Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Shopping Advice

A good merchant hides his goods and appears to have nothing;
A skilled craftsman leaves no traces.
~ Lao-Tzu ~

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a way to go!

I am not going to die, I'm going home like a shooting star.

~ Sojourner Truth ~

Friday, November 28, 2008

Guest entry: Mom

(My mom with one of the great grands.)

Mom is here with us for Thanksgiving. We love it when she stays with us. This is an email she sent to my sister:

I have two pair of shoes that are exactly alike except for one detail. Both have black rubber soles, a strip of black suede around the upper, and the top of them have quilted fabric. On one pair the fabric is black. On the other pair it is blue.

Wanda asked me recently if I ever wear one black shoe and one blue. I told her no, or at least not that I was aware of. A few days ago, I was getting ready to go somewhere and picked up a pair of shoes in the bedroom and took them into the dining room where I sat down to put them on. One small problem: one was black and one was blue. However, they were both for the same foot, so I couldn't wear that pair.

This morning I was a basket case, trying to get everything done that I hadn't done all week even though I knew it had to be done before I could make my trip. I got up, showered, and dressed. I packed my suitcases and bags and had started to load the car when I realized I hadn't put my other pair of shoes in. I went into the bedroom and picked up the other pair and put them in the
backseat of the car.

I went to FM and went into the pharmacy to pick up my meds. I drove to Forest Grove and stopped at the Dollar Tree. As I was walking down an aisle, I happened to look down and saw
that I had on one black shoe and one blue one. I didn't worry, though, I had another pair just like them in the car.

That's my mom!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving USA!

May your team win.

May your turkey be done.

May your coffee be hot and strong.

May your family be well and happy.

May you enjoy every minute with those you love.

That's what I'll do.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This I know

1. Wisdom comes from experiences I never imagined possible for myself.

2. Everyone has a story that is "the Truth" to them.

3. We don't have to agree to respect and love each other.

4. Agreeing makes it easier.

5. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

6. Number 5 applies to all of us.

7. Reconciliation requires truth.

8. The fruits of the spirit require expansion.

9. Contraction = reaction.

10. The next step is the only one I can take.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shutter Sisters: The Love of Family

Karen at Shutter Sisters invited us to show family love at this time of Thanksgiving. I, for one, am thankful that my family is all still here. We won't be able to be together in person this holiday, but at least we are all still walking the great blue planet. That's pretty good, I think. I am the baby. That's me on the right.

Why Do We Fight?

Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Tonight, we watched this movie. Definitely recommended. I'm glad people are speaking up. I am wondering if they are still alive.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Beauty...right here at home

Today Shutter Sisters ask us to find beauty right here at home. This is one of the first shots I ever took with the camera.
We got the Canon Powershot G5 in winter and I was feeling a bit housebound (makes it sound like we had 20 foot snow drifts--we didn't) so I took pictures of whatever was in front of me.
Thankfully, I have deleted most of them.

Now there's an idea!

If we can not end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.

~ John F. Kennedy ~

Forty-five years later, perhaps we have a chance.

Oh, how I hope.

(I borrowed the photo and would give credit if I knew to whom it belonged. Thank you, whoever you are.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Where the rubber meets the road

We have too many high sounding words, and too few actions that correspond with them.

~ Abigail Adams ~
I have been thinking about prophecy lately. Prophets were not "fortune tellers" or "foreseers of the future" in the way we seem to think these days.
Prophets warned people what would happen if they continued down the path they were on and didn't change their hearts or minds or ways. Their messages intended to guide people into better behavior and prevent catastrophe. Sometimes the people listened. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they gave lip service to change, but continued what they had been doing all along.
Here we are again. We have been getting warnings for some time now about what will happen if we don't change our ways: Global warming. Energy crisis. Pollution--air, water, earth, our bodies. Relationships--personal and global. Economic collapse.
We are at a big choice point in the stewardship of the planet. Just because the apocalypse was prophesied, it doesn't mean that we have to make it come true. We can choose another way. Will we?
Or will we give lip service?
When I was a kid, I remember being scared to death with "hellfire and brimstone" sermons. Is the world really coming to an and now in my lifetime?
I remember being panicked hearing sirens while I was at school. Did someone drop the bomb? Will I be stuck here unable to get home to my mom?
Quite frankly, I am tired of being scared all the time. It doesn't work on me any more as a way of controlling me. I choose another way.
I have heard the warnings. I get the point. Now, let us rise to the occasion and do what is required of us to turn at this choice point toward all that is good and right.
Greed is out.
Love is in.
Cruelty is out.
Kindness is in.
Waste is out.
Sharing is in.
Rape, pillage, and plunder is out.
Stewardship is in.
War is out.
Peace is in.
That's what I'm gonna do. How about you?

