Saturday, October 31, 2009

Unexpected Halloween guest!

A garden spider, who is not ready to call it "quits" for the season, is perched right next the pumpkin.  Perhaps it is it's way of saying "BOO!" to the ghosts and goblins in the neighborhood.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nature Conspires to Create an Eerie Halloween!

Halloween creeps slowly towards us.  She has a co-conspirator...nature.  The winds are picking up speed and rush through the trees and scatters leafs.  There is an eerie cloudiness in the sky.  In two more nights goblins will once again rule the earth......

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A view from the kitchen

"Work is a means of living, but it is not living." ~ J.G. Holland

So many leafs have fallen that I can see the Sound and University Place (a city adjacent to Tacoma).  Now occasionally I see my neighbors as the thicket that surrounds each of our homes thins.  After the isolation of my original Wildwood Retreat and the density of the Central Valley, the peace of this place with its now not so hidden neighborhood is soothing.  This will not be a final move though as this tranquil nook is too far from basic shopping needs (adds to the expense of living here) and my friends.  Still it will be pleasant to be here for a year or two.

Work absorbs most of my waking moments.  Have some small projects at home that need to be completed: heavy drapes across the wall of windows for the winter ~ to keep the cold air outside; organize personal files ... that sort of thing.  Am taking a history course and have promised myself to also learn Photoshop this winter.  But for now  much has been been put on hold in order to complete policy and procedures that have been requested.  And there is a course on understanding dementia that needs to be given and I must find all my notes and references and prepare the materials.  Many hours spent commuting and work after work (so to speak) conspire to eat up the days.  My usual habit of getting out on week ends to explore and photograph what I see has been disrupted.  That makes me a bit sad but it will all pass eventually.

Today the fence for the dog area must be expanded to provide a bit more running room for my canine friends.  I'm hoping the rain will hold off until a later this morning.  On that note time to get in some exercise, have breakfast, fix the fence, glance at the Sunday paper and then "work on work"...ready, set, go.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Long Drive Home

I am commuting  about 122 miles a day for the time being. It has also given me the opportunity to observe Autumn take a firm grip on the region.  We have so many pine trees here in the peninsula  that I wonder if the other leafs will be missed.  It is the beginning of the long rain.  It is a time when we will celebrate the 'partly sunny days'.  Last week or perhaps the week before that (days begin to merge when one spends so much time in the car) high winds blew in from the ocean and played in the bays and bounced off the mountains.  Not high enough to worry about yet.  That  comes later in the season.  The New Englander in me thought it was a normal drive home.  There is no time for an average life when one spends that much time in a car.  Time to learn though.  I can put books and courses in the cd player and listen to history or practice Spanish.  It helps clear my head and be fresh for the nursing staff I encounter each day,   We have so many pine trees here in the peninsula  that I wonder if the other leafs will be missed.  It is the beginning of the long rain.  It is a time when we will celebrate the 'partly sunny days'. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things that go BOOM in the night

Three A.M. on Sunday morning.   A loud cracking boom in the night filled with constant rain.  I thought it was thunder but I was so sleepy and forgot that this in the Northwest and not New England.  The western part of Washington rarely has thunder.  The power went out confirming my erroneous suspicion that it was thunder... somewhere....   4 AM and time to get up (had to go to work this past Sunday).  No power.  But houses down the street still had porch lights.  A call to the power company.  Only my house is reporting.  A truck arrives and then there are two.  I can hear the men discuss the problem out there in the dark.  I wait for enlightenment.  It comes after 6 AM.   A dead Madrona tree on the far corner of the property has fallen on the house.  It smashed the electric pole on the roof and took out the meter and other electrical things that connect to panel inside the house.  How amazing to have lived in the forests of New Hampshire all those years and tree filled yard in Boston and never have had a tree pay a personal visit with the roof.  The land lord said he would send someone around some time on Monday to check for structural damage...okay, better late than never.  The men from Peninsula Electric were gracious and kind.  I kept thinking how brave those workers were...dealing with electrical power on a raining pitch dark early hours morning.   It is now Monday and still raining.  No trees on the roof though.  Something to add to the gratitude list!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Brenda's Photo Challenge! byways and paths

"Whose woods these are I think I know....

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

 But I have promises to keep                                                          
 And miles to go before I sleep,

             And miles to go before I sleep."     ~ Robert Frost                                                                                                


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rainy Season

Those of us who are weather watchers observed a day that was solidly cloudy all day yesterday.  Where, we wondered, was the partial sunny day that the folks on TV had so gleefully reported in the early hours of the morning?  We knew the remnants of a typhoon was circling back this way.  The rain is coming.  This morning it is here.  The beginning of a week long soaking.  High wind is the traveling companion.  Say good bye to the colorful leafs.  The organic gardener has arrived...pruning shears in hand.

