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Saturday, September 29, 2007

OK. We're OK. Things are looking good here. I'll hang around for a few more days, to see if I can be useful.

Lauren is not The Queen, but she is one heck of a great Princess. And she's thrilled because she got the same tiara and flowers as the Queen, but doesn't have any of the responsibilities. Win, win baby!

Another day, I'll tell you about my old neighborhood, and the still fabulous Dick's Bakery... ah, the suspense!

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is my first airport blog. I'm not a world traveler, and we usually prefer to drive most places. But this morning I got a call from my sister, about my Dad, and here I am a few hours later, catching a plane to San Jose. We don't know exactly what's going on yet, but it will take all three Miles Girls to sort it out. Without going into too much family stuff, I'll just say that I hope he'll be OK, and I thank you all for your love and support while I'm away.

There is also some good news in the middle of all this. Lauren (my sorority girl) is on the Homecoming Court, and just might be elected Homecoming Queen tomorrow! Of course her Hippie-Artist-Mother doesn't really get it, but I do support it. A bit of silliness right now is a very good idea.

So wish her luck. It's good to be Queen. Wish my Dad all things good and comforting.
I'll be in touch!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

another bird story

This little bird got himself stuck in Lucy's mouth twice yesterday, once in the morning, and again in the afternoon. I guess he likes to play with dogs. Lucky for him, Lucy has a "soft mouth" for such a wild and crazy dog. The bird is young, and doesn't fly very well yet. And now he's missing some tail feathers, so he's terribly off balance, even when he's just standing there. He'd never make it in the wild at this point, so Rick ran out and bought this cage to replace the shoe box that obviously wasn't going to work as a long term solution. Lauren's room is now the Birdy Rehab Clinic. I think we'll have to keep him until he gets his tail feathers back... if that's even something they do. Do they re-grow tail feathers? Does anybody know how to care for a wild bird? We're researching online, and seeing if there's a local bird group who might take him. But if we take him to the shelter, they'll charge us a bunch of money, and then probably just turn him loose... Taos is not like other places. We're on our own here... Another pet. Yeah, that's what we need!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's Fall Arts Festival time in Taos. Woke up this fine first day of autumn to pouring rain, and the first yellow leaves on our little maple tree. I know it was all green yesterday... how did it know today was the day to start changing?

We had a slow, lazy morning, with a surprise chocolate croissant Rick had been hiding for me. I immediately declared it a Spa Morning, and after flipping through the latest In Style magazine, locked myself in the bathroom for some beauty time. Of course my version of a manicure is nail clippers, and a facial is a fine jar of Mud Mask from Desert Blends of Taos. I like their mud, and the bath/body oil too. Smells nice and real, but pretty. Buy it online, and we'll all smell the same.

Around noon, we headed into town. We'd been to the big art openings on Friday night, but there were so many people, we didn't actually see the art. We stopped at the Quick Draw first today, to see the artists in action. The rain didn't stop them from setting up this morning, and it didn't stop the crowd of locals and art-loving tourists from showing up either. We left before the auction though... it's dangerous for me to go to that thing. I always buy a painting. I think I have four from the Quick Draw now, just because the deals are so good. I can't resist original art, made that day, by really good artists. But with the move to Oregon coming up, the last thing I need is more paintings. Later maybe, once we have walls again...

Next we headed across the street to the Taos Open, and the Invitational. Anyone can enter a piece at the Open. It has a little bit of a County Fair flavor at times, but there's also some really good work there. The Invitational is very la-dee-da. Only the best of the best are invited to show, and then only if they've lived here long enough, and have shown in galleries long enough. A friend of ours, Lisa Burge, won best of show. And Kathleen Brennan took a third place for one of her photographs. We've very proud of them!

Back to the Open, here are a few things that caught my eye. I tend to like quirky portraits for some reason. I think it's because they look back at you. There's a kind of connection and interaction between the art and the viewer. And I like them best if I don't know the person. A favorite artist of mine is Milt Kobayashi. He's not a Taos artist, but I saw a show of his work here a few years ago. I stopped in front of one particular painting, and was so drawn into the mood, tears started streaming down my face. I was too embarrassed to meet him, but now I wish I had... Anyway, the following are from the Taos Open. Not Kobayashis by any stretch, but still interesting to my eyes...

