Things about me

At the famous Torii of Miyajima, Japan when I lived there for a short time for work, in 2012.

I began keeping a blog because I am a writer, and the blog is a way for me to write. I should be writing in one of my two books in progress, but I often do not because the thought of those big projects is so intimidating. So you’ll find (if you choose to read it) that I have not designed a blog for easy public consumption. I have not followed the rules: I have no niche. I don’t make my paragraphs tiny for people with short attention spans. I don’t stick with catchy titles.

Here is my online journal. Stuff I think about. Photos of places I visit. Soapboxes I climb upon. Rants. Silliness. A lot of soul searching. You are welcome to read it because I have nothing to hide. Maybe my blundering through life and my delight at simple things will make you smile.

This is me, somewhere in the Trinity Alps of northern California, 20 years and 20 pounds ago.

Sometimes I get lucky enough to travel – local road trips or overseas. My posts during those times are primarily cataloging the stuff I do while traveling, and the thoughts that inevitably surface while I’m in a new environment.

Once upon a time I lived at Gaia. And before that, I lived at Zaadz. It was a themed blog host; the theme being sort of granola-y, tree-huggin’, love yer neighbor type of place. …and then Gaia died on March 31st, 2010. I had time to copy all my old posts back to 2007, and find a new home here at Word Press. If you stumble across any very old posts, the references and comments may not make sense. I posted my old posts, one by one, and manipulated the dates as though I posted it here at Word Press on the proper date. (But now you know my secret!)

51 thoughts on “Things about me

  1. I saw that you had a picture and a story with JP Johnson. He used to be a roommate and close friend of mine. I lost touch with him years ago, and this is the first I have been able to find of him. I verified, by the picture, that it is him. Please send him my email address, and send me his contact information. I understand if all I can get is his email address. You can even verify with him before sending me his info. We were very close, and he changed numbers around the same time I did, and we lost each other. Please help.

  2. You have a beautiful daughter the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. God wow I’m speechless in a very wonderful way!

    1. Thanks, Lynn. I might easily say the same back to you. Yes, she is beautiful, but if you met her you would be truly blown away. Miss Tara is a remarkably funny, brave, mature, mischievous, smart, and self-confident young lady. I’m crazy about her. It’s nice to hear from you.

    1. This is such an honor. I am going to dedicate a post to your thoughtfulness. I read a quote on another blog this morning, that said something like “feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” So I intend to take that to heart!

  3. Well now, you sound like quite the adventurous gal πŸ˜€ I have been following ‘The Retiree Diary’ for some time, Michael travels extensively and you may enjoy and/or recognize many of his destinations. I shall now snoop around, nice to meet up today Crystal πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks for the tip, and thanks for the follow! It’s a pleasure to “meet” you, and count me in for the middle America rendezvous when we all have the time and the funds to meet up. πŸ™‚

    1. You are welcome, Don! And sorry I’m so tardy with a response. You know, yours is one of those blogs that does not show up in my email feed, and that makes it harder to follow. I don’t know why some blogs work and some don’t, but that explains why I don’t remember to check for new posts. I do enjoy your writing!

    1. Thanks so much and I *finally* did a post on it. I hope you can forgive my tardiness. I really love your blog and I consider it an especially valuable vote of validation that you like mine back. (I think I just invented a new standard of appreciation: the Triple V!)

    1. Aanchal I love yours right back! I am so glad we found each other in the blogosphere and I thank you for the award but mostly I thank you for the fabulous blog you write. I will publicly thank you for the nomination in a future blog post.

      1. Thank you so much Crystal. Your loving words for me and the content I write makes me glad and make me feel happy that people out there loving what I write. As it comes straight from heart, a very simple writing:)
        Thank you so much for accepting the honour.

