Has your Mom come back as a GHOST?

img_1555.jpgHave you had someone close to you pass away and then at some point you felt their presence constantly next to you?

I read an interesting article yesterday about Sherman Alexie, author and filmmaker, who just published his memoir, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.”

Right there, the title of the book tells us that this poor man wanted love from his mother, which she did not or could not offer him.

So, Sherman is on his book tour and he keeps seeing signs that his mother is haunting him.

It seems to me that her presence was so strong in his life when she was alive that even after her death, he feels he must do what his mother wants AND that is cancel the book tour.

I think, like most mothers, even if a mother is not perfect they want to go down in the history books as being “perfect.” I believe Sherman knows his mother would not have approved of this memoir, so it is his “subconscious” that is tormenting him. However, you should read his announcement to cancel his book tour here. There are some coincidences that make us “wonder” if his mother is indeed a GHOST.

I once felt I saw a ghost!  Well, not a ghost exactly, but do you see that Kudu? A few years ago my ex/father/n/law died. I was very close to him and was missing him. I was on a trip in Namibia and we were in a jeep touring the land in hopes of seeing various animals.

Suddenly, the driver STOPPED the jeep and in the middle of the road was this Kudu, exactly like the photo. The Guide handed me the binnoculars and told me this was a very old Kudu, I could tell by the horns, one was broken. As I looked into the eyes of the Kudu I FELT VERY STRONGLY that I was looking at my ex/father/n/law (Opa, we called him). I welled up with tears and said to myself, “Ah, Opa, you look good and you came to Africa to be FREE!” It was a special feeling.

A few days later, before we left the camp site, Opa appeared again. He ran in the middle of the road, stood and stared at us. Again, I felt the Kudu was letting me know my Opa was doing well, thinking of me and wished me a safe journey.

Was it a ghost? Who knows, for Sherman, I hope that as he grieves his ghostly mother “somehow” sends him a “sign” that she is PROUD of him! He needs closure!

Off to the library… I’d like to get the audio of this book. This way I can better understand WHY his mother is haunting him! Happy reading!

“Guardian of the Spirit”

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Sharing with you some photos from my walk this weekend up by Discovery Park, where my friend and I came across the “Guardian of the Spirit” statue here in Seattle. There was a write up below the statue, which I hope you can read.

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Have you ever seen a Dream Catcher?  Here’s one…

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If you visit the Pacific Northwest, you will notice that this area is rich in Native American history. There is a lot to learn and explore and for sure you’ll come across a totem poll and you might even see a Pow Wow taking place!

Sleep well — your dream catcher will take the bad dreams away!

Seattle Yarn Shop Tour…

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This week started The 2016 LYS (yarn) Tour. Great idea, see the map. In five days you have a chance to visit 28 different yarn shops. At each shop you have them stamp your passport and then your completed passport is entered into a drawing to win prizes.

As I moved to Seattle, maybe because of a lot of rainy days, I suddenly had the urge to knit again. It was my Italian grandmother who taught me how to knit and crochet. Imagine that – she spoke no English. I considered it “on the job training.” I didn’t speak Italian and I didn’t know how to knit, so with a lot of hand movements and facial expressions she taught me basic knitting/crocheting. She kept saying, “Hai capito (you understand)?” I did a lot of head nodding for YES and NO at that time.

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Stitches from my first cowl neck project.

Starting up again, I was getting tired of the basic knit / purl stitches, I was ready to challenge myself.  I was at one of the yarn shops looking at different scarf samples and settled on a cowl neck pattern. I found knitting instructions on YouTube.com for different stitches (good thing for rewind, pause and fast forward). Before I knew it, I had completed an intermediate project, which was a proud moment…  EXCEPT that now it is Spring/Summer, so I have to wait for Fall to wear it. Well, knitting is like that, you don’t always finish your project in the “right season.”

imageYesterday, I ventured to Bainbridge Island to visit the Churchmouse Yarns and Teas store. What a lovely store, I felt like I was in New England. The Ferry Boat ride was fun.

