Thursday, July 02, 2015

Moving Eleanor, hopefully, in Bits of Dirt, Tangles of Roots and a Few Worms Thrown In for Good Soil

We have a contract on Grandpa and Grandma's house. It closes in just under two weeks. The inspection is on Monday. Most of the inside of the house is clear of belonging and sporting new paint, all but the wood shop in the basement, that is.
Now we have moved onto the garden and that one is harder for me. Eleanor died six and a half years ago. She was an avid, enthusiastic Master Gardener. Her life was in her garden; her loved showered on each plant. Don kept it watered and had a gardener weed it, but the garden clearly misses Eleanor. Now that the house is selling, we are working hard to move as many plants to our garden as possible. It is a painful and sad, as well as hopeful and connecting. I always miss Eleanor, but there are certain times, especially in the late winter and in May, when I missed her the most. During the last, cold throws of winter, I could look out of the window in the living room on the north end and see the fushia blooms of the magnolia tree thriving, its leaves not yet emerged. It is not supposed to winter over in our area, but there is it. The same thing goes for the azeala bush outside of the kitchen window. And then there is the Japanese peony, also not supposed to live in this gardening zone. When I missed her acutely, I would look out or go outside and visit her in what was left of her in the garden. On Sunday days in March, when I had the urge to clean out the garden, I could hear Eleanor's voice gently reminding me to wait, that the plants would yet need the leaf cover as protection against the cold. May was the most glorious of months.I am thankful that we did not have to move the plants when they were at their peak of blooming.
Now we are transplanting as much of the garden as possible. I hope that in the end that it will feel like we have moved Eleanor here, too. I hope that I will be able to walk around my garden and feel her here. We've moved dozens and dozens of plants, as well as the flagstone bench that was used to admire the sunsets. We will move the patio furniture. I hope that it will help us feel less sad.

Right now I am broken up every time we go. I think about how there will not be any back porch dinners, or birthday parties, or Christmases. There will not even be any more 4th of July as we have known it in the past. The bike parade is taking place, but Ethan will be working nights. Ellie and Kohlton will be in New Hampshire with Mark and Martine, celebrating the holiday at the lake with friends that Mark has had since high school.

The neighbors behind us are moving out as the owner is going to put two houses on that lot. When I arrived home from running errand today, I found that they had already removed the lovely tree that signaled the end of the driveway and kept the dogs cool. Gone are the old fashioned roses that put forth soft blooms every spring.

I've had enough of change. I don't think I can take anymore. Too bad that I can't make that limit stick.

I am going to distract myself by making a cake and a birthday crown for my niece, Aurora, who turns two tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Saturday - Social Sketch with Courtney Cerruti at Two Hands - Always A Fun, Creative Time

After returning home on Saturday, I spent some time at home and then I headed to Two Hands Paperie to take part in the Social Sketch event with Courtney Cerruti. I took Ben with me since he had such a good time at the last Social Sketch event last November.
Courtney was in town to sign her new book and to teach a few classes. Earlier in the day she purchased an accordion book by mole skin. She invited people to sketch in it. I think that was my favorite part of the evening.

I also enjoyed seeing the art of other people. Alexi drew some bears hugging and I had a fun time painting them and adding the washi tape.

I also enjoyed checking out the new displays, as always.
As my friend, Natalie says, I am getting in as much art as I can this weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Anderson Ranch - Welcome to the Carbondale Rodeo

On Thursday night the people from my photography workshop and I went on a photo shoot at the Carbondale rodeo. I was very interested to see how it would be different from the Snowmass Rodeo. We were also challenged to take photographs that tell a narrative, instead of the usual images. I was very quickly taken by the cows wearing horn bonnets, masquerading as bulls. It was a little odd and I felt sorry for them. Later, after watching them for a while, I noticed that they seemed to know the drill and what part they play in it.

They line up in a pen; somehow some of them even seem a bit anxious to get his or her turn.

From there they are released from the shoot. Two cowboys, or cow girls are eagerly waiting on tense horses to have a chance to rope the horns and the back feet of the poor beast. The aim is to get the faux bull on the ground. The cows seem to play his/her part with little stress and plenty of expectation. They run straight for a gate at the opposite end of the enclosure. Most of them are not roped. Once in that pen, they relax and eat.
Once that pen is full, they are sent back down a corridor to the starting pen. There is a bit more personality and drama in this passage.
Sometimes that seems to get a bit crowded and tempers flare. Others are more complacent about his or her position.
There were some nice people pictures to take, too. I just seemed more drawn to the cows wearing horn bonnets.

Once I began to go through the photos I took and picked out the images I wanted to edit, I could see that I had learned and grown a lot during my week at Anderson Ranch. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to take a workshop here. My time at Anderson Ranch is always magical and transformative.

I am always a little sad to have the end of Friday arrive. Fridays are a bit intense and crazy in the photo workshops with the last push to perfect images, print like crazy, make a few last connections with other artists on campus and complete the workshop reflections. By the time my adrenaline cools down, I will be very tired. It was a blast, but I am also looking forward to going home to my family. I have missed them a ton. I am excited to show them my photos. I hope that they will be able to see the growth that I have made. I think I am on the road to being able to consider myself a real photographer. I just have to keep pushing myself, issuing myself challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Thanks for reading.

Anderson Ranch - Making Progress

Today is the last day of class and I have more to do than I will have time for. However, I want to share a few of my recent photos with you. These are from the top of Independence Pass and Leadville. I hope you enjoy them. I feel like I am making a lot of progress.

Now I am going to go back to editing the photos I took last night at the Carbondale Rodeo. Even as I work on the images, I have the smell of the rodeo with me. It is a bit funny.