Mom 8.31.2014

Part of my hesitancy in putting out a new blog post the last couple of months is that I feel I have to explain where I’ve been since the last one (nearly 6 months ago now). But that’s just me putting pressure on myself. So I don’t have to listen that, right? Good, so I won’t.

But I do have a LOT to talk about. I won’t cover everything here because then you’d be reading for about a week. Really, I’m not kidding. Instead, I’ll just talk about a recent event. That seems more appropriate to me because well, of all that’s gone on in the last 6 months, this is THE most important. And it happened less then two weeks ago.

My mom died.

She died on August 31st, 2014 at the age of 70 (she would have been 71 on October 30th) and we had a memorial service/celebration of life for her on September 7th.

And you know what? I’m so terribly sad. I think she’d be okay with me being sad but I also think she’d want me to be relieved for her that she’s no longer in such agony and discomfort. And I get that, I do. It’s going to take awhile, but I know I’ll get there. I’ll rely on my tremendously supportive husband, my dear closest friends, and my loving family. We’ll all rely on each other, we’ll cope and we’ll find our way through this journey together, no matter long it takes.

I have to say something because it’s been on my mind so strongly and for so long now. And I’ve said it to a few people and had discussions with others. But I’m saying this here and now, loud and clear.

No one, I repeat, NO ONE should ever have to experience any sort of memory affliction. It’s evil and it eats away at the person you once knew. It morphs them into a different person. And while you still love this person, deep down it’s not ever quite the same feeling, it’s so different I can’t even explain it. It didn’t lessen my love for my mom, not at all. But it did break my heart.

Admittedly, our family was a bit lucky in that regard because once in a while, when you least expected it, mom talked clear as a bell! It may have only been a word or two or three, or if you were lucky, four or five. But by gosh, you knew she KNEW what she was talking about. And then it was back to not being able to communicate and witnessing her obvious frustration. That’s what makes me the saddest. This woman was such a delight to talk with and be around, so to have speech and thought taken away from her was downright cruel.

I know what some people are thinking. You’re thinking that what I should probably be saddest about is that she isn’t here any longer, and believe me that does sadden me, so deeply I can’t even express it properly. But I’m also profoundly affected by the fact that I can no longer talk to the woman who raised me and my two siblings. The delightful woman that I haven’t been able to talk to for a number of years the way we used to, because of this stupid and cruel disease. I know it seems like these are one and the same thing, her being gone and my not being able to talk to her, but there’s a difference. I just can’t explain it.

I can cope and I will, with the help of others. But I will forever be missing a part of my very being with her no longer here on earth.

I love you, mommy. Forever and ever.

(I’m the child on her lap. This is circa 1968.)

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Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Comes Down

I started taking photos of the demolition of the Metrodome from the light rail train a few weeks ago, and the last ones were taken yesterday, 3/5/2014. I thought others might want to see them which is why I’m posting them. Having said that, this is a photo intensive post. Have patience while they load.

I do wish I’d taken a photo before the demolition started but if you’re interested in that, just Google it.

Also, I took these usually while the train was moving and as you’ll see, the doors and windows often obscured the clarity and precision. But the point is you can see it coming down bit by bit, sadly. I’ll add more photos in a part two post if I am able to take more before it’s all completely demolished. <Click on any picture to see it larger.>

February 19, 2014

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February 25,2014

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February 26, 2014

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February 28,2014

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March 5,2014

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March 5,2014

Goody Giveaway!

Where did the last 11 months go? Sheesh. I feel like June was so much more recent than reality. But you know what makes all of that worth it? Knitting. Because for me it’s not only therapeutic but every project feels like a new journey. Maybe that’s why I like starting projects; it’s a new journey and time to play!

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Today I was reviewing some of my own posts and out of the blue I came across a blogger who had ‘liked’ a post I put out some time ago. And I remembered I meant to check out her blog after that, all’s fair, right?. Well, I finally went there today and lo and behold she just happens to be hosting a giveaway.

I’ve entered every way I could, with the exception of Tumblr, but I may still get an account today to have an entry with that because she’s giving away some really cool stuff. And I’ve love to win me some goodies.

Maybe you want to try as well! Below is the link – give it a whirl!

Click here to go to the giveaway: Agujus – Giveaway

DIY: Photo Board

I would really like to give credit where credit is due, but I can’t for the life of me remember where I first saw this project. And I can’t remember exactly how they did it, I had to just go from memory (which worked out just fine, as you’ll see). If someone has seen this idea elsewhere, please provide the link in a comment so that I can attribute credit. Thank you!

In a nutshell, what I wanted was a surface to place objects on to photograph them, approximately 18″ x 12″.  I wanted it to have a light colored side and a dark one. I wasn’t concerned about the condition of the final board, in other words, I’m all for it becoming distressed throughout its life. I think that will only add to the look of the photos themselves.

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Supplies:

  • 18 – 12″ long paint stir sticks (our local hardware store gave to me for free)
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • heavy duty glue
  • paint  - I purchased the sample sizes , 8 ounces each, from our local hardware store at $3 each and I have enough left over to make about 10 more boards
  • blade / scraper
  • clamps
  • wax paper
  • small paint brush
  • newspaper or other surface for working on (I used my cutting mat because it’s two sided and one side was getting pretty worn)

This is so simple that I’m just going to do a quick 1, 2, 3 for you. The final board is a length of sticks glued together, with 2 sticks on each long edge, both sides, glued. See photos for clarification.

