Archive for the ‘Outside’ Category

Took a trip a couple hours east to the coast for the last couple days. Saw a bunch of friends and spent some quality time with my brother Aaron and his wife Lauren. Lovely time.

My first stop was catching up with Lucy, who is a month old. She was born a month early but is growing strong now.

first stop: lucia

I decided to make the trip because Beth Nicholls of Do What You Love was in Boston from England. If was wonderful to catch up with her and hear about her latest projects as we shopped Newbury Street. I had forgotten my suitcase at home (pissed me off at the time, but not really a big deal) so we had reason to shop. We then enjoyed some great pizza at Scoozi. She mentored me through the spring as I designed and launched Seek Your Course and remains a wonderful source of ideas and insight.

Impetus for the trip: Beth Nicholls; Dinner with Michele in full costume after a day of tours

I then linked up with my teacher friend Michele who is running tours on the Freedom Trail all summer. We had dinner at the Green Dragon. Lobster #1.

Then headed to the North Shore and got to spend some time on the coast.

Beach time with Lauren and Poppy pup...struck by the colors and patterns there.

Poppy loves to run up to seagulls and watch them fly away, but one seagull she found could not fly away. This seagull had a giant hook through the nose holes of its upper beak! It was so sad. Lauren held the seagull by the base of its wings while I pulled it out. We had no tools so it cut him a little to pull it out but we figured it was better than leaving him. I pray it was okay.

Even though it was only a common gull it was life and life is worth caring for. It pained me to hurt it.

It felt almost like fate to be holding another wild bird so soon after holding the hummingbird in Oregon. I felt like it was waiting for me. I felt like I had to help it. I only hope I did the right thing.

The hooked gull and the weight that was holding it down.

My friend Mary Aarons saw I was up on the North Shore and invited me up for a visit. I met Mary also at Squam Art Workshops. She does e-Marketing for Quayside Publishing and talking with her was a real encouragement. People who do the things that baffle me for a living always have a way of sparking new life in my work. We chatted a bit about my upcoming residency too. And I just loved her house!

An inspiring visit with Mary Aarons in Gloucester

Ended my time there with more lobster (#2&3) at Tides¬†restaurant¬†in Nahant. Whirlwind of friends and business chatting…got me set to tackle some stuff come Monday!

I know this long of a post really doesn’t count as August Break…it is supposed to be a break after all. Oh well! ūüôā


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I am doing The August Break with Susannah Conway and hundreds of others. I need to focus on the good things in life and photography always helps. If only I had an iphone it would be easier…soon enough.

These were taken with my not-iphone early this morning while leading a two-day canoeing trip on the Connecticut River. Pretty good trip. Up-and-down. Lovely campsite. Lots of huge hail. Calm water. 14 year-olds. Lots of birds and damselflies. Cliques. Homemade hummus from camp. Everything wet. Home again.

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I scored big yesterday with the ever-wonderful Southwest airlines. I volunteered to be bumped in order to get a $520 voucher for a future flight. I stayed at a Hilton in Chicago because getting bumped involved getting re-routed through there and put up in a hotel for the night. Totally worth the voucher, mainly because it makes going to Artfest 2012 way more possible. Score!

Unfortunately now Chicago is getting hit with a thunderstorm and I am delayed going home. Blah.

I was looking forward to seeing the sunset on my flight last night. I always love watching the sky turn colors from the plane window. Turns out we ended up being IN the sunset. The misty white clouds around the plane slowly turned pink like they were on fire.

It always strikes me how unnatural flying is for humans. My body protests. Nausea threatens. And yet watching creation sing the song it sings everyday from that perspective always puts me in awe of this earth.

Seeing the earth day-after-day turn and grow without any help sparks in me resolve to live out my life following my path wherever it takes me knowing there is a plan, just like the sun, land and clouds do without conscious thought. The earth doesn’t have a debate with itself about whether it feels like doing the right thing and doesn’t think it might not be good enough to do what it is meant to do. The earth just sings and is so darn beautiful.

This trip has been wonderful and also very important for me. I feel stronger, more confident, more convinced that I am going in the right direction. And it feels so good to feel so happy and confident. I know hard times will come again, but I am in the right place and I know I will find the strength when I need it in the future too.

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up on a mountain in breckenridge

The last four days with Kristin and Nathanael in Denver have been really fun. For family, we really don’t see them enough so it was especially nice to have them show me around their stomping grounds.

breckenridge and hanging with Ali DeJohn

Friday Kristin and I went to Breckenridge to meet up with Ali DeJohn and see the area there. We had coffee with the creator of The Makerie along the river that runs through the town. Ali and I quickly realized that we had actually met before at Squam Art Workshops in New Hampshire in 2009. It was really nice to catch up and talk about the respective ventures we have launched since we last saw each other: her retreat, The Makerie and my website, Seek Your Course. I always find it inspirational and refreshing to swap notes and thoughts about the arts world with fellow entrepreneurs in this small but growing industry.

