Thursday, July 27, 2017

business licensing

A package came today.

I haven't opened it yet.

I've been busy with the Small Business Administration.  And the IRS.  And applying for a business license with the state.

You guys!!

The package is my camera and lenses and tripods.  And I'm really doing this.  I'm starting my own business.

It is all at once exhilarating and nauseating.  There is so much to do.  Contracts and sales tax and quarterlies.  A website and a portfolio.

I overwhelm easily so to protect myself I am attempting baby steps.  Manageable chunks of information, little bits at a time.  I'm not going from step one to major corporation overnight.

But all the details aside, the emotional aspect of it is this:  I'M EXCITED!  This is me, my heart, my strength, my ability and maybe, just maybe I can earn some money doing something I really like.

This past year I had an epiphany that if it is at all possible, a person should do what electrifies their soul.  So much time is spent in just surviving that it is easy to forget to LIVE.  So I made myself a list (I love lists!) of the things that electrify me and I began to craft a plan.

Perhaps I will succeed.  Perhaps I will not.  But I'm going to give this a go.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an important box to open.

Monday, July 24, 2017

our story

We don't have a fairytale love story.

We didn't have a Shakespearean romance.

Our adventure began in the quietest way but changed us both completely.

I was 18, fresh out of high school, trying out my new freedoms, making bad choices for myself, heading down a destructive path.

He was just 19, staying with relatives a state away from his friends, hometown, and everything familiar.

His uncle and my brother were friends and they arranged for us to meet.

I met him the day after his birthday, after work I drove to where he was staying, knocked on the door, and we said hello for the first time.

We fell into an instant friendship that grew deeper with each passing day.  We were inseparable and married 9 months later.

There were naysayers.  People had their doubts.  We didn't do everything right.  We were just kids.

But we saved each other.  He rescued me from the dangerous path I was on, he made me want to be a better person, he helped me to grow up, grow past, move on.  He was patient with me, gentle, loving.  And he has never given up on me even through the darkest of valleys.

It is our 20th anniversary on August 3rd.

It's not really possible to describe the depth of our relationship.  We started out as two young saplings, planted side by side.  Over time we've grown together into one strong tree, roots entwined, branches entwined so that there is no division, there is no separating what we've become.

Recently we listened to our wedding song.

Twenty years ago, no way of knowing what our life together would hold, we chose these words, this song to represent our love.  And now, with all the experience we've gained, these words could not be truer.

There's so much breaking up
Folks who won't fall in love
Put up shells, guard themselves, build walls
And it makes me cry sometimes
'Cause people live lonely lives
They don't want to try
They don't want to live at all

 But I'm not gonna be afraid
To give up my heart that way
'Cause I need you, I need you by my side
And I'm not gonna say I'm strong
Out here in this world alone
Cause I need you, I need you by my side

And when you find someone
Someone you really love
It makes life easier to bear
But some folks live on their own
Shut themselves in at home
They never find out
What love's all about
'Cause they're scared.

 But I'm not gonna be afraid
To give up my heart that way
'Cause I need you, I need you by my side
And I'm not gonna say I'm strong
Out here in this world alone
Cause I need you, I need you by my side

We are taking a road trip for our anniversary back to the town where our story began.  I'm super excited.  We road trip like nobody's business.  He's usually driving, sunglasses on, one hand on the wheel, the other hand in mine.  I'm sitting shotgun, barefoot, legs crossed.  We play all our songs and sing along.  It's the best.

Who knew that two kids like us could be so stinkin' in love after 20 years?!  Who knew that we would still get giddy around each other, smiling through love eyes, and laughing at corny inside jokes?  Who knew that we could communicate without words, almost sensing the thoughts of the other?

There's still the messiness.  There's still me being selfish.  There's morning breath and bedhead.  There are hard decisions and hurt feelings.  We fail to communicate.  We fail each other.

But there is such a value to what we have, what we have built over these years, what we have nurtured and grown.  It is irreplaceable.  It is priceless.  It is true.

Happy two decades sweet man!

Monday, July 3, 2017

the eve of independence

It is the eve of our nation's birthday.  The stars and stripes are displayed beside our front door.  We will be grilling later.  Tomorrow our town holds a big parade, a carnival, and a fireworks show.  We'll spend the afternoon with friends around their bonfire.
For now, I just need to catch up with this here blog.
Every Thursday there is a farmers market here in town.  It isn't big but I make the best of it.  A couple weeks ago I bought these golden beets, some sugar snap peas, and radishes.  The beets are lovely.  The radishes are a bit too hot.  The snap peas were gone almost immediately.

