Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Promise Of A Journey

This railroad called me back to it. It made me stop along the highway and walk along the bridge above it. In it, I could see a promise of a journey. It goes on, around the corner, just beyond my sight, but the journey is there.

The path is before me, if I choose to follow it. It may curve along my way, as well as go up or down, but the path is there. Even if I can't see where it goes, I have to trust that the path is indeed there, taking me to the next stop along the way.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm OUT!!

My wife threatened to out me by telling everyone I liked flowers now! I am, generally, not a "flowers" kind of gal.

But I have decided to come out now. It might be nice to get flowers every once in a while. Mostly however, I like the vibrant colors that a lot of flowers come in. Also, I am fascinated by just how fast nature makes things happen. Less than a week ago, that red flower was barely a bud on the bush, and yet I swear I turn around just once, and *poof* there is a bright red flower! And the little bitty leave just trying to become a big leaf wasn't there last Monday!

I have taken enough photos of flowers to now warrant a folder on my external hard drive labeled flowers.

So... there you have it. I am out.

I like flowers.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring Discoveries

We moved into our house in May of last year. And frankly, aside from the lawn, I paid next to no attention to the plants in the planter boxes.

Until now.

We have some pretty cool flowers. Don't ask me to name them... I have zero clue what any of them are. But these are just a couple of the cool flowers we have.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Marker - A Memory - A Memorial

"Gone, yet not forgotten, Although we are apart, your spirit still lives within me, forever in my heart."

This is the same overlook where I have taken numerous pictures and where, no doubt, I will take many more. For as many pictures as I have taken there, well over 100 that I can count, I had not seen this marker. This day, I finally saw it. I was amazed I had never noticed it before. I am not sure of the significance of the jar of pennies that was once intact. If you look at the background, you can see that this marker hangs over at least 200 feet of cliff below it, if not more.

I don't know who this marker is written for. Given where it has been placed, it could be for any number of people. There were, rare, rescues of live people and, many, recoveries of deceased people. I took part in many recoveries from this place. At times I was involved in making sure there were no other victims. Often in the dark, more than several times, I skirted poison oak and prayed the rattlesnakes would leave my dog and I alone as we searched what we could at the spot where the vehicles would come to rest. It was a narrow, treacherous and a frequently, slippery area. I have repelled down, been flown down to, and hiked down to this area numerous times. I have stood at the edge ensuring no one else got too close as we attempted rescue, or made a recovery. I stopped a woman from looking at her brother in a condition no one should ever have to see their loved one. I know closure is important, but nightmares aren't necessary.

Now this lookout is just that. A lookout. Measures are in place to keep cars from flying off the cliffs here. It is odd to me that, until I saw this marker, the changes that had taken place to turn this area into a vista point had sufficiently allowed my mind to close off the memories of the tragedies that had taken place there.
Tragedies that I had had some part in. I had talked about them abstractly while being elsewhere, but hadn't even thought of them in the many times over the many months that I have stopped and taken pictures.

Until this day.

Never part without loving words to think of during your absence. It may be that you will not meet again in this life. ~Jean Paul Richter

Driving and....

In CA, I know there is a law about talking on a cell phone while driving (you must be hands free) and there is a law about texting (you can't do it...) but I don't think there is a law about taking pictures and driving.... which is what I did last night. (I suppose there probably OUGHT to be a law about it... and I am not recommending it to any one else...)

I know the photos aren't 'correct' or have technical merit, but I sure like the results

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mountain top

These are the types of moments I live for. That moment in time where the world presents itself and says "photograph me now!" I was actually taking pictures of my dogs in my truck after a search, because they were being so cute. And then I looked up and saw Mt Shasta. I abandoned my dogs in favor of taking pictures of this mountain.

I love traveling up this part of I5 when the weather is clear. Mount Shasta becomes so much of your view for a while on your journey. So close to something so huge and majestic.

Too bad I don't ski.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A crossroads

The day I was waiting for the moon to set so I could take a picture, a day too late I might add, I took this picture of the canyon below me.

I love this canyon. I see so many new things each time I look, like this road with many roads off of it. It feels very symbolic of life. If you could look at your life from this perspective and see the many choices that will present themselves, maybe you would make different decisions. Or maybe it would just help to know that a new choice was coming up just a few hundred yards away.

