Thursday, March 28, 2013


 My daughter has been a great fan of Oz ever since my mother, her LaoLao, introduced her to the original film at the age of 3. She has been more than a little obsessed ever since. So it seemed a foregone conclusion that we would take her to see The Great and Powerful Oz in 3D when it came out, no matter what the reviews. 
I wouldn't say that she loved it the way she loved the original, but she did latch on to one particular charachter: the little China Girl. 
I'm sure that it did not escape her that this character is an orphan, left without a family or a country, and that she is desperate for a family. 
Also that she is fragile and injured, but also stubborn, tough and brave. 
This week, I have been sick with a flu while Q has been home on vacation. She has been amazingly patient with me, and also very grown-up, helpful and independent during my convalescence. I promised her a special reward for this, and her choice was a doll of the little China Girl from the film. 
I agreed, but I told her she would have to be patient. The little China Girl (or Delicate Girl as Q has named her) would have to come to Q in her own way, and Q would have to pass some tests in order to find her. 
So it was that, a couple of nights ago, China Girl and I found ourselves in a pact of complicity after Q fell asleep for the night, creating a very special treasure hunt by which Q might find her way to her new best friend. 
I have to say that China Girl was a willing and capable co-conspirator in this plot throughout the night. She helped me write out the notes, draw the clues, and stick them up throughout the house for Q to find in the morning.
Here is China Girl escaping from the bonds of her (formidable) packaging, and setting out to discover the house and invent some clues for Q's treasure hunt.
China Girl drawing a clue...
...and placing it.
Placing more clues, by dead of night. Q is a sound sleeper, so we didn't have much trouble placing the clues without waking her.
While placing a clue on one of our vintage toy shelves, China Girl scored a follower: Baby Deer, who woke from her charmed slumber. The two have since become fast friends.
The final clue was to lead Q outside to our ancient apple tree. China Girl had to tread through some fairly deep snow in order to get there, and her tracks remained.
Setting herself up to wait in the arms of the apple tree, for Q to discover when she wakes.

Q woke rarin' to get started on her treasure hunt, and even dressed up in her best dress so as to be prepared for the momentous meeting with her new best friend.
Following clues around the house at hyper-speed.
This one leads me out the front door...
Thank goodness it was a balmy winter-to-spring morning in Denver, so that Q did not even feel the chill in spite of a lingering snowpack.
First meeting of the eyes.
Found! This is how friends are made.
Pure. Unadulterated. Magic.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

 Yep, I'm back to Moab again. 
Hard to believe that our last Moab trip was in October, and it's now nearly Easter, and I'm still editing Moab photos!
But...so it goes. Life moves far too quickly with a 5-year-old.
Moab coffee has always been the best in the West...and as many incarnations as this coffeeshop/bookshop has endured over the past decade or two, the quality of the coffee has remained surprisingly consistent. It used to be called Mondo Coffee. I think it's called Wake 'n' Bake these days, but really I have lost track.  Fortunately, consecutive owners have stayed true to the independent-coffee-shop-slash-underground-booksellers ethic over the years.
 The vintage/new bookshop section is now separate from the café, but I have to say that the vintage book selection has, if anything, improved. I bought a first edition Alice in Wonderland book for a very reasonable price in quite passable condition this last visit. I did not buy the book pictured in this photo, but now I kind of wish I had. I was trying really hard to exercise self control. I think now that my self-control might have been a bit misguided in this particular case.

 Q, our future goth, walking down the mainstreet of Moab with her "pet bat".
 The local Uranium office. Yah, it's a mineral-rich area.
 An example of a typical shop window in downtown Moab. You should see what they sell at the local drugstore!
 As we headed up the slope to the mesa overlooking Canyonlands, it became increasingly clear that this was going to be a dramatic weather day.
 And it was.
Mike showing Q the lay of the land.
 A little rest stop overlooking the incredible vistas of Canyonlands.
 Shooting and snuggling. The wind was on its way up.
Fully-clothed against the incoming weather system, just a few minutes later.
Adding layers for warmth at a very high overlook.
In Moab in the fall, it can be difficult to keep up with the swift and dramatic weather changes. Q in the van, showing her various layers of clothes-changed behind her. 

Shortly hereafter, the weather took a turn for the even-more-dramatic...photos of Arches national park in the weather to come in the near-ish future.



Monday, March 18, 2013


 I realize that it probably looks like we don't get out much. 
I mean, we do a lot, but it's true that we don't go far without our little girl. 
 I mean, look at her. 
So yes, we tend not to go too many places that we can't go without the Q
But in fact, there are plenty of places that one can go with a child, if one is open-minded. 
Me, having grown up as I did in artistic community that believed in exposing children to most of the same things that their parents enjoyed, I like to branch out with her. 
Our beloved Museum of Contemporary Art is a favorite of Q's, and it's also one of those places where you can take littles, even during evening events.
So I was thrilled to take her to MCA's kickoff event for Denver's Month of Photography.
 And what a beautiful March night it turned out to be...so that we could all hang out on the rooftop garden without catching a chill.

 The show was as much fun as most shows at MCA, and we had a blast.
One of my favorite images from the photography show, curated by Denver's own Mark Sink.
 Q was beyond thrilled (just look at her face!) to have the opportunity to hang out with the "big kids" at this event.
In this shot, l-r, Flynn Q, Jesse Elliott of Ark Life, Eric Robert Dallimore of Leon, musician Laura Goldhamer, and Lindsay Giles McWilliams of Leon and Lindsay Giles McWilliams Photography.

 Q and Mommy love.