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reflection


day in the life

Highlighting the everyday life of a couple living well with a slow-growing cancer. Life isn’t always easy, and there will certainly be sorrows and losses along the way. But being alive is good. It is very good.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Apocalypse now

There was quite a bit of excitement in my neighborhood Starbux this afternoon when this hard white stuff started falling from the skies.

The locals werent quite sure what to make of it. I actually heard someone say something about the Apocalypse. Seriously.

   
 

Seems weve been having not-your-normal weather here in southern California. It rained good and hard a couple evenings ago and its pouring down even as we speak.

I actually saw a bit of snow on the mountains on my way to church this morning. Yes, mountains and snow in SoCal. Who knew?

By mid-afternoon, a cool 55 degrees and some awesome-looking clouds toward the ocean. So I hopped on my pink ride and headed west. In between showers.

   
 

One lone sailboat out on the Pacific. And one lone cyclist (me) for a long stretch of the bike path that spreads across the sand.

   
 

Enjoying a ferocious winter in Marina del Rey. You people out east dont know what winter is. Yes, Im talking to you, Jersey.

Side note: I was at the bike rack outside a store when someone approached me on his bike.

Nice rims, he said.

   
 

Pretty sure he was talking about my bike.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2015

Sharing the beauty

Theres this story about a man named J. Paul Getty who assembled an impressive collection of art and artifacts. In 1954, he opened his Malibu home three afternoons a week as a museum of sorts. Because he wanted to share the beauty.

And then in 1968, Getty recreated a first-century Roman villa on his property to display his growing collection of art. The rest is history as the Getty Museum has expanded to two locations with the Villa housing Gettys Greek and Roman antiquities.

There are no art or artifact photos posted here because of photo restrictionsand Im probably pushing it a littlebut one of the things I appreciated about the Getty Villa was how the exhibits flowed between indoor and outdoor spaces.

In some cases, instead of moving from room to room, one must exit one room into the inner courtyard before entering the next room. How lovely is that, says the outdoor girl.

   
 

Walking back down to the parking structure afterward, I snapped a couple shots that highlight the Pacific Ocean in the near distance.

   
 

A work of art right here in this cobblestone driveway with the Pacific glittering on the horizon.

   
 

I was thinking about Mr. Gettys collection of beauty and his vision in wanting to share it.

And I was thinking about something I wrote in my journal recently in reference to the cancer journey with Hubby and our desire to share the beauty and joy collected along the way.

The entry began with a quote from a book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series:

She looked at him fondly. That he had been sent to her, when there were so many other, lesser men who might have been sent, was a source of constant gratitude. That we have the people we have in our life, rather than others, is miraculous, she thought; a miraculous gift.

And then these words from my heart to Gods:

If this hard wilderness journey was necessaryand it wasthen Im so glad this man was the one you chose for me. Thank you for sending us to wilderness school. Together. I would rather have gone through hard things with Gary than to have had a life without trials with any other man. Thank you for the wilderness route. This hard, joyful, learning-deeper-gratitude gift of a journey.

In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voskamp writes:

It is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible.

I wonder if its gratitude that produces a desire to share. Because isnt it gratitude that causes us to realize all we have? Our collections of beauty. Our blessings. Our wisdom. Whatever we have thats of value. 

Is gratitude what spurred Getty? Because its certainly what spurs me to share our love story. Hubbys and mine.

And then, is it the sharing that not only gives joy to others, but to us, as well?

Im thinking yes.

Side note that has absolutely nothing to do with sharing beauty: There was a bit of excitement at Son Jeremy and DIL Denise’s apartment last night. All the fire alarms in the entire building suddenly began blaring. All lights flashing. But no smell of smoke anywhere.

Apparently only the neighbors that owned dogs were out of the building. (You see how parenthood instills a strong sense of responsibility in us.)

   
 

False alarm. But awfully loud false alarm. Rest assured that should there ever be a real fire in this place, absolutely no one will sleep through it.

I texted a photo to Jeremy, who is working on the east coast. Just so he and Denise could see what they were missing out on.

He texted back: What did you do?

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Memorial quilt

When he died, it surprised even me how quickly I sorted through Hubbys clothing. Id read where widows put this sort of thing off for months. Years.

But we were heading into winter in central Oregon and there were men at Shepherds Housethe mens shelter and rehab program where Hubby volunteered three mornings a weekwho could use warm outerwear and thick wool socks and gloves and backpacks.