On a Saturday morning not too long ago, Aaron and I went to the beach for a little stroll.  The weather was perfect, the sun just right and I captured a picture of these delicate flowers.  I love the way the light falls on the driftwood in the background.

Our little town has a beautiful waterfront park.  On any given evening there are handfuls of people there, walking their dogs, jogging, playing basketball.  We took our Charlie one evening and came across this large tree trunk that had drifted in on a high tide.  We walked out to the end of it, the water underneath is only maybe 3 feet deep.

We had to travel to the nearest "big town" to go to the Cash & Carry to get all the things for our church picnic.  It wasn't a chore so much as a good reason to go to Five Guys for lunch.  And who wouldn't want to get a coffee from a coffee shop that has a wall of plants?

A wall. 

Of plants. 

Thank you Whidbey Coffee for being beautiful.
Last farmers market day I walked there from home (it's only about a mile).  Stopped at Starbucks for an iced Americano and sat in the sun and soaked up some summer.  I cut these old jeans and was immediately transported back to the early 90's.  Cut-offs are every summer of my teenaged life.

The bounty from that market didn't disappoint.  Organic golden raspberries, strawberry jam, sweet carrots, fresh arugula, cheese rolls, and warm kettle corn (warm!).  So here's the thing, fresh arugula sounds really great but it is so peppery that I wouldn't recommend just popping a leaf into your mouth to try the freshness.  Why is it so peppery?!

Here's how I manage to eat my fresh arugula:
  • Chop up a fresh beet and fry in a little butter till softened.
  • Add a little chopped bell pepper.
  • Crack two fresh eggs over the beets and bell pepper.  Let cook for a couple minutes.
  • Put a large handful of arugula on top of eggs, toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes, and flip the whole mess over so the arugula and tomatoes are now on the bottom.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and cook till arugula is wilted and eggs are to desired doneness.

This is my go-to for a warm breakfast or easy lunch.

Another evening, another walk with Aaron and the dog.  We found ourselves in a field with some pretty purple thistle and the setting sun.

Same evening.  Same sun.  Different location.

My Charlie dog thinks that I practice yoga just for him.  I give him his own blanket or rug to sit on but he almost always finds his way onto my mat. 

Downward dog becomes a time for him to rub his wet nose on my chin.  Savasana becomes the best time for him to lay next to my head or to nose my relaxed hand.

I don't take any of it too seriously.  If my dog wants some attention I incorporate it into the motions. Yoga is accepting each moment, recognizing it, being fully present in it. 

Even if your dog sneezes on your mat.

The Independence Day picnic that our church held went really well.  Some of the ladies that are good at decorating had the pavilion looking very patriotic.  We welcomed some visitors, listened to some great preaching, ate burgers, sang patriotic songs, and enjoyed a sunny day.

Just today I spent most of the morning in the back yard.  The cherries are just ripening (two weeks later than last year!) so I picked a bowlful to make ice cream.

The lilies that someone before us planted are blooming.  This is the only yellow one.

The rest are orange.

Mintie was curious what I was doing.  My presence usually means there are treats nearby. (P.S. Look how brown our grass is while the dandelions continue to thrive.)

Big, beautiful pink poppy in the garden.  Their petals are like crepe paper.

A rare photo of the photographer in her natural habitat.

Squash blossom.

Itty bitty baby summer squash.

Viola growing in the garden.  I didn't plant this but I'm glad it's there!

Green bean blossom.

Today's harvest:  sweet peas and cherries. 
I ate all the sweet peas immediately.  The cherries were turned into Cherry Garcia ice cream.
In other news,
Blake got his first real job.  He begins training at a local supermarket this week.  Of course, as most 16 year olds, he's saving for a car.  This kid impresses me with his energy and motivation.
I'm working on starting up a freelance photography business.  That's all I'm going to say about it for now.  I'm in the baby stages, the business planning stage, but I'll share more as I have more to share.
One month from today we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  He's planning something.  I can't dig details out of him.  If it's like our first date we'll head over to Burger King.  What can I say, we know romance (wink, wink).
Time to close.  We're grilling ribs and chicken this evening to go alongside leftover potato salad and baked beans from the church picnic.
Happy birthday to this great country.  Here's to celebrating freedom!  Here's to celebrating liberty!  Here's to independence!