Lifelong Passions

Today was a “blast from the past” as an interview I did with Douglas Scott from was published.

While I’m no longer running medical aid calls, rappelling down cliffs for rescues or fighting fires, my day job affords me the opportunity to help others save lives.

I’m also still involved in sharing my love of the outdoors through books, magazines and other print and electronic media.

We never know where our passions may lead, but they are always our passions.


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Open Letter to the News Tribune who is trashing our city and Tacoma City Council who allows it

Dear Phil Schneider,

I do NOT want to hear any more of your bogus apologies.

EIGHT times I have used your useless opt out system and still have to deal with this crap, and I am not the only one (our numbers are growing as is our anger)

Last time, it took almost three weeks for you to come pick up your rotting trash out of the gutter in front of my house.

I WILL be notifying the State Attorney General and BBB of your continued VIOLATION of the agreement and I will be encouraging everyone else to as well.  We have an attorney looking into that agreement and your liability for continually violating it.  Your trash blights our communities, poisons the environment, is a burden on the elderly and disabled, is a slip and fall hazard, and targets homes for burglary.

We will also continue to boycott, picket and give negative reviews on Yelp, Google + and Facebook to any business that advertises in your trash..

We will call the police on any of your below minimum wage, non local (I’ve seen Oregon plates), desperate Craigslist contractors driving down the road throwing things out windows and/or anyone who trespasses on our property.

We will continue to fight the re-election of any member of the current city council until they take a stand against you.

This is not an exercise of your “1st Amendment rights”.  This is littering, trespass, poisoning the environment, endangering the elderly, disabled and those who travel for work, can’t get out to clean up your trash every day.

This is you, disrespecting and trashing your community.

I used to care that you stayed in business.

I no longer do. (and neither does a large percentage of this community)

We will not stop our fight against you, until you stop.

or cease to exist.

I really don’t care which at this point and neither does anyone else I know.

Hey…  Remember the Seattle PI?  The Seattle Times?

Neither does anyone else.

Have a nice day.  Sir.  (if you need a translation for that, ask any law enforcement officer or military personnel)

I would explain it to you myself, but you are not worth the profanity.

Even a pig is smart enough not to poop where it sleeps and eats; apparently you are not.

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Well over a year later, the McClatchy Corporation who bought out the (formerly Tacoma) News Tribune and has ZERO interest in Tacoma or being a good corporate citizen is still trashing our city.

Despite multiple complaints to their offices, the BBB, the State Attorney General and our City Council, they have increased their trashing of our community to throwing 50,000 toxic plastic wrapped bags of trash onto our streets, sidewalks, yards, parking strips and gutters, washing into the Sound claiming bogus 1st amendment rights, often, dangerously out of moving vehicles.

This is all about money, revenue, advertising dollars. It is NOT about free speech and is an affront to the 1st amendment which they are citing.

Our current city council members: Marilyn Strickland, Anders Ibsen, Robert Thoms, Lauren Walker, Marty Campbell, Joe Lonergan, Victoria Woodards, David Boe and Ryan Mello refuse to take a stand.  As a matter of fact, at a recent citizens forum at a regularly scheduled city council meeting our mayor could not be bothered to stay because she had something “more important” to do than listen to citizens and left to introduce a book author.  Deputy Mayor Boe chastised the audience for applauding when citizens spoke out against this trashing of our city. (but it’s perfectly OK to applaud any action the council takes)

Plastic is a HUGE threat to our oceans and beloved Salish Sea and is of increasing concern.

One of our group members just had her EIGHTH Opt out violated again and found more plastic wrapped trash in front of her house.

The News Tribune does NOT respect the citizens of Tacoma.

The News Tribune does NOT respect the environment.

The News Tribune does NOT respect the legally binding opt out agreements that our city council critters tell us to abide by.


These bags continue to rot in our streets and gutters polluting the Puget Sound.

Our elected officials continue to ignore this and refuse to speak out against it.

What can we do?

