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Creative Mom – June 2017


It is such a joy to be settling into our new life. Transitioning from California to Oregon at the same time that my husband was retiring, was a lot to digest. I still wake up and think, “Is it a work day?” My husband says my “honey-do list” is more work than going to his old job. Very funny mister!


Working on nesting boxes


The thing is that now we choose what projects to work on and our own schedule. That freedom makes everything more enjoyable. I’m still working online but that has always been a flexible work schedule and one of the most positive aspects of working for myself. My office just moved from one state to another.


Collection on windowsill


The creative aspect of moving has been fun! Decorating a new space with your own personal items really starts to make it feel like home. I found that displaying collections of things I have acquired over the years gives our house its personality. The pottery items made by various children lined up on the windowsill look really good. The collection of random items from our travels in the guest bedroom makes sense. Our family photos in the entry introduce us to new friends who visit. It’s a work in progress but one that I am truly enjoying.


Curtains in dining

I finished sewing the dining room curtains and I love the way they turned out. The old ones were too short and were beige. The new ones are just the right length and the fabric pattern is so cheerful!


High desert rock garden


Not surprisingly, I decided to make a rather ambitious long-term garden plan. We have spent some time refurbishing a neglected rock garden and now have plans to expand it as we learn more about the growing conditions of the high desert.


We have removed quite bit of the “grass” in the front yard and are opting to plant natives and plants that will survive the frigid temperatures of winter. It gets my creative juices flowing when I am out there digging in the ground.

paint sample for bath

Contemplating painting the hall bath to remove the awful adobe colored wall and also my son’s bedroom which has two tone walls.


We are looking forward to having one of our sons living with us for a while as he reenters life from his South American adventures. His project in Guyana came to an end and now he is deciding on his next goal. There hasn’t been much communication while he was living there because of lack of Internet or cell service so we are anxious to hear about his adventures.


Bird cross stitch in frame

Other Misc. Creative Things I’m Working On

  • Getting things framed and hung on the wall.
  • Crocheting some new dishcloths.
  • Photographing the many wildflowers on our property (follow me on Instagram to see some each week-IG name is outdoorhourchallenge).
  • Making plans for a custom garden gate that my husband wants to build (pinning ideas on a Pinterest board).

We’re looking forward to the summer months to come. Both my husband and I are excited about this new adventure and we welcome the challenge to use our creativity to make it our home for many years to come.


Reviving the Habit of Letter Writing @harmonyartmom

You may be interested in reading this entry:

Reviving the Habit of Letter Writing – where I become excited about sending actual snail mail again. Since moving, I have had several actual letters in the mail and I love finding them in my mailbox. I have made room in my life for letter writing and it is so therapeutic. Give it a try!






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Mom’s Journal – May 2017


Mom’s Journal

May 2017


Since last month’s journal post we have successfully moved our household to Oregon! This was a major undertaking but one that included help from three of our four children (and plenty of friends too)! We will be forever grateful for everyone’s help in packing and loading on the California end and unpacking and cleaning on the Oregon end. I’ve decided it was too much work to ever move again.

Arranging photos @harmonyartmom

I am enjoying the process of creating a new home as we arrange furniture and find homes for our belongings. I don’t know what I would have done without my daughter, who helped find things for me by sorting through boxes. She also was the chief photo and picture hanger. I never knew how much energy it takes to decide how to arrange things in a new space. At the end of a very long ten days, we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

family at the river @harmonyartmom

While the children were here, we did take time to have some fun and relaxation as well. Living right on the river, we were able to take a few walks down to the water. It snowed on us a couple of times but nothing that really stuck to the ground. We had an amazing dinner out with our daughter that we will all dream about in the months to come…it was super delicious!

Harmony Art Mom

My office is slowly getting put back together and for some reason it has been the room I have most procrastinated in unpacking. Maybe it is psychological….when the office is done, then I will be officially back to “work”. I normally enjoy sitting and writing or organizing Sketch Tuesday or picking music for Music Appreciation Monday. Right now, it seems like an intrusion. I think I am in a “honeymoon” period of sorts with life in Oregon because it still feels like I’m on vacation and not actually living here permanently.


