updated version . . .

i birthed a beautiful being (finished . . i think)

So I think I’m done with her for now. I lightened her face a bit, added more details & it feels good. One of the ideas i was playing with was using different tones of white. I had some warm whites & a cooler white-painted around her to make it a little more dynamic. I actually learned about that idea from an article in a magazine about Flea Market Decorating where this woman had a house of different shades of white. It doesn’t exactly show up in this photo but the actual painting is distinctly different. I also like the contrast of the paint against the charcoal. It gives it a gritty sort of dirty imperfect feel.

Now to move onto the next painting.

Thanks for witnessing this journey with me. Blogging makes me feel not so much a lone on this path.

Big Love,


i birthed a beautiful being . . .

I birthed a beautiful being

This is my newest painting – well it’s a charcoal with paint around it. I call it, “I Birthed a Beautiful Being.”

I’m not quite done with her but I put her on my wall anyway, to sit with for awhile.  I love her body but her face is causing me a lot of grief, but oh well, I’ll keep on it.  This is the evolution of her.

1st sketch

Phase 2

I birthed a beautiful being

Words on Painting

The words are, “I birthed a beautiful being. I fed that beautiful being with my breasts. My baby is a miracle. My body is a miracle. I will honor me for the miracle that is me.”

I have to say it is so freeing to create without thinking about selling it or if someone will want to buy it or not. It changes everything. Since I embarked on my path of devoting the next 5 years to the study & practice of creativity in every form that ignites me, much has changed. I can see my skills getting better & I have a better grasp of how to approach a project with more confidence & not just guessing. I have a loooong way to go. It’s only been about 8 months, so while it is fun being in the process & seeing my progress, I can’t wait to look back & see where my journey has taken me! Okay, okay, I know . . . for now I will stay in the moment & enjoy la dolce vita!!!

For now, I’m going to work on lightning up her face!









night swimming

Back in the early 90’s I was listening to REM’s album, Automatic for the People. I loved just about every song especially, Night Swimming. It reminds me of sneaking into the pool near my college, Principia & skinny dipping alone.

More than a decade later I thought of the song while night swimming at Saddam’s Palace Pool in Iraq. I  had to fly over to Baghdad from Fallujah for a few days to talk with the State Department which was stationed inside one of the Palaces. They had an amazing pool out back that sat under a giant Banyan Tree. Helo flights were always at night because it was safer, so I arrived after midnight, I humped over to the Embassy in my stinky cammies, with protective gear & weapons. They gave me a room out back near the pool. Once in my room I put on  a swim suit under some workout clothes & walked over to the pool. By now it was nearly 2:00 am, most people were sound asleep & the pool had been closed for hour. First I sat & meditated a bit on the giant tree in front of me, then I made myself invisible & slid out of my workout clothes & into the pool. I was so quiet as I glided across the surface, floating, looking at the walls of this palace feeling a sort of in awe of this place, the history, etc. And here I was night swimming, a Captain in the United States Marine Corps practically naked in Iraq, swimming after hours. It was magical & I felt transported, baptized perhaps of all the trauma imparted  around me.

Fast forwarding a few years to our backyard garden pool here in Houston where we swim every night. Last night Finnegan had to have the light on, which is much to powerful for the small pool it lights up, so it was on & I took a bunch of pictures of him swimming. We call him Ponyo because he such a fish, so natural in the water. Perhaps it is all the floating I did when I was pregnant with him.

Enjoy the photos & here is the video of REM singing Night Swimming. Great memories.




pastries & juice

Green Goddess Smoothie

This morning we drank Green Goddess Smoothies for breakfast. I got the recipe off of Laura Plumb’s Blog, “Food a Love Story” Laura is my best friend, Ginger (aka Dianne)’s good friend & sister in yoga. Larry & are wanting to juice more frequently & possibly juice for a week or so as sort of a fast. We are constantly looking for better health. Have you seen “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?” It’s a documentary about juicing changing the health of so many. Great movie, we watched it on Netflix streaming videos.