FORCE the TNT to come pick up their trash immediately when they violate the opt out.  They will.  Use the customer service email address and also contact Phil Schroeder directly at

Let your council critter know that you do NOT support them or their reelection until they do the right thing and take a stand against this practice.

You can contact them here

Contact the State Attorney General and Better Business Bureau EVERY time they violate their bogus opt out agreements.

Here’s how to file a compliant with the State Attorney General

Here’s how to file a complaint with the BBB

Here’s where to give them the crappy YELP review that they deserve.

Don’t forget to EMAIL (don’t call) the TNT (email provides a “paper trail” to support how often they violate their own opt out program) to let them know you that you aren’t going to tolerate this and to insist that they come pick up their trash at your opted out home as well as from in front of vacant homes.

We need to continue to let City Manager T.C. Broadnax know that we are displeased with his performance.

Another option being researched is a “No Trespass” order.  These are used by retail outlets when they have known loiterers/shoplifters frequenting their establishment.  Once the order is received; the police can be called to make an arrest for trespassing.  They send/give the form to the offender (In this case we’d take it/send registered mail to the TNT offices) If this can be done for “any representative of the TNT or their affiliates” we should be able to charge them when they violate the order (which their craigs list contractors will continue to do)

Most important, continue to target the advertisers in this trash.

Be polite, ask them if they know that their advertising dollars are going towards this practice.  Many local businesses have been appalled and demanded a stop be put to it.

Others, like Safeway and Puget Sound Audiology and Hearing Aid don’t care and refuse to stop the practice.

Call, write, email, picket, give negative Facebook, Yelp and Google + reviews to those who knowingly and unapologetically trash our city.

This needs to STOP!

Join our Facebook group, Citizens for Tacoma Not Trash

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“Postcards From the Mountain” now available for pre-order

“Postcards from the Mountain” is a collection of photographs of and poetry inspired by the Cascade and Olympic Mountains in the Great Pacific Northwest created by Tacoma writer and photographer L. Lisa Lawrence

Much of the book is centered around Mt Rainier also known as: Tahoma, Tacobeh, Pooskaus, Tacoma and Ti’ Swaq.

The book was born out of the 2014 August Postcard Poetry Fest, which is the brain child of Paul E Nelson and Lana Ayers.

The book will be available in soft and hard cover (image wrap; no dust cover) versions. It contains 31 pages of photographs and poetry.

You can pre-order the book in either format, with shipping or local pickup.

You may also support a print run of the book and the purchase of an IBSN number so that it can be sold by Amazon by purchasing a ticket to the book release party which will be held on Friday, January 16th (Tacoma location to be determined) which is enough past the holidays that scheduling should not be problematic.

If you are not local/unable to attend the book release party, but want to donate to support the print run and IBSN number, you can donate in $10 increments (you can choose whatever quantity you like) from the drop down menu below.

I hope you enjoy the visual and literary journey through this magical part of the world.

Choose your optiions



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The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated ;)

*this blog post is not being tagged to appear on and will be copied to my email list…

I’ve received enough email messages from folks that are genuinely worried about me because I haven’t sent an email update or updated my blog in months that I’m feeling super guilty…

Yes, I am a bad friend and I feel guilty for worrying so many of you…

Holy Moly! My last blog post was April 24th. No wonder so many of you thought I was dead.

I was working two (allegedly part time) jobs, in an effort to avoid going back to the corporate world. The first was for Puget Creek Restoration Society, where sadly, funding ran out. I scored an awesome job with the Hilltop Action Coalition. I was also managing a local farmer’s market, which while satisfying, involved taking way more abuse (from all directions) and getting thrown under the bus than anyone should be expected to take and still remain cheerful. That combined with the fact that I was working 40 hours per week and getting paid for 20, worked insanely long hours on Saturdays (10-12 hours) and was stressed out and sleep deprived made it a no brainer to quit (seriously, that job should be done by a retiree or someone who doesn’t need another job/full time pay)

So… I’m mostly blaming my lack of communication on the fact that I was working 60+ hours per week and was super exhausted, but I’m finally starting to feel functional and rested again…

It’s all good!

