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Sunday, September 23, 2018

& other Loves

A few times since we've come to Aber-land. (Aberdeen--we have many nicknames for it: Aberdabberdoo, A-brad-een, Ariele-deen)...a few times since we've been separated from most of our work (yes, I write columns, host a website segment...Sharing Stories, teach onsite classes, and edit books) but even with moving and setting things up and still working, a handful of times, I've found myself reading for pleasure. I haven't done RELAXED reading for pleasure for dozens of years. I've stolen time to do it occasionally, but that wasn't relaxed. One of my favorite things to do when growing up was reading...many, many hours of reading--the feeling of escaping on a magic carpet, going to other times and worlds, melding minds with authors. So wonderful. I feel jealous of it now, like anything else I take on--teaching on site down here, other edit jobs...anything. I feel like I don't want anything to take that away.
And the waking up next to Brad. The watching his Westerns in the morning, his "stories" as he likes humorously to call them.
Cooking healthy stuff again after the moving & setting up was pretty much done. Petting the cats, sitting with a cat on my lap until my legs go numb. Ah, life!


Life--it's good. 

AND another cat???

Yes, our neighborhood as an outdoor stray cat who is everybody's cat--friendly, loves to be petted, is fat from all the feedings. He can't be indoors as he has a history of spraying. But he wasn't getting any vetting. So I took him to the vet for worming, to be sure he was neutered (yes), to check for fleas, for vaccinations, etc. Then I bought him an outdoor heated house (has a pad on the floor to plug in, waterproof, and about the size of him...but he does spend his nights in it with a feather toy I stole from the girls' toy box.
So our LOVE can include another cat. Really really wasn't looking for another cat at this point, but it happened.
Sox--accurately named. 

Ariele & Sox on deck in sun.

Changes

We are who we have now--a new place, no people we really know here. We've both coalesced in this situation and found the weaknesses between us as well as the strengths. Hiding from the weaknesses in other relationships when need be during our 31 years of marriage...not a bad thing to have other recourse than each other. But now he's retired and we're far from others. Days when heavenly closeness and pleasure in our new situation and having so much time together can suddenly switch to "and that has always aggravated me...and NOW, argh!" Having lots of space helps. We both love all of the house but the upstairs kind of mine and the basement kind of his. Main floor is mostly where we are all the time. Neighbors have been pleasant.

Here's how we've altered the surroundings.

Main bedroom with lovely view out over the deck & wooded area.


Front door, living room, view into dining room
Fireplace DOES work and we love it!
Office area in dining room is convenient to kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom...and only 14 stairs from the laundry LOL




Another living room angle that shows the linen closet outside the main floor bathroom.



Kitchen



Deck, carport, shed, woods--deck just repainted

west side now has a hydrangea & hosta

main bedroom

upstairs landing

 
Upstairs guest room--has a tv, DVD player, video player, and Roku stick

walk-in closet in guest room has a window!

upstairs bathroom


East facing windows outside large "library" upstairs--facing walk-in closets in this shot.

west side of the "library"

Reading area

south end of library--projects

utility closets behind fireplace--warming shelves for linens!
Outside the front window now has a palm with acanthus bookends & dragon statuary in front, a flower berm with celosia, black-eyed susans, crocosmia, & wigelia, then a juniper with ferns on either side on the corner of the front yard. 

main floor bathroom

built-in on wall going into living room. Brad says for a phone.

Entry at bottom of stairs for the basement

small bedroom in basement has door, outlets, overhead light, 2 windows (7 in basement!)

holiday storage

Brad's performance area--The Cat Box

Brad's books, videos, weights

Music watching & game playing area

laundry area









Saturday, June 23, 2018

Life goes on

Love and its many changes. 
A year of staging our house, selling in a crazy tuff market, buying in a place we think of as a vacation place (Aberdeen...gateway to the ocean but far enough away--20 miles--to avoid the tourist traps, excessive prices, and crowds), and re-planting in a new area with new house solutions to find.
All this to allow us to live. Seattle too expensive. Husband disabled & retiring at 57...before IRAs or retirement funds are available. How to live? How to retire?
Sell the house, buy cheaper, live off the difference. And, yes, a year later, that's what we're trying to do.
So many expenses to sell, buy, move, relocate. 
But we're declaring at least partial success, at least current accomplishment.
This is the new house.

