Monday, January 23, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Why I Marched

By now we all are aware that Saturday Women Marched all over the country and world. Up until Friday I wasn't even sure that I would be part of them. I am a white, middle-class woman. I have a comfortable life, a home, no big problems. 

Our signage thanks to Moorea Seal! 

Then our seventeen year old daughter asked me to. Of course, the answer was yes. I realized I did have a reason to be there. To show her that we have no reason to be afraid. That we are better together. That when friends need us to stand with them we will. 

Sam & Octavia 

That empathy and compassion are our strength. That we don't have to all agree, but we do need to give one another room. I was brought up to be strong, to not be picked on, to stand up for myself and for others. And I want my daughters to do the same. 

A sweet Dad & daughter combo

The thing I experienced most of all taking part in the Womxn's March on Bellingham was one of pride. Pride in raising girls that know who they are and what they are about. Pride in a peaceful day that had women, men & children marching together in peace. 

The rainbow that appeared! 

I went to support my friends. My daughters. Women I don't know. And women I do. And for love. Always for love. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Field Trip: Still Life Massage and Float

This past Friday my husband and I had yet another date and we also had float appointments at Sill Life Massage and Float. We had been talking about trying a float out for some time, but in the interest of continuing to fight the winter blues we decided now was the time. 

Still Life looking out over the Marina

We have been curious about float therapy for some time but had never tried it. With the weather being so incredibly cold lately the idea of being in a tank of skin temperature water that is filled with 1200 pounds of epson salts sounded like heaven! We were given a short tour and told what to expect, then led to our side by side rooms. 

Time to prepare! 

Once you are left in your room music starts and you ready yourself by taking a shower. You are preparing yourself much like you would to go in a pool, though this time you are without a swimsuit. Next, you let yourself into the pod. 

About to enter the pod! 

Once you enter the pod you almost immediately feel the effects of the 1200 pounds of epsom salts in the water! My feet were floating immediately, while I learned later that Steve's didn't. The problem he said was stress...he had to relax into it. Meanwhile you can choose to close the door to the pod which we both chose to do. The pool is so roomy I found there was no feeling of claustrophobia at all. There is also a light that you can choose to leave on, or put in a mode where it runs thru colors (where you can stop at one you prefer) or turn it off. Surprising myself, I went for darkness. Music played for a while which I could hear even with my ears under water, then complete quiet. 

The Pod

Absolute quiet is such an usual state these days that it can almost make you anxious at the start. Then after some deep breathing and concentrating on my heartbeat I found myself relaxing into it. And thats when some of the crazy adventures began. Steve said he felt like he was visualizing space, and then dementors! (we've been having a Harry Potter movie marathon!) I found myself feeling like I was tumbling over and over forward, though in reality I was bumping a bit side to side. Having the time to just be still, quiet and have no input really gives your mind time to just run or rest. And I think we found ours did a little of both. Eventually music returns and it's time to come back to the real world. A rinse in the shower, and you find that your skin is silky and not pruned at all! 

Steve post-float
It took Steve some time to articulate how he felt after the float. The warmth from it lasted thru the rest of the day. We both felt like we were returning to gravity and would feel the weight of earth returning bit by bit. We are both hoping to return as soon as possible! Both for the benefit of our bodies and our minds! 

(An hour float cost $65 and was worth every penny! They have many options as far as massage as well in a lovely, relaxing environment.)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Field Trip: A "Bellingham" Date

Late last week my husband told me he would like to take me out this weekend on a "Bellingham" date. I agreed then wondered what that meant. Would we be getting tattoos? Piercings? Doing a beer crawl? Going to a pot shop? 

Steve and I on our first Uber ride!

Turns out he had something a bit more tame, but so much fun in mind! He remembered that I had mentioned that I had never been in an uber, and as he hadn't either he decided to start there...especially as this date involved some day drinking! 

The Horseshoe Cafe 

Turns out a "Bellingham" date means pretend you are in college again, hit an old and new bar, have a couple of drinks, then go to a movie! An uber picked us up at 2pm then dropped us outside of The Horseshoe Cafe, a watering hole that has been in town forever! I used to go there in the wee hours of the night for french fries after parties when I went to Western. Steve having never been was curious. And unknown to both of us was the history of the place. It's the oldest continually operating cafe and cocktail lounge in Washington! 

