Monday, November 2, 2009

My New Look

Hey, everyone - I figured the Pink Carnations design was good for October, it being Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all -- but I wanted to change the look of my blog up a bit as we head into November. I almost chose a shabby EGG design, but opted for this, the BIRD instead. What do you think?

I am so far behind in BLOGGING that there's no way, really, to "catch up". All I can do is move forward from where I am and just go for it. So that's the plan for November!

-- Davielle

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life with Breast Cancer: a visit with author ANNE MARIE BENNETT

Grab your cocoa, coffee or tea, faithful readers ... and settle in to read an account of MY experience reading BRIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD: A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer, by author and seven-year breast cancer survivor Anne Marie Bennett.

I first "met" Anne Marie about 10 days ago, while visiting my friend Karen's blog, Square-Peg Reflections ( ) ... and I immediately sent Anne Marie an e-mail, asking if I could host her on my blog for a virtual BLOG TOUR. {You, too, can host Anne Marie on YOUR blog ... check her site for all the details !!}
So, everyone, "meet"Anne Marie:

So here's the deal: Anne Marie journaled her way through her breast cancer - diagnosis, two surgeries, twelve weeks of chemotherapy, and forty-two radiation treatments. As Anne Marie says so poignantly in her book, "Holy Mother of God. Cancer. The C word. I've known this all along, but suddenly the realization creeps up on me and wham! I am startled into amazement whenever I think of it this way."

Starting with her diagnosis; as she sits in the waiting room of the clinic where she's been sent for a follow-up to her routine mammogram, this is what she goes through:
"One by one the four other women are given the thumbs-up-you-can-go-home-now sign from the older woman behind the counter. One by one, I watch them leave. I close the magazine and think of statistics. What is it, one woman in eight that ends up with breast cancer? Or is it one woman in ten? Six? I can't remember. But how many women do I know who have had breast cancer? Absolutely none. The odds are not in my favor. This realization dawns on me slowly as I lay the magazine down on the table beside me and look around at the empty waiting room. What if today, I am the woman who doesn't get the thumbs-up sign?".

And then there's the biopsy. And the waiting that comes after. And then, the conversation with her doctor. Followed by ...
"Dazed and disoriented, I manage to steer myself through the lobby to the ladies room where I sit on the floor of the handicapped stall and cry quietly into my hands. I'm wondering why Dr. Karp didn't say 'You Have Cancer' instead of 'There Were Cancerous Cells in Your Biopsy'. Because no matter how it's phrased, it all boils down to the fact that I have cancer. I. Have. Cancer."

Then there's the wondering that we all go through when something bad happens to us or to a loved one:

"Have I made myself sick? Have I brought this on myself? But how? Feelings not spoken? Bitterness and resentments simmering beneath the surface? Ancient grief buried within my body?"
Who among us has NOT asked those very same, or similar, questions. "what have I done to make this happen?" It's a popular refrain, and a very common reaction to news we don't want to live with. Can you all name a time in YOUR life when you asked those same questions? And if not those, then "why me? why my father? why my child?" ...
I do so love that Anne Marie found encouragement and inspiration from Olivia Newton-John who asked, basically, "why NOT me?" when she walked her own cancer journey.

As a patient myself with plenty of other maladies, I could so totally relate to this journal entry from Anne Marie:
"This gown, this perennial object of hospital fashion, takes away some of my identity, my uniqueness, and instantly labels me 'patient'. I don't like this feeling at all. It puts me at a distinct disadvantage in this day full of doctors."

So - how are you all doing so far? Is this hitting close to home for some of you? TOO close to home for some, I expect. It sure grabbed me and kept me engaged all the way through. Like so many people who love and care for and support those who are living with a cancer diagnosis, I feel mostly helpless in the face of such a foe. Cancer. with that capital C. you know, don't you, that the abbreviation for "cancer" is simply CA ? I've lived my entire life in California, and you all know that CA is also the abbreviation for my home state. I don't much care for them using CA to denote cancer in a patient's chart. Be that as it may, because now I am digressing ...
Anne Marie's story continues:

"I stand on the front porch for a moment and breathe in the fresh air. It's been an entire week since I've stepped out of the house, so this new freedom feels delightfully delicious to me. I go to the bank, to the corner cafe for some chai, and to the grocery store for ingredients for dinner. These errands take only thirty minutes, but I'm completely exhausted, so I climb back into bed and sit for a long time in the silence, first with my journal, and then with a new novel."

Distractions as well as QUIET TIME proved to be quite soothing and healing for Anne Marie, as I assume they would be for me in her situation. I treasure quiet time, and I do like a good distraction from my worries. I really related to her journal entries, too, about just needing to ... nap.

