Thursday, April 27, 2017

W is for Waffles #AtoZChallenge

Our grandkids used to come spend a week at spring break and another week in the summer at our house. I loved it because we could get crazy with cooking things they chose. This day, we made waffles with store bought cinnamon rolls. You can see they met his seal of approval.
The grandkids are now teenagers and we've fallen off the radar for awhile. I'm glad I have images from the times we've spent together. I've always known that time flies and tried to make the most of our visits. Still ... I wish for some of those days back.
Do you have photos of special moments with people? Do you ever go back and think about those days?
love, susan

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

V is for Vino on the Vine #AtoZChallenge

Washington and Oregon have been made famous for their wines. Before I moved to Washington, I had never seen a grape vine. There are miles and miles of grape vines in our area which makes for fun photography. It's exciting to watch them grow in stages throughout the summer and capture the rich colors in the late fall. In some places, the air is thick with an aroma that reminds me of my childhood and Welch's grape juice. There are dozens of wineries here and it has become a huge tourist trade.
Do you have an industry that has made your state famous? Do you have a favorite wine? Do you love Welch's grape juice? 
love, susan

There's No Place Like Home: April 2017 Life List

Looking Out My Window The wispy clouds are providing a backdrop for a beautiful sunrise. We're expecting big winds today but at least it is not raining at the moment.
As I Remember  Last week was spent in Nashville with two wonderful friends. It's hard to watch time fly at my age but I am keenly aware of it so I try not to waste a minute of it on negativity or doing things I don't want to do. I found myself enjoying 5 days with people who love life and were not afraid to talk about it. I love those conversations where tears flow, then laughter, then more tears. It's a truth that is hard to find in friends.
What I'm Learning I don't travel by air very often and feel like I am way behind the times with paperless tickets. I booked my trip in two legs but discovered I could have done it all in one reservation so that I didn't have to confirm twice and could get just one boarding pass. I tried to use my phone as my boarding pass but because I had screen shot the wrong leg of the trip, it was a fail. Luckily, I had a paper boarding pass for back up.
What I'm Creating I have done nothing too creative the last week but I did get to "interview" two guys in the music business last week while in Nashville. One guy is behind the scenes recording/mixing music, the other is a singer/songwriter who has been in the business many years. I hope to write about those interviews soon before I forget everything I learned. Between the two, I have something to say.
What I'm Reading I tried to read on the airplane but could not focus. I started Alec Baldwin's Nevertheless: A Memoir.  
What I'm Watching On my travel home from Nashville, I rented a tablet and watched Why Him? A very funny comedy starring James Franco and Bryan Cranston (from Breaking Bad). A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Fleming realizes that his daughter's Silicon Valley millionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question. Loved it!

What's On My Camera

From Nathan Smith's recording
studio. I loved the equipment!

Taken at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
in Nashville
My favorite friend photo of this trip!
(L to R: Kathy, Caroline, and me)

My rhodi bloomed while I was gone
but still are hanging in.

Quote I Want to Share:
“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”
 ~ Thomas Merton
A Peek Into My Week Well, I don't have a lack of work on my desk. We're going into the busy season at the prosecutor's office. Spring brings out the criminal in people. We're having dinner tonight with an out of town friend (Kristin) we haven't seen in far too many years. On Saturday, I am walking a foster dog in the Annual Pet Adoption Day at the park. Great event that usually adopts out 40-70 dogs in one day.
A Final Thought I really enjoyed my visit to Nashville. The most memorable thing about it is the politeness of people there. It is truly contagious. On this short visit, I could picture myself living there. I loved everything about it. I could see making another trip there but I would go in May next time. We got rained on, and not just drizzle rain (it was the kind that flows in the streets), for 3 days so I didn't get a chance to photograph places I might have otherwise. I'm back to work and have lots to do here at home and while I always love traveling to other places, there is no place like home.
love, susan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Unlimited Love #AtoZChallenge

This image was taken at our local annual pet adoption day. I got some great shots that day but this one gets me in the feels every time I scroll past it. There was a couple looking at this dog to adopt. This moment that I captured is, to me, priceless. They ended up adopting this little one. Who wouldn't?
Do you have dogs? Can you relate to this image?
love, susan

