Letting the days go by

Kalaloch Beach, WA

And you may ask yourself, well

How did I get here?

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Hello, I’ve missed you all! Last spring I didn’t think taking a short break would lead to anything more than a chance to catch my breath but here we are, catching up after more than a year and quite a few changes. I’ve had a lot of time to think about if I wanted to return to blogging, wondering if I had anything unique to say in these strange times and I changed my mind multiple times yes/no/yes/no/maybe but one constant was the fact that I couldn’t stop hearing The Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime. I took it as a sign.

You may ask yourself

What is that beautiful house?

You may ask yourself

Where does that highway go to?

And you may ask yourself

Am I right? Am I wrong?

And you may say yourself

“My God! What have I done?”

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Seven years ago I was an excited newbie, unsure if anyone would be interested in my Pacific Northwest photos but I had experiences I wanted to share and a desire to try something new. I learned a lot, met some truly wonderful people and slowly but surely grew my audience. At my peak I was posting seven days per week with an engaged audience and felt like I’d really found my stride.

Life goes on though, I ran short on time to take new photographs, home improvement projects were put on hold and I came to rely on the WordPress weekly photo challenge for interesting blog prompts. The task of meeting a random word or phrase with something relevant to my niche of family, travel and PNW scenery was fun for me and when it ended I’ll admit I felt a little lost. I know a blogger should be able to plan their own material but again, I liked the challenge aspect and when this ended my enthusiasm for the platform waned. I’ve continued to share photos and comments on Instagram and Twitter but the longer form of illustrated posts and storytelling wasn’t where my heart was.

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Look where my hand was

Time isn’t holding up

Time isn’t after us

Same as it ever was

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Before my break I tried to return to the photo-a-day format that had worked so well in the past but life got in the way. I made a huge career change, leaving the industry I’d been a part of for 25 years, family members faced renewed health challenges, chapters ended and new doors opened. Each piece brought new demands and left me with little free time for independent thought or, if I’m being honest, even time to step outside and take a photo. The things that had held me creatively engaged for so many years seemed out of reach. For most of this time I simply hung on and kept moving forward, taking care of what was right in front of me while trying to keep my head above water.

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by, water flowing underground

Into the blue again into the silent water

Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Some things have settled, some I’ve grown accustomed to and some I’m resigned to wait out but finally, I’m feeling the need to rejoin aspects of my past that fed my creative side so here I am brainstorming how to share interesting content while keeping the process fun. I’m looking forward to writing again, using words for more than business correspondence and quick conversation but the (self-induced) pressure of returning to my old style and posting calendar has held me back from fully committing to a return. It all felt too hard and not authentic as our life has changed and my creative outlook adapted.

Letting the days go by

Same as it ever was

And here the twister comes

Here comes the twister

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Just because I haven’t posted here doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about blogging though, my old habit of keeping lists and journal notes for inspiration has continued, now I’m looking to them for direction and clarity of purpose here. I have pages filled with one word blog prompts, thoughts about why I started Northwest Frame of Mind and notes-to-self about finding my own voice and being emotionally honest with words. I suspect many of these will appear here as I work through what makes me happy and how I can share something of value in a very crowded space. My posts may be infrequent but they will be authentic and I’ll continue to frame each entry with a PNW focus as it’s our home and a thing I love. My hope is as I continue to explore a few of you will trust me enough to follow along.

Kalaloch Beach, WA

2019 The Year of Seeing Green: Week 12

The year of seeing green?  Living green?  Sharing green?  We try for all three here but I still had a hard time settling on one for this post so after a day spent typing and deleting variations I finally acknowledged my best days happen when I can see something green so “seeing” it is.  Of course time with family, a good book, meal etc will brighten any day but everything just feels easier for me to enjoy when surrounded by pretty shades of fresh green life.

Is there a color that makes you happy every time you see it?  Or does the absence of a certain shade make joy harder to find?  I’d love to hear your favorites,  or maybe even a little story about what color means in  your life!

This set of seven photos were all taken with my iPhone and edited using the following apps: 3/17 & 18 – Stackables, 3/19 – VSCO + Word Swag, 3/20-23 – VSCO.

2019 The Year of This and That: Week 10

Have you ever had a week that felt busy in the moment but didn’t result in a list of accomplishments?  My best case scenario for a week like this is that everyone made it through without any major problems and each busy day lead to something good later so by this metric I’ll call last week a success.  Yay!  I took steps toward bigger goals, put out plenty of fires and used my photo sharing time to feature some favorites from the past year that didn’t fit into an overall weekly theme.  In other words “a bit of this and that.”

