Saturday, September 21, 2013


Sending happy birthday wishes out to my father!

While we no longer speak, I believe by choice, but it's never been very clear to me, I still think of him often and send him thoughts of joy & peace on special days like today.

My father was a young father. I was born when he was 22 yrs old. And I was his only child. He married a woman who had 3 children from a previous marriage.

While my father has his faults, I have to believe that he tried to do the best he could with the situation he had gotten himself in. He stayed with my mother until I was raised and on my own.

I hope that his life now is happy and that he has found true joy.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Yesterday was a week since our friend earned his angel wings. 

My day felt eerily similar to that day a week ago, I was in the same place, at the same time, that the phone call came in. I anticipated a bad phone call that thankfully never came. 

What did come has left me smiling and being thankful. On my ride home, I was trying to recollect how I got myself home a week ago. The tears were overwhelming, I had lifted my glasses for most of the drive. Surely an angel had to guide my car home that day. As I entered the Cross Valley, I saw a most beautiful sight. Gliding past me was the most beautiful, big wing span, hawk. I smiled with delight. I don't see hawks very often and when they do, I smile. I marveled at what an amazing site this hawk was gliding & floating near a major cross road. (Not that the hawk knew it was a major cross road, it's near the river.) 

Today I was coming up the driveway. I slowed on the hill for a chipmunk who seemed undecided on which way he/she would go. Than I took a moment to look to the side for the momma bear & 3 cubs that we had spotted on Friday evening. I did not see the momma & cubs so I started along again. Very shortly I was greeted by another most beautiful sight. A hawk, taking flight from the ground. The hawk did not seemed bothered by me and was not in a hurry to get away from me. In fact, the hawk flew to a tree and settled in to watch me. So I slowly backed the car up some and sat there in awe. I wondered if perhaps the hawk was looking for food or waiting for me to leave so it could go back to it's found treasure. The hawk never took it's eyes off me. 

We held a stare for a few moments, the hawk & I. I thanked the hawk for bringing me a message and told him/her that I appreciated it. Than I cried. I cried because I knew the hawk had been sent to me. I knew the hawk had a message. You see in my 14 years on the hill, I've never had the personal encounter of a hawk so close. Often I can watch them from thru the window on the side porch or gliding off in the field, but never up close and never have they just stopped to watch me. I did not wait for the hawk to take off, I slowly started rolling the car to my parking spot. I never looked back, didn't feel the need to. 

I have not found a true trust in my instincts & feelings, so when I got home I googled it. I knew that what I felt was right, but needed reassurance. I found it. The hawk is a messenger. 

That's all she wrote...

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Tomorrow we will say our final goodbyes to a very dear friend. A man who was a father, a businessman, a lover and a hard worker.
Daughter & Father

The tears no longer freely fall.  I think I exhausted them when I heard the news.

Today was the viewing for this awesome man. A 5 hour viewing and if I had to guess, I would say more than 1000 people passed thru that church. He touched the lives of many and that was displayed today. By the outpouring, by the love and by the fact that the majority of people coming to the viewing were jovial. You see my friend lived his life the way he wanted. In doing so, he not only made himself happy, but those around him happy as well. Many smiles were shared today.

I am truly honored to have been asked to photograph the viewing & funeral. It was something I felt a tug to do, but how do you approach someone to ask? Probably to the average person it sounds morbid. But to me it is an honor. It was also an honor to see a couple of my pictures among the many that they had put together for our dear friend.

Yes, I may walk around with a camera in my hand, I may catch you off guard or when you don't look your best. But guess what....photographs are memories and someday, your going to wish you had those memories, candid, loving, snarling memories.

Embrace your friends and tell them you care about them. Hold your family & pets a little tighter. Take time to stop & smell the roses. Life really is a present every day.

He died doing what he loved. This is an example of his passion for his work.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

RIP my friend

On 9/9/13 the world lost an angel & we lost a beloved friend.
Thank you my friend for being you. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. We will forever love you and know that you will forever be watching over us.


John Brdaric, father, friend, businessman, angel
obituary from the Times Leader

may we all find peace in our sorrow.
Clouds by Zach Sombiech

Monday, September 9, 2013

)'( Burning Man Thoughts 2013 )'(

Burning Man for us starts with a pilgrimage. A drive of approximately 2200 miles from Pennsylvania to Nevada. During our pilgrimage this year we learned of a much anticipated birth. Hubby became an uncle for a 3rd time to another beautiful nephew.

I am famous for saying with every death comes a birth and this held true. Upon coming off of the playa I learned of an uncle's passing. While not unexpected, it was still a sad event and sad to realize that I would not be able to make the viewing to support my aunt.

