The Future is NOW

Three weeks ago our daughter Bea flew home.  As she packs to return to school, I try to recall where the time has gone. The day after she arrived, we told stories at the Black Diamond History Museum for their Hometown Christmas.

The locals were very friendly!

Black Diamond teems with local history: we found some of it for sale in a great Antique Store next to the museum.

We were treated to the best pizza in the valley at Black Diamond Pizza and Deli.  The owner, Mike, told us he was passing through on a trip from Wisconsin, saw the building, originally built as a bank in 1915, and fell in love.  The rest is history.

In the days that followed we enjoyed many winter walks, like this one at Green Lake.

They often entail impromptu birdwatching.

We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas at our house.

But we love sparkle all year long, and welcome any excuse to bring more light into our lives.

More cookies too.  There was a flurry of baking…

…for both holidays.


Then we drove out of the city…

…to find our tree.

We got a gooder!

This is how you dress for a Northwest Christmas.

We hosted parties for Bea’s NaNoWriMo pals, and the Dungeons and Dragons set. 

We visited friends……and had friends over to play.

On Christmas Eve we broke bread and made joyful music with family and friends.

On Christmas morning some lucky ducks found cool new jammies under the tree.

Very fitting, as we rang in the New Year with a sci-fi party.  Our old friend Sargon served as Master of Ceremonies.

Cap’n Tommy wore gold. Rick and Sue were Red Shirts–those ill-fated crewmen doomed to die violent and expected deaths before the first commercial break of each Star Trek episode. Rick painted His ‘n’ Her phaser burns on the front of his shirt and the back of Sue’s.

Rick and Dorota were smashing as Effie Trinket and Caesar Flickerman from The Hunger Games.

We came as…

Zaphod from Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, T’Pau the Queen Bitch of Vulcan from Classic Trek episode Amok Time, and Doc Brown from Back to the Future.  When Back to the Future was made in 1985, the distant future to which Doc travels is set in the year 2015!  Yikes!  If you think three weeks goes fast, see how fast three decades will sneak up on you.

I thought about that as we toasted the New Year with the traditional Boston Cooler.

  Here’s a toast to you.

May the New Year bring you twice the warmth, wisdom, joy, and sparkle!

But don’t wait for the future to come to you.  Carpe Futurum, guys, before it carpes you!

All words and images copyright Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: New.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Sparkly.



  1. You sure know how to party

    1. HI Dallas,
      I do love to party. I appreciate the little things in life every day, although sometimes I do think I need to be less like a grasshopper and more like an ant! I wish you and your family the very best for the coming year.

  2. Great pictures, looks like a fun time was had by all! Happy New Year 🙂

    1. Happy New Year, Vanessa! Thanks so much for dropping by!

  3. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    you put the fun in family and the sparkle in celebration – thanks for sharing these heart-warming moments. All best wishes for the coming year Naomi – Kol tov

    1. Thank you so much for the visit. Best wishes to you and your family. Shalom, dear Laura.

  4. Always seems like such fun at your house. Enjoy the college visits home– now my kids have short visits as they have to get back for work! Ugh– when life gets in the way of family time. Happy 2015!

    1. Dear Lisa,
      I take nothing for granted. We started taking our big trips every summer when the kids were six and ten, and I could count on my fingers the number of years we had left before school and work would become obstacles to travel and time spent together. So far we’ve still managed at least a couple of weeks together each summer, but this was the first time Eli couldn’t make it back for the winter holidays and next summer Bea’s still on board for family travel, and we will plan that trip around a couple of weekends with Eli in Turkey, but each year I am pretty sure it will be the last!
      Best wishes to you and your family for the New Year!

  5. scillagrace says:

    Fabulous! I knew you’d do it up good!

    1. Hi Priscilla,
      Thank you! And a very Happy New Year to your and your family.

  6. Naomi says:

    There’s never a dull moment at your house!

