Saturday, January 30, 2010


did everybody in the world know how much work one tiny little two pound one ounce puppy is except for me? am i the only one that doesn't know dog language? and is it really fair that even if your not in the mood to care for one. more. thing. (i've raised five babies you know), tiny little puppies slip into your heart anyway. oh owen. while we've been busy 24-7 with him it seems the storming ended and spring is creeping in! see the green buds in the above photo?! we are trying (that's a big word here) to train owen to do his piddling and pooing outside, so i've, we've, been spending a lot of time looking around the yard while he looks at everything too.

here are some of the things the trainer said we ought to get. we are taking a puppy training class. did you know there is such a thing too? owen thinks it is the most fun. i don't know how much he is actually learning, i guess time will tell... in the meantime, we have assembled our own puppy training kit. see below.

essential puppy training kit.
includes lots of wine
lots of chocolate
then more wine and chocolate.
to be replenished as necessary.

here is what i look like at the end of the day. a day with owen. except i don't sleep with my feet in the air and i'm no where near as cute.

some non-puppy things are, i've been working (and working out! more on that later), and then dealing with computer people again, it turns out i needed something called ram or more of it on my computer. sigh, you pay so much money for these laptops and internet you really just want them to work. and still finding a little time to knit. my scarf is almost done, it looks funny since it still needs blocking and all. i've tried to smooth it out a bit to show the pattern.

in case anyone is interested it's from a book called A Fine Fleece, knitting with handspun yarn, called the road not taken. i've used rowan true 4ply botany a 100% wool in a lovely silvery grey, i found the yarn in a shop in amsterdam a couple years ago so i'm not sure if it's still available. i hope it gets cold again so i can wear it.

and i really hope you are all well and finding the beauty where ever you are. a training kit can sometimes help. ;)

♥ lori

Thursday, January 21, 2010

stormy weather

when it rains and pours all week in a small california coastal town, what do you do when there's a break in the deluge? you walk to the beach and say hello & goodbye to the setting sun. see you again soon sun okay? but not quite yet, there's another front moving in...

thank you for the mails of concern, we're not so bad, we're not in danger of mudslides or flooding. there's many that are though. i'm praying for all the people in the evacuation areas. and haiti. our flooding and storming seems awfully small when we see the devastation and suffering of this caribbean island and it's people. like so many, i'm praying for haiti.

how can nature be so deadly, dangerous and beautiful all at the same time?
be safe where ever you are.

* * *

puppy update:

after spending a little time with little n, we began to rethink his name. seems he's better at charming than thinking deep thoughts. we are deciding on something else, something the children can actually spell and pronounce. (and since hannah's realized puppy parenting takes more than just a little time) i am now officially the mum.
what do you think of owen? owen elias graham. there's a beautiful place we love, owen's valley, between the sierra nevadas and the desert. and elias is for this man here, someone we always want to remember. he seems to like it. owen it is then.
even though i can't help calling him fluffy pluffy poopie pants.

oooh, puppy love. it's a sure cure for rainy day blues :)

♥ lori

Sunday, January 17, 2010

a hundred pockets

what is about nine inches long ?
weighs around two pounds (if) ?

makes me lori times 6?

give up? it's the newest addition to our family! meet...

full name friedrich nietzsche.
we think he is officially the cutest puppy in the entire world.
hannah and i were out yesterday doing errands when we happened to drive past a house with several little blonde puppy's romping all over the grass. my car stopped (on it's own accord you see) and in the blink of an eye hannah was in the middle of them. begging. pleading, maaaaaaammmm, pleeeease?.....
i said we have to think about this.
let's be practical.
so we drove away, both of us sighing and giggling, and sighing some more.
fast forward one hour. hannah is at papa chuck's desk, describing these little balls of fluff and pure joy to him. they have a reasonable discussion,
which ends in him grabbing his keys, her grinning from ear to ear,
they are just going to look.
now look at what we have.
welcome to our family little nietzsche (hannah's favorite philosopher)
he also comes running when called, biscuit, mufasa and babydoll.

