The Death of a Dove


My husband and I have lived in our current home for nine years now.  Each year, more and more wild life visit as the trees grow and things mature.  Over the course of those years, a pair of doves visited our pond and bubbling rock.  They seemed to enjoy the trees and setting that is part of our memorial garden for my father who passed away in 2005.

Last night, a dove died.  It touched me in a way I’m not sure how to describe.

I don’t know what lead to that point in time.  All I know is I was looking out my studio window and witnessed my basset girl, Quorra, doing what I thought was blowing bubbles.  I knew that couldn’t be and looked closer.  It seemed as though she had a pillow and tuffs of white were billowing about her.  I felt the need to investigate.

As I approached her, I saw she had a bird in her mouth.  I’ve had bird dogs.  They have soft mouths, that is, they pick up a bird so no harm is inflicted.  I am sad and distressed to report that is not the case with a basset hound.   Some how, some way Quorra had captured a dove.  I can only assume that it was one of the pair that frequented our property.  My husband thinks that the dove had already been injured and that was how our basset captured it.  We’ll never know.

It took all the strength I had to pry open Quorra’s grip on this poor, delicate soul.  During the process, the dove mustered the strength to open her delicate eyelids and look at me.  It seemed like there was a certain resignation in her eyes and then she went limp.  I would like to think she knew I was trying to rescue her.  It was too late.  I think that was her last glimpse of this world.  It touched me and made me ache.  I hit a wall.

Once she was freed from Quorra’s hold and that of this world, there was nothing else I could do for her.  I was saddened and numb.

I felt compelled to write about this, as I often do with certain feelings or concepts. The cycle of life is something we all experience and witness.  While the passing of a bird or any other living creature may not seem of any great significance, I think it is.  We all matter.  I’m trying to understand why such a delicate creature touched my soul.  Some day I may.  At the end of the day, I knew it was time to stop….  Love my dogs.  Love my husband.  None of us know how long we will be here.  Embrace life and make the most of your days.  Appreciate your surroundings and most importantly, those you love.




Why do I love Spring?

The topic for this month’s Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank relates to our thoughts and feelings about Spring.

I will say that Spring is not my favorite season, yet it holds so much promise that I do love it.  All of the typical commentary about renewal and rebirth apply.

One of my favorite signs of Spring is the blooming of a small flower, the crocus.  I love how these determined little flowers pop through the snow at times, sort of saying “Enough winter!  It’s our turn”.

Living at elevation like we do, past 7,500′, it sometimes feels like Spring will never get here.  But it does and I do enjoy how it is mixed in between wintry blasts.  As we wait for Spring’s arrival, sometimes as early as February, my husband likes to say “It’s almost Spring!”.

Once it is officially Spring, according to the calendar, he will change it to “Last snow!”.  As of Monday 5/12/2014, this was the “last snow”….still waiting on that one…..

The view from the front of our house of the ‘last snow’ on May 12, 2014

Eventually, inevitably Dan is right and we will have had our last spring snow.

As the weather does warm with Spring’s arrival in the Rockies, trees bud, flowers bloom, animals give birth to their young.  I love all of that and what it represents.  A fresh start, propagation of the species, and rebirth of the earth.

Out where we live, I get to see baby antelope, calves, and even geese.  Every one just as cute as they can be.

For some reason I thought a lot about how special Spring is this year and every year.  Savoring the freshness of things greening up and just enjoying the start of another season.

Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers had to share on this topic:

Andes Cruz:

marie bell

Kirsten Skiles

Catherine Witherell

diana bell:



“Pet Peeves. We all have them. What are yours?”

April’s topic for our Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank members is: “Pet Peeves. We all have them. What are yours?


Let me introduce you to my pet ~~ ‘Peeves‘.  Snarky little guy from the Stan Winston School.

Unfortunately, I felt that if I truly expressed my pet peeves, my post would rapidly digress into a rant.  My goal with this blog is to keep things positive.  Thanks to my husband’s suggestion, I opted for humor.

In fairness to all of you who read this, I will share one pet peeve….a real one.  One of the things that really bothers me is a lack of follow through and/or commitment.  When someone says they are going to do something and they don’t, I’m disappointed.  Generally that means I cannot rely on them.  I am let down and know I cannot trust them to do what they will say they will.  Just ‘DO IT’ or don’t waste your breath on false promises.  So that is the one pet peeve I will share.

I hope you enjoyed my twist on this topic.

Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers had to say:

Andes Cruz:


KSkiles Studio:

Catherine Witherell:

Diana Bell http//




Superpowers. If you could pick one to have, what would it be?


March’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank is “Superpowers. If you could pick one to have, what would it be?

It certainly is fun to let my imagination run wild thinking about this.  I’m a huge fan of The Avengers, Superman and the like.  However, the longer I thought about it, the more this thought pressed me, actually forced itself to the forefront.


