Wednesday, May 01, 2013

PPP & Animated GIF's!!!

So what exactly is an Animated GIF?
One word comes to mind (actually two)...Magical Moment.
An animated GIF is a short, like 3 second short, video, without sound, that can make your moment dynamic.  Think Harry Potter, where the photographs seemed "alive".
We just re-released (upgraded) our Picture Perfect Postcard App with this way cool feature!  Not only can you send via cyber space OR actually mail a real hold it in your hand greeting, you can NOW create a moving salutation!  At the moment the animated GIF's can only be sent to someones email or tumblr site, but hopefully soon there will be more! (website)

Check it out!  We have PROMO codes that we would be most happy to share with you should you decide to try the app out yourself!  Just message me and I will send it on it's way!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Smelling Spring

I just finished up with my first official drag the hose around "watering".
I have extreme gratitude for water and wonder if the plants up here appreciate it as well. I realize how lucky they are (even if they do not) to have a nice drink of H2O when the sun is causing them to wilt up a tad.

Oh yes..the SMELLS, I was going to write about the scents that are so wonderful this time of year.
As I was watering it seemed as though the water magically awakened the smell of everything that it touched.
Grass smells good, but the scent of wet grass is unbelievably extra special.
Add a blooming lilac tree or a soon to be blossoming jasmine to the outside watering experience and it can become a most meditative moment.

I feel truly blessed to be able to be able to enjoy this little corner of the world that produces such vibrant colors and scents as the plants awaken from their winter slumber.
Not even my seasonal allergies with its sniffing and sneezing can diminish the awesomeness of it all.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Seedy Cafe

The golden warmth of the sun warms the pair of Mourning Doves as they sit on their perch in the Seedy Cafe.  Life is good. (at least for the moment) Just as it can happen in our lives, circumstances can change suddenly if "Cooper" (a coopers hawk that also frequents the cafe) decides to make a swooping visit.  For the moment though it appears that they are enjoying each others company, as well as the other visitors to the cafe. The doves tranquility are a reminder that I must try to live in the moment and not in fear of what could be.  That is easier said than done for us humans who hear news constantly of all that is not right in the world.

Watching the squirrels play, or a hummingbird sipping nectar helps me to focus on what is instead of what might be.
After all this moment, this precious moment is all that we have any say-so on how we want it to be.

*zooming prayers to all affected either directly or indirectly to Boston, Massachusets as well as West, Texas.  May golden light surround and comfort you.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My Platform

I don't know...looks kind of scary.
I guess I need to have one (a platform) according to a publisher that I would like to query.
Which possibly would not pose a problem IF I wasn't so frightened of platforms.  My trusted Chamber Dictionary says that it is a noun that indicates a raised level surface. (I did know that)
Which means one could actually fall off of it. (again something I am very aware of)
And THAT's what I am supposed to be developing?
It has stopped my querying process in it's tracks.  In The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen she devotes a whole chapter to the subject.  She highly recommends the process (of developing said platform) to help navigate the waters of writing and getting published.
I should of paid better attention to the chapter.
I have two (IMHO) very cool picture books that need to be set free from the confines of my computer and because of this platform issue I am clinging to the edge of the diving board afraid to do what's necessary to just jump in!
(I can totally visualize the diving board metaphor as I once spent an hour and a half at the end of a diving board, unable to go backward or forward)

I need to get a better image of what a platform is in my head.  Maybe it does not need to be the skinny, easy to fall of type of platform.  Perhaps I can create a platform solid and sturdy enough to be able to support me through all the ups and downs of the writer's life.
Yeah...that could work.
Maybe I can make it large enough to dance on and twirl hula hoops on and play my kazoo on!
I will start this "platform process" by reviewing (perhaps reading this time around) Chapter Two in The Productive Writer and take Sage's advice to invest in a copy of Get Known Before the Book Deal: Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform by Christina Katz.
If I get right on it, it should not be too long before I am ready to present my song and dance!

p.s. would LOVE/appreciate/extremely like any "Platform" developing wisdom if you have it to share!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Moon River

"Moon River"

   Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me

Moon river, wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way

Two drifters, off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after that same rainbow's end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me
(Audrey Hepburn version)