And now, back at home, we're sitting by the first little fire of the season, more for atmosphere than for heat. In fact, the front door is open. We made a test batch of Grand Cosmopolitans, and might just have to try one more time... uh, to refine the recipe...
We don't have whole weekends like most people, but we do know how to make good use of a Sunday...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Just another Thursday night. Rick is in the office, blogging. I'm in my favorite room, also blogging. The "dining room", is really the sweetest little round room in the house. It happens to be next to the kitchen, so it has the big recycled teak table in it, but it also has a big-window view of the world, and a small couch, and a fireplace. My laptop fits ever so conveniently in my lap, as I sit here and listen to the rain. It's been raining all day... the second day this week. Tropical storms are somehow finding us, and it seems odd and normal at the same time. I guess I have to give up on weather. It's always out there, and it always does what it wants. Normal is not something we have anymore in this world. Like the tattooed lady says, "Might as well make Chaos your friend." We skipped the Taj Mahal concert tonight. It was at the Solar Center, which is an outdoor venue, made for summer, but not necessarily for chilly, drippy, dark fall nights... I don't care how many tents they have... Sorry Taj! We do love you!

Do you get the Sundance catalog? I do, when the mail carrier doesn't steal it. I have a new one today, so after dinner (thanks for cooking, Rick), I flipped through it for a little break from normal... When we lived in Seattle, there was the first-ever (maybe only-ever) Sundance Store, in the University Village. I loved that store. I'd go there now and then, just to wander around, fondle the fine fabrics, and sit in a really great leather chair. I bought a few things on sale, but mostly I just went for a mental vacation. It was a wonderful place. I even had an appointment with the manager once, to show him my jewelry, in hopes of selling it in the store. It didn't work out. I didn't want to do mass production or custom work even way back then. Ah, well... no big deal. The catalog is still a Special Place for me to go. Maybe one day I'll go to Utah and see the Place itself. But for now, a little personal oasis is a good thing to have. When mainstream fashion magazines consistently make me feel ugly and inferior, I know I can count on my good friend, Robert Redford, and his crew, to make me feel like the fashionable rebel hippie chick who still lurks deep inside me. The point? There's no need for one. Pleasure in a mail order catalog is something we've all but forgotten in this culture. Turn off the TV and give it a try. There was a time when the Sears catalog was the most happening thing around...

Again... my point? No point, I guess. Just another Thursday night...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

who knew?

Last night we were watching a movie... "Phenomenon" - we've seen it before, but it's still a favorite... and started hearing a lot of booming outside. It had been raining all day, so we dismissed it as thunder. But it kept up for several minutes, so we paused the movie and went outside to look around. The town of Taos had decided to stage a large fireworks display in the middle of town. Nice show, just like the 4th of July, but we had no idea what it was for. We had suspicions of a Secret Holiday when two young women came to the studio tour on Sunday, sort of by accident, when they were really in search of "Derek's house", and a party complete with live band. We don't know Derek, but did hear some music in the distance later that night. I thought it was odd to throw a bash like that on a Sunday night, and wondered if there was a holiday sneaking up on us. After some digging around on the internet, I finally found out that yesterday was indeed a holiday! And so, I want to wish you all a very happy, belated Constitution Day/Citizenship Day! I hope to see some snappy, poetic Hallmark cards for this one next year...

Monday, September 17, 2007

made it

Monday morning. The studio tour is over, and it turned out to be a mostly fun weekend with lots of lovely visitors. I'll admit it's kind of exhausting though, being "on" for two days straight. I'm not used to talking all day, and there I was, chatting, explaining my work, and doing lots and lots of demos. Demos were the best. I didn't really hit my stride until half way through Sunday. Then I realized if I just make a simple flower bead and talk about what I'm doing, they understand a lot more, and go away thinking lampwork beads are way cool. I sold some too, which surprised me. Nice perk. We had a little potluck here on Saturday night. Just a few friends and some of the other tour artists. It was good to relax and visit and talk about the day.

Today is gray and rainy. Normally that would annoy me, but today it's perfect. I got up and wrapped all the beads I need to ship, and sent Rick out to mail them and do some foraging for me. I'm back in bed, power lounging. I'm going to be a lazy bum all day.

