Sunday, November 11, 2012


We got one of our major storms last week and it ushers in my favorite season of the year.  Fall and winter and the cool wet weather washes away the summer dust and lazy doldrums.  While we usually always have some ocean breezes here on the south coast, the stormy fierce winds of our winter storms rile up the Pacific in a wild and dramatic way.  The surf crashing against rocks and jetties can be so exciting and always intice me to pull out my camera as each minute brings yet another opportunity.  A sense of danger.   A few years ago, and some of you might remember me writing about it in a previous post, a bad storm sent migrating flocks of pelicans flocking towards the shelter of land.   I was told about that there were many in  Bandon down at the jetty there, but nothing could have prepared me for that sight~~Thousands and thousands of pelicans!  It was absolutely thrilling to me.  Me twirling in circles trying to shoot faster and faster photos than I could keep up with as I was surrounded by all these moving big birds. 
This photo above reminds me of the drama that this time of year can bring to photography.  As nice as the sun is in spring (or not) but especially summer.........I much prefer the fall and winter.  In putting the garden to bed there is the anticipation of warm fires, comfort stews and soups, flannel sheets and crisp, brisk walks.  I dream of again pulling out my paints or pastels and exercising that part of me again, or photo editing or just drifting off into a little nap.  And it brings a sense of renewal.......moving towards the newness of all that spring will hold. 

This second photo was taken from our deck and looking out toward Battle Rock and the Pacific.  The storm was breaking up and the sun trying to make an appearance.  The mists were rising upwards from the wet canyon floor......twisting up around the tall trees of the forest below.  It was another another special moment in Port Orford.

So starts another new week and I hope it's a great one for all.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I'm posting some of my last photos of Alaska........these were taken on from the ship, leaving Juneau and towards Vancouver.  Most of the trip south was during the night hours but the setting sun seemed appropriate as we left one of our most beautiful states.   When I took this first one, I was standing on the back of the ship watching the wake with the setting sun shining so brightly on it.  I was by myself back there as I made a silent 'good-bye' and a promise to return again.   And something that happened today made me think that promise must have been spot-on.   I was looking around for an envelope to hold some cash I need to bank tomorrow.  The envelope I reached for had held a very thoughtful "bon voyage" note from a good friend, sent to me before I left.   As I picked the envelope up, my eye caught something inside......and my friend had placed a Canadian $20 bill inside, that I was to use as I traveled through that country.  I had missed it before......  So, now that does tell me that I need to go back up and spend that money!!!!    Yep! that's my story and I WILL stick to it.   (Thanks again Bernice)
This photo just seemed to call for black and white so nothing would take away from the drama of those gorgeous clouds.   Although I did love the color up there too.   And the color of this last photo I think was just so rich.  We actually had a hard time getting some floating kelp as we were sailing towards Canada.  We were going at a pretty fast clip and it would many times pass by before a good shot could be captured.  I enjoy the jewel like colors here so I'm glad I kept after it. 
What did you south coasters think of today's weather?  I guess all along the western states we're getting a bit of Indian summer.  After the winter storm of last week, this was a lovely reprieve until winter visits us again.  And on the subject of weather.......I know there have been many requests from prayers and good wishes for those affected by superstorm Sandy, so let this reminder be another one of many, please.  There is supposed to be more frigid weather possibly hitting them again this week.  Hopefully, between now and then, many will find their devastation and situations greatly improved so they can 'weather the storm'.   I'm thinking that all of us safe and sound hold all our fellow brothers and sisters in our hearts and prayers.

OK........weekends over, Folks..........enjoy your new week and make the most of every minute in your own beautiful way.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I've posted a few more photos from Alaska............these were all taken from a Tlingit community, Hoona, located on Icy Strait.  It was one of my favorite places.   It was not only beautiful in a misty, rainy and wonderfully gray way, but the excursion we went on in visiting the rain forest was full of
 Native folklore, ancient healing ways, and so many examples of a people living with all aspects of the natural world.  We heard of Native ceremonies and rites, births and funerals, giving and receiving and valuing people in many beautiful and respectful ways.  And it surprised me that I found it, not simple, but fairly complex.  
And with that rumbling through my head, when I returned home I soon had a birthday.......One I considered somewhat of a milestone event.   It wasn't so much the age itself, although any that mark another decade is always noteworthy.  No, this one has left me doing a lot of reflecting and examining different aspects of my life.  I think that every one of us experiences this at one time or another........many times in a life, most probably.   It might be brought on my a health crisis and life change or some deep personal experience.   Everyone has or will have these times.   A time of really looking at what is working and what isn't..........What is the truth and what is false........considering what helps in our life and what doesn't.....and deciding on what brings joy or peace and what doesn't.  Of course, a life lived will always bring bouts of both.  Hopefully in balance.   It's when it doesn't that it needs to be re-examined..........A time of change, for better or worse.

I think the photos I posted speak for themselves.......Oh, the whales!!!   The whales tail I took, here below, is a favorite of mine.   I love the water sloughing off, as well as the way the light hits. 
The second photo shows the scale of one of those tails compared to the fishing boats.   Oh, Wow!  And as we left Hoona to move on to the next port, Juneau, the last view through our wet and rain splattered port window, was of two humpbacks, in perfectly matched time, gracefully gliding past the bow of our ship, wishing us a fond farewell and me thanking them for their exquisite performance.
Hope everyone has a great Friday and rest of the weekend!!