    1. Dear Naomi,
      I am looking forward to a few dull moments. I was sad to put Bea on the plane back to school this morning, but I will work through that by putting away the dishes and costumes and boxes of cookie cutters and things piling up outside the storage room!
      Best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  7. Wow, that was some fun-packed, energetic Christmas and New Year. So lovely to see a family that’s all smiles and not at each others’ throats. And hey, the Dungeons and Dragons set — I used to be involved in that, and my son still is!
    Naomi, wishing you and your wonderful family all the best for 2015 🙂

    1. Dear Sarah,
      It was very high energy, and we do love being together. One of my greatest pleasures of the holidays was having Be a read aloud to me–Terry Pratchett’s Monstrous Regiment, which I LOVED. But I won’t mind a quiet week or two to recover.
      I can see you playing an elegant game of D&D, Sarah. When I played with my kids I had a halfling barbarian named Gorgonzola the Naughty, who was raised by Beavers. We had fun with it, I have a great appreciation for D&D and all its creative aspects. Bea’s group has been meeting since high school, and on her spring and winter breaks they always manage to share at least one adventure.
      Best wishes to you and your family for a happy New Year, dear friend!

  8. dogear6 says:

    What great fun! It was a good laugh to see your pictures and enjoy them and your family.


    1. Dear Nancy,
      Thanks so much for the visit. I loved your New Year’s post, so I will wish you a Happy All Year!

  9. brushstroke5 says:

    Wonderful photos!
    Wonderful friendships!
    Wonderful stories!
    Wonderful celebrations!
    Wonderful family!
    Wishing you another wonderful year!


    1. Hi Linda,
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your very generous response. Best wishes to you and yours for a Happy New Year!

  10. I love your exuberance, your parties–the dressing especially–your vitality, your pictures and tours. I hear laughter and happiness and feel the love in all the shots.
    These photos are the best, especially the water and reflections–okay–ALL of them are wonderful and a treat. Thank you for sharing your holidays with family and friends, Naomi. All the best of the best in the new year to you and yours. ❤ ❤

    1. Dear Tess,
      Thank you so much for your visits–you are like your own weather system of positive energy and good humor, and it always gives me a lift to hear from you. Best wishes to you and yours for the coming year.

      1. You are ever so WELcome.

  11. leecarlsonyoga says:

    Looks like good times were had by all! wish we could have been there, too.

    1. Dear Lee,
      We wish you could have been here too! Maybe next year?
      I just put Bea on a plane this morning, but I have enough work to catch up on to keep myself busy and distracted. Eli arrives in a couple of weeks, and we will have another holiday when he gets here.
      I hope you all had a good holiday. I know you must be loving your time with the grandkids.
      Hugs to everyone, and best wishes for the New Year.

  12. Carol says:

    I wish I had a wee bit of your energy and creativity for party-throwing! So much fun!


    1. Dear Carol,
      Thank you for the visit. I love to read about your parties with your friends and neighbors, but best of all is reading about your travels and the celebrations you have with your kids. It’s been a crazy month, and I am behind on my blog reading, but I keep your posts and unwrap them like candies when I have a moment to catch up.
      Best wishes to you and your family for the New Year!

  13. What a fantastic time you all had, Naomi, and a great time of celebration! I’m sure the happy memories will carry Bea through until her next visit home. 🙂

    1. Dear Sylvia,
      Bea was a little sad to go, and we were sorry to send her off, but we did have enough fun to carry us over to the next visit. She will be happy to be back at school as soon as she sees her friends there.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and, as always, for your kind thoughts.

  14. megtraveling says:

    You were really busy – lots of great memories… Happy New Year Naomi!

    1. Thank you, Meg, for stopping by and for your good wishes. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  15. sue says:

    Sooooooooooooooo much fun!!!!!!!! As always…

    1. Can’t imagine a party without you guys! Happy New Year to the whole gang, Sue!

  16. Rick Schmitz says:

    Nerd Check: T’Pow, not T’Pol. T’Pol was the 2nd in Command on Enterprise.
    Loved the party and the pics! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Right you are! I never saw it written down–I just looked it up and it’s spelled ‘T’Pau’. I’m SO lucky to have my own Nerd Herd to back me. It was wonderful having you; we can always count on you guys to shine like binary suns at every party!

