Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

March 20, 2011

Perigee Moon - March 19, 2011

I hope everyone got a chance to see the Perigee Moon that came up on Saturday night.  The last time it looked this close on a full moon was in 1993.  

I went out to my shooting spot but the Cascades were covered in clouds so I gave up and went home.  About 40 minutes later I was on Facebook when a post from KIRO-TV came up saying that the Super Moon was here and visible in many locations, so I went upstairs and looked out my kitchen window.  Much to my delight, it was there, coming up through the clouds.  It was very Halloweeny/Harvest Mooney.  

First couple of shots were a bit too bright and blurry.

Then I just started messing around with different shutter settings.  I'd already shipped my new zoom lens back to the Cape but was able to get the old one to work.

March 16, 2011

Cape Cod or Bust!

Hello peoples!!  Sorry I haven't been updating much but my life is getting a bit nuts w/ my upcoming trip to the Cape next week.  There has been a lot going on for me here in Washington, and I am really looking forward to getting out of town for a few days!!! 

My mom has been having a lot of health problems, mostly related to her back, hip and legs.  She fell the other day and apparently tore a hamstring.  So for the most part, this trip will be much more low key and less go-go-go like my past trips to visit, when we go to Hyannis, Chatham or just buzz around Sandwich.  I was hoping to get to see some friends on this trip but that may not happen as I will be hanging out at mom's, although I will get to see one very special friend in particular, and I am very much looking forward to that.

Tonight I have to pack up the box of my stuff that I ship ahead of my trip, so that I don't have to check a suitcase.  That way I can bring my light carry-on bag onto the plane.  I also ship my stuff back to Washington a day or so b/f I fly back so that the box is waiting for me when I get there, or arrives the next day.  One year I had gone beachcombing and had picked up some really cool rocks.  When I brought the box of my stuff to the PO to ship back, the clerk, Paula, who has known me and my family for years, lifted it to put on the scale and she said, "My god Joanne!  What have you got in here?  Rocks?"  I said, " a matter of fact, yes.  I went beachcombing at Sandy Neck."  She looked at me over the top of her glasses and said, "They don't have rocks in Washington?" 

I'm flying first class both ways.  I'm not going to tough it out with the plebes in coach on a long trip like this.  I hate flying as it is w/o the misery that is coach.  I still haven't decided if I am going to opt for the incredibly invasive body scanner or the incredibly invasive molestation  pat down, courtesy of the TSA.  To be honest, I've had a lot of other things on my mind, than the draconian security procedures into which we are now forced in this post-9/11 world, so I haven't quite made up my mind as yet into which line I should succumb.  My boss said that the pat down isn't that bad and he is concerned about what we are being blasted with in the scanner.  Still, as a very prudish shy person, neither option makes my socks go up and down. 

I leave on March 24th and come back on March 31st.  After that, some major changes are coming in my life.  Talk to you all when I get back!!!!

March 11, 2011

March 8, 2011


I have a very rare gift in that I can often remember my dreams after I wake up.  A lot of times they will fade quickly but leave me with residual feelings that can, and do, affect me all day long.  If I have a particularly vivid dream, I try very hard to get it down on paper so that I can always remember it, and I have quite a few of them written down, including 2 notebooks I unearthed in a storage box that contains about a year or more's worth of dreams I had while I was in high school, b/c they are all dated from 1978 to the early 80's.  Reading them brings them all back to me very vividly.  My nightly ritual back then was to get all ready for bed, put  "One Summer Dream" by ELO on the turntable, turn off the lights, get into bed and that would be the last song/thing I would hear before falling asleep and it always delivered vivid and surreal dreams that I would write in the notebook as soon as I woke up.

I know that dreams are a way to process unresolved issues.  I have recurring dreams over and over again, that center on where I grew up and the people with whom I grew up.  For example, if I have a dream about elementary school, the kids in the dream are the ones that attended school in my town only for a year or two.  I rarely, if ever, dream about the people with whom I have remained friends, because I know where they are and what they are up to.  But whatever happened to the kids who I befriended and who then moved away?  There was no way of knowing where my classmates were moving because there was no internet to keep track of anyone.  I still wonder what happened to those kids.

I have been tortured, and yes I do mean tortured, by dreams I have, representing so many unresolved issues from my childhood on the Cape, that I hate having them.  There are recurring dreams that I like a lot, even love, but the ones that take place in and around my childhood home and that end of my street are always somewhat troubling.  If I decide to follow through on having a private and invite-only "dream blog", I will pour out the details of those dreams, but in public I prefer to keep them to myself.  I am very in tune with my dreams because I have been writing them down and mulling them over to try to find the source of the dream's very odd subject matter.   Oh, I should mention that my dreams are very surreal and always with a sinisterness lurking in some element that just isn't quite right at all.  All I will say is that what I call 'the midnight sun at mom's house' dreams are among the most sinister I have, and it is because of those dreams that I could never live in Alaska because to actually have a midnight sun would be a horrible thing for me to have to deal with in real life as well as in my dreams.  

