Monday, March 30, 2015

Who Raised These Kids

Motherhood has to be one of the toughest and yet one of the most rewarding jobs. There is no manual, no training course, no college education to prepare for it. It is on-the-job training, and sometimes you have to be a quick study.

Children are individuals. Each child is unique and requires different parenting skills. There is no one size fits all. So, how do we parent - We WING it. That is all we can do.

We WING it, give it our best shot, and Pray – a lot.

But, we aren't the only ones involved in a child's life. There are other parents, school teachers, coaches, friends, grandparents – a village of others.

So, who raised these kids? Everyone involved in their lives, including themselves.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I recently had a discussion with someone about perception. We talked about how some people were 'perceiving' me.  Logically, I understand that I cannot control how others view me. Logically I know that I should not let them get to me. But my emotions (and my Ego) weren't listening to logic. They felt attacked. How dare they make such false assumptions, such false accusations! How dare they tell others what to think about me! They don't obviously know me. Then it hit me - how dare I make assumptions, how dare I make accusations. I was becoming everything I dislike, I was becoming one of them. I was making my own perceptions.

You can't control what others think or say about you. Most perceptions are a screwed-up mix of conclusions, motivations, preferences, ego, and who knows what else – most of which are incorrect. Then there are the toxic people who have their own motive for creating how others should view you – gossip they call it. These people expect everyone to cater to them, to change to suit them. It is this type of person that I have a hard time ignoring. I don't tolerate (nor do I have the patience) for injustice – for people who judge, jury and convict without cause, just because they can, or have developed a personal dislike toward someone – in this particular case, me.

I have come to the conclusion that it is best I just walk away. Nothing will ever make them happy. My health, my happiness – are more important then what they think. Their toxin is poisonous.

When I found myself focusing and reacting to that negative behavior, I realized I had given them power over me. Power they don't deserve. It was creating an unsafe environment and it was time for me to take back that power and the control. What can I control? ME!

It is not my job to change how they see me, but it is my job to think about how I see myself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Too Damn Serious

I have always been befuddled and in awe of people that are outgoing. How did they learn to be like that? I don't remember any lessons on how to cut loose and be fancy free, when I was a child? 

This was in the Urban Dictionary describing 'outgoing'
"Outgoing is doing anything that causes people to gravitate to you! Outgoing people are usually the life of most parties. Outgoing people tend to be deemed cool and chill!"

I have often wondered what it would be like to be outgoing. To have people gravitate towards you and enjoy your company. They make it look so damn easy and fun. Instead I am too damn serious. And I've tried to break it. In fact, as I get older, I seem to be getting even more serious. I have an inner need to cut loose and be fancy free, but I can't get it to come out.

I try to remind myself that the world needs people like me. That serious people serve a purpose. But, I often can't help but yearn to be even a little outgoing.

Then I found this article online in Psychology Today and it hit the nail on the head. The title alone was worth it:

In Praise of Serious People

Melancholics are underappreciated

These two phrases made all the difference:
"Serious people may be more likely to make a difference in the world." and "sober types may be more in touch with what’s wrong and thus acquire the drive to improve things."

I may not be the 'life of the party', but I certainly can organize and plan the event.

Outgoing people - cut loose, the serious people will help keep it together.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Due to budget constraints, we forego the sending of holidays cards. 
Instead, we do a year-end recap in the form of a blog post.

So, here ya go - A Look Back at 2014.


The year started with Tony designing a new sound system for the Island Explorer 4.

I started to get my royalties for my book, MY UNDOING.  I was officially a paid author now. All of $.35 richer.

Tony taught a photography class at MONA (Museum of NW ART). Since it was winter we decided to do some creative fun stuff inside.


What seems to be becoming a tradition - Tony and I went to photograph the Kayak race in La Conner.

After we were done with the race we went to photograph an old building that was on the verge of being torn down. I love to photograph peeling paint and rusty things.

February ended on a sad note. A very dear friend of ours passed away. Tony and I inherited her 30+ year photo library and it will take me quite a while to go through them all, but she left us one of the most valuable parts of who she was and for that I am grateful.  We miss you Joan!


In March, our dear friend Betty turned 90.  What a great way to celebrate a year.  

We spent a day gray whale watching on the new Island Explorer 4. What a fun way to check out Tony's work on the sound system. This gave me an opportunity to do my first "SELFIE."

We ended March with our Sunrise With the Daffodils.


