Earliest Adventures

1 08 2018

I have to admit, I have become very lax in several areas of my life. Blogging for instance. Regular, vigorous exercise. Staying up past 9pm.

But the one that really gets me is the distinct lack of hiking and playing in the woods. I mean, c’mon, it’s my favorite thing, and I’ve lamented on multiple occasions about how great it feels when I get back to nature.

Though it was a pretty tough school year for me, and J and I had a ton of things going on, there is another huge game-changer that made an appearance in early March: a little hazy smudge on a grainy sonogram. We still affectionately refer to him as Smudge.

first sonogram

The doctor says its a baby, so I believe him. Welcome to the party, Smudge!!

So the school year (finally!) ended and my schedule cleared. But instead of mapping out backpacking trips and listing new trails to explore, I was organizing my baby registry and assembling furniture. I sorted through teeny tiny clothes and researched different diapering techniques. I sat on the phone with the insurance company discussing what they would cover and signed up for child birthing classes. And of course, I usually took a nap after each of these activities. But I really, really did want to get outside! I want Smudge to get that fresh mountain air and all the forest goodness as soon as he possibly can!

Memorial Day weekend, several of my besties drove up from Bend to hang out. One is a recent transplant from Texas, so I thought it would be fun to take her and her husband out into the wilds of Washington to demonstrate why I love it so much here. J said he knew of a secret waterfall that was a pretty short hike, so off we went. The hike turned out to be quite treacherously steep, but we somehow survived and the waterfall was definitely worth it.

secret waterfalls of the PNW, Washington Gifford Pinchot NF

Smudge has the best aunties in the world ❤

The last week of June, my parents and Hopey came to visit. My mom just couldn’t take it anymore! I could not WAIT to have my mom’s help getting set up for Baby Smudge and to get some quality time with the family. They decided to road trip the 2500 miles up here, and Hope declared everything was the biggest adventure she had ever had in her life! So, I decided to take them on an adventure of our own! Loaded with snacks and adventurous attitudes, we hiked the mile and a half or so back to Falls Creek Falls in the Gifford Pinchot. It was beautiful and exciting and so very fun. We had a few more adventures out in the woods, exploring the Ice Caves and Natural Bridges near Trout Lake. I’m fairly certain Smudge loved every step, every deep inhale. Gimme more, More, MORE!!

Falls Creek Falls trail, Washington, Gifford Pinchot

Chasing waterfalls

So after all my family goodness, we switched gears and drove down to California to see J’s family. We stopped along the way near the border of Oregon and California to camp one night, at a beautiful little spot with almost no one else around. We were next to a peaceful reservoir full of birds under the shade of big Ponderosas. It was a delightful night and I realized how much I missed camping, even if we were just car camping.

Topsy Campground, Keno Oregon

Edgar, the body pillow, joined us to help me sleep. He’s so sweet. Thankfully, we managed to find room in the tent for J, too.

Then I realized that if I’m truly going to raise a boy of the Pacific Northwest, there’s one more thing he needs to experience. It’s something I’ve not been able to fully embrace and in fact, I can barely do at all: swim in the frigid waters of a glacier-fed body of water.

The weather the last couple weeks seems to have been on my side in this decision, because temperatures have soared well into the 90s and even over 100 degrees several days in a row. By Saturday, I was ready to pack my bags and my dog and move to Antarctica. I DON’T LIKE THE HEAT. It’s uncomfortable enough to be 8 months pregnant, but now I’m also sticky, stinky, and grumpy. So when J suggested a hike and a swimming hole on Sunday, I couldn’t get in the truck fast enough! I even shimmied into my Easter-egg bathing suit that I look SUPER CUTE in and prepped Smudge for the exciting adventure ahead.

We hiked a section of the Salt Creek trail first, and I was a little put off on my body’s response. True, I’ll admit I nap more often than workout these days, and my body has been doing other things recently, like growing a tiny human. But hiking is just walking with a back-pack on! I can do that! But the amount of room Smudge is now taking up constricts my breathing a bit more than I would like and I have 25 extra pounds sticking out in front of me, throwing my center of gravity off. J was super patient with my many rest stops, and he even brought snacks! So by the end of the hike, I was filthy, super sweaty, and oh-so ready for that swimming hole.