Monday, April 24, 2017

T is for Trips #AtoZChallenge

Earlier in this blog series, I mentioned I love Spokane. This was taken at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane, one of my favorite day trips. There is so much see in and near this great city that I think we could go every weekend and find something new. Besides Manito Park, the downtown area is fun to explore with its tall brick buildings and beautiful landscape. The restaurants and cafes offer great city cuisine that I don't find  where we live. They also have a Trader Joe's, which I try to visit every time we go. I never turn down an offer to drive to Spokane for the day.
Another 15 miles east of Spokane is the lovely town of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, which is a sweet little town to visit. Both cities make for a nice Sunday drive.
Have you ever been to Spokane or Coeur d'Alene? Do you have a favorite go-to place? Let's bring back the Sunday drive, shall we?
love, susan

Saturday, April 22, 2017

S is for SuddenlySusan #AtoZChallenge

Hi everyone, that's me! My hubby and I were out on a motorcycle ride this day in 2008. We live in eastern Washington where I love the hot, dry weather in the summers. I remember how it felt when he shot this photo. There was a slight wind blowing wonderful, hot air in my face. Behind me is the Columbia River gorge. When we got home, my hubby pointed out the animal carcass that was 3 feet from me in this photo. Eeeks!
By now, you may (or not) have wondered why I named my blog Freezerburned. I grew up in Alaska and left when I was 42. I've never had the urge to go back. I hate being cold and never want to feel that cold again. SuddenlySusan is an old nickname but it is one that says a lot about me.
Can you guess what kind of animal that was? Do you have a story in you? What's the story behind your blog name? Do you have a nickname?
love, susan

Friday, April 21, 2017

R is for Rest Stop #AtoZChallenge

This is Starvation Creek on I-84 in the gorge, not far east of Portland. My hubby and I like to make a rest stop and bathroom break here on our way home from visiting family. This place has provided me many opportunities for photo images to add to my files. There is a nice trail we can walk to stretch our legs before we continue the 4 hour trip home. In the 8+ years we've been driving to Portland, we never pass by this beautiful place without stopping. It is an unspoken rule.
Do you have favorite places where you love to stop? Do you have driving rules?
love, susan

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Q is for Quote #AtoZChallenge

Oh, the things you find when you visit the cemetery!
I love this quote.
My photo walking buddy and I often have no idea what we're going to shoot when we go out together. The idea of photo walking came from the local digital photography club we belonged to. They held a photo scavenger hunt in the park once. Ever since that event, my mind was opened to the possibilities of what I can see when I go looking.
What is your favorite quote? Do you find great quotes in odd places? Have you ever been on a photo scavenger hunt? Idea: It would be great thing to do with the grand kids who have cell phone cameras!
love, susan

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P is for Pure Joy #AtoZChallenge

This image is from an afternoon trip we took to the country for a visit. It is not often I am envious of other people's material things but I'll admit I felt jealous over the acreage these dogs enjoy every day. I have 3 dogs and it takes a concerted effort to get them to a wide open space to run. Sometimes I feel like I've cheated them out of a very good life for that reason alone. Otherwise, they couldn't have it any better. When I do take my dogs out, I wonder if they later dream about running free like this image.  I would.
Do you have a place for your dogs to run? Do you ever have guilt about not getting them out enough?  Have your felt envious of other people's stuff?
love, susan

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

O for Orange #AtoZChallenge

Our local library has a beautiful community volunteer garden. We had lived here 3 years before I heard about it. It has become one of my favorite local locations for taking photos of friends and is where I shot this image. The colors change with the seasons. This winter some friends wanted to do outdoors photos there because we had an unusual amount of snow. They all dressed up in their Sunday best and met me at the garden. The session was fairly quick because I don't cold much any more.
There is so much see in this world when I take the time to stop and investigate.
Does your hometown have a community garden? Do you have a favorite place you like to visit locally that maybe you didn't know about for a long time? Are there places you haven't visited in your town or city but have always wanted to? What keeps you from going?

