Posts Tagged ‘Coupeville’

DSCF4299Last Saturday was the annual Memorial Day Parade here in Coupeville.  I take delight watching the folks in my small town cruise down Main Street in their classic convertibles, like the Girl Scout Daisy Troop retro 60’s wagon below,GirlScouts and for the past four years I’ve gotten an ample kick out of watching the Coupeville High School marching band keep the beat going and the parade moving along (even if it appears it’s to the beat of a different drummer).


I love the fact that lions (head in hand), dogs and fish, no matter their political leanings (think about that), can come together to honor the men and women who died for their country. DSCF4307


Did I mention how happy I’ve been these past four years watching from the sidelines?  Well, times have changed dear readers.  This year, against all I know myself to be, I found myself in the parade with this band of zany, merry women (left to right – Angie, Toni, Aurora and Mare)…DSCF4296

walking in front of Lavender Wind Farm’s intrepid leader, Sarah…DSCF4322

and behind this…DSCF4324












I kid you not.  Lavender Wind Farms was positioned right behind the equestrian entry in the parade.  Might I say there’s not enough lavender from Whidbey Island to Provence to remedy what  happened right in front of us as we marched down Front Street bearing our purple banner and spreading lavender love among the crowd.  Perhaps it was Aurora’s drumming, or Toni’s single maraca; maybe it was MJ’s (not in photo) Tibetan bells that caused the sudden and voluminous equine cleanse, but hindsight being what it is, I think it was probably due to my penchant for being in the right place at the right time where calamity reigns.  I know nothing about horses, but I believed Mare when she said, “That horse was stressed.”

The next big parade is Halloween and I guarantee, I’ll be watching that one from the sidelines.  Any parades in your town that you wouldn’t dare miss?


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singer_5Swan song” A metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, effort, or performance given just before death or retirement.

Before I share the happenings of late here in Coupeville, I wanted to alert those of you reading my posts who might be of a “certain age” (those of you who cart around mercury in your teeth, receive the dreaded AARP cards several times a week, and whose joints could use a good shot of WD-40) to be prepared for a phrase your doctor may soon use, as mine did on the day of my annual physical.

I’m happy to say that my blood pressure while waiting  in a doctor’s office was a glowing 118/74; my cholesterol reading was exemplary, as was my glucose.   Once the nurse left, I waited patiently in my paper gown for the doctor, and was feeling pretty darn spiffy for a gal my age.  I even daydreamed about taking up a whole new career, something that would allow me to kick up my heels.


And then the doctor arrived,  and my daydream of a  new career took a  nose dive from the balance beam as we went through the list of preventive tests and procedures I’ve had over the years.  Boomers get ready, because one day very soon your doctor is going to say, “We’ll perform that procedure today and then you won’t have to have it again for three years, and that one WILL BE YOUR FINAL EXAM!” WTF?! as the highly evolved Twitterverse would ask!  Since my hearing remains stellar, I didn’t ask her to repeat what she said for a couple of reasons: If I heard her correctly, I sure as shootin’ did want her to repeat it, and if I hadn’t heard her correctly, I couldn’t afford hearing aids.

“But wait!” I say, dear readers.  My visit with my doctor was even more eventful.  It just so happens that for the week prior to my exam I was having intestinal pain.  After a quick poke around of my abdomen (at which point I was thinking: why bother if I’ve only got one exam left), my doctor determined that I needed to have a CT scan of said abdomen STAT!  Now, unbeknownst to you, until now, I once had a very bad reaction to the light-up-your-insides iodine they use for these tests.  This much I remember when I’m asked if I have any allergies to medication.  Not a problem, my doctor told me, they’ll just do the scan without it.  How cool is that, I thought, until the doctor once again snatched up my dignity.  “We’ll just have you use barium sulfate.”  Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at these situations, I had been fasting for my blood work, so there was no turning back.  I waited in reception area while they brewed up my private batch of BS (if the shoe fits) and lo and behold, there was an elderly woman drinking her first bottle of BS.   Let me rephrase that…she was sipping it as if it was some fine cognac, but her face registered “cheap hooch.”  Anyone who has ever had to take BS knows it’s not a sipping brew; best to “chug it” as the kids in my day used to say. beer (No, this is not one of my high school boyfriends.  He’s far too dressed up.)

