Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Again the post from challenges me. What is different about you? What do you do that lights people up?

I'm not really sure how to answer those questions. I have never felt like someone who 'lights others up'. I've felt pretty much like the status quo, the normal person, the melt into the woodwork kind of a gal. I've had a talent for helping those who are ill to be more comfortable. I've been an advocate for my patients with their doctors and with their families. I've always felt strongly that people have the right to correct information about their health/disease so they can be part of the solution. I've been able to hold another's hand when they need someone to just 'be' there. My family would say that I'm a fixer. I want to 'fix' broken things. While I think that has been more true in the past, I do still get sidetracked into the fixing mode. Age has mellowed me and granted me a greater acceptance of my limited ability to fix anything or anybody.

So if those things are a unique part of me, than so be it. The lighting up will have to be something that just happens as a result of those unique qualities.

And, speaking of lighting up. This photo was taken at the Tree Lighting Ceremony in Pioneer Square in Portland, OR on November 19th.

Monday, December 6, 2010


today the prompt from reverb (see last post) is to consider something that is unfinished. I immediately thought of all my projects that are partially done: a jumper for Eli, a quilt for Greg and Sara, embroidered Christmas tree ornaments, a table runner, my Christmas decorating, my Christmas cards......and the list goes on.

But then, I wondered what other things might be unfinished that are not material things, such as an apology that needs to be made, a relationship that is going nowhere because someone doesn't want to commit, a promise that is as yet unkept. Those are perhaps much more important than all the projects sitting around just waiting to be completed.

I think this question of unfinished is worth considering at length and in private. The answer also could remain unfinished......

Speaking of unfinished, this house was moved down my street into a vacant lot. It's now being finished with foundation and hook-ups to power, water, etc.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb 10 prompt for December 2

A blog called reverb has prompts for December to spark contemplation. The one for today is: "what do you do each day that doesn't contribute to your writing....what can you do to eliminate it? " Interesting question.

I grew up in the age of letter writing. Every gift I received demanded a thank you note. My mother wrote letters to me weekly when I was in college. My husband and I exchanged almost daily letters when he was in Viet Nam. The last letter I wrote was a 'why I'm thankful for you' card at Thanksgiving. I can't remember the last letter I wrote prior to that. Writing now consists of short statements and even just letters of the alphabet that stand for words on facebook and in e-mails. I don't even hand write anything in a journal any more. I do, however, write in my own hand on many of the scrapbook pages I make.

Writing takes time which is thought of as in short supply in today's world. We text, we leave voicemail messages, we make cell phone calls while we're waiting in lines, while walking the dog, while doing something else. We multitask. Writing requires full attention.

So, what to eliminate? Really rather what to substitute or move up on the priority list? I think I'll take just a few minutes in the evening to write in my journal again. It encourages contemplation. That's a good thing.

Eli as she watches people, lights and the tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Square. Yes, if the bomber would have been successful, things could be very different now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One word

Well, it's December 1st and I don't have a December Daily page to share. My printer ran out of yellow ink so I can't print the photo that I'm using for page one. Instead I'm going to write about a prompt for the day entitled, one word.

We're to chose one word that would describe the year 2010 for ourselves. There are several words that come to my mind: retirement, infirmity, constraints. But the one word that is foremost is the word I had chosen last January that I wanted to focus on this year. That word is peace.

In spite of all that's happened this past year, peace is what I have found in the midst of it all. Retiring in February really set the stage for me to find real peace...with myself, with my family and friends, with my new reality healthwise, and with my place in life. I'm much better at not sweating the small stuff. I don't feel the need to give advice as freely as I have in the past, and I'm able to accept/listen to advice from my family and friends.

I can relax in the evening even when my to-do list is still my left-to-do-tomorrow list. I enjoy scrapbooking and sewing more without the need to compete or have the latest and greatest. I love gardening and accept that my time there is limited by my physical constraints. I don't worry about the weeds quite so much as in the past. I've found peace in my new reality. It's wonderful.

Now it's time to think seriously about another one word for 2011. So far, nothing has really grabbed me, but I'm certain one will float to the surface before the clock strikes 12 on December 31st.

