Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Following last year’s tradition, many of the pieces of confetti that will descend upon millions of revelers in Times Square on New Year’s Eve will feature messages on them, written in more than 20 different languages by people all over the world. The confetti is part of the “3 Musketeers Confetti Wishing Wall,” on display until December 31 in the Times Square Information Center. Anyone can stop by and write their very own personalized ‘wish’ and pin it to the wall. You also can make wishes online at

Layout made from "Happy New Year" by Lou Cee Creations. Frame from "Christmas Around the World" by Johanna L.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Magic

We had a wonderful Christmas with Gene's extended family as we experienced the peace, hope and joy that children bring to the holiday.

Our friend Patricia arrived in town today for our annual New Year's get together. We go to movies, visit the Del Coronado Hotel's Christmas tree, eat lobster, and do the tourist thing. Of course this year we will be watching the Chargers hopefully pound the Colts. Go Chargers!
My Christmas Magic LO was scrapped using pieces from various Christmas Around the World kits.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

The reason for Christmas is Christ. Let us rejoice in the peace, joy and hope the season offers.You can download our Christmas Letter here in pdf format. My Christmas wish above was scrapped using pieces from various Christmas Around the World kits.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Goodbye to Mom

We made it back to LA on Thursday and met with my sisters and brother to go over the eulogy. Gene & I did go back to San Diego for clothes and I was able to print up the Memory Book I scrapped for the funeral on our long drive down from Canada. Download a copy of the pdf Memory Book here. The visitation was Friday and the funeral was Saturday. My sister hired a coordinator who did an excellent job. She left us with these wonderful words to live by.

What Really Matters—

Ready or not, someday our lives, too, will come to an end. There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame, and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance. It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do-lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won't matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end. It won't matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. It's not what you acquired but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence but your character. What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.

What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered by whom and for what. Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident. It's not a matter of circumstances but of choice.

May you choose to live a life that really matters.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

For Mom

We left Big White on Tuesday. I did get in a couple of runs on Monday between packing up, crying and cleaning the condo. It was -5°F when we left at 1 PM. The roads have been horrible with snow and ice and cold temperatures. This morning it was snowing in Wenatchee, WA. We thought we would be facing snow fall all day but we just hit patches of bad roads and snow, and mostly on the passes. Gene did great driving all 12 hours. I'm exhausted.

I put my travel time to good use and started on some layouts as part of a tribute to my mother for her funeral. I am still having problems coping with the loss but scrapping memories of her is helping. Here's one of my favorite LOs.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For my Mom and Dad

Yesterday, my mother died unexpectedly. I was shocked when my youngest sister called to tell me. My Mom was only 81, and while not in the best of health, she was doing pretty good.

My Dad died just this past February.

As I am sitting here trying to work all I can think of is how much I miss my parents and all the selfless things they did for us five kids. They started with nothing and gave us their love, faith, unity, guidance, values, self esteem, ambition, and an education so we could become who we are today. What more can a child ask for? I have so many wonderful memories but it's not the same as them being with us. Later.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Big White Skiing

We finally went skiing yesterday and it was wonderful. Temperature was around 15°F most of the day with a light snow fall. Visibility was good and the snow was soft and fluffy and well tracked. Last night we went to Big White's 1st Wine Tasting event. It was great with good pick food and outstanding wines from the Okanangan. Today we are headed to Kelowna to replace the DVD player we broke. Monday we hope to ski again. I am out of shape and my legs are definitely feeling it today.