But I saved a few shirts and a red-and-black silk tie for a memorial quilt. Packed them along with my sewing machine for the drive to my temporarily-adopted hometown of Marina del Rey in southern California.

Sometimes the situation calls for simple. Which, in this case, meant lap quilt size, and twenty 12 blocks instead of dozens of smaller ones. Simple is good.

   
 

Here, in four easy steps, are instructions for a memorial quilt made from mens shirts:

Step 1. Cut up shirts into blocks sew blocks together stitch on red squares add batting and backing turn right side out hand-quilt.

Step 2. Make popcorn. Grab book.

Step 3. Snuggle.

Step 4. Smile. Because this quilt represents the most wonderful husband who even now I visualize wearing these shirts with his cute grin.

You know, the one where he’s trying not to smile.

 
   
 

(Actually, you can click here if youre interested in more detailed how-to instructions.)

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Forgetfulness - one of the benefits of retirement

Usually sometime around Tuesday or Wednesday, he’d ask, “What are we doing for date night?” I loved it when he talked that way.

Standing Friday evening dates.

Even after Hubby didn’t feel like leaving the house, I’d make a dinner run—anything that sounded good to him, anything that would entice him to eat—and we’d watch something on Netflix, which he usually dozed through after not eating his dinner.

But I loved that he still wanted to keep date night alive.

And so last evening being Friday, with Hubby in my heart, I rode my bike to the beach for those fabulous fish tacos on the boardwalk.

“By the basketball courts,” Son Jeremy had texted from a bitterly cold New Jersey the week before. “Just a walk-up with no seating. Not sure the name.”

There’s a reason he wasn’t sure of the name. It has no name.

   
 

Two dollars for an incredibly delicious fish taco.

   
 

Plus tax, which, coming from Oregon with no sales tax, don’t even get me started on how much sales tax adds to the cost of the item, and while we’re not on that topic, don’t get me started on no free paper bags. Really? I just brought business to your store. I just purchased your merchandise. And now I have to buy a paper bag in which to carry it out of your store?

But I digress.

Dinner date music was provided by this guy. (He’s not really wearing a skirt; it’s a denim shirt tied around his waist. And check out his custom roller blade wheels.)

   
 

Met this handsome young man at the boardwalk. He wasn’t actually my date because I had already woofed down my fish taco.

But had I met him before dinner, I would have shared. Which would have officially made him my date.

   
 

Retirement isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s ten times better. A thousand times better.

I’ve heard it said that if a person isn’t content single, they probably won’t be content married. I wonder if that same concept holds true for retirement? if we’re not content working, then we probably won’t be content retired?

I don’t know if that’s true for everyone, but the thought is about choosing contentment – whether single, married, working, retired, sipping Chai tea or not sipping Chai.

My weeks rush by doing all the things I want to do – writing to my heart’s content, hand-quilting the Hubby’s-shirts-quilt, multiple bike rides, reading homework books (more about the best ones later), keeping in touch with family, with friends.

In fact, the only downside I’ve noticed about retirement is losing track of the days. Which means last evening’s Friday night date was really a Thursday night date. Something I didn’t discover until this morning.

Which means I’m gonna have to ride my bike back down to the beach this evening. Darn.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finding the positive

There are probably certain images that come to mind when you think of southern California, yes? The traffic and congestion. The beaches. The movie industry. The large homeless population.

Hubby used to say in our presentations that his cancer diagnosis had taught him to look for the positive in things.

And so with that in mind, I’ve found some positive things about my newly-adopted country of southern California.

Dream Center, is one of them. It’s the Los Angeles church I’ve been attending. It started in the old Queen of Angels Hospital on Bellevue Ave that shut down back in the 1980s.

   

Photo credit: Dream Center website

Church services eventually moved to the historic Angelus Temple on Glendale Blvd ...

   
 

... but for the past 18 years, by way of a once-discarded hospital, Dream Center has been a place of refuge for victims of human trafficking and domestic violence, for the homeless; and a place of recovery for the addicted. 

Dream Center provides nearly 50,000 meals each month, and runs one of the largest non-profit food banks in Los Angeles. And the people they serve are right in their neighborhood.

This photo. On my way home. Just a few blocks from church. Looking for the positive in Los Angeles County. And finding it.