This is the living room with, we find out now the nonfunctional fireplace...but so cute. Solutions--never use it, get a pellet stove insert which...hopefully won't wreck the look and sadly will cost $5000 or so. This fireplace was featured--without notice that it has too many problems to function. Inspector discretely didn't mention the fireplace. We thought this meant, all's fine. Hah!



This is the great kitchen--yes, some sticking drawers, but nice. 

This dining room is great--way big enough for a large computer desk and office area as well as dining room table, chairs, etc. 



This adorable upstairs is totally remade from this listing photo. It's filled with my books and projects, photos, portfolios, etc. Three walk-in closets, a large bedroom, and a half bath make this upper floor a haven of delight. Only drawback, their outdoor dog had brought his fleas, so the area and our only indoor cats (never a flea in their lives) are having to be treated. But this upstairs is a wonderland of space, big windows, nice lighting, tons of storage, nice colors, overhead fans and always enough heat rising from the lower floors. Delightful.
Yes, we're still in step.
Still figuring out how to live,
how to be happy,
how to be us.







Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Life is Amazing

Life is amazing. I just found out that after a year of not being able to use my blogs, on the same day I got back into them--November 27, 2017--a longtime student and friend died.
Kay Chelemedos was one of my longest running group members. First through North Seattle's Senior program at the Northgate location, then at Greenwood Senior Center for many, many years. She and her husband Peter Chelemedos have been more than my longest term couple members, more than delightful friends. I felt they were like semi-parents. Whenever they traveled, and it was often, they sent me postcards. I have one of the farthest northern spot in Europe that is inhabited, among others.
In another shocking coincidence, Kay had stimulated the initial gathering of pieces about friendship when she thanked me in class for allowing our group to be a friendship group as well as a writing group. I began gathering those stories in the 1990s but only completed and published the book a few days before Kay's death. I hope she heard it had finally been done. I had no idea, at that time, that she was close to passing. Yes, I'm not that surprised. Not surprised that I had some internal connection with Kay and Peter as they went through this hard transition. Not surprised that this connection brought me only something good. Fancifully, I can imagine Kay with her angel wings, smiling in approval at the book...which bears her photo and her words. Sigh!
Ariele M. Huff
This is a photo of Kay (in the black hat speaking to Martha Lindquist--also a long time member of groups with me).

Monday, November 27, 2017

After a couple of years, I suddenly figured out how to get back into all my blogs! Including This one!
And the timing is perfect as I just have released a new book--The Friendship Book--with stories from several of the people who have already given me work for this blog!
   Here's the info on the new book and some free eBook downloads for the holidays.
The Friendship Book can now be ordered as a paperback pre-Christmas. Takes about 10 days to arrive so do it soon. The paperback is $5.99. if you have Amazon Prime, you get free shipping…and often get to read the eBooks for free.)
   The eBook is 99 cents and can be ordered for yourself, loaned to one friend at a time, or you can buy eBooks and give as gifts. (The plus to an ebook, aside from the price, is that photos are all in color and that you can give them up to a day or two before Christmas/Hannukah.)
   Until Wednesday 11/29, the free eBook download is my husband’s children’s book Magical Christmas Pizza. I did the illustrations. This is the link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018561DV0
   Free eBook for 12/2 to 12/6 is Gratitude. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EWBMZZU
   Free eBook for 12/9 to 12/13 is The Holiday Sampler we did last year. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTK90AG 
   My eBook called  Merry Christmas  was on free download last week but is 99 cents https://www.amazon.com/dp/B019GIVS2UMy mother wrote and painted this little book for my sister and me at my 3rd Christmas (1952).
   As always, I LOVE ❤❤❤❤ reviews. Five star reviews with praise are a great way to help these books attain good search function and to protect them from trolls or haters. If you can’t give any eBook 5 stars, please tell me why in an email (NOT in a review online) and I’ll determine if I that’s a change I can make so that you can give it a good review! My email is ariele@comcast.net.
   Happy, happy Holidays and thanks for being a friend!  Ariele