Here's Gene at the top of Kyle's run. This was my favorite run of the day. As you can see there was no one else on it so we had some good untracked powder.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Big White Open

After a beautiful sunset last night, we woke to a snow fall that has been coming down steady all day. Right now there are only 4 lifts open and 5" of new snow. We were suppose to leave today but our renters rescheduled their trip so we can stay a week longer. So instead of skiing, Gene has spent the day installing the wide screen TV we just bought for the unit. We probably need to go to Kelowna to get the better cables but... It's snowing in Kelowna too. And we will probably want to ski tomorrow so... At least we have another week now to get everything done. This was the view from our living room yesterday! Tomorrow it's suppose to get really cold, like -20°C or for those of us not on the metric system, -4°F.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Prayers for Peggy

We are snuggled in our condo in Big White with the fireplace blazing as we watch the snow fall and wait for the lifts to open. It is so very beautiful and peaceful and gets us thinking about our recent ski trip to Bariloche and our friend Peggy who is struggling with cancer and chemo. She has a really hard-to-treat cancer but is fighting the fight. To date, she's had two chemo treatments with four to go.

There is a great organizations called Caring Bridge that facilitates a blog for those like Peggy with cancer. You can leave a message of hope and read her journal to catch up on her progress or check out her new do. If you know Peggy or just want to leave encouraging words, visit her here. Our prayers and positive thoughts are with her always.
I made this layout for Peggy. The pink is in honor of her valiant fight. The layout was made from bits and pieces of stuff I've designed over the years.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Big White Snow Play

It snowed on and off all day at Big White yesterday. When the sun peaked out we were able to watch the "kids" walk up and hill and slide down on skis, snowboards, sleds and platters. This young lady was most entertaining as she did a header as she went off the run. It's suppose to snow again tomorrow with the mountain opening on Wednesday. We can only hope and pray. At least it's cold enough.
We have been putting our time here to good use. We are headed down to Kelowna later today to buy stuff to fix our vacuum and dish washer. Good thing we were here when they broke.

Our ski club, Pacific Rim Alliance, is running a ski trip to Big White April 5-12, 2009, when the skiing and weather is at it's finest. Click here for the details.

Pac Rim also has a ski trip to the Kootenays (Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley) Feb 28 - March 8, 2009. Click here for details.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Big White Snow

We've been in Big White a week now and it just really started snowing today. It's frustrating that the mountain has not opened yet but we've enjoyed the peace and quite. The mountain is hoping to open on Wednesday but we need colder temperatures and more snow for that to happen.

Here's the view of falling snow from our unit looking towards the main Village Center. Although it's been snowing and blowing all morning, not much snow is expected. We continue to pray anyway.
Our ski club, Pacific Rim Alliance, is running a ski trip to Big White April 5-12, 2009, when the skiing and weather is at it's finest. Click here for the details.

Pac Rim also has a ski trip to the Kootenays (Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley) Feb 28 - March 8, 2009. Click here for details.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Pac Rim Argentina Photo Gallery

It's been a long time coming but I finally have Pacific Rim Snow Sport Alliance's Argentina Photo Gallery up and available for viewing. I will be working on the DVD for participants and hope to have it done by the time I return to the states.

It's been a bigger job that I had anticipated. Collectively, our group took more than 9 GB of digital photographs—that's more than 6,000 shots! Don't worry, they are not all on this web site. To make viewing more manageable, slide shows consisting of about 50 - 100 photos have been created for each day. I tried to pick the best of the best and concentrated on the people. Hope you enjoy. It was a truly great trip.

Our ski club, Pacific Rim Alliance, is running a ski trip to Big White April 5-12, 2009, when the skiing and weather is at it's finest. Click here for the details.

Pac Rim also has a ski trip to the Kootenays (Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley) Feb 28 - March 8, 2009. Click here for details.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Big White Announces Exciting News

We are still on the road. Spent the night in Yakima, WA and should arrive in Kelowna in time to hit the Costco. Just before we left San Diego, Heinz, a Pac Rim member, sent us an article on Big White that appeared in the December 2008 issue of SKI by Ken Castle. Interesting.

