Easy Being Green…Gardens I’ve Seen

I hate green.  Green is my least favorite color, at least in clothing and accessories and household goods.  I don’t wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day, or any other day, for that matter.  And I’m the opposite of an “environmental wacko”, since I don’t believe that humans are a blot on the landscape, or destroying the planet, or any of that stuff; “green energy”, “green buildings”, of no importance to me.

However, I’m quite fond of green landscapes.  When I visited Britain in 1984 for the first time, I was totally blown away by the green fields demarcated by hedgerows and low stone walls.  I was fascinated by the beautiful landscapes in the Highlands of Scotland.  My readers will have seen dozens of the pictures I took of the area around Cambridge, which is the most beautiful place in the world.  I’m a rotten gardener, but I have visited many beautiful gardens in my travels.  Here are some.

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Walls of Garden, Butchart Gardens, British Columbia
Oxburgh
Formal Garden, Oxburgh Hall
Oxburgh Hall Gardens
Formal Garden, Oxburgh Hall, UK
Forest of Cacti!
Forest of Cacti, Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
Tranquil bench, Seattle Japanese Garden
Leafy glade with bench, Seattle Japanese Garden

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And, finally, my own back yard!

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Weekly Photo Challenge-Atop

Mount Rose is the highest point in the Washoe Range in Nevada, and the highest year-round pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  On the highway at the summit of Mount Rose, here are the trees and rocks at the very tippy-top.

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Mt. Rose Summit

On the way down the other side, when you feel like you’re really on top, you can see Lake Tahoe below.

Lake Tahoe, from Highway 431
View of Lake Tahoe, from Nevada Highway 431, Mt. Rose Highway

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Photo Challenge….Wish

Ever since I returned from Cambridge, England in 1991, I have wished I could go back.  There’s just no other place on Earth like it.  If I was told I only had a year to live, I’d pull up stakes and spend my last days in Cambridge.

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A peaceful River Cam bridge, behind Trinity Hall.
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Rear entrance, Trinity Hall.
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Round Church, Cambridge, dating from 11th Century

King's College Chapel

King’s College Chapel, back side, from the River Cam

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Windows on Wednesday

What is a window?  It’s an opening in a wall or a door, normally contains glass, and lets light into the room or building.  As an opening, it is often said that the human eye is a “window into the soul”.  And a book, or a treatise, can be said to “open a window” into history.  Sort of like this one:

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Title page of a book found in the Library at Gonville & Caius College. Yes, the publication date is in the 1600s!

People first began putting glass in the openings of their dwellings and other buildings in Roman times.  Glass wasn’t very pure back then, and often had inclusions and impurities, making it cloudy.  But it literally enlightened peoples’ lives.  Windows can also be openings in castle walls, for the defenders to shoot their arrows through.  Like this.

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Castle Rising, “defense window”. Archers shot from here.

Sometimes, new windows are inserted into very old walls, like these.

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House, built into the ruins of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, Ely

Here is an early American window. At Fort Ticonderoga, in New York.

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Windows can be sad, as in when they are broken, and the building abandoned.

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This is Camden, New Jersey.

And windows can be joyous, as when they are the stained-glass windows of churches.  These windows take an enormous amount of labor in design and installation, and they give much joy.  There are stained-glass windows surviving today, that were installed in ancient times.

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Church windows, Long Melford, Suffolk
Stained glass window, St. Joseph's Polish Catholic Church
Stained Glass Window, at Saint Joseph’s Polish Catholic Church in Camden, New Jersey.
Ely Cathedral
Stained glass windows, Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Modern buildings can have entire walls of windows.  Human ingenuity creates them all.

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Happy Window Wednesday!

Weekly Photo Challenge..The Road Taken…A lid on the World

So one afternoon, I’m in my car on the way to a doctor appointment.  I’m driving down the freeway, and when I look up and around, the sky looks like there’s a “lid” on the world, and it’s been raised a bit.  And, right in the strip of blue sky between the lid of clouds, and the earth, what should I see, but Mount Baker.  When I got to the office, I parked right on the top of the parking garage, because I just had to get a picture of that mountain.

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WAAAAHHH!! We don’t wike Twump! We gonna pwotest WAAHH!

WAAAAHHH!!  We don’t wike Twump!  We gonna pwotest WAAHH!

This is how the modern Democrat in Congress thinks these days.  Tonight will be a big speech to both houses of Congress by the 45th President of the United States (yes, he won, you lost).  And the crybabies in the loser Democrat party are wailing, gnashing their teeth, and planning ways to protest the President’s speech.  They are simply lost in the 1960s.  As the President has said before: Sad!  And, frankly, disgusting to see such puerile, juvenile behavior from adults.  And the worst part of it is that the senators from my state are going to be right up there disrespecting and protesting the legally elected President.

RushBabe49 and Hubby’s Excellent Arizona Adventure

From February 13th through the 18th, hubby and I flew down to Arizona for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Phoenix.  We attended the Seminar Tuesday and Wednesday, then did some sightseeing the rest of the time.  Monday’s flight was uneventful, and we arrived at our hotel in good time.  Upon unpacking, however, hubby discovered that he had forgotten to pack some necessities, one of which was very important for our Seminar.  So we broke out the GPS for directions, and went shopping.  We made our way to the Desert Ridge Marketplace, an outdoor mall near the site of the seminar.  Fortune was smiling on us that day, because we found what he needed the very first place we stopped.  Once that was done, we could go find dinner.

