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”.

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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.

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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?

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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,


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.”  


That scene just isn’t working. 

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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”

Lighting up the “Open Sign” for waterfront business – a festival

Seattle Waterfront Ferris Wheel
Seattle Waterfront Ferris Wheel

In a collaborative effort, City of Seattle entities, non-profit organizations and Seattle Waterfront businesses are presenting The New Waterfront Festival on Oct. 4th, 2014 to increase awareness and gain continued consumer support for businesses during Seawall construction throughout the fall and winter of 2014/15.


On October 1st, 2014, seawall construction is scheduled to start up again after a summer break, bringing construction to Central Waterfront business storefronts. In an effort to increase public awareness that businesses that will stay open, and to keep Waterfront space active throughout this construction period, several partnering organizations will present a  community-driven festival that will culminate in a 45-minute light show on the Seattle Great Wheel set to the live music of Vaudeville Etiquette.

The event will be filled with showcase performances featuring live music and performance art, including:
ChebonChebon, McTuff, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Geoffrey Castle, Wanz (of Macklemore’s Thrift Shop), and a 45-minute light show on the Seattle Great Wheel correlated to the live performance of Vaudeville Etiquette. Music performances will be hosted by Davin Michael Stedman of The Staxx Brothers, and NWCZ Radio will broadcast live from location and will air all music performances, including the Vaudeville Etiquette set so that everyone who can see the Great Wheel can also enjoy the correlated music. Enjoy a salmon bake meal by Fisherman’s Restaurant, home-cooked Cajun dishes by Highway 99 Blues Club, family activities, informational and vendor booths, caricatures, balloon art, and much more, made possible with the support of our partners and local sponsors.

Partners of NWF: Alaskan Sourdough Bakery, The Crab Pot, Danley Sound Labs, Dugan’s Inc., Elliott Bay Seawall Project, Fisherman’s Restaurant, Highway 99 Blues Club, Lyft, Madrona Digital, Metropolitan Improvement District, Miner’s Landing, NWCZ Radio, Seattle Antiques Market, Seattle Aquarium, Seattle City Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle City Parks  Department, Seattle Great Wheel, Seattle Weekly, The Stranger, Waterfront Seattle, WittyPixel Productions, and local producer The Vanilla Mustache.  NWF is proud to be sponsored by: Cupcake Royale, Northwest Music Scene, Seattle Antiques Market, Tigerlily Salon, Hub International, NWCZ Radio, Chuckals Office Supplies, and Waterfront Seattle.

Date: Saturday, October 4th, 2014
Time: 2:00pm Festival Open, 7:00pm Light Show & Concert
Where: Waterfront Park
1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA 98101
Price: FREE!

For more information:

NWF Website:
NWF Promo Video:

Click here for Partner Information

Click here to see NWF Sponsors