Monday, September 10, 2012


What incredible country Alaska is!!! 
 I think I'll always be in awe of everything about it.......the air, the magnitude, those enormous mountains erupting out of the sea, glaciers, wildlife .............just all of it!   This post is dedicated to my good friend, Bernice.   I wanted her to see at least a few of the photos that I've posted on Facebook so far.  There are plenty more but I haven't been able to edit them all yet.  
The first photo here is not in the order that I wanted but it's of me and a very outgoing, singing and whistling, conductor.  With his hair and hat on he reminded me of Capt. Kangaroo!  I think he loved posing and as you can see here, he had me get in front of the lens, too.   This was on the train that we had to get up at 4 AM!!!! to catch out of Anchorage, to Seward where our ship was waiting.  The flights up to Anchorage were long and tiring and I really thought I'd sleep on the train, but it was too exciting for me to even bother trying.  We saw a mama bear and somewhere out of my sight, anyway, were her 2 cubs loping on down the tracks in front of the train.  I think the train engineer is very conscious of the possibility of wildlife because it slowed down to practically a crawl while most of the passengers shifted from the right hand side to the left with cameras clicking and snapping.  Mine included.  I did get one not-so-great shot of mama.   This was my one and only bear sighting.   Karen really scored in this area.  She was visiting friends one afternoon over in Haines and her hosts drove over to where they thought she might see a bear.  There it was fishing and eating a salmon.  She had a super telephoto lens and got some of the best bear photos I've seen!   I think she should make a calender of her different photos, they were that good!

This photo is out of
 order, too.  It was actually taken on the second day of crusing and viewing Hubbard Glacier.  I had been up there once before and that glacier viewing was just miserable......freezing rain and wind.  I had to change my clothes about 5 times to try and dry out and warm and never did get very good photos.   This day was different.  The clouds were giving way to blue skies which had some beautiful patterns in the sky.  I didn't SEE any glaciers calving but a HEARD a number of them.  That was so exciting for me...........the sound echoing and there were about four of them close to each other.  So neat!  I guess the glaciers are retreating but the length, width and depth is still very significant.  The above view is taken from a distance from the glacier...........maybe about 1/4 or 1/2 mile?   I'm not very good with judging distances but believe me that this was an awesome sight. 
 This is one of my favorite photos from the cruise.  Our porthole window here is right over the bow of the ship and we'd climb up there and get some pretty good photos if it was cold and windy out on deck.  Karen loved this little "hidie-hole" as I called it and she'd retreat some afternoons and read......slow down and catch a breathe.   It was interesting that at night we were supposed to close our light-proof drapes because the light from our room might interfere with the navigating of the ship.  Maybe the reflections or something.  No problem........we went to bed so early that most of the time it wasn't even dark yet~Such partiers, huh??   We couldn't have been happier with our stateroom and that view.....
And this was our beautiful ship!  I kept looking for a port where I could get a long shot of the entire ship without anything interfering with the image.......this is the closest I could find.  But I think you can get the was LONG!!  12 or 13 floors high.........All the crew was fantastic.  The only thing I could even think to complain about was that they tried too hard.  Everything you ever wanted and any help they could provide was done immediately and with friendly smiles.   And they were a lot of fun!   It was a great trip and we're already talking about Ireland next............
Have a great week!  Feel the fall in the air?

Monday, August 13, 2012


OK.............I need to state right here that this photo below was NOT my idea!!!   Norm was in a very goofy mood and thought it would be good for laughs.  He actually wanted me to post it on Facebook and I refused.   For those of you who don't know us, please believe me when I say he does not usually look like this.  I'm really married to a very nice looking, conservative and normal guy.  Not one that looks like he stuck his finger in a light socket! 

OK........on to other things.  I'm getting ready for my Alaskan cruise that I'll take with my friend, Karen.  Today I plotted out some of the things that I'll pack in my suitcase.  I usually bring way too much for all the "just-in-case" moments.   In case the weather is cold; in case the weather is hot; formal or informal, comfortable or "Ugh".  Getting excited is half the fun, don't you think?   I'm so looking forward to all the beautiful scenry and animal life........and giving my camera a good workout!

I hope everyone is having a good summer.  Around the south coast here we were wondering if it was ever going to come!  While the rest of the country is melting away, we've had fairly cool weather.  The sunny days are here, though, and the vegetables, especially the tomatoes are loving it!  Late planting of green beans......Romano beans are my favorite as well as carrots, sugar peas, lettuces, beets and other greens......The blueberries are ripening, and looks like early crops of blackberries. 

Did you all enjoy watching the Olympics??  We did!  The U.S. did our country proud!  Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin were incredible as well as our women's gymnastic team, the soccer team as well as many, many others.  Always sorry to see them close.  Looking forward to the Winter Olympics in another two years..........

Norm's battle with the squirrels and other assortment of seed-devouring critters has calmed down somewhat.  Most have figured out that it's just not worth the trouble.  However............there was one new little chipmunk a couple of weeks ago..........very tiny little guy.  For some reason he was very interested in the hummingbird food.... (Go Figure).  He crawled out onto the PVC pipe and then just seemed to stay in one place.  Norm thought it was hilarious and I did, too, until it became obvious that something was wrong.  I looked closer and then walked out on the deck to check it out.  Chipmunk still wasn't moving.  Then I saw what the trouble was.  Norm had put a LOT of TangleFoot on the top of the pipe.  This lititle guy was so small that his tail got wrapped around the pipe and was not only stuck but completely encased in thick TangleFoot.  Poor little thing couldn't move to go anywhere.  I had to slowly peel his wee little tail from the bottom, working it free little by little, and hoping I wasn't hurting him.  He finally regained his tail and dropped like a rock down to the shrubs below.  The next day I saw a couple of baby chipmunks on the deck drinking some water we have out for them.  I'm going to assume that our little- hummingbird-want-to-be was one of them........alive and well!

OK...........that's it for now.  Hope you all have a great rest of the week.  

Monday, July 9, 2012


 I don't know where my summer is going this year!   My sister and a surrogate sister came up for a long weekend a while ago.   Good visit, although when I took them out to see Cape Blanco, we were greeted with a solid wall of gray.......rain and fog.  You couldn't begin to even see the lighthouse, much less anything beyond.  But the next day when we went to Bandon, it had that beautiful after-the-storm gorgous skies.......big fluffy clouds, shadows and light adding such great interest. 

