Thursday, December 18, 2008

Giant Mud Puddle - Birch Bay, Washington

When Cam and I joined Sam, and others from the Powell family, in Birch Bay, Wash-
ington for the family reunion, tide pooling was the first order of business.

Here are more photos of us tide pooling.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Through the snow.

My last post stops, at the the point on the Maple Pass Loop, just before we first encountered snow on the path.

We hadn't realized that part of the loop would require us to cross through (and climb up) so much snow.

Thankfully, the weather was lovely.

We were comfor-
tably warm the whole hike.

Flowers were bursting out every-

When we made it to the top of the mountain and could see Lake Ann, and the trail that would take us back out, on the far side of that lake, we were encouraged to keep going and get there.

Eventually, we had walked through so much snow that it stopped being novel and we had had enough of it.

Maybe not too surprisingly in retrospect, but at the time, I hadn't thought about the fact that climbing down mountainsides covered in snow would be more difficult than climbing up them.

There are not photos to go with it but one of our favorite stories from the hike happened at a point where we had lost the trail but felt we needed to climb down a steep area, through some shrub-like trees and snow.

It was so steep that I was crawling on the ground, holding on to the trunks of the trees to keep from sliding down the mountainside, while trying to make my way to more level ground, where I could stand again. Cameron asked, "Are you alright?" I answered, "No. I am falling down a mountain."

Once, I marveled that being up on an unfamiliar mountain, hiking around in the snow, was maybe the craziest thing I had ever done.

What if we had really gotten lost of the weather had turned or someone had gotten hurt. We did encounter a few other brave souls but were on our own up there for the most part.

But in the end, we did not fall.

We made it.

Thanks for the mem-
orable adventure, Love.

This Flickr set has more photos of our trek through the snow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To the Snow

As Cam men-
tioned, we are getting ready for a trip to the snow.

We took a trip to the snow on the second day we were in the N. Cascades National Park. I hadn't been expecting that one.

This Flickr set takes you on the trail with us from the base of the mountain, near Rainy Lake (shown above) to a point high above.

Shortly after this last photo, we began our trek through the snow. That journey will be documented soon.

N. Cascades National Park - Day 1 - Creek

Last July, on our way to the Powell Family Reunion, Cameron and I took a side trip to the N. Cascades National Park.

After marveling at the views from the scenic overlook, we explored a camp-
ground and creek in the valley below. Here is a Flickr set with more photos from that night.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

N. Cascades National Park - Day 1 - Peak

Lately, I've been spending most of my online free time on Facebook. Since I learned how to post and share things with family and friends there, I haven't been blogging as much. If you want to join the fun, please visit my profile and let me know.

One thing I do want to do on the blog is share some photos of and stories from the Powell family Reunion. Cam and I spent the weekend before the reunion camping in and exploring the North Cascades National Park. I kept calling it a second honeymoon.

These photos were taken at a scenic lookout near Cascade Peak.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Predawn Hike to Tennessee Valley Beach

This morning, Cam and I left home at 5:35am for a predawn hike to Tennessee Valley Beach. It was peaceful. We were the first ones to make it there today.

Here is a Flickr set with more photos from our outing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Angel Island Pics on Flickr

You may remember that we went to Angel Island to watch the Air & Water show on Saturday, 10/11. On Sunday, 10/12, the island caught fire.

I just posted my favorite photos from our day on Angel Island on Flickr. Check them out.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Maddux Family in the Mist

Last weekend, it rained all day on Saturday. So, on Sunday, we decided to make the most of it by going on a waterfall hike. From the Pantoll Ranger Station, on Mt. Tam, we hiked down the Matt Davis trail and back up the Steep Ravine trail. The mist was magical.

More photos of this hike are here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I asked, "When is a revolution?"

I like what Congress-
man John Lewis said last night about how we are witnessing a non-
violent revolution,
a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas...

He said,
"This man, young, smart, gifted, leader, is prepared to lead the American people and be a leader among the men and women of the community of nations. He has a vision -- he is the right man. He is so gifted. He is so decent. And he's so calm and deliberate. I think he will be a great president. He personifies the best of a John F. Kennedy, a Robert Kennedy, a Martin Luther King Jr., a Lyndon Johnson."

The comment made me think of this Brett Dennen song.
I Asked When - Brett Dennen

Equality for All

I am sad about the outcome of proposition 8 but see the efforts of all those who came together to oppose it as a victory.

We need fairness and equality for all.

Be the Change.

My friend, Shaheena is part this group called A Good Idea. Their mission is to inspire people to get involved in society by being a vehicle to implement people's positive social change ideas. They produced this video encouraging us to do more than just vote. I like it and hope you do too.

P.S. Shaheena can be found saying, "one billion" at (1:29-1:30).

Our new first family.











ulations Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Freshman Rule

On Halloween night, we went to an open house at the home of Sam's friend Leo. There were lots of boys who had a fun time trick-or-treating together and adults who enjoyed sharing some food and revelry but the best photo I have is of these freshman girls. (The one on the left is Leo's sister, Sophie.) These Eskimos stole the show.

