Monday, August 25, 2008

Featured In Newsletter!

The wonderful folks at Reaching Out thought that my story would be inspirational for others so they did a feature article on me & my art & put it on their front page! Their newsletter gets placed in doctors offices & emailed all over the world, so I'm pretty thrilled & honored that they would do this!

Karmen Naccarato, one of our awesome Outties, just had an amazing thing happen. I want to share her words so you can understand what a great thing this is for her & her fight with FM/CFS/ME:

The series is titled, "New Beginnings". The images are based on my own personal experience of being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) & Fibromyalgia (FM)...finding the courage to live with it.... and after 8 years, regaining enough wellness to finally feel alive again. Rather than focusing on the difficult times and dealing with the challenges of living with CFS & FM, I chose to focus on courage, hope and the power of positive thinking. The creative act of painting this series was also very helpful in my healing process.”

Karmen's show has been a smash hit! In fact, it's been so successful, Michelle Mokrey, innovative owner of, "The Artist's Tree", has extended the show & placed Karmen's work in a more prominent place. We also want to thank Karmen from the bottom of our hearts because she is donating a percentage of her sales to Reaching Out! What an amazing artist AND person! So help us pay tribute to this courageous & talented lady by checking out her work which we've spread out through this issue. You can also see her complete collection of works &/or purchase it at: Congrats, mon ami, we love you!

What an amazing group of people they are! Their support has made a big difference in how I've lived with CFS & FM. Their kind words touched my heart & reaffirms just how far I've come. Thank you Reaching Out! {{{HUGS}}}

To learn more about Reaching Out or CFS/FM/ME visit their webstie:

A Bat!

Yesterday I was getting ready to work in the studio...I opened the back studio door so that Lizzie the cat (now known at Lizzie the mighty moth hunter...which is another story) could look out the screen door. She's a house kitty so this is the closest she gets to outside. Then I was off to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. After all, my creative process requires coffee...all thick & dark...a nice organic french roast...mmmmmmm...I puttered about the kitchen waiting for my coffee & when it was finished brewing I poured myself a cup & axiously headed to the studio. As I came down the steps into my studio, I just happened to look at the screen door...AND THERE IT WAS! A BAT! Now Lizzie was quiet & just watching...the bat was on the upper part of the screen door (on the outside thank goodness!) way out of her reach. Now this was in the afternoon...about 3ish or so...I immediately paid attention because I thought it to be so odd. I called Tony at work to ask him if the bat could bite or scratch Lizzie through the screen door...Tony said he didn't know, but to take a picture...good thing he told me that because I was just so amazed & just wanted to watch it...but something told me to get the cat outa there first so I grabbed her (against her wishes of course...she just knew she was a mighty hunter & was gonna get that bat). Then I took pictures while I was still on the phone with Tony. The bat moved very quickly down the screen door & then flew in a clockwise circle in my yard & then came back to the screen, paused, & then flew into our maple tree.

The Bat represents the energy of rebirth. Known as the guardians of the night, they possess the power of adaptability. Bats can reflect our need to deal with our fears. The message of the Bat may be alerting you that transformation of the ego is upon you and is asking you to surrender to the process....hmmmm. I also looked Bat up in the Medicine Cards & it said basically the same thing, but with more detail. Another website said that if a bat is out in the daytime it may be have lost it's home, be sick, or have rabies....after reading that I was a little creeped out.

Now Lizzie was on high alert because of this so she was a bit jumpy & excitedly looked out the windows for the bat the rest of the day. That night a moth got in the house & Lizzie was delighted! She chased that moth all over the house! So that's why she is now known as Lizzie the Mighty Moth Hunter.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Karny in Seattle

We just got back from our trip to Seattle. I love vaccationing in Seattle. It's so green there...I love the moss growing on the trees. The traffic was nerve racking though. On the way to Seattle we stopped at the Petrified Forest in Vantage...there's a interactive center to look around & some petrified logs...then down the road there's a gift shop where you can purchase petrified wood. I got a piece that looks like a heart. Closer to Seattle we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls. It was cool, but I bet it is much more impressive in the Spring. The gift shop was expensive, so I passed up that shopping opportunity.

Sooooo....Good places to shop in Seattle: The Red Light on Capital is two stories of new & vintage clothing & a large costume section. I got another robe to add to my collection & Tony got a bowling shirt that hade a mortuary sponcership on the back & the name stitched on the front was Phyllis. It was just too kitchy not to purchase! There's also another Red Light in the U District, but we didn't get to that one this time. Urban Outfitters has a lot of very cool things...not just clothes, but shoes, jewelry, stuff for guys & gals, & home decor. It is on the spendy side, but super cute & it can't be bought where we live.

