Notes and Sketches From Canyon Ranch

Notes and Sketches From Canyon Ranch

My last full day at the spa… The property here is beautiful, built around a belle-epoque mansion called Bellefontaine surrounded by woods of maple, pine and birch, and just a few miles from The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home. Canyon Ranch’s resident artist and outdoor guide Cathy Palmer is incredibly knowledgeable […]

My last full day at the spa… The property here is beautiful, built around a belle-epoque mansion called Bellefontaine surrounded by woods of maple, pine and birch, and just a few miles from The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home. Canyon Ranch’s resident artist and outdoor guide Cathy Palmer is incredibly knowledgeable about the area, from every leaf and twig in the woods to the real story behind Wharton’s Ethan Frome, which involved Cathy’s own grandfather. After a delightful walk in the woods with Cathy, we sit and paint a bit. No experience necessary.

The gatehouse at Bellefontaine, Canyon Ranch, the Berkshires.
The gatehouse at Bellefontaine, Canyon Ranch, the Berkshires.

I’m here with my bff Nina Griscom, btw, who’s kicking smoking and writing about it in her inimitable and amusing way in her blog, with more photos of the ranch. So proud of her. Me, I’m cheerleading and clean-living, exercising, lecture-listening, and to be perfectly honest, goofing off.

A finial of Bellefontaine, Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires.
A finial of Bellefontaine, Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires.

My thought for the day is about how easy it is to get caught up in life’s busy-ness — answering email, sorting laundry, answering email, running errands, answering email, children’s school-related commitments, answering email… and before you know it the day’s gone and you didn’t get around to the thing you really wanted to do that day… Was it to call a friend? Work in your garden? Find a new recipe for Thanksgiving? Begin your holiday shopping? Paint a picture? The only thing between doing and not doing is your deciding. Put it on your calendar as an appointment and keep it.

Amen.

18 Comments

  1. Frances,
    Love your paintings! Have a wonderful relaxing time at the Ranch. The mountains do the same thing for me.
    xo, Lissy

  2. Becky Roddenbery

    Thanks for the advice this morning….needed it!!
    Love Nina’a blog, she is a hoot. Please show us more of your paintings. Becky

  3. Frances,
    I have decided to take just a few moments and thank you for your great web-site. Always enjoy the content – I walk away with inspiration. “Deciding” is on the calendar and will stay there!
    A fellow Tar Heel,
    Aunt B!

  4. Sherrill Perry

    WOW FRANCES YOU HAVE BROUGHT ME MORE JOY THIS MORNING!! FABULOUS WATER COLORS!!!!!
    YOU ARE SO RIGHT WE ALL NEED TO SLOW DOWN AND JUST ENJOY OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON. I ALMOST FORGOT WE NEED TO ENJOY QUIT TIME DOING WHAT WE LOVE!!!!!
    HAVE A BLESSED LAST FULL DAY AT CANYON RANCH.
    WITH LOVE TO A VERY AMAZING LADY,
    SHERRILL

    I BET THAT COWBOY OF YOURS IS READY FOR HIS BRIDE TO COME HOME!!!!!!

  5. Yes! Pretty watercolors!! My painting friend and I are always saying this… Someone has to make us paint- like a teacher or someone. I miss it. Your friend is fortunate to have your support!!

  6. Amen,
    xo,
    Lynn

    P.S. Your friend Carolyne Roehm was in Atlanta yesterday.
    She was full of life and planning her Charleston house and garden while showing her
    b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l slides of her Connecticut home
    and FLOWERS. Book is a must for best gift ever!

  7. Duvall Fuqua

    OK, so I’ve decided since I just got a fabulous new clip board featuring an almost life size photo of your niece in her cheerleading uniform (!), that I am going to make a list of things around the house that are stressful to me, and “fix” one a day. Yesterday it was my drawer full of lip glosses and prescription meds. But maybe I will also start a list of things I want to do for fun or enjoyment (although I have to say cleaning out a closet is really fun to me!!), or at least something that doesn’t involve my computer! Love you!!! Proud of NIna too!!

  8. Love this and the paintings…
    My big struggle (at this very late date in life) is imagining that someone else is going to care that I paint a picture or any of those other purposeful things – or give me permission to do them… I’m getting more clear on expectations for relationships and that some levels of caring just are not going to happen… And it’s time to paint the picture.

  9. What wonderful mementos of your stay. Love the watercolors!

  10. I adore your watercolors!!’ You are seriously talented

  11. AH! You are so close to us, maybe 40 minutes away. You could have come over for one of my great meals. And portraits! And Susan, my fiance, was once the HR Director there.

    And, yes.

    ~Bruce

  12. Here’s a quote that “tags onto” your thought for the day….”Fully savoring our experiences requires time….” by Daniel Klein (BA Philosophy – Harvard)

  13. P-l-e-a=s-e do a book of watercolours. We need this for soothing and comfort and destressing.
    xo, Lynn

  14. Dearest Frances,
    So happy to hear that you are at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. The HOTY and I used to go once a year (when we lived in Chicago). It is a beautiful, restorative, and filling place…as evidenced by your spectacular watercolors.
    Have a wonderful time with your BFF. What a joy to be able to spend time together!
    Hope to see you soon. Miss you! xx h

  15. Just lovely watercolors! Maybe you should concentrate on doing more.You have real talent!

  16. Kate Firestone.

    We all need a dose of Canyon living right now in order to contemplate the future without panic.
    If I was sill smoking I would use that as my excuse. Have a great Thanksgiving.
    Kate

  17. Beautiful sketches! Don’t you just love the freedom of watercolors? I, too, love it when I don’t have anything to do but enjoy life. That’s why I smile when I can list “Retired” as my occupation. Enjoy your preparations for Thanksgiving. Love, Diane

  18. Oh Boy, you’re talkin’ to me here. I’m not a resolution type person, but I am complete on not doing enough of this! All of it. Not for my bucket list, perhaps my little plastic pail, the one you take to the beach to hold treasures. Thank you! And I did see Nina’s blog, precious and warm (that music makes my teeth hurt). Kudos her way for trying. XO Pete

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*