~this moment~

Picture 622 walk

may 2013

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october 2014

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september 1, 2015

~a friday ritual~

a photo capturing a moment from the week.

a simple, special moment.

a moment i want to pause, savor and remember

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

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good morning glory! there are some vibrant sunrise (this morning) and sunset (last night) colors in this week’s rainbow, thanks to smoke blanketing the whole northwest. a little beauty coming of all the tragedy.

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pink: sunrise roses

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now that we’re awake…


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red: afternoon apple at the vacation house

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red: just wow.

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orange: sun melting into the pacific


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orange: i couldn’t choose….

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yellow: lighting the ocean aglow

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green: afternoon sun through the bushes

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blue: the porch light at the vacation house! isn’t it rad?

blue: like the well-known haiku by hokushi:


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i hung the moon on various

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 branches of the pine.”

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(it was out while i was watching the sunset show last night.)

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purple: mystery flower that my mother out-law was given; with a little help from google i think it is brunsfelsia, also known as yesterday, today and tomorrow, which makes sense as in the early part of its blooming, several different shades of purple were present.

we are off to new york to celebrate love and family!!! prepare for photo overload bombardment in one week’s time…

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning (or evening. really, even the day of the week is optional.)

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:


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this is it, right here: love.

i have emerged, victorious, from the peach frenzy of 2015. 63 quart jars plus 17 pints of peach bbq sauce. 152 pounds of peaches later, i am ready for a canning break, so i have decided to not bring home a single box of tomatoes until september. the only reason i believe i can manage to hold out that long is that we will be headed to new york next week and won’t return until september is underway. i only have one farmer’s market left between now and then, and i think my will power is strong enough to come home this saturday sans tomatoes.

at work it’s more of a fish frenzy, and i am mindful of the way this temporary position is speeding along rapidly towards its conclusion mid-winter. i am hopeful for more job opportunities coming down the line, either in the same position (extended, with projects i am currently helping to develop) or in something else marine-oriented. i have been enjoying being back in the lab, and i just put in an application for another opening in the next building over from mine at the marine science center, in case this one doesn’t last.

we are having a great time at the vacation house, although nothing i have been doing actually suggests vacation. (example from 7:30 wednesday morning: in the rush to get out the door, get quinn to camp boss summer program, and get to work on time, i removed a splinter from quinn’s heel while brushing my teeth.) it’s more the atmosphere of the house itself that gently whispers ideas about rest and relaxation. breezes through screen doors, sunshine on the front porch wicker love seat, roses blooming, apples reddening, kitties milling around and snuggling.

the kitties have adjusted well to the vacation house, and taken up new hobbies of unprecedented cuteness and mischief. just in the past week, lisa has started climbing up from underneath the bed to snuggle under all of the blankets, making herself into a little lump in the middle of the bed.


the first time i saw her do this, i laughed, checked to be sure it was her and that she was breathing, and then went back downstairs to shower. when i came back up, i found her big brother, sitting smugly where she had been, looking like he had eaten her!

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quinn seems to be adjusting fairly well, too. he likes his room, and has encrusted the entire floor with legos in a very short time. he is reading big books, doing big math problems at the dinner table, and tackling his responsibilities with increasing, um, responsibility.

last friday, he tested for his orange belt in karate! unlike his yellow belt test, this time he was the only yellow belt promoting, so when it was his turn to test, he got to stand up alone and do all of his forms. he was so crisp and professional! he practiced very diligently all that week, and had not only gained his second black tip but also his red tip (which signifies ready to promote) all in the same week. his head teacher had told him he could test for red tip, and when one of the other teachers was leading the class, quinn advocated for himself and let her know that he had permission to test for red tip, and his willingness to speak up, more than anything else, made me feel so proud. the student creed begins with the phrase, “to build true confidence…” and i think this is something karate really is helping quinn to develop.

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red tip!

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waiting to test

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belt promotion ceremony

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the new orange belt!

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joy bubbling up through his seriousness after the ceremony was complete!

“student creed: to build true confidence


through knowledge of the mind


honesty in the heart


and strength in the body


keep friendships with one another, and build a strong and happy community

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never fight to achieve selfish ends, but to build might for right.”

