September 2nd

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

While I love summer, fall has always been my favorite.

I love the warmth, green, and outdoor fun that summer brings, but I also feel that summer in Minnesota tends to breed busy. Like every single thing that everyone has been waiting to do all winter is crammed into three short months. That every single moment must be taken advantage of, because winter is right around the corner (don’t ya know) – so you better make it count!

So plans are made, calendars are filled; everyone’s summer weekends book up before it’s even Memorial Day.

And then before you know it, it’s Labor Day weekend. Kids go back to school (although I know some of you are more than ready for that), flannels come out, PSL’s become the thing, leaves change, life slows back down, routines fall back into place.

Am I relating with anybody out there?

I am not the person you tell to
“Make it count!”
“It’ll be gone before you know it.” or even
“I’m already looking forward to next summer.”

If we’re being honest, that overwhelms me. I gladly welcome every change of season; each has it’s own unmistakable beauty. While I love jumping into the lake on a hot day, I also enjoy turning on my fireplace and cuddling in under my favorite blanket while snow falls outside. I love the crisp, cool air of fall as I pick pumpkins in our patch just as much as I love the first warm rays of spring sunshine on my face.

So I live each season, happy to be in it (except maybe in March and April when I’m just ready for some dang color in my life). I don’t think too hard about what tomorrow brings, because I’m content with today. Honestly, maybe not in all facets of my life, but because I can’t control the weather, I’m going to let God walk me through each day of His creation.

Paul’s been working like a crazy man, and his recent obligations with friends has filled his free time, so this was our first down day in a while. He just flew in from a bachelor party in Denver last night, and has to work again tonight, so today, Paul and I took the entire day and dated each other, and caught up on life.

After spending some time with KB this morning, we hopped over to Lake Rebecca Park and did some hiking. It had just finished raining, so the air was crisp and cool; it felt wonderful. Talk about being in creation – it was lovely to walk through the woods, breathe fresh air, hear all about Paul’s multiple encounters with bears over the weekend, and simply share in Paul’s company.

It was lunchtime by the time Paul and I got back to the truck, so Paul picked a spot for lunch to surprise me.

The Peppermint Twist Drive In!

I couldn’t have picked a better place! It was out first time going, and it was such a treat!

On our way home, we passed Baker Park, so we stopped to hike around again. I had never been to either park before, and it’s incredible the resources these parks have.

We walked through an area of the trail that had an entire field of Golden Rod in bloom – the Monarchs and Honey Bees were everywhere. Golden Rod is one of the last flowers (or weed, really) to bloom before fall, so it’s an excellent resource for pollinators to build their nectar stores before the cold season hits (I mean, look at those pollen sacs!).

Paul and I stood for a while and watched the Monarchs float around, and it was so lovely.

Simple pleasures.

August 2nd

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

While this photo may give a lot of you the heebee jeebies, I can honestly say “not me!”.

I love bees. If you’ve followed my blog since last summer, you know my advocate stance on our pollinators.

After standing elbow deep over a hive, my face inches from thousands of bees, I have no fear.

I should also note that I don’t have an allergy to bees, so for those of you out there who do, I understand the hesitation and the aversion.

But for those of you who were simply taught to fear bees, consider changing your perspective.

You go to the grocery store all the time right? You pick up what your family needs, even if that means making multiple stops at different locations. You haul bags of items and food in and out of your car, up and down stairs, putting it all away into your pantry or refrigerator for future use. A relatively simple, average, everyday act, right? Only if your life was threatened would that interrupt your errands, make you act out in self defense.

Bees are no different from us.

Check out this guy. This sunflower is his grocery store. He’ll bop from this flower, to the clover in your yard, to the annuals on your front porch – all in an effort to gather food (or at least materials to make food). He’ll fill the special pollen sacs on his legs at each stop, then fly back home to unload it, giving it to other members of the hive to create and store food. He then heads back out to do it all again, because that is his role in his family.

So let’s say he’s gathering pollen from the clover in your yard. At the same moment, your kids run through the yard barefoot, step on said bee, and bee stings. An innocent move on your kids part, absolutely, but you can’t blame the bee for defending himself either.

Let’s say you’re sitting out in your yard, and a bee buzzes around your head. Yes, while very intimidating, take it as a compliment! You smell good to him, and he’s attempting to figure out if you’re a flower he can gather from. Let him buzz, and he’ll move on. He’s not there to come and sting you, he’s just out living life.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “[…] pollinators such as bees, birds and bats affect 35 percent of the world’s crop production, increasing outputs of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide, as well as many plant-derived medicines. […] Pollination is critical for food production and human livelihoods, and directly links wild ecosystems with agricultural production systems.”

While pollinator decline is attributed to naturally occurring parasites as well as the lack of habitat, you can help! Plant flowers in your garden and landscaping that aide in pollinator habitat and don’t spray your dandelions. I don’t enjoy seeing those yellow flowers in my yard either, but that is a factor in pollinator decline, specifically with bees. (Here is a short and sweet little article from the UMN on bees and insecticides, if you’re interested.)

They really are fascinating, hardworking animals, and I hope that the next time you see a bee, you think of this awesome little guy full of pollen, high on life, and that it makes you smile instead of cringe. And hopefully, with time, this lends a new perspective on bees for you.

June 4th

Monday, June 4th, 2018

We made it home!

I’ve only had one hour of sleep in the last thirty hours, but we made it.

Paul and I did get in early to LAX (Thanks, Nick!), but we still had to run for our flight. And not just through one terminal, but out of one, across the parking ramp at LAX, into a different terminal, through security, and then to our gate.

All in fifteen minutes.

If you can believe it, WE ACTUALLY MADE IT.

It helped that it was midnight, so didn’t have to dodge many people, but it was still intense.

But once again, we made it home, so it was worth it.

Everything is so full and green here! All of my landscape plants are alive and blooming, and my garden is flourishing. (Including the weeds, but we won’t talk about that 😉 )

Hawaii was absolutely amazing (we almost didn’t come home), and I’m so glad we went. But at the end of vacation, you’re always ready to come home, snuggle with the fur babies, make some homemade food, and sleep in your own bed.

I cruised through and picked out my blog images, but now it’s time to really dig in and sort through everything I have and start posting some to social media – make sure to stay tuned for more!

July 19th

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

For those of who didn’t know, I’ve taken this summer off from art shows to focus on showing my work professionally.

One of the things I’ve been focusing on is calls for art. This is where art centers, galleries, and cities can post information about art they’re looking for. Whether it be for an exhibition, a public space, or for advertising. Calls for art can be local or national.

A couple weeks ago, I applied to Red Wing Art Association’s call for art for a juried exhibition they are hosting titled “Farm to Table.” Their goal is to create a show exploring the process and interest of the farm to table movement.

With decreasing pollinator population being a hot topic right now, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to use a visual tool to raise awareness of the impact pollinators have. Well, it worked! This piece “It All Begins with Pollonation” was accepted!

This show is bound to be a good one – I can’t wait to see it in its entirety!

June 17th

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

If you haven’t caught on yet, I like bees.

I realize that is a fairly odd statement. Many people prefer to refrain from contact with bees, but quite frankly I admire them.

The phrase “busy bee” doesn’t exist out of coincidence. Each bee spends its short life serving its hive, being a team player. They fly for miles to find pollen and stop at hundreds of flowers on each flight. Each bee in the hive has a job, and that is why a hive can be functional. They trust each other to do their job for the sake of all of their survival.

Quite the community. To study a colony up close, like I was able to last summer, was an education each time we checked in. Hopefully next spring we can introduce more colonies again!