11–15 of 15 entries from the month of: July 2013

One Community: July

July 5th

One Community is a monthly photo project in which participants photograph their homes and community with a theme in mind. The theme varies by month. The goal is to both showcase similarities and differences in our communities worldwide – and bring us all closer together in understanding through art.

This month’s words were selected by Sue. They are: nostalgia, season, celebrate and Red, White, and Blue!


Nothing brings me home like a good board or card game. I am enjoying these summer nights, playing cards after dinner and walking Nelson. The fireflies come out and our yard puts on a show. 


Morristown, NJ

They don’t joke around about this being the garden state. I’ve never seen such color.

This is is the season for blooms, moss, and rain. 


Morristown, NJ

High five! One of many public pieces of art in Morristown, NJ. 

Red, White, and Blue!:

Morristown, NJ

I dare say there is nothing more patriotic than the man who could have been king, but opted for democracy instead.

Thanks, Georgie! 


One Community participants include:

Sarah is a life-long Missourian who shares her home with her husband, one (soon to be 2) son(s), and an old grumpy dachshund. Like every good Midwesterner, she can (and will) talk to you at length about the weather.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net.

Colleen lives with her handsome hubster and two feisty felines in Portland, Oregon. She loves rain and sun (in that order), words and pictures, and chatting up the neighbors. She blogs at: www.underaredroof.com

Rebekah lives in Kilkenny, Ireland with her husband. An American by birth, she’s discovering what it means to be an expat on the Emerald Isle. She blogs at: www.honeysucklelife.com 

Kara is a cheerful nerd living in downtown Phoenix, AZ with her law-studying husband and an anxious pound puppy. She works full time in the mental health field but in her off time enjoys sunshine, great food and the occasional craft beer. She blogs at: www.sunshine-cupcakes.com

Wife and Mom to a houseful of boys in sunny San Diego; word geek and all-kinds-of writer; maker of things both creative and useful. Sue is now blogging again at nobaddays.wordpress.com.

Teresa lives in Massachusetts with her husband, college aged daughter and two crazy cats.  She is a creative spirit who tries to find the lesson, blessing and humor in everything and she blogs at http://laughteramongtears.blogspot.com/

Stephanie is a lifelong Wyomingite with ranch girl roots.  She has her own marketing and graphic design business and in her free time, she enjoys knitting, fishing with her boyfriend, and team roping.  She blogs at: www.nowicanseethemoon.co  

Eduarda  is a curious, visual creature who believes all pictures tell a story.  She hails from Mozambique, via Portugal and NJ, and now is desert rate living with her husband and two teenage daughters in Chandler, AZ.  She blogs at: http://of-blue.blogspot.com/



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Sweet home, Arizona

July 4th

I am returning to Arizona.

A return to the desert

Just two months after landing in New Jersey, I’m packing up the house again and heading west. No, we aren’t breaking up. No, I haven’t lost my mind. And no, this isn’t because New Jersey is a horrible place to live, or because I made some great mistake.

In fact, it is the first week of July and the windows are open. I’m listening to the morning rain fall. The garden is lush and happy.* Nelson is snoozing at my feet after having run himself ragged all morning outside chasing bunnies. My agenda for the day, other than packing a few boxes, includes going to the gym and cooking a new recipe for dinner. Life is pretty great, as is.

A return to the desert

I didn’t anticipate this move, or quite frankly I wouldn’t have bothered packing up my house in Colorado and paying to move it 3000 miles across the country. I also didn’t anticipate hearing from the Arizona job I’d turned down in May.

Was I sure I couldn’t accept?

Was I?

I had spent a lot of time thinking about that job. Moping, even.

A return to the desert

There was a lot of prayer and consideration that went into the decision. I am so thankful to have a partner who truly puts my happiness before his own. We will make this transition work, both with great careers we love.


*I am touched by how many friends who have heard the news immediately reacted with, “But what about your garden?!” Yes. What about that garden. Or year-long gym membership I already paid for. Or those concert tickets we purchased for late August.

The neighbors will benefit from the garden, as will D. The tomatoes should start next week, if Nelson can keep the bunnies away. As for the rest? It will all work out for the best.

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Reading: Polite Society

July 3rd

My friend Colleen published her first book this year, Polite Society. Collen’s book itself is gorgeous. Hardback, with gold script across the front, each chapter starts with a hand-drawn illustration. The physical presence of the book itself makes it worth the $32 price tag.

But of course, you should read it. Polite Society is a look into a family’s life in suburban Oregon. The aging teacher who lost her husband at a young age. The grandmother unexpectedly raising her grandchild. The little girl whose imaginary friend is Bob Barker.

Colleen's visit

I enjoyed the story, and of course I am bias. Colleen is a wonderful person and I understand the nail-biting anxieties that come with self-publishing your first baby, waiting for the reviews to come in. The story is so much of you. Your paper-thin ego wants nothing more than to hear it is great.

Colleen: this is a great story! And I am so proud of you for pushing forward and finishing. I will keep this beauty for ages.




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Enjoying the City

July 2nd




D and I will never agree about NYC. He feels alive in this city. This photo was unprovoked — he was just “city happy!”


By contrast, time in NYC leaves me begging for a shower. And a nap.

For whatever reason, spending time on trains and subways and going elbow-to-elbow with strangers in the TKTS line brings out my inner cowgirl. Anyone who will give me two seconds will hear how I belong on a horse, in Wyoming or Montana. Which is frankly hilarious because I don’t really like horseback riding. And the bugs in Wyoming make the summers nearly impossible, unless you are sitting in a zone that’s already been mosquito-napalmed by the local government.

But I dislike the smell of NYC on a hot summer day considerably more.

So, yeah. I get why it is a romantic city and the cultural gems hidden within cannot be overstated. But neither can the peace that comes from a quiet starry night, sitting around a campfire with friends.

God bless this man’s patience with me. And that he loves a woman in cowboy boots.

Yee haw, friends.



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Good work, frogs.

July 1st

I’ve documented my love for this little sewing book — and not just because there is a tree on the cover. (But hey, sewing trees is my thing.) Last week, after seeing a friend’s scrappy quilt posted on Instagram, I dug into one of the projects I’d long wanted to tackle: the French applique patchwork tree pillow.




Backstory: I was/am procrastinating giving my attention to a different rather large assignment. So why not get started with a fairly complicated sewing project?



This pattern is from Fussy Cut, whose blog is craft gold. I’d never before done French applique — the technique of cutting away a top layer to reveal a pattern beneath. It took guts after 5 hours of sewing to take scissors to the top piece of muslin, hoping for the best. But thank goodness — it worked.

However, before this pillow could be completed, I ran out of bias tape. Note — one package of 3 yards of bias tape is this much too short for this project:

French Applique

Also note — the nearest fabric store to my NJ home is 35 minutes each direction. I’ll let you fill in the swears. They were plentiful.

I would not be deterred. I jumped in the car first thing Saturday morning and got the necessary supplies to finish up this baby.

French Applique

French Applique

I am so very pleased with how it came out. The points are far from perfect, but the technique has given me a slew of new ideas for projects. I can’t wait to play. And of course, I have to wait. Because once I had dragged out all of the sewing supplies and made our dining room a huge mess, I started another rather complicated patchwork sewing project only to have my sewing machine go kaput.

Yet another lesson in frustration.


Sadly, no more sewing until my machine sees the shop. Guess I can’t procrastinate all the other work awaiting my attention.

Wait. There is always knitting…





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