Photo Challenge….Serene

At the marina on the Inner Harbour of Victoria, British Columbia, this morning shot of the boats, and the very calm water.  Gentle ripples, and no one stirring this early.  The world seemed to be holding its breath.

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Boats at Marina, Victoria

I loved the boats-such a wide variety, with no two even remotely alike.

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I wasn’t going to do a Thanksgiving post this year…

I wasn’t going to do a Thanksgiving post this year…

But it’s just too important for me to miss.  We (hubby and I) have so much to be thankful for, this year and every year.  We both have been incredibly fortunate to have kept our jobs all through the financial crisis period after 2007, and even advanced.  Hubby will celebrate 38 years at Big Aerospace Company in January, and I will celebrate 10 years at Supplier to Big Aerospace Company on January 2.  I was absolutely convinced that I would be toast when our big layoff came in November of 2008, since I had been there less than a year, but nope, I was spared.  We sure had something to be thankful for that year!

We are so lucky to have been born in this Greatest Nation on God’s Green Earth (hat tip to Michael Medved), whose exceptionalism nurtures native-born and immigrant alike.  We have been allowed to make our own way, choosing our own careers and living arrangements, with minimal interference from the Big Brother State (even though it was touch-and-go during the Obama years).  And we never take for granted all the benefits of living in a country governed by a Constitution which protects our right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  No country, ever, in the entire history of humanity on Earth has ever been as prosperous and free as the United States of America, and I give thanks for that every single day.

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This year, I give special thanks to God for the tenuous health of my brother-in-law, who suffers from end-stage liver disease.  He is on the waiting list for a liver transplant, which could give him many more years of life.  Just think, this benefit has only been available for tens of years, and was developed right here in the USA (along with many other places).  It has been difficult for brother-in-law, but he is still around and livening up the holiday meal.

We give thanks for our beautiful cat, Kikyo, who keeps us smiling with her antics.  I love sitting, reading, with her on my lap purring.  Even when she has to go to the vet for a checkup, she explores the exam room and captivates the tech and the doctor.

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Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and I never forget how magnificent our mountains, lakes, and prairies are.  We travel all over the state in our private automobile, taking advantage of our Liberty.

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Diablo Lake from Overlook on Highway 20

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Winding Road-Eastern Washington State

We give thanks for our fellow men, who help us every day, who build, maintain, and inspire all the infrastructure around us.  Whenever we drive over Stevens Pass to Leavenworth on US Highway 2, I always marvel at the ingenuity of the road-builders whose work enables us to drive in comfort many miles without even thinking about it.

We thank God and our families, friends, and fellow Americans, past and present, for allowing us to prosper, and live comfortably in the greatest, most unusual nation ever conceived by men on Earth.  Oh, yeah, and thanks to God for putting us on this beautiful planet in the first place!

[Featured Image by Michael Ramirez]

Photo Challenge…Experimental..What WAS that against the sky?

When I’m out with my camera, I like pointing it up at the sky.  Sometimes I find interesting shapes.  This one is on the outside of the building where I work.  It’s the top of the ladder to the roof, but seen against a blue sky, it’s art.

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Then, at night, in Arizona, again pointing up at the sky.

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They almost make a star!

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Temporary-Beautiful Things That Don’t Last

The fact that cloud formations are by their nature temporary makes you appreciate them more.  How often have you looked up at spectacular clouds, and had to keep watching as they scud across the sky at the mercy of winds on high?  Our skies out here in Western Washington State are often gray, but there are zillions of shades of gray, and change from minute to minute. We enjoy taking the ferry from Edmonds over to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula, and last month’s clouds were especially picturesque.

Clouds over Kitsap

Someone was getting rained-on over there!

But look what we found when we were driving off the ferry in Kingston.  This is the epitome of temporary!

Double rainbow-Kingston

If you look very closely at the upper right corner of this photo, you see that it’s a double rainbow.  I was pleased to see how well it came out, given that it was taken from the passenger-side window of a moving car.

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Cleverly concealed beauty – on the Golf Course

Hiding in plain sight.  Golf courses are often in cities or suburbs, and may be behind a gate, for Members Only.  I don’t play golf, but in the past few years I have been fortunate enough to be able to tag along with the golfers, and take pictures.  A couple of years ago, my husband and I went to Reno for a Ricochet meet up.  One of the planned activities was a golf outing in North Lake Tahoe, at the Old Brockway course

.  The Reno/Tahoe area is pretty dry, and the course there was bounded by Ponderosa Pine trees.  All those green lawns take lots of water to keep up, so you really appreciate them.  Don’t you think these are beautiful?

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Old Brockway Golf course
Hole #8, Old Brockway

Earlier this month, I tagged along with the golfers at the Mill Creek Golf Course, as an activity of my 50th high school class reunion (see my earlier post here at Calling-all-RushBabes).  Mill Creek is just south of where I live, and I had never been to the Country Club before.  It was a crisp October morning, and the course was still a bit frosty when we got started.  Here’s what I saw first.

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Golf carts as far as the eye could see!  All charged-up and ready to go.

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The garden right at the beginning of the course was especially pretty that day.  Early in the day, the shadows were very long, across the grassy fairways.

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The course is very hilly, and many times I had to hang on tightly to avoid being pitched out of my seat when the grade steepened.  Fortunately, there was good signage.

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The course was just so beautiful that day, I was a picture-taking fool!

 

There are many private residences around the edge of the course, and the homeowners have pretty gardens and other plantings.

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That’s somebody’s back yard, with the Japanese Maple trees.

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When I started to get “green-saturated”, I’d look up.  The sky was pretty spectacular all day.

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And then, when we were all done, we stood and listened to this gentleman.  I could hear him from the last two holes, way in the distance.

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So much restful beauty, cleverly concealed.

Photo Challenge A Significant Glow

This is the view from the deck of our vacation house in Bigfork, Montana, on September 7, the day after we got there from Washington.  You can’t see much, due to the smoke from the terrible wildfires, that closed Glacier National Park, and prevented our group from doing most outdoor activities.

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And on September 10, finally, the Glorious Sunset Glow!  We could see the sun, and a bit of sky, as the smoke cleared a bit.  Everyone’s mood was much improved.

Sun glow over lake

I have never been happier to see the sun that I was that day.

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