From Chocolate Creek to Refreshing Creek


About a month ago I posted about exploring along chocolate creek. Guess what? That creek that hadn’t existed during my nine years of living in this area is still flowing, and now it is clear & refreshing. Yep — those are my feet in that creek, that started as a chocolate flow, just this past Saturday.


At this beautiful little waterfall I scooped water onto my face and head, arms & legs. On a hot summer day, this felt oh so refreshing and relaxing.


All this water has created colorful lushness in our arid landscape.

SwallowtailThe swallowtail butterflies that migrate through also seem to be refreshed by all of this water.

What can you do to refresh yourself as summer heats up? Or if you’re reading from down under you might need to refresh yourself with something warm and cozy.

I’d love to hear how you’re refreshing yourself – no matter what the season.




write-doodle-draw_smP.S. Wanna refresh your creative play? Join me for the Doodle Days of Summer Musings Adventure in August. Details and sign-up for this fr*e e-adventure is coming soon :)

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Filed under Creative Play, Everyday Adventure, My Salida Backyard, Nature

Engage Creative Play


This post, which I wanted to be about creative play, started life when I took the photo (above) of a few of my journals. I cropped it and then saved it into a folder I had named EngageCreativePlay. It struck in that moment that this might work well as the title for the post.

Like many of you, I’m guessing, my life is very full and in order to fit in creative play which I love, I need to engage with it.
If I don’t at least show up and engage with the process then creative play is just a nice idea that I want to “do”.

I have to admit I am not always the most consistent in this regard. Some times I show up and some times I don’t.
I am relaxing into this – this realization that it doesn’t matter if I show up every day or at some specified time.

For me this life has truly become about being in the present moment as much as I can possibly be. Not showing up only matters if I let it. And I tend to let it when I’m disappointed with myself when the time I’d imagined I’d spend engaged with creative play was spent on something I wasn’t really present for.

I wonder if any of you can relate to this?

Although I have what I often call an “art journal” (it makes an appearance on the right hand side of the photo above), this year my Daily Musings Journal  has turned into a place where I love to engage my creative play. This container provides me a great space for bite-size creative play. As a person who wants to create and who also has a very full life – this is perfect!


Can you relate?

My Daily Musings Journal has also created a beautiful log of my journey this year – a log I enjoy looking back on to see what I was thinking, feeling, doing in a particular space and time.

Breathe-justBreatheIt often offers good reminders of lessons I learned along the way – that I need to learn and remember again & again.

Do you enjoy journaling but often don’t carve out the time?

In August I’ll be offering an e-adventure called Doodle Days of Summer Musings Adventure. It will provide you tips and techniques for fun bite-sized creative play.

It will include a printable version of the Daily Musings Journal month of August, as well as weekly tips and techniques for your bite-sized creative play. Oh, and did I mention it will be fr*e!

If this sounds like something you’d love to try be sure to stay tuned here; or sign up for my monthly mermaid tales to be the first to find out when registration opens (in just a few weeks:)

In the meantime I am wishing you a happy summer!




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Filed under Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Inspiration, Journaling, Lettering, mixed media, Playing

You are in my heart


These cards started as just one – a card I began making for a dear friend who has cancer. Once I started creating what was in my heart & playing with the inks a list of people I wanted to create a similar card for emerged and I was drawn to make more.


The list included my sweet husband as our 18th wedding anniversary was just days away.

We celebrated this past weekend with a little overnight adventure to one of our favorite spots – Penitente, and since I’m just finishing the cards he’s still waiting for his ;)


Exploring around Penitente


Being silly with the rainbow we experienced & the iPhone camera panorama feature


Pedaling at Elephant Rocks

He knows he is in my heart, and we still love adventuring together after all of these years 💖

Who do you share your heart with? Be sure to let them know!

You are in my heart,




doodleDays-PenitenteP.S. Another part of our little over night adventure included relaxing and doodling. I’m planning a little doodle adventure for later in the summer and I hope you’ll consider joining in.

I’ll post more info here on the blog, but if you want to be the first to know please join my little band of intrepid mermaids that receive my mermaid tales – click here to sign-up!


Filed under Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Everyday Adventure, Journaling, Joy, Nature, Playing

Exploring Along the Chocolate Creek


We knew it had been raining a lot this month, but my hubby and I had no idea what was in store when we headed towards Cottonwood, one of our favorite near home hikes, last Sunday:

a chocolate creek flowing in Cottonwood Canyon!

As soon as we reached the entrance to the canyon we saw water flowing – something we had never seen before in our nearly nine years of hiking this canyon. After just returning home from our Utah canyon adventures that included water we were intrigued, albeit a bit taken aback by the unusual phenomena.


