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Showing posts from January, 2010

For Better and For Worse

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Last night, my dear friend Gail got married. The bride and groom's adult children, her son and daughter and his daughter, all participated in the ceremony, attended by a few dear friends and family. "Sweet Spot" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian At times like that, when people are pledging their lives to each other and picturing shared dreams and growing old together, it makes you think. And so it was really distressing in the conversational time after the cutting of the cake and all the food munching and champagne sipping to hear the story of one of the guests, a nice man whom the groom has worked with for some three decades. Mr. X had a bone marrow biopsy  to confirm or rule out  multiple myeloma only two days before the wedding. His wife decided she'd vacation in Hawaii rather than be there for the test. And when the doctors began to mention treatment protocols to him and he called her to talk about it, she told him he should move to his childhood home to be with hi

Sepia Saturday: John J. M. Biggs

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The photo today is grainy and blurry, the result of scanning and trying to enlarge  a tiny photo taken by my paternal grandfather  Lloyd Arnett when he was a teen. The man with the horse and buggy is John James Madison Biggs. Lloyd's mother was Mary Biggs, daughter of John and his wife Dicy Reed Biggs. John James Madison Biggs was born March 5, 1837 in McCracken County, Kentucky to Elijah Biggs, Jr. and his wife Mary "Polly" Brown, the fourth of eight known children, though there were said to be ten. The family moved to Illinois when John was a boy and his father Elijah died when John was only 12. About a year later, Polly Brown Biggs married Larkin Cantrell. For whatever reason, shortly after her marriage, she farmed out the boys to a local Williamson County family, J.W. McCreery and his wife.  All the Biggs boys were said to have served in the Union army during the Civil War, but I've never found John's records.  John married Dicy Caroline Reed  in Moultr

Self Portrait and Six Things

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So I need to tell you six more little known things about me. 2. I got to attend a film makers' breakfast hosted by Robert Redford a few years ago. (and his Levi's were 30/30s if I remember right  and yes, ladies, he had a great tush). 3.  I have an addiction to books and should never be let loose at Amazon.com or Powell's Books in Portland. 4. I made my living writing for six years, though at the time I considered it "practicing law." I did legal analysis and wrote decisions and orders for the Department of Energy's Office of Hearings and Appeals in Washington, D.C. (No clients, except pro bono ones, and possibly the world's most boring set of legal regs.) 5. Right now I have two malfunctioning HP printers. 6. I was really bummed when Dreyer's discontinued Ultimate Caramel Cup ice cream. 7.  I sometimes dream of things before they happen.

Is Anyone Still Doing Self-Portrait Wednesday?

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I haven't seen a self-portrait post on anyone's blog for a long time, but I always loved them. Most of us hate to be the subject of a photograph, captured for all time the way someone else sees us. Bloggers, especially, at least the ones I know, vastly prefer to be the one seeing through the lens. But I told Relyn of Come Sit by My Fire that I'd take up  the challenge to tell at least 7 things about myself that aren't widely known. So here goes, complete with a self-portrait from last August before those journeys of discovery that were supposed to transform me. 1. When I was a 20-something and a feminist activist, I won ribbons for my cooking at the State Fair of Texas. A third place ribbon for salad (potato) the first year. A third place ribbon for drop cookies, a second place ribbon for spectacular desserts (puff pastry), and a first place ribbon for salad, the second year. One of the salad judges came and told me that it was an outrag

Mosaic Monday: Barn Owl

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I usually go for a thematic or color mosaic when I do them, but I got some great shots of this guy and wanted to share. To see the mosaics of some wonderfully creative folks, go to Mary's Little Red House . You can wish Mary happy birthday while you're at it.

