Monday, December 29, 2014

Year End Special

Don't let this year end without telling someone special how much you love them.  
Tell them even one way they changed your life. 
Share a silly childhood memory.
Thank them for the a time they came to your rescue.
Let them know how proud you are of them.

Open your heart and say all of those things we never take time or are afraid to say. 

We always think there is going to be a tomorrow and sometimes there just isn't.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Witch Test

If you spend time on Winter Solstice shaking each grain of sand from sea shells collected during the summer and saving them in a crystal bottle, does that mean you are a witch?

Ah, I thought so.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Beachcombing Bonanza

Wandering down the beach yesterday after the big storm, we saw broken shells, plastic debris and even part of a dock washed ashore.  Then, in a remote part of the beach, we happened upon this...

A nice 20-foot fishing boat complete with a depth finder.  The hull is smooth and clean outside, as all of the barnacles and sand are on the inside. There were no bodies or other creepy things aboard. If a little crime scene tape doesn't bother you, it could be yours for the taking.  That is, if the high tide doesn't beat you to it.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Storm Watch 2014

We are expecting a real humdinger of a storm today and already there is no view of the bay through the rainy window pane.

The National Weather Service has issued a Hurricane Force Wind Advisory and we are expecting winds of over 70 knots to come ashore here in Netarts.  They have included the following bit of information along with the warning... 


As advised, my vessel will remain in port until further notice.  Preferably with a warm fire and toasty adult beverage.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Blues

The coldest of winter days are often the most striking.  
The rewards of leaving the fireplace and bundling up should never be underestimated.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Carwash Blues

You slip the car into neutral
Roll up the windows
and sit back for a wild ride

Water comes shooting at you from every direction
(you check the windows again)
The noise is furious as it pelts against the glass
Sheets of water blur your vision

The next thing you know you are being buffeted by wind
A strong blast of air hits the glass causing it to bow towards your face
Your ears warble as the pressure inside changes drastically
and you try to make them pop by continuous swallowing
All the while hoping the vehicle stays intact

Then it's over, you gently and quietly roll to the end.

Except it's not over...

You realize you are not in your car after all
You are sitting at your kitchen table overlooking the ocean
Surrounded by windows and a nasty coastal storm
A storm currently hurling rain, wind and airborne branches
Straight toward you
at 65 mph

and it's not going to be over for a very long time.

So you slip your nervous mind into neutral
and sit back for a wild ride.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November Sunset

“There are those who fear the sunset, worried they will never see light again. 
There are those who ignore the sunrise, squandering dawn, believing they will never run out of daylight. 
And then there are those who have learned to live in the sun's warmth, 
gauging time by its positions, 
thankful at night that the day happened. 

Be aware of time. Use it wisely. 
Be thankful for the light allotted.”

--Richelle E. Goodrich

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Everything is Perfect

Through all the sadness, anger, fear and loss in our world, sometimes it takes just a single flower, opening to share its sweet face, to brighten my day.  I smile and am thankful for another day on this planet.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Gentle Reminder

"A hundred years after we are gone and forgotten,
those who have never heard of us will be living with what we have done." 

Oliver Wendell-Holmes

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coastal Humor

When you live in place where the rain, wind, sand and water are constantly conspiring against you, a sense of humor is important.  It may also be a little twisted and we like that about each other.

You just have to chuckle when a coastal town names their local fun run, "Race the Wave"  in an attempt to raise awareness for tsunamis and other possible hazards of living so close to an ocean.

While I am not very fast, I do expect to compete when The Big One hits our community.

I will be out of the starting gate and ahead of the competition in my own exhilarating race I'd like to call...

"Run FROM the Wave"

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Half Past, High Tide

When you no longer schedule your day by the clock, but instead use a tide table to make plans, you've gone "Coastal."  Coastal is probably the polar opposite of "postal" because your stress level is so low, it is impossible to even imagine committing a violent act.

Let me explain.  We spend copious amounts of time in September at the Oregon Coast, as the winds die down and the sun is still nice and warm.  During this time, I began to noticed myself arranging plans according to the tide...when to walk the dog, the best time for boating, and when to manifest fresh crab for dinner. 

