2014 in pictures

Has a year gone by already since I posted 2013 in pictures?  How can this be?  Whatevs.  Here we go.

January

  

New Year’s day at Neptune Beach (Oops. You can tell that’s not an Oregon wine, can’t you? My bad.)
  

Happy Dog contemplates eternity

  

pink seashell on beach
  

Ocean sunset
  

Tidepool at sunset
  

Nelscott Reef welcomeNelscott Reef Big Wave Classic, Lincoln City
  

PhotographersPictures of people taking pictures of people . . . surfing.  Their cameras were much, much bigger and better than mine.  See what they were taking pictures of.  Suck it, Mavericks!
  

Surfer running on beach
  

Heart-shaped rock on beach

  

February
  

Surfrider Foundation table
Every February, at the Newport Seafood & Wine Festival, Husband and I pour Barefoot Wine for the Newport Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year: Barefoot donates all proceeds from the Festival to our Chapter. Thank you, Barefoot!

  

Man pointingThat’s the best one, right there.  The Harmony Gewurtztraminer.  You should buy a case.
  

Bare feet in water and sand
Can you tell that’s not Pacific seawater?

  

Seashell on beach
  

Palm trees at sunsetI wish the Oregon coast had these.  Have you guessed yet where I was?
  

Manatees! They’re swarming!

  

Party poopers.

  

According to this sign, swimming with the manatees is not, in fact, prohibited. However, this would be more than enough deterrent to keep me out of the water, manatees or no.

  

Manatee with scarsHardly any of the almost one hundred manatees we saw were without scars–even the small calves.  They all get sliced up by motorboat propellers.
  

Manatee swimming across springA geo-tagged manatee swims across the source of Blue Spring.  Several manatees were trailing these satellite tracking devices.
  

AlligatorNow that’s what I’m talkin’ about!  Timing is everything.  I’m so glad we got to see this big boy.  I was hoping for a giant flock of flamingos, but I only saw a pair flying over.  (at Merritt Island NWR)
  

Thanks, mom & dad, for a fabulous vacation!

  

March
  

Walking the labyrinthMy friend Denise came to visit in March.  First I took her to the stupendously gorgeous labyrinth at Good Sam Episcopal Church in Corvallis.
  

Then we went to the beach.

  

Sunset on close-up beach cobbles
  

dog paw, toy shark and human foot
  

Three people drinking wineThen we tasted wine.
  

Then we played Monopoly. I lost.

   

April
  

Easter egg balanced on end
Did you know you can do this on any day of the year–not just the equinoxes?

  

It’s Easter. So, naturally, we went to the beach. I wore my camouflage boots.

 

That’s a big f*ing wave.

 

Volunteering at the annual Oregon Garden Brewfest

 pond and treesThis is why we volunteer there.

May
 

Fluffy kitten
Our new family member

  

Two people with green hills in background

    

June
  

P6013495Happy Husband and Happy Dog climbed the dune at Cape Kiwanda.  I sat on my ass at the Pelican, drank beer and watched the ocean.
  

It’s entirely possible they’re up on the dune somewhere. Who knows?

  

Woman hugging dog on beach
  

Wine bottle, glasses, food on table overlooking vineyardSunday afternoon picnic at Illahe Vineyards.
  

Otter Rock-n-Roll Youth Surf Contest

  

People on beach with surfboard
  

Surfrider Foundation tent

    

July
  

Happy Dog and I took a day trip to the coast.

  


  


  

We dragged my parents around the top of Cape Perpetua. Looking south, you can see the Spouting Horn . . . um . . . spouting.

  

Dad tasted some delicious Illahe wines.

  

Gratuitous plug for Illahe wines.

  

I hate the thought of wasting even a drop.

  

Then we dragged mom and dad up Salal Hill on Yaquina Head.

  

peregrine falcon on hillside
We watched one of the Yaquina Head resident peregrine falcons as it ate something.

  

Happy Dog & IPuppy and I took our day trip to Erratic Rock State Park.
  

DSCN3832
  

Cargo ship outside window
There’s a sight you don’t see every day.  Unless you live in Astoria and hang out at Buoy Beer Company on the riverfront.
  

View of Astoria from the top of the Astoria Column
Astoria from the top of the Column

  

Hydrangea
They grow ’em bigger and bluer in Astoria.

  

August
  

Woman wearing Simpsons t-shirt next to tent
Time for our annual camp-out at Airlie Winery.
  

Man's feet and dog with lake and tents in background
Husband and Puppy enjoy the evening

  

Technically, this is not what the wind shelter should look like.

  

Cape Kiwanda
It doesn’t look that windy, does it?

   

September

Woman driving TeslaAh, the infamous Tesla test drive in Lincoln City.
  

Me and Laney at Emerson
Emerson Vineyard hotties on Labor Day weekend

  

Man and woman in front of Nana's Pub in NewportOne of our favorite places to take friends:  Nana’s Irish Pub in Newport
  

Man and dog overlooking lighthouse and ocean
Of course, we also like to take them up Salal Hill on Yaquina Head.