We stayed home this year during the 4th of July festivities.   I had to have some kind of holiday celebratory photo so I placed a couple of appropriately colored things like white lilies and a hat around and snapped a few.  My favorite, though, is the flag up there in the trees.  And we watched a few fireworks from our deck.  And went to bed early listening to the fireworks down at BattleRock going off.  It sends the sound echoing up the canyon below our house.
I hope everyone's summer is going well in spite of the cooler temperatures.  It may not be as warm as we'd like but when I read about all the awful things going on over much of the rest of our country, I'm just so thankful to have our Pacific Northwest weather.  The garden is a little slower than it should be for this time, but we're picking plenty of lettuce, spinach and beet greens.  Just at their perfect and tender best.  Yum!  Carrots are growing nicely as is the garlic and onion.  The beans, peas, and cubits are a little slower and the broccoli doesn't know up from down......basil in the greenhouse has been clipped already.
My niece and her wonderful 3 kids are coming for a too short visit tomorrow.  They won't be here long so we'll have to cram a lot of visiting in.  Beach combing, maybe, a hike on the Heads, maybe the kids would enjoy the Wild Animal Park.........well, let's be honest......that's one of MY favorites!  8-D

I'm about done with any new clothes and things for my Alaskan cruise with Karen.  That will be coming up in about,  ummmm........46 days.  It'll be here before we know it!   I'm so looking forward to it. 
Did anyone else have some trouble with their computer and getting knocked off the Internet?  Everything seems OK now but yesterday and even the day before, in trying to get my printer hooked up to my laptop was just one big headache!   It seems that anything new or off with my computer I just know is going to be one big time-consuming, head-achy, hassle.  We have Frontier and I think to avert any problems on Monday, they did some switching around on Sunday.  Which was immediately after I had finished getting the software downloaded and set up for my printer (Mucho thanks for Nanci's help).  As I unplugged my printer (perfect storm timing here) my Internet connection went off.  So, anyone would naturally think the two were some how connected, right?  A few hours later, it still wouldn't come on and I was just about to make some drastic changes to my computer when my friend, Karen called to ask me, or tell me, that her Internet was off.  Now THAT was perfect timing!!  That call saved me from hours of more frustration and further drama. 
Saw our first little spotted fawn the other day.  Our squirrels still keep Norm on his toes with their antics and the attempts to help the birds eat their seed.  There was one I call, Junior, who kept trying over and over again to leap from the deck railing out to one of the circular squirrel proof feeders.  He had us in stitches and each try landed him in the bushes underneath the feeder.  Over and over, he lept too high, too low, sliding off the rounded top.........  Then he finally aimed his leap just right......or just blind luck.......and he got in.  So there he was, "squirreling" down the seed as fast as he could as he sat there all by his lonesome in the middle of all that seed, nervously looking up constantly to see if his position was in danger.  He was right; it was.  Out Norm went flying and Junior leapt from the feeder to the safely of the shrubs.  But in another few minutes, here he comes yet again!  Persistent little Junior!
I guess his leap of faith was just luck because he continued to miss his mark and finally got tired, I guess of ending up flying and falling below.  I think Norm did do something else to that feeder, whether it was more sticky stuff or hung it out further, whatever it was, that particular feeder is again safe from the squirrels. 

Well, hope you all enjoy your summer and whatever plans you have coming, friends, fun or just relaxing.  Our summer of 2012 still has all kinds of possibilities. 
Be safe!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


What is going on with the weather this year???   Just crazy.  It was actually snowing a bit over in the valley, if you can believe that!!  Actually, the rain has worked in my favor in one way.  It made the ground wet enough again for me to tackle more of the weeds.  Today was spent just gardening.......tomorrow will be spent trying to move my aching muscles.............The grass had gotten tall enough that it took a while to weed whack both the front and back and some areas that get normally neglected.   Then replanted a peony and a lot of daylillies.  Weeding, weeding and more weeding............and still a lot more to do. 

I think Norm has won the game with not only the bluejays but all the squirrels as well!!  Chipmunks, too!!  He can now say with pride that he is smarter than the birds and squirrels.  And we still have the desirable grosbeaks, finches and chickadees.  The squirrels still do come the jays do, and they study over and over on how to possibly get to their treasure but they end up going to the ground and picking up what seeds fall.  I think my favorite is the little brown squirrels.....pine squirrel?
As I was looking out at the yard and just enjoying the look, the little squirrel scampered near by, then jumped over to a tall tree stump and sat there, just hanging out, until I went in.  The same little guy snuck into the gargage yesterday and was helping himself to a mostly empty bag of seed.  Norm walked in on him, walked over to him as said squirrel kept right on munching away, perfectly at home,  until Norm yelled at him and then he scampered off...........which just shows that he actually DOES have some survival instinct.

These flowers that I'm showing tonight are from my neighbor, Nanci's garden.  They have to be the biggest, most flouncie rhoddy blooms I've seen.  Every year they become more beautiful......Just a joy to look at. 

We finally sold our futon...........and the computer desk and hutch.  Making room for a trundle bed that my sister will be bringing up in a couple of weeks.  I'm so looking forward to her visit.  Not only my sister but her best friend, Lisa.........Have to show off our local sights and hope the rain doesn't spoil things.  No one wants to hike the Heads in the rain.

Norm is trying to sell a tiller.  A Honda engine and it's a good one in excellent condition.  He paid $345 and is asking $195, if anyone out there is interested. 

Well, that's it for now........stay dry, enjoy summer, and have a great weekend which is coming up already!!!!  Wow!  Time does fly.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Rains are back.........let's hope it's short lived.  Although in talking to a friend of mine who lives in Arkansas, there is a drought that sounds like it's lasted for a couple of years.  They've had to take a number of trees down and more to come.  I lived in the California foothills in the 70's when one of their drought seemed endless. 
Norm and I lived about 10 years down there.  I loved that area........first time I was able to live close to nature, have a garden....both flower and veggie, had my share of trying out various animals and the only think that got eaten were the eggs.  Everything else died of old age while I practiced 'living off the land" not-so-well.  8-)  Happy memories, though, with close friendships forged.  One of those was my sister-in-law, Terry.  She taught this green girl a lot back to bake pies, can and pickle, garden, the names of all kinds of plants and the different animals and birds we had living around. A love of the land and appreciation of nature in all her many splendors.  The changing of seasons were more pronounced there and we even had to sort of rescue them from flood waters when their lake and stream got clogged up by debris.  Another time her husband, Ed, my brother-in-law, lost his barn and workshop to a fire.  Very scary happenings when you live in the woods.  And there was the nearby wildfire, so called The 49-er Fire.  There and  many other areas in northern California so burnt that the air was thick with soot and smoke from Sacramento all the way up into Oregon.  We had to drive with our car lights on for mile upon mile...  Devastation........but 'Earth Abides' and the green returns.  Terry was a bit of a surrogate mother to me during those years......not that we saw eye to eye on everything.  But I did learn a lot from her and appreciate all that was shared.  She died last week at the age of 92 or 93...........A very full life up to the very spite of her age and an increasingly bad heart.  So.......bon-voyage, Terry.  I know you're having a wonderful reunion with so all those you loved and loved in you return.  Terry loved her flowers and was a true master gardener.   So, I'm dedicating these flower photos to her.............

