SongLyricSunday 2/17/19 theme-mountain, hill

I’ve posted this song before, just don’t remember if it was for this challenge or not.

I’ve always loved the song and all it says, but it wasn’t until pretty late that I found the love of my life, and he just happened to live on his own “ridgetop”.

So now we live in both homes…my humble, ancient, hodgepodge house in the country part of a city. And in his glorious mountain home, all hand-built from recycled, reclaimed, re-purposed materials.

Our Ridgetop!

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Two versions…same song, different photography,,,both lovely!

Ridgetop by Jesse Colin Young

Well, I live on a ridgetop
And, Lord knows, I like it just fine
Where it’s windy and foggy
And quiet most all the time
Yeah, my lawn is pine needles
And my driveway is old funky dirt
And my front pathway markers
Are pieces of granite and chert
Now, my taxes are high
But I don’t believe it’s a sin
I’ve got hundred foot pine trees
That just love to dance in the wind
And a yard full of bushes
That turn into pie in July
Between blue jays and hoot owls
I’ve got twenty-four hour singing sky
Now, when I built my house
I cut six trees to clear out the land
But there’s thirty or more left
And you know that they’re gonna stand
It’s a squirrel sanctuary
They think this woods is their home
And as long as I’m here
I’ll make sure people leave us all alone
Yes, the hill that I live on is steep
And the road’s full of ruts
And the people who live in the flatlands
Think we folks are nuts
But the ruts in my road and the curves
Keep the tourists at bay
And it’s lonesome and peaceful
And you know I like it that way
Now, I work in the city
I think my job is a gas
And I know it’s good for me
To travel and get off my a**
But the nervous parts of each trip
Is the Golden Gate Bridge
And the road like a snake
That will lead me back home to my ridge
Ah, I live on a ridgetop
Yes, I live on a ridgetop
And I like it
And I like it .

 

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/64726988/posts/2175747300

Photo a Week Challenge; PINK 2/14/19

I can be so judgmental sometimes….

Like Nancy says in her challenge for us this week, I’m also not much of a girly girl. And unlike Nancy, for whom pink  “is never my first choice of color for anything”, in days passed, I actively disliked and avoided PINK.

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But I am cursed (yes, and blessed) with the drive to find a lesson in anything I “actively dislike”.

I wrote about PINK once before.

Some one gave me a gift…a polar fleece vest…in the ugliest color…bright fuchsia?! Not a color I would ever choose or wear…too fake looking….I didn’t even like people who wore this color. AND, didn’t the person who gave me this ugly thing, know that pink is way too “girly” for me? I put it in the closet…way in the back…

A couple of years later, I am on a Spring walk with my camera, in search of new flowers. I come across a stunning flower, the brightest color for miles around (or so it seems). I have these thoughts, “there are so many colors in Nature that we just have not been able to duplicate. We don’t even have names for some of the colors we see in a sunset or a flower. This flower is a spectacular color!! I wish I had something to wear in this color…”

I pick just a blossom leaf or two to take home. I put them in my pocket.

That same week I am doing a closet downsizing for a Goodwill run and find the never worn, long-forgotten ugly pink vest tucked way in the back…..and then I remember those bright colored petals!

 

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Can you see the petal??

I blushed about the same color!

Needless to say, it has become one of my favorite things to wear. I even got socks, a scarf and shoes with a stripe in the same color!

Now I’m wondering if I owe my gift-giver an apology…….

 

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So I had to get to the bottom of this. Why such a strong reaction? It’s just a color, right?

Way too long a story (including a couple of years of hard-core therapy) later, I traced my prejudice back to a relatively off-handed comment from my Aunt. I had run away from home at 15 and ended up living with her in high school. She sewed these beautiful clothes for me, whole outfits for daily and church wear, as well as various Prom-type formal dresses. Always in hues of pink.

My favorite color is blue, since very early childhood, and my Aunt knew this so one day, I asked her to make me some thing BLUE. Her response, the casual remark I mentioned above? She said, “No, pink is better. Then the boys will all think you are still a virgin….”

I was shocked and protested, apparently way too much, because it was a disagreement we were still having when she was on her death bed. She never believed me and I never forgave her for that.

Still painfully ironic today because no budding young Flower Child, Hippie-Chick, California Girl in the 1960’s ever successfully fought harder to “save herself for marriage” than I did.