  

People on patio at brewpub
We drag everyone to the Pelican.

   

October
  

Woman harvesting grapes
Harvesting the Maréchal Foch at Emerson Vineyards

  

Man harvesting grapes in vineyard
  


  

Emerson’s winemaker, Elliot Johns
  

Grapes falling into bin
Our grapes getting de-stemmed

  

Tasting Room Open sign
Life is good.

  

Sunset at Nehalem Bay State Park

   

View south from Ecola State Park

  

Not-so-Happy Dog wondering, “Why, mommy, why?”

November

Proposal Rock at Neskowin
Evening in Neskowin

  

It’s November: must be time to climb the dune. Again.

  

rainbow with hills in background

Although it would appear this photo was taken from inside the pot of gold, I’m here to tell you there was neither pot nor gold anywhere in sight.

  

Waves, rocks, spray, ocean
The Spouting Horn was in fine form at this very high tide.

  

Thanksgiving: Oregon style

  

So my brother visited us over Thanksgiving. Our first beach day was a little wet.

  

Did I say “a little wet?” I meant stupid crazy wet. As in our clothes didn’t dry out the rest of the day wet.

  

F*ing leash.

  

Our second beach day was a huge improvement.

  

And I finally got to see what’s on the other side of the Cape Kiwanda dune! OK, I cheated and only went part of the way up. Still.

  

Back at Illahe Vineyards

  

Three people with the Willamette Valley in the backgroundIt’s never too cold to drink wine on the patio at Illahe.
(Photo courtesy Illahe Vineyards)

  

December

Christmas in The Garden

  

Christmas in The Garden

  

Husband’s arty interpretation of our Christmas tree

   

Our little guy is growing up.

  

Nothing says Christmas like hiking in Sedona.

  

One of my favorite things to do when I travel anywhere is walk the local labyrinths.

   

Watching Husband play with cactus is pretty entertaining as well.

  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Thank you, Arizona mom & dad, for a wonderful Christmas trip!

2013 in pictures

January

Rock and waves
Rock
Waves at sunset
Spindrift
Yaquina Head
Yaquina Head

February

Snail
Snail
Sunset splash
Splash
Cairn
Cairn

March

Waves
Easter
Stump
Stump
Cape Perpetua
Cape Perpetua

April

Spouting Horn
Spouting Horn
Green
Green
Sun reflecting on waves
Shine

May

Parents reading paper
Surprise
Yoga tree pose in creek
Tree
Aerial photo
Almost home

June

Puppy meets ocean
Wet
Puppy yawning
Yawn
Snakebite drink
Snakebite

July

Coastline with fog
Fog
Sunset
Sunset
Willamette River Ferry
Wheatland Ferry

August

Grapes
Wine wannabes
Marion Lake
Marion Lake
Dog and pond
Camp

September

Puppy on beach
Puppy
Haystack Rock
Haystack Rock
Couple on beach
Us

October

Willamette Valley from Mary's Peak
Willamette Valley
Dog watching birds
Anticipation
Sunlight sparkling on ocean
Sparkles

November

Fool's Gold
Fool’s Gold
Airlie friends
Airlie friends
2 fools
2 fools

December

Christmas tree
Sacrificial tree

So many thoughts, so little time

Life is seemingly boring after the events of Blog Week 1.  However, I remind myself (and you) that I didn’t start MyTrueNorth2013 with the intention of a Bill Bryson-esque romp through Europe or a Stephen King-esque novel about a killer bat that invades peoples’ homes and flies off with their pets.  I started it to write about things that make me think–which, with any luck, lead to big ah-hah moments (at best) or opportunities to enjoy feeling another small piece of the puzzle click into place (at the very least).

Which is why, despite an action-packed weekend into which my husband and I tried to fit a few too many events, including

• dinner, wine and two-fifths of the Brian Copeland Band at Emerson Vineyards (another perfect Willamette Valley evening)
• a dawn hot air balloon launch (sounds corny, but watching thirty or so hot air balloons launch makes my heart soar)
• more dinner, wine, live music and camping at Airlie Winery (it’s definitely not about the sleep)
• a three-hour nap (is three hours still considered a “nap?”) while husband  worked Sunday afternoon

I’m choosing to write today about a guided meditation practice I attended at Love Yoga last night.

Image

Meditation is one of those “talk the talk” things I mentioned last week, as in “How was your meditation, honey?” “Ooooh, I felt so centered.  I  think I really had a breakthrough.”  I love the idea of meditation, and I love the insights it can and does bring when I do practice it.  But I don’t do it nearly enough.

I have come to believe that meditation is one of the most valuable tools –if not the most valuable–we can have in our self-work toolbox.  Though I can count the number of times I’ve done it on my fingers and toes, I can also say that I’ve had a pretty good-sized ah-hah moment just about every single time.

If this is truly the case, then, the next logical question would have to be, “Why in god’s name don’t you meditate every single day?  Or three or five or ten times a day, for that matter?”

In a word, laziness.  Also, admittedly, a sense of entitlement–by which I mean I think I should just have an amazing, joyful, happy, peaceful, prosperous, healthy life without working at it.  In fact, I think we all should.  I think every single person deserves to have a wonderful, happy, prosperous life, and it makes me sad that so few do.

Anyway, last night Melissa led us through four 15-minute meditations, during which we were free to be comfortable on our mats any way we chose.  Guided meditation works much better for me, as I’m one of those people whose completely undisciplined mind needs that gentle direction and constant redirection from the never-ending hodgepodge of thoughts that I just can’t seem to stop.

procession

Less than 24 hours later, I can’t remember exactly what she said, or how she led us through the meditations.  However, more importantly, I do remember the ah-hah moment that resulted.

Louise Hay tells us in You Can Heal Your Life (Hay House, 1984) that

“We create every so-called illness in our body.”

Now, this may be hard to swallow.  I know I find it hard to swallow.  The personal responsibility placed on us by people like Louise Hay (not to mention non-physical entities like Abraham) seems patently unfair to me sometimes.  OK, most of the time.  But I guess I don’t have to like it for it to be true.

Hay’s book Heal Your Body (Hay House, 1984) contains a pretty comprehensive list of dis-eases and physical and emotional complaints along with their corresponding probable causes.  I use this list frequently to try and figure out what the hell’s going on with me.  The weird thing is, every single probable cause she lists for my physical or mental gripes is spot on.

During last night’s meditation, I found myself–as I very often do–thinking about the past and being saddened by my thoughts.  (See last week’s post Will Someone Please Invent Time Travel, Already?)  On the way home, I started wondering–as I also very often do–why my thoughts always seem to be so overwhelmingly focused on what has been, instead of on righthererightnow or what’s yet to come.  And then I started thinking about what Louise Hay says about foot problems.

Without going into too much detail, I can tell you that one of the several physical ailments I suffer from (read “cause myself to suffer from”) is plantar fasciitis.  I also have osteoarthritis in one of my big toes.  Guess what Hay’s probably cause of foot problems is?

. . . . .

(I’m giving you time to guess.)

. . . . .

(Did you guess it?)

. . . . .

(Drum roll)

. . . . .

“Fear of the future and of not stepping forward in life.”

Didn’t I say she was spot on?

So I kept my train of thought chugging along its proverbial track and asked myself, “Couldn’t my obsession with the past and how I seem to miss the Good Old Days and all the houses I’ve lived in and and things I’ve done and enjoying time with my family and all my dead relatives and friends and pets and vacations I’ve been on and being a kid and riding my bike around the neighborhood and not having any of these hateful adult responsibilities more than I enjoy being righthererightnow and anticipating all the wonderful times still to come be construed as ‘fear of the future and of not stepping forward in life?'”

I think it could.

(You may want to go back and reread that paragraph.  It actually does make sense, as well as seeming to be mostly grammatically correct.)

Louise tells us that new thought patterns–or positive affirmations–can heal and relax our body.  For foot problems, her recommended affirmation goes like this:

“I move forward in life with joy and with ease.  I stand in truth.  I have spiritual understanding.”

Her step-by-step method to allow and encourage change is pretty straightforward:

1. Look up the mental cause.  See if this could be true for you.  If not, sit quietly and ask yourself, “What could be the thoughts in me that created this?”

2. Repeat to yourself, “I am willing to release the pattern in my consciousness that has created this condition.”

3. Repeat the new thought pattern to yourself several times.

4. Assume that you are already in the process of healing.

Whenever you think of the condition, repeat the steps.

Easy, right?  It should be.  But this is where Laziness rears its ugly head:  it’s easier to be a mess and wallow in the past and be unhappy and complain and cry than it is to do the hard self-work.  You really, reeeally have to want to change yourself and feel better and know that it’s worthwhile to do the work, or you’re just going to be stuck in that same rut forever.

I vacillate between desperately wanting to change and thinking, “Why bother?”  After all, these patterns of thought have worked for me (more or less) for almost a half-century.  Why should I bother now?

I’ll tell you why:   because I’ve had glimpses of how good it can be.  I know now how it feels to be in what Abraham-Hicks refers to as “the Vortex.”  I recognize when I’m in there–and when I’m not, I want to be.

vortex

The most beautiful (and ironic) thing of all is that I love knowing I’m the only one responsible for all of it:  how I feel, the good and bad things that happen to me–all the love, joy, fun, health, wealth, peace and serenity, or lack thereof, that I experience in my life.  There’s no one and nothing else to blame when things go wrong, and only myself to celebrate when things go right.  That’s not to say that I don’t feel immensely grateful:  the Universe is a kind and generous place that works in concert with me and my thoughts.  My parents have done more for me than I could ever express in words.  And my Non-Physical Posse always has my back.

Today I choose to enjoy the Here and Now.

Namaste.

Procession photo courtesy Institute for Great Lakes Research, Bowling Green State University
Vortex photo courtesy Crestock.com