Do you know how to have fun? Real fun, I only ask because it is Something that DH told me he needed me to teach him in retirement.

How does one lose the ability to know how to have fun? I always equated fun with riding a bike, you learn it once and even if it is a long time in between,once you start up again, it all comes back to you. I think it will for my man too.

But, let's say that my theory is incorrect, and you must relearn through your life, how to have fun - how do I teach him how to have fun? Where does one start with that kind of instruction? It comes pretty easy for me, there days. I have three little people that I have unconsciously studied for the last 12 years. Each have taught me the value of a laugh, at the littlest thing. We had several round of laughter today during our soccer time. Good belly laughs. All over the small things, nothing in particular but everything in general.

Hey, that is what I should do... Give him the best education, ice cream can buy. Those three would gladly help their Poppa and do a much better job than I ever could. Problem solved, looking forward to the Education of the Grandfather...

happily ever after...

Who would name their kids Hansel and Gretel? Hoodwinked 2.

Childhood memories, rich with comforting Stories... or maybe not. Hansel and Gretel was a bit scary, what was that all about?

Published in 1812, Hansel and Gretel are a young brother and sister threatened by a cannibalistic witch living deep in the forest in a house constructed of cake and confectionery

How about the Three Little Pigs, that started pretty harmless but went awry pretty fast. There was all that huffing and puffing and being terrorized at every turn.

Published in 1890, the story begins with the title characters being sent out into the world by their mother, to "seek their fortune".

Sleeping Beauty had the witch that was trying to kill her, Cinderella had a nasty step-mother and 2 terrible step sisters. Little Red Riding Hood had her own issues with the wolf. Racking my brain, trying to find a nice, warm fuzzy childhood Story and coming up short.

Yet I imagine that if ask most any kid, they would say that happily ever after is the main theme of their childhood Stories. There is a special resilience in children. They see past the dangers that our Big People brains pick up immediately on. That can be a good or a bad thing. Maybe why we have to teach them over and over about stranger danger. It just doesn't compute in their little minds.

Maybe we could learn from them. Not that everything turns out wonderfully every time but that if you look at the whole, consider it all, happily ever after may be the only thing you can say...


Spent some time, the other night with a father whose grown child is in federal prison. Accused of a white collar crime and convicted of embezzlement, she will be home in less than a year.

We spent some time talking about our legal system, and the whole experience, from his point of view. Guilt or innocence aside, he is making it through the appeal process but with no more than a 15% chance of having the verdict overturned and not a chance of that happening until after her time has been served, he is looking at this the only way he can, life is not fair.

When life seem unfair, we usually don't look at how to move on but rather on how to make it fair again. The truth is, we should be starting more in the middle and end strong with moving on. When he ask point blank, what to do - I pointed back to the religion that he holds so dear.

Either Jesus is who he said he is and you have to leave it all with him...or he isn't and you really don't believe.

He asked... one could drive yourself insane with the What If's or the Life isn't fair. If you believe in Something, now would the time to express it. Now would be the time to acknowledge that life isn't fair, and move past it. If your Something is Jesus, he isn't just fire insurance, he is for the here and now.

I have never walked in his shoes. I have no idea of the experience that he, his daughter and family are going through. It won't be over when she comes home, they will all have to negotiate a new normal. Life will never be the same and the unfairness, will go on.

There are all kinds of prisons. Not all physical yet the bars feel real. Whatever that may look like to you, understand first, that life isn't fair and then, start to learn to move on. It may be a new way of thinking, a new way of doing but comes from a Place of understanding that while it doesn't look like you thought it would, there is still Life to be had. The sun will still come up, the birds will still sing and each of us has, what we need to let that happen in our lives. Not only believe it with my whole heart, I also, am counting on it...


has never been of much interest to me. The only time I have paid any attention was as a child, listening to my father and grandmother arguing about Adolf Hitler. He, from the perspective of a American and a soldier, - hers, from a perspective of the good, she was a direct beneficiary of. disclaimer - her defense was that when Hitler first came to power, he tried and succeed to help the German people who were hunger and poor. She stood by her convictions, and I stand by her) There would go at it for hours, using the same arguments, neither one ever budging.

