Pottery on Orcas Island

 

 

IMG_5582 (1) berry bowls

I took one of these home.

I missed a prime whale photo op because I was looking at pottery. Berry bowls. I was taking pictures of berry bowls while Mark was watching a whale off Orcas Island, WA. When I planned my trip to Orcas Island, I dreamed of daily trail hikes to the beach and ocean kayaking amongst the whales. It was quite cool and windy = cold as heck, plus the whales aren’t too happy with humans right now. We decided to go look at pottery one day instead. Continue reading

Grieving is Unfinished Work

IMG_5395 (1) Man and baby

Water color portrait by Jacqueline Stubbs

Sometimes I have to write something for myself – about my Mom. I’ve been thinking a lot about her lately. Not that I don’t think about her throughout each day, because I do. I’m talking about the thoughts and questions that bring me to tears. The kind of boiling tears that make you walk around the house carrying tissues and not daring to put on mascara or go out because you’ll look like hell and start crying all over again when anyone asks how your day is going. Continue reading

Quote Me – The Art of Conversation

IMG_4833 (1) conversation with Dad

Conversing with Dad

I was nominated by Britchy to participate in this quote challenge on the art of conversation. She knows I need help with the technical aspects of WordPress and what better way than to challenge me in a way that will require links and tags!! Also, in a time when conversations (i.e. effective communication) are more crucial than ever, I’m going to throw in a recommendation along with my quotes. Continue reading

Architecture, Fashion and a Rabbit Hole of Research

 

IMG_5202 (1) black dress

Cloak by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino in the Saint Guilhem Cloister

During my recent trip to NYC, I was able to enjoy Fort Tryon Park on a daily basis. One of those days, I visited The Cloisters embedded in the park and managed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I noticed the sampling of architecture throughout and learned it was constructed using bits and pieces of Romanesque and Gothic structures from France and Italy. Each piece has its own elaborate history.  In addition, a portion of the Met’s feature exhibit “Heavenly Bodies” was integrated into it. Continue reading

Trying On NYC – Fort Tryon Park

 

IMG_5139 (1) Fort Tryon Marker

Battle field marker at Fort Tryon Park

Did you ever have a shirt or dress that fell out of favor, ending up in the back of your closet? Months or years later you find it, pull it on and suddenly it looks differently on you? That’s how I felt about NYC before retiring. I associated trips to NYC with work and travel related stress. Plowing my way through crowds and drug sniffing dogs in La Guardia. Stepping out into the heat wearing a suit. A scary cab ride into downtown. People everywhere. I had many creative excuses for not going to work in NYC. However my beloved niece lives there and I decided to try on NYC again. Continue reading

The Hole View – Retirement Pressures

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The guy who cuts my grass broke a window on May 17th. Two weeks later, I still don’t have a firm schedule for its repair – although I did finally get a price quoted. In my retirement transition, I’ve been focused on this hole and angry. It’s a symbol of everything that is broken and that I’ve been waiting to get fixed. Now that I am retired, that which used to be a nuisance, sometimes becomes an obsession. I retired from a  career in power where I worried about the scope of outages, when the next hurricane might come, and a myriad of daily decisions and administrative matters. Now, my decisions are like this: Continue reading

Somewhere On Route 66

 

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Getting my kicks

After celebrating the New Year in Southern California, Mark and I decided to take the long way home, venturing off the main highway to see as much of Route 66 as we could. Actually, it wasn’t that spontaneous. Mark had plotted the trip and made numerous reservations weeks in advance. The weather in some locations could be unpredictable, but we were lucky to have very mild conditions. We were able to execute our plan flawlessly. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 4 – Tia

 

IMG_4342 Tia with pink pillow

Tia relaxed (and slept) with her tongue out.

I set up my new lap top on the dining room table so I could look out the picture window when I write.  The sun is shining just right, and I can still see her nosey smudge marks on the glass.

You’ve probably noticed a pattern; I experience a life crisis – get a boxer. By 2014, both Buster and Tyson were gone, my Father had passed away and my Mother was seriously ill. Shaylea and I became best buds and I don’t think she missed those other boxers at all. That summer, my niece Tawny moved in with me, my long-term boyfriend moved to France, and Shaylea passed away suddenly from a bleeding tumor.  Too much life change at once.  I was a basket case. Tawny hinted at getting a cat, but told me what I really needed was another boxer. Continue reading

Boxer Tales Part 3 – Tyson

 

IMG_4229Tyson portrait

Palette knife portrait by Judy Mackey

 

Not all these tales are perfectly happy.  For starters, Tyson had no tail. A docking job gone poorly.  Good thing they left his soft floppy ears alone. Tyson was a stray, turned in to the boxer rescue still dragging a heavy chain around his neck. He’d probably been used as a guard dog. He had busted loose, looking for freedom and a better life at the age of 4-ish.

Meanwhile, my life was headed towards another rough patch. After enjoying my nice promotion for a few years, our company was going through a reorganization affecting me and my staff. What better way to take your mind off problems than to create new ones? Since I had no control over this situation, I decided to go save another boxer. It was a disastrous decision, but with a few heart warming and humorous moments. Continue reading