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Now this seems so long ago:

market PT

It is almost summer again and I have made another line-up of workshops.  Last summer- of 2014 – was so wonderful and filled with activity that there was not much time for reflection, writing, nor photography with a purpose.  The writing workshop at Port Townsend was overwhelming and exciting.  The instruction was thorough and the writing and poetry presentations were a delightful connection to the professionals. Everyone mixed it up for every meal so we all focused on writing most of the time.

dog sign

From the beach near the conference center at the state park, we could see Mt Baker and Mt Rainier.  The beaches were welcoming for solitary walks and Port Townsend provided charm and some photo opportunities during our breaks.

veg pt

After the writing workshop – 10 days of it! – The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes took over Fort Worden.  The writing workshops were sometimes intense, but there were wine and goodies in the evenings.  The fiddle folk, on the other hand, were a lively mixed group – kids included – so no evening wine affairs.  Every step, under every tree, on any porch, fiddlers and other musicians grouped to share tunes and jam.  This went on well into the night.  There were about 350 registered participants with another, unofficial contingent adding more than a few dozen musicians.  My favorite instructors were from Cape Breton and Quebec.  After seven days of fiddles, mandolins, guitars, pipes, and an assortment of other instruments invading my head, I was joyously mentally fried.

On the route home, I got to stop in Portland, Seattle, towns in Idaho, and then a break (?) for a week at 8,750 feet at Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp.  Another week of constant music and fun in an awesome setting.

Elevation sign



Another trip is in the planning stages.  Our trips for 2013 were cancelled for unfortunate family events. Later this year, we will celebrate my Mother’s life and love for her sweet Michigan by taking her ashes to her final adventure on Lake Superior.

In the meantime, the travel blog will resume at the end of June, 2014: West for Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, a writer’s workshop,  tromping around the Pacific Coastal regions, then Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp at the end of July.  Back home early August.  Come along and follow the fun on this blog.

Here are the sites for the planned adventures.  In between and threaded throughout will be photography.

Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Fort Worden, Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend Writers Conference.

Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, near Winter Park, Colorado

Stick around for the fun.


Spent some time cooking up some goodies and experimenting with what was left in the fridge & pantry at the big Clean Out. Cinnamon and brown sugar seemed  like a good combination for the bananas.

1 bananas and cinnamon

Melted and ready for baking:

2 ready for baking

Finished and yummy….

3 ban ready 1


Avocado and tomato salad — on mustard greens.  Healthy, healthy. Pepper and fresh squeezed lemon for dressing.

5 salad

Brussel sprouts to prepare:

6 sprouts to wash

6a sprouts do mini shot

Chop sprouts and add cut carrots:

8 add carrot


9 parboil

Drain. Then add butter and olive oil ….  and replace veggies:11 remove and butter upYumilicious:

12 veggies

Clean and prepare shrimp:

13 clean the shrimpies

Cook  Eat.

15 shrimp to eat

Dessert.  Fresh Pom.

16 pomegr nibble

Later, with pineapple


OK.  That was good.


Thanksgiving is a Michigan Family holiday for me.  My cousin, with his sweet wife and charming son, hosts a totally delicious dinner and we relax and retell family stories.  Laughter and love are key components.  Later that week, my brother took me to see a sign for my collection: Goose Crossing.  Of course, since it was on the way to one of my favorite places on earth, we went there, too: Zingerman’s  Southside Bake House.

3 goose crossind


Just across the road was the sign for Zing’s:

2 southside sign


We sawit was Hungarian Tuesday so the goodies would be an unusual treat.


4 shop sign


The aroma from the bread was just dragging us in.


5 bread


7 goodies


Of course, we chose bread AND goodies.  Who could resist!  That is NOT a question!!!!

This fellow helped us, gave us samples, and indulged us in “bread talk.”  Then, he did something spectacular.  He asked me if I would like to take photos inside the actual bakery.  Oh, my.  Of course.

8 guy with bread


Here are loaves, already risen and ready to go into the huge ovens:

9 guy baking


Bakes loaves are stacked on racks:

10 stack bread


I took about a dozen photos there.  Here’s the unfortunate part.  I was so excited that I did not take care and the focusing was not quite right.  So, although I have more pix, they do not do the place justice.

 I’ll just have to go back and do it all over again!  

My day with my brother was delightful.  We got to ride over a newly renovated bridge and enjoy a zippy ride back to his place.  It was a sweet night outside.  My lens did capture that even in the darkness.

11 new bridge nite

Learned a lesson today: don’t let the excitement of the moment result in careless clicking.  Maybe you would not be surprised if I told you that this is not the first time this has happened to me.  ;-(

Add to resolution list!

It is already near the end of Day 1 in a new year.  So far, I have kept a few of my resolutions.  You don’t get to know what they are.

Here is some home-made chicken soup for you:

Chicken soup pot


Even though it was a perfect color, I added a bit of saffron to deepen the gold.



Here is a ginger ale – Q brand, not world-famous Vernor’s to toast!

Happy New Year 2013



When things are looking good and the light is perfect AND there is fresh fruit available — why do anything else but take some pix.

Wash the strawberries:

Washing Strawberries

Gather the berries:

2 fruit in glass

Raspberries, too……..

3 raspberries


and a bit of kiwi…


5 kiwi


Last, but not least, the blueberries.


6 blueberries


Fruit Feast!

Sometimes, on a Saturday morning — bright and early — a trip to the outdoor market is a perfect outing. This late in the year, there are fewer vendors, but the veggies look delicious anyway.  Since it is just about a mile from my home, this is an easy jaunt.  Oh, yeah, I was also in test/learn mode with my new Nifty Fifty — the Canon 50mm 1.4 EF – a very, very nice little lens.  😉

The garlic was beautiful:

1 Garlic

Lots of organically grown produce available:

2 Produce

Close up of those onions!