The top photo is of my Siberian those blues and purples! 
 This pink pretty is just a small portion of my weigelia.........Pretty spectacular this year.  It still is although more blossoms are disappearing. 
And last but not least is one of my Icelandic poppies. The actual color is much, much brighter.  Very bright!!
I just got a new software photo editing........I haven't downloaded it yet but I'm sure there are many trials and experimenting in my future

Memorial Day is just about here........Hoping you all have a great weekend.  If you're traveling do it safely............and a prayer or two of rememberance for all our fallen warriors.  Much of what we have to be thankful for is because of their sacrifice......

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


 I clicked this photo of Norm through the window today.........He's waging another spring war, this year it's not the squirrel, it's the stellar blue jays.  He feeds the finch, grosbeak, chickadee and towhee, among a few others..........the jays come in and bully all the others to take off.  They jump up and take big mouthfulls of the suet, wasting a lot of it.  Norm is a product of the dreaded Great Depression......waste not, want not.  The jays don't play by the rules.  So, its war and so far the birds are winning.  They seem psychic.  Paper waving through the window while sitting in the chair doesn't work anymore.  As soon as he stands up and moves forward, they're gone.  There have been times when he even makes it out the door, tip-toeing ever so quietly, gun in hand, our stealthy hero of the little feathers.  They spy him through both windows and off they go.......or he's convinced that they read his intentions.  I think they're playing with him.  Norm has devised all kinds of extensions, sticky stuff, and little blockades and so far the jays have still outsmarted him.  So, this photo is of our determined warrior, sitting in wait and hoping the jays won't notice him sitting there with the big-boom stick.  Unfortunately, the jays are still laughing.
This street sign is one that Norm has wanted me to take a photo of for a long time.  We finally stopped and I snapped this past week.  This road is a side road off Seven-Devils Rd. on the back way to Charleston.  It's sort of an ironic combination, don't you think??   This might be something he can work with in his battle with the jays.  8-)

Hasn't it been great to see the sun these past few days?  I hope the wind will die down a bit and it should be perfect.  I've gotten some gardening done but there's always more.  There seem to be more blooms this year......maybe because of all the rain.  I'm not fact the perfect weather is a couple of days of sun.....then a bit of rain and back to sun. 

A neighbor of ours reported last year a fairly large pack of raccoons on the prowl....even during the day.  That's so not good!  And they're reappearing.  Norm has noticed that one or more have been traipsing through his newly planted vegetable garden.  Another threat of a war??

Still trying to sell our futon if anyone is interested.  Plantation style......$75.  Give me a call if interested.  Or leave a message under 'comments'

Wishing everyone a happy and sunny week.......or what's left of it.  And have a great weekend!!

Monday, April 30, 2012


 What happened to our beautiful sun??   It was out and about, warming everyone's body and soul, just a couple of days ago.  So fickle, this time of year!!   I've heard of a number of friends who have started their vegetable gardens and things are popping.   Norm has started a few things in his greenhouse, but in spraying on the floorboards for a few weeds, he likely killed off a few of his future dinner side dishes. 
This above photo is of Norm building a surprise for one of the newest family additions.  I can't print here what it is just yet, since that would give away the surprise.  Some of you might be able to guess though...........
I've been at spring cleaning the past few many old magazines and books that I'm never going to read again.  It's time for them to go~make room for the new with promises to not hoard again.  I'll see if I can control that tendency to keep everything that passes under my nose........I grew up hearing a lot about the horrors of The Great Depression, as it was told to me by my older relatives.  I'm sure a lot of you reading this had similar 'teachings'.   On second thought.......IF the Great Depression comes visiting again, I can always use the supply of magazines and books to keep us warm and cook by using them in the fireplace.  Hmmmm...........Oh, wait now.  The Library can use them a lot more than I can by passing them on to others.  So!   The Great Defeat of The Great Depression wins hands down.

This is a photo from my archives, but one of my favorites.  Norm watering his veggie garden when it was at the height of it's beauty.  It was edited to imitate a pastel, which is one of my preferred art mediums. 
I did get the window washers out last week as I said I would.........What a glorious and bright move THAT was!  Even after a few days of rain, they're shining and spotless.  I feel like I've been given a number more light blubs beaming in the house!!  And the goldfinches have returned.......a pair of junco's remain as well as the chickadees.  A couple of purple house finch also come visiting towards dinner time and always the jays.  I try to appreciate them too, but it's hard.  They're such big bullies!  One redeaming feature is that they're related to crows and ravens and those I really do like.......but the jays are just so crude and rude! 
Is anyone besides us watching the TV program "Touch"??   It stars Kiefer Sutherland.  It always gives me happy shivers at the end........but it's message is one that is refreshing in todays world.......of how we all do touch each other's lives and our impact can sometimes travel the world to people and places we'd never be aware of.   It might help to remember that absolutely everything influences others. 
Hope everyone has a great week...........and THINK SUN!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


 I think Spring has really, really and finally arrived.   We might have a bit more 'sog' here and there but lots of flowers are either blooming or just loaded with buds waiting to burst out.  This afternoon it was a beautiful 62 degrees........which feels a lot warmer if you're out weeding or planting.  I really think it must have been the concentrated thoughts and NEEDS of all the people of southern Oregon!  It was enough-already with the rain!   Another sign of Spring...........I'm getting my windows washed this week.   First time I've hired someone else to do it.   I'm excited!   And Norm got the bar-b-que up and ready to go~
I am getting older!  do you know how I can tell?   Blogspot is remaking their website on how, we that post, are going to have to learn the new way.   I resist!  And everyday there are new devices or big changes in the electronic and digital world.  I resist!   And here I thought it was my aching muscles and unflexible joints of the gardening that would give me away.'s the changing world and how it's all speeding by so quickly.  Even the glaciers are melting away too fast.  Pretty soon, we'll all be afloat......and I resist.   Remember how simple it was to choose a TV show to watch?  Now we have so many channels to choose from that no one can watch all that's offered or even know what's offered.  Oh, well.  I resist but it does me no good.  Change happens and if I can't resist then I guess I better adapt.  I'll resist the resistance.........maybe and in small doses.