We tried thrift store shopping for the first time in Seattle. We went to three thrift stores...Goodwill in Renton, Goodwill in Bellevue, & Value Village in Redmond. The Goodwill in Renton was the best of the three...we found lots of lovelies cheap, & the coolest chair ever for only $20.00, but we couldn't figure out how to get it home...we were all saddened by having to leave it was really the coolest chair ever...all vintage, turquoise flowers, a high back that kinda wrapped around & made it felt like a big hug. I had visions of sitting in it in my home, next to the fire, crocheting......I loved that chair...even though our time together was breif ;) The Goodwill in Bellevue was dissapointing though...I didn't find much there & most things seemed a bit pricey for what it was. I did find a couple of faux corest like tops for $6.00 a piece so it wasn't a total loss. The Value Village in Redmond was the WORST! The vibe in there was nervous & kinda creepy...very sketchy vibe...WAY too much stuff to go through...most of the wracks were so jam packed that it was difficult to look through things...a lot of over priced stuff...a lot of people...isles too narrow...unfriendly staff...carts fblocking isles full of stuff waiting to be put away...put that all together & it was not a good thrift shopping experience.

We also went to a couple of New Age shops. One was Soul Food in was a nice mix of books & merchandise. They had coffee & food...local art on the walls, & music. And then we went to Stargazers in Bellevue. Stargazers is a bigger shop with many rooms, lots of crystals, books, jewelry, beads...nice shop. I wish we had something like these two shops here locally. The staff at both shops were friendly, helpful, & knowlegable. Both shops had a really good selection of merchandise & lots of different classes & events going on too. There was a nice community vibe going on.

We make sure to hit the Trader Joes while we are there...I love Trader Joes! I wish we had one here. Everything is so cheap! Quality food & ingredients at a reasonable price. I only wish we would have brought a cooler! Most of the food is organic & what's not organic is natural. I've never seen an ingredient in anything there that I could not pronounce & I've never seen high fructose corn syrup in anything either. (Did you know that high fructose corn syrup turns straight into fat??? Your body can't burn it like your body just stores it as fat! Ick!)

Of course no trip to Seattle would be complete without a jont down to IKEA in Renton. We love IKEA! This is another store that I wish we had here. I bought wall stickers this time...I'll take a picture of what they look like on the wall just as soon as I get them up. We always stop by the cafe to have their swedish meatballs...YUM!

Now for restaurants...Every restaurant we went to was really good! No dissapointments here. Victor's Coffee in Redmond was very good. They roast their own coffee beans & it has a very warm & cozy vibe. The coffee was very good & they had specilty coffee drinks like Banana Split & Black Forest...It's a nice break from Starbucks. Taqueria El Gallow in Redmond is hands down the best Mexican restaurant I've eaten at! Very authentic food & run by a father & son. Everything is fresh & homemade with no lard at all. They were voted best Mexican food on the eastside by Seattle Times. Our favorites were the ceviche & the chicken taquitos...the rice & beans were pretty fabulous too. We had Chinese at the Jade Dragon in Redmond, which is honestly the best Chinese I've ever had. They use quality ingredinets & it's really clean old frier oil taste. We ordered the family style combination meals for 3, which could have actually fed 4. And they use no MSG. For fast food we ate at Fatburger, which was pretty good. They have a Babyfat Burger that was just the right size. They are a local chain over in the Seattle area. Another good place that we ate was at Palmers in's a little bar/restaurant, but kids are welcome. They have really good sandwiches & burgers & super yummy french fries! The staff was really friendly too, which is always nice. OH, & then there's the Broadway Grill on Capital Hill. Both times we ate there the food was really good. We had fish & chips & salads & a burger...all of it was really tastey. The fries were my favorite, of course! The decor was really neat...there were roll up doors all allong the front so that when they are all opened it's like eating outside. Again the staff here was friendly & helpful. I almost forgot The Crab Cracker in Kirkland! How could I do that? We ordered family style crab dinner...WOW! A huge platter of king crab, snow crab, & dungenous crab was placed in the middle of our table along with veggies & potatoes. That was super yummy! The atmosphere was cool looked really oceany (is that even a word? lol).

On Saturday we went to Capital Hill again to go to the Fairy Festival in Volunteer Park. That was horribly dissapointing! There was a HUGE grassy area with a total of 5 booths...3 of which were vendors. I was bummed. So we walked down to the conservatory & looked at the plants...took some pictures...Then we went over to the Lakeview Cemetary...drove around & took picutres (it was too hot to walk)...I like to take pictures of the statuary. This is the cemetary that Bruce & Brandon Lee are burried in.