After years and years of dodging the History Channel of which, DH should buy stock in. I am devouring my second, with a third waiting in the wings because of Miss Sarah Vowell.

First the Puritans, now the assassin's of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley. Her storytelling has me mesmorized with a intense need for more. Resembling the style of David Sedaris, she brings history to life with humor and unconventional wisdom. She makes me laugh out loud as I read the antics of those who were just like me, flawed, confusing and lacking in many graces.

It reminds me that we are always looking out windows of this journey called Life but don't see it all. History hasn't changed, I did. I looked through the window, something caught my eye and I got off the train to see more. Now I am wandering the countryside, looking for more because I am loving what I see.

Did you know that in the middle of the Civil War, on a train platform in Jersey City, John Wilkes Booth, elder brother Edwin saved a young man who had fallen on the tracks, that young man was Robert Todd Lincoln, the president's first son or that this same son was present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley

One of the things I have learned is that where we are now as a country, is explained in our history. The Trickle Down Theory is alive and well. People always have and will always been, human and because of that - all we do is repeat, repeat, repeat.

Till my dying day, this I will believe. There will always, always be, because there have always, always been. This side of heaven,

there will always be the bedding of women who are not wives,
there will always be the murdering of brother against brother,
there will never be, peace on earth.

New eyes, old history...bring it on.

celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music...

A trip to the Saturday market was full of wonderful surprises. From the food samples to the entertainment, we were filled with the sights and sounds that can only come from being, Downtown.

The city is trying to model the Saturday market after Pike's Market in Seattle. There is just a feeling as you walk the streets with many, many others - that you don't get anywhere else. There is much bumping into each other that goes on but everyone is kind and it just adds to the experience.

Gotta to say, that this young lady, stole the show. Don't know how long she had been dancing before we got there but she was still dancing when we left, five or so minutes later. You couldn't tell if she was fueling the band or the other way around but you could feel in that Moment, that is was a Moment. She seemed oblivious to everything around her, she knew what she felt and let herself, feel it. It was a joy to behold.

It is Life in the little things, that gets our attention. The Big Things bring their own attention with them, it is built in and mostly automatic but in the little things, you have to do the work but the reward, is far worth the trouble. You have to become a part of the little thing willingly and work your way through to find the light. She was there for that Moment and we willingly engaged and the end result was magnificent...

just the Beginning...

He is not here, He is risen...

As we were walking form the parking lot to the soccer field yesterday morning, Gage hit me hard with Easter theology that was coursing through his mind.

What does the Easter Bunny have to do with Jesus? he asks. I try to put together an answer that will explain but even I have a hard time, bringing the two together. I explain that each theme come from completely different camps and most families in one way, or another have agreed to live side by side.

In a few hours, we will all head to his church and then to a family dinner to celebrate Easter. One will bring the Resurrection Story, full of promise and grace. The other will bring the Easter Bunny, and the hunting of eggs will begin. All I can liken it to is my experience, growing up with only one Story. When the hunting of eggs and the opening of Easter baskets is done, so is Easter. Period, end of Story.

Not now. Today, Easter lives on, well after all the chocolate bunnies are gone.

We don't walk away empty-handed.
We walk away victorious.
We walk away with a future, that will last forever.

May you have a wonderful day filled with Him and his Love...

in Christ alone...

I have lived the Arguments, now..I live the Mystery.

the Mystery...

You may have heard talk about The Cloud. If you have an iPad, you know that it won't work for long without a computer. You can buy tunes and apps directly to your iPad but you can't update your software and that is a big deal. As of today, the iPad is not a stand alone tablet - that is about to change.

The buzz is that All Things Itunes is going to the cloud, soon. That means you will not be teathered to a computer. Imagine that also means, your library are backed up, and no matter what computer issues you have, you won't lose your precious music and apps.