As I was handed my own private reserve of BS, the technician, as if I was buying a fine wine, told me it was better chilled.  This immediately alerted me to the fact that this young woman had never experienced BS.  Cold BS does not a difference make from room temp BS.  It’s all BS.

Now, I’m one of those people who wants to know what kind of reaction I might have when I take a medication.  I never read the first warnings in the pamphlet, no, I immediately skip to the rare, but gravely severe reactions listed: swelling of tongue, loss of eyesight, stroke, death.  These are the things I focus on.  When I got my shingles vaccination over at Walgreen’s last year, the pharmacist gave me the warning pamphlet, and I immediately scrolled down to the gravest reactions I might have: shortness of breath, constriction of airway passage.  These are concerns that need answers.  “So,” I asked, “if I were going to have a reaction, in what time frame would that reaction take place?”  To which the pharmacist replied, “Within 30 minutes.”  Doable, I thought.  There’s enough crap in Walgreen’s for me to paw while I wait to see if I’m going to circle the drain.  Somewhere around the adult diaper section, I swear I felt my throat constrict and I became light-headed.  Perhaps it was just the thought of wearing adult diapers, but I wasn’t going to take a chance, and spent the remainder of my thirty minute window of adverse opportunity within shouting distance of the pharmacist.  I share my “idiotsyncrasy” (as my friend David calls it) with you so you know why I raked my doctor’s assistant over the “what’s the worst thing that can happen” coals before leaving.   Once home, I did as instructed: I chugged my first pint, stopping only once to grab some air.   An hour later I downed the second round, leaving a bit in the bottle as instructed to take with me.  One never knows when one is going to crave a little BS.

I survived the CT scan, but that “final exam” remark was still sitting in my craw, so I knew it was time to head down the pier. I can always count on my guys down at the coffee shop to give it to me straight, so I asked if any of their doctors had ever slapped them up side the head with the news that a particular medical exam would be their final exam.  Wow! You’d a thunk I asked them to cut their fishing lines with a thirty pound King on their hook.  In fact, a few pushed their chairs back as if some unwelcome entity had just invaded their inner circle, carrying an  unknown malady. devilgirl

After a series of harrumphs, and some serious throat clearing akin to that of a TB ward, I realized I had crossed over into the unspeakable territory known as “Final Exam Syndrome.”   I didn’t pursue the topic any further, and quickly changed the subject to the pros and cons of using 600 feet of extension cord.

Oh, I see it’s almost 3:00 a.m. I was going to tell you all about Mussel Fest and how not  even the wild wind and rain could keep the out-of-town folks from heading to Coupeville for  the festivities, but I’m tuckered out from yammerin’ on and on about my trip to the doctor.  But before I go, I wanted to tell you I heard from Bob Kay down in Florida, the inventor of the Gutter Cluster Buster.  You might remember I did a piece on a gutter cleaning gadget that I purchased and Bob wrote to me to tell me about his invention.  Oh, see, I’ve started to yak again.  Next time, I’ll tell you what Bob had to say in his note.

Big thanks for the animation to :http://www.free-animations.co.uk/music/singers/singer_1.html
And wipwapweb.com for the rest of the photos that grace this post

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This morning, as I was coming down the stairs, my old tired bones clicking like castanets, I said to myself, “Michaelene, it’s time.”  I hate it when myself leaves me dangling  like a badly placed participle to wonder what it’s time for.  But when I looked outside and saw the sun streaming through the woods, I knew what it was time for: it was time to do a little hoein’!  Time to unshackle myself from the chains of the social media marketing world and get back to the land.  Time to get back to raking  up those four acres of fallen leaves and pine cones, where I always find joy hiding; time to get out the pick ax and bust up some earth where a few usable rocks might be tucked away; time to make my way back to the reason I moved to this island.  And while I was hoein’ and rakin’, I took to cogitatin’, and one thing became very clear:  I have missed sharing my small town tales with y’all.

