Thursday, March 6, 2014

From Letters to pictures

Lately I have been working on putting together the old letters, and once i had them assembled I tried to load them into one of the blog2print sites and make a book.  It worked but was expensive, so that the letters and picture part of my blog, just from two months of posts made a book over $120 for a hardback, so I bought an $8 pdf of it and called that good.

Now, while I am thinking about what to write about next I have been looking at the pictures I have on my desktop from playing with old Photographs on 365 project and on PicMonkey and Ribbet

So I will share some of those today
 When I was a child I lived in the desert, the high mountain desert of Wyoming, and spent summers at 10,000 feet in snow and tundra. But somehow, I wanted to grow up and be a dolphin. At first I went through a phase of being very angry that my parents had not named me flipper, then when I talked them, who were both so afraid of water that they held on to the towel rack all the way through their bath, into signing me up for swim lessons, and I spent hours swimming underwater, pretending to be the mermaid I knew I would grow up to be. And that was years before Disney showed me there could be redheaded mermaids. Ariel came to the big screen the year I started teaching and I took my first class to the theater to see.
 The picture is of a cigar box that a friend from an online forum made because he knew me as "Echo"

Hello, Hello!! I have named myself "Echo," not because of the myth connected to the sad girl who wasted away to nothing but her voice, although after I am gone, I should be pleased to think that some of my words linger on. I love the images of places where one stands and shouts out in joy and waits to hear the echo come back.

When I was a young girl, going through the, "I love horses" phase of my life, there was one very special Morgan mare living on my cousin's ranch in Wyoming. I never owned her, but I rode her, and fell off of her, and admired her and dreamed of her. Her name was "Echoes of Pandora" but we called her "echo" and when I first began posting on forums like, and I used her name as mine, "echo." I have posted some of my things on redgage using "echo" too. Sometimes that name has been taken, and spaces aren't allowed so I use pandorasecho, on twitter and a few other places as well.

Gradually I reminded myself, when it became tempting, even fun, to get involved in the sniping and rude behavior that the anonymity of the web invites, that I only wanted to leave behind "echoes of kind words," and I remembered that what Pandora had left behind, an echo after all the troubles she had turned loose on the world, was HOPE. So passing on Hope, and kindness became my goal for any interactions I would have on-line. A goal, which has helped me to police my own words and posts so as not to injure someone I've never met, just because I can think of the funny, cutting thing to write.

I have always needed creative activity. I have to write, or draw, or weave or sculpt or paint, or doodle on a rock with a sharpie. Having a blog seems to fit in with this need very well. I usually, doodle and then put it away in a storage box but sometimes I want to share what I have done, beyond leaving the doodled on rock on the river's edge for someone else to find and wonder about.

When I wonder what are the things I am expert at, what can I share, I come up with the following things that I have quite a bit of experience in:


hopefully, I will send echoes of my knowledge out to where it can help someone else as well. It is such a mixed world of pleasure, beauty and pain and ugliness. Hopefully the echoes of my life leave a little bit more in the balance on the side of appreciation and a little less on the side of isolation. I know that I have read things other people have written, and looked at their artwork, and found myself just a little better because of it. Perhaps it is my turn to give a little back.
 This Pioneer Cemetery is on the Campus of the Oregon Ducks. I got to stroll and take pictures while my husband was attending a music Festival

“And I never started to plow in my life
That some one did not stop in the road
And take me away to a dance or picnic.
I ended up with forty acres;
I ended up with a broken fiddle—
And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
And not a single regret.”
― Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology

“the much-sought prize of eternal youth
Is just arrested growth.”
― Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology

“I tramped through the country
To get the feeling
That I was not a separate thing from the earth.
I used to lose myself
By lying with eyes half-open in the woods.
Sometimes I talked with animals…”
― Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
 Here the real winter sport seems to involve trying to keep up with the weather and understand that it isn't spring. Everything is confused by the drought and unusually warm December and January so it looks like April around here and I'm afraid none of the blooming fruit trees will produce fruit this fall.
 this is a painting I did years ago when I was a freshman in college, but we are in the midst of clouds and getting a real full moon is not happening, in fact we had 9 1/2 inches of rain at my house since last Friday