We drove to the next spot and parked. J turned to me with a warning: this would be off-trail bush-whacking, and the way down might be a little steep. Did I still want to go? HECK YES – the best spots are always secret and hard to get to! So we grabbed our towels and headed down the slope through forest, prickly wild roses, various bushes and other undergrowth, and finally reached the water we had been listening to for most of the descent. There was a little sandy bank on the other side where we dumped our things, stripped off our outer clothes and dove in!

secret swimming hole, Gifford Pinchot NF Washingtion

Ok, so by “dove in” I really mean we waded in to get our ankles wet then raced back out as fast as our numb feet would take us….

Brrrrrr – even on a hot day that water is too cold. I can only stand it for a few minutes. I thought about sitting down in the stream but never worked up the courage. But I’m convinced Smudge will be able to handle the freezing waters, just like he’s going to be a champ at hiking through the woods and scaling mountains. Right?

I’m convinced we have no choice but to raise a nature-loving, tree-hugging, mountain-climbing, adventure-seeking little explorer, just like his daddy. Hopefully, we’re off to a good start!!

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Just A-hiking in the Woods

27 07 2017

It’s no secret how much I love to hike. Outdoor adventures are the usual topic of this blog. And with school out, I have all sorts of time to head out into the woods!

The last month has seen more outdoor time than the previous 6 months combined. Oh, how lovely it’s been! The fresh air, the blood pumping through my legs, the quality time with my wiggly mutt…so good! Here’s a quick peek at some of our recent adventures.

Wyeth

Right before school let out, Simba and I needed some nature time, and J was busy working. We set out with a map and a few suggestions from our housemate to see what we could find. Our first attempt was to climb to Indian Point from the Herman Creek trailhead, but the overflowing parking lot sent us high-tailing to our second choice: Wyeth. Both are right down the Gorge, meaning everything would be gorgeous. We poked around the awesome creek that – of course – tumbled in several rapids and mini waterfalls. Ferns, moss, towering cliffs, swaying trees – a typical gorge hike. We really live in the coolest place.

Emerald Falls, Wyeth Trailhead Oregon Columbia Gorge hikes

Simba “swimming” at Emerald Falls – next time we’re climbing UP STREAM!

Green Point Ridge trail Columbia Gorge hikes Oregon

Lunch break about 3 miles up the trail. Shared a few nibbles with this handsome mutt.

The trail, which is actually called the Green Point Ridge trail, traverses the cliffs and flattens out pretty nicely after the initial climb. It was nice and peaceful once we tuned out the road noise below, and the lack of fellow hikers was a real plus. And since it parallels the Columbia River, the views are outstanding no matter where we looked. So awesome.

Trapper Creek Wilderness

J has been working his rear off this summer, so I’m really thankful I can tag along with him. Its perfect: he gets work done, I get to hike in the woods, and I squeeze in time with my Boo. All the things I want! A couple weeks ago, J invited me along for a trip to the Trapper Creek Wilderness, one of my favorite places. This particular area is unique in that it has old growth forest untouched by the logging industry. Most of the northwest has been logged at some point or another, but not here! The result is gorgeous, old growth forest, complete with monster-huge trees, lack of dense undergrowth, more diverse species of plants and trees, and the presence of old, gnarly snags that provide habitat for cool wildlife. If you’ve never hiked through an old growth forest, I suggest dropping everything and finding one immediately. Go!

Trapper Creek trail, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA GPNF

Simba, charged and ready to go!

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA

Don’t forget to pause and look up. The colors of the forest get me every time.

Trapper Creek Wilderness, Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Dropped off trail to take a break by this babbling brook. Cold, refreshing, lovely.

saprophytes Trapper Creek in GP Forest WA

Saprophytic plants – just a sample of the awesome flora to be found. These little guys don’t produce chlorophyll!

trail work, Trapper Creek Wilderness WA

My local ranger hard at work fixing some trail tread. ❤

Gifford Pinchot NF, Trapper Creek Wilderness hiking

And of course, #SelfiesWithSimba – the best hiking buddy around!

