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/

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.)

 

 

 

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!

A Photo a Week-Horizon 1/3/19

 

I am blessed…well, maybe cursed…with the ability…well, maybe the compulsion…to find something spiritual and horizon-broadening in almost everything I come across.

Recently we had this wonderful mini-vacation in an Air B and B, with a spectacular view of the horizon.

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I took so many pictures the first few days but it wasn’t until I started editing one of the photos that I discovered something amazing.

The mist eventually cleared to reveal THIS!

I had not even realized that the place we were staying in had basically the exact same horizon view as the one from home…the Olympic Mountain range!!

Downtown Bellevue with the Olympics rising up behind!

I’m still working on what that actually means…something about awareness, appreciation, patience with the weather, and of course, perspective.

Another favorite horizon experience is the one I have when driving between our two homes. It’s close to a five hour drive and friends groan on my behalf when I tell them how often we go. I just don’t get how anyone can not love this drive. The variety of horizons alone make the trip a visual feast for me. There is such a dramatic change in topography along the way and as many times as I’ve driven it, I am still delightfully surprised to come around a corner or up over a hill, only to discover again, a spectacular horizon view.

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Disclaimer! Do not take photos while driving!!!
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Even the rest stops along my route have great horizon views!

Lastly, way too early one morning recently, when I couldn’t sleep any longer, I decided to go to a local Blueberry Farm and lake to watch the sun climb up over the horizon. I was thrilled with the unexpected view and took way too many photos. I hope you enjoy this slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/a-photo-a-week-on-the-horizon/

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge #25-Reflecting on Perspectives, Perspective on Reflections

I love reflections. I like to mess with photographing them because there can be surprises you don’t see when looking at something directly.

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Here I am photographing the lights hanging from the deck railing and not until later, do I see the boat coming in…
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And here, I liked the blurry Santa reflection in the window but was later surprised by the clarity of the neighbor’s windows.

That makes me think of how different things can look, depending on where you stand, where you focus and what you are feeling.

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Here I was capturing the coastline from our train window and caught James playing a game on his phone! Busted!!!

I took these photos for the theme Blue, but discovered the trees and clouds afterward.

This is two shots of the same glass, just me deciding which perspective to focus on. (I’m sure there is a “glass half empty or full” reference here…)

I have this great photo hanging in my group therapy room that reminds me to always look at tough situations from different angles before I conclude anything.

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Flipping this upside-down sure changes the feel of the photo, doesn’t it?

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I’m so grateful to my Dad for teaching me that there is always, ALWAYS more than one way to look at something.

 

Here are some other posts I did about Reflections… Let me know what you see.

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/05/12/reflections-for-wpc-5-12-17-series-3/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/05/12/reflecting-for-wpc-51017/

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: #25 Reflections

SongLyricSunday-theme Season 12/23/18

HUH??? ChosenPerspectives here…Somehow my post got posted with someone else’s post mixed in it. I don’t know how that happened??? (Helen???) If you know how please inform.

This is mine:

I got completely side-tracked with this theme. I can see many great songs have been shared since yesterday, including the very first one I thought of. I always like to go with that first one because it’s often a real old-timer, and I fantasize I am sharing my old music with younger generations.

But something strange happened as I was preparing to post it.

Disclaimer: I rarely post anything political or controversial, unless it’s really important to me, and what I am about to say has nothing with the other people who also chose the same song I thought of. It also has nothing to do with the group doing this song. (The Zombies were brilliant and I’ve included a couple more of their songs at the bottom.)

It’s just that I was shocked and dismayed at the video that came with the song.

At first, I was completely embarrassed, like somehow a whole generation’s blind spots about sexuality were my fault.

Don’t get me wrong. I was THERE! And I remember all of this going on around me. It was the SIXTIES.

But this video shows only one aspect of a powerful movement, the sexual revolution, not all of it.

Now that I’ve had some time, I have been able to shift my perspective, and see that I did not choose literally one of the most demeaning-to-women, music videos I’ve ever seen…(talk about objectifying, harassing, unwanted touching and the whole game of it all).

But rather this video shows just how far we have come since 1968.

So here is my choice for our theme, Season.

Time of the Season byThe Zombies
It’s the time of the season
When love runs high
And this time, give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands
To take you in the sun to (promised lands)
To show you every one
It’s the time of the season for loving
What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live
Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving
What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live
Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving
Songwriters: Rod Argent
Time of the Season lyrics © Marquis Songs Usa

 

 

Thanks for allowing me to share my personal perspective. Please, feel completely free to take it or leave it.

 

 

 

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Nothing below this is mine?!?

 

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26 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 12/23/18”

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  18. I almost forgot today was Sunday because I have been trying to get my daughters room finished for Christmas, it being her Christmas gift and all. But I did remember, and I had no idea what to post until I heard a song on a Christmas play list this morning. It is a twist on the twelve days of Christmas, and by the way I loathe that song, but this one was actually worth listening to all the way, so here is the Twelve Days Of Christmas Straight No Chaser.
    Arranged by Ken Burgomaster

    On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
    A partridge in a pear tree.
    On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me,
    Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
    On the fourth day of Christ
    On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me, five golden rings
    Four calling birds, three french hens,
    Two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree
    On the ninth day of Christmas, (on the eighth day of Christmas)
    My true love gave to me (my true love gave to me)
    Nine ladies dancing (eight maids a milking)
    Eight ladies dancing (seven maids a milking)
    Seven ladies dancing (six maids a milking)
    Six ladies dancing (five)
    Better not shout, you better not cry,
    You better not in a pear tree
    On the ninth, no!
    On the eighth, come on!
    On the seventh day of Christmas (deck the halls)
    My true love gave to me (with boughs of holly)
    Seven swans a swimming (here we come a wassailing)
    Six geese a laying (among the leaves so)
    Five golden rings (Fa-la-la-la-la)
    Four calling birds
    Three french hens
    Two turtle doves (here we come a wassailing)
    The boar’s head in hand bear I (among the leaves so green)
    Bedeck’d with bays
    And partridge in a pear tree
    On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
    Eleven pipers piping (ding)
    Ten lords a leaping (dong)
    Nine ladies dancing (ding)
    Eight maids a milking (dong)
    Seven swans a swimming (ding)
    Six geese a laying (dong)
    Five golden rings
    Four calling birds
    Three french hens
    Two turtle doves
    And Rudolph the red nosed reindeer!
    On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
    I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay,
    And when it’s dry and ready, my dreidel I shall play
    Oh dreidel dreidel dreidel (hey, 12 days of Christmas)
    (what? 8 days of Hanukkah. It’s a Christmas medley)
    On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
    Do do do do doot do (do de do de do de do de do de)
    Do do do do doot do (do de do de do de do de do de)
    On the twelfth day my true love gave to me
    Twelve drummers drumming like Olympus above the Serengeti
    Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba oh
    Eleven pipers piping, ten lords a leaping (Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba oh)
    Nine ladies dancing they were dancing for me
    Eight maids a milking they were milking just for me
    I had Christmas down in Africa
    I had Christmas down in Africa
    I had Christmas down in Africa (five golden rings)
    I had Christmas down in Africa (five golden rings)
    I had Christmas down in Africa (five golden rings)
    Couldn’t take the halls into the things we never had
    Do do do do doot do (do de do de do de do de do de)
    Do do do do doot do (do de do de do de do de do de)
    Partridge in a big pear tree (do de do de do de do de do de)
    Partridge in a big pear tree

    Liked by 3 people

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 12/23/18