Tuesday, March 08, 2016

My new digs

I've started a new blog.  Hope to start blogging again.  Come visit:
Island Idiotgirl

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

England and Wales trip

Don, Clara, and I are going to take a trip to Wales and England in the first half of April. Thinking that we'll probably use this blog. http://claradonsusie.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Choose this design because of all the hummingbirds on my island. Hoping to write more. Have retired from Adobe. Working on my Joseph book. Hoping to write more. Writing is hard.

Friday, January 06, 2012


I guess puppy is one of my most important new years resolutions. Some basic facts:

  • Bought her from Erin. Not cheap. I had been thinking about Cavalier spaniel for a while. Having Erin get the advantage and knowing about her puppyhood helped me to loosen the bankbook. But obviously just the cost is a commitment. (Plus it’s a little life.)
  • She is cute but strong willed. I’ve been reading and reading and doing what I can to train her. But she is still working in her own charming way to be the one in charge.
  • I can see that my isolated, hermit lifestyle will be a problem for a dog. She is coming to be reasonable with me. Absolutely insane once we go beyond the privacy of our little dyad. So I need to move into training and find ways to let her socialize with other dogs and other people.
  • A final piece of the puzzle that made me decide to get Sadie: Nina and Raymond’s visit with Dobbie. A well trained dog. Committed owners. I have to keep remembering that is my goal. I feel that I let Koda and even Daphne (my last two dogs down, stories for another day here). Their annoying behaviors were parallel to my lack of knowledge and commitment as an owner. So I’m taiing the ownership of responsibility to ensure that Sadie behaves and that I’m a strong, loving owner.

So my commitment for the year is to lead Sadie down a path towards behavior that gives her and me a good life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Almost a year

Since I posted on my blog. How pathetic is that. Here is a link to my recent note on Facebook about my glorious neighborhood:


Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Whidbey? Why now?

Looks like I’m buying a house on Whidbey Island (located about 20 miles north of Seattle in the Puget Sound)! To tell the truth I’m as surprised as my friends and family: “You’re what? What about your garden? What about your cute bungalow? What about Seattle? What about Greenlake?”

It all started the week of July 4. I rented a house on Whidbey Island for my kids to come hang out for a few days. Nate and family came from Virginia. Sarah and her crowd were there. Also Bevin and Don. It was a beautiful house with a beautiful view of Puget Sound and Camano Island--located just outside of Langley. We went on a couple of walks (torn away from the view), and I saw a house for sale that I had always thought a beautiful house. Couldn’t resist going to see the house.

The house wasn’t as perfect on the inside as it is on the outside, but it got me thinking and fantasizing about living on the island. I searched out a few houses, found an agent, and went out the next weekend to see a few more houses. That weekend I did fall in love with a house. Spent another couple of weekends looking at other houses on the island. But this had been love at first sight.

Don’s first response had been, “Over my dead body!” But he mellowed. And last weekend we had an offer accepted on the house. With luck, we’ll be moving to Whidbey Island in early November.

Whidbey House

I have the luxury of taking my job with me. I can work remotely. This gives me a chance to simplify and downsize. Lots of wonderful places to walk and enjoy. A great sandy beach just down the road. Now instead of driving to the country, I can drive to the city.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I spent at least a decade in academia. So I’m well aware that a tech “sabbatical” is a pretty pathetic thing. Three weeks, every five years.

I start mine on my birthday a little over a week from now. I’m attaching my extra three weeks to a “shutdown” (Adobe has 4 weeks of enforced vacation this year, one for each quarter, taking vacation as it turns out helps Adobe’s bottom line).

What to do with this precious gift of time? Something as far away from work (and it’s inflection on my life) as possible. What is my life at work? I admit up front I have an amazing job. If I must have a job, this job is an intellectual and monetary blessing. Here’s what I do. Figuring out what is next. Lots of strategy and imagination. Never a world of daily, repetitious grind exactly. But. It’s stressful. Action items. Next steps. Plans. Milestones. Proposals. Processes. Workflows. Guidelines. Accountability. Business goals. Lots of meetings. Lots of talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. You get the idea. . . . .

So here’s my plan. I get in my car and head East. I’m hoping to land in Williamsburg, where my son and family live, about half way into the two weeks--more or less. Really the plan is no plan. I have GPS. I have a computer. I have an iPOD. I have cell phones (which thankfully may be “out of service” a significant part of the time). Take it a day at a time. Smell the roses. I keep inviting folks to come with me. The requirements: No planning to speak of. And I get to decide what comes from the speakers. Mostly books. So far no one seems up for the trip. Which is fine. Another part of the plan: not much talk, no action items, mushy milestones, quiet, peace. I think this means avoiding cities. Which is fine. Also probably not that many museums, tourist musts.

On the way out, I’m going to complete the tour of the history that organized my childhood, my young adulthood, that presses on my imaginative life still. Mormonism. My son has called me an gentle apostate, as I recall (Nathan you can correct the phrasing). But here are the only cities on my plan beyond Williamsburg/ Jamestown. Nauvoo, Illinois (I’ve been there). I have a colleague at work from Illinois who needed a basic lesson in how to find these places on my list. Kirtland, Ohio (haven’t been there). Palmyra and Manchester, New York.

That’s pretty much the plan. Though my colleague at work recommends Highway 12 in Idaho. Highway 6 in the midwest. I have a few more notes I’m not remembering now. I’m also thinking I want to go through a few states I haven’t visited yet. Put a few more push pins on my map.

But that’s the plan. And that is all the plan I’ll have. The anti-work sabbatical. With no deliverables at the end. But a bit more peace and quiet and serenity in my head.