love, susan

Monday, April 17, 2017

April Showers and All That ~ Life List

Peeking Out the Window It is raining this morning. Sure glad my lawn got mowed yesterday. It is looking lush right not but by July it will just be a memory. The forecast says it will be 72 here on Wednesday. I'll be somewhere else.
As I Ponder My weekend was full of big fun. We drove out to the country to visit some friends who just acquired three miniature ponies. Squeee! They are in need of socializing and I am the right girl for that job. One of them followed me out into the arena and eventually let me place my hands on her so I could give her face and ears a nice massage. Heaven! I got to use a de-shedder on another one of the ponies. Pulling shedding hair from animals is such a satisfying task. I could do it all day.
What I'm Learning Saturday night I did a prom photo shoot for my friend and her friends who are graduating this year. There were 18 of them! I asked my friend Ashley to come be a second shooter and since she is also a senior and goes to the same school, she knew almost everyone's names. This proved to be valuable as it was like herding cats. We each got about 250 shots and some really nice ones emerged. Having help is something I'll keep doing.
What I'm Creating Last night I made a skillet lasagna from an old Cook's Illustrated magazine. I haven't made a new recipe in a long time. It turned out great and will be even better today, I'm sure. It made a lot so I froze 3 containers for lunches later this month.
What I'm Reading/Watching I only turned the TV on once this weekend to watch my all-time favorite show CBS Sunday Morning. I especially love the musicians they have every week. They interviewed Ricky Martin and it was wonderful. He is better than ever! I have a book picked out for my long plane ride to Nashville this week.
What's On My Camera Now that the weather has warmed up, I was out 3 times last week. Everything else goes to the wayside when I'm in photographer mode. This is a good thing!
A Quote I Want to Share 
“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
– Zig Ziglar
A Peek Into My Week  Nashville, Tennessee tomorrow!
A Final Thought I just finished a dog training course with a great group of dog handlers. Every time I came home from class, I reflected on how all of us, including our dogs, gained confidence each time we attended. On another note, I'm flying out tomorrow to meet a friend in Seattle to spend the night and then we're flying to Nashville together. I hate flying, not because of the actually flying but because of all the things electronic these days and passing through security. I always feel like cattle. Ugh. I lose sleep over it. I'll feel better when I'm in the seat and that plane is pointed east.
love, susan

N for Not Forgotten #AtoZChallenge

This is my friends' dog, Hercules, who died at a much too young age. I had seen him probably a week before he took ill and the vet just couldn't save him. I was honored and glad that I had images of him when they asked so they could choose one to place on the little wooden box urn with his ashes. You can see he was a beautiful example of the beagle breed. I love this image because I feel like I can see right to his heart through his beautiful eyes. And, you should have felt how soft those ears were. Gone but not forgotten.
If you've kept up with my A to Z so far, you can see that documenting life is important. Do you take photos for other people? 
love, susan

Saturday, April 15, 2017

M for Married in Michigan #AtoZChallenge

This photo was taken one night while I was taking a walk with my son and my lovely daughter-in-law in old town Lansing. There was a wedding reception going on in the building to the right of this car where the window was the full face of the store front and we could see the wedding party dancing. My son was horrified that I would even think about lifting my camera to take their picture so I relented and just captured the car instead. When I look at it, I remember that walk with my kids. It was a really special trip.
Do you have moments in time that you remember vividly? Do you have a photo of it?
love, susan

Friday, April 14, 2017

Dear Lady Rider

Yesterday, I sold my motorcycle.
I know it was the right time to do it. I have been thinking about giving up motorcycling for two years now. I rode twice last spring and she has sat in the garage since then. A friend had posted online he was looking for a ride for a friend so I mentioned I was selling mine. She sold quickly.
As a goodbye to a very good part of my recent life, I wrote a letter to the young lady who is beginning her riding life. It felt good to pass on what I've learned from great biker friends on the road.  Oddly, I don't feel sad about giving up something that I truly loved doing. The time feels right for me. If you are one of my biker friends reading this, I thank you for all the wisdom you've imparted on me.