I guess the first news since my last blog post is…


The first thing I did (after kissing someone special who earned the right to that kiss for kissing me a lot when I had my braces on and took me to my appointment) was to eat forbidden food.

Forbidden Food #1 – Nachos… (corn chips pop brackets and bend wires)

Forbidden Food #2 – Almond Roca

Forbidden Food #3 – biting into a whole apple

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I’m still writing and photographing for South Sound and 425 Magainze (and pitching extra stories since I need the extra income.

Sadly, I had to give up my glass blowing since I can’t afford the classes or studio time…

Of course… If all-y’all wanted to buy some of my glass blowing for holiday gifts, I could afford to go back…

*I have a bunch of new stuff to list, check back in the next week or so… hand made pottery and glass make great gifts (and keeps me in my house)…

click here for my Artfire shop

Oh, speaking of pottery; I finally got around to completing my home pottery studio… I’m also still working at Throwing Mud Gallery/Studio, but should be able to crank out a lot more work (including commissions) very soon.

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Oh and for those who were disappointed last year (oh, when I was working an insane number of hours) I WILL be doing a calendar again this year…. (and yes Barb… note cards 🙂

I’ve been doing a lot of contra dancing, cycling and some running events.

I’ve also been doing a lot of hiking and backpacking trips this year as well.

I have lots of great photos of those trips on my Flickr page you can click here to see them>click here to see them

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I’d best not spill everything I’ve been up to or BadKitty will be very unhappy when she goes to write the holiday letter this year…

I’m going to try my best to be better about communicating.


It’s all in (the very painful) Details

I am at the “detail” stage of my orthodontic work at month 16.

I had the final wire put on at my last appointment with only one tiny adjustment. Other than the one tooth that was being adjusted, I had no pain at all.

I was sure that the rest of this process would be a piece of cake and an easy ride to my early release (for good elastic wearing behavior) from orthodontic torture.

Today, I discovered how very wrong I was.

I introduce to you… power chains.

They are elastics that wrap around each bracket and pull the teeth together.

These aren’t mine (mine are clear and won’t show up in a cell phone photo), but the bright colors show you what is on my brackets under my wire.

For those who have seen earlier photos of my teeth, I had no gaps in between my front teeth (more on that later) because crowding was the issue, but some of my molars needed to be pulled closer together.

Before these things got put on my top and bottom teeth, a rotary file was taken to some of my front teeth and gaps created (yeehaw…that was “fun”)

I knew the second these were attached that my days of “easy adjustments” were over. The discomfort was immediate and relentless.

Oh… but a few minor wire adjustments and the power chains weren’t the only thing done today that hurts like heck. I’m in new elastics.

My over bite was over-corrected (commonly done) to allow it to naturally relax into place, so I was only wearing my elastic bands at night and was back down to the super light ones that don’t hurt.

Now, I’m back to wearing them in a different configuration, 24/7 and they are worse than ever; they are much larger, with more tension, and they are doubled up running from a bottom tooth, up across two top teeth and then back down to another bottom tooth.

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They are a giant pain to get on and off (have to take them out to eat and brush/floss) and are so tight that I can’t open my mouth more than a fraction of an inch. (oh the weird color on that crown is from extra bracket adhesive so the appliance would quit popping off)

So here’s the latest photo…

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Let it suffice to say that in addition to being extremely painful, it’s not pretty and I do not feel cute right now at all (which is challenging enough at my age with all the weird stuff my body is doing and don’t get my started on my red puffy eyes due to allergy season)

To add insult to injury, my orthodontist’s decree that I had dropped my 24 month time down to 18 months doesn’t look to be that accurate.

