"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Check out this adorable little doll. I had such fun working playing with her and her folks in Forest Park recently. I have the best job. Period.

Monday, August 25, 2014


A beautiful boy, his mom, his ball and his dog = a very fun photo shoot in Portland.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

looking at 60

Having a fun evening in Portland the night before I got sick

For my 40th birthday, I asked my friends to dress as cowboys and cowgirls and join me at a local ranch for line dancing and bar-b-que.  I wasn’t very good at public speaking back then; in fact it terrified and practically paralyzed me. But, after a couple glasses of wine, I managed to stand on the stage and tell my friends how great it felt to be 40.  I wasn’t lying. Neither my brother-in-law nor a very close girlfriend had made it; both had died that year, and their absences weighed heavily on my mind that night. I believed I finally understood the fragility of life, and I felt grateful and happy to be alive.

Now I’m looking at 60. Yep, it’s there – just up ahead. Twelve days ahead, to be exact. And once again, I’m not going to be quiet about my big birthday.  (To be fair, it’s just not in my nature anyway. My sister can tell you that the entire year leading up to my 30th was a fairly obnoxious one; I couldn’t stop talking about the fact that I was getting so old, blah, blah, blah.)

For many years I have suffered from vestibular migraines. They suck. Sometimes I have a nasty headache, but that’s the least of it. The worst of it is that I get vertigo. Even a short bout of vertigo knocks me out for at least two days (once I was out of commission for several weeks). I’m down for the count, in a quiet darkened room, unable to do more than get myself to the bathroom every now and then. The attacks are nearly impossible to predict, and when they occur I am always in the middle of doing something far more interesting than lying in bed feeling like I might never be able to get up again.

I just lost two days this week in Portland. I had far better things to do, of course, than lie still with a cold washcloth on my face. But it did give me a lot of time to think about turning 60.

So many things can change our perspective on life. Being sick is a big one. All I can say, on this morning of finally feeling better, is that I’m thankful for yet another reprieve and ready to grab today - and the next decade of my life – by the horns. As they say, you have no idea what tomorrow might bring. Yeah, it's trite, but oh so important to remember. 

Now pardon me while I get out of my slippers and back into my cowboy boots. With gusto.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

gordon parks

“Going to church. Playing around the house. Window shopping. These are the types of everyday, seemingly innocuous activities that wound up before the lens of iconic civil rights photographer Gordon Parks. Parks, a self-taught artist, believed in the photographic medium as a weapon of change, capable of awakening people's hearts and undoing prejudice.
An exhibition of Parks' rare color photographs, entitled ‘Gordon Parks: Segregation Story,’ will go on view this fall at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta. The photos capture a particularly disturbing moment in American history, captured via the lives of an African American family, the Thorntons, living under Jim Crow segregation in 1950s Alabama.
The images, originally titled ‘The Restraints: Open and Hidden,’ were first taken for a photo essay for Life Magazine in 1956. The essay chronicles the lesser-seen daily effects of racial discrimination, revealing how prejudice pervades even the most banal and personal of daily occurrences. Parks doesn't photograph protests, rallies, acts of violence or momentous milestones in civil rights history. No, he prefers the quieter moments in and around the home.
Some photos focus on inequality -- a ‘colored’ line at an ice cream stand or black children window shopping amongst all white mannequins. Others hint ominously at violence, as one child plays with a gun and another examines it solemnly. Such images are especially haunting in retrospect, considering the recent death toll of American black men in this country, over half a century after these photographs were taken.
Yet the majority of Parks' photos focus on the positive over the negative, showing a different breed of civil rights documentation. Instead of highlighting discrimination here, Parks emphasizes the similarities that bind all Americans: spending time in the home, being with family, exploring nature. Parks' images revealed what so many Americans struggled to understand: the human link that connects us all.

More than anything, the Segregation Series challenged the abiding myth of racism: that the races are innately unequal, a delusion that allows one group to declare its superiority over another by capriciously ascribing to it negative traits, abnormalities or pathologies,’ Maurice Berger wrote in The New York Times. ‘It is the very fullness, even ordinariness, of the lives of the Thornton family that most effectively contests these notions of difference, which had flourished in a popular culture that offered no more than an incomplete or distorted view of African-American life.’
Parks' photographs pick away at a dark moment in history in bright colors, spreading knowledge and hope simultaneously with the click of a camera. Although we wish these photographs depicted a world entirely different than the one we live in today, recent events show differently. The deaths of unarmed black men all over America reveal we may need Parks' visual essay more today than we would have expected, or hoped.
Now is as good a time as ever to remind each other that every human life matters.
‘I've been asked if I think there will ever come a time when all people come together,’ Parks once said. ‘I would like to think there will. All we can do is hope and dream and work toward that end. And that's what I've tried to do all my life.’
‘Gordon Parks: Segregation Story’ will be on view from November 15, 2014 until June 7, 2015 at The High Museum in Atlanta.

- article by Priscilla Frank for the Huffington Post

Monday, August 18, 2014

mount st. helens

There are countless ways to spend time in the Pacific Northwest, countless places to go. Yesterday we went to Mount St. Helens. It's been almost 35 years since the volcano erupted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

back to the drawing board

I've discovered that when I need inspiration for writing, sometimes it's good to take a break and be creative in other ways.

Monday, August 11, 2014


I've had the pleasure of spending time with some younger friends while in Portland. They're Abbie's age… girls I watched grow up in Kansas City. Wonderful girls who were "part of our family" over the years. Now they have their own families and are moms with their own adorable chidlers.