“I fancied my luck to be witnessing yet another full moon. True, I’d seen hundreds of full moons in my life, but they were not limitless. When one starts thinking of the full moon as a common sight that will come again to one’s eyes ad-infinitum, the value of life is diminished and life goes by uncherished. ‘This may be my last moon,’ I sighed, feeling a sudden sweep of sorrow; and went back to reading more of The Odyssey.” 
― Roman Payne
 This is my oldest son with his blind, loving dog and the fishing float that he found while our at sea crabbing
and my husband and I with our youngest son

 Hobbs Wall was a redwood logging company which had the logging camp shown above. That isn't my picture but one that the Del Norte County Museum was displaying on their facebook page from the late 1870's or 1880's I'm guessing. The three bottom pictures are mine. Two rooms in my house were two of these bunkhouses. Then a third room was built between them to make a three room house and gradually a second floor and other rooms were added but the original roof and wooded shingles is in the closets and crawl spaces upstairs.
 In this picture the books that stand out are the three I have published.  There is
Duffy Barkley is Not a Dog
Duffy Barkley: Seek Well
and Double Rime In the Oregon Trail
 another Christmas photo collage

 a treasure of a picture that my son Austin took while out at sea to tell his Mom a special message
 My life has been filled with books, and it started with these, the kids picture books that were always abundant in our house even when we were low on money for almost everything else. On the wall is the quilt from my crib that my grandmother made for me.

"You may have riches
and treasures untold
mountains of rubies and
boxes of gold
but richer than I
you never can be.
I had a Mother
who read to me."
Author unknown at least by me
It isn't possible that weather can be just one image, I swear. You have to have others to convey the concept.

"La la la la la dee oh,
Whether the weather be rain or snow
Pretending can make it real
A snowy pasture, a green and grassy field

Walking In the Sunshine, sing a little sunshine song
Put a smile upon your face as if there's nothing wrong
Think about a good time had a long time ago
Think about forgetting about your worries and your woes
Walking In The Sunshine, sing a little sunshine song " Roger Miller

 Here the real winter sport seems to involve trying to keep up with the weather and understand that it isn't spring. Everything is confused by the drought and unusually warm December and January so it looks like April around here and I'm afraid none of the blooming fruit trees will produce fruit this fall.
a poster I made when my boys were little and the youngest was deeply into the Irene Vinton picture book

Look out for Pirates

Friday, February 14, 2014

Christmas 2013 Visiting Mom in her New Home and Facing getting older

Ausin found that glass float at sea
Emerson and Greg and I
  photo by Aunt Laura

Dixie and Greg Goode

Merry Christmas 2013 and Happy 2014
Photo Card 2013

This was a year of changes for our extended family, but we are finding ourselves at the end of it with a lot to be thankful for.

As things and people grow up and grow older, and move in and out of our life, we find ourselves with a lot more time to rediscover the relationship we began when we got married thirty year ago (May 21st) and the fun part is that we still find out that there is much we enjoy best of all when it is just the two of us.

When the year began, we had my Mom and Lance still living in Cody, Wyoming where my Mom and her Dad had both grown up, as did my brothers and I. Since spring, her health became so bad that she really couldn’t continue to live with just Lance. That was sad for Lance because he had to give up the job he has loved and been proud of for 19 years, but things have a way of adding blessings when other things are taken away and they have been living a new adventure in Virginia with my oldest, younger brother, Brett. Lance has even learned to drive around to take care of animals on the farm there.

I got to go visit them for ten days in July and then this Fall, Brett married Emily. Emily and her two teenagers, were really nice to me when I met them and wonderful to Mom and Lance. I am glad to have them in the family.

