Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just a Little Peace of Light

I mentioned in my last post that I recently spent some time with my big sister in Vancouver, Washington. She is an amazing woman and lives in what I see as a place of peace and quiet. She may not see it that way because she is engulfed in all the craziness of day to day life there. However, when I went there all alone I had over 1,000 miles to decompress from my everyday life of being a mother of three girls, keeping a house, making pictures and co-leading a group of 15 women. My life usually runs at 100 miles an hour as I'm sliding into home base with loud music, laughter and crying all around me. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my life, wouldn't trade it for the world but a time out is needed sometimes) 

I drove along the face of California, and stoped to play at my Mom's house for a night. The next morning I began my journey at day break. I listened to EEDay and ate snacks while I watched the sun rise over the snowy Mt. Shasta. It was wonderful and calming. I think my heart actually started pumping at a slower pace. I was getting into the mode of relaxation. 

Just after lunch time I arrived at my sister, Cathy's house. I was so happy to see her and slide into her life of working out, playing with kitties, and sitting quietly by a "table fire".(PS yeah, she's on summer break) In the mornings we read a couple different devotionals, and all day we talked about our hearts, dreams, disappointments and blessings. I met her wonderful neighbors, trainers, and her BFF Annie P. It was such a great time of laughter, tears and regrouping that I never wanted to leave. Each day that I'm home I feel a void in my heart that was created when I drove away from my sister's house. 

There is something magical that happens at Cathy's house. I'm not sure what to name it but she has a green thumb that can't be described in words. Things grow there. Not just plants, however, her plants grow really big and in places they shouldn't when they should have probably died. But it feels like part of my spirit grew there. As I spent time in the Washington sun I grew on the inside and as the sun set I found peace in my heart. Each day it happened like this. I started to worry that I was manic because surely to feel this happy could only mean something was wrong with me. Right?

For my first post about my visit there I wanted to invite you into one of my favorite spots at her house. Welcome to Cathy's backyard. She has many lovely plants and trees and decorations but what I loved most about it was the way the light flirted with everything in it. We spent most of our time out there durning the sunset hours. We had a fire, we ate dinner there and even roasted marshmallows. My intention with these images is to show you the tiny spots of light and hopefully you can imagine the peace one might feel as they sit nestled among them.  Enjoy!

The sun sets through fabulous pine
trees that protect her view from a
school field.

See how the light stretches out on all
the leaves as thought it's settling in 
for the evening? Welcome home sweet

While I looked around I could see all these
little pieces of light hitting unexpected places
and flashing a spotlight on them.

 A chair
 Only the handle to the umbrella

 Every crack in each slat of the fence
invited the light in.

 Here the solar powered butterflies where
anticipating the moment they would entertain
us with their magical lights.

 The usual became special  
 This reminded me of the "moon" I have at home
and it sparked conversation about my blessings.
What lovely dancing light that kissed these faces.

I'm not sure what looked better,
the lime and it's bubbles or the fire
warming it's glassy shape.

 Hello! where are you?

 Here is my sister Cathy basking in the 

We're pretty famous for being funny. It's sort of a genetic thing. We love to laugh more than anything else we do. Infact, we think things are funny when they aren't supposed to be, especially when they aren't supposed to be, right Mom? I just LOVE these images of her laughing, they make me so happy and draw my heart back to my wonderful week spent in a place of peace, love and laughter at Cathy's house.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Debbie, Debbie Quite Contrary How Does Your Garden Grow?

Ever since I was a little girl my mom filled me with garden fantasy. She would say, "Girls, someday we're going to have a garden..." My mom raised my older sister and me on her own as a single parent. We grew up in a condo with a tiny patio and never had a garden. Honestly, I didn't know if my mom even knew how to garden. I do know she had to have yearned for it her whole life because she talked about it for years. 

In my sophomore year of high school my mom married Jack and together they bought a house with a yard and my mom began to garden. She gardened like a woman who waited her whole life to do it. She planted flowers, trees, bushes and learned how to do it all from books and asking the professionals. She drank in the info like she was on some sort of deadline. Several years later She and Jack moved to Northern California and lived on a five acre parcel they named Goose Hill Farm.

My mom grew over 200 rose bushes, fruit trees, berries, grapes, and vegetables. Over the years I've seen her grow from this fast paced business woman to a gal that can club a gopher to death with a shovel. She can plant a garden in a weekend and dead head 1,000 roses in a day (probably). She gets excited about dirt with chicken poop and worm casings in it and is in love with mushroom mulch. She is a gardener.

Last week I drove over 1,030 miles to visit my sister in Vancouver, Washington. On my way there I stopped at Goose Hill Farm to visit my Mom. It seems almost like a ritual when we go there to walk the property line. In doing this I get to see what's new since I was there last. I get to hear the stories of when each tree was planted, who planted it and how much it's grown. I hear about the weather, how it's effecting each flower, vegetable, or berry. I love this place and all the memories it holds for me. Too many to talk about for this post. 

So during our latest walk about I brought my camera with me. It was in the early evening and the sun was sliding off the earth very slowly and gracing us with a warm delicate light that was loving on everything in the yard. My mom made me laugh as I was shooting because she said things like "I'm so glad I have a daughter who is a photographer so she can come take pictures of my rusty fence!" At one point she yelled to Jack that I was taking pictures of the weeds! "Oh Honey, don't take a picture of my weeds." I know she was thrilled when I started shooting the dead roses that needed to be deadheaded. I just laughed and kept shooting. I love light and beauty and the fact that something is dead or referred to as a weed, or old or broken just makes it that much more interesting to me. Join me for a walk around Goose Hill Farm.

 If you already know me you know I tend to shoot tight. So here are my widest views of the place. I can't help myself I'm a detail girl. 

Can't tell you how many times
I've walked through this breeze way.
Love the inviting light...

At one point Jack asked me if I liked the junipers that line their property at the main road and I told him I couldn't help think of giant cobwebs when I see junipers. They gross me out, then he said, "Oh, like this?"

Yes Jack, exactly like that. PS check this one out 
close up.

Some of the lovely roses my mom has raised.
 Thank you for visiting mister wasp

 Lacy sweetness 

 I love these burned out roses, the remind me 
of a victorian wedding dress.

The old and the new

I have a love and fascination for these mimosa trees that fill the front yard 

Standing with my mom among the 

Hooks, wires and rusty nails, my favorites!

and the hose...

Out and around the garden:

 This is a must see enlarged...
 First time bloomer

 The windmill...

 The big fat tomato wormmmmm
 This was right before his test flight into the 
out lands of Goose Hill...

 I guess I could have taken pictures of the tomatoes 
but how could I pass up this bar code on the 
tomato stake?


My mom and Jack are in the huge process of redoing the entire white fencing that surrounds their garden and much of the property surrounding their house. I was glad to have been there before they trashed the old fences. They've enjoyed such days of summer and winter and they are lovely.

Lastly, here are a few odds and ends:
 Here is Jack hiding behind the "branch"

We had a lot of fun shooting this branch, Jack was 
my assistant holding it for me so I could get
some pictures of it, it's fabulous!

 Crazy, right?

 I love and fear this statue all at the same time


 This "wisher" was the size of a baseball
No shoot is complete without
a bit of flare.

 Here is a piece of the moon
and the end of our walk about 
around Goose Hill Farm, lovely place of
light, hope, and tiny treasures.