Monday, October 28, 2013


 It was a dark and stormy Friday night........all the goblins and ghouls were out and Winchester Elementary Festival last Friday night.  What fun it was!  It reminded me of the Kids Saturday Art group in Port Orford......  The Festival was set in the school's gymnasium and all around the perimeter of the room were various activities that they could participate in.......ring toss, dime toss, food, toss for (poor) gold fish, candy suckers, etc.  There were about 100 children and sometimes with their parents, wanting to be photographed.  But the large room was packed to capacity and over-flowing into the cafeteria.  Parents, kids, grandparents, great grandparents........they were all there!  I went through over 300 photos over the weekend to edit and narrow the choices down to a reasonable number.   I wish someone would have photographed me photographing them...........there would have been a few comical sights in there.  The children were all loaded down with prizes and goodies from the other stands and I didn't want them carrying the bags into the scene I would shoot.  So, there I was a couple of times taking the photographs and clicking with one hand and my other was holding a candy sucker or two in the air for the child.  Or, in one case, a bag of water and the poor traumatized goldfish.  Then there were a couple of times when the parents were standing behind me animated and posing themselves in how they wanted their children to pose.  And these poses were supposed to be expressing their favorite you can just picture some of the scenes, can't you??
The later the evening went, the more animated (due to hyper-super-highs) the kids became.  By the time it was breaking up, there was close to chaotic bedlam, I tell you!  And the gym was not anything like noise proof.  It's built I think to emphasis the cheers and yowls of the sports audiences.  But it was just a lot of good fun!  I think everyone had a great time.  There were some children who loved the camera!  And then there are the shy ones.......and all in between!  My favorite part is the editing, I think.  It always has been.  I can really read into what the kids are least at that time of shooting.  The little girls generally have no problem posing.....some are actually good if not outrageous.  The boys look like they really enjoy acting out their costumes theme and if they weren't wearing one.....well, they get in the role anyway; the rowdier the better.  There are a couple of pre-teens who were 'cool' and their poses were oh-so serious.  The Dudes!   Some of the pre-teen girls were showing their poise already in their fashion-model poses.  Others were all about their bbf and would pose together, arms around each other, or posing in unison.  Parents occasionally wanted to pose with their child and the children all seemed to love that and it was very sweet.  I shot one boy whose father was right by his side but standing sideways and the father's hand gently touching the side of the boy's face.  Loved that moment!
So, I just finished editing and downloading the photos for printing and then they'll be delivered to the school.......and they're free to the kids and family.  A great program.

I'm enjoying my photography fact about a month ago Norm convinced me to submit one of my photos in to the local newspaper and they published it.  That was encouraging.

The nights are getting cooler and some of the trees are now bare.  Mother Nature is getting ready for her yearly nap.

For those of you in Port Orford who might be interested, Finch's Liquor Store and again carrying some of my photo cards.  Take a look and see if there's anything you can't live without!

Everyone have a great week.....I, personally, am enjoying the quiet of mine.

Monday, October 21, 2013


 A very fun weekend for Norm and I.  We had good friends from Port Orford (now a 'distant shore') and Emily's long time friend, Ulrike, otherwise know as Ullie, who has been visiting from Germany, (an even more distant shore).  I met Ullie last year and she is a lovely and sensitive lady.  I enjoyed her company very much and was afraid I wasn't going to see her for this year's visit.  Ullie's flight back home was Sunday but Rick and Emily brought her over a day early so we could re-connect least a little.  Enough time for some heart-felt and lengthy hugs.  It was so worth it!   We all went out to dinner at Dino's and I think everyone was pretty pleased with their meal.  I was......wild salmon baked in some kind of maple honey sauce.  Just sweet enough.........
And thanks to the tutoring of Rick, I now have Skype capacity.  More fine-tuning on my smart phone and etc. with all the new electronics that are now around here.  I hear bells and whistles constantly.  And's not just in my head!  There is my washer and dryer that play little tunes when the cycle's are microwave, oven timer, oven temp. gauge, my smart phone (sub-sounds are gmail messages, texts, phone calls), Skype now sends a few little notes and........oh yeah!  The door bell!   I hear a sound and have to figure out where it's coming from and what it means.....
 I've been taking photos with the smart phone this week.  I think they're not bad, huh?  Not a high resolution but that's fine.  I love the first photo at the top of Norm with the background of the colorful trees on one of our morning walks........and the back lighting of the 2nd was neat.....all misty.  Love that kind of effect.  Must be the hangover from my Irish heritage......the rain and foggy mists, and all.
 And here is the beautiful Ullie.  and me........
This last photo was one of a number I took on the walk from the car to Dino's restaurant.  This large and beautiful tree is in front of Roseburg's Justice Building.  Courthouse, Sheriff's Dept., etc.  I wonder how old that tree is?  It's been there a day or two, that's for sure.