Cascade Creek

For the 4th of July, we knew we had to get out of town. Far, far out of town. Simba is terrified of fire works and its hard to watch him panic every time one goes off. We headed into the woods with the truck loaded with camping gear and found an awesome spot on the banks of Cascade Creek, right by its joining with the White Salmon River. Since the actual holiday was during the week, we lucked out and had the whole place to ourselves! We didn’t do much actual hiking, but we did a lot of unplugged, kicked-back relaxing and it was amazing. I didn’t take many photos, since I really did turn my phone off, leave it in the truck, and enjoyed time in the woods undisturbed. Glorious.

Cascade Creek, Gifford Pinchot NF WA

Glamping!! Who wouldn’t want a campsite where someone left a giant “Race Base” sign?! (Don’t leave your crap in the forest. K thanks.)

camping in the GP, WA

I can’t help it. Our selfie game is just so ON POINT.
#SelfiesWithSimba is now a thing.

Wyeth (full circle)

And then with JBoo in tow, we hiked Wyeth again. Not quite as far, but more playing in the creek. The hiking experience is totally different for me if I’m with someone, compared to being alone. After all this time, J is still my favorite hiking companion. ❤

Emerald Falls, Wyeth, hiking in the Columbia Gorge

Emerald Falls….again

Wyeth trailhead, Columbia Gorge

He wasn’t even working this time!!

And after a nice long hike, Simba likes to partake in post-hike snuggle time. He’s such a cuddlebug. I love it.

snuggle puddle

I apparently make a pretty good pillow.

This turned into a longer post than I intended…thanks for coming along for the ride! Our other big hike is getting a post all of its own, and of course Simba and I have daily expeditions exploring the neighborhood. More big adventures are in the works, stay tuned!!

Anyone else out enjoying the great outdoors? Suggestions for other places in PNW I should explore? Tell me all about it!!





Just Another Monday Evening

25 07 2017

Mondays get such a bad rap.

Please don’t do that in public…

Every once in a while, Monday tries to redeem itself. Today began as most of my other summer Mondays began: rather insignificantly. I slept in a bit, had a bowl of cereal, took the mutts for a stroll. But then my Monday stopped its ordinary trajectory as I packed a small suitcase and a bag for Simba, loaded the new RAV, and headed south. J had an overnight trip for work, so I hit the road for Bend.

I made it to Casa de Davis, home to my friends MAsh who happen to be traipsing around Peru for the summer. I got Simba settled in and made my way across the west side of town to a little restaurant patio in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood. Several of my gal pals gathered with me for awesome food, drinks, and catching up.

friends for dinner, Washington Dining and Cocktails, Bend OR

You’re right, Monday, these ladies DO make everything better!!

We all used to work together for a tech company in downtown Bend but have since found other pursuits. Strangely enough, the CEO of our previous company was sitting at the table right next to us! He very kindly sent us a round and stopped by our table to say hello. I haven’t lived in Bend for 6 some-odd years and I still bump into old acquaintances every time I visit!

Time with these 3 awesome women would have been enough for me to call Monday my favorite day. Bend, however, had more in store for me. It had apparently teamed up with Monday to really knock my socks off. They really succeeded…

Back at MAsh’s house, I decided to take Simba for a nice long walk. Being in the PNW, I still had daylight despite the hour approaching 9. We walked through the neighborhood and down to the Old Mill District. Trying to keep Simba out of trouble, I didn’t notice the impressive show in the sky right away. I actually noticed the people first – everyone had turned towards the setting sun and everyone was taking pictures. Everyone. Children, dog walkers, cyclists, staff from the restaurants – EVERYONE. I finally realized why.

central Oregon summer sunset Bend OR

Yep, ok, I’ll stop and look, too.