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yup. we live here. karate on the beach! throwing ninja stars in the sand.

here’s a little action movie, filmed from above-mentioned front porch love seat.


“universal set 1” by quinn

and since this post is so full of the non-sequitur, here is a random image of the 3 mugs we brought with us to the vacation house. one each. i am thinking that we might go with a “one each” theme in the kitchen at dragon house 2.0 and keep enjoying the simplicity of having just enough (beautiful) things (we really like) when we live there.

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i’m feeling so grateful for my family, the abundance all around us, the ability to live simply during this busy time, love, martial arts, trips to see family to look forward to, simple pleasures like sitting on the back porch with my love after dark, talking about real estate and looking at the north star, that make every day life like vacation. love is true north, and all the other details fall into place when i stay on that course.

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~


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red: back yard apples getting redder at the vacation house.

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orange: flora and fauna of the vacation house provide ample self care photography sessions.

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orange: presenting the newly promoted orange belt in the family!

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yellow: most of these yellow transparents have since been turned into applesauce after having their portraits done.

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yellow: back yard goldenrod

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green: squirrel eating the next to last yellow plum.

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blue: summer sky with roses

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blue: steller’s jay in back yard orchard

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purple: bolting leafy greens reveal a chicory relative

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black and white: bart and lisa, yin and yang, clockwise and counterclockwise, reminding us to find the balance between effort and surrender in life. sometimes you have to keep stuffing 152 pounds of peaches in a jar. other times you have to take a nap on a fuzzy blanket.

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~


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when black looks white: white light on asphalt, the road to the campsite.

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red: sun going down on camping trip.

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red: sun setting trees aglow.

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red: another chucks week at karate. karate kid needs a headband now to keep his hair out of his eyes.

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orange: going back in time, sun still a little higher in the sky.

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yellow: this pretty butterfly let me take so many pictures of it, it qualified for three of the colors this rainbow…

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yellow-green: wading in the creek.

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green: alders in afternoon sunlight.

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blue: just the vacation house being magical again.

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purple: i think this butterfly has seen some better days, as you can look closely and see the purple through some thin spots on its wings.

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purple: nightshade has always been a favorite of mine.

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

a month in the life of a lifelong learner

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we had an auspicious start to the month of learning with a wonderful family camping trip.

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quinn was keen on (read: fixated on) pokemon monopoly over the weekend, so he rallied the kids and taught a bunch of them how to play.

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~dog therapy with walter~

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~reading harry potter to himself by headlamp~

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~owls, ravens, ducks, field guides and dip nets~

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~ninja throwing stars~

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~possum diets, ranging widely from fresh raspberries to the compost bin~


~a big theme this month has been defining and carrying out responsibilities. many of these things have already been defined, but the pattern of mama repeating herself each time a responsibility came along (brush your teeth, put your dishes in the sink, fold your karate uniform for tomorrow…) had gotten a little… loud, shall we say? so, in an effort to save my voice and quinn’s ears, i decided to revamp the system.~


~now, quinn refers to “the instructions” which are all laid out on fridge magnets that i stole from google images and photoshopped words onto, then printed, laminated, and backed with magnetic sheets.~


~i tried to keep them interesting to him, so i used lego minifigures who looked like they were doing the actions called for. harry potter with quidditch uniform and broom accompanies the words “sweep your area,” while ninja turtle rafael instructs quinn to “take care of your karate equipment.” ~


~quinn requested a few that i had missed, including “help feed the cats” and “read.” it was validating that he made those requests, since the whole idea, at least later in life, is for him to be able to identify his own responsibilities, not necessarily to have me identify them for him…~


~so far, the results are decent. there is less screaming on my part, and although he can get distracted now looking at the magnets, he is showing more willingness to check in with his instructions and not just blow off whatever i happen to be asking him to do at the moment. ~

