the hips of a rose & other musings


The combination of cold and grey provided by January in Iowa most always tips my mood towards malaise. Time in nature and in my sketchbook are a few of the go to remedies I use to manage winter doldrums. Flashes of red offered by rose hips along with redosier dogwood stems poking through the snow and a northern cardinal or two at the bird feeder out back or in the pines out front brighten the days.

Collecting such observations as notes in my journal gives me joy.


Once a year (usually New Year's Eve) I take some time to reflect on these observational notes and compile a list of 365 things about the year. I find it very satisfying to muse over the year in this manner. To remember the days captured in these simple daily lists. Like the memory triggering magic of photos, the jotted notes have the power to take me back and remind me of the beauty and fullness of life. I like that.


This year I'm sharing the list here with a wish for beauty and delight to find you and inspire you all the days of 2019.


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365 THINGS ABOUT 2018

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the warmth of the sun through the cold | super moon mornings | the barred owl out back | how finn wakes me up | light at the end of the day | cardinal red | the joy of tidy | the feel of forty degrees fahrenheit in january | walking with ease | the science of black holes | big flakes | the hawk | buttery croissants | sketching now | june in january | the lavender sky | a swimmer’s half mile | the color of dogwood twigs mid-winter | dip pens and ink | stories of her mom | the ibex jacket | the great horned owl in the dark | sunshine and sunsets | big beauty | many a cloud | the hips of a rose | being present | life. the gift of it. | the blinking ball | crappy (the fish) | the muffin and the vault | how he naps in my lap | good sleeps | watermelon ‘booch | a swimmers mile in fifty | a quiet mind | finn’s pounce | finding your roots | curling | tele-working | this notebook of observations | rituals and routines | the chickadee shift | stomping grounds brunch | losing it | the moon in the morning | crashing | the fox near the pond | enjoying the orchids | sundays in the kitchen | the milkweed sessions | the warmth of wool | the ice covered oak branches | all that make me oh. so. happy. | the café | laughing. hard. | sunshine and fifty-two in february | the cave | migrating versus feeding flocks | hitting walls | the dread for tomorrow | contemplating to burn the fire of ten million stars | monarch madness and mojo | the mighty finn | fugitives of happiness | finding my yoga again | the longest murmuration ever | sliver moons | magical sticky snow | foggy mornings in march | the short walk to crazy | art | not knowing what it means | spring | that it’s all good | cinnamon crunch yum | my new roots | robins | lightening up | finn’s first swim | long shadows | waves of migration | easy travel | mountains and rivers from the air | feeling the warmth of seventy something | magnolia blooms | the groundhog’s assessment of the hole | smooth landings | coffee at home | the pool to myself | daffodil yellow | tulip-a-looza | green sprouts | bluebird blue | spring bird calls | flushing the timber doodle | sprinter | dreaming of spring | yacking with the crows | big turd county | walking in the dark with strangers | prairie chicken orange | chunky boulders of april snow | the crown | surrendering the need to judge | grounding first | thunder rumbles and flashes | the speckled chicken on the porch | the starling and the stick | the fog in the lowland | cruising | ditch wildlife | poetry | nice people | blood root white | the cormorants and the loon | three day weekends | dominoes | horseradish and jam | pink in east village | birds and browse lines | mountain clouds | red bud verge-ness | the vault patio | the first bombus | breathing in to it | the first deck dinner of spring | the return of the swifts next door | the light through the leaves at the top of the tree | the gull that fell from the sky | big naps | beauty | counting ibis at bjorkboda marsh | the morning after | the wood thrush | the summer tanager | eileen fisher linen | the hummingbirds are back | a good gin and tonic | camp fires | lantana blooms | the first whiff of basswood | the porch | shadow and light | the zoomies | the fading jack | my new chacos | watching the wind | zinnia pink | the light a the corner of nineteenth and linn | art with jessica | flashes of orange | labby tails | twelve-spotted skimmer wing snaps | cold tree frogs clearing their throats | eighty-three | cousins | audible | street tacos | art before breakfast | impromptu cook outs for two | the parkway crab | spiderwort purple | lightening bug blinks | remembering caddy shack | the latin king’s strawberry shortcake | the dog spot | finn’s birthday | milkweed pink and orange | a lane to myself at mchose | great spangled fritts | grilling in the rain | lily spiders on green pogo sticks | penny lane | blonde flat whites | the smells of graziano’s | the feeling of easy | zinnia white | sleeping in | greek salads | big skies | finn’s love of the ball and all things squeaky | completion | iced coffee treats | baby soccer punches | the miller on the blade | big stick bonks | five colors | stone stacking | thoughtful friends | double nickels | the back flip | gladiolas | a kazillion shades of green | safe harbor | the dark and stormy porch | coneflower pink | ellen’s calm | the vulture tree | the summerly finds | easy swims and lounging poolside | choosing what next | flexibility | the crunchy salad | laughing with nanny | hummingbird squabbles | oddness | unrolling | rusty-patched bumble bees | the beauty of life | the black and white wasp | when the bees wake up | katydid buzz | the french seventy-five | devotion | basil | to be one with the earth | sketching at ada | owls and coyotes and squabbling raccoons | the flea’s flea | the milky way | the edge of yellow against blue | the dragonfly on the trail | red admirals and monarchs | farm to table on main | river fog | insect art | the roost | dunning springs | magpies for brekkie | storm fronts | the copper frog | missing sundance | the secret life of finn | cicada nights | bright lines | crickets | the bombus bomb | an airboat uber | river monkeys | the eight tracks | middle march | crepuscular toads | birds on a wire | the color of the field against the grey of the sky at the horizon | a hint of watermelon wafting from the dehydrator | feeling fine | r.i.n.g.o. | my tiny zinnias | the morning sky | dragonfly wings glittering in the sun | parachuting spiders | the feeling of fall on the way | hillary (the mountain climber) | pizza by the slice | snus hill | mccoy | drainting | rainbow madness | a dirty goose now and then | cave salamanders | science | historic river towns | sound journaling with ruthanne | wind, light, waves | adong and the unpredictable evening with rundgren at hoyt that followed | remembering the evening light downtown | trivia blurts that are spot on | mottled leaves | brie | hummingbird migration | catching up with ellen | fleece | the river walk | lucca’s salad | a place so full of sky | the autumn cobb on a whim | winged skies | smart people | red granite (the rock and farm) | drive sketching (as a passenger) | finn’s enthusiasm for the day | birch white and black | the orange between lake and sky | leaf storms | unpluggedness | the gitch | the campfire in the snow storm | beautiful snowy superior sunrises | sweet potato hummus | the sound of the wind in the pines from the dark | how he throws the ball back | loaded banana bread | zen belly good | copy cat recipes | fresh air | the taproom | meal planning | the fireplace | meeting vivian for the first time | staying put | the smell of clean | leaf crunch | october | snap pickle snacks | dr. buck | that it’s biologically mine | seed pods | when sketches go wonky but still you get the picture | matcha lattes | oh she glows goodness | my disdain for the time change | bouncing bogs | wildness that grounds me | people that get it | the iowa river | maple leaves in november | nourish brussels | dark sweet coffee | the thinning of the trees | the edge of the shriveling japanese maple leaf | river birch yellow | leading with the heart | gong fu | catching up with sue and shauna | surprising people | lake sounds | cooking with my pop | laughing with mom | kiddos on the move | christmas at the lake house in november | my family | his tree | letting the sadness move through me | improvising | chunky snow blobs | the art mart hangover | beautiful sinks | sunshine | mudpuppy musings | imaginary gold stars | vintage and handmade gifts | kitchen treats from stephanie | curbside recycling | good cheer | alba | sweet potato beignets | polenta fries | el vaca milk stout | nailing paneer | chilling with kkane | the stars that amuse me | canyon planning | finishing the neopolitan novels | soft tissues | deep napping | a grateful heart | the joy of giving | bracing myself | french goodness and figuring it out in the kitchen | watching the wind race across the lake before the downpour got us | revisiting the cuckoo’s nest | wondering and wandering | honoring the letting go


love from here – xoxo kp 

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