Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hanalei Bay, Hawaii

This is one of my favorite places in the world... natural beauty at its finest. Clean fresh air and fabulous sunsets, who could ask for more!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Harstine Island Bridge

A view of the Harstine Island Bridge, Washington state. So many years ago this access bridge was constructed...replacing a quaint and small ferry system, linking the island to the mainland. Changing the island forever...

27th street Consignment Boutique

This is a delightful consignment boutique in University Place, Wa. She has quality clothing, antiques, great designer purses and more. One entire room is devoted to custom wreath making, you chose the supplies, colors, etc. and they put it together into a fabulous, designed wreath for the holidays.... simple yet so lovely! Check it out this season... (253) 355-1804

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Lights continued

Just love these holiday lights.... the best of the days of winter...

Winter Scene for the holidays...

Point Defiance Park and Gardens

Every year the city of Tacoma puts on a wonderful light display @ the Point Defiance Zoo. If you are in the area, they are worth a visit... something special over the holidays...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Rosehill Community Center

Save the best for last... Our dear ol' Rosie... she stood the test of time. She educated the students and lived on as a community stronghold for so many years. The Farewell to Rosehill Community Center Video is on www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us Some familiar faces in the crowd... Duffy and Ms. Tude.. she is a Mukilteo star! May you rest in peace and solitude "Rosie" you are one in a million!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mukilteo Beach Park

Our all time favorite beach part @ Mukilteo by the sea... fish, boat, fly kites, picnic and watch the sun go down and create a fabulous sunset for all to admire.

Rosehill, Mukilteo

Lincoln Avenue in Mukilteo, Washington features this great hand carved totem pole. It stands in front of the Rosehill Community Center. Truly grand, don't think they are tearing this down also, just like the building. Hope they will keep this nice piece of community art.

Mukilteo Ferry...4

In the city of Mukilteo they have a ferry terminal. It runs the ferry system between Mukilteo and Clinton on Whidbey Island. It is a short crossing and very efficient. The parking is there every half hour, gives the local businesses a chance to sell some food and coffee. They run 365 days a year. Schedule is online now...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Arnies and downtown... Mukilteo

A favorite eatery in the heart of the city we know as Mukilteo... great view of the area from this good seafood restaurant. Good times...

2nd- Mukilteo, Washington

Another great photo of Mukilteo... we all love this park... the sun , wind, great beach and natural beauty. Fond memories...

Mukilteo " City by the Sea"

" Mukilteo" is an old fashioned American Indian name, meaning "good camping ground." A great place to live, work and play. The lifestyle is peaceful, rewarding and ever so quaint. I miss all of this. Somedays I wish things would not have changed! But they did... forever. One of my all time favorite places to be... someday again...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hanauma Bay Park, Hawaii

This is one of my very favorite beaches to visit. I have spent countless hours watching to sealife in this interesting park. Go for a day and have memories for a lifetime! On the island of Oahu, about a one hour drive from Honolulu. A must see trip on your visit to the islands... simply paradise!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Critique of Consumer-Driven Culture

This guest post was contributed by my daughter Kristina Gundersen.

"This is just what I wanted!" the three year old me delightfully shrieked in an old home video of Christmas past. I had just unwrapped a small gift from Santa: my very own purse. "To put all your things in, Kristina." Part of me wonders if that's how my whole handbag fetish began... I was socialized to believe that I needed that purse to carry stuff in. Just like we are all socialized to believe that we deserve and need expensive gifts for Christmas to be happy and celebrate the season properly like the rest of America. After all, materialism is the Western way.

We are definitely a consumerist culture, one that often places the importance of inanimate objects over people. When asked about the meaning of Christmas, most young children still reply with a gift-oriented response: "I got an Xbox for Christmas!" Or, "Santa brings me lots of toys!" Most fail to recognize the special time spent with family, friends, or even food - it's all about the presents. Their happiness depends on toys. Sadly, many of us grow up to hold these same consumer-driven expectations. A happy and successful American Christmas is typically defined by the quantity of gifts given and received, and sometimes the dollar value of those objects. Nobody likes a stingy gift giver.

But shouldn't there be more emphasis on the thought behind those gifts? Should it really matter what we give or receive as long as there was some conscientious thought put into each person's present? I am one of the few among my circle of friends who is still impressed by a homemade, custom gift. To me, the time spent on the gift is worth a whole lot more than the money. Nearly anyone can go purchase a gift card on their credit card in a matter of 30 seconds or so. Not everyone has the thoughtfulness and creativity to carry out a custom gift idea.

Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas shopping just as much as the next person. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give generously and receive in return. I just think the materialistic approach to the holidays has gotten a little out of hand in recent years. Each year we are spending more and more, even during a recession when we are earning less and less... And we continue to perpetuate this consumerist ideal for our children through the myth and tradition of Santa Clause. Sure, a Santaless Christmas would suck the magic right out of the holiday for some kids, but whatever happened to being honest with our children? If we preach to them that honesty is the best policy, shouldn't we practice it ourselves? There are still plenty of other fun holiday traditions aside from Santa and his toy-making elves, like decorating the Christmas tree together, preparing the holiday meal, baking cookies, and singing Christmas carols. If society would start putting more emphasis on quality time together and less on quality objects, most people would probably be a whole lot happier over the holidays. Not the fleeting sense of happiness that exists after opening a cool gift, but the soul-penetrating kind of happiness that is enough to last you until the next Christmas.