THE WRITE PLACE…

to find Patti Singleton these days.


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AEDDD 26: Homer, AK With Moose, Eagles and Crows

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ALMOST Every Damn Day December! Decided to let that day (25th) go, as I did sleep through most of it. Spent the late evening telephone tagging with siblings over mom’s brief visit to ER. She’s okay, just a little stress test for all of us.

One gift of this holiday was getting to view many photos from my previous Alaska trips. I’ve also had the gift of lots of laughter and smiles visiting online with a friend from almost 40 years ago. Serendipity raises her mischievous head and hands me some lighthearted reminiscence with…none other than Mrs. M.’s son! I know, weird, huh? It all started with a first date when we were 15…

That’s a story for another day. Today, I’m going to give you a short tour…

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Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


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EDDD 22: Hawaii Anyone?

Friends and family in Alaska and Canada have been losing power in snow storms today, and I think my post yesterday made some folks sad, so I thought I’d brighten things up with a short tour of Hawaii. The Wallet, I mean, my dad sent mom & I on a vacation after she recovered from an accident last year. We flew to Hawaii after Thanksgiving in Alaska last year, then spent Christmas and New Years with my sis in Arizona (Happy Birthday today, sis!).

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Every Damn Day? Who’s idea was this anyway? The culprit can be found here: Every Damn Day December at http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


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EDDD 5; Wynoochee Dam, Olympic National Forest

Today’s horoscope was boring, so let’s skip it and go right to the good stuff:>) My adventures yesterday started when my neighbor/friend asked if I wanted to go for a drive to the Wynoochee Dam. For a cave dweller, I love a good adventure out in the world. We left at 12:30 and drove some highway, side roads and several unpaved roads for a couple of hours to reach the dam. It took longer than it should have, because the photo addict was on board. Greg and I have been on many photo journeys the last few years, and he’s pretty good at catching on to what kind of things I want to take photos of. Like this…

On the road again... Olympic mountains PHALL PHOTO 2013

On the road again…
Olympic mountains
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I’ll warn you now, I didn’t do well with taking pictures this day. My old Nikon would have been so much better. Me learning how to change the auto functions on this, otherwise great camera (Lumix ZS19), would have worked too. The light is the issue. Too bright and lots of white ruined most of my shots. Plus, the cold effects the camera, and man, was it cold!

Some turned out better than I thought they would, but I had to dump a lot. I’ll keep this one…

Dead fern made red by the sunlight hitting it. Frosted everything:>) PHALL PHOTO 2013

Dead fern made red by the sunlight hitting it. Frosted everything:>)
PHALL PHOTO 2013

My first and top favorite thing on this adventure was found miles into the southern region of the Olympic National Forest. Picture miles of forest, with some logged areas in between. All you can see is a few glimpses of the rolling hills to the north west and everything else you see are trees. Moss covered and coated in frost, where the sun hasn’t hit yet. We came to a clear cut next to the road and, “Stop!” “Back up, did you see that!?” I’m ready to jump out with my camera before he even gets backed up. It was a flippin’ Christmas tree! What made it a Christmas tree and not just another tree?

It was decorated with ornaments, shiny beautiful ornaments. In the damn middle of nowhere. At least 25 miles to anything but wilderness. The kind of person who would do that, is the same kind who carved that big bull on the beach, the kind that carved the beautiful face in the side of the sand dunes, the kind who left that big silk sunflower in a piece of driftwood on the beach, or the ones who build the driftwood shelters. All their work and energy would be taken over by nature in the very near future, but they did it anyway, for you and for me. A stranger’s smile and good feeling. Wow.

Wilderness Christmas tree. Olympic National Forest. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Wilderness Christmas tree. Olympic National Forest.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

May I present The Wynoochee Dam and surrounding area?

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

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Tree shadows on dam. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Tree shadows on dam.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Legs of vehicle bridge to dam. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Legs of vehicle bridge to dam.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Icicles on mossy rock wall. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Icicles on mossy rock wall.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Ghost trees on Wynoochee River. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Ghost trees on Wynoochee River.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

PHALL PHOTO 2013

Okay, I’m not even halfway through, so here’s one more and then I will add a link to the rest when I get them on my photo site.

Primitive wilderness double-seater. We held out for civilization:>) PHALL PHOTO 2013

Modern primitive wilderness double-seater. We held out for civilization:>)
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you got a smile or two and some visual pleasure. Oh, and I found a fishing pole with reel (in the dark) on our way out:>) It must have fallen out of someone’s truck and I happen to see a glint of metal.

