Monday, November 30, 2009


originally uploaded by nomadic patty.
i promised a shorter post - here it is. i have been playing around with a little video editing and this is one of my first mini-movies.

click on the image and you can see it larger in flickr.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

On One Month of Blogging....

tomorrow marks one month since i jumped off the fence of indecision and starting blogging and i wanted to share a few impressions....

one of my initial hesitations was that i wouldn't have enough to say. so far that hasn't been an issue. in fact i usually have more to say that what i write - i just feel i need to keep it kind of short or the readers will move on.

another objection was that i would feel pressured to write something and that i would end up spending a lot more time on the computer. hmmmm....i don't feel pressured, in fact i really enjoy it.  it is true about time on the computer, though, but so far, i would say that it's worth it.

my third objection was that i might not want to share really personal stuff. well, i do still have my journal and, believe me, there are things i write in there that i wouldn't want to share with the world. so it's a matter of choosing (as many of you told me) and it's all up to me.

i tend to write as if i know who my audience is, but we never really know do we? just because someone doesn't comment doesn't mean they don't read and who knows who could be out there surfing around??   i like and dislike that element of mystery at the same time.

i love that it's a way to share my photos and express impressions and feelings. only a tiny percentage of my images ever make it to a frame, so i love that it gives me a chance to get them out of the digital archives. i also have a lot of poetry hiding down in those depths which i will very slowly dig out.

it's been such a fabulous way to not only keep in touch but to be part of a super positive and supportive community.  i miss the other friends that are not doing blogs, however. i never did get involved with facebook. am a missing a lot??

the artistic inspiration is so awesome (ok, i know that would be there even if i didn't have my own blog, but not quite the same...) every little thing that you guys put out there has the potential to inspire!

this got way longer than i intended - i hope i didn't lose too many of you! i promise the next one will be shorter. thanks for sticking with me. i love you all and appreciate every little thing that you share on your own blogs and on mine.... SERIOUSLY!!!

in closing, here is an image i was working on today - a palapa at the salton sea. which version do you like - the realistic one or the altered "painterly" one?

Palapa 1

Palapa 2

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mt. Palomar and Thanksgiving

i had the awesome privilege last week to spend a few days up on mt. palomar.  though it feels a world away from here, it is only one hour's drive.

Palomar Art Project

i can still remember....

the light through the leaves as i lay on my back looking up at the sky

the birds with their darting eyes, ever-vigilant, taking turns at the bird-feeder

empty roads and empty trails, beckoning me up and over, around and down...

crisp evening air, smoke curling from the chimney, huddled in my wearable blanket, in awe of the milky way, sliver moon and distant city lights...

as for thanksgiving, i am really blessed beyond measure, but i am especially grateful for these past 3 months - the opportunity to travel and spend quality time with family and new friends (you know who you are!) were exactly what i needed to help move beyond the major funk i found myself in after the demise of my teaching career - LOVE to you all - i am forever grateful!!!

P.S. more photos here:
P.S.S.  i also updated bunches of photos on my website here:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ask and Learn (Helen's Story)

High School Graduation

The Youngest Child

it's been over 12 years since my mom passed away. I found out after the fact that she had written a detailed autobiography of her early years before she died. my sister promised her that it would be typed up at some point, but she had a hard time getting to it, so the job has fallen to me.

after procrastinating for another year, i have taken on this project and am finding it strangely moving and rewarding. her presence and voice are so apparent behind the words as i write them and i am gaining a wealth of information, not only about her and her family, but about life in those days (20's and 30's).  she always had a fabulous mind for details and i can't believe some of the little things she remembered!

it saddens me that i wasn't interested enough to ask about these details while she was still alive. my questions now remain unanswered. if you are lucky enough to still have your parents, don't pass up the opportunity to ask and learn. you will both be enriched by the experience!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Humbly Accept...but i can't play by the rules

i'm wondering how to handle this...while i'm completely honored and humbled to be granted this award by my sweet and talented  next-door roomie Chrissy from the bepresent retreat last month, and after my initial panic of having to think of 7 interesting things about myself wore off, the fact is that (sadly) i can't play by the rules because i can't nominate 7 new blogs to pass the award along to.....  (most of the blogs i read have already been nominated) so i'll do what i can...

Here are the rules:

1. thank the person who nominated you for this award.

2. copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. link to the person who nominated you for this award.

4. name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. nominate 7 Kreative Bloggers.

