photography by samimi-extremie and quotes by her & her loved ones; 
new piece up every friday. see all of them here.


its always a good thing when your best friend lives in the same city as you.

yeah, i'm really damn lucky to have my grrl amanda and her lovely family here in LA now.
so we can do things like accidentally dress up like polygamist wives.

mr. amanda kitchings

fun little fact: i tried to do a upside down french braid for the first time this evening. i think i totally aced it. amanda, on the other hand.....??? well, either my hair is too layered for this style or amanda wasn't really paying attention to braiding my hair...let's just say the jury is out on that one. heh heh.



photography by samimi-extremie and quotes by her & her loved ones; 
new piece up every friday. see all of them here.
*sorry for the lag on posting this! i totally spaced it until now. but does snuggling with 8 month old twin babies and a 2 year old count? yeah, i thought so. :D




i love this polaroid i took of her, she is so so beautiful.

while visiting my dearest family in minnesota for the next couple of weeks, i checked my facebook only to find some sudden, shocking news. i have been so sad all day; my dear friend Jeanne d'Arc had passed away. we attended graduate school together in vermont and she became like a dear older sister to me. any one that knew her will speak boldly about her loving heart, her compassionate spirit, her great sense of humor with a mischievous glimmer in her eyes. we had a couple of graduate courses together and she was always contributing so insight-fully to the discussions at hand.

Jeanne’s life was claimed in a plane crash in central DRC. She was flying home on a local airline from Kinshasa, where she was doing work for another international agency. 

she has an amazing story, and she was a true example to all of our colleagues at graduate school. she was a true example of resilience and joy. one of jeanne d'arc's friends recounts:

"Jeanne brought many years of experience to bear on her work with us. In 1998 she relocated to Rwanda following an episode of deadly violence in eastern DRC during which she lost two siblings. As she rebuilt her life in Rwanda, Jeanne worked for World Vision, the Canadian International Development Agency and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. Seven years later, she pursued a master’s degree in sustainable development in Vermont. Upon graduating and returning home, Jeanne devoted her time to working with community groups and carrying out evaluation and research projects in Rwanda and eastern DRC."

she was a true servant with a pure and radiant heart and will be missed by countless people, i am sure. if you know her, even if you don't, please offer a prayer for this amazing woman who has passed on to the next world. 

all my love to my dearest friend and i thank her for all her service to her people and her lifegiving laughter. 



i get to see my favorite three kiddos in the entire world. apparently my niece has become quite the artist. i wonder if she'll draw on my face too.
fun times ahead.



photography by samimi-extremie and quotes by her & her loved ones; 
new piece up every friday. see all of them here.



so i follow this great blog/publication called KINFOLK, which i've mentioned before. and they recommend a link to Trish Papadakos's flickr where she documents 41 days of coffee. it looked as if they were traveling through europe and mainly greece, so i really enjoyed seeing all the frappe coffee drinks! i may have mentioned that i used to live in greece, in a small town called Stoupa on the Pelopennese and for about five months in Xania, Crete [which is one of my favorite cities of all time].
this totally reminds me of my life when i was in greece.

have you ever had a greek frappe before? delicious!

i think this coffee photography documentation project is fun, especially if you're traveling and you have a variety of settings, cups and drinks! and i am glad someone has done this; its a great idea!


my south dakota

there are days where i really miss south dakota something fierce and there are days where its not so present. there are days when all i want to do is be back there, by myself in my fields with my camera, prayer book and thermos listening for answers, eyes wide open, feet firmly planted. and there are days when i'm happy to be in southern california going to the beach, eating fresh fruit and being around my dearest friends surrounded by amazing creative opportunity. 

and then i saw this photo and it all rushed back - that gentle nostalgic cracking wave. 

this is the time of year where my favorite fields are not yet mowed, the green grass chest to neck high, treading lightly in my beat down cowboy boots, the crickets hushed in unison, the dusty air lulls your senses and the sweet, sweet smell of that dense delightful prairie grass brushing you to peace & meaning.

impeccable capture by julian bialowas
in 2005, one of my dearest friends lindsey and i were driving across country from vermont to washington. yeah, all the states we drove through were cool, but as soon as we hit the south dakota border something changed. it was quiet and powerful, epic and haunting. we drove the entire state with the stereo off and whispered to one another about the magic that we felt in the land. no joke. it was really powerful. 

a couple months later, before baktash and i met in person, we were talking on the phone and i asked him [mind you - before even meeting him], if he'd move to south dakota with me and we'd furnish our house with cheap, beautiful antiques. he laughed. and i laughed and we thought how funny it'd be to live in south dakota. but i wouldn't have brought it up if there weren't a sneaking feeling that a part of my heart was there and there was something very powerful drawing me there. i kinda shrugged it off [for 4 years to be precise] and then what seemed to be "out of the blue" [i don't really believe that] - i was asked to go work in sodak, and without a second thought, i packed up my car with all my belongings and drove back through the entire state only to stop at the very western region and not drive west for two and half years. so cool how life works out. 