Here’s the link to the slide show of this trip. http://wp.me/p3J4Ab-7o There is hand made bridge, a fairy, fish, gnome homes, an incredible sunset on the lake, rambling streams, a river, ghost trees, the Moon with Venus, the last glow of day, and close-ups of frost. Oh, and the dam.

Peace,

Patti

From writing challenge at Every Damn Day December 

http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


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EDDD 4: Cranberry Bogs And The Hood

Dear Diary (Haahaha),

My horoscope for Wednesday, Dec 4th, 2013 “Although you might think about ways to minimize your heavy workload today (oh yes I did!), someone else (my neighbor, Greg) may successfully convince you to reconsider your plans. Taking time to reevaluate your current motives (stay in the cave and be anti-social or spend quality time with a neglected friend) is a good idea, but don’t get duped into doubting your ability to make the right decision (no duping involved). Remember, people (Greg & Gertrude) are counting on you. Nevertheless, listening to your instincts now is smarter than solely relying on others for guidance.”

Luckily, my instincts jived perfectly with Greg’s guidance flippin’ great idea for the day. Unfortunately, I have to finish reporting yesterday’s photo journey before I can tell you about today’s adventures into the wilderness.

If you’ve never seen cranberry bogs, well okay, no big deal, but you NEED to see them with a coat of winter frost and snuggled next to this velvety green grass berm and…

Cranberry bogs, Grayland, WA PHALL PHOTO 2013

Cranberry bog, Grayland, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013

And you NEED to see the frosted cranberry bogs rolling up to this aging little white shack. I think it is a pump house to control the bog water. I NEED to go back to the museum and get the details:>)

Frosted cranberry bog shack. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Frosted cranberry bog shack.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

The sun has touched this part of the bog with a warm kiss…the mossy shack looks at its spiffy neighbor and thinks he’d rather be torn down than look like that!

Cranberry bog and shack. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Cranberry bog and shack with snooty neighbor in background.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Of course it could be worse…

Garage giving in to the bog. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Garage giving in to the bog. Sorry about the blur.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

…or there’s that lucky shack down the road that has a POND! And a DUCK!

Cranberry bog shack with duck pond. (The envy of the other shacks.) PHALL PHOTO 2013

Cranberry bog shack with duck pond. (The envy of the other shacks.)
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Just a couple more frosty shots on the same road…

Speaking of neglected mailbox needs a new home, maybe in a garden with flowers flowing out of it. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Speaking of neglected, this mailbox needs a new home…maybe in a garden with flowers flowing out of it? Remind me this summer and I’ll put a pot of flowers in it!
PHALL PHOTO 2013

I truly fell in love with this scene…the magnificent old tree, the tree swing and the bird bath, all slathered in moss and frost…the house is cool too:>)

Old tree, swing birdbath and house. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Old tree, swing birdbath and house. I think Leslee will love this one.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Last photo, no frost; these gulls were hanging out on the roof of the post office waiting for their airmail–bwahhhhaaa!

Gulls at the P.O.

Gulls at the P.O.

 

Tomorrow I’m not stepping out of the cave. I have to put a stop to posting about the day before! I will load all the photos to my photo blog, swab the cave decks and maybe even write a little:>) Sent my old crashed laptop to the hospital today. I hope it can be brought back to life, because this one is driving me crazy with its sloooooow response.

Peace out,

Patti

From writing challenge at Every Damn Day December http://treatmentofvisions.com/2013/11/26/evdadadec/


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Gates and Fences; New Page at Phall Photos

Rustic rope and wood fence. Grayland, WA PHALL PHOTO 2013

Rustic rope and wood fence. Grayland, WA
PHALL PHOTO 2013

As far back as I can remember, I have loved car, truck and RV road trips because I was so entertained by looking out the windows. I am still an observer of life beyond the vehicle windows.  I love the size, shape and color of everything, as far as my naked eyes can reach. I keep at least one set of binoculars in my truck, and usually one in my purse, bag or backpack. I like to look at things up close, at different angles, and in different lighting.  Long before I owned my first camera, I recorded “good shots” in my mind; often boring anyone who would listen to the details about the objects of my observations.  Now I have a camera, the internet and you! No details, so you shouldn’t be bored:>)

I fell in love with gates and fences while I worked as a real estate agent years ago. I raised my children in the country and always loved the western theme of many country gates and fences. Some had a hunting theme, some were rustic, some were just plain neglected “antiques.” Not surprisingly, on the Western Washington coast, gates and fences tend to lean toward a nautical theme. They are elaborate to whimsical, with everything in between. The salty ocean air and more than our fair share of rain and clouds  around here cause fences and gates to rust and grow moss, lichen and mold quickly.