"When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets."
quote by mr. friedrich himself.
our days just grew by hundreds and hundreds of pockets.
♥ lori

Friday, January 15, 2010

happy hour

there was a time, not too too long ago...

mexico 1992

where all my babies were like ducks in a row....

when "happy hour" meant playing and dancing and silly fun....

and then, my youngest son turned 21.


the legal age to drink in the U.S.
(not that the other older three don't drink, but this boy likes to party.)

oh dear.

at this very moment he and several friends are on their way
to las vegas, flying and
driving in for a weekend of celebration. a different sort of happy hour.

oh my.

my two older sons are going along, to keep an eye on him.
i am not going to worry.

not even.
i'm knitting instead.

a little hat i made for me, i won't give this one away, like i usually do...

it's covered in my granma rose's buttons.
this one i'm keeping.
(still not worrying. at all. okay, maybe a little.)
happy birthday jacob
love, forever,
(did i say be careful?)

Monday, January 11, 2010

for renee and one fine day

here it is. my dear friend renee asked to see this photo again, the photo that won someones heart. and now i have a new printer. i hope you like it renee.
thank you again, photo judges, i ♥ you. (image is lake kariba, zimbabwe).
now, lets go to the beach!

rincon, a world class surf spot, is in our own backyard. chuck was on "dawn patrol" sunday morning and asked if i'd like to come along. yes! but i opted to meet him since his idea of dawn differs a bit from mine, he left in the dark...

here is part of this gorgeous beach. it's a point break with a big sweeping cove. it's winter now so most of the sand is gone. the sun is just starting to come up over rincon hill...there are a lot of surfers, watchers and photographers out this morning.

oh! i have an idea, let's peek into my friends house, it's right here at the shore. it's too early to take photos anyway just yet, and we'll never be able to spot chuck without more light..

my friend lives here and manages this house. it is a kind of retreat. you can stay here if you like. it's a very spiritual place, magical even...

one of the rooms...the waves are lapping (well, more like crashing at the moment) right outside the door....

we could eat here or better yet lets dine alfresco in the garden...

here we go, out the back door, it's getting light out now...see the ocean?

oh! look, it's chuck, he's coming up for a quick kiss and hello. when you catch a wave here you can sometimes ride so far it's easier to get out and run back up the beach to where you started. or you could paddle and have your arms fall off like mine would....

here is someone catching a beautiful wave. my photos of chuck are in my film camera, waiting to be developed. these pictures are from my well loved little leica, but it has a tiny lens, not good for distance. so this is kind of a sample of how the waves looked...

here i was sitting and watching (i mean, here we are ) when i hear "mom!" it's my son, my youngest. he's driven up from santa monica to surf rincon. everyone comes from everywhere to surf the queen. i am so happy to see him. i kissed him a lot while he was patiently trying to get into his wetsuit. he is so cute.

there he goes, running away. he'll paddle out above the river mouth, where the two surfers in the distance are. it's hard to tell, my timing was bad in this photo, but the waves were so big...

here is my girl. she came with me to watch. she surfs too. she would now, but she's grown out of her wetsuit and it's too cold to "trunk" it. or in her case bikini it. today, she sang instead, sang to me funny and sweet songs that she made up.

fast forward several waves and many fantastic moments to this. my youngest son and my husband meet up on the beach. i loved watching and listening to them describe their waves, laughing at how great today is.

over the weekend we made the trip back and forth to rincon at least four times. each visit was different, my daughter came once, i saw my son in another, we searched for sea glass one late afternoon and we went to breakfast after one early morning session. one time i saw a dolphin jump over a surfer at the top of a wave ( a big wave) which would have made a one in a million billion photo, if i'd have gotten it. but i didn't of course. at least not in my camera. but its with me , right here in my minds eye, captured forever.

have a brilliant day wherever you are,

♥ lori

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Chuck Graham, Rincon, California

my first real scanned photo! taking the money i was given for a photo (amazing. really.) i bought a printer, scanner, copier, it even makes photos. my family said "could you have chosen a bigger one?" it didn't look so big in the store (next to the others) but now that it's home sitting here next to my small white laptop, it's big.