  1. For the base, using your hot glue gun, glue the edges of the sticks together until you are satisfied with the size of your board. I just put a dot of hot glue at both ends, knowing the length of the board will have sticks across them, securing everything. So no need to go wild with the hot glue the entire length of each stick.
  2. Take a blade and scrape off any bits of dried glue that are showing (mine isn’t perfect even after scraping, but yours could be!).
  3. Wait an hour to let the hot glue set. I used a low heat gun so I definitely wanted to give it time to set.
  4. Paint the sticks you’ve just glued, both sides. TIP – place a large piece of wax paper or newspaper under your board when you paint it, if you’re crazy enough like me to use your cutting mat. Just a good way to protect it and still have it for future DIY projects.
  5. Paint the edge sticks as well (we bought two yard sticks and cut them each in half).
  6. Apply the heavy duty glue on the edges, placing the edge sticks across the board sticks.
  7. Clamp – place a bit of wax paper under each clamp so the clamp doesn’t remove paint when you remove the clamp.
  8. Let set 24 hours.
  9. Ta da! You too, will have a photo board!

Paint and stir sticks
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One side of our sticks had the store’s name on it, the other side was blank. But it didn’t matter because I planned to paint both sides. Here are all the sticks glued together, ready to be painted.

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See the glue? That’s what needs to be scraped off. IMG_7992

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These are the edge sticks which will go across the board sticks.IMG_8004

Let the clamping begin!IMG_8030

Ta da! A board for your photography!

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Friday Night Art Show

My husband’s brother, Stan Fellows, is a prolific watercolor artist and illustrator (for over 35 years, I believe). He’s extremely talented and as Sugar put it the other day, you can’t swing a, well, you can’t swing anything in this house without seeing one of Stan’s pieces. We’ve both purchased them over the years because they’re so varied and appealing. They range from outdoor birds to snow covered tree trunks to glorious flowers to stadiums and horses, and all of them still retain some of the actual pencil drawing he does to start them. They also typically have some journaling aspect to them, a comment or quote of some kind. They’re colorful, they’re interesting to look at and in my opinion, there’s a bit of Stan’s heart and soul in every picture.

Stan’s friend, Sandy, held a showing for him on Friday night – a meet and greet (and buy, hopefully!) if you will at her house. It was a lovely time with great people, wonderful food and wine, and a beautiful display of his work. And from what I could tell as a wandered about and through the house, quite a few sales. Here are a few photos from the evening.

The artist and moi.

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The artist and his hostesses. They really put on a wonderful event.

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Just a random shot through the window of the studio.IMG_8400

One of the books Stan illustrated about John Muir. Sugar purchased this for me after our honeymoon (where we visited Muir Woods) and Stan signed it for me at this event. <See photo after the book.> John Muir book

The drawing you see literally took him maybe 4 minutes and he was having multiple conversations at the time, along with getting his picture taken with his hostesses.

Seriously? I can’t draw a straight line WITH a ruler without concentration.IMG_8460

A couple of his paintings that were on display.

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 A page from one of his sketchbooks.

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Stan and his two brothers.

It has been over two years since all three were together in one place so this was a fun shot to capture. IMG_0304 - Version 2

This is the painting I bought and today I framed it (with advice from Sugar).

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It’s so pretty! I originally was going to hang it work but now I’m thinking it has to be here at home.

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Stan’s pants give new definition to ‘painter’s pants’. They look great with a sport coat, don’t they?

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That’s all I’ve got peeps, go Google him, go Bing him…just check him out. You just might find yourself inspired by his work.

Thanks for stopping by, it’s very much appreciated. :-)

Cali-moon: Part 4 – Beaches of Bodega Bay & Beyond

This is going to be a photo intensive post so it may take a bit to load. For that I apologize. However, I can’t apologize for wanting to share the beauty that is the Bodega Bay area. Thank you to LL from work for letting us in on the secret that is Bodega Bay. However, the photos include not only Bodega Bay and its beaches but also the Muir Beach Overlook and Stinson Beach.

Just reviewing these photos for the post have me wanting to return. Here’s hoping we get to go back in the near future.

(Note: the photos aren’t in any particular order but they cover Muir Beach Overlook, Stinson Beach, Bodega Head and School House Beach in Bodega Bay.)

I must express my gratitude and my love to my husband for suggesting we bring some of the ashes of my former husband (FJA) who passed away from cancer, with us to leave on some perfect spot. We had no idea, of course, where that spot would be before we left on our honeymoon. But after we found Bodega Head we knew *that* was the perfect place.

We were both quiet for a bit and then we spread his ashes out above Bodega Head (8th photo down), all the while visualizing FJA grinning and nodding his head in approval.

I love you both to my very core.

KDO

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Pebbles

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Stinson Beach

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Shells

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Flowers

Clams

Pebbles Shell

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Bodega Head

Night Beach

Beach Sunset

Beach Rock

Cakers

Muir Beach OL2

Seaweed

Muir Beach OL