Softening the light


Glancing through photos from a few years ago, I found this of a Washington beach and decided to play around with the contrast and vibrancy.
This is, of course, a photo from the Olympic Peninsula. The light that day was challenging — sun on sand on sea and then back at you.

A very Happy New Year to all of you!

A quiet corner with a Ukulele


The gray of the sky outside makes me want to cover up and find a quiet place to read or strum the Ukulele.
We still haven’t had any significant amount of snow even though the NWS says there’s a hundred percent chance.
Hmmm, how does that work again? I hope you all find your quiet little nook this weekend to savor the warmth of your homes
and hearts. Advent season and all of its activities can be such a reflective time of the year…
And maybe with a little luck we’ll get some snow.


Photos enlarge.

Moon Tower

This is a crazy photo, I know. And not one I’m usually known for – but here it is.
It’s not computer generated. It was real: Las Vegas control tower the morning we flew out
after our desert visit in April. I looked out the window of the passenger seat and the moon was hanging there — I had to take the photo.
What do you think when you look at it? I am thinking Star Wars or one of those computer games our boys play…


Next up will be the sunset photos from the other night like I promised. Maybe…

On a clear day…


This photo is one we took on our last trip to Oregon about a year and a half ago, in April 2011, during spring break.
I can remember how hard the wind was blowing and how fresh and soft the air felt up in the forest.
As I write this the rain is gently falling on our parched valley. Our thanks to you, Creator. That is what the native people here say when
good things happen.

I should have alerted you all to what I’m up to a couple weeks ago, but I simply got distracted. I was taking a bit of a blogging break while
I work on my writing/publishing/general catch up. This week I hope to return to my novel in progress: Marsala Dreams.

I posted this photo because the novel is based on the sea, sailing, and adventuring in and around the northwest coast –mostly the book takes place on Haida Gwaii or the Queen Charlotte Islands in Canada. I am anxious to finish it before the end of the year so I’d better get cooking, huh? I don’t have that much left but tying all the little threads together is going to be a challenge.

So wish me luck. I’ll be back with some photos in a few days because once the sky clears we’re going to have some fantastic sunsets over the mountains.

And.. the fall colors are turning out great right now.

Monday night Ukulele fun!

The Missoulian ran a featured article about our Ukulele Jam in last Sunday’s paper. Matthew and I started teaching Ukulele three winters ago as part of the school’s adult education series. Since then we’ve seen big changes. The class turned into a weekly jam and now we have a big group of very faithful players who gather each Monday evening in our local library to play and sing.

Vince did a really nice job on the story. He and his photographer stayed the whole session to see what we are up to in the Mission Valley. We are pretty proud of our group which has grown to well over twenty players in the last three years. If this were Seattle, and one used the same ratio to our town’s population, we’d have – whoa – a lot of members. Thousands. In the last week we’ve received many inquiries from others all over the northwest who want to start up groups in their own locale. As far as I know we are the only ones doing this in Montana right now, but not for long!

Rural areas and small towns need positive social activities where people live. Urban areas have scads of things for people to do. Distractions are around every corner with music blaring out of every door. Not so in small towns like ours. There’s the bar, there’s school sports, and there’s church. We had no idea our little group would grow like this and we feel very lucky to be a part of it.

Thanks to all the wonderful people who come out regardless of the weather each Monday night to play music with us. Uke on!

Ukulele Jam

Stuff in the oven….

make pie!

A happiest of New Year to all of you. I have once again been a bit out of the blogging loop since Solstice.
This is not intentional, we have a few items in the oven right now. There’s always somethin!

Two doctors said they are pretty sure I tore my ACL skiing after Christmas so no more skiing for me for awhile…. but I’m up and walking and getting around and using the ice pack a lot. I probably will not opt for the surgery. At least not right away.
When I want to go skiing again I’ll have to wear a brace, but I can live with that. The surgery takes about a year’s recuperation. I don’t wanna’ do that.

This morning I found leftover pumpkin pie filling.
So I decided to make a different kind of pie – carrot and pumpkin pie with pecans. (Say that five times fast!) This is
a shot of it as it went into the oven unbaked. Since our son gave me a very hip apron for Christmas I decided I needed
to brush up on my baking since the Holidays. This pie is equal parts carrot and pumpkin using the standard custard
pumpkin pie recipe.
Disclaimer:  I did not use heavy cream today since Matt and I are counting calories. I used Evaporated milk
and left out the cardamon since I added the carrot puree. I always seem to use more cloves, allspice and ginger than most recipes call for too.

Le Pie just came out of the oven so we’ll allow it to cool and see how it tastes. Then we’ll share with family.  Come on over for a piece!

Thoughts still elsewhere…


Had to share with you the last photo of wild flowers I took. Even my pansies in the garden are pretty much frosted.

We had to get snow tires on our car before we go skiing. We did that, so now we’ll wait for a cheap Friday… but darn it if I’m not still thinking about boats!

Below is McDonald Lake I took with little ole’ point and shoot. It’s bright sunshine today with no snow. It’s hard to think about winter.


One of the closest put-ins for us when we go kayaking on Flathead Lake is at the southern tip of  Polson Bay. The sign was designed and cast by my brother

of  Written in Stone. He’s awesome.

Click to enlarge