   

 

And while we’re on the topic of looking for the positive, I located this iconic fast-food burger joint, In-N-Out, at the end of my street.

Apparently In-N-Out was the first drive-thru hamburger stand in California, opened in 1948. Back in the days of carhops, here was this innovative idea with its drive-up window and two-way speakers. (The history you learn here.)

 

Back when Hubby encouraged our audiences to look for the positive, he used this example: “I found out you become better looking when you’re diagnosed with cancer.” The crowd would chuckle.

“No, seriously. Whenever I visit family or friends, the first thing they say is, ’Boy you’re sure looking good.’”

After the laughter died down, Hubby would finish with: “Before I had cancer, no one ever said that to me.”

Side note: I have a list of places I’d like to visit—Getty Museum, San Juan Capistrano, The Museum of Tolerance—and food joints that have been recommended by friends—Johnnie’s Pastrami, Tito’s Tacos, Gabby’s.

When Son Jeremy and DIL Denise return, they plan to show me around. But until then, what is it I need to see, taste, experience in this beautiful and unique country?

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Accumulate experiences ... and people

Venice Beach and Santa Monica are June’s old stomping grounds. Back in the days when she was a nurse in the Critical Care Units at St. John’s and Santa Monica hospitals.

I know June from my previous hometown of Bend, Oregon. Cancer survivor. Soaring Spirits camp nurse. June and her honey are in the area visiting family and keeping med appointments. And so, how fabulous it was to have my own personal tour guide for the day.

Not to mention the added bonus of her safety tips: “Always lock your car, and never leave anything in it.”

   

 

On the tour guide’s agenda for today, a brief walk beside the wetlands near the marina in my newly-adopted hometown of Marina del Rey.

Fabulous tacos at Campos Famous Burritos in Santa Monica.

A walk out on the pier past merry-go-round and Ferris wheel and street entertainment to the very spot where Route 66 ends.

   
 

And of course a long, leisurely stroll along the waves to wet our pretty toes in the Pacific before climbing the ...

   
 

... dozens of steps up the cliffside and across the bridge over the Pacific Coast Highway to locate June’s vehicle in the parking garage before rush hour traffic got too hairy.

   
 

Which should have been an easy thing to do because June had written the floor level and aisle on her parking ticket. Smart girl that she is. Fourth level, east aisle.

But no vehicle with Oregon plates on fourth level, east aisle.

Or fourth level center aisle.

Or fourth level west aisle.

Or fifth level.

I’m thinking -- but don’t say out loud -- someone must have stolen her van.

And then it dawns on June that she’s in the wrong parking structure. It should be Structure Four and not Structure Two. Why don’t they color-code these things? Just one block apart from each other. They look identical.

(I told June it would have made for a better blog story had her van actually been stolen.)

Back in the day when Hubby’s job changed—either the company was relocating its data processing department, or was switching to HP from IBM—we moved frequently.  

I love that we made new friends in each place and kept old friends. But that’s only done through intentional effort; it doesn’t happen automatically.

You’ve heard me say this before: Stay in touch.

Author Mark Batterson writes, “Don’t accumulate possessions; accumulate experiences.”

If Mark would allow it, I’d take that quote one step further: “Accumulate experiences and people to share them with.”

Thanks for a fabulous day, my June friend (assuming we’re still friends).

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Sweethearts Day

Found the perfect Valentine for Hubby. I love the story of us.

   
 

The inside reads: “I love our details – our music, our code words and all the memories we’ve made together. I love our friends, our friendship, and everything else that connects us heart and soul.”

Hubby and I didn’t have any code words, but we had our own private signals. Like when we squeezed the other’s hand three times, it meant, “I love you.”

And Hubby rattling his keys in his pocket meant, “Are you ready to go?”

Hubby is also presenting me with a valentine. Well, actually, I’m making it, but it’s from Hubby. Well, actually, it’s from Hubby's shirts, which he wore, so same thing.

I went with easy. Twenty large blocks instead of hundreds of smaller ones. And I utilized some front panels of shirts with buttons and pockets. And in the corners of each block, a splash of red silk from one of his ties. With shirt buttons sewn into the middle of each red block.

   
 

It needs batting and backing, and then it will need to be quilted or tied, but this gives you a sneak peek of my valentine from Hubby.

I’ve been writing from home in the mornings, and from Starbux in the afternoons. The first draft of an 18-page e-book is completed that will be offered for free once the new web/blog site is up and running. It’s an overview of the last year of Hubby’s life with an emphasis on his tenacity. 