The scene was quite incredible. The fiery colors in the sky were breathtaking, framed by the Three Sisters mountains and reflected in the waters of the Deschutes River. Ducks paddled and dove in the river, though there was an interesting hush over everything. The typical bustle and noise of the Old Mill was still for a moment while we all took in the amazing sight.

sunset over Old Mill, Bend OR

Bend, I really don’t need that much convincing to want to come back….

Continuing on our way, Simba and I finished our walk, circling by way of the Colorado bridge and admiring the changes since our last visit. This tunnel, for instance, didn’t exist when this area was my old haunt:

tunnel under the Colorado bridge, Bend OR

So many colors! (Yes, this is my favorite shirt…)

For such a quick trip, I’m heading home in a reflective, grateful state of mind. Grateful for the amazing people I have in my life, grateful for living in such a cool place, grateful for the ability to travel around, grateful for the mutt snoring on the floor next to me that accompanies me on these adventures.

Touche, Monday – I hereby declare you my favorite.

Let me just leave you with a picture of a snoring Simba. 😀

Boy, o boy, I wonder what adventures await us on Tuesday!





All Grown Up

20 07 2017

Omg, adulting is so hard. And dumb. Paying bills and planning meals and vacuuming and keeping up with laundry. Making (and actually going to) doctor appointments. Wearing pants.

Being on summer vacation gives me a chance to float around in a weird in-between place. I still have to do those unfun things, but I can also sleep until 9 and have the occasional day of lounging in my skivvies while the boys are at work. It’s pretty fabulous. But then I decided to do the most adulty thing I’ve done in quite a while:

I BOUGHT A NEW CAR! ALL BY MYSELF! ALL OF MY VERY OWN! YAAAY!

2015 Toyota Rav4 XLE buying a car

TA-DA! Simba demonstrates how to be appropriately excited. 

The last time I went car shopping was 9 years ago and my dad co-signed my loaned because I was barely out of college and my credit sucked. We went to a dealership, looked around, picked out a little Mazda 3, and off we went.

This time, I took time, LOTS of time. I researched different vehicles and crunched numbers to figure out how much I could pay. I poured over consumer reports and built spreadsheets and dug around Craigslist. So much time. Yuck. JBoo made me. (Thanks honey.)

But the effort was worth it. Though I don’t like research, I’m good at it, and I figured out exactly what I wanted and how much I would pay for it. We test drove a couple choices, narrowed it down to the Toyota RAV4, and I built a list of available vehicles for sale. My research gave me specific qualifiers: it had to be all wheel drive, it had to be the XLE model, and it could under no circumstances be white. *shudder*

J was very supportive through the whole process, especially when we got to the dealership and I realized I made a little whoopsy. I hadn’t checked for all wheel drive when making my final list. And naturally the top 3 on my list were NOT all wheel drive. My brain nearly imploded. But we figured it out and I drove home my beautiful new Toyota that day!! The process was brutal, and of course weird things kept happening.  My dad was still on the title of my Mazda.We bought the car in Washington but we’re Oregon residents. Though my car was correctly registered in Washington, the title had never been transferred there from Oregon, and I had not yet registered it back in Oregon so…..it was all sorts of goofy. But everything worked out and it’s now sitting in the driveway.

And I just love it. I guess not all adulting is bad. I do feel awfully grown up…and super fancy.  I happy-danced all the way home.

😀

new car buying experience

YAY! OMG GREATEST DAY EVAAAHHHHHH!





Housewifing

13 07 2017

I am on summer vacation. Officially. We went all the way through June 23rd, then I had a week of professional development classes, and now I’m done.

Ok, I realize that I’ve actually been free for almost 2 weeks now, but there’s been so much happening! Mostly in my brain, but STILL! It took me at least 2 days to stop waking up at 5:30am. It took a full week to turn my brain off from teacher mode and to stop trying to lesson plan. It was just such a difficult thing for my poor, exhausted, brain fragments to accept.

