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/

 

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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.

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/

heart break….

FIRST, here is a music video to play, softly, in the background as you scroll down to read this. ALL the words are not quite right but the sentiment of the chorus is perfect.

 

I walk up and down my long, dead end street (the equivalent of about three city blocks) 2 or 3 times, every day, all year round. Not very far for an athlete but a good number of steps for me.

I love my neighborhood. And I love to take pictures of the things I see.

I have a favorite tree…

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Looking East at sunset
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Looking West
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When she undresses in the Fall, she blankets the entire neighborhood with her clothes.

This tree is huge, old, lush and glorious. I love to stand under her when it’s pouring down rain. You can stay completely dry and the sound of those heavy drops smacking her leaves and then bouncing off is amazing!

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My neighborhood is changing so much these days. One by one, the older homes are being flattened, in order to be replaced with huge and mostly beautiful new houses.

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My son grew up (part time) in the “yellow house”, two doors away. They had a pool, and a kid exactly his age. For a time, when the neighborhood was full of young, single Mom’s, we would babysit each other’s kids and on Friday nights, we Mom’s would have a “progressive” relaxation evening. We’d go from one house to the next, to the next, for snacks, and wine. Among us, we had an outdoor Sauna, a hot tub, a pool and we’d finish at my house on my deck. I had the best view of the sunset.

Other great families have lived in the yellow house too over the years, but…..it has been the next one to bite the dust.

What a back ho and dozer can do to a home on purpose, in just 2 days, is exactly the same thing we see on the news, someone living in Tornado Alley, whose home gets flattened in minutes.

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Yellow House…….. gone…

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Looks just like what’s left after a tornado

 

I get this, intellectually, but I have so much judgment about it…the waste, the destruction of usable space, and the loss of history. At least, this builder is big into recycling, re-purposing, and replanting. He (and the owners) saved as many bushes and plants as possible and offered them to the neighbors.

But to me, personally, what is way more painful, is murder of the trees. I know that’s a dramatic (and controversial) way to say it, but what else can you call killing a huge living thing that’s been here since before you were born??

I’ve written about this before…kind of like eulogies, but I think each one of these ancient stately beings deserves at least that much when they are taken down.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/10/05/tree-daily-prompt-from-chosenperspectives-10-5-16/

 

There is a young, mystery ecologist on the street and I’m just sure she wrote this sign the day the heavy equipment showed up at the yellow house…and she pinned it to my favorite tree.

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but they didn’t….

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So disrespectful of her remains…

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I will miss her so much, and I am committed to working on understanding the perceived necessity of her demise.

This may be all that’s left of her…

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But THIS is how I will remember her!

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my beautiful favorite tree…THIS is how I will remember her…

After the Queen interlude, see if you can put yourself all the way in the following short video…so you can meet my friend. Volume UP! (You may have to scroll up and down while viewing to see the whole thing.)

 

 

 

Huge THANK YOU!

I never really look at the tiny number over on the left side of my blog page but this morning, I did.

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I was so shocked. I had no idea that 399 people followed me.

I have to confess that my very serious intention has always been to be that blogger who gratefully welcomes every single new person with a note. I mean, how cool is it to have someone take the time to look at your blog, and maybe even read it? (I can definitely be wordy sometimes!) I wanted to thank every person.

I really did have the best intentions.

My adopted Dad used to tell me “If you think time goes by quickly in your 50’s and 60’s, just wait until you get to 90. You will finally understand the concept of “Warp Speed”!

Time just gets away from me sometimes.

Healing from a badly sprained ankle/foot, I finally had a minute to send out all my individualized Welcome comments and I glanced at that number…399…wait, it just changed to 398, and then shifted to 400…

FOUR HUNDRED WELCOME NOTES!!!

Uh-oh!

Needless to say, I am hoping today’s post will serve as an expression of my delight that you are reading this!

And as my Thank You (even though it was dramatically better in person than I could capture with my phone) here is last night’s breath-taking sunset, just for you.

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I truly appreciate each of you. Please accept this post as my sincere Thank You!

Please keep reading, and let me know you are there by commenting! Any kind you want!

I’ll answer!!

😍

My Zorro story posted on Katzenworld this morning-1/27/19

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

Katzenworld posted my story this morning.

If you happen to like cats, this is an epic* story about my Heart-Cat, Zorro. I have blogged about him before but this is the long version, in two parts, about his life. The first part this week and the rest on February 10th. (They even included a connection to the other story I wrote for them about Lucy, our Woodpile Kitten.)

I do hope you will visit their site. They have wonderful cat-related articles, stories, poems, art work, and even product reviews.

My Zorro has been gone since September but I still see him around every corner.

I can’t imagine I will ever not miss him.

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*Epic, according to Bing means:

a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures 

Chosen Perspective; a hard won example!

Well, if you absolutely have to go to a hospital, I wish a similar experience for you.

This is NOT a rant about today’s healthcare, although I have had some extremely poor, tacky, even dangerous treatment in the last few years.

This is about the completely unexpected bonus of perusing the equivalent of a lovely art gallery, in a building with a stunning view! All right there at the hospital.

Here’s my story in pictures, most of which don’t even scratch the surface of the visual treat!!!

(The very top photo is Lucy taking care of me before the doctor’s visit.)

 

Started with a tiny ankle fracture but a whopper of a SPRAIN!

 

 

 

Artwork at the entrance of the Physical Therapy department

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My view as they tortured me in PT! (I’m kidding! I hardly noticed what they were doing!)

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Outside view of the top floor of Seattle’s tallest building. I officiated a wedding here last year.

 

 

The hallways are covered with stunning and moving photography!

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Even the counter top of the check-out desk has this beautiful Fused Glass!

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Oh, and the medical staff was truly exceptional!

It took a some effort to shift my perspective but all in all, not a bad urgent medical visit!!!  Not bad at all.

 

A big Thank You to University of Washington/Harborview!