A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.


That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.


This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…




On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…ūüėč)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.


I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!


As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?



Opus vs Swan Song

Ok, this post is going to meander a bit so be patient. Sit back with your cup of whatever, and join me in my recap of the last 24¬† hours. I think it has been an interesting trip, but you’ll have to decide. I’ve included some audio/visual additions where they fit contextually, but you can watch/listen at your leisure…

I’ve been struggling lately (like everyone else) with isolation, and also fear about the shape of our world. Mostly in the big picture though. If I look at too big a chunk of life, I can’t avoid questions like “How have we survived the last 9 horrific Covid and FIRE and political months?”, and “What the heck is going to happen next?”

But when I hunker down into the current moment, I am fine. It’s there I can still find the uplifting, and endless miracles in life. Like right now…as I write this…the feisty wind and pouring rain outside are demonstrating their disruptive power but I am warm and dry. Lucy (my cat) is a mere two feet away…close enough to reach out and pet. (She has that special kind of cat fur… so soft, it’s comforting just to stroke it.) And I am writing this on a computer. Electricity, the internet, cats, this device…all miracles.


One of the small things I have been doing regularly to lift my spirits for these many months, is to keep a small handful of fresh flowers in a tiny cobalt crackle glass cream pitcher. Brings a smile every time I see it. 


Yesterday when I was changing out the finished flowers for a new batch, a terrifying little spider darted right out of the old bunch, and danced across my hand. I’ve talked about this before and still have not resolved my strong bias against spiders. This prejudice has been highlighted in the last 10 years, by my complete love of Extatosoma tiaratum, my Giant Spiny Stick Bugs. How can I love one anthropod, but so hate another?? All the same species, right? (Hmmm, another post in the making here on racial prejudice…)

Anyway, I have to confess, I saw that spider and panicked!¬† Without even realizing I was doing it, I killed the spider. You can laugh here if you want…but those who know me will not be surprised that I agonized over my thoughtless action…even had a very deep “guilt cry” over it. I felt terrible, sick to my stomach at my actions, for several hours.

So that is the space I was in when I picking what show to watch on Netflix with James last evening. 

Not knowing what it was, but just because I am a fan, I chose David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet”.

Here’s where the whole idea of a Swan Song vs an Opus came in.

There is a timeless legend that swans are mute all their lives but at the end, sing a singular beautiful song. This doesn‚Äôt really apply to David Attenborough. He certainly has not been ‚Äúmute‚ÄĚ all his life. His “songs” have moved me to tears and action, ever since I was a kid. I credit him for my early adoption of the philosophy that animal life is every bit as sacred as human life. And that “anthropomorphism” is just a fancy word someone made up because they had never been in love with an animal.

You cannot tell me cats and dogs do not feel emotions.

10 years ago when I was gifted with my first Giant Spiny Leaf Bug, (yikes!) hearing all about my Bug from my childhood hero, David Attenborough, helped me fall the in love with them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uppwVyUd5S0 (First three minutes are about my bugs!!! )

And as for Sir Attenborough’s Swan Song, his latest spectacular work could easily not be his last. He is only 93 after all…

So maybe his most recent production, is more like his Opus.

Whatever we call it, in classic Attenborough style, this documentary is moving, thought provoking, brutally honest and in the final analysis, hopeful and inspiring.

Please, please watch this movie. And then, please share this film with all the  people you love in your life, especially the younger ones. If they resist, even if you have to play your Parent or Grandparent card, ask them to watch it for YOU! 

Maybe even include this music video: quite catchy really…

Swan Song by Dua Lipa

Anyway, back to my “trip”.

After watching the film, I had another good cry, this time having tapped into that currently painful Big Picture of life I have been so consciously avoiding. Searching for the relief of being in the moment (Thanks Ram Das) I went to look at my Bugs. I have 8 right now, but they are all that’s left from this year’s hatchings, which totaled about 40 baby bugs. (I give them away to teachers, or parents wanting to provide learning for their kids.) I walked through that room, and then another to get to the bathroom, the scene of my earlier crime….Spider-cide.

The first thing I noticed in my bright white bathroom was another spider, on the ceiling….but wait, on closer inspection, it was NOT an Arachnid. It was a Baby Bug!!!

