Our Blog, and random thoughts

The home of our thoughts

Furlough...

Well thanks to our world-wide situation, half of our Admin team is now without employment until at least the summer.

This is very unfortunate, and will be a major strain on all things financial, potentially including this project.

We were planning on taking the steps to take this project to the next level and make it an official organization, with actual staff, and such.
That does not look like it will happen by 2020 season at this rate. This also puts the brakes on any app development unless our
Community can step up and help donate to the project.

Support Us on Patreon!

Support Us via Venmo!


Other options may be available upon request, Email Us!

World Health Issue

As the world deals with the world pandemic, and media over sensationalizes it, we sit here wondering about our future, the future of this project, and the future of our gainful employment.
I know we are not the only ones with these concerns, but after our extended period with no income not all that long ago, this is going to be a pain point.

It is truly our hope that our followers are well, and healthy during this time of uncertainty, and we do not want to just be another dark cloud of doom and gloom. We just want to be open with all of your, as how all this and it's affect on us personally, can and will affect this project and our ability to do what we do as a service to you, our community.

God Bless, Stay Healthy, and wash your hands

PNWCL Admin team

Corona Lights

Corona Lights.

As scary as the the current world situation is, I tip my hat to my display owners that are putting up lights and some even doing mini-shows to lighten up their communities during this situation, and in many cases quarantine. We have a listing on a recent post on our facebook page, check it out, perhaps there are some lights near you.

Please remember social distancing and keep 6 ft from you and other people if you are outdoors, or just stay in your car with windows up, to help stop the spread of this new virus.

New Year

Here we go into a new Decade, after 10 years, 2010-2019, more than half of it, I've been working on this project… Wow the time has gone by, and the growth has been amazing.

I am not sure what the new year will actually bring, but I am hoping for page growth, app development, and more, we just need financing for much of this, and donations to help the page, totaled less than $100 so far. We need nearly $3000 to get the app developed, and we cannot do that out of our personal budget. So much money from our personal budget already goes towards all this as it is. We could use a new computer as well to keep up with things, but that's too much right now, as we use Macintosh platform for most of our web work.

https://venmo.com/pacificnwchristmaslights

https://www.patreon.com/pacificnwchristmaslights

Boxing Day

Today on Boxing day, December 26, the page finally exceeded 5000 followers, the likes are trailing behind as usual, but still 5000 mark finally.

It took a bit of a grind to go there and a lot of help from a lot of people, but thank you to everyone.


Update:

After having Christmas with the family, it was the disappointment, I had expected, at least the page met its mark, so that's something.

4000+ Miles and 5 Million Lights

2 weeks have gone by, and it has been crazy.

So many displays seen, so many lights, many would consider what we did, pretty crazy.

We had great travels, long days, and managed on food we brought with us, as to not spend the extra money on eating out.

Southern Oregon, Spokane/Couer D'Alene, and Lower mainland British Columbia, we travelled all over those areas, scouting new displays, visiting ones we have never personally visited, and networking with display owners.
Back to the normal 40hr work week this week, but 60+ hours each week during the trip, either traveling to or scouting displays to make ALL this even better for my followers has been amazing.

I would hope that my fans will help us out financing this project, as web hosting, travel, and just gasoline for the car to show you all the displays is an out of pocket expense from our own budget.

Venmo Donations

Patreon Donations

Lights Vacation begins

So here we are, December now. 2 weeks off to work on visiting and viewing displays FULL TIME. Oregon, Washington and British Columbia visits are all on the schedule.

We start off with a media night at Enchant Seattle, before hoping the passes stay clear to get over too Spokane safely.

After that it will be Oregon, then British Columbia, Canada.


UPDATE: Media Night was fun, food, drink and Lights, we had a good time.

USA Thanksgiving

Today is the day that those of us in the United States celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday, followed by the craziest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.

On this day of giving thanks, we want to recognize how thankful we are to have this project and our wonderful following that has come with it
The benefits of this project have extended my reach further than I would have ever initially thought it would, and the friendships we've made along the way we will cherish.

