Sigh…Final Photo Challenge…All-time Favorites

I am SO sad that the Photo Challenge by the editors at WordPress is ending.  It gave me something to look forward to each week, and a reason to mine my photos for just the right picture. And it’s so difficult to find the all-time favorite.  But, since it has to be done, I did it.  One of my posts that attracted the most attention and approval was “Easy Being Green” in March of 2017.  My garden photos met with more “likes” than I normally get.  Here’s what I think was the most striking photo of the ones I posted then.

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Walls of Garden, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C.

I’m a terrible gardener, but I love gardens.  And so, we bid a fond farewell to the Photo Challenge, but there’s no reason why we WordPress bloggers can’t continue to post photos, on whatever topic we please.  Keep shooting!

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Photo Challenge: Liquid

I practically live surrounded by water.  Last week I shared a picture of the lake just south of my house.  Puget Sound is just a few miles to the west, and Lake Washington is to the East and South.  Back in 2016, we went on a cruise to Alaska, and I posted numerous photos of the various waters we traversed.  My favorite part of a cruise has always been relaxing on my verandah, just watching and listening to the water go by.  There is no better form of relaxation.  And this summer, we will be going on a two-week cruise, round trip to Hawaii from San Francisco.  I promise to to a big post when we get back.

But I always keep coming back to this particular photo that I took on the Crystal Serenity in 2016.  This is the water in one of the two swimming pools on board.  It just says “relaxing” to me.

Shiny water-like silk

The water resembles liquid silk.

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A Post for Jerusalem Day

A Post for Jerusalem Day

And what is “Jerusalem Day“, you ask?  It is a holiday in the State of Israel, celebrating the 51st anniversary of the Jewish Liberation of Jerusalem, uniting it as one city, the GREATEST City, in the State of Israel.  And our President Donald Trump has given the Jewish people of Israel another great gift this year-the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, deciding to finally move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

In 2007, my husband and I went on a trip to Israel with Michael Medved and his family, where we toured most of the country.  Aside from the very hot weather in July, the trip was wonderful, and very enlightening.  Here are some of the pictures I took on that trip.

 

Wailing Wall

The Western (or Wailing) Wall, a remnant of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.

Armenian Quarter

A street in the Armenian Quarter of Old City Jerusalem.  There are many of these back streets, not normally visited by tourists, that really have character.

Old City view

The view from the Old City Wall.  Can you see the cat?

Jaffa Gate

The Jaffa Gate.

Jerusalem from Hotel

The view from our hotel room.

And here are a couple of pictures from other places we visited in Israel.

Painted Door, Safed
Painted Door, Safed, Israel

Just looking at this painted garage door in Safed makes me smile.  It’s a Klezmer band.

Walls, Masada
Walls and room, Masada, Israel

We spent an afternoon walking through the ruins at Masada, where a band of Jewish fighters and their families committed suicide rather than be conquered by the Romans.  All through our existence, over 4,000 years, we Jews have had to fight for our freedom-for our very existence.

This Jerusalem Day celebrates a huge victory for Jewish Freedom.

**But this victory will not be final until the Muslims are forced to relinquish their immoral control over the Temple Mount.  This was a major error, and needs to be rectified now, and not later.

Whirlwind Trip to Colorado, Hillsdale National Leadership Seminar

Last week, RB49 and Hubby flew to Denver for a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.  I usually have an aisle seat on an airplane, but this time I had the window seat, and I saw some beautiful scenery below.

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We picked up the rental SUV, and drove south to the city of Colorado Springs, where we found the Broadmoor Resort, a very old, and very beautiful, hotel at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  We barely had time to get settled in our beautiful room, before it was time to attend the President’s Club reception.  Here’s the view from our room.

