Friday, May 31, 2013

One More Wheelchair Ride

This trip to Boston really has to be the last time I have to use wheelchairs in the airport.   On the one hand, I feel guilty using them.  On the other hand, I know there is absolutely no way I can do all that walking and standing unassisted.

Perusing the internet, I am certainly not alone with my dilemma.  So I'll just be thankful that this service is available. I almost want to pin my handicapped card from the DMV on my chest to prove that I need it.  Then again, I'm sure no one even notices or cares, except me.

I need to remember that I'm mostly "invisible" to others - the issues are all internal.  So the phrase:  "relax and enjoy the ride" definitely comes to mind.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What To Do on the Plane?

Over 5 hours in the air tomorrow.....what project will I take with me?  The coiled basket that I started?  The never ending crocheted tablecloth that I had hoped to finish this year, at least? (The one I started as a "ferry" project when I began traveling to the island.)  A waxed linen twined basket that needs to be finished?  Perhaps pack one for the trip out, one for the trip home?

Today I will also load up my Nook with a couple of books from the library for reading choices. 

Yeah, who am I kidding??  I'll probably just watch the movie and nap.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


So it's back to this alternate reality of meetings, boards of directors, traffic, appointments, and having to check my calendar for my day's events.  Instead of having the time to watch the birds while weaving, I'm scheduling and trying to pack yet another item into my days before I leave for Boston on Friday. 

Just thinking about another episode of airports and travel makes me cringe - probably because I'm also preparing class kits to teach in Kentucky in another 2 1/2 weeks.  (And traveling with 3 large suitcases to get there is overwhelming at the moment.)

I probably wouldn't feel so engulfed if my knee was functioning at 100%.  Perhaps the ratio of my dis-ease is inversely proportional with the rate of my healing and mobility.  For some odd reason, it helps to think of it like that.

So to increase my odds of getting my usual energy and enthusiasm back for this life I've created (which is oh so much better than sitting behind a desk everyday), after I finish my physical therapy exercises, I think I'll go to the pool for some easy movements in the water.  Hmmm, that may mess up my "schedule", but oh well!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Drive Home

Packing up for the drive home and closing up the house until the next trip to the island is usually not my favorite part of any visit.  Couple that with the discomfort of knowing I will have to decide upon and navigate new routes and deal with a lot of traffic (not to mention a much longer driving time), and the thought of leaving the island is even more unhappy than usual.

But even as I plan my travel, I commiserate with the local population of Mt. Vernon that has to deal with all this additional traffic and upheaval because of the bridge collapse.  Their daily lives are affected, while it's only one journey on my part.

I have five routes to choose from.....hopefully I'll make the right choice and the right time of day....if there is one.  I just downloaded the Seattle Traffic App to my phone - I probably should have had it on there before, anyway.

So I've done all the preparation I can, and Sophie and I are ready for a long trip home.  And yes, it is getting closer and closer to a complete move to the island!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quiet Memories

My first Memorial Day Weekend on Lopez Island is marked mainly by the quiet and calm as compared to the usual mainland activities and crowds.

Finding treasures from local artists at the Farmers Market (photos below - the crocheted mat is mine)
     - There was absolutely no way I could walk away from this teapot!!

Lunching at the Fountain

Viewing new birds at the feeder

Enjoying our Baha'i study group

Weaving everyday while listening to the birds

Soaking in the sunshine on the deck

Listening to the softly falling rain

While I'm not home to put flowers on my family's graves, I can say prayers for the departed.  The peace and tranquility here is certainly not taken for granted - not for a moment.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Slowing Down This Summer

I'm sharing portions of a wonderful blog about slowing down this summer, not cramming absolutely everything you possibly can into it! (And for my readers Down Under, my apologies - I do realize that you are just heading into winter.)  A lot of these tips have come naturally by living on the island, but some are "simply profound" - pun intended.  I do find myself "lingering" while I'm on Lopez, and of course I'm always reading.  We naturally "unplug" - I like that my cell phone only works in a few spots on the island.  Oh, and don't get me started on hiking.....I'm still working on walking unassisted, with full motion and pain free.....

