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Summer Sightings

Greetings Dear Ones,
This year, it's not just summer that's turned us upside down (remember that song by The Cars?), the pandemic has turned everyone's lives upside down, spring, summer, and for months to come. In the midst of all that, I hope you are healthy, safe, and finding creative ways to stay entertained, curious, and at peace. May this email bring a bit of summer magic into your life. 
~Cathy

 

Last fall, after I sold a house, I bought myself a Canon mirrorless camera, and this summer I'm finally learning how to use it. I enrolled in Digital Camera Mastery, an online class, and am really enjoying experimenting with camera modes other than automatic and "glass through" scene mode (my favorite for photographing the wildlife outside my windows). Once I realized the NEOWISE comet was visible here on clear nights, I set up the tripod on our waterfront deck and played with manual mode and long exposures to capture the night sky. I've been really pleased with some of my comet shots, and even managed to catch a small portion of the Milky Way over our house on a few nights. 

Here's a minute video of my favorite snaps. 
 
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed..." I had the opportunity to deliver a message on this parable and several others yesterday at St. David of Wales Episcopal Church. Our priest, accompanist, and a parishioner who preaches, sings, and serves as a Eucharistic Minister have been live-streaming services on YouTube since March. A few weeks ago, as our County moved to "Phase 3" in terms of reopening, worship has begun to incorporate a few more people on a rotating basis. I invite you to experience yesterday's worship on YouTube. [My sermon begins about 28 minutes in.]

One summer when our daughters were young, my husband and I took the family on a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, CA. It was fascinating, and resulted in the first short story I ever wrote. If you're bored being stuck at home, you can take a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory and delve into the life of a fictional family, thanks to Fresh Ink magazine, who reprinted my story last week.


 

Sharon Salzberg has been a voice of sanity and assurance for me during the quarantine and pandemic. I launched Real Change on my Kindle app back in early April, and dipped into my free advance copy. Each night for months, reading just a few pages at a time, I found myself reminded of the power of the breath to ground myself deeply in the present moment, to cleanse myself of fear and worry, and to allow the oxygen of hope to wash over me. Along with instructions for practicing mindfulness, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World (published by Flatiron books) is filled with stories of activists and peacemakers who circumvent burnout and battle fatigue by employing mindfulness to replenish their minds, energize their bodies, and spark their spirits as they undertake the missions they’re called to and the visions they’re pursuing to bring about healing, justice, and positive change in the world. This wise, compassionate, and inspiring book deserves a permanent place on any bedside table. I know I’ll be returning to it again and again. You can get your copy on September 1st.

ORCAS IN THE HOOD CANAL 

My husband and I were incredibly fortunate to spot a pod of Bigg's (seal eating) orcas in the Hood Canal a few miles from our home on Saturday. They're known as the T65A pod, a group of 5. We saw 4 for sure. A kind homeowner let us hang out on his beach while we watched them swimming near the far shore a few miles away. Here are a few of our heavily cropped photos. 

Recently I had the privilege of assisting a poet I'm connected to online publish her book Self Portraits of a Runaway Wife through Amazon KDP, providing proofreading and interior layout/design. Gayle writes, "This book is about my journey back to Self, about waking up to life, and staying present long enough to experience the world in a new way. I want to share my story, my lessons, to help others who find themselves lost and invisible in their own lives." She's already had wonderful feedback from appreciative readers.

If you're interested in sending your book out into your circle of readers through self-publishing through Amazon (a platform I use because it requires no financial investment), I offer services from content development and editing to proofreading, layout, and book design. Contact me!

A TINY HAPPY PLAYLIST

Here are the official videos for two of my favorite happy songs for housecleaning, cooking, or just flat out dancing:
Have It All by Jason Mraz. "I want you to have it all!" Yes!!
Upside Down by Jack Johnson was featured in the Curious George movie, and the video is perfect for this upside down summer. 
 
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Copyright © 2020 Cathy Warner, All rights reserved.


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