Friday, September 14, 2007


We've been cleaning and sorting and arranging for two days now, in preparation for the studio tour weekend. Not terrible work, and actually really satisfying. We have a clean house, and the studio is shifted in a way I think I'll like all winter. So whatever happens from here is extra. Nice.

But you know... working hard can make one a little bit dingy...
Late this afternoon, Rick wandered through the office and said, "The dead cats are all out of the freezer." What??? I ran it through my head three times before I asked him to repeat it... "I took the casserole out of the freezer.".... Phew!
Guess the old "telephone" game still works. My hearing is certainly in question.

Tomorrow is Tour Day, and then Party Night. I'll take pictures, but bet you won't hear from me until Monday. Happy Weekend! Wish you were here!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Studio Tour!

Here we are, coming up on the big Studio Tour Weekend... There's a ton of stuff to do, and I'm still sitting here in my jammies... better get going! If you'll be in Taos, and want to go to the tour, here's a link to the tour map: And drop me a note if you'll be here. We're having a little party on Saturday evening, and I want to invite you!
OK - time to shove some furniture around in the studio, to make it visitor-friendly!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

All I have to say today is...


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


There's nothing easy to say about today... September Eleventh will always be a date that sticks in people's throats, as if maybe we shouldn't even say it...
Today I choose to focus on beauty, on love, on all that is possible. Today I choose to make beautiful beads and to look at the sunset and say Thank-You. And today I want to show you some pictures of birds in my yard, in my bird bath, in my world, and in a world of their own. Birds. Just little birds, but of all different kinds. Little birds of different kinds, sharing a bowl of water. There's something in there for all of us...

Monday, September 10, 2007


It's Rick's birthday week, so we decided to have a little adventure yesterday. We drove up to Red river, and "camped" in a yurt. All these plans to move to Oregon and live in yurts started to seem really silly... even scary. What the heck are we doing??? It sometimes feels like everything we know is being dissolved into mist, and were being asked to trust that what forms from that will be good for us. OK... I get all that, but I don't always feel it. Sometimes I need something a little more tangible. Yurt Camping was just the thing. We had this sweet little round place, right by the river. It rained. The food in town was weird... vegetarians have trouble rustling up some grub in a cowboy town... The bed was way too small, and the potty situation was far from "private". Still, we loved the yurt, and loved exploring the possibilities of our next adventure, when we start with three little round spaces, and make them our own. I'm OK now... well mostly. Here are pics of our Yurt Adventure...

Tonight it's good to be back in our very own Big Bed.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Drift Away...

I have to be quick... today is day three of Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance Weekend, and we're headin' out. I know... I'm not your typical barn dance kinda girl, but there's something so great about all these singer-songwriters gathered together for the love of the music. Some of the other local festivals have gotten too big for their britches. They've lost the heart of where they started. But this one... this one has soul, and it's all about heart.

Two of yesterday's highlights were Chuck Pyle, from Colorado, and of course my favorite, Mentor Williams, who wrote Drift Away. I call him "my boyfriend", and I just love him. A silly crush. I don't actually know him. His wife, Lynn Anderson was there too, and they did a pretty kick-ass job with Drift Away. Here's my feeble attempt at a video. I only had my peewee Canon pocket camera with me, and I hit the off-button before the end of the song. Sorry 'bout that... but I'm told you can buy the Drift Away ring tone for your cell phone. Check it out. We'll keep Mentor rolling in royalties!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What If....?

I'm totally blown away by the whole Etsy thing. I built a shop there yesterday, and made an announcement to my Beadist Mailing List folks, and then there was a hurricane of welcoming email and people happy-dancing at the idea of the beautiful simplicity of it all... I'm so excited I feel like I'm on speed! This morning I made a little Store Front design from a photo of my studio. And yesterday I learned that Etsy is really Et Sy, which is Latin for What If.....
Oh yeah! Come on in... the door's always open...
And... yesterday was just magical on so many levels. Rick rescued a robin that had bumped into the window. He does this a lot. They always survive, and come back the next day to say hello...

