Monday, April 9, 2018

2 Years later....

Hi y'all!  Anyone still out there?  I miss doing this blog, but I don't miss the time-suck that it was.  I DO miss the writing, terribly so.  But this will be short and sweet and full of pictures because that's what I promised my mom.  Plus, I wanted to post here (instead of, say, emailing her the photos) just to see if this blog still works.  Hurray!

So, Mom, here's the skinny:  the Missoula Children's Theater came to town on Monday, they auditioned and did casting that night, rehearsed all week, and performed Friday night.  So, these kids (K-12) did a play in 4 days.  The play was Robin Hood; Little H was cast as a Skunk, and J-bug cast as a "Forester": people who live with the trees and shrubbery.  (One friend of ours thought they may have done some type-casting with that one.)  June-bug had her first solo-line in a play.  And even Little H got to do her favorite things on stage: make "skunk" hands and shake her booty.  Win-win.

These photos are from performance day: when they got to see and wear their costumes for the first time, dress rehearsal, and the final performance, complete with stage make up, then on-stage photo ops, and dads waiting with their flowers.  We were some of the last people to leave, but it had been a fully packed auditorium.

It is beyond wonderful to be back in a community where, 1) these activities are available, and 2) we are not the only ones in the audience supporting our children!  Now, we are surrounded by friends and our own community members.  Amazing.  I am sometimes still in culture shock over having a community again.  Moving back to Pinedale has far exceeded our expectations.    

^I thought the older kids had told her to give me the bird (a gesture she is not yet familiar with).  But it turns out, she had popped the knuckles of her middle finger and was showing me her accomplishment.

^Walking to the show with my man.  

(Whew.  Okay, that was a formatting nightmare.  It took over an hour to upload all those photos!  And they look fuzzy, which they shouldn't.  And then blogger wouldn't always let me type words in-between, so I couldn't even caption all the images.  Sorry.  I will reserve this blog space for mostly writing and keep my photos on Instagram.   Much love to you all!)  ~Gretchen

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Some Changes here at Clove's Corner...

Hey y'all!  Not that I've posted in months, or anything, but I am about to make a big change that I want you to be aware of.  I am going to change the privacy settings on this blog so that it will no longer be available to the public.  Pretty sure I know, or "know" all of you who read this, so if you want to continue receiving my posts, I think I have to "approve" you, or something.  (I don't know because I haven't done it yet!)  So anyway...we'll find out!  I'll wait until this post has been sent to the e-mail subscribers before changing the settings.  Just want you to be aware!

In the meantime, we are doing well in these here parts.  I am busy, homeschooling, diving into photography and considering opening a business (this is related to the coming change).  I am ready to welcome spring and am already planning lots of outdoor adventures.  

Hazel is a defiant and adorable 4, Juniper is a wonderful, wild 6 and about to lose a front tooth!

I have been doing a "365" photography project which I post on Instagram, and I love it.  Lots of growth happening there.

I am, in general, busy tying up loose ends of my life as my children wean out of toddlerhood and become full-fledged (and super fun) kids!  We look forward to more travel, more adventures, more real and thoughtful conversations to share with our kids about our amazing world.  And I look forward to sharing more of our journey with you!

Cheers and thanks for reading!  Leaving you with some photos from today's "adventure hike".  Sorry about the quality...still haven't figured out why google blogger's image quality is so low....


Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 at a glance

My friend Hannah recently posted 12 photos from 2015 on her blog.  I thought that was a great idea since I've barely posted here at all this year.  I went at it aiming for certain photos, images that immediately came to mind when I thought of a particular month; something that captured a special moment, or memory, or feeling.  I learned 3 things by doing this: 1) a lot of life happens in a given month.  2) I capture a lot of that life (though not all...never all...).  3) It's really hard to narrow that down to one per month.

So I came up with 24, plus a bonus.   (P.S.  Don't look too closely, I think I resized these just a little too small for a blog...I am still learning my new photo program and I'm not going to take the time to do it all over again, sorry!)  


January.  Six weeks after adopting Ladybug.

February.  We had a crazy warm winter, followed by an early spring.  Even though thick blankets of snow still covered most everything, we went for an early trip down to the river, fishing, inspecting deer skulls and looking at their teeth.  It was in this moment, that we realized how awesome homeschooling could be.

March.  Back in November, I had asked my husband to get a daily picture of me with the kids, interpreting that however he wanted (usually my face is in the image, but sometimes not).  He would not call himself a photographer, but this is one of my favorites of his images: the kids always snuggle with me, wrapped in their towels, after a bath.

April.  I started taking the kids for hikes early and often.  This is us.

April.  We also took a huge, massive trip to Maui, Hawaii.  We met several relatives there, but my mom was there with us the whole time.  I was so proud of her, for wanting to make memories together.  I love this image of my mom and Hazel playing in the sand.  (Juniper was there too, but ran off before I could catch her.)

May.  The kids had hatched-out chicks in an incubator at their preschool and we took home 3 (then bought 2 more at the feed store).  Juniper is a chicken-whisperer.  She will not hesitate to tell you how much she loves animals.  Her love of creatures makes my heart swell.

June.  I don't have them in a lot of photos, but my in-laws came out and we did bunches of fishing, kicking off our summer of camping, fishing, floating, hiking and fun.

July.  We did so much camping.  Wyoming is truly a spectacular place.  

