I took my camera with us wherever we went ... we RVd a lot and when Rich could no longer do that, we took day trips or weekenders in our car. There's so much beauty out there ...

We lived on the southern Oregon coast (Brookings) for ten years and I took this from our back deck early one morning. We were fortunate to find a place to live up in the hills, just outside of town and out of the coastal fog .. no neighbors close by and lots of wildlife .. including a nosy black bear .. that story will come later!

Natural Bridges, on the Oregon coast, is a photo op that no-one passes up. One day, Rich walked down the pathway and crossed the 'bridge' on the left of the picture ... no way was I going to venture down there!

This is Lewis Creek ... near Brookings. In order to get this shot, we had to leave our car on the dirt road and climb a fence to get to this area but it was well worth it. This photo was purchased from me for an Oregon calendar and I have it framed and on my wall.

Beauty can be found anywhere, if you're just willing to look. There's no need to travel afar ... there's plenty to see in your own 'back yard'. This is one of the numerous rivers in southern Oregon .. we drove alongside it on one of our day-trips.

One of my favorite movies is the African Queen and I named this photo the Siuslaw Queen. We stayed one weekend in Florence (central Oregon coast) in a riverfront motel and when this boat sailed by, I got my binoculars to look for Bogie and Hepburn!

This photo is one of my absolute favorites and is hanging on my living room wall. It is Mount St. Helens taken from the back side (99% of people take the front shot, showing the caldera .. not me!) If you look closely, you can see a plume of steam rising.

If you have never seen "The Redwoods", it's worth a trip .. they are breathtaking. This is Rich with Gypsy and Martini in northern California. This tree isn't one of the largest Sequoias by any means, but you can see how magnificent they are. We love them so much, we planted 101 Sequoias on our land in Brookings and within five years some were 25' tall.

What can I say? This photos says it all ... and yes, it's in southern Oregon.

This is another breathtaking river but when I saw this rock formation I had to take a picture ... how unusual it is!

Just enjoy the view!

On one of our many visits to Crater Lake National Park (Oregon's only national park) I was busy trying to compose a one-of-a-kind shot of the lake itself, when I saw this huge crow (or maybe a raven) land on a snag ... and as I got close to him, he graciously showed me his profile for one great shot!



Finding old photos while unpacking is like an unexpected gift ... time to stop and enjoy the memories ... I'm going to post some photos of our 'extended family' ...

When we lived in Grants Pass, Oregon, we worked on weekends at a place called Tigerville .. it's now reinvented itself as 'Out of Africa' in Arizona. My favorite of the big cats was this Siberian female called Brendal ... a magnificent 600 pound big cat .. She would respond to my 'big cat hello'. Isn't she beautiful?

These are two of our feline friends ... Fluffy on the left (Rich named her) and Dusty (my name) .. Both were adopted from the local humane society. Fluffy lived to be 23 years old and Dusty died of fibrosis when she was about 10 years old ... we had her for seven years. She had been surrendered for unknown reasons, after being declawed and she had a short, kinked tail .. but what a character she was!

Martini was our first German Shepherd .. she and her littermates were orphaned at 4 weeks of age when their owner tossed salmon scraps away and the pups' mother got out of her pen and ate it. When we went in the pen, we decided to let the pups choose who wanted to come home with us. Martini came and sat by my feet after the others went and laid down after checking us out. She was so tiny when we brought her home at 5 weeks of age but grew up quickly.
Here she is at maturity. She was easily house-trained and obedience-trained .. in fact, she was trained to use her own 'bathroom' we created for her on our property. She lived to be 14 years old.
I had an article printed in Dog Fancy about the 'bathroom' .. with instructions on how to create one and how to train dogs to use it.

Gypsy was our second German Shepherd ... Martini had both knees operated on and became a couch potato so we thought a pup would get her moving again. It did! Martini enjoyed playing with Gypsy until Gypsy outgrew her, then it was a different ballgame .. but Gypsy respected her big sister right up to the time of her death. Gypsy was such a special gift that we never adopted another dog after she passed on.

Here's a great photo of Martini and Gypsy with the little lady who ruled the house ... Calico. She was a 'drop off' near our house when she was about 18 months old .. she made herself at home in our carport loft and eventually became a house cat. She was the same age as Martini so when Gypsy showed up as an 8-week old rambunctious pup, it was Calico who taught her the lesson she never forgot ... Don't mess with the lady of the house!

This is dear little Calico .. with a face like that, I don't understand how anyone could just throw her away like they did. She was Miss Personality! We took her in, had her spayed, vaccinated, etc. and she was our chicken protector. I'd find her lying in the hypericum keeping tabs on our half dozen chickens after I let them out in the morning. Nothing ever bothered them with Calico there as sentry!

One of my favorite photos of our 'extended family' is this one of Martini and Calico. They were lying on the deck outside the living room one day, both fast asleep, so I grabbed my camera and went out quietly so as not to disturb them. Of course, when I got near them, they both woke up but I told Martini to "stay", and I snapped the picture. See what I mean about Calico ruling the roost?



Rich could be a real nutcase at times ... we had so much fun! While unpacking today, I found some old photos and thought I'd share a few that show the funny side of him ..

On Memorial Day in Grants Pass, OR they have a huge "Boatnik" weekend with a parade on the Saturday. In 1987 we were in the parade with an animal organization we were associated with ... Rich donned a clown face and roller skates and walked his invisible dog!

We loved to take our dogs to the beach (we lived on the Oregon Coast for ten years) and this one day, Rich found a piece of driftwood that he thought would make a great moustache!

At one of the many country festivals we attended, the strolling balloon-maker gave us each a balloon ... he gave Rich a 'nose' balloon .. needless to say he posed, amidst laughter!

