Smoke and Horses


+Of The West+


I make deals with myself, it’s how I get through summer and prevent myself from feeling overwhelmed. We take it one deal at a time, one day at a time.

I say, “If you can make ten rings, weed the entire garden and deal with the bills in the mail pile by Tuesday, you can go to Bozeman, ride your bicycle and have a hoot with your girlfriends for four days.”

I say, “If you can clean out the chicken coop, mow the entire lawn and clean all the floors in the house by tomorrow night, you can begin the next day with the ten mile mesa run you love.”

I say, “If you can get that batch of images edited and submitted along with invoices, sit still enough to return Becca’s phone call and stay patient and kind while talking with the WIFI people as you try to convince them that they just need to send out a technician to deal with the problem, you can go to McCall for a few days of quiet and cool.”

My little deals with myself keep me present in the moment, in the day I am living — they keep me illuminated and buoyant, they prevent deflation and exhaustion.  I try to be realistic about what I can achieve so I don’t get frustrated by time limitations or when there are life glitches or last minute schedule changes (which are the very soul of the fire season…last minute EVERYTHING…we’re an entire tribe on call in one way or another for six months).  My little deals give me something to look forward to, a bit of dessert, a reward for hard work.  They help me shed my stress because I grow focused enough on the tasks at hand that I suffer a delightful sort of tunnel vision.

Keep it simple.  Keep it necessary.  Make a deal.  Get it done.  Receive the reward.

Summer in a nutshell!

If you can’t be with the one you love, love the ones you’re with.

Save Our Souls

To be frank, I made these rings for me, rather I made one of them for me.  I was looking to have a little ring I can wear backcountry or when I am working with my hands in the garden or around the farm — something meaningful but dainty that can serve as a wedding ring replacement (my wedding ring is uber fancy and has no right being backcountry or wrangling hand lines in the hay field) — and this is what I wound up with.  I’ve named this series “SOS” as in SAVE OUR SOULS.  You can glean whatever meaning or symbolism you want from the name, because once a piece of jewelry is yours it’s all yours to attach meanings to and feelings to and those meanings and feelings can be in line with what the maker intended or totally different.  That’s one of the best things about art, sometimes these things come with a spirit of their own and sometimes the way we receive art IS the spirit of the object or music or painting…

But I digress.  For me, this little ring design features the cross symbol I have been incorporating into my designs for over a year now and it’s all about healing, receiving, and the very Holy Spirit of God I draw near to when I am outside in these landscapes I love.  I often say it’s going outdoors and connecting ourselves to the land, the wind, the lakes and rivers that will save our souls and by that I mean, it’s not those elements that actually save us, but the healing thrum of creation and the abounding presence the Creator we can tangibly feel that stitches us up and makes us whole again.  I go out to run, to hike, to hunt, to fish, to swim, to row, to paddle, to sit quietly, to shout my joy, to weep, to break down, to be built back up again and it saves my soul.


I am going to try to have these rings listed in the shop for you tomorrow morning at 9AM (mountain time zone — please remember to refresh my shop page at exactly 9AM) — sorry for a Saturday morning shop update, it’s the time I have to do the update and time is love, lately.

Sizes run from 5.5-10 and I have 22 rings.


I have a few other rings made that feature chrysoprase and agates but I can’t make time to photograph them and build listings until next week.  So hang tight for those!  They’ll be made available at a later date.