And on my other blog, I intend to also do a blog post (tonight, I hope) about how Anne Marie loves being creative, and the role that art and writing played in her journey, and how they continue to help her heal ... herself, and others.
On life with chemo: "By 1:15 it's over and I'm giddy with relief. I can't believe how normal I feel. It's almost as if nothing's happened at all. I know they told me most people don't throw up during chemo, but I never quite believed them."

On on-line support groups / friends: "I've forgotten how long it takes to bond with people emotionally in 'real time' as opposed to cyberspace, where I bonded with Dawn and Elizabeth so quickly due to the speed and immediate intimacy of email."

So when Anne Marie journals about her oncologist asking her how her SPIRIT is doing, I fall in love with him. "I am in awe that he has asked me this ..." she says. Towards the end of this amazing book, we are reminded to ask anyone we might be supporting through cancer how THEIR spirit is doing ...
And I'm going to end this post with a very eye-opening entry by Anne Marie ... one that I can also relate to, but had probably not thought of in the context of OTHERS feeling this way, too:
"I'm not exactly ashamed of having breast cancer, but I am quite sick of talking about it all the time. No, that's not it exactly. What I'm tired of is worrying about how much the other person already knows, and how much I should tell them, and how they're going to take the news, and how I need to reassure them that I'm going to be all right. I find this exhausting."
I could excerpt the day away, but I am not going to. I want you to visit Anne Marie's site and I want you to order her book. If not for yourself, then for someone who might need to read it.
Anne Marie can be found at: and you can order her book right there on her website! It's going to be the best $14.95 you've spent in ages, I promise you that. It's full of her candor and insight and her PERSONAL journey with breast cancer. It also provides helpful lists at the end of the book for resources, for support, and for affirmations to see you through - whether you are the patient, the family member, the friend, or the caregiver.
Thank you for joining me today on this journey with a breast cancer survivor.
I dedicate today's post to my girlfriends, Marsha and Lori, who are shining inspirational examples for me of how to live graciously with breast cancer. And in loving memory of our friend, Lorraine, who lost her battle with breast cancer ... I think of her all the time.
-- Davielle

Friday, October 9, 2009


As we continue on through the month of OCTOBER, let's remember that it is, after all, BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH and let's do what we can to "think PINK" ...
I was reminded today as I cruised a website { } that there's a great 'clearinghouse' for all things PINK and PINK-MINDED known as "Make Mine Pink" ... visit them here:
"Girly Finds" is a Friday feature over at MAKE MINE PINK

So many delicious vendors to visit can be found there !!!
And as I visited my friend Karen Caterson's web pages this afternoon, I came across a book on her "bedside book stack" list, that I think must be worth sharing with you all {although I have to say, I have never thumbed thru this book in person, I SO trust Karen's review of it that I am going out on a limb here and sharing it with all of you} ...

Bright Side of the Road: A Spiritual Journey Through Breast Cancer
by Anne Marie Bennett

You can click here on this link to see the book via Amazon:

And if you have even one similar interest to me, you will likely enjoy Karen's writings over on her Square-Peg Reflections site:
To tie Karen and her writings in to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to give a shout-out and a big "plug" to Karen's "CHOOSING ME: Finding Comfort, Joy and Beauty in the Me I am NOW". As Karen so poignantly asks: "Would you rather fly a copper kite in a thunderstorm than talk about (or even think about) body-image?" Oh, boy, could I relate to that! If you answered "yes!" to her clever question, this is a link you MUST visit:

I personally have sent Karen a (very long) "testimonial" about her CHOOSING ME piece -- I have the CD right where I can listen to it when I take a bath, or am in the car and want to give my self-esteem and body-image self a serious TALKING TO !!! Karen deals with BODY IMAGE (eek!) issues in a caring, compassionate, humorous way that really made a world of difference to me.

If you take that thought process out just a tiny bit - not even much of a stretch - you will realize that women who are dealing with breast cancer are even more likely to have a "body image issue" at some point in their journey. Right? Let's take a moment to ponder that thought ... there are so many aspects of BREAST CANCER that I had never been made aware of, nor thought of, that I am facing right now as my dear friend Lori takes her own BC "walk", if you will. Treatment options, including surgery ... post-op treatment choices to be made, reconstruction options to consider, lifestyle alterations that can enhance (or detract from) one's personal healing process, etc.

SO many details, SO much to learn, SO much of that "unknown" that when one receives a diagnosis like "breast cancer", one is then forced to research and absorb and integrate into a life that will never after be quite the same ...

I have been blessed to have dear friends who were willing to share their experience with me: Lorraine, Melba, Marsha, Rita, Lori ... It is a GIFT to us all when these brave women SHARE THEIR STORY with others.

