This Week’s Photo Challenge: New Horizon, and Liberty

Sunset clouds
Sunset above the clouds

I am at the stage in my life (age 67) where New Years resolutions don’t fit.  This year, I have something wonderful to look forward to for the next few years-Liberty!  With a new Republican Administration taking over in January, instead of worrying constantly about the tightening of the strait-jacket of Government constantly hemming in my freedom of movement, I can look forward to more choices of how to live my life.

For the first time, I have been long enough at my job that I have-wonder of wonders-lots of vacation time to use!  I can contemplate the decision to take a vacation away from home, and be able to afford it!  We are already booked for a week in Arizona in February around a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.  Since the weather here in the Seattle area tends to be pretty rainy and cloudy in February, we are looking forward to some sunshine on the horizon.

Cactus-lined path, Desert Botanical Garden
Cactus-lined path, Desert Botanical Garden

Maybe we’ll make it back to the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.

Maybe we’ll take a trip later in the year to one of our favorite horizons, the beach at Cape May, New Jersey.  Now there’s a Horizon!  It seems to go on forever.

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Whatever we decide, we will be more free in 2017 than we have been in a long time to pursue our chosen horizons.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/new-horizon/

Weekly Photo Challenge, Relax

Hakan just HAD to use a cat to illustrate the Daily Post Relax theme.  When you are owned by a cat, you find lots of occasions of your owner relaxing…that’s what cats do!

Kikyo-warm

If that’s not relaxed, nothing is!  Kikyo, who owns the place, likes to stretch out in the sunshine near the sliding door to the back yard.

Kikyo, on her window perch
Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

This is where she spends much of her time while we are at work during the day-her window perch in our bedroom.

And, finally, we are relaxing together-Kikyo likes to stretch out on my legs while I read.

Warm Cat
Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/relax/

And Now For Something Entirely Different…Try Tiffany for Christmas this year

And Now For Something Entirely Different…Try Tiffany for Christmas this year

RushBabe49 is a Tiffany shareholder, and a Tiffany shopper, even with a moderate income.  It sometimes amazes me that there are people who feel intimidated, and won’t enter a Tiffany store because they have to walk past the armed security guards at the door. They have been opening stores in areas of the country that aren’t highly affluent, just comfortable. I like to suggest to men that I know a near-foolproof way to give their wife or girlfriend heart palpitations. What woman wouldn’t gasp at a gift in the Tiffany blue box?  This year, there are new collections, like Tiffany T, with a variety of jewelry; rings, bracelets, and earrings in gold, silver, and their proprietary “Rubedo metal”.  I saw one ring, way out of my price range, but something to save up for, that definitely makes my list this year.

So here’s a way of thinking about Tiffany that might make it easier for those intimidated ones to walk proudly into their nearest Tiffany store. Just remember that to them, you are a Customer, not just a shopper. They want your business, and it’s in your best interest to think of yourself that way. Get up your courage, walk right into the store, and be sure to smile and wish the security guards “Good afternoon”. Then head right up to any counter and peruse the merchandise. Tiffany is known best for their diamond jewelry, but they also have an extensive collection of reasonably-priced sterling silver pieces. When I was single, and making a fair, but not huge, salary, I would give myself a Christmas present every year of a new pair of Tiffany silver earrings. It’s fun to walk into the store and check out the new items, ask to see something closer up, and walk out with your very own blue box, tied up with beautiful red or white ribbon. They have an extensive collection of really cute charms for a bracelet, or they can be worn as a pendant on a chain; they are adding new ones all the time.

So you gentlemen, Christmas is coming up. This year, make your lady VERY happy, and present her with something in a Tiffany blue box. She will NEVER doubt your love ever again! [and you will get on their mailing list for their great catalogs] You can start by going to the Web site, www.tiffany.com, to get ideas, and to drool.

Weekly Photo Challenge…It’s Not This Time of Year Without…

A trip to Washington’s Bavarian Village, Leavenworth, to view the Tree-Lighting.  Every Friday and Saturday in December, the town waits with bated breath for the Christmas Tree to be lit, just at dusk.  Crowds fill the streets, and the tree is lit, making a wonderland of lights.

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Leavenworth Tree Lighting-Before

And After…

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And a bit further after:

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Here’s another of the many lighted buildings in town:

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/time-of-year/

Born in the USA, and Grateful – Happy Thanksgiving

Born in the USA, and Grateful – Happy Thanksgiving

On the Thanksgiving holiday, we give thanks for all our blessings.  Here in the United States, Thanksgiving has been a national holiday since the 1860s.  Yes, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day.  I want to declare how very grateful I am for having been born in the Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth, and to live in one of the most beautiful corners of that Nation, the Pacific Northwest.