If you have ever been in an airplane, you know what it looks like when you get up in the clouds. When I first started hearing about all of this, I imagine being in that airplace and seeing my stuff off to the right on CloudNanaZ. No two clouds look alike and they are so diverse in color and texture. I spend lots of time looking at them and imagining what is up there. We always hear about clouds and Jesus and not sure how that all comes together. Living the Mystery is becoming more and more appealing, the less I demand to know now - the more I can focus on gratitude and joy and living in the Moment. It is a daily struggle, one I fully acknowledge and daily, fight to overcome.

I got a bit of the Word this morning, my path has been redirected, yet again. He has whispered in my ear when I least expected it. It was short and powerful. No more need to revisit it, for the rest of my days here.

May each of you enjoy this Easter season completely and fully. Nudge what is already in you. Know that you are loved, no matter what. Enjoy the cloud, love the mystery and love with all you have...

girls and gumballs...

This last weekend, Miss M and 9 of her friends continued her 6th birthday celebration with a craft party at Michael's. Bubble gum machines made from terra cotta pots was the craft she choose and it seemed to be a very popular choice.

The dynamics of 10 little girls is one you might understand if you have one. If not, it is not unlike a group of girlfriends getting together minus driving yourself and more colorful refreshments. The was a bit of a territorial theme going on. Everyone wanted to sit by the Birthday Girl and she only had 2 sides. Everyone was from her school except for one and she was one of the lucky ones to flank the Girl of Honor. There was much fuss made over the gift opening, each girl brought her gift to the Birthday Girl as if it was a burnt offereing. She properly read all the cards and personally thanked each one. The best part was after a parade through Micheal's, a strange, marketing tool to show them where in the store, Miss M had picked out the terra cotta pots, she was sent back inot the room while the rest of the girls sang, Happy Birthday, over the loud speaker.

Two and a half hours later, everyone was on their way home, a bit sugared up and with a bounty of their own. I had 200 photos to go through and couldn't have been happier. Sometimes, you just need a girl today. To remind you, of where you have come and hopefully, direct you in the Way Of All Things Girl, which is an education in being a girl that we girls, never want to miss!

the anatomy of a goal...

They say, we work better when there is a goal involved. Whether by list or sheer will, when there is a particular goal that is being strived for, we tend to think in a straight line and go from A-Z in a much, more civil manner. There is more hope for a successful ending. It looks much like this photo, a series of steps where each action moves the goal closer and closer. No time for 3 steps forward and 1 back. This is an all-out forward motion, no turning back. It is all or nothing. If you fail, you must start at the beginning, and make another run at it.

A lot of life is played like a goal. If losing weight is the goal, you make a run at it every day, There is no given, choices have to be made and many, many days of good choices, doesn't guarantee success. If we have a certain goal in mind, it is usually accompanied with a timetable. Life is lived 3 forward and I back but goals, come with built in expectations. From here to there in, (insert expectation here).

Never have been much of a goal person unless you include getting everything on a grocery list which comes with the expectation that what I want from the store, makes it on the list. Goals are short-term and I don't have that kind of time. If you are goal-oriented, bless you and please write a book...

Holy Week...

My first Lent has been a wonderful experience. It has helped me focus on the whole reason for Easter. The reason we do the Easter baskets, and the dinner after church. It has given me 40 days of reflection with a humbleness, I could not have found any other way.

Within this experience, there was a Peter chapter. It is one, I didn't see coming. A denial that happened not once, twice but three times. After the first time, I walked away, amazed that it happened. The second time, I was well aware of where this could be going. Confident that I was on top of things, and would break the cycle - it happened a third time. Each time, I could not believe I had forgotten so completely.

I say that to say, I could find many reasons not to forgive myself but am choosing to find that it is a part of the Whole. I will never forget my first Lent and I wouldn't change one thing. I have learned lessons of gratitude of all things given, a love I will never fully understand and the forgiveness of one self's humanness.

This week brings a few activities, Easter and non-Easter related activities. I agree with Rob Bell, that all things are spiritual. Life is messy, and to see it as a Whole, makes sense in a world that doesn't.

Will finish the week with my head held high, and my heart in a good place. Fully expecting there is More to see, More to learn and More to this life...