If you or a friend/loved one are in need of healing words ... please visit BONE SIGH ARTS, the site of talented and soulful TERRI ST. CLOUD ... { }

because we ALL matter ...
And one other amazing woman that gets a shout-out from me this Friday afternoon: author and shame researcher, DR. BRENE BROWN. She is a skilled speaker, who SPEAKS to "shame" issues and "self-esteem" issues ... you name it, if you can claim it, Brene can address it !!!
I found her "I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (but it isn't)" book {and readalong} to be immensely insightful and helpful earlier this year.

So ... lighting a candle for all women who are living with breast cancer, and in honor of those who are fighting the good fight (visit the Susan G. Komen Foundation website to help out), in memory of those who lost their breast cancer fight (sweet Lorraine, the beautiful Margerita, and the most brave Erika), and just so GRATEFUL to all those who care for those with breast cancer ...
And with a special "praise God!" for the most excellent news that my friend Lori received this week, post surgery ... all clear margins, no cancerous lymph nodes, and that a 'satellite' tumor was found during her mastectomy that would not have been found if they had done a lumpectomy instead. God is good, and His hand was all over her terrific outcome. PRAYER REQUESTS going out to all of you, please, for continued and perfect HEALING for Lori as she takes her next steps ...
I remain - humbled -
-- Davielle

Thursday, October 1, 2009


That's right, friends. Today is OCTOBER 1, 2009, and October is officially BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.

How will YOU recognize this critical health issue in October? Will you wear PINK every day? Will you color your hair PINK, like my friend Suzi's dog GIGI has done? Will you sport your PINK "breast cancer support" rubber wristband/s all month? Will you buy PINK products, or products that give a portion of sales to Breast Cancer Research? Will you eat PINK yogurt for breakfast, and will you order a PINK strawberry shake at the drive-thru? Will you carry a PINK purse, or wear PINK shoes, or a PINK hair clip? Maybe paint your finger or toe nails PINK ???

More importantly, will you talk to your daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, neighbors, friends -- all the women you know -- to tell them what YOU know and what YOU have experienced when it comes to BREAST CANCER ?????

Do you have a relative or friend who has lost their battle with breast cancer? I do.

Do you have a relative or friend who is currently fighting for a full recovery, after finding out recently that they have breast cancer? I do.

Do you have relative or friend who has fought the fight and won, and is now all clear of her breast cancer? I do.

Do you have a relative or friend who participates in Races, Walks, and other Fundraisers on behalf of ... the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, or any one of the many organizations that fund cancer research? I do.

In 2008, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with well over one million participants since 2005. The Komen Race for the Cure Series raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. To find out more about the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and to find a race near you -- click here:

Here is the link for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (the organization), with links there for patients and health care providers and caregivers, for those who have just been diagnosed, or for those who have a friend who has just been diagnosed ... this site offers the full gamut of resources:

And an organization that has been around as long as I can remember, the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY has a long history of raising cancer awareness: Beginning in 1946 with $1 million, the Society’s research program has invested about $3 billion in cancer research. The Society has funded 42 Nobel Prize winners early in their careers.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. With more than two million volunteers nationwide, the American Cancer Society is one of the oldest and largest voluntary health agencies in the United States.

Click here to find out more about what the American Cancer Society is doing in the fight against breast cancer:

And with regards to PREVENTION, here's a link to the American Cancer Society's page on lowering your breast cancer risk, and celebrating breast cancer survivors:

This may seem unnecessary, but the President of the United States, Barack Obama, has formally proclaimed October 2009 as "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" -- I don't know if each President has done this, year in and year out, but here's the link to said proclamation in case you're interested:

And yet another resource ... the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. ... find them here:

And here's an easy one: just click on this link and then CLICK TO GIVE so that free mammograms can be provided ... to those who need them.

Whatever you do, please please please do something - anything - to help increase awareness of this critical health issue ... and remember ... women are not the only ones to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society covers that topic here: ttp://

I wish you all an enlightened and informed OCTOBER, and I thank you for reading through this long post this morning.

-- Davielle

Sunday, September 27, 2009


"The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.

The second best time, is today."

-- Chinese Proverb

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jen Lee on Being the Oldest Child

I give much thanks to author Dr. Brene Brown (she wrote I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST ME (but it isn't) - you may recall that earlier this year, I did a 3-month "read-along" with Brene and I don't know, maybe 200 other individuals ... it was quite an adventure and I sure hope Brene does another web-based READ ALONG in the future, with any and all of her new works.

So today, I re-visited Brene's website ( ) to get a bit caught up with what's happening in her world, and I was treated to a very special interview that Brene did with New Yorker JEN LEE ... who is a most gifted storyteller.

You might also recall that at some point or another, I have blogged about Jen Lee's CD; it's called SOLSTICE: Stories of Dark into Light. It's fabulous. So here I am, a fan already of the amazing Jen, and this interview and the VIDEO CLIP that Brene offered up, was a real treat.