baktash and i would talk a lot about cool it was that we actually did live in south dakota together, after those joking conversations about wanting to pack up and live in the wild west together some 4-5 years previous. i'm being DEAD honest with you when i tell you that the first months we were dating he lived in maryland and i'd go out to visit him probably once a month. and we'd pop in to DC once in a while. well, we went to the memorial area where they have all the state flags with the names of each state engraved on single columns, and we took a photo posing in front of south dakota. not any other state. and why would we do this? seriously, its kinda crazy. south dakota was kind of some "make believe" dream that we never actually thought would happen. it was only a teeeeeny glimmer in our eyes. we had no clue we'd get rad jobs and live out there for our first year of marriage. heh. we are sooo tripped out by that. [i'll have to dig up that photo and put it up here] fancy yourself that, eh??
and then we did make that heart wrenching drive west, leaving with all of our belongings second-guessing if we'd made the right decision.

[*longing is in FULL effect - just in case you didn't already gather that from this post.]


four things.

just a couple random thoughts squished together in one blog post.

how cool is this karate chop chopper?? i really want one. but then again, maybe it isn't the best idea for me to have anything that cuts and resembles karate chops.

in 2005 my dear friend chris came to visit me from hawaii and it was a hot summer day in olympia. we had consumed copious amounts of espresso  [4 shots each, naturally] and needless to say, i was geeked. so it was hot out and what does one love to have to get refreshed? a nice chilled watermelon. so i was geeked - well we both were - and i thought it'd be funny to pretend i was a karate chopping chef. so i got our biggest, sharpest knife and start hacking away like i was a samurai master with a long sharp blade. i HACKED it down the middle with one hand and then i wanted to SWIPE through the center diameter [sideways from the R to the L]. so in the same fashion, i HACKED through the watermelon with one hand, not realizing that my left hand was just chilling out on the other side of the melon. well. this is the hard part. i was so geeked and hacked sooo hard and fast that the knife SKIMMED the exterior of the melon, skipping like a perfect flat rock on the surface of the melon, landing straight in my thumb. IT DIDN'T EVEN ENTER THE WATERMELON. JUST MY FINGER. MY BEAUTIFUL LEFT THUMB. i was bleeding everywhere and it was deep. but i didn't want to go to the hospital and since chris was a professional snowboarder in his day and avalanche trained, i naturally thought that he'd be able to fix me. ha. i wish i had a photo to show you what it looked like: we ran to casey's room to get his butterfly bandages and then chris ate a popsicle as fast as he could and i used the stick as the "brace" or cast, or whatever those things are called; i couldn't bend my thumb or it wouldn't heal, as the cut was right in my knuckle. it was hilarious. kind of. pathetic yes. i had a popsicle stick on my thumb for about 10 days [come on, i changed them out! new ones, yummy creamsicles]. i even doned the popsicle finger look at chris's family reunion in portland where i had his brother kevin doctor it up more with new bandages. it was hilarious and pathetic and to this day when i look at my scar on my thumb, i giggle and get hungry for watermelon. [small joke about the watermelon craving] but ever since then, i have a new found appreciation for butterfly bandages and breathing slowly and deeply when i have huge sharp knives, all the while reminding myself that i am not a ninja, nor a karate master, not even a samurai sword fighter. oh but how i wish i was...

which naturally leads me to my next "thing" to share. this awesome image. i cannot tell you how sick i am of the "keep calm and carry on" kitschy "art" that has been floating around the blogosphere for what seems like decades now. 

and wow. this park?? like are you kidding me?? its called the Qinhuangdao Red Ribbon Park 
located in the Hebei province in China. the project statement is as follows: "Against a background of natural terrain and vegetation, is a “red ribbon” spanning five hundred meters, which integrates the functions of lighting, seating, environmental interpretation, and orientation. While preserving as much of the natural river corridor as possible during the process of urbanization, this project demonstrates how a minimal design solution can achieve a dramatic improvement to the landscape." My brother lives in Beijing and when i go visit him someday, i am dragging him along the red ribbon for sure. [see all the photos here].
and one last thing -- i have the best dad ever. i just came across this photo and it made me really laugh. how funny is this? like he looks so happy to be immersed in street art. hahaha. and i get to see him and my mama just shy of a week. mesolucky.



photography by samimi-extremie and quotes by her & her loved ones; 
new piece up every friday. see all of them here.