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Shimmering Pictures

Been, mostly, away at the beach while the city had had a hot spell and smoke from wildfires in BC.

We took all the animals (two dogs and the cat) and stayed on Vashon for much of the last week. The haze made things look a bit funny, especially in the morning and evening.

Naturally we had commitments and had to spend the hottest day of the year in the city. I fail to see why, when there are only a handful of times when I have to be somewhere, and only a handful of days when it is really unpleasant in the city, that the two have to align.

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The pups got to stay on the beach. Here is Asta running for all she is worth, just happy to be on the beach. The sunlight was shimmering on the seaweed so it kind of fits with the shimmer daily post prompt.

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Every thing is just beach-y, but where did the time go?

I started on Monday to answer the questions posed by Cee in Share Your World…before I knew it Tuesday had come along (Tuesdays of Texture by de Monte y Mar) so I thought I would take a few pictures of beach-y textures and do one post for two.

I corrupted my Lightroom program so I couldn’t load pictures and get that post done until I reloaded it… Somehow it is now late on Saturday and nothing is done…although I did get the living room vacuumed.

Summer is shooting by like a meteor.

My answers, at last:

List some of your favorites types of teas. I like tea, both black tea and green tea. For regular I tend to drink Red Rose, which is not bitter like Lipton’s, and reminds me of my Grandparents, who always drank it. A good Darjeeling is truly “the champagne of teas and I splurge on it when I want something really nice.

In China, twice now, I have been to a tea tasting in a shop and brought home what is probably the best black (they call it red tea: hong cha, which makes sense since the brewed tea is red) and green teas I have ever tasted, but I don’t know how to get them except to go to a tea shop in china with the packages. I tried white tea but it really didn’t do anything for me flavor-wise. I’m not mostly jazzed by herbals or ones with fancy flavors.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be? I only saw this sign once: End of Hard Margins. I couldn’t have my husband pull over for a picture because the shoulders were soft. It was in Ireland 23 years ago. On our last trip, in 2013, I did not see that sign, even thought I looked for it. The reason I relate to that sign is that I was a stress analyst in aerospace at the time, and we used “margins of safety” to describe how robust a structural element is compared to its expected loading. We were always being asked whether this or that part, which wasn’t quite to specification, might still be used. (I mentioned something like this in my Delta Analysis post). I thought it would be fun to have that sign posted by my desk.

What are a couple of things could people do for you on a really bad day that would really help you? Being nice. I still, 27 or so years later, remember stopping at the grocery store with my baby son in a carrier and wanting some oranges. The produce clerk not only pointed me in the right direction but he said “be careful, sometimes there are moldy ones” and proceeded to check every orange in the box to make sure I got a good one.

Irregardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would do do?   Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

I like to swim and ice skate. I haven’t done either in a very long time. I have poor balance and never got beyond a waltz jump, but I like the feeling of gliding along and the feel of moving water.

Last week is a blur. Next week is supposed to be hot. This week has been lovely with two days on the beach.

My World

If I had to choose one word to describe my world right now it would be…beautiful. Even though the chores piled up along with the newspapers that came while we were gone for a few days (stopping the paper runs about 75% successful, thank goodness for alert neighbors).

Quick smile from today’s paper: today’s Non-Sequitur cartoon.  It reminds me of my house, except that our cat believes in species segregation, and basks in a different part of the house than the dogs.

My responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions:

What is your favorite cheese? My very favorite is a cheese called “Huntsman”, which is extra sharp cheddar and Stilton in layers. Trader Joe’s used to carry Huntsman around the holidays, but I haven’t seen it for a while (as in several years), other places where I’ve seen it charge more than I’m willing to pay. Of the ones I can actually acquire (without taking out a mortgage), extra sharp cheddar is my favorite, I usually buy Tillamook brand.