See for yourself, but as Brene noted to us on her site ...
Before you start - they cut off the very first line and last line. The first line is, "As an oldest child..." The last line is, "the whole world seems to be made of china, and the people in it of some frail, fragile glass."

So, what did you think?! I might not be an oldest child, but I am married to an oldest son (with just one older sibling, his sister; and 7 younger sibs that followed) ... so I could totally see the truth in what Jen tells us in this story. It pulled at my heartstrings.
Our stories are POWERFUL, friends, just powerful. What I really liked in the interview that Brene held with Jen was when Jen said that her writing keeps her "true" ... To read the interview, click here to go right to it:
-- Davielle

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Adventuring In Home Living"

I am so excited, I can hardly contain my self ... last week, while spending 1/2 a day with my amazing friend Nancy, I came across a book that has me all a-twitter !!! {no, not THAT Twitter, not the social networking Twitter ... the kind of a-twitter that has one's heart pounding and one's knees quaking - THAT kind of being all a-twitter}.

So ... what is this $1 gem that I couldn't go home without?!

ADVENTURING IN HOME LIVING, Book 1 {oh my, does this mean there are MORE such volumes out there for me to find?! be still my heart !!!} -- a textbook by one Hazel M. Hatcher and one Mildred E. Andrews; with charming illustrations by Alice Freeman. You can't believe how incredible this handy dandy textbook was for the students of it's day.

It's day, by the way, was 1954. Yes, it was published by D.C Heath and Company of Boston.
So the premise was this, as their PREFACE so distinctly states it:
"Adventuring in Home Living, Book 1, a basal beginning text for young adolescents in homemaking education, has been developed in terms of three goals which the authors have attempted to achieve -- to write a book that students will enjoy, to exemplify teaching procedures which are educationally sound, and to write at the reading level of young teen agers."

I highly recommend you find a copy of this gem for your very self.

For now, though, I'll include some TEASER PAGES on the matter of ... Pressing. Or, as some of us call it today, Ironing. {Really, if one uses an IRON to get the wrinkles out, then where does "pressing" come in to play?} Anyway ...

I love this book, I love this book !!!
-- Davielle

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

PLEASE VOTE: Show Us Your America Contest from Aaron Bros.

I have entered the SHOW US YOUR AMERICA contest sponsored by Aaron Brothers, and I sure would appreciate your taking a moment to click on this link, to Image # 1698, titled "And The Runner is OUT at Second" -- which I took of my grandson, Trevor, earlier this year.

(if the photo when you click on the link MATCHES the photo shown herein, then you'll know you're at the right place !!!)

The more ratings the photo receives, the better my chances of ending up in the TOP TEN. The more STARS you give the photo (if, that is, you find it deserving!), the better off we'll end up, too.

Thank you for your time and your interest ... I love photography, I love baseball, I love America, and most of all ... I love my family !!!

-- Davielle

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



If you view NOTHING ELSE via YouTube, etc. the rest of this year ... DO visit Patti Digh's blog by clicking on the link I've included, just below, and VIEW ALL FIVE of the most amazing videos I think I've ever seen.

They tell the story of a wonderful teacher in Japan, a man who has 4th grade children SHARING THEIR FEELINGS, CARING FOR EACH OTHER, PRACTICING and EXPERIENCING EMPATHY and being LOVING, WARM, OPEN, and HONEST.

This man says, "Let People Live In Your Heart"; he says "When People Really Listen, They Live In Your Heart Forever". Wise words.

And that is just what I gleaned from the first video. There are five.

I believe that you, like me, will be enamored of this concept, dearly wishing it could be so, right here, in wherever your hometown is, wherever your children and your children's children and your neighbor's children ... go to school.

Wouldn't this be a beautiful world if that were so?

-- Davielle

Friday, August 21, 2009

Post 310

Decided to give the PHOTO UPLOAD another "go" today ... so I'm back to the Bigfork Library, fingers and ankles crossed ...

Here goes ...
welcome to Montana ... where they offer up LIVE Poker. {thank God, 'cause there's nothing I dislike more than DEAD Poker!}

Bailey, the curly-haired "nephew" I had not yet met.

my father in law GENE (left) walks the Orchard with my husband, the oldest of the Huffman boys ... MARK (right).

the topic of their discussion? WHAT ELSE but the state of the cherries.

Marky Mark, going all domestic on us ...

whole wheat banana walnut huckleberry PANCAKES, a la Stacey Huffman Thomas
{slathered in fresh sliced strawberries and a good dose of whipped cream!}

this is where Mark and I sleep when we're up here ... outdoors, under a black sky, with plenty of stars & fresh Montana mountain air to lull us to slumber ...

Just so you know, it's NOT all play for Mister Mark when we're on holiday ... here, Mark taking calls in the AM sun ...

And for now, that's about it, folks.

