Fogs of January

Winter continues. So far this year, I've been concentrating on getting myself into good daily patterns, like riding my bike every day that I can, and making progress on my various resolutions and goals for the year. It helps that the valley is in the middle of one of the driest winters we've had in a while. Riding in the rain always feels so purgatorial for me!

But I ride in the cold and fog because improving my health is probably my most important goal for 2014. And sometimes the beauty of the world smacks into me like the wind, even when – maybe especially when – it would be nicer to be home in the warm, with a nice cuppa. Riding in the fog yesterday morning, gathering frost on my hat and arm was worth it for the beauty. 

One of my other big goals is to whip the house into shape. It's slowly coming together and feeling tidier and homier. My basic strategy has been to do five things per room per day, which may seem like a small, but it starts to add up and I never really feel overwhelmed. Even when I'm really tired or don't feel like doing anything, I can still get myself through five things in each room, even if it's just picking up a stray sock or putting a book on a shelf. 

I need to get back into making art soon, though, with my first show of the year coming up next month. 

Beauty in Ice

We spent a few days in southern Oregon with my mum. She'd been feeling poorly and needing a bit of support and company, so down we went, through ice and snow and freezing fog. I have mixed feelings about where I grew up, but if nothing else, I learned how to drive in the snow.

The sun came out in time for us to drive home, but for a few days, the landscape was rimed in frost and ice. I found amazing beauty in Mum's backyard.

Of course, I brought my knitting, pencils, sketchbook, and ACEO blank cards to keep my hands busy and my heart happier than it would have been otherwise. This little fox looks like I felt, alert and a little wary. He's available in my Etsy store now.

The Year Finds Its Footing

2014 is off to a pretty good start. I've done my first ACEO of the year (something I intend to do a lot more often this year), the handsome fellow above. Watercolor pencils and ink on watercolor paper. I love the very soft gray I used for his feathers, and his eye turned out gorgeously. The green makes me rather long for spring, although I really am doing my best to enjoy winter and the various pleasures and coziness thereof.

First salad of the year, our favorite local little hippie grocery store's house salad mix, with added cucumber and red bell pepper and organic goddess dressing. Yum! The way I devoured this thing, I suspect my body is absolutely craving colorful vegetables and more of them. I must remember to oblige it. 

Speaking of the pleasures of the wintry season, my first vanilla steamer of the year, something that Mr B enjoys when he's had enough coffee for the day (crazy words, I know: enough coffee, ha!) and now I do too. Seriously, I don't get why vanilla is supposed to be synonymous with boring. It is rich and delicious. 

First bike rides of the year! We've been having a rare dry spell, and even on days like today where it was gray and drizzly, there was just enough time where it wasn't raining for me to dash out and put in a few miles without feeling like I was riding in purgatory. Yes, I will melt if I get rained on; I am, in fact, that darned sweet.

One of my goals this year is to ride (or walk) every day, and I'm going to keep track of my bike mileage. So far, I'm up to just over 36 miles, which does not make for a bad little daily average.

A Clean New Page For 2014

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
—Mark Twain