Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I treasure Christmastime each year. The celebration with my family is small with just Colin, Kyler and I at our home. Our favorite annual tradition is to have a beef fondue dinner on Christmas Eve followed by opening our gifts. We exchange gifts with each other and often get something memorable from some of my siblings that live out east.
We took a drive a few days later up to Queen Ann hill to take some end of the year photos. It was an absolutely gorgeous day with the sun beaming and the mountains glistening.
For over 26 years I have celebrated Christmas as a mother of these two outstanding children I am so very proud of as I watch them become adults.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Ships Festival Party

For years even before I bought this home, I would come to my friends party when the Christmas ships in a large flotilla came to the park down the block. I have held my own annual party but for several years it was canceled due to snow or a power outage. Finally, this year the party was a "go!" I didn't pull out the camera until the very end. The turkey with all the fixings was gobbled up in no time and the weather, though cold, was perfect for a stroll down to the park!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend at the Coast

Gull Cottage in Long Beach is such a place of peace and joy. It is picture perfect (except the leaking gutters, some rotting shakes and front railing, a deck out back that needs to be re-built, and too many weeds!) For the past 12+ years this place has been my retreat that I have shared with as many friends as possible!

You just can't capture the smell of the pine needles under your feet or the salty breeze on your lips with a camera when driving along the Oregon coast! Even on an overcast afternoon ... a grey day... in the late fall... the views of the coast are spectacular.

The Cape Mears Lighthouse, about 10 miles from Tillamook, is so majestic as it sits on the cliff. Surprisingly, it is a short stout building and as you approach on the pathway down the hill the top of the lighthouse is almost within arms reach! I made it there just at sunset where the sky was painted with colors of blue and rose.

Colin came down on Thanksgiving and stayed for a few days and we drove down to Cannon Beach for lunch, cleaned gutters on the cottage, watched videos and had great dinners!!

Cheri and I went on the Peninsula Art Association Studio Tour. It was fantastic to meet artists, hear about their process of creation, and see their homes and studios!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Polar Bear Adventure

Staring a wild polar bear in the eye is quite a rush. Few people in the world venture out on the tundra up in northern Canada. Polar bears gather along the shores of Hudson Bay in October and November waiting for the entire body of water the size of Texas to freeze. Then the bears go hunt seals for the rest of the year.

Dolly and I went on a Natural Habitat tour and spent 5 days on the tundra without ever putting our feet on the ground. Polar bears surrounded our lodging in a custom made motor home pulled out on the tundra during this two month period. We watched the bears out the windows and spent the days in polar rovers, busses with wheels that are 5 feet in diameter!

The bears are not predictable and don't have a territory. We found them stretching outside the windows, sparing with other bears in the brush, scratching and licking the ice, and roaming across the tundra with their babies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Murals in Winnipeg

To brighten up the city of Winnipeg, murals are painted everywhere on the sides of buildings. When Dolly and I heard this the first few hours we were in town we talked to the concierge at the hotel. A taxi was called and we spent about an hour or so driving around town to see creative masterpieces all over town! Here are some photos of them near and far.