To complete the project, I needed to read back through journal entries and year-old blogs, and look through photos.

I came across one photo I had taken the day before Hubby died. I wasn’t expecting the rush of tears. I set my pen down, covered my face with my hands, and sobbed. For him, for the suffering he endured so gallantly.

And it felt good and cleansing.  Weeping is good.

I wouldn’t trade having this husband with his cancer diagnosis—and all the subsequent sorrow and loss—for someone else without cancer. Because I love the story of us. Of Hubby and me.

Everyone at my neighborhood Starbux – well, at least this barista and I – wish you all a happy Sweetheart’s Day.

   
 

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Venice canals

In keeping with my promise to limit the number of blogs about riding my bike to the beach, I am instead commenting about the Venice system of canals I explored. On my way to the beach. On my bike.

According to Son Jeremy who texted from the east coast, Venice Beach was developed by a man named Abbot Kinney back in the early 1900s. Kinney loved the Venice in Italy so much that he recreated the canals here in SoCal, complete with real Venetian gondolas and gondoliers.

   
 

Mostly kayaks and paddle boats and row boats these days—no gondolas—but what caught my attention while wandering along the walkways and over the bridges was the mixture of house styles. Which means also an interesting mix of gardens.

And garden gates. There’s the modern wrought iron look.

The industrial look supported by bamboo on both sides.

And of course the funky – contrasted here with traditional brickwork.

I think my favorite was this tan-colored sculpted fence and gate featuring stalks and leaves.

 

Abbott Kinney’s dream was pretty crazy, right?

I mean, who digs canals near the ocean and builds neighborhoods around them and bridges over them just because of a place they had visited?

I wonder what the cost of transporting gondolas and gondoliers to America from Italy in the early 1900s would equal in today’s dollars.

I received this card from family on my drive south and have been thinking about its message.

“Hope believes anything is possible.”

   
 

The inside reads: “Hope for the best, plan for the best, expect the best. You have every reason to keep moving forward ... closer and closer to your dream.”

I was thinking about these words in contrast to the hospice care message. In those last weeks of Hubby’s life, more than one doctor said to us, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

I understand that sentiment in context. Basically they were saying, Don’t lose hope. Your loved one can live longer than expected. But know that he/she is headed toward death more quickly than the rest of us.

That’s the business hospice doctors and nurses are in – preparing the terminal patient and their family/friends for the inevitable.

But I like the boldness of the words in this card when it comes to pursuing dreams.

I wonder how many people laughed at Abbott Kinney when he developed his Venice of America.

I hope to earn a living from writing. The world of publishing is a whole lot different today with people reading differently – as in, short snatches from the internet or via e-readers.

Nevertheless, there is the dream. And I am hoping and expecting and planning for the best. And putting in the hours at my computer every day. Writing every day.

Even on the days when I ride my bike to the beach. (Did I mention the temperature today was 82 degrees?)

   

 

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Just another day at the beach

I promise not to blog about bike riding to the beach every day. (Maybe just every other day.)

This afternoon I turned right on the bike path instead of south. Apparently north is where all the action is. Of course it helped that today’s high was a balmy 73 degrees.

Just another beautiful sail boating, volleyball-playing ...

   

... skateboarding ...

... rollerblading, bike-riding ...

... single-hand-standing ...

... showing-off-your-strength ...

... helmet-wearing day on Venice Beach.

 

While today was all that, yesterday was your Meet-Up-With-Old-Friends Day at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos in Long Beach.

   
 

Not that Rachelle is old, this lovely young wife and mom and family nurse practitioner. She’s just been a friend for a long time. 

I love the technology that allows us to keep in touch with people. I think it’s part of not feeling lonely although I’ve been hanging out with mostly me these days.

And so I leave you with one of my 13 personal commandments, and two adventuring tips:

Personal Commandment #12: Stay in touch. People are that valuable.

Adventuring Tip #1: If you’re looking for a serene ride, head south on the bike path at Marina del Rey.

Adventuring Tip #2: If you’re looking for some great people-watching opportunities, then you’ll want to point your bike north toward Venice Beach.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Foreign country

Rode my bike—notice it’s now my bike, sorry Denise—down past the marina ...

   
 

 

... underneath a live archway of green ...

   
 

... and out to the ocean where a strip of the beach is paved. With cyclists in mind.

