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Work like you don\'t need the money.
Love like nobody has hurt you.
Sing like nobody can hear you.
Live like you\'ve received all your wishes.

Teaching patience, the toy battles.


Let’s face it, shopping is not high on my enjoyment list.  And, there is nothing worse than shopping and watching my little pride and joy give me the look of disappointment when I tell him “No, you’re not getting another transformer today.”  Usually this event leaves me feeling like I’m depriving my son of some magical childhood experience.  It amazes me the mastery and skill a 9-year old has on emotional manipulation of his parents.  That much power should never be given to a minor.

This scene in the aisles of stores is repeated on almost every trip to a store with a decent toy section.  I must say he handles rejection very well, it’s almost as if he has been through sales bootcamp in school and has learned that in sales you need to get at least ten no’s before you get one yes.  He sells the sizzle, never talks cost and can highlight feature and benefits…all in less :30 seconds.

No matter what was tried to get him to stop, he would continue.  He really is a great kid, and he isn’t throwing fits and screaming in the store, but it is annoying and not a lot of fun to repeat a process over and over.  I just want him to understand that in life you do not always get what you want.

Than one day while in Kmart, I had an epiphany.  An idea popped in my head that was pure genius.  With the new Transformers movie approaching there is a lot of new Transformer toys on the shelf, and I knew he would be extra motivated to get as many of them as he could.  If my idea worked, it could save the world…well at least my world.

The idea?  Layaway.  He picks whichever toy he really wants and we put it on layaway.  Than, he does extra chores to make some cash and makes the payments.  It seemed kind of crazy to put a $25 toy on layaway, but that is exactly what happened.  And right now Optimus Prime is sitting in the layaway room of Kmart in Corvallis, he will be able to fight evil in the world as soon as my son pays the $1.74 balance that he owes.

Since Optimus has been on layaway there have been no attempts to “sell” me on buying him another toy.  When we go into Kmart he goes back to the layaway area and he makes his payments, usually around $1.00 to $2.00.  The clerks are very nice and go over his balance and payment schedule, he listens because they are giving him the information he needs to get what he wants.

It is too early to know if the layaway solution will continue to work, but it sure has worked some magic so far.  He has a sense of urgency to help around the home, he keeps track of his money and balance, and has not asked once to have another toy purchased for him.

I am confident we will be using this option again in the near future, even if the price of doing it is a little higher, the overall cost is much lower.  And, that is something to think about.



Sunset at Lincoln City


lil guy with Kodak Folding Brownie




Getting away from the noise, the clutter.  Escaping.  Whether it is through music, a good book, a great conversation, I’m sure we can agree that it is necessary.

A post I talk about this is:  Finding Focus at 100 mph


Sunset on Irish Bend

Sunset on Irish Bend

The mountains the sun is tucking itself behind is the Oregon Coastal Range. This was taken on my way home one evening.

Do you see opportunities and stop to seize them? Or do you keep going?

I have a lot of photos where I’ve pulled over while driving. And, there are even more that I noticed, kept going and continuing to think in my head how awesome a photo of that would be. Then the opportunity is gone.

I think that is a huge difference between good and great. A higher ratio of opportunities seized versus passed up. I’d really like to be great, but it will not happen if I keep passing up opportunities.

I’m glad I got this one. And you be sure to get them when you see them, too.

Texture: Life needs it


Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces. ― C. JoyBell C.

Nature UnEdited.

Sunset at Irish Bend, Willamette River


I climbed over and through blackberry bushes to get this photo.  I’d say it was well worth it.  I only wish I had my Digital camera with me, but I’d say that the iPhone 5 did a pretty nice job.

The photo is as shot, with no edits and no enhancements.  The sunset was simply spectacular.


Exploring with a camera armed with imagination.


2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

iPhonagraphy: My new addiction.

Downtown CorvallisLately, I’ve taken a lot of photos with my iPhone. It’s becoming an addiction really. If I see something while I’m driving, I’ll stop and capture it. The above photo is from this morning on the way to get some coffee in Downtown Corvallis, edited on my iPad using Adobe.Willamette River - Irish BendI’m also taking a fancy to interesting edits of the photos I take. I guess the taking of the photos is like a gateway drug to other addictions. Photos, editing, Instagram, Facebook…it’s hopeless. And, it’s a lot of fun! The plus side is that the more something is done, the better one becomes at doing it. In time (fingers crossed), practice trumps talent.

Halsey Mill

Here are some of the apps I’ve used the most:

Editing Apps: Adobe Photoshop Touch, Snapseed, Diptic

Camera Apps: Hipstamatic, Instagram, Pro HDR

Follow me on Instagram!


I’ll follow you back and see what you are creating!