Dear Lady Rider:
I am thrilled you are just starting your journey on the road with this motorcycle.  This bike has taken me all over the state of Washington and a bit of Arizona. The best part of riding is the friends you’ll meet along the way. Bikers are the best people on the planet and now you are one!
This bike has a smaller gas tank than some of the people you’ll be riding with. My advice to you is to always top off the tank before you start out on a ride. Make sure you know what the plans are for your ride of the day so you can figure out where you need to stop for gas.  There is no light that comes on when you need to make the switch to your reserve tank. Make sure you always reset your trip meter so you’ll know exactly how many miles you have on a tank. You’ll get approximately 145 miles out of the main tank and when it is empty, you’ll have to reach down with your left hand and move the switch to the reserve tank. Robert will show you!  PRACTICE this before you need to do it on the road. Practice just moving your left hand down and finding the switch so that if it happens to run out of gas, you’ll feel confident about switching the tank to reserve. You MUST remember to switch it back when you fill up. Second advice on gas is fill up at the end of your ride so you are ready to go when someone calls and says LET’S RIDE TODAY!
Some things I’ve learned over the years are things other bikers taught me. I’ll try to remember a few here to pass on to you but I sure don’t know everything so listen when you are out with your biker friends. They know things!
Y   Start out riding around the block, use your signals, figure out your brakes. Then turn around and ride the other way. Just keep making your circle bigger and bigger and soon you’ll be out on the highway. It’s okay to be scared. Practice, practice, practice!
Y   Have your eyes open for gravel. Gravel is like ice. The first time you slip on it, you’ll know what I mean. The first time it happened to me coming out of a parking lot, I slipped and my first instinct was to put my foot down on the ground. Big mistake. It hurt. But I didn’t go down. J
Y   You’ll likely have bees fly up your sleeve or down your jacket. You must be a tough girl and grit your teeth. There is no room to panic when you are on a motorcycle. I’ve been stung a couple of times, once on the neck. That is nothing compared to what it’s going to feel like if you go down from panic.
Y   Carry a hoodie in your bag for times when you think it is warmer than it really is.
Y   Always wear your leathers even when you think it’s too hot. Summer time is for vests. BUT, if you happen to go out without a vest, never wear a shirt with buttons.  Tuck your shirt in or it will be flapping in the wind and you’ll be mad at yourself.
Y   Never ride when you are tired, hungry or distracted by chaos in your life. You need a clear head that is focused on the road. Before every ride, I always said a little prayer to the motorcycle gods to please let me have a clear head, a safe ride and good weather.
Y   Weather.  Always check the weather before you go out on a ride. You do not want to get caught in wind and rain. But if you do get caught in bad weather, constantly assess the situation and don’t be afraid to say, “I’m sitting it out for awhile”. There is no shame in that.
Y   RIDE YOUR SKILL.  A local guy said this to me one time when I was going out with a huge group (18 bikes!). What this means is … don’t get cocky or follow the crowd if they are doing stupid shit. You’ll find people who want to take risks. You do not have to follow them.
Y   Carry cash in your pocket just in case your credit/debit card doesn’t work at the gas station. Shell is famous for letting you fill up once and then at the next stop your card won’t work. Also, bikers stop a lot for lunch!
Y   Carry a bottle of Gatorade and a snack in your bag. Summer heat is brutal and you want to stay hydrated and not let your blood sugar get low. J
Y   Most of all, have big fun!

L is for Love With Skin #AtoZChallenge

As part of my series in the A to Z Challenge, here is L.

This is my friend, Rosemary, with some of her reasons for living. When we get invited to go out to her place, I always take my shooter and I am never disappointed with my takes. She is a great subject because she doesn't pay any attention to my lens and just carries on with the business of feeding and loving her animals. As you can see, the love is mutual.
Who is your love with skin?
love, susan

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for Kids #AtoZChallenge

This post is in my April series of A - Z Challenge.

Kids Spell Love: 
T - I - M - E
When I'm carrying a camera, I see things I may miss otherwise. Most times I go out in the world with zero expectations about what I'll find to shoot. It's better that way. Keeping an open mind and a ready camera is best when looking for messages. This may have been taken on a long road trip, or a Sunday drive. I don't remember.
Do you go on Sunday drives?
Where do you go?
Do you pack a picnic?
Do you take pictures?
love, susan

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for Japanese Garden #AtoZChallenge

We're halfway through the A - Z Challenge and this is perhaps my favorite photo in this series.

My favorite destination these days is the Manito Park gardens in Spokane, Washington. Pictured here is the Japanese Garden, which is one of several themed patches of beauty in this park. When I visit any botanical gardens, the Japanese garden is always my favorite, followed closely by butterfly houses. This image was shot on a clear September day. I wish you could see the rest of this park ... you'd be amazed! Just writing this makes me want to get in the car and go tomorrow.
Do you have a botanical garden near where you live?  Have you ever visited a botanical garden?  
love, susan

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for In Lansing, Michigan #AtoZChallenge

I know.  My "I" is a stretch.