Then the kitchen clock stopped and, while at first frantic to find a replacement battery, I quickly adapted.  By the time new batteries were purchased, it was obvious the clock was no longer necessary.  In fact, it is still on a shelf.
On Sunday, when I looked outside, quickly checking the bay, to decide if it was time for an errand and knew the transformation was complete,  I had gone Coastal.  So if you are trying to schedule a time to get together, consult a tide table and then give me a call.  I will be available at half past, high tide.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Credit: This refreshing pause in a long, hot summer brought to you by the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rainbows in Her Hair

You know everything is going to be alright when you look down to see rainbows in your hair. 

As quickly as they appeared, they were gone.  I do so hope they come back and stay a little longer.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Bunny Mama

In the roots of the tall alder tree in our yard, we found a bunny nest hidden by the surrounding grass.  Deep inside were five precious little creatures with their eyes closed but no mother rabbit.  Fearing that they had been orphaned by any number of local predators, we did a bit of research and learned the mother doesn't come around during the day so as not to attract said predators, but instead comes at night to nurse them.

One week later their eyes were open and they were still cuddled together in their warm nest.  They were mostly eyes and ears at that point.  No sign of mom.

Yesterday (five days later) they were scurrying about their hole under the tree roots but not about to come out.  Still no mother was in sight.

Early this morning, the Bunny Mama hopped out of the salal bushes and over to the nest.  She stood at the edge of the hole and peered in.  Apparently she was giving her kids either a last minute safety lecture or a "you can do it" inspirational speech.  Then she hopped away from the nest yet stayed close by eating clover.

Within minutes, the baby bunnies came bolting out of the nest straight into the brush, a blur of fur and ears.  After they made their escape out into the world, Bunny Mama hopped away too.  Nicely done, my lady, nicely done!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sister Sally's Happy Place

Laying in the soft sand, the warm sun and gentle breezes nurture her.  The waves gently lap upon the beach and echo softly in her ears.  Off in the distance she hears the sounds of her children laughing and playing.  She smiles to herself.  Surrounded by her loved ones, yet alone with her thoughts, she relishes this perfect moment on Earth.

And as she give thanks for this moment, we give thanks for her.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Take that, Miss CrankyMcGrumpyPants!

I was having a bad day, it's true.  So much weighing on my mind and I didn't want to deal with any of it.  Taking the fun out of anything and everything around me, was the only thing that brought me a drop of pleasure.  Strangely, sad pleasure.

So I took myself out for a short, urban nature walk and stumbled upon this guy.

Even though he's a weed coming out of a crack in a rock wall, he still has stars in his fur.  Reaching for the sun without complaining, he sways along in the breeze. 

I smiled in spite of myself and started looking for the stars in my fur.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Frequent Flyer

photo of a bald eagle in Netarts Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Here's the deal...I am not a fan of flying.  It's the long lines, chaotic airports, being "wanded," torturous seats, and generally, flying through the air at 38,000 feet in a small, steel tube.  It is a requirement of the work I do.  So I shut up, buckle up and go up in the air for hours at a time making the best of it.

If I were a bald eagle, my flying experience would be drastically different.  Easy take offs with only a minimum of squawking by the seagulls in Air Traffic Control, no security checkpoints, an abundance of room for my wing span and the ability to stop mid-flight for a fresh seafood snack.  

I wonder if he has free wi-fi?


Sunday, June 8, 2014

It's All in the Details

Dear Mother Nature, 

Your attention to detail on even the tiniest green strawberry is impeccable.  I stopped making jam and simply explored this little work of art that came out of the dewy fields this morning.  Each seed was perfectly placed as if by hand, your hand.

Just last night, I marveled about the intricacies of the heavens as I gazed at the huge starlit sky overhead.  The constellations aligning as the Moon chased the Sun around the Earth. How grateful I am to live in an entire universe filled with such beauty and symmetry--no matter how big or how small.  You are really quite talented.

I would like to be just like you when I grow up.  People tell me I am detail-oriented and a quick study so I would be interested in taking a class or a webinar from you.  Perhaps a summer internship? 

Humbly Yours,

Nancy J. Zavada

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mother's Day Musings

Enough already!  I can't turn on my computer, my television, my radio, or open a paper or magazine without being overwhelmed by offers.  Offers of gifts someone, somewhere, determined a "Mom" would want.

