Snow. It has come.

No sooner were we back from our wonderful fall-tacular road trip then it began to snow; the very next morning there was a light layer of frosting on everything, ready or not!



But it was not enough to amount to anything ski-able.  So…as is customary at this time of year, the local Nordic Center unpacked all the snow it had saved under its great pile of sawdust all through an unseasonably hot summer…and laid a Cross-country ski course for all the athletes who come for miles around to get a jump-start on their training.

It was quite a peculiar process to watch…


But the product made everyone happy–kids and skiers alike!

Then followed some quintessential fall days and we had the grandkids out for the weekend…


Perfect timing, for after that the snow came in earnest!

And now we are able to ski right out the back door!


Fall Roadtrip

We returned just over a week ago from a delightful road trip.

There isn’t a better time of year for a roadtrip than the fall, and certainly no better reason than visiting family!

So with Jim’s seasonal work having fallen away we drove off for the triangle tour to visit the far-flung grands and their parents ( : and assorted aunties  ( :

And it was beautiful–the weather for traveling, the trees turning, and our favorite people to get to spend time with…

The first wobbly side of the triangle– 425 miles to Prince George

 Segment two of our wobbly-sided triangle–550 miles to Powell River

Home to our newest grand one–JAXON! who has just turned 5 months old, and has already had two hair cuts!



The weather in Powell River was stunningly unseasonable for October; we even got out for three tandem rides, including the daunting rigors of Wildwood Hill.

And it was a great treat to get to spend (Canadian) Thanksgiving with all three of our girls, and their men…


And to take a walk all together to one of my favorite destinations–well, that was just delicious soul food!


The final leg of the triangle home

This stint was the longest; 645 miles plus ferry waits, which thankfully were minimal (whew!), makes for a long day.

But it was oh so worth it!


And the hillsides were painted in fiery reds and oranges, more stunning than I recall ever seeing them!  But then again, that’s one of the perks of old age, isn’t it?–you forget things and get to experience the wonder all over again!


God has made everything beautiful in its time.

Eccl.3:11 ESV



An October Collage



It all started with the pumpkin.


I’d chosen it at the Farmer’s Market a few weeks back just for the ‘pretty’ of it. 

Now I wondered: How hard would it be to paint?
On a bright Saturday morning, the first of October, I sat at the kitchen table with my watercolors and found out!  



Ha! It turned out a little squashed, but it became the first in a series of daily images to capture all the days of October…

On the second of October I found a tiny goblet at the thrift store to use as a vase…



On the third, Jim’s birthday black forest cake was the feature.

black forest 

It was challenging!IMG_20161003_222955607


So Day 4 I scaled back, looking closely at just one stem of grass from the edge of the yard…

On the fifth of October we had our first dusting of snow making even the stump in the yard look picturesque and highlighting the rosy remains of wild rose leaves…stump

snow dusted stump

It’s getting COLD for riding tandem but lobster gloves with their two-fingered hands kept our fingers toasty warm on the sixth.



Melting snow on the tandem tarp just outside the window made for a great opportunity to try painting water drops on the seventh.



We  took in an art show in Banff the next evening. It was our first time to stroll the streets of Banff by street light.  Standing at one of Banff’s unique all-sides-cross-at-once crosswalks waiting for the light to turn, I snapped this view. It was a chance to work with perspective and architecture…Ironically the exhibit we’d come to see was named, “No Visible Horizon”.IMG_20161007_183759650_HDR


The ninth was Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday.  We opted for A & W since the turkey was still frozen and we hadn’t anybody to eat it with anyway.P1220642

The burger was good and the bright cup was a keeper.


On the tenth I enjoyed a snowy stroll around the neighborhood and most especially the remaining brilliance of aspen color.


While I painted it from an image on my phone I listened to an excellently narrated and intriguing book–Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski.  I commend it to you if you enjoy fiction that reads like non-fiction, anthropology, missionary stories and just enough mystery to keep you reading.


This book comes to mind now when I see this picture.  Funny how art works.

On the eleventh, short of any idea what to paint, I drew the base of my favorite pencil holder,P1220643

an expensive Alaska souvenir handcrafted from some sort of beautiful bark.P1220641

At last the turkey was thawed and we had our own turkey dinner complete with homemade buns on the 12th.


IMG_20161012_155147590Thanksgiving buns

On the thirteenth I went out for a walk, a bit glum that there was nothing eye-catching, until I saw the bright orange lichen on this rock beside the path.



Chocolate cravings on the fourteenth provided subject matter.  I LOVE almond M&M’s!IMG_20161103_103047006    IMG_20161014_183035695

A bit of bling I’d worn that day was poorly rendered on the fifteenth.


A tiny charm from a favorite necklace was greatly enlarged for the next day’s sketch.


And my follow-through seems to have fallen through on the 17th. The dogged daily-ness of this project began to feel daunting…

But on the eighteenth I turned left-over pizza dough into garlic knots as per a recipe in the most amazing bread cookbook ever!



IMG_20161018_124403942Bread Illustrated

Alas, the page was nearly full when a road trip interrupted and my commitment faltered…19, 20,21,22,23…

But on the 24th we were home and there was a leaf from our travels that made the page.


We’ve resigned ourselves to winter’s approach and with it the inability to get out on the tandem, so this was the week for buying a gym pass and getting at the weights…IMG_20161103_103007679

Once you’ve skipped one day, it’s easier to skip some more but on the 28th, determined to fill the page out and finish well, I tried my hand at hard-boiled eggs (which we’d had for breakfast).IMG_20161103_103034605

On the 29th we went to a craft fair in Banff and bought some Red Hot Habanero sauce for a surprise for someone we love who loves it.  It had such a lovely color that it seemed just the thing to add to the collage.


I also bought myself a toy—a darling wooden helicopter with cute wooden balls for wheels.  It reminded me of my dad and his skill with wood back in the days before Alzheimer’s incapacitated him.



And on the last day of October, I brought home a bouquet of flowers leftover from the community dinner.  Tired, and loathe to attempt a rose so late in the evening, I traced instead the silhouette of a leafy sprig as its shadow fell on the page.



…And so the page was filled, making October’s chaotic collage! 


And now it’s time to move on to a new challenge for November!

Thanks for sharing my month’s highlights.  What made October memorable for you?


O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Ps.90:14