Gates allow access to a home at the owner’s discretion. Gates are the first focal point to a property when entering, and the last thing seen when exiting. Some gates provide high security, with cameras and codes, some have a simple lock, while others don’t ever close. My neighbor wants to install one to keep the deer from snacking on our plants and flowers. Others want privacy, with a capital “Stay Out!”

Fences tell their own story. Fences are erected to keep someone or something, either in or out.  I’ve seen utilitarian livestock fences that stretch up steep hills, across miles of fields and forests, and some that even tip-toe through small creeks.  Some say that  fences make good neighbors and some demand, “Don’t fence me in!” Looking from the outside, in, I have run across some beautiful, ugly, fun and charming fences in my photography travels.

See “Gates and Fences” photo page at www.phallphotos.wordpress.com

 


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Dedicated to My Aunt, Her Children and You!

On October 1st, while I was being amazed at the offerings of the sky, my Aunt Norma was on a final journey to her loving husband who passed away eight years ago. As a hole in the stormy clouds above the ocean opened up, it sent rays of light from above, and chills ran up and down my body. This is usually my reaction when I get to witness this natural phenomena, but it felt stronger that day.

Hole in sky. October 1st. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Hole in sky. Westport, WA, October 1st.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Yesterday I visited my other aunt and talked to my mom in Alaska; they had both lost a sister the day before. For my mother, that is a daughter, a close family friend, a great grand child and a sister, that she has lost in less than 2 years. I got to hug two cousins yesterday and renew our cousin-love vows. I stopped by to give my uncle a hug and to renew our vow of family love. I have recently been rebuilding friendships with the children of the aunt who just died, and I am trying to support them through this hard time.

A double rainbow, double the hope. Oct 2nd. PHALL PHOTO

A double rainbow, double the hope. Oct 2nd. Centralia, WA
PHALL PHOTO

All of this has me thinking about the nature of loss. How very different the loss of one person can be to each of us; how the news hits us and how it settles around us. Our experiences with loss, and our relationship and history with the lost one, make such a difference. Some want to laugh, some need to cry, others want to reminisce, while some just want to ignore the pain. It is very hard to know which way a grieving person is leaning on that particular day, or hour or, even, that minute. I am doing the best that I can for each. The biggest thing I think I can do, is to be a good listener and let them lead me to the place they are, emotionally. I offer gentle sympathy. After a lot of listening, I can usually offer something that I think will help. Sometimes it is just a hug, or hanging out for awhile. Sometimes it is an action I can take. Either way, I try and be gentle. And yes, this loss is my loss also, so I’ll need to be gentle with me too.

Fall Rainbows. Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA PHALL PHOTOS 2013

Fall Rainbows. Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA
PHALL PHOTOS 2013

I also spent time with my daughter’s family yesterday. As usual, I drug them all out to see Nature’s glory in the sky. Pretty soon, Nola (6) and Cora (7), were dragging me down the sidewalk and around the corner to get better views of the incredible fading rainbow-setting sun-lit sky.

Sunset on window-wall of Centralia College. Oct 2nd. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sunset reflection on window-wall of Centralia College. Oct 2nd.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

 

They ran up the concrete steps of a vacant 1930’s church, and still, stood on their tippy-toes to get a better view…then, around another corner, and they careened, arms out, down a wavy concrete ramp.

Nola & Cora, Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Nola & Cora, Oct 2nd, Centralia, WA.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

This loss, like others, seems to bring us together, even as we regret not having spent more time, laughter and rainbows with the one we lost. Let’s just try harder with the ones we have left. I think my aunt would be happy with that vow.

Sunset of a happy-sad day. PHALL PHOTO 2013

Sunset of a happy-sad day.
PHALL PHOTO 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

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This gallery contains 3 photos

Not Writing, but What The H Have I Been Doing?

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Oh, this and that. Crafting and reading to my little grands, taking over daughter Sara’s kitchen to make Chinese Chicken Salad, visiting gr’son in Tacoma, having a quiet week with my fishing & gardening son in Westport, building secret garden with pond, and taking a lot of photos. Will post more on phallphotos.com later this week….including a variety of bees on a variety of flowers and a tattooed seal!