We will be hosting and cooking our Thanksgiving meal, with all the traditional fare for our family.

I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Light Up Days

With Light up day for most displays in the next couple of days, planning our days/nights is key to visit as many displays as possible.

A handful light up on Thanksgiving, others the day after, and most by or near December 1st.

We are looking forward to our media day at #EnchantSeattle, this is our first media access to a commercial event since starting this project, hopefully the first of many!

I hope you all enjoy the lights, and enjoy our blog.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

Holiday Blues 2

The struggle is real, and again it returns this year.

For those that have been following my blog, will know that i deal with seasonal depression, and it stems from being poor growing up and being disappointed more times than not during the holidays.
This year is no different, as disappointment looms over this season for me. I work hard on this project as distraction from the depression, as I do see the joy that it brings others, which I try to feed off of.


I've been planning a big trip to see displays in the farther reaches, but the expense of such a trip is not something that funding is available for. With the time and travel expenses, plus my normal monthly bills, unless other funding magically appears, it seems long distance travel is out of the question.

The cost of running/hosting this page, and the 40+ hours I spend each week working on this project comes with no pay. If every one that followed me on Facebook donated simply $1 each so many of the costs of this would be easily covered, and with $2 each, could even hire an app developer to give all of you an app for your phones to get all this goodness in 1 place.

I am not by anyway, begging for money, as I can afford to pay my bills and such, but extra expenditures out of pocket for this project, have to take a back seat.

Best wishes everyone, may the season bring you all the joy, and happiness, I will get through this.

But if you suffer from depression or other mental illness, PLEASE, take the time to talk to someone, there are many hotlines, online chats, and other support forums out there to help. That being said, i am still very bad about my own self-care in that regard as I am always running out of time to do anything like that, so try to make time in your life, even if it's 5 minutes to seek the help that is out there waiting for you to reach out to them, as they are there, and ready to help.

3000 mark

Finally the Facebook page is now at 3000 followers!!! A milestone we wanted to hit last season, but here we are at the beginning of this one hitting that mark.

I cannot expect 300% growth of the followers again this year, but if we can increase to 5000, it would be a great step to take.

Perhaps media coverage will spike our following? Time will tell.

Christmas, Full Steam Ahead

Now that November is rolling on, it's time for everything Christmas. We've been busy getting updates from displays, and updating the maps with new listings.

On the newest Disturbin' the Burb's podcast we got an another mention during the show, it's really a great honor to have some more media related exposure for the page and this project.

Hopefully more media coverage to come soon, as I have others interested this project.

Disturbin the 'burbs

Was just contacted today by the host of Disturbin' the 'Burbs Podcast

They want to do a podcast with me. They are a new podcast, but they are local, so local supporting local. Why Not?

With only 1 episode live at this time, it is quite entertaining, and a bit irreverent, but still amusing. I would suggest you check them out, and give them a like/follow on Facebook as well.

We will be on their show in the next week or so, hopefully.

https://www.facebook.com/disturbintheburbspodcast/

https://www.disturbintheburbs.com/

Snubbed partnership

A large display, that we have given main stage advertising on our pages for years now, has decided when I approached them for a partnership of some nature, declined.

They decided that, even though people ask, they don't want to point anyone at anything else other than their display, and the message they convey.

So our admin team has decided we will keep them on the map, but we will not share or advertise the display any longer on our outlets, as they get enough exposure as it is,
and they spend money on advertising themselves.

It would have been really great for us and this page, to have even a low level partnership, or even a small sign somewhere on the grounds, but that was too much to ask of them. A shame as the season is about sharing and community, along with the religious connections to the holiday.

This is their loss now, no longer mine. I am now re-classifying them into a different grouping on the map.

Halloween Pt 2

With the Halloween day closely approaching our map has extended quite a bit and bunch of displays visited as well, it has been a fun season so far.

Halloween is still a fairly new thing for us, but I am happy with the growth of this aspect of our service.

Happy Haunting everyone.

