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i love the PNW…i really do. sometimes the gloom can get me down, but then the sun comes out and it feels like a gift. i have contemplated moving up here several times, and it is still in the running, though, i am no closer to really figuring it all out. i find so much inspiration and charm whenever i visit i want to bottle it all up.

i love the port towns, olympia being one of them, and i have had the chance to visit several of them. the vibe here is like out of a movie that takes place in a fishing town…except it is real. plaid shirts, rain boots, rustic work jackets, with a little bit of a hippy twist. the markets are insane here not to mention just popping into the local seafood market for some fresh fish. everywhere you go the landscape is lush and a dampness is always present. my hair has been so soft, i barely have to brush the knots out.

most of my time has been spent taking care of my niece and nephew and helping out my sister in law…since, my brother broke his leg 5 days into my visit. for their sake, i came at the perfect time to help, until i caught the illness the kids were carrying around. every once in a while i have escaped to the farmers market, or for a hike, or a walk around the cute downtown shops. even this small town has coffee shops comparable to the big cities. they are serious about their coffee here, and frankly, i appreciate that.

i ate some of the best tomatoes from the farmers market that i have had all summer. the market is my favorite here and is open everyday in season. i love finding treasures like the moss collection my bro has been keeping for his work in the garage. i even found some dram’s bitters at a local boutique. they are a small adorable company from colorado and was hoping to make it there before i left and didn’t. i bought the sampler and have been obsessed dropping it in everything the past two days: tea, smoothies, soups. it aids in digestion and they add such a depth of flavor. it has been a few weeks of rainbows, rain, naps, and muddy hikes. fall is in full affect here and it inspires me to take a little picnic on a hike in this cute outfit and adorable accessories! fallPNW

1. TOPSHOP toggle coat – i have been daydreaming of toggles lately

2. TOPSHOP pork pie hat

3. MADEWELL plaid flannel

4. NO. 6 clog boots

5. DRAM APOTHECARY bitters- currently, obsessed 100%

6. STANLEY thermos from WEST ELM – perfect for a picnic with soup or hot chocolate. add some of your dram bitters to the mix.

7. FILSON field tote

8. EDIBLE AND MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE WEST

9. BREAD KEEPER – for that picnicphoto 2 photo 4 photo 1 photo 3 photo 4 photo 3 photo 1 photo 2 photo 1 photo 3photo 4

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this post is a little behind, but none the less, worth sharing.  my sadness has subsided about the cabin in colorado, though- out of sight out of mind. i have been busy hanging with my brother and his family, playing nanny, and playing more nanny. kids will get your mind off anything.  rain is a common denominator in my life these days, since i left colorado, and now being in washington. it is incredibly cozy here right now, i will share more on that later.

first, let’s talk about my trip through yellowstone. it was a very gloomy and rainy day. i arrived at shoshone lodge and resort in the evening in time to enjoy the brisk evening and have a glass of wine in front of the cabin. it was so quiet and peaceful, it was strange to not hear a river running. i choose this lodging because we stayed here as a family when i was a kid.  my parents always talk about it and i thought it would be fun to check it out. it was me and all the old folks, but that is to be expected this time of year.  the place was clean and cozy. though, i didn’t eat at the restaurant, the menu was hearty and home cooked.

i woke up early and started my trek into the park. i had wylie with me, so i couldn’t plan any hikes, but it was raining anyway. within my first 15 minutes in the park i saw cars pulled over on the side of the road, cameras out- gawking. i got out and to my surprise- a bear. she was far away, and it was hard to get a photo with the iphone, but i saw her. i waited forever, even prepared, in colorado for bears. they never came. it was an off year, obviously- being they had a 1000 year flood, and my neighbors were shocked the bears never came. i told them i would end up seeing one in yellowstone, and i did! the buffalo were everywhere too. one even walked directly in front of my car. it was pretty awesome.