No, I don’t have to plan anything.
No, I don’t have to prepare anything.
No, I don’t have to pack anything else.
No, I don’t have to decorate anything. Or clean anything. Or call anyone. Or email anyone. Or post anything to parents.

I’m….actually….DONE.

You can imagine the difficulties after being in warp speed for the last 10 months. Especially because I deep-down, truly miss my crazy, hilarious, bright, amazing kiddos……

So we went camping for the 4th of July, to a beautiful spot on the forest where Simba and I roamed free and no fireworks could be heard. (Simba can’t handle the festivities.)

camping Trapper Creek WA

The best mutt in the world

Then we road-tripped to Seattle for a cousin’s gorgeous wedding and a weekend of family.

wedding weekend Seattle WA July 2017

My handsome JBoo

J accompanied me to Portland for a day of car shopping and indecision and test driving. I’ve let my mind start wandering back to things like knitting and painting and blog posts.

And…I’ve been housewiving. According to both Google and Webster, this is not yet a word. But it best describes my new activities. I have been making my best attempts at performing the duties I believe to fall under the job description of a housewife.

I’m quite terrible, but I’m practicing, hoping to get better.

Fact of the matter is, while I’ve been working on my teaching gig this last year, I’ve been an awful wife. I mean the worst. J barely even saw me as I worked 12 and 13 and 14 hour days. House responsibilities fell to him, as did the dog, and dinners, and pretty much everything else. He kept me alive by grocery shopping and cooking and rubbing my back at night. This man made my coffee every single morning and poured it into my to-go mug so I could be human by the time my kids arrived. Even on the weekends I was typically unavailable, mentally if not physically. He even helped grade papers on several occasions! (And the award for best husband of the decade goes toooooooooo…..!)

best husband ever 2017

He so deserves this!

So now I’m trying to give back to my darling husband and use my free time to balance out the relationship. I’m working to deep clean our little house and organize and purge. I meal plan and grocery shop and even baked cupcakes! Simba has been getting an average of 3-4 walks a day and I’ve waged war on the dog hair like my life depends on it.

But yall, this is hard! My mother stayed at home for a few years when I was in high school and I thought she must have had so much fun gardening and playing with the chickens and canning and sewing…. I somehow missed the work behind it all. How we always had a spotless house and clean laundry and delicious food and handmade pjs. For some unbelievable reason, I called her last week to whine about how I didn’t want to vacuum again, and I really wanted someone to come over and play with me. Being the best mother ever, she just laughed and asked if I had swept or dusted the bookcase or washed the curtains. Well, no, actually, I hadn’t even thought of half that list. Ashamed and knowing she taught me better, I hung up and scrubbed my kitchen spotless. And she kept the same standards whether she worked, went back to school, or stayed home – how the hell did she do it??

But it’s so hard not to get distracted! I tried dusting the bookcase and ended up snuggled on the couch reading for 2 hours. I took out the trash and spent a good half hour trimming and arranging my flower boxes outside. I popped onto my laptop to find a recipe for dinner and lost 3 hours to the black hole of the Internet.

The struggle is real.

Then J comes home and a few times, I have had dinner ready. And he exclaims over how spoiled he is and how happy Simba is to have me back home and what an incredible job I did on the house. I kiss his head and clean up the dishes and high-five myself for finding such a gem, even if he is prone to little white lies.

I’m doing my best to swat away the guilt that descends on days like yesterday, where I did nothing more than knit in front of the TV all day long, and made a pathetic excuse for dinner. I have to remember that I am basically in a state of recovery, and a day of nothing is fine – healthy even – and gives me the extra boost to be productive the next day. (And Simba’s sweater is almost done!)

So, I’m back at it today, attacking the tumbleweeds of dog hair and compiling a grocery list. But if anyone does want to come by and distract me, I’d love the company!!

🙂

 





Finding Our Voices

12 03 2017

My dad loves to tell people that I took my sweet time learning how to talk. But once I figured it out, I haven’t shut up since!

Har har, Dad.

But it’s no secret that I like to chat. Conversation is such a great way to connect with people. I’ve actually been trying to be more conscious of my listening skills so I talk less. It’s tough, especially because I yammer on when I’m nervous.