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

This Poem For You

This Poem For You

The night before New Years Eve,
we decide to be teenagers again
and we change roles, me a boy
you a girl, bending the arc of pleasure
into something new, something
that surprises both of us
then, later, when my body reminds
us both that, yes, I'm almost 61
we giggle, as if we really were
each others' first loves and
remember that even though my
muscles now require more care
because I'd tried to grow wings in bed
and you, letting me, grew wings too
it still was all worth it.
James Stansberry

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Gathering Place for the Widowed and Divorced

JOIN others who have lost their spouses through divorce or widowhood. Who knows? You might even meet a good friend...or more! It has happened more than once at my groups.

SHORELINE CC PLUS 50    16101 Greenwood Ave. North                                    206-533-6706
A Gathering Place for the Widowed and Divorced  Share your stories & coping strategies in a safe & understanding environment with others who have suffered the same loss. We'll look at methods to work with grief & loss. The instructor has written Processing Loss Workbook, taught many Processing Loss Workshops, and has been widowed and divorced.  11/19    10am – 2pm Saturday        $15

This group is a great place to celebrate your relationship as well as to grieve it, to find ways to move on while still honoring the past.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Polyamory



(for Michelle)

I love my partner's golden body,
black hair greying like mine, but
I also feel inside me, butterflies, bees
trapped in a buzz, hum, when I see
long-legged, or curvy women, like young
birds, or deer, waiting for a light, clustered
in giggling groups in a cafe, or smiling
as we pass on many sidewalks, and you
the one with giggle like water running water,
you I remember all the way home, a sweet song
all the way to my toes. 
James Stansberry

Friday, March 11, 2016


WIDOW LESSONS


Take a look at Bridget Clawson's new blog about learning how to be a widow.
IT ROCKS! 


Rings for 3 husbands, twice a widow. Ariele Huff
http://thewidowlessons.blogspot.com/ 


Thursday, October 1, 2015

"A Symphony to Love and Marriage"

A Symphony to Love and Marriage
Two hearts in symphonic harmony,
With an intense feeling of affection,
One partner plays the rhythm and the other, melody.

With true heartedness and allegiance to one another,
Evolving in faithfulness and loyalty,
Two hearts in symphonic harmony.

Like a lovely instrumental composition,
Embellished with soft and sweet sounding resonance,
One partner plays the rhythm and the other, melody.

A communion of two souls,
A love evolving in faithfulness,
Two hearts in symphonic harmony.

Playing a melodious tune with compassion,
Their union is a partnership of true love,
One partner keeps the rhythm, and the other, melody.

They harmoniously balance their rhythmic tune,
To the delight of one another, they play on,
Two hearts in symphonic harmony,
One partner keeps the rhythm, and the other, melody.
©2011 Bob Barta

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Free eBooks promos



FREE eBooks

Pass these sites along to anyone you want. I look at my eBooks as the legacies I want to leave to family, friends, writing community, and people in general.

Fifty Shades of Graying: Love, Romance, and Sex After Fifty is free 9/23-9/27 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T85X2T4
The Successful Risk Taker is free 9/26-9/30 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y7PT366






 You can download any or all of these to your computer using an app that Amazon offers at the time of "purchasing" the free books. Or you can have them "delivered" to you on Amazon's Cloud Reader and read them right on their website.

Ariele Huff is a writer, editor, and teacher specializing in helping others get their books out as eBooks or publish on demand paperbacks. She is a third generation Seattle-dweller.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Cheap Class--GRAB it!
 Getting What You Want: Winning Letters & Emails 
  

Whether you’re after a promotion, a new account, stronger ties in business, a new job, a better deal, an apology, a refund, or freebies, a few well-placed words can turn the trick. 
Learn the basics of creating persuasive messages 
in this to-the-point class where 
we’ll look at specific student needs as well as general rules.  
9/29-10/27 6-8pm (5 Tuesdays)                                                                           $25.99

SHORELINE CC PLUS 50    16101 Greenwood Ave. North  (rm 1304)       206-533-6706

FYI--This class is available to anyone of any age!   Sign up soon to make sure the class runs.