Friday, December 31, 2010


That is the word I have chosen for next year. Seems to fit quite nicely for today. HA HA

Maybe "finish" is not an uplifting word. I have no trouble starting a myriad of new things but have to remind myself to see them through. That is my job for this year. 

Rachel Snyder says it well...
Finish what you start. Finish up the last calculation, the last page, the last round, the last lap. Finish that final assignment so you can finish up your degree. Finish that vest you have been working on for eons, that tile job you thought you'd never finish. Would someone please finish up this last bit of soup so that I can finish up the kitchen.  Finish that discussion when you are both feeling a bit calmer. Pray that they finish soon so that you can go home. Finish sanding, finish trimming, finish cutting so that you can put away the tools. Finish off one project before you start another. Let go of that relationship: it's finished. let go of being a doormat: you're finished. Go back and finish what you swore you would never finish in a million years. When they ask how far along you are, say I am finished?

I finished my Italy book and gave it to Rick for Christmas. That is the beginning (last years word) of finishing something (this years word). I am so clever. 
Here is one of my favorite pictures of that trip to share with you.

 It is the Isle of Capri.

And so to finish this year 2010, here's to you!!!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The God Box

I read the story called Inside the God Box this week and found it to be poignant. I hope you like it as well.
Find it here ...

I have also been working on bokeh and have some room to grow but I liked this one best.

I hope your holidays are peaceful.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Vera Lim Blog Blitz Revisited


I am a "Vera Lim Kit" frequent flyer and wouldn't want you
to get left out in the cold so to continue the blog blitz, give this new link a go...

And for your trouble, some more eye candy...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vera Lim Blog Blitz

You are going to love this fun new kit from Vera Lim. It's called  Wild and Beautiful
and is comprised of ten papers and 34 unique elements that you will find charming
(available as colored and shadowed versions – 63 total elements). 

Having just returned from a trip to New Zealand, I was totally jazzed to learn that
Vera calls NZ home. This is my first scrap from our trip down under and found the
colors to be just perfect.

My first attraction to any kit is in the papers. I love to use soft papers that allow my
photos and stories to shine. This kit does that perfectly. There is a nice combination of gently grunged artsy papers that give any layout a touch of color and interest.

The elements are easy to use: fun word art, hand drawn flowers, little buttons and epoxies. And, you gotta love the birds. To me, they look like gulls but perhaps that is because I am scrapping an image with the sea. I love to adjust elements to make them mine and that was easy to do with this kit.

I really like how all the papers and elements work so well together.
I hope you have as much fun with it as I have.

Want to learn more about Vera Lim...Here are the links to find her:
Guesting At The O | On Facebook | At Her Blog | Her Store | O Blog | O Forum
Blog Blitz details:  Visit each blog and gather the words for a Christmas quote. When you have compiled the quote, e-mail it to bloghop @ (remove the spaces).  All e-mails must be received by midnight CST, Wednesday, Dec. 22. One winner, from those who submit the correct quote, will be picked randomly – using - to win a kit 
of his/her choice from Vera Lim.

Today's Christmas quote is:  "Christmas may be a day of feasting,"

Continuing the Blog Blitz tomorrow, head over to
to see more of this "Wild and Beautiful" kit.

Just saying... I was provided a copy of this kit by Vera Lim, a guest designer at This fact did not influence my review - in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

If you are still reading this post, I would love to hear from you
Comments are free. LOL

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Story

Happy Thanksgiving to all. It is without a doubt, 
my favorite holiday. I offer one of my favorite 
fall photos and a story of thanks.


The Whale... 

A few years ago, there was a front page story in the San Francisco Chronicle about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to 
struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralon Islands (outside the  Golden Gate ) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her. They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her.

When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles. She then came back to each and every diver, one at a time, and nudged them, pushed them gently around as she was thanking them.

Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives. The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth said her eyes were following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled from the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude. I pass this on to you, my friend, in the same spirit. 

It's a good life!


When Rick and I left Portland on October 31, the leaves on the trees
in my yard were still mostly green with just a tinge of red. Three weeks
and a day later, when we arrived home, they were bare.  Except one
who waited in greeting...

Our arrival was just in time as that evening, Portland received
its first sprinkling of snow.

Ah! Let the season begin...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

OMG! Did I love Christchurch!

Christchurch Cathedral is the center of Cathedral Square.

A lot of fun and quirky things go on here.
There is also some amazing art, such as
this great flowering vase. Totally cool!

Close by is Town Square with these amazing fountains.

And finally, you can see the British influence
with these old phone booths. Rick is found here
looking for his I-phone, wondering how
he is going to get game scores from this old thing.

Mt Cook and Surrounds, Whoa!

We drove to Mt Cook and encountered these lakes
with the most amazing turquoise water. It turns out
that the glacier washes bits of rock as it tumbles down
and this sediment called "glacier flour" is dazzled
by the sun and reflects this color. Sweet!

This is Lake Pukaki...

And, this is Mt Cook as seen from our window.
Sweet squared.

A room with a view, what is not to like about that!!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is possibly beyond description. It is so beautiful. 
Rock formations jutting out of water so dark.
Waterfalls plummeting from the sides. 
Seals, dolphins and penguins all together in one place. 
It is simply amazing.

What do you think of this?

Queenstown, New Zealand

A view of the harbor in Queenstown. What a beautiful spot...

Another view of the harbor which includes some of the hillside town.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Dunedin, New Zealand

A few photos from our first days in New Zealand.

What is wrong with this picture?

My girl on campus: U of Otago: Dunedin.

St Clare's Beach, a wild and wonderful beach.
Feet in the Pacific, a long way from the Oregon coast.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today is "try to find an apartment" day.
No luck.