After seeing Ali we decided to check out the town, including the gondola that goes up to a bunch of fun attractions. Unfortunately we just went and went without our sunscreen, water, or food. So of course we are both pretty sunburned and spent more money on mediocre resort food than I care to admit. But we had the best time.


Once up there we bought lift tickets to go up to around 1200′ and then decided to hike a little higher even. The view was stunning. I felt like I should have been singing Sound of Music or something…and my altitude sickness had gone away thankfully. It was just the best.

escapades on the mountain

the amazing part: we hiked the super steep dirt road in skirts and these! we're tough like that.

Once back in Denver we met up with Amy Blum of Live It To The Full for a drink. Thankfully I realized while in Colorado that she lived in Denver. So nice to actually meet her after talking over email about Seek Your Course. Live It To The Full has been listing their ecourses on Seek Your Course and I am thrilled to have them enthusiastically involved.

Colorado is drier and flater than I expected. This raises the debate in my head about which would make me happier: lush green with lots of rain or dry dust with lots of sun? I really loved the variation and combination of Oregon…the intense green of the coastal area and the dry high desert, so close together. When I traveled to Oregon I didn’t realize it was an exporter for nursery and landscaping plants. I did know it was a big fruit-growing area and driving through fields of fruit trees and wineries was blissful. I guess the secret is kind of out: I am in love with Oregon. And frozen yogurt, btw.

frozen yogurt...mine with fruit and kristin's with candy. good times.

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Today was a day I learned more about how truly blessed I am. This morning I finally launched my Kickstarter project and announced that I am going to Spain for an artist residency program. You can read all about my residency on my project page. My goal is to raise $2000 and today I got to 40% of that goal. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and simply in awe of the strong community I have surrounding me, even though many of us are physically far apart.

First Glimpses

So besides all the good news and love that will enable my dreams to come true, today was also awesome because Kristin and I finally got up to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, and Boulder. We had a lovely time hiking and eating ice cream. Yesterday was devoted to hanging out in Denver and relaxing.

Driving in CO


Me Doing My Thing

More Hiking

Kristin on a rock island...then I climbed out too.

Estes Park and Boulder...ate at Mountain Sun Brew Pub

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For all you garden people out there (Mom!)¬†I wanted to do quick post on the Rose Garden and Japanese Garden in Portland. I had a lovely time walking around there. I especially loved how everything in the Japanese Garden was covered in moss. You just don’t get that back east.

Rose Garden

Japanese Garden

My Wonderful Hosts: Erik & Katie, Tim & Tomo

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Mt Hood from the plane

An hour in Portland...will be staying there more later.

I am happy right now. This morning I went for a run through downtown Bend, Oregon, along the river through Drake Park, and through a neighborhood of craftsman style bungalows so pretty it hurt.¬†I made a mix for my run before I left the inn I am staying at. The songs are ones I’ve been listening to a lot lately. It’s the kind of music that makes me run faster and float across the pavement full of hope and inspiration.

cannon beach

loved this house just a block from cannon beach

Life just seems so wonderful right now. I’m just trying to soak it all in and hold onto each moment. I love changes and travel and there is lots of that in the air right now.

yum! dairy!

I am on day 3 of my travels. Flew into Portland, OR Saturday afternoon and after a quick stop at the Portland Saturday Market for a lamb gyro I drove to the coast. When I got into the hostel in Seaside, OR I stashed my stuff in the room and took advantage of the daylight left and rented a kayak. I paddled down river towards the ocean and watched the waves crash into the inlet. I was filled with that strange sense of appreciation that comes sometimes when I contemplate the amazing machines we have built that allow me to wake up in Massachusetts and then paddle on the Pacific Ocean later that day.

largest sitka spruce

cape meares...volunteers showed me oystercatchers and a bald eagle through telescopes

Yesterday I wrote up early and went for a run along the Promenade watching the waves crash and the beach combers explore the low tide. After making myself breakfast at the hostel (which provided eggs and pancake batter to use!) I started driving south. The Oregon coast was breathtaking, especially with the coastal mountain range running up to it. I made lots of stops taking my sweet time to get down to Newport, where I headed inland to Corvallis.

cape kiwanda in pacific city...where are MY truck-driving husband and dogs?

coastal driving

yaquina head...the only spot I paid to get into...worth it

I wanted to see Corvallis because according to findyourspot.com it might be the perfect place for us. And it was wonderful. I love college towns and this one was beautiful. I had dinner at the McMenamin’s pub there and stared in awe at their awesome interior design.

mcmenamin's in corvallis

From Corvallis I drove through the darkness to Bend, OR. I couldn’t really appreciate the scenery because it was so dark. The roads were windy and¬†surrounded¬†by trees. This morning started another beautiful sunny day. Today I drive north to Mt Hood, then to Colombia River Gorge tomorrow. EncaustiCamp Frield Trip starts Wednesday morning at VooDoo doughnuts!

headed inland toward the cascades

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