We also joined a co-op called Rawfully Organic here in Houston, where we get a box of local veggies every week. This is so fun, to be this connected to what we eat & for it to be so life giving. I’ve always had an inclination for a more vegetarian/raw lifestyle, but just haven’t done it. AND . . . we joined Urban Harvest after visiting an organic soil farm (Nature’s Way)up north a bit. Urban Harvest has classes & advice to grow your own garden. We are just babies in this gardening stuff, but are so excited for our next crop with great, organic soil.

THEN, there was a huge shift over to This the finale of Raine’s Teen Pastry Class at Sur La Table. Larry joined her for the entire class (he’s such a wonderful Pappa Bear). I joined them later for the tasting. It warms my heart to see her in her element & so happy. She had a ton of fun, oh & her team won the competition with their Vanilla Souffle with Chocolate Sauce. I tasted Turtle brownies, Blue Berry Tart with Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Apricot ravioli & then the souffle. Yum, Yum, Yum!! Oh & a solo espresso to top it off. Heavenly!!!!! It felt a bit like France or Rome.

Fresh out of the oven.

Team Souffle

Final Prep

great presentation

so cute & yummy

Happy Souffle

Pappa Bear Tastes the Masterpiece

Okay so now that the class was over & we were buzzing on sugar & sweets it was time to switch gears once more – it was time for juicing with our new Breville Juicer. We mixed, kale, cucumbers, ginger, spinach, apples, carrots, oh & a little stevia & mint from our garden. This was our first run & it was so delicious.

2 greenies

Breville Juicer

larry is very excited!

Today we juiced again & later I’m going to make a living coconut cream pie! I can’t wait to try it. You know I will take photos & give a full report after!! Just making this the juiciest weekend ever.

my talisman

I made this!!

I was inspired by the jewelry in the recent Sundance Catalog, primarily with Jes Maharry’s necklaces, that I wanted to create one for myself. Now the difference, of course, is she makes all her charms & I bought mine in a little bead shop in Santa Fe (which was a fun adventure in itself). I was a little out of practice with working with wire & beads, so it took a few tries to come up with this.

I call this “my true nature.”  It has all the elements I feel are truly me; a blossoming flower, a flying bird, a sea turtle, different wires, all the elements, all the colors, combined to create contrast & intrigue.  It was put together a bit clumsily, not perfect (I can be a perfectionist around imperfection – don’t want to offend the Gods & all) There is a swirl, showing the constant movement inward. And I love the cloisonné bead & vintage bird design – perhaps these depict my old soul-ness. Anyways, it was fun & frustrating making, but I love the end result & I’m excited to start on my next one.

My true nature necklace


my reminder



therapy & a yellow umbrella

After my therapy session at the VA yesterday, I wanted to journal a bit about what we talked about & ponder some ideas – perhaps dive a little deeper into them. (I love my therapist BTW, she is perfect for her job & truly brilliant). We talked about a lot of things that have been difficult lately; how it’s hard to break through my depression some of the times, how it’s hard to switch from my right-brain-creative-space to my left-brain-time-to-prepare-dinner-&-take-care-of-the-family-space. Also, I just feel stuck in a place of not doing what I know I should be doing to have the experience I want to have – things like health, spiritual wellbeing, joy, etc.

yellow umbrella

Dr. Beckner listened & asked a lot of questions, but the question that sat with me in the end was, what has worked for me in the past? So I went to Antidote, a coffee shop near my house, pondering what has worked to shake me from a funk & i couldn’t stop looking at this large yellow umbrella outside the window. Next i noticed the couch i was sitting on was yellow & i couldn’t help but start photographing everything i noticed that was yellow. It’s now been about 24 hours & i’m still photographing yellow.

Oh & i thought of some things that have worked in the past that don’t involve moving to another country or state, or giving away everything i own & going to war.

