Randomness

Vintage Watercolorists

I’m not sure at what age we are considered “vintage,” but I’ve received notice of an upcoming event involving some very impressive “vintage” artists. In fact, the event is called “Vintage Watercolorists of Washington.” If you are a local art enthusiast, go online to sunnyshorestudio.com, and read about the impressive accomplishments of the featured artists. On March 10th, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., a reception is being held at the studio where the artists will be available to meet and discuss their work. It is truly an amazing opportunity. As an art lover, I’v decided this opportunity is too good to keep to myself, and with permission from artist Jack Dorsey, I am passing the invitation along. If you are Stanwood/Camano Island people, you have a short drive. The studio is located at 2803 S.E. Camano Drive. There is free parking available. The event actually begins on Saturday the 10th of March at 10:00 a.m., but the artists will only be present from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.that afternoon. The show continues for the following two Saturdays, March 17th and 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 5″00 p.m. Unfortunately, we will be out of town for the March 10th and…

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Randomness

The Wind

The wind. Magical. It guides kites to the stars and blows holes in the clouds. It is the lift the eagles sore on, a free ride for pollen, and natures way of drying out the dampness. It sets the ships a-sail. A gust lifts our hair, our skirts, or moods. It ushers out the old and stuffy and whisks in the fresh and new. Wind produces energy, carries warnings and confirmations. We can tell rain is on the way with a simple sniff of the breeze. We can tell the forest is full of pines, and that a fire is nearby, information escorted to our senses by the wind. An abundance of knowledge rides the shirttails of natures telegraph system. We need only to pay attention. “Just follow the wind,” she said. “It tells you everything you need to know.” With a flip of her hand she turned away to continued her beach meander. This old neighbor surprises me. She is surly and cranky and funny all together. Living on the Island for the past fifty years has made her an expert. She is outdoors every chance she gets; rain boots, hood, gloves, scowl. But, I have learned a lot…

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Randomness

A Born Again Yoga Virgin

Oh yes, it’s vaguely familiar. The serenity, the breath, the stretch. Oh yes, it’s all coming back to me now. I can do this! Unfortunately, I am the last one through the door and the only spot open is front row. That’s Okay, right? I roll out my mat, then tip-toe to the equipment and retrieve a blanket and a set of blocks. I pretend I’m not the least bit bothered that I’m the last one to get settled, that the class seams to be waiting on me, and that I haven’t been to Yoga in six months. I’m trying to get into the rhythm of things.That’s when I finally notice everyone is lying on their backs with a blanket underneath them as well as a bolster leaning up on blocks positioned under their heads. This posture is lifting the whole back to allow gravity to pull the shoulders down and open, thereby opening the heart center. My instructor has made her way to her mat and is addressing the class in her best yoga voice, talking about the benefits of the pose. I didn’t notice we were using bolsters today, so now I have to figure out how to…

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Randomness

Rainy Days Blues

Sog and bog, muck and yuck – it’s a normal Western Washington winter. And unfortunately for so many of us, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a real thing that rears it’s nasty head every winter, right about now. The joyful holiday season is behind us, we were blessed with a magical white Christmas, now all that’s left is to hold on till spring. It’s a good thing we’ve had enough experience with these winters of ours. At least nothing comes as a surprise. Of course it’s dark out – it’s 3:30 in the afternoon, after all. And of course the streets have become lakes. The storm drains are clogged because most of us don’t bother to keep them clear of the massive fall of leaves! It’s just too wet and miserable to be outside doing our civic duties. “It must be a great time of year to be a writer,” my friends say. And it would be if I could just stay awake! I bought an Ott lamp and it seams to be helping. The bulb emulates natural sunlight and fools the brain into thinking it’s a nice sunny day, and as long as I don’t look out a window,…

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Randomness

Broken Hearts and Violence

Another child lashing out with violence. Children killed, wounded, terrified and scared for life. What a heart breaking time we live in. What stubborn closed minds we have. In over ninety percent of school shootings, bullying is sighted as the major activator. A kid who just can’t take it anymore. Teens don’t start out that way. They start out as newborns – a blank slate, a book with empty pages. Everything that happens from the time of birth forward fills in the pages and writes the story of every persons path. Imagine only good happening to each child, only positive influences in their lives. No one picking on anyone else, no negative talk of being fat, ugly, weird, a loser. What if all our kids accepted each other just as they are. Unfortunately, most parents are so overwhelmed with life in general, they aren’t tuned into their kids enough to know when they are keeping quiet just so they won’t get beaten up. Or about the mean notes shoved into their lockers every day. Or the threats against their younger siblings if they don’t comply. Most of us cross fingers and hope the rest of the school year goes as…