What we did know is that a 17-story hotel-condo-casino-convention center is being built at the bottom of the Ridge Rocket Chair and is expected to open in 2010. The construction at Big White looks to be outpacing many other destination resorts, and the real-estate boom could soon be matched by an equally ambitious skiing expansion, tentatively called East Peak. According to this article, the resort is about to unveil a master plan that proposes the addition of 2,000 acres of intermediate and advanced terrain on leased provincial land, with construction of the first lift on East Peak to begin in 2010. Plus, the plan makes room for a second-base, another residential community and even a golf course. Even more interesting.
You can download the complete article in pdf format here.

Our ski club, Pacific Rim Alliance, is running a ski trip to Big White April 5-12, 2009, when the skiing and weather is at it's finest. Click here for the details.

Pac Rim also has a ski trip to the Kootenays (Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Kimberley) Feb 28 - March 8, 2009. Click here for details.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
— Melody Beattie
Wishing you the Peace Gratitude brings.
Layout made from Sweet Blossom Designs by Sara's Enchanted Forest Kit.

Friday we head to Big White, BC, Canada for some snow skiing.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hawai'i Photo Gallery

The Hawai'i Photo Gallery is now open for viewing. Photos are in groups— Kono, North Kona, Volcano, Painted Church, Krimm's Farm, Place of Refuge, Hosts Ann & Jim, Fish & Turtles at Kahalu'u Beach. It was a wonderful vacation. Almost half the photos are fish, they were so beautiful, especially the blue ones, and I went crazy with my new underwater camera (Olympus SW850). Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hawai'i Goodbye

We arrived home from Hawaii this morning very tired but with all our luggage. Fay and Jillie left Kona on Friday and we moved to Ann and Jim's home for three more days. We had a great time with them. They introduced us to wonderful fresh foods of Hawaii. Their garden, while in the process of rebuilding, is amazing. I couldn't quite swallow the seeds in the passion fruit, but it sure did taste good in Jim's Mai Tias. We were served fresh from the garden— bananas, guava, papaya, mango, avocado, basil, lettuce, and more.

Ann and Jim took us to some spots we missed earlier in the week— Painted Church, Margaret Krimm's coffee farm, Place of Refuge, Two Steps, and Hilton Waikoloa Village. We were their guests at a bi-annual fundraiser to benefit Family Support Services of West Hawaii that was really fun. Even through it was raining during the weekend we managed to get in a day of snorkeling where I took another 300 underwater photos of fish and turtles. I hope to have our Kona photo gallery available tomorrow. Don't worry, I've managed to reduce the more than 1,000 snaps down to around 150.
Here's a snap taken at the Place of Refuge. I caught a moment of sun on the coconut trees with a storm brewing in the background.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Hawai'i Snorkel LO

I took more than 300 photos when we snorkeled at Kahalu'u Beach yesterday. Here's a LO of the best of the beach, fish and turtles. As you can see, it was so beautiful.

Hawai'i Sunset

We went snorkeling via a Zodiac boat to Kealakekua Bay on Wednesday. It's near where Captian Cook died and you get there by a very steep hike or by water. The fish and coral were so beautiful. This is a very interesting island with all the lava formations which can best be appreciated by sea or air. Our guides took us into lava caves and we saw a pod of spinner dolphins on the way back.

Yesterday we snorkeled at Kahalu'u Beach also known as Turtle Beach. There were lots of turtles and pretty fish.

Sunsets are always special. This was taken near our unit on Alii Dr.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hawai'i Volcano

Yesterday, we took a car tour of the island. We stopped at waterfalls, Hilo, Gardens, and the Mauna Loa Volcano. It rained most of the day and the wind in the afternoon could knock you over if you weren't careful. Here we are walking through the Thurston Lava Tunnel.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hawai'i Kona Arrival

We arrived late Friday night in Kona to heat, humidity and no luggage for Gene. American Airlines only has one flight a day from LA to Kona and we were told not to expect anything until the next evening. So we wasted our morning at Costco and Wall-Mart buying Gene a shirt, swim trunks, shorts, and other necessities.

Next day we were told that American no longer scans luggage so Gene's bag could be anywhere and they had no idea where that would be. In addition, American employees in Kona don't come in until 5 PM (found out later, it's really 7 PM) and they leave at 10 PM. They don't check on the luggage until the next day at 7 PM. Unbelievable!

