Essential Bean and Brewery

In Caledonia we have a coffee shop which recently added a brewery. You can visit their beautiful website  and see events they hold in the evening. Starting August first you can also see a collection of ten or so original paintings from Coldwater Studio.  Most of them are inspired by our tradition of farming in the Caledonia/ Alto community. I hope you will stop in to this gathering place for your coffee or beer in the next three months and enjoy the show.


I’m ready to sell two pairs of white homing pigeons if anyone fancies a  family of sleek white birds circling above their home and returning in the evening. Just feed them corn and give them a secure roosting and nesting  place and they will love you.s-farm-dark-sky

Driving through Kent County

A few weeks ago I was on a bus with a group of seniors with early dementia at my place of work. One of them had grown up in Grand Rapids, downtown, and was from an African American neighborhood. As we cruised through fruitful farmland and small towns on the shores of clear lakes, my friend Betsy was drinking it all in. As I helped her off the bus and back into the dementia unit she was smiling contentedly. “All my life I’ve waited to see fields of corn and beans and beautiful towns and lakes, and today my wish came true. Thank you , thank you for inviting me!”

Thank you, Betsy, for reminding me to stop and be grateful as I drive around distractedly through such beauty.  To think that someone arrived in their ninth decade of life never having seen fields and lakes. You never know with dementia, but something about her reaction rang as truth. Her gratitude and peace filled me also.

At coldwater studio we are finally setting up the printing press, shelving,DSC01869 and two desks in the newly remodelled space. This coming week the children’s art classes will be held at Caledonia CRC on 100th and M37. Several hundred children have registered for the Master Arts Camp I’m told. The Painting and Mimosas on Friday evenings will run this Friday and weekly into August. We have room for more!

I also offer private art lessons to seniors at home. I have experience with the Montessori method of teaching, applied to those with dementia, and years of experience with care and enrichment for the aged. Painting is such a calming activity. I know there are elderly parents being cared for at home in the Caledonia community so pass this on!

Painting and Mimosas

DSC01870 (1)



DSC01864 DSC01860

In these pictures we are collaborating to make an abstract painting, using up whatever color is left on our palettes .

This is an event you might be interested in. The barn is breezy and comfortable and the Mimosas are cool and delicious. Right now we are learning about the ideas and methods of Impressionism, a school of painting in the 1800’s primarily in France.

sailboats in impressionist style, or getting that way.
Sailboats in impressionist style, or getting that way.

Painting with Mimosas

Neighborhood Celebrations

When people get together to celebrate in someone’s back yard, its one of my favorite aspects of living in a neighborhhood. I walked from my house with some of my children to emerge out of the sumac thickets in Ena’s back yard where the grill was sizzling and the drinks were cooling in ice buckets. Watching the children eating and socializing in groups, and then racing around in the overgrown pasture trails and woods made everyone happy.  This is balm to souls worried with the troubles of the day, of the workplace and of ominous developements looming on the horizon of our country.

As dusk fell, out came the spectacular fireworks! Any arrivals or departures

sailboats in impressionist style, or getting that way.
sailboats in impressionist style, or getting that way.

at Gerald Ford International Airport ( or any other US Airport) will have had a nice show. A three-year-old girl however, discovered fireflies and was busy bottling them. When her mother explained that they needed to live outside the bottle it took the child a while to accept, but she reluctantly released them before they expired.  But they were still on her mind and she simply had no interest in the fireworks we were all enjoying. After a good evening together we all walked to our homes in the dark.

Thank you Jeff and Ena!

In the barn we held the first evening painting class and plan 4 more this month. The barn is breezy and comfortable on warm summer evenings and even if we have a storm (which we need), we will be safe and dry, so come rain or shine. With a  cool drink in one hand and a paint brush in the other all your cares will melt into the shadows.