If you’re not from Michigan you may be confused or concerned about my spelling, so I’ll explain. Uper is an acronym for the people who live in the upper peninsula of Michigan which might as well be it’s own state. It’s detached in more ways than one. After you cross the five mile long mackinaw bridge into the UP you might as well have entered another country. The land is different and so are the people. It is a great place to get away from everything including stores restaurants and most modern conveniences but the bugs are big enough to drain the blood from grandma, the family pet and still be left thirsting for more. Okay the lake Superior coast line is wild and gorgeous and the Porcupine Mountains on the west side are beautiful but everything else is flat, deserted and BORING!
Upers are a different breed, they dress in flannel shirts, furry hats and rubber boots. They smell like campfire and say things like Ya and Ah? Their big night out is a contest with the neighbor to see who can down a six pack of cheap beer the fastest while melting the rubber on their boots in front of a bon-fire . It’s a whole other world-fun to visit but it would kill me to live there. I don’t own any flannel and my rubber boots sprung a leak last spring.
I usually visit Lake Superior every summer but didn’t managed a trip this year. Washington State was pretty simuliar anyway. If you manage to visit say ya to the upers for me.
Gotta go pour myself a third cup of coffee so I can make it through another Monday morning.
Loved this little cottage of garden treasures.
During our winding drive along hwy 101 to the sea shore in Washington State we passed a sign that said, The painted lady lavender farm. Well of course I was intrigued, to say the least, so I pulled my little car up the stone path toward a most enchanted garden. What a magical place of sweet lavender and secret recipes. A cozy fireplace welcomed us to a little sitting area hidden by lovely flowering vines. I cut a bouquet of lavender during our tour of edible plants (daylillies, etc). This was like a secret garden of little cottages inhabited by tiny creatures (chickens and other poultry type beasts) The owners were very kind but quite eccentric. They used secret recipes to produce all kinds of jellies and jams. Sue insisted that my son take a bite of a chanterelle mushroom before we left. She gathered them to use in her special soup the next day. He was convinced that he would experience some heavy hallucinations afterward but luckily that didn’t happen. hee, he
This photo was borrowed from Essences of the past on blogger
It was a very interesting and welcomed stop on our long drive that day- spontaneous moments and unexpected stops are the best. We headed back down the hillside toward the seaside town of Illwaco with a fragrant bouquet of lavender in my lap and a jar of sweet strawberry jam in his, still giggling about the interesting sights and conversations we left behind.
New tires crunched along the gravel path until her bike came to a stop in front of the beautiful garden that Mr. Smith had professionally designed last spring. There is no way he’d notice a the missing flower or two should she decide to snip a few and how could he possibly deny a bouquet to the woman who had been his lover the year before. Just as she got up the nerve to lay down her bike and enter the wrought iron gate before her, a loud rumble over-head forced her eyes to look up into the grey skies. It wouldn’t be long before that thunder cloud unleashed and made it nearly impossible for her to make it back home. She smiled the kind of tight-lipped grin that said she was up to something. Her leg swung over the bar and her feet maneuvered the peddles back to the paved road that lead to her home. Her speed made it look as though she was determined to make it back before the storm but her mind was simply spell bound.
It’s a rainy Wednesday morning and I felt the itch to do a little story telling. I wish I could spend a little more time here with you today but life gets in the way sometimes.
Some days beg for a little eccentric charm and this crazy outfit is perfect.
Wouldn’t you agree? Young and cute= looking perfect in any outfit. He hee
It’s that time of year when gardens fade and a nip in the air begins to alter the earth to a rich patina of fall color. A few flowers are still hanging in but the garden’s vibrant colors are gone for the season. I took a little drive yesterday on a quest for the peafowl farm that sells peacock feathers along the road side. I had passed it by a few weeks ago but didn’t feel the need to stop. Yesterday that need came calling, so I set out on a hunt for a little turquoise and green. No feathers to be had but I did come across a beautiful field planted several acres deep with gorgeous sunflowers. It made my trip totally worth while.
The sky was grey and dull but this field offered the perfect pop of color to the country side. A whisper of fall crept through my window as I captured this shot. There are good things to be found in every season- remind me of that when I’m whining because the world outside my window is covered in white and temps are hovering below zero.
Faded roses are creeping their way into the play house window, making the love shack soft and dreamy. This rose is melting it’s way into the perfect shade of pink-love that! My favorite colors are soft pinks, creamy whites, mossy greens and chocolate browns. Mmmm
The English Oaks are showering me with an abundance of acorns in the perfect shades of mossy green and chocolate brown. The season is changing slowly and beautifully. I’m curious to hear about the signs of change in your neck of the woods. Tell me how Mother Nature lets you know that fall is just around the corner. Do you hear a whisper?
Studio Pink is in need of a little restocking so sometime this week I will be adding a few images to the shelves- stay tuned for that.