Our camp has a pretty famous motivational person in it. John "Halcyon" Styn. If you are not familiar with him doing a quick google search. "Halcyon" started Pink Heart Camp, which is where we camp at burning man. "Halcyon" has a saying...Crap or Cone (he did a Tedx talk on it that you may find on the google search). Basically you can look at any situation and determine if you want to focus on the crap or on the cone. Say your friendship with a person falls apart. You can focus on the crap: your friendship fell apart, your feelings are hurt, you are sad. Or you can focus on the cone: the friendship falling apart opened you to new experiences, to meeting new people, to new adventures and journeys.

Something that happened to us this year at BM was someone decided to use our truck tire to take a literal crap in our camp. Thankfully we discovered it & realized what it was. After I dealt with the disposal of said crap, I kept struggling trying to discover the cone side of the situation. I approached Halcyon to ask his advice. It took a bit, but he returned to tell me that the cone would be that by allowing that space for the incident to happen, we saved someone from dying of internal distress. (True story!)

Another crap or cone happened to our friend Sexy Situation. SS builds a beautiful art swing to provide a resting spot for thousands of people that pass by. You may recall I posted earlier this year about his fundraiser.  The swing was a bright spot all week for thousands of people. A beacon of pink heart light that helped them find their way home. Sunday while breaking down, someone decided they needed the integral part of the swing more than SS. The box that holds the working parts & hook for the swing has disappeared. That is crap! The cone being that Sexy Situation will come back from this with a better working piece and many people will chip in to help him. Plus all the awesome stories people are sharing about the swing. And the couple that he got to meet who met and fell in love on his swing last year.

Many beautiful memories were created and shared this year. One of them being breakfast on the playa. My body cannot stop being a morning person so every morning I would assemble my breakfast and stumble out to the Esplanade couches & settle in for some nourishment & people watching. Occasionally hopping up to provide a tired, weary traveller with some Iced Cucumber Water. I was joined by so many lovely people during my morning breakfasts. Many amazing conversations were had and new things discovered. I even had the pleasure of a foot massage & pedicure by a lovely soul who stopped into our camp. Some mornings would turn into early afternoon events and thoroughly enjoyed. I felt like I was basking in a beautiful light.

For those who encountered me on playa in the evening & heard a good morning uttered from my lips. Rest assured..this has carried to the default world. I can't seem to figure out what day it is, let alone what time of the day. So why not say "Good Morning". Good Morning makes it feel like you have the whole day ahead of you and new adventures await you. :)

Monday 9.9.13
Wow! to think that I wrote all of the above on Saturday & Sunday & decided to wait a day to post. And today, Monday 9.9.13 awaited me with such trauma and tragedy. I left a dr's appt with not the most hopeful news. Left with feelings of frustration, aggravation, defeat, loss and yet a small glimmer of hope. Maybe answers will lead to new paths. Upon leaving I saw I missed a call from hubby. Thought maybe he was calling to see how things were going. I was wrong...I never even uttered my news because he had news for me. A very near & dear friend, one I love as much as my burner family, had passed away in a tragic workplace accident. I have no idea how I kept my composure until the valet got my car, but I did. Than I bawled the entire ride home. I don't even know how I made it home. I am still in shock & still crying my heart out over this man that I loved dearly. Life just does not seem fair. I do not believe in prayer but am sending up thoughts of hope and positiveness that he passed without pain, without knowing what was happening to him. That his children will be able to cope with their pain, loss, tragedy & grief. I will hug them as closely & as deeply as I hug my burner family and I will tell everyone I know how much  I love them & appreciate them.

How ironic that the temple this year did not bring as much sorrow to me as last years temple did. The only words I was moved to write this year was "tell those you love how important they are to you. you never know when it will be the last time".

I will truly miss my friend and the enthusiasm that he would greet me with when we would see each other. I am glad that I had an opportunity to photograph him doing the work that he loved so dearly. To honor him please check out my flickr set at Hotel Sterling Flickr Set

May you forever find peace John. You were loved & will continue to be loved by many.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Returning home from Home

Another successful Burning Man is behind us. We are already prepping for next years return Home!

Pictures will follow later.

Home is a special place to be. I have often heard it said, Burning Man provides you what you need and takes away what you don't. I truly believe those words. 2013 was a year of personal growth, relationship growth, friendships tattered and friendships forged, bonded & strengthened.

I am thankful to all that participated in Burning Man 2013 with me and look forward to sharing with you in 2014.

There are plenty of pictures appearing on the internet-just google search "Burning Man 2013". A few of my favorites were: Truth is Beauty; Skate Camp; Red Lightning; the Man; Hug Deli; Cat Cargo Cult.

Want to know more about burning man? just ask me. I love to talk about it. I hope that everyone who would ever want to experience it will get the chance to do so. It is truly an adventure.

One side note: I loved being able to take a shower every day this year. As a result, my hair was down more often & now is a lovely, naturally, lightened blonde.  And hubby totally rocked his tutu! That make become our christmas card pic!