In Honor of Loved Ones

buddha statue in a foggy Columbia River Gorge, surrounded by snow.

Many of us have lost so many loved ones already this year, and it brings with it an occasional melancholy that can also be the doorway to good memories.   Today, processing photos from my archives, I ran across this set of images I took at a dear friends home in the White Salmon area.  Sharon  has passed away but I could feel her delight in nature and photography as I looked at these images of the Buddha statue in her yard.  Therefore, I will share these for the first time publicly in memory of Sharon McCormack, and in sincere empathy with all who have lost those we hold close.  Strong personal beliefs and experiences have shown me that life continues beyond death as we know it, and our loved ones are not truly lost to us.  My brother Dennis (died 1-24-18 age 79), sister Nora (died 12-13-16 age 82) and many others are but a thought and a memory away, and it is my belief I will see them again.
May you each find peace and comfort in remembering the lives of your own loved ones, and feel their love for you eternally.

Buddha in Snow, in memory of Loved Ones.

Buddha in Snow, in memory of Loved Ones.



Clicking on these photos should open a new tab where you can see the higher quality image in my SmugMug photo galleries.


(The divine within me sees and honors the divine within you)


Beautiful Day in Paradise

I feel so blessed to be able to stay with friends in Glenwood for this transition time between homes.  The air is so fresh, conversations so lively and profound, in between long spells of mutual silence working on separate projects on our computers.


This is a land of broad expansiveness, Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge, people helping one another, and Mount Adams over it all.

Conboy-MtAdams with Lennies-9633-5

I was blessed to take some of many photos yesterday of my great niece Hannah’s wedding to Brandon, and have been processing those today.  Here are a few faves so far.  Laughter was a strong component:



One last photo from 9/23/17 from sunset in Goldendale, WA.

IMG_6668 (1)


Wishing you all a wonderful week, and much beauty around you.

Click here for My GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for a working vehicle

Thank you



Help my Willow see a Vet

Willow when he first returned from the wilds

UPDATE:  Willow has now seen the vet, and is eating like a hungry bear in spring. Thank you to those who helped!!

Original Facebook post about Willow coming back:   “It’s a miracle!!! My missing cat Willow, who came to Alaska with me but disappeared about a month ago, showed up at about 3:15 am! I had woken up and open the window to feel the fresh air, and there was a sad loud meow. When I opened the door, in jumped my very starved and skinny cat. He probably ate a full can of cat food and part of a bowl of dry food. I fell to my knees in a prayer of thankfulness and tears while he ate, and then I held him close for a long long time in my arms. now we are cuddled up on the bed and I’ll say good night with a happy heart. #myheartishappy #thankyougod #mycatisback

After being gone for a month in the wilds of Alaska Bush, he is now skin and bones and starving 😿🤒😭but I’m getting him fed and warm and he’s purring in my arms. ❤️❤️He’s maybe half his original weight from a month ago. He will be staying inside now while we’re still in Alaska 😀❤️💕😍. 

However I am very concerned about his fragile body right now and I think he needs to go to the vet possibly for rehydration and other check up.    I’m staying with friends in Alaska for another month and have no income. My friends helped me a lot but they’ve already done so much.  Many of you have followed this saga of missing Willow and were thrilled as I was that he showed up. If any of you feel like donating to a vet fund it would be an incredible gift. 


There are two easy ways to donate through PayPal. One is on this blog using the tip jar donation button in the sidebar menu. On mobile it’s a little tricky to find. Click on the menu tab, scroll down through menu and several posts and you will eventually run into tip jar donation.   You can use a debit or credit card and do not have to be a paypal member. 

Or if you are easily Pay Pal conversant you can send money to:

Anything is greatly appreciated right now. 


10/13/16  I have spoken to the vets office who suggest since he is eating a little and keeping it down that I just watch him for a couple days and see if he starts getting stronger on his own. I have used donation money to get him special foods and ensure, and he has been eating more today and moving around more. I will still take him into the vet to get a check up but they advised it might be to Traumatic to go right away after just getting home in such a mess.  So I’m making him very comfortable and petting him a lot. 