Are you left or right handed? Right. I have no signs of dexterity in my left hand. I broke my right wrist when I was in college and tried and tried, but the left hand just isn’t connected properly to my brain to become dexterous. I actually think better holding a pencil in my right hand, even if I don’t use it.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either? Both. I exercise both most days. Right now I am taking online classes in HTML and CSS, which I try to practice in some form or another every day (it gets harder and harder to get things to stick in my head as I get older) and I walk the dogs at least twice a day, use an exercise dvd about three times a week. I also read the newspaper (we do not have television and I don’t listen to the radio so this is my news source).

Complete this sentence: Hot days are …enervating. I used to be more bothered by the heat than I am now, I think it is because I go at things more slowly than I used to. A few years ago I gave myself permission to just not do anything if the thermometer is above 85 deg F. (That’s about  32 deg C). Fortunately in Seattle those higher temps are fairly rare.

Gratitude
We had a beautiful, possibly even perfect trip to Mount Rainier last week. It was about a month earlier than we have gone most years so there was still quite a bit of snow in the Paradise area, limiting hiking a bit, however we got to see a different set of flowers. The avalanche lilies and glacier lilies were abundant. Most years we are lucky to see one or two blooms, not whole fields of the lilies.

 

Looking ahead
Chores, weeds. The weather forecast predicts high 70’s so it’s time to get the yard cleaned up, in addition to tilting at cobwebs, and finishing my apricot jam.

Peach Blossom Village

We visited Peach Blossom Village–a rather lackluster tourist attraction in Yichang, Hubei Province, China–at the end of our cruise through the three gorges in April. It was a drippy, grey day (maybe it wouldn’t have felt so lacking in luster if the weather had been cheerier, and our views of Xiling Gorge had been clearer.

However, the flowers were pretty. The call these peach blossoms but our guide told us that the trees are ornamental and do not produce peaches that one would eat.

Puppy Friends

I usually try to only make one post (if any) to the Daily Post Photo Prompt for the week. But, on Sunday we took Ginger and Asta over to see their friend Sam. When Ginger and Sam saw each other they started running and came together in something a lot like a hug. It made me think about how friendship isn’t just for humans.

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These two have been friends since 2010. Sam is my Dad’s dog and Ginger belongs to my Grandma.

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Ginger was born  in 2009 and they met in early 2010.  They spent time together in the desert when Dad went down for the winters and on the beach in Puget Sound when Grandma and Ginger came up during the summers.

In 2014 my uncle passed away and his dog, Asta, joined the pack.

Now everyone lives in the Seattle Area. Sam with my dad on Vashon island and Ginger and Asta with me in West Seattle, where they visit Grandma a couple of times a week.

The three of them are as close, possibly closer, than many sets of human friends. When I say to Ginger and Asta “we’re going to see you friend Sam Dog”, they are at the door ready to go (humans are so slow).

All three are mutts. All three came from situations where they weren’t wanted*, but they are cuter than buttons and our human family will never let them go now we’re all together.

I am by both nature and circumstance a loner and sometimes I envy the close friendship between this trio of dogs.

*A bit about the “kids”:

  • Sam (the biggest black one) was adopted from a place where they wanted to breed pure breds from her registered Springer Spaniel mother, but her dad was a good fence jumper and they didn’t want the impure pups.
  • Ginger (the middle sized white one with gingery spots) was obtained by some friends of my grandmother for their grandchild, but the parents said “no way”. So she was going to be sent off if grandma didn’t adopt her.
  • Asta (the small cream colored one) was adopted from Coachella Valley animal shelter by my uncle: she had been found wandering the streets in Palm Springs CA in the summer.

For a few short days

This tree peony blooms spectacularly depending on the weather the blooms last three days to one week…and then it’s gone. It was almost a month later than usual this year because of the exceptionally cold winter that just wouldn’t give up.

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The only other flower I’ve seen that is both more spectacular and more fleeting is the night blooming Cereus.

Night blooming cereus flower.
Night blooming cereus flower.

Evanescent