-- Davielle

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I woke up yesterday, Wednesday, all ready to go into town and find me some internet access, so I could blog about the beginnings of our stay here at Flathead Lake with Mark’s family. I was in the perfect blog-post mood – and then I had a brief “difficult moment” with my mother in law, which made me sad and a bit sick at the stomach – I don’t deal well with confrontation. So the mood to blog passed and I just sat here sorting photographs, cropping, rubbing out red eyes, etc.
When my amazing mother in law came to me within an hour to apologize, all turned right again with my world. Life as I know and enjoy and appreciate it … was restored. No matter how often I try to convince you all that I am not as overly-sensitive as I used to be … don’t believe me! I am, I am.

So here’s how it’s been so far:

We left San Diego at 7:20 am on Sunday morning on a cute LITTLE plane that operates for Delta. Oh my! When we looked out the terminal window to see our “ride”, we simultaneously gasped (quietly). I had to take a picture, ‘cause nobody would believe how small our little plane was … the man standing next to the nose will give you a clue.

After one of the smoothest plane rides we’ve ever experienced, we landed (softly) in Salt Lake City. We claimed our carry-on bags, which, as it turned out, were TOO LARGE for such a small craft! We moved on to the gate quite a walk away, where we took off for Missoula, Montana within the hour.

We arrived in Missoula to Marion & Gene (mark’s folks) and Jerry, Marion’s brother / Mark’s uncle. What a nice welcoming committee! As all of us were rather hungry, we drove until I spied an IHOP and we lunched there; most of us on breakfast fare.

After the longer-than-usual drive to the Flathead (due to a whole lot of road construction), we arrived at the Cabin. I have not been here since the summer of 2004. Five years is a long time to be away from a place that had already become quite dear to my heart. I’m glad I took the leap of faith to return this summer. It’s been near-perfect.

Sister in law Stacey and her children, Lauren & Sean & Jonathan had spent the day at Glacier, with Jerry’s daughter Joy, her son Nick, and Jerry’s granddaughter CJ (named for Jerry’s beautiful and belove late wife, Clarice Joy). What a beautiful family! We met them for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Bigfork, and it was great to see again those who I’d just met last year (Joy and Nick) and to meet little CJ.

Night One: Mark and I slept on the pullout couch with an added foam pad. Boy, were we sore on Monday morning!

Day Two (Monday): Marion treated us to Banana-Walnut-Huckleberry pancakes made with Krusteaz whole wheat flour. DELISH. We opted to hang loose most of the day, spending as much time as we could with Jerry, Joy, and the kids. They pulled out around 3 in the afternoon, headed for Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore on their way back to Minnesota. Then we made our mid afternoon run into Bigfork to visit the Library, so we could have internet access. We were somewhat thwarted by the fact that the Library is not open on Mondays … however, we could get access by sitting on the little benches out front. Mark caught up with some office work, while I shopped across the street and Lauren-Sean-Jonathan used their own laptop to go online. They were not to be denied! We then walked the main street of downtown Bigfork all together, stopping in for ice cream cones to get us by until dinner. Isn’t that what aunties and uncles are for? Spoiling a kids’ meal?! And Monday night, Mark and I returned to our old at-the-cabin sleeping habit of setting up in sleeping bags out under the stars, on the grass, near the firepit and the entrance to the cherry orchard. A beautiful, crisp, clear night – plenty of stars, just about no moon, nice and dark and quiet.

Day Three (Tuesday): There just isn’t anything like waking up next to an orchard … the birds, the squirrels that resemble chipmunks, the clean air. Dew on the grass. Oh my! We had agreed to pick cherries first thing this morning, so we could pit them and dehydrate them to get us through the winter. Mark says those dried cherries are going to get him all the way to Nationals next summer, but all I can picture are cherry scones, cherry muffins, cherry cookies, cherry pancakes, and cherries in the granola. We picked … we pitted … and with the help of my father in law, Gene and our nephew Jonathan, we got them onto the trays and into the dehydrator. A bountiful crop to bring home next Tuesday.

Plenty of time Tuesday for doing LIAV-37 days “homework”, and a frustrating time of it, trying to reach my peer call buddy, Rosalie – which indicated to me that without reliable cell service here, I could not make today’s WILD & PRECIOUS LIFE conference call. I was quite disappointed, but it did open up time for me to journal quite a bit and to make new discoveries. I can’t wait to share it all with Mark!

Another gorgeous night under the stars and life goes on quite swimmingly.