The Summer Slow Down Guide
Start a morning routine.
This is the best time to start building a little time for yourself in the early morning hours.It is easier to wake up earlier in the Summer. Your body responds to natural light. Go to sleep with your shades open and let the light in. Wake up 5 minutes early tomorrow and create a meaningful morning routine.
Clean less by owning less.
The last place you want to spend summer is behind a vacuum cleaner. A daily or bi-weekly sweep up/wipe down is so much easier without clutter on the counter and stuff all over the floor. Take a trip to Goodwill or your local donation center with anything that means nothing to you.
Say no thank you.
Wedding invitations, garden parties, neighborhood gatherings and other summer functions are all vying for your attention. You don’t have to be everywhere and you don’t need a fancy excuse to bow out. Spend time with people you love, and attend activities and events that you enjoy. A simple, “Thanks for the invite but I can’t make it.” will do for the rest.
Read a good book.
Summer is the perfect time to throw a blanket on the grass and get lost in a book. Try Brooke Berman’s No Place Like Home: A Memoir in 39 Apartments or choose something from my reading list or the ultimate book list. Tammy and CJ are offering their new book, The End of Wishing our Days Away for free until May 31st.
Take a hike.
Get into the woods or onto a local trail with your kids, friends or other people you love. Stretch your legs and marvel at how green and lush everything is. You leave everything behind when you step onto the dirt. The air smells different. Noises and views are new and different and a walk in the woods gives you a chance to reduce your stress with every step.
If you want to make the most of lovely summer evenings, leave your phone at home. Seriously, leave home without it and see how it changes everything about how your experience. Trade constant connection, Googling and checking the weather for an opportunity for genuine connection to the people and world around you.
Grow something.
There is magic and wonder about growing something. You don’t have to grow everything. Instead, grow just one thing. You don’t need impressive gardening skills to tend to one plant.
Visit your past.
There is a big difference between living in the past and just visiting. Set aside a little time to reflect on and learn from your past.  Celebrate your accomplishments, forgive your shortcomings and be grateful for all that you’ve experienced. It’s shaped who you are today and you are wonderful.
Make time.
If you are willing to break out of your routine and break up with your to-do list, there is more time for you to enjoy the most meaningful adventures. Learn more with the Make Time self-study course.
Reclaim the lost art of lingering.
Summer is a time for slow meals, dangling feet over docks, stargazing and lazy walks. There is no agenda, just pure joy. Learn to cultivate dolce far niente and embrace time and space to linger.
Think fresh, local, whole food.
Whole, fresh food is less expensive, easy to access and completely delicious in the summer. Go to your local farmer’s markets and discover what a tomato is supposed to taste like. Try a simple vegan recipe and eat real food. The best way to change your body and your health is to eat better food.
That’s joywalk, not jaywalk. I want you to be safe. Instead of walking for exercise or walking to get somewhere, take a joywalk. Go slow. Stop and smell flowers. Say hi to people when you pass them and walk just for the joy of it.
How will you spend your time this summer? It will go by in a flash unless you intentionally decide to take steps to make it count. Linger, marvel, gaze, appreciate and soak up your summer moments. They will keep you warm next winter.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

First Class on the Island

On a beautiful, sunny day, nine of us gathered for the inaugural basket class at Anadaré.
We had a wonderful time working on Contemporary Coiling with wire and waxed linen.  Of course, class time was scheduled around ferry times.  We had room for an additional table and even more students if need be, so the plan for the studio works!  Lovely setting, delightful students - yes, life is very, very good.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bridge Collapse

Some events hit closer to home than others.  Thankfully, no lives were lost in the bridge collapse near Mt. Vernon last night.  But on the eve of a holiday weekend, we are only beginning to experience the full ramifications (no pun intended) of having I-5 totally shut down in that area.

I'm sure I'm not alone in calculating the adjustments I will have to make in my own, very small sphere of life as a result.  Hmmm, little things, like:  how am I going to get home??  All the alternate routes on very small, two lane roads and bridges are going to be completely overloaded.  Oh, I have a plan, but it will involve a MUCH longer drive.  Ah, the things we take for granted, like bridges and infrastructure.

So I will simply make sure I have enough water for Sophie and myself when I do start my trip home.  And plan ahead with packing the kitty litter box for Sophie.  And she will simply get to be freed from the kitty carrier if need be.  Very simple choices at the moment.

But the thought certainly did cross my mind:  this may be the opportune time to decide NOT to leave the island at all!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Welcoming Birds

When I arrive at Anadaré each time, there is a "settling" or homecoming routine.  I get Sophie out of her carrier and settled inside, I turn on the water, the hot water heaters, the heat, and turn on the power strips and microwave.  Then I start heating the hummingbird food while I empty the car.

