Tag: pictures

Happy Thanksgiving

Today this author is with her family. She’s enjoying some fresh-roasted turkey with a large helping of her sister’s homemade cornbread dressing.

It’s delicious. And time with family along with dressing and gravy make this MY favorite holiday of the year.

Even better, this is my beautiful granddaughter’s first Thanksgiving and she’s spending it with Lolly and Pop (and her parents and adoring great aunt Connie).

There is plenty of food. We’re laughing around the table while we play games and enjoy spending time together.

Yes, there is football on the television. The “old men” are downstairs watching that while we’re upstairs laughing and socializing. Which do you prefer to do on holidays – watch TV or socialize?

Today is also my sister’s birthday. She LOVES hosting family dinners, and since she lives in Lincoln City, Oregon (within steps of a Pacific Ocean view), we’re happy to accommodate her. Also, I baked a cherry cheesecake dream for her “birthday cake.” Sure beats pumpkin pie!

Aside from telling her “Happy Birthday,” I’d like to acknowledge that she’s my biggest fan. She owns every book I’ve written. She will read them all even if I decide to write some genre she doesn’t read all the time.

That’s what a “fan” does!

Now, on to this idea of being thankful. I’ve had a difficult, transitional writing year, but I still have much to be thankful for. I hope you enjoy my recap of the top five blessings of my year.

#5 – A Money-Making “Traditionally Published” Book

(As a side note, this book has MORE reviews than any of my others. Is that why it has sold so well? Could be! So if you read a book, please leave a review. It helps the author. Really.)


#4 – Persevering to Finish my Indie Series

#3 – A Home for my Heart

#2- Regular Time with My “Core Unit”

#1 – Becoming a Lolly

I’d love to hear about five things you’re grateful for this year. One thing I’ve learned about gratitude, the more people share it the bigger it gets. It’s hard to be grumpy when positive vibes blind you.

What’s your favorite holiday?

This Week in Gratitude Memes

Maybe you don’t follow me on Facebook or Twitter. That’s perfectly okay.

But I don’t want you to miss out on my effort to come up with 365 ways to be grateful this year. In case you’re wondering what this is all about, check out this post.

Feeling a little out of sorts? Think life sucks big lemon grenades?

Let’s walk through the week:


If only cupcakes burned calories
If only cupcakes burned calories


Remember the anticipation of summer break? Teachers feel it every June.
Remember the anticipation of summer break? Teachers feel it every June.


Summer rain showers have a definite positive side
Summer rain showers have a definite positive side


I've had fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries this week. Summer is delicious!
I’ve had fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries this week. Summer is delicious!



Although my friend reminded me I could use a compass to draw a circle.
Although my friend reminded me I could use a compass to draw a circle.

Count your blessings, my friends. Even if you have to dig deep to find them. (You are still breathing. The air isn’t toxic.)

(Coming up next week, I’m going to get a little tongue-in-cheek with my gratitude memes. If you see them and love them, feel free to share them.)

What are you thankful for today?


This Wedding is Scrap(book)ed!

That’s a wrap folks! I finished the wedding scrapbook.

The most amazing part to me is that it happened within three months of the big day. Others have waited a year after an event before seeing the photographic memorabilia I scrapped together.

Even more amazing, I set my mind to it and finished it off within a week.

What was left to do? Plenty.


The last bridal shower occurred the Sunday before Thanksgiving. We stopped in to enjoy the festivities on our way to the beach to spend the holiday with my sister.

The pictures my husband took were saved with those pictures. But none of them were on our shared drive when I went looking for them.

Thankfully, the bride’s mother helped me out and sent a few photos my way. I happily used all those and nagged my husband to give me access to the ones he took.

The only shower game involved guessing facts about the wedding dress. Harder than it sounds.
The only shower game involved guessing facts about the wedding dress. Harder than it sounds.

Showers – done.

Why no rehearsal?

Our wedding photographer took several hundred pictures of the decorating and wedding rehearsal. None of those made it into the scrapbook.

Why not? Isn’t the rehearsal important?

Yes, it was a long and important day.

Thad & Kacy Wedding 2016 - 0129

But I was tired. And the BIGGEST day was the wedding itself.

Why spend energy on the rehearsal when I could apply it to the main event?

