6-coastline February 22, 2017

Joan Larsen: Let’s Run Away – Three Beautiful Places to Get Lost

February 15, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Let’s be honest here. It’s February – hearts and flowers time – and a reminder that the familiar theme –telling us that “love is in the air” –may well be bypassing us big time. Sure. . . if we are lucky, we have LOVE in our lives. But again, let’s be honest […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

February 14, 2017

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By Lauriate Roly Something that never excited me, was to kiss someone. In fact, I hated  it. What an uncomfortable and ridiculous custom having someone grab and crush themselves to you and plant a very uncomfortable and miserably juicy pressure on your comfortable and dry face. My aunt Katy was a horror and demon as […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Tales From the Edge – Walking With Grizzlies

February 8, 2017

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By Joan Larsen A very large grizzly bear, standing in the water, greeted us as our tiny float plane  landed on the calm waters of Naknek Lake and coasted toward the shore of Katmai National Park in Alaska.  Snapping pictures like mad from the windows, we watched him lumber off to tell his friends that […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: Mending the World

February 1, 2017

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By Katrina Kenison My mom, who is eighty, gets up in the dark every morning. She likes to sit near the window in her living room, mug of tea in hand, and watch the sun come up across the pond.   “I don’t know how many sunrises I have left,” she said to me recently. “And […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: The Child and the Robbers

January 25, 2017

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By Joan Larsen I have a story to tell, a tale that lies within me, waiting to come out… a seemingly improbable story that happened in my own family… a story that has marked me, marked my family.  Like it or not, TV and the media have made us voyeurs in the most horrific stories […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Ghostly Remains – Drama On The Ice

January 18, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   Each time I return to Antarctica, it is, of course, an ever changing panorama of breathtaking beauty – always, always with unexpected encounters with animals and nature that seem to touch my heart. Only there have I come to expect the unexpected. A largely unreported story of the sinking of a […]

Alice Friedemann: A Gorgeous Weekend on California’s Mendocino Coast

January 11, 2017

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By Alice Friedemann   A long distance call – out of the blue – became an invitation I could not resist.  .  . and a treat I will remember fondly forever.  We know there is something so special about old friends from our youth . . . and this couple had remained so dear to […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Spending the New Year at Swan Lake

January 4, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   It is the New Year – the new year of 2017, celebrated throughout the world with the traditional crowds always seen, fireworks lighting up the skies in every direction, laughter and excitement as there always is. But we, the people of our world, are far more subdued this year. If we […]

Happy New Year… Happy BUSY New Year!

January 2, 2017

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Well, 2016 was an incredibly busy year for Lila.  Starting last January, Lila got involved with about 40-60 hours per month of collaborating with management at a local nonprofit.  The work is by turns fun, frustrating, and interesting, and Lila learns something new with practically every new project she has worked on in the past […]

Joan Larsen Presents: 2017 – Reflections From the Mountain

December 28, 2016

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As 2016 comes to a close, and as we perch a bit precariously on the edge of this New Year –  we are still filled with hope  as we always have been. But with a world in turmoil as it is, stirring our minds — a small family holiday getaway has done the trick,  once again bringing us back to the beauty […]

Posted in: Interests, Joan Larsen

Merry Christmas, Amy Berman: Still Going Strong Six Years After Cancer Diagnosis

December 26, 2016

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Way back in May of 2012, I pointed my blog to Amy Berman’s story in Health Affairs.   She had been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 2010.  As a registered nurse and a health foundation executive, she knew better than most what that meant.   Inflammatory breast cancer is incurable, and even with aggressive […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 21, 2016

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Not Your Average Holiday Movie… “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale”

December 19, 2016

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In the mood for some Christmas entertainment that isn’t all gooey-saccharine-sweet?  How about a Christmas horror movie? If you don’t mind subtitles and can take it as the silly comedy-horror show that it is, check out the Finnish movie, Rare Exports:  A Christmas Tale.  You don’t want this Santa coming down your chimney. There are […]

Joan Larsen’s Sleigh Full of Holiday Ideas: Turning Your Selection of Christmas Gifts into Lifelong Memories

December 14, 2016

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by Joan Larsen   Aren’t the feelings of warmth, of joy and laughter .  .  . but, most of all, of love – what the holidays truly are supposed to be?  Shouldn’t the element of togetherness be forefront in this season?  I think we are all nodding yes.  I am sure you are. But instead, […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: The Magic Violin

December 12, 2016

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By Lauriate Roly There’s a lovely church in front of my house. Mountainview is a tiny hamlet.  There are only five houses, five mailboxes, a lonely and hidden cemetery and a beautiful old fashioned style church that never sees a soul enter there except on very special days, such as Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living Life By the Moments – A California Dream

December 7, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   In time, and with water, everything changes. Leonardo da Vinci   A long-awaited early December holiday this year – a place we have grown to call “a time away, yet not too far” – has turned out to be an escape not to be believed – and yes, from a world […]

