Saturday, August 28, 2010

Boston bound...

Tomorrow morning bright and early,
my daughter, my husband and I will
be taking to the highway.
This journey of over 1000 miles
will take us across 6 states.

We are heading into the heart of Boston
as Britt, my daughter, begins a new chapter
in her young life.

She is entering the School of the Museum of Fine Arts,
where she will work and study for the next few years.

How delicious to be young and chasing a dream.

I am thrilled for the opportunities that await her---

To study all kinds of art all day, every day,

To live in a place where architectural gems
are treasured (this is university housing),

To have a world-renowned museum right next door

and intricately woven into one's place of
higher learning.

As this beautiful and talented young woman leaves

the nest, I also begin a new chapter in my life.

New adventures await me, and I am thrilled

about my opportunities as well.

I will be away from my blog for the next week

or so. I wish you all well in the meantime.

Until next time...


All images courtesy of smfa.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What dreams may come

Come, follow me
into a fantasy land
where time stands still.

This is a world where
the earth rises up to greet us,

where little pools hold
mysteries of the deep,

where relics from the past
give rise to new notions
of functional beauty,

where age equates with grace,

where wood, stone, concrete and faded fabrics
embrace one another in a gentle kiss,

where treasures from nature are honored
alongside vestiges from another age,

where little outposts of loveliness
are just around the bend,

where dappled shade encourages reverie,

where swimming pools are reminiscent
of Roman baths,

where use of large-scale ornamentation
adds delight,

where playful sprites come to rest.
This is the world of landscape designer,
antiquities proprietor, fantasy-maker
Michael Trapp.
In his world,
all my garden dreams come true.
Do you remember the movie
What Dreams May Come,
starring Robin Williams and Annabella Sciora?
This is a movie about life, love,
the after-life, and re-birth.
It proposes that in the after-life,
each soul creates a heaven of its own design.
This is to be a place where one truly feels at home,
a place resonant with a beauty
so deep and haunting,
it may bring one to tears.
My own nirvana would surely
take cues from Michael Trapp.
What about yours?
Until next time...
All images courtesy of Michael Trapp.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Raindrops on peonies

"A profusion of pink roses bending in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring."
~ William Carlos Williams
Today I am linking up with
for the first-ever Friday photo challenge.
The theme for today is pink.
A "Sarah Bernhart" peony,
wet with the remains of a spring shower
brings to life
notions of fragile beauty,
elusive moments,
and the steady passage of time.
Wishing you a blissful weekend.
Until next time...

Friday, August 13, 2010

A great big thank you!

Another award has come my way from my dear friend in Syndney, Charlotta Ward.
Charlotta and I met a few months ago as I became a more involved blogger. I can't remember how I found her, but it has been a blessing. Sometimes you get to know people very quickly from the things they write, not just as posts, but as comments to your posts. Charlotta has left some of the most insightful comments on things I have written about. I feel she is an old soul, and she and I go way back. Her blog,

Space for Inspiration, is an amalgam of good design, blending her love of swedish, organic, and contemporary styles in a fresh way. Charlotta is a super-woman in my book-- wife, mother, artist, writer, designer, friend. Please stop by her little corner of the blogosphere (click HERE to check her out), and tell her hello.

A condition of this award is to answer the following questions about myself.

1. Why do you blog?
2. What are your 3 best memories?
3. What are the 4 best fiction books you have ever read?
4. What are the 5 best movies ever made?
5. Name 5 things you can't live without.
6. If you could change your name, what would it be?
7. Tell us a unique and interesting fact about yourself.
8. What do you love best about yourself?
9. If you could have a "Freaky Friday" expreience, who would you change places with?
10. What is the best thing about being a woman?

So here goes:

1. I began blogging early this year as a creative and beautiful way to help me in my grief over losing my son Ryan to suicide at age 18, almost 2 1/2 years ago. Creativity heals my soul, and blogging seemed to be a way to practice my love of photography, express my love of writing, and explore my love of interior decorating, in one neat little package. The reason I keep going is YOU, dear readers. Your comments mean the world to me. You support my habit, and I am most appreciative.

Pictures of Ryan from his self-portrait series taken when he was 16.

2. My 3 best memories from adulthood (excluding the birth of my children) have been spread out. The first one occurred when I was 18 and in love. The man I was dating and I went out to a lovely Italian restaurant in Chicago and meandered back to our north suburban town through the opulent suburbs on Chicago's north shore. We stopped at the Chicago Botanical Garden while it was raining. No one was around, so we had the place to ourselves. We wandered about as if it were our very own big back yard. It was one of the most romantic experiences of my life.

English walled garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois.

My second memory occurred at Cheekwood Museum and Garden in Nashville about 8 years ago. It was in the fall, and once again I was in a botanical garden in the rain. My husband and I stolled around the grounds of ths 1930's estate, whilc are an incredible sight any time of the year. Then we went inside to the newly renovated gallery space in the main house of the former estate. This was another incredibly romantic day.