And then, lo and behold, when I came in from moving debris from one end of the property to the other in the form of symmetrical piles, I found a message from one Jenny Ray Williamson in regard to a post I did way back in February of 2011 about my neighbor and rock star legend, Johnny Bulldog.JohnnyBulldog  Jenny Ray’s comment was to the point: “We need an update…LOL.”  People do a lot of LOL, ROFLMAO and offer their IMHOs, with an added BTW in the world of social media so I recognized Jenny Ray was not saying “We need an update…Little Old Lady.”  And that’s a good thing because I would have been inclined to offer up a “WTF, Jenny Ray?”

Of course, Jenny Ray’s curiosity (which, I might add, took nearly two years to rise to the top of her curiosity bucket list) sparked my own interest, so I went back and read the post on Johnny Bulldog.  As you know, if you’ve been reading along from the beginning, circa 2009, I have a tendency to make many sharp left turns within a single post, often leading the reader down some windy roads until I find my way back around to what led me there in the first place.   In the post entitled Johnny Bulldog, (for my readers who do not understand hyperlinks, if you rest your cursor on the underlined Johnny Bulldog and click, you will be taken to the post Jenny Ray found to be utterly brilliant. (Work with me, Jenny Ray).) In that post I not only mentioned Johnny Bulldog, his bright blue tractor, and his kindness, but covered a downed tree, eye floaters, eye exams, the old optometrist with a tremor, questioned the use of historical Roman references on the eye chart, commented on my new specs, strokes, enlightenment.  Like I said, there are a lot of sharp left turns.

So now I find myself, the smell of baked apples filling the house, the sun moving farther to the west, and I realize I have no idea what Jenny Ray means when she says “We need an update…LOL.”  I get the LOL, but does Jenny Ray want an update on Johnny Bulldog and his whereabouts? (Read: stalker.)  Or is she looking to find out if perhaps my eye floaters turned into pontoons, and now there’s a Capuchin monkey typing my posts for me? Capuchin_Monkeys_Briceno_Columbia  I tried working with one when I sprained my ankle walking down Highway 20, and the thought of ever having to deal with another Capuchin messing with my keyboard, and baring her teeth because auto spell keeps referring to her as a cappuccino isn’t worth the trouble.  Not to mention she ingested all my pain meds.

When I was struck with the flu a couple of years back, I went the other route and hired a Japanese Macaquejapanese-macaques-picturesI should have gone with my gut after I saw his photo taking a schvitz in a hot spring, and looking way too Zen for this line of work, but I’m a sucker for the Om.

If I have any say in the matter, and I think I should since it’s my eyesight we’re talking about, I’ll pay extra to have a Silverback as my assistant.  Granted, they’re not the best typists, but they’re great spellers.  Take Todd for instance.silverback  He wrote my blog for me after my trip to the ER back in 2011 and did a great job.  Unfortunately, Todd was only temping until his acting career took off.  As you can see by his head shot, he’ll be walking the Red Carpet in no time.

Oh, but I see I took another sharp left turn

So, Jenny Ray Williamson, the ball is in your court.  What kind of update are you looking for?  If it’s what Johnny Bulldog is up to, well, a sighting of the man himself is about as rare as the sighting of the great white wolf — unless he wants to be seen.  However, I heard one of them howling at the full moon last night.

I hope all is well in your world.  I’m going to do my best to keep you up to date on the happenings here in Coupeville in 2013.