At least, this is the excuse I’m using. Hopefully, my son and daughter won’t be too unhappy about the exclusion of that busy day of preparation.

Wedding Day

Thousands of photos exist of every aspect of the big day.

A great shot of the entire wedding party
A great shot of the entire wedding party

I’m not exaggerating.

It took me several hours to view them all and pick out the ones I want to use. As I type this, I’m reminded I still haven’t sent the photographer the list of photos I want tweaked and doctored.

*Stops typing on this and opens a Facebook private message window*

I’m back.

It was a beautiful wedding. I’m posting a few photos with this post, but they are weak representations of a wonderful day. (And these are excellent photos, so I guess that tells you something about the wedding.)

The lovely couple getting ready to start the ceremony
The lovely couple getting ready to start the ceremony

How was I supposed to condense the awe and incredulity into a finite number of twelve-by-twelve scrapbook pages?

It took almost as long to select the photos as it did to lay out the pages.

In the end, the actual wedding took up as much space as all the events leading up to it. Which is exactly as it should be.

I’ve got a page for the girls and one for the guys. Some shots of the important implements, like the rings and bouquet. The ceremony has three pages.

The happy couple
The happy couple

How do I decide what portions of the reception to include?

More hours selecting and printing pictures nets four lovely pages for the hours-long reception.

The biggest conundrum was how to finish off the last page since I don’t have any photos of their honeymoon (which would be the natural way to end it).

I settled on an awesome shot of the happy couple being flagellated with the streamer-thingies used in place of rice or birdseed or bubbles. Add some sparkle and encouraging sayings and that’s a wrap.

As always, there’s just enough in the book to incite a full-fledged jaunt down memory lane. Isn’t that the point of a scrapbook anyway?

On Vacation Again

Reason number ONE for attending a class reunion: it might lead to a vacation with your best friend.

Yep. This is what happened at my some-number year class reunion.

My BFF and I are both owners (with our loving husbands, of course) of the Worldmark by Wyndym Vacation Club.

For several years, we’ve been talking about taking a vacation together. Each time we get together to catch up on life, we say we’ll have to book at the same resort. Some day.

In July 2015, at the reunion, my friend’s husband said, “Where do you want to go?”

My husband and I have been checking out the resort in Indio, California for a few years. Him because it’s on a golf course. Me because and there is a HUGE pool and guaranteed sunshine.

Then her husband said, “We’ve been there. It’s nice. Pick a week.”

And so we decided to go on his Spring Break (he’s the principal of a school district in Idaho).

I made the reservations and texted her. She texted back that they reserved their condo. We were really going to do this thing.

Spring Break is here.

I’m sure I’ll have updates about the trip when I get back, but in honor of me being on vacation, I thought I’d share a few snapshots of me enjoying former vacations in sunny locations.

You know, to get you in the mood for your next trip.

The water really is that color off the coast of the West Indies
The water really is that color off the coast of the West Indies







Because everyone's birthday should be like this
Because everyone’s birthday should be like this

Some things are worth losing sleep over

Some things are worth losing sleep over



Maui View
Talk about a room with a view. Find me on the lanai


The last time we were in Palm Springs
The last time we were in Palm Springs








Man, I’m so ready for vacation now.

Wait! I’m already there. See you next week!














Scrapbooking a Wedding – Part 1 – The Dress

Things are changing in my world. One of the biggest changes that I’m relishing is being the mother of the groom. Of course, this calls for a scrapbook.

As mother of the groom, I don’t play an integral role in most of the planning. I’m okay with that. I want to be kept in the loop, though. Offering to record the event in a scrapbook gave me a perfect reason.

Life events should be enjoyed while they’re lived. But they should also be documented. This way the joy can be revisited through the years.

When we had our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, I enjoyed flipping through the wedding albums I made. The memories rushed back in vivid detail once more.

Time fades our recollections in the same way sun leeches color from our curtains.

We can’t bring our curtains back to full-color. Our recollection of events? It can be revived through visual stimulation.

As for the upcoming wedding, only a few plans have been set solidly in place. One of those – the dress – has been written about before.

Fading quote


Anyone who puts together a scrapbook, realized the paper makes the book. Seriously.

This is why any craft store will have an entire aisle of single-sheet specialty paper. And another aisle loaded with books of assorted papers.