I hope you're all off to a good run on the new week.  Mine will be a little busy with this n' that.  This Friday I will be taking photos of the kids that come to the Harvest Festival here in Winchester.  It's been a while since I've done any shooting of children.....and these will be posed rather than them running around like they did in the Kid's Art Program in Port Orford.  There, I could always blame the constant movement of the kids for any blurred shots...........(Not MY fault!!).  Not so this time.  Although I don't like using tripods, this might be a good time to break mine out.

So, you all have a good week.  And Ullie...........I'm happy to hear you made it back safely to Germany.  Now you can hug that darling little grandson to your heart's content!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


 He was a one-of-a-kind and a great neighbor..........Maxwell, Max really, was our friend and neighbor's wonderful pooch that lived next door to us in Port Orford.   He was diagnosed with bone cancer about 6 months or so ago, and has lived beyond what the expectations were......thanks mainly, I know, to the love and careful care of his owners.  "Owners" doesn't sound like the right title, though.......Max was more the 'kid' of the family.........a big, loveable lug.  I'm not quite sure what a 'lug' is, but if it's an always happy, friendly, and lumbering goof, then that was Max.   Anytime, Norm or I walked down the road past his house, you could count on the greeting from Max......a loud "Woof".  Or if he was out and about and saw us, he'd race down to the road for his expected pat and maybe a rub, and then he'd turn around and race back home.   If we had company come to our place, count on Max to include himself in their welcome.......When he was around during a (people) conversation, Max included himself and always felt like he had important contributions to make to the overall subject.

I remember a time when I was picked blackberries down the road.  My kitty at the time, Willie, always came with me and waited around for me to finish.  One day, Max was being taken down the road for a walk when Willie and Max spotted each other.  OH-oh.........Max lurched forward and he was not only a big dog but strong.  I left the berries and helped hold Max from going after Willie.  Willie must have sized up the situation in her favor and she attacked Max!  At least she did that particular "crab-shuffle" that cats do when they're trying to intimidate.......Max was duly intimidated and was pretty shocked.  Willie then decided to go home, having done her duty in 'protecting' me.   Max never stood for that least not from Willie.  The tables were turned from then on, but it is a funny memory.
 These photos of Max were in my older files........this one above is him shaking the newspaper, I think.  It was his job after they picked it up for Max to carry it back home......unless something else caught his attention, anyway.  But he was so proud.....and would more or less parade with said paper in his mouth.

He has fought a hard and long battle but finally, much to the heart-felt pain of all who knew him, Max needed to move on.  All of you who have had and loved pets and viewed them as family members, know the ache and pain of having to say good-bye.   It always hurts.   All life forms suddenly seem so very precious and endearing.  I've always felt that our pets give us that unconditional love that echos or reflects our own love back to us.  When we lose that pet we feel like we've lost one of the best and pure, true parts of ourselves.
Max will be remembered with much love and our heart-felt empathy goes out to Nanci and Ray.........

Saturday, October 12, 2013


 Another first for Norm and I......our first Smart phone.....thanks to the encouragement of Rick and Emily, who came for a visit this week.  It was so great to see them again and instead of showing them the local sights, they were showing me all kinds of 'stuff' on our new toy.  I can't say that I'm anywhere near learning all there is to it, but already it's such a joy to be rid of that last (non-working) phone system we had.  ("HEART that, Pam!)  And so many apps to it!  No wonder so many people are walking around with the heads down or the phones to their ears with a non-focusing look in their eyes.  I was going to post a photo or two that I took with the phone but that needs a bit of work, too!  Instead, their are photos of Rick and Emily and one with Norm.
 Obviously, the above one is of pumpkins at Kruse's Farm......
We're so aware at different times how life is so different for us in the smallest ways.  Last night Norm saw a mouse in the garage.  I really thought we'd left all that nonsense behind us but when I thought about it, we are surrounded by wooded hills.  Anyway, Norm set out a mouse trap and this morning found that he'd caught it.  Now........what do we do with it???   The garbage man had already no putting it in the garbage......... The recycling would not appreciate finding a mouse to burying it since Norm left his shovels in Port Orford.....What we really missed was being able to just throw it over the deck into the woods........Nope....the neighbor would not find that amusing.  What he finally did was to wrap it in a sandwich bag.......then foil......pressing out as much air as he could...........then newspaper......then a gallon size zip-lock bag......and finally a plastic grocery bag.  There it lies in the bottom of the garbage bag waiting until next Saturday's pick-up.   Hopefully, the weather isn't very warm and we won't have to contend with 'la fragrance'..........

