Friday, May 30, 2014

Snow in the Canyon::May 30

On Sunday, Steve, Matt, Michael and I went to the mountain and was so excited that all of the gates were open. Then we came to this spot:

I'm very thankful for whoever did this and whatever machine/truck can cut away at the ice/glacier so that we could get through. Here's to modern conveniences that allow us to do what we love!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jared and Ruth::May 29

So, my 3rd child, my 2nd son, 1 of my favorite kids, Jared, has decided that he has found "The One" and wants to get married and settle down with her.

The lucky girl is Ruth.

They met at Walmart working seasonal Christmas work a couple of Christmases ago, but started dating this past ... January, I think, as they both worked seasonal Christmas work again at Walmart - he at the checkstands and she in the bakery. Things got serious in March when he asked her to marry him.

After seeing them together and seeing how concerned she is for his welfare and how she shows him that she loves him, I think he's a pretty lucky guy, too.

I took these pics a couple of Sundays ago when we did Sibling Pictures:

They are a very cute couple, yes? I'm very happy for Jared, and I hope that they can stay as in tune with each other throughout "Forever" as they are right now ♥

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Silent Sunday::May 25

We drove up the canyon tonight to see if all of the gates are open & they are!! So, we stayed and took some pics :) ~ Here is one of them:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sibling / Family / Just the girls ~ Pics from last weekend::May 23

Finally!! I got a picture of the kids to hang on my wall!! After Josh and Amber's divorces I decided to get just a pic of my 6 original kids, that way I'll have a picture that will never change. (Have I mentioned that I love and miss those 2 ex-in-law kids? We see Karen often, which is so great! But I still miss my Tino - I don't get to see him very often. His birthday is on Monday, so I think I'll remedy that & take him to lunch :) ) Life just gets trickier the older kids get is what I've found.

And there are new ones to meet and love too! Hayley and Gage couldn't make it on Sunday, but Ruth was there with Jared, so we took a picture of all that were there that day:

And we had to get one of the girls and me:

And there always has to be a couple silly pics, right? ;)

I have some great pics of Ruth and Jared that I'll put up soon... right after I get my new computer all set up. My lap top died a sad, slow death. It will be sorely missed! But Steve says this new one will be so much faster - and who can't use a faster computer??

Anyway, more pics coming soon!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Good-bye to Cristina::May 16

and my favorite article that I agree with 100%: (though there is a comment about Cristina owning her abortion and not feeling sorry for it - I believe that abortion is wrong. If you don't want the baby, give it up for adoption. However, I admire that Cristina owns her choices and doesn't back down and doesn't apologize for them. She is a very strong person, and I admire that immensely)

I'm sad to see Cristina go. I know, I know she's fictional, but in a way, that makes her even more impressive!

Shondra Rimes thought of a scenerio: surgeons and nurses working at Seattle Grace Hospital (later to be known as Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital); as she wrote about the characters who worked there, she breathed the breath of life into them, and they were born. Now, a decade later my heart is broken as I watch one of my favorite characters walk out of the story.

It is inspirational to me that a thought became real enough that people needed to grab a box of tissues before watching Cristina leave. It makes me wonder if there is a Cristina in my imagination. I love writing, though I don't get to do it much right now. I have many stories in progress and have completed the rough draft for one short story, but after my daughter Amber told me she hates it, I have put it aside. Now, to be fair, there is a rape scene in it which was critical to the story not just in there for shock value, but still.... she hated my baby. Others have loved it, though, so I think I just need to thicken my skin and polish up the story. Thick skin for a creator is a topic for another day though.

Anyway, good-bye Cristina! What an awesome job you do with your creations, Shonda! And the springboard effect is that it makes me think on the Cristinas in my imagination that have not yet been born - very important thoughts.
P.S. After reading many articles about Sandra Oh's leaving and taking Cristina with her, these paragraphs totally resonated with me:
"Audiences typically like their television heroines optimistic, kind, put-together, and maybe a little spunky. There’s a reason why supportive moms like Tami Taylor, compassionate office mates like Pam Halpert, and twee romantics like Jess Day are so beloved. Bright, shiny characters are never in short supply; Grey’s itself has had plenty over the years, from Izzie Stevens (smiler, baker, and marrier of dead men) to Arizona Robbins (healer of tiny humans and wearer of roller skate sneakers).