Facebook Live

So, back at the beginning of the month, we did our first FB live interview, it was new and exciting. We are at the Spooktacular Halloween House, otherwise known as the the Very Merry Christmas House, by the one and only Gena. She is quite the character and one of our biggest proponents. She is helping us in ways we could never imagine, and is working to get "sponsorships" to help with certain things related to our work with this project.

Gena you are amazing. But when speaking of proponents, I cannot ever forget to talk about Mark, who helped spur me on when this project was just a twinkle in my eye. I will sorely miss his display of Woodinville Wonderland, as it was always a place of magic to me, and would always lift my spirits when visiting and especially when i had time to actually chat with Mark himself.

Hopefully our future FB interviews will go just as great, and hopefully we can get a rhythm down to our process

Thanks for visiting, please make sure you like/follow our FB page, and other social media if you like.

Best Regards Everyone.

Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and the maps for the Halloween lights is live, and is coming together nicely, with new entries being added regularly.

This is going to be a big year, and we are very excited to what the season will bring.

The Season is coming

Wow, summer went by so fast. It always does. It was a great summer in the Pacific NW this year. Now is time to shift gears and start working on lists for Halloween and eventually Christmas as well. This is now my busy season, wish me well, and hopefully with the groundwork now in place, more so, that this year will be smoother than the past on updating, listing and eventually visiting listed displays.

We are opening up to sponsorships and potential advertising as a revenue stream to aid in cost of the services we use to provide all this to our public, if you are interested, let us know, as this project does get expensive.

Snowmaggedden 2019

4 rounds of snow later, getting a little tired of feeling nearly snowed in. Round 1 8 inches, Round 2 4 inches on the remaining 3 inches. Round 3 6 inches and Last night Round 4 another 6 inches….. Needless to say I've not seen my driveway, let alone the actual pavement in some time. As much as it is fun, and I have the ability to work from home, it is a bit much at this point. My car cannot traverse the roads with this weather, and the current conditions, not enough clearance and the snow is just too high to push through right now.

Supposedly there may be more coming, but we have a reprieve for now. I am lucky enough to not have any large trees near me that I have to worry about being weighed down with all this snow, trees and branches have been coming down all over the area, and sometimes causing power lines to come down in the process.

Need to make a few more awards for displays and start planning my content for Pacific NW CLAP in May.

Winter is Coming

So, the PacNW finally got it's first dose of a real winter…. May as well Shut the state down…Panic in the stores, and gas lines reminiscent of gas lines during the Gas shortage of the 70s. It was entertaining to watch the masses freak out over snow, which, yes is a rare event in our temperate climate, especially at these levels. I am happy it did wait until after the lighting season was complete, so travels were easier and didn't have to battle more elements while attempting to enjoy lights.

Apparently this is just wave 1 of many to come, we shall see.

End of the Season

It saddens us that the lighting season is now over. We saw plenty of displays, nearly 100 displays visited, some multiple times. It was a busy year, 1 Full time job, 1 part time job, and then nearly full time hours working on the maps and page. Long hours were put in, and I am happy we did get some donations to cover our personal costs of hosting this page, and for our travel expenses going to the displays for the benefit of everyone, we didn't reach our full goal, but what we did get will help. We still have work with the page and such to do over this month, but the hours will be considerably less now. Beyond that, I have to figure out now what to do with my free time again, and get back into regular habits.

We were honored to be part of the closing night of Woodinville Wonderland, which is now closed not just for this season but it is the end of that display. We also got to hang out with Gena, at The Very Merry Christmas House, on her closing night. She will be back in 2019 with her epic Halloween display, and again with Christmas afterward. Last but not least got to take time to do video work for the Steffensen family, their videos will be up in the near future, though I wish they would have turned out a bit better, they do well enough to show how well their display is put together.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to visit and use our Facebook page, as well as this page for your Christmas Light viewing.

J

New Year

The holidays and the new year have come and passed, displays are shutting off 1 after another. It's sad to see them close down for the season, but I understand they are all a limited time engagement.
Today Woodinville Wonderland has it's swan song, it's closing night, the finale. I will be there with many others to see if off in grandiose fashion. Hopefully the weather will hold out so I can get some videos to upload.
Have to plan now for finishing up the season and what upgrades/improvements I should make to the services on the FB page and on here.