I was hoping for a July removal, but the doc I saw today (had to go to a different doc in the same practice because I changed appointment dates due to a work event) said that I’m “on schedule” and ‘”while it would be nice to get them off early, that’s not the goal, perfection is the goal.” (maybe for my birthday in October instead of Mid-December? A girl can hope… right?)

I get that, I’m just in pain, not feeling pretty and am a bit discouraged after hearing that.

I could really use a hug and a cookie.

Oh wait… I can’t chew. No cookie for me.

This too shall pass.

Even though I’m supposed to be wearing these things 24/7, I can take them out for dances and other social events where I don’t want to look goofy/not be able to open my mouth/be in pain, and if I find myself around anyone I might want to kiss (although I’m not feeling very kissable right now at all)

I’m sure the pain will lessen in a few days as well.

Let this be a lesson to you kids… wear your retainers and have your wisdom teeth out if the dentist or orthodontist recommends it because trust me, you don’t want to go through this again as an adult.

*note, I wasn’t going to blog about today at all (because I hate whining), but so many of my blog hits are coming from adults all over the world searching for info on having orthodontic work that I feel compelled to keep writing about it so that they do not feel that they are alone in this.


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What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with our culture?

It was pretty difficult (OK, impossible) not to know that there was a “big game” going on yesterday afternoon for anyone who is plugged in to social media (or who left their home)

Over the course of the day (well, the short amount of time I was either at home or plugged in on my smart phone) I saw many internet memes regarding it…

While I don’t care to waste my time/energy by acknowledging things I have no interest in and actually have disdain for, I did think a couple similar to this were cute and posted one (cute owls and a play on words, what’s not to love)…

I was tempted to post this one, but didn’t feel like expending all that much negative energy since several football fan friends of mine were getting quite upset at the “posers/intellectuals/pretentious folks” posting anti-football rhetoric online.

But to be honest, it’s pretty much the way I felt.

I wasn’t going to speak of said spectacle because I’d prefer to spend my time and energy thinking/talking about other things, but I’ve been seeing a lot of interesting things online today.

In addition to the advertising (much of it extremely sexist if not downright misogynistic) I discovered that Super Bowl Sunday is the number day for sex trafficking; I’m not talking about prostitution here between consenting adults making a business transaction, I’m talking about the sex slave trade including minors. You can read about sex trafficking and the superbowl here

While that sort of horrific thing is going on, I’m reading posts from people who want to boycott and have their ads banned because the are “offensive”.

Really? Are those ads as offensive as selling 12 and 14 year old girls as sex slaves?

Even if some of the ads are so offensive as to make banning them and boycotting advertisers something worth doing, the issue runs much deeper than that.

The problem my friends, is not any one advertiser; it’s the culture that surrounds this event.

This is a primitive, testosterone laden ritual where badly behaved “men” are paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and held up as heroes.

Hey, here’s an idea, lets pay/hold up as heroes those who are actually deserving of such praise such as teachers, emergency workers, etc…).

This stuff starts in college, when boys are given scholarships to colleges, don’t do the work and instead get passing grades handed to them because they can throw a football.

What does that tell the kid who is working hard to get an education and be a contributing member of society whose place/scholarships if they need it are being used on someone who could care less about an education?

Even worse, those who engage in criminal activity are often excused from having to pay the price because it’s so much more important to throw that ball around and make the team owners big bucks.

What on earth kind of message does this send to our next generation? Crime pays? You can harm anyone anything you want as long as you can throw a ball?

Not only are these guys paid obscene amounts of money to play a game and often be a bad example, but have you seen the price of advertising? 3.8 million dollars for a 30-second spot.

Imagine if all that money was put towards job creation or social structure…

Women of course, are relegated to prancing around in costumes that are barely there for the pleasure of the men both on the field and in the advertising. (great message to send to your daughters guys… “go fetch daddy another beer sweetie and don’t worry about picking up your dignity or self esteem on your way to the kitchen.”

Did you know that due to the combination of testosterone, aggression and alcohol, this day has one of the highest rates for domestic violence calls to local EMS agencies?