Once that is all done, and the nectar is cooled, I put out the seed and nut bird feeder and the hummingbird feeder.  This trip the hummingbirds were there within a couple of minutes.  It took a little longer for the other birds to find the feeder, but I was rewarded with some colorful visitors - red-winged blackbirds and black-headed grosbeaks.

It's so nice to be welcomed back by the sunshine, the salt breezes, and now the birds.  Sigh.  I'm home.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lopez Bound

Packing List:
Materials for basket class prepared and packed - check
Hummingbird tablecloth to crochet - check
New art basket to work on - check
Dragonfly clock for bathroom  - check  (a little whimsical, I admit)

Eagerness to return to the island - undiminished!  Ah, one of these days my "visits" will be to the mainland, not the other way around.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Baby Blanket

Just finished crocheting an alphabet baby blanket for my god-daughter's baby due in September.  There is so much joy in creating a gift for someone special - each stitch, each row is filled with love and thoughts of them.

The pattern is free on-line: (I made one 9 years ago for my first grandson, and I still love this pattern.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

South Lake Tahoe Inspirations

Just back from celebrating a friend's wedding in South Lake Tahoe.  Lovely friends, spectacular views, inspiring pine trees (and cones.......I think a basket may be in the future based on those gorgeous, huge pine cones), and the never-ending learning curve in traveling with mobility issues!

Now trying to get back into the groove, packing up for Lopez and preparing for my first basket class on the island.  Life is so delightfully full!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Be a Change in the World

So, having cleared my email inbox of ads and superfluous information to simplify my life, now I find that there is room to add the "good" stuff, that will educate and inspire.  I'm intrigued by a couple of sites.  No, I'm not adding both of them, but I may sample each one, or simply visit their sites occasionally for inspiration.

KarmaTube is a project of ServiceSpace, an all-volunteer run organization. Our aim is to enable individuals to contribute in meaningful ways to the world around them. Together, we hope to "be the change we wish to see in the world."

DailyGood leverages the internet to promote positive and uplifting news around the world to more than 100,000 subscribers through the daily and weekly newsletters. Readers receive a news story, an inspiring quote, and a suggested action that each person can take to make a difference in their own lives and the world around them.

I think the trick here is to read or view, get inspired, and then perhaps follow one of the suggested actions.  We're not going to change the world without making the effort and DOING something!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Basket Weaver Poem

This poem is from River Country Basket Guild
      My Wife's a Basket Weaver She learned to weave on Monday.
Her basket was quite fine.
She forgot to thaw out dinner,
So we went out to dine.
She made a twill on Tuesday.
She says they are a must.
They really look quite lovely,
But she forgot to dust.
On Wednesday it was wickerwork.
She says the twinings fun.
Three rod wale and braiding rims,
But the laundry wasn't done.
Her basket swap was Thursday.
"Expect her late" she said.
I guess she really was too busy,
Cause she never made the bed.
It was ribbed baskets Friday.
Using new techniques for sure.
But she never seemed to care about
Her mess still on the floor.
So I found a maid on Saturday.
My live is now complete.
My wife can weave for hours
And the house will still be neat.
Well, today is only Sunday.
And I'm already peeved.
I cursed and raved and ranted
Cause she taught the maid to weave.

Friday, May 17, 2013


Hmmm, so evidently wishful thinking does not always dictate into reality.  Let's just say I'm mostly off of the crutches.....definitely around the house, but out into the big, wide world is another thing entirely. 

Sigh.  Will continue strengthening with the physical therapy and exercises.  But unfortunately, the crutches will have to be with me, at least part of the time, for a bit more.  Pooh!

So my celebration was a bit premature.  Ah well.  I'm learning the intricacies of airline travel with crutches and wheelchair assistance.  It's always good to learn new things - yes??  At least it might be faster getting through the security lines??

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Off the Crutches!!!

After 9 very long weeks, I finally have the go ahead from my doctor to try living, albeit slowly and carefully, without those blasted crutches!!  I would so be doing a happy dance right now.....except dancing is not on my list of acceptable activity for 3 - 4 more weeks.

So I'm dancing in my heart.  Yes, I'm a bit slow in navigating around.  And yes, I still take stairs one at a time leading with my good leg.  Ah, but it's progress!  Physical therapy is helping so very much - if it's offered as part of the healing process, I don't know why everyone doesn't take advantage of it.

Now if I can just not over-do it for a while longer....