Day Four (Wednesday): Another beautiful morning, albeit a smidgen marred by a little “discussion” with Marion about life and friends and being careful to not make judgment until one has the facts …. Which we resolved quite beautifully, as I noted earlier in this post. Mark and I soon welcomed our friend Robin, and her children, Skylar, Hans and Ava … it was so good to see them all again. Mark sees them each summer; since I had not come for 5 years, I was long overdue. Just hugging my very dear friend Robin, who has been a rock in my life since we met in 1987 or so, did me a world of good. We got the kids into the orchard, picking cherries with Mark, and Robin and I set out for The Raven, a bar / restaurant right on the water, close to Bigfork, to have a nice catch-up visit. A beer and a diet coke later and we realized that 2 hours had passed and we had to get back to the kids, since Skylar had soccer practice in the afternoon.

We spent the rest of the day reading, watching birds, napping … relaxing … and I spent more time on my next attempt at drawing a “goddess” girl face, a la Suzi Blu. It’s becoming less frightening for me to pick up the pencil – so long as there’s an eraser at hand, I am less fearful. I actually made a lot of progress, and even began adding color with colored pencils … she’ll have to wait for me to get home for some paint and glimmer and embellishments! ANN, I am really beginning to adore this journey … I hope you are, too.

Wednesday evening we had a nice impromptu visit from cousins Mark and Rachel St. Sauver, who live just up the road. As always, Marion and Rachel and I got into a discussion of books we have read and are about to read … books are such a wonderful conduit for friendships when one doesn’t get to see the other for long stretches of time (remember, I haven’t seen Rachel in 5 years – and how is it that she just doesn’t age?! Must be this Montana living!) So … the other random topic that came up? Rheumatological disorders; believe it or not, Rachel was diagnosed with RA a week ago, and I was tentatively diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatism three weeks or so ago … and we are within a year in age of each other. I have always felt a kinship with Rachel … now it’s been cemented, I think.

BIRDS WE’RE SEEING UP HERE: a pileated woodpecker; evening grosbeaks; robins; nuthatches; chickadees; house finches; some kind of sparrow; oh, and although it’s not a bird – plenty of bats in the twilight. It’s way cool.

BOOKS I HAVE READ UP HERE: I started OLIVE KITTERIDGE on the airplane, and finished “her” on Tuesday. I started A THOUSAND DAYS IN VENICE on Tuesday evening, and finished “her” up this morning as I lay in my sleeping bag out on the grass. What’s next? I have a book called INTERIOR OF THE CASTLE: St Teresa of Avila – that I think I will pick up next. I have to say - I wasn't crazy about OK, but I sure fell hard for VENICE.

On the calendar for today (Thursday): a run into town so I can cut & paste this VERY LONG POST into my blog site … and then, Mark and I are heading out to explore, to poke around some thrift and antique shops, and to visit Gatiss Gardens near Kalispell.

And oh my, Stacey just read aloud to us DESIDERATA, in its entirety. First composed by Max Ehrmann in 1927, and “renewed” in 1954 by Bertha K. Ehrmann … this was a magnificent accompaniment to my morning coffee. If you haven’t (ever/lately) read DESIDERATA, here is a link:
Do visit, do take your time, do savor each separate “concept”.

That’s enough for today … we have plans to go to the RODEO on Friday evening, and you can be darn tootin’ sure I’ll be taking the camera along for that.

FORGIVE ME for this suuuuuuper long blog post, friends. The thing is, this is my “travelers” blog, and so every once in awhile … I feel I “get” to wax poetic and on & on & on, ad infinitum. Going forward, I promise to try and give you the Reader’s Digest version. {and sadly, speaking of Reader’s Digest – I heard last night that RD has filed for bankruptcy. What a loss to an icon of Americana …}

AFTER WAITING 15 MINUTES FOR FIVE PHOTOS TO "UPLOAD", I got a message saying - whatever. It just didn't work. Drat, but now I'm heading out.

Your –

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time for a little Big Sky Country

Yessirreeeeee, it's time for my hubby and I to head for the hills. Er, mountains. The Swan Range, to be exact. We're leaving (on a jet plane) in the AM, for Missoula ... where one or more of the Huffman clan will pick us up for the drive up to Flathead Lake.

Mark wakeboarding on the Flathead,
2008 (photo by Sierra)

They've had 50 degree (high) days and even chillier nights lately, and thunderstorms were in the forcast for today - but DARN IT ALL, the forcast is calling for temps in the 80's come Monday.

Mark jumping off a cliff; summer 2008 in Montana (photo by Sierra)

Either way - cold or hot - it's going to be beautiful up there. I can't wait for some of those fresh off the tree CHERRIES ...
just a tiny bit of the 2008 cherry harvest at the Huffman Orchard - Flathead Lake, 2008 (photo by Sierra)
I will try to get to the Bigfork Public Library to log on and upload pics or musings while we're away. E-mail -- not so much.
Enjoy these next ten days, my fun and faithful followers. I intend to get all charged up and rejuvenated for BLOGGING my heart and soul out upon our return.

-- Davielle

Monday, August 10, 2009

random words of wisdom ...