But recently, specifically beginning about November, I found my voice getting stuck in my throat. I listen to the news in astonishment at what is happening in and to our country. I stare silently in disbelief when one of my Hispanic students asked me what a rapist is, and if her daddy was a good one or a bad one. The boy across the street told her they should all go back to Mexico so he didn’t have to live by a rapist anymore. She’s 10 years old and has no idea what that means, but worries about her dad.

What do I say to that? What do I say to any of it?

January 20 brought a whole new round of feelings. I hadn’t been on Facebook for a while, so I logged on to see if I was missing anything. And I was. I was missing hate being smeared all over my feed. Many friends in Texas and the Midwest were posting and sharing things that I couldn’t believe would come from them – people I know to be good people! I finally closed my laptop with a depressed sigh of despair and pulled my 45-pound dog into my lap. What is happening?!

The morning of January 21, I met my bestie Ashlee in Portland and we headed downtown. We discussed the state of things back home but she was very reassuring. “I think we can make a difference in this,” she hugged me. Walking towards downtown, we started seeing more and more people headed the same direction. The signs, the cheering, the pink hats – we were gathering for the Women’s March on Washington.

And as we waited near the Morrison Bridge, listening to speakers and poets and bands and politicians, I felt hope blossoming in my chest. As I read the homemade signs around me, that hope bloomed outward towards my limbs. I saw two strangers hug and laugh as they noticed they had on matching t-shirts, and I saw men wearing pink hats, and children singing along with the bands. Hope filled my legs and moved me through the rain and mud and cold to the streets; it moved my arms to hug my best friend and wave to people on the sidewalks; it filled my lungs to move my vocal chords and suddenly I was shouting, “LOVE. TRUMPS. HATE!”

I had found my voice. It was there inside me, waiting all along.

women's march on washington - PDX 2017

Marching for the ladies!

I wanted to dance in those streets, sing with the joy of it all. Approximately 100,000 people showed up that day, in a city of only about 600,000. We marched through the streets to stand up for what we believe in – and it felt so good. I felt empowered and excited and surrounded by others willing to stand up together. Reports said it was the largest event of its kind Portland had ever seen, and it was entirely peaceful. Not one arrest, no violence, though lots of singing, chanting, and unity all around. It was incredible to be a part of.

Then I came home.

I stupidly checked Facebook again to be confronted with a backlash of more hateful comments and posts. “Get a job and you wouldn’t have time to march!” “Go home and take care of your families instead of rubbing your vulgar filth in our faces!” “Women are equal in this country, you must be stupid to think otherwise!” “Sit your privileged asses down and realize how good you have it!” “Women in Syria are facing real issues, you need to just shut up!”

I’m not making this up, these are real things I saw posted on Facebook. And I was utterly flabbergasted by what I read. Whhaaa … ? No, you can’t really think that… But wait, don’t you see… Wait….

But this time, I was not sorry for posting my pictures, I was not worried that these people might think differently of me because I had marched, I was not afraid that I might have to defend my actions to people like my own family. I was worried for them. And I was angry and upset. Of course we haven’t achieved equality in this country! No our fight is not over! Yes there are real threats to reproductive rights and women’s healthcare and yes I am damn upset about it! All the rights we do enjoy have been secured by those who stood up for them in the past!

Yet once again, my voice was paralyzed – how do I articulate my fears and defend my position? I get frustrated and don’t know how to put into words my feelings and opinions. And social media is a place of screaming, not listening; no one is open to conversation or hearing each other out. Everyone is shouting in capital letters to get their opinion to the top of the list…and the result is a cacophony of “I’M RIGHT AND YOU’RE NOT!”

Not surprisingly, someone else managed to articulate some of the things I could not. The blogger Dina Leygerman wrote a post that made me yell THANK YOU! THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO SAY!