  17. Meg says:

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! You guys know how to party. Lovely shots and wise words. Live long and prosper!

    1. You too, my dearest Meg!

  18. ShimonZ says:

    Very beautiful pictures. And I can see that you have a lot of light in your lives. Very happy to see your beautiful family enjoying life.

    1. Dear Shimon,
      Thank you so much! I feel the same way when you take us on walks through your neighborhood and share your family and friends with us.

  19. socialbridge says:

    What a fun, family post. Brilliant.

    1. Hi Jean,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your generous response. Best wishes for the coming year!

  20. Ruth says:

    Looks like a good time was had by all.
    Happy new year Naomi. Thanks for sharing your sparkle and light. (I think I need those boots!)

    1. Oh, my gosh! Those boots were a find! I found them at the University Bookstore and sent a photo by phone to my son to see if he thought Bea would like them. The answer was a resounding YES and, by the way, was there a pair in his size too? (In fact, there was and he wears them proudly).
      Thanks for the visit, Ruth. Happy New Year to you and your wonderful family!

  21. bring on the cookies and the Boston coolers!! Great post and photos Naomi!! All the best in the New Year!!

    1. Hi Cybele,
      Wishing you the very best that 2015 can bring!

  22. jakesprinter says:

    Awesome and stunning photography Naomi 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jake! It’s always great to hear from you. I am really enjoying your blog–your posts always resonate. Happy New Year!

  23. Happy New Year to you and yours, Naomi! Thank you for letting me be a fly on the wall. Your posts, pics and stories never disappoint. ♥ paula

    1. Dear Paula,
      You are always welcome to all the doings around here! It’s always good to hear from you. Best wishes for the New Year to you and your whole family!

  24. Kourtney Heintz says:

    It’s amazing how fast time goes when you are doing fun things with people you love! What a wonderful holiday season–so many great memories captured here. Hoping you have many more wonderful moments in 2015!

    1. Thank you, Kourtney. Best wishes to you in the coming year for happiness, good health, and continuing success in your skyrocketing writing career!

  25. Sarah Raplee says:

    The Sci-Fi Party pictures were my favorites! And the eagle. I can’t resist a beautiful bird photo!

    Happy New Year, Naomi!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      Thank you! So good to hear from you. Best wishes to you too for a
      Happy New Year!

  26. t2van says:

    I so admire your storytelling! Sharing your rich, full life is such an much joy and love spread. Thank you.

    I wish you even more of what you already have in your life – love, joy, wonder and awe.


    1. Dear Terri,

      How good it is to hear from you! Thank you so much for your kind words. I took a little walk over to your blog and I see that you are starting out your New Year with a big adventure! I look forward to hearing all about it.
      Best wishes, dear friend.

  27. Awww … everyone looks extremely happy. Your photos exemplified what the holdiays are … family and friends spending time enjoying each other. LOVE …. the p.j.’s. Years ago when I was making jewelry and exhibiting, I had a custome order a star trek pin in silver. Not being a follower, I had to do research. Much later, my older daughter became a trekky (at least that’s what she called herself). You are truly blessed, Naomi.
    May this year be filled with more and more wonderful memories. 😍

    1. Dear Izzy,
      Thank you for your good wishes, and for sharing your story. I hope you took a photograph of your creation. I didn’t know that you were a jewelry designer, which is very cool. And you even have a Trekkie in the family!
      I wish you a very Happy New Year!

      1. Oh yes, I was an silversmith jeweler for 28 years. Actually, I began with copper. I should post the journey of my career. Unexpected and unplanned …. glad you enjoyed. 😎

      2. I would love to read that story!

  28. restlessjo says:

    Green Lake looks fabulous, Naomi 🙂 Such happy times to treasure with your brood. Yes, the more light, the better 🙂 Hope you all have a wonderful year!