Planning my trip back to Lopez next week is even more exciting!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Starry Night

As I'm working on my "new" class baskets for 2014 (gosh, those proposal deadlines come early!!), I finished one that has been processing for several months:  'Starry Night'.  Obviously, I'll need a professional shot of it to hopefully show the shine of the wire better (and thus the 'stars'), but I'm sharing it here, anyway.  The inspiration for it?  The blessed black, black night sky on Lopez, filled with stars.  (Techniques used: split spoke base, lattice twining, wrapping.)  It's only about 6" across, to keep it small so it may be completed within the normal class timeframe.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rocks with Knotless Netting

I love our rocky beaches, almost as much as the driftwood.  Having just had a quick review of knotless netting, I made some paperweights. And then, of course, one just seemed to cry out for a dragonfly.  Not sure why I'm so charmed by these.  How many paper weights does a person really need??

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Slower & Simpler - Slow Living Summit

Slow Living Summit

Well, well, well - who knew?  I would love to attend this summit on slow living, but it just doesn't fit into my travel plans this year.  These annual summits started in 2011, so I can only hope that there will be one in 2014 so I might attend.  But even reading about it on their website (please see below) was educational.

The Slow Living Vision
The Slow Living Vision is of an Earth where humankind, honoring and celebrating the profound connectedness of all people, places and living beings, gives back by co-creating mutually supportive communities, bioregions and economic systems — and where we combine the wisdom of the past with a vision for the future to ensure a balanced, fulfilling way of life for all generations to come.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


It's that glorious time of year again to pick u my fuchsias.  We are so very lucky to live near the nursery, The Earthworks in Covington, WA, , , that grows and ships them throughout the country.  I place my order on-line to them in about January, so my hanging baskets are ready for pickup just before Mother's Day.  The hardest part in the whole process in deciding which variety to pick - they have about 500 (yes, truly) to pick from!!

We have three, huge baskets this year.  Instead of fussing about who is watering them while I am on the island, though, I think we'll rig up a drip watering system.  I'll still need to pick off the seed buds to keep them blooming, but at least I won't worry.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Zentangle Hummingbird

For awhile I was doodling almost daily, as an artistic and relaxing meditation.  Somehow I got away from it, but after watching our hummingbirds zip around the island, I was inspired to play a bit.

If you are new to this type of drawing, which absolutely anyone can do without any artistic drawing ability at all, you may want to check out:  Oh - and it may be habit-forming, so proceed with caution.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Birder Types

Have decided that I will need to start keeping a diary or log of the birds that I see on the island.  I would love to document this diary with photos, but that may be a stretch.  They move so fast, I'm having enough trouble just trying to identify them! (So far I'm using Birds of Western North America by Sterry & Small, but I may need something more specific to just the Pacific Northwest.)

But at the risk of boring everyone else, I will keep my list to myself.  I remembered reading about birder types, and offer it here:

  1. Complete birders (carry scope and all the gear)
  2. Hard-core birders (never quit)
  3. Competitive birders (longest list, first to call the identity)
  4. Bird counters (know # of species seen)
  5. Bird listers (keep lists of who, where, when)
  6. Trophy birders (looking for that special lifer)
  7. Bird hunters (make long and inconvenient trips to spot a trophy species)
  8. Combat birders (all of the above, plus are sure to impress others with their expertise)
  9. Car birders (stop every 100 yards to look)
  10. Walking birders (travel at ½ mile/hour)
  11. Standing birders (suffer from warbler neck)
  12. Sitting birders (wait to see who shows up while reading)
  13. Solitary birders (loners)
  14. Bird watchers (watch 'til it flies away)
  15. Bird spotters (hone in on wobbling leaves)
  16. Bird listeners (head slants to one side)
  17. Bird photographers (hoping for that one great shot)
  18. Bird banders (have licenses)
  19. Bird feeders (hang feeders from RV)
As for bird calls and songs, the cacophony as I sit on the deck and truly listen is amazing.  Identifying those will require an entirely different set of skills!

As I continue to ponder why, all of a sudden, I'm intrigued by bird watching, I find that I am not alone.  Part of an interesting article entitled "Middle Age is for the Birds" says:
For example, I used to think that a fondness for birds and bird watching was sort of sad, something lonely people did in lieu of having real pets and real relationships. Lately, however, I sit on my front porch in the predawn darkness in my pathetic pajamas, wrapped in a blanket with my mug of tea, and I listen to the dawn songs of mourning doves, robins, wild turkeys and owls, and I realize now how very important they are. The birds remind me of the perfection of being. Unlike humans, they don't try. They are not out to impress, not encumbered by fear and judgment and doubt: they just are themselves. I listen to their songs, smiling and silently apologizing for my former arrogance.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Driftwood Curls