If you are doing the tour, there is still one day left!

Try not to go broke (grin)!

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Amazon’s 1st Bookstore Opens

imageAmazon opened its first bookstore last November 2015 in the Seattle area. For those of you who might not know this, Amazon’s headquarters is in Seattle. I am excited about this, because it means that bookstores will hopefully be making a “come back.”

Right now, this is their first bookstore, but from what I read in the Wall Street Journal they have plans to open more stores soon. Of couse, the employees at the Amazon Bookstore were saying this is the only store they have planned at this time.

The bookstore had a good selection of books, a nice layout for viewing the books and a great magazine collection. Oh, and I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a very large children’s section too.

They cleverly had some Kindles displayed on the book racks. As I don’t know much about the Kindle I gave it a try. I have mixed emotions on reading books “only” online. I miss the feel of a hardcover printed book, seeing the cover, turning the pages, etc. I know online reading is certainly great for traveling and at some point I will be a Kindle owner; but, for now, I am still holding out and reading the old fashioned way.

Judging from the amount of people in the bookstore they feel the same way. There were people of all ages in this store. It is very close to the University of Washington. I read so many other things online that having a “real printed book” feels like I have escaped from technology — I like that feeling!

Printed books still have their place in the world!  Hallelujah!

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Harbors Magazine

imageHaving recently moved to Seattle I am in touring mode wanting to explore and learn all about the area.

The Pacific Northwest has a real outdoorsy feel to it. So much water… it’s no wonder that seaplanes and boats are popular for touring the area, getting to the San Juan Islands, and beyond.

I admit I did make the mistake of talking like a tourist and not knowing my information. I went on a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island. However, I thought it was Victoria Island as part of Vancover, you see the error. The crew on the Ferry were kind enough to pull out a map and show us (different tourists) the layout of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, San Juan Islands, etc.

I came across Harbors Magazine back in January when I was job searching. I was immediately drawn to the fantastic cover and when I went to Harbors Magazine’s website, I was able to view the magazine and see what it was about.

Great articles on adventuring in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle/Alaska/British Columbia). They cover boating, fishing, water front living, art, wineries, shopping, dining, flying… this is your “go to magazine” for being in the outdoors by boat or seaplane.

In every issue they have a map of Alaska, British Columbia and Puget Sound that shows you what Ferry and Seaplane service is available to you. This is wonderful and allows for easy trip planning.

Kat McKelvey Publisher, Harbors Magazine

Kat McKelvey, Publisher, Harbors Magazine

Kat McKelvey, the Publisher, would love to hear from you.

Here she is with her awesome King Salmon caught this summer in Sekiu. She is a lovely lady and produces a stunning magazine.

Visit Harbors Magazine on Facebook too, you’ll be inspired by the stories.

Start planning your next adventure and then share the story for publication!

Sunday afternoon…

imageWho likes seafood?  I was downtown Seattle this weekend and happened to walk by a seafood stall in the Farmer’s Market. I immediately noticed this octupus.

Wow — I thought of the movie, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” That was the first time I had seen a scary looking octopus.  Although, this one looks harmless.

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Next, as I continued my walk, I happened upon a salon. The funny looking stuffed animal heads caught my attention, so I looked in the window.  What??  I couldn’t believe it, pedicures for children?

What do you think? What will children have to look forward to?

Have any of you ever swam with an octopus?  Or eaten one? I wonder how many people this octopus would feed? He does look big.

Here’s to a delicious seafood dinner.

Music from Prague

PragueI was intrigued recently when I met a gentleman, Luke Doubravsky, who is from Prague.  I’ve always wanted to visit Prague and when I heard his charming accent I felt like I was half way there.

Prague is beautiful (see photo). The “first” thing I noticed in this photo were the bridges. My mother is from Florence, Italy and the view in Florence of the bridges over the river Arno looks so similar. I really had to smile at this.