Permanent vacation mode would be nice but not reality yet. I have plans to keep on working and supporting the Harmony Fine Arts plans until the year 2020. It does sound far off but it really isn’t all that long from now.

Projects I am Going to Work on in the Next Month

  • Make curtains for my dining room.
  • Frame a few more pieces of artwork for my office wall.
  • Purchase new bathroom rugs.
  • Start planning my new backyard garden!
  • Organize my office and the family room.
  • Unpack my books.

Next month I am hoping to be settled in enough to create a list of summer things I want to do like hikes, kayak trips, cooking, crafts, etc. Or, it may be a busy time again since I’m going to New York to visit my kids in July. I have a feeling this summer will speed by no matter how much I want it to last.

Mother’s Journal – April

harmony-art-mom-mothers-journal-april-2017Mother’s Journal

April 2017

This has been a month of contemplation regarding the up-coming changes in our family. It seems as if we are navigating the transition to empty nesters by doing a complete change ourselves and jumping out of the nest as well.

Every corner of this house has memories that come up at the odd moment. For instance, a few weeks ago I was standing in our front driveway with our son who was just getting ready to leave for another trip to Guyana. I was sitting on the block wall in the sunshine and it popped into my mind how many times I had sat in just that spot watching the boys as they scootered up and down the driveway or they dribbled the basketball. It was a sweet memory but also a little bittersweet as I realized that my son and I were experiencing the very LAST time we would be in that driveway together. My husband and I will be moving to Oregon before he comes back. This was one of the last days he would be living in the house on Hilltop Drive. It made me cry. I hadn’t even anticipated feeling so sad or sentimental about this move because I am very excited about our new home.

It’s hard to pull up roots that run deep…over 30 years deep. All four of our children consider this their childhood home because my oldest was just a year old when we moved in. This is the house I brought all three boys home to when they were born. As homeschoolers, this has been the center of our universe.

We have for many years worked hard to give our children a solid foundation; roots upon which they could grow and flourish. As they grew older and matured in our homeschool, we also strived to give them wings to fly.

Charlotte Mason Gave Our Homeschool Wings

For the first time ever, my husband and I are going to fly. We are ready to fly from this nest and make a new one together. In Oregon, we hope to send down some new roots.

Can I just say I love using these metaphors?

My husband is ready to fly. He will be retiring from an almost 30 year career in public service, 25 of those years as a wildland firefighter (the other years at the USPS). I have a feeling he will struggle for a while with his identity since he has lived and breathed the fire service and loved it. He is a respected person by all who work with him and so many have expressed that things will not be the same this summer without him around to be consulted. Our children have at times been sad that their dad wasn’t home during fire season as much as they would have wished. But, the flexibility of homeschooling allowed us to take family vacations during all seasons so we just had to learn to be adaptable.

I am ready to fly. I have long wished to have a new place to explore. It’s not that I have learned everything there is to learn here in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Far from it! I’m just itching to experience another way of living. My roots are here in California so transplanting my life to Oregon is going to take some time and adjustment.  My family (parents and siblings) is all in Northern California within about 150 miles. It has caused quite a stir that I am moving out of the state and 450 miles away. My friends are all sad but supportive. I keep emphasizing that they will now have a new place to visit! The wonderful thing about working online is that I can have some continuity with my business…things should just chug along as normal in that respect. Moving our home to a completely new habitat will be something that stimulates my thinking and my writing which is a win-win for my loyal readers and customers.

Three of our children are going to help us physically move to Oregon so it will be a family time of reconnecting. Hopefully after spending a little time in the new house they will start to feel some new family roots growing, a new place to call home (or at least home base). Next month I will update how it all turns out for the McCoy family and the BIG move.

You may also be interested in reading this entry:

Take a Chance Homeschool Mom

“Maybe you are thinking about taking a chance on changing your homeschool in some way or trying a new direction in your is scary to make decisions and changes. But, it may just be the best decision you ever made.

Risking nothing is safe but you will never know what experiences you can have and where it will lead until you just take the chance.”



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