Autumn Dreams

I have a new camera that is challenging to learn. Buttons of various sizes cover its outsides; its programming options resemble Greek.

This camera is a Lumix G9. A mirrorless version, more complicated than any of my previous cameras.

I’m a point-and-shot photographer interested in capturing wild birds, my dogs at play, and anything else catching my attention. I need a camera capable of instant focusing, distance shooting, and action-stopping. These are technologies I’ve enjoyed in larger cameras. Compared to the new Lumix, my older capable cameras are bulkier and heavier to carry.

I can’t say how many more advantages I may discover while becoming accustomed to a modern mirrorless device. I’m trying to learn its possibilities by studying online videos. Endless videos describe the Lumix’s attributes and explain how to adjust its settings. Unfortunately, since I’m not technologically savvy, the hours I’ve spent learning are only the beginning.

I have settled on three initial goals. First is learning how to set the Lumix for simple, straightforward shooting. Next is going outside and practicing. My third is for tomorrow, posting a header photo from this camera.

Dear Friends: Think good thoughts for an easy path into modern technology. Diana

A Reader’s Story

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I’m about halfway through Ozeik’s 2021 novel. It’s a very creative, tightly interwoven work. Her style of writing fiction is fresh in that it both entertains and enlightens. The book is popular, is a candidate for the Bookings Prize, and has been reviewed frequently.

Ozeki is a Zen Buddhist priest; she teaches writing at Smith College. Her story in this book is influencing me, while reading, to pause and consider many elements surrounding me more deeply. For example, while following the plot and characters, I also think about the influences on their evolvements (and the same effects on myself!), such as the sky, earth, and various seemingly inanimate objects.

The novel is a brilliant work of fiction. It’s definitely no lecture but a story that can teach quietly and has the power to open a reader’s mind to unexpected senses. I find myself pausing and, in a larger sense, “feeling the book” in my hands and variations of light in my reading area and even the furniture near me.

Zen, indeed! I’m no Zen person, yet I’m discovering a high enjoyment of this novel and its influence on my state of being while reading. Perhaps an inspiration to write this suggests that, beyond actual reading moments, my overall awareness is expanding. Hopefully, that’s so.

Dear Friends: In today’s environment, quiet moments and awareness are pleasurable. Diana


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

On Sunday evening, in a Safeway Market near my home, a twenty-year-old male became an active shooter, Using an AK15 Rifle, he murdered a shopper and a store worker before killing himself. For everybody it was awful. For we who are employed by grocers, it was devastating.

I was disturbed upon learning what happened. That night I couldn’t sleep. On Monday morning I was considering quitting my job in a large, busy supermarket. Its many cash registers typically have lines of customers waiting to be checked out and eager to get going.

I’m a checker who handles those lines. My work is physical, fast, and labor intensive. It’s also mental, requiring alertness to codes, quantities, and prices. A checker also handles money accurately.

Checkers staying busy and focused can’t also keep an eye on what’s happening in the store’s larger areas. Retail store spaces are designed to maximize displays and minimize theft. There are few, if any, hiding places. I often wonder how to protect myself if an active shooter suddenly appears; there are no good answers. That’s been so in the various retail settings I’ve worked in throughout my almost twenty years in Central Oregon.

Yesterday, I went to work, finding some co-workers more distraught than myself. Especially those who had found and read the Safeway Shooter’s online diary. It was full of hatred, anger, self-pity, and his plans to shoot-up a nearby high school on August 8; but unable to wait, he hit Safeway.

Until grocery leadership finds how to ensure safety from random shooters, their employees are sitting ducks to high-powered weapons.

Today, I will go to work, still thinking about the pros and cons of risky exposure. Until Saturday night, mass shootings happened elsewhere. Now, that’s not so, and sadly, grocery stores equally are vulnerable as schools.

Dear Friends: America must control weapons selling, fabricating, and ownership. Diana

Safe Way

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Today revising, “Path Through The Fog”

Monday, August 29, 2020

Last evening, here on the east side of town and in our local Safeway, an active shooter murdered shoppers. That shooter, soon found dead in the store, apparently committed suicide. Everything about the event is heartbreaking, the same for every mass shooting, whether in our backyards or seemingly distant.

Ever-increasing episodes in public venues are alerting citizens and weighing our minds. Since the mid-1990s, mass murders have occurred in schools, crowded streets, and inside shopping destinations. It’s ugly and unfortunate that Americans today anticipate probably of similar incidents.

The critical sources of this violence are mental health and weapons availability issues. The world’s increasing population burdens public mental health providers. Getting large-scale mental health up to speed requires lengthy and complex processes. Those would begin with the almost impossible question, “What is “public mental health” anyway?”

Americans recognize that the most direct and immediate way to reduce incidents of mass shootings is to increase control over weapon sales. A tough job but likely more doable than addressing public mental health challenges. However, in the end, mental health issues are giants that cannot be ignored.

I’ll vote for anyone who’ll pledge to take on shooting issues, promise to work toward outlawing weapons sales and reduce current large ownerships.

Dear Friends: America must ensure public safety in social venues. Diana


“Path Through The Fog” (photo by Alan Sislen)

Sunday, August 28, 2022

I could look forever at today’s header photo. The compelling image suggests meanings, evokes memories, and generates ideas.

This photo rouses imaginings about time, place, weather, and light. For me, it captures recall and lets me relive the magic of riding on horseback early in a morning or an evening.

It also captures my dream of creating images from my world, revealing time, place, weather, and light elements. Sislen’s photo demonstrates a magical way of seeing that conjures moods and reveals possibilities.