As Luke started talking it was clear to me that he had an artistic flair about him. I was curious and wanted to learn more. He said he started playing piano when he was 10 years old. It turns out by day he is an Architect and by night/weekends his true passion comes out as a classically trained musician.

See Luke on Youtube. He plays all genre of music (jazz, American favorites, popular, contemporary… just ask and he’ll play something beautiful.)

Here he is doing what he loves.

Luke at Piano

Photo of Luke from Gigmaster.com

Luke lives in Seattle and can turn any event into something special. He also travels to the Las Vegas metro area to play.

Contact Luke Doubravsky for the next event you have coming up, i.e. corporate parties, grand openings, weddings, fundraisers, anniversaries, birthdays and more. You will not be disappointed!

The holidays are coming, it’s a perfect time to entertain your guests/customers with music played by an expert!

Luke – It was a pleasure meeting you!

Seattle Freeze / Little Free Library

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Neighborhood Cat

I recently moved to Seattle and I am getting to know the area. As with any move, there is a lot to do… locate a place to live, find a job and make friends.

This is overwhelming and there is a lot of “rejection” in each of those tasks.

At the same time, there is a lot of excitement in exploring a new area. Thank goodness for GPS.

Not long ago a friend asked me if I had experienced the “Seattle Freeze.” Being new, and not thinking quickly enough on my feet, I said, “I didn’t know it snowed here.”

My friend laughed and said, “It’s not about the weather, it’s about the culture. It’s been said that while Seattle folks are friendly, they don’t take it further than answering questions, no one will invite you for coffee, a walk, etc.”

I am happy to report that so far I have not felt the Seattle Freeze!

I was first welcomed by this cat that seemed to be prowling around the front door. He does look a bit like a lion. You can see he was investigating WHO the new tenant was and he didn’t look too pleased. Maybe he was missing the old tenant who left food for him, but I still tried to be friendly.

Oh, and I was recently asked out for drinks… OK, it was a fellow Midwesterner, but “HEY,” she’s been here for two years, so technically not a newcomer anymore.

Seattle Library BirdhouseWhen the rain starts, I can just walk down the street and find a book.

Look at this lovely bird house called the “Little Free Library.” The concept is that you take a book, return a book. Great idea!

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Is there really a Seattle Freeze?

If it turns out there is, just look for me at the “Little Free Library.”

Wearing Vintage

Rainbow T-shirtYesterday was a day for unexpected compliments.

I happened to be walking through Target and this HAPPY t-shirt caught my attention. While it is not the style I normally wear, it did make me FEEL happy!

I went to investigate. The first thing I liked was the soft cotton. I find it hard to wear those t-shirts that feel like cardboard. The second thing I liked was the price, it was cheap and third, the color looked good on me. So, I decided to buy it.

Puget Sound Lighthouse

I admit as I was paying for it, I was having second thoughts. It reminded me of Berkeley, and I am not an earthy type of dresser preferring a preppy kind of look, but that little voice said, “you’re going to like it.”

I decided to go hiking at Discovery Park in Seattle. Of course, I put on my NEW Happy t-shirt for the occasion.

Do you know I received five compliments on the walking trail regarding my Happy t-shirt from various aged people. One younger lady even asked me if it was “vintage,” she liked the t-shirt / straw hat combo and wanted to buy it herself.

I smiled, while my mind went into entrepreneurial mode.

I immediately thought I could buy the t-shirts at Target for $12.99 and sell them for $49.95 claiming the vintage inspired look.

My dad always said “profit is not a dirty word!”

Puget Sound view of Mount Rainier

Lighthouse view of Mount Rainier

Moral of the story is to go out of our “comfort zone.”

Who knew I was capable of wearing vintage?

THIS t-shirt made people HAPPY.

So, it’s a keeper that’s for sure!