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Mount Rainier

My family and I really have everything we need for a comfortable, happy life.  We have good jobs, so we can be productive members of society.  Our Capitalist economic system here in the USA, even in spite of the onerous level of government regulation, gives us the freedom to work for one employer, rather than another; to quit our job and move to a new town to take a different job; to own, and sell, our primary residence when we move or grow out of it, or want to downsize; to save our money to buy something big like a car or a boat, from whichever source we choose; to go to our preferred store to buy our food and clothing; and to make any other economic decision for our own reasons. Any American with enough initiative can start and run his own business, and help it grow to employ others, and satisfy customers.

We are thankful for the Republic we have here, whose founding document, the Constitution, is the first, and the best ever, Law of the Land, laying out the most remarkable form of government ever invented.  We just had another eventful National election-another peaceful (well, mostly), transfer of power from one President to the next.  Never before in all of human history has any nation had such continuous, ongoing changes of administration with as few difficulties as the United States of America.  We in America are the freest, most prosperous, most generous people in the world.  Each American has at his or her fingertips the means to enlighten and enrich himself and his family.  Every single American has public schools where he can learn what he needs to be a productive citizen, if he will take full advantage.  Every American has the freedom to worship as he chooses, with whomever he chooses, or not.  Americans have the freedom to band together with their fellows to try to influence their government, at all levels, or to run for office.  I am also thankful for the all-volunteer military, whose members protect our Liberty, at home and in many places overseas.  They truly are America’s Finest, and they truly reflect the spectrum of Americans-they are black, white, Asian, male and female, and they are the Brave among us.

The people of the United States of America, more than citizens of any other nation, give of the fruits of their labor, to support others who have less, both at home and abroad.  America is the First Responder of the World, always at the ready to help out in a natural disaster anywhere.  Even Americans of modest means find it in their pocketbooks and their hearts to donate to every conceivable form of charity.  Religious Americans are the largest donors to charity in the world, and their support builds roads, schools, and wells in poorer countries everywhere.  I am thankful that the American Spirit lives here, and I am proud to be a part of it.

This year at Thanksgiving, I will be grateful for our Founding Fathers, who bequeathed to us a most remarkable Nation, built upon an Idea:  Liberty and Justice for All. May the United States of America be a beacon to the world forever!

 

I don’t care what Joe Morgenstern says about “Fantastic Beasts” movie

I don’t care what Joe Morgenstern says about “Fantastic Beasts” movie

I LOVED it!  We went to see the movie of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them over the weekend, and it was great.  The characters were believable, the scenery of 1920’s New York was excellent, and the action was non-stop.  I admit that I had lots of peeks at the movie from reading on Pottermore over the last few months, and everything I read just whetted my appetite for the movie.  I especially like both of the actresses who played the Goldstein sisters.  I have the book of Fantastic Beasts, and I re-read it before we went, to make sure I knew what the beasts were.  Unfortunately, the book has no illustrations!  Someone needs to issue the definitive color-illustrated  “Fantastic Beasts” book. [Are you listening, JK Rowling?]  I know the beasts were all computer-generated, but they were very cute just the same.  Meet the Demiguise:

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In any case, all you Harry Potter fans out there should hie yourself to the nearest theater and see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  And there’s a long weekend coming up, so you have no excuses!

 

Black Friday is coming

And the Seattle Humane Society is offering free black cats for Black Friday.  It is said that black cats are less-readily adopted from shelters than are cats of other colors.  I just had to smile when I read the story on the KOMO Seattle news site.  Click over to the story and see the cute black kitten who is their cover kitty.

Now, myself, I am owned by my third black cat, two of whom were adopted from shelters (my first black cat was a “free kitten” from a friend).  My previous black cat was with me for 17 of her 18 years, and I miss her still.  Here she is:

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Milhaud the black cat

She was very sweet, very quiet, and she slept with me on my bed from the first night I brought her home from the shelter in 1992 (I was going through a very uncomfortable period in my life, and I swore I would not go through it without a cat).  I loved her dearly, and I miss her still.  I named her after a French composer named Darius Milhaud, because a musician friend of mine said it sounded like meow (it is pronounced Mee-yo).

I am now owned by a beautiful black cat who we named Kikyo, after an anime character who was a high priestess in medieval Japan.  She is a young sprite, and she of course owns the house, just letting us live there.

Her Royal Catness, the Lady Kikyo:

Kikyo, our aristo-cat

I call this picture (above) The Aristo-Cat.  She held this pose for a good 15 minutes, watching out the high window.

Kikyo, undignified

Have you ever seen a more undignified pose?

Kikyo, on her window perch
Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

I shot this video just after we brought her home from the shelter.  Happy Black Friday!