Tag Archives: painting

50 Shades of Green; My Love Affair with Iowa


iowa cornfield

Over a couple of beers with a friend last week, she said “I’ve never been more in love with Iowa than I have this summer.” Strange brew talk I suppose, even for a couple of chicks, but it was somewhere between talking about how fast the summer went and the kids going back to school and the weird but awesome weather we’ve been having and we were only on beer one, so …

“YOU TOO!!??” I said, a little loudly (we were in a bar, mind you), but I was also excited to hear that I wasn’t the only one.

Honestly, all summer long, there wasn’t a day I didn’t marvel at the beauty of our fair state. It’s the green.

SO. Much. GREEN.

iowa farm 2


As a native of Iowa, it’s no wonder that green is, and always has been, my favorite color, but I never thought it was because of Iowa.  When I was a kid, I thought it was because it was also the color of my eyes ( i know  … loved myself a little much … let’s just go with healthy self-esteem).  And then I saw pictures of Ireland, and fell in love with its color. And then along came Brett Favre and so did my love for the Green Bay Packers. It is the core color of my closet and my chosen fashion accessories. But this summer, I found myself saying more than once, THIS is why I love the color green.

iowa countryside

With all the voluptuous hills and the deep valleys, the crisp, cool streams, the fertile land and the wavy fields of green, Iowa is straight up sexy. Even Grant Wood thought so. Just look at his paintings … how do you not fall in love with that?

grant wood stone city iowa


If you’re not from Iowa, or ever visited Iowa, it’s possible that this love affair is hard to understand. But trust me, all it takes is once.

iowa barnquilts

As long as the “once” is in summer. Between May and October. The rest of the year is tolerable because you know what happens when the snow melts .. and that something is beyond words most days and truly the miracle of rebirth at it’s finest.

iowa river valley

This is my invitation to you, you nay-sayers, you who think Ohio, Iowa, Idaho and Utah are all the same, or are unsure which is which.  A tour through Iowa is certain to be memorable and you’ll never confuse us again. And if you ever need a place to stay or a recommendation of where to go, eat, drink, camp, hike, etc., I can give a long list of friendly natives, including myself, willing to help you out.

I’m excited to hear about your Iowa adventures and what you love about where you’re from!!  Please share below.

“Is this heaven? No it’s Iowa.” ~ Field of Dreams

It’s A Love/Hate Thing



Painting walls … truly a love/hate relationship here.

I. Hate. It.

The trim work, the drop cloths, applying all of that wretched blue tape, removing numerous switch plates, ceilings and corners (seriously?), removing the said wretched tape, cleaning brushes and rollers and paint pans (I don’t even do this anymore, I just throw them away), reattaching switch plates (a missing screw, what the?), up the ladder, down the ladder, step in the paint pan (insert the F bomb here), first coat, second coat, and a half day later you step back to realize it’s not even the color you thought it would be when it dried.

* sigh *

Did I mention I hate painting?

I know HATE is such a strong word and I always tell my kids to find a better word because nothing is quite that bad, maybe just misunderstood (?),  but no misunderstanding here …

! i HATE it !

After all that, what’s left to love?

i LOVE …

the solitude.

the definitive beginning and end – especially the end.

my favorite musical motivation blaring through my headphones.

and if I’m really REALLY lucky … no. interruptions. (but that’s only possible if my painting is off-site, like another planet  … or painting into the wee post bedtime/pre-dawn hours, which is my favorite time to paint for this reason alone).

The irony of all of this, is that I am a painter by nature.

My preferred method is wall murals and other commissioned large works of art.

flowers firetrucks townscape elephant mollys room my starry night

This type of painting is entirely different and much more enjoyable,

from the beginning anticipation to the bittersweet end.

But either one …  either way …  love or hate …

it’s a project that I find incredibly rewarding.

What tasks are a love/hate thing for you?

An Unlikely Fairy Tale


fairy tale castle

When someone thinks of a fairy tale, they envision singing birds, and sparkly castles, maybe some unicorns, a prince with his princess, magical moments full of enchantment .. and sparkles and rainbows and glitter and even more sparkles…

especially if you are a girl.

But not this girl.

I’m not sure at what point in my life I decided I would never have the fairy tale, nor really want it for that matter.

In high school, my fairy tale consisted of living in the Village in NYC, being all artsy fartsy with my artsy fartsy friends, staying out late, rubbing elbows with B list celebrities, painting when I wanted to paint in my giant loft with the giant windows, boyfriends went it felt right, and definitely no kids.

artists loft 2

And look at me now.

Two-failed marriages, four kids, a ratty vehicle, often living paycheck to paycheck, live-in boyfriend with two more kids, a dog, cat and a hamster, an 80 mile round-trip commute each day …

and THIS.

IS my fairy tale.

and I LOVE IT.

Anyone from the outside looking in would see a circus.


The chaos, the mess, the noise, loud-voices, laughter and tears, drawings and writings and various papers scattered everywhere, 12 different calendars to keep all eight of us in the right place at the right time (often late, but shoot, we made it, right?), mismatched socks, dancing in the kitchen, whose turn is it on the Xbox or who gets to pick the next song, sleepover forts that stay up for 3 months, the cat’s up a tree, the dog ate my pencil, i think the hamster might be dead (nope just MIA), unreturned library books, one gets the flu you all get the flu, what’s for dinner tonight, burps, farts and smelly arm-pits (except for Avery, our sweet and only little girl in a sea of teenage boys … yea right), who is picking up the kids and who is picking up the pizza making sure we don’t both end up at home with just the pizza and no kids …

And that’s just the good days.

But who doesn’t love a circus, right?!

(except for the freaky clowns of course)

Honestly …  I would take this circus over that fairy tale any day.

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