Botanical gardens off season, Part 1I love our botanical gardens, but after four years in Denver I have yet to visit them in winter. So during one of our Indian summers, I decided to take Q for an early-morning tour.

It was wonderful. We had the place practically to ourselves. Most of the remaining autumn foliage had been instantly wilted by the first hard freeze and early snowstorm, but there was plenty of beauty to be observed...
...and plenty of wonder left for a just-past-two year old to explore.

The temple of the bells is still Q's favorite part. She just can't seem to get over the wonder of it.

As for me, I particularly love the mosaic stone pathway that leads from that temple, reminding my greatly of a sacred path we walked in Nanjing, just days after adopting her.

Attention Denver denizens: PW in da house!

Ree, the Pioneer Woman (for whom I've done illustration over the past year or so) will be in town for a book signing at the Tattered Cover on Colfax on Monday (Nov 2) at 7:30 pm. If you're in the area, it's worth a trip!
Our little Max, in the brief interval during which she deigned to wear her crown.
After three days of blizzard and three feet of snow, it (typically) turned summer again very abruptly on Halloween morning, and the world began to melt at a furious pace.
By noon we had all stripped to our shirtsleeves, and I'm willing to bet that the sluices and aqueducts of the city were raging with runoff.
We met up with Q's friend Esme, resplendent in the white owl costumer her aunt made for her.
Q didn't recognize her at first under the goggle-eyes and white feathers, but before long they were holding hands again amid the throngs of revelers on Tennyson.

Jena, maker of the wonderful owl costume (and the photographer who took that lovely photo in my previous post).

I got an armful of fuzzies.
Q and a matching dog in the last of the snow.


Another installment of my mother's amazing photos from Africa. I'm jealous...are you?
We so seldom have pictures of the three of us together, since one of us (usually me) is always glued to the viewfinder. A friend of ours took this photo at the wedding reception the other day, and was nice enough to send it on to us. I love this one, and something about our postures and the expressions of pure love on our faces reminds me of a similar picture someone took of my mum, my dad and me when I was a wee one.

Yet another Etsy find...I couldn't resist! Awesome vinyl mirror or shower decals from jolyonyates. How sweet is that?

(OK, I'm going to have to make Etsy finds a category on my blog, I can see.)


No, it's not summer again. Well, not yet, anyway. Give it a couple days and we may yet get another reprieve (that's Colorado!). But there's an awful lot of snow to melt if we do!

This is actually just an indication of how very far behind I am on photos at the moment! This is yet another set from the MCA a couple weeks ago during our first Indian summer.

...lest anyone fear for the health of her self image ;) That "#1" she seems to be giving herself in the last frame? Or maybe she's pointing heavenward like a Renaissance painting. I have no idea. I can't even begin to explain it, except to say that that's pure, unadulterated Q. She is a force of her own creation.

Incidentally this VDJ dress has had a lot of play over the last couple seasons, as you can see! Which reminds me that I'm probably due for a new header soon. Why are there not more hours in a day?

My discovery to share with you today is Kenza's newest blog caramelcaramelo. It seems to be relatively undiscovered so far, and I think it deserves an audience. She keeps introducing me to the most wonderful artists (like her post on the "blue break collection" of drawings by Francois Avril, two of which are shown above). My blog visits in general are sporadic at best right now since every free minute is going toward working the bugs out of my shop, but each time I stop by Kenza's blog there's a wonderful new discovery waiting for me. Hope you enjoy it too!


Corner View: Water.

If I had all the time in the world, I'd drag out some of my old desert photos right now, because in the desert is the time that I feel the closest to the essence, the need, the aching purity of water. The desert southwest is a fascinating place to contemplate water in all its fickle wonder - water seeping into the desert floor, water pooled beneath the surface of the earth, water raging through slot canyons in deadly, spectacular flash floods when the spring rains come....carving the sandstone into fantastic shapes. Our own Colorado river has been tapped for decades to feed the ravenous appetites of California and Nevada. This is such a great deal to think about when you contemplate water in the desert.

But life is very busy for us right now - busy in a good way, but also busy in a head-spinning way. Time seems to have speeded up and the days are whipping by in a blur. As a result, I only have time to edit one set of photos today. And today, here at the feet of the Rocky Mountains, water has changed into snow.'s my corner view for the week:

An early stroll through the neighborhood, before daddy headed in to work.

We stopped in to the local Italian joint for a takeout spaghetti, warm bread and butter, and vinaigrette salad. Seemed like the thing to do. Someone who had a similar idea was sipping a glass of wine while waiting for her order, which made me smile. Such a lovely idea on a snowy afternoon!
ps - a lot of you have commented on the joy that comes from our photos, and I just wanted to say - this is no illusion. Amazingly, mysteriously, through some great alchemy of life, this is the joy that threads itself through our daily lives. We have lead good lives, M. and I both. We've had our ups and downs and our learning experiences (ahem!) before we met, but all in all we are fortunate people. And I think that even Q's early months were not so bad, in spite of the rather harsh hand that life dealt her at the very start. Her caretakers seem to have done well by her, if her open, happy, trusting personality is any indication. But I think it's safe to say that, for all three of us, these right now are the golden days. This is the height of our existence so far in this world - the little life we have built for ourselves. Joy has never shone so bright.

Theme chosen by Trinsch. Links at Dana's blog. Corner View source: Jane.
EEK! I'm late with my Corner View! Apologies, friends! But I have something in mind...I'll have it up in a couple of hours when the little one goes down for a nap!


Oh, man. I have so many amazing photos that my mum sent me from Africa, I don't even know where to begin...but this one seems appropriate. Stay tuned.