Saturday (later today) I play leader of our writing group and Jon is going to be my assistant! Trying to convince him to read a poem he wrote. We are taking both laptops to show everyone some of the cool writing sites and our group’s new blog site that we set up.  Also, get to announce date for our first mini writer’s conference this winter. Should be fun…especially if I don’t get any sleep:>)

I’m reading a little bit and will have some reviews up soon.

Grieving is an interesting journey. At times, I can hold grief in my arms and rock until it drifts off. Sometimes grief walks beside me like a shadow. Sometimes I have to carry its heavy weight on my back everywhere I go. Other times it slams me to the mat like a wrestler does his opponent.

Grief has this thing about mixing things up too.  I cry over anything/everything, yet I get immense joy at the smallest things. I’m exhausted, yet I can’t sleep., or I sleep for 12 hours. I want to be close to my peeps, yet I have to have my solitude; I pull you close, then push you away. I can’t think straight, misplace everything, forget everything, yet I can upload photos and (hopefully) lead a writing group. I crave food, yet I’m too unmotivated to make or eat it, and when I do, it doesn’t taste right anyway.  I have a very difficult time making any decision and am allergic to commitment.  I mean even tiny ones; “Mom, you want to come out to the docks while I fish?” “I’m not sure, I’ll let you know when we get there.” If I can force myself to get out of my truck, I go, if not, I sit and read or head back home. You just never know with me. And I never know with me. That’s grief for ya.

Don’t fret though, I AM pulling myself off the mat and watching for a brighter day.

Take it easy and thank you for hanging in there while I regroup.

Patti

This gallery contains 21 photos


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Bastet’s Pixelventures; Sunset

Half-Moon Bay Sunset Through The Dunes PHALL PHOTO 2013

Half-Moon Bay Sunset Through The Dunes
PHALL PHOTO 2013

To blue skies flew the Phoenix,

below a sunset fire end-of-day.

Black silhouette of dune grass,

beyond purple water of the bay.

For Bastet’s Pixelventures.

phoenix

Phoenix Rising from the fire and ashes, into the blue clarity.
PHALL PHOTO 2013


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Writer’s Journal; Missing Alaska, My Home Away From Home

Calm evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2011

Calm, cloudy evening, Peterson Bay, Homer, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2011

A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee. The Peterson Bay home of sis Sharon & Captain Honey.
A soothing place for a morning cup of coffee.
The Peterson Bay blueberry haven of sis Sharon & Captain Honey. PHALL PHOTO 2011

Homesick for Alaska and my peeps there.

I am writing! Get off me:>) If FB was never invented I would be writing more, but I am writing.

* Shared children’s stories w/new blog friend and we cross-edited. Done

* Read blog friend’s published book and will write up review this week.

*Promoting my blog site and “gutsy story” all over social media. Ongoing.

*Wrote essay for Chicken Soup submission. Being edited by two friends. Re-Write in progress.

*Socially involved with an incredible group of writers on WP blogs and commenting on many others.

*In the itchy-finger stage of writing for pay, on a site I was invited to join.

*Oh, yay, and 11 days left of Camp NNWM and am confident I will finish, although need to work harder at the shaping.

* Posting serial of Postcards on this site.

* My head is overflowing with stories, poetry and ideas for memoir series.

*Mr. I.V. Poley immortalized by inclusion in a story here: http://neverendingstorydepository.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/ionia-the-super-hero/

There must be more, but I need a nap now.

Stay tuned,

Patti


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Writer’s Journal with Updates on Memoir Page and Pic

Souvenirs from My Heart temp pic for cover

Souvenirs from My Heart temp pic for cover

I collected some of my hearts and souvenirs to make a display to photograph. I’m using it for a temp cover of the memoir series on a book site that I am building. I know, it is a little busy, but it is just temporary and, hopefully, gets the point across. What do you think, does this pic say, “Souvenirs from My Heart” ?  Just don’t ask me to take off the blue bracelet (my late sister’s) or the…well, you get the idea that this was a very tearful task. And I do have a larger corner shelf I’m going to move the things onto.

Thanks to a comment from malikoma, I’ve mastered one of the many skills on my to-do list. If you would like to see all the memoir info in one place, go to this page (linking to other posts is my new skill) and it is all there.

I am working on a page for the children’s books, but until then, you can look that up in search or topics on my main page.

