Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby, Baby... Can't ya hear my Heartbeat!

Terrah was surrounded by her girlfriends and family for her baby shower.  She was "showered" with gifts during the party.  We all sang the Hermans Hermits song, "Baby, baby.. Can't you hear my heartbeat."  It was so fun!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Eagles Soar above Skagit River

Bald eagles line the trees along the Skagit River in January each year. Volunteers man stations alone the river to give visitors information about where eagles have been spotted, have scopes set up to see eagles close up, and provide pamphlets and maps. The two hour drive was just so beautiful on the winding Hwy 530. I took many photos of barns in red, grey and powder blue. When I reached Hwy 20 and the Rockport Eagle Visitor Center I was ready to spot those brilliant white bald bald headed eagles. But there were none to be found there. I drove about 20 miles north and in the next three hours spotted over a dozen eagles along the river. I was able to get a few great shots of them. After awhile it gets easier to recognize their familiar shape as they perch in trees standing watch over the river looking for dinner.I went by myself and loved breathing the fresh cool air and watching over the river hoping for another glimpse on my own time. Hopefully, if I go next year I'll have a better camera with a more powerful lens.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

World Peace Dinner

Caroline invited me to a potluck featuring food from around the world which was a smashing idea. Since I don't cool, really, I brought curry chicken from my favorite Thai restaurant. Here is a group shot of some of us in her beautiful home!

Grandma-to-be means Shopping!

It is overwhelming how many products have been created since I was pregnant! Back then there was one or maybe two brands of pacifiers and strollers. Today aisles of the stores are lined with both. I went shopping with Kyler for the shower that Terrah's Mom is giving her next week. She and Colin didn't really have a very long list when they registered. The crib, changing table dresser and cradle are all ready. Kyler wrapped all our gifts and they fill the trunk of her car!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Boat Show...The Big Seattle Boat Show...

You can't hear the tune, but years ago the ads ran the slogan over and over and it plays in my head each January when it is boat show time! As a boat owner and enthusiast, I have to go once or twice during the ten day run. I went the first day of the show which is always fun because there is lots of energy because the exhibitors aren't exhausted yet. This year I had time to climb through all the big yachts on display and cruise through the entire show rather quickly as I was alone. There is something to be said for having the booths in the same location every year, but there are times I wonder how interesting it would be to mix it up one year. I think I'd visit booths I might never normally see. It is getting too predictable. This year I didn't buy anything or look for anything specific. I didn't notice any new and unusual gadget or toy.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Tacoma Art and Glass

I really don't have a good excuse for waiting for years to go to see art in Tacoma.  I've seen Chihuly glass exhibits in Wisconsin and Arizona in addition to around the Northwest.  I've been to the Seattle Art Museum many times.  But, I have always wanted to walk on the bridge of glass and see a hot shop at the Museum of Glass and see the Tacoma Art Museum.  Today, I was off to check them out on my own toting my camera with me.  Both museums are within a block of each other and were not very large. 

The Museum of Glass had several exhibits but they did not allow photographs.  For many months children were asked to draw pictures and then the glass blowers would choose a drawing and make it in glass.  That was actually an amazing exhibit.  I also loved the "Landscape" ... all clear glass .... a path surrounded by trees and leaves mostly all suspended from the ceiling like curtains. With the clear glass and lighting it was like looking at a forest all covered in frost.

The Tacoma Art Museum had a small impressionism exhibit.  I learned that the term was coined from one of Monet's paintings with that word in the name in 1874.  One painting that caught my eye.. was "Natalie in a blue Skirt" by William Glackers painted in 1914. 

Though I am not really artistic, I do like to do crafty things and I love color.  Going to art museums and galleries always inspires me.

Learning... Practicing... Yoga

In October 2010 I was given a coupon by Hillary for a yoga place in my neighborhood, BalaYoga.  "Try this," she said.  "It will really help strengthen your back and you will work on balance and stretching."  So.. a bit nervous and apprehensive, I walked into the studio, met one of the owners and asked if they would double the coupon... (make it for twice the number of days at the reduced rate... heck.. Why not... maybe I won't even go again... )  He agreed.  With my little halter and pants off the sale rack at Fred Meyer and an inexpensive yoga mat I entered the studio which was at 90 degrees.  I think back on that first week and I must have really looked funny.  I knew nothing about yoga, could barely do a single pose, and I sweat like a basketball player dribbling down the court during the last few seconds of the game. 

I decided to try to see if I could continue for 30 days on a regular basis.  They I made it 60 days.  Now I am past the 70 day mark (10 weeks) and I have gone to an average of a class every other day... That is over 35 classes!

It is difficult. Not so much the yoga poses as they get easier and then more challenging.  No... what is really hard is getting out of the house and to the studio.  I fight all those voices.  I seem to have quite an audience in my head and it never seems to be cheering me on!  Those voices know every excuse imaginable to NOT go to class.  And they work the angle for every one.  But, I stand up and push forward.  I figure if I get in the car... if I drive toward the studio... if I park... If I walk in.... well ... then I am committed. 

I went to classes to help my back.  It has been about 7 years since I had surgery on a ruptured disc.  But, for the past year my right side aches and is weak.  I went to the surgeon and then to physical therapy.  I did every exercise and paid all those bills...   But, after one week of yoga the pain was almost completely gone!  The other fantastic benefit is that I am much trimmer and have lost weight.  I don't picture myself as a skinny model... I think I'll always have wings that won't make me fly and a waist that is hard to find... but I feel must more in shape and my clothes fit better! 

Now, I have to have a meeting with the voices.  I am trying to think of what my next goal should be.  I hit the 10 week mark... Maybe I'll go for 3 months next.  Small goals that are attainable make me feel like I am accomplishing something.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The hills are alive with the Sound of Music

Caroline getting ready to go on stage for the costume contest

Hillary, Caroline, Natalie and Maureen
I found three friends (Hillary, Maureen, and Caroline) to join me at the annual Sound of Music Sing Along at the 5th Avenue Theatre on the first day of the new year.  I went a couple years ago with another friend and had a ball!
When we entered the theatre we were given an small bag with some props. People all around were dressed in costume... the Von Trapp family, Maria, nuns, Capt Von Trapp, brown paper packages tied in string, girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes... etc.  Caroline had an apron.. was Maria?.... but when she got up on stage she was asked who she was and she said,  I am Rachel Ray, I am looking for the Food Network? I had a blast, thank you so much for inviting me. What a way to start the new year!!"Everyone in the audience laughed... Some she should do a stand up comedy act!
We all had so much fun and plan to go back next year.. hmmm... what costumes???