Here is a Flickr set with the rest of my pictures.

Amy & Sebastian Return

Last weekend was busy and full with my CASA Kids' Halloween bowling party and our neighbor's party on Saturday.

Then, on Sunday, we met my cousin, Amy and her husband, Sebastian for brunch at Lighthouse in Sausalito. The weather was gorgeous. We enjoyed strolling around the downtown area, checking out some art and sitting by the water. It was a short but enjoyable visit. We are glad they found time to fit us into their busy weekend.

There are more photos from Sausalito in this Flickr set.

Here is a link to the story about the time they went with us to see the elephant seals.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How Tall This Fall?

I have had fun writing about pumpkin patch and Halloween memories.

Sam & Jon Halloween '03
St. Louis Halloween '01
Halloween '97
Halloween '98, '99 & '00
Too Cool '06
Waveland Ave '04 & '05
Star Wars '02 & '79ish
How Tall Past Falls

Cam posted some photos from our 2008 trip to the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch. Here are my favorites.

Impressively, we were, hopelessly lost inside of their corn maze again. Maybe some time we will try using the map.

Disappearing Pumpkin '06

These aren't the best photos of the day. I just thought this series was fun.

Pumpkin Chucking '07
Pumpkin Carving '06

For more photos from the pumpkin patch, check out the Flickr set.

Carroll's w/Tammi & Tracey '99
Carroll's w/Tracey '02
Carroll's w/Patience '03

Mary's Pumpkin Carving Pictures

Cam already posted about our annual Maddux family pumpkin carving fest.

I wanted to share my photos with you too.

Here are a few.

Check out this Flickr set for the rest.

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keep Breathing

Last week, I discovered a new favorite song by Ingrid Michaelson. It had me skipping, swaying and spinning around light poles on the streets of San Francisco.

My favorite line is:
I want to change the world
Instead I sleep...

But all that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

All that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing

All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

Are you spinning yet?

Here is the song that was my introduction to her music.

If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.

Cuz I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.

Cuz I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.
Sew on patches to all you tear.

Cuz I love you more than I could ever promise.
And you take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.
You take me the way I am.

It is a nice expression of my feelings of affection for and appreciation of Cam.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty - What is the answer?

(I almost started out this post with the words, "Dear Friends" but don't want to sound like John McCain.)

Awhile ago, Cameron told me about Blog Action Day, an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. They say their aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion. (photo credit - read the story)

In 2008, the Blog Action Day theme is Poverty. Again, they say, Global issues like poverty are extremely complex. There is no simple, clear answer. By asking thousands of different people to give their viewpoints and opinions, Blog Action Day creates an extraordinary lens through which to view these issues.

Today, I am short on solutions. What I do have are stories. Last Friday, on my way to court to file a report about one of the kids I work to advocate for through CASA, I passed a woman who was making her bed for herself on the sidewalk. She was settling into her sleeping bag at around 3:45pm. On my way back, I walked past her curled up in the sleeping bag, apparently trying to sleep just steps from the entrance to the underground train. (photo credit - read the story)

At the bottom of the stairs, I passed a man holding a cup out, begging for change. As I walked away, I heard him frantically saying, "Please, God." "Please, God." "Please, God." "Please, God." (photo credit - read the story)

I stopped by my office to drop off a few things then headed out to where Cam was picking me up for the day. I passed a woman, on another street corner, begging with her two young children. They were somewhere between 5-10. The boy was covering his face with something. I imagine he may have been feeling shame. Maybe he just didn't want to see all of the people walking past them like they were invisible. The girl was doing her best to help her mom engage the crowd. I wanted to ask this woman why she was out there with her kids but I am sure that she wouldn't be if she felt that she had a better option. (photo credit)

Why didn't I stop? On my way from the ferry to my office, a walk of about 10 minutes, I walk past an average of eight homeless people. I just cannot stop and talk to each of them let alone begin to help. So, generally, I stop and talk to no one. (photo credit - read the story)

I do what I can, working, for very little pay, 30 hours a week to try to help the 30 kids who are on my case load at CASA. I volunteer with Project Homeless Connect.

On Monday, I had lunch with a friend who also wants to do something, has also worked in the non-profit sector and also volunteers but we don't have the solution. (photo credit - read the story) Note: These photos are not of the people I saw last Friday but they are photos of the people I see everyday. They are from an amazing set of photos taken of people on the streets of San Francisco.

What are you doing? What should we all do? Here's one idea.

If you haven't yet, please visit and considering signing The One Campaign Declaration. As the video says, "We aren't asking for your money. We are asking for your voice."

Another way to have your voice heard is to vote. I am hopeful that if we elect a president who has a plan for addressing poverty, if we elect Barack Obama, that will be a step in the right direction but we all have to be willing to help. He says, I'm asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change... I'm asking you to believe in yours.

Cam and his students have some ideas. What are yours?

Here are links to other things I have written on the issue of poverty:
Make Poverty History
What I want for Mother's Day
We are African
Tonight's the Night the World Begins Again.
Why I live here
Stood-up by the mayor
Do I look taller?
I had to wear a hairnet.
Why I'm bitter (and appreciate him noticing).

