I don't know about you, but I can't wait for August

July has felt like the longest month EVER. I like summer, I really do, just not when it means that inside of my house has to be 87 degrees AT ITS COOLEST. I realize August will probably be hot too, but I am hoping it'll at least start to cool down a little. Also, August is the month during which I get to quit my job! Not counting today I have 11 days left of work, which translates to approximately 88 hours, at least 40 of which will probably be spent surfing the internet. So that means I only have about 48 hours left of work! Yahoo.

A few orders of business...

You can also listen to her MySpace here. I first listened to her this morning and after about five minutes straight up bought her album from iTunes. I didn't poke around to see if anyone had it and could give me a burned cd for free, I didn't see if Alex could download it on his free bit torrent thingy, I just bought it.

2. Artist of the Week: Emily Sutton
Lauren, you are going to L-O-V-E these little songbirds. I love them and I'm not even a birdster like you.

3. Also, Lauren, just because you are in Portland doesn't mean you have a vacation from posting. Just fyi.


Gary Montana (+ friends)

I love Montana.

Take away the fact that we had the best tour guides around, an unbelievable place to stay and killer weather, I still love it. If I actually lived there and you asked me how I felt about Montana mid-January, I might have a different answer. But as of now, I am missing Montana almost as much as I missed caffeine when I had to give it up for three months last fall.
Montana has always been a mythical place in my mind. Part of that is due to the fact that my parents met there and I used my malleable imagination from the time I was very small to imagine theirs as a great love story taking place among majestic snow capped mountains and green meadows full of wild flowers. (In actuality I think they met in a bar, but that's beside the point). Movies are the other culprit - you can't watch 'Legends of the Fall' and not want to run away to Montana. The amazing thing about all of this is that Montana wasn't the least bit disappointing. We stayed outside of Livingston, about 30 miles outside of Yellowstone so that the view in every direction was heart-stopping.
My photos do a poor job of really reflecting how beautiful it was there, but I'm fond of a few of them if only because they remind me of how I felt while I was there - completely and utterly at ease with my surroundings.


Lion Love

I know I need to do a Montana post, but I still haven't had time to edit my photos. Hopefully by tomorrow I'll have something to show.

In the meantime, watch this video. It's been circulating the internet for a while, and even though I've already seen it multiple times it still almost makes me cry every time. Who knew lions hugged??


marvelous montana

The last few days have been a whirlwind, and as I now sit alone in my apartment I'm wishing I could travel back in time and live them all over again. Claire and I arrived in Washington last Tuesday night just in time to grab a couple hours sleep before hitting the road on our way to Montana the next morning. A Montana trip has been greatly anticipated by both Claire and I for about as long as I can remember, so we were fairly giddy the whole way there. We decided to take the long way there which delivered beautiful scenery and a highway that ran side by side with a river.

Night one was spent at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman. (We both decided it's so unfortunate that hotels and highways never give a good idea of what a place is really like.) Once we made our way downtown, our hearts were quickly filled with the adoration we had hoped for. The place has a lot of old charm and character with just enough going on to make you feel like you are not in a small town. At the conclusion of the night hopeful dreams about living in Bozeman someday began to brew.Day two and three (there wasn't supposed to be a three but we were easily persuaded to stay an extra night) we spent in Livingston. Here we found exactly what we were hoping to find in Montana, big mountains, big sky, big meadows, big rivers....and wonderful people to boot.
Looking back. we basically received a free luxury Montana vacation package filled with a float down the river, fishing, horseback riding, gun shooting, music, entertainment, rest and relaxation. It was a perfect trip, and one I will treasure for a long time.