Please tell me how you say good-bye to someone who has known and loved you from the very moment you opened your eyes.
R.I.P. BN, I have been so blessed to have you as my father!!!/
via FB

I talk about family all the time. If I am talking about the first 20 years of my life, it is crazy, unbelievable and scary. If I talk about the next 20 years, it is still scary but new life has come and the crazy stakes are higher, there is more to protect. By the time I get to the 20 after that, life has settled down, new life has come and I am able to breathe and enjoy. There are still swings because as long as there is family, there will be human pendulums, flying high above your head and through your heart.

Some feel like Miss M. She has a love for her father, that I can't fathom. Even though she has a grown child of her own, she feels his loss like a little girl. Our family experiences shape every inch of our lives. These experiences dictated our choices, our philosophy and our future.

You love em or hate em, it is always about family. There are ones you wish you were part of and there are ones, you refuse to admit to belonging. As I pray for Keaton's grandchildren, I pray that his sweet spirit is one that they feel. I imagine Gage playing football with his grandsons, telling them about his college days. Miss M will pass on her sense of love and hugs to her granddaughter and tell them, I was surrounded by love when I was your age and I want you to know that I love you too, to infinity and beyond.

young at heart...

A few weeks ago, we celebrated my SIL's grandmother's 90th birthday. We all love Gigi!

She is such a fabulous lady. My only concern on this day of celebration was she usually will NOT let you take her picture. She will turn her head and try to hide. I got all the pictures of the family and her blowing out the candles on her cake. She was in the kitchen, eating her cake and I tried to sneak a few head shots in. She was on to me but instead of hiding, she just looked a me. I clicked away and she kept looking at me. I finally asked her why she was letting me take her picture, and she said, I am looking at you! She could look at me all she wanted to as long as far as I was concerned.

Not sure that will ever happen again. Making photo books for the family and there are some sweet shots, like this one - that will always remind me of this wonderful woman. Happy Birthday Gigi!, we all love you so...

the beauty of being 6...

It was only your first day of being 6 and you handled it with the grace one rarely find until later in life.

You know your birthday may not go as planned when your brother starts throwing up the night before and continued on well into your Big Day. Nana stayed with Gage while you and Mommy celebrated at school. We were going to all meet Daddy for lunch but instead we had lunch at home while Gage was still doing his.

You still got to have your hair and nails done and you were beautiful. The glitter, the gorgeous braid and the new flower clip. You looked perfect for your party and we all had a wonderful time.

A lessor girl might not have been so kind to having to adapt at the last minute but then again, you are no ordinary girl. Thank you for sharing being 6 with us and for teaching us a very important is never more at their best than when they put others first. Happy Birthday Princess, I love you so much...

find the Light...

It has taking many hours of being aware, and learning to look for the light. I think in essence, that is what most of us are looking for, in one form or another. I was never able to see it in Real Life until I started taking pictures and now, I look for it everywhere. In every face I see, every place I go and everyday life, photography has changed my life.

Just like music, where whenever I hear U2's, Where The Streets Have No Name or or Micheal Jackson's, Billie Jean , I immediately stop and listen. It is the same thing now, when I see the Light - I stop what I am doing, and live the Moment.

We all know how day and night are as different as well, night and day. They each have their own emotions that they pass on to us and depending on whether we are night or day people, we respond accordingly. I have always been a morning person but when I quit working, I started loving the night. I love listening to the pastor preach his service at midnight on the web, when all is quiet. It gives me time to breathe and listen. Night prayers are also different from day prayers, hard to explain but fabulous to experience.

Sometimes, the Light is hidden but just wait, it will come back again. Sometimes, it dims, and that is ok too. The more you look for it, the more you will find it and that is the best news I could share with you. Go find some for yourself...


Taking risks comes from within and is learned. Some are born with a more adventurous, risk taking spirit. Some of us don't have a risk taking bone in our body, either because of nature or lack of nurture. Children who are forced to live in risk-taking families, learn to compensate. They learn skills to get them through. Skills that don't translate to adulthood. Skills that have to be unlearned and then replaced, with new skills.

My maternal grandmother was a bible-thumping Baptist woman most of her life. No cards, no dance, no fun. Late in life, when she and my grandfather found themselves relocating to Henderson, Nevada - she took to gambling at the slots in the casinos and had been known to be kicked out of more than one when she won her month's allotment. As I am hurling toward another birthday, you see why I might be concerned.

