Every once in a while, when the stars and planets align just right, it’s possible to meet and share some quality time with someone whose work you really admire. This week was just such an experience for me. Village Books in Bellingham and the Willows Inn on Lummi Island hosted a special author event yesterday with Jamie Ford, author of Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (one of my favorite reads last year). As we were a small group, we enjoyed almost five hours of delicious and intimate conversation on everything an aspiring novelist like me would ever want to know about the writing world. Jamie is as sharp with his wit as he is arresting in his books. What a treat!!

It also was my first time visiting Lummi Island, which is nestled outside the city of Bellingham in Washington state.  The tiny ferry I rode reminded me a little of the little tugboat in the book “Little Toot,” and the rest of the charming landscape seemed cut out of a storybook as well.  We all finished up the night with a delicious salmon dinner at the Beach Store Cafe, including one of the best Nettle soups I’ve ever tasted. It was a very good day indeed.Jamie Ford author visitLummi IslandLummi Island

I must do this shout out. Oh yes, it’s the books, the music, the opportunities to meet your neighbors in the colorful bliss of storied pages, but our Kitsap Regional Library is so much more. It’s about the people that are behind the scenes, the ones who lend a quiet grace to the old world experience of coming to a beloved community library, who work tirelessly on organizing community events, and who don’t shudder at the daunting figure of 2.5 million more needed for the new library to come to fruition.

On this day, I was invited to photograph the unveiling of the One Book/One Community pick for 2014 by Commissioner Gelder. This program is in it’s third year in our community, and attempts to get everyone in our community to read the same book by October, so that it can be a shared topic of conversation. This year’s pick is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

In the hubbub of a Friends of the Library book sale, community members came to our Kingston Community Center not only to see the book unveiling (which thrilled everyone), but to see one another, to share some delicious Mirracole Morsels goodies provided by the library staff, and to support our community library. Great fun all the way around!!Kitsap Regional Library event

So far in my professional career, I have been visited during photo shoots by eagles, hawks, a weasel hauling a rabbit, a sea lion gobbling down a salmon, raccoons, various song birds, herons, and this week, a wiley coyote who stood in the road for a full five minutes watching the action. Wiley visitor I love moments like these!!

I don’t wear yellow. But it’s yellow shirt Felix night at Safeco Field and so I take my free shirt and I even decide to put it on when a cool Northwest wind shows up. I live in a rural village so I’m used to recognizing most of the faces I see on a given day. Tonight, I am a visitor to a much bigger hive and so I feel a bit lost. There is a lot of swarming going on on this honey field, especially for a player named King Felix. It is a strange moniker for the distant dot standing on such a little hill. Proper homage is payed to him, more loudly and more frenetically as the night goes on. King Felix’s teammates join the frenzy and balls are hit many times over a big fence. In row 22, seat 22, I become a droplet in a wave that circles the stadium four times before petering out. I hear my voice joining the throng each time our king strikes someone out, and each time a ball cracks off a home bat. I am doing high fives with strangers. I don’t recognize my own heart beat. Finally in a ladies room stall I close my eyes briefly. I breathe in and out and try to center myself. The respite is over too quickly. As I walk back into the throng, passing long beer lines and the intoxicating smells of garlic fries and sausages at prices that should be illegal, I catch a glimpse on a very big screen of the king himself. He looks like he is trying to remember to breathe too.Eleven Strikeouts by Felix

I love photographing this family and have for many years now.  This year, we incorporated animals into the shots for the first time, and had a lot of fun doing it!  We even had a hawk circling overhead enjoying the show.Portraits with PetsLoving her pets

This is the time of year when bridal shows abound and the tastiest bakeries in the land share their samples to prospective brides. Who can resist their decadent delicacies, these deliciously sinful delights? It brings to mind some of the many heavenly cakes I have had the pleasure to photograph (and taste) over the years. Here are just a few of my favorites! This beauty was made by the talented bakers at the Inn at Port Ludlow Resort.Wedding Cake at the Inn at Port Ludlow
And here’s a groom’s cake from the same wedding:Grooms cake
This was a very popular wedding cupcake tower from the very first wedding I ever photographed! They were made by the bride, the lovely and talented Melissa Kronenthal, who has one of the most amazing food blogs I’ve ever been on! Check it out at her site: the Traveler’s Lunchbox.Wedding cupcakes
The next one (left side) was my first topsy turvy cake, photographed at Amber and Chris’s destination wedding in Estes Park, Colorado. It inspired me so much, I even attempted my own version of it for a steampunk Halloween display last year (right side). It was very fun (albeit messy and wasteful of cake!) to do. I’d share a recipe but it actually was pieced together through three different recipes and half a day reading people’s suggestions on line. Ah, what we’ll endure for cake!Love topsy turvy cakes!
This next one was a personal favorite because it was made by my sister Jenny for our sister Louisa’s wedding last September and it was from one of those amazing family recipes that gets passed down from bride to bride for its ability to completely WOW!Unbelievably delicious chocolate wedding cake
And here are several of the more memorable tiered cakes, I’ve seen (and sampled!) over the years. This first was also taken at the Inn at Port Ludlow Resort.
Wedding Cake Elegance
This one has my heart because it was cake at a really amazing wedding in so many ways. One of those true love story types of days!Wedding Cake with hydrangeas and roses
You’ve probably noticed the theme of putting real flowers on cakes, something that is classic and elegant in so many ways. This next cake though, had a different spin, as the baker made all the flowers edible!Anniversary cake
Stay tuned for more in future posts. I’ll work harder next time at linking you to recipes or the bakers who scored the wins!

This year’s Mystery Dinner Theater production is set to rock the stage next weekend, and I’m happy to say that several of my book club ladies and I were able to get one of the coveted Saturday night tables.  The NK Options program’s annual production is in it’s 13th year and this year is set in space.  I got to photograph the cast and dancers for the program and greatly enjoyed my sneak peek at the rehearsals.  All I can say is WOW!  Can’t wait!!Mystery Dinner Theater Dancers 2014Dancers for Mystery Dinner Theater