Here he is as i write. Thank you for any help you can give. 

Willow after returning home all skin and bones

Previous photos of Willow. He has been my little buddy since he was 8 weeks old

Discovering Alaska (from last month. )

The rest of these pictures are taken over the last several years. Willow is about 12 years old

Rosauer’s Rainbow

Today sis Nora and I took ourselves out to dinner at Shary’s restaurant in Hood River after her appointment across the street getting shots to help her poor arthritic knees.  She loved the food, and just doing something different and rare for her.  When we came out of the restaurant in a rainstorm, this view greeted us and we forgot all about rain in the face.

The most important things in life really are free, and seeing my sis having fun was a big one.

Rosaurs-Rainbow_4843 Rosaurs-Rainbow2_8864 UpsweepingCloud_4845


Chicken Coop Fire

Happy Thanksgiving!  I am grateful that this fire was kept from spreading to my brother’s house and garage, and that no one was hurt, not even the chickens!

Our awesome local firefighters came to the rescue last night, and although the fire at my brother’s (Boyce Black) turned out to be just the Chicken Coop, the chickens survived by escaping to the pen in back (so you are stuck with the Turkeys for dinner today). The coop burned up but they kept it from spreading to the very nearby shop/garage. The event was extremely well attended, there were so many flashing lights it looked like a circus! Young firefighters in training had the opportunity to practice their skills and learn more things. THank you to all of you for your hard work and fast response, and thank you to some neighbors who called it in. No one was home at the time. It is theorized the fire started from a light on an extension cord left on to keep the chickens warm.

Julia’s Rainbow

Another young much loved woman has passed away this last week, and my heart is so sad.  Trying to continue forward with photography and life, and stay positive.   Julia Little Brave was my stepdaughter by a former marriage, and although I am estranged from her father I have kept track of his daughter as she married and had children.  I followed from a distance, not wanting to interfere, and kept her in my heart.  This is not about me… this is about an amazing young woman and her family.
Julia had  cancer.  She fought hard, and was in remission for some few years while she returned to college and developed a career in hospital lab work. This in itself was impressive in her large Native American family, where education was often a struggle.   All this while being a great mother, and constantly cheering up others, and praying for others in her Native American Church.  Her positive attitude was amazing.  This last couple years the cancer came back, and though she fought with all she had, this weekend she slipped into that dark night and into the spirit world leaving behind her supportive loving husband Matt and their three beautiful children, along with a heartbroken sister/ best friend and brothers and Father, Mother, and a huge extended clan.

Julia’s sister in law has created a GoFundMe donation site to raise money to help the family with burial costs and huge hospital bills left behind.  Any amount you might be able to donate would be gratefully appreciated, even $1. You can find that site here along with her photo and more information.  Just click on that previous sentence in blue and the page will open up in a new tab.

This is the Rainbow I saw soon after I learned of Julia’s passing.. so I have named this Julia’s Rainbow.

Double Rainbow, Taken from Hood River Oregon, looking over the Hood River Bridge into White Salmon and Bingen, Washington on November 9, 2014

Julia’s Rainbow

Autumn in White Salmon

A day in the life of a small but lovely town along the Columbia River, from a foggy morning start to a Yowser sunset. November 8, 2014, and dedicated to my niece Erin Kyte Huerta and her husband Melicio for their 11th anniversary. Erin grew up on these streets, in this town. Currently in Utah, she misses this place so I am bringing it home to her 🙂 She has had some serious health problems, and struggles to keep working, and I want to bring her some joy.
I love you Erin and Melicio, Happy Anniversary! Grandma would be hugging you right now too if she could.