My photo choices were little glimpses into things that made me happy; some pretty garden flowers, a forest road, a hiking trail, fluffy white clouds and an iconic PNW beach scene filled with driftwood logs.  All images taken with my iPhone 8+ edited in Hipstamatic or VSCO.

A fun side note:  posting so many hiking photos led me to design a new hiking T-shirt available now in my Etsy store.  All I need is some warmer weather and John, Ryan and I will be hitting the trails in style.

Northwest Frame of Mind on Etsy

2019 The Year of Mountain Tops and Flowers: Week 9

It’s sunday afternoon and the sun is shining but the air is still too cold for comfort and I am really ready for winter to be over.  I know the calendar says we’re a few days into March and warmer days are coming soon so I’m pinning new PNW hikes to my Pinterest page and when some of the mountain snow melts we’ll be off to new adventures and happy trails.

If you’re interested in PNW hiking, west coast road trips, easy but tasty recipes and plenty of fresh new cocktails there’s plenty to see on my Northwest Frame of Mind Pinterest page. Is anyone here on Pinterest?  I’m looking for new boards to follow and would love to join some like-minded pinners!

Since I didn’t travel to a beautiful mountainside this week I’ve resorted to perusing photos from last summer and editing my favorites in this vintage-look combination from Hipstamatic.  If you’re interested in which processes I used just ask in the comments, I’m happy to share my steps.

What do you do when the weather is too cold to enjoy being outside but you’ve got a bad case of cabin fever.  I turn up the heat, look through favorite pictures and make plans for our eventual return to outdoor living.

 

Lake Crescent Lodge

2019 The Year of Lakeside Dreaming in January: Week 2

As I type this on Saturday afternoon the sun is shining, birds are chirping and if I close my eyes I can almost pretend I’m sitting in the lovely sun room at the Lake Crescent Lodge in the Olympic National Park.  I’ve already written a few posts about our strange, warm winter here in the PNW and it looks like the trend will continue a little while longer.  In fact Friday’s 61 degrees set a record for the warmest January 11th in Seattle history.  Wow.

Looking through my picture gallery above you might wonder why you’re seeing images from September instead of views from last week.  Well, there were two main reasons I decided to take on another 365 photo challenge, one was to finally share some of the thousands of new images hiding out in my photo roll and the other was to push myself to start writing again.  Even if it was just little, chatty updates from my week the practice would be good so here we are looking back on a warm September afternoon while I type a post in January.

As for my week it was a busy one filled with extra work hours and long afternoons trapped in rush hour slowdowns.  Audiobooks are my lifeline in the car and thanks to our local library I can usually work my way through an author’s catalog from beginning to end.  This season I’ve been listening to a lot of Christopher Moore and by friday afternoon I’d finished The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for photography although I did take a few new images for use later and when I had a free minute I thought back to this trip with Ryan when we were beginning to practice portrait photography for his Senior Pictures.

As with past year-long photo challenges I don’t plan to post here every day, I’ll save that for my Instagram and Twitter accounts, but you faithful blog readers will get one weekly recap every Sunday.

 

We Will Welcome Summer’s Ghost

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost. Henry Rollins

Sigh, “summer’s wreckage” is a pretty fair description of my yard and garden today.  The peak heat of August has passed leaving a tangled mess of overgrown branches, dry, burned leaves and wilted flowers in its wake.  Even the forests look like they need a rest from the hustle and bustle of summer.  Early September is always busy here with back to school activities and new routines take precedence over yard work so inevitably the mess outside lasts until a crisp October weekend when I tackle it all and try to prepare for winter.

If the flowers are still blooming it’s not really time to pull them, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself this afternoon looking at the ghosts of flower pots past hoping I can stretch them out a few more weeks…

Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park: Colorful Mountains and Meadows Filled with Wildflowers

Mountain wildflowers in Washington State's Olympic National Park

It’s August in the PNW and that means every day we have available is spent outside enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds us.  This year our summery blue skies have been filled with a toxic mix of wildfire smoke from around the world ( Siberia, Canada, Washington, Idaho and California) but with some careful planning and a lucky stretch of wind we had a clear day to visit one of my favorite places in the Olympic National Park.

