Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dress for Success

Dress for the weather you want, not the weather you have....I guess.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Snow Day

I knew a storm was coming before I checked the weather on my phone. You can always tell something is headed this way when the winds intensify. Yesterday around noon the first flakes began to fall as the temperature plummeted and it has been snowing ever since.

I think there is over a foot of fresh snow and then temps won’t rise above 0F today.

We have candles burning. The girls are playing. The tub is filled with water so we can still flush the toilet if the power goes out.

Fresh bread is cooling on the stove.

Eric and I are doing work around the house to prepare our home which goes on the market next week.

Hope you are warm and well.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Quote: Not to be happy

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you lived and lived well.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Goodbye Ophelia

In August of 1999 I started volunteering at an animal shelter in Portales, NM. Sometimes people would drop off boxes of unwanted kittens. In one box there was a green eyed fluff ball that the staff named Jasmine. When I would visit the shelter she would reach up my leg and beg to be held, like a baby. 

At the time I was living in a dorm. Eric, my then boyfriend, was sharing a house with another guy. Their landlord did not allow pets. I refused to accept this and began a mission. After calling and meeting with the landlord she finally agreed to allow the cat to live with Eric(with a monthly pet rent).

Eric picked her up while I was at work and then he came to the art building where I was doing my work study job. I ran out to the car and pet this sweet little lady. It was love. We had her. Our first animal adoption.

We were both taking an art history class at the time and she ended up with quite a name, Ophelia Jaguar Devouring a Hare Putti Wimmer. Oph for short. Loaf for when she was lazy.

Within the month we had also adopted our sweet Siamese Mia. The two became deeply bonded. The pair of cats traveled with us throughout a few residences in NM, MT, WY, CO, and WY again. They were with us through dating and marriage and college and graduate school and the birth of two children. 

The two lived with us for many years. Every day Mia would groom Ophelia and vice versa. When Mia became ill and passed away Ophelia was devastated. Over time she improved, but I think it is clear that she never really recovered from that loss. 

In the following years Ophelia has gradually declined both mentally and physically. She has been our little off kilter granny for the past few years and that has been ok. As she has aged sleep became her most common state. Arthritis limited her ability to walk. Then, last month there was a tumor. After consulting with the vet, and considering her weak state and advanced years it was advised that we keep her comfortable and let her live out her days. We have been watching her, waiting and preparing ourselves for the inevitable. We had hoped we wouldn’t have to make a decision, but then yesterday morning we knew it was time to say goodbye. 

We were thankful that the decision was so clear and that we were able to give her one final gift of loving relief. Still, it hurts with a chest crushing weight. She lived with us for half of our lives, longer than we lived with our parents. I will miss that crazy old lady, the fun loving kitten fluff ball, the bonded pair of her and Mia for the rest of my days. What a gift it is so connect so deeply with another sentient being. 

Goodbye Ophelia. I will see you on the other side.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Phone Photo Friday: 2.16.18

Happy Friday to one and all! Are you a Friday person? There have been times in my life when Friday was special, but at this point in life I mostly work at home...so the days of the week all blend together. Let’s review the week in photos.

I have been wrapping up some commissioned paintings and drawings this week.

Snuggling with their dad.

The cuteness is too much to bear.

Their dad made an epic fort. They were so thrilled that they stayed up super late. The next day was a little dicey. 

They asked me to take this photo. Immediately afterward I had them pick up as the realtors came over to check out our house. 

Wearing Valentine tiaras from their grandparents.

Valentine breakfast.

Valentine cutie in her pajamas.

Valentine cutie in her pajamas.

Valentine weirdo in Goodwill.

The annual heart cake.

My favorites.

One of my daily drawings.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Spooky Action

Here is a link to an article about a show that my friend Meghan Rowswell and I have up through next week.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Two Stories about Car Troubles and Kindness of Strangers

Story 1
Last week the girls and I left their PE class. We were leaning into the wind, scarves aflutter, and trying not to slide on the ice. I helped buckle Elise into her seat and battled the wind to get into my seat, hair everywhere. Then I saw a piece of paper tucked under my wiper. I assumed it was some weird ad or coupon or something, but it wasn’t. 

I read the note which very kindly explained that they had accidentally backed into our car. They had photocopied their insurance card and told us they would take care of damages. While it is a bummer that they hit our car it was so much more important that they had done the right thing. They could have driven away. I wouldn’t have spotted the damage for another day probably and we would have had to cover our deductible. I am so thankful for their kindness and honesty! 