I get it. You want to feel empowered. You don’t want to believe you’re oppressed. Because that would mean you are indeed a “second-class citizen.” You don’t want to feel like one. I get it. But don’t worry. I will walk for you. I will walk for your daughter. And your daughter’s daughter. And maybe you will still believe the world did not change. You will believe you’ve always had the rights you have today. And that’s okay. Because women who actually care and support other women don’t care what you think about them. They care about their future and the future of the women who come after them.

Open your eyes. Open them wide. Because I’m here to tell you, along with millions of other women that you are not equal. Our equality is an illusion. A feel-good sleight of hand. A trick of the mind. I’m sorry to tell you, but you are not equal. And neither are your daughters.

Thank you Dina, for saying so directly what I was feeling, for giving me your words.

And after much thought and discussion and reading and listening, I have found what it boils down to for me. At the heart of my distress is the concept of “it’s not all about YOU.” Since when did we stop sticking up for those being bullied and oppressed? Since when did it become ok to sit idly by while others are unjustly treated, persecuted, stripped of their rights? Besides being a woman, I am pretty safe. I am white, American-born, middle-class, straight, educated, employed, Christian, and married. In a word, I am privileged. So why would I not use that to stand up for all those who are not?  Why would I not stand up for what is right, regardless of how I am directly affected? Already, I can feel my words stumbling and choking again, my passion and anger tripping my words as I try desperately to explain….

So let me just say the one thing that I have no trouble getting out: I still love you. For our differences, I love you. And I promise to practice asking questions and listening to your answers and trying to understand. The biggest thing I have learned out of this mayhem is that we have GOT to stop spewing hate at each other and start asking questions instead. Listen to one another and we’re a lot more alike than we realize. Ask questions to hear their side and what they’re afraid of and what they’re feeling. Practice pulling back judgement and listening instead of lashing back and attacking what they say. Try to have a little empathy and compassion.

Because right now, it feels like love is losing. But I believe love always wins. Love will always trump hate.

 

“We must always fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear the most, and that is the indifference of good men.” (Boondock Saints)

 





Colors of Winter

15 01 2017

Ok fine, I did it. I pulled out my DSLR and my fingerless gloves to give Winter another photoshoot. My first winter in Twisp with J, I did the same thing – I couldn’t NOT take photos of the splendor outside my windows (click to see the post). The icicles intrigued me most and I took hundreds of photos that day.

Time to try again. This time, it wasn’t so much the snow that piqued my curiosity, but rather the hidden color peeking out of it. On my long walks, I’ve been noticing how the world has taken on the look of an old black and white movie. But if you look closer, colors that would normally just blend in with the landscape become happy contrast against the blurred monotony of snow.

The ordinary becomes extraordinary. The bland becomes brilliant. The boring becomes the central focus.

The cobalt of the newspaper boxes pops in the snowbank. The hunter trashcans and royal recycle buckets decorate the curbs. The various greens and browns and grays suddenly all vie for attention. LOOK AT ME! I’M SO PRETTY AGAINST ALL THE BORING WHITE!!! Little things scream at out at me as I start searching – once my focus has been adjusted, color is everywhere!

buried fire hydrant, hood river winter 2017

Peek-a-boo hydrant

 

recycle hood river oregon winter 2017

Recycling is beautiful

The cold temperatures have kept everything frozen, so it’s still crisply white – no gray sludge to be seen!

rosebushes in winter PNW 2017

Pretty rose hips

 

snow wagon Hood River OR winter 2017

Primary colors

They obviously don’t have kids or that huge yard wouldn’t be so untouched. (Do you wanna build a snowman..?)

winter leaves PNW 2017

Even the browns are lovely

 

snow drifts Hood River 2017

50 Shades of Gray….

 

Rocky Road, Hood River 2017 winter

Side of Rocky Road

And my favorite little splash of color:

snow dog PNW winter 2017

Yesterday the sun peeked out but today is gloomy once more. Snow flakes are dancing and I’m thinking it’s time to venture out of our own neighborhood. I’m sure I can rouse Simba from his fireside rug to head out for one or two more adventures before it’s time for reality to return.

Who knows what magic we’ll find next!!

😀








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