Sunday we took a drive north into the Pololu Valley. Gene took the hike to the black sand beach at Kelokea Beach Park. I walked half way down and grabbed this photo. It was absolutely beautiful. We drove home through rain forest, grazing lands and desert.
We stopped by the airport on the way back to our unit to talk to the workers at American. They told us that usually the luggage comes in on Hawaiian the next day. Gene then went through both Hawaiian and American luggage bins and couldn't find his. He was bummed. But as soon as we got home he receive a call telling him that they found his luggage. It had been with Hawaiian Airlines since the morning and they notified us by calling our home. They delivered it an hour later and Gene was a happy camper. Such incompetence should not be accepted. American will be hearing from Gene.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cabo Memories

Since you asked, I've created a photo gallery of our recent Cabo trip. I also made a LO of Gene playing volleyball using the great nighttime shot I got of the empty volleyball court on the beach. I used Barbara Lee's "Colorado" Kit for the elements.

Tomorrow we are off to Hawaii (Kona) to join our friends Fay & Jilly at their time-share. Afterward we will be joining our friends Jim and Kim for a couple of days. It's our first time on the big Island so I've been told there won't be much pool time.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

LO of Mom's Yearbook

Yesterday was spent in Los Angeles. First I visited my Mom, then went to pick up an award presented to me for work I've done for the LA Council of Ski Clubs and lastly saw the play "Spring Awakening" at the Ahmanson Theater. It was fun visiting Mom and she feed me well. I was honored to receive an award— it's always nice to know you are appreciated. The play was dark, interesting and very creative but not for everyone.

The best part of the trip north was that Mom unearthed some boxes of old photos and other stuff. I got through two of them before I had to split. I made this layout of my favorite— scans from her 1945 yearbook. I used Barbara Lee's "Bear Kit."Later.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home from the Ball

The San Diego Council Gala was a blast. It was an absolutely amazing day— warm, sunny, sparkling. In the morning we road bikes around Harbor Island to the Midway Ship and the "kissing sailor" before heading to Shelter Island where we lunched at Red Sails. After two hours on the bike, it was tough getting back in the saddle.

Our butts were so sore but not too sore to dance nonstop for hours. As you might notice in the photo below, men will be boys. Here Mike and Gene attempt a return to their roots. Ha! Ha! Too much fun.

More photos available for viewing.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Off to the Ball

Tomorrow we are off to the Ball. The San Diego Council of Ski Clubs' SnoBall Gala was first held in 1960. While the council remains a non-profit organization, the Gala has changed a lot over the years. This year the organizers are making it a "Gala Weekend." Saturday we will be joining the bike riders in the morning and dancing in the evening. Sunday will start with a walk on the beach followed by brunch and some pool time. We will do this all in sunny San Diego while praying for snow in the mountains.

I was volunteered to put the program together. I used the following free awesome scrapbook kits for the cover.
  • Background and Frame by Barbara Lee in her "Colorado" kit.
  • Heart by Sweet Blossom Designs by Sara in the "Hearts & Flowers" Collaborative kit with Vicki Parker.
  • String by Linda Walton in the "Festivity" Collaborative kit with Vicki Parker.
  • Grommets by Vicki Parker in the "Putting on the Glitz" kit.
  • Photo courtesy Jack Affleck for Vail Resorts.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cobo Reality Check

While we are back home and back to work our heads are still in Cabo. Gene can't understand why I kept taking photos of horses since I don't particularly like riding them. Here's one of the many reasons — a view of horses taken at dusk on the beach. I hope to find time to do some Cabo layouts for you.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cabo Goodbye

Today is our last day in Cabo. We started the morning with a sunrise walk on the beach. The wave crashes were spectacular and loud and fearsome. The Royal Solaris released another 52 turtles this morning. There were just a few of us to see them swim out to the sea.