This rock fall area has had ice flows on it and some times a trickle of water – but a chocolate waterfall?! Nope.
It looks as if some additional rocks have fallen down from the side of the canyon, too, but the changes are hard to discern with all this water flowing.


We continued along and set up Mr. Cottonwood to keep watch.
He has been hanging around in this canyon for as long as I can remember, although some times he is flat on his back which is how we found him when we came upon him Sunday.


We found a new guy – and I called him Rockhead Man. We set him up to keep watch on the chocolate creek, too.


This cool wooden shelter is hidden an island of sorts — where the chocolate creek splits. We had never ventured up on this high point, so this shelter was a new discovery. It’s definitely been here for awhile, although I don’t think it’s been used recently. Who built it and when I wonder?


One of my favorite views back towards Mt Ouray and Chipeta – and the chocolate creek flows onward.

ShadowPlayWe have received about 4 times as much rain than the average this month – which for our high plains town is about 4 1/2 inches. Snow is still falling in the mountains!

I know this is nothing compared to what is happening in some parts of Texas and Oklahoma right now, and my hearts go out to all who are dealing with the ravaging flooding.

The chocolate creek is the talk of the town and I have not met one person yet who remembers seeing this phenomena before.

I am the grateful for the interesting day of exploring in my backyard, and we are still happy for the extra moisture.

What can you be grateful for in the explorations of your world today?





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Filed under My Salida Backyard, Nature, Playing

Create Adventure


I am just back from my Utah road trip with my hubby. Our time together adventuring are my favorite times we have together. Going away for road trips where each day rolls into the next and we’re still adventuring – well those are the best. It is nice to carve out space & time where you don’t have to get back to the regular tasks of life later in the day or the very next day.

So here we are (above) at Cliff Arch in Coyote Gulch – the fourth canyon we explored in Utah canyon country on our recent road trip. Don’t we look relaxed and happy? I know I felt that way – in spite of the physical exertion we expended each day.


We spent two nights in Coyote Gulch, and I knew we were on to something when we stopped just below a rock overhang, looked up to see pictographs and decided it was time to camp.

Can you see the figures painted on the rock in the image above? The Fremont indians inhabited this area from about 700 – 1300 AD, so we figure these were created by them way back when. They are quite high up now, but we could see where big chunks of rock had fallen away, and I imagined them standing on a rock shelf painting these figures. This area is quite remote and the paintings are faded, so I feel grateful to have been able to sleep below them.

tent-viewEach night when I woke and looked out of the tent I saw the big dipper just over head – between the rock wall and the trees. (Although I did not capture the scene when the big dipper was out the photo to left is my view from the tent. It was magical waking to see the big dipper over head.)

Sometimes adventures have not so easy parts, too, but there can be good lessons in those. Like the day we came into Coyote Gulch. We dropped our packs at our campsite – not sure really how far along we were because we had not reached the first arch (Jacob Hamblin Arch). We continued our hike down the canyon with a lighter load to find the arch.


It turned out to be another hour plus hike down the canyon, and on the way back I almost regretted that we had dropped our packs to camp so soon. I was tired and in tears for the last bit of the walk back to our camp that afternoon.

But when we reached the campsite and I was able to relax and take in the specialness of the spot we had chosen I could let go of the tears and exhaustion.

Toes-inCoyoteGulchCreekThe next day it was sunny and beautiful and we were able to walk through the creek – down to the Juggle Handle arch. Oh the fun of sloshing in the water on a warm sunny day; the beauty of the canyon walls; and the time with my sweetheart for just that, made for a glorious day.

The next morning when we woke to the rumble of thunder and then a bit of rain it was clear again why we chose the campsite we did. Our hike out was much shorter than if we’d hiked further down the canyon with our packs. Whew – as we also had 30 mile dirt road drive out that could have been treacherous or impossible if we didn’t beat the rain.

Hole in the Rock road was fine on our drive out, albeit jarring from the washboard. But we drove through much rain, and even snow, once we hit pavement – I don’t know what happened to the condition of the road then!

There is much more to my fun getaway, but what feels important to share today is the feeling of adventure and love I felt on the journey.

Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, colors and flavors.

Adventure — of what ever your favorite flavor — is important!
It adds a sense of excitement and unknown to your world; a way to add fun to your everyday.

Summer is a good time for adventure. What adventure can you create to add some unknown and fun to your everyday?





adventureP.S. I shared this adventure play sheet in my mountain mermaid tales enewsletter that just went out to subscribers yesterday. If you’d like a wee prompt for creating your adventure, I hope you’ll join my band of intrepid mermaids and you’ll receive a link to the adventure play sheet in the next edition of tales – along with whatever new play sheet I create and share. Click here to subscribe.


Filed under Adventure Travel, Joy