I've only been twice but I love the capital building in Lansing, Michigan. It is set dead-center of a street where I can go stand in the middle of a mini garden to shoot a pic. This one I took on our last trip there in May, after having dinner with our kids at a downtown watering hole. I wish you could see the inside of this historic building. It is worth half a day to venture through. I'd like to think most capital buildings are worth seeing.
Have you been to your state's capital building? Did you go inside? Did you think about all the laws that are made there, and how it must feel to have that for a work place?
love, susan

Almost Mid April Haven't Finished the Taxes Life List

As I Look Out the Window the sunrise is promising a beautiful day. It's still colder than usual in the mornings but gradually warming every day. Too early to plant but it won't be long now until it's safe.

As I Ponder My week has already started out at a full run. I leave next week for my Nashville trip and have many things to do before now and then. I wish not to stress over any of it. Perhaps today I should make a list of to-do's.

What I'm Learning I got hit hard with allergies last Thursday. I suffered all weekend until a good friend turned me on to a peppermint essential oil she whipped up for me. I place a drop under each nostril and it truly does have amazing healing power. Mostly, it cleared my head. I hate taking chemical for such things so this new cure interests me.

What I'm Creating I took my dog out over the weekend to do a little agility. I'm trying to create a better behaved dog. Working with her makes it easier to have her in the house. She needs the mental stimulation. I also went out to a friend's house last night for a photo shoot with her animals. My friend is an artist and wanted some frames she could use to draw her fur babies. Fun was had!

What I'm Watching Saturday was a movie marathon day as my allergies kept me down. We watched 4 movies: The Untouchable, Take, and I can't remember the other two. Also, we are a couple episodes into Grace & Frankie on Netflix ... loving that!

What's On My Camera Now that the weather is better, I'm getting more time outdoors. This is from my shoot last night out at the farm. 

A Quote I Want to Share
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm - Henry David Thoreau
A Final Thought There may not be enough coffee in the world this week as I zip through it. Work is getting busier with spring and drunk drivers. I like to be busy but wanna stay on top of things. New day. Woke up with a good attitude and hoping it lasts me the entire week. That's all.

love, susan

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for He Who Humors Me #AtoZChallenge

My hubby is a great sport when it comes to having his picture taken. I discovered this location near the airport where the backgrounds are colorful and run down. I wanted to test it before I took a family there for a photo shoot. Since this day, I've taken quite a few people to this great location for a shoot. I keep thinking I should start a file listing my favorite locations but haven't done it yet.
Do you have favorite places you go to take photos? Do you have a favorite spot where you write or make art or read?
love, susan

Saturday, April 8, 2017

G is for Get the Shot #AtoZChallenge

The Saturday Market in Pasco, Washington is a great place to go for colorful shots. I truly love to capture people randomly but I'm still a big scaredy cat when it comes to asking permission to take a stranger's photo. So, I stand back with a long lens. 
What is it about your craft that scares you? 
love, susan

Friday, April 7, 2017

F is for Flight #AtoZChallenge

Every April, the pelicans fly in for fishing at a levy near my home in Eastern Washington. I never tire of traveling out to Horn Rapids to watch them eat and fly. I didn't realize how magnificent these birds are until I saw them form a ballet in the sky. My favorite scene is when they come in for landing. By this time of year, the temperatures are perfect for bird watching and definitely a welcome sight after a long week at the office.
I'm grateful to have a hobby that takes me outdoors to see the wonders in this world. Sometimes I have to shoot a hundred frames to get one good shot. I don't mind.
What is your favorite hobby? Tell me about it!
love, susan

Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Evening Shoot #AtoZChallenge

This is a young friend I've been photographing for two years. She loves to find new locations and took me to a sand dune near my house last fall to shoot senior pics. How I have lived here for 8 years and did not know about this spot is beyond me. We had been shooting all afternoon and this was our last stop in a race against sundown. I love how this one turned out. It doesn't hurt that she is the cutest thing on two legs.
This day reminded me how important it is to have friends of all ages and from all walks of life. They know things.
What have you learned from your friends? Do you find new places where you live and wonder how it escaped you?
love, susan

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

D is for Day Trips #AtoZChallenge

This image is from a day trip my buddy and I took to Spokane. She hadn't been up there for at least 20 years and I don't need much of an excuse to get in the car to go. We visited the riverfront in downtown Spokane as well as Manito Park, Trader Joe's, and the downtown U.S. Post Office (great old federal building). She loved going to Trader Joe's maybe the most.

On this day, we went into the old post office to see what kind of photos we could capture. This post office has those original vintage mailbox doors with gold colored combination locks on them. They don't make them like that anymore.

