New Year's Day Sledding Party

We love sharing our epic 2 mile downhill sled run with gleeful kiddos and jolly adults. Forty adventurers young and old giggled and screamed their way down our mountain again and again. Momma Nature offered blue sky, sunshine and stellar views, we contributed shuttle rides up (1000 foot elevation gain). My studio a warming hut/party place complete with hot chocolate, warm soup, yummy treats. What better way to enjoy New Year’s day? [embed][/embed]

Another summit for Tala

summit Last month between snowstorms we tagged a summit with my dear artist friend Stephanie Revennaugh. Stephanie and I like to celebrate her annual homecoming after a busy summer/autumn art-shows-on-the-road season by hiking a peak. Tala had a blast prancing and playing her way to the summit. She seemed to be the only one of us not sore from the outing. I was uncharacteristically sore but happy and full of gratitude.

Selfie on the way to the summit.  Tala took the opportunity to chase bugs and play during our breaks (she NEVER slowed down).

On the way home, Tala was still leading the pack

Tala takes a tumble

I just LOVE autumn weather. Low light, bright colors, cool temperatures, dramatic or lazy storms and sweet soul-lapping sunshine tempt me into adventure and play. Just knowing the ‘tween season can fall upon us any minute pushes a panic button to squeeze in as much outdoors as possible (especially after a summer of being too disabled to play). Luckily we were able to get out last weekend for a pleasant afternoon hike to Knox Lake just outside Yellowstone Park. Tala is pure joy and constant entertainment on the trail.   Watch this video to see what her curiosity and adventurous spirit got her into: [embed][/embed]

Tala's first summit

The wound in Tala’s neck healed quickly but she is a bit of a mess around male dogs since her attack this spring. Tala is a hermit-by-default living with me up here at the end of the road near the top of this mountain so we are making efforts to expose her to other dogs. We spent a lovely morning on a popular trail in the Bridger Mountains where she met many dogs but she was more focused on exploring than socializing – proving herself super game for trail adventures. Her first mountaintop...

My wounded leg did pretty well although a far cry from its healthy summit-seeking self. Damaged muscle tissue deep inside the calf inside created pain but it was manageable and totally worth it to embark on a short trail together.  We didn't make it to the peak we set out to tag but we made it to the ridge and topped out on a rocky no-name peak which will now be forever known to us as "Tala's Peak."

Tala earned a birthday mountaintop treat...


Soul's Purpose - time to meditate after attacks

Three weeks I have been silent on my blog after a traumatic event. Today, I attempt to return to work (at my desk anyway).  I want to get you caught up - so - I go online and see the last post on my blog was about my "Soul's Purpose" and my desire to create healing art in hospitals.  Uncanny and extra meaningful to see that post today having done some hospital time myself recently.  I am going to borrow from the few Facebook posts I managed while under-the-weather and place them below in a journal update for you.


Thank goodness she will be fine..


Tala was viciously attacked by a large dog yesterday. Scary intense. Full of morphine after our visit to the vet (they cleaned and put a drain into the deep wound) Tala slept in my lap while I drove slowly, gently up the dirt road home. Last 24 hours were rough but she's already showing a bit of her spunk and will be fine.


Tala on the road to recovery

Tala convalescing after the BIG scary dog attack. She's sporting a bandana (my style idea of extra protection to cover the drain in the wound on her neck). The sock is just to keep her from scratching and ripping the drain out. She's on the rode to recovery.














Spoiling my puppy

Tala loves her bed privileges while convalescing, I can monitor her and she gets to feel like a queen beneath the canopy. She had her most restful night of sleep since the attack and is bouncing back to her joyful self.














Tala comforts me

Tala's paw is on my arm comforting me in this selfie taken Monday upon my return from ER after being attacked by 3 pit bulls.  Monday morning after a low-key weekend vigil caring for Tala and her injury, a girl friend joined me for a road ride up East River Road past Chico. Five minutes into our ride I was viciously attacked by 3 pit bulls in the road in front of the residence that used to be the Wanigan store. Luckily my friend survived unscathed but I am on crutches, full of gratitude that the 100 + pound pit bull that sunk its teeth deep into my calf with a horrifying full-jaw-gripping bite did not succeed in yanking me off my bike since all 3 dogs were attacking me at once. If the pit bull had pulled me off the bike I would have been on the ground beneath all three attacking dogs. The momentum of my feet clipped into my road bike pedals ripped my leg loose from the dog's jaw on my right leg. The dog incessantly charging the front of my bike moved to the side aiming for the leg caught in the biggest dog's mouth while the other pit bull jumped and snapped at my left shin. Thank goodness I am a strong, athletic and seasoned biker. Thank goodness my petite friend was safely ahead of me yelling "Keep pedalling!! Keep pedaling!!" Thank goodness it wasn't a family with children out riding a public scenic road on a beautiful morning.

JUNE 19 - (posted by Raymond)

Back in the hospital...

The bite wounds are beginning to heal but the infection running up her leg has Amber back in the hospital where they will be keeping her overnight. She is on heavy antibiotics in hopes of keeping it in control.

More hospital time...


Guess I will get settled into hospital life since Dr wants me on another 24 hours of IV antibiotics. Feeling much better than yesterday. Not used to spending the longest days of the year inside but I get to dive into  William Hjortsberg's latest assuredly brilliant romp "Mañana." Raymond bought the book as a gift for me yesterday after Marc at Elk River Books assured him "although the book has violence it doesn't have any dog violence..."

1524889_10153011492184021_8203730891897416650_nJUNE 23

Lotsa love and color brightened days spent in the hospital. Home now, I'm sporting a bandage the same color as the princess crown. Thank you for sharing beauty from your garden Joanne Gardner !! Love my new soft jammies Deirdre and Robin!!! Thank you Audrey, Linda,Raymond and the rest of you sweeties who spoiled me along with all the good energy I felt, saw and received from so many. Blown away. On the mend. Itching to tag a summit when I can...!

Perfect placement for Get Well flowers at home...


A friend on Facebook said, "It's got to be a major crisis in faith or belief for someone who loves animals as much as you do to be attacked by one..."

My reply:  "I don't think I've lost faith or belief in animals but I do feel like I've lost something. I think if it had been just one dog I wouldn't feel "broken." The pack mentality certainly added a level of horror hard to explain. I am still processing; determined to feel what comes up and move forward. If I don't find what I lost, maybe I'll find something better..."

Featured in a documentary series...

[embed][/embed] My goodness we have SO much catching up to do!!!!  I would love to ramble all about the wonderful experience of this sweet little documentary - from being discovered (crazy story involving dinosaurs and cowboys) to being asked (what an honor to be included in a series about people inspired by their Montana surroundings).  Then too - there is the day I spent with the young bright talented film makers.  But l'll let this short sweet documentary "do the talking..."

Blue eye baby

Blue eye babySeriously?!!!  I am blown away by my little blue eye baby.  Tala's other eye is darling too - a deep purple/blue/black eye with a little rusty round eyebrow above it.  I have never had a puppy.  Zaydee was a rescue dog (about 2-ish) when she came into my life and Shiva was about the same age when she showed up at the cabin with bullet wounds and a collar with no name.  Tala likes to put all of her toys (and whatever else she claims as a toy) in her bed in my office.  She doesn't sleep in the bed (she sleeps under the desk at or on my feet).