   
 

Only in southern California would they run a strip of asphalt in the sand just for bikes. Parallel with the ocean. With a dotted yellow line indicating which lane one should ride in.

Son Jeremy and DIL Denise’s apartment has three slider doors that open wide to let in the balcony.

Guess who’s had the doors open for part of each day?

   
 

And speaking of wide open balcony doors, with Jeremy and Denise working out of town, I’ve been feeding Denise’s pet hummingbird who seems to have some competition.

   
 

 Apparently this big guy aspires to be a hummingbird.

 

It’s a strange and beautiful place, this foreign country that I’ve adopted as my home for a few months.

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Wednesday February 4, 2015

All kinds of advice

My pink ride for the next four months.

Well, it’s actually DIL Denise’s bike, but she and Son Jeremy are working on the east coast. And she entrusted me with the key to the lock. Which she may or may not regret. Since I’ll be putting in a lot of miles on these tires. Since there’s no place to snowshoe around here.

   
 

Feeling somewhat settled—grocery shopping, bank deposit, bills paid—I treated myself to a bit of fresh air. California style. In February. 

 

 

This SoCal bird with its long, skinny legs a mini ... what? stork?

where is Dr. Kornfeld when you need him?

I’ve been getting all kinds of questions and advice since relocating. This from a girlfriend:

“Enjoy the craziness of Venice Beach – and remember, tattoos are forever, so none of that impulse ink on the boardwalk!”

And this from one of The Brothers-In-Law:

“Did you make it down there okay? Is there much traffic? Are your neighbors nice? Have you seen the Lakers play? Have you heard sirens? Have you joined a gang?”

Haven’t gotten a tattoo or joined a gang. But you can bet I’ll blog about it when I do.

Meanwhile, painted toes meet southern California beach.

   
 

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Welcome to southern California

I was escorted off the Pacific Coast Highway. By two CHP cars with lights flashing.

But first, beautiful nature, great food and fun times with family on my way south.

A quick stop at Benbow Inn where Hubby and I honeymooned for one night. Back when I was a logger’s wife for the first two weeks of our marriage and the boss—Hubby’s dad—needed him on the job bright and early Monday morning. But that’s another story for another time.

   
 

An overnight stop in Sacramento to visit Hubby’s sis, Cheryl, and her fun family. Were it not for Cheryl, best friends from our high school days, I never would have met Hubby. Thanks, sis.

   

 

Lunch stop in Santa Cruz with one of my many beautiful nieces. Janet, mother of eight kids. (I know. She doesn’t look as if she’s borne eight children, right?)

   
 

 

Further south on the 101, a bright moon presiding over an amazing sunset that my cell phone camera doesn’t even begin to capture accurately.

Note California bugs on the windshield. (There are no bugs in Oregon.)

 
 
 

Dinner stop in Santa Barbara at a hole-in-the-wall taqueria for the  best tacos you’d ever hope to eat. Homemade tortillas while you wait. When I left, the line was out the door.

Recommended by Son Jeremy and DIL Denise.

   
 

Which may or may not make up for the recommendation from Jeremy to jog over to the Pacific Coast Highway from the 101. Beautiful scenery, less traffic, he said.

He was right. There was absolutely no traffic. None ahead of me. None behind. None coming from the opposite direction.

And then these two guys in uniform with flashing lights showed up, pinning my car so I couldn’t make any fast get-aways.

Where are you going, ma’am? I could not, for the life of me, remember the name of the town where J&D live. Which didn’t help in the area of don’t-create-suspicion. 

Where are you coming from? Oregon. 

Do you live in Oregon? Yes.

(I’ve watched enough cop shows to know you give the briefest of answers so that nothing you say can or will be used against you.) 

How did you get on this highway? Drove. 

Didn’t you see the big flashing signs indicating the highway is closed? I didn’t.

Apparently the CHP neglected to place flashing highway-closed-signs on the entrance from Rice Road and now I’m going to jail. That’s just great.

After further questioning, they gave me my very own private escort – one in front, one driving on my tail – back in the direction from whence I came.

I didn’t get a photo. Thought about it—because after all, this story would be much more interesting with a photo—but didn’t want to chance the CHP confiscating my cell phone.

Welcome to southern California.