My son, a grad student in California, tells me that there is much talk of flooding in his coastal town.  Poor parched California.  Her earth won't know what to do with a down pour of inches of moisture.  She will just roll in onto the homes and streets and turn hill sides in to mud slides.

The Green River Valley in this part of the world waits anxiously as the Rainy Season begins.  The dam at the head of the river is leaking.  The officials of the State are telling us that it is likely to give sometime this winter. Thousands of homes and their occupants are at risk.  The word Infrastructure leaps to mind.  Where oh where are the dollars to repair what needs repair?  Light bulbs do not last forever but we thinks dams will.  The official 'we' and the voting 'we' can be silly.  Sometimes our silliness and lack of planning lead to terrible problems.  Rain - a frequent and absolutely necessary element  on our precious earth may soon remind us of the need to plan.

We wait....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Blush of Autumn

The week end slipped quietly by me.  Saturday was lost to exhaustion and much needed sleep.  Sunday was bright and beautiful.  Easy to photograph my little part of the world when the sun turns everything it touches to red, yellow and gold.  On Sunday afternoon I had lunch with a friend that I have not seen in 5 years.  She looks wonderful but life has not been gentle with her.  She is a resilient soul and no matter the sorrow piled on her door step ~ she continues to move forward.  We sat there slowly eating salads and sipping coffee, chatting about where life has taken each of us.  We've each moved, left failed relationships, watched children grow into adulthood, and struggled our struggles.  So much time has passed and yet so little has changed in the friendship.  Saying goodbye this afternoon I believe  we parted reconnected.  Friendship is precious, as golden as the power of autumn.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sheltered places

There is a stewardship forest near the house. A few more photos of the spot are posted on the other blog, Romancing the Northwest.  Had a delightful walk through there the other day.  Someone left this 50 acre plot to be undeveloped.   It is managed by the state.  It provides a quiet stroll through some beautiful wet land forest.  I could hear chickadees calling their lonely winter song but I was unable to see them.  Perhaps they will come to a feeder this winter.  They are such brave tiny soldiers of the forest.  The walkway was also brimming with huckleberries. Ah if I were a cook... One of the information signs (posted throughout the walk) pointed out the names of vegetation...also stated that the island is home to white tail deer but I've seen no evidence of deer here.  I was unable to spot large animal game trails, droppings or denning up spots.  Left me wondering if the development of the Island has eliminated them.

The lottery continues to elude me so it is time to stop here, hop on the treadmill and then get ready for work. Peace and blessings on your day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Musing

The clock is silently ticking as I sip the last few drops of the morning coffee and run the tasks of the day through my mind.  It is time to walk the dogs and run one errand...take the rent check to the post office.  There are two nature walks near by and I've yet to explore either~ the plan to is pick one and give it a bit of attention.  Time to get the camera and head out.  What color remains of summer as Autum settles in for her tenure?  What birds and insects hunt for their next meal on those pathways? Then there is a report to be written about a site visit from last week.  It needed my attention yesterday but I was sleepy and perhaps too lazy to attend to business.  The day of reckoning has arrived and duty demands my attention ~ alas, even on the week-end.

My friend and I have been discussing retirement.  We are the same age.  She is thinking that she will officially retire in 2010.  Although I yearn to do so, I know I can not.  The economic down turn devastated those plans and so I continue.  I am blessed with loving my profession and currently work for a great company so continuing to  work is not truly a hardship.  But retirement is a siren's song none the less.  It would be good to have time to work on photography and writing something other than reports, to sleep in or stay up late and not fret about the consequences.  I've been working for 45 years.  At some point enough is enough.  I think I will be just a little envious if she really retires as she currently plans.

It is just a bit chilly here this morning.  The house is heated by electric wall units in each room.  This morning I   put the electric space heater (carried all the way from the original Wild Woods) in the office.  The wall unit in here makes the room too hot.  A wood stove (yes, I am mindful of the pollution) would be nice this morning. Funny the things I sometimes miss that aspect of my life in New England.  Wood stoves are so much work but I  miss the heat, the crackle, the aroma and even the rhythm of stacking wood.

Time to get on with the day.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Brenda's Photo Challenge! Pets

The Old Man


the Dominatrix

Rebel (The Old Man) is a 12 year old Red Bone Coon Hound.  He is a Southern Gentleman who is the most gentle and tender companion in the world.  Trouble (Tye) is a nick name for the lab mix in the pack who is a forever two year old and always up to mischief. He is playful and loving but a more than a handful when he creates his own recreational fun.  He is my constant reminder of the value of exercise for dogs.  I have a treadmill now for Tye and WR.  :)  The Dominatrix (Coco) is a two year old rescue who loves her pack but thinks she is the alpha in all things (the 'everything I see is mine' syndrome). Don't be deceived by deer-in-the-headlights look.  She loves Mom but is a terror with other animals.  However, she makes exceptions for Tye as they seem to have become best of friends...for better or for worse.  They have perfected 'coursing' through the house without breaking anything ~ ah, the joy of small blessings!