Sepia Saturday: Daniel and Cyrene

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It's another Sepia Saturday, so I'd like to introduce to you Daniel Clayton and his wife Cyrene Moore Clayton. Daniel, son of John and Elizabeth (Elly) Clayton, was born October 14, 1824 in Richland County, Ohio. He was probably the youngest in a family of ten children, though the birth order is a bit hard to pin down because census records were not particularly detailed during his childhood and adolescence. It was only in 1850 that individual members of a household were named in a census and their ages given. That having been said, we do know that Daniel married a local girl, Mary Craig, when he was 21. They married March 10,1846 in Richland County, Ohio and Mary Craig Clayton died  on December 17, 1846, in Allen County, Indiana. Given that her death came just over nine months after the marriage, I'm guessing that she died in childbirth, though I don't know for sure. Daniel's father John died a few months after his daughter-in-law. About two

Birthday Greetings

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You've met my friend Adrienne. She and Sarah and I did the girlfriend trip to Mexico. Then she and I did a photo workshop with Jan Phillips. Adrienne's great to travel with: fun, flexible, funny, unflappable. So (shhhh......) today's her birthday. Tonight she and her friend Lisa and her niece Jenny and I are having dinner and then going to see Xanadu. (I'd better go put the tickets in the car before I forget). But I just wanted to say, Happy Birthday Friend! How old is she? I'll never tell. Redheads like to be mysterious. And I don't want to get her Irish up.

{Echo} Faces: Thank Heaven for Little Girls

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In the spirit of collaboration (and because I don't have much to say today) I decided to join in the Flickr group  bi-weekly project started by Chrysti Hydeck and Susan Tuttle . The gist of the Echo project is that people partner and each pair posts a photo diptych on his/her blog that illustrates the chosen theme for the bi-weekly meme. This week's theme is Faces. Because I don't have a partner yet (anyone interested?) I'm doing double duty. Big sister. Little sister. Isn't it fun to have photogenic subjects?

These Are My "Best of 2009"

I've been sorting and discarding (sort of a photo purge) but these are some of the keepers from 2009. Hope you enjoy the show.

Tickled Pink

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Pink. Such a girlie color. One of my favorites. Top row:  Chrysanthemum showoff one of my Cinque Terre prints Latin Dance Poster in Fremont District, Seattle Middle Row: journal page collage background  reflection photo taken at Seattle Center reflection photo taken in Cabo San Lucas Bottom row: one of the "Dancing" series images Chihuly glass image layered with a reflection image Seattle skyline taken through a glass panel  at Seattle Art Museum's  Sculpture Park To see the rest of the lovely MONDAY MOSAIC play-alongs, go to Mary's blog Little Red House . She's the hostess with the mostest. At last count, there were 98 people participating. How about you?

Another Sepia Saturday

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These three darling children are first-generation Swedish Americans. Oscar (left), Mabel and Elmer Miller were the children of Samuel Philander Bengtsson Miller and Wilhelmina Blomgren Nelson Miller. Last week, I introduced you to the children's maternal grandparents. The little boy on the right (circa 1906 or 1907) is my maternal grandfather. He was the first child of the marriage, though he had two older step-siblings from his mother's first marriage. She married Samuel after being widowed by the time she was 30. Elmer was born in the Frenchtown Precinct, Walla Walla County, Washington on October 5, 1900. For those of you who don't know the area, "Frenchtown" is now the home of the L'Ecole No. 41 Winery. Samuel and Wilhelmina were living on homestead land  that Wilhelmina proved up after her first husband died. Samuel had staked a homestead in Wallowa County, Oregon, perhaps 100 miles away from Walla Walla, Washington. Sometime ar

Riding the Rails

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"Raspberries" © 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian One of my neighbors to the north and fellow blogger Delorse  did a post about rail graffiti  not too long ago. She called these spray-painters "the cowboys of the Art World" and likened boxcars to an art gallery riding the rails. Now, as you can see, I was intrigued by boxcar graffiti last summer. So I'm wondering -- would anyone play along if we had a day (preferably when we'd all had some warm weather to go out shooting) to post boxcar art photos?

Coming Alive

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Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs  is people who have come alive. -Harold Whitman Sometimes it seems all too easy to go through life on autopilot. Letting the busy take you from place to place, not giving yourself a moment to consider whether there is any quality in your harried life, whether this is the way you really want to live. I come alive when I stop and focus  on the little surprises all around me, when I let the sacred speak to me and through me. When I connect with nature, even briefly. When I am in a place that has a veil of holiness. When I really listen to the sound of waves dancing onto the land. What makes you come alive?