6. post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
Here are my 7 things:
1.  i just got back from 3 days up on palomar mountain.  i've been going on "solo retreats" for about 6 years now and absolutely love it. i think this was the best yet (couple of photos below - more to come!)
2.  i grew up in michigan, but opted to skip my college graduation ceremony in favor of heading (sight unseen!) to california.  within about a week i had a job, an apartment on the ocean, 2 room-mates and a boyfriend (those were the days!)
3.  i'm a natural blonde and have never (yet) tried coloring my hair.
4.  i'm a pretty healthy eater, but i like my candy and eat it every day - mostly chewy stuff - red licorice, gummy worms and best of all, laffy taffy (don't tell my dentist!)
5.  i've been married to the same guy for 31(!) years.  we've had 5 motorhomes (mostly lemons!) and have been to dozens of really out-of-the-way places and hiked hundreds of miles of trails.
6.  my favorite store is the goodwill (and salvation army, amvets, etc.) i was thrift shopping long before it became cool and environmentally friendly.
7.  i've always wanted to live in a log cabin.  it can be really simple, but has to have a killer view!
so there you have it... and now i nominate 2 very worthy candidates:
About Memories and More (Kirsten)
sorry i couldn't follow the rules - i guess i should get out there and read more blogs... enjoy the photos below

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Take A Lavender Break!

come walk with me through these fields of lavender...

immerse yourself in the color and let it soak into your pores...

pick a sprig and inhale deeply...

close your eyes and feel the healing aroma course through your veins,
flow out to your fingertips and deep into your soul.

stay right there until you are ready to come back to the challenges of your life...

Repeat as needed!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2 Little Reminders

i don't know about you, but i need reminders. oh sure, i know that I should smell the flowers and find my inner beauty, not to mention bloom where i am planted, let sleeping dogs lie and brush after eating, but, alas, those lofty ideas tend to get buried in a dark corner of the ever-growing multi-layered pile that is My Daily Life.

so i need reminders and seriously, that's what i love about all this blogging. in the sweetest ways, in ways we wouldn't have thought of, we remind each other of what's important. even if just for a moment, it can be a big boost in someone else's Daily Life.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Feels Like the Right Time....

it feels like the right time to tell this story. it's hard to believe just 6 months ago i was still teaching. i spent 32 years of my life this way (ok - 31 - i took that year off in 01-02).

This Year

The 80's

First Class

the last 5 years were the best because i finally got to do what i loved, what i actually felt born to do. i started reading intervention programs in 2 schools. at one point i had 6 teachers working with the program and at another point (as the budget shrank) i trained and managed a group of 12 volunteers. i garnered thousands of dollars in grant money and presented the program principles to teachers and administrators at the county level. the programs did amazing things for hundreds of kids, especially the ones we got to very early, which was the focus.

SMART program

BLAST program


but the money ran out and it's all over now. i wasn't willing to go back in the direction that the district was wanting to move me, so i was pretty much there one day and gone the next, never to return.

it's been a challenging transition. i've done a lot of grieving. my personal identity has done a bit of roller coastering and my self-esteem has been hiding in a dark, sad place. how could such good intentions and so much hard work just go up in a puff of smoke??

it's taken a while, but i'm finally starting to channel the energy left in the cinders of those hopes and dreams in new directions. the love and support of family and friends have been nothing short of priceless. there is life on the other side and it feels good.  i have a lot of freedom  and now i get a retirement check. how lucky is that?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bring Me Back

written in hell's canyon, eastern oregon, summer 09

Friday, November 6, 2009


My local gallery is having a Miniatures show and these are my 5 little pieces:

Hidden Messages


Fresh Pick

King of Hearts


As you can see, I am trying some new things and having fun!  One is a polaroid manipulation, one is mixed media, two are encaustic collage and just one straight photograph.  Although there is certainly no lack of fabulous role models and inspiring examples of every kind of art imaginable out there, I am struggling with focus and have a hard time shedding that whole fish-out-of-water feeling in trying these new types of expressions.  I don't know where it's all going at this point or if there is ever going to be any hope of a clean house....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Walking Into the Wind

as i was heading into the relentless wind in manzanita last month, i thought about how tempting it was to turn around so i could have the wind at my back. but at the same time i realized that that would not take me as far as i wanted to go....

so i faced the wind and walked right into it. i pushed on... and eventually i did get to turn around and feel the wind at my back.

a few days later and back at home, i want out for a run. although i was not running into the wind, i felt like stopping. but when i remembered my walk in the wind and its message to me, i pushed on .... and finished the run.

Monday, November 2, 2009

What Took Me So Long??

ever since reading julia cameron's the artist's way, back on the BIG TRIP in 2001, i've known that my artistic vision involved piecing together some combination of images and words. i have tried to put that vision into practice with my 5 nomadic notebook shows and i feel that this blog could be another extension of that vision. since those days, i have stockpiled thousands of images and (quite possibly) millions of words. what took me so long to start this??

i am so very, very grateful to those of you who have chosen, in the course of your hectic days, (i hope i'm not assuming too much there...) to stop by and, at least momentarily, be my little audience. it's really quite an exhilarating feeling!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

I Danced with Skeletons!

when else can you dance with skeletons, ghoulish vampires, gruesome accident victims and dancing-with-the-stars contestants all at the same time while sipping zombie eyeball punch and munching bloody finger cookies??

thanks, lee and carolyn, you really outdid yourselves this time!!