If I was to have a superpower, I would like it to be that of a healer.  Why?  Because too many of my friends, relatives, acquaintances and complete strangers are stricken with  medical issues like cancer, heart problems, spinal injuries and more that I find difficult, if not unbearable to understand….why them?  Infants.  Children.  People in the prime of their life.  And those who have led a full life, but have so much more to give.

This is just one example from the all too numerous I know.  A friend, who I met through an artist community years ago, developed a form of aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma.  Her name was Tracey Clarke.  She was a gifted painter.


She painted this portrait of our Newton right before she was diagnosed with this monstrous disease in 2011.

That’s right, she was all of that and so much more.  Glioblastoma took her life and took her from our lives.   She left this world at the end of last year and this is a link to an article that was published this past Sunday about her courageous battle.  This friend is just one who I would have loved to have used a gift of healing to cure.  But that is not a gift I possess, although it is the one I would pick as my superpower.

Perhaps I sometimes dwell on the desire to be a healer because my mother was a nurse.  In my opinion she was one of the most gifted nurses I have ever known and yes, I am partial where her skills are concerned.  She is the standard by which I continue to evaluate other health care professionals I meet.

Once I was told that I too was a healer.  I still do not understand that, as I was never ‘called‘ to that profession.  Yet, when this topic for March was announced for our Think Tank, I just couldn’t ignore this as what I would choose as my superpower.   A Healer.  Yes, if it were possible, that is what I would choose.

Now let’s see what my fellow bloggers chose to write on this topic:

Andes Cruz:
Catherine Witherell
Designs by Shelagh.
Diana Bell:
Barbara Donovan:


Progress, no matter how small

When I see progress happening in my life, no matter how small, I am happy.  It produces a ripple effect.

Last week I was compelled to write a post, Waiting for that Perfect Moment.  Since then, I can report that I followed my own advice and I am starting to see the results.  Sure, it’s in small things here and there throughout our home.  Yet, I can see the subtle changes and that has been rewarding.

These positive changes have given me just the right amount of encouragement to continue.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I have a full time job and at the end of the work day, I tend to be tired when I get home.  However, one of the things I did in the evenings last week was spend 30 minutes to an hour in my studio.  I create Art Jewelry and if you are curious about my work, you are welcome to visit my website or another blog I maintain devoted to my metalwork.

To my delight, by the end of last week, my studio time produced two pieces.  A pendant and a pair of earrings.  I will be posting photos of those on my other blog at some point in the near future.

What I like to think of as the reclamation of our home is occurring too.  Things did not get into this state overnight and the recovery of those spaces won’t happen overnight either.  Not only do I have a very supportive, encouraging, and helpful husband, I am embarking on my fourth year of reading the Simple Abundance.  The practice of decluttering to achieve a more simple life is just one of  the simple abundance principles.

Clearing out closets.  Organizing spaces so there is a place for everything.  It’s happening.  You may recall that as part of how I manage my time, I set a limit for how long I will work on something.  I continue to be amazed by how much I can get done in 30 minutes.  One of my biggest deterrents was mistakenly thinking I need 4 – 8 hours to work on something to its completion.  I don’t have that luxury of time.  But now, I have a new awareness to stay focused on the present moment and make the most of smaller time increments.  If I cannot finish something during a given period of time, I will return to it on my next window of time.  The key is to keep going back to it, as time permits, until it is finished.

If you too are finding it difficult to accomplish all the things you want, just start with small increments of time as you find them.  Trust me, they are there for the taking and the results will happen….the ripple effect.  Time management is easier than you think. It is great.


Waiting for that Perfect Moment

We all do it.  Right?  Wait for that perfect moment in time when we can do something we have put off or something we really want to do.  Waiting for it and in doing so squandering the one thing we need to value….TIME!

When does that moment come?  Will we even recognize it?  Will it pass us by and be that fleeting moment?

This weekend I had a revelation.  I realized that waiting for that perfect moment was a waste of time.  Yep.

Lately I have been reading a lot about living in the present.  The practice of meditation focuses on the now.  Living in and being in the present moment.  Shutting out all those thoughts and nagging voices about what happened yesterday or what we want to do tomorrow.  Focus on this moment in time.

Yesterday, as I was dwelling on the importance of being present in the current moment, I realized that was it!  Kinda obvious, right?  Focus on now.  This very moment in time is all I really have.  There are no assurances about the future.  I shouldn’t wish for more time in the day or having more life to live.  Live now.  This is so critical to changing what I can accomplish because being focused on this very instance will give me so much freedom to get to the things I have wanted to do and I will get them done.

Let me give you some examples.

Our home has taken on so many warts and barnacles of clutter and chaos because of other obligations and commitments trumping our time.  This year, my husband and I have started to tackle a few things, here and there, but things I want to take care of have been in a pending state because I have been waiting for that perfect moment.  In my mind, I want some rather large chunk of time where I can immerse myself in the task and make all kinds of progress.  It is February 24, 2014 and that delightfully precious bit of time has not arrived.  It may.  But I just can’t wait for it any more.