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~chewbacca is having his hair combed by han solo to encourage quinn to brush his hair (it’s getting long, and that is what he wants – the tradeoff being he is then responsible for it!) ~ harry potter sweeping, emmett brushing his teeth ~ the dwarves stacking their dishes in bilbo’s house ~

throw hit home


~baseball had been big this summer. he has been attending what we are affectionately calling “camp boss summer program” which just means his best friend’s mom (who happens to also be my sister) is taking care of him for me while i’m at work. together they have done some baseball math, have been playing a weeks-long game of major league baseball monopoly, and of course, have been playing baseball in the back yard. quinn’s skills are improving, i mean, look at this windup:~


~still, i think he may have more of a future in baseball commentating, moreso than playing the game. he has a real knack for understanding the rules and giving the play-by-play. “the bases are loaded, they have two outs and he has two strikes. he swings and bam, he hits it out of the park! the pirates win the series!” (or the cubs, or whatever team they happen to be impersonating that day.)~

speaking of hitting one out of the park, james taylor just did with his new album before the world. fair warning, the song about baseball, angels of fenway made me weep, and i am decidedly not a red sox fan. “doesn’t seem like a long time ago…”

while i’m misty-eyed from just typing that, i also wanted to record quinn’s recent interest in his family tree, thanks in part to his grammy making him an awesome book about family members, through a lens of a famous arctic explorer, roald amundson, with whom one of our relatives was acquainted, according to legend; and thanks also in part to the new martin and sylvia audio series from sparkle stories entitled “family tree of stories.” it came with a link to a printable family tree template with cut-out leaves to glue on your very own family tree, which quinn has begun doing. he is more excited, however, about the handheld tape recorder i dug out for him to use to collect family stories when we go to new york at the end of august! (you can’t buy blank cassette tapes at fred meyer, in case you were wondering. thank goodness for the internet.)

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~we took an intentional detour to the beach on a friday before i dove into packing all weekend, and quinn and i went on a big dinosaur pokemon fossil hunting expedition.~

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~tracking something~

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~making a point to carve out some fun and keep him feeling cared for while i was wrapped up in the move, i got quinn a new suitcase (it rolls, and it’s r2d2. how perfect is that? he took him up and down the “escalator” practicing for our upcoming trip, and r2 is also handy since we are living out of suitcases for a time at the vacation house.) rich got quinn a dragon tapestry of his very own, when he went to oregon country fair. he said he thought the blue and green would go well with quinn’s room colors and, well, we are bringing the dragon house with us, after all. quinn was ecstatic about his dragon and immediately noticed the dragon is holding a blue crystal ball. ~

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~then i realized it’s the same dragon as the one at the karate studio! quinn has been continuing to work hard on his yellow belt curriculum.~

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~universal set one work during “street clothes” week at karate~

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~another riding session with molly!~



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~lots and lots of general summer learning~


~still smiling his way through sparring class~

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~another month rides off into the sunset!~

other posts you may enjoy:

a fond farewell to dragon house 1.0

we have moved! we had to bid a fond farewell to dragon house 1.0, however, we are taking our dragons, and our memories, with us. dragon vacation house is a comfortable stopover on our way to dragon house 2.0!

a little photo stroll down memory lane…

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There’s a house on my block
that’s abandoned and cold
Folks moved out of it a
long time ago
and they took all their things
and they never came back
Looks like it’s haunted
with the windows all cracked
and everyone calls it
the house, the house where
nobody lives.

Once it held laughter
Once it held dreams
Did they throw it away
Did they know what it means
Did someone’s heart break
or did someone do somebody wrong?

Well the paint was all cracked
It was peeled off of the wood
Papers were stacked on the porch
where I stood
and the weeds had grown up
just as high as the door
There were birds in the chimney
and an old chest of drawers
Looks like no one will ever
come back to the
House where nobody lives

Once it held laughter
Once it held dreams
Did they throw it away
Did they know what it means
Did someone’s heart break
or did someone do somebody wrong?
So if you find someone
someone to have, someone to hold
Don’t trade it for silver
Don’t trade it for gold
I have all of life’s treasures
and they are fine and they are good
They remind me that houses
Are just made of wood
What makes a house grand
Ain’t the roof or the doors
If there’s love in a house
It’s a palace for sure
Without love
It ain’t nothin but a house
A house where nobody lives
Without love it ain’t nothin
But a house, A house where
Nobody lives.