To be finished later

J

Now where did I leave off? Ah Yes, the future of the services we provide. They map listings exploded this year, the usage of which also was very high. People seemed to really enjoy them, but then there are those that just didn't understand google maps (the most widely used mapping service in the world). Well we hope that next year people have caught on how to use it. It's tough to make their interface even easier to use, but hopefully well find a way.

Holiday Blues

Mental health is really nothing to mess around with. It can really mess you up internally and physically.

As someone that has dealt with this all my adult life, even though I run a page that helps bring holiday cheer to others, and at times it brings cheer to me, the depression the season brings still looms like a black cloud. I can outrun it for a time, but eventually it will catch up. I am sure all this stems from living in less than modest household growing up, and multiple disappointments by those that were in my life during those times, but knowing that still doesn't change the fact that this season is hard on me. I know that I am not the only one in the world that deals with these issues, but putting myself out there and admitting it publicly, will hopefully help to make me stronger.

Moral or the story here is, don't hide your mental health issues, put it out there, you'd be surprised how many people around you will be willing to support your and help to lift you up. More attention is on mental health these days than ever before, and help is out there. If you don't know where to go, ask a friend or family member to help you find the help. I am bad about this myself, but just remember just because you have mental health issues does not make you less of a person, or broken in any way. Everyone is wired differently, and it's just a learning experience on how handle and manage you mental health, just as you have to do with physical health (exercise, eat right, etc).

Thank you for reading, I am stepping down off my soapbox now.

J.

Crazy Season

Wow… just wow….

It's been 2 weeks since my last blog update, well it's been a busy crazy two weeks. We've been out seeing displays in Olympia all the way to Montesano, and parts yonder there. Also did our first run on British Columbia this year too. Hopefully we'll be able to do another before the season ends. Also we brought on an editor to help with travel to displays in the southend, Katrina has been a great addition to our team, she is just as display crazy as we are. She has gotten to numerous displays we would have not been able to get to ourselves, so helping add content to our page.

Tonight we co-host Woodinville Wonderland, so it should be exciting.

The End of an Era/A loss in the Family

Well today….Official release of the news we've known for awhile….. This is the final year for Woodinville Wonderland. At first when we learned the news, we were pretty awe-struck. How could this be the last year of our biggest family tradition? What are we going to do now? How will this impact the other Christmas displays in the region? This is one of the biggest home displays in the region, and certainly one of the most popular, as it's been highlighted in the new numerous times, and they have been approached by "The Great Christmas Light Fight" numerous times, which they have politely declined each time.

As we stated in my post on Facebook, this all started with the help of the "Z" man, aka Mark, the proprietor of Woodinville Wonderland, as just a simple 1 page paper list. That one page over a few seasons eventually became 4, covering multiple states, a province, and commercial paid displays. It has now grown into a yearly project, and takes hours of work, which is all unpaid, except an occasional donation now and then. As it started we met this nice man who started the conversation off with "Merry Christmas" as we walked into his large walking Christmas display that was synchronized to music. We continued the conversation and learned about how the display was run, and time involved in doing so. That man was Mark. We did not know his name at the time but subsequent visits, we learned his name. Over the years we've seen the display change due death in his family, death in wife's family, and even the passing of their dogs, each of those years an element of the display was a remembrance to them.
As those years passed, Mark and us got more and more acquainted, and we eventually got on the conversation of making a list of area displays. At that time is was limited to Bothell Woodinville, North Seattle region, even though he was connected to displayers much further away. So we would send him new addresses to add, and the list grew, after a couple of years of that, we took over the list, and created the Facebook page to use to distribute the list. At that time I had no idea how this was going to grow into what it is today.

Sorry, I've gotten onto a tangent there.