Talk about swimming against the tide of the sexual norms of those days!

So when I finally became more “enlightened” by the late 60’s and early 70’s, apparently I buried the reason for, but still held on to the active dislike of all things PINK!

Aren’t you glad you asked??

Oh wait, you didn’t…another bright pink blush here…

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I have since fully embraced PINK in all its hues and tones, in nature, as well as in my decorating choices.

 

Here’s an example, if you feel inspired to read more about it. I wrote it to anchor the gratitude I have come to feel for my ancestors (especially my Aunt) and all their powerfully feminine (and PINK) influences in my life.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/05/24/heritage-for-wpc-5-17-17/

 

Pink outfit
Faded photo from 1965…outfit all pink, including the shoes!

Thanks for reading and I really love comments, especially when my vulnerable, pink insides are kinda hanging out there for all to see….

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/a-photo-a-week-challenge-pink/

When snow is a foreign experience…

First, let me say it is so beautiful…at first…

But on my side of the Cascade Mountain Range, in Washington state, when it snows, the population panics and everything screeches to a freezing halt!!

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Schools and businesses close. Stores sell out of staples (no milk or bread for miles around.) Cars that have slid or become stuck are simply abandoned where ever they are…in the middle of roads or even freeways.

Since Super Bowl Sunday, we have had no garbage pick up and only a single mail delivery!

All these things are a pain in the ____!

But it’s not a hurricane, tsunami, fire, tornado or war!! So we have to keep it all in perspective.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on the amazing and delightful parts of it all. (The best thing for me is that we have not lost power!) There is so much to look at, it’s like being on an exotic trip or moving to a new part of the country!

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Oh, there is still ordinary drama! Who will win the steep hill that is our neighborhood’s long, dead-end street? Will it be the kids (of varying ages…including their 40’s) who are dying to get out their sleds and snowboards, as has always happened in the past with our rare snowfalls here? Or will it be the exceptionally kind and thoughtful neighbors, who get out their rarely used shovels, snow-blowers, and SALT, so they can clear our street for any necessary traffic.

This year the salt and snow-shovelers won. They were out there clearing the “perfect ski run” long before the No SCHOOL today kids even woke up!

I mean, they cleared the whole street, a couple of city blocks long…with SHOVELS…so all of us could get safely in and out of our neighborhood!!!

Also, I have been delighted to be able to continue feeding the seed birds, the hummers, and my crows.

I have fed my crows every morning for 35 years! Here’s my morning routine. I CAW and they come. This one Crow waits for me on top of a pole every morning until I say “Good morning. Here’s your breakfast.” And then I dump out yesterday’s leftover cat food scrapings, or a scrap of bread. He calls his Murder buddies and they all compete with the squirrels for the leftovers. Their favorites are dry cat food…and french fries!

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Then there are the intrepid seed eating birds. Not much stops them. They can empty the feeder in a day or two at certain times of the year.

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a short discussion before lunch…
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This guy doesn’t look too happy (or healthy). Finches tend to give each other conjunctivitis and I fear this fella might have it.
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And this one ate spilled seeds under the feeder, but was down there way, WAY too long. I hope he made it. This was on our 17 degree day.

 

As long as I keep the Hummingbird food thawed, they come and fill up all day long. But on the nights I take the feeders in so they don’t freeze, the next morning, these guys are literally ON it, slurping away, before I even get it hung back up on its hook! That has been so fun, being that close to them. Wish I could hold the feeder and snap photos at the same time.

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waiting, not quietly, on the unused Bow-flex for me to bring out the feeder.

 

 

Here’s the other thing I have been enjoying. Each morning I bundle up and go outside on a quest to discover any fresh designs in the snow…foot prints, paw prints, claw prints…anything, even tire prints!

Foot

Paw

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Claw

Tire

I love the puzzles some of the prints leave. Like this set of prints that I thought was maybe a person, dragging their feet or a cane, or maybe a single animal low enough to be dragging its belly. But when I followed the trail…it split into TWO.

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It’s amazing how much nocturnal activity takes place that I never would have known about without the evidence fresh snow provides.

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Some are no surprise because I know they are out there. I just rarely see them.

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One night last Spring

One day I woke up to these. Unmistakably Raccoon prints!