And because no post is complete without a photo, here's one of Eli on her 18 month birthday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Coast Trip

Last week I drove the two hours to Bandon where I had not been in two years. It's really ridiculous that I had not taken the time to go in so long, but life just seemed to get in the way. I love this part of the Oregon coast. Willie and I loved to wander through the shops in Old Town, eat fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants, and scour the beach for stones and shells. Perhaps I had put this trip off because it was such a part of our lives together that it is difficult to go alone now.

This trip I stopped at the local quilt shop to see what they might have of interest. It's a nice little shop with lots of 'coast' fabrics as well as a good selection of holiday, batiks, and general fabrics. I found a few fat quarters that may work in a project I have planned for later this year. Since high tide was around noon, I then headed to the harbor to browse the boardwalk and the shops in Old Town. I love the book store and the cranberry candy store. Indulged in a small package of cranberry treats.

Then it was on to the Crab Shack for a lunch of fresh crab in the Famous Crab sandwich, which I ate while sitting in the sun facing the harbor. A sunny day at the coast is to be relished as much as the fresh crab.

I hit the Table Rock Wayside at the perfect time as the tide was going out. There was plenty of beach to walk on and only two other people off in the distance. The surf was LOUD just like I love. There is something about it that just changes my focus and lets all the stress drain out of me. I wandered about a 1/2 mile down the beach and back, getting my feet (OK, up to my knees) wet, picking up rocks that struck my fancy and taking tons of photos. Then it was time to head back home. One last photo from the top of the hill and I said my good-bye.

The drive home is lovely and the road is pretty good most of the way. I can still hear the sea in my head and recapture the calm when I look at my photos. I vow to be back there sooner next time.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Ten days in Greece was fabulous. If I had to pick just one photo to remember it by, that photo would be this one. This was one of four old windmills on a hill above Mykonos town. It was quite a hike up there and the wind blew really hard - easy to see why they were built up there. The white cement building with the blue door is very common in this part of Greece. And the rocks at the base cover the island. I think I'll use this as the title page for me album about my trip.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you, Karen

The nine hours of class and practice under Karen Russell's tutalage has really paid off for me as shown in this photo. I now know how to adjust my white balance for the lighting. I now know how to adjust my ISO and aperture so I get a good expose most of the time (still practicing this one). And I can get catch lights in my little Eli's eyes. She had just finished eating (and smearing herself) with a peanut butter English muffin. What a sweetie she is! And I'm now able to catch those special moments. So, a big thank you, Karen.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Scrapping Old Photos

Since I'm an alumni of Library of Memories, I have joined an on-line group that receives a weekly challenge and has a gallery for us to post our layouts. So, when the challenge was to scrap a school related photo, it was a good time to go through some of the older photos and try to find a 'first day of school' photo. While I remember taking them most years, I couldn't find very many of them. This was the best of the lot. I think I'll add some journaling at the bottom right about how Sara loved having these photos taken and Eric hated it and only did it because I asked. Perhaps that's why there are so few.....he left early on the first day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Backpack Love

I've had this photo of Sara on my scrapbook desk for a couple months. I must have taken it out for something and then not used it. In any case, when I printed out the photo of Eli, I had an inspiration. Two little girls, two backpacks. Mother/daughter. Definitely fodder for a layout.
These papers came in a kit from Cocoa Daisy sometime this summer. Yesterday I was doing some organizing in my craft room and found the kit. These papers were perfect for the photos. The rest went together rather easily. I love when that happens.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Tutu Cute

It's been quite a while since I've done any scrapbooking. The summer seems to be centered on the garden, not indoor activities.
But, I did a bit of straightening up in my craft room yesterday and found this sheet of Hambly paper and it seemed perfect for this photo of my grand-daughter, Eliana. The other supplies were part of a kit from Cocoa Daisy and were perfect with the photo.
Eli has a neighbor who is just crazy about her, and frequently stops by with little gifts. This particular weekend I was visiting when Gramma Linda delivered this swimsuit. We had to try it on her immediately to see if it fit. Eli was only too happy to show off in her tutu suit.
It's not hard to create layouts with such a cutie to be the main attraction. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Better later than Never