Loaded tater tots! 

What we now know is they serve a good strong drink and bomb tater tots! We ordered some food and drink and enjoyed watching the table of true college kids in their jammies eat and leave to get ready to start all over again while we enjoyed feeling like we were on vacation. There is something that feels so decadent and fun about drinking in the daytime! 

At Bayou by the Bay

I was told we had some time before our next scheduled activity so we wandered around downtown then headed into the bar at Bayou by the Bay for one more drink. This bar has the perfect vantage point for watching people go by. It feels similar to Pioneer Square in that way. And though it's been crazy cold, lots of people were out and about Saturday. It felt great to be part of the downtown scene!

The Pickford Film Center

The finale to our date turned out to be a fun matinee showing of The Princess Bride at our favorite theater in town, The Pickford Film Center! We love our independent movie theater, and who doesn't love The Princess Bride. I thought Steve may repeat some of his favorite quotes as we both were feeling our drinks, but he abstained! And it was a really fun crowd. 

It was a wonderful, thoughtful date where we explored a bunch of local places we have talked about going to forever. And we did it in a safe, responsible way that felt super relaxed and carefree! Is there a place in your hometown that you are thinking of visiting? Or is there a place in Bellingham that we should check out? Let me know! 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Wellness Goal #1 Ginger Shots

Are you a resolution maker? I'm not, and have never been. But, I don't have any issue with goals and have been thinking it would be helpful to set some. I read an online article on Darling Magazines website and it really stuck with me. How to Tell if You're Content or Complacent gave me the kick in the pants i needed (and of course the time is prime!) Following is the first of many of my Wellness Goals to start out the year. There will be other lists, some more frivolous than others! Let's get started:

The prep

Ginger Shots  This is something that we as a family have already started. There is so much sickness going around and an easy way to combat it in a natural way! It gives you a boost of vitamin C while feeling naturally warming. We have been heading to Electric Beet Juice Co. in town for quick shots of it. And at work we have been doing them with ginger oil and freshly squeezed juice that we've been keeping in the fridge so we can belly up to the bar at any time! 

Shots! Shots! Shots! 

For prep for about a week of numerous shots I juiced up six lemons and jarred the juice to refrigerate. You can prep ginger with a juicer, or if you would like you can use ginger oil like we did! Super easy. A little sweetening with honey or maple syrup, a topping of cayenne pepper and you are good to go! We used about a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice per shot, about 4-6 drops of oil, and sweetener and pepper to taste. 

Sandy & D'ann drinking them down! 

My favorite part may be the burn. Or the reaction of my family & friends when we do them together. It's actually refreshing. And knock on wood, this ugly sickness that has been going around has skipped us by. I don't know if we can attribute it to this, but I'm happy to have it in the arsenal! 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Is it time to Hibernate Yet?

Early in November I made a commitment to post every Monday to the blog. Well, Christmas and the season really thru me for a loop and I missed this past Monday! And frankly it's because you can find me most days after work like this...running for my pjs and diving for the covers! 

Jammie time

And honestly there is nothing wrong. Our Christmas was lovely and peaceful. And now the ornaments are packed away, the little brush trees are wrapped and safe, and now there is that weird quiet that seems to accompany the end of every big holiday. Not even a let down really. Just a hush. 

I love the way the house feels bigger when we put the tree away. And I love the space that opens up when things are cleared away. And yet, that makes things feel empty. And it feels hard not to fill it with shopping, eating, or other non intentional stuff! 

But I have plans to combat this. I hope to line up some fun for the next couple of months and share it with you here! Hopefully we can all help one another thru the malaise we might experience thru the winter months. Anyone with me? 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Field Trip: Renegade Craft Fair Seattle - Winter Edition

This past Saturday Sam and I braved the flurries of snow on the drive to get ourselves to the winter edition of the Renegade Craft Fair in Seattle. We had experienced the summer show and were excited to see some familiar vendors and also see what new items caught our eye. 