Today we ran into the previous owner of our house who is a manager at Costco.  I showed him my new cell phone, grinning broadly....he said it was one of the best in Roseburg and warned me to get a good buffer case for it.  He has dropped other cell phones in the past and instead of the low sale price for the phone that went with joining up with Verizon, he had to pay another $400 to replace the broken phone he'd dropped.  That made me very nervous!  So tomorrow we'll be scouting out a Verizon store and buying a buffer case.  His was made of a very strong rubber and had rounded and raised if it drops it will hit the surrounding case rather than the phone itself.  That sounds like a safety must have for me.

So, that was the week that was.......Good friends, good visit and good new toy....ah, I mean a good new tool..........

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


 What a good day it turned out to be.......I had a visit with my new neighbor and her Mom......Angie and Myrna.  It was eye-opening to find out so many more interesting things about the new community I find myself in.  Lots in common with these ladies.  I found out there is at least one Course In Miracles over in Sutherlin that sounds very promising.  That group has diminished in size over the years and so they might welcome some new-blood.  (maybe not so new anymore, huh?).   There is a Unity Church in downtown Roseburg that might have one also....or be interested in starting another.  We'll see.
Both Myrna and Angie are very active in various types of volunteer works.  I'm getting internal 'nudges' to begin becoming involved outside of our new home.  This entire area is a non-stop highway to so many more kinds of involvements than you could possibly imagine.  I just have to be careful of not trying to wear too many different hats.
This month there is going to be a children's carnival at the local elementary school.  I'll be there wearing my very own 'photographer's name tag'.   Fun......When I photographed the Kid's Saturday Art Day in Port Orford on Saturdays........I really enjoyed it.  The kids are all so natural (and funny).....the various moods or instant happenings are right there on their faces or in the scene.  These photos will be a little more posed but I'm thinking that they'll be just as much fun.  I'll edit them and them send them over to WalMart for printing.  Each child's family will get a photo of their kid in his/her favorite super-hero/heroine's costume.  The photos are free to each child which is a lovely thought.
Another area where I might offer my photography is a local medical or hospital program for those parents who have had a still-life birth.  So many people, meaning well, will shy away from the subject or any talk with the parents in reference to the dead baby.  The parents will WANT to remember...NEED to grieve......this was their child no matter how long he/she lived and deserves to be remembered as any deceased should be.  The baby was a vitally important person in many lives, in spite of never having taken a breath.....or lived very long.  There are a few people who will offer to take photos of the baby with or without their parents, as requested by the parents.  I would very much consider it a gift for me to do this if there is a need.  Then there is the Mercy Foundation.......which I assume is part of Mercy Hospital.......they have so many areas where one can help out......from disadvantaged children to the dying and everything in between, that it makes my head spin as to where I think I might fit.  I thought that I just might go and talk to someone in the Foundation and tell my background areas and let them decide.
I think my original plans of just holding up in my studio and doing art, art and more art, are getting shuffled aside.  But I'm looking forward to seeing just which doors open for me.

Both Norm and I have had dental appointments the last couple of weeks.  I have two crowns coming....just in time for the present bruises on my face to disappear before I get more.....And Norm had some dental problems of his own which had him eating 'gingerly' for a day or two.  All is well now.  And I'm finally getting rid of a nasty cold.......and hoping to do the same with this miserable phone system we now have.  It HAS to go!  No one can hear well at either end.  One sister referred to it sounding like we each had a tin can with a string in between.  Another thought it sounded like I was calling from Russia.  Found out this week that this phone system will never work right since our internet and TV is satellite.  I'm just waiting for the phone representative to come and dismantle the thing and I'll go and find a regular landline phone.  Problem is that all the companies are pushing their bundles.  I'm really so tired of working with this phone issue.  I can't count the hours that have been spent over it.  Hopefully, soon I'll have something that will work.
I'm hoping to go photo shooting tomorrow.........and in another week or so, Myrna has all kinds of places she's going to show me where there are photo ops galore!!  Yahoo!
On the not so neat side of things is the rain.  Remember how Norm and I were snickering at how the newspapers over here thought how the rains were so heavy?  And the winds so fierce?  Compared to Port Orford, it was funny to us.  Well, they'll all have the last laugh since that 3/4" rain had washed out part of our back lawn.......a regular little gully that washed somewhere on down the hill behind us.  The fence is now tilting and I'd be surprised if it lasted the winter.  Norm got 3 sacks of soil at Lowe's and packed it into the gully.  Of course, he thought he wouldn't need his post hold digger...or his shovels......Guess what Santa will be bringing this Christmas??
Well, that's enough about me.........Hope all of you are enjoying the beautiful autumn.  My favorite time of year!!!
Have a great rest of the week!!!