Just like everyone else, when I was in my teens - there was a sense of the Superman Syndrome. This is natural to this Season of life and it will be a few years before the brain, grows up. From my POV, there is nothing in the Experience file that lets most of us know that risk is a big issue. The older we get, the more we are aware and we choose, at that time, which way we are going.

Now, I find myself involuntary having to take some risks as we plan for DH retirement. There is nothing we can do to change the risk but our attitude and while it is extremely uncomfortable, I find those child-like skills trying to come in and take over. Time to learn another set of skills. Skills for this Season of life. Will see how it goes.

Started following a new interest - Laundermats. Haven't been in one in years and yes, they are as scary as I remember. I was packing man-heat and we did have a good time. 3 down and many more to go. A new skill? Thinking so and if they are all like this, think I will take a few more risks...


Less than 12 hours after the last post, and after a bit of studying, I have my computer up and running. When I realized that the fix was real - I FREAKED OUT!. You know those times when you knew it wasn't possible, yet it happened and you get to feel like a genius, for a day.

With everything up and running, creativity began to come back. When I read up on the malware virus that had invaded my personal space, it said that is didn't erase my files but hid them. I could get to the programs I had in my Taskbar and I could also still get to the Start menu but everything else, disappeared.

I went in and changed the setting to show hidden files, and the desktop icon came back, albeit grayed out. I was able to run the malware software, found 10 trojans, and deleted them. Went back and downloaded a unhide.exe file and everything ungrayed on the Desktop and all my Favorites on the web, reappeared. Magically and so far, so good.

Flying high from my victory, have being trying to see that the same thing happens in Real Life. Whether creativity, beliefs, values, even love... maybe Sometimes, we get a life virus and think these things are gone when they are just being hidden from us. When discovered and deleted, everything comes back.

Some advice I got many years ago, has stayed with me. I have dragged it out of storage, many, many times.

When it feels like all is lost, hold on to what you know. Hold on with everything you have, until the world looks right again.

You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time your tree gets thrown around. Good advice, it has served me well. Thinking the hidden icon thing will do the same. In the meanwhile, will bask in my computer glow and enjoy every Moment...

do no harm...

After 2 weeks of being away, my computer minus 8 viruses, comes home. We get it all hooked up and less than 10 minutes later, we are down again.

I am able to access only those applications in my task bar which means I can check email, get on the Internet and have my iTunes library, there for the taking. Everything else is gone, again. Wherever this virus is, it was laying in wait. It struck hard and fast.

Seems strange to have access to the world, yet the photos I hold so dear - are being held hostage by those who feel this is the way to act. This is the way to have a good time or a way to get back at their fellow man, simply because they can.

I am staring at a black screen.
Nothing. Nada. With lots of time to think.
We will get past this, on way of the other. Everything got backed up before the 2nd crash and even if it didn't, sometime that is the way the cookie crumbles.

And the best I can come up with is this...on any given day, do your fellow man, no harm. Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.

hands on...

There are days when I don't know what I want. Do I stay or do I go? It is those days that thinking doesn't do it for me. No haiku or Time magazine is going to do. I need to touch and feel. It doesn't happen very often but when it does, I need to remember to honor it.

Our world is getting smaller and smaller. James Franco pulled his Twitter account this week, claiming that social media is dead. I am not sure I agree with him but I do think we are making our world smaller and one of the consequences of that smallness is less hands on. We touch our loved ones and food and computers on a daily basis. Sometimes, we take the time to enjoy the flavor and texture of our foods but dare say that most of the time, the food is second to whatever we are doing in the Moment.

We will pick up a package that the Fed Ex man leaves at the door.
We send our neighbor an email.
We go day in and day out without a hands on experience.

Believe me, this is not a post I saw coming but think, had to be written. Can't even tell you what it looks like to me or where it will go. Don't think this is about hugging each other more but about sharing ourselves instead of living life as a avatar. Look forward to seeing what lies ahead, hands on - whatever that may mean...