Sometimes a song touches your soul in such a way that it never completely exits your being and becomes a permanent part of yourSELF.
This is such a song.
I must of been eight or nine years old the first time I heard Moon River.  My parents were huge Henry Mancini aficionados, so his music was often played on our record player (that's right it was back in the days of the 33 RPM's).  I actually enjoyed many of the motion picture scores that he wrote, however Moon River stood out from all the other songs filling me with a wistful longing. 
At the time I did not know nor understand what I was longing for.
Many years have passed since then and I am still not sure that I know what I am seeking.
The one thing that I at least hang onto when life seems too dark is that deep inside I know that there is a "rainbow's end, waiting round the bend."
(Henry Mancini version)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I remember when it all started for me.  My parents would purchase a 3 lb can of MJB Coffee and I would literally beg to be allowed to open the can.
Since I was in first grade at the time, learning to operate the electric can opener AND holding the awkwardly large 3 lb can was kind of tough to be sure...however when there is a will there is a way and I overcame all obstacles in the opening operation.
 As soon as the compressed air would escape...the most amazingly wonderful smell in the world would drift out of the can in one quick poof.
I was hooked.
Little did my parents realize that they had unknowingly set me up with a life long addiction to the bean.
Not only did I relish the smell of the 1,200 chemical components that escaped into the air when I opened the can of coffee, I also acquired a taste for the dark beverage in my glass of milk.
That's correct my glass of milk. Doctored up with the sweet nectar of the bean.
I might have been one of the few first graders skipping rope or playing hop scotch all caffeined up at six years old!  That might of been a contributing factor as to why I was so fast at those activities.
My love of the beverage has not diminished over time either.
8 ounces of bliss

If munchkin # 3 is asked where his favorite place to go with Gampa and Nana is...he answers, without a moments hesitation, "Barista".  It makes my heart smile knowing that I am on the right path to the proper mentoring of said grandchild.  He enjoys a "steamer" (warm, frothy milk with either honey or a bit of vanilla) while we savor our espressos.  
Enjoying a cuppa in Florence!!!
I could go on (and on and on) to share many more "coffee moments"  but suffice to say it is an integral part of my life.  I might not recall my first kiss but I surely do remember my first mocha!
It was in Anchorage, Alaska.
I was alone.
It was in a coffeehouse with people reading newspapers and just hanging out.
If you have ever tried the cans of "flavored"coffees (the ones with the fancy/descriptive/hoity toity names) they are not in the same league.
All of this musing about coffee and cocoa is calling me away from the computer reminding me that it is time for a break for coffee!
Do you have any special coffee "rituals" that make your day?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"A Girl of the Limberlost"

A recent conversation with my mom revealed that she still had a copy of the FIRST novel she ever read.
It is titled "A Girl of the Limberlost".
My mom is a voracious reader and I have her to thank for my own love of literature.  She says that the actual story (A Girl of the Limberlost) was not quite as memorable as the fact that she kept and remembered her first full novel read.
That got me to thinking if I could remember my first "big read".
I could not! 
I have a few copies from the series "The Happy Hollisters" by Jerry West. The Happy Hollisters were a mystery solving/very happy family. I soooo wanted to be a part of that family!  Adventure and mystery solving followed the Hollisters (or at least the kids in the family) everywhere they went!  How cool is that?  AND they all treated each other like they were truly an important part of each others lives.
I think it was one of my earliest attempts to "escape" my not so ideal childhood.
I also have my copy of Heidi by Johanna Spyri, that I received as a gift when I was nine.  I am not sure how many times I read that story...and cried/got mad/and happy at all the twists and turns Heidi's life took.  I dreamed of eating goat cheese and gnawing on a crusty piece of warm bread for my dinner.  The straw bed that she slept on even sounded inviting to me (because her grandfather took extra care to make sure it was soft and billowy).  And I believed in "happy endings".
I also LOVED horse stories, and any story that had animals in it. 
Everyone reads for different reasons with mine being mostly to "escape" into the magic of the story.  That would explain why I shy away from anything too gruesome or scary. 
And I also guess it doesn't really matter if I remember that FIRST big read...I'm just thankful that whoever the author was, he or she inspired me to be a life long visitor to the library (and to Powell's City of Books here in Portland!)
Do you remember what was the first read that got you "hooked"?

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Public Pools...uck

I have ALL these health reasons to implement more exercise into my daily routine.  A need to lose weight, widespread joint pain, degenerative arthritis in my feet, MENTAL "stuff", a bit of diabetes, oh and the latest to join the bandwagon, HIGH CHOLESTEROL (that one sort of jumped in and moved to the front of the line).
I have a rowing machine, walk the dog and have fun with our JUST DANCE workouts.  None of these have been enough to have made much of a difference in my overall health and achievement of my fitness goals.
So, I have added twice a week swimming to my fitness smorgasbord.  Which is kind of tough since I really do not care for swimming and/or public pools. At All.  Some of the reasons for my dislike are:
Men in speedos.
Water being splashed in my eyes.
The fact that the pool we, (my daughter is accompanying me for moral support) go to is NOT heated.
Locker rooms.
Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to go to lap swim.
The smell of chlorine.
The feel of chlorine on my body and in my hair.
Wondering if anyone has chosen to not get OUT of the pool to go to the bathroom.
I DO like the hot tub with all of the jets...(except when a group of men in speedos are in it)
You get the idea.
But swim I will since the alternative of NOT working out is having a counter full of pills to take in hopes that some of them will help the symptoms and not cause irreparable damage with side effects.
It seems hard for me to believe that I actually participated in a (half?) of a triathlon when I was a mere child of 36. 
(I did not care for swimming back then either) however I DO recall the feeling I had when my body was pushed to perform and it did so without too much grumbling! 
We'll see how this goes.  I just want to feel that I can make it through a day on my own steam and WITHOUT the use of extra pain medication.  That (the pain meds) have been a bit more of a challenge to cut back on then I thought they would be! 
As of today's post I swam 12 "laps".  I will update in a month to see how much I have improved and by doing so hold myself accountable to not quit.  :)

