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yet another holiday is up on us …..we spend time cleaning and decorating graves of those that made the sacrifice for our freedoms……but really most are thinking more about the three or four day holiday that begins our summer ….instead of another holiday with flags and parades and cookouts ….we might just try living …
20 years of service ….two tours in Vietnam …two tours in Korea …four years in Germany and many moves from camp to camp …school to school,…
again the VA has put my husband in a state of depression….he gathered and copied and applied for the umpteenth time for points on his benefits and retirement….only to have it all moved again …. then receives a letter stating that they need more …more visits to update dr. reports and then a few trips to different part of state to see dr.s not related to last visit……more because they play a game with our service people they wait and wait and then when they look at application it is pass the date and they need all of it updated …mean while the veteran grows older and the application grows stale and around and around we go…every time they delay or move up he loses money and points …but then their game is to make people think they are taking care of our vets ……the only thing my vet has not applied for is pstd….when he came home from NAM…he was spit on called baby killer and could not wear his uniform down town for fear it would happen all over….he and others from that time did not have pstd or stress cards or an 800 # to call…they sucked it up and continued on …he flew agent orange ..he was coated in the chemical every time he flew it ….watched beautiful forest turn to death valley…. .today our children pay the price for agent orange …he followed orders and shot people down just because they looked like the enemy …. .he flew young men and women out of hell holes with half their bodies gone …he watched young children carrying grenade blow up in front of him .. to this day jumps with loud noises … nope it was called battle fatigue and one carried on and either drank it away or smoked it away or just went on with life best they could …..there seems to be a pstd for everyone today ……..every time the VA sends him a request ….he goes deeper into a depressed state…..but he get right back up and gathers their requested paper work and try one more time to get his benefits …. so on memorial day when you help place flags and clean graves of veterans long gone from this world ….. try to remember the one that still standing and fighting battles of not being able to cope…. .who have to fight new battles to make their loves lives secure …. sorry to rant but one grows old fast when dealing with this type of thing ……we are off now to kill more trees and burden the world with more paperwork ….in the end there will be one hell of a bonfire when all is done and we can destroy all the kept paper work …have a wonderful holiday ….we are going to try to…..when we grow old and tired…. sometimes the best thing to go for a ride and take in a view that makes you feel small….

Still Standing MOM …I am still Standing…..

Tax Time

Today is our day to go to accountant and get the bad news of what we owe…..we know already we will owe …… owe big time…..but that is life ….we could have …or should I say we should have paid in so this would not be the fact ….but keeping warm and having a full belly and just plain life dictated differently…… so here we are …..the front clump of snow in the photo says it all we are here but it could have been different …


so off we go with our hand full of papers that took their own sweet time getting here …and our bellies churn ….. thoughts of all the things going on around us scream louder than the keys of the accountants computer ….


Somehow our paying in is supposed to be what the government thinks we all should do….. seems to me back some where in history we fought so we would not be so taxed ……we seem to tax everything any more that makes someone else feel threaten … or makes other feel good…. not sure there is anything not taxed of late ….soft drinks,cigs,gas,phone,net,booze, soon it will be the grill you grill on …..


the little windsock hanging in the tree has been hanging there since fourth July ……when we first hung it up it blew back and forth in the wind ……but some time during the deep dark winter it began to hang on to the tree with each wind it clung tighter ….sort of like us hard earning people of the USA …we are strong and we will play the game til it is time to unclench our fist and step forward in battle …. we go now to the tax collector and give it our all ….I MEAN OUR ALL…..

I am Still Standing MOM …….I AM STILL STANDING ….

Of what value are you to someone…..???

