Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Springtime in the Northwest

A surprise visit from brother Steve, the only one of us sibs not living the Northwest now. His company sent him to Tacoma, and he got the weekend off to come visit me, his sister-in-law, and our family in Seattle, except for David and Brian, who are in Palm Springs. We traveled from the heights--Hurricane Ridge, just 17 miles from Port Angeles, but a mile up into the snow line.

At times like these, I wish I'd brought my old wooden cross country skis here from VT. I know this is less snow than usual, but it's at least four feet on top of the mountain, and down below, the tulips are in bloom.

Steve likes to keep moving, so the next stop was Rialto Beach, on the Pacific coast. Black sand, wonderful smooth oval and round rocks, dramatic sea-smoothed trees, some sun, some warmth, lots of people strolling about looking for the whale pods cruising up the coast.

We thought we saw some spouts and some flashing tail fins in front of the sea stacks.

As you can see, Steve and I have pretty much the same hair...no beard for me.

It's so comfortable hanging out with someone I've known all my life.

We also fitted in some food experiences: Sweet Potato fries at Granny's Cafe and dinner at the recently re-opened Kokopelli's, which makes me miss Katie and Mike and real Southwestern food.

Of course, even with all the fun and outdoor distraction, I fit in a bit of time for Art Work: Kathy Charlton's Love Yourself doll...What a Vital Concept for ALL women!!! We must take care of ourselves first, Love Ourselves, Make time to have FUN with the ones we love...And fit in some time for ART.

Speaking of which, I'm getting some Wonderful and Wide-Ranging entries for the HOT FLASH book...my next BiG Project. Scroll down to see all the details...maybe you'd like to send something in and be part of Celebrating Women!


Saturday, March 27, 2010


I started the Hot Flash book in 2003 and was interrupted by my big mid-life change: moving to the West Coast and living my life as a single woman again. Finally I am ready to complete this very important project, and am looking for additional contributors of images and thoughts. The following questionnaire may help to direct your thinking. Feel Free to share this with others, and to answer questions I haven’t asked. I am interested in hearing from all kinds of people, about all kinds of experiences. I am hoping that this book will be beautiful and inspiring...the kind of book I would like to find and buy. Accepted contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the finished book.

* What does the term Hot Flash mean to you? What images do you see, associations?

* When you were young, how did you think about women over 25/40/60?

* What did you always dream of doing?

* Have you done it, and if so, would you tell us about how you were able to fulfill your dream

* Have you done/accomplished anything since you turned 25/40/60 that has surprised you, surprised your family or other people?

*Do you have challenges you never expected? Unexpected rewards?

* if so, how has that changed how you see yourself? Has it changed your remaining dreams?

* What advice at your age now____ would you give to your younger self at age____ Would the younger you have listened to the older you? How would the advice have changed your life now?

* Do you know about hair loss in women? In what other ways do women suffer?...or have advantages over men?

* What was/is your favorite age and why?

* What do you wish you’d known sooner?

* What is your favorite form of self-expression or what kind would you like to try?

* If you were to die tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?

*Examples: career change, education, raising grandchildren, travel, organizing, creating

I am looking for contributions of short stories, poems, essays, answers to the questions, images of ANY art form that you have created that you feel would be inspiring to other women and express the theme of HOT FLASH in the broadest sense.

Pamela Hastings * pamela@pamelahastings.com * 3007 South Laurel * Port Angeles, WA 98362

Please email me with any questions, send images with as much detail as possible (good quality jpg’s or tiffs can be burned to a CD and mailed) Send a picture of yourself and contact information as well…I will edit. The picture of you in the book will be black and white and 2” wide, just the face.

Sending your information and images to me will imply that you agree to participate in the book. Each participant will receive a copy of the finished book, so include mailing information. I’ll list your web site or email address as contact information for you. I plan publication in the late summer of 2010, so I can debut the book at Art-Is-You in CT in October. Thank you! Pamela

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sensual Spring; A Good Man With The Right Tools

Spring: Stop a moment and look around you. On a gray day on the Olympic Peninsula, the bursting yellow of the willow down the hill rivets my attention. In the almost four years in this house, I've photographed it in all kinds of weathers and lights. This is the time of year when my Art Passion gets diverted by Outside--outside my Self, Outside my inside.

The typical simultaneous sun and rain, with a long rainbow over the high school field to my northeast--just pan slowly to the right from the
blooming willow. Who needs a plain old boring sunny day!
There are peepers sounding each night, even in the middle of town. Bird songs I've never noticed before...and of course throngs and hordes of blooming, then seeding Millenium plants, called so because of their ability to survive and reproduce, in any season and location.

This is where my man, Dave, and his excellent machine (the wonderful truck) come in. As those who've followed this blog know, the all-rain winters and All-sun summers of the Northwest call for radical landscaping, perhaps radical/minimalist.

