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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

“Here’s To You, Uncle!”

March 22, 2020

I asked Uncle Walt, “Do you just really like Jimmy Buffet or is that a parrot on your head?”

(This picture was recently taken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, while he and I were on a Caribbean Cruise)

The parrot kept repeating, “Polly want a selfie!”

My Traveling Uncle

Last year, in November, I called my Uncle Walt to tell him, “Happy Birthday!”. He turned 82 years old and he’s still going strong.

He’s my traveling uncle. He’s always had wanderlust. He’s been to over 70 countries during his lifetime. He was in the Navy for a few years and he said he loved being at sea.

After that he worked for the government, as a “silly-vilian”. Well, that’s what I called him. I was in the military at the time. (And he is kinda silly sometimes 😁) . But he is very funny most of the time and has many interesting experiences to share.

He’d look for job openings which required travel. He wasn’t too finicky about what job he did, as long as he could travel.

He’s an avid reader. He’s knowledgeable about geography and history and he keeps current with the news and political scene.

He still travels and he still drives a car. He helps his 92-year old sister (My Aunt Helen) go get groceries.

He knows about a million songs and their lyrics and he sings all the time.

He has countless stories to tell about the travels and experiences he’s had during his lifetime. And he rarely tells the same story twice.

He speaks some Spanish. He spends quite a bit of time in Panama.

Even though single and fancy free to roam the world, he’s always cared about the family. He’s always stayed in touch with everyone, including all his nieces and nephews. He never married but said he almost did once, to a German girl, named Heidi (But that’s another story!).

Our paths (his and mine) have crossed often, throughout the years, in many different places, and we’ve shared a lot of good experiences together. And he’s been a good influence in my life in many ways.

So while I was on the phone talking with him, we talked about traveling and I casually mentioned to him that I’d like to go to the Caribbean for my next trip. I didn’t have a plan to go anytime soon, but thought I’d like to see that area of the world next.

So about a month later, early in January, Uncle Walt called me and said he had found a good deal on a 10-day cruise to the Western side of the Caribbean and asked if that’s something I’d like to do.

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Health and Wellness, Music

Rainy Days and Sundays (Always Get Me Up)

January 19, 2020

I’m alluding to a song that was popular in the 70’s, by the Carpenters, called “Rainy Days and Mondays”. The song says “…rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”

But I don’t feel that way about rainy days or Mondays.

Water is a life-giving force and water, falling or streaming, is music to my ears, nurturing my soul and soothing my senses.

I’m from the Midwest. We had frequent thunderstorms. So I grew up with an appreciation and eagerness for thunder and lightning (as long as I wasn’t outside, in it!)

But we seldom have thunderstorms here in Seattle. So, when one occurs, it’s cause for celebration among my kids and I. We call each other and exclaim “Hey, did you hear that?”

So imagine my elation when, one day, while I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, standing by the zucchini, I suddenly heard the faint sound of thunder and lightening…………..

……………just before the mist sprayed down lightly over all the vegetables I was standing next to!! 😂

Smiling ear to ear, I looked around to see if anyone else shared my simple fascination, joy, and surprise at the creativity involved in the making of that “thunderstorm”.

But everyone else was just going about their business. It seemed I was the only one who noticed it.

(Oh, well, maybe some day I’ll grow up. 🤨)

But, I say, two thumbs up 👍🏻👍🏻 for the ‘creative’ who came up with the idea!

So last Sunday was a rainy day. Sunday is my only day off. So it’s a day of rest. A day just to chill. A day to do laundry. A day to connect with family and/or friends. And it was a day to turn on “Lizzles!” (a playlist I made of all Lizz Wright‘s songs) and let Lizz’s music intermingle melodically all day long with the rhythmic rainfall gently touching down on the skylight above my desk (my creation station), while I sat there and dreamed wide awake as I began this post and thought about ideas for future posts. Also it was a kind of day that called for soup or a hearty stew, as they say.

Recently I bought an Instant Pot…..

….and an Instant Pot Cookbook….

……by Urvashi Pitre.

Her cookbook offers various dishes from all over the world, three of which were recipes for three delicious Korean dishes my boys and I learned to love during the years we lived in South Korea.

One of the recipes was for Kimchi JJi Gae (Kimchi Stew). I wanted to try it first.

It turned out really well. It was a great recipe true to the authentic flavor I have grown to know so well.

As the day went on, it got colder and the rain turned to snow.

By evening, 7-8 inches of snow had fallen. But I didn’t mind.

🎶 Snowy days and Sundays always get me up too 🎶.

creativity, Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Sound Bytes #6….”The Finale”

November 11, 2019

This Sound Bytes Series has been a lot of fun for me to put together.

Lizz’s music, the travel and sight-seeing around the Puget Sound, the people I met along the way, and the opportunity to share it all with you.

It’s been all about the beauty of the Puget Sound and the beauty of the sound of Elizabeth Lacharia Wright’s (Lizz Wright’s) music.

I love both sounds.

When I first conceived the idea to do this, I knew I wanted to end the series with an aerial view of the Puget Sound above the San Juan Islands. (It’s at the end of this post….as Sound Bytes #6).

I also wanted to write a song called, “Love At First Sound”, for this final post of the series. (It’s also down below.)

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creativity, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Sound Bytes #4 ….”San Juan Island”

October 21, 2019

San Juan Island is just one of the islands in the archipelago known as the San Juan Islands.

The four main islands, to which people frequently travel, are Orcas, Shaw, Lopez and San Juan Island.

(I got this map from the San Juan Island Visitors Bureau.)

In my last post, (Sound Bytes #5….”Orcas Island (Continued)”, I mentioned that I didn’t leave Orcas Island as soon as I thought I would, to get to San Juan Island. The rainy weather on Orcas delayed me one day. So I essentially had only one day to spend on San Juan Island, to do all the things I wanted to do.

I called ahead to let the front desk people know I would be getting in a little late that night.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Sound Bytes #5….”Orcas Island (continued)”

September 11, 2019

In my last post (Sound Bytes #5….”Orcas Island”), I said that the next post would be Sound Bytes #4….”San Juan Island”.

But after I thought about it, I realized I had to go back to Orcas Island to do a few things I was unable to do on my last visit to the Island. I’m pretty sure #4 🤨 will be next, but…..

Oh well…..I think I can safely say that #4 will be here when you see it. (How’s that for being non-committal?)

I wanted to:

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