but, it works! i've figured out most of it, i'm proud to say, without the assistance of my most helpful sons. maybe they can help me with the wireless part though, that is completely baffling to me. but for now, i love this piece of electronic equipment. and that i've done most of the set up on my own.

i chose this photo to scan because i've been sitting here listening to the surf all morning (and all last night too) it's winter here, and we've got a swell. this photo was taken a few years ago, by me, of my husband. he is a good surfer, once upon a time a competitive one too. he traveled around the world competing. did i mention i love this sport and think the smell of wetsuit and salt water the sexiest smell on earth? i tell my husband this all the time when he's got that great smell, and he laughs.

i love when there is surf, even though i don't anymore (i grew up surfing, but raising children got in the way, here is one of my last attempts), i love the energy in the air. the way all talk is of surf and wave size and wind and tide all those conditions needed for an epic session. in our town, even some businesses close up shop to go surfing.

or some even make a living thanks to the surf. here is a magazine Chuck edits. please click on it if you are interested in reading about more surfing or seeing some fantastic photos. and now i really have to go get some more current photos of my own. the waves are calling.

♥ lori

p.s. thank you times a thousand for your kind words and thoughts and congrats on my previous post, my appreciation runs deeper than the deepest of deep oceans.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

one, two and three

i couldn't make up my mind how or if to do this post.
my husband said blame it on him, he was the one that made me.
but i wouldn't do that.

the problem is, i'm not comfortable posting certain things here,
some things feel right only for my book journal.

except i don't keep one of those anymore.
only for trips.


i'm posting with the intention of a keepsake for me.
and maybe my kids or their kids,
for the future.


i've disabled the comments just for this post,
because i am a little embarrassed, it feels too much like blowing your own horn.
am i making any sense at all here?
i know, you can't tell me.
thank you for the kind words anyway,
i can feel them.

first contest award

congratulation roses from my husband ♥

first paid photo
(inside magazine, not this photo)

2009 Photo Issue

Top 100 travel photos

number 34.

these all came in december.
it was a very good month to me.

thank you so much,

Photographer's Forum
Sherman's Travel
Los Angeles Times

i am really thrilled.

♥ lori

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Desert Moon Sojourn

At the very spur of the moment, my husband and I decided to get out of town for New Years ( I really love these unplanned getaway's). We gathered our camping gear, tossed it in the back of the truck and headed northeast.

The desert seemed like the best place to go for a quiet reflective way to welcome in January and 2010 and the Blue Moon. On our way to Death Valley, we passed the Mojave and made a short stop here at Red Rock Canyon. Can you see me beneath these spectacular rock formations?

Passing through the Owen's Valley we can see the Sierra Nevada's and Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S.

After a six hour drive, we've reached our destination, we're here at Death Valley National Park.

We waited here watching the light on the dunes in the distance. And deciding where we'll (hopefully) see the moon rise tonight. We saw groups of people walk out to the sand dunes with picnic baskets and blankets, they had a good idea for New Years.

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

As the sun began to set we saw clouds start to fill in the sky, oh dear, would we see the moon after all?

If we didn't, it wouldn't matter, this sunset was worth the drive. It went on and on, we watched the sky with anticipation (and a good amount of awe).

And then, the horizon began to glow, my heart beat faster. It would happen! right in front of us, on New Years Eve, the Blue Moon appeared.

Well, to say this was a thrill would be a serious understatement. It was an incredible sight, if you saw it too, you know what I mean. The sky was so clear, I could see the markings on the moon. We took several photos (I hope my film pics turn out) if not, I'm happy with these from my little digital.

With the moon now in the sky, it was time to find a campsite. Unfortunately while we were busy sky watching, all the campsites at Stovepipe Wells were taken. We arrived just as the last site was claimed.

Plan b: get a room. It seemed we got the last one of those too. We forgot that we would not be the only ones to decide to escape to the desert for the holiday. Luckily we didn't forget the champagne!

