Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oregon Coast!

A spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach this past weekend proved to be the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day. Remembering lives past and honoring the future always seems more relevant to me when surrounded by the sound of crashing waves and the sight of those dramatic coastal horizons. The chance to reflect is never more accessible than when you are walking, a little bit aimlessly, eyes down towards the sand, wind at your back, the sound of waves a constant rumble...

I love the Oregon Coast.

(...and I love my new iPhone, with the cool photography apps I've found too! This picture was taken with ShakeItPhoto and then collaged with Diptic. So fun!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I had a restless night last night, listening to the winds howl and the rain collide against the bedroom windows. I keep checking the calendar, to see if it really is almost June...and yet there is snow in the forecast? Yikes!

And then I began thinking about the days and nights we spent with the Karen people. We were fortunate to be there in very mild weather. No rain. No winds. It was warm and mostly sunny, and our only concern was overheating a little bit on our short walks through the jungle. Even the nights were lovely. Cool, but calm and relatively quiet.

That isn't how it always is there for the people trying to live their lives there. They, too, have to deal with nights like last night, where the winds are whipping and the rains are beating down...only they do it in their modest huts, on their dirt hillsides... And I am certain they do it with the same admirable grace and humility that they manage in their everyday lives.

We brought a few little gifts along on our trip, mostly for the children; books and crayons, dolls and small toys…and we spent most of a day sitting with these two young girls, sisters, in their family's home. They sat quietly with us, all day, drawing pictures, getting their nails painted, and playing with a few little toys, all the while listening to all the talk around them about the enemy that threatens their very existence. How do those girls sleep at night? I stayed up last night, worried that my new planter wasn't going to survive the storm…and then worrying that these beautiful young girls won't survive the storm that surrounds them…

I am going to update our website soon, I promise…and I am going to include a gallery of images from our trip with Partners. All proceeds from any print orders in that gallery will go toward their goal of "free, full lives for the children of Burma."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

iPhone obsession!

My daughter says I am kind of obsessed with my new iPhone...(maybe that has something to do with all the photos of her cat I've been sending her!)  I say, "well, yea, I am!"  I love it!  One of the things I love most about it is all the amazing photography apps...many of them FREE!  In a world where we sometimes obsessively concern ourselves with the "reality" of digital photography, me included, it is really fun to be able to let go a little and play with these ingenious, creative tools. 
I took this photo with my iPhone using an app called Hipstamatic, which I love.  It features different "films", including that old school grainy look, and different lenses and flash capabilities too.  And then, after my dog walk, sitting on my stoop, I tweaked it a little more with a free app called Instagram, which adds to that vintage feel. 
It's fun to play and to be creative, whatever your tools!  (...I am feeling the need for a fresh box of crayons...wanna color, Allison?!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring in the Tetons?!

The interior roads opened up in the Tetons a couple of weekends ago so we thought we'd take full advantage and spend a couple of nights in our mobile "Yurt."  Ya know, Springtime...  We had visions of baby animals out in abundance, Spring flowers in bloom, warm days and cool nights...  Well, we might have been just a few weekends early, as it snowed.  Not only did it snow, but there was a lot of snow, particularly in the North end of the park.
We did catch sight of some of the park's notorious creatures; bison, elk, coyotes, moose...and lots of birds, like these, trying to shake off winter!
Looking forward to our next trip up to the Tetons...surely the flowers will be blooming...?!

Idaho's State bird...the Mountain Bluebird, and...

...a Western Meadowlark.

Friday, May 13, 2011

If you are in the market for a great photographer....

 ...and you live anywhere in the vicinity of the Portland, Oregon area...check out Aaron Courter's website and blog!  Okay, so I am a little bit biased because this is my beautiful daughter and my handsome future son-in-law, but really, Aaron did an amazing job!  Not only did he create great, fun images, but he also captured a bit of their personalities, which is so important in a really great photographer!  (And, they said, he was a lot of fun and easy to work with too!)  He is shooting their upcoming July wedding too...I can't wait! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother Nature.

It was so nice of Mother Nature to provide my favorite color in the sky on Mother's Day (kind of a purple-y haze)!  Okay, so I probably would've prefer it not to be in the form of a crazy, blowing snow storm, but hey...it was pretty cool nonetheless!  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Mother's Day, and other thoughts...

Some people prefer not to think about sad things, ever...and while I certainly see that as a valid perspective, desirable even, I have never entirely been able to manage it for myself.  I have had sadness in my life, as most have.  And once in awhile, when the sadness creeps in, uninvited, I am required to acknowledge it, and to allow it to linger awhile in my heart…because, after all, sadness is usually a result of loss…and feeling loss is a result of loving…and love...well, you can't beat love, can you?

And so today, I am honoring the memory of my beautiful Mom, on Mother's Day weekend...and the memory of my Dad as well, who was always there for me.  It is a beautiful Spring day and I wish you both were here!  Actually, I wish we were all at the beach, with a campfire in the sand, and cold beers...frolicking...but that is another story!

Honor your Moms this weekend, wherever they are!  In doing so, you are honoring LOVE!