On the way to Seattle we happened upon a field full of Snow Geese.

For Easter Sunday, we took Betty with us to my sister's house.  On the way we stopped in the Tulip Fields. Betty is now 'officially' family.

After dinner, I could not resist snapping this photo of my two nephews (human and dog.)


After teaching a class in Arlington, Tony and I went to Granite Falls to do a little photography.

Every May, TrawlerFest comes to Anacortes. And, so does our good friends, Penny and Lawrence, Sue and Jon, and Kim and Cam.

This year, Kim & Cam's boat had some work done on it in La Conner and we were invited to watch it being put back into the water. We then hitched a ride back onboard Sea Level II from La Conner to Anacortes. It was FABULOUS, to say the least.

We ended the month of May, taking Betty for a trip over the mountains to Winthrop.  Most of the snow had melted, leaving behind beautiful waterfalls.

We had a busy beginning of the year with our publishing business. Tony did the cover art, layout of the inside of the book and ebooks.



Every June we celebrate Tony's birthday, Father's Day and our anniversary.  This year put Tony just a few years closer to the big 60.

The highlight of June was the time we spent in Colorado with our son Chris.  It was a glorious few days, full of photographic highlights and quality time with our youngest.

Our First day we spent downtown and at Union Station.

Then next we headed into the mountains to hit some of the old 'mining' towns.

Our greatest find for the day was an old graveyard.

We ended our time with Chris at Estes Park.  Tony and Chris spent time doing time lapse photography at the Stanley Hotel.

We hunted all over town looking for the herd of Elks and only found a few.

Then on the way home we found this beautiful church.


I have started experimenting with Fabric and Fabric wall art.  Here are a few of my latest designs.

Our friend Angie and her daughter Jessica went to Paris, England and Dublin.


We always start August off with the Anacortes Arts Festival.  This year they had the Bellingham Circus Guild down to perform on the pier.  A photographic dream.

In August, we took a few days and went back to Princess Louisa Inlet with Betty and our friend Hap. This photo of the inlet is on the cover of my desktop calendar for 2015.

We spent time in and around Vancouver after our trip to Princess Louisa Inlet. Some of the focus was on photographing bridges.

In August/September, our son, Chris went to Italy.


In September, the Skagit Valley Camera Club did a photography art show at the DEPOT. Tony and I had images in the show. This is a photo of mine hanging on the wall.

We went out one night at midnight to photograph the Northern Lights but they didn't show. While there, I practiced night photography and long exposure. This is a 30seconds photo.

We always end September with the Anacortes Oyster Run.

We also ended September with Betty falling down and breaking her left hip.  After 4 days in the hospital, she was transferred to San Juan Rehab, where she lived until Mid-November.  One night while visiting her there, I witnessed a tender moment between a man and his wife and wrote the following:

Love And Devotion
Tiny and frail, her shriveled body sat bent, lost in the oversized wheelchair. Her mind, no longer present, she was unaware of her surroundings.
It was the dinner hour and her husband was patiently trying to feed her. Tenderly he tucked a lock of stray peppered-gray hair behind her ear.
His tender touch said it all. That single moment revealed his devotion for the woman he still loves.


October started off with an artshow/fundraiser that I planned at the DEPOT. The theme was PRETTY IN PINK.  Clothing was provided by the local Divas - a group of amazing women. Models were provided by Ryan Chanel Hair Salon, and we ended the weekend with a Paint-a-thon. We raised over $500 and donated it to the art therapy program at Island Hospital.  Margaret Carpenter Arnett uses art therapy to help cancer patients.

We ended October with a trip to Vancouver, where Betty did a presentation to the Princess Louisa Foundation.  It was an amazing night.


The beginning of November, we spent in Auburn cat sitting for our son Shawn and daughter-in-law Kelly. We had a perfect autumn day so we went in hunt for a good spot to photograph Mt Rainier.

November is also when I found myself in the hospital. I had a severe gallbladder attack and was admitted into the hospital. The gallbladder is removed now and my little bile duct is all cleaned out. I have seen more of Island Hospital this year then I cared to.


I finally got my fourth book up online. This Time Tomorrow (the second part in a series about a reluctant young queen) is now available in ebook format only.  

And Tony finished another book for Cave Art Press.

Another year is coming to a close. It is with immense gratitude that we end this year. We are so blessed with the people in our life.  As for 2015 - let us enter it with gratitude, reflection and stillness.

Thanks again to Facebook for reminding me what we did all year.