Monday, January 30, 2017

Deep Thoughts: Preparing to Launch

Though Steve and I have joked that we don't remember when we became "grown up" at some point we found ourselves the parents of a daughter that had turned eighteen and told us and I quote, she was a "grown ass woman." Hmm. This is a phase of life that takes some navigating. It's tricky, it's troublesome, and it's new terrain for us. To say that there was lots of shouting in the beginning is an understatement. To say there was (and still occasionally is) misunderstanding on both sides is an understatement. 

Our daughter & lodger

Thankfully Steve and I have a counselor that helps us tremendously. We have found so much strength in having someone outside ourselves to talk to about navigating these new waters. And we come home with new tools for ourselves and our oldest, Kate. 

Kate's room

Thanks to his help we sat down as a family and wrote up a contract. We decided to treat ourselves as a landlord and Kate as a tenant. There is rent involved. And in our parent role we are available to answer any questions she has regarding taxes, cars, budgeting. Her sister is her sometimes unwilling first roommate. And we are her landlords.

Her own music set up

This may sound hardheaded. But I was one of that group that moved home with no rules, no rent, and no understanding of where the boundaries are. Trust me when I say I offended my Mom a lot and had no thought of what I had done. It was crazy making of both sides. We felt this would make things clear for all of us. 

The comments box 

Things have been unbelievably smooth since we put this all in place. We instilled a comment box and the main things that show up there are empty toilet paper rolls. We all joke that Kate's room is the most soothing place to be. She has the freedom of a tenant which has surprisingly given us the freedom to not worry. 

Kate's apartment stock up

It has forced us to be clear about things. When we go out as a family we make sure to say if we are paying or not. And when we do things for her she is always great about saying "thank you." We are getting to be part of her getting ready to move out, which is bittersweet. Though Sam is looking forward to having the whole upstairs to herself. But we know when she is gone we are one step closer to an quiet, empty nest. 

Anyone else in a similar place? How has the transition gone for you? Any helpful insight? 

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!