So I'm obsessed by stone, hate the whole idea of ever mowing grass. Any non-rock areas are covered with smothering sedums and wooly thyme, some day with a few sculptures (a bit larger than life-sized) strewn casually about.

Dave moved his huge boom
truck up my neighbor's driveway,
pulled out the bilateral
stabilizers, and dropped
the neat package of almost two tons of Junction Valley Silver Flagstone EXACTLY where I wanted it, at the back corner of my garage.

I can't wait to get out and move rocks!

But...not to worry...I am ALSO working on the HOT FLASH book on the side, in bits and moments. Soon I'll start posting some teasers for you...I'm also finishing up the LOVE YOURSELF doll for Kathy Charlton, with lots of extra piecing and embroidery in reds and coppers. Then, too, the portraits are calling, the next one to be of Loel Annie Barr.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Yet More Portraits and Thoughts about Passion

A Wonderful Tuesday Off, catching up with Sally, who's retired and having fun just planning a garden and taking hiking trips with her ex-husband.

Another great visit with Barbara Light, at the left, my massage therapist and friend. I think we help keep each other sane...friends are SO IMPORTANT that way! We both have to keep working, in spite of aging bodies, and minds that maybe enjoy play a little more than work, even though we both do important work that helps others.

I'm reading THIS TIME I DANCE by Tama J Kieves, another in the long list of self-help, find-and-follow-your-bliss books that I've read...each person's path is different, and sometimes it's difficult to pick out the Overwhelming Direction message among the many entertaining side trips there are to follow.

One thing I'm beginning to learn from my now 63 (!) years of experience is that I just have to keep working at the tangled knot of my Life, picking away at it to see what shows up next.

I KNOW I love painting these portraits, and have gotten used to them not looking exactly like the subjects. So I keep working on portraits, not even worrying about how they might bring in some dough. At least I paint them on paper, so they don't cost me too much. Come and see 4 of my portraits on Exhibit, Sunday, March 14th, 2-4 at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and Peninsula College...(23 other artists' work, too).

I used to be intimidated by painting, maybe because I was scared to expose myself in an arena that means so much to me.

I'm not working in the kind of frenzy I was when I did the 8 portraits in 7 days, but I am trying to be aware of not over-working, so there is still a certain spontaneity. There is always that Question about whether to try to make a living with what one loves, or get other work and not sully the treasured activity with money. I still don't know the answer. I know that writing is so much a part of my life that I do it every day, in lots of different ways: online classes, books, patient charts, my daily journalling. Can I make a living writing and painting??? Best keep the day job for now.

I feel Very Lucky to be living in a time and culture that allows me the freedom to even contemplate these questions.

By the way, the second portrait is Mike and Katie, my good friends who moved to AZ last fall...I miss them, but in a way we are ALL CONNECTED...Be Kind to each other, and YourSelves!


Saturday, March 06, 2010


I love birthdays, especially mine! I try to make the
festivities last as long as possible, even now that
My numbers are getting up there.

I started early on Saturday, going to Sew Expo in Puyallup with Barbara Light. Lots of luscious hand-dyed fabrics for my stash and bright yellow dupioni silk--a must-have staple for me.

A few brief moments to chat with Pamela Armas and Karen Ford with invitations for them to participate in the HOT FLASH book. Old friends from so many times and places. We are all longing to stay home and make stuff. Pamela's home in New Mexico is Especially wondrous--check it out in Where Women Create.

On Saturday David drove his new car over from Seattle, picked me up, drove us back to Port Townsend, and we still had time for a luscious lunch at Fin's, time on the beach, finding glowing round white rocks for my back yard, a little browsing, and The Last Station at the Rose Theater, along with their delicious, buttery popcorn.

Hugh came over on my actual birth Day and we did an afternoon hike to the Olympic Hot Springs on what used to be a paved road to a resort. Over the years the road has washed away and become overgrown, but it was a beautiful day to be outside.

We could smell the sulpher and see the steam rising in the distance. There are 5 pools, around 85 degrees, and folks have dammed up the edges with rock, so each can sit one or several people.

Beauty Everywhere, but no snow except for way up in the mountains...an unusually warm winter. Cherry trees and daffodils are in bloom down in town. We may get a little thirsty this summer when there's little water from snow melt.

Monday the streams were high and we had to cross three of them on logs. I am so lucky to live in the midst of So Much natural beauty!

All this is just a few miles outside of Port Angeles. Ann and Allen, you'll Love it here!

After hiking, we were easily able to justify a sumptuous feast at Sabai Thai, two appetizers and three entrees for
two of us. Hugh has already tried to duplicate the eggplant dip with singing shrimp puffs.

Tuesday morning I made my popover pancake, with Hugh on the apple filling. He made it for Connie today. From the Vegetarian Epicure, although I used 4 eggs at room temp. Heat the butter in the iron fry pan in the oven first.

This Friday after work I got a halibut sandwich from Frugals and sat out at the Hook for Dinner. Life is Good!

More portraits tomorrow, maybe.