Woodinville Wonderland has been a staple of the Christmas light community for years now. Has even been highlighted on KOMO4 news when Steve Pool was doing "Pool's Parade of Lights" It has become a tradition, a required, a must see display EVERY year for 100s if not 1000s of people in the Pacific NW. Today it was announced this year is the "Swan Song" year, the finale, THE END. This news is bound to take lots of people off guard, just as it did with us. It leaves us wondering how many people will drive by it next year and be shocked to see it not there. Woodinville Wonderland to us over the years, was not only a tradition, it felt like the display was part of my family, maybe even a part of my soul. We had the honor to run, host and manage Woodinville Wonderland for a few days in 2017 which is an experience not forgotten, that over the years that trust level had been built. We still remember the first year we were given "Yard Privlages" for the sake of taking photos. For a few years we were "the official photographers" of Woodinville Wonderland. That was such an over the moon moment, given the go ahead to go into the inner sanctum, the lawn, where the display was, "No Mans Land", the place that got you onto Santa's "Naughty List". Another of those moments was when were invited inside for something warm to drink, in this case Hot Buttered Rum, a specialty of Mark's we learned. It was very good. This is when we got to know Tracy. We'd finally made them friends, not just us watching the lights and talking to Mark. We are blessed to call Mark and Tracy our friends at this point. We know the loss of the display is heartbreaking, and hard to fathom for some, but the reality of it is here. As I've been taken in under the wings of not just Mark, but other members of the NWCLAP network, they are my family of displayers, so a loss in the family is always tough. Last year it was Christmas in Kent, this year, Woodinville Wonderland. The show will go on, eventually, but not at it's current location, it will be in Chelan, and probably viewable from Manson. It tugs at our hearts to see such a loved display come to an end, but as they say, "All Good Things….Must Come to an End"


Here is the excerpt from my FB post about it

Time for a heartfelt message. I'll have a longer one later today on the blog on www.pacificnwchristmaslights.com
This project was started with the help of a great man named 
Mark. Mark owns, operates, and is the face of Woodinville Wonderland. Over the years we've become more than acquaintances, I consider him a dear friend, even though we mainly connect through his display and lighting groups we are both a part of.
He originally maintained a short list of displays, I later started helping list more and more, and took on doing the list myself. This lead to the creation of this Facebook page, which highlights and lists the displays, and now maps them out too for your convenience. 5 seasons later here we are growing in popularity and notoriety, still waiting to be discovered, highlighted by local media, until then we will continue to grow organically with your word of mouth and sharing on social media.
The loss of Woodinville Wonderland to us is like a stake in the heart, it's been our "go to: display for many years, and has been a family tradition for us, and numerous other families over the years. We even had the honor of running/hosting the show a few days last year, which was such a amazing experience. Next year without the display, it's going to be difficult on us 1. because we are so attached to the display and the magic of Christmas it instills in us, 2. It's been such a part of the community for so long, it's integrated into our lives and the lives of others leaving a hole inside us, with nothing of the same level to fill it, and 3. Mark and Tracy have been so kind to us over the years, seeing them during the holidays will be sorely missed.
May the elements of the display live on in other displays, and we do wish the absolute very best to Mark and Tracy in their future life adventures, wherever their path will take them in the many years to come.


Building Content

So, tonight after visiting a few displays, and a long work day. I decide to work more on the webpage, and stay up later than I should, AGAIN. As a result I have started the integration of the maps into the webpage itself, so far so good, not sure if I totally like it or not yet, but I have plenty of time to adjust and tweak this as I go along. I discovered that one of my compatriot pages, does the maps in a very interesting and unique way, I need to discover more of how and what they did, as I would like that similar functionality eventually as well on mine. I am enjoying having my new web building program as it is making details like this blog easy to do and to manage. Well time for sleep my friends, thanks for reading

Page goes live

Well, it's almost December 2018, where has the time gone? This year has gone by fast, even with all the personal strife i've gone through.

Today I finally published the webpage for public viewing. I hope it goes well, as it took plenty of time to get it to this point.

I hope my followers, and friends like the work I've done here. It's still in it's most basic form, galleries are small, but that will change with this season as we have numerous new displays to see. It's a lot of work, but it seems to pay off, now if we can get some media attention, I would love for this page to be more widely known, as so many people ask about displays.

Humble Beginnings

How this all got started…. Read Moreā€¦