It should have been easy to find a wedding-themed book of paper I loved, right?

Someone isn’t crazy about lace. Since this book is for her, I tried to avoid the books with mostly lacy-looking backgrounds.

Apparently, most brides ADORE lace.

Once I found a book with enough pages, I had to decide which backgrounds fit with which events I’d be documenting. Good thing I can always pick up more papers. After all, a scrapbook is designed two pages at a time.

The shopping excursions and final dress selection is the content shown on the four pages which record the hours days-long search for the perfect dress.


During those escapades, the bride and her mother snapped photos with their phones. (What did we do before our phone could take snapshots?)

After the shopping trips, they forwarded the pictures to me. It was my job to sort through them, deciding which ones represented the overall experience of the day.

Since only one trip involved most of the bridal party, I chose many pictures from that day. After all, bridesmaids are an important piece of the successful wedding pie. (Or would that be cake?)

This bride went through the process of selecting a dress in a methodical manner. I must say, I was truly impressed. What happened to trying on every single dress until you fell in love with one?

If you know what you want, why waste the time and effort?

An assortment of pictures comes from the rejected dresses. Generally, there were parts of the dress that met the criteria. The pictorial rendering points out those sections, in hopes of reminding the bride of her genius.

For the bride, the dress is a HUGE portion of her wedding day. That’s one of the reasons it’s one of the first things my lovely future-daughter and son will see when they open their wedding scrapbook.

Next year when it’s finished – or ten years from now when they want to stroll down memory lane.

Next in this series is The Engagement. Guess I should actually put those pages together before I write about it.

A Photo Tour of the New Place

Today is my first official day working from my new office. Isn’t it amazing?

That's an L-shaped desk with room for writing and editing.
That’s an L-shaped desk with room for writing and editing.








I’d love to take you on a tour of the whole house. Maybe I’ll figure out how after we get everything unpacked, all the furniture in place and the mega Styrofoam explosion cleaned off the floors.

This is the new kitchen.NewKitchen

Not as many cupboards as the old one – and yes, I’ve almost completely filled the lovely pantry in the corner to bursting.




We ate most of our meals at the bar in our old house.

You can see the bar in the foreground here.
You can see the bar in the foreground here.

Now we have even more room at the new bar, but we don’t eat there. It isn’t because of the clutter. Aside from scarfing down pizza on the first night – in between hauling boxes galore – this place has been lonely.

Pull up a seat on one of those fancy new stools
Pull up a seat on one of those fancy new stools








Isn’t she lovely?

The beautiful new dining area - only steps from the kitchen and the great room
The beautiful new dining area – only steps from the kitchen and the great room.

Can you see why we would rather eat in the lovely room at this cozy table? Tonight will be the first “solo” meal for hubby and I without the kids, so maybe the bar will feel intimate enough for the two of us.

The move is finished. I can’t use that as an excuse for the lack of words flowing onto the page.



Time to do what writers do…play with imaginary friends all day.

The Old Photograph

Family 76

Does everyone look at pictures from their childhood with a sense of wonder and disgust? If so, what is the purpose of groveling in the emotional flux they cause? Squinting at the blurry images (after all photographic arts in the digital age tout the quality of “high definition,” meaning back when this old photograph was taken, the figures blurred like someone didn’t use the auto-focus. Wait! Auto-focus probably hadn’t been invented yet), heads shake over the choice of clothes, the style of cars and the general lackluster appeal of the backdrop for the picture.  A smile or self-deprecating shrug accompanies a continued study of the ancient documentation of bygone days.

Yell at my mother. That’s the first thing I want to do when I find a picture from the summer of 1976.  Something along the lines of, “How could you dress me that way?” Of course, when my dress nearly matches hers for pea-soupiness, what sort of reply do I expect?

Upon further reflection of the day, I feel slightly chagrined. I recall the trips to the sewing room to try out this “lovely” dress and feeling somewhat in awe of how my mother could work her foot in time with the needle as she slid the pieces of fabric under the arm of the machine.  I’d rather be outside climbing a tree, but it seemed amazing that within a few hours, clothing could be ready for me to wear.

