Photo a Week Challenge 9/19/19 Stacked!!

I already LOVE this week’s challenge!

First the DATE! How fun! As a kid, I always told everyone 9 was my favorite number.

Also, as a kid, the word “stacked” meant something very different than the way Nancy Merrill is using it here. Don’t worry. If you are old enough to remember that use of the word, I will spare you any “R Rated” photographs…but here’s a word picture for you.

My last name was Bessey, which got mean-girl turned into “Busty”……because I wasn’t! 

I was the very last girl in my P.E. class to wear a bra! And boy, did I get teased about that. But understanding just a little about genetics, even in junior high school, I knew a time might come when I deserved the nickname Busty. My mother, aunt and grandmother were all…uh, hugely STACKED. It just happened to each of them a bit later in life! Where are those Mean Girls now, huh?

Back to what I’m sure Nancy intended with this challenge…

It has taken me all week to figure what I might have in my life that is “stacked”. I have been completely blank…even last Saturday when we went to the Farmer’s Market. I actually took pictures but never equated the two things. Duh.

 

Then a trip down to the beach did not trigger an idea…duh.

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Next, I house-sat for friends and took a bunch of photos out the kitchen window, trying to capture the interaction between a feisty squirrel and sarcastic Blue Jay! Uh duh.

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And again, with the Universe shouting in my ear, on the long drive home, listening to early morning radio, there was a delightful debate among the D.J.’s about the piles of rocks one finds while hiking the Pacific Northwest trails. One suggested these stacks were Art. Another, a memorial. And the third, irate by the way, insisted they were trail markers, both directional and as a warning to indicate some difficulty.

I still could not figure out any thing in my life that was stacked. It wasn’t until going through old photos that I started to get a clue. First I spotted this…a wonderful house on Alki Beach called the Flower House. Check out the STACKED rows and boxes of flowers!

 

 

That made me think of our Mountain Retreat. Look how many stacked railroad ties that are holding it all together!

Casa-before new bathroom

 

This reminded me of a trip we took this summer to Glacier National Park. We stopped for gas and I fell in love with this stacked rock wall.

 

You know, denial is a funny but powerful thing. I had all these hints and arrows pointing, but I STILL had not remembered the most obvious example of “stacked” in my life. There’s a good reason for that. I don’t want to think about it, but maybe confessing it here to you, will inspire me to get off my you-know-what and finish a massive task I took on 5 years ago.

I love our Casa in the mountains but parts of our paradise can be pretty gray, barren of vegetation for long stretches of the year. And though it serves an essential purpose, one of my least favorite views out of more than half the windows, is the massive stacked rock wall along the whole back of the house and driveway. It is actually a work of art in its way but it’s just bleak, all year round.

So I took it upon myself to brighten it up! I am NOT a gardener of any kind. I plant Primroses every year because they are the laziest, easiest thing I could find to bring color into my suburban yard. But we are at elevation at the Casa and very few things survive winter and the deer….except certain succulents!

So for years, I have been experimenting with just a few types at a time. Those amazing plants grow practically right out of the ROCKS. And so far, some have wintered well, and apparently are not of interest to our wildlife population.

 

But this wall of stacked rocks is over 60 feet long! It may take the rest of my life but little by little, I’ll get them all decorated!

Now I understand why I completely “forgot” about this example…literally right in my own backyard!

Whew! Stacked indeed!

 

Thanks for reading and I so love comments!! Especially from those Readers I have not welcomed or interacted with yet.

 

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/a-photo-a-week-challenge-stacked/

HELP!!!😜

I’ve been missing from the Blogosphere for a while…a little distracted by everyday life…and a few relatively minor “first world” problems…well, they will seem minor someday, I’m sure…

A small leak, needing a plumber to fix it…but in my wonderful, century-old house, it was a $30,000 to $40,000 job!!! The exact death knell for my home I’ve been dreading for 45 years.

Luckily, James is a genius and figured out the $5,000 to $7,000 version that buys us some more years here. He has done an amazing job of creative plumbing, as well as a “might as well do it now” kitchenette remodel for the tiny basement apartment we live in here. We shifted down so my son and growing grandsons could live upstairs where the ceilings heights are normal. That way, they don’t end up with banged heads and visits to the chiropractor from all the ducking it required for them down here.

It’s been distracting and stressful.

Why is it that when I go camping, some bottled water, a freshwater stream and maybe the luxury of a porta-potty are more than enough. But no running water in my home for 8 or 9 days is enough to send me over some edge I didn’t know existed. That means no dish washing or shower or laundry or certain kinds of cooking, or the biggie, no TOILET all this time.

I do have to say, James and the guys made sure MY bathroom was up and running first. I claimed it as mine when we first moved downstairs. I decorated it perfectly for my taste, all aqua and frilly, and have called it the “Girl Bathroom” ever since. The guys have two other bathrooms, but in our current crisis, their’s are not restored to a usable state yet…so I’m sharing.

Have I mentioned I live with SIX MEN?