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Day One – Friday, January 13, 2012 – Time being of the essence, I prepare for the onslaught of a winter storm of  purported biblical proportions, and make my way to Prairie Center Red Apple to forage for food.  The only familiar face I see among the foragers is good friend, Jay; whose bronzed skin from months in Colombia, stands out from the pasty complexioned folks who have weathered the island during the months when the sun hibernates like some great…hibernating beast.  Unfortunately for Jay, someone seeking a vast supply of the precious liquid beat him to the well with ten jugs to fill.  In his jet lagged state, Jay doesn’t consider the consequences of his action and he walks away; believing there will be another day.  I, too, bedazzled by the occasional appearance of blue sky these last few weeks, and my own positive (some would say naive, others might say downright irritating) outlook and daily mantra “This is going to be an easy winter,” did not consider just how much I should forage; leaving with but a few packs of nuts and berries in my eco-friendly satchel.  Little did I know that Jay “Livingstone” Hinchey would be the last person I set eyes on.

Day Two –  Saturday, January 14, 2012 –  Berries and nuts are almost gone.  Snow hasn’t begun to fall.  My life may be in serious jeopardy.

Day Three – Sunday, January 15, 2012 – Sometime during the night, when sleep overcame me and snatched me from my watch, snow fell.  It’s glaring white presence mocks my mantra.  Before I eat my last orange, I Google scurvy.

Day Four – Monday, January 16, 2012 –  I have seen no other living beings; oh, how long has it been?  I count the scratches on the door: One, two, three, four days now.  Weak and overcome by hallucinations, I find myself in the tool shed pondering the pros and cons of donning my pink hard hat and using the trash can lid to slide down the road to the fields of the property.  I must learn to hunt if I want to survive; being a vegetarian will make hunting a difficult choice; however, I set out a plate of bird seed within reach of the back door and I wait.

Day Five – Tuesday, January 17, 2012 – I wake to my own screams.  I can only surmise my hysteria is caused by one of three things:  lack of social interaction, chocolate deprivation, or having watched a score  of British mini-series for more than 15 hours – straight.   Heathcliff has merged with the good Daniel Deronda, Soames of the Forsytes is living at Downton Abbey; Upstairs is Downstairs.  I Google madness.

Day Six – Wednesday, January 18, 2012 – Food supply nearly depleted. There are things I must tell you before it’s too late.  If I were a woman of means and had WordPress Pro, I would leave you a video tutorial, but, alas, I am  not and have not.   I have mentioned these most important life lessons in my prior entries, but will reiterate them here for my less than brilliant readers, and those who will not take the time to revisit my cautionary tales since my arrival to the woods.  Take no offense, for I am sure I am fevered and rambling at this point.

Always check your boots before inserting your feet.   Keep your tools sharp – no one likes a dull hoer.  After three pulls on a lawnmower cord, yell M@)#*%!!!!er and it will start.  Duct tape will solve every problem.  Even if it costs you a fortune to buy a gutter cleaning kit so you can do it yourself, buy it (but only once).  If someone offers you a sail boat to use as a planter, check its value first before drilling holes in the bottom.  Always walk backwards when using a propane flame thrower to kill weeds embedded in your rock driveway or your rubber soled shoes will melt and stick to the rocks.   I’m still pretty sure it’s all about the “goop.”  Stinging nettles really do “sting.”    And the seasons they go up and down, and I’ve seen fire and rain…Alice, over here.  Oh, dear, I see a Cheshire cat.  Must end for now… “Here kitty…”

Day Seven – Thursday, January 19, 2012 – The snow keeps falling and falling and falling.  I don’t know if my little hamlet of Coupeville even exists anymore.  I must bundle myself up and try to make my way down the road to the mail box.  Perhaps there is good news from the outside world.  The thought that  my ValuPak coupon book may have arrived brings me the will to live.  I don my Eddie Bauer -30 degree winter coat, my hat, gloves; lace up my Montrail  Gore-Tex winter boots, say goodbye to my humble abode and trek out into the brilliant white wilderness.   Some would have done this by car, but believing my mantra, I left my car down on the property and the snow pack has rendered it useless, which if you read last winter’s entries you would know isn’t a first for me.  Make sure you put that on the list of things to remember…something about the car and snow…just in case I don’t make it back.   Here I go….

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