Have had such fun this last trip to the island.  I finally tackled my ever growing pile of driftwood for weaving possibilities, and wove "Driftwood Curls" - the first of a potential flock for both the studio tour and also as a class project.  It hangs up on a toggle and twirls nicely in a breeze.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Island Events

We've had a very busy few days on the island:

- a study group on the Bahai Faith here at Anadaré
- a visit to the Lopez Historical Museum (and they even have baskets!!)
- the meeting of OPALCO (co-operative power company for the islands) on the ferry as it travels through the islands, complete with gifts, lunch, and I even won a door prize [we may be the only co-op that holds it's annual meeting aboard a ferry]
- an excellent concert at a local church: The Baroque Trio Sonata with violin, viola, harpsichord and flute
- a play: Volpone, by Ben Johnson (I will admit it got a bit confusing....I need to read it, now)
- celebration of Cinco de Mayo at the Galley Restaurant
- a trip on the ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island for the day - in absolutely perfect weather

And interspersed with bird-watching, the beach, weaving, reading, and simply basking in the sun (it was sunny and warm the entire time).

Can you say cultural variety???  One would think this was a vacation, rather than simply a long, sunny weekend visit to our island home.

Book cover

Monday, May 6, 2013

Where There's a Will...

Where there's a will, there's a way.  I finally got down to the beach!!!  Ah, blessed, sunny, salty beach!  What a perfect day.

A note for my crutch philosophy:  It's amazing what you can accomplish, one step at a time.  I certainly didn't go running down the stairs, over the logs and boulders, to get to the beach.  But one step at a time, planning each movement, I got there. Determination, but oh so well rewarded!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Slower & Simpler - The Sentimental Clutter

Hmmmm, this one is hard for me.  Even as I write this, I know there is a drawer full of old birthday and Mother's Day cards in the file cabinet.  I love the sentiments, and have a very difficult time throwing them out.  One step at a time, I guess.

This particular blog has several valuable insights and ideas. After listing some clutter items, she writes:

Some of these things made me smile, some made me cry, but each of them brought me out of my life and into my past. As I started going through the sentimental, the ticket stubs, the letters, my mind wasn’t here anymore… but back there.

And, in an effort to hold on tight I thought, “it’s not hurting anything or anyone to keep this stuff” and then I remembered that I want my standard to be more in line with “how is this helping?” instead of “how is this not hurting?”
I don’t want my legacy to be storage containers of stuff. In one hundred years, no one will care about a letter of recommendation I received from an art professor that meant so much to me. No one will care how excited I was to get a ticket to a sold out concert at the last-minute. The stuff won’t matter, but the stories will.

Your Sentimental Clutter Questions

What do I do with old birthday/Valentines/other greeting cards? You might choose to save a few, or jot down a few of your favorite words before you let them go. If you want to recycle the cards, cut them in half, toss the personal and send a card of your own written on the back of the cover.
What about yearbooks full of personal notes? When I looked at my old high school yearbooks, I couldn’t remember who wrote what. The messages that were very personal in 1987 couldn’t compare to the little notes that I exchange today with my family or a good Skype conversation with my sister. Assess the meaning of those messages in your life today. If they aren’t relevant, release them. Let go to let in.
How do you let go of stuff that has been handmade lovingly for you, but it is not your taste? This is a tough question and the answer is more for the gift givers and creators. If you do make things or have a specific craft or art specialty, ask your friends and family if they would like you to make them something OR if you can make something for a local organization in their name. For instance, if you are a quilter, you could make a quilt for a homeless shelter in the name of a friend. When you give a gift, include permission to pass it on without hurt feelings.
As the recipient of arts and crafts (I’m an artist so I don’t take this lightly), ask the artist if you can donate the item to a place that could really benefit like a fundraising auction, library, retirement home, or appropriate venue/event.
What about things that can’t be donated, such as extra monogrammed wedding glasses? Even monogrammed items are useful to people who don’t have the item to begin with. If you aren’t using them, give them away.
How can I best help others to let go of sentimental items? Share your story. Share this post. Be loving and patient.
Whats the most effective way to store it if you keep it? There is always a chance that what you store will be lost, broken or forgotten. Instead, take a picture. Take on the shoot your stuff mini-mission or read Markus Almond’s simplicity in action story for inspiration.
What about wedding day stuff? Great photographs are enough for me to remember my wedding day and the people who celebrated the event. I gave my wedding dress away last year but clipped a tiny piece of material from my dress and my mother’s wedding dress. They are pinned together and if someday my daughter wants to pin them into her wedding dress, she can.
How about things from our children’s childhoods? If your children are grown, give them their stuff and trust them to decide what to do with it. Give them permission to keep it or get rid of it so they don’t hold onto it for you. If your children are younger, lovingly display their artwork and report cards and instead of saving all of it, save a few pieces or photograph them and make a digital memory book for your child. I have a small box of my daughter’s things for her and if she decides that they aren’t important, I’ll support that.
You don’t have to let it all go at once. Take it slowly, honor your memories and identify your whys. Moving forward, instead of capturing moments and boxing them up, embrace them. Be fully engaged and moved right now instead of when you are sorting through the past in a garage or attic.
Let your legacy be how you love, how you treat people and the light you bring to this world instead of the stuff you left behind.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Whole Point