 

This morning’s mystery was fascinating. Keep in mind we have NO large dogs in our neighborhood, not that any would be roaming free at night anyway. These prints are way too big for the occasional kitty cat that is out at night. And even too big for our local coyotes, who are rarely traveling around alone. SO what is it? A Wolf? A larger cat? (there have been Bobcat sightings recently…) AND, it left me an icky clue, marking the corner of my patio! No wonder my cats went nuts at 3 AM!!!

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We have a local Covey of Quail, and three of them have kept me completely entertained looking out my bedroom window. They are hysterical. They always scritch and scratch and throw clouds of dirt and seed shells out behind them when they are foraging under the bird feeder. But to see them dig that way, down through the powdery snow, was so cool. Every now and then, one would bury another, and there would be a split second squabble before they’d go back to digging again.

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Then there is the snow itself. I was married to the US Disabled Ski Team for a number of years, and some of those guys knew the names of 20 or 30 types* of snow!

Here is what we got for these record breaking days.

Don’t know the names of these but they were each so different from each other.

I just know we had a lot, over several days, so much that they were calling it Snowmaggeden 2019 on the news.

There is fun stuff to do with the snow…

 

And the occasional tragedy…

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My wonderful Italian Plum Tree!

And the snow came the day after I planted these…see the mounds under the snow? Still don’t know if they survived.

 

And of course, there is the huge mess at the end…but that will go eventually!

 

All in all, we stayed safe and warm, and it was an adventure to remember.

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*https://www.thoughtco.com/types-of-snow-3010035

 

PS Some of my neighbors and I collect tarps, heavy moving blankets, and flashlights using coupons from our Harbor Freight Tools store, for people living unsheltered.

I felt so grateful to be warm and dry, but never more frustrated on behalf of people living outside in weather like this.

Photo a Week Challenge-depth of field

I am having a hard time grokking the whole “depth of field” concept but it’s probably because I am not really fluent in “photography speak”.

These first ones are my attempts at it but I can’t really make my phone or my point and shoot Canon do what I want. I thought they were interesting pictures anyway though.

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my phone focuses equally, near and far…
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I can’t get the foreground to focus instead of the background in these next two

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My Canon Power Shot SX500 IS should be able to do it but I don’t know how so all is equally focused.

This next one is my favorite photo I’ve ever taken. BUT, it was completely an accident and I have no idea how I did it! I’ve shared this photo before in posts about perspective, or looking deeper at things.

 

Eagle Peek a boo

Any feedback welcome. Please comment. Anyone?

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/a-photo-a-week-challenge-depth-of-field/

V.J.’S WEEKLY CHALLENGE #35: BALANCE

Balance, eh. Makes me think of so much, although the priority for me these days is much like V.J.’s when she talks about being wobbly. Healing from a balance related fracture myself here!

But really, the most amazing feat of Balance I ever saw, I have no proof of.

Oh how I wish I had a photo. I even googled this to see if anyone else had a picture I could borrow, so I don’t wonder if this whole thing was just my imagination.

No luck finding photographic proof, but I SWEAR one time along the California coast, just below Carmel by the Sea, I saw 10 or 12 birds balanced on a telephone wire (remember those??)

Not unusual, right? Birds balanced on a wire!!

But these were Pelicans. PELICANS, with their huge webbed feet, all balanced in a row on that wire!!

You’d think the weight alone of these big birds would have snapped that wire in two.

This was pre-camera phones and anyway, I had not, at that point in my life, become obsessed with photographing birds, so it didn’t even occur to me to snap a quick one with my little point and shoot Canon. I just stood there, mouth hanging open, and watched for a long, long time.

The mot impressive part was watching them launch into flight, one or two at a time, and the remaining ones, simply riding the swinging wire. Talk about Balance!

You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Here are the only photos of mine that even indirectly relate to my story.

Hope you enjoy them!

 

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And just for good measure, although it may not look like BALANCE is required in this last photo, we’re talking precision here!!

 

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Can anyone tell me why the “Featured Image” is always partly cut off??

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #35: Balance

My Dog, Zorro; Part Two

This was published today on Katzenworld, one of my favorite Cat Sites!!!

So honored they posted it and though I still miss my cat every day, it helps to have others read about him, and comment!

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2019/02/10/my-dog-zorro-part-2/

 

 

Here’s Part One, in case you missed it.

https://katzenworld.co.uk/2019/01/27/my-dog-zorro-part-1/