Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Easter Bunny

When I was very young, I had a stuffed rabbit that I received as an Easter gift along with some candy in that green straw that turned up everywhere even weeks after Easter was over. I don't know whatever happened to that critter, or to any of the others I had. They seemed to disappear, even though my younger brother's stuffed puppy with the fur rubbed off was around for a long, long time.

When I arrived on the Olympic Peninsula, I went to a craft show and found this very large girly bunny who just called out to come home with me. I have to add that I am not a stuffed creature collector so I was just as surprised as my girlfriend was when I said "I think I am going to buy this bunny..." and did.

Now it is Easter week and it is time for this bunny to get a good name. Her creator gave her a name, but I don't like it. Here is the challenge for my readers. I need some suggestions for this creature that is a kind of muse for me.

Even if you opt out of that exercise, I hope you have a wonderful week leading up to Easter or whatever portion of the calendar that means 'rebirth, renewal, and light' for you...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Ides have marched...

On the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle earlier this month, I went over for
a truly wonderful and therapeutic Lomi-Lomi massage. Brisk trip, tho.
I simply cannot believe that March is about half done!! This Sunday will be St. Patrick's day, a reminder of loved ones who have left me (curiously both my parents left for the Other Side in mid-March) and my beloved "Pe-ott" (Patrick worked for my family for years after arriving in NH from Ireland.) thought this day was all about him. For me it certainly was.

This has been a challenging time for me on many levels; I have finally had to admit that 'at my age' has validity when it comes to trying to have a new career, taking care of someone else, and being obliged to get up on someone else's schedule. I simply cannot do it. It was only a couple of years ago I decided that I had taken my last ski trip. I didn't know that weekend that it was my last, but the following year when everyone was getting all excited about planning their next trip, I realized I was not experiencing my usual rush of enthusiasm for it. My memories are rich with the whoosh of snow flying past me as I race down Suicide Six or the skiing the black diamonds at Sun Valley, but my body does not care to refresh those memories now.

Instead I am focusing on my watercolor painting skills (photos of said paintings will be posted soon; I have completed three!), repairing my back from either stress or something else, walking along the sandy beaches nearby or woodland paths to capture an eaglet at the top of a tree, and other somewhat sedentary exercise. I swim at the local pool most mornings and do water aerobics and that seems to be having a good effect on the back/muscles.

The juvenile eagle has not bent the tree over with its weight; the tree was
already heading in that direction and makes a lovely perch. Our grey
days prevail at present, so it is hard to get a great shot.
Another trip to Colombia must be planned, but my doctor doesn't want me traveling until he feels the back is stronger and progress is slow. For those following the Twins story, they seem to be doing all the things babies do at the right time, but I haven't seen them for several months. Perhaps I will have a chance to see them before I go back.

What is joyful for me is that I am clear about my direction once again, and although any dreams I might have had about being 'in service' have been foreshortened, there are other ways I can - on a more reasonable schedule - be of assistance. And I have learned much from this experience. Including being extraordinarily grateful for good health and eyesight. My multi-decades old body still manages to do many things quite well and has put up with my varied eating habits which have not always been good for it. Together we are changing that, too. Here is an interesting link about the things that are going on, just in case, dear reader, you have been wondering why you, too, are evaluating directions or plans.

Friday, March 1, 2013

First Friday Art Walk

An old barn in Sequim at the edge of a strip mall.
By the time you read this the First Friday Art Walk for March will be over and done with. This was the second Art Walk for me, and it was a little more interesting since I actually met a couple of people from my art classes and the Episcopal church as I wandered from gallery and art shop and museum, sampling the treats and looking at the displays.

I also found a wonderful shop for clothes if I ever want to have something a little more upscale than Wally World or recycled jeans. But as an artist, (hopefully never a starving one, although my recent Social Security debacle makes me wonder...) I don't have much of a requirement in that regard these days. I am enjoying my new watercolor instructor and looking forward to more time learning this new form of expression.

There are a number of reasons why I must stay in Sequim at present, not the least of which is my financial status. Social Security did not issue my distribution last month on time, making no explanation as to why this occurred, only sending me two letters announcing the 'new' schedule which is the same as the last one. This whimsical action on their part created havoc with my planning, and caused other disruptions. I am more than a little excised about threats to the Social Security 'bank' by those who think they have any rights to it at all.

So it was a discouraging month to say the least, as it required several trips to the nearest (25 miles away) Social Security office since they had basically shut me off and I could not even get information on line. There were no notes in my files giving any explanation for this abrupt change, and in spite of the efforts of the very kind team in the local office, it still took the better part of a week to get them to 'turn me back on' again. It appears that everything is back on schedule now, but living on a fixed income, these hiccups reverberate for more than just a few weeks.

However, I am moving on from these upsets and found the Art Walk uplifting... The RainShadow Coffee House was featuring a collaborative of musicians playing Irish jigs and reels, which always warms my heart. Their coffee is pretty warming as well!

The Museum was featuring local student artists and I was quite impressed with the level of their work and I guess I wasn't the only one... it was still pretty crowded with onlookers when I arrived after spending a fair amount of time in the coffee house.

These two wild cats pieces were done by seniors. I did not get a chance to get their names because right after I took the photos, their families were standing around to take shots of the youths in front of the work.

My granddaughter is a wonderful artist, too, and I wished she might have had a chance to see some of the work her peers are doing here in Sequim.

I am quite taken by this duplication of Beatrix Potter
with the rabbits in the garden. Quite detailed up close.
And the black & grey head is equally impressive.
These are done by students in the lower grades.
It is quite delightful to walk about in the evening and have so many people out and about, darting into various shops for a tidbit of cheese and cracker or some wine or even a cupcake. There is a fabulous baker here who makes many of the local wedding cakes. She and her husband operate "That Takes The Cake" and the cupcakes are sooooo good! She told me that last August they were so busy they could not do all the weddings asked of them.

Well, I have to say I am grateful to be here, if I am having to be anywhere. The level of artists' performance is remarkable; something for me to strive to achieve. And today it was above 45 degrees! Spring is coming, but I enjoyed seeing the snow far away....

Highway 101 runs all the way to the end of the Olympic Peninsula.
I wonder if this is the same 101 that runs through my home town?