One year ago this weekend, my husband and I visited Lopez Island for our anniversary - his first trip ever to the island.  On the following Monday, we spent the day looking at homes with a realtor.  Reflecting upon our adventures of this past year of buying Anadaré, fixing it up, getting to know some of the artists on the island, and setting up my studio for weaving and teaching, I'm filled with a sense of completion, of "rightness".

The whole point of coming to the island was to be, as this blog is attempting to document, an artist on the island.  It feels that I'm beginning to come full circle on that.  Our first weekend in the house last Labor Day, we attended the Lopez Artist Studio Tour, and were amazed at the diverse and talented artists working here.  Right then I set a goal for myself to work toward participating in the tour the next year (or perhaps the year after).

I'm delighted to report that I registered my studio for this year's tour!  Really, you have no idea just HOW delighted I am.  There's something so fulfilling about setting a goal, working toward it, and seeing it come to fruition.  This journey started with buying the house (only resident artists of Lopez may participate in the tour - and no, we didn't buy the house just so I could be in the tour), applying to the Lopez Artist's Guild and being juried in (only members of the guild may be included in the tour), setting up the house for a working studio, and making the decision to build up a sufficient inventory of baskets, vessels, beading works, and jewelry to offer during the tour.  This latter issue will be a driving force for me during the coming few months - hopefully a pleasant journey.

Color me happy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happy Feathered Friends

We came back to the island yesterday. We were home for 3 days for critical meetings, doctor and dentist appointments, and to repack.  This trip up we brought the new bird feeder and hummingbird feeder.  The former had it's first visitor about 30 minutes after we put it up -  a red-winged blackbird and mate.  The sparrows have also found it.  My binoculars and bird book are at hand to try to identify other guests as they make an appearance.

This morning we also had the first visitor to the hummingbird feeder.  Life is good - for all of us.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Nothing is Written in Stone

 This simply makes me smile.  I would love to have one for my desk, but I'm not sure it fits in with decluttering and simplifying.  But then, what could be simpler (or slower) than a rock??  This is perfect on oh so many levels.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Aging Gracefully

Always I remember my mother as aging gracefully.  She never lied about her age.  As she said, why should she? She was pleased that she lived every day that she had.  Now, when I find my mother looking back at me from the mirror, I silently thank her for smooth skin and a full head of hair, instead of being aghast that I have become my mother.

I just finished reading two interesting and somewhat related books on women and aging.  I hadn't picked them especially for the topic, just that they sounded interesting.  And that they were!

Calling Invisible Women, a novel by Jeanne Ray, was truly entertaining.  Improbably, the main character (in midlife) wakes up one day to find that she is invisible.  Her husband and family don't notice, only her best friend does.  Yes, rather fantastical, but it's a very enjoyable read as well as thought provoking about how women of a certain age become invisible to the rest of the world.  And it's an interesting commentary on fighting the aging process or embracing it. It is also one of those rare books that makes you laugh out loud.

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake is a memoir by Anna Quindlen.  Basically, it also addresses defining, enjoying, and embracing midlife.

It's sometime odd how books leap into your hands (on onto your e-reader) that were unplanned, but speak directly to your inner self.  These two did so for me - evidently there were just what I needed to read right at this time.  It will take some time to fully digest their gems.

Two quotes from Quindlen:
 "After the middle ages comes the Renaissance." (She is trying to define and even find a term for this new age of 60 - 75, since we are aging so differently from the previous generation.)

"I thought I had a handle on my future.  But the future, it turns out, is not a tote bag."

For the younger set, these could be invaluable to help understand your mothers and their generation.  To baby boomers, I think they will help you laugh and embrace this interesting age we're living.

Calling Invisible Women