Snow Birds

I love watching the birds that come to our seed and suet feeders in the back yard.  Especially when it’s snowing.  Here’s who showed up the last couple of days.

IMG_0097

Our Varied Thrush has a bug in her beak!  They are carnivores, like their Robin cousins.

IMG_0090

A pair of Song Sparrows.  They were fighting Juncos and Chickadees for the feeder stations.

IMG_0093

Junco atop the suet feeder, waiting his turn at the seed feeder.

Below are visitors from previous years.

WinterWarbler

My very favorite has to be the little masked Townsend’s Warbler. Isn’t he cute?

Thirteen Bushtits at once on the suet feeder
Thirteen Common Bushtits on our Suet Feeder, January 2012

I could just watch them all day long.

Pacific Northwest Snowstorm-Updated

IMG_0076

This is our back yard last Sunday.

DSCN0341

This is the parking lot at work Monday.

IMG_0078

This is right out my front door about a half-hour ago.  We love standing at our kitchen window and watching the birds at our two feeders (seed and suet).  The cat likes watching them, too.  We will get 4-6 inches this weekend, and I will post more pictures later.  I love snow!

IMG_0503

Kikyo watching out the second-floor bedroom window.

IMG_0087

IMG_0081

Our backyard this morning!  The snow is so heavy, it knocked over both of our old Arborvitae that have been here since 2000 when my house was built.

Some of my favorite things

IMG_2558
Tulip Fields near Mount Vernon, WA

The Skagit Valley and its tulip fields is about a 45-minute drive from home.

Wake-7-29

A ship’s wake.  I have been on the aft deck of an aircraft carrier, and seen that wake make a 90-degree turn in a very short time.

IMG_0713

My wedding ring, a “Mini Moebius” by Margaret Ostling.

Violin front

My beautiful violin, by David VanZandt, New York (now in Seattle), made in 1987.

Kikyo, our aristo-cat

My gorgeous, soft “Aristo-Cat”, the Lady Kikyo.

Winding Road
Winding Road-Eastern Washington State

The shrub-steppe terrain around the Columbia River Gorge, and around the Yakima Valley in Eastern Washington.

img_1418

The view from the Diablo Lake Overlook, on the North Cascades Highway.

thundercloud

And storm clouds against an achingly blue sky.

All these things bring me pleasure, and tranquility in an increasingly stressful world.

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!

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

I have a wealth of things to be thankful for this year.  No health problems, no home disasters, no natural disasters.  A promotion and big raise, and lots of praise at work, where I make a difference every day.  I am so fortunate to have been born in the United States of America, the very best place on Earth, the place that everyone in less-developed parts of the world wants to come to. [If the USA is such a bad, racist, misogynist, homophobic, capitalistic, place, just why do so many “migrants” clamor to be admitted?]

IMG_2558
Tulip Fields near Mount Vernon, WA

And it helps that I live in one of the most beautiful corners of the United States, the Pacific Northwest.  My husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last month, and we are lucky to be in good health and fine spirits.  And here’s a toast to the superlative American medical system, which got him through knee-replacement surgery in fine style-he is mostly recovering, and back at his squash workouts again.  I love my Sweetie!

I have been a member of two warm, welcoming conservative blog sites, Ricochet and Ratburger.  I have posted both places, as well, as here, and garnered comments and friendly argument (ONLY on conservative sites and with conservative people can “friendly argument” not be an oxymoron).  I am especially thankful for all the members from both sites, for keeping me sane in an increasingly insane world.  And Thanksgiving can’t go by without mention of the One who inspires me each day, the Doctor of Democracy, Rush Limbaugh.

And here’s a little Thanksgiving present for the followers and readers of Calling-all-RushBabes.  Thanks for helping make my blog a success!  Click on the link below.

Thanks to My Loyal Followers and Readers!

God Bless America, the Greatest Country on His Green Earth.

Goodbye old friend, farewell to my trusty old camera

I’m pretty old-fashioned.  I don’t own a smartphone, and most of  my photography is done with an advanced point-and-shoot camera.  I loved my Canon SX20IS camera, not the least because it operated on four AA batteries.  I never had to worry about its battery dying, because I always kept a spare set of batteries in my bag.  I had it fixed once when the flip-out screen stopped working.  But on a recent trip to Victoria, BC, I dropped it on a hard floor, and the door to the battery compartment broke clean off.  So, time for a new camera.

My followers will know that i’m a picture-taking fool, and all the pictures you see on this blog were taken with my SX20IS.  Here are some of the last photos I took with it, in Victoria last weekend.

IMG_0004

We stayed at our favorite Inn at Laurel Point this time, but on the opposite side of the building from where we normally book our room.  Reason being, that the rooms across the hall had a view worse than this one-see the “construction zone” below? The opposite view was a big honking hole in the ground where the beautiful garden used to be, and a bunch of earth-movers.  The hotel is undergoing a big remodel, and everything was strictly-from hunger this year.  But we did get a nice view of the inner Inner Harbour.  The first afternoon, we went out for lunch, and just by feel, Hubby found a neat pizza restaurant we visited last time.  It was across the street from this place.

IMG_0002

I got the biggest kick out of the coat of arms!  See the Beagle on the left?  After lunch, we went on our usual walking tour of downtown Victoria.  There seems to be a bunch of construction going on there too.  We saw this historic building being renovated-they were careful to preserve the outer walls, and are completely replacing the inside!

IMG_0011

We went over the the Empress Hotel to pick up some of their famous tea.  And I captured the last days of the old Bengal Lounge, which had an awesome Indian buffet for lunch and dinner.  These are all that is left of it.

IMG_0022IMG_0021

I really liked the elephant door-handles.

We enjoyed this fellow busking on the sidewalk near the marina.

IMG_0028

Before we walked on, Hubby “paid the piper”.  His costume did leave a bit to be desired, though.  He was wearing navy socks with the obvious Under Armour logo!

Here are some shots of the harbor at sunset on our walk home.

IMG_0026

And then we saw our old friend, the Coho Ferry leaving port.

IMG_0032

When I got home, I got on the trusty computer and ordered myself a new camera.  Staying with Canon, I bought a similar model, an SX60HS.  Here are a couple of new pictures I took close to home.

IMG_0004 2

The pear tree on our front lawn.

IMG_0008

Some crows at a local park.

On to new photos!