One for you and one for me. Happy New Year honey! then, because there was a sign in our room that said " No cooking in room" (not that we would have!) we went out to eat, where we had a beautiful trout dinner with steamed veggies and a delicious salad. Maybe missing out on the campsite was a good thing? :)

Up at dark, I mean dawn, we want to be in a good position for photos before the sun makes it's appearance. Here is my sweet husband making me a mug of hot tea. It is very very cold this morning.

We are all alone at this surreal landscape.

Looks like the moon. Death Valley is an amazing place. You really ought to go.

We took a lot of photos.

And walked all over the salt spires which are as sharp as a coral reef. it's okay, you can do that here. The guide book says "there is no official hiking trail, visitors can tromp through this strange and rugged terrain for a closer look at the spectacular formations."

Now, here I am at the lowest point in North America, Badwater. It looks like I'm about to step into water, but it's only salt. You do not want to be here in the summer. Temperatures regularly reach 120 degrees. Though now, it is very cold. I don't know how cold, but I take back what I said about wanting snow. I would probably die. This was cold enough. I know I'm a baby. I'm sorry.

On one of the unpaved roads we pulled over to make breakfast. I watched from inside the truck as my husband went to work. He enjoys cooking on our little camp stove.

Here is his kitchen, the tailgate of our truck. He made us cooked oats with blueberries, bananas and honey. ♥

Here in Death Valley an American Indian tribe lives and thrives. The Timbisha Shoshone reside on 40 acres of land near Furnace Creek. As we passed by we noticed a sign that looked interesting. We'll come back to check it out in the afternoon.

Next is Zabriskie Point. Another badland that will guarantee gasps. The earth must have thrown quite a party to have created this. The land is wildly eroded and vibrantly colored. I imagined one wrong step and you'd fall in and never be found again.

My husband felt the need to stand right next to the edge for his photos. Perspective is hard to show here, but the drop off is significant.

I like mine, where I am far enough back for photos and peace of mind. (I tried not to look at my husband).

Photos safely taken, now we're at Golden Canyon for a short hike.

The guide book said it is an easy two mile hike. I think we turned it into ten, (only a slight exaggeration.) :)
We went off the trail, wandering through colorful rock formations,

squeezing through twisting narrows,

climbing over big rocks and boulders (showing off),

and getting stuck. Oh, not to worry though, I made it through. I like this photo even if I can't understand what is going on with my pants. I may have just brought unnecessary attention there, forget I said anything. heehee.

There are beautiful colors in the rocks and earth. Nature continually amazes.

We came up this way, now we have to get back down. These photos do not show how narrow and steep it was. And that is probably good as well, because I wouldn't want to upset my mom.

We made it out fine, now we're off to explore that sign I mentioned earlier. See it? the Indian Taco's? I was so looking forward to going on the reservation, meeting the Timbisha Shoshone people, and eating their taco's. So we turned down the road.

We found the tribal office. And then we found the note, Closed New Years Day. :(
We'll have to come back, you don't often find an invitation to come on to Indian homeland.
I do hope it's okay to take these photos, there is a beautiful dignity among American Indian people, and you have to ask permission for most things.

While waiting patiently for a late afternoon shot it became apparent that the sun would not come out. Clouds had been filling in all day and now the sun had set somewhere behind it all. Making the best of the situation we found a lovely place to take in the last of the sunset.

I should have probably shown just one or two photos, but it was so pretty, I had a hard time stopping and so there are six. We wished each other Happy New Year again and agreed we'd had a fantastic day, this first day of 2010.

Heading out we decided to have dinner in Panamint Springs before the long trek back home.

It's fun to talk about all the things we'd seen and done, always rating the latest adventure as number one, always thinking it's the best yet. We'd found the full moon we'd hoped for, and the solitude too. We'd even caught a glimpse of a coyote and one raven. But the thing I liked the best is this glass of wine right here. After seven months of an undiagosed African illness, I think i'm back. I feel so good. I kept saying all along that when I order a glass of wine, then I know i'll be okay.

I did, and it was delicious.

♥ lori