After this insight came to me yesterday morning, this is what I did.  I set a timer on my iPhone for one hour.  Maybe that is your perfect moment in time, maybe not.  It isn’t my ideal time segment but I had to start with something.  I’m greedy, I always want more time but there is no way to add more minutes to the day.  Make the most of the time you have.   I am here to tell you that one hour time period was extremely productive and produced more results than sitting around waiting for it to happen.  It also gave me momentum for the rest of the day.

I cleared a fairly large area of clutter in that one hour.  Sorted, tossed and cleaned.  At the end of that time, I could see visible results.  There were still areas to be addressed, but the fruits of my labors and that time well spent were evident.  My spirits soared a bit because this is more progress than I’ve seen in the first 7+ weeks of 2014!

Next came a lunch break.  Refuel and get ready for the next round.  The afternoon was filled with a mix of chores and fun.  My philosophy is to reward myself with something I enjoy after I have done things I don’t like doing.

Now I imagine some of you are thinking I had that golden big chunk of time I desired to accomplish all of this.  Yes, I did.  But what got me started was that timed one hour because before I took that step, I had been sitting around waiting for it to happen.  It was up to me, changing the way I thought.

The next step in this battle with the clock will be tonight.  Instead of planting myself on the couch and watching TV, I need to get up and spend that 30 minutes or more doing things I need and want to get done.

My Achilles heal in my fight for finding more time is the computer.  When I feel like procrastinating, that is I want a break or I’m frustrated with what I’m doing, I’ll sit down at the computer.  Let’s check email.  Oh, better yet, let’s see who is doing what on Facebook.  Poof.  There goes 30 minutes or an hour, never to be seen again.

The key here is to recognize what your personal diversion tactics are and do something about them.  Limit your time by setting an alarm or just avoid them completely.

Once time is gone, it is gone.  It becomes the past and we cannot recover it.  That is why it is so important to focus on the present moment.  Don’t waste time waiting for that perfect moment.  Stay focused in the present and just do that one thing you have been avoiding or do that one thing you have been wanting to do.  Just start.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t finish a given project during your allotted time.  You will receive the rewards of taking action, rather than living in a state of inaction.  Many times I have been told “to make good use of your time“.  So true.  Don’t let those precious moments slip through your hands because let’s face it, they are all perfectly precious moments.


Road trips – Where would you go?

Portland, OR

February’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank writers is: “Road trips….. If you could go anywhere in the coming year; where would you go, what would you see?

Isn’t it funny how some things just keep circling back to what is going on in your life?  Let me explain.

My husband, Dan, and I have been researching areas we might like to live once we have retired from the corporate world.  That’s at least another 10+ years, unless some serious good fortune occurs, and since we are “planners“, we think this is the right time to be begin exploring.  This month’s blog post offers the perfect opportunity to share a bit about our future road trip this year!

A couple of the areas that have come up on our radar for where we may want to relocate are the states of Oregon and Washington.  More than a few cities in those states appeal to us.  For Oregon, we are interested in Portland, Salem, Silverton, and Eugene.  In Washington, Vancouver, Camas and Bellingham.  Now there certainly is some distance and variety with all of these.  Yet, we are in the planning stages of a road trip so we can visit a number of them and start evaluating the possibilities.

Vancouver, WA

Our road trip will involve air travel to get to Portland.  From there, we will rent a car and start the exploration.  I think that Portland and Vancouver could consume our entire time.  We want to visit a number of Botanical Gardens.  Coming from a semi-arid region like Colorado, it is quite the treat to see all the things that will grow in Oregon and Washington!  Course it helps considerably that they get so much rain!  And yes, that will definitely be a consideration for us…..can we handle that much annual rain fall compared to where we currently live in Colorado?


Green Drinks Washington

Of course a strong art community is very important to me at this stage in my life and I think it will be going forward to the next phase of my life.  It seems like all of these places offer that and more.


One of the things that we have run across as we have looked at Portland is the TV show called Portlandia.  We think it is an exaggeration about life in Portland and then again, maybe not!  This clip is the intro for the show and given our sense of humor, we have been hooked!  Real or not, we find it funny!

Salem, OR is the state capital and we do like the smaller size of that city.  It will definitely be worth a day visit.  Silverton is close by so we will visit the Oregon Garden.

We would love to see the coast.  Lighthouses, rock formations, maybe a glimpse of a seal or two and all the birds.  I don’t think we are planning our trip around prime whale watching season, but that would be so awe inspiring if it worked out.

a lighthouse2

Our plan is to go in the fall which will give Dan some photographic opportunities with the beautiful colors…..along with so many other things.  I think this kind of road trip will provide a ton of inspiration for my works too.

This will be one of our first vacation trips where we will explore residential neighborhoods to try and get a better feel for what life is like there.

So far we think each one has something unique to offer.  It’s just a matter of getting our feet on the ground and seeing what our intuition tells us.

Now let’s see what road trips my fellow bloggers are contemplating:

Andes Cruz:
diana bell
Catherine Witherell:

And as the fictional characters in Portlandia say, “It’s art if you put a bird on it!“.