This photo conjures up great memories of that day.
Do you ever take day trips?
love, susan

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

C is for Cemeteries #AtoZChallenge

My photo walking buddy and I visited several cemeteries in October one year. It may seem odd to some but we're always looking for new ideas and since Halloween was upon us, the thought didn't seem too far fetched. We had a blast!
I've always been intrigued by morbid things. The most frightening thing to me are the tall statues at cemeteries that seem to be looking right at me. I still get the chills when I view this one.
Did you ever watch Dark Shadows back in the day? Do you ever visit cemeteries to read the old head stones?
love, susan

Monday, April 3, 2017

First Week of April ~ Life List

Outside it is almost light at 6:15am. The mornings are still crisp but the temperatures are climbing into the 60's here in eastern Washington. The tulips are almost blooming.
As I Ponder My life has gotten busy all of a sudden. We were out every night last week doing something. I don't mind. I'd rather be busy.
What I'm Learning I finished all my posts for the April A to Z Challenge so now I can sit back and read a lot of other blogs. Saturday was the first day for posting and I added several blogs to my reading list. In the past, I've tried to write my posts the day it was due and it was a struggle. Much better to be prepared ahead of time.
What I'm Creating I've been outside every day cleaning up the old, dead leaves and trimming down the dead stems on my herb plants. I'm dreaming about what I'll plant this year.
What I'm Watching We finished Season 2 of Better Call Saul (loved it!). I started Frankie & Grace, which looks like it is going to be good. The first episode had me laughing and crying.

What's On My Camera We went to Pendleton, Oregon yesterday on a Sunday drive. We took a short walk on the river front because it is still slightly chilly. I got 3 shots with my camera and called it good.
 A Quote I Want to Share
Spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's Party'. ~ the late Robin Williams
A Peek Into My Week My hubby has to do a stress test this morning. He had a heart attack 3 years ago and I'm glad this doctor is pro-active with his treatment. The nuclear stress test is the best technology available to give the doctor a look at the heart and arteries. No caffeine for 24 hours.
A Final Thought I'm getting pretty jazzed about my trip to Nashville in a couple weeks. My step-daughter suggested I look at Pinterest for ideas about restaurants and things to do while there. I never thought about looking there but it was a great suggestion. You can find anything on Pinterest! Who knew.
That's all.
love, susan


B for Butterfly Times Two #AtoZChallenge

One of my favorite places to visit nearby is the Manito Park and Botanical Gardens in Spokane, Washington. After my first trip to the gardens with an old friend from high school, I've been making the 2 hour drive to this lovely place at different seasons of the year to capture the magic.
We've been all over our area in every direction and I'm still discovering new places to take my camera on Sunday drives.
Do you a favorite Sunday drive? Where do you go?

love, susan

Saturday, April 1, 2017

A is for A Miracle #AtoZChallenge

First, let me thank you for dropping by. The fact that you dropped in to read my blog post means a  great deal to me.
This image is of a walking miracle. My good friend and photo walking partner suffers from a long battle with Guillain Barre Syndrome. She was hospitalized for several weeks and we weren't sure she would walk again without aid. 
When I shot this image, I wasn't really thinking about her being a miracle. It was later, when I was editing the shots we took that day, that I realized it was truly a miracle that she is upright and walking, much less keeping her balance on this narrow cement path.
Photography is a great love of mine. When I get home after a photo walk or shoot, it is like Christmas morning when I open up the files to see what I got.
Do you document your life with photos? Have you ever witnessed a miracle?  Tell me about it!
love, susan

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adopting Dogs: Give Them Six Months to a Year to Adjust