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January 2015

Pedicures, cowgirl style

Photo ops

Powerfully profound

A mixed-emotions day

Embracing change

Unearthing treasures

Cancer-kicking community

In my defense

Doing good

Surrounded by love

Heading into the sun

Retirement

Be

Starting the year off right

December 2014

Revving up for the chase

Welcome home

Most excellent NYC adventure

Christmas gifts

Jersey horn-blowing

Sleeping well

Its not the Pacific Northwest

Pass it on

Cold beauty on the Deschutes

Top Ten Game

How to quit your day job

Unexpected. Lovely. Inspiring.

Angels of mercy, male version

Gifting creatively

Hubby may have been right

Christmas trees

Something patch-worked

Instructions for widowhood

Waiting to see what unfolds

November 2014

Celebrating a life well lived

What if

Starbux Fairy

List-making

Homegoing

Heated tile floors

Bottom line

Lifes too short

Something to teach us

Everything most important

Trade-off

Wearing gloves

Leaving nothing unsaid

Breaking out

October 2014

Randomness

Hospice House

The cake and the frosting

Reflections on a rainy day

Slow leaks

Counting blessings. Still.

Amazing

Feeding us

Looking for the perfect beverage

Thirsty, anyone?

Feeling loved

A wild life

SunRiver all over again

Photo shoot

September 2014

Ready for some football

Kid in a candy store

Actual birthday

German Chocolate Cake

Celebrating milestones

New recipes

More pep

One of my mothers

Thoughts from a hospital

August 2014

Down a lazy river

Em-barrassing

Siblings retreat

Creamed tuna on toast? Really?

Creating the life you want

Johnson women unite

Every sandwich

Cancer camp

Frequent flyer

Tenacious

July 2014

Short, but sweet

Walking Hubby

This cancer community

Return to the real world

Rah-rahs in town

Counting gifts

Differences

June 2014

Japanese daughter

Whos counting

Overwhelming evidence

Guest blogger: Lilly

True loves kiss

Father’s Day fun

Stuffed shells

About town

Dinner guests

Minutes ticking away

Move over, Walter Mitty

Heaven Can Wait for sure

May 2014

 Survival classes

Slinging ink

Theory on hospital stays

Baseball and BBQ

This is my job

Thoughts on this date night

Cranberry peonies

This Mothers Day

We will remember

Unwanted news

Celebrating Matt

Me without you

April 2014

 One sick puppy

Quern

Invisible well wishes

Easter color

Walking 4 Wellness - part 6

For the birds

Wilderness therapy

And we believed her

Clinical trial round three

The home crowd

Beautiful tree

Best Bran Muffin recipe

Best April Fool's joke

March 2014

 Thats just swell

Welcome back celebration

Succinct conversational skills

Walking for Wellness

First clinical trial treatment

Popcorn Lovers Day

Pacific Ocean ambience

Clinical trial prep

In the eyes of the beholder

February 2014

Green scrubs

Hometown tourists

Not exactly as planned

Lost and found

Get outdoors

Early Valentines Day gift

Popcorn stitch

January 2014

Three-part date

Weekend forecast

Winters art

Spa Chemo day

Seeing beauty

Pilot Butte challenge

Award rescinded

Ambition restored

Annual award

Meet the team

Must be present to win

December 2013

New Year's Eve news

Thoughts on gift receiving

Secret cure-all

Guest blog by Hubby

Non-compliant patient

Caught. Red-handed.

Tree-hugging

November 2013

A little trim

Giving thanks

A few of my favorite things

First in a series

Focus

The years are short

Travel

Cabin in the woods

October 2013

Leaving on a jet plane

Color

Knitting season

Pumpkin season

Things that matter

Fallin' and flying'

September 2013

Return to civilization

Another day in paradise

Happy birthday and anniversary

Love of barns

Leaving Wyoming

The Tour Guide

This nice big thing

Celebrating a lot of stuff

Fishing expedition

August 2013

Worst fears multiplied

This Friday night date

Mountains to climb

Hiking & oncology news

Out on the range

Cancer camp

Instead

July 2013

The boy who asks questions

Ten-year-old in tow

Tourists

A happy birthday

Music by the river

Mondays off

June 2013

Splash for Pink

Kids at Disney World

Male designed

Happy Father's Day

Pacific Coast thoughts

On track

May 2013

Aware. Appreciative.