Of what value are you to someone…..???Back in 2009 I joined Facebook …..many had said “You will lose your personal info …there are mast murders….hackers will steal things…. don’t join…..But I joined anyway ….I had the best Farmville farm without paying and I could find eggs with the top egg hunters….but best of all is the fact that news travels on Facebook faster than a speeding light from heaven…….DSC_0558_filteredCouple nights back a friend on Facebook told us that she was dying ….the way she told us and the things she told us ….were heart tearing ..belly deep tears welled up in  me …..I meet this lady on the river banks of the Chena River ….we were both taking photos of the racers ….her and her husband were there with their Friend Manny the Monkey …. we did not meet per the normal…. Howdy, Happy to meet you ….no she had turned to adjust her camera and slipped and fell…as I started toward her …she jumped up and dusted the snow off and turn back to business…. DSC_0564_filteredManny the Monkey was how I found her on Facebook …she cooks an awesome looking meals and shares the photos …her and Manny watch football and she loves to take photos that she shares….that is as close as we have gotten for actually meeting…when she told us all the other night of her new journey of life …I CRIED worst than I did when My mother passed over…..she talked about how she would be the auroras that danced in the sky…..last night as I stood under the lights I remember her word ….and the words of an elder native man the first time I every saw the lights  DSC_0566_filtered….We had gone shopping and were at the old Fred Myers I was standing and looking up and telling the children to look …the elder man stopped ….he asks if it was my first time seeing the lights ..I said yes …he said it is your family that has passed over speaking of their joy …..when my Facebook friend said the following ...”This will be my last season to dance under the aurora, because next season, I shall dance WITH them, among those who have gone on before me”

..I was thrown back 35 years in time …..DSC_0559_filtered

Family comes in so many forms and so many colors….I am so happy I did not listen to the nay sayers…because I came to know this awesome family I have on Facebook….

“Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.” ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859

I am still Standing MOM …I AM STANDING …….

Yellow Center

The yellow center of my mom’s white roses ..I cropped the old photo and played around in a program tiring to find the smell of home today… it wasn’t found but the trip back to the days after her passing were….wandering around the house and the yard trying to capture thing to remember in the days and years to come…


the roses in front of the house so near to her bedroom window…the lite smell of the white rose as the sun-dried the morning dew off the petals….things I needed to capture but now my fear of my mothers yard ….but a fear  held me at bay… I had lived in Alaska way to long and the now fear of snakes and bugs made me think hard about where my feet were…this was the same yard that I had ran barefoot as a child and never even thought of snakes or bugs…..but now there was a fear of things hidden … there was no mother or father to protect me ….

…dad and mom were gone the house was empty and the land was strange to the touch and feel of my hands and feet..I needed the capture of silly things to shoot with my lens…her flowers… the trees… .sheds …even the big rock in the yard…all needed to be captured for days like today ….days when I need to return home ..
The smell of roses on a photo just aren’t the same but the memories the photo brings to the eyes and heart are ….like the red bird in the next photo .my dad called him pretty boy…he or his children sang at the back door of my mom and dads house ….my home … for days after mom’s passing he sang on the top of the little shed ….the photo brings back the sound and smells of HOME…


Becoming the Color of Life

I held a moment in my hand, brilliant as a star, fragile as a flower, a tiny sliver of one hour. I dripped it carelessly, Ah! I didn’t know, I held opportunity.

~Hazel Lee

45 years ago in his mother’s front yard he said “I am going to marry you someday soon.” and he did …we got married Oct. 5,1968 …at 2 pm in a local pastors front parlor…. with both  our families around us….many happy as well as unhappy,lonely days and nights as a military wife …but through it all we survived and still stand together today 45 years later…..



sometimes…. one just has to grab the magic and hang on tight …..because you never know when you will become the color of someones  life….

DSC_0173Thank you Blue eyes for  becoming my color in life….45 years ago……may we see another 45 together ……

Swing High Swing Low

“All our lives we are engaged in preserving our experiences and keeping them fresh by artificially sprinkling the water of memory over them. They have ceased to retain their original smell and fragrance. Do you call it life— this effort at the preservation of a phantom freshness in something that is withered and gone?” ~Vimala Thakar



the night before my mom passed there was a big fight among all us kids….really a silly blow up over nothing …nothing …but it was enough to bring everyone to their breaking point …when it came time to tell my mom I was sorry … I decided not to sleep that night … for hours I sang to her and talked to her even though her eyes were closed…I promised her that if I was there when she passed …..I would sing her across … I did sing her across the following night …