For those of you who follow my step-son, Lance's, progress.........He seemed to be doing so well that the doctor's took him off the ventilator the other day and maybe a move out of ICU.  But.....not in the cards just yet.  So back on the ventilator but he's moving along in all other ways.  We continue to pray and our hope for his recovery is stronger each day.......Thanks again to everyone who is sending prayers and support.  You're amazing!

Hope you all have a great week ahead~and keep the sun shining!

OH........The top photo is of my neighbor's beautiful full red rhoddy.........It's really spectacular.  The second is the new leaves on my pieris andromeda.  They've been extra colorful this year.  Next is the Empress's just full of buds that will be opening in purple soon.  Next posts photo.

Friday, April 13, 2012


The beauty is in the skies these days. We, hopefully, have passed on the soaking and flooding rains of the past few weeks. These days it's chance of showers with possible thundershowers. That always means great big puffer-belly clouds. So dramatic! This first photo is from down at our Port Orford dock. Love the bright tourquoise color of the little building. The reflections on the wet sand is what drew me but the sky was what kept me lifting the camera.

This shot was taken about a week or more ago down at the Bandon jetty. I was told by someone commenting on another photo that the name is not the Bandon Lighthouse, it's the Coquille River that's what you see over across the river. And look at those glorious clouds!!!

In the past couple of weeks it's been pretty intense around our house...........Norm is sick with a bad cold, his son (my step-son) had to have a leg amputated and then suffered a heart attack while in surgery. Each day brings new reports of the different up's and down's. His sister, girlfriend, and now one of my grandsons are there keeping watch over in Reno. The prayers and well-wishes that we've received from people has been almost overwhelming and so very much appreciated.

I've been concentrating on my furniture re-do's. It's time consuming but I'm enjoying it. Lots of experimenting.

And there's the cruise to Alaska to look forward to........Karen and I were laughing how we don't even have this one started yet and we're thinking about Ireland! Got that travel 'bug', I guess.

So.......plenty going on with more soon as the sun stays out for awhile.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Quite by accident today, I came across a woman's blog where she was writing about her son's life and death. Her son, Brian, died fairly recently, I believe and it was truly a is always the case when someone is called away before we're ready to let go. I had spent a number of years working in various aspects of Hospice, both in California and here in Oregon. One of my duties....wrong word here. "Priviledge" is more accurate..........was facilitating bereavement groups. Now there are many, many ways for each of us to deal with the death of a loved one. I feel there are absolutely no value judgements as to which might be better or worse. There ARE harder and harder and hardest. They all hurt and we deal as best we can. When a parent loses a child, I think we can all agree, that it's a knife that cuts into a parent's heart. When I was with our local bereavement group, I was shocked to realize that out of the 8 that were regularly attending, 5 had experienced the death of a child. That's a lot! There was one woman who's adult son had died quite unexpectedly. I could hardly believe it when she came to our meeting one week to say that she had put together a video of her son's life! She painfully went through all the photo albums she had and pulled out each and every one that revolved around her son's life. I was shockingly impressed at how she had met, head on, that incredible pain and hurt. Not only to put together a lasting memory of her son, but it helped her come to some small level of acceptance for herself. In examining every nook and corner of his life along with her connected heart, she helped heal others, also.
And now I've come across another courageous lady who is doing something similar. Rosaria Williams is a lady who lives here in Port Orford.........very well respected and admired. I haven't had the priviledge of meeting her yet except by computer, but impressed I am that she is writing a blog that will be healing to not only herself, I think, but to others as well. Most all of us, if we're old enough, have experienced the loss of a loved one. Some of us hold it in tight and are not comfortable in sharing our pain with others.......and that's fine.......that's the way most people try and handle it. But at times that pain can squeeze the heart so much that it feels isolating and we don't always know that those feelings and crazy thoughts are common and felt by others as well. That was one of the most common statements I'd hear from newcomers to bereavement...."I feel so alone.......I feel like I'm going crazy." Of course there is pathological grief, but we're not talking about that here. When we hear, or read what others think and much they miss the person gone.....what life looks like now and how they try to deal with it.........these are very healing and beautiful sharings in the face of such loss. I recommend to all that you check out this touching and so worthwhile sharing that Rosaria is writing........the blog link is ......... It will also hold some important musings that any of us might use in our own future griefs that might come along. We all seek happiness and healing, security and laughter.......Recovering, or at least coming to terms with grief can lead us to some measure of Acceptance. And if we're able to pass these healings on to others in word or action, then, welcome to the human race in one of it's most beautiful acts of giving.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


While Norm and I were touring different areas of Garrison Lake around Port Orford, we ended with one of the boat ramps where we could see two men down at the end fishing. We pulled in next to a SUV that had Alaskan license plates. We were going to a friend's for dinner that night specifically for me to meet a couple from Haines, Alaska, that Karen had while running on the beach. In finding out that we would be up in Alaska this summer and stopping off a Skagway, they graciously invited us to take the ferry over to Haines, where they live and work. As I noticed the Alaskan plates, I thought "I just bet these were the people we would be meeting later on that night" and sure enough, they turned out to be exactly that. We did talk a bit but the best was to come later over at the Compass Rose for dinner with McCoy and Marie from Haines, Nancy Fraser and of course Karen and Doug. Marie had brought some smoked salmon spread that was out of this world good. For the rest of the evening they entertained all of us with such wonderful stories of their very amazing life. They have lived in so many places around the country......from Florida to Texas, New Jersey to Alaska. Alaska is where they've lived and raised their family for the past (might be wrong here) 14 years or longer. McCoy is a commercial fisherman and a very independent soul at that.......lots of really incredible tales that would wilt the average soul. And Marie is cut from the same mold. They have a home here in Port Orford where they live for 6 months.......the winter of course. In another 4 weeks or so, they'll be driving back up to Haines and the 11 FEET of snow that is awaiting them.........and winter isn't over so who knows how much more will fall. It was fascinating to hear what a different type of life they live, how they look at things and their culture, really.......

I am sooo looking forward to visiting! I found some wonderful blogs as well as a fantastic wildlife photographer's work to view. The photographer is Tom Horn and his website is Eagle Valley Photography. Heather Lende is an author from Haines who writes for a Woman's Day magazine, an extensive blog and lots of links to various Alaskan a book that I ordered "If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name"........about life in small town Alaskan town, Haines. Plus, a wife and mother to 5 and grandmother to 2. Another robust soul!

These are some photos I took yesterday around the lake. The one on top is of some early pussy willows breaking into bloom...........And as par for this winter, we had a bit of snow this morning followed by hail. Then a sunny and warm afternoon. I give up trying to figure out what might happen next!
The photo just above is of one of the ramps and I loved the sort of abstract lines, reflections and various floatings on the top of the water.
I was remembering how after I went up to Alaska a number of years ago for the first time, I came home to Port Orford and recognized how much of nature was the same here.........not as immense but a definite show of "The Pacific Northwest" compared to my home state of California. We do live in such an incrediblely beautiful place......and don't have to deal with half a 6 months or so with snow and harsh conditions. I'm thinking it should be just perfect up in Alaska this summer.........
Am I excited???

Oh, yeah!!

Hope everyone has a terrific week ahead!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


It usually comes in February, but this year Mother Nature is so confused as to what's the proper weather to be wearing, that you just have to consider her a little schizophrenic............and I hope it passes, although I have my doubts. While everyone was tempted to begin planting new flowering plants and spring vegetables we need to remember that we still have more winter weather facing us. And this coming week is proving that the "sucker hole" is short lived for now. A return to lots of rain and wind here on the south coast will have us looking at plant catalogs and designing new plans for our gardens in anticipation and probably some frustration as well.

A couple of friends and I were to meet for lunch at one of our favorite 'haunts', Siren's, only to find a sign on the door stating that the staff were all laid up with the flu. I hope they're all feeling better now and I know from personal experience how nasty the 'bugs' are this year. I have to say, though, that I admire the fact that they did close down and save their customers from contacting something, too. A very conscientious thing to do. Hope you all get well soon!

With Siren's closed, we went on down to Griff's. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful, bright day. Some visitor's had a family of their dogs with them, which were pretty amusing. Momma pup was in the habit of collecting rocks. She had one that was almost bigger than her mouth that she was carting around and showing off like it was a great sea treasure she's discovered. All the dogs were having a lot of fun just jumping around the rocks of the jetty, tangling up in a mass of limbs, toys, and mouths. I was somewhat envious of their agility to leap around like that!

On Facebook, Sarah, had posted that she had made up some "Dr. Pepper pulled pork." I'd only had pulled pork once in my life but the title of this dish had me looking up the recipe to make it myself. Sometimes the name of a dish just pulls you in, doesn't it? I mean, there's my "Chocolate Lumpies" that I have to bake up every Christmas.......and the name lives up to the results. Anyway, the Dr. Pepper pulled pork was delicious. Some friends over to share in the experiment was fun, too. Easy dinner, great company and lots of laughing........

One of my projects this winter seems to be doing some re-decorating using French Country as a guide. I'm trying to put the brakes on, though, with the paint brush in looking around at all the wood furniture that might be improved...........I'll have to live with the results for a long time and need to pull back my impulsive nature right now. I enjoy some of the changes though. Norm and I've decided to just not bother anymore with trying to sell our place. The real estate market doesn't look like it's going to improve in quite a while so rather than thinking about a future home, let's re-invent the one we have!

Interesting event a couple of weeks ago when I saw online that my ex-husband had died. That sure takes you back down memory lane! Even though I hadn't seen him, or been in contact with him in decades, it's still saying good-bye to a part of your life that is no more. Funny how in examining some of the past history, the lines between who was at fault, who did what to whom, who was nice and not so nice, the lines blur...........opinions soften..........and accusations cease to matter. It was a nice realization and brought a sense of peace. So.......saying good-bye and God Speed to another.....

Hope you all have a great safe is you need to be out in this coming weeks storms.

Friday, February 24, 2012


This February is so crazy this year.......especially the weather. Spring like days have so many things blooming.......too early. I saw a lot of daffodils blooming up around Langlois, along with a couple of new lambs. Not too many yet, but the beginning. The above photo is my clematis on our deck........strong fragrance too. The photo below is the one we're so happy with, though!! When we first moved to our house here up in Cedar Terrace, a frangrant daphne was one of the first shrubs that we planted. We've been waiting for years and years for any sign of a bloom, with no luck. We had such a wonderful daphne in California, and we couldn't figure out why this plant was just growing but not blooming. This year it finally came through for us!! Since the rains have returned I really wanted to enjoy that beautiful aroma so cut a few of the blooms for the house. One of my favorite aromas! Sweet but slightly lemony. Yum!!

I had a hair appointment with Tim the Hair Magician today. I really needed that appointment!! And at Jeffrey's Salon, there is more than enough going on to keep my mind buzzing for quite a while. So much news! By the time I left it was getting close to my dinner hour. I had thought ahead and made up a Hungarian Mushroom Soup and my new favorite bread.........a European Peasant Bread! It was sooo good. Raining on the way home made coming in to a warm house, dinner made and a nice fire going to warm hearth and soul just felt soooo good. One of the times that are just 'good' and you're actually aware of how fortunate you are to be where you are and with whom.........and life is good. Just sweetly simple times.........ahhhh.........

