention to the plot lines and connected all the scenes I remembered with the parts I'd forgotton.  Of course in 1972 I was a sophomore in high school, I think.

Diane Keaton, didn't like her then and still don't, why is that?

Two weeks from now is Clint Eastwood in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly".


Friday, October 15, 2010


Cut my thumb today, which makes the score stitches twice, glued once, and bandaged too many times to remember.  Right now the numbness is wearing off and it's hurting a good deal.  I forgot how much these things hurt, which illustrates the short term memory women have for pain.  If we didn't we wouldn't have more than one child, that's for sure.

Oh well, this is pretty typical of my week after a skating competition.  We put in 62 hours in five days and I came home with a raging cold and that combines to make me tired and sort of klutzy.  We managed to overcome some pretty complicated technical difficulties and kept things moving along so it was a general success from our end with lots of great skating to watch.  I met some very interesting people, one judge races cars at 200 miles per hour and one of the technical panel is a former US Champion.

It's great to be back in my Treehouse.  Look what I found on the front deck this week.
Simply marvelous!  There are more showing up every day, last night I rescued two from inside again and set them free into the dark night.

Tomorrow is the growers market, one of my favorite places.  The apples are starting to come in, think apple pie and apple butter and applesauce, yum!


Sunday, October 10, 2010


I'm hanging out in sunny Southern California but I don't get to see a whole lot of the sun because this is a Skating Weekend.

Fourteen years ago I started out as a skating Mom and then I started volunteering for the parent organization as a competition accountant and have been pretty intensely involved ever since.  It's a great job filled with interesting people and situations, challenging and stimulating and exhausting, all at the same time.

This weekend I'm in Burbank, CA, working at a Regional qualifying competition.  We'll send a bunch of the winners off to a Sectional competition and from there some will go to Junior Nationals and some will go the the US Championships.

The hours are long and hard, so far we've put in 34 hours in three days with two more 12 hour days to go but it's very satisfying work.  This is my first assignment in California and now I can say I've worked from coast to coast, New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, Colorado and California.

Today I saw a couple of skating legends today, John Nicks and Frank Carroll, both venerable coaches.  I've seen them at US Nationals and on tv but today they were just doing their job at an everyday ice rink.  It was great!  I wonder if those kids know how truly lucky they are to be able to work with these men?

I miss my treehouse and the boys but I know they're having fun.  It will be great to go home on Wednesday.

Time for bed, got to get up early to help make some champions!


Monday, October 04, 2010

Peace, Love and a Glimpse of the Divine...

In a typical busy day it's very easy to forget to be grateful.  We scurry around trying to get everything done and in the end all we've done is scurry.

But you don't need a lot of time to savor beauty or to experience a brief moment of peace.  You can train yourself to need those small gifts, find them in odd places and then you'll see more and need more and it just comes washing into your life.  There's a flower tucked into a corner close to your office, you have to find it.
Or the curve of a child's cheek, the hands of the person sitting next to you on the bus, the smoothness of your lover's skin, small bits of beauty are there for us to enjoy.

I find the water. 

And I sit on a really big rock with my feet in the water and soak in peace and contentment.

And the love.

This dog with the short legs who bravely climbs over huge rocks to follow me, because I ask him to.  This dog who hates water but still follows me into the stream, because I ask him to, that's love.

I've been letting go of my anger which leaves a lot of room for peace and love and grace.  I'm giving up on forcing my reality on the world.  I'm finding that each time I make a conscious decision to love instead of control great things happen.  It'll take a lifetime but I'm game, the rewards are so worth it.  

Whether the sweep of angel wings or the skirts of the goddess, this incredible sunset reminds me of one of my favorite songs, "Up to the Mountain" by Patty Griffin.

I went up to the mountain
Because you asked me to
Up over the clouds
To where the sky was blue
I could see all around me
I could see all around me

It's beautiful, one more thing to be grateful for today.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Treehouse Again - First October Picture

I am endlessly fascinated by the view from my treehouse deck.  It's beautiful almost 24 hours a day, though I don't stay up to see it much past midnight.

We've got these large flocks of vultures that like to wheel around in the sky and occasionally they roost in the top branches of the tree across the road.  A couple of days ago there were 10 or 15 of them and as the sun started to rise they spread their wings and just sat there as if greeting the sun god.  I suppose if you had a really bad hangover you'd tend to think they were waiting for you.

There hasn't been much in the cloud department for a couple of months but when they show up they produce some fabulous sunsets.  Last night the bands of clouds were lavender, rose, and a deep purple, it was stunning.  I've been experimenting with my new droid phone, which has an awesome camera feature with some very cool special effects.  It was either on posterize or solarize when I took this one, makes it look like I live on Venus.

And I'm finding more interesting local flora, fauna and bugga.  Just as I was going to turn off my light a couple of nights ago I heard this large whirring and something splatted up against the wall and stuck.  I had to see what it was.  It was a very large praying mantis, very green and about 3 or 4 inches long, beautiful.  I didn't want it to end up stuck in the house and starving so I captured her or him and took it back outside to the dark night.  I'd much rather find a praying mantis in my bedroom than one of the countless spiders I'm always finding.  Sorry no pic, too late at night but I'll see what I can find around the house.

Happy day