One of the Things He Did Well

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On my way into the grocery store yesterday, the fancy store that's like a field trip, I had to pass between rows of metal pails filled with cellophane-wrapped flowers. I frequently succumb and take home  a bunch or two, just because I love their cheery faces and their sensual perfume. But instead of tempting me, for some reason  they just reminded me that flowers were one of the things my darling "wus-band" did well. He brought me flowers, arms full of flowers, frequently. Not every week, but often. Oh, of course he'd send me grand arrangements to say Happy Mother's Day or Congratulations or Happy Anniversary or I Love You or what have you. He even sent me gorgeous arrangements on Valentine's Day the first two or three years after we split up. But he knew that I love to peel the wrappers off bunches of Gerbera daisies and sunflowers, freesias and roses, chrysanthemums, or just about anything floral, choose just the r

Another Photo Montage: Shades of Gray

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Don't want to bore you but a lot of you seem to enjoy these photo montages. This time I'll tell you where I took the photos and give a context. And though there are mosaic builders on the web, this one was done by hand from a template I created. Upper left: detail on Manhattan building Upper center: tree branch, Wright Park, Tacoma Upper right: machinery gear parts, Fremont district, Seattle 2nd row left: garden angel from my garden 2nd row center: view through the clock window at MuseƩ d'Orsay toward Sacre Coeur, Paris 2nd row right: marina on Lake Union, Seattle, in the fog Lower Left: sunflower at farmer's market, Tacoma's Proctor District Lower Center: Building detail, Manhattan, about a block from Times Square Lower Right: art installation in window in Belltown neighborhood, Seattle, featuring fishing line with suspended CD's It seems really appropriate today, a totally gray and rainy day.

A Burst of Color

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Don't feel like using my words today, except to say I hope these color your world. "Just Another Wallflower" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian  "My Mother Hasn't Named Me Yet" © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian  From the "Unfolding" Series - not yet named © 2010 Meri Arnett-Kremian

Sepia Saturday

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I paid a little visit to Kim's Mouse Medicine blog this morning and saw she was participating in a play-along called Sepia Saturday started by a guy named Alan whose blog is called News from Nowhere. So I decided to jump into the photo pool with an ancestor picture of my own. Let me introduce you to Johan August Jonasson Blomgren (known to his descendants as August Blomgren) and his fetching bride Charlotta Jonasdotter. They were my mother's paternal great-grandparents. August was born in 1833 in Halleberga Parish, Kronoberg County, Sweden. Charlotta was born in 1833 in Madesjo, Kalmar County, Sweden. They married on April 11, 1857 in Madesjo.  Swedish parish records tell us that August was a blacksmith. He probably also farmed. Charlotta bore eight children: Emilie, Jonas Joseph,  Carl, Adolf, Wilhelmina, Frans, Anna Charlotta, and Aron Gottfried Blomgren. Emilie, Carl, Adolf, and Frans all died in childhood or adolescence. As the family accumulate

R.I.P.

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I had to let my little Shadow go yesterday. Her kidneys were failing and she wasn't eating. I couldn't sit by and watch her starve. She was the sweetest cat you could ever imagine. She stole my heart as a tiny kitten when she climbed into my purse and told me that she'd adopted me. She was indifferent to catnip, learned to hold her ground when the dog wanted to play, was incredibly talkative and the most gentle of souls. Her green eyes were luminous. The orange stripe on her nose was her unique beauty mark. People always were amazed at how friendly and affectionate she was. She was the grande dame of kitties. I'll miss her.

And Since I'm in a Blue Mood. . .

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Here's some blue for you.

Camera Angles

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I was cruising through my photos, looking for my favorites, (I've been laying out a photography book to publish) and I noticed that I had taken two compositionally-related images at very different places. Step Pyramid at Saqqara   Museum of Glass, Tacoma And if the cone of the hot shop looks like it's leaning, it's not an optical illusion. It's leaning. But what makes me catch my breath about each of them is the blue, blue sky. It's been in short supply for the past few days.

Orange

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Maybe it's the box of Satsumas that's got me thinking this color. But here's a color splash of some of my "orange" photos in the past year.

Unexpected

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I drove up to Skagit County on Thursday after hanging some mixed media pieces at Dragonfly in Seattle. And an unexpected site greeted me as I drove toward   my favorite little "shabby chic" place. I first thought they were snow geese, but the necks are too long. So they're either trumpeter or Arctic swans, here to winter in the Skagit Valley. Any bird experts out there?