In Bloom


Alpine Aster

I am on vacation and plan to get outside as much as possible. Yesterday Raf and I went hiking, again, up on the Timberline Trail. This time we did not run into snow. Instead we ran into the most breathtaking wildflowers you will ever see.


Alpine Lupine

Seriously. absolutely breathtaking. The blooming lupines create a carpet of purple over the meadows.


Mt. Hood

The timberline area of Mt. Hood is easily one of the beautiful places I’ve ever been and one of my favorite places to be.

soul balm


alpine color

These pretty flowers were shot up at Timberline Lodge a few weeks ago. We tried to hike to Zig Zag Canyon but ran into snow. I decided to try hiking in my Vibrams again and had lots of fun in them and was able to cross some of the snow fields but eventually they became too wide and slippery so we had to turn around.

Today I woke up and realized that I really don’t want to do the 365 self-portrait project anymore. So I think I’m going to stop. It was kind of fun while it lasted but it’s not for me at all. Self portraits are nice once in awhile but everyday is too much self-reflection for me. There are some days when I’m feeling great and I feel like expressing myself and showing the world that expression of myself. But there are days (like the past few) where I just can’t let anyone see the blood and guts. I can barely stand to see the blood and guts myself, sometimes.

I’m not even really sure I want to continue with my “picture-a-day” in general project either. On the one hand, it’s a great practice and I have learned so much about photography by doing it. It’s also a great way to dislodge some creative energy. But, again, I’m just not sure I have it in me. At least today. We’ll see. The day isn’t over yet. Maybe a photo will present itself.
(and I might as well admit that I’m probably a little bit depressed. This is what happens. All motivation goes out the window.)

24 days

Photography Friday: Brewgrass


Sandy is a great place to live all year round but it is especially fun in the summer. There is lots to do and the city does a great job to make it all happen. Shakespeare in the park, movies, concerts, all of it free! And the Mountain Festival. We can’t forget that. Unfortunately, I have never attended any of these things because I am lame. (With the exception of Mountain Festival! I did do that this year). That is, I was lame. I am no longer lame because I attended Sandy’s first annual Brewgrass shindig.

It was Wednesday evening. Since Wednesday is usually the day that my meditation group convenes we decided to, instead, go to Brewgrass to check it out. We actually tried to do a meditation under the Gazebo and were successful. It was kind of weird but, whatever. The weirdness wore off and it became very pleasant. In fact, I’m thinking I need to meditate at the park more often.

Afterward we wandered over to the main stage, grabbed ourselves a beer, and enjoyed each other’s company and the bluegrass music. My friend Susie had a friend from Santa Cruz visiting and I chatted with her. It turns out we had 4 things in common. 1)knitting – she was up here to attend Sock Summit. 2)Ukulele – She plays the uke too! 3) She lives in Santa Cruz – and I did too. 4) Mediation and Buddhism.

So that was very cool.

It was really great to be at an event were I saw so many familiar faces. Sandy is a small community and working in the library I have gotten to know a lot of people here.  I recognized a few moms from story time. One of them said, “Hi Miss Monica!”  I thought that was kind of fun (as I was paying for my beer).

I have said this before, but I am so happy that I moved here. I love living here. It’s such a wonderful community.

Family ghosts found


Another shot of an old gravestone

A year and a half (how has it been that long?!?) I wrote about an old Graveyard near where I live where my cousins are buried. I wrote a little about it in that post.

Before I moved here I had no idea that my uncle lived in Sandy in the sixties. We used to visit him in Portland so I just thought he always lived in Portland. But when my cousins were kids they lived in the community of Cherryville up here on The Mountain.

His daughter, when she was two years old, drowned in Whiskey Creek and my uncle had her buried in the old Cherryville Cemetery. Several decades later he buried his oldest son there, as well. When he found out that I moved to Sandy he has been asking me to go to this cemetery to check on the graves of his kids. Curious about it, I told him I would. But I haven’t been able to find it. I even have a coworker who lives on Cherryville Rd and they were not able to help me figure out where it is. My uncle even drew me a map to the place! Still no luck. So the location of this cemetery has been this huge mystery for me for a long time.

My cousin’s daughter got married in Battleground, WA on Saturday evening so my mom and uncle came to the area to attend the wedding. One of the things my uncle wanted to do while he was here was show me where this cemetery is. So Sunday, after spending the day in Portland with my mom and her gentleman friend, we met my uncle in Sandy and followed him to Cherryville.

I would have never, in a million years, been able to find this place if he hadn’t shown me where it was. We had to turn down this very vague “driveway” that led to a grove of trees. I got out of the car, walked up to the grove of trees and was thinking it was just a grove of trees. There was no graveyard to be seen anywhere. But my uncle knew exactly where to go. He brought his clippers and lopped off a tree branch and, behold, there was a path. We walked into a grove that was covered completely in trees and moss  and ivy and brambles. There was barely any light coming into this sanctuary. But I walked a little ways and found the headstone that you seen in the photo above. Then, as I looked more closely, I could see several other headstones peeking through the brush.

As we kept going we had to start bushwhacking our way to the back of the cemetery where my cousins are buried.
Clearing a path
Eventually we found what we were looking for. The graves of my uncle’s kids.

My cousin's grave markers

They actually looked pretty good. I think they were the only ones that weren’t overtaken with plants.

It’s hard to tell in this photo (my terrible timing makes him look psycho) but my uncle is super stoked that he was finally able to get up there to show me the place.
Uncle Will

We spent some time cleaning up the grave site and tried to clear the path a little bit more.

What a weird, surreal evening.

What a weird, surreal place. It wasn’t creepy though. It was actually a very pleasant, beautiful place.

More photos from my mom’s visit are on my Flickr.