Listening to Abraham regularly & applying what they teach has worked remarkably. Getting a clear vision of the life i want to live & seeing clearly the life i am living – the full, richness of it, the love & the depth of love & play in our house has pulled me out of the deepest funks in the past. Basically it boils down to focusing on what i want & not on what is not going well, or how blah & funky i feel. It’s focusing on what we have, what we have created, how juicy it feels & just relishing in that, has always worked well.

I had crazy scary dreams last night, actually more disturbing than scary & i woke with a distant feeling, as if a part of me was still in that world, not wanting to leave just yet. So i sipped my coffee in a spaced out state waiting for the nanny to arrive, then i went for a walk in the rain (as you know, i LoVE the rain).  I photographed yellow, got wet, savored the 85 plus degree air, all while listening to Abraham on my iPhone. I feel much better, i feel the shift.

Here’s my compilation of yellow (why yellow? I’m not sure except that I love green so much & can we know the fullness of green without yellow? Can we know green at all without yellow?):


yellow umbrella


yellow umbrella

the couch


another angle of yellow



yellow veneer


just a touch

hanging marigolds


near beer mosaic


birthday balloon


yellowing vine

sprayed yellow


yellow poles

yellow sea star


my rain boots






saturday after thunder moon

i would rather talk about what happened today because yesterday was disastrous to put it nicely. Yesterday, during the Thunder moon, I went to bed around 6pm because everything was unravelling so rapidly I couldn’t keep it all together & needed to reset. Tears were bubbling up for no apparent reason. I didn’t plan to sleep for 13 hours but that is what happened. Luckily I have the most amazingly understanding family, that moved on allowing me to rest. I love them so.

But like I said, I would rather talk about today. My days are better when I can be in & appreciate each moment. It’s not like anything spectacular happened, it was more about noticing the moments & smiling in the fullness of their simplicity.

today I . . .

~ woke up to our baby, Finnegan, walking into our room holding his blanket.

~ drank a cup of coffee brewed with a real dried red pepper from Santa Fe sitting on top of the grounds.

~ made a yummy green smoothie with hemp nuts & cacao nibs.

~ swam with Finnegan in our pool. Love how the water can instantly cool my skin.

~ added some life to the pool area with planted grasses in baskets.

~ ate some whole foods gluten-free nutty bread with ghee. (so incredibly yummy)

~ sat on our porch in the blanket of humid heat with Larry & worked on my newest necklace.

~let Larry take out the tomato plants & we planned our living wall.

~ swam some more with Finnegan, he loves to dive for rocks.

~ went to Wabash Feed Store to see the chickens & other cool things they had.

~ ate yummy veggie nachos that Larry made.

~ swam some more with Larry & Finnegan. He is so busy in the water, gathering, throwing, collecting, swimming, diving & on & on.

~ went for a walk listened to the cicadas & felt the humid warmth wrap around me like a soft blanket. Contemplated juicing for a week or so.

~ watched the thriller, Twisted, with Ashley Judd, Andy Garcia (yum) & Samuel L. Jackson with Larry (double Yum).

Much better day, I’m feeling full & whole, time for bed.

note to self – need more creativity in EVERY day!!!



Wabash Feed Store


buckled in













3 wooden crosses & a star of david


On our way out of Santa Fe, we had to stop by & pay our respects to Rose’s memorial beside Old Las Vegas Highway.  Rose was one of Alaska’s (my stepdaughter) friends. The night before she was killed she had spent the night at our house on Asequia Madre.  The accident happened in June of 2009 just after midnight, five teenagers were travelling in a car when a truck travelling in the opposite direction hit them killing four of the teens & severely injuring Avree the driver. The entire city mourned their loss for weeks & beyond.

The driver was drunk but a few months ago they finally finished his trial and found him NOT guilty because they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he had swerved into their lane. This sounds like legal mumbo jumbo & I know he will suffer beyond anything I can imagine, knowing that he was responsible for the death of four young teens.