Having NOT grown up, or lived for any length of time in a Third World situation, I am now way too old to haul my own water. This current situation has highlighted, LOUDLY, how amazing it is, and how lucky we are to have fresh, running water…and these days, with the new faucets and such, you can literally just wave your hand, and voila, clean, hot or cold running water, 

I tell you what, I am now Matt Damon’s biggest fan.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/22/matt-damon-on-solving-the-worlds-clean-water-crisis.html

There are the other, expected construction zone inconveniences of course.

I mean, below is my living room.

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These piles will be cleared up eventually, and I can see the beginnings of a real kitchenette, after more than 40 years of makeshift counters, shelves, and a 1930’s enameled, cast-iron sink and drawer unit, grabbed from an old Seattle apartment building destruction. Most of the college students and single Mom’s I’ve rented to over the years thought it was “cool”.

Out with the old…

But in the mean time, I cherish my outside moments each day even more than usual.

And sent just for me to brighten my day, look who I found while watering my Fuchsia.

This Mama Oregon Junco has had her own plumbing problems lately because I have been soaking this plant (and her nest) every day for a couple of weeks now…and yet, here she still is….

My inspiration to hang in there….

COB (Cee’s Oddball Challenge)

Instructions are:

This challenge is for those photos you take that don’t really fit into any common category. There is never a theme to this challenge, so what is an odd ball is all up for you to discover and photograph.

My entry:

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My healthiest Fern….

 

 

COB-Banner

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: January 21, 2018

Window for WPC 9-27-17

 

My favorite window, before and after shots. It is in the shop/music and woodworking studio that James and I turned into a guest house. We call it the Bed and No Breakfast, because we’d love your company, but I ain’t cookin’ for you!

My James is amazing at reclaiming, recycling and repurposing old beauty. This particular window came out of an old mansion in Spokane. Built in 1910, it was one of the first houses in the area to have electricity. Apparently it was a beautiful house with a huge  sweeping staircase. It even had an elevator. Along with this window, James salvaged several others that he used when building his house back in 1980. Even the flooring in our living room (old rough fir) came from the old mansion’s attic.

a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/windows-2/”>Windows</a

“Satisfaction” for WPC 7-26-17 by ChosenPerspectives

Satisfaction

This is going to seem like a post about dis-satisfaction but it is not, honest.

At my house this week, we are experiencing the frustrating, man-made phenomenon of absolute waste.

Next door to me, there is a perfectly lovely home, built in the late 1980’s.

 

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My neighbor had to sell. I understand that. But she sold to a builder of McMansions…(look it up)

Many of us tried for months to get permission to salvage what we could from the soon to be demolished house, for recycle, reclaiming and re-use. I’m talking about perfectly good appliances, beautiful hardwood flooring, lovely tiles, great carpet, two complete sets of kitchen counters and cabinets, shelving, French doors, and beautiful bathroom vanities!

That process was so political. So slow!! Like molasses! Before she moved, we, at least, were able to get the brand new refrigerator out of my neighbor’s student apartment. Perfect timing as we have just moved into our own basement apartment so that Son and Grandsons could move in. But the rest of what would have furnished a sweet kitchen, bathroom and bedroom for us downstairs, well, we just couldn’t cut through the red tape fast enough.

It’s been frustrating to say the least. Especially because James is a custom home designer and builder and is a master at reclaiming older reusable parts and pieces for new homes. Oh, what he could have built us!

At least, several neighbors showed up to save a whole mess of strawberry plants and a stunning long row of Lavender!

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So at this point you are wondering what in the world this has to do with Satisfaction.

I’m almost there…

Well, the backhoes showed up yesterday. Here’s what James wrote in his family email.

We watched as the machine ate the neighbor’s house like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, gobbling and crunching it like so much soft meat. 

I could not have said it better…except maybe to add the word Bulimia in there somewhere! Chewed it up and vomited it right back out!

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In a matter of hours…destroyed…consumed…

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the offending backhoe in its “food coma”

OK, OK Satisfaction already!

Trying to ignore what was happening next door yesterday, we focused on fixing up our little apartment, mostly the tiny kitchenette. I was grumbling because the carpet in there is destroyed from a burst pipe earlier this year and has been covered with ugly throw rugs. James was grumbling because he had recently finally thrown away a piece of good carpet he’d kept for years that now, would have come in handy in this kitchenette.

Next thing I know, he is tearing across the lawn between us and the house destruction project. He grabs the project manager, has a quick talk (over the backhoe noise) and literally minutes before the Tyrannosaurus bites into it’s next gourmet house section, James rips out a whole room full of brand new carpet and hauls it across the grass to its new home…our kitchen!!!

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Take that, you lazy, wasteful developer!!!

Now THAT was satisfying!

 

PS I have to admit I also found it very satisfying that there was a clandestine project for the last several nights. After the work crews left and after it got dark enough, a young family, Mom, Dad and 3 little kids, showed up night after night, and for hours, dug out the brick driveway pavers, one beautiful brick at a time. The young man told me they have a place where they can sell them for a lot of money (which they desperately need). And just so you don’t think I support theft, the project manager told me yesterday, they knew it was going on and ignored it. Also satisfying!