Now for the COOLEST thing that we did....We went to Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation, which is only about a 20 minute drive from Redmond. It is a recreated village from the 14th century. The village is among all of these moss covered trees. Everyone that worked there was in proper dress & in character...everything was as it would have been in the 14th century...down to how they spoke & what they ate. No soda pop, hot dogs, or water bottles here. They even have medieval vendors...& they can tell you all about their craft in the way they would have spoke then. It's like stepping back in time. We purchased pottery that was made on site to drink water out of...& I bought the Camlann cookbook, which I super excited about trying out! (Especially since we did the feast while we were there...but we'll talk about that in a sec)

There was a candlemaker there & there were several people making I asked her how much it was to make a candle & she said something like, "It thou art poor then I have taught thou a trade. It thou has money then I would be happy with whatever you think my services are worth." I just thought that was cool. So Tony & I made candles...they look like unicorn horns...& she told us this whole love story about's like she could see our heart & souls...I'm not even was so romantic. She told us not to burn the candles but to keep them as a reminder of our we put them in candle holders & put them on our love altar. Seriously...this is the coolest thing I've EVER done in the Seattle area. OH, & you can't pay for anything with our regular paper have to go trade it in for their midieval coin. I wish I would have brought some back with me. There was also a woman making head wreaths out of fresh flowers & folliage. Of course we had to get them! She told us to dry them flat & hang them up once they were dry as a decoration...mine is haning in the kitchen now. There was entertainment too! There was a magician, which was histarical...then several people singing...& then there was a play. I wish I would have seen more of the play, but I was busy making a candle. There was even an archery class, a sword fighting class, & a dancing class. We got there too late to do those things, but there will be a next time.

Then once the village closes, you can stay for the feast. The feast was amazing! There's restaurant on site called the Bors Hede Inn. You can just go to the restaurant upstairs or you can go to the feast. We had made reservations for the feast weeks prior. They sereved a total of 12 dishes in two courses announced by trumpet. The food was served family style...wooden bowls passed plates, just round slabs of bread to put the food on. The food was really yummy...I just can't wait to try those recipies at home. The walls in the chamber were painted with medieval hunting scenes & scenes from everyday life. There was entertainment too. It was just the most enjoyable adventure of our whole trip. We can't stop talking about it. It's $10 to get in, but if you pay the $45 for the feast you get in the gates for free.

To see pics of our trip, just look to the left column & find the Karny Slideshow section. Enjoy!

A Couple Weekends Ago...

...we went to our friends wedding. (Yes, I know I'm behind on my blog...I always am...would you expect any less?) We stayed at the Country Inn hotel in Sagle...It was like a time warp! Our room was the Matadoor Room...yes, you read correctly...Lot's of hardwood paneling & kitchy spanich style 'paintings' right out of the 70's...complete with a vibrating bed! Now if you like a rock hard king size bed that vibrates, the Matadoor Room is definately for you. You just can't get a vibrating bed at a national chain hotel. And they advertised free breakfast...look at the picuture below...that was the & Little Debbie cinnamon rolls & cookies. I was happy with just coffee because we had already decided to go into Sandpoint & have a big breakfast at Panhandler Pies for our daughter's birthday. That morning I woke her up singing Happy Birthday & offered to take her for a spin on the vibrating bed. She declined, so Tony & I took it for a ride...the kitch factor of a vibrating bed is good, but the ride itself was kinda blah. There is a drive through espresso stand in the hotel parking lot though that had bagels. After a super yummy breakfast in Sandpoint, we strolled around the Farmer's Market & then went to the art festival in the park. It was a super busy weekend! OH, & our friends wedding was goregous & magical! The bride was beautiful, the groom was very handsome, & the food was really good! They did a whole roasted pig! It was an outdoor wedding...during the reception a storm rolled in...what a light show! Lot's of lightning, thunder, & rain. The bride danced barefoot in the rain :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Today's Quote 8/20/08

Be kinder than neccessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. ~author unknown

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy!

How did we get so busy these days? Seems like we're always doing something. I guess I just have a lot of living to do!

So what have we been doing to keep ourselves so busy? Well, let's see...A couple of weekends ago was a friends bachlorette party, which entailed many bottles of champange in the longest limo I've ever seen...complete with laser lights, starry sky lights on the cieling, & blue lightning balls. I'm not at liberty to discuss the details of the evening...but a good time was had by all & that's all I can say....shhhhhhhh....Then Dad & I went to the Julamsh Pow Wow & watched the Grand Entry & the dancers. During the week we went to the Imax theater to see the Dark Knight...WOW! Now that was a whole lot of fun! We all loved the movie & it was especially good on the Imax screen! There were a couple of times that I felt like I needed a seatbelt! If you ever get a chance to see a movie at the Imax, DO IT! You'll have a good time. Let me see...what else??? OH! We went to the Street Fair & Art on the Green...Lot's of stuff to look at...I bought a couple of skiens of sari 'yarn' (yarn made from the fibers of shredded silk sari's)...other than that I didn't see a lot to buy. Don't get me wrong, there was many many talented artists & lot's of wonderful things to buy, however, prices were a little out of my current budget range, but lot's of inspiration to go around! Plus I did a ton of walking & didn't even get sore. Yay me! LOL Other than that we've been doing stuff around town like going to the farmer's market & hiking around (yes, all the way around) Tubbs Hill (again, Yay me!)...we've been catching up on yard work & house work too...which takes time...I'm in no way a domestic goddess, but I do try....I just gotta get a maid one of these days...I'd rather do yard work.