He came out of the bathroom one day with his hanky stuck in his zipper ... with his ever-running nose he had kept the hanky in his hand while zipping up. I told him to "stay put" while I grabbed my camera! Notice the look on his face ... I have to laugh every time I look at this.

On one of our jaunts through the countryside, we came across this lovely old car and life-sized models of Laurel and Hardy .. needless to say we couldn't resist stopping for photos!

My dear aunt visited from England and we took her everywhere we could think of that she might like .. but she liked everything anyway. We stopped at a restoration of an old west town and enjoyed every picture-taking opportunity.

Who could resist the hangman's noose?

Here he was attempting to communicate with a donkey .. he must have felt a 'connection' there!

On Christmas, 2002 I bought him a life-sized Marilyn cutout .. A lot of our friends came over to have their photos taken with her ... but none were quite as 'animated' as my dear Rich.



Here are a few photos from my holiday with the Magnificent 8 .. (English friends) at Lake Almanor, northern California from June 28 - July 9, 2007. After all the sadness I had in my life this year, they (the 8) were a breath of fresh air and I had a blast!

Here's all of us except my brother in law, Sterling, who took the photo ...
Back Row L to R: Eric, Gary, Emma, Hannah
Front L to R: Me, Lianne, Mark, Paula, Babs, Sharon

This is a picture of Lianne and Mark .. we're hoping they'll both come over here to go to University either this year or next year .. Mark has his own webpage .. check the links to the right .. He made me laugh most of all (and vice versa) ..

Speaking of laughing! I wont divulge the identity of the gymnast but I'd only give her a 2.0 for that performance! lmho

On this photo, you can see where all the fun is being had (in the back of the boat: Lianne, Emma, Hannah, Mark, Me) by the look on the faces of the chaps in the front of the boat (Sterling and Eric)!!!

A lovely view of a busy lake .. including the geese who made daily visits for leftovers ... The first few days we were there, it was breezy (but very warm) and the last several days it was perfect!

I'm not sure of the reason for the towel over the head ... anyone got any ideas?

Here are the Lancashire lasses at the secret lake .. no comments please!
Standing L to R: Me, Babs, Lianne, Paula, Sharon
Front L to R: Hannah, Emma (the Rugrats)

Here are the 3 Lancashire chaps and our outnumbered American! lol
L to R: Mark, Erik, Sterling (the Yank), Gary

Here we are .. The Sisters. Paula (the older) and Jen (the younger)! I have to keep reminding her of that! lol

Here's a nice photo of 'The Rugrats' .. Hannah and Emma (who is Gary and Sharon's daughter). They're best friends and now they're our friends!

This was taken on one of the lower decks at the house ... My sister Paula, with Eric and son Mark.

This is me and Gary on a waverunner ..

Finally, here's the 'secret lake' I mentioned earlier. If I knew the name of it, I'd post it here but all I know is it's not signposted on any road and you have to cross a see-through metal walkway over a dam to get there.


Still unpacking

Well, I've been in my 'townhouse' now for 19 days ... the good news is I have no moving boxes outside on the deck anymore ... the bad news is, I still have half a dozen inside, plus miscellaneous crates, file cabinets, etc. My philosophy is, if I feel like emptying a box, I do .. otherwise ...

Still haven't found the photos from Almanor I was going to post but bear with me ..

My home in Roseburg, OR is closing escrow on Wednesday, August 15th!!! The title company will wire the money directly to my bank account. That will be one less thing I have to worry about ... Today, my motorhome sells and a check will be 'in the mail' ... another item I wont have to worry about anymore.

GRIEF: My 'down' days are fewer and farther between but I still talk to Rich most of the time .. am I nuts? You might think so, but I don't! lol

SHINGLES: The 'kicked-in-the-ribs' feeling in my left ribs is diminishing .. I'll be glad when it's totally gone! I still get a little twinge once in a while, but they're becoming less often.

That's my update for now .. things are looking up finally .. next month is going to be really rough because September 28th is Rich's birthday (and my sister's) and I just don't know how I'm going to feel about it. No point worrying yet!
As soon as I find my photos and find my camera wiring, I'll upload some pics. of my 'townhouse' and the lake ...


Does anyone really LIKE to move???

August 3, 2007

UNPACKING: I've been in my new 'townhouse' for a week now and still have about 11 boxes to unpack. Haven't found some things I really need ... have found stuff I can't believe I actually brought along ... and I've found nothing broken yet ...

SHINGLES: I've been quite comfortable for a few weeks now .. the only problem remaining is my sore left ribs ... when I touch my skin, it feels like I've been kicked in the ribs .. skin is sensitive and ribs hurt ..
I had a shingles VACCINATION on July 20th .. my doctor checked into the shot and I was told I could have it as long as I didn't have any active, open shingles sores on my body .. well, I never did have because I used the witchhazel to dry up the rash before it became lumpy. The vaccination was covered mostly by my insurance but I'd have willingly paid the full amount anyway. It was sub-cutaneous and a couple of days afterwards, I developed a lump the size of an egg where the shot had been .. but it dissipated over the next few days and I'd have put up with it even if it had hurt! I heartily recommend the vaccination!!

GRIEF: I talk to Rich every day .. sometimes for hours .. as I'm driving I'm telling him what I see (I used to do this because he was legally blind) .. at home I tell him what I'm doing .. am I nuts? Yes! But apparently this is normal for a lot of people. I don't really care .. it makes me feel better. It's been four and a half months since he died .. wow

PHOTOS: I still haven't found the photos from Lake Almanor that I promised to post .. hopefully this weekend, I'll locate them!