In Honor of Loved Ones

In Honor of Loved Ones

In Honor of Loved Ones

My heart cries as once again we lose another family member.  Sometimes there are no words left to describe or explain, except it was way too soon to lose this lovely 32 year old daughter of my special first cousin.  Christina Clarke passed away suddenly in England this weekend, of unknown causes.  Her mother Camille (my cousin) flies to England today to help her son in law with all the details.  Camille had just lost her husband in the spring this year, and lost her Mother just last spring. Her father is also gone, a few short years ago.  I do try hard to hold onto understanding and faith, to know that indeed they are in God’s hands and we will see them again, but sometimes my peace and understanding is shattered by the pain.  I love my Cousins so much and many prayers and heartfelt hugs are being sent to all the Bammes Family.

Graveside Services for Veldon Black

Our beloved cousin Veldon passed away last week, and family gathered from far and wide for the funeral in Fredonia, followed by the Interment in Kanab cemetery.

Cousin Veldon Black was buried in style in Kanab, Utah, after a funeral across the border in Fredonia, Arizona where he lived for many years raising his family (son Alan Black and daughter Kayleen Black Robinson ) and loving his grandkids. In fact the young man in this photo is one of Veldon’s grandsons!
He taught school for a long time, and was much loved by his community and family. Fishing was a large part of his life, especially fly fishing, and his dream was to come visit the Gorge again and go fishing with Boyce Black, but time got away from him. Working in the LDS temple in St. George, Utah was a frequent occurrence weekly in recent time, and it was while working there in a very spiritual setting that he slipped out of this life and into the next. I figured that Heavenly Father had taken his hand and pulled him through that veil because he needed help with something on the other side that would help others. That was just the kind of man he was. I forget how many missions he and his sweet wife Ida Lou had been on, at least 2 or 3. Always encouraging and helping others, he also had a marvelous way of making people laugh at life. Humor was a large part of our family, and it continues down the line
our bro Boyce and his wife Kathleen Black gave me the ride to the funeral, and bro Dennis Black and his wife Donetta also came from Iowa for the event. We got to stay with my Aunt Mary Stevens who must be in her mid 90’s now I suppose. Hurray for a wonderful man’s life well celebrated! Hurray for family!

Some of you remember me heading with Boyce to Utah last spring for a funeral also.. another cousin in the Black family line. Dan Bammes, JoAnn Blackburn,Camille Price and Bruce Bammes are more of my cousin network related through my Dad and their Mom. There are so many more! I feel like as we lose our elders it is all the more important to connect with our cousins and help to support one another and love one another.

Hyrum Stevens Homestead

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah is mostly gone now.    Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.  The foundation of the Milk house was a very thick stone wall, built to keep the milk cool in those hot summers of southern Utah.  Later, when I get the photos of the house taken back in the 1930’s from my brother, I will share that as well.   We stopped here briefly on our way to my cousin’s funeral, and got to meet the new owners who have the home to the right now.  Grandpa’s home was on the hill to the left, above  rock walls just out of the first photo.  There are photos below of the homesite as well.

I was so filled with emotion walking around on this land.. thinking of our Mom, Nina Stevens, and how she was raised here as the middle of 11 children.  Her first school bus was a horse drawn sleigh in winter, and wagon in summer.  When the family made a trip to Kanab it took half a day to get there, traveling down the river valley in a buggy or wagon pulled by horses.  They had to watch for some nasty patches of quicksand that could swallow horses and wagons!  Electricity was unheard of and lanterns provided light at night.  Mom took her turn milking cows before school, especially when Grandpa was gone for two years on a mission for the LDS church and Grandma was alone with the kids.  The older boys and girls helped run the farm, milk the cows and take care of the younger children.

So many stories Mom told us or wrote down, I cannot begin to mention them all here, but will try to share some from time to time.

The old homestead built by my Grandfather Hyrum Wallace Stevens in Mount Carmel, Utah.  Sis in law Donetta Black standing in the driveway on October 18, 2014.  Not much left anymore but the old milk house/ grain storage building is still there and very solid, along with many terraced rock walls.

Grandpa Steven’s old home stood here to the left. The old milk house is the only building still standing. Mount Carmel, Utah October 18, 2014.  My sister in law Donetta Black is standing in the driveway.