Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rare Guests

Snow is a rare guest here in the Puget Sound area - it's usually us Seattleites who go on special trips to visit the snow which is only a couple of hours away in either the Cascades on the East side or the Olympic mountains on the West. It is the mountains which hug us from both East and West that protect us from the extreme weather conditions. It's not common to have  snow on the ground here by the sea, but we usually have a day or two every year when we get the white dust in our yard. My parents though don't recall any snow when they stayed with us during the winter two years ago. You'd think that being from Siberia, we must love snow and miss it, yes? Nope, not in this household at least. But I have to admit it looks really pretty, it changes everything and adds light to dark months.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mama & Papa Play Dress Up

These photos were taken on one of the first few days after my parents' arrival. I offered my Mom to try on a few of my dresses and skirts. She zeroed in on this one - you can tell that she feels good wearing it, even though she ideally would need at least one size smaller.

Monday, November 24, 2014

If You Let It

Anna and I went to see Mary Poppins, the wonderful heart warming musical presented by the Village Theatre in Issaquah (for Seattle folks - their other stage is in Everett). I'll tell a bit more about it in a sec, but first I wanted to say that I tried to wear black and white this past weekend to join Sacramento and Monica and Share-in-Style which is always great fun, I even prepared an outfit (hopefully will be able to wear it tomorrow), but this dress put a spell on me - I just couldn't resist it and wore it again. But Anna saved the day without even realizing it, by putting together this black and white outfit. Do you recognize the dress she has on? That's right, I have a skirt which I showed many times on my blog (last time I wore it for another "Julie Andrews musical", oddly enough - read HERE about my outing to see Sound of Music). When I bought this skirt, Anna liked it so much that I ordered one for her too. I love how she wears it as a dress here - very creative! Her sense of style started blossoming pretty early on. At the age of 9, she was already putting together stylish and truly unique outfits, constantly being praised by grown up fashionistas. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


As soon as I saw this dress at the Lands' End web site, I was taken. It is the type of garment I would wear in pretty much any given period of my life - while studying at university in my teens and early 20s, later while working at a museum, a publishing house, and an advertising agency, and later still while staying at home raising my little one and taking care of my own small business (writing articles for a newspaper and poetry just for myself when the little one was asleep), and later yet while working as a community leader, storyteller and educator, and finally now when I spend my days writing, exploring and learning ... at any given point, if only I had a chance to find this dress, it would suit my taste and my personality. It has a vintage vibe about it which I adore (hello 1960s, my old time favorite). And I think it has this rare quality which I always treasure - a quiet beauty which stands out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Adventures in Music and Deserted City

“Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human.
 Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe.”

"Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art."
- Claude Debussy

"I'm an adventurer. I like invention, I like discovery."
- Karlheinz Stockhausen

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, 
if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

On October 25, Justin and I visited the Tacoma Symphony. It was a new season grand opening, and it was the first season with a new music director, Sara Ioannides. I wrote about the concert we listened to a year ago when the orchestra was still in the process of interviewing candidates for the music director position HERE in English and HERE, in more details, in Russian. You can also see more of Justin's photographs of the historic Pantages Theater in Tacoma which is considered to be the most beautiful of all Pantages theaters and the oldest one still in operation, and is a part of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, the largest one between Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Love and Airplanes

Thank you so much for your kind comments on my experimental post featuring my poem and Justin's more artistic photography (words), my dear blogging friends! I am looking for different ways to expand and would like to experiment more with my posts, and I truly appreciate that you are so open to new ways. I write very little poetry actually, and only when "it comes". If I don't write down what comes immediately, I forget it, and then it's gone forever. But in this case, I just started typing and soon the poem was born. I edited just a little. It's my first poem in English, to the best of my recollection. I did translate a few things from Russian to English, but I don't think I actually wrote poetry in English before. So, it was an experiment in more than one way for me. And I would like you to know that even though no, we writers don't write for other people - we write simply because we love writing, and in some cases more than that, we cannot not write like we cannot not breathe or not eat, it's something so essential to us that we will write even if nobody reads (and trust me when I say it - the vast majority of what we write, we do not show anybody, endless, endless pages of diaries, sketches, drafts, etc.). Words are our air, our food, our biggest love, our deepest connection to the very essence of being. But! We are very, very thankful when someone reads and appreciates what we write and have guts to make public. As Shawna likes to say, stories are meant to be shared. It is so true! So... thank you! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2014


words can hurt
they can put
a cold spell
on a heart
the heart to death
let me forget those words

words can heal
they can reach 
the tiniest spot
in your heart
put their roots
deep down inside
grow like a child
grows in a mother's womb

words can explode in you like a bomb
they can be gentle
they can be strong
they can become 
the last words one ever hears
with his heart, not his ears

listen to silence
look inwards 
for words that heal
that give love
like a mother gives her child a meal

quiet words, 
plain, not fancy at all
as simple as seeds 
but when they reach soil, not a wall
they grow into beautiful things

that's where it begins
kind simple words that fall 
into a longing soul
like dry seeds fall
into longing soil

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cold Spell

It's been so cold and windy that I hear branches knocking the windows all day long, and when I leave the basement door opened while doing laundry downstairs, it seems the house cools down in seconds. I managed to catch cold, and we are expecting the dearest visitors on earth to come tomorrow. I still can't believe that it's actually going to happen so soon and run like mad all day trying to clean up our usual mess not to present them with an unrealistic picture of our home, but to show them the care and respect they deserve. Last weekend was nice and mild though, a bit damp by water, so my "wearable blanket" helped to stay cozy. Do you wear blankets? I do.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Family Day in Seattle

"As soon as I saw you, I knew a grand adventure was about to happen.” 
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

Another fun cultural family event. You know that I dedicate this year to exploring a myriad of little cultural organizations in the greater Seattle area. I was familiar with a few of them, but most of them stay hidden until you start diggin'. So I started. I was asked before how I even get the information I get (and gladly share with others). That's all 'cause I love diggin'. Do you have some diggin' to do? Call Natasha. Did you want me to dig up some dirt? Stop calling right now. I only dig for fun shiny stuff. For instance, I dug out over 60 theaters in the area. I bet there are some more left!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Moments of Early Fall 2014


1st (upper) row: 1. Olive Overalls. 2. Reorganized. 3. Everyday Wonder
2nd row from the top: 1. Between. 2. In Love. 3. Dress, Play, Explore
3rd row from the top: 1. One, Two, Three (the third outfit) 2. Steampunk...ish. 3. One Dark Ooky Night
4th (lower) row: 1&2. October Babies.  3. You're Gonna Hear Her Roar

I picked a few (not all) of the outfits I showed on the blog from mid-September through the end of October. I enjoy seeing a bunch of my outfit photos together because I can see how my preferences evolve. For instance, I can see here that lately I embrace what I used to love in my 20s - simple shapes, layers and elegance as in timelessness, but on a new level which only the last year of style exploration and me-exploration allowed me to get to. Bright colors, bold patterns, and such details as embroidery add a whimsical, rich and unique, individual feel to the outfits which I assemble from what's available on sale in a few shops that I like and occasional thrifting trips to Goodwill and such. And I have to say that I am surprised, but given that I don't design or make my own clothes, and don't have finances to buy designer labels, it's all pretty much inexpensive mass market stuff, available to anyone, but I have yet to meet a woman who dresses like me.