To fuel my ambitions, I have a brand new camera. It’s a complicated, compact, high-end engineering product designed to capture visions any user may wish. I am in awe of the learning curve needed to utilize this device’s offerings. Hopefully, the effort requiring time, study, and experimentation won’t overcome my wishing and willingness.

Here’s to moving ahead. I’ll post my first photos as soon as possible.

Dear Friends: Living teaches that where the eye goes, the heart may follow. Diana

Good Morning

Saturday, August 27, 2022

A former customer from when I sold chickens forwarded this sweet capture. Her hen has a new baby.

I’m offering it this morning as a quick hello and goodbye. I am scheduled very early to work and am having to clock-watch.

So, I’ll see you again tomorrow. That will be an early-to-work, too, but less so than today.

Dear Friends: We’re near summer’s end, so make this a great day. Diana

Lovin’ A Rose


Friday, August 26, 2022

Rosie, now in her mid-twenties, has lived with me ten years. She’s what’s called a “lead mare type.” In other words, Rosie is a herd boss. At my place, she bosses her younger sister, Sunni (pronounced sunny) and their constant companion, standard donkey, Pimmy. It does seem that mostly Sunni and Pimmy allow Rosie the role of boss. Occasionally, one of those underlings successfully navigates the herd status to achieve her own intent. Rosie appears to understand.

She’s alert, very smart, and highly attuned to the environment. Rosie’s early years were tough-going. Her breeder-owner was a person capable with horses and often mentally devil-ridden. An outcome for Rosie was sometimes becoming hypertuned, anxious, and more bossy.

In beginning our partnership, I was new to horses and learned that Rosie would become my trainer. I found that Rosie will sense the slightest hint of anxiety and want to become “the decider” of what next happens. I learned to remain calm, soft-speaking, and how to behave as the lead mare to Rosie.

These days, Rosie seems less anxious overall. She’s dependable, fun, and well trained, an experienced riding and driving horse. She knows more than I ever may comprehend. Rosie is from a foundation line stretching back through generations to Justin Morgan’s Morgan, and she beautifully represents it.

Along the way, Rosie can be silly.

Dear Friends: Those teeth are a reminder to write about “Special’s Tooth”…next time. Diana

Summer’s Closing

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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Today’s header photo shows Chase and Ranger about to enter a canal. That waterway is large and active, and both dogs are swimmers. Ranger knows how to swim in this busy channel, but Chase is new to it. He must learn to assess water movements and navigate safely.

This central canal has sections where water flows relatively slowly or rapidly by design. These variations test a swimmer’s judgment and strength. My experienced dogs understand moving water and how to swim safely. New to the canal, Young Chase immediately sensed the challenges upon leaping into it. He elected to remain in calm water near the embankment with accessible exits. I watched that intelligent boy grasp solutions like an experienced swimmer.

My other young dog, Mitzvah, tiptoes to water and drinks but refuses to swim. On this day, they were introduced to an environment they’ll return to often. Chase’s familiarity with this canal is a crucial step in his development.

The entire area surrounding that waterway is pure desert. The dogs and I went walking, with them running ahead and sometimes following. Mitzvah and Chase held their own throughout our hike.

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Running ahead

These “littles” are tough and willing learners.

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Sometimes following

Dear Friends: Preparing them all for autumn’s lovely months and outings. Diana

Purely Mutt

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

My puppy, Chase, is about to turn seven months old. He’s settling into a sweet, friendly fellow living within my pack of dogs. Chase has become stronger physically and is developing a distinctive personality. His maturing calls for some alone time with his human. I’m often too busy or preoccupied with miscellanea to pause and train him. But Chase needs my focus and attention to grow into a great and dependable buddy.

In today’s header photo, Chase is on a leash as my only companion. We’re returning from our first long walk together. During that walk, he initially seemed tentative and would pause and pull against the leash. Soon, however, he figured “it out” and adapted, becoming an easy-to-lead companion.

That sunny afternoon, we strolled for about a mile; it was too warm to go farther. Besides teaching Chase that he’s special, he showed me that he’s maturing. I was impressed and decided to trust him with more freedom inside the house.

That afternoon, Chase hung out alone with me. He didn’t drag around his findings, ignored my laundry and my shoes, and didn’t chew on electrical wires. He suddenly seems to have transitioned from all “teeth, nails, and awful” to a Mr. Charming.

I was convinced enough and avoided confining Chase to a kennel through the night. For the first time, he was left free to sleep where he chose. In the morning, I awoke and found him curled on a pillow near my bed.

“Good boy, Chase!” We’re making it through your puppyhood! A miracle of miracles.

Dear Friends: I can see us sailing more smoothly into our future together. Diana

Summer Shoots

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The dragonflies abound on hot summer days, attracting with bright eyes and gossamer wings. I captured some of this one’s energy but too little of its colors.

I have ordered a new camera against my strong sense that today’s economics require saving and not spending. I hope it’s significantly smaller, lighter-weight, and takes equally good pictures as my dependable and too-heavy camera.

In the old days, camera stores ordinary were many and local. A buyer could look, hold, try out, and select a camera with accessories that felt suitable. Today, I live in a small city in the middle of Oregon and must go online to sort through a decent variety of high-end cameras.

For a non-professional photographer, newer camera technology is confusing. Camera reviews don’t help me because they require understanding many complex elements that I don’t enjoy dealing with. I am a pointer and shooter but wish for all the greatness. I grasp when a photo is good; it’s clean, balanced, and tells a story.

I will play with the new camera. I can decide to keep it or seek one more suitable to my needs and shooting style. Perhaps modern technology will encourage me to alter my needs and style. Experimenting has a way of doing that.

Dear Friends: Every sort of change brings challenges and opportunities. Diana