I am so in-a-twist about how I've neglected my blog(s) for a long time now, that I just feel the need to post SOMETHING.

But I sure don't want to just POST-FOR-THE-SAKE-OF-POSTING and leave you, gentle reader, wondering what on earth I've done with the REAL Davi. You know, the interesting, insightful, encouraging, curious, unique and special Davi. That one.

So - I turned to a book that often provides good solid quotes for me to pepper one of my blogposts with -- THE BOOK OF POSITIVE QUOTATIONS, compiled and arranged by John Cook ... it's a great book ...

And just for today, I offer you this:

"If we are not responsible for the thoughts that pass our doors, we are at least responsible for those we admit and entertain."

-- Charles B. Newcomb

So let the thoughts you admit to your life TODAY be thoughts you would wish on your dearest and most beloved of family members and friends ... treat yourself with the same respect you treat those special people with, and your day will be ... better than if you don't.

With a smile,


Friday, July 31, 2009

for my HARRY'S BAR (Venice) "friends"

Oh my, I had promised this charming and adorable couple that I would post their photo on my blog - when we met in Venice, at Harrry's Bar. While my father and I were having lunch, and before the dining area became too crowded with lunch-goers, I snapped off some photos ...

And that was also before the waiter told me I could only photograph OURSELVES and FACING TOWARD OUR OWN TABLE, but NOT "outward" at other patrons. Even with their permission!

:-) So glad he did not make me erase this ... it's a great photo. I hope our "friends" do visit this blog and do find this photograph.

Ciao !!!

-- Davielle

TGIF: Trust, Gratitude, Inspiration FRIDAY

I visited Brene Brown's ORDINARY COURAGE web / blog page this morning, but it must be too early yet for her weekly TGIF (Trust,Gratitude, Inspiration Friday)posting. So I decided I would just go ahead and post my TGIF musings here, on my own.

If you've never visited Brene's site, you owe it to yourself if you care at all about ... life, motherhood, shame resilience, parenting issues, etc etc etc. She's full of life & light, love & hope & encouragement for us all.

Me, today, I am ...

TRUST: I am trusting that I have made the right choice in rheumatologists. It's not my way to seek a second opinion; I've always trusted my physicians, but as I get older, and as I seek clearer answers, it was suggested to me by an amazing, heart-full doctor friend, that I do just that: seek a 2nd opinion, not just from my rheumatologist, but from my neurologist. So I have done that. I am happy with my new docs, and am hopeful about our new direction.

GRATITUDE: I am grateful that I am in a position to HAVE the choice ... of physicians, of care, of medications, of hospital and lab and radiology and testing facilities ... that I do have. Many in our very own country go without health care at all. I am truly fortunate to be in this position. I am MOST grateful for my husband, Mark, who provides so well for our family ...

INSPIRATION: I am inspired by those who MAKE ART EVERY DAY. Or almost every day. It is my desire, it is my goal, it is my wish -- to be like that. {all I have to do is get beyond the mental and real voices - yes, others do say things to discourage me - that tell me "you can't make art unless your house is all in order", or "you can't make art, because you have too many other tasks to do first", or "you can't make art all the time, because you just aren't that good".) ART every day ... should be PRESCRIBED to any and all who seek it and need it and love it ... like I do ... and/or who could use ART TIME to heal.

So ... "QUIET, voices. I am going to make art today. And Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. And after that ... as OFTEN as I possibly can, and I am promising myself that I will MAKE ART a priority."

I wish you all a beautiful Friday, and a beautiful weekend ...

{photo is of a bottle I was washing out; when the bubbles got caught inside, I just had to photograph it}

Monday, July 27, 2009

Le Mont St Michel

My friend Ann posted this to her blog recently, and seeing it, just took me right back to last May, when Mark and Kristina and Cara and I visited (and stayed overnight on) Le Mont St Michel.

This is an amazing photograph, posted to Flickr by one Ludovic Belchior.

I believe, if you'll pardon the oh-so-obvious-and-expected pun here, that this ROCKS.

To see the photograph, I believe you have to click on the "title" of this post to activate the link. Give that a try ...


Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Take that chance you've been considering."
titled: LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF WHIMS / artist: Leilani Pierson

At the LONG BEACH QUILT SHOW on Friday, which I thoroughly enjoyed in the company of Ann (a talented artist of many mediums), Cindy (a glassblower; YES, I know a glassblower!), Paula (who quilts and sews, I believe), Chris (who quilts like a Maestro of Quilting),
an overall view in the morning ... oh, where to begin?!

just look at this beautiful stocking ...

So much CREATIVITY ...

this was the wall of Artist Trading Cards, and show-goers were happily TRADING, just like it was set up to do - leave one of your own, take one in trade. WHAT FUN !! Bernie, you would have loved this :-) ...