... a few minutes after the robin flew away, the phone rang. It was a woman named Robin (!) who had seen the flyer (!) we'd put up at Cid's Market the day before, looking for a loving home for our goats. We've decided that there's no way we can take them to Oregon with us when all we'll have to call "home" at first is a trailer. So, as sad as we are to leave them, we're entirely happy and grateful to know they'll have a wonderful new home with Robin and Stuart. They came out to meet the goaties yesterday, and I know they'll pamper them even more than we do. They have horses and dogs, and some of the horses are from a rescue project. They live on 40 acres, and feed the animals organic food and treat them with herbs and homeopathy and love. The goats are getting a great gig with these folks. So if you want to meet the Kids, better come to the Studio Tour. They'll be moving soon after that... Yes, I will cry, but I'll know my goaties will be happy. It's not all about me.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

hold me back!.... no... nevermind!

I feel like a steam engine... a big pile of coal being shoveled in, scoop by scoop, big fire building up big steam, about to blast into a bigger world than has previously been available to me... I woke up today with all kinds of energy and Bright Ideas. Things are changing, no doubt about that, and it feels like we're about to jump the tracks and choo-choo off into space. OK - that's dramatic. But it's fair to say that I'm having a Very Good Morning...

Two announcements...

One - Rick is back to his BLOG!!! He's the resident Holy Man, and he has something to say. After an uncertain start a few months ago, he now feels ready to say it. Do check him out at Scattering Birdseed.

Two - I'm opening a shop at I've been struggling with organization/sales/software/email for long enough. Etsy has the technology, and I think I know how to use it... a few unanswered questions at the moment, but I'm giving it a try. Here's my page so far: Kim Miles - Beadist.

That's all I have for now... seems like enough.

Monday, September 03, 2007

a nap on the beach

I haven't been sleeping well lately. In fact I've been awake since 4:00 this morning. The sky is getting light now, and I hear all the neighborhood roosters. OK... I'm up.
It's been this way all week, and I worry about the dangers of falling asleep at the torch. I also worry that I'll just make junk if I'm too tired to think. But sometimes sleep deprivation has interesting results. I think some kind of subconscious creativity surfaces when the conscious mind is too tired to stay in charge. Here's a peek at the latest round of exhaustion beads. They have all sorts of "stuff" in them - even bits of silver tiaras. They're the next extension of the Africa Beads, but with a turn toward the ocean. I've been yearning for a trip to the beach lately. These make me think of wandering along the sand, looking for treasures, and sometimes finding them. They're glass, and they're beachy, so maybe I'll call them simply "Beach Glass".

Sunday, September 02, 2007

cheese poetry

Wonderful dinner and company at Anne & Peter's last night, and as we left, they gifted us with a precious jar of home made cherry jam. We wondered what to pair it with this morning. Sunday is Eat Anything day, and we seriously wanted jam for breakfast, but didn't have any bread in the house. But ah! We did have tortillas... and cheese! I made simple quesadillas with little blops of cherry jam inside. Heaven. Trust me. Cheese and jam are Very Good Friends.

Like I learned at my first job ever, at Marie Callender's...
Apple pie without some cheese
Is like a kiss without a squeeze

So I suppose it follows...
Cheesy tortilla without some jam
is like...

Never mind. I'm heading for some sort of David Bowie reference there. I know of at least a few kids who read my blog, and don't want to corrupt any young minds...

Last up on the Cheese Parade this morning, Lauren had to write some Haiku for a class. This is my favorite of the bunch...

Hello Kitty Yum
How you smush my cheesy snack
Best sandwich ever

... I say you might add some cherry jam...

Saturday, September 01, 2007


We had a pretty amazing storm last night, right at sunset. It blew in quickly, stayed a few minutes, and then dashed off like it had someplace else to go. We were making dinner when the sky called - Yoo-Hooooo! Come outside! To the west was a beautiful Taos Sunset, and to the east was the most incredible rainbow any of us had ever seen. It stretched all the way across the sky, bright and clear from end to end. Then it doubled, and the entire area inside the rainbow was glowing, while the outside was dark and stormy. Then the lightening started. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures, and then a whisper in my ear suggested switching it over to video. I got it! I can't believe it! The scream you hear is not someone being struck by lightening... it's more of a "Holy Wow", a reverently loud exclamation of appreciation, because that lightening I caught on video was only one little finger of fire that was filling the sky behind me at that moment. I think we're lucky no one was hit. It was pretty intense. Holy Wow, indeed...