Have a colorful Monday.
Lush and lovely
Love the journey not just the end result. I know you think you have things all figured out- you don’t. I know you think you can’t possibly have a vibrant career- you can. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal and there aren’t any retakes, so make every day count- do it, do it all!
Feeling inspired by this lovely apartment building in downtown Portland.
This entrance drips quiet elegance and artsy inspiration. My apartment of choice would be the beautiful balcony to your right. Imagine sipping your morning cup of coffee while tending the flowers. Yeah, I’m already there….
Wishing you a day of inspiration.
I’d like to go over the new rules for this blog and life in general.
1. Never grow up
2. don’t take life too seriously
3. be creative
4. love unconditionally
5. love yourself first-everything else follows
6. break away from the old routine
7. and just be
It may sound a little childish but think about how happy and free you felt as a child!
I wanted to share a few great window scapes I captured while visiting the city of Portland. I love windows of all kinds but window reflections are the bomb. Wow I haven’t used that expression in a long, long time, maybe there’s a reason for that 😉
This pic was shot during an evening stroll. There’s so much to see in this shot, love the lanterns and reflections of the apartments across the street.
The perfect girlie window with tu tu’s and ribbons. Okay, truth time, I broke down and bought something kind of expensive from this shop. Do you blame me?
Here it is my all-time favorite store, Anthropologie- shopping addictions ran wild behind this glass. I was very, very good- I only picked up a couple little books to read on the plane ride home. Pat on the back please 🙂
Just before take-off I flipped through each book and marked a few favorite pages with rumpled feathers I’d gathered on the beach. I love using feathers as book marks, besides they were a lovely reminder of a day at the sea shore.
Don’t forget to follow the rules.
Rule # 4 love unconditionally-piece of cake!
You can never have too many baby dolls- there is always enough love for just one more!
I’ve returned home with mixed emotions dancing around in my head but my heart is filled with joy. Joy for the moments and people in my life, joy for the opportunities and beauty the universe has to offer and joy in this very moment here with you. It’s important to get lost in the moments and let go of some of the self-control that runs our lives. That grip can squeeze every once of goodness out of the present time. Some times it’s important to slow down and just breathe, cloud gaze, dig in the dirt, feel gratitude and cultivate that inner smile.
I’m lingering an inner smile that feels a bit like the slippery moments that are enjoyed during the in-between state of consciousness. My mind is wandering, reflecting, but mostly enjoying the tiny joyful moments of my life that are strung closely together.
My trip was filled with moments, of feeling lost without care, discovery of new places and people, taking in the sights of a beautiful landscape and the feeling of letting go. Opening up and letting go can be painful but it can also be a beautiful thing. We wandered the city of Portland without any concept of time and experienced a culture that was new and somewhat unusual.
I met up with my wonderful on-line friend, Lucinda, and she took me sight seeing along the gorge. Thank you Lucinda, you’re a beautiful person! The next morning my son and I journeyed westward through miles of forests until we reached the ocean shore. We then drove across the beach with sea-spray in our hair and a laugh in our hearts. It was a beautiful moment of madness and freedom as I began to let go. My control flowed out the window and tumbled across the beach until it met with the sea. Who knows where it went from there.
Our wandering took us to the mountains and back. It was a series of beautiful moments of self- discovery and sharing. Good-byes are never easy but quite often necessary. Infinite love is something a mother fully understands. The landscape was only a symbol for what we were about to experience as mother and child. The act of letting go of someone you love, so that he can soar, is like climbing a mountain. There are moments of pain and difficulty that must be endured. My difficulty was answered back with a veiw that was more beautiful and liberating than anything thus far. The sight of my child spreading his wings with the courage to leave the nest is one of those joyful moments.
“Something good will come of this.” I told myself as I boarded the plane alone. I felt my body lighten as I opened up to the moment and all the infinite possibilities that life has to offer and then I was truly free, just like the clouds outside my window.
Someone once said, “The key elements of life are time and people.”
Let go and just breathe, Junie, just breathe!
Someone once said,
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. “
I’ve always had a secret desire to buy an old VW hippy van and travel across the US with my camera, a notebook and an open mind. I would love the adventure of an open road laid out before me and the nostalgia of a retro ride not to mention the great gas mileage. So as I embark on my journey in the air to the Pacific North West I will close my eyes and imagine that I’m making this journey on the open road, in this….
I found this pic on Wheels weekly- I love it. Now imagine my face behind the wheel with a big smile. Get packed Jana, my stylish friend, I’m headed your way and yes your bare feet are welcome on the dash. I can see us now with the wind in our hair and not a care on our faces as we head into Portland to pick up an artsy goddess named Lucinda on our way to the beach. We’ll be having a claim bake in the sand and everyone is invited to join us. Lisa, the beautiful world traveler, is headed up the coast in her sports car for the unravelling reunion. I can’t wait to meet her. I know Susannah the unravelling queen and many others will be there. There will be laughter and tears that will last for several days. Music playing, cameras clicking and wine flowing as the surf tumbles across our feet.
