Jade Skjersaa on the Run

Here she comes.

Another track star in the family.  Jade is in middle school, and a devout athlete. She’s an “A” student, skies, loves water sports, is an outstanding young visual artist, plays piano and violin, and was an up and coming gymnast. Recently multiple joint injuries forced her to discontinue her training.  That was a sad transition for Jade.  She loved that sport and trained at the gym at least three to four long afternoons and evenings a week.  It’s nice that she has more free time to be with family and friends, or not.  Her schedule, like most kids her age, is packed to the gills with activities.

Jade, her sister, and other neighborhood kids used to run back and forth past my front window on their travels between each other’s houses.  Jade was so little but could run like the wind.  They all wore flip flops, the road was a dirt lane, and Jade was usually out in front of the pack – her little legs going like a windmill.  (I was often on “grandma alert” waiting for one of them to crash.  Never happened…flip flops and all.) You know what they say about early childhood experience!  She’s got some fast memory stored in her DNA.  GO JADE.

 

Jade was born beautiful, both inside and out.  She is sweet, fun, so funny – and eternally impossible to beat at any board game.

Birthday Time. 1st iPod
Jade – so graceful
Can you do this?
Happy 13th Jade
13th Birthday        
Jade and Mo Jo’s head.

Congratulations Ellie

Congratulations to my oldest granddaughter, Ellie Skjersaa, a junior at Summit High in Bend.  She took first place in the 2018 NW Classic XC race at Lane Community College last weekend. I just now called her, all excited and proud, exclaiming, “Ellie, congratulations.”  Her reply was, “For What?”  “The race, you won.” I said.  “Oh, that was just a JV race.  Can I call you back later?”  She ran against 200 other girls in her “just a JV race.”  She’s always been a winner, always humble and a very good team mate.  Not only that, she’s a wonderful granddaughter, daughter, sister and is loved every day of her life by everyone in her family.

Ellie crossing the finish line. Captured at The Invitational XC meet at Lane Community College on September 15, 2018 by Matthew Lasala
Ellie on the left – always a good sport and super team mate. Captured at The Invitational XC meet at Lane Community College on September 15, 2018 by Matthew Lasala
Ellie in Yellow, First Track Meet
                                                                                  Super Gymnast. A career ended with a back injury.

 

Look at Ellie on Ice. She’s about to do a triple axle.
A Fun Day in the Fairy Forest.
Beginning Cyclist- on first solo trip from home to grandma’s.
…and Now, she’s an expert. Her fingers race across the keyboard to a point that they blur out of sight.

 

And she’s off, dad on her heels.
Ellie co-staring in “High School Musical,” Tower Theater, age 13.

 

Besides the Smoke, Seems Fall is in the Air

There’s a chill in the air.  It’s been cool for the last few days, the wind has picked up, but it seems on schedule.  Today is the August full moon.  According to some Native American tribal people, this moon cycle is called the Sturgeon Moon or the Corn Moon.  Fishermen and fisherwomen are pulling in their catch for winter, and the last of the corn is being brought to harvest.

Most who live in the western world no longer live and learn by the seasons.  Lately I’ve been contemplating the question; what would our lives look like if early settlers who arrived on the shores of this contenent had adopted the ways of the First Peoples, those who lived here for centuries before us.  Those who respected the land and learned from it and kept it alive and healthy.  I wonder if the current devastation to our Earth we are now living with would have been avoided?  Would bank notes and credit cards prevail, or might some form of predominate exchange based on altruistic concern be the case?  Likely there would have been fighting, some disease, some starvation, and something new we can’t imagine, but how would it have been different?

 

Sturgeon Moon Under Water

Lady of the Lakes
Pool

Thunder in the Garden

Out of a blast of thunder my Iris took wings.  In Central Oregon this time of year hot dry days can create violent storms such as the small, isolated blast that shook me awake from an afternoon snooze.  A wave of boldness seemed to overcome me, and knowing this painting was no “show stopper” I relaxed, had fun, put some paint down and am happy with the outcome.  (Still no show stopper.)

Wimp
Thunder Iris

 

Art in the Very Hot Garden

The temperature here in Central Oregon has dropped from the high 90’s to the low 80’s, so around seven in the evening the garden was pleasant and  inviting.  The star gazer lilies are abundant and lighting up the back yard with their intoxicating fragrance.  Maybe someone named them “Star Gazers” after their star-shaped blooms and the way they tilt toward the skies searching for their mirror-like images that shine in the night.  Or maybe not.  The ripe blueberries on the bushes got picked – before the birds discover them.  Cherry season is just ending here on the eastern slope, and I managed to get enough off my tree to make a few jars of cherry jam.  It’s so good.

Greg Brown sings a song, “Canning” that comes to mind as I’m preserving a little taste of summer in my jars:

Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper’s ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma’s put it all in jars.

Well, there’s a root cellar, fruit cellar down below
Watch your head now, and down you go…etc.

Star Gazer Lily

Blueberries

Blueberries
My Blueberry Bush

 

 

Cherries

Cherries
Under the Cherry Tree

Happy Birthday Isabella

Isabella is 11 years old today.  She came to us at eight weeks old, a wound up ball of fur making it impossible photograph her.  At eight weeks she snored like a Mac truck, and that hasn’t changed – if I had a mic you could hear her now. She was recently diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease, so with meds and continued love she has a few more miles to go.  Happy Birthday Isabella.  You’re a hit on the trail and are loved by many.

Isabella lounging in her garden bed…just back from the groomer.
Isabella’s Bedroom
6 months old
Loving the Snow

 

Art in My Yellow Garden

Hello Yellow

The yard seems that it’s in its Yellow Phase.  Here, only the end of July, and Fall colors  are in full array.  The yellows are pure, full and vibrant, especially in the slanted light of morning.

 

 

 

Watercolor Journal Entry

Dazed Gardener

It is the heart that recognizes we are all unique expressions of the Love that is the essence of Life, and it is the heart that will wake us up to the truth that we are all in this together, floating on a tiny, blue-green jewel of a planet that is dancing through vast oceans of space. Mary O’Malley, “What’s in the Way is the Way.” (72)

 

 

 

Photographic Essay, But Still My Garden

May 31st, and a calm has come over the land.  I’ve decided to relax, paint what I can when I can, because as one might notice, there’s a whole yard out there that needs a thankful eye to look over it and praise it for its abundant grace and elegance.

Peonies Painted and Real

May 28thagain. At the same time the poppies opened, the Iris could not be outdone.  They are blooming, mostly, in the side yard but are also scattered throughout the front and back areas.  Their fragrance is soft and hypnotic.  They don’t last well in a vase in the house, so I let them be, even to the degree that I didn’t violate their presence by painting one or two, at least.  (I like that.  Such love and humility!  But alas, I don’t do well telling lies; I’m done trying to keep pace with Spring and all her creatures, just plain done.)

Iris in Side Yard

Poppy Art – in The Garden

May 28th, this was so exciting.  The Oriental Poppies began opening their gonadal like pods and presenting cup shaped, wrinkled-paper, transparent red petals.  As I watched the unfolding of this stunning creative process, I wondered what it’s like to BE a flower giving birth.  I wanted to ask, “Does it hurt?  Do you labor to present such beautiful, fresh young beings?”  Actually I did ask.  The only reply was simply more poppies.

Poppies Everywhere.  Watercolor 2.  Watercolor 1 at top o page.