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At the reception, we met up with some people we already knew from Ricochet, one couple who live in Colorado Springs, and a woman from Texas (yes, Hillsdale has supporters all over this country).  We went in to dinner, and had a very nice meal.  Tuesday’s dinner was Frank Luntz, a well-known pollster, who told us that he became a conservative gradually, while learning about what motivates the people he polled over the years.  His theme was “how to speak about conservatism”, and he emphasized some of the points I have been saying over the years (you can’t convert liberals by arguing with them-you need to appeal to their emotions).  Here’s one of the many slides he showed about better terms to use in your conversations.

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After that dinner, Hubby and I went on a little walking tour of the building.  The Broadmoor has dozens of original paintings and sculptures by Western artists, accumulated over the more than 100-year history of the property.

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In a dimly-lighted lounge, I spotted this cleverly-designed footstool.  Very cute!

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Can you tell that he’s a turtle?

We fell into bed, exhausted from our busy day.  The room was sumptuous by our standards, and very comfortable and quiet, even though it was just across the hall from the elevator.

The next day, after continental breakfast, there were more speakers, including Sharyl Atkisson, a rather famous journalist (whose computer was compromised by Obama stooges), and Mollie Hemingway.  Both ladies had very interesting stories to tell.  Mollie used to be an editor at Ricochet, before she went to The Federalist.

After a nice lunch and one more speaker, the conference adjourned.  We had a bit of time before we had to head back to Denver for our 8:00PM flight, so we went to the hotel bar for a quick drink.  The main building is across a small lake, and I got to capture some of the beauty of the resort on the way over.

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Once we arrived at the hotel bar and ordered our drinks, I had the opportunity to pay more attention to the inside of the bar.  Very beautiful! This picture must have been of some patrons from the Robber Baron days of the late 19th Century.  I didn’t find out who they all were.

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After our nice drink, it was time for us to head home.  As is my normal, I pay attention to architectural detail wherever I am!  Here are some creatures who saw us off from the main entrance.

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We made it back to the airport in time, dropped off the rental car, and boarded our plane.  It was a very rushed trip, but certainly productive. The venue was gorgeous, speakers were fascinating, and our friends warm.  What more could a person ask for?

 

Sunset…An End, and a Beginning

The evening of the first day of our cruise to Alaska aboard the Crystal Serenity was beautiful, and clear.  The ship left Vancouver BC just as the sun was setting.  We stood at the rail of the Promenade Deck and watched for long minutes, as the sun set over the channel.  We knew when we awoke the next morning, we’d be close to the waters off Alaska.  End of the day, beginning of an adventure.

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A Favorite Place, any time of year

About 35 miles north of our town of Everett, Washington, may be found the Skagit River Valley.  The Skagit Valley has some of the most fertile soil in the United States, and its farmers supply animal feed, corn, potatoes, vegetables, and flower bulbs locally and around the world.  The entire month of April is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, and you don’t have to look very far on Calling-all-RushBabes to find it-just look up at this month’s header picture!  A few times a year, my husband and I get in the car and drive up to the little town of LaConner, on the Swinomish Channel.  It is an admitted “tourist trap”, but we just love playing tourist and visiting all the shops.

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Skagit Daffodils

Afloat at LaConner Marina

Boats at the LaConner Marina.

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We discovered this interesting creature in front of an art gallery in LaConner.  I wonder if he’d agree to play in our string quartet?

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Couldn’t resist this, at a t-shirt store on Main Street.

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Fertile farmland, and Mount Baker in the background.

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Farm machinery at one of the many farms in the Skagit Valley.

Farther up the Skagit River, the terrain gets wilder as you head into the Cascade Mountains.

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Is it any wonder we try to go there as often as possible?

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Photo Challenge~~~I’d Rather Be…

So here I am, at my desk, doing our TAXES, for heaven’s sake!  Yeah, it’s that time of year. But I’d really rather be here:

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On the balcony of our stateroom, on the cruise ship, to Hawaii.  With my nose in a good book, and a nice glass of wine.  Just relaxing and watching and listening to the water go by.

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Actually, we are going on that Hawaii cruise this summer, round trip from San Francisco, for the last two weeks of July.  The open Pacific Ocean beckons!

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