Greg’s Sister, Laura came to visit us at the start of summer, and that was wonderful. She is always energetic and fun to have around. Then Greg’s other sister, Wendy scared us by wrecking her motorcycle and getting some serious facial injuries but she has recovered ok, or so we hear as we didn’t actually make it to Wyoming to see them or Greg’s parents.

We also had our former Brother-in-law, Vince and his wife living only 5 hours away, in Salem, Oregon when the year began, so visiting family was possible any weekend – but now they have moved to West Palm Beach, Florida. So we find that family has spread apart from Coast to Coast and we are more thankful than ever for the speed of contact allowed via phone and text and internet.

And at the start of the year, Austin was together with a girl we love, and her 18 month old daughter. Since then they have broken up and maybe that was best for them. But remembering how my kids were adopted by their daycare grandparents, and just had three sets of real grandparents, we decided that simply because we got to be Angel’s grandparents because our son met her Mom, didn’t mean we had to give her up when they broke up, so we have stayed friends with the mom and daughter and see them sometimes more often than our boys.

Emerson and Lula were in their Freshman year at UC Santa Cruz as 2012 began. As it ends they are living here in Crescent City and taking time off from college as they await their own child, due in May. Emerson has gotten hired by the school district to work with handicapped children and seems to be getting along well there.

Austin has been out of town, both up the coast at Westport, Washington fishing for tuna, and down the Coast at Bodega By, California crabbing. He is on a fishing boat called the Barbara Marie which is supposedly based out of Crescent City, but the harbor still is undergoing rebuilding from the tsunami damage. Maybe someday he will be able to fish from home.

Greg has been active. He started a new youth Choir here in Crescent City in the evenings on Mondays and sings in the Crescent City Community choir on Wednesdays. His school classes expanded to include a period of Drama as well as the band and choir he was doing, so he is pretty much on the go non stop.

I have been writing, and when not writing have been trying to market my books. I got a set sold to a school district so the 5th grade can teach from 38 of the Oregon Trail books. I have done school presentations as an author and am working with one class to try and publish their class writing by the end of the year. I have been researching Pompeii and Mt. St. Helens for my next novel and really having fun with the small successes that are coming more frequently. I have had favorable interviews and reviews from Europe and India, just a couple but enough to smile and call myself an international author, and my first novel, Duffy Barkley is not a Dog, won a “Betty Award” for favorite tween series.

We devoted some time this summer to trying to save the local drive in theater from going defunct after the movies all switch to digital projectors, a change which would cost them about 80 to 100 thousand. Honda had a project to but projector for 9 theaters, but we didn’t manage to win that. So unless we find a miracle that era ends. I haven’t given up on miracles yet however.

I love Christmas and the gift of going through my family and friends list each year and remembering why you are so special and important to me. I hope that this finds you weathering the changes and remembering the blessings.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Dixie and Greg

New Years Goals

Brookings High Music Trip met up with a couple college freshmen

I have lived 1,000 lives
Trying to Save Red's Drive in
at Honda's Project Drive-In

Crescent City Harbor

Greg, Patty and Willie

Wave Watching

Grandpa tries to do hair

Crab feed

The old folks at home

Austin Dropping by for a minute

Emerson and Lula flew home for spring break

Home airport

in the redwoods

Walker Road

Ford and Em on the LoveSac

Making Music

The Lady Washington


Art with an Angel

Leaving Santa Cruz

UCSC Koi pond

You've been framed

visiting the NEIGHbors

Greg and Caesar

Greg and his sister Laura

South Beach Sunshine

Lance working at his new home

Mom at Virginia Home

walking KoKo Jo

My New Sister in Law and Lance and Mom

Lance learned to drive

Lance and his Niece, Lacy

Me and Mom

Emily and Brett

Vince and Marcy before they moved away

playing in the Smith River


The Smith

Checking out the tuna haul

Austin showing Dad where he lives


Christmas at Charleston, Oregon

Shore Acres

Austin on a Crab run
Austin and Trisha

Rocky being adored as is his due

A long time ago in a country far far away