MS Office 2010

Family get-togethers

It's just a number

Last trek, part two

Hardy gardeners

Mother's Day

Crunchy, sweet and savory

That time of year

April 2013

Swimming lessons

Getting off the ground

Chunk of asphalt

Stress-free zone

Two Portlands - part 2

This Boston Marathon

Earlier than the TSA

Shopping woes

March 2013

Half birthday ... again

Last trek

With each passing year

Keep the old

Tech nerd

Not the hardest thing

How hard can it be?

Just what the doc ordered

Two Portlands

Mini family reunion

February 2013

Shout out

Marvelous

There is today

Doing it up right

Happy Valentine's Day

Speaking of beans

Snow angel

Simple winter fare

Moving west

January 2013

Flat Stanley on snow-shoes

Water colors

Happy chatter

Flat Stanley visits again

Extended hope

Take that, cancer

Compromise

The commonplace

Bringing in the New Year

December 2012

Making investments

Winter wonderland

Random acts of kindness

Gift giving

The good, the bad and the ugly

Peace on earth

Cancer Club

Mission accomplished

Culture

Fantasy football

November 2012

Those darn numbers

Dreaming of a white Christmas

Back to reality

Favorite things, part IV

Complaint department

Even more favorite things

More favorite things

Favorite things

October 2012

Happy Halloween

Baking weather

Graduation day

First snow

Swans in pairs

A great fall

Date night(s)

DEFEAT Cancer

Country girl

Tis the season

September 2012

Back in the groove

Last hurrah

Teton hiking

Wow, Yellowstone

Reconnaissance in Jackson

Barn sightings

The power of tenacity

Winnie the Pooh wisdom

Long-time survivor

Perfect marriage

August 2012

Five dollar bill

Out in public

Guest blogger, Steffany

Think outside

Survivor camp

Camp this weekend

Living in a wonderland

Sacred space

High country

July 2012

High country

Simple cooking

Locks of Love

Attitude

Average, ordinary weekend

Close of birthday week

Day before

Get outdoors

Human beans

Mission: Accomplished

Night sky display

Journey with a mission

June 2012

Aint no sunshine

Favorite thing

In our possession

Over the hills

Camp Sherman on Father’s Day

In search of wildflowers

Building a cancer center

Southwestern surprises

Irrational fears

Reason to celebrate

Intention

The Space Noodle

May 2012

Reunions

Hiking posse

Powered by optimism

Mothers Day weekend

Heart tug moment

Vermont hospitality

Happiest place on earth

Supermoon

Unlikely source

Baby geese season

April 2012

Not found out west

The rules

Guess what state were in

New Englanders

Jersey weekend

Beantown

Easter blessings

Milestones

Bean soup day

March 2012

Fashion statement

Sharing the experience

Second day of spring

Half-broke horses

Simple pleasures are the best

Best to live your own life

Words With Friends

February 2012

Got your back

The entire snow-shoe team

Grand Canyon

Perfect day

Arizona in February

Springtime?

Super Bowl Sunday

Favorite audience

January 2012

Something in common

Some system

In such a community

Coming home

Headed for OHSU

Checklist for the coast

Welcoming Twenty-Twelve

December 2011

Snow in town

Filling Christmas weekend

Socks

Coolest date night ever

Dressed in pink

Butternut squash day

Making connections

Painted hills

November 2011

Beauty from junk

Taking nothing for granted

Grateful for - part 4

Grateful for - part 3

The child in all of us

Shepherd's House

Grateful for - part 2

Marathon epidemic

Unconquered

Grateful for - part 1

October 2011

My orthidontical twin

Last wilderness hike?

The view from 7,800 feet

Colonoscopies and fall colors

Welcome back

To make a life count

On our way to the Poconos

The Parents

Autumn day in the city

A few numbers

September 2011

Country girl signing off

Off the grid

What are sisters for?!

Try something new

For a limited time only

On the NCI web site

August 2011

I dont make this stuff up

Brothers

Addictions

A lifetime

Club membership

Detours

Date night can’t get much better

July 2010

Beauty in the high desert

Another shot at life

Happy Hour

Almost perfect

Enjoying the journey

Birthday week kick-off

Ive become my mother

Bobby McFerrin + OBF

50 things to do Part II

June 2010

Like what you do

Colorado wildlife

Life is good wisdom

Sad day

Rocky Mountain high

Cowboy sing-along

My kind of town

Please dont feed the bears

Naming buildings

Low expectations

Heaven Can Wait

Because nice matters

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008