Thanks for your interest and caring. Peace.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Help is on the way...

This morning, Cam saw online that Angel Island had been engulfed by fire last night.

I have the day off today for Columbus Day. So, after dropping Sam off at school, I drove down to the end of our peninsula to get a look at Angel Island now.

Here is a Flickr set of my photos from Angel Island today.

Here is one photo of the blaze from last night. There are more amazing photos here.

This one was taken from the top of the Island on Saturday around noon. The Angel Island photos Cameron posted of our weekend adventures begin here. I'm thankful not to have been any closer to that fire, that everyone made it off the island safely and to have explored it so thoroughly before the blaze. I wonder how it will be changed. Another reason to look forward to the rain when things turn green and start growing again.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What was your most interesting day?

One night last month, after work but before dinner Cameron, Sam and I went for a walk around our circle. Fairly recently, we learned that three laps make a mile. We'd like to walk at least a mile a day. Sometimes it happens.

As we were walking, we were talking about our days. Cam told me a bit about an exercise he had given his students at the Academy of Art. It sounded fun. I thought that we should ask each other some of the interview questions he assigned to them. The first one was to ask someone about their most interesting day of the past year.

When I asked Cam to name his, he almost immediately said it was the day we took the Maple Loop Pass hike in the Cascade National Forrest. During that hike, I said it was maybe the craziest thing I had ever done. (Hiking for hours through snow on top of unfamiliar mountains in sandals was pretty crazy.) I love the memories of that hike and our time in the Cascades (which I took to calling a second honeymoon) but I haven't gotten around to writing about it yet.

There are many family reunion memories I still want to document on the blog. When I started thinking about the reunion, I decided my most interesting day of the past 12 months was probably the day that Sam and I went paragliding in North Vancouver.

But before deciding on my most interesting day, I went back and thought about the past year, a month at a time. I remembered that a year ago, in mid September of '07, I started my job at CASA. We laughed that because of the job, I was late getting home and we were late carving our pumpkins last October.

In November, a bunch of relatives from my dad's side of the family came to the Bay Area for a Powell Family Thanks-

In December, Cam and I celebrated Christmas on our own and my dad had his surgery.

We spent New Year's in Chicago with Eric, Sarah, Ian and Avery. It is funny how now that I live in this amazing place, leaving it is such an extraordinary thing. We miss Chicago. I enjoyed going back there immensely.

Then, things started to get fuzzy. I couldn't remember what we did for Valentine's Day. I figure we both worked and that I fell asleep early on the couch. I remember it getting dark early in February and feeling like I was solar powered since I would lose energy as soon as the sun went down. Turns out that was the night we participated in the SF Pillow Fight. We also went skiing in February.

Off the top of my head, I couldn't think of specific memories from March. I'm glad we have the blogs to remind me of camping at Salt Point, my mom's visit, the Shawn Mullins concert...

In April, when Cam mentioned his birthday, I remembered the amazing time we had at Yosemite with Jim and Liz.

May was pretty fuzzy too. (We participated in Pangaea Day and experienced Beard Papa's cream puffs on Mother's Day, went to back to Maker Faire and took Sam on his first cable car ride on Memorial Day.)

In June, I knew we went to DC but had forgotten about our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There was the Powell family reunion, in northern Washington and Canada on July. August was full of birthday bonfire parties and Sam starting middle school. This month and last month, there has been a lot of focus on election stuff. I wonder what I will remember from September and October of 2008 when I try to recall them in 2009.

Hopefully, I will remember the hike I took with Sam and Leo the last Saturday in Sep-
tember. We didn't have a camera with us. Cam was in the city for Lily Bunka. There was no food in the house so I took the boys out to breakfast then we climbed a different trail to a different part of Ring Mountain. When we arrived at the enormous rock configuration, that was our destination, I sat in the shade, reading a captivating book while they climbed and played. I didn't know what to expect when they started calling for me to come and see what they found.

In the trunk of a tree, they had discovered an opossum. All I could see was the side of its head. It didn't seem to be moving and I was surprised that it was still there after all of their yelling and coming to get me. I guessed that it might be dead but they said it was blinking and that its ears had moved. I praised them for not poking at it with the sticks that were between them and the tree and suggested that if it was alive, it was likely pretty afraid and that we should back away from the animal we had cornered before it felt the urge to defend itself. As I was backing away, after them, the opossum suddenly turned its head to face me. It was starting and made me make a silly, startled noise. That was interesting.

While writing this post, I've been looking through pictures from the past 12 months and am reminded of many little adventures, like that one, that I hadn't shared yet.

I hope I will remember dancing with Cam and Sam last weekend to Ben Kweller at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. My favorite songs were Falling...

and Penny on the Track. I wait. I wait. For something good. For something great. Go. Just go. Find a place that you don't know. I see. I see all the things that I should be. Play. Just play... I try... I wait. I wait. For something good. For something great.

Thanks for letting me reminisce. What was your most interesting day of the past 12 months?