It’s Been A Year

It’s Been A Year

2018 has been quite a year in the RB49 Universe.  We survived just fine, but not without some bumps and bruises.  Well, whose life doesn’t have some bumps?

On January 2, we got a new Grand-Niece, when my nephew became a Dad.  She’s a cutie, and I’m going to her first birthday party tomorrow.

Version 2

Also in January, I received a promotion and a raise in salary at my job as a Buyer at an aerospace company.  Later in the year, I received another raise in salary.  But along with that promotion came lots of new responsibilities connected to the re-organization of our department, and I have to admit I have felt overwhelmed at times.  When I left for the year on December 21, I had over 800 emails in my inbox that I simply did not have time to get to.  And when I logged in today, I found that, even though my contacts are aware that the company is closed, they are still sending me email and expecting responses!  So I know that when I return I will have a full docket.  Sigh…it’s a burden being indispensable! Oh, and I almost forgot.  On January 2 I celebrated my tenth anniversary at my company, which is big for me, since it’s the longest I’ve ever stayed at any one job.

In the “bumps and bruises” department, for the first time since I have been married (2003), I spent so much time in various dentist’s chairs, I maxed out both dental insurance policies!  I lost a bridge that had been in my mouth since age 11, when one of the two anchor teeth turned out to be rotten, and I lost a molar for the same reason.  So in 2019, one of my first items of business will be to get an implant where the bridge was. Well, when you get to be age 69, stuff tends to start falling apart.  I come from a family with bad teeth, so it’s not unexpected.

In April, we did a whirlwind Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar in Colorado Springs, where we met up with our Ricochet friends and attended some very interesting lectures.

IMG_20180410_185021

In May, another of our Ricochet friends happened to be in Seattle for a conference, so we went downtown and had a nice dinner.  In June, yet another of our Ricochet friends came to town, and a bunch of us did some sightseeing, and a tour of the Boeing factory, and had another nice dinner, a bit closer to home.

On a sadder note, also in May, my brother-in-law succumbed to liver disease, and my sister was left a widow.  We are closer now that we were before, and I have come to understand better, how much she has always done for our family.  I surely appreciate her more.

Throughout the year, Hubby and I took our normal amount of day trips, to the Diablo Lake Overlook in the North Cascades, and to LaConner in Skagit County.  In July/August, we went on the Hillsdale College Cruise to Hawaii and back, and my readers will have enjoyed my essays on the subject.  Well, it’s December, so here’s a little reminder.

HulaLadies2

At the end of August, Hubby had a total knee replacement operation, and he was out of work for the entire month of September.  I got a lot of exercise, going up and down the stairs bringing him stuff in our bedroom.  He has bounced back, and recovered nicely, and has resumed playing easy squash at his athletic club.

In November, we went to Victoria, BC for an accordion function with Hubby’s band, and had a nice time reacquainting ourselves with the town.  So here we are now, in the last week of the year 2018, and all in all it’s been pretty good.  We are both healthy, safe, and gainfully employed.  2019 will be a bit unsettled, as my company was sold in the fall, and the sale will close in the third quarter.  We have no idea what our fate will be, but we expect some big changes, and some job cuts.  Normally, the company who bought my company, has a reputation for “slash-and-burn” tactics when it buys another company, but this time may be different as we are about equal in size.  Who knows, I may be required to retire next year, even though I sure don’t want to.

Just two days ago, I again got in my car, and drove to Seattle to participate in the University Unitarian Church full-length Messiah Sing/Play-along.  My stand partner was there again, and we had a great time playing the awe-inspiring music of Handel, and listening to the big choir sing the inspiring words, all taken from the Bible.  It just makes my heart sing, and brings a smile every time.

One thing I do know is that this blog will continue in the New Year.  I heartily wish all my followers and readers a Happy New Year, and very best wishes for a healthy, prosperous 2019.

 

Winter is here. Local winters in past years.

Living in the Pacific Northwest (AKA Pacific North-Wet), means mostly rain and not much snow.  However, the Cascade and Olympic Mountains are within a 2-hour drive from most places.  Here are some pictures of the area where I live, from previous years.junco-sparrow

My own back yard bird feeder, with a junco and song sparrow.

dscn0761

This is the parking lot where I work.  January of 2011, where the snow started around 7PM the previous night, but people were distracted much of the day, admiring the snow-covered trees.

img_1496

The ski area at Stevens Pass, along Highway 2 in the Cascade Mountains, about an hour from our house.

img_0894

Snow “sculpture” in my back yard.

Washington's BavarianVillage
Downtown Leavenworth in winter, looking west down Front Street

WinterWarbler

This has got to be my favorite winter bird picture. He’s a Townsend’s Warbler, and he comes back every year, even when it doesn’t snow, like here in 2012.  He looks like a little bandit, with his black mask.

IMG_2305
Bryce Canyon, from Rainbow Point

This one’s a ringer!  That picture of Bryce was taken in October, and certainly not local!

Anyway, here’s to Winter, bringer of Cold, but Beautiful!

Progressives. This.Is.Who.They.Are.

Thanks to James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal (in his Best of the Web newsletter yesterday) for excerpting this “Pravda on the Hudson”, AKA New York Times, Op-Ed, by someone called Todd May.  The title of the column is “Would Human Extinction be a Tragedy?”  Emphasis mine.

One might ask here whether…it would…be a good thing for those of us who are currently here to end our lives in order to prevent further animal suffering.  Although I do not have a final answer to this question, we should recognize that the case of future humans is very different from the case of currently existing humans.  To demand of currently existing humans that they should end their lives would introduce significant suffering among those who have much to lose by dying.  In contrast, preventing future humans from existing does not introduce such suffering, since those human beings will not exist and therefore not have lives to sacrifice.  The two situations, then, are not analogous.

My response to this is something like “you go first”.  This is so horrific in so many ways, it almost hurts to think about it.  As if each living person’s “existence” affects no one but himself, and future humans would be of use to only themselves (and a threat to the survival of the planet).    Well, today’s progressives already support the prevention of new humans (birth control), and their sacraments are the obliteration of existing humans (abortion and assisted suicide).  I guess this is just taking that kind of thinking to its logical conclusion.  Progressives really hate humanity, and believe that animals deserve to thrive more than people do.  Disgusting, just throughly disgusting.

In honor of Chanukah, pictures of Israel

This week marks the holiday of Chanukah, and the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek desecrators of the Temple.  The ancient Jews, fighting for their homeland, were fierce warriors, who were not finally defeated until the Romans did so in 70AD with the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  Here are some pictures that I took on our trip to Israel in 2007.

Walls, Masada
Walls and room, Masada, Israel

Evidence of another group of brave Jews, who committed suicide rather than surrender to the Romans.

View from Wall of Jerusalem Old City.
View from the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. This is MY Country.

IMG_0910

This is the view from Masada, toward the Dead Sea.  Dry, but absolutely beautiful.

IMG_0951

The lower pool at Ein Gedi, oasis amid the parched wilderness.

IMG_1077

The ancient city of Caesarea, on the Mediterranean Sea.  The city of Herod the Great.

WailingWallWomen
Women at the Wailing Wall, remnant of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. These are MY People.

Happy Chanukah to all.