August.  For the first time since Juniper was 5 months old, I drove the kids out to Oregon on my own.  It was shockingly fun!  The "Magic Tree House" audio book series kept the kids more than occupied in the car.  We landed at my mom's house and this moment, right here, is what I will remember most.  As a kid, my mom loved dolls.  We had given the kids some of my old "Fischer Price Friends" dolls that my mom had made so many outfits for.  The loved it!  In turn, my mom got out her old Tony doll.  It was her favorite, she even remembers exactly what she wrote in her letter to Santa and her mother, my grandma, had made beautiful, detailed outfits for her Tony doll over the years.  She brought them out, and for the first time in forty years, she tried all the outfits on as the kids kept asking for more.  It was beautiful.

After my mom's house, we met my dad and step-mom north of Portland where they treated us to a couple of days at Great Wolf Lodge swim park extravaganza.  I didn't get many photos (since we were swimming most of the time), but this--of Juniper and my dad--is what comes to mind.  Captured in front of the giant fireplace in the lobby.
September.  This sentinel of a mountain behind our home is always spectacular.  But early falls bring the best of every season.  Green in the aspens, crimson in the maples, snow on the peaks, and a layer of cloud for good measure.

I don't get  a lot of photos of my kids' friends.  I tend to put the camera away and focus on conversation during playdates.  But I need to do more.  Here, is a little gal exactly between Juniper and Hazel in age.  We have known her since she was 3 months old and her mother quickly became my first real friend when we moved to this town.  They are such an honest, hard-working family.  Love them.

Lastly in September.  It's true I try to be a fun, spontaneous mom and I want my kids to experience life to the fullest.  That being said, sometimes it also pays to have a photographer for a mom because she will let you play in a mud flat (in the hopes of getting some fun images).  In Juniper's words: "Mom!  This is the BEST DAY EVER!  This is my DREAM COME TRUE!  A GIANT MUDDY LAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Anyway, they had so much fun I think we'll be back next year.  But I think I'll leave the camera in the car and dive in myself!

October.  Our last camping trip of the year included some antelope hunting.  This was the first time we have been able to hike the kids in fairly close to the kill site and have them help work up the meat.  They were thankful to the antelope, fascinated and helpful.  It was their job to take pieces of meat and rinse them in the creek before dropping them into a canvas game bag.  I had an antelope tag too, but the herniated disk in my neck was flaring up at the time, leaving me in a semi-crippled state and sporting a neck brace.  (Better now, thanks.)

And probably the most fancied up for Halloween my husband and I have been since...2001?  It was a family affair.  Juniper was a vampire, my man a vampire-dad, Hazel was a fairy and I was a fairy who'd been bitten by a vampire.  Obviously.

November.  I turned 40!!!  Need I say more?

Hazel turned 4.  She has always been a little lover, but she is also unbelievably stubborn and defiant.  Sometimes she and my man butt heads, but lately they have found their rhythm.  I am so proud of my husband for figuring it out.

A November visit from the cousins.  We hadn't seen them in a ridiculously long time; almost a year.  Too long.

December.  I made the decision last spring, but in September I started homeschooling Juniper for kindergarten.  It has been a wonderful decision.  I don't have many photos from our schooling, but this is one, in the middle of a math lesson.

Our chickens!  You haven't seen the whole group in a while, have you?  From left to right: Holly, Louise, Ice-Cream Lollipops, Funky, Lacy, Orange Peel, Mama Brahma, Rosy, Abracadabra, and Daisy.  

My mom came for Christmas.  She makes cookies while her "helpers" snitch the dough.  Isn't that how it always goes?  A timeless activity, spanning generations.

Lastly, for those of you who didn't get one, this is our Christmas/New Year's card:  Wishing you peace, happiness, bravery and adventure in 2016!
I have some big, personal goals for 2016, so I doubt I'll be here much.  I wish I had the time to write, but I don't.  (However, if inspiration finds me and I can make it here, you bet I will!)  In the meantime, Instagram is sooooooo much more time efficient.  And lately, I don't have time to include more than a sentence or two to go with a photograph anyway, which is what Instagram is.  So if you have a smart phone, you can find me at "clovescorner" there.  I will get here when I can.  Cheers to you and to 2016!  As always, thank you for reading : )

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Hi!  Still here.  Busy.  Back soon.  

(And, wow, if you're here, I'm impressed with your dedication and patience.  Love you!)    

Sunday, June 28, 2015

in photos: the last few days

I have loads of favorite photos from *last* summer that I never posted, but anyway.  A few favorites from today and the last few days.  I may never catch up on this blog, but for now I'll keep at it.  I may have time to write again, I may not.  Right now, I am experimenting and honing some photography skills and it feels SO good.  Beginning with today and going backwards in time:

:: Like our dog, she plays in the sun-spot.
Or, like me, she is searching for the light.

 :: Tonight we sat on our property fence and watched an air show.  Hazel always has something on her skin; she says it makes her beautiful.  Facepaint, tattoo, markers, pb&j...always something.  Today, appropriately enough, she had two (smudged) rainbows on each cheek.  Love wins.
:: Picking rhubarb and planting raspberries in the garden.

:: Playing with the half-grown chicks.  (Oh, man, I haven't even posted on playing with the baby chicks!)  Juniper is a wild, high-energy kid.  But you would never know it, watching her handle the chicks.  

:: Hazel is mostly mellow, but you have to watch her.  She may try to put a chick on her head.  

:: Summer solstice found me chasing butterflies and fairies in the field.  

:: On this morning, I happen to catch Juniper dressed up as a queen and taking care of her little princess.  
:: Note the tattoo.  
:: Friends playing on the porch: 3 girls and a boy.  
:: Hazel's magnificent morning halo.  
:: Sister love.  
 :: Juniper has a super sensitive scalp.  She doesn't want a haircut, but doesn't like me messing with her hair much.  So this is constant, Juniper holding her hair away from her face.
Until next time, 'night.