If you’re in the park I heartily recommend the drive up to Hurricane Ridge.  Views from parking lot are amazing, the lodge is filled with great information and knowledgable rangers and there are a variety of trails for all levels of hikers.  We spent our 20th anniversary hiking to the peak you see at the top of this image, whew, and this year we returned to enjoy the lower section of the trail while gazing up at the peaks, relieved we’d already climbed it so we could stop awhile and literally smell the flowers.

I’ll post more photos from the day soon but today I hope you enjoy our moment of zen in the meadow of flowers along the trail to Klahhanie Ridge.

Ascend to a Higher Development

One can ascend to a higher development only by bringing rhythm and repetition into one’s life. Rhythm holds sway in all nature.

Rudolf Steiner

August hiking in the PNW.  Pack your layers!

We can find Nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within us. What is akin to her within us must be our guide. This marks out our path of enquiry.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National Park

What the human being sees, what is poured into his environment, becomes a force in him. In accordance with it, he forms himself.

Rudolf Steiner

Hiking the Klahhane Ridge Trail in Olympic National ParkAs the winter solstice approaches and the holiday season is in full swing John, Ryan, Finn and I wish everyone a happy and peaceful end to 2017.  Even though our December days are fuller than ever we’ve been careful to protect time for family and in the evenings we are studying hiking guides and making plans to spend more long summer hours exploring nature and marking out our own paths of enquiry.

XOXO Lisa, John, Ryan and Finn

Solitude

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.  Aristotle

 solitude

I’m certainly not a wild beast or a god but it’s nice to know we have something in common.  Solitude.

My Year In Pictures: September Weeks 3 & 4

If you’re a follower of my Instagram feed you already know I’ve moved on from summer photos to fall and we’ve all been enjoying pretty leaves, gardening and seasonal changes so I’m pushing the fast forward button here and posting the last two weeks of September together in one fell swoop.  I really don’t like to fall behind schedule, especially if it’s a self-imposed one so these two-week catch-up posts are not my favorite but after replacing my computer, being surprised by a new operating system,  working through a phone (camera) fail and finally setting up a new phone my carefully maintained photo files were a scrambled mess.  On the surface I’ve been faithfully taking and posting a new photo to social media for every day of the week but behind the scenes it’s been nothing but aggravation each time I try to write and illustrate a new post here on the blog.  My fingers crossed things are sorted out now so going forward I’m hoping for fun and easy writing to finish the year. 🙂

Most of these new photos are really a best-of highlight reel from our summer vacations and as you can see they are focused on my favorite warm weather activities:  hiking and relaxing by the water.  The last two are hints of what is to come with a view through the trees in my backyard and a creepy skull to note the first day of October.  Halloween is John’s favorite holiday and the decorating blitz has started so if you’re a fan of all things spooky I’ll have plenty more to share throughout the month.

Next week we will be back to real-time posts but if you don’t want to wait please join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to click herefor IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂

My Year In Pictures: September Week 2

It’s obvious I’m running a little behind real-time as my photo project is reaching the middle of September while the calendar says October is almost here but I’m actually liking the opportunity to stretch out summer for as long as possible.  Fall has its own beauty but summer is truly my favorite so I hope you don’t mind spending a little more time flipping through my vacation photos and a few random images from our regular life here in the Pacific Northwest.

This week you’ve got a blend of some Olympic Peninsula shots mixed with views from my days at home so we’ll start with the lovely Lake Crescent.  If it wasn’t for the brisk wind and worry about a long wait in the Ferry line we would have been in those canoes paddling around the shore… maybe next time. 🙂  Instead Ryan had some fun goofing around in an old phone booth in the main lodge and we settled for a brisk walk along the shore before getting back in the car to finish our trip home.   Once we were settled it was back to business and I started by listing a new item in our Etsy store.  The next day Finn and I enjoyed a quiet moment on the grass watching clouds and Friday evening I took the hint and decided to “stop” on my couch after a long commute and relax with a tasty gin and tonic.  Saturday afternoon Ryan and I went out to walk our local fishing pier and as luck would have it a ferry entered my shot at exactly the right moment.

Next week will be a return to some vacation out-takes and if you’re curious about where we’ve been this month I’ve been keeping up with my daily share project on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about any of the images but you don’t follow me on these accounts please feel free to clickhere for IG, here for Twitter and here for FB or select a photo from the Instagram previews in my sidebar.  You don’t need an account at either place to view my photos, everyone’s welcome.🙂