    1. Dear Izzy,
      Thank you for your good wishes, and for sharing your story. I hope you took a photograph of your creation. I didn’t know that you were a jewelry designer, which is very cool. And you even have a Trekkie in the family!
      I wish you a very Happy New Year!

    2. HI Jo,
      Thank you for the visit, and your kind wishes.
      We loving having Green Lake in the middle of Seattle–it has a 2.8 mile path around a lake that many walkers, bikers, skaters, and runners like to take. The Great Blue Herons and eagles and turtles and ducks don’t seem to mind the company. But I am happy just to sit across the table with my family–that was the true gift of the season.
      Happy New Year to you and your family!

  29. yprior1 says:

    the blk diamond museum/deli seems very cool. and happy new year – love the pjs/costumes – and whoa – got me thinking about the 30 years since 1985… crazy! and earlier someone at our house said that Boston is trying to host the olympics in 2024 – and this person said he likely would not be alive then (he is a senior) – anyhow, super fun post and Be a is lovely. Cheers!

    1. Thank you for your visit and for your very kind and thoughtful response. The holiday went by so fast–it wasn’t until I went to write the post that I realized how much we had packed into it. Cheers to you too, and a Happy New Year!

      1. yprior1 says:

        well it looks like a super fun time and the personal photos shared really give such a feel for the experience – I am trying to share more personal pics (like I know we need to be careful online, but there isa val;acne and it can be so fun to just share… ;))

      2. I know what you mean. I am always interested in how other people think and live their lives.

      3. yprior1 says:

        and you did not over do it – so that was cool too 🙂 ha! I guess overdoing it is for Facebook – lol

      4. I don’t post anything but my blog on FB, except occasionally I do pass on political statements that I feel passionate about.

      5. yprior1 says:

        well that is a pretty good way to do it – I am still trying to get fb going – and just can;t – hm!

      6. My daughter Bea helped me get started, and when she did it, it seemed so simple. I don’t spend a lot of time on it, but it is a good way to get my blog out there.

      7. yprior1 says:

        thanks naomi….

      8. yprior1 says:

        oh -0 and I really like your posts because they flow so well – photo – then read – photo – then read – photo – then read – etc. 🙂

      9. yprior1 says:

        oh and happy new year to you and yours as well….

  30. Amy says:

    Don’t wait, so true. Great gallery, Naomi!

    1. Hi Amy,
      Thanks so much for the visit, and a Happy New Year to you!

  31. Cathy G says:

    What fun! I love the theme! Happy New Year! 😀

    1. Thank you, and I sure wish you all a Happy New Year.

  32. elisa ruland says:

    Reflections and celebrations. Lovely stories and photographs, Naomi, thank you. A wonderful New Year to you too!

  33. timelesslady says:

    What a sensational post. I loved reading and seeing the photographs of your holiday. Blessings.

    1. Thank you so much for the visit and the kind words. Blessings upon you also, in the coming year and every day.

  34. I love how you and your family celebrated the holidays. Truly bursting with fun, joy, excitement, of rich and memorable times with family and friends. A festive post and so much more. Wishing you and your family the best of blessings for 2015. Happy New Year year my friend.

    1. Thank you, dear friend! Wishing you and your family all the very best for the New Year too! I think, whatever life throws your way, you will always find a way to fill your life with the joy and comfort of family and friends.

  35. Madhu says:

    ‘Carpe Futurum’ indeed! And what a fun way to ring in the New Year 🙂 Wishing you and your beautiful family, an abundance of love and joy in 2015 Naoimi!

    1. Dear Madhu, thanks so much. I wish you and your family all the best in the coming year, including lots more travel, so you can take lots of photos and tell us all about it!

  36. Tanveer Rauf says:

    colors, life, reflections, parties, thrill omg i just love it 🙂

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