practice

Yesterday was the end of our 14-day staycation. Taking time off from work and staying home is maybe the most blissful holiday I’ve ever had. Somewhere around day 10 Andy said wow I could really get used to this. I had to remind him that he still got up every single morning at 4am and painted until 7 so he could spend the day with family. But he loves that work so much it doesn’t feel like work or, it feels much different than his day job as an electrician.

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I believe making change happen involves first saying it out loud, believing in it. Some day, not so far away, I know Andy will paint full time. And I really look forward to my hard-working man getting the studio time he deserves (and needs).

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He has an exciting exhibit coming up this March in Spokane at the Kolva Sullivan Gallery that will feature all new work (that will all be for sale!). I’ll keep you posted about the exhibit opening. It’ll be fabulous.

This week we have been easing (as much as we can) back into our regular rhythm. There’s a necessary amount of sprinting into to-do lists for me; sewing and writing obligations patiently await my return. But I find that I can make my concentrated work time productive and fun if I continue to indulge in the vacation-y things. Or, more accurately, I want to have a vacation-y mindset when not working. The things we did over the holiday — hiking, skiing, sledding, afternoon espresso (oh man wait until you SEE what my husband surprised me with for Christmas!!), art-making, building railroad-fairy castles — are things we do everyday. It’s the relaxed, breezy headspace that was so luxurious. I’d like to get really good at always channeling a soft, reclined mentality when I’m not working. There, I said it out loud. I’ll begin my practice today.

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Our January calendar is booked with out-of-town visitors. Thinking back to last year when we were unable to host a flea, it is so satisfying to have a guest room. And speaking of guest room, new kitty hasn’t missed his litter box in a week! Thanks to an awesome consult with a behaviorist at the Humane Society, we modified his living quarters. Looks like homeboy is here to stay.

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It does feel good to have another cat in the house but his presence also pushes into my not-yet-healed bruise of Olive’s mysterious disappearance. I believe my kids are experiencing the same feelings as discussion about Olive has emerged with renewed regularity. Ruby and I hiked yesterday and every single time I’m on that hill I wonder if I’ll see her. In my daydream she isn’t alive but instead I discover her striped fur, frozen in the snow or I find a tiny pile of bones. The not-knowing is hard.

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The bright shining sun cut through the 11-degree air, making it almost feel warm. Alice ran over to a tree and starting sniffing and digging and I wondered.…when Ruby interrupted the silence with “Hey mom, I miss Olive. I think her is just running around the block and maybe her will be home in spring.”

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Maybe Ruby’s right, but not in the literal sense. For, with spring, the snow melts and the earth softens. Old life fertilizes new growth. And new homes are found.

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23 Responses to practice

  1. Sarah says:

    Hello! I have read your blog for a couple of years and absolutely love it! LOVE it. :-) Does Andy sell any of his paintings online?

  2. Andrea says:

    Dig, haven’t made a comment for a while. Dont worry for I am still stalking(ahem, lurking) here in this space. So happy dude is gonna work out! And olive will always be with you. Rubys sweet comments are proof of that!! Love!! And why must we wait to see what Andy got you for Christmas? Sing it!

  3. Claire says:

    So much beauty, but my heart twinges for you over Olive. Here’s to spring.

  4. Jasmine says:

    Man, Andy’s work is beautiful. I love that orange barn. I’m guessing its out of my price range, but I’d love to see his work here in Maine. I’m sure any of our many local galleries would be thrilled to host an exhibit. Its a cool place to visit if you’re up for a trip east.

    • dig dig says:

      Maine is the ONLY state I’ve not been to! I am dying to visit that beautiful place. Perhaps an exhibit would be just the incentive we need. If you know of any contemporary art galleries that you think would be a nice fit, send ‘em my way!

  5. We’re also plunging back into our normal routines after such a lovely, loungy, eggnoggy break.
    I wish I could wave my magic wand over Andy’s art, so that he could paint fulltime *now.* He is crazy talented! But, I think you’re right, it’s not so far away.
    Deep breaths for the upcoming plunge back to work.

  6. Melissa says:

    Hey Nici Holt Cline,
    It was fun meeting you at the MADE Fair, but just as fun getting to know you via this blog. I feel so happy reading that the orange boy (I think it’s a boy?) is settling in and the peeing is under control. And I couldn’t agree with Ruby or you more about springtime. xo-Melissa

  7. Your photos and your words always leave me with a sense of calm.
    Andy’s paintings are stunning…what a talent.
    Enjoy your January.
    xx

  8. Happiness is... says:

    Stacations are so amazing when you just absolutely, positively LOVE where you are rooted. So good.

  9. Maria says:

    Oh, Nici~tears again for Olive. My four mean the world to me & I know just how you feel. I used to care for many feral cats who, for the most part, never left my yard. They knew they had a good thing goin’ there. One day, two beautiful little brothers never showed up for breakfast. They were ALWAYS there for breakfast. Many years have passed but I still think of them. I had both of them neutered. They were so beautiful & so loving & I’ve convinced myself that they now reside in a home as heavenly as mine is for their sisters, my precious Isabella & Ariel. As an animal lover, I know our hearts never fully heal from the loss of our little furry friends. Thoughts are with you, always.

  10. SmithShack71 says:

    You picked up the sparklys glittering in the snow photo. I love that. I have a thing for the sparklys in the snow.

    -Angie

  11. Trbholt says:

    Hi Burb~A very uplifting post…just made me feel good! Andy’s wondrous paintings take my breath away…so amazing! So glad Norman is there to stay!….One sweet purr-ball! Did changing his litter help?

    Your new home is an awesome place/space to visit…what a great move you made! People would drive hundreds of miles to experience what you have out your back door!

    LOVE to all! Mom
    ps…Maine is the only state I have not been to also…Mother/Daughter Road Trip!?

  12. Margi says:

    I love your stories and photos. Thank you.

  13. Jaim says:

    We did a stay cation this year too but we just added two nights at the Izakk Walton Inn and had the BEST time! Your side of the mountains is so fluffy and white and almost windless. Wow, that Andy is such a talented guy…that work is really beautiful and he can fix your wiring too. Good luck with your new addition. He looks as if he’s made quite the impression.

    Here’s to everyday living,
    Jaim

  14. So happy for Andy. Spo-compton is half way to the sea, to the mountains. I’d love to make the drive for that opening. He’s so crazy talented. Can’t wait to see his next series.
    And I’m so sorry about the mystery of Olive. Sweet kitty, looking down on your family for sure.
    Most, I love the top picture of cold, barbed wire, your line: In my daydream she isn’t alive but instead I discover her striped fur, frozen in the snow or I find a tiny pile of bones. The not-knowing is hard.
    So raw.

  15. Krista says:

    Hi Nici, I just love your writing, photos, children, attitude on life and your husband’s art…. thanks for sharing! So nice to meet you for 5 seconds at Snowbowl a few weeks ago! xo

  16. Sharon says:

    I have been reading your blog for at least 4 years if not longer and one thing I am wondering about is do you have a TV set I have nver seen one in your house .

    • dig dig says:

      We do not have a television in our home. My husband does have one in his painting studio. It’s a small, dark space and he calls the tv his ‘window’. :) For the summer Olympics, we brought it upstairs but other than that, it stays in his studio.

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