Cheekwood, Belle Meade, Tennessee

My third memory was in 2004 when my husband and I departed from Gatlinburg, Tennessee leaving behind my parents and my children to finish their vacation together. We headed into North Carolina, traveling backroads through the Smoky Mountains seeking out waterfalls. There are a huge number of waterfalls in and around the Smokies. Some are easy to access , but others are deep in the woods. We hiked to and photographed 6 of them, from little streams tumbling over rocks, to Fall Creek Falls, the largest waterfall in the eastern U.S. He and I travel well together, especially when armed with a camera, iced tea, and some good music to sing along with.

Fall Creek Falls, Pikeville, Tennessee

Since that trip, we still seek out waterfalls. Luckily there are some closer to home.

Burden Falls, rural Pope County Illinois

3. The 4 best books I have ever read:

4. My 5 favorite movies:

5. Five things I cannot live without:

Being able to express creative urges, whether visual, written, or musical.

"The Ties That Bind" 16" x 20" mixed media.

Living with beauty around me--light, flowers, softness.

Spring centerpiece, peony buds ready to burst.

Cats to share my home with.

Max, my male tabby.

Access to the natural world and the sense of wonder it inspires in me.

Bell Smith Springs, rural Pope County Illinois

Moments of solitude.

Bell Smith Springs, rural Pope County Illinois.

6. If I could change my name it would be:

Annick Beaudelaire is the best I can come up with right now. I love how French words feel in my mouth as they roll off the tongue, so it would have to be something French.

7. A unique and interesting fact about me is:

I am fascinated by dreams. For a long time I wrote down the symbols that appeared in my dreams and analyzed them to see what I should be learning from them. In my work as a therapist, I help others to do the same thing. We can learn a ton about ourselves, from our deepest desires to our current anxieties, by examinimg our dreams. The themes in my dreams give rise to my short stories, poetry, and works of art.

8. The thing I love best about myself is:

My compassion for other human beings.

9. If I could have a "Freaky Friday" experience, I would swap places with:

Author, poet, professor, presenter, Diane Ackerman.

10. The best thing about being a woman is:

All the options we have-- for hair styles, shoes, clothing, for presenting different aspects of ourselves. I can go from being a work-boot-and-flannel shirt-wearing, tool-wielding, carpenter-ess to being a red-silk-dress-wearing, jewelry-donning, sweet-smelling belle of the ball. Guys just don't have as many options for expressing themselves. Their hair, pant, and shirt styles are limited.

And now I wish to honor a few of the many fellow bloggers out there who consistently inspire me. You ladies are the best! Your comments over the past several months have made bloggging one of the most fulfilling endeavors of my life. Thank you so much for your generous support and encouragement. If you don't accept blog awards, please the recognition I am giving you for making a difference in my life.

1. Sarah at My Yellow House:

2. Janet at The Gardener's Cottage:

3. Kerrie at Sea Cottage:

4. Pamela at French Buttons:

5. Kristin at My Uncommon slice of Suburbia:

6. Anne at Fiona and Twig:

8. Chania at Razmataz:

9. Suzanne at Privet and Holly:

10. Lara at Air Kiss:
11. Carrie at The Vintage Wren:
Please stop by and check out these wonderful blogs. You will be pleased you did!

Until next time...


Images 1, 5, 6, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20: decor naturel. All others via google.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beating the heat

"Summer has set in with its usual severity"

~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The part of the U.S. where I live
(upper south, Mississippi River Valley)
is being gripped by intense heat,
"dangerous heat," as proclaimed by
the National Weather Service.
We have heat indecies in excess of 110 degrees.
My garden is parched,
despite efforts to keep it watered.
All I am craving right now is some coolness,
some relief to just keep me going.
Recent issues of Country Living feature
some lovely coastal cottages that evoke
simplicity and ease.
Rooms all in white,
with a smattering of texture and a cool palette
let the landscape beyond
take center stage.

Rooms that whisper, rather than shout,
with icy colors,
help me to feel cooler on an
emotional level.

Subtle pattern play adds sweetness.

Soothing shades of aquamarine
evoke the cooling waters of the sea.

Uncluttered spaces feel well-ordered,
a welcome contrast to the chaotic
nature of the heat outside.

A blue painted floor feels at home
beside the sea.

A pale palette is perfect for every room
of the house, especially ones that generate heat
when in use.

Today my hubby and our carpenter friend

begin to rebuild the damaged outer wall

of our dining room and hopefully

start framing in the floor joists as well.

Time is of the essence, as my husband has his first

teacher meeting of the year this Friday

(eariler than ever before).

Ordinarily he would have done all the work himself,

but he was injured last year, and it seems

he will never recover full use of his shoulder,

even after a major surgery and

a year of physical therapy.

Life continually offers lessons

in patience and adaptation.

Hope you find ways to beat the heat

and enjoy whatever time is left before

the seasons change.

Until next time...


Friday, August 6, 2010

On Writing

As if managing one blog is not enough,

I have gone and done it again--

started another one, that is.

This one is dedicated to creative writing.

It is a place where the poetry, short stories,

and essays that have been filling up

page after page of my journal
are going to encounter a wider audience.

House of Mist and Fog is a place
where the written word springs to life.
I will share pieces of my own making,
along with the process of creation,
and thoughts about those who have
inspired me along the way.
Please stop in for a visit.
I have only just begun, so there is
much more to follow soon.
Until next time...


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