I’m truly not sure where to begin telling the story of this trip (Canyon Ranch, Tuscon AZ, May 11-17, 2013).  There was relaxation, certainly – in the form of rest, play and yummy spa services. There was MUCH inspiration!  Megan sketched some of the amazing flora and architecture (must beg again for copies to share), gorgeous artwork on the walls and grounds of the ranch, AND a wonderful field trip to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun – well before opening hours so we could wander, sketch and paint to our heart’s content. There were mountains majesty, which we enjoyed from afar on our morning loops aroundRead More →

In the spirit of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s work, 18 bloggers set out to “Plant a Kiss” in the world on April 29. We each did something we thought would spread a little extra joy, color, connection, poetry, or magic in the world. Then we watched to see what would happen! Today all of us are posting about that experience. My thoughts are below; visit http://www.simplycelebrate.net/plant-a-kiss-day-2013 to find links to all of the participating bloggers and hop around to see how each was uniquely inspired to celebrate Plant a Kiss Day. — The Plant a Kiss project has been near and dear to my heart since its inceptionRead More →

As I approach one of the BIG milestone birthdays (50 next July), I’m more inspired than ever to grab all the excitement and adventure I possibly can.  I’ll admit that aging scares me a little, but I’m a firm believer in making the most of my time on this planet by 1) maintaining regular health care practices; 2) staying active; and 3) following my dreams.  I’ve been eating more healthfully and exercising regularly and realistically and have gotten back on a regular schedule of doctor visits – all the normal ones, plus the recommended ones for women of a “certain age.” I’m also working hard to articulate andRead More →

Let’s just say that the best plans are those laid aside.  We had an absolutely wonderful week and I apologize for not giving you the play by play I promised, but I honestly found Canyon Ranch to be more consuming than I ever expected. It turned out to be a place where people really unplug, so about the only thing I used my cell phone for all week was to check the time – Hubby and I used the iPad to watch a movie on the flight out and then never turned it on again.  The Ranch itself actually has a “no cell phones” rule,Read More →

My dad has a long-standing love of trains – as I recall the story, his father was a railroad man and Dad spent quite a bit of his childhood exploring the tracks and trains near his Ohio home.  In the years since, he’s amassed quite a collection of model trains and, as someone who adores all things tiny, those models have always fascinated me. As does the very real beauty of train travel itself, which takes you right through America’s back yards to get from point A to point B.  It’s slow (especially through the south, where passenger trains often have to pull aside forRead More →

Change is just plain scary… especially when new housemates are involved. We all need our own space… and food… and toys… and other stuff… to feel at home. Play is the great equalizer. I apologize for being so cat-crazed over here lately.  I honestly had no idea how hard it would be to bring another cat into our existing two-cat household!  Part of me is seriously questioning my sanity right about now.  We were all a big, relatively happy family – why go mess it up with a new family member?!  But Cleo was in need and I’m not trusting enough to leave her careRead More →

As much as I love traveling, I’m always thankful when the time comes to go home. After spending Monday night in Dubuque, I headed for Columbia MO, where I stayed in another gorgeous boutique hotel called The Tiger Hotel. Left for home early Tuesday morning and pulled in the driveway around 3:00pm. I wish I had artwork to share with you, but it didn’t really end up being a “bring a finished piece home” kind of trip. I did bring ideas home… like a renewed desire to practice yoga and learn to draw portraits. I’m also making another attempt to go gluten-free, based on theRead More →

All good things must come to an end, as they say, and this day marked the end of an amazing workshop, not to mention a departure from one of the most gorgeous place I’ve ever visited. Valley Ridge is simply heaven for a country-girl-at-heart like me – so peaceful, delicious food (chef Bonnie even pitched in some of her best recipes for a cookbook), and hospitality like no other! Not just anybody could have accomplished what Katherine Engen has done on her little farm in southwest Wisconsin and I’m deeply grateful to have experienced it. If that weren’t enough, I got to experience two ofRead More →

Suffice to say today was heart-filled, with big challenges and careful guides. Honest conversation in the garden urged us all, teacher and student alike, to let go, sink in, trust the journey. Sometimes it’s not easy to see how all the parts fit together. But when every step is taken in earnest, they all (eventually) lead the way to grace.Read More →

I know I promised to tell more about yesterday, but I honestly can’t remember now what I was going to say because my head is so full of all the goodness that was today! I guess that’s the best way to travel life’s journey – in each moment, as it happens. I was so inspired by the day, that when I read Maya’s Type Rider post over dinner, I decided to put my thoughts into poetry form. Seems fitting after a day full of art in a place just inches from heaven… I am grateful for yoga behind the barn on a glorious May morning,Read More →