On the way over to “restaurant row”, we stopped by an interesting amenity at the mall, a shallow “fountain” designed for people to wade in to cool their feet.  I sat down on a bench, under the palm trees, and looked up.  I couldn’t resist taking this picture with my iPod camera.

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Tuesday morning, we checked out of our hotel, and headed down to the Arizona State University Research Park, to visit the offices of my professional association, the Institute for Supply Management.  I have been doing the Report on Business for the Western Washington Chapter since 1999, and I thought it would be good to visit those at the National office who manage the National ISM Report on Business, to whom I send a summary of my data every month.  I found them to be a delightful group, and we had a productive meeting.  I thank them for their excellent hospitality, and their ongoing support of my efforts for Western Washington.  As a result of this meeting, I was invited to complete the National survey for my company; my boss and I agreed to do it.

When we were done there, we had a nice lunch at the local Chick-Fil-A, then drove over to the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa (long name, huge property!), the site of the Hillsdale Seminar.  We found our very nice room, got unpacked, and relaxed for a while.  Our room had a balcony, and this was the view.

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Once we settled in, we went downstairs to meet one of our online Ricochet friends, who was also attending the seminar.  As with all of our Ricochet friends, she was a very nice person, but busy so we couldn’t talk very long.  Next, we went to the President’s Club reception before dinner, where we greeted friends from Hillsdale, including, of course, their President, Dr. Larry Arnn.  RushBabe also got a chance to cross an item off her “gotta do before I die” bucket list.  I got to speak with, and shake the hand of, the “Last Un-documented Guest Host (for Rush Limbaugh) Before the Border”.  That would be Mark Steyn, who was one of the conference speakers.  He is a very tall, very gracious guy, and I was lucky to get to talk to him.  We also met another of the speakers, Mr. Herbert Meyer, who just so happens to live in Friday Harbor, Washington, not too far from us. And, he is the father of one of the Ricochet editors-a twofer!

After the reception, we went in to dinner, and were bowled over by the size of the crowd.  This seminar had over 700 attendees, enough to fill the entire ballroom.  At our table were seated two more of our Ricochet friends, one of whom flew down from our neighborhood to attend.  We had a nice dinner, heard Dr. Arnn and Mark Steyn give excellent speeches, and then called it a night.

On Wednesday, we had a nice breakfast out on the lawn, and were joined by Mr. Meyer.  The rest of the day was filled with  speeches, a nice lunch, and more speeches!  In the afternoon Elaine Donnelly gave a very interesting talk about women in the “Obama social experiment” military, and how that may be reducing the readiness of the US military for combat.  The seminar ended in mid-afternoon, and our Ricochet friends went home, so we were free.  Wednesday evening, we drove into Scottsdale, through ugly rush-hour traffic, to have dinner with yet another Ricochet friend, who we’d met before.  We had a great pizza dinner at Grimaldi’s, and caught up with everyones’ doings.

Thursday was to be our “drive south” day.  In the morning, we had a nice breakfast in the hotel, and strolled around the grounds for a while.  The resort has some very beautiful landscaping; in fact, a river runs through it!

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After our stroll, we checked out, and headed south toward Tucson.  Along the way, we stopped at a rest area, and I got out the trusty camera.  This is really Arizona.

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And then, there’s this:

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In Tucson, we had a very nice lunch, at the Gringo Grill, with a couple more Ricochet friends, one of whom is a former Portland, Oregon police detective, and the other of whom is a graduate student in Physics, from Cambodia.  Can you say “great stories”?!  Well, they had them, and we spent a very pleasant hour.  Then, it was back on the road.  We drove to the border town of Nogales, caught a glimpse of the border with Mexico, turned around and drove back to Phoenix.

Friday was our “drive north” day.  We had a Ricochet dinner meet up scheduled that evening in Prescott.  We headed north, and stopped at the Sunset Point rest area to stretch our legs and get some pictures.

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Northern Arizona obviously gets more precipitation than the south-just look at that green grass!

We arrived in the town of Prescott a little early, so we strolled around the Old West-looking downtown area.  We stopped into Jersey Lilly’s Saloon for a drink.  Jersey Lilly was the famous Lilly Langtry, and here is her portrait.

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Under her portrait on the floor is this cool old potbelly stove.

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I was taken with these beautiful old buildings across the street.

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Next door to the restaurant where we had dinner, there was this tiny establishment, and I was intrigued with the combination of services this small business offers.  CDs and bike repair?

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We had a yummy dinner of Indian food at the Taj Mahal restaurant with our Ricochet friends, then headed back to Phoenix.

On Saturday, when we were scheduled to fly back to Seattle, we awoke to something we had never seen before in Phoenix.  Rain!  It was raining lightly, very similar to what we have most of the winter in the Seattle area, so we felt right at home.  I imagined that there must be a lot of very happy vegetation in Phoenix that day.  We had been warned about the danger of flash floods, but since the rain was pretty light, there didn’t seem to be much danger of that.  We got to the airport in plenty of time, and went to our gate to wait for our flight.  It was nearly an hour late taking off, due to trouble with the aircraft (which turned out to be a software issue).  The flight was another uneventful one, and we arrived back in Seattle to nearly the same weather as we had left in Phoenix, only 20 degrees colder!

In all, it was a nice, relaxing vacation, with no real crises.  We made new friends, saw new scenery, and got away from the rat race for a while.  Definitely worth the price of admission!