Claire, I can't wait to see your impeccably photo-shopped images! And also, I miss you so much already, can you come back please?


short posting sabatical

We're both off to Montana and Washington, so probably no posting until next week...but when we are back you can expect a lot of photos.
(photo found here)


pack it up, pack it in

I haven't been hungry for the last day or so, which seems to be my reoccurring side effect for stress. I'm sure I don't seem outwardly distressed but my stomach always lets me know how I really feel. The recent hunger strike by my stomach, I'm sure is due to the fact that I will be heading back to good old Washington in just one short day. My daily life there seems so distant right now. Most of the stress, I'm sure regards the unknown of what lies ahead. What will the new grad students be like? How will I cope with the absence of Mary and David? If I really get a dog (which I really think I will) am I going to get kicked out of my apartment? Will I be able to pull my thoughts together to create a solid thesis? And the most looming question of all...what is going to happen when this year passes by in light speed and I find myself wondering what to do and where to go next?

So, today, as I pack up my mind is obviously whirling. A mixture of excitement and sadness about going back. And, thankfully a whole lot of great memories from my short summer vacation in Colorado....Such as a wonderful long dinner with Sam and Claire in Evergreen with bonus John Owen (a 4th grader she teaches) Karate demonstrations by Sam: And sleepovers with Roux....
Goodbye Colorado. I'll miss ya.

as promised: a nostalgic look at horse shows

We spent a solid 12 hours (or more?) at the horse show on Saturday in 100 degree weather. It was hot. And I was thirsty a lot. And my feet got really dusty. By the end I decided I am happy I'm not spending every weekend at a horse show this summer. That's the short story.

The long story has more to do with what horse shows really mean to me, how ingrained they are in my history and how I will always love them, at least a little.

Roux was a good horse show dog.

She loved riding in the golf cart too, which made her mama proud.

Several people looked at Annick and I should hear more today about whether anything is going to pan out or not. It's a hard thing, on one hand my goal is to sell her so it would be a good thing, but on the other hand it makes me unspeakably sad to think about saying goodbye to the little horse.

I did take some photos, though not as many as I thought I'd take. I think there is a little glimmer in them of what I love about horse shows, primarily all the time spent surrounded by animals. I think what I loved so much about them as a kid, without really being able to put my finger on it, was the way a horse show is like a mini universe where everything is about horses. That's the part I still love.

(lovely tent photo by Lauren)

In other news, I am going to be on Fox News tomorrow for my little Denver Dog Photography business.

I'm a little worried I'll pull one of these. (Minus all the business about CEO's and stock, of course).
And after that, Lauren and I both are off to Washington and Montana for a little road trip. Be back next week.


July: the month of horse shows

For the better part of the last decade of our lives, summer has meant horse show season. Even though I haven't been the one riding the last few years, we've still managed to make it to at least one or two each summer. This summer included, although I have a premonition this may be the last for a long time.

Lauren and I will be spending a good part of the weekend at the Colorado Horse Park, where Annick is hanging out so interested buyers can try her. Saturday night we'll stay late to watch the Grand Prix (you better believe I'll have my camera...and will be regretting the fact that I don't have a super zoom lens).

So come Monday expect some new horse photos (probably with some dog photos mixed in) and maybe a nostalgic look at what horse shows are all about and how much I'll be missing them. Or how much I won't be missing them, depending on how much fun it is to spend 12 hours in the hot sun surrounded by 3,000 lb animals. It's always been a formula for total bliss in the past, but maybe times are a changin'.



In yet another act of appreciation for The Great Cotton T-Shirt, check out Threadless. They actually do just pain old prints as well, and it's a fun site to cruise around on.

I like these:

And this is so Alex that if the design didn't remind me so much of Sesame Street, I would probably buy it.


artist(s) of the week: Erik Otto and Canada

First I would like to bring your attention to Erik Otto (check him out here ). I saw a print of his hanging above a friend's toilet (of all places) and mentioned that I really liked it. Said friend directed me to his website, and I was also very fond of what I found there. Much like you and chickens, I have a thing for houses and boats (and anything on stilts).Next, I would like to bring your attention to Canada, one of my new favorite bands. I don't claim to know a lot about them yet, but I know I like the music that I have heard (and listened to it many times over in Nebraska while I was working in my studio.). Here's a glimpse of their humor and personality:

Canada is a live rock and roll band of seven friends that put out albums of songs that they write and perform together. One is a champion of breakfast, two of them are broads. One of them, you would see and say, “That’s Him!” One of them has a best friend named Sam. One can dance as though he were about to die. Two have very similar names, but lead two very different lives. They all enjoy laughing, old farms, beer and traveling. Last year they put out a record called This Cursed House and it was quite a lot of fun, so they plan on doing that again sometime soon. Not putting out an album called This Cursed House again, but putting out another album with a different name. Canada enjoys performing music that they write together for strangers in far off cities. They’ll be doing that quite a bit over the summer months. If you like the songs you hear on their Myspace page, please come to one of their shows as they will try to make it a good time.

Take a listen here: (Beige Stationwagon is the song that first won me over)



My three hour dentist appointment somehow morphed into a six hour dentist appointment. With the exception of all the drilling and painful injections in my mouth for a duration of time that probably earned me a spot in the Guiness Book of World Records, it wasn't actually so bad. My dentist is an Aussie and says funny things like when he wants me to put my protective eye gear back on, "put your sunnies on, lovey," and that makes all the difference. Also, as I was leaving his office at 8:30pm, he informed me that an alcoholic beverage would actually help the anesthetic wear off, and told me I should have one on doctor's orders. That's my kind of doctor.

The other thing that made it not so bad was coming home to these courtesy of Alex:

I didn't think I was a girl who really liked to get flowers, but they've actually truly cheered me up. Also, my dad drove three hours yesterday to come over last night. And my sister came, too. Last night as I was trying to drown out the pulsing pain and my worries about how my temporary crowns look, I realized I am a very lucky girl. Dental work or no, I am so grateful for my family, for Alex, for the dog, even.


home feeling

First of all, I am thrilled that our camping trip turned out so nicely. It wasn't the kind of camping we typically do, but it was still really nice to be with so many friends in the outdoors for a weekend. It was a bit of a random assortment of people, but I love that we can all get together with minimal conflict and awkwardness. I also love any time that you, Sam, Logan and I find ourselves in the same place. It's a good feeling to have such a long history with the three of you.

The topic of "home" has been weighing heavily on my mind the past month or so for many reasons. For one thing , it is starting to sink in that in just 10 short months I will already be done with school, and again at the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I have fully realized that the older you get the faster years seem to fly by, because it seems like just yesterday that I found out I was going toWSU, and now my time is almost up.

I have a few places in mind I would like to relocate to, but the most important thing I have realized is that if I end up back in Colorado it won't mean that I am regressing as a person. I don't think I have become a new person since moving to Washington, but I definitely think that I have become MORE of myself since moving away. Initially, I thought I would only be able to hold on to that progress if I remained somewhere distant and new. While, there is a lot of character building in a distant and new place, I don't think it is necessarily true that I can only be "more of me" under those circumstances. Make sense? In a way, I feel a new freedom when it comes to making a choice about where to live in the coming years wherever that may be. And if it happens to be somewhere in Colorado, that is fine by me because it holds a giant place in my heart.

monday, monday

This weekend was Camping Extravaganza, 13 people and three dogs all convening for a night of extravagant camping. Key points:

1. A raucous game of Kings

2. Taking time out for a photo shoot in the evening light (I am going to kick the guy who borrowed my camera to take this photo, who should've taken ONE STEP to the right so that the background was just the lake and NOT someone else's head)

3. Teaching Roux how to swim (this is EXCITING if you are a dog parent who has long dreamed of the day her dog would leap into the water with confidence and do cute doggie paddle laps)

4. Spending three hours in Lauren's pool getting the tan I have been dreaming of since we left the sunny shores of Costa Rica.

And now it is Monday, July 14, which means I am headed to the dentist this afternoon for a three-hour long appointment which I am really, really hoping is finally the beginning of the end. I'm in the midst of creating a dentist playlist, which is designed to be loud enough and obnoxious enough to drown out the sound of the drill. It will include a lot of MGMT. If you're in the market for some new tunes and don't know them, check it out. Especially if you have any oustanding dental work on the horizon.