Back in those days, I loved the color green. Shades of green dominate the Pacific Northwest landscape in every season of the year. As a certified member of the “I wish I were a boy” club, anything that reminded me of the outdoors topped my list of favorite things. The fact that clothiers of the 70s couldn’t mix a shade of green that resembled anything in nature hadn’t occurred to me when I requested a green dress.  If I recall, my mother made all three of us dresses for Easter that year, and my sister and I chose the color we wanted.  My sister adored blue.  Don’t worry, the next year I wore her more appealing (in the color department anyway) blue dress, while the putrid green thing took up residence in the rag drawer.

On the day of the photograph, I wanted to be dismissed from the grueling parade of posing by family units and age groups in front of some guy with a camera. No amount of itching and squirming relieved the discomfort of the polyester threads glued to my skin by perspiration.  In fact, the thought of an entire watermelon (with seeds, they didn’t have the other kind back then) sounded more fabulous even than a run through a sprinkler.

In this particular photograph, our foursome and my Aunt Arlene pose in front of the family car. I pretty much have no pleasant memories of the rust-colored Ford Granada in the picture.  If you’ve ever ridden 2000 miles in the backseat of a car with your bossy sister, you can understand part of my abhorrence.  In addition, the lovely web-shaped scar on my chin is courtesy of the old Ford.  The winter after this photo’s freeze frame of time, my mother slid across the ice while rounding a corner on Fern Hill Road, crossed the center line and plowed into some ancient boat-like automobile driven by a lady of equal antiquity.  On impact, my ankle lodged itself beneath the front seat and my chin smashed into the back of my best friend’s head.  Instead of going to our bowling league that Saturday morning, we took a trip to the hospital, where I received eleven stitches in my chin.

Remembering these delightful times in that ugly Granada doesn’t make me shiver with excitement.  In fact, years later when my best friend (not the same person, obviously. After I knocked some sense into that girl with my chin, she happily waved goodbye when my family moved away and surely became friends with someone less hard-headed) drove me to school in her mom’s gray Ford Granada, I often gripped the door and squeezed my eyes closed when we rounded sharp curves.

Does every photograph send us down this shivery lane of repulsion and delight (okay, some people call it “Memory Lane,” but let’s be real)? Not when we flip through the album’s pages (yes, some people have albums with real pages, not just computer directories), looking for a certain moment of time. Our eyes skim across the years in a split second proportionate to how long that event lasted when compared to our lifetime. When our children get the album, on the other hand, it becomes something of a nightmare journey.

“I can’t believe you’re wearing white knee socks with sandals!” One of them chides, tipping the picture toward his brother, so he can also enjoy the horror of my wardrobe choice.

As they share a derisive chuckle, I quickly defend myself (why do I feel the need to do this? I guess I’ll have to ask my therapist in our next session. Too much time looking at old photos guarantees the need for personal therapy). “You think I had a choice? Your grandmother dressed me like that!”

“Sure, Mom. Blame Grandma,” the oldest laughs. When did his voice get so deep anyway?

“Just wait. Someday your kid will look at some pictures of you, and you’ll be blaming me for dressing you in such unfashionable clothes.”

“Sure, Mom,” the sarcasm drips like syrup from my youngest son’s tone. Where does he get that attitude anyway? (Oh, right. Maybe the queen of the sarcastic tone of voice shouldn’t wonder about that.)

“Look at Grandpa Cave’s glasses!”

Whew! The focus shifts away from me and my embarrassment at being caught attired in puke green polyester.

Why on earth do we keep a record of those hideous moments? Family historical documentation aside, some pictures have neither intrinsic nor extrinsic value. Reflecting more closely on this picture of my family (which was splintered in 1980), I recall the adventure of that road trip.  Crossing the Rocky Mountains, getting a Pike’s Peak Centennial t-shirt, and meeting some first cousins who would play important roles in my future.

A small smile plays on my lips, as the picture fades and memory kicks in. Shaking myself back to 2011, I’ve answered my own question. Mortification over wardrobe faux pas aside, this pictorial documentation of my personal history allows me to witness my life from a third person perspective.  Removed from it only by time, I’m able to appreciate how it shaped me into the person I’ve become today.

The reason for keeping this fodder for ridicule within reach of my children comes sharply into focus (unlike the old photograph). Regardless of our distinct differences, my current identity links inexorably with that 9-year-old girl in the green polyester dress.