Sunday, August 26, 2012

Distractions are a good...SQUIRREL!

Distractions are a good thing. We laugh at the dogs in the movie UP every time they interrupt themselves over a squirrel, but seriously, is it so bad? Last week my friend & mentor died suddenly & we said goodbye to her last Tuesday. Last Tuesday was also the birthday of my oldest daughter, Cheyenne, & this Tuesday is the birthday of my next daughter, Emily. We have to celebrate their birthdays at the cemetery because that's where they are now...ok I know, their bodies are there, their spirits are everywhere. I'm used to it now, but what is new this year is that, had Cheyenne lived, she would be a senior in high school & I would be doing all those fun things with her like picking out her graduation invitations, shooting senior pictures, shopping for her prom dress, etc...

Since I am the head of the theatre program I run the theater, booking all the events in there. You know, events like senior assemblies to order graduation invitations, decorating for Prom, organizing senior spotlight night, awards night, etc... Let's just open the wound & pour salt in it all year!

I began the new school year last week, & students join us tomorrow. Luckily, I have some distractions that are as powerful as a squirrel. I get to teach a Shakespeare class (my passion), and I will be doing a one woman show in our drama club season (first time ever). I am excited about both, & nervous about one, just enough to keep me focused on them instead of on the things I WON'T get to do this year. Does it take away the pain? No, but it does help to dull it a bit, & for that I am grateful. Besides, after discovering that my niece who is majoring in English in college is about to graduate without having had one Shakespeare class, I think my class is more important than ever. I'm still blown away that Shakespeare is not a requirement for an English degree!

(former student Zach Lewis, far right, in the Houston Shakespeare Outreach performance of Romeo & Juliet)

So, for my sweet angel girls: Happy Birthday! You are my life, my heart, & my love for ever & ever. I adore you, respect you, and miss you. Give my friend Marilyn a big welcome home, & hug her for me.

Now bring on the ....SQUIRREL!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Flora, Fauna, & Camping in the Olympics

July was spent traveling to Washington: Seattle, Port Orchard, Bremerton, & more. My family has one-by-one migrated up there & I am rooted in Texas, but I love visiting. My son hates the Texas heat, he won't go outside EVER. In Washington it's a different story! He loves the cooler weather, he loves the farm, the outdoors, the water, the animals, & even grandpa's garden!

It's important to get in touch with nature. The fresh air, the beauty... everything is a reminder of how amazing life is & how precious it is. It reminds us how small & insignificant we are, but also how important we are.

This blog is (as usual) picture heavy. Scroll through the beauty, breath, & relax. It may not be more than a photo, but let your imagination go into it & you might think you are there. Here is your DE-STRESS moment for the week! Enjoy

The foxglove were about 7 feet tall,  some getting cloer to 10 ft! The white is my favorite!

Wild ducks return to mom & dad's pond each year to have their babies. A few Canadian geese joined them this year. This is a mallard hen enjoying a break.

Just a handful of "weeds" from my morning walk to the mailbox.

MMMMM....Marie's rasberries!

My niece, Teal, keeping the boy entertained while we unpacked & set up at the camp site in the Olympic mountains. 

Can't go camping without the essentials!

Pumping water from the well... then carrying it back to camp. Life is just so hard.

My older sis, Ann, is the Camping Goddess. She brings all the good stuff. 

I had to carry bear spray with me, so D2 was a bit nervous about getting chased by a bear.

I wanted to show the drop in water depth, so I got my brother to step in. He was not too please, especially since the cold temp was low enough to kill you in 15 minutes if you fell in!

Yep, that's right, I got lots of ideas off Pinterest before camping. Entertainment is a good filler for down time. 

 Merging two bubbles into one.

Ann works out/dances with poi balls. I asked her to bring her glow-in-the dark balls so I could do some night photography. I was going for something a bit different, but this is what I got & still cool. I wish I had a tripod with me...or even had the forethought to set the camera somewhere & use the timer. They would not have been so blurry if I had. Oh well. 

We took a hike up the mountain to a lake. It was a 2000 ft climb, over 3 miles up. Little D2, my sweet 6 yr old boy, made it all the way & back down again! Aunt Re, my twin, gave him a few breaks by giving him a piggy-back ride, but for the most part he did it on his own! We were so proud!

mmmm....salmon berries!

This tree fell between these two others & snapped. Like twigs!

What are these?

The remains of a fallen tree, a spike just waiting for something to be empaled on it!

Aunt Re with D2. 

Where do the little kids get the energy?! The rest of us are wishing we had 1/2 his energy!

Watch out for monsters in the forest! They tend to jump out from the woods when you are not looking...

Taking a break on the hike.

 Daisies! My sister took pictures of me, but she looked way better in them so here is one with her in them.

Dad took D2 fishing... no fish, but a great time! That water was sooooo cold! 

Queen Anne's Lace! They look like snowflakes!


 Cornflowers... mmmmmm, pretty!

 I like what's on the menu. This guy chose crab for lunch. I wanna go out to eat with him!

 From dad's garden & orchard... yes, the orchard is mom's too.

Just the shell & face are left after a gull had his lunch.

HUGE Lillies...

I took over 1000 shots in 2 weeks. I held back from shooting too many, so this post was hard to narrow down to the 100 or so that I included. Look for the next post to have Pikes market & more... a much shorter blog next time. For now I shall prepare for a friends memorial service, my late daughter's birthday, & the start of what should be a very interesting school year at work, all happening tomorrow. Goodbye summer! See you next year.