Mother’s Day and Garden Wonders

For awhile I was angry whenever Mother’s Day rolled around.

My mom passed away in 1997, three months after Mike and I were married, and it just seemed unfair to have all this seemingly forced celebrating when I myself no longer had my mom. The anger and resentment have slowly diminished over time, and while the day is no longer quite as big a deal as it used to be (in my immediate family), my sisters are mothers, my friends are mothers and grandmothers, and they all deserve to be celebrated too. There are all sorts of moms out there to be celebrated, those that are alive and those no longer with us.

I am so very grateful for Muriel Jeanne Renfro and all she gave to me. Whether passed on through DNA, through her guidance, or through her example, I am me because of her. She is an ever-present influence in my art, and I would not be doing what I do if not for her.

I miss her terribly, and love her dearly.


[ My mother at my graduation from Art Center College of Design. ]

Spring Cleaning Continues

We spent a good portion of today outside, cleaning up the backyard. If I were to attempt to get up off the couch at this moment, my body would protest (OK, enough with the spring cleaning, this hurts).

I know I probably mention the weather way too much, but these spring days are simply the best. Today I took to noticing and treasuring the beauty in our own backyard, and thought I would share:

moss covered rock

[ This moss covers just one rock in our backyard path. I’m not sure what the new growth is (technically) but the feathery green moss has these delicate orange stalks with bright green, uh, things at the ends. Amazing. ]

milkweed seeds

[ Milkweed seeds found on the ground, left from last year, survived the winter. The engineering of these seed filaments, and their pattern, is very awe inspiring. ]

red tulip

[ A tulip in our front yard. We did not plant any tulips, ever, but they have appeared over the years and seem to have multiplied in our front yard. I had never noticed the beautiful yellow and black pattern at the center of the flowers. ]

yellow flowers

[ So much of our garden is either leftover from previous owners or “visitors” from who knows where. These yellow flowers are flourishing in the back of the yard. We did not plant them, but I love them. ]

fountain marbles

[ The marble and glass mosaic orb at the top of Mike’s fountain. Love all the subtle selfies reflected in the lower marbles. ]

golden cat

[ A golden cat, serene and sun drenched. She is from Mike’s Aquarium Gallery installation and now graces our backyard. ]

selfie in garden globe

[ Weird, but I liked this extraterrestrial-looking selfie (of sorts) in one of our glass garden globes. ]


[ We took a trip to World Market today and bought an umbrella and lights. I LOVE sitting here at the end of the day, listening to the water fountain, the birds singing, the neighbors doing what they do….Life is GOOD. ]

This weekend has been about gratitude, appreciation, and noticing/paying attention…to the memory and legacy of my mother and to the wonder and beauty in my own backyard.

This entry was posted in Creative Life, Inspiration.

One Comment

  1. Barb May 9, 2016 at 7:37 AM #

    Another beautiful thought, Julie. Thank you.