Friday, November 21, 2008

When you put it that way...

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep
him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love Thursday ~ 11.20.08

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.

~ Martin Luther King Jr. ~

Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 11, 1964
Check out the heart in this:

(Thanks to Andrea at Superhero Designs for the heads up on this one.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Diptych (not dipstick)

A Self-Portrait Challenge from Kelly Rae Roberts at Shutter Sisters today: it isn't exactly a diptych, because I don't have it in me to put the pictures together any other way. And given the subject, I thought up and down was the best diptych option anyway.

It was a top down day around here. Not warm, but not raining. That's all it takes for me to enjoy top down weather.

And as I was thinking about this post, this song kept running through my head:

When this song came out, the Pointer Sisters recorded a special version for Portland's radio station KGW. I couldn't find a copy of it to include but it went like this:

"I'm riding in your car / You turn on KGW..."


(Walking Stick Bamboo)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm sure there is a double entendre in here somewhere.

(Devil's Overlook, Wyoming)

We must talk about poverty, because people insulated
by their own comfort lose sight of it.
~ Dorothy Day ~

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

~ Francis of Assisi ~

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We are all both

(Taken on my Wyoming Road Trip)

It is not only the freedom of the oppressed
that is at stake...

but also the liberation of the oppressor.

~ Allan Boesak, South African minister ~

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What's the difference between...

...a mailbox and the Blockbuster drop slot?

You don't know?


Me, either.

Today's brain blip: I was driving along doing my errands. I had just been to the bank drive-through and was on my way to the USPS drive-through mailbox, and I was thinking, "I wish Blockbuster had a drive up drop off." I pulled in the lane to mail my letter. My next moment of consciousness came as I watched my hand release its hold on the DVD...that I needed to return to Blockbuster. And the letter lay on the seat next to me.

Now, I am pretty sure that I am not the first person to do that, but this is the first time I have done it and I was pretty embarrassed. Fortunately, the postal worker who helped me was very sweet and not at all shaming about it. She was grateful for the opportunity to walk outside in the sun and get an unplanned break.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How'd I do that?

I took this on my road trip (see #2 and #9) to Wyoming in September. I'm not sure how it came out that color, but I think I had adjusted the white balance and didn't know what I was doing. That trip was the beginning of learning how to use the camera for more than a point and shoot.

I'm just going to keep pushing buttons and turning dials to see what happens. That's what I'll do.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

100 things in the world I love

Andrea at hula seventy posted this. I loved the idea and decided to make a list of my own. I told her I would wait until I forgot her list so I wouldn't sound like a copy cat--and these days, that kind of forgetting doesn't take me long.

Herewith, my Love Thursday list:

1. sunny days

2. red convertibles

3. and strong

4. bamboo

5. homeopathics

6. my bed

7. massage...deep tissue, please

8. blogging (and my favorite bloggers)

9. road trips (see #2)

10. motorcycles

11. real organic food

12. learning

13. leaves of all colors

14. orangutans

15. St. Francis

16. birds of paradise

17. flip flops

18. sun glasses

19. beaches (especially tropical)

20. libraries

21. mineral hot springs

22. Jimmy Buffett

23. tencel

24. email

25. pandora

26. my snake skin cowboy boots

27. Cà phê sữa đá

28. a fire in the fireplace

29. a mai tai at the Kona Inn

30. Whoopi's Sister Act movies

31. prayer flags

32. carne asada at Nuestra Cocina

33. hammocks

34. Hawaiian shirts

35. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

36. hand-planed plank floors

37. leather furniture

38. hardware stores

39. macro photography

40. a phone call from someone I was just thinking about

41. African stone sculpture

42. a good night's sleep

43. squirrels on the deck asking for food

44. elephants

45. candlelight

46. receiving a snail mail letter from a real person just to me

47. dreams

48. kittens

49. jeans that fit

50. starting to write in a fresh notebook

51. fountain pens

52. Weltenburger Kloster Asam Bock

53. the smell of fresh cut grass

54. finding an unbroken sand dollar

55. the soft inside of a new sweatshirt that hasn't been washed

56. good night kisses

57. hello kisses

58. a cabin by the ocean

59. summer

60. french fries

61. having my change counted back to me

62. thick, well-written novels

63. a good haircut

64. dragonflies

65. generosity of friends

66. kindness of strangers

67. gum

68. homemade chocolate chip cookies

69. King Alfred daffodils

70. no electricity nights (by choice)

71. wedding rings

72. pearls of all colors

73. checks made out to me

74. 60s music

75. sailing

76. harmony

77. gravy

78. frico (fried cheese from Navarre)

79. cold Pizzicato pizza for breakfast

80. Madeleine L'Engle

81. sea turtles

82. San Pellegrino

83. castelvetrano olives

84. re-discovering something I wrote and discovering it's not half bad

85. Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris

86. swimming with dolphins

87. Hawaii

88. rimless glasses

89. temporary tattoos

90. popcorn

91. M&Ms

92. crossword puzzles in airline magazines

93. yoga

94. french toast

95. being understood

96. swearing

97. eggs benedict

98. my red banana plant

99. Ode

100. finishing something

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

They're leaving....

(The view from my office window today.)

A month ago, it looked like this.

Last week...this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's your claim to foodie fame?

Today's shutter sisters invitation is a feast for the eyes. Unlike Tracey Clark, I am a foodie, but I am not a cook. This is what I am known for making:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just a stroll in the park

Today the Shutter Sisters want a surprise. We went to Yellowstone National Park in September. Strolling down the street and through the lawns at Mammoth Hot Springs was the biggest bull elk I have ever seen. Take a look at that rack!

A ranger followed the bull in his car with the lights flashing so people wouldn't approach him and do something stupid. Every time I snapped the shutter, he turned his head just in time for me to miss the full head on impact of his antlers.
Across the street in another grassy area, the cows grazed.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

One Sweet Shot: Larry, Francis, and the Prayer Flags

Communing with the saints.

Why I love, admire, and trust this man...

Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks write a column for Huffington Post about body language. Of course, they have had a series of posts about the candidates and the election process. In this post, they discuss what they deem the Top 5 Body-Language Moments of Election Day. I used their caption for the picture below.

"Power, Joy, Grief And Fatigue, All In One Whole Person" - When Obama took the stage, we saw a man embodying a complex array of feeling. This is a key to his personality -- it takes enormous strength to let your vulnerabilities be so readily seen.


Obama talking about his late grandmother on November 3rd.
And who could resist this?

Go here to see more Obama photos at Huffington Post.

(All these pictures are from the Huffington Post web site.)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The View...

I told you I would keep you posted on the changing views of the season. Here's the latest. I couldn't settle on just one shot...too much color and texture to choose just one.






Friday, November 07, 2008

Shutter Sisters: National Geographic

Who among us hasn't spent hours pouring over the photos in National Geographic? Whether we are little boys looking at naked women's breasts or animal lovers soaking in the exotic creatures around the world.

We can all dream of being there...or of having one of our photos appear there.

What's in a name?

Have you heard the one about Obama being called the messiah?
Of course the detractors have taken it to mean more than the definition of the word and added the religious context, which is what most people know about: The Messiah is the Deliverer of the Jews [definition 1]. However, look at definition 2, from Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: mes·si·ah
Pronunciation: \mə-ˈsī-ə\
Function: noun
1. capitalized a: the expected king and deliverer of the Jews
2: a professed or accepted leader of some hope or cause.

So I guess if you don't capitalize it, it fits. We have accepted him as leader of our nation and he brings us (and hopefully, delivers) hope.
Barack means "blessed one" in Arabic or Swahili, and in ancient Egypt, baraka (from which Barack derives) translates "soul double of the sun." Yet in ancient Hebrew, the name means "thunder."
Hussein means "beautiful" or "handsome."
I had more trouble finding the meaning of Obama since it seems to be from an African tribal language, Dhoulou. One site said it means "crooked" and, since it was a right wing site, the author interpreted that to mean he is the anti-christ--oh, please. However, it also means "zigzag" and in a tribal culture, naming is often much more poetic than in today's world. Since this is my blog post, I get to determine, in my inimitable way, that the "zigzag" to which they were referring was lightning (especially since my interpretation is just as valid as theirs). So he becomes "Beautiful Thunder and Lightning" or "Blessed Beautiful Lightning Bolt."
Okay. Now get a load of this:
Who did he pick to be his Chief of Staff? Rahm Emanuel. In Hebrew, Rahm means "high" or "lofty." In Hindu, however, Ram (prounounced rahm) is an incarnation of Vishnu whose job it is to protect and save the world. Ram's purpose is to fight the demons of untruth and injustice that entered the world in the second yuga (age).
Emanuel means "God is with us." The New Testament of the Bible spells it either Immanuel or Emmanuel, but the meaning seems to be the same.
Now we have Blessed Beautiful Lightning Bolt and his right-hand man, God on High Is With Us (who happens to be the savior of the world).
How does it get any better than this?
I'm gonna wait and see...that's what I'll do.
(For those of you who don't know me, stick your tongue in your cheek while you read this. It'll work better.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What a glorious day! (Love Thursday 11.06.08)

(Redheaded woodpecker in hazelnut tree)
I live in the Pacific Northwest. Essentially, we are in a temperate rain forest and this time of year, that's what we get--rain. Lots of rain. And dark. Gray skies and early darkness, especially with the switch from daylight savings time, because we are so far north.
Despite the gloomy weather, when I walked to the mailbox today, a cacophony of birdsong surrounded me. Birds were everywhere--not in a Hitchcockian sort of way that made me want to run for cover, but in a Snow White kind of way. Have you seen Enchanted? The scene where Snow White is cleaning the apartment and there are birds and squirrels and cooperative little animals everywhere? THAT's what it was like out there.
We had flocks of LBBs (little brown birds), a pair of yellow bellied sapsuckers, this redheaded woodpecker, and about a half dozen squirrels in our yard all at once. When they greeted me as I walked outside, I lifted my arms and said, "I feel the same way!"
Something shifted.
Gregg Braden talks about "choice points." We come to certain junctures in our lives and in the time space continuum where what happens next depends upon what the collective does right now. Yesterday, election day in the USA, was (I believe) one of those points. We the people decided. And we chose hope and a new direction.
Even the birds of the air feel it...a lightness and calm.
Now, it is up to us.
What are you going to do? How will you stay engaged? I know that I feel different about my involvement in the process after this election. I am not sure of the specific tasks I will undertake, but I am going to stand behind my vote and continue to make my voice heard.
That's what I'll do.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Elect Obama

I cried.
I sighed.
I am relieved.
I have hope.
I made chocolate chip cookies.
I feel like dancing in the streets.
And now the work begins.
I watched Katie Couric on CBS for my election results. I like Katie. She's real. I'd go have a cuppa or a drink with her if she'd only call me...but I digress. With Katie was Byron Pitts, CBS National Correspondent who happens to be African American. He described his mother as having grown up in a time when she could have been in big trouble for looking a white woman or white man in the eye. He called her after Obama achieved the required 270 electoral votes:
"How do you feel about this, Mama?" Byron asked.
"I have four words for you: Glory Hallelujah! Glory Hallelujah!"
I agree with you, Mrs. Pitts.
Glory Hallelujah!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


(Harvest Moon 2008)
I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

This year let us be reminded we will reap what we sow. We have had 8 more years of "trickle down" that is now trickling back up. What do I mean by that?


Well, let me put it this way...


Every year that GW Bush was in office my business and revenue declined. Sure I paid less taxes--because I made less money! Now, the poverty of the middle class is rising to the top of the food chain. We can't afford to buy what they are selling...or anything else for that matter. We can't buy and they make no money to trickle back down. I still fail to see how that economic theory works.


During the Clinton years, my business boomed. I paid more taxes and I didn't mind because I had enough. I had enough to pay more taxes and enough for me. Enough. Enough. Enough!


In spite of all the "tax and spend Democrat" rhetoric, as I understand it, I would still pay less taxes under Obama's administration than I would under McCain's. But if my business is doing better and I am making more money I will still have enough.


Here's the bottom line. Vote. Agree with me or don't. It's your perogative. I am far more passionate than articulate when it comes to politics, so as my uncle says, "I respect your right to be wrong."


We don't even have to talk about it. Just vote.


That's what I'd do.


God rest you, Toot. Thanks so much for bringing up such a good man and thanks for loaning him to us.


Madelyn Payne Dunham



We'll take care of him for you.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm naked under the camera

Yet another shutter sisters challenge: Show me yours...Self-portrait.

If it seems a little blurry, it's because that's how I look in the morning. Seriously, I am figuring out the camera and I will take pictures of anything...even myself in the bathroom in the morning (pre-ablution)!

I use different settings and sometimes manual focus, sometimes auto. I am starting to get the hang of it. This is a buddhist moment for me--the beginner's mind.

I am going to just keep shooting. That's what I'll do.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I am not a photographer...yet.

But I am becoming. I am enjoying the process and will stand in my nakedness before you here with my pixels and jpegs hanging out for the world to see. So, bear with me in my process. There is something that I like in each photo I keep or I wouldn't keep them. Some day, I will meet my own expectations. For now, you get to see the process of me learning and practicing.

That's what I'm going to do.

PS - I did remember to set my clocks back. Yay me!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

November = NaBloPoMo

Andrea over at hula seventy reminded me about NaBloPoMo. I decided to give it a go this year. We'll see how I do.

When I walked out the front door yesterday, the colors just took my breath away. I am so grateful for the colors this time of year. They make up for the gray of the sky around here.