Renegade Craft Fair 
Our first stop was to see Moorea Seal. Besides having a wonderful array of items, she is an amazing human being. We love checking in with her and getting a big hug! She is hard at work on her third book, which if it's anything like her 52 Lists Project or 52 Lists for Happiness it will be amazing! We were so busy visiting, the only photo we snapped was of the top of her booth! 

Moorea Seal

Then we were off to see what else the show had in store. We picked up some of our favorite loose tea with cheeky names from T-WE Tea. We took in the sounds of the DJ which is a nice edition to shopping...I would love all my future trips to include that! And we spent time with some wonderful friends that braved the pass to hang out with us and spend some time in a creative atmosphere! 

Sam discovered a new vendor that she fell in love with. She reacted to everything there and picked out a couple of last minute stocking stuffers. Claire England had a booth full of quirky, fun accessories that were just her style! I've favorited her store on etsy for future gifts. And thats one of my favorite things about the fair...discovering new creators to add magic to our lives. 

In our future visits we will be sure to have more time to really take in everything. There are quite a few booths we didn't get to. And we really didn't expect the crowds this close to Christmas, which I have no problem with, but they were a bit tricky for Sam. With visits with friends, hot mini doughnuts for the road, and treats in our bags we count it as a win. And I am highly enamored with my new find...a little ceramic hand from Joyride Ceramics. So, there is always something new to discover! 


Monday, December 12, 2016

Deep Thoughts: Season of Rest?

How are you doing this Season? Are you frantic, running around trying to get everything done? Or are you finding a moment to take in this time of year? I have a few tricks and strategies to making the most of the season that I'll share here! Hopefully you will find some help if you need it. And please share how you cope with this busy time! 

Magic Bar recipe 

1. Be choosy. I mean this with a lot of things. With who you spend your time with. With where you spend your time. With how you spend your energy. I don't love spending a lot of time baking, but I do love the treats from my childhood. So, I pull the recipe for Magic Bars, a treat that takes 4-5 ingredients, is quick to put together and makes the house smell amazing. So far they have been made three times and I expect we will make a couple more batches before Christmas! Little energy, big reward! 

(The Magic Bar recipe is as follows: 1 stick butter, 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 1/3 cups flaked coconut, 1 cup chopped nuts (if desired)...1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 13x0-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven. 2. sprinkle graham crackers over butter; pour condensed milk over crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients, press down firmly with fork. 3. Bake 25 minutes until lightly browned. Cool. Cut & store at room temperature. )

Gingerbread Man

2. Cut corners. Not in a bad way. But in ways that will free up your time for things you want to spend it on. When I found a huge gingerbread cookie and the icing ready to go I was so excited! I was able to have the fun of playing around with decorating the cookie without the fuss of creating it & the icing. We have also found a mini bouche de noel that we will be buying for Christmas day.

Camembert Cheese 

3. Talk to your family. I've been surprised by what is important to my daughters when it comes to the holidays. It's not always what I think it is. Samantha decided this year that she wanted to try baking camembert cheese. So, we made time for it to happen, she had her Grandad over, and it became a highlight of this season for her! It was so good, she may create it again for me at my book group this month! 

Boston and I on the trails

4. Get outside. When I get truly wound up I realize it might be time to head out. Having a dog is always a helpful reminder. Even if I start the walk not really into it, I find by the end of it that my head is clear and I feel so much better. Deep breaths of cold, clear air is just the thing for getting one back on track. 

Taking a moment

5. Count your blessings. We just watched White Christmas and the song 'Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)' will not stop running thru my mind. Being able to partake in all the fun traditions this time of year are things that I sometimes have to take a moment to remind myself that I am lucky to do so. The parties, the gifts, the treats. Taking time to really sit with how fortunate we are makes it all even sweeter. Our girls are 17 & 19, so knowing also that time is short makes it all that much more special. (and that cup of cocoa is a perfect reward after a cold walk!) 

These are just a few of the many ways I manage this times. I also read, watch cheesy Christmas movies and workout to offset all the treats! How do you manage stress this time of year? I'm always up for more ways to cope!