I've got something on my mind that I need to put out here. First, a disclaimer. I have had dogs pretty much all my life with the exception of my time living in Arizona due to the extreme heat. I am not a trainer. I don't claim to know everything there is to know about dogs. I feel I only know a little, even after all these years of having dogs and many hours of training.
I learn something from every trainer I've ever been tutored by. When we first moved to eastern Washington, we waited a year before we adopted our first girl from the humane society. She had just dropped a litter of puppies and was looking really haggered but when I saw her looking up at me from the other side of the kennel, I knew she was to be mine. They told me she was between 4 and 5 years old. I didn't want a puppy.
 Our border collie is also an adoptee from the humane society and my youngest belonged to a housesitter who was moving and couldn't keep her. 
The point of this post is that each of them had major adjusting to do. It was in a class I took my first girl to that the wonderful trainer said to me ... "give her 6 months to a year, you will have a different dog".  She was so right.
When we brought the 2nd dog home (the border collie), she was also between 4 and 5 years old. The second day, there was a fight in our back yard and I was ready to take her back to the humane society. Luckily, our neighbors at the time encouraged us to give it a week. Give them time to adjust. I did.
Our 3rd addition has been the hardest. She has terrible separation anxiety, which as gotten better but I believe will never disappear completely. The first two years were hell! She cried like she had been stabbed in the heart every time we let her outside by herself. She hated the leash with a great passion, and she is the embodiment of why they call female dogs bitches. And, she is oh-so-sweet most of the time.
It has been a lot of work to keep these dogs. They each have quirks and mannerisms that need to be paid attention to. I cannot feed them together. I cannot leave toys laying around due to aggressive possessive behavior. There have been some hair flying, blood-letting fights (about twice a year) that have left me quite shaken. 
But hear this ... I did not give up on them.
If you are thinking of adopting a dog, let me tell you that it is a big decision and it requires follow through. You have to be willing to see past some of the behavior at the beginning. You have to give them a long time to adjust and trust. You have to take time to get to know their quirks.
The key to successful pet ownership, in my humble opinion, is time and training.
That's all.
love, susan

Monday, March 27, 2017

Good Riddance March ~ Life List

Looking Out My Window It's still dark but the forecast is for a sunny day and 60 degrees. It rained all yesterday. Wouldn't you know it will be sunny on a workday Monday? Phooey.
As I Ponder I had a great weekend but it wasn't quite long enough. I hooked up with a new friend who has an animal rescue team. We met at the park so I could photograph her latest rescue, Buddy. I never turn down an opportunity for a dog photo shoot. She then hooked me up with another family who is rehoming two dogs as they have had a major life change. What I love about this new friend I've met is that there is no judgment of people and their reasons for having to rehome their animals. It's all about moving forward and taking care of the business of finding great placements. Love that!
What I'm Learning Dude, I took guilt free naps again this weekend.
What I'm Creating I have A through W posts done and scheduled for publishing every day (except Sunday) in April for the A to Z Challenge. I have about 8 hours into this project but I'm excited to have it almost done so I can focus on reading other people's posts during the month of April. I have met some really great online bloggers through this challenge in past years.
What I'm Reading Didn't read a line last week.
What I'm Watching  We watched 13 Hours on Netflix yesterday. Great movie, hard topic. We watched two other movies yesterday in our Sunday rain movie marathon.
What's On My Camera This is Buddy. He was found wandering around on a country road. It's hard to believe nobody is looking for him. He has the sweetest disposition.
Quote I Want to Share
“You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, ‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!” ~ Dave Berry
A Peek Into My Week This week is going to be busy. I'm having coffee with a friend after work today, pho with a work friend on Wednesday, dog class Wednesday night, potluck with friends on Thursday night, birthday celebration Friday night, catch up with an friend in town on Saturday. Work, eat, sleep times 5!
A Final Thought Every year I feel like a survivor at the end of March. This winter was brutal and March has not been much of an improvement so I am glad to see it behind me. April. Now April is going to be exciting. I'm going to Nashville with a friend later in the month. My winter life has improved since I started adding things to my calendar to look forward to. It was a simple shift in my thinking and it works.
love, susan

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A to Z Theme Reveal: Pictures from the Past

Hello everyone!  I am getting ready to participate in the AtoZ Blog Challenge  next month. 
My theme is PHOTOS FROM THE PAST. I will post a photo every day in April representing A to Z a favorite moment I captured on my camera with a short paragraph about it. My hope is to inspire anyone who loves photography to get out there and document your life and bring it back to share on your blog.
I hope you'll follow along on this venture and leave a comment when you feel like it.
love, susan

