Friday, August 1, 2014

Flora. Fauna.

We planted milkweed in our native garden in Wisconsin,
not because we love the plant particularly,
but to provide habitat for Monarch butterflies.

The first year of the garden, we observed Monarch caterpillars
feasting on the leaves of the plant early in the summer,
leaving  just stalks behind.

Several years went by without a repeat performance.
But the plants survived, so that was good.

This afternoon my mom paused in her garden work
to call over to where I was weeding:
"A Monarch!"

I came over to look  
and debated whether I should run inside for my camera.

She (he?) was all by herself.
Lighting on one bloom, 
then flying away to another part of the garden 
before coming back to another bloom.

While waiting for her to come back, 
I took pictures of a bumble bee

and a golden dragonfly (a color I haven't seen before).

Twenty pictures later, 
she opened her wings just long enough for me to catch her 
before she was off again.

Thursday, July 31, 2014


This was the week of our annual family vacation
at my parents' cottage in Wisconsin.

Not everyone could make it,
but we feel especially blessed this year
to have two new family members
who were able to join us.

One is not pictured: our sweet foster-to-adopt baby
who joined the family in early January.
He is so entertaining at 8 months old
that his uncle observed, "He's like a campfire,"
when he noted all the family members 
sitting in a circle around TJ, 
oo-ing and ah-ing over his antics
as he played on a blanket on the floor.

He was already in bed for the night when we took the picture,
but since he is a foster child, 
his picture is not allowed to be shown on social media.
(We took another family picture the next night 
before he went to bed,
but I can't show you that one.)

The newest member is TJ's 3 week old little sister, 
born to TJ's foster-to-adopt parents
on the 4th of July.
Fireworks went on all over 
just hours after her birth.
The flowers pictured above right are from my garden
(former garden, that is - the sale was closed today!)
and were arranged for Norah -
the bee balm (Monarda) blooms remind me of fireworks.

It's been a wonderful week.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Change is in the air

Lots of changes at the moment:
I quit my part time job at the for-profit firm last month 
after several months of realizing it was not a good fit for me,
and now I feel like there is a big weight off my shoulders.

At the non-profit where I work part time, 
we've welcomed a new executive director
and said farewell to our interim: 
we loved our interim, but she was just that - 
came the rescue until the permanent replacement arrived,
and she was fabulous.
It's a new dynamic now, and still a very good one, 
and our interim made it an easy transition for the staff.

This will soon be my former home.
Yesterday the movers came and took away the furniture,
and tonight, after days of help
from family and friends to wrap and pack boxes,
I finished cleaning the empty house,
locked the door for the last time,
and said a prayer of thanksgiving
for the home this house was to me for more than 27 years.

Now on to the next chapter...

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Birthday Boy

Oscar's birthday is today.


We adopted him 5 years ago, 
when he was a shy and chubby 5-year-old
with a very short haircut.

He wouldn't leave Gerrit's side that first day.

Later he got bolder and would hang out with me, too.

Now that he lives with my parents, he follows them around.

Until I show up.

(Hmmm.  Note to self: Must. Get. Selfie.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Calendar says...

The calendar says

"Spring."  But outside...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


False indigo

Nearly two hours of shoveling this afternoon, 
which included lots of pauses to rest.

Wood aster and sedum

Just as I finished, the sun appeared low in the western sky.

Siberian iris and Japanese windflower

With my breath back, and my back beginning to relax, 
I looked around and thought: 
I'm overdue for some picture taking.


Northern Sea Oats

Solomon's Seal

 More driveway

  Wind sculpture

Thank God for a clear sky!

My constant companions:
snow boots and snow shovel

It may be February, but it looks like Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Faith in Place

I wrote in March about a door opening - a part time job with a non-profit that gave me a way to begin rebuilding my life after so many years taking care of Gerrit.

We are working on fundraising to continue our good work and had this video made to help explain what we do.

Wondering where to donate some of your end of the year charitable money?  Faith in Place.