Flickr Time Machine!


A bottle hanging from my tree

This photo was taken on this day in 2008 in the backyard of the house we still own in Spokane. The flickr caption states that I was learning how to use my new camera, a Pentax K10d. I beat myself up in the tags. I said that this was a crap photo.  How mean of me to say that to myself! geez. I need to work on not beating myself up. This has always been a problem of mine and the reason why I have never been successful in any creative endeavor. Well, successful in the perfectionist way I envision success to be. I hold myself up to high standards, standards that I will never meet. And when I realize this I give up. This is why, the past few years, I have “given myself permission to produce crap.” This simple declaration has really freed me up and helped me explore my creative side.

Looking at this now I realize that it isn’t crap at all! It’s kind of a nice photo, in fact. Not the greatest thing ever produced, but there is some potential there. right? I have always had an interest in exploring details as a subject in my photography. I think this photo demonstrates that a little.

I heard a song this morning (Satellites by Parts and Labor)  that reminded of Spokane. It reminded me of that really cold, dark, sad time of winter. It made me think of the conversation I had with my husband yesterday about Spokane. When we lived there all we wanted to do was get out and when we reminisce about our time there the conversation usually leans toward, “God, I am so glad we got out of there.” Yesterday’s conversation was different though. We thought about all of the good things Spokane gave us:

  • It gave Raf a really good friendship and work relationship (he helped start a small press with our former landlord there).
  • I got to spend a good 4 years with my step-dad before he died.
  • I got hooked in with the Spokane! Flickr group which introduced me to a group of really great photographer friends and also reignited my interest in  photography. I think about that and I am so grateful for it! Photography is one of my greatest joys and I am so happy that I have it as an outlet for my creativity.

So, in short, Spokane was not all bad. In fact, it wasn’t bad at all. The good things that came out of living there (because if we hadn’t moved there none of these good things would have happened) make the cold, dark, sad time of winter worth every minute.

Ramona Falls



Monday is our hiking day and Fall is the hiking season! We have had fantastic weather for it lately. Today we hiked to Ramona Falls on Mt Hood. It is a mellow 7 mile hike that features beautiful views of the mountain. The hike goes along the Sandy river, which is really interesting. The river changed it’s course two years ago and you can really see how powerful the event was. I was last here before this catastrophe. It looked much different this time!

I would like to run this trail at some point. It would be totally doable and fun. A steady incline to the falls but the run back would be all downhill.

I watched this last night – A documentary about the 2004 Tsunami


I have this weird thing with Tsunamis. I have nightmares about them all the time. In fact, the night before the March 11 2011 Tsunami I had a dream that I was in one (which was really weird, having not known about the tsunami at all before I went to bed that night).

So every once in awhile I think about these disasters and feel the need to face whatever this fear (or whatever) is. Last night was one of those times. We watched this amazing documentary on Youtube about the 2004  Indian Ocean Tsunami. I highly recommend it. In fact, I will post the video here if you want to watch it.

The Indian Ocean Tsunami claimed 250,000 lives on December 26, 2004. 250,000 people!! Doesn’t that fricken blow your mind?!? According to the U.S. Census, there are 210,000 people living in Spokane, WA. So it would be like the entire population of Spokane dying. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. It is so horrifically devastating.

The documentary follows the Tsunami’s path of destruction through the Indian Ocean. Survivors are interviewed and video footage from their cameras are included, so you can see what they went though.

You might wonder why I put myself through this. Why do I watch films or read books that recount such suffering? I don’t know, really. But I do know that hearing the stories of people who have been though such things makes me feel a little bit more compassionate. So maybe that is why. Maybe sometimes I need a dose of compassion so I can feel connected with my fellow humans.

The film is very very sad, but there is also a bit of hope in there too. In the video footage you will see that people help each other. Sometimes they are not successful, but the point is that they try to save their fellow man, even when they are in danger. It made me realize that people are good. Deep down at the core they are good.