I cringed when some acquaintances tried to get me to join their “Women Who Love Football” group (which was pretty much just an excuse to drink) I had to explain to them (and the multitude of friends who invite me to Super Bowl parties every year) that not only do I not “love football” that being in a room full of alcohol fueled fanatics with a too loud big screen TV, eating crap food, glorifying these guys is kind of my idea of hell. I’ve been told by this specific “the women who love football” group, it’s not about loving football, it’s about meeting men and looking at cute butts. (which I can better find on any given day on a man who is out running, cycling, hiking, etc…)

I am perhaps most amused/perplexed by “the women who love football” group in order to “be cool and meet men” is that what they are supporting in an effort to attract men/get men to like them is so incredibly sexist. (and really, I’d rather attract a man who is out doing something healthy instead of one whose idea of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon is sitting on his butt getting fat and drunk watching a game)

With that said, those who are on my side of the fence in thinking this is ridiculous and who have better things to do (and who have the audacity to defy social convention and say so), are also regularly accused of thinking we are “too cool” and being called “judgmental” (among other things). [edit-I have received more passionate/angry responses to a blog about not liking football, than I have to all the blogs I’ve posted about religion, politics, war, drugs, abuse, gun control and other hot topics, which pretty much makes my point about priorities in our culture]

As a woman, my disdain for the event can be written off as “Oh, the poor little girl just doesn’t understand the game (now go bring me another beer sweetie).”

It’s even harder for the men who don’t care for it, because face it. In this football crazed culture if you don’t want to get all testosteroney and root for your team, you are not considered a “real man” (oh, that man who doesn’t sit around watching sports on TV and is instead out doing something? that’s MY idea of a “real man”).

It does make me wonder how many people feel the same way I do, but are afraid to speak out, lest they be labeled “un-American”, “not a real man”, etc…

At the risk of sounding “pretentious”, I chose to spend my day with my trail running group (actually participating in a sport rather than watching), then working with youth on a community project and finally enjoying dinner and good conversation with a friend.

I refuse to pretend to like something that I actually hold in such disdain because it is primitive, sexist, misogynistic and sending all of the wrong messages to our youth.

If it’s your thing, enjoy… just please leave me out it, and don’t talk to me as if there is something wrong with me for refusing to waste my valuable time and energy on it when I have so much else I could be doing.

If you don’t like any one aspect of it, perhaps it’s time that you take a look at the entire culture surrounding it and decide if your support is part of a larger problem.


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No Surgery Scheduled; But Plenty of Frustration…

I was cleared to have my surgery at my doc appointment on Wednesday. This is a good thing because I really want these tumors out of my ovary and to be able to plan my life past waiting for the next phone call/test result.

I called my surgeon’s scheduler today and she said they didn’t have any appointments this month.

She said they didn’t have any appointments next month.

She said she couldn’t tell me when she’d have a date for me or even when she’d call.

Needless to say, I’m pretty frustrated right now. (I hung up the phone before I said something I might later regret)

The original delay/cancellation (no one’s fault) was bad enough on my finances, stress level and any attempts to plan my life, accept jobs, performances, take classes, etc…

I did send a message directly to my surgeon and my primary care physician explaining that I like Dr Greene and would like him to do it, but if that’s not going to happen any time soon, could they please refer me to someone else.

I don’t expect to hear anything (and maybe not much) until next week.

I am trying not to flip out and get myself even more stressed out and to trust that they will try to work something out.

Health Care; Ain’t it fun?


The Twelve Days of Yuletide (on my Hilltop Funny Farm)

The Twelve Days of Yuletide (on my Hilltop Funny Farm)

12 cat boxes to clean

11 holiday parties

10 cockatiel feathers (on the floor)

9 porch icicles

8 kitty hairballs

7 extra pounds

6 crazy chickens

5 broken appliances

4 dirty nest boxes

only 3 eggs a week

2 quarts of eggnog

And a corgi drinking water from the tree