It is a well-known fact that I have a cousin I don't get along with very well. Before I delve into that, a little background: My mom had two of us (my sister and I) and her sister had two kids, a boy and a girl. We were raised more like siblings than cousins, and as a result not only are closer than most cousins, but over the years have fought more like siblings do. When we lost my mom, my aunt stood in for her with my sister and I, which I think probably caused all kinds of chain reactions, but the main thing is I'll always be grateful to have her.

This certain cousin, who is a few years younger than I, tends to make life decisions I have a difficult time understanding. I've been at a loss for how to deal with the seemingly constant string of decisions that I cannot for the life of me come to terms with. She's living her life in a very different way than I choose to live mine, and without divulging all the little and unecessary details, the result is that I've basically tried my hardest not to interact with her. I come from a lineage of legendary deniers, people whose best strategy for dealing with big problems is to ignore them. That's precisely what I've done.
I had a long talk with my aunt yesterday, my goal being to shed some light on all the craziness that my cousin is falling victim to, kick her parenting in high gear. I know that's at least semi-ridiculous considering I am not a parent (although I do watch very carefully who Roux dates and am aware of her penchant for eating cigarette butts. Neither her father or I approve and she darn well knows it).

The conclusion of the talk was totally unexpected. For one thing, my aunt was a lot more receptive than I'd anticipated. But she also pointed out that if I am really concerned about this cousin of mine, shutting her out is not an effective approach.
Let me interject here that one of my biggest fears is being the sort of person who can't admit when they're wrong. I despise that in other people, and worry about it in myself if only because it's such an easy fault to fall victim to.

So instead of fighting her on what she was saying I stopped and thought about it. I realized she was exactly right. There is really no excuse at all for how I've treated this family member of mine. There just isn't. She hasn't been particularly nice to me either, but so what. At some point you gotta stand up, take ownership of your actions and fix 'em.

This is going to be that point for me.
Because I hate the idea of doing a post with no photo, I did a search for "sorry" on Flickr. Sorry is used in more contexts than I'd really thought about, and I suspect there are some interesting stories behind some of these images.

(all images & their respective authors found in this list)


sorry winter

I often try to give winter the benefit of the doubt. But nights like I had last night just reaffirm my favoritism towards the warmer months. I went to a random Wednesday night barbecue (people are way more apt to hang out in the middle of the week when it's warm), and shared some good food with friends in Denver. The best part of the evening was when we decided to get out the tandem bike (much like the one below, only minus 8 people). At one point we had three on the bike with four people hooked to the back on skate boards going down the parking garage and around the Denver streets. It was comical, and fun, and only happened because it is summer!

somewhere else

Just saw this on Marta Writes. So true, so relevant.


it's good to be a kid again.

There's good news and bad news.

Good news: I received my swap! in the mail, and not only was there no antrhax, but it included a game of jacks (among many other fun things). Last night I forced Alex to play, pretty much against his will, but I think he realized during the course of the game just how great it is. My sister and I used to play jacks in the airport, which might sound like a rare occasion, but for us that meant a lot of jack-playing. Turns out the super hard carpeting they have in the Miami International Airport is better for playing jacks than our cement patio or our hardwood floors in the basement. The package also included a big pink bouncy ball, which Roux promptly stole for her own amusement. We spent the evening last night forcing Roux to sit by and watch us play jacks (she really wanted to participate), and then played bouncy ball with her. It was like being a kid again. So thanks, swap! partner.

Bad news: I fear the swap! I received was better than the one I sent out. Such is always the problem with the exchanging of any sort of gift; someone always outdoes the other. So on that note, sorry, swap! partner!