this photo was taken a few days after her funeral..everytime I look at it …… I remember how many times after her death I would see a swing …sometimes it would be swinging in the wind and others it would be hanging broken …but it always took me back to why I picked the song to sing to her that night…..
When I was a little girl we lived with my grandmother ….the only friend we had lived across the street….she lived with her grandmother as well….her grandmother had two porch swings on her front porch …we could play on the swings as long as we did not jump out of them….we would take and swing back and forth toward each other and sing .Swing High …Swing Low..singing higher with each level of the swing ……my mom would be sitting across the road sitting on my grandmothers glider swing and she would call us home by saying …..girls let the Angels in Jordan go to sleep now is time to come home ….when I look at the photo even the chains that keep it hanging in the tree remind me of the ties to the pass …the notes of the song will never leave my heart …..I hope there are trees and swings in heaven ….and angels singing swing high ..swing low

**LOOK UP **

Today’s words of 365 challenge group are **LOOK UP **which is what we did the day we went to Fairbanks for a walkabout and photo hunt …..

we looked up at he sky because of the falling snow …..

where we saw Ravens on lamp-post and in trees

we saw clock towers and building of old Fairbanks…..DSC_0017

And just as we were about to leave downtown and the river there she was through the trees as I looked


I took her one more step and added a glow about her ….here is my photo for the challenge


weather is changing by the hour but at least the sun is playing nice on the snow and ice ….


In The Garage

Challenge words ..In The Garage.…hardest challenge yet …not because I could not find the garage …but because it was just to sad……. we are down to three tools ….. they are cheap tools….when we started our business started in an old wooden garage …. with no floors …only an old wood stove for heat with …..lasted almost three years before a worker over built a fire in stove and burnt the shop to ground….lot of people would have ended the business and ran with money … not us…too much into the art of the bowls and other items we made….so we rebuilt the shop and the business…almost 25 years of wooden bowls … then could not keep workers … not even part-time …then wood cutters could not provide us wood because they could not get permits…then we could not afford to produce bowl…because of paying unemployment and workman comp and insurance … dream was over ….. so it was really hard to walk into the cold shop and take this photo… we were waiting for spring to revamp old shop …..


the young man who had bought all the tools and supplies of old business….. had left a real mess from all his learning he did under my husbands teaching … so today’s photo was indeed hard …..but life goes on …….
STILL STANDING LORD….Still standing I AM…..
P.S. Happy Birthday Mom …I know the streets of heaven
are brighter today because it is your birthday …


Not an easy word ****Dislike**** challenge indeed ….but I did manage to find on my kitchen counter a few things I dislike

….yes indeed a bunch of things …. thinking the two quotes that were found say it all

The worst thing about medicine is that one kind makes another necessary. ~Elbert Hubbard


Poisons and medicine are oftentimes the same substance given with different intents. ~Peter Mere Latham

Dislike the many doctors my husband see that just throw one more pill at a pain ….. instead of trying harder to heal …. not just cover up a new problem cause by the last pill that was given to cover yet another pain cause by yet another new pill…dislike reading label that says don’t take this with that ……only to have Doctor say that he or she is on top of it and not to worry…..I AM STILL STANDING LORD!! ….I AM !!...

Shelved But Equal

Above the patio doorway is a dormer window …on the window shelf I have two very old German salt scales ….just another dust collecting treasures of our many years of gathering things… of the scales became my photo of the day …the challenge word was Equal


The first picture was the one ..the best of the many …it is straight out of camera with no changes …..

the above changes were to add a little darkness to the edge of the shot and a little shadow around wax fruit ….


Took away a little of the color to give it an antique look to the above photo….love how one photo can become so many different photos …equal but not …but the same no matter what ……

this shot was changed by using hdr  mode on the scale …almost a little too much  because there seem to be a blue hues in places  but all in all making it off scale brighter


As always I had to try a black and white of the photo ……because of all the colors …wanting to learn the gray-scale of the different tones in the shot …..


selective color is such a fun part of the change ….just capturing one color of the many on the scale….Equal is all in the beholders eyes  … from one photo it became many moods…but just as the quote says…

In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave. ~John James Ingalls

…I am still standing ……

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