It was a vacation for both of us. Sara had just graduated from high school and I was recently divorced. It was 1993. WOW, that was 17 years ago. So why is this album just being finished? Good question.
That crazy photo on the top of the first page? I did that at a CM party in about 1994. It was the first I'd heard about scrapbooking. I was intrigued, but couldn't afford to even think about buying any supplies. Sara was in college and I was working three jobs, and she was working one to help pay for the wonderful school she was attending. So the page about the Hawaii vacation sat in amongst the photos, waiting for me to do something with it.
Life got seriously in the way during the next few years. Fast forward to 2000 and another CM party. I created another crazy page about a trip to Alaska. This time I had the time and money to get started with the basics. In no time at all I was hooked. Completely.
The photos of this trip languished in a box along with other poor quality photos while I scrapped tons of other ones that were more recent and much more fun to use. The thought of creating lots of pages with them was daunting. Then along came Stacy Julian and her fast photo two up album scrapbooking. Ah... a perfect solution to my quandry of what to do with these photos. Finding the negatives and developing another non-heart cropped photo of Sara and me was out of the it was cut from the page and mounted like all the other photos. The circle photo of our first view of the ocean received the same treatment.
This album is not my finest work, but all the photos are in one place where they can be enjoyed and where the story has been told. DONE!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Something is eating my Canna

One morning last week this canna leaf with its trail of perfectly round holes greeted me as I started my watering rounds. I'd never seen anything like it. So, I jokingly sent the photo to my daughter with a note that said that one of Eric Carle's hungry caterpillars had been eating through my canna. For those of you who have never read the book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, you are missing a treat. It's a favorite with both my children and my grandchild....and me, as well.
The mystery of what was eating my canna remained until yesterday as I was browsing through an old gardening magazine when I read about the Canna Leaf Rollers. The Calpodes ethlius or Geshna cannalis leave "a line of holes along an open leaf, as if it were attacked by a hole puncher." Mystery solved. Now I just need to remember to remove all the foliage in the fall so the darn things don't overwinter and attack the canna again next year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Look

When I bought this house in 1993, there was an older screen door on the front. It was low enough for my dog to look outside and the previous owner (of the house) had placed strips of wood across the screen part to prevent the screen from ripping out. The last few years the screen had begun to separate from the frame of the door. I'd gotten so used to the funky thing, I never really 'saw' it.
Then my neighbor got a new storm door on her house a few weeks ago. I loved the look. And I finally SAW how trashed my old screen door really was. So, yesterday I had a new storm door installed. I LOVE it. I really makes the house look classy. Who would have ever thought just one little change would make such a big difference.
And, yes, Freckles can see outside.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Rainy Day

It hasn't rained in weeks and weeks. It's been HOT. We've had occasional clouds, but no rain. I woke this morning before 6:00 to the sound of hard rain hitting the roof. Music to my ears. Music I'm sure I'll be sick of hearing come March or April, but for now it is sweet music. I'm tired of dragging hoses and spray nozzles all over my yard. So, for today, I get a break.

Of course, this is also the day my handyman carpenter was to repair the attic fan, which can be accessed only from the roof. Not today, after all. But perhaps he'll get the new storm door on the front and the new doorbell installed so I won't have to depend on Freckles to let me know I have a visitor.

For today, I'll not have any reason to leave the house and can indulge in reading, cooking, crafting or whatever with no sense of urgency to get outside and take care of the garden. I love a rainy day in August.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Back Yard Garden Redo

I began a back yard garden space redo in June. The spot had originally been a lawn, but had become a weed patch over time.

This photo taken from the NW corner of the spot shows how it looked before I did anything to it.

And this is how it looked a month later in July. The grass has been hand dug and I now have a bare palette.

This is how it looks today. You can see the stepping stone path that leads through it and several of the plantings that have been made.
This shot is from the SW corner in June when I began the project. Notice the orange day lillies between the two arborvite. They will be dug and moved in the next couple months.
Next, the clean palette in July.
And how it looks today. There are 3 different colors of day lillies, a crocosmia, russian sage, purple lupine, mondo grass, nepeta (Walker's Low), oriental lilies, a orange/yellow yarrow, and a form of iris that I can't name, and several kinds of ground covers and sedums. The upended pots mark places for a couple more large plants that will be moved when the weather cools more.
And two more shots from the NE corner showing the pathway, which has now been set and will have creeping thyme and other ground covers between the stones.

In this one you can see my little 4 X 4 raised vege garden and two of the three compost bins.

So that's the full tour. There is lots more to be planted this fall - hope to get some spring bulbs in this fall and then lots of annuals to fill in next year.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lots of White Space

I've always admired layouts with only one or two small photos and a couple embellishments and lots of white space. I've been very intimated by them as well. I finally decided that I needed to face my fear of failure and just do it. This is the result. This layout took me longer to put together than much more complex ones. I guess that's because the minimalist design shows all the flaws instantly.
I like how this turned out. I like how the quilt I made for Eliana is really center stage. The background paper by Basic Grey has just enough texture to keep it from looking too stark.
Even tho I now know I can do this, I don't forsee doing a lot of them in the future.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Five Little Words

Tired tonight. so will just leave you with five little words.

peace - my word for 2010

create - i try to be creative in some way every day

read - even if it is only a quote, a short poem or an article in a magazine or newspaper

eat - something healthy and green every day

exercise - the eliptical, a short walk, aerobics to a DVD at least 5 times a week, just move

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beautiful Quilts

Sorry for the blurry photo but I was taking photos of the quilts as others were holding them up.
Today at our quilt guild meeting, we had the pleasure of having Karen Hankins present a slide show and trunk show of some of her gorgeous quilts. The photo is of a collage of places around southern Oregon where both she and I live. Every single little piece of fabric is machine pieced into the quilt. She has shown her quilts at the Houston International Show and a Paduka (know I didn't spell that right), Kentucky show. She encouraged us to forget perfection and to continue to try new things as challenge ourselves. So inspiring.
Makes me want to do some more quilting.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Lain Ehmann of Write.Click.Scrapbook is running a class called, Layout A Day. She posts a prompt each day and we take it from there. The idea is to get photos scrapped and use up our stash. I could certainly use all the motivation I can get to scrap on a regular basis. So.....
today's challenge was to document a beginning. It's a perfect topic as I just began my yearly winter/spring garden clean-up. The frost in November left my garden looking worse than usual and it was so discouraging to look out at all the dead and scraggly plants. Yesterday was a warm - 53 degree - day with a bit of weak sunshine. The perfect time to start some of the restoration. After two hours I had filled my garbage can and the garden cart with debris. The stuff in the garden cart was destined for the compost pile and the garbage can mess will be hauled away tomorrow morning. I had hoped for more obvious results, but even a little bit helps. I have many more hours ahead before all is ready for the summer.
I know I did something tho, by the way my muscles were complaining this morning! :)
For the layout: patterned paper: Basic Grey; ghost clock: Heidi Swapp: brad: brad topper by Imaginisce; alphabet: American Craft; unknown journaling block.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A scrap-a-thon

This week I've had the chance to get together two times with friends to scrapbook. I managed to finish 12 layouts and start on a couple more. Every time I get to be creative, it seems I have a favorite. This is my favorite for the week. The photo was taken on Thanksgiving weekend and is so good of all three of them. The 'I love you' in the lower right corner of the photo was an add-on when I had it developed at Scrapbook Pictures. I love how the photos come out when I send them off to SP for developing.
The sketch for the layout came from Pencillines. So many of my layouts are from sketches on that website.
It feels so good to be able to get back to playing with paper and photos and all the goodies I've been hoarding. I'll save the other layouts for another post.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Eleven Years Ago

Eleven years ago today I made one of the top ten best decisions of my life. I married Willie R. McCarley. We had dated for two and a half years. Neither of us wanted to marry again at the time that we met....reluctantly. We had each had long, unhappy previous marriages. And he was 12 years older than didn't bother me, but gave him pause when considering marriage.
The day was clear and cool - a very rare day for Oregon in January. Our immediate family members were gathered for the occasion. We had the ceremony in front of a beautiful rock fireplace in a room at one of the local wineries. Our pastor married us; Willie's son was his best man and my daughter was my maid of honor. The ceremony was simple. Afterwards, we all sat down to a lovely lunch prepared by the owner of the vineyard. We had such fun. There was much laughter and telling of stories.
Later we left for a couple days at the Oregon Coast. When we arrived the sky was clear as crystal and there was a stunning sunset. The whole weekend there was warm with almost no wind - another rarity for that time of year.
I would love to be able to celebrate 11 years of marriage today, but we had only slightly less than 4 years together. I would do it over again in a nano second even knowing that we wouldn't have much time together. Those were some of the happiest years of my life. Thanks for the wonderful memories, Willie.