Compared to them — compared to anyone — Cristina is undeniably dark and twisty. But what’s progressive about the way the show has framed her character is that being undeniably dark and twisty doesn’t make her an anti-hero. In a world where women are often encouraged to smile, be nice, and keep their feelings to themselves, Cristina does, feels, and says what she wants — and she's not painted as a bad person, or even an unhappy one, for it. That makes her a downright revolutionary character.

And then there's the Cristina/Meredith of it all. True friendship, rooted in something other than cattiness, superficiality, or talking about guys, is a rarity on television — if only because spotting two strong, fleshed-out female characters on a single television show in the first place is still pretty close to spotting a unicorn. (Parks and Rec’s Leslie and Ann were a notable exception, until Rashida Jones left the show earlier this year.) And so while Meredith and McDreamy might be Grey’s power couple, Meredith and Cristina are the series’ most compelling love story."

I love her character, and I hope (and I think I do!) that I have some Cristina in me.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In Praise of the Inner Crone::by Elizabeth Gilbert:: May 14

I loved this story so much that I wanted to place it somewhere others can learn from it, and I can find it from time to time when I need it most. Amazing!

written by Elizabeth Gilbert
Elizabeth Gilbert fb page
also found at:

Elizabeth Gilbert blog

OK, we all know about the "inner child", right? The innocent being who still lives inside of us, who needs and deserves love and care, and whom we sometimes have to channel in order to learn self-compassion?

I'm a big fan of the notion of the inner child. It can be a really healing construct. Once, when I was going through a particularly dark season of self-loathing, I taped a sweet photo of myself (age 2) on my mirror, and taught myself that any harm I did to me, I also did to HER. It made me kinder and more tender to myself. Imagining other people's inner children makes me kinder and more tender to them.

So the Inner Child is a good thing.

These days, though, I spend less time thinking about my Inner Child lately, and more time focused on my INNER CRONE — the old lady who lives inside me, whom I hope to someday be.

Because she's a serious bad-ass.

The really old ladies always are bad-asses. I'm talking about the real survivors. The women who have been through everything already, so nothing scares them anymore. The ones who have already watched the world fight itself nearly to death a dozen times over. The ones who have buried their dreams and their loved ones and lived through it. The ones who have suffered pain and lived through it, and who have had their innocence challenged by ten thousand appalling assaults...and who lived through all of it.

The world is a frightening place. But you simply cannot frighten The True Crone.

Some might consider the word "crone" to be derogatory, but I don't in the least. I honor it. The crone is a classic character from myth and folklore, and she often the bearer of great wisdom and supernatural power. She is sometimes a guardian to the underworld. She has tremendous vision, even if she is blind. She has no fear of death, which means: NO FEAR.

I keep a wall of photos of some of my favorite crones, for inspiration. The photo below is of a Ukrainian Babushka who lives in (get this) Chernobyl. There are a group of such women — all tough elderly peasants — who have all recently moved back to the radioactive area around Chernobyl.

You know why they live there? Because they like it.

They like Chernobyl because that's where they came from. They are natural-born farmers. They hated being refugees.They resented being shunted off their land after the catastrophe. They hated living in the shabby and crime-infiltrated and stress-inducing government housing in the city, and they much prefer the independence of living off the land in the most contaminated nuclear site on earth. They have formed a stupendously resilient retirement community there, in what some would call the world's most terrifying landscape.

Is it safe? Of course not. Or, whatever. After 90 years of hard living, what does "safe" even mean? They drink the water. These women plant vegetables in that radioactive soil and eat them. They butcher the wild pigs that scavenge around the old nuclear power plant, and eat them, too. Their point is: "We are old. What do have to fear from radioactivity? At this age? Who cares?"

All they want is their freedom. So they take care of themselves and each other. They cut and haul their own wood. They make their own vodka. They get together and drink and laugh about the hardships of World War II and the evils of the Stalin years. They laugh about everything, then they go outside and butcher another radioactive boar and make sausage out of him.

