Pet Safety Over the Holidays and All Year Long

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I recently wrote a blog post for Run Those Dogs about potential holiday hazards for your pets. I know I get so busy trying to get it all done over the holidays that its pretty easy for me to be absent-minded, in a hurry, and occasionally a little careless.

This blog meant more to me than the average because while I was writing about the dangers of candles, I was reminded of a family just a few blocks away who lost their home and their friend two years ago to an unattended candle. The friend had been staying in their spare bedroom and the fire began with a single candle. A young man lost his life, an older teen was severely burned and broke a bone jumping from a second story window, and two other family members were displaced and had to move out of our wonderful neighborhood, switching schools to move to a crowded house with relatives.

Ownership of the house was complicated and so it still sits down the street, boarded up and blackened by the fire, the prayer flags faded white and waving in the wind. It waits, silently, to be torn down when bureaucracy allows. Someday a crisp, new house will fill the void. But their lives will never be the same.

So please, please, keep you and your pets safe this holiday season and all year long.

Channeling a Ghost for the Holidays

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

Momix at Mount Baker Theater.

I am honored to be a part of Mount Baker Theatre’s (MBT’s) brilliance. Since the fall, they have allowed their resident ghost Judy to channel her thoughts about the beautiful, historic theater through me.

This week Judy is helping Pacific Northwesterners cross a few things off their holiday shopping list by giving the gift of a MBT experience through my WhatcomTalk.com blog post.

I hope you’ll appreciate how much fun it is to be Judy. I’ve always wanted a writing gig like Dear Sugar where I can give advice and thoughts anonymously. For now, this is the next best thing.

Holiday Music is My Favorite Part of the Season

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

Florist Natalie Ransom of Pozie By Natalie styles any holiday for events, businesses, and individuals.

I jumped at the chance to write an article for WhatcomTalk.com about my favorite holiday music. In addition to Christmas lights and movies, music is one of the best parts of the season. I love to play it in the background and sing along. Last night I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with my kids and realized that its the music that makes willing to watch that animated classic every year. It is also one of the reasons I learned to play a little piano as an adult.

Make sure that you listen to as much holiday music as you can, and if you’re within driving distance, get your Mount Baker Theatre tickets before the season is over.

My (and Your) Baby Cakes

One of the reasons I love the Bellingham-based band Baby Cakes is because of the good people that make up this 9-piece funk, soul, and R & B supergroup.

Stephanie Walbon is just one of them, but she is kind, interesting, and a quality human being. That’s why I wrote about her for WhatcomTalk.com.

Go check out my article, including the stellar photos by Kenneth Kearney Photography, and then be sure to follow them yourself via social media. You’ll see why I keep going to show after show.

It’s Snowing in Whatcom County!

sledding-sky-duryee-mt-bakerI know, so what, right? But in the greater Puget Sound area of Washington State, we only get a few days of snow a year, if any, so its a big deal to us.

No one knows how to drive in it, schools and businesses close, its like you’re a kid again with an extra day off school. I choose to embrace the snow day.

I wrote an article about sledding in Whatcom County  for WhatcomTalk.com last season and it still applies so I’ll share it again now.

Don’t forget to take your snow day sometime soon.

The Kid in All of Us Loves the Circus

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Photos by Jorge Lausell.

Except for that one incident with too much cotton candy, most of my experiences with the circus have been so very positive. I saw things I never could imagine. By people so glorious and different from my world. The lights, the music, the dancing and laughter. I could go every year.

Luckily, in my neck of the woods, I can actually go every month, or every week if I want. Whatcom County is the home to the Bellingham Circus Guild. I can see a performance on the 15th of every month and take a weekly class. So can my children. We are so fortunate.

It was a delight to write my Bellingham Experience Insider Blog about them. Go read it and then figure out how to get more circus in your 2017.

Fishing Back to My Roots

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Yes, the fish my sister Wanda is holding on the left is frozen solid. And yes, that really is the hairdo and glasses I had in the late 80’s, just like everyone else.

When I mention my roots, I’m not talking about changing my hair color. The older we get, the more we sift through our old memories and experiences.

To tame the chaos, I have been dedicating time to declutter and get organized. That includes going through old boxes, papers, and photos. I’m descended from a line of collectors and pilers on my mother’s side so my tendency to keep is strong. I think, you never know when you might need that, or how will I remember that moment without the photo? Lately I’ve been talking myself out of that mindset and answering those thoughts instead with live in the present because it is so precious, you’re not remembering it while its in a box in the attic anyway, and that unfinished project is keeping you awake at night.

While sifting old photos I was reminded of my time spent fishing. I fished bluegill and perch, pike, and whatever else would bite in the humid mosquitoey summers and below zero winters where I grew up in Lower Michigan. I fished alone, with my younger sister, and with my father, who taught me the little I know.

My fishing experience continued when I moved to Washington, shifting from lakes and ponds to the deep, cold waters of Lake Whatcom and the Puget Sound. Instead of standing on the shore, I bobbed in a sailboat or kayak.

Its been a while since I fished for anything. I’m recently practicing a vegan lifestyle for all the usual environmental and ethical reasons. But I loved fishing. For me, it wasn’t about the size of what I caught or catching what I ate. It was always about being on the water, learning about the fish and its life cycle, slowing down, and shutting out everything else but the quiet hum of the outdoors.

That’s why I wrote this article for WhatcomTalk.com about the new Bellingham, WA-based North Sound Chapter of Trout Unlimited. I understand where they are coming from and I respect that they are willing to take action to preserve and conserve rivers and their fish for generations to come.

I’m recycling most of the pictures of the fish I once caught. Then I’m going to head out to my local stream to see the salmon coming in. I’ll spend some time with the pictures in my head and then head home with any trash I find along the way.