So much COLOR ... a stand of the most yummy wool pieces ...

title: GRANDMOTHER'S QUILT/A Cathedral Window
quilter: Manon B. Gagliardi / from: Branford, Connecticut, USA

and BEAUTY ...

glass artists Asho (L) and Mingo (Center), with my friend Cindy
{herself, a glassblower / glass artist extraordinaire}

THIS (at Mingo & Asho's GLASSCAPES) is where I discovered my beautiful HEART, the one that, if you look at it from the "top", as in, you're wearing it and you look down upon it, you see a BIRD ... a little, perfect, GOLDEN bird. And the artist could not have made that happen for all the tea in China - it just DID. Happen.

and TALENT. Oh my !!!

Melanie Testa, at the sewing machine ... up close & personal with show-goers, talking about her fabric art and her little zip-clutch purses, and her methods ... so generous of her time and talent with all ...

While at the Show, I ran into artist friends Linda Blinn and Jane LaFazio, who were both demo'ing their talents & processes at the MAKE IT UNIVERSITY area ...

here's Linda ... demo'ing a fun way to make your own CUSTOM cloth napkins (or whatever) using those beautifully colored / patterned PAPER NAPKINS that we all know, love, and collect ... just hoping for an opportunity to put them out for guests. Right? Well, now you can MAKE SOMETHING WITH THEM, using a product only Linda could have discovered: Aleene's PAPER NAPKIN APPLIQUE GLUE ... yes, folks, you read that right. That's what it is; that's what it does; that's all it's for. Be still my heart !!!
If you'd like to find out more about Linda Blinn and the art workshops she teaches, you can visit a couple of my favorite spots: SAN CLEMENTE ART SUPPLY ( ); or a brand-new, open-house-today art space known as BRAVO SCHOOL OF ART ( ) down at Liberty Station.

and here's Jane, laughing with friends before her turn at the Demo Zone ... isn't Jane ALWAYS laughing?! I so love her energy and her enthusiasm for life, for art, for everyone.

If you've never taken an art class from Jane LaFazio, treat yourself and DO IT. Visit her website at: ... but believe me, there's nothing "plain" about it !!!

A favorite publication of mine, CLOTH PAPER SCISSORS, was in attendance ... I loved their colorful booth, and the girls there were so very friendly and helpful. The even had the ORIGINAL ART of the pieces featured in the CPS 2010 calendar on hand for viewing - and drooling over - OH MY, the "eye candy" on hand was remarkable. You could just TASTE the deliciousness of some of these pieces.

And no, they weren't edible creations ... they just LOOKED so amazing, you'd want to absorb them into yourself, making their beauty and their message such a part of you, it was permanent. {does that sound crazy?! then go make a crazy quilt out of it !!}

this is "them" and this is their booth ...

and I even got a happy peek at KELLY RAE ROBERT's book, TAKING FLIGHT, here !!!

An overview of the 2010 CALENDAR ART on display ...

and a close-up detail of some of the art ...
this was the piece that I loved the very mostest MOST at the Show !!!
titled: LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF WHIMS / artist: Leilani Pierson

Maryanne and Ann - who grew up together & Maryanne met us at the Show, and joined us for lunch ...
We saw so much of the above, heck, we even began seeing "art" in the strangest places ...
After lunch, we found a HEART in the sidewalk outside the LB Convention Center.

we took it as a good "sign" that our afternoon would be just as heart-full (and ART-full) as our morning was !!!

The QUILT EXHIBIT, oh my goodness me, what a wealth of imagery ... quilts really are an art form, in case you didn't know it. If you're not convinced of that, then here, take a gander {or a goose, if you prefer} at these, for example:

titled: HERD MENTALITY / quilter: Ferret / from: UK

they say it, I believe it ... and this just proved it !!!

I call him "Norman" ...

title: SILENCE / quilter: Stacy Hurt / from: Orange, CA

One of the Etiquette Rules of Quilt Shows SHOULD be just this ... 'cause regardless of the size of the impassioned crowd, it truly WAS a calm, quiet atmosphere ... lovely!
titled: SPRING IN JAPAN / quilter: Akiko Kawata
from: Osaka, Japan

After our afternoon inside the show, we found no less than a "bird", a "duck", a "dog", and a "city skyline" ... in, of all places, my STARBUCKS ICED MOCHA !!! Yes, we did. Take a look for yourself:

Ann (left) holding my Mocha so I can click the pics !!! Teamwork !!

just about level with Ann's red bracelet, you see the tips of the dog's ears; don't you? He's looking left - he's a Schnauzer-ish kind of a dog. And he's headed into the Big City. See the skyline?!

ah, there's that SKYLINE for you. By this shot, though, it more closely resembles a crumbling French village ... turrets-a-falling-down and all.
So, I ask you: What's in YOUR mocha today?! :-)
Happy Sunday to you,