This is just one in a series of about 20 photos but it tells the beginning of a Story.

It was a cold, cold day but there was just too much energy not to get out. With Miss M in the lead, they all take their spots on the climbing rock. She is so much more adventurous than the boys were at her age. She is not afraid and doesn't need a brother to lead the way. In the photos that follow, Keaton tries to keep up with her while Gage is content to bring up the end in slow motion.

We all climb and we all do at different speeds. Some of us can't wait to climb to the top and some of us, (insert my hand waving here) could care less if take one step. IT is a difference of perspective and value and sometime, one of fear.

Toward the end of this photo montage, there are photos with Gage at the top, with a smile on his face. His sister is still hanging around, his brother has moved on to Other Things. It is life as we all know it, being on different pages in the same book.

There are times we have to push ourselves to make the climb, because of fear and the unknown. We have to get out of the rut of not seeing the view on top of the mountain. If we really don't care about the view, that is one thing but if we fear the climb, afraid of getting hurt - that is a fear that should be faced. They say, you only have to take the first step. I disagree, it will be a fight to the top.

Whatever mountain you find yourself climbing now, giving you the same advice I ahve been giving myself. Face the fear. Don't try to go around it, under or over the top. Try going through it. I have no idea what that may look like for you or me but time to find out. It may be worse than I imagined. It may also be not as scary as I had built up in my mind and I may just walk out with a smile on my face...

sugar coating...

SOOC, straight out of the camera.

That pretty much explains my spring break. With computer out of commission, this photo, like all the others I took this week, is untouched. On the day I took this, it was cold. Big time cold, but like all the others at the park that day, WE NEEDED TO GET OUT AND RUN!

Noticed right off the color of the sky. It was surreal, deep blue and puffy. It did start to rain on us but we sloughed it off and it quit. Sometimes that happens, you have to know when to hold em and when to fold em.

Whether photos, emotions or the words we use - Sometimes it is just out there. A raw, version of where we are and what we see. No sugar coating, but just the naked, bare thing. Like a woman without her makeup, it feels strange and uncomfortable but sometimes, is the best thing for us. It felt strange not to run my photo through Lightroom and yet, to see the unedited version made me happy.

We all need some sugar coating in our lives. While nudists colonies may be popular, we human by nature, are a bit modest. We aren't honest 100% of the time with each other and more importantly, ourselves. A little makeup/sugar coating/LR preset never hurt anyone but every once in a while, it is good to see the Real Deal...

one week...

On the outside, it doesn't seem like much has changed. Still do not have my beloved computer, but getting closer every day and the sinus infection that had been developing, is still here. But looks can be deceiving and the heart that we all from time to time, wear on our sleeve, is really invisible to all, including ourselves.

It was a wonderful time of fallowing and I kept reminding myself to let my mind rest even when I was filled with great thoughts. Write them down and move on, I would tell my self with a bit of success. More paper with little notes around than usually. Things to think about and those who have already come to stay.

We had a few sleepovers and those are always enlightening. You forget how to think like a kid until you are around one. I have become Gage's middle man on Ebay. Nothing quite like being educated on baseball while bidding for them. We were successful on all our bids. Fifty cents can sure bring a little boy, a lot of happiness.

Miss M and I played 43 games of Uno with her winning more than half. We all properly spent time at our favorite watering hole, Flying M and there were a couple of day of sunny, warmth that we considered almost impossible. It was a good week.

One Thousand Words by Ann Voskamp. A little book that is changing my life.

When will I lose? Today? In a few weeks? How much time have I got before the next loss?
Who will I lose? And that is definite: I will lose every single person I have ever loved. Either abruptly or eventually. All human relationships end in loss. Am I prepared for that?

The need to fallow was so obvious after a few days. There is no disputing that the computer had picked up 8 virses but with all that extra time availble, it does make you wonder.

I need some free time, I need some sun, I needed to be reminded of what is possible.

I am a hunter of beauty and I move slow and I keep the eyes wide, every fiber of every muscle sensing all wonder and this is the thrill of the hunt and I could be an expert on the life full, the beauty that lurks in every moment. I hunger to taste life/AV.

So glad to be back...