That’s my fantasy trip but reality is quite different. I’m headed to Portland Oregon with my son to get him set up for a college internship. There will be many details to tidy up and then a sad goodbye as I leave him in in the north west and return home alone. I’m happy he is taking this opportunity but sad that he’ll be so far from home. I know it’s only a plane ride away but a flight to Pacific North West is damned expensive. That V-dub bus is looking better all the time.
This trip will be busy but we’ll take some time for fun, a jaunt to the west coast and a visit with my Unravelling friend Lucinda, but this growing up stuff is hard to except. I’m thankful and sad at the same time. So the real deal is that I will be headed to the Detroit airport a little before 5am tomorrow morning to board a plane headed westward. Deborah, The Mid-life Poet, and sweetest girl in blog-land, has promised to be floating in the pool as I fly-over around 10:45 Michigan time. I will return next week and resume a normal life of a mid-western girl.
It’s time for a little more caffeine and a lot of busy work getting ready for the trip. I have bags to pack, a house to clean, errands to run and hugs to give before I embark on my journey across the country. Leave me your thoughts and words of wisdom and I will try to check in during the trip.
Oregon is a beautiful place with it’s many bridges over rivers that are cut out of the mountains, on a rage toward the sea. I hope to have some insightful moments and wonderful images to share with all of you when I return but for now I leave you with a quote from one of my faves by Norman Maclean.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
Bye for now.
Let the journey begin…
A little tree toad (frog) waving his peace sign. He lives on my deck and sometimes sings me to sleep.
As I ready a suit case and line up my clothes in an effort to pack for an up-coming trip, I am once again struck by a bag of mixed emotions and uneasy thoughts. This always happens to me when I am about to take a trip. It’s silly really, all the what if’s get together and form this ugly mass that is menacing and gets in the way of me just letting go and simply enjoying my trip. I love to travel and dream of it every chance I get but for some reason I worry about crazy things like: what if I never get to come back home to the people and things I love, what if something awful happens while I’m gone, what if the dog gets lost, the house burns down, someone dies, my plane crashes and so on and so forth. I can’t take everyone and everything with me when I travel, so I take my worries and emmotional baggage instead. Just once I would like to let go and really enjoy the moment, the experience, the culture and my passion to explore without worries. When I close my eyes I see new places to explore, like unfamiliar city streets, trendy shops, I hear street cars, see mountains and smell a hint of sea spray behind my ear. A relaxing trip is just like a good meditation; it leaves you with a clear head and restored body.
Life is complicated and things are never quite as they seem. The way something appears on the surface is deceiving and there is so much more hidden beneath the surface. Taking a trip should be simple, you plan, pack and travel. If only it were just that simple. I’m still very excited about my trip and can’t wait to step foot off the plane in Oregon even though my feelings are complicated. I think worrying is a bad habit that’s hard to break.
It’s okay, this is just a process I go through, nothing to worry about. I’ll paint my dark canvas and then the sun will come out and melt the dark shadows into a haze of warm sparkly bliss. This process always reminds me of a verse from the song “Thick as a Brick” by Jethro Tull.
The Poet and the painter casting shadows on the water —
as the sun plays on the infantry returning from the sea.
The do-er and the thinker: no allowance for the other —
as the failing light illuminates the mercenaries creed.
The home fire burning: the kettle almost boiling —
but the master of the house is far away.
The horses stamping — their warm breath clouding
in the sharp and frosty morning of the day.
And the poet lifts his pen while the soldier sheaths his sword.
And the youngest of the family is moving with authority.
Building castles by the sea, he dares the tardy tide to wash them all aside.
I love that- it paints such a picture for me as I pack up all the needful things that will accompany me on my trip.
Good tune -Enjoy!
My words but a whisper….
Yummy pink and mossy green dripping with a few tiny rain drops are a few of my favorite things about a summer garden. I floated out of bed this morning to a hazy sky still accommodating a full beautiful moon, foggy mist slowly dissipating over the pond, stone floors that cooled my toes as soon as they met, and a toasty cup of coffee. The neighborhood is still quiet at this hour, no cars, no people just kitties waiting at my door for a free breakfast. I love quiet mornings (once I’ve had my first cup of Joe) and the promise of a beautiful day.
The morning sun shining on the love shack in my garden was captured through my bedroom window. I love how the window screen makes this shot look like an old photo.
As I sit composing this post the moon has disappeared and the mist is gone, the sky is clearing as the sun peeks out from behind a cloud. My toes are warm and there are kittens wrestling on my porch- looks like it is going to be a perfect day!
I guess I’m feeling a little Julie Andrews this morning.
Have a perfect Friday and a wonderful weekend.