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To Blog or Not To Blog

This post is somewhat moot as I have obviously NOT blogged for a few months now.

My friends have mostly migrated to FaceBook. More folks see your photos and whatnot there … not necessarily because they want to but because they happen upon them while they’re busy doing other things (to paraphrase JL).

Very clever on FB’s part. And I confess, I enjoy the accidental findings myself.

So this is just an acknowledgment of my limbo status. I like to photograph. I like to write. But for whom? And for what purpose?

I was either hosting vacationers or being on vacation myself for the month of July. I am currently recuperating from bunion surgery early in August.

August is a great time to recuperate. I can be outdoors and savor the smells and the breeze in the trees. The bees are busy doing their business. The flowers are making nectar. Life is good.

I can’t resist including this video from Anna’s Bee World blog , as I’ve spent so much time just watching bees in my garden:

I’ve been enjoying this blog lately: No Direction Known A young woman is cycling across the USA for LivingStrong. It’s a great way to “pass through” rural America.

I just finished listening to The Help in audio book form — which I highly recommend for the outstanding narrations and accents. You can listen to an excerpt here. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with these women.

Lastly, I’m reading Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation and enjoying it immensely.

If you got this far, thanks for reading.

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Camano Retreat

I made my fist solo drive to Seattle to visit my friend Lolli. It was a breeze except for the northbound section between Tacoma and Seattle. Yikes! There must have been 10 lanes of traffic. Nothing like looking in your rear-view mirror at an ocean of oncoming cars.

But I made it.

We took Lolli’s mom, Margaret to their cabin at Elger Bay on Camano Island.
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Oh my! It’s so soothing to gaze out at the bay’s flat waters, the open sky and listen to the gentle lapping while the tides come in … and out; the sun came up and down. Ahhhhhh! My blood pressure’s dropping just thinking about it.

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We threw balls for the dogs …
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Ate picnic style …
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Took walks on the beach …
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Lit a big outdoor fire and contemplated the stars and planets (Jupiter) in their path across the sky. Everyone chilled. Lolli and I played LOTS of Scrabble. (She’s getting harder to beat with all this practice! We were probably tied in wins.)

I did some astronomy research on my return — to figure out just which way (and why) the stars were going. Here’s a short clip.

Google Earth even has a sky map now!

I came across this video of whales in the bay. Could have been taken from our cabin (but it wasn’t).

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Amature Astronomy

Okay, I can’t seem to find any information as to which planet it is that’s so bright these days. The full moon has been very bright and has company to boot.

It’s not easy to photograph with my pedestrian camera.
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The exposure was so long to catch the light that wiggles were inevitable. Plus, the clouds were moving at a brisk clip.
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I think the planet is Venus because it’s so bright. But what’s this? An eclipse? It’s how this planet looked in my camera.
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Hope you all have clear skies to enjoy the view.

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Sail on the Bay

Sail1(blog)It was my friend Rita’s birthday a week ago last Friday, the 21st. Computer “issues” have kept me away from my blog upon my return.

Rita’s friends have a long-standing open sail on the bay every Friday. It was balmy and warm — even on the water! There were cubbies for ice and beer everywhere (and an on-board toilet for the demure — infinitely superior to the public piss bucket).

The sun set behind Mt. Tamalpais to ooh’s as the balmy air wisped our hair and cast faces in golden glows.
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The nightly Hornblower “sunset Bay cruise” passed us on our way back.
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The Bay Area no longer felt like home. It seemed sprawling, congested and ARID after my 18 months in the Pacific NW.

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County Fair

What’s summer without a fair? Parking at large events is usually sufficient deterrence to keep me away. But a friend had entered some jam and wanted to go see how she fared. The overwhelming quantity of (dare I say?) mediocre entries in everything from jams, to quilts, drawing, photos, clothing (sewn and knitted) and what not … argh! … I wilted in the onslaught.

I fared a little better with the animals, although the lighting was dim and I didn’t want to further stress the caged beasts with a flash. There was every type of cow in every color. This pair was lovely.
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The goats were charming in their awkward square pupilled way.
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This lop-eared rabbit looks just like the Beth Van Hoesen painting. Truth is, the chickens and roosters won the day. I didn’t get any photos but OMG, they are beautiful and so varied.
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I took this picture from atop the Ferris Wheel (even though heights scare the pee-woddy out of me).
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I was dazzled / horror struck by watching the “sling shot” ride. As the name suggests, a double seater basket is shot straight up into the air. It then tumbles and rolls as it bounces bungy-style till it’s brought back down. Yikes! They didn’t have this ride when I was a kid.

Here’s a pix of the larger Ferris Wheel (that we didn’t ride).
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I’m back …

About two weeks ago I dropped my computer off at a nearby shop expecting to bring it home the same day with more memory. But no, it wasn’t responding to the new memory so it got put in the service queue. A week later I learned the motherboard was shot … actually leaking acid!

So I gnashed my teeth over night and bought the store’s special the next day. After a nightmarish impasse with my wireless mouse and lack of driver software to utilize it, I gradually installed the basic applications to get myself set up.

What a hassle! I’m all for just subscribing to a service and letting someone else deal with keeping stuff up to date and compatible. Computers should be a “utility” like the phone or cable TV.

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Odds and Ends

On my way to the dentist last week, I couldn’t resist joining in on my friend’s fetish with shopping carts.  There was an odd array of them along the road.

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… just stopping to catch up on the latest gossip …
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A newbie showed started showing up a few weeks ago. It wasn’t until I visited Midmarsh Jottings (in England) that I identified it as the House Sparrow — a common but very pretty little bird. Sibley’s refers to it as an “old world sparrow”.

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This female American Gold Finch showed up weeks after I last saw the males. She was feeding ravenously and was unphased by my camera.

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