This day nearly killed us. We left KC at 6:45 and hit road construction on our way out of town. When we drove through St Louis, it was a long slow ride. We hit construction stoppages in southern Illinois and northern Kentucky. I had to drive that stick shift through rush hour in Nashville. Stop and start, stop and start. YUCK! We finally arrived at our destination at 11:30 PM. Dog tired but we survived.
To bed to recover...


We drove into Lincoln and stopped at the International Quilt study Center. The museum had two exhibits: one was antique doll quilts and the other was quilts from Asia. Very nice. I was hoping to show Nick some of Michael James' early work but it was not on display. too bad!

Then on to KC and a stopover at my sister's home. We visited with her family, and got a break from a big drive. Spent the night with the intentions of getting an early start.


Day 2: We made it to York, NE, which is about 40 miles west of Lincoln. Another day of sunshine and the straightest ribbon of highway I have ever seen. Put cruise on 80 and just steered the car. Didn't see too many others. We have 500 tunes on my IPod and have shuffled them. It's sing along time, at least for the driver. Chances are the passenger was sleeping.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today Nick and I drove 720 miles from Portland, OR to Ogden, UT on our drive to his new hometown of Asheville, NC. I am refreshing my memory of driving a stick shift. This one will floor you: Nick drives 65 miles per hour to maximize gas usage; I drive 75 MPH because I am thinking about the hotel and my oh so comfortable bed awaiting me. Youth and practicality...

Tomorrow, our destination is Lincoln, NE, nearly.

My images are only in my head. Sorry.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps connect a French church by the name of Trinita dei Monti
to the Piazza Di Spagna or Spanish Square.

The elegant staircase consists of 137 steps over twelve different flights

The idea of connecting the church with the square below originated from the
17th century, when the French also planned a statue of King Louis XIV
of France at the top of the staircase. As one might imagine, Papal opposition
caused the plans to be shelved until 1723, when this enormous staircase was
built sans the statue. The Italian architect was Francisco de Sanctis.

People navigate to these steps. On Saturday evenings, Italians get all duded up
and struscio, which literally means "to rub shoulders" but figuratively means to
visit. We struscio'd along with the best of them.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Santa Maria della Vittoria

This is the church for which I have been searching.
No wonder it is difficult to find. The exterior does not really look churchlike.

But wait until you get inside. These churches are all over town,
nondescript exteriors with amazing interiors.

I was interested in this one because it contains The Ecstasy of St Theresa,
a sculpture by Bernini. I am a total fan of his.

Rick was generous to return with me in the afternoon when it was opened.

Are you ready....

The Ecstasy of St Theresa

The main altar

The ceiling in an alcove altar

The pipe organ

The exit door

And something that fascinated me in all the churches of Italy...

the confessionals. Many were marked with the languages
familiar to the priest. They too are beautiful.

Santa Maria degli Angeli

We have been trying to find the church that contains the Bernini sculpture  
The Ecstasy of St. Theresa. I thought I had when we found this church.
Not so but this was yet one more grand find.

The story goes: In 1541, a Sicilian priest, Fr. Antonio Lo Duca, had a vision
of angels in the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian. As a result, Pope Pius IV (1559-1565)
ordered that a church be built within the Baths. The church was designed by Michelangelo,
who began work in 1563 but died a year later in 1564. His design was completed
by Jacopo Lo Duca, nephew of Fr. Antonio and pupil of Michelangelo.

They say the frescoes have been badly restored.
I guess my eye is not so keen.



My favorites, as always are the angels. Here are two.

And finally, there were some unchurchly findings in this church, more science than spiritual unless those combine well to your way of thinking. 

On the left side of the church is the Meridian Line, a sundial laid down along the meridian that crosses through Rome, at latitude 15ยบ. At true noon, about 12.15 pm (1.15 pm in summer time), the sun casts its light on this line.  The markings were made by the astronomer, mathematician, archaeologist, historian and philosopher Francesco Bianchini. who had been commissioned by Pope Clement XI to make them for the Holy Year of 1700. It took a bit longer; they were completed in 1703 with the assistance of the astronomer G.F. Maraldi.

And another one of my favs is this pendulum.
Sorry for the sucky picture but oh so cool, that I had to share.

If you are still with me, thanks.
Leave a comment if you choose.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

St Peter's in early moring light

Nothing compares to photography in early morning light.
This is one of my favorites...

St Peter's Square

  Still in Rome after all these posts...

We were lucky enough to get to St Peter's Square three times. 
First Rick and I ended there on our wandering tour. Next, our 
our guide surprised us with a visit on Palm Sunday to witness 
Pope Benedict XVI say Mass. And finally, in the early morning 
when we would do the postponed tour of the Vatican Museum 
and Sistine Chapel. These are some of my favorite photos from 
he visits...


Statues of 140 Christian martyrs flank the balustrade.


A fountain by Bernini (1675) 

Giant trinitrons just like at sporting events. 
What would these saints think?

But of course, all can see the Pope say Mass.
And this fountain is by Maderno (1613)

A bit farther away

The Sistine Chapel is amazing. no photos are allowed, 
which is OK because the room is dimly lit and  no photo 
that i take could do it justice. This is The Sistine Chapel 
from the square. It is where the Papal conclave occurs 
when the Cardinals are electing a new Pope. It is near 
where the white smoke is seen indicating that a new Pope 
has in fact been elected.

And finally my favorite of the day.
A member of the Swiss guard and a wannabe...

How cute is that.

If you are following my journey, thank you.
Feel free to leave a comment.
I would love to hear from you.