What is still blazoned in my memory is the call we got from Alaska sobbing and saying, “Rose is dead.” We jumped out of bed & drove out to the fire station where all the parents & teens were gathering. Alaska was travelling in another car & came upon the accident road block. We waited with her for information & news about the teens & their condition. Julian’s mother was in a room by herself curled up on the floor sobbing uncontrollably, occasionally crying out with an unfathomable pain. Then Rose’s father, John, came through the doors looking panicked and searching the faces for Rose. He was calling out for her with a soft, fearful, boyish face asking everyone, “Where is she? Where is Rose?” One of the teens stood up & hugged him close & then turned away so as not to meet his eyes. No one could say anything until they had identified the bodies, which apparently was difficult to do.

Meanwhile, Larry & I sat in chairs, holding each other. Holding Alaska when she came over for support. We were so grateful & deeply sad simultaneously. Alaska was going to be in that car but at the last-minute she decided to go in another car. Everyone was in different states of shock.

It is a scene I hope to never participate in again. More parents arrived, more tears, screams, desperate pleadings, & more tears.

Rose’s memorial service was filled with heart, comfort & celebration of her grace-filled 15 years.  It was held outside at the Mountain Center in Tesuque, hundreds attended. Storm clouds were coming in, thunder clapping, crow was standing watch, eagle soared overhead as the brook babbled. I stood in the water to cool my pregnant swollen feet & felt & witnessed & smiled & cried.

So to Rose, Julian, Kate & Alyssa you are remembered & live on in the hearts of those who never had the honour of meeting you.

Teens killed in auto accident 2009

We drove on & enjoyed the show put on for us the entire way home through Texas & into Houston. Mother-Nature is simply amazing it was so hard not to just click a photo every mile as the sky changed from one spectacular scene of contrast to another. Raine & I sang every song on the radio & did our car dancing until she crashed into a deep sleep. We stopped in Henrietta, Texas at a Best Western with bats fluttering out front to greet us & cows outside our window moooing us to sleep. How cool is that?

I love road trips & I’m thrilled to be home back in Larry’s arms, holding my baby boy where I will stay . . . until the next adventure.

Hmmm Contrast

Texas Double Rainbow

Cadillac Ranch in a dust storm

College Station

My Bumper Sticker

last days in Santa Fe

We are leaving Santa Fe today. Raine & Dillon are outside having an ice fight as a way to say goodbye without tears. It’s been an emotional journey for both of us, for different reasons. She is leaving feeling re-connected again with her bf/bf. I’m leaving feeling full & healed a bit. I worked through & unravelled somethings, re-connected with Santa Fe by photographing the cracks & crevices.

Last night I spent a wonderful evening at the Waves with my beautiful friend, Anna.  Anna is one of those friends that makes me & my life make sense. I feel at home with her. We had a year or so to catch up on. I’m spinning today with more thoughts that I want to share with her & I can’t wait to learn more about root teas & the community of women.

I love you Anna. Thank you for taking the time to soak, share & laugh with me.  I miss you already.

It’s hard to leave, the clouds are coming up over the mountains & I want to stay & photograph the show. But its goodbye for now – I got to get home to see my babies, Larry & Finnegan.

Rainy Day in Santa Fe

Kakawa Window

McDonalds Drive In Window Graffiti

St. Francis Cathedral

Chalk Board in the Loo at Downtown Sub

bird feeder with cracked kakawa mugs

Another Kakawa Window

at the waves

sunday in Santa Fe

I spent Sunday meandering & wandering through town soaking in all the contrasting colors & textures. Most of these images were taken on Canyon Road with my iPhone Instagram, long after all the galleries were closed for the evening. I took photos until my battery ran out . . . & then it rained.
Kakawa is one of my favorite spots in Santa Fe. They serve the most amazing drinking chocolates – like the hot chocolate we used to drink before we added milk & sugar. I sipped my little cup of Rose Chocolate & savoured every sip – heavenly.


red chiles

Old Santa Fe Trail