~tom waitsPhoto672 Photo678 Photo473 Photo470 Photo469

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“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”  ~l.m. montgomery, anne of avonlea
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“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” ~l. frank baum



After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up. ~lemony snicket



The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ~maya angelou Photo1037 Photo999 Photo1014 Photo960 Photo954 Photo950 Photo933 Photo913 Photo903 Photo785 Photo834 Photo737 Photo657 Photo590 Photo557 Photo523 Photo522

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Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration. ~charles dickens

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Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. ~ hermann  hesse

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other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

rainbow tuesday evenings if you will? for when your monday is the kind of day that actually triggers a rare blend of superhuman strength, unflagging endurance, and mind blowing multi tasking, that simultaneously blows you away with gratitude for the abundance and providence and friends and family you have, even as it is shaking your foundation and making you vulnerable in ways you’ve never felt. thank goodness it’s tuesday.

(we live at the vacation house now! the few people who had our home phone number can delete it now, and call us on our cell phones instead!)

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red: vacation house neighbors have a nice flower garden, too.

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red: vacation pretties

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orange: universal set one, sir!

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orange: cleansing ceremony on our last night at the dragon house. (ok maybe not ceremony, more like practical rotten pallet removal.)

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yellow: looks like this little bird is blowing a farewell kiss.

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green: vacation fairy land

i didn’t manage a blue or a purple this week but i do have:

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brown: molly and quinn, cantering!

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black and white: the raspberry thief, slumming in the compost bin.


~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

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red: most of this week’s rainbow is from the vacation house… carving out a little time for self care and posting this, on another beautiful gst monday, so i will not be very verbose.

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red and more red: vacation house crocosmia

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yellow: vacation house plums

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yellow: karate kid wearing rich’s son’s old karate outfit, unearthed from the cupboard under the stairs…

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green: vacation house green loveliness!

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blue: you guessed it, the vacation house.

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blue: not the vacation house, but a wonderful friday afternoon detour between work and packing.

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blue: a fossil pokemon dinosaur hunting expedition…

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purple: vacation house flora and fauna… we will feel right at home there with all the hummingbirds!

~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy:

~rainbow mondays~

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it’s an oregon country rainbow today… i am really having fun with bubbles these days. this was taken as i was leaving fair yesterday, as the sun was starting to set.

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white: dragon that kept visiting rich and i during the rising appalachia concert, perched on the hat of a guy in front of us to listen to the music. when the band asked us to identify the riff they were playing, and i heard the opening to ani difranco’s anticipate, note for note, but the band claimed it was a tune by alia, i realized i was a decade older than the band. we all borrow from bob dylan, who borrowed from woody guthrie, it’s the way it goes, just keep dancing and stay young at heart, right? “i was so much older then, i’m younger than that now.”

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red: quinn gets to have sleepovers with mama when rich is away at country fair. he looks forward to it all year.

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orange: the view looking up from where rich and i ate souvlaki for lunch on a beautiful bench. one of my favorite things about the day i go to fair each year is that for one day, there is no effort and no decision-making required of me in the food department.

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yellow: i did not edit this photo, this is just the way it turned out! again, as i was leaving fair, with that magical setting sun making everything glow like angels are descending on earth. which maybe they were.


green: trees everywhere, the canopy of the wonderful fairy forest fair grounds. with a couple of people who were really happy to see each other in the foreground.

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blue: one of hundreds of amazing sculptures decorating absolutely everything at the fair. hummingbird with iridescent blue wings

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blue: more end of the fair sky/sun magic, with dream catchers and prayer flags

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purple: back home, my black raspberry bush is finally producing, after 3 years… time to dig it up and bring it with me to our new home. these berries taste like “home” to me, no matter where i eat them, because they are such a wild food staple back in new york on the farm where i grew up. these are not quite as tasty (must be the soil) but still wonderful, and made my heart feel good to actually get them to grow here. back to work and packing now after a peaceful, relaxing day of sun, fun, music, and walking around hand in hand with my love.



~rainbow mondays~

a splash of color on monday morning

a photo study documenting the colors of the spectrum: the balance points between light reflected and light absorbed

other posts you may enjoy: