Monday, October 8, 2012

still remiss, miss me?

Stella is growing and now almost 3 months old! I am hoping to see the grandchillin' soon--maybe this weekend--so will have more recent images posted after that, I promise!

Meanwhile, these shots from this summer may tide you over:

Griffin and Oscar busy on the floor in August.

Stella and her Aunt Rachel

and her Uncle John.

Stella and her mom, Shanna, about a month later, mid-August,

and her big bros, Grayson and Griffin.


I finally got Griffin to take that little car out of his mouth!

Daddy's girl. With a little dried formula on her face.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


It's been a busy summer and now it's only few weeks until the autumnal equinox and I've not posted a thing since early July. Sheesh.

Biggest news is Stella's arrival! Here are a few pics of her birthday, early afternoon, July 17, 2012:

Stella Harper Hyland
Her first photo op with all the grandparents and Griffin,

and biggest brother Grayson was there too!

When I got home much later that evening, I still had my camera and took a walk around the block just to savor and extend the the day. A large, graceful hydrangea with delicate blooms caught my eye. Three grandsons later, now the small miracle of a perfect little girl at last. I am so rich, so fortunate, so surprised to have someone new to get to know, to share stories and history, love and hilarity. There are six astonishing, brilliant, and beautiful individuals on the earth because of me. No matter the failures and disappointments of my life, I am immortal. I am grateful. I am so, so humbled.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


The 4th was the first truly warm night we've had since winter ended, and at first I thought I might be willing to brave the eastside waterfront crowds for the fireworks display over the Willamette River downtown. Thought I'd like to bring the camera and see what I could shoot. 

But as the darkness approached, Doc and I thought better of heading to the river and the masses, so took a walk around the corner into the Irvington neighborhood behind my apartment. The street was exploding with rockets and flares, firecrackers, children and adults, bicyclists whizzing by--dodging fire bursts and the occasional car. We stood transfixed for nearly a half-hour by the noise and laughter, blinding light and colorful blasts. The sweetness of the moment moved me deeply, and I tried to capture some of the excitement and uncomplicated joy on that summer night's traditional celebration. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

strawberry blue

I spent a few hours today shopping for a crib and stroller with my stunning daughter, a month away from the arrival of her own beautiful daughter.We are getting pretty excited.

Here's the last strawberry from the pint I bought last Sunday at my local farmer's market. I meant to get more today, but we were busy driving from Ikea to Babies-R-Us. This little berry needed its picture taken and I'm happy to report it was delicious!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

a few neighborhood impressions

Just for today, when the sun was out, the breeze was so light and mild, the soft morning was still quiet, I felt so, so lucky. And this is what I found.

Well-maintained memorial to a beloved potbelly.

small ambitions

I'm restless. This blog isn't what I want it to be and I keep thinking I'm going to make changes but can't quite figure out how to implement them here on Blogger, or maybe it's the limitations of my little netbook that are preventing me from progressing. Whatever. I need to make changes, and just altering the background image or layout here doesn't exactly satisfy, you know?

Organizationally, I'd like to be able to separate out photography from my creative writing, with categories for family and maybe other creative projects. Ideally, I'd like to establish a little sideline as a freelance photographer, so developing a website dedicated exclusively to that goal is the better idea. I can see the value of maintaining a blog for family so far away, so I'll continue to post shots of our activities and growth here, but I'm determined to finally get myself some cred as a photographer this summer. So watch this space for updates and news.

I shot these gorgeous 'chokes this morning at our modest little farmer's market here in Irvington. I do still wander with my one-eyed boyfriend when the weather cooperates, and love to shoot up the landscape wherever I am, but would be so cool to occasionally get paid for it! 

a perfectly perfect day.

Memorial Day weekend Rachel and Oscar spent a delirious, delicious, hilarious, and sweet afternoon visit at my house! They were in town to meet, snuggle and schmooze with a brand new family member on the Macy side in Newberg (Baby Will, who, judging from photos is as adorable as all the rest of Oscar's cousins).

 My place was jumping with boyz for hours! Grayson was the hero of the day: the littler boyz only wanting to be wherever he was, doing whatever he was doing, literally hanging on him and following him room to room to room and back again.

It hadn't been this exciting in my apartment since the last time the Philly family was here, way last summer! Brock also spent the afternoon and Shanna joined us as soon as she got off work (baby Stella makes her debut next month!!), and even Doc came by for the meet-up. I managed to get just a few shots at home, but had better luck at McMenamins where the rambunctious ones finally had to stay in their chairs (let us all praise highchair straps!). It was a perfect day. Perfect and sweet and funny and fun.

Brock & Griff

Oscar & pizza

Rachel & smile

Oscar & Rachel break the crayon with their powerful breaths!

Grayson & crayons

Rachel actively listening to Grayson

Grayson less actively expressing his thoughts

Oscar actively listening to Griffin who is not quite coherent. Yet.

Brock politely enduring yet another encounter with my camera. Thanks, big guy!!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

my Friday man

Griffin! Every Friday for lunch (accompanied by his dad, Brock) I'm completely charmed by this new little guy in my life.

(Ohhh, I think I'm in trouble.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cleaning Thyme

A couple of weeks ago I noticed that the bunches of organic fresh herbs I’d recently bought were beginning to darken in the refrigerator. So I thought I’d try to dry them and see if they could still be used instead of tossing them out, since they weren't too far gone yet. I tied the little stems with kitchen string and hung them on push pins I’d stabbed into my old wooden kitchen cart and waited expectantly for the first couple of hours and then completely forgot about them.

This, it turns out, was a good thing. Usually my impatience tends to cause me to ruin things. Name a thing. My impulsive rush to see how it all turns out has spoiled the endings of perfectly wonderful books, meals, house plants (over-watered), ceramic projects pulled out of the kiln too soon, photographs—hell, even relationships have crashed due to my insistence on knowing what’s coming.

So for some reason, this morning I noticed the little bundles hanging from the cart’s wooden handle and thought, “aha!!” And found a dry spot on the counter and began to roll the bundles between my hands, as the perfectly dried little leaves dropped into a scattered nest of fine twigs and tiny bits. It took quite awhile to sort out the leaves from the twigs and stems, but when I was finished, I’d filled a few little bottles I’d been saving for years—who knows why—with lovely dried herbs to crush into my eggs or marinara sauces. The only thing that could be better would be having grown them myself—which is not really possible since my little balcony gets no direct sunlight.

Anyway, it’s a ridiculously small accomplishment, I’ll admit. Almost embarrassing, really, to write a whole blog post about it. But the pleasure I experienced as I sorted the leaves from the chaff, doing something so peacefully productive and calming was a revelation. So little of my time lately has been spent this way. And that’s what this post is about. I need more peacefully productive and calming activity in my life.

For a long time this blog has been kind of a metaphor for my life, and my infrequent posts reveal just how little interest I have in maintenance anymore. It’s become one more thing that signifies a personal disappointment to me. The truth is, I’m completely uninterested in taking this blog further.

As well, for the past several years I’ve gradually sunk into depressions and a pervasive sense of futility that has crippled me physically and creatively. The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis has been pretty devastating to me and requires expensive medications with fairly significant side effects that have also led to my increasing isolation and sense of loss. I’m just not the woman I was a few years ago, and I’m not exactly adjusting. A friend once remarked of a mutual acquaintance that she was not “aging well,” and now I’m finding my own circumstances and appearance make that observation particularly piquant.

Okay. It’s true that I’m not aging well. Standing in my kitchen with the morning light streaming in, occupied with a small, homely task came as a powerful reminder that this is what life is made of: small moments of insignificant pleasure taken where we can find them. And when we are lucky enough or determined enough to pursue those moments with clear intention, the reward over time is a fulfilling life.

So I'm ready to pursue fulfillment with clarity and intention, and I don’t know what’s coming, but I'm loving this growing sense of purpose. And it's funny: for once, I’m not hurrying to see how it ends.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

What springs eternal?

Well, my attempt to write a poem a day crashed and burned leaving no survivors two days into the project. What is it that makes me such an optimist, time after time, as I try and try again? It must be innate, because the sustained failure to achieve so many earnestly-begun creative projects has surely been the most (embarrassing) consistent and predictable outcome over the long course of my life! Yet somehow I don't much care. Like Scarlet, I start again and again, secure in the knowledge that tomorrow's another day. Tra-laa! Besides, the sun is out and the day is warm enough to not need a jacket for the first time since October.

Here are a couple of Easter morning photos, snapped on my way home from Starbucks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

spring on a dry day~surprise!

Returned Netflix DVDs at the Post Office in NW Portland on my break this morning and brought my camera with me since the sun was out and colorful things are beginning to bloom.