i entered the park through the east gate and took the southern route to old faithful. i remember this from my childhood, but of course when i showed up, she had just gone off and everyone was returning to their cars. we drove a little more and found some other geysers and they were the color of heaven. from there we headed north where the terrain changes into waterfalls and lakes with all these geysers spewing all around. the land is so diverse. i have been meaning to do a little more reading up on the evolution of this land, it is hard to read the map when your passenger is a dog. i simply enjoyed the beauty and the chance to be there.

i ended at mammoth hot springs. i didn’t get to walk all the way up because wylie at this point was totally stressed that i kept getting in and out of the car. so, i choose a closer path and to my surprise, it was my favorite part of the trip. it was the most beautiful natural element i have ever seen. as if it wasn’t even real.

i thought i would try something a little different along with my travel posts. being that i can’t do much crafty or food posting, how about some of my favorite things of the moment. inspired by each trip i go on, a mood board of wants and must haves! here goes the first one.

yellowstone

1. Stetson Austral Hat – every hipster has a hat these days. this is a classic western brand.

2. Zara turtleneck – great color for fall

3. Kutoa Peanut Butter and Jelly bar – yum

4. Top Shop overalls – classic,rustic, and comfy for road trips

5. Madewell “the fielder” lace up boots –  i want these

6. Mast Brothers chocolate – who doesn’t want chocolate on a road trip?

7. Chimani APP – national park app

8. National Geographic APP – another great app for road trips through national parks

9. Herschell “little america” Backpack –  a little color and function

10. a playlist – what is a road trip without music

11. Mountain Spirit Book – some history on the native americans of the area

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photolast night i was told that my cabin on the river is gone, wiped out by the colorado flood. my neighbor said there is nothing there to even see anymore. my neighbors have lost everything. the neighborhood i have shared for months here on the blog is under water. the owner of the ranch has been in contact with my landlord, and i read on their facebook page that all the horses and critters are safe. so far, they have only lost one horse. the place i so warmly have talked about, the place where i healed my soul, is a disaster. even if she was always housing bugs and spiders. even if there were things that were not as convenient as city living, i loved living there.

i am in a state of shock, i can’t stop crying, i couldn’t sleep last night. in fact, i couldn’t really sleep all week. it has been such a strange 5 days. monday, i woke up with the sunshine and did some errands. i came home to find that wylie dog had gotten into the grapes i had harvested from the front yard. all i have heard lately is don’t give dogs grapes. i rushed him to the emergency vet unsure if he had consumed one, two, twenty, or none. the vet suggested he stay the night to be on fluids to flush anything out, as grapes can be deadly to dogs. i left the cabin on the way to the vet with a huge storm hanging over the mountains. by the time i left the vet it was pouring. that evening, though i was a mess about my boy, the neighbors were making me dinner. i decided the best thing to do was to go have a good time and get my mind off wylie. there were two couples that lived across the river from me and we often hung out drinking wine on their river beaches, my landlord too. needless to say they became my friends and my social outlet there on the river.

it wasn’t uncommon to discuss the flood that happened here in 1976. it killed over a 140 people, and there were signs all over the neighborhood cautioning flood- climb up, not out. my parents were the first to tell me about it. i never actually thought it could happen again. we are too sophisticated and smart now, right? i thought it was impossible. plus, how could it happen to us? looking back, the word flood came up too often.

to give you an idea of how bad this is. back in 1976 my neighbors knew the water was 4 feet deep in their house. today, the water was to the roof. thats at least over 9 feet. it swelled enough to take out my cabin which sat above the river at least 10 feet, yet it still swallowed it. my neighbor said my garden is still there, the tomatos still turning red.

we sat under a terrace monday night eating ribs, drinking wine, laughing and sharing stories. the rain was like a blanket, we actually kind of enjoyed it. the thunder started just as the sun was going down. it was such a fun evening and i was happy to have met these wonderful people, and i was sad i was leaving. that night, i couldn’t sleep. wylie wasn’t in bed with me, the movers were coming the next morning, and the rain danced on the roof. every time i woke up the sound of rain was soothing, yet something felt strange and eerie even then.