        Much Love<3

  4. How can I not follow someone who goes traipsing through the Trinity Alps. They are a beautiful part of California and I have backpacked their several times, as well as the Marble Mountains to the north. This summer for the first time, I packed in the Red Buttes, which is the next range north and about 15 miles south of my home. –Curt

    1. I know, right?! I read so many blogs now from places like Indonesia and the UK, and New Zealand and South Africa and Denmark. All of them say, “Come visit!” And oh, I would love to…. Thank you for stopping by.

  5. Hello, Crystal. Yes, I do live in the Portland area. I caught your comment on my holiday oomph post and thought I’d come check you out. I have a niece that lives in the Laurelhurst area. You can e-mail me at and we can exchange addresses. I’m a bit cautious about the internet. I had a writing instructor at the senior center who insisted I try to keep my blogs around 500 words because no one would read any longer. So I try but my son keeps saying he wants more information on a certain sentence. I know I have a short attention span now that I’m older and don’t see all that well but if something is really interesting, I’ll see it through. You have some wonderful photos and am looking forward to seeing more. Noticed my friend Boomdeeadda is following you and she has excellent taste.

    1. great to hear from you! I agree with you: I’ve had lots of blog advice that just doesn’t suit my style. In 7 years of blogging I finally got up to 100 followers…. ha ha! That’s just fine because I’m doing this for me, and if anyone enjoys the ride, it’s a bonus. I love Boomdee and I’m glad to meet you both in my online world.

  6. I relate to your blogging style and reasons for ‘getting it out there.’ I’m a writer also, and many times when I should be working on my next novel, I work on my next post instead. But it’s so wonderful to connect with others throughout the world through our blogs – a novel doesn’t do that.

    1. You are so right. The connections I’ve made through blogging have become valuable to me. It’s a second neighborhood, you know? I’ve actually got a Canadian blogger friend I was able to meet in real life. That was an exciting day! I hope to be able to meet many of you in the coming years. Somehow I’ll figure it out. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi GP, thanks for stopping by. I’ve seen your presence on the blogs of friends of mine, so your icon is familiar. Then yesterday I was reading an old blog – years old – and you had liked it! So you must have seen my icon around too. Perhaps our meeting is overdue, but at any rate: Hello! I am pleased to meet you as well.

  7. I am a genealogist and love finding out the details of the lives of my ancestors. I’m curious. Have you always known about your Cherokee heritage? I’d like to know more about that journey, perhaps you can refer me to some of your older posts?

    1. Thanks for your question! Yes, I have always known I was Cherokee, and the family was always proud of it, but not very involved. I did not hear Cherokee stories or language or traditions growing up. I also felt very much outside the group, so I didn’t try to seek out anything until I was registered as a Cherokee citizen. I did that about 2005 or so. Then in 2009 I attended my first Cherokee event in Portland, because registering gave the Cherokee Nation my address, so they mailed me an information postcard that told me the Chief would be in Portland. That’s how I found out there was a local group. I have been attending their meetings ever since, and slowly gained more confidence and became more involved. I would do a search for the keyword “cherokee” and my blog. In fact, there might be some blog posts suggested at the end of my recent ones, that will point you to others. Let me know if that does not help, and I’ll think of something else.

      1. Thanks. I didn’t know I could search someone’s blog like that. I’m pleased to know you have become more invovled in the Cherokee culture. I think it is so important to rescue the Native American stories, and keep the language alive. I am a devout believer in storytelling, and there is little I like more than language.

        I’ll do that search of your blog. Looks like I might find some really interesting reading. πŸ™‚

      1. and this right here – this quote from you – I think I will need to use this later if you do not mind – because there is something so content in what you shared with it – and I know three bloggers who left blogging this month – and feel a post brewing…
        “So you’ll find (if you choose to read it) that I have not designed a blog for easy public consumption. I have not followed the rules: I have no niche. I don’t make my paragraphs tiny for people with short attention spans. I don’t stick with catchy titles.”

      2. well I am not sure the post will be too detailed – but I think the main message is to lighten up with blog goals and maybe
        Lower expectations and find more enjoyment – eh? something like that –

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