To appreciate the miracle of this…the bugs finished hatching about 5 weeks ago, so this little girl was a shock. And the distance from where they hatch to the bathroom ceiling has to be the equivalent of a couple hundred human walking miles. No idea how she made it this far. These bugs don’t ever “walk”, except to climb up and out of danger, in the minutes after they are born.

I gently captured this intrepid female creature, and took her back to the Bug Home, a huge terrarium filled with food, and her sister bugs! (Witnessing ten years of parthenogenisis is another miracle…and probably still another essay!)

I don’t know how to end this today except to say, watch this movie. It’s not too late for your kids and grandkids to see the miracles of our lifetime, even the ones we all took for granted.

And if you need to, forgive yourself. Guilt is a nasty block to finding the miracles in our presence right here…right now.

As always, but more than ever these days, I appreciate comments. Thanks for reading!











Frustrating Friday

I am a bad blogger.

I don’t actually know what it means to have 568 “followers”…the whole concept of anyone following what I write is crazy to me.

But in case any of you have wondered why I disappeared, other than the fact that on top of the pandemic’s effects, I have been in an even harder Lockdown due to the fact that right outside my doors and windows, is AIR that I cannot, should not breathe!!

You would think that would give me even more blogging time, right? I was on such a “fight the pandemic” roll, posting all these wonderful “Spirit Lifters”. That was good for me because I was searching every day for positive reminders of the good in life. And I hoped it was also good for anyone who happened to be reading my Blog.

But then WordPress broke my Blog.

I have no idea where my photos have gone. I stumbled across them accidentally for my 9/11 post but now they are nowhere to be found. And even for that post, I couldn’t do a Featured Photo.

And don’t tell me to get “help”. I have tried that 5 or 6 times now.

WordPress “Happy Folks” (or whatever they’re called) don’t speak Elder-English.

I feel like that person who finally learned to drive a car, but with an automatic transition, and then finds themselves in a stick shift vehicle with no instructions…

Right now as I type there are 7 repeated “commands” on my page here: what the “f” does “start writing or type / to choose a block” even mean?? How would I write as opposed to typing??? What the hell is a “block”? How or why would I choose one?


Please don’t feel compelled to send me a bunch of solutions. I’m not asking for help.

I’m just fussing for now.

I will ask when I am ready….but you will have to be over 70 years old to volunteer answers, and you will need to be in (or have retired from) a profession that does not involve computers at all.

If you have had your blog broken also, and fit the above qualifications, we might speak the same language and I might actually trust your answers.

Sorry there are no photos to make this post more interesting…

There. Rant complete.

Comments appreciated!

19 Years ago today…again

The Northwest is on fire today, as is California. So more than ever I want to acknowledge our Fire Fighters!
This is the letter I sent to my local Fire Chief today!
You all are my Heroes, although today, I think a better word might be “Warriors”.
Ever since the morning of September 12th, 2001, I have felt absolutely compelled and inspired to somehow recognize and thank you all for your chosen noble profession, and to express deep sympathy and empathy for the loss of your fallen brothers and sisters on that horrific day back in 2001. 
It was a pitiful acknowledgment¬†19 years ago, but all I could think of to do was to bake you some of my Gramma’s chocolate chip cookies. So, I did, and took them to all my closest stations. And the next year, I was joined by neighbors, and the next, by Mom’s who wanted to teach their children the importance of our local heroes, our fire fighters and EMT’s, and then the next year and the next, etc.¬†
Over the years, we got up 39 Moms and their kids, 53 dozen cookies, handmade thank you cards and notes, even a mixed CD with 9/11 Hero Music, all delivered 12 or 13 Fire Houses. Eventually we reached most Bellevue houses and some neighboring ones too. 
No surprise, we were greeted with gracious tours for the kids at each house. (I have to insert here, that by about 2009, we had several¬†young single women¬†participating with us, no doubt because the word had gone out there must be some kind of Super-Hunk requirement to work for the Bellevue Fire Department!¬†ūüėČ)
Anyway, this year I can’t bake cookies but¬†more than ever, I want¬†to honor this 9/11 anniversary, and to say¬†thank you¬†so much for what you do. For months and months, tirelessly helping us all during this horrible pandemic, and now, these relentless fires, and their life-changing smoke.
I know today, your hearts and thoughts must be with your brothers and sisters who are fighting so hard right now, all over our beautiful Northwest. I know I’m not alone in this but mine are with you too.
Love and gratitude to you all,
Thank a First Responder today
9-11 Twin Towers