i got word in the morning that wylie would be fine and i could pick him up later that day. the clouds still hung low, it felt like a day in the PNW. the movers moved everything out and we went to the storage unit where again i heard the word flood. “what kind of flood insurance do you want to have for your storage unit?”

i picked up wylie and went back to the cabin to finish cleaning and packing the car. i had a junk removal service come pick up my couch, the driver mentioned how high the river was. i had noticed too how much it was rushing, but thought it was normal considering all the rain. i gave my new neighbor that had just moved in a few weeks prior a bunch of stuff from our fridge. we had recently had many conversations about our life experiences, why we both wanted to live in a cabin- i was bummed i wasn’t staying longer to get to know her. her house is gone now too, and i was told her cats were in the cabin.

that night i spent the night at my neighbors across the river. they made me dinner, a bass they caught on their most recent camping trip. we ate inside, because it was still raining. i was curious if this weather was normal. i asked laura to see her wedding album, i wanted to see their lives in a little more detail. that night i slept better, but the rain still fell. we woke up and had breakfast together. all week and even that morning laura kept trying to convince me to stay. i wanted too, but everything was settled so, i said my goodbyes i went back to the cabin to gather up the rest of my things and finish up the small details. the weather was so gloomy and wet. it didn’t seem or feel like the colorado i had come to know. i was annoyed to pack up the car in the rain, my sandals still have mud on them. i was annoyed that i had already mopped the kitchen floor 3 times. i got in the car and as i drove off i felt distant from this place. normally, i look at every detail, i get sentimental about every little thing. i look around to soak in all the memories…this time…i just left. i wanted to get out of that rain, even if i was driving to washington, where rain is normal. something didn’t feel quite right, but i didn’t even know it. i thought it was just sadness about leaving and i was simply avoiding my feelings.

i drove north on I-25 in heavy rain for over 2 hours. i contemplated turning around because i HATE driving in heavy rain. i get anxious. i kept going powering through. the rain finally let up a few hours outside yellowstone. i arrived to my little lodge and had a big glass of wine. the next morning i woke up early to hit the park. cell service was shotty, but about an hour in i got a text from my neighbor that they were in flood conditions. again, i took it lightly, thinking it was maybe a few inches of water. by that evening i had a conversation with laura and she explained it was bad. friday morning i woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about my neighbors, about how i wasn’t there. how did i miss this? by the time i arrived at my brothers in olympia, washington i got news that my neighbors lost everything, that my cabin was gone. it’s just gone. The water is up to the roof on both my neighbors houses. The river is 5 times wider.

i do not think luck is something you have, i think it is something that just happens. i don’t believe in fate really, i don’t even believe in god, as an individual being anyway. because why would god save me and not the others ?it was pure quincidance. i missed the start of the flood by 24hours. just 24 hours. i was paying rent until the 15th, and since i had made that arrangement, i still wanted to move out before for some reason. i was a bit anxious to get going, even if i was sad to leave. i had decided to have the movers come on the 10th because 1. i was superstitious about moving on on september 11th 2. i wanted to make it to my brother’s by friday to spend the weekend there. there are so many what if’s. what if i had extended the lease another 6 months? what if i had stayed until the 15th? what if i had stayed till the end of the month. back in beginning of august, i would have done so in a heart beat, but as time went on and i started packing, i wanted to just rip the band aid off.

i put my stuff in storage and it had me thinking lately about what all our stuff is. possessions. what not. are they necessary for our happiness? i was glad to be rid of it all for a bit. to live simply. i think that is strange i was thinking this way now. some stuff is just stuff, but some of it precious memories. all of it money and time. it is not something anyone can take lightly and i certainly dont anymore. I admit i have tried to imagine if i had still been there, if i had to evacuate, what i would take. how would i be feeling now, how would i handle it? i guess now i know my decision was the right one. either way i would have no place to live.

i can’t completely explain my emotions right now. i am sad, i am in shock, my eyes hurt from crying. my heart breaks for my friends and neighborhood. it is just all gone. all gone. it is a surreal feeling. there are moments when i know i am fine, everything is ok. there are moments i just want to cry again in shock of the reality of how close i came to being there, how my friends have to start there lives over. how the road up to estes park is pretty much gone and the death toll may continue to rise. everything feels like a different world now, that little piece of heaven for me- it feels like a dream. the beginning and the end. as if i was never there.

please keep all the people of colorado devastated by this flood in your thoughts.

