Category Archives: home

Day in and day out, rain or shine

The thing I do everyday, at least twice, usually three or four times, without exception is walk the dogs.

When they first became our dogs (they had been Grandma’s but she became unable to care for them) we did not have a fully fenced yard. We did finally put up small fences so I can just let them out but by then they were in the habit of being walked and insist on it. Many of my photographs are taken on our dog walks.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Moments

Which way to the view?

The pups and I walk the same route most mornings, except when it is slicker weather. There is a spot along the way that we refer to as the “hump on 47th” where there are views out to the Olympic Mountains, when they are “out”. It is steep, a bit over grown and slippery on all but the driest days. Here is the path to our viewpoint from different directions (and different weather):

The view varies from mildly spectacular to non-existent:

For Cee’s Which Way Challenge

Homeless, well not really

Today when I headed out for our regular morning walk something distracted me and I forgot my house keys.

We had a lovely morning walk, it is unseasonably warm and clear, in spite of the weather predictions calling for rain. The mountains were out, I think that may be a Seattle phrase. They are often hidden by clouds.

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The pups and I walk about two and a quarter miles, generally the same route with two moderate hills and, on days like today, nice views of the Olympic mountains. We don’t make very good time, the pups and I sniff stuff.  We humans sniff in funny ways. I mostly “sniff” by taking pictures.

On arriving home I couldn’t find my keys. My husband was out on a bike ride. We have a neighbor with an extra set but there were no signs of life at his house. So I pulled a few weeds and did a little yard clean up.

Then we re-walked our morning route backwards. No keys… But the views were still nice.

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I got up my courage and rang the neighbor’s doorbell. No one was home. Did a little more in the yard, but the sun had moved around and it was starting to cool down. I sat on our porch in the one chair that still has a cushion and wrapped myself up in the warm clothes I had peeled off during the middle of the day and tried to “study” Chinese by closing my eyes and remembering the lessons. Boy am I out of practice with that! I used to be okay at it, and it served me well when taking tests.

Eventually my husband rolled up on his bike, the dogs went crazy. As if it hadn’t been a splendid day for them: it was sunny and 65 degrees F (18 or so Celsius). They got two longish walks and laid in the sun. They had plenty of water and got lots of love and weren’t ever left alone.

I reflected on my day (actually only about 5 hours) of being “homeless”, but kept coming back to the things I had:

We had the sheltered porch with a cushioned Adirondack chair. I had running water (hose spigot) and geoduck shells (Pronounced: “goo-ey duck”, geoducks are super sized clams) I could use as a drinking vessel. I didn’t get into the emergency supplies out in the shed, but they are there. Worst case the dogs and I could stay pretty warm in the shed if the weather had been less temperate. I also had the confidence that Richard would be home before dark, and the neighbors would eventually come home.

It made me think about people who really don’t have a home. Even though I couldn’t get in I had a place to be…What would I have done without it?

This post started out as a response to the prompt Study. I’m not sure where it ended up, but I ended up grateful.

Twelve Months of 2017-September

September seems so long ago.

The first two pictures go together to tell a story. My Dad’s dog Sam is getting older. She is deaf for practical purposes and when she stays out in the water (the Puget Sound water is cold all year) she gets very stiff and sore. She likes to fish: going out after the little flounder and bullheads that get disturbed when you wade near them. She doesn’t swim but goes out as far as she can wade chasing them. Since she can’t hear you call her anymore, you have to go out with smelly treats and lure her back to shore before she overdoes it.

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I waded out to lure Sam back in and when I turned around I saw that Ginger followed me as far as she could and is looking imploringly at me to come back. In the distance you can see Asta, who has even shorter legs, running to catch up with us.

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Two other favorites from the beach:

On the 26th I flew to China to visit my son. Here is a favorite sculpture in the lobby of the hotel I always stay at near the Beijing Airport.

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This seems to have been an auspicious time of year for weddings. The fireworks start at about 4 am. I got a kick out of the blow-up mythical beast, qilin, being ridden by what looks to me like a martian or tele-tubby. I saw several of them this time. I’ve seen the beasts, lions, etc. before but never the martian. I never did get an answer to what it was supposed to be.

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Martian riding a qilin, wedding decoration.

I also got a kick out of the vegetable and fruit sculptures in Shouguang parks. These pumpkins were the first I saw.

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A highlight of this trip was that my son had a couple of days off for Mid-Autumn festival and we took an overnight trip to Penglai. Penglai is at the narrow point that defines the boundary between the Yellow sea and Bohai, the large bay that has the harbors for Tianjin and Beijing. The area has been important strategically for ever and has a very long history. In folklore it is where the eight immortals arrived from over the sea.

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Statue commemorating the arrival of the Eight Immortals.

Penglai is called a fairy land.

I’ll end with a favorite picture from our visit to the temple complex:

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2017 Favorites

Twelve Months of 2017-October

October for me had two distinct parts.

China-Shouguang

I worked on composition while I was in China. Not technical composition, like the rule of thirds or leading lines (although I use these); I was trying to create images that gave a sense of place: What makes Shouguang uniquely itself? what does it share? The question of sharing was with respect to other cities in China and to other places in the world.

I did manage to do a series of posts on Shouguang after I got home this fall (posting has been pretty haphazard for me this year). The pictures for the above gallery were chosen to attempt to show the magnitude of the “small” city and convey that it also feels like a place for people. It didn’t feel impersonal, just spread out. Plus one picture from a traditional Chinese garden in Weifang, and a rather blurry photo of the smallest hummingbird I have ever seen. I thought at first that it was one very large bumblebee, then my son pointed out its beak. It was a dark, grey day so there was no chance for clarity.

Home-Seattle

Arriving home the clear air and splendid fall colors hit me between the eyes. I believe that my perception was sharpened by the muted and hazy conditions in Shouguang during the first half of the month. It really was a “The bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle” experience.
2017 Favorites