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Randomness

Sleepy Time Tips

I’ve been reading up on insomnia lately. My off switch seams to be broken, and this constant on is wearing me out. I’ve suspected insomnia affects women more so than men, and I’ve discovered this to be true. Not only that, but women commonly develop serious health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, and deppression when living on less than seven hours of sleep a night. There are a million reasons why so many of us can’t sleep – stress, of course, being the number one contributor. As I read, I began to realize some of the “cures” I’ve been trying are simply myths that not only hurt my chances of getting to sleep, but staying asleep as well. Interested in hearing some myths that do more harm than good? Here you go! Having a glass of wine or some other alcoholic beverage is helpful for insomnia. Wrong! It may put us to sleep, but we will not stay asleep. Alcohol interrupts the sleep cycle. Sleepy Time tea is much better. It helps to watch a late night movie or play games on our computers. Nope! Far to stimulating. The best thing to do is read from an old fashioned book…

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Randomness

Who are those people, anyway?

In three words: Hallmark Christmas Movies. I’ don’t know where these small towns hail from, nor do I understand why everyone living in them is – well, so Hallmark-y. The men are desperately handsome, attentive, and humble multi-millionaires, and the women are hometown beauty queens turned interior designers looking for just the kind of man the small towns have to offer. I’ve never been in a town where sleigh-bells ring as a horse drawn sleigh trots by carrying a family, all bundled in fur blankets and sipping hot cocoa, plus a Victoria’s Secret version of a golden retriever. I haven’t had carolers come to the door all dressed in vintage garb, smiling and blessing me. Never. Then there’s the whole romantic tragedy that ends up with a white wedding and well as a white Christmas. It’s amazing how quickly some people fall in love! I’ve never know step kids to embrace new fathers with such abandon as the kids on these shows, nor have I known any man to have longed for just this child and mother to belong to him for eternity. Dreams come true in Hallmark Christmas movies. Not that I find it all a tiny bit unrealistic…

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Randomness

Tis The Season…

Tis the season to reconsider all that counts – as in those extra holiday pounds. Do they count? Absolutely not! Nor does the annoying relatives nasty remarks, a croaky voice singing out of tune, exhausted kids throwing temper tantrums, dogs barking – none of it counts! You see, tis the season to overlook it all, with an understanding that supersedes every possible negative to come.Gear up! You know what’s coming, we’ve all been through it a million times! Family and friends will trudge through recently shampooed carpets with mud on their shoes, kids will eat cookies leaving trails of crumbs, candles drip wax and ruin table tops, pies are yanked from the oven with burned crusts, the garbage disposal clogs, the sink over-flows. It’s the freaking glory days! Embrace them for all they’re worth, which is all we’ve got and all that counts, and have yourself a Merry Little Christmas and a Happy New Year! Later, Mary Ann                  

Randomness

Strange Encounter

“Well, look at you!” A voice from the past interrupted my thoughts. “Blonde now, huh? Couldn’t face the gray?” I smiled and put a name to the vaguely familiar voice and face. “Debbie! (name changed to protect the villain) How nice to see you.” I unconsciously brought a hand to my hair. “Yes, easier to chase away the gray,” ” I laughed, “than when I was brunette.” “I can’t believe you still bother,” she held her gray head proudly over me and looked down as much as possible. She’s a good four inches taller than I am, so it was a successful put-you-in-your-place moment for her. “You know you’re just allowing society to keep you in bondage,” she said quietly and leaned close conspiratorially. Bondage? What the heck was she talking about? Apparently, as she went on to explain, women my age (63) should be happy to settle on whatever “naturally” happens to women my age. Society has us in bondage, she explained, an we need to set ourselves free. It was hard to keep my mouth shut as she pointed all this out with her manicured nails. Not feeling she was worth the effort of a confrontation, I allowed…

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Randomness

Old Dogs

I’ve never gone long in this life without a dog. I’m one of those people. I love snuggling up on the couch with a big ol fur ball, walking for miles with someone who is wiling to keep going for as long as I like, and being loved unconditionally. The perks to dog ownership are innumerable. Yet, losing one is a heartbreak parallel to losing any other family member. Okay, maybe not quite that bad. But close! Our family dogs have died of various causes – weird health ailments, one got hit by a car, all of them sudden deaths between eight and ten years of age. It was always my goal to keep them alive past the ten year mark, yet they all said a crushing farewell just shy of it. Until now that it. After years of purebred big dogs, (two labs and a golden retriever,) we took the advise of our vet and adopted two small mutts from a rescue organization in Yakima. That was fifteen years ago. Maggie and Rita have been our constant companions and dear friends for all these years. The combination of small dog and mixed breed allow for a long life with…

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