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Ours here on the south coast will be wet and cold; another return to winter, just when you were thinking about planting those flowers and veggies, huh?? It's too soon. Norm always wants to start those seeds too early and they sit and moulder in the mud.........the cold mud! He's holding back pretty well this year........only planted some onion starts and has worked in some early manure. I've been getting out to go after some of the pruning and weeding....a little every day if the weather is dry enough. I have guests coming in May and want to have it looking a least a little less over-grown. Emily gave me a beautiful Tower of Jewels and it's not only survived the winter but is growing by leaps and bounds! I'm hoping for blooms this year. But the daphne has taught me patience knowing that a plant will bloom when it blooms and that's that!!

Enjoy your Saturday and Sunday so you can have a happy Monday!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I didn’t expect it so soon…………When I read that she had passed over on Facebook, it knocked the earth from under my feet. I saw her last summer and it was such a wonderful re-joining! We each had such beautiful, loving memories of each other. I had planned on having lunch with her, but the busy days of life just get in the way; and then it’s too late. Barb had posted on Facebook about her re-occurrence of breast cancer and although not in any pain was undergoing chemo and radiation. It just happened all so quickly. My history with Barbara goes back over a decade ago. A friend, who lived in Bandon at the time, asked me if I would be willing to begin A Course In Miracles group up in Bandon. Although the group I’d started in Port Orford was going strong, I agreed because I believe I was asked for a good reason. Barbara was at that first group meeting where I would attempt to explain what ‘The Course’ was all about and how the weekly meetings would be conducted. She had some questions that gave me pause for a few minutes, but I guess I answered to her satisfaction because she was a faithful attendee from then on…………even hosting it at her house for about a year.
Barbara was always very open about being a survivor of breast cancer……..and the subsequent problems that were off-shoots of that…………getting insurance, having fibromyalgia, etc. Somewhere around that time another dear friend from Colorado, Millie, was diagnosed with breast cancer. In spite of having done all the “right” things like yearly mammograms, self-exams, etc. Millie was diagnosed with stage 5 breast cancer. We all know the helpless feelings of wanting to do something…….ANYTHING! help someone you love and the powerlessness and frustration of coming up empty-handed. Then I had the idea come to me to have various women I knew who themselves were breast cancer survivors, and ask if they would be willing to write to Millie and offer some support and encouragement in dealing with all or some of the various areas; physical, emotional, spiritual and mental…………..Something THEY might have benefited from knowing when they first faced their diagnosis. And Barbara was at the top of the list and immediately responded. Barbara had been thinking of writing a book about her experiences with this awful disease and so I’m assuming that she was more than full of ideas, suggestions and hope to offer. My friend, Millie, who is a remarkable and courageous woman in her own right, did indeed become one of the survivors of breast cancer, joining Barbara in the ranks of success stories. A number of years later, Millie, came out to Port Orford to visit me and I thought I’d set up a lunch up in Bandon with Barbara so these two could meet. Well, I might as well have been one of the salt or pepper shakers for all that I was able to contribute to that get-together! The two of them immediately embraced, enormous grins of their faces, and proceeded to explore every aspect of life’s ups and downs and blah, blah, blah…………I don’t think I’d ever seen either one of them so animated. After a few attempts of join the conversation, I decided that this was NOT about me, but two beautiful, strong survivors connecting as only those who would know can connect……..understand beyond mere words. I felt privileged to

have witnessed it.
So Barbara’s breast cancer returned, but I will always call her and think of her as a survivor. From her initial bout with cancer to the final, the lives that she touched, the people she loved and was loved by in return, the inspiration her life instilled, her joyful laughter and down-to-earth honesty, she survived Life………by example……..and by simply Living. I know for certain that there will be at least one set of open and welcoming arms to greet me when my turn comes round……….God Speed, Barbara~

**One small footnote.........I was told by a close friend of Barbara's that her final passage was caused not by breast cancer but by an unusual type of non-smoker's lung cancer.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I bought a new camera lens recently and it's not just one to attach and instantly take great shots, I'm seeing. It's an ultra-wide angle lens, and there are some things that do and those that just don't work. But here a couple I felt did work, especially as these were the last ones I took just before coming down with what I consider the worst flu of my life. Of course, chills and fever, but included were TMJ type pain in my jaw, migraine headaches with the visual auras, and a "spring-is-bursting out all over" kind of viral rash. We're down now to an occasional headache, a low fever, and the rash, which hopefully is going to disappear soon. And I'm back caring about things beyond my own little drama of "life on the couch". And recognizing my incredible lucky fate at having such a loving husband, caring and thoughtful friends along with my family, even from afar.

While I was 'down and out' one particular Netflix movie I saw has stayed with me and left a lasting impression. It deals with death, which is exactly the way I was feeling. The movie is with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (neither one of my usual favorites, but so well done by both). The plot is about the impact upon the family of a young man who each, especially the mother, asks questions, anguishes, pleads as she tries to grope her way towards understanding and coming to terms with a pain that probably only parents who lose their children first, can comprehend. The film has beautiful photography as it deals with various issues, via flashbacks. Then it shows the destructive nature of a volcano, the re-emergence of life, the coming of nature's growth, the various eons and eras, animals, peoples, shifting sands of life and death in a weird but beautiful flowing dance of the Universe. The various views of life and death.

And that brings me to Abraham Lincoln. He has always been one of my favorite heros.....those sad and forlorn eyes that has seen too much and felt too much. Today, also, would have been my Father's birthday, had he lived. He died back in 1980. All of this somehow ties together in my own mind, but if I sound a little rambling please just chalk it up to my recent flu.