I would put these women in a Bad-Ass Contest against any cocky young alleged Bad Ass you've got going, and I guarantee you — the Chernobyl crones would win, hands down.

We live in a society that romanticizes youth. We live in a culture where youth is considered a real accomplishment. You look at a seriously powerful classic crone like the woman in this photo and you see foolish we are — to imagine that the young offer much for us to aspire to, or learn from. No wisdom like the wisdom of survival. No equanimity like the equanimity of somebody who plants a garden right on top of a nuclear disaster and gets on with it.

So these days, when my Inner Child gets all fluttery with the panic of living, I just ask myself: " WWMICD?"

"What Would My Inner Crone Do?"

Ask yourself that same question. See what she tells you.

One thing I can promise you she will never say? She will never say: "WORRY.

She will more likely tell you this: "ENDURE."

Hang in there, all you future awesome crones!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Zoo Workshop::The Birds::May 12

On Saturday, the photography club that I'm a part of had a special workshop shoot at the zoo. A few zookeepers brought out a few different animals for us to take pictures of. There were birds, reptiles, mammals, and a millipede.

After taking pics of all of the animals from the workshop, Steve & I wandered through the rest of the zoo and took more pictures, including some taken at the bird show.

I've got a bunch of pictures, so I've sorted the by type. This post will be about the birds.

Here are the birds from the workshop:

Okay, so this one wasn't one that the zookeeper brought out, but it was flying around an landed on a post. I thought it was pretty :)

I don't remember which specie of owl this was, but it is really a pretty bird.

I found out that these animals that the zookeepers brought out during the workshop are used for educational purposes. Each of these animals have something wrong that would prevent them from living in the wild. The owl is actually blind in one eye.

This is a peregrine falcon. It is a beautiful bird! I learned from the keeper that the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on earth. This one suffered a brain injury when it flew into something.

This is a Kookaburra. I don't know its backstory though.

The rest of the pics are of birds located throughout the zoo.

This owl was part of the bird show. I love how this first picture looks like he's bowing :)

And he got a treat:

These two were in the aviary part of the zoo:

This cute little guy was sitting on the fence next to the tiger cage:

A turkey vulture:

And the next one has an interesting story.

As I was adjusting the settings to take this peafowl's picture, a zoo worker came up and asked, "Do you notice anything about this bird?"

I had already been looking at it a little bit, and what I'd noticed is that it had duller colored tail feathers like a peahen, but it had the markings (I think they look like eyes) on the feathers that the peacocks have. He said that up until last year, this bird had been a peahen. Within the past year, it has gotten the markings on its tail and is becoming a peacock. It is a hermaphrodite, and it is not common for peafowl to change sexes like that, so this is a rare bird. Very cool!

That's it for the birds, but there are more pictures that I will post soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Caitlin and Anthony::Prom 2014::May 8

Saturday was our local high school's prom, and Caitlin, my friend Tammey's daughter, asked me to take pictures of her and her date, Anthony, and of the couple they were doubling with, Tyson and Kaylee.

The day of the dance came, and Caitlin's mom, dad, and brother showed up with the corsages and boutineers and explained that Tyson had an accident and was in the burn unit of the hospital, and though they were encouraging Caitlin, Anthony, and Kaylee to still go to the dance, they weren't sure what was going to happen, so she asked if I could at least take pictures of the flowers.

They are beautiful, aren't they?

That evening, Caitlin and Anthony decided that they would still go to prom, but Kaylee wanted to stay at the hospital with Tyson, so I took pics for Caitlin and Anthony.

Caitlin has always been one of my favorite neighborhood kids. She and my daughter Emily played together when they were younger, and Caitlin has always proved herself to be such a sweet, fun girl. It has been such a delight for me to take her dance pictures now that she's old enough to go to date dances :) Anthony is such a nice guy! He was so easy going and fun. It's so nice to work with such polite & nice young people! :)

Caitlin always looks up cute poses from other date dance pics, and we incorporate them in her shoot. They always turn out so cute! I can't wait for the next dance! :)