Monday, March 04, 2013

Early Spring~Worse Than a Woman PMS'ing

Seedy Cafe Spring? 2013
That's right.
Early Spring weather is like that.  I don't think of myself as a traitor (to my fellow females)...I think of myself as more of a realist.
EARLY SPRING WEATHER can be wonderful and it can be quite crappy.  And it can change in the matter of moments.
The sun breaks through, the crocus bloom and then it rains.  Or hails. Or snows.
Just like that.
To my way of thinking I would prefer to not get my hopes up and continue my hibernation until the weather truly decides to play nice.  For example the other day I was pleasantly surprised (and to be honest a bit dismayed as well) to see a forecast of sunny high of 60 degree weather.  Mind you, the forecast did not commit itself to how long it would stay like that.  It appeared to be long enough to challenge myself to venture outside and do a bit of pruning, weeding and raking.  I was hoping to be able to put it all off until at least mid March, but what the heck, the sun was beckoning (or shaming?) me to go outside.
I do not know if I was more disheartened or relieved when the sunny day turned cloudy and COLD before I could even fill up my compose barrel. 
It's working outside on days such as those that one does not know if they need gardening gloves or mittens, a sweatshirt or a parka.
And so it goes.
I now totally understand why everyone loves Punxsutawney Phil so much. (he is "The Groundhog", or at least one of the few weather-predicting ones that inhabit the United States and Canada) who help us humans with the is it Spring or is it Winter conundrum.

This YouTube Video is a great visual aid to enlighten those of you how these furry guys do what they do.  

Since this whole is it time to go outside or not has really got me in a bit of a state I think I will have to deal with it as I often do when I am PMS-ing.
Eat chocolate instead. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I have always been fascinated with airports. It never ceases to amaze me how a person can be in one place...and then ZOOM in another place. The only thing cooler than traveling via airplane would be traveling via the TARDIS! (for you non-Whovians out there the TARDIS is the time traveling "box" that The Doctor uses to... yeah you got it~time travel!)

Alas, I am NOT here at the airport to travel this time. I am merely the chauffeur. Dropping off/waiting/then picking up. I volunteered since I actually love to people watch, especially at airports. The stories that each traveler (or chauffeur) carries within themselves is fascinating (or at least I imagine it to be so). I am currently reading a YA series by Shane Peacock on the boy version of "Sherlock Holmes". Needless to say my musings run wildly rampant as I ponder the stories of the people that I watch. Oh and when I am not musing about other people's adventures I am visualizing a future travel adventure for Nate & I. I keep my toiletry bag ready and filled (that word "toiletry" just doesn't sound right however I will use it anyway) just in case an adventure calls to me on short notice!

I believe that travel is one of the best ways to learn about our world and experience the diversity, and also the sameness of it's inhabitants. Ask Rick Steves and he will concur I am sure. (by the way he is our hero, living "La Dolce Vida" with his work!) Even when traveling within these United States a traveler will find a diversity and a bond that unites us all. **An important thing to remember when we gather together to cheer on our favorite team or support/talk about our political views. We ARE all very diverse and yet all very similar.

Looks like the musing session is over. Time to greet the traveler who was just 2 hours earlier thousands of miles away saying farewell to a beautiful desert winter rain. It's also raining here in the Northwest.
Different yet similar.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Wagon

"Growing Up in Kodiak" 
  1. A vehicle used for transporting goods or another specified purpose.
  2. A four-wheeled trailer for agricultural use, or a small version of this for use as a child's toy 
O.K. now that we have the official definition out of the way, let's look at what a wagon REALLY is.  For the purpose of this muse I am going to address the second part of the second definition.
"small version of this for use as a child's toy"

Salty Seamen in a Seiner
And what a magical toy it can be!   A sturdy wagon, besides being a
useful way to cart around one's possessions can become ANYTHING that the owner of the wagon wants it to become! 
A fishing boat (seiner to be exact)
A hover craft
A bed for flowers to bloom in
or even A DRAGON!
Picnic Table
I enjoy fond recollections of the many guises that my daughters wagon took over the years that we used it.  The wagon (that was used to become all of the things listed above) was a gift to the girls way back when from their Grandparents. It was the wooden version of the Radio Flyer with slats that actually could come off, instantly transforming the wagon into a park bench or a picnic table.
It was these memories that inspired me to share the gift of a similar wagon(s) to each of my grandsons.
May the magic continue!