Some of the best gifts are those that are homemade. This year for Valentine’s Day I made my sweetheart and wife Jonna, a gift from my heart all of which began with a daily dog walk.  Today we went into the nearby woods. 

It’s unusual I walk the dogs alone, but this day was an exeption to the rule and it soon became serendipitous. While the dogs run and play, I’m inside my own head in quiet solititude, and the creative juices begin to flow. 

A natural heart reveals itself to me, one made of moss. Then another heart, moss again, but different and an idea is born. As we move through the trees, grass, and melting snow, I look for objects to make Mother Nature art. Each piece is one of a kind. Sticks. Pine cones. Moose poop. Berries. Tree stems. Then I arrange my find into the shape of a heart after quickly selecting a contrasting nature background. Each one takes time and thought. 

It is these moments of creating with Mother Nature that feed and nourish my soul. 

The berries jump out of the cool colors of winter, catching my eye. They are spectacularly beautiful, motivating me to extend our walk by turning back around to return to a patch of berries I noticed earlier in a deeper part of the woods.  

Two hearts. One for me. One for her, the love of my life. 

Pleased as punch, the girls and I return home where I examine more closely my most recent photographed creations. The pictures are printed in less than an hour and the project is quickly placed in a simple hanging picture frame. My Hearts from Mother Nature art project is complete. 


I Am Just A Cloud

A fun video I created for The Cloud Appreciation Society.  The video was recorded in Wasilla, Alaska, my home town.  Some of the photos are mine, some obtained from the http://www.  I remember as a young child looking at the clouds and imagining what I could see.  Many of us have the same memory.  As an adult, I continue to look at clouds and see what I can see with my imagination.

Here Tyler Fishback, Jenny DeGraffenried, Brittany Fishback, Carter and Chelsea DeGraffenried and Christopher Fisback hang onto fun art work in Homer, Alaska this summer (June 2008). Carter, Jenny and Chelsea are up for the summer visiting, but they really are true Alaskans!

What a fun day hanging out together, at Bishop’s Beach then a quick pit stop at the Ocean and Wildlife Center. We also went fishing and hiking at Russian River and each one has a great story to tell.

Cousins and friends, these guys rock!

DeGraffenried/Fishback Cousins

DeGraffenried/Fishback Cousins

I think what prompted me to check out the website The Cloud Appreciation Society was a radio program on NPR many years ago. I have quite enjoyed looking at the beautiful pictures of nature and many of the photos make me think of how grand our Heavenly Father’s creations are.

I paid less than $10 for a membership and received a membership certificate and button.

This is one of my favorite pictures on the website.


Morning Glory cloud sweeps in over the Gulf coast of northern Queensland

Lao Ma's Folk Art

Lao Ma's Folk Art

While visiting Lao Ma in North Carolina, he took me on a 4.5 mile hike through the woods of Pittsboro. This was one of my most favorite sites, the first of four pieces of folk art he has created over the last three years, since getting Mongo and taking her on walks. Each time he found a ball at the river, he brought it back here to this stump and created a rather fun and distinguished one of a kind, never before seen piece of art. Just one more reason I love Lao Ma.

The other folk art… Beer Cans in Fence, Bottle Grave Yard, Skulls in Tree, Bottles in Bag.

Hike to the river
Find a ball
Build art on a stump
And hope they don’t fall
Mongo and Lao Ma
Water and Snack
Pants banded tightly
Backs got a pack
Hopefully no ticks
Hopefully no rain
Lots of greenery
Beauty to keep sane
Turtles say hi
Beavers leave signs
Old ones leave bricks
While the trees collect vines
Beauty surrounds
Air is sweet
My time here
is truly a treat.

My brother Mark is a sculpture with a rare talent. He was commissioned to create a monument of the 9 who died in a car crash in 2005, one teacher and 8 students who attended Utah State University.

How special his art is, helping individuals, families and communities heal from the loss of their loved ones.

News video and article.

I’m proud to call you my brother Mark.

A salute goes out to David Wilcox for his song, Start With The Ending.  It is a wonderful thought.  His song is about a relationship, that instead of starting with dating, starts with marriage and gets all the uglies out in the beginning.  Wouldn’t it be nice?  

You can play “Start With The Ending” song here.

And what if life started with death and ended with an orgasm!  How fun would that be. 

This story was emailed to me and it is a great thought!
In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way.  Then you wake up in an old people’s home feeling better every day.  You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day.  You work for 40 years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement.  You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, and then you are ready for high school.  You then go to primary school, you become a kid, and you play.  You have no responsibilities; you become a baby until you are born.  And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila!  You finish off as an orgasm! I rest my case.