MY Gram – Inspiring and beautiful woman

6cec47efe7822ac0a64234a6fd0419deMy Gram was an amazing woman. Inspiring, tenacious, stubborn, independent, adventurous…she was a beautiful woman and I loved her dearly. I spent so much time at her house as a kid it’s almost like I grew up there; there is a part of me that will miss her house just as much as I will her.

When I was there last week I took some time to walk around, to really take it all in – the familiar smell, the things of hers I loved – and I was flooded with memories, memories that I had all but forgotten, and I wished I could push back the clock and rewind time a bit so I could tell her all the things I never got a chance to say, like how much I loved and admired her valued our relationship.

Are You Trying To Be Traditional With Your Creativity?


When people are adamant that they’re not creative (which is a fallacy, everyone on the planet is creative), they think you have some kind of secret.
Or are weird. Or went through something wretched in life, so can only channel such pains through canvas. Or that you’re a nut.


I get this a lot, “How do you come up with this stuff?!” from people who insist they can’t create anything. While insinuating I’m an oddball. Even though they’re pouring through genealogy projects and tweaking photos and compiling into an archived presentation. Despite decorating their homes from scratch without knowledge of interior design.

Regardless of the fact that they can create a bookshelf by grabbing some lumber. I come up with taglines easily. Blurbs. Copy on the fly. I don’t need much time to put something together and rearrange the words and rhythm until it clicks. I do it by jotting down the first few things that come to my head and matching the unlike.

Take a sweet, messy, innocent, clumsy baby. What is the most unlike situation you can find? A bar.

But a baby in an adult bar is just weird. (And something hipster parents love to do in Brooklyn, NY). So scale down said bar and have puppets and miniature bottles. It’s also well done with meticulous detail. With well over 3 million hits (to date).

One Week in Tuscany, How to Get the Most Out of It


Tuscany, a place to relax and unwind. Join me as I share how to get the most out of your stay in Italy. This destination is a frequented topic in our Travel News section. Stay connected with me and give me some comments below. Enjoy!

There is a region in central Italy that attracts millions of visitors from all over the world each year. Its luxuriant hills covered with olive groves and vineyards, thick oak woods and combed by the hard work of farmers can be seen on pictures, paintings and wine bottle labels worldwide.

I am talking about Tuscany, of course, where you will also find plenty of culture, relaxation, joy of life and great food. Florence alone attracts a great many of all those that set foot in Tuscany each year. The cradle of Renaissance, as the city is often called, is a must see during your tour of the region…or is it?

What Would You Create If It Was Your Last Day?

I’ve been wondering why I even want to create anyway. Aside from the fact it won’t leave me alone at night and it consumes me. Why else? I love it. It’s fun. It’s interesting. But why else? What’s beneath the surface?

Over the years, I’ve  learned I keep setting goals and cresting the mountain top of those goals only to find I haven’t reached my goal at all. Instead there’s a dense jungle with jangled footing and a hazy mist. Why am I here? What am I looking for? I was in the office kitchen staring blankly at the teas when it struck me that creativity is so important to me because I want to see the world in a different way. A better way.

I don’t want to see it full of thick unease, glazed expression, lack of fulfillment, void of color, and strewn with pain. I want to see vivid, sparkling evidence that we’re all in control of our own destinies. That we can design our life any way we want.

Without creativity, there’s none of that. Without creativity, we just reach out to the first thing that comes our way that can offer some kind of answer. Whether that answer is comfort or stability or fulfillment.

Several Ways to Climb a Mountain

Back in the fall, before the snow fell, Boy 12, Boy 7 and their 7-year-old cousin hiked up into the hills near our home. (It’s a mountain range, really, not just a hill. But since they weren’t going far, “hill” gives a truer impression.) Their destination was “the tree house,” which is not a tree house at all, but a pair of rope swings—how the spot got its name I’ll never know. Kids are liars, all.

There are two rope swings tied to a large Cottonwood tree. You sit or hang on the stick tied to the end of the rope and then swing out over the steep trail you just hiked to get there. The tree is on a relatively level spot on an otherwise steep hill, so when you swing out, you’re a good 10 meters from the ground at the apex. Boys, being boys, love it. Even I love it, and I get scared on a Ferris wheel. So the rope swing is a true test of my outer limits. This cheap thrill can be yours for the cost of a steep 20 minute hike up the mountain.