Monday, March 20, 2017

First Day of Spring Life List

Looking Out My Window 6:17 am and it's still dark. Thank you daylight savings time. It's still crisp in the mornings but spring has arrived. Everything is comin' up!
As I Ponder We had a great weekend but now it's over. My old dog "Missy" and I attended the annual Pooch Walk fundraiser for a local pet rescue. Our registration number was 730! There were hundreds of people and dogs of every type. Missy was a little freaked out at first but she got into it once we started walking. When I was registering, she slipped out of her collar and my heart did flip flops for a minute. Time for a new collar, I guess. Luckily, she didn't bolt.
What I'm Learning Ever since I got back from Hawaii, I've taken naps on the weekend when I feel like it, guilt free. Screw guilt!
What I'm Creating I'm gearing up for the A to Z Blog challenge that starts in 2 weeks. The theme for my blog this year will be Photos from the Past. I have thousands of digital photos that I'm going to sift through to find my a to z posts. The posts will be short paragraphs with a little bit about the photo.
What I'm Reading Never picked up my book last week. Oh, well.
What I'm Watching Could be I didn't read because I watched a little bit too much Netflix. I watched "Blow" starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. This movie was done in 2001. The only thing that held my interest was Johnny Depp. Not a great movie, in my humble opinion. Watched a couple episodes of Shameless because I am shameless.
That's me in the middle!
At the pooch walk on Saturday.
What's On My Camera Oh man, you'd think I could find something besides squirrels to photograph but you'd be wrong. Not feeling it yet. Winter just about took all the life out of me. I'm pretty sure my inspiration will be back any day now.
A Quoted I Want to Share (from the movie "Blow")
Fred Jung: [to young George as they leave the bank, after declaring bankruptcy] Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.
A Peek Into My Week It's light now until at least 6:30pm so I'm hoping to put on my walking shoes and get my girls out for an evening walk every night this week. I'm ready to be outdoors. Dog class on Wednesday night. Maybe a haircut.  Eat, sleep, work, repeat 5 days in a row!
A Final Thought It sure was a hard winter. I'm still recovering from the worst winter blues I've had since we moved here 8 years ago. I don't really see myself growing much older here. I need to be someplace a little sunnier, ya know?
love, susan

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy Pi Day ~ Mid March Life List

Looking out my window It's still dark because of daylight savings time. Boo hiss. It is warm enough that I went outside barefooted in my nightgown to call in my barking dog.
As I Ponder My weekend was filled with laughter, tears, and more laughter. I went up to Mt. Hood with a sisterhood of 5 other women I'm close to. It was the kind of weekend you see in the movies.
What I'm Learning It's not so scary to tell the truth about myself. In that sacred place this weekend, we got down to the nitty gritty about things. Things that are not for public consumption, but truths that can be taken out and handled with care. If my truth helps only one other person, it becomes an asset.
What I'm Creating Time. I'm creating time. Can you create time? I think so. I got two loads of laundry in this morning before I go to work. I won't have another load until the end of the week. If I work it correctly, I should have a fairly clear schedule next weekend to do something fun with the hubby.
What I'm Reading I got a little distracted this last week. Still reading True Notebooks. My daughter-in-law lent me a Kindle book on minimalism this morning and I only have 14 days to finish it so that's my priority.

What I'm Watching We watched a good movie up at the cabin called How Do You Know with Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson.

What's On My Camera I took a couple of pics with my cell phone at the cabin. You can see there is still snow. When we arrived Friday night, it was less packed down and difficult to get from the car to the cabin with all our junk.

A Quote I Want to Share From the movie we watched:  We are all just one small adjustment away from making our lives work.

A Peek Into My Week Doctor appointments and dog class on Wednesday night. Maybe with changing to daylight savings time, I'll be able to go out for a walk with my dogs after work.

A Final Thought I had so many great moments over the weekend. Each of us 6 women are at different places in our lives but we all have similar struggles and joys. I tend to want to focus on the joys these days. We've got some hard days ahead but there is no purpose, that I can see, in future tripping. At my age, I'm just doing this life one day at a time. Making plans but not planning the outcome.

love, susan

Friday, March 10, 2017


I've always loved the word altruism. Way back in the day when I worked in the mental health field, I was part of a team that met every morning for 30 minutes to check in, debrief, make a plan for the day, and discuss case management for clients who were chronically mentally ill. It was during that time that I heard the word used. I had to look it up as it was not a word used in any other part of my life, ever. One of the social workers explained it in terms I could understand. He said to think about sitting at a table with several people, a lovely meal in front of you, and the only utensil is so long that you cannot bring the food to your own mouth. The only way to consume that beautiful meal is to feed the person across from you, and they you. That's altruism.

In my writing jounal this morning, this word came up as I am getting ready for a special weekend with some beautiful people in my life. Altruism.  It isn't just for special occasions or when it is convenient. It is for every occasion.

Food for thought.

love, susan