So I am going out on a limb here and speak for all mothers when I say, "No, Thanks!" to... edible bouquet with fruit dipped in chocolate unless Johnny Depp is holding it,
...expensive jewelry unless you have paid me back all of the money you owe me,
...a frozen yogurt maker unless it makes margaritas too and is fully loaded,
...bath salts unless I have enough time to use them without someone banging on the bathroom door,
...a plant unless you are going to water it,
...a big screen TV unless it only plays romantic comedies and home shows,
...a cookbook unless you are going to be the one using it,
...a coffee mug reading, "World's Best Mom," because we both know I am not in the running this year.
...products to make me look younger or thinner unless you have a death wish. 

How about a hug?

Note: All of the Mother's Day gifts were advertised last weekend.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Random Reasons to Smile

Seagull at Netarts Bay Oregon by Nancy Zavada

There is just something about this bird that makes me smile.  While he looks very serious and for good reason as bald eagles have been attacking his nesting area all day, I am just not buying it. 

I am sorry, Mr. Seagull, even with your "tough guy" face on, it's hard to believe you are ferocious with those pink, knobby knees.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Go With the Flow

"Change is constant...Here today, gone tomorrow...
The devil you know is better than the devil you don't."

The human ability to resist change is really quite amazing.  We fight like hell not to change the way we do things or see things or think about things.  "It has always been done that way," is often the first excuse that comes to mind. We want everything to stay status quo even if it isn't good for us.

Yet, if something devastating happens in our life, we humans also have an amazing ability to adapt to change.  You see Olympic athletes without limbs, people who have lost loved ones starting life anew, and those who have lost jobs in a bad economy have made career shifts which have made their lives even  better.

Walking down the beach, I was pondering the changes in my life the past few years.  Inwardly, I was alternately whining and patting myself on the back about my responses when I come upon a rock.  At low tide, it is out of the surf by twenty yards and at high tide, it is underwater by six feet.  

Attached to it's face are colonies of barnacles and mussels living harmoniously.  Their entire world changing drastically from being underwater breathing and feeding to being out in the sunny, open air prey to seabirds and tourists, all at the whim of the tides. Talk about change! Imagine a life where every few hours you go from feeder to food and then right back again as soon as you have adjusted.   

Believing I am at least as evolved as a barnacle, I've come to understand change is neither good or evil, it is just a fact of life. How willing am I to accept (even embrace) it and thrive under the new possibilities?  Thanks to this tiny sea life's lesson, it's time to go with the flow, literally.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Poetry Friday

There once was a girl named Nancy
Who was known as a child for her buoyancy
Yes, she loved the water
She swam like an otter
And her sparkly bathing cap was quite fancy!

Note: Bathing cap not pictured.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mother Nature Gets the Last Laugh

The trees along the Oregon Coast are shaped by the wind and salt air.  Any esteemed landscaper would be proud to take credit for their magnificence, but it is Mother Nature's work. 

Then there are the poor arborvitae who must stand guard at fences around the world to adorn property lines.  Alas, they don't enjoy salt air and wind.  On the Oregon Coast, they end up looking more like sad poodles.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Now I Remember

Sometimes I lose my way and wander off down the path marked, "Not Important At All, Follow Closely," spending time and effort on stupid stuff.

Then the Universe sends me a clear sign (like finding this video today while searching for an unnecessary photo) and I step back on the path marked, "The Important Things in Life."

Do you ever lose your way?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Short But Sweet

photo of winter trees at Netarts Bay Oregon by Nancy Zavada

Silhouetting the winter trees, the sun lays to rest another day.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Let's Take a Walk

 “Let's take a walk. 
You can show me some of your memories and I'll show you some of mine.”

--Adam Berlin

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Eagle Has Landed

Photo of a bald eagle by Nancy Zavada

It's not every day a bald eagle lands on the beach next to you...but it should be!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Give In

Photo of Winter Waves by Nancy Zavada

If you don't become the ocean, you'll be seasick every day.

--Leonard Cohen

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Soul of a Tree

Winter Tree photo by Nancy Zavada

There is nothing so intricate as a tree in winter, perfectly shaped by years of salty wind.  The sun peeps through its gnarled branches reminding me that soon enough they will be covered by leaves. Once covered, the tree's strength, grace and undeniable beauty will be hidden from view, yet always there.

Perhaps we have a lot in common.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Note to Self

". . . and if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit."

--Shane Koyan