Story 2
Then the next day it snowed. Our car battery died, unrelated to the above incident, just was time for a new battery. Our neighbors gave us a quick jump and Eric drove to buy another battery. Well, little did he know that this was just the beginning. He was assured that the battery he had purchased was the correct size for our car. He made it home, took out old battery, discovered that it was the wrong battery. This happened with a second battery. Then as he was trying to get to a different store who would have the correct battery the car died...in the middle of an intersection...in a snowstorm! 

He had to guide the car to the edge of the road and run up a snowy hill. He finally got the correct battery. When he was headed back to the car a kind man who had seen what was happening, offered him a ride to the car. He parked behind our car with his hazards on and waited while Eric installed a battery for the 4th time in a day. He is a pro at this point. The kind older man went on his way, just extending a little kindness on what would have been a laughably awful afternoon.

Monday, February 12, 2018



Well, the last six months have been challenging for our family. We have had a rather rough go of things, but honestly when you lose things you really realize how much you have. We have so much support from family and friends.  I have had several people contact me about commission work, money which will help us to move. Eric has offers for contract work which could help make ends meet if he hasn’t found work by the time his current job ends. We have the luxury of staying with my parents if our house sells before we are ready to move. We have had friends demand that we call them to help load up on moving day. Friends who are willing to rehome plants. So many people have just listened or offered a lead on a job, asked how we are doing, told us that they have dealt with the frightening instability of being laid off, or whatever. It is sort of bittersweet as it highlights what a strong community we have to leave here in Wyoming.

While we are still frantically trying to find work and sell our home and make plans for the next few months, we know that we have such an amazing support network. We will figure it out. I will update you the minute we know where and when.

I was prepping the house today for the realtor to walk through ( I am gonna 100% cry on our walk through) and I was feeling very sorry for myself, but then I realized that all of this, while challenging, is a bump in the road, albeit a big bump. I keep thinking about people who don’t have a strong family or friends who would offer to help. What do those people do? I cannot even imagine the level of fear. Right now we just want to keep our independence and to not burden the people we love most. We are most definitely at high stress, but we both know we are safe and cared for and, most importantly, our children are safe and their needs will continue to be met. 

Mostly I am just trying to remind myself to be so thankful. We have so very much. I have every intention of paying all of this kindness forward as it is definitely a gift worth sharing. So if you have sent us a message, listened, offered help, said a prayer, or anything I want you to know how much it means and how thankful we are for your kindness. Thank you.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Quote: Love

It is good to love many things, for therein lies true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well  done. -Vincent Van Gogh 

Saturday, February 10, 2018


Friday, February 9, 2018

Phone Photo Friday: 2.9.18

Happy Friday to you! I hope you have a happy weekend ahead! Let’s review phone photos for the past week shall we? We shall.

Last Friday the girls, my mother, and I went to visit my grandmother, aunt and great aunt! They all live in the same apartment complex in a town about two hours away. It also happened to be my mother’s birthday!

Here I am.

My mother opening some presents.

Cordelia and her great aunt Tina. My great aunt Michelle was there too, but I didn’t get a photo.

I had made and traveled with some birthday cupcakes. Presentation wasn’t top notch after a two hour road trip, but it still worked.

Saturday Elise wore the navy suit!

Sweet sisters! As I type this they are downstairs playing like crazy. They really have such a special relationship. I feel so thankful to watch it grow.

Selling Girl Scout cookies. Did you know Thin Mints are vegan? Incidentally I have purchased more than I can eat...

Eric and Cordelia watching the game.

My favorite father.

Daily drawing.

Took the girls ice skating with their science group. They have been studying the science behind athletic power and the olympics...things like momentum and balance. They had a very fun field trip.

I couldn’t skate as I still can’t wear close toed shoes after my fall last week, and the thought of falling again is cringeworthy. So Eric skated with them. The girls relied on the little walker things for a bit, but were soon free skating. They had a blast and begged to go one more time before we move. 


I took a phone call from my brother and the girls entertained themselves.

They got “tattoos.”

Tuesday was CPR. My mother actually arranged this class and a lot of people showed up! Mostly it was a review for me, but it is nice to be up to speed on new practices. Also, now I feel confident using an AED! 

Visiting my dad.

More CPR. The class was at the church where my dad is pastor.

Eric had a book signing for The Art of Carl Link that he has spent years on! His first show as a curator at the museum was on artist Carl Link and since then he has been working to get funding, have the work professionally photographed, hiring a writer, he also wrote a portion of the book, hiring a designer, partnered with another museum,  secured a grant to hire collections assistants, and more! A huge effort and an amazing book!


More homeschool.

Snuggling and reading before bed.

Happy Friday!
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