In other news, I finally finished editing photos from a shoot I did last week. I'll have more about it on the Denver Dog Photography blog, but here's one my favorites.


what i'm taking with me

Keeping on list format, I wanted to share a few of the many things I learned/thought/wondered about during my Nebraska stay (ranging in importance and depth):

1. During this season the Red Winged Blackbird looks deceivingly like the Tri-Colored Blackbird.
2.You don't have to smash every spider you see (unless it is in your bed of course). You merely have to shake something or pound on the floor where you don't want them. They will quickly run the other direction and leave you be.
3. Two of the most imminent threats to a sapling tree are vine weeds and rabbits.
4. The hottest part of the day is 5 o'clock.
5. It is liberating to only rotate the same couple outfits, shower infrequently, and not wear make-up.
6. "Greatness" evolves out of the process of doing things, mostly small things. Relevant to life and art.
7.Even though I can hardly hold a conversation about "who's who" in the art world, doesn't make me less of an artist. Watching a new bird in my binoculars does more for me than staying up on theory or the hottest gallery.
8. The less you think about your appearance, the better you start looking to yourself.
9. The idea of a tick's tiny face and mouth parts burrowed in my skin makes me very uncomfortable.
10. Vegan cookies can be quite delicious.
11. It is possible for me to sleep until 10:30am, take a nap from 3-6pm, and still fall asleep during a movie at 10pm.
12. The best way to view fireworks is on a roof top with a sea of fireflies beneath you.
13. I am just a baby in my "career." And I trust that someday all the pieces that are running around in my mind will start fitting together and making sense the more I work and mature. There is no sense in being constantly frustrated that I don't have everything worked out just yet. What would be the point of life if we reached our maximum potential in the very beginning?
14. Brown Thrasher, Red Headed Wood Pecker, Cardinal, Baltimore Oriole, Barn Swallow, Sandpiper.
15. I like Date cookies very much.
16. It is better not to irritate a tick while it has its face lodged in your skin, because they will likely inject bacteria organisms right into your blood stream.
17. Bring me an injured baby animal (such as the baby killdeer a cat brought in), and my motherly instincts will kick into high gear.
18. "Not only does something come if you wait, but it pours over you like a waterfall, like a tidal wave. You wait in all naturalness without expectation or hope, emptied, translucent, and that which comes rocks and topples you; it will shear, loose, launch, winnow, grind." -Annie Dillard.
19. It is a wonderful gift to be able to read multiple books of my choice in a short time span.
20. In small towns the term "mall" often refers to a hardware store, grocery store, bank, and Subway all located in the same building.
21. At some point in history a group of Nebraskans thought it would be a fine idea to name a town Worms.
22. There are few things more peaceful and beautiful than tall grass swaying in the evening light.
23. There is nothing more peaceful and beautiful that being completely present.
24. God is amazingly intricate.

I could probably go on and on, but I'm about to meet up with Claire for a run ( I take great delight in any activity together while we are in the same place), and need to get this posted. Here are some last shots from my humble little camera:

Art Farm

This weekend Alex and I drove to Middle-of-Nowhere, Nebraska to pick Lauren friend up. The drive was long and uneventful, which is to be expected if you are driving across Eastern Colorado and basically the whole state of Nebraska, but we spent 4th of July there and that was really lovely. Art Farm, as it's called, is uniquely artistic, adorably old-fashioned in a farmy sort of way and full of photographic opportunities. My one night stay in Nebraska was the first time I have ever filled up the memory card on my camera. The best of the best (about 100 photos in total) can be seen on my Flickr photostream.

Some Art Farm favorites:

And for the Art Farm canine element, we have Miss Money Penny.

Money Penny (who has already made an appearance on this blog) is a Boxer/Pittbull mix who really was BFFs with Roux.

It was a short visit, but a few important things came out of it:

1. I got to see/photograph Lauren's installation, the result of her stay at Art Farm. I didn't edit all the photos (they're really Lauren's to do with as she will), but here are a few glimpses.

2. Lauren and I got to spend some quality bonding time together. Since she lives halfway across the country, I gotta get that in whenever I can.

3. This photo of Roux with the most unbelievable light.

4. Laying on the farmhouse rooftop with Alex, Lauren, Roux and new friends watching fireworks and, equally as impressive, fireflies. One of those memories you tuck away and hold tight to.