Donna Sandstrom

Donna Sandstrom
Seattle, Washington, USA
September 10
Born in Brooklyn, raised in L.A. Studied at U.C. Santa Cruz, waitressed in San Francisco, found my way to Seattle in the early 80s. Career in high tech (Aldus/Adobe) until 2007 when I left to do The Whale Trail. Writing on Open Salon since May 2008. Go Obama!


Editor’s Pick
APRIL 19, 2012 9:19PM

Levon Helm and Lessons Learned

The only Levon Helm story I have is the ticket I didn't buy to see the Last Waltz - the concert, not the movie.

I was 20 years old, working part-time at an ice-cream shop in Santa Cruz while I went to school. It was a great gig - paid a… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 6:11PM

Hope on the Elwha


Mouth of the Elwha 

We spent the third weekend of September in Port Angeles, helping to celebrate the Elwha dams coming down. The 45-mile long Elwha River once produced all six species of Pacific salmonids, including record-setting Chinook salmon.

The return of the river to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 2, 2010 6:35PM

Bright Star, Dim Oscar


Best Costume Design. Really, Academy? That’s it? As a good online friend would say, Pffft.

The most overlooked movie of the year, by far, is Bright Star. From the opening shot—an extreme closeup of a needle pulling through fabric—you know you are in the hands of a ci/… Read full post »

JANUARY 2, 2010 3:24AM

Remembering Lynn

They say that the songs you hear as a teenager imprint on you in a deeper, more significant way because of the hormones that course through your adolescent brain.

That explains why it only takes three notes of 25 or 6 to 4 and I am in Lynn’s

Read full post »
AUGUST 18, 2009 5:47AM

Listening to the Whales


This time of year, when I am not reading OS, or noticing how much earlier the sun is setting (already!), one of my favorite things to do is listen for whales at

Most of the time, what you hear are the ambient noises of Johnstone Strait: lapping waves,… Read full post »

MAY 29, 2009 3:46PM

On Summer Nights


Sandra’s recent reverie about summers past reminded me of a piece I wrote a while back.  (Okay, it was decades ago. In the 80s!) A little light something for your weekend…





On summer nights when we were ten

we played hide-and-go-seek 

Read full post »


Calling All Northwesterners (including you too, Canadians!)

What: Anniversary Party to Celebrate the First Year of Open Salon

When: Thursday April 16, 6 p.m.-  8 (or whenever)

(in honor of a certain someone's hair)
1919 Post Avenue
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 25, 2009 2:28PM

We Never Saw the Grotto

Seeing the stories on the cover of Open Salon today reminded me of my own little adventure at the Playboy mansion. Don’t get too excited, it wasn’t like that.

It was 1973, and I was a junior in high school. Two friends and I were on our way from the… Read full post »

It's not the practice that grates, but what we are calling it. 

You know I love this place.  And I really don't mind getting notices of the new things you've written, or pointers to things you think I'd like to read. In fact, I like it, because I'd miss a lot… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 1, 2009 1:21AM

Cold Turkey in Baja

Nah, not that kind....

I'm going to Baja for 11 days and I won't be bringing a laptop. You know what that OS! No comments, no posts, no Freaky, no squirrel...what am I gonna do!!

Oh, that's right. I'm going to be on a boat in the Sea of Cortez… Read full post »


 1. I have spent the night on a schooner drifting among humpback whales in Alaska, their blows echoing across  Frederick Sound.

2. The northern lights are one of the most awe-inspiring, naturally psychedelic things I have ever seen. Great bursts of color draped across the sky… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2008 12:36AM

The Cold and the Christmas Tree


I came down with a cold last week. Or, should I say, I got clobbered by a Monster Cold that started skulking around on Wednesday, and made its full body assault over the weekend.

I went so far as to reach for the cold medicine. There were three different

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 14, 2008 4:54PM


It’s snowing in Seattle! The weather people have been predicting it for days, and this time, they got it right. It’s a light snow, for now, but it is sticking, and the world has been transformed.


Snow always makes me giddy. Maybe it’s a result of growing up in… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2008 4:32PM

Found Humor 2: Hillary Edition

Picture 25  


 (Most Read, Saturday 11/22, 1:30 PST)

I may have found my genre.... Read full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2008 12:17AM

Found Humor: Top Rated

While everyone was scurrying around posting their avatars for the OS collage, this was the Top Rated list at around 8:30 tonight:

Picture 23 

I thought it was really funny... I only wish it was 101 words ;) I'm trying to think of a good title... Read full post »

NOVEMBER 20, 2008 12:58AM

101 Words: New Glasses

With its high ceilings and velvet couch, it does not feel like a glasses store. She picks out a black pair with crystals on the stems. “Ooh - so You!”

I am not sure.

She pulls another pair, titanium from Japan.

“Also hip!” the sales chorus sings.… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2008 2:14PM

Getting to know Meme, too

Joining the song meme party. Thanks for the invitation, umbrellakinesis!

Who are you?
Words are flying out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe…
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million
suns it calls me on and
Read full post »

OCTOBER 27, 2008 11:43PM

"Our long national nightmare…

…is over."

I looked up this quote today while commenting on DogWoman’s blog because I couldn’t remember who said it. I was a little surprised to find that it was Gerald Ford, as part of his inauguration speech. Or more accurately, the remarks he gave after being sworn in as p… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 25, 2008 4:39AM

How Cam and Stellaa Saved Me, and Why I Love OS

I’ve been having a rough couple of days. There are a lot of things I am supposed to be working on, but somehow I couldn’t get myself to move on any of them. And the longer it goes like that, the worse it gets. Like a hoar frost spreading into… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 22, 2008 3:47PM

Jesse's Ghost

The first major gusts of the season tore through here last week, shutting down power and scattering trees, as if announcing the change. My thoughts turn again to Jesse, because this is the month in which he died.


Steven J. Bernstein, aka Jesse, was a writer, an ex-junkie, and… Read full post »

OCTOBER 12, 2008 7:37PM

Happy Birthday, John!

 Picture 2

 Today is John Lennon’s birthday. He would have been 68. I was completely inspired by Diane Martin’s story about meeting him, and thought we needed some official place to celebrate. 

 John was *always* my favorite Beatle, from the time we used to act out scene… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 27, 2008 4:02PM

Six for Susan


Iris, Bloedel Reserve 


Waterfall, Bloedel Reserve


Waterfall, Chiapas 


Palenque in Shrouds, Chiapas 


Puget Sound Sunset 1 


Puget Sound Sunset 2 

  Congratulations, Susan!

  Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 5:20PM

Sam and Lily in the Garden

listening to the blue jay

listening to the blue jays 


the look 


fierce kitty (Sam)

handsome boy

handsome boy (he knows it) 


thinking about it 


 thinking about it, too




attacking the string 


The End.

  Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 15, 2008 3:51AM

Tipping and The Lame List

Waaay back in the 90s  in Seattle there was a great comedy show called Almost Live that aired on Saturday nights. One of the ongoing sketches - besides the Middle Management Suck-ups, the High-Fivin' White Guys, and Bill Nye the Science Guy - was a segment called The Lame List (or,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 14, 2008 3:34PM

Waking Up at Sleeping Lady


Last week I went to a conference at Sleeping Lady, a resort in the Cascades about 3 hours northeast of Seattle. It is nestled in Icicle Canyon, and takes its name from the mountain behind it.


Icicle Creek and Sleeping Lady 


Sleeping Lady and Clouds Read full post »