Dream-processing my dad's death from lung cancer was where I hit all the stages of grief.  I don't remember working through the stages in my conscious, every day life.  But I got hit hard every time I had a dream about him.  I went through a period of time in about 2005, 2 years after he died, where my dreams found me over the top, seeing red, pissed off, completely furious with him, no matter how nice he was being to me in the dream.  I was just being so hateful to him.  Hmm. Anger stage much?  Cause yeah, I was pretty damn angry about the way his health was handled and how quickly he died from the date of diagnosis.  And even more angry about the fact that he died.

My favourite recurring dreams have to do with beach combing, usually on Spring Hill Beach in East Sandwich, a place that has always been very special to me and which I find myself longing for, the older I get. I remember doing the whole 'if i won the lottery thing' not too long ago, and I thought to myself that I'd like buy a vacation cottage on Spring Hill.  What's this?  Me?  Longing for a place on Cape Cod?  In my hometown?  A place I swore I would never return?   In those beach combing dreams I'm at my parents' old cottage, and I only venture between the jetty breakwater that was in front of their cottage and the jetty breakwaters further down the beach on either side of ours.  Instead of finding cool shells and rocks, my dream-treasure consists of beautiful venetian glass vases, spun glass, art glass, all kinds of cool and colourful glass objects. Tons of them.   Sometimes Christopher Radko-like ornaments too. I greedily pull each one out of the sand and stuff them in a big bag. 

I spent so many wonderful, childhood days at that place.  Is my recurring dream telling me that the beautiful treasure that I desire so much is to live near, or own a cottage on, Spring Hill Beach?  Maybe like the one my dad used to own?  (That one, unfortunately, was torn down by the guy that my dad sold it to, and he built a 3 story house on the lot.  It broke my heart).  

When I was young, I always thought I would be able to completely sever all ties to Cape Cod by moving west.  I swore that once my parents were gone, I would sell their house and never return  to visit, nor would I ever look back.  In essence, turning my back on, and shunning, Sandwich and my life growing up there.   As it turns out, and much to my complete and utter surprise, I cannot do that. My dreams won't let me. I've lived on the west coast for nearly 22 years, but I visit the east coast almost nightly after I fall asleep.  It's not quite so easy to shake one's hometown and past, especially if you've grown up in a small town like Sandwich, which truly was a great place to live back then. And over and above that, I can't shake the people from my past either, and I don't want to.  I can't.  I won't.  You can run, but you can't hide, from your past. Am I glad that I moved west?  Absolutely.  I've had a blast out here for sure.  It's a beautiful place to live and I have had the most amazing experiences.  No regrets. 

My dreams are in overdrive now, except now I'm starting to process Washington State AND Cape Cod at the same time.  It's overwhelming, but I can't turn away from it or hide from it.  I have to let it work itself out that way.  So it's off to sleepy dreamland now, to see where I go tonight.  

March 6, 2011

A Fun Afternoon in Seattle

I met a WONDERFUL woman and friend, Charlotte, on Facebook from playing Hatchlings.  We clicked right away, along with our third bff, Moriah, with whom I had dinner & did Ghostly Walks in Victoria, in October.  We're the 3 Musketeers, despite being geographically separated.  But Char and I are talking about taking a quick overnighter up to Victoria on the Clipper to visit her.  

Char lives up north of Seattle, in Everett.  We decided that enough time had passed before we met in person, so we made plans to get together on Saturday!  It's so hard to believe that this was the first time we met face to face because it was like we'd been hanging out all the time for years.  

After I picked her up, we headed back down to Seattle to have pizza at Tutta Bella, in the Wallingford neighborhood.  I've been dying for some decent pizza and she highly recommended this place.    

Char's pie was prosciutto & arugula.

Char and pizza

I went for the traditional Regina Margherita, which is my fave.  Fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes.  Nom nom nom nom  The crust was razor thin in the middle, puffy & crunchy on the edge.  This is the way pizza is supposed to be made.  No sweet sauce EVER. 

We shared a tiramisu but we dug in before I remembered to take a picture of it!!  It, too, was AMAZING!!!!!  We both thought that there was a little too much espresso on the bottom, but it was still unbelievably tasty.

She got a fancy coffee.

And I think this is a shot of espresso

She's a wicked good egg.

After lunch, we decided to find the Fremont Troll, which has been on my "Seattle Bucket List".  I never would have found it if Char didn't know where we were going.  That city, and this whole region, confounds me.  Nearly all the streets are designated by number and then compass direction.  If you suck at math like I do, and can't read a compass either, you are so screwed.  

This is a view under the Aurora Bridge, looking down the hill.  

The Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge.

Char posing with the Troll.

Climbed up for a peak over his shoulder.

It's a popular attraction.

I think that's a headlight for his eye.

That's a real Volkswagen Beetle.

I had a great afternoon and am very grateful to have Char in my life too!  Thanks for a great day my friend!