Up to 16,080 words at Camp N. Have made a template of book, from copyright page to contact end page, and plugging pieces in as I complete them. Not complete, like finish, but complete like ready for 1st edit. By the end of the month I hope to have it all together and ready for 1st edit. Just so you know, that will be a (put in your own expletive) miracle, but goals are good, right?

Here’s where I grovel for comments and ask everyone to click the “LIKE” button at the bottom of this post. I’m trying to get “them” to make a “LOVE” button and a “Nothing to Write Home About” button.

Take care, peeps,

Patti

 

A Study of Beach Sunrise; Driftwood, Bird, Ship and Dunes

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 Taken first on this morning. Ship at Half Moon Bay.  Used binoculars; Johnny Depp not on board. Fouled again, matey!


Taken first on this morning.
Ship at Half Moon Bay. Used binoculars; Johnny Depp not on board. Fouled again, matey!

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach. Looks like a heart with a Coastguard Tower inside it. Yes, we love our Coasties.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach. Looks like a heart with a Coastguard Tower inside it. Yes, we love our Coasties.

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 3

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 1

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 1

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 2

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 2

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 4

Sunrise at Westhaven Beach 4

Sunrise through the dunes. (Shiny spot is alien on my lens or alien in grass?)

Sunrise through the dunes. (Shiny spot is alien on my lens or alien in grass?)

White Crowned Sparrow with a glint of sunrise on his belly.

White Crowned Sparrow with a glint of sunrise on his belly.

I head for the beach between 4:30-5:00 A.M. several mornings a week. I hit downtown near the docks first, then jump in my truck  and try the tip of our world here, on the viewing platform, and then drive about a mile to Westhaven Beach.  I take some pics and beach comb for a couple of hours.

At sunset, I do it all again, except I can’t beach comb after the sun sets. Damn.

Have been having a hard time with spots on my lens (mist & rain) and sand messing with the mechanism that makes the lens go in and out. All I can do is keep cleaning it out, but have missed or fouled a lot of good shots.

Oh, The writing camp is going good. I’m up to 13+k words. At some points I wish I could just hand it all to someone and have them write it. I’m just so tired of crying. This is as hard as I knew it would be, even after almost four years of living without Paul. He is so present as I write our journey, of course that means I get to smile and laugh in between the tears. Man, he was funny. Man, I miss him.

Hope you all (in the U.S.) had a great 4th of July.

Peace Out,

Patti


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WordPress Daily Prompt: Artist’s Eye; Westhaven Beach Art

The current prompt reminded me of this sand sculpture that I came across. The sculpture still comes to mind now and then. Why would someone put such hard work into something that the tide would eventually carry away? My answer? They did it for me, and for you. The artist worked to bring joy to any strangers that happened by during the few days it was there. That is a loving gesture if I ever saw one. Thank you, anonymous artist, thank you!

Westhaven Beach, WA photo by Phall 2011

Westhaven Beach, WA photo by Phall 2011

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/daily-prompt-art/


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Writer Journal; Memoir, Children’s Book and Pinterest

Memoir: Focus on the first book in the series. I drew the mind map a few days ago under the spell of fevered inspiration. Let it simmer, then worked on the title (the center circle) and chapter headings (the next branch of circles) last night. Realized how much humor Paul & I threw at our desperate situation. The book is not a serious non-fiction how-to. Not gallows humor either, well, not much.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary, so I wrote an essay around the way we found each other. I kept catching myself smiling and just went with it. I had fun with the essay and submitted it just after midnight. Felt so good, I joined a writer’s critique group; Critiquecircle.com I can keep track of my submissions there and get/give serious critiques. Well, not that serious, but from working writers.

Children’s Story: Created a book launch mind map for the various things that need to be in place BEFORE I get to the publishing stage. At the beginning of August I will start working on making it a Kickstarter project, so stay tuned for that. Have not heard back from illustrator since I sent her the story…no stress, I know she is busy.

All The Rest: Most of the writing I’m submitting is in the form of essays and poetry, but virtually all of it is memoir based;  about grief, loss and hope.

I have joined a few more social networking sites. I now have a lot of photos up at http://pinterest.com/phallwrite and am using “Phall” as my photography name. I hope to run into some experts willing to share some photog tips, because I know what I want with certain shots, but  adjusting colors is the tricky part. You’ll find Washington Coast beach photos and some Hawaii photos.

That’s it for me for now.

Please leave a comment: thoughts, questions, suggestions, what color your shoes are…anything.

Patti