The Cat’s in the Cradle and the Silver Spoon: Slow Down, Parents

December 5, 2016

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Andrea Petersen recently wrote a Wall Street Journal article, “A Nanny Who’s Always On Vacation.”  Far from being on vacation, these specialized nannies make their livings by accompanying families on their vacations, to attend to the children while traveling and to give the parents their “adult time” sans kids. I’m not sure what I think […]

Joan Larsen Thinks Outside the Christmas Box: New Ways to Make the Holidays Last Year-Round

November 30, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   All right. . . I am going to be honest with you this Christmas season. I have been an inveterate gift giver all my life, almost racing – as the days get close to the holidays – to fulfill the dreams of all my friends and family. I am sure you […]

What Does Electronic Data Have in Common With the Burning of the Library at Alexandria?

November 28, 2016

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The ancient library of Alexandria, Egypt, was charged with collecting the knowledge of the whole world, such as it was in those days.  When Julius Caesar accidentally burned the library during the siege of Alexandria in 48 BC, tens of thousands of volumes went up with it… one of the bigger “oops” moments in history, […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Thanksgiving at the Lake House

November 23, 2016

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It’s Thanksgiving at the Lake House and the gathering of family is always equated to love overflowing and the feeling of closeness . . .   A warm welcome to our family Thanksgiving!!       The greatest fun is coming early and working together to make decorations for the house   As the children […]

Keeping the Elderly Relevant

November 21, 2016

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Every holiday season, and in some other seasons too, we will make the traditional pilgrimages to our relatives’ homes, and within a couple of days, we are reminded of why we moved out in the first place.  You know what they say:  fish and house guests stink after three days. On this year’s Thanksgiving odyssey […]

Joan Larsen Presents in Photos: The Call of the Wild – the Unknown Story of Jack London Lake in Eastern Russia

November 16, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Among the world’s hidden secrets, the one that has only now been found in the Russian Far East — in the country’s little-known Magadan region – stands out for a unique beauty rarely seen on our Earth.  Its unusual name:  Jack London Lake.  Imagine its waters crystal clear and very cold – […]

Stop the Pussification of America

November 14, 2016

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Parents:  let your kids find their own way in childhood. Let them be disappointed.  Make them strong and confident by letting them do things, not by telling them they are special snowflakes.  The real threat to America is not Trump; it’s the past several decades of helicopter parenting that turns out 20-year-old spoiled, fearful children. […]

Joan Larsen’s Special Places: A Floating World – Breathtaking Images of Antarctica’s Summer

November 9, 2016

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By Joan Larsen I believe I speak for all of us on this planet when I say that – for far too long – we have been stirred daily with a world in turmoil.  .  . a situation not likely to end anytime soon.  We are not the carefree people we once were.  .  . […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Cynthia

November 7, 2016

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By Lauriate Roly Would you like to read a story about me?  It’s true and has hardly ever been revealed to anyone. Our newly bought clothes always needed alterations and adjustment, and Mrs. Allen, my mother’s good friend, was a great seamstress and expert on the sewing machine.  An ancient Singer, which she and her […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: Four Lessons I Learned From Surgery

November 2, 2016

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Once again, we welcome a rare and wonderful writer, Katrina Kenison.  Each of us can identify with Katrina today and in all our days, as we learn to embrace rather than deny the wealth of experience an ordinary life can hold.  We find her open and honest as she shares her experiences in the bewildering, bewitching journey […]

A Halloween Treat: Robbie Burns’ “Tam O’Shanter”

October 31, 2016

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Perhaps you are familiar with Cutty Sark Scotch Whiskey, with the ship on the label.  You may know that the liquor is named for the Cutty Sark, a clipper built in 1869 for the tea trade, and later used in the wool trade.  She was fast, holding the speed record from Australia to Britain for […]

Joan Larsen Presents: In Photos – Searching for the World’s Most Unusual Trees

October 26, 2016

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By Joan Larsen I admit. . . searching for trees usually is way down the list of things we plan to do in life. Way down. But then – then – I actually spent the night in a nest, a so-called human nest lodged in a tree in Big Sur, California. If you are “into” […]

So You’ve Never Heard of Steampunk?

October 24, 2016

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There was Lila, invited to a Halloween party at the last minute, and not a thing to wear. What to do, what to do… Aha! For Christmas a few years ago, some wonderfully strange friends had given Lila Ebola and Plague. No, no, not the actual diseases; these were somewhat cute, plush, giant microbe toys […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living Through a Rogue Wave in the World’s High Arctic

October 19, 2016

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By Joan Larsen ee ee Even now, more than a decade later, that wave – a wave coming out of nowhere, heading toward our ship with such incredible speed out of nowhere –will forever remain indelibly in our minds. All of those passengers on our ship that were with me that day were seemingly mesmerized by […]