I care very much for the concept of Forgiveness........I believe in it, and try to live it. I realize that it's not always so easy to accomplish......not in the quiet honesty of your own heart. When my father died, I thought that I would be free of the fears and vulnerabilities that I grew up with. I did the best I could to see him over the threshhold of life and death's door, but the truth was that even his last day, I again felt thrust into that awful pit of fear yet again. Over the years I've noticed that whenever I think of him the first thoughts that come to mind are ones of the fear and vulnerability. So.........who is being held hostage to their own unhappy memories?? A few days ago, still thinking a lot about the above movie (The Tree of Life, by the way) and I noticed that I thought about my father and the first memories were of a kinder, warmer and happy nature. Might not seem like much, and I still consider that he mades some very serious mistakes against me, but it's a start, don't you think?? I wish I could be someone who just instantly desires to feel a certain Forgiving........and it happens, because my desire would be so pure. But.......shallow and weak little human being that I am, I look for little baby steps here and there that will hopefully bring me back to that beautiful Peace and innocence, unafraid and Forgiving.
I hope in wishing my Father a Happy Birthday, that those beginning new steps have begun.

Friday, January 27, 2012


What a beautiful day~~Looks like we've returned to our previously warm December weather before we were so rudely interrupted by Mother's Nature's fury. The rivers and fields can return to their normal containment, critter's can gorge, and we can warm our spirits and bones in the warm winter sun............ In that order.......

My mind is so focused these days with this summer's Alaskan cruise, that if I keep this up, it's going to be a veeeerrry loooonng summer! I ordered a new ultra wide angle lens yesterday and am excited about that, too. Then the lens called for a new polorized filter........the list keeps growing! Time to rein in for awhile.........darn it!

These two photos were taken a few days ago out at Cape Blanco on a day between rains. The waves were showing off their 'bridal veils" but surprisingly it wasn't all that windy up on the bluff. Usually I can barely stand upright and I understand from others that a few days before that you couldn't even open the car door. Winds 110 MPH does that kind of thing! That along with 11.50 inches of rain within on 24 hour stretch definitely does flood a lot of places! We're up high enough to not worry about flooding, but the thought that our house could slide down the canyon has entered my mind every so often when I want to worry about something. Can't actually do anything about that so there's no point in even thinking on it.

This Sunday is Norm's and my 39th wedding anniversity. Wow! That is a long time! Seems like only yesterday in one regard and a lifetime in another. And he's been my hero for all 39 of those years~~bar none.

So, wishing you all a happy weekend.........maybe get out and garden a little, huh?? Don't fall for the mid-season sucker-hole, though. The warm sun makes us think we can plant some pretty little flowers or start some spring/summer seeds. We did that a number of times back when.....only to have the freezing weather return; sometimes even snow.

Whatever you end up doing be safe and enjoy the beautiful respite.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Wild return to winter we're having here on the South Coast, huh? The rain has been heavy today and a few times the wind has really roared. I hope everyone has stayed safe through all this. I guess we still have more coming, but it didn't sound quite as intense. Then there was the snow of about a week ago......just a dusting really........but then it froze. I drove very carefully but still managed to hit some black ice when I tried to stop for a stop sign. Thankfully, there were no cars coming because I just sort of 'cruised' across the intersection. I try very hard to not go out in snow or ice. I don't know how to handle the car well in increment conditions like that. I've heard all what you're supposed to do but I'm pretty sure I'd probably just react impulsively and the results would be poor.

And that's what watching this 49'er and Giants play off game is.....overtime and intense and it doesn't look too good for the Niner's...........Darn!! It again makes me wonder why I get involved in rooting for ANY team in ANY sport..........Such angst!!

I have some future plans that I'm soooo looking forward to. Next August I'm going to return to beautiful Alaska with my friend, Karen. I have been there before and a few of the same ports of call but this time it's with my Nikon D-90! Can hardly wait! And I really did love the cruise part too........On any travel tours via bus, you see and do a lot, but they're a grueling way to go. If I travel all the way over to Europe or beyond, I don't want it to be for just a week and all castles start looking alike. But this trip will be just right. A bit more traveling to get to our boarding port, but we're going the day before so that will cut down on any jet lag and also give us time to take a look around the city of Seward. I heard it has a lot of charm. You'll all probably be hearing about it up to and after the trip.

Oh........I almost forgot to mention that the photo above is from an old file. It's always been one of my favorites..... I just haven't been out braving the storms and wind this year. But there are some beautiful photos being taken and shown by Randy Sholten..........great really.

Oh, Booo! The Niner's lost......Well, that settles who I will NOT be rooting for during the Superbowl!

Tomorrow the rains will still be with us so all that need to get out, please stay safe......and dry.

Have a great Monday!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Over at Humbug State Park last Saturday for the White wedding, the sun was out........ a few clouds and no rain drops to spoil the day. These were a couple of scenes where the ceremony took place.......Humbug State Park is really a beautiful spot on Planet Earth! Waterfalls, bubbling creeks, tall evergreens, groomed but not too perfect. We do have to allow our Oregon moles the right to move about and up and down, right?? The top photo was the little bridge over the creek leading to the green......What is it about the bubbles in a creek that always have me wishing to take off my shoes and matter what time of year or how cold.....Like wanting to break the ice on a mud puddle. Go figure.......

One last photo of the happy couple that I'll share, besides with them. I was so pleased that the camera caught the special connection you see in their eyes during this moment. Beautiful, huh? I hope everyone had a happy Monday and good beginning to the new week. The day was a little cool and dreary. A good day to make up a pot of lentil and sausage soup. A new recipe and it was perfect......thick and hearty. Add some home-made bread and a salad and this equals A+. long as I'm on the subject of cooking. Does anyone else notice how pale and tasteless the strawberries are this time of year? I stopped buying them for our breakfast. But I received a new cookbook and in it a recipe for using just this kind of strawberries. It's for risotto....It was delicious!! Chicken broth, white wine, shallots & garlic, of course parmesean cheese, add strawberries and a dash of good! If anyone wants the recipe, let me know and I'll share it with you.

One more item to mention and that is about the moon the last few nights.......pretty impressive, don't you think?? There have been some fabulous photos shot by various photographers.....the moon through the trees, shining on a lake, setting into the ocean, etc. Right now I'm looking at it through some bare tree branches and it has a halo of mist around it.....looking ghostly and mysterious. That means it's going to rain, doesn't it?? So.......ok, there's your weather forecast for Tuesday......possible rain. And now you know.
Have a great rest of your week.........