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Harmony Art Mom-May 2019

Harmony Art Mom- Just Breathe

Home is a wonderful place. We’ve spent so much time going back and forth to California that just being back in my own home with my normal routine has been so refreshing. I feel more like myself than I have in a long time.

The weather has cooperated allowing us to get outdoors to hike and to work in the garden. With my healthy hips making it easier for me to get around, I’m thoroughly enjoying my freedom to do things for myself again. It’s been a long time!

Mom Time

barb mccoy and amanda

My daughter was out for a five day visit and we fit in a lot of girl time. We hiked together, did crafts, got pedicures, and met up with my sister and niece for lunch. It’s always so much fun when she’s able to come back home but it goes by too fast! I’m already looking forward to her next visit in July….the tickets are all purchased!

mccoy may 2019

My 3 boys are always coming and going at our home. I enjoy every minute of it and try to appreciate that they still want to see their crazy old mom.

kayak may 2019

Last week we took a paddle down the river together. I love the way we all have similar interests and enjoy each other’s company. It made my heart happy when my middle son sent me lots of photos as he was vacationing in Alaska. He brought me home a rock he collected. Love it!

Me Time

I was in the mood for some spring cleaning so I organized cupboards and sorted winter clothes before boxing them up for the season… I washed windows and dusted knick knacks. Starting fresh just seemed like the way to go.


dave and dogs fall river

There were papers to shred and photos to print. I find such solace in being organized and even for a minute to feel like I’m in control of things. There have been way too many months of not being in control and feeling like at any moment we would need to react to someone else’s needs. My husband and I have actually started to make a list of summer things we want to do and places we want to go. I pray that we’ll be able to have a few months of summer to take in all the amazing things about living in Central Oregon during June and July.

Harmony Art Mom

Next time I’ll share some of our projects we’re doing here at the house…creatively using materials we have gleaned from the yard, gathered from friends and family, and purchased locally. Stretching our retirement budget is something I’m just starting to get the hang of after 2 years of living here.

sierra and kona

I don’t think I’ve shared much about our new Labrador, so that will be on my list for next time too. I forgot how much having a puppy is like having a new child. There is so much training to do, but lots of rewards that go along with it.

If you want to see what we’ve been up to during our time outdoors, you can read this month’s Outdoor Mom post over on my other blog, Handbook of Nature Study.




Creative Mom – August 2017

Creative Mom August 2017

Planner mom

There hasn’t been much time to be creative in the traditional sense this month. We were gone for a quick visit to California and then had another house guest. On top of that, two of our sons have come home to stay awhile as they prepare for their next adventure. It’s been another month of change.

Garden plans 2018

On the creative side, I’m still working on a garden plan and am starting to have a clear vision for what we need to include: patio space, small fenced flower garden area, increased native plant garden, some of the yard art that I’ve been pinning on Pinterest, and a small area to build a tent platform for visitors who come in the summer and want to experience the great Oregon outdoors.

Shutterfly prints

I’m starting to think that summers here in Oregon will be for outdoor living and the rest of the year will be for more indoor activities. This means my much neglected scrapbook will not be forgotten in the winter time and my crocheting and stitching will become more of a priority when the winter storms are rolling in. It will be a new yearly rhythm to my life, dictated by the temperatures. We have a wood stove and the wood is all in the shed in anticipation of a change in the weather.

For the first time in forever I am looking forward to autumn because I am ready for a new way of seeing the world through my Oregon experiences.

“The habit of storing mental images can’t be overrated. It can comfort us and refresh us. Even in our busiest times, we can stop and take a mini-vacation in our own piece of nature to be refreshed and gladdened by ‘the silence and calm of things that can’t speak or feel.”
Charlotte Mason, volume 1 page 50

In the meantime, before the weather does turn cold here, I’m going to be squeezing in as much outdoor time as possible. When I’m in the deep winter, I will have lots of mental images from my summer and fall to remember fondly.

Creative Things To Come

Although I find it hard to make time for creative things right now, I know it lifts my spirits when I make that time, even if it’s only 15 or 20 minutes. It keeps my mind occupied with positive thoughts.

  1. Finish my crocheted dishcloths.
  2. Scrapbook!
  3. Find a book or two to read!
  4. Beading- I’ve been gathering the supplies all summer to create some beaded necklaces and bracelets.
  5. Garden plan
  6. Letter writing! I am going to be making time for more letter writing now that I have so many distant friends to keep in contact with.

You may be interested in this entry:

Reviving the Habit of Letter Writing

Can Gardening Fulfill a Neglected Need in Us?

Fall Garden Post (with Charlotte Mason)





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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