Or maybe it would make life more confusing.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Face Of Pure Joy

He is never happier than when he is dirty. It is not a good search training unless nearly all of his white is some shade of brown.... This is actually cast off he is subjected to as he runs behind Kaeden through the muddy creek near our search and rescue headquarters.

Oh to run for the pure joy of running. To do windsprints just because it feels fun and good. To not care about mud or water or cold or wind... to just run for the fantastic fun of it. My dogs are fanatics about it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Reality Check

A good man died today. I don't know enough about him to say all that could be said about him. I do know that he was thought of highly by all who knew him, including me. He was a constant, a mentor, and a friend. His actions, over the course of a lifetime, touched thousands. He helped those who were sick and in pain. His skills were unquestioned, and his abilities passed on to many.

From diagnosis to passing, barely six months went by. Through it all, he still tried. He still fought. He still smiled.

Reality check.

There is only so much time before the sand in the hour glass runs out.

And you never get to peek at the hour glass to see how much sand you started with.

Or how much is left.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


After today's emotional roller coaster, a night in the woods next to a soft fireplace sounded good. No one to ask me yet another question, no one pulling me in six different directions only to discover I needed to go a seventh. Only a quiet dark evening, with a fire beckoning me to sit and forget it all.

This was a fire from a back packing trip my wife and I took with good friends back in July of 2007. Just for a moment today, sitting by this fire sounded like a welcome relief from all that a hectic, crazy emotional day can bring.

Staring at this quietly long enough I can hear the surrounding wildlife and feel the light nip in the air on parts of my body not directly facing the fire. I can feel each of my dogs next to me, sighing contentedly after a day filled with hiking, swimming and other fun activities. I can feel the happy calm that the atmosphere brings....


Monday, March 2, 2009

What a Dyson Cannot Do.

A Dyson, at least the model I have - the Animal - cannot pick up wood chips. Or wood splinters. Or wood pieces.

Okay. Actually that is not entirely true. For the most part, it can indeed pick up the majority of those things. What happens though, is they get stuck in one of the cute little curvy parts, and they don't make it to the canister.

What happens when you don't realize that the pieces are getting stuck is you continue to pick up as much wood as you can. When you realize the suction is mostly gone, you begin investigating why. That's when you take off one of those curvy parts - the one on the bottom - rather proud of yourself that you figured out just how easy it is to take your Dyson apart.... and suddenly you have a neat pile of wood chips, splinters and pieces on the floor you just tried vacuuming up.

That's when you realize you need a shop vac.

But I suppose we should start at the beginning. The very beginning... Love, Life and Puppy Dog Tales. It's been a while since I have been able to share the antics of my four legged furry ones. Today, Hazer is the star.

He is not to blame. FAR FROM IT. If I search my memory, I would swear, yes swear, as in a court of law kind of swear, that I saw Hazer before I left for work today.

I was wrong.

I got home tonight and was greeted by Please. I had Kaeden with me. It took only a short time for me to realize Hazer wasn't in the equation. I asked my wife if he was with her, and she said no... and as a matter of fact, she hadn't see him. We called, we searched, and for a moment, I panicked.... he had gotten out and taken off. How would I ever find him?

Why in the world would he ever leave??? That is not the velcro Hazer I know.

Nope. He didn't go anywhere.

He couldn't.

My wife opened the laundry room door and there he was. Then I heard my wife say "OH. MY. GOD." as she peered into the room.

The floor was covered in wood chips, splinters and pieces. Border Collies are well known for their focus. And Hazer focused on getting out.

Yes, the molding is gone. He destroyed the molding so well that it was a mere sawdust formation of itself. What was left of it had the nails in it.... he didn't eat those... he did have survival on his mind. Then he began working on the door frame itself.

To his credit, after 12 hours in the laundry room, he didn't urinate or defecate in the room
. He could have tried to go out the window. He could have destroyed the carpet. He could have eaten the nearly 60 pounds of dog food at the other end of the room. Instead, he focused on the molding and the door frame. He focused on pulverizing the space between in and out.

And thus I had a pile of wood chips, splinters and pieces. Things that a Dyson cannot pick up. At least not effectively anyway.

Lesson? Make sure to take dog inventory before leaving the house in the morning.

Although, Hazer isn't too keen on spending any time in the laundry room right now.