Ribbet collagethe photo on the right is looking over the bridge to my neighbors. well, there once was a bridge there under that pile.

the second photo is an arial view of the property and the dam. that big swell is where my cabin and the neighbors once were.

 

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I just received these photos last night. One is my garden. The other cabin sat where the river now is. The other photo is of my parking spot. My cabin was just to the left of the spot and those bushes.

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the past 9 months i have lived on one of the recommended scenic byways in colorado. a river flows through my backyard and i am surrounded by horses. i can walk onto the original dirt road to estes park and did almost daily. every time single time i have walked out my front door i can honestly say i was filled with gratitude, happiness, enchantment, and luck. every time i came home, i felt content.

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul”- John Muir

when people ask me why i moved to colorado, i am not exactly sure how to answer it. part embarrassment, part not wanting to spill my emotions all over their lap, and partly because i never knew how to put it into words. i have alluded to it many times here on the blog-it’s always easier for me to voice through written word. i had hit a very unhappy point in my life in LA. i felt stuck and unsure, i was deeply hurt in a battle of who’s right and wrong, disappointed by failed “relationships” or lack there of, my insecurities may have grown deeper than they ever have in those last two years, and i was left not knowing whom i was anymore. i needed to escape. i needed to learn to be alone. i needed to feel something greater than myself.

“Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

i took this chance with such certainty. i was nervous, but not scared. i knew it was the right thing to do. i have grown to love myself again even if there are a few demons occasionally turning the thoughts in my head. nothing and nobody can be perfect. i have come to realize that this life is precious- it is wonderful and worthy and our doubts and questions are what leads us to find that. i have found a peace that DOES exist, for me at least and a contentment i will have to work hard at keeping without the glorious earth presenting herself literally to me daily.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

in my heart, i feel it is time to move on. i admit i worry i will loose what i have found here when i leave, but that fear can’t be what keeps me from going. this time i am scared. i am certain i must go, i am excited to be on the road traveling and visiting friends- (i am calling it tour de friends!) but i haven’t a clue where i shall end up. maybe it is back in LA, maybe it is here in Colorado, maybe it is Chicago, i am day dreaming of europe. i know one day, i shall see myself at peace in the country again- whether it is in my dreams or a reality.

“The mountains are calling, I must go.” – John Muir

my emotions run deep, my sensitivity high, my empathy and even anger can sometimes fuel me, and my dreams soar high every day.

i am a what they call a dreamer. i dream up trips and adventures, i dream up love stories, i dream up lifestyles, i dream up different kinds of businesses, i dream up creations. sometimes, i even get to live out some of my dreams. they may not manifest with exact execution, but they exist. i learned that on this colorado adventure. How can i not consider myself lucky? i leave here a better person. i leave here with more than i expected.

“The power of imagination makes us infinite.”- John Muir

as for the blog- i don’t know where she shall lead. i have contemplated starting a new section: on the road, as the majority of the next 4-6 months will be just that. my life is packed in boxes and shoved into a 7×10 cube. i admit i am kind of excited to be rid of “stuff” for a bit. traveling makes it a bit more difficult for me to blog, because i do not have a laptop. there are many ideas floating around about what to do- we will just have to wait and see how it all flows. for now, you can follow me on instagram if you like, sunandglory, where i will be sure to update often with photos, because i am addicted.

oh, and sun and glory was written up on the UK online magazine THE UPCOMING. today, started off as a really good day. recognition is humbling and a true honor. check out the article here.

this isn’t goodbye, but another beginning. first stop, yellowstone national park.

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