Meet the “Stripe” of StripedPot(dot)com

Striped Pot
Striped Pot

Meet the inspiration for one of my websites: http://stripedpot.com

“Stripe”, as it is fondly called here at the McBennett’s home, was discovered in a store room at the apartment building where we lived for about 12 years. It was about to be tossed in the trash during a clean out.  It was dirty and dusty without a lot of character. But I saw the beauty beneath the crud and asked for it to come home with me.  The maintenance person cleaning out the storeroom was more than happy to hand it off to me. Continue reading “Meet the “Stripe” of StripedPot(dot)com”

Photography as a hobby – taking it to the next level

Brownie Camera
Brownie Camera, Photo Credit – Wikipedia

I have always loved taking pictures. I grew up with a mother who had to document all important occasions with her Brownie camera. I wanted more. I splurged and bought a Polaroid in my college days. Continue reading “Photography as a hobby – taking it to the next level”

Reading materials, apps & devices to love or hate

My Original Kindle

I buy pretty much all my books on Amazon for reading on one or more of my Kindles. Yes, I have more than one. Actually, I still have (for old times’ sake) my first Kindle. It will still charge up, but mostly it just sits on the shelf. Very plain, but for nostalgia’s sake, I still have it. Continue reading “Reading materials, apps & devices to love or hate”

Health and recovery efforts from stress

Homeowner/Board member of the Year, 2017
Homeowner/Board member of the Year, 2017

The stress of four years on the Board of Directors at my condominium association, as well as corporate President, took quite a toll on my physical & psychological health. As several professionals I dealt with through those four years have said, “No good deed goes unpunished”.

Continue reading “Health and recovery efforts from stress”

What retirement looks like…years later

Google View of BTS
Screen Capture From Google Maps of BTS

I “retired” in 2012-13 from both my travel agency and my social media marketing consultancy. We bought a condo in Burien WA in 2013 and the move was strenuous and complicated. From making the offer to closing to moving and settling in, it was not an easy transition.

Continue reading “What retirement looks like…years later”

Monday morning coffee shop observations

A morning of people watching in a coffee shop …..

A cool fall morning in Seattle is like no other place.  Go into a coffee shop, have a cappuccino and watch as the city awakens. People watching can be a most interesting hobby.

There is the homeless person who buys a mocha latte in the coffee shop so (s)he can sit quietly in the corner and sleep in relative safety.  Across the room the unemployed, well-suited, well-soled job seeker, with his nervous cup of java, reviews yet one more time his resume and the job description. Will this be his lucky cup of joe and his lucky day?

Continue reading “Monday morning coffee shop observations”

Song of the ironwood tree

In going back through old documents, I am finding things I wrote quite a long time ago. This is one retrospective I wrote as a catharsis nearly 30 years ago:

Funny what will imprint on the mind when the waves of life come crashing in on your shore. 

Ironwood tree
An ironwood tree – By Ethel Aardvark – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4989854

 

A young woman stands under an ironwood tree on a remote Pacific island and the sound of the wind through the ironwood is neither melodious nor discordant.  It is the sound of her precarious hold on her marriage flushing down the toilet.

What makes a person so intent on controlling both the horizontal and the vertical that she will put herself in such a position?  Her husband was to go and visit with his lover to tell her he is going to try (once more) to make his marriage work.  His wife, the young woman, stands under the ironwood tree feeling alienated and out-of-control as she watches him clasp the “other woman” into his body to say good bye.”  

“CUT”!

That scene just isn’t working. 

Continue reading “Song of the ironwood tree”

The Great Courses helps me travel and live “smart”

One of the great things about getting out of town….well, is “getting out of town”.

Travel is the most educational experience one can have. All the classes, all the “YouTube” videos, all the books, all the talking. None of them add up to going outside one’s home, remaining open while observing the actions and attitudes of those foreign to you.

One of the joys of being “retired” is having the time to takeThe Great CoursesThe Great Courses” classes so I can learn other languages in order to better communicate with people in the places I hope to travel to. Through The Great Courses, I can also improve my cooking, my photographic skills and my personal relationships. Continue reading “The Great Courses helps me travel and live “smart””

Christmas in Victoria

Christmas TreeI seem to have a resistance to Christmas in December (I find that Christmas songs float through my head in July though). The one way to avoid the Christmas decorating, cooking and eating is to go somewhere else rather than be home for Christmas. One of our favorite places to spend Christmas is in Victoria, B.C. We have our favorite hotel, our favorite room in the hotel and our favorite eateries and shopping there.

Chateau Victoria is up the hill and sort of “behind” the grand dame, the Fairmont Empress. We love our room on the 16th floor.  And in 2017 they lived up to our expectation, yet again.  As we walked in, the Christmas tree was decorated, lighted and awaiting us in its usual corner.  As darkness descended, the Christmas lights came on all around us and the night was alight with holiday glow. Continue reading “Christmas in Victoria”