3 Onions

Leeks were perfect:

4 Leeks

Now, for some reason, these chickens were just not that appealing — perhaps the Old Hen bit.

5 stewbirds

The eggs were fresh and tasty.


Ready for wash up:

7 veggies at home

Great haul of good, fresh veggies for not-so-much money.

Oh, and here are the squash….. squashNow we are done. Yum.


November Craving:

Did you know that if you CLICK on any photo in the blog it enlarges it?  Try it. The berries are more delicious that way.  Then you can also see the individual little sticky-uppy things on each berry better.  Some of my dear photog friends enlarge the travel pix and then ask questions like: Did you know the focus was a little soft? Where were you focusing, exactly, in this shot? No tripod, huh?  But some are not too bad.

Now that it is November, the days are gray and damp and too uncomfortable outside for fun stuff.  I’ll get over that once I admit that the cold is here to stay.

So here are the current amusements: Kitchen Macro

I have added some new elements on the camera gear quest.Below is the newest bit – an add-on for my 60mm macro lens.

There was not a lot of interesting food around so I settled for what was already in the kitchen: onions, matches, fruit… could it be more exciting?  😉

And this:

Ah, a bit of homemade pizza on Naan:

Fresh lime:

Palette cleansing Clementines:

Fresh apple for dessert:

Apple hearts:

Juicy pears ever (composition not so hot, I know! but the color is nice):

Here is the entire Pear family:

Trick shot with a happy pear that seems to float over the table-cloth:

OK, enough for today.


The road going down into Jackson Hole, Wyoming is stunning and has turn-outs for pokey drivers.  The huge valley, however, is just too massive for me to capture.  (If you think I am repeating superlatives too much, you have not been on this ride!)

Each bend of the road had another breath-taking view and I was approaching visual fatigue from weeks and weeks of beauty.  My stay in Jackson was delightful as I attended two excellent soccer games with a team member from my extended family!  Jackson is the consummate touri$t/$ki/yuppy town, but I found a delightful room with a full kitchen for a very reasonable price.  I brought in goodies from my van food stash and had a charming and relaxing evening.  Up early, however, for an 8AM game!  The venue – yup – I have to say it again: stunningly beautiful.

Leaving Jackson Hole in the early afternoon on Sunday left me a nice chunk of day to get to Yellowstone – another amazing drive up highway 28/191 through Grand Teton National Park to the southern entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

There is a bike path along this roadway that is inviting: long and flat.  😉

And, then, there is the lake in Yellowstone.  So many blues to love here:

I set up a comfy camp and cooked a delicious, simple dinner.  Oh, the blanket on the chair is about 6o+ years old. When it was given to my parents as a gift, it became protected from … being used … but once I became the happy owner, it started to travel around the continent, serving me well.  The solid green back is felted somehow to the plaid part and it is dense and warm.  That was good as the temperature went to 36 degrees at night.  I was snug.

Tender steak and onions – who is going to say this was not a balanced meal.  Especially once I added wine and a candle!

At 8PM I attended the ranger talk at the amphitheater.  It was a dark walk and seeing so many people with headlamps and flashlights coming out of the woods was wonderful.  Part of the talk, of course, was about the geology of the region and how we were essentially sitting in a giant caldera waiting to erupt and blow away two thirds of the continent – which seems to be a theme of this trip: volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes … the east is looking pretty tame now.

Leaving the park was difficult since it is almost a straight shot to Michigan on Interstate 90 a bit after Yellowstone.  Even the Black Hills in South Dakota would not grab me this time.

But on my way out of the park…

… there was a big fellow in my mirror…

one biggy sized buffalo!

This fellow said a nice “goodbye” for me.

Driving eastward, going towards home, is always charged with emotion and excitement.  Memories made on this trip were staggering: learning, traveling, time with special friends and loving family, all wind together to make the 8,000 plus miles a joy.

Arriving in Ann Arbor, Michigan  my brother, Jonathon, welcomed me and  took good care of me and he absorbed my initial blast of excitement. He wisely decompressed me with dinner out at a favorite Polish restaurant, Amadeus.  Yum.  Then, on to Farmington Hills to show my Mom ocean videos that I took for her.  My dear Aunt Emily, (and cousins who were visiting) Cindy & Jan, were also terrific company and loads of fun.  Now, to get to the Massachusetts gang and grab some hugs there!

This trip is over, but there will be more bloggin’ to come.  I learned some tech stuff and travel lessons that will be worth sharing, and funny, perhaps.

Please use Comments and let me know what YOU are thinking.




Winds were still bringing a lot of smoke from even more forest fires as I headed out of Washington state and into Idaho.  Since I was headed towards Boise, route 95 looked like a quick way to leave the smoke behind.  However, it was at a peak in the Clearwater mountains on White Bird Pass that I saw the most dramatic presence of the smoke.  White Bird Grade takes drivers to an elevation of 4,245 feet over a winding, rock-rimmed road with spectacular views.  The grade is often over 7%.  At the summit, the rest area overlooks a battlefield from the Nez Perce War of 1877. This is not a drive for the faint of heart.


Every shop in each small town along the route had fire updates with current information.  A ranger at this roadside stop also spent a bit of time talking to folks about this current fire – where its location, its speed, and the area that was currently contained.


Smoke filled the deep valley to the mountain brims.




Rocks in this area are beautiful and I thought this one might make a nice shot for my computer desktop.