Thursday, July 28, 2016

Headbangers on Hiatus

We are taking a break for a couple of months from our headbanger themes and posting as we wish when we are able. Headbangers are busy people, and it seems the much busier in the summer months. Do take a look from the links in my sidebar to see what the headbangers are up to.

Me? I have been hiking the last two weekends. Where? Where else? Mt. Rainier.

On July 17 I took a couple of short hikes--one around Tipsoo Lake and the other along the Silver Forest Trail. The image in my header--taken from this one-- is from the parking area at Tipsoo Lake on that day.

On July 24 I hiked the Naches Loop Trail and learned (1) there is more uphill than I remember. (2) A lot of people hike it counterclockwise and miss the sudden bend where the mountain appears suddenly before you. Travel the whole way without that view--with the mountain behind them. So sad! (3) I am woefully out of shape. My legs were like jelly when I completed the loop and are still sore on Thursday.

Water, wildflowers, and that wondrous view were the main attractions on that day. Here are some shots.

I may have missed the peak of the wildflowers but they were still in abundance.

Scarlet Paintbrush

Avalanche Lilies ( I think--I confuse them with the yellow Glacier Lilies).

and they were in abundance as well.

So far as I know this little lake is nameless. It is easy to reach, and you can see that it was a sill day there for great reflections. Including the young lady in pink reflected on her wanderings. She passed me by shortly after this. A lot of people passed me by.

A bit of waterfall. Many spots where the water falls on the rocky east side of the loop.

Dewey Lake. Do you see the sparkle?

You probably do now.

Did I mention coming around to the view?

I may hike again this coming weekend--if my legs are back to normal. Before I go I let my daughters know where I plan to hike, then I check in when I return, making them jealous of the view. I do not want to be one of those lost hikers that have to be searched for.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Games are a major feature of Cousin Camp every year. I think the kids look forward to seeing what Grandma has in the game bag, and it is usually the same things that were there last year. These Cousin Camp pictures were taken in earlier years. Cousin Camp was preempted this year by funeral travel, but will resume next year.
Chess. In a manner of speaking. The older cousin once described the youngest's moves on the chess board as "creative."

Mancala. Well, this one was creative, too, as the stones were left at home
 and they used the pegs from the Chinese Checkers set.

Bigger games are popular as we always try to catch a baseball game. This one was at Safeco Field in Seattle and if I recall correctly, the Mariners won over the Tigers(?). Maybe it was the Phillies.

Best game of the year, though is when the priests of our diocese take on the seminarians in a fundraiser soccer game each August. Admission is free, but sale of t-shirts and food bring in a good deal of money for the seminarians tuition fund. This year two players change sides, as two of the former seminarians were ordained to the priesthood this spring. It is a lively game. At least one of the priests once played semi-pro soccer in his native Colombia, and others grew up on the game.

What games have my fellow headbangers chosen to feature? Check on my sidebar for links to their blogs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Theme for Header: Water

If I were lazy, I could just leave my Crater Lake pictures up and change the description to water.

Actually, although we have great water features in the Pacific Northwest and are famed for it, I sometimes find my best water images in the Desert Southwest.

 The image above and my header image, taken from the one below are of my daughter's swimming pool near Phoenix, Arizona. It is very popular with her kids.
 And water in the desert can be very forceful. Just think of the Grand Canyon, and the Colorado River at the bottom, remnant of the sculpting power which carved it.

But farther north and west:

 We have rowers in Oakland, California--on the same lake as my gondola from a few weeks ago.
 Water in the sky, in the form of a rainbow over the crops. We had a beautiful double a few weeks ago. Have you noticed that the second rainbow of a double has it's colors reversed? as it is a reflection of the first.
 Orchards and vineyards along the Columbia River.
 A Merganser Duck in the river near Leavenworth, Washington.
 Spokane Falls.
 Dewey Lake.
 Sandhill Cranes. They descend by the thousands on the Othello area near here on a rest on their spring migration.
 Palouse Falls.

I have to admit that I am not sure where this was taken. But it's great water, right?

The headbangers changed the theme on my behalf this week as it had originally been set to be "What did you do last month?" Mac's choice because he knew he had a great trip and event. My month was less satisfying. You can see what the others did with "water" by clicking their links in my sidebar.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Going Strong

This IS "Going Strong".
In order to ride the boat out to Wizard Island in Crater Lake and around the "Phantom Ship" it was necessary to hike down to the surface from the rim. Afterwards you had to hike back up. It is the equivalent of climbing the stairs in a 70 story building.
We WERE "Going Strong".

For me, however, it's an extra "Going Strong" because I thought that these pictures from our trip to Crater Lake were long lost. But here they are hiding on my laptop!

We were going strong.

Check out the postings by the other members of our header challenge, linked in my sidebar.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Where am I?

I know where I am at the moment, and knew where I planned to be, and planned to use something current for this week's header, but my kids have apparently taken over my life and changed my plans. I presume that before too long they will get tired of trying to support me and let me get on with life.

I have actually been away from home but have not pulled out the camera, so I checked to see what I might have in the files on the laptop. Most of my photo files are on an external hard drive that is not with me. It is odds and ends of files that are also resident on the laptop, usually uploaded to make sure I did not delete them before I uploaded to the drive at home.

So where am I in some of these photos:

First of all the one I will use as my header--unless I find something else I prefer. So where am I?




Where and when? #4




#1 is not in Venice. It is in Oakland, California.
#2 is at a Spring Training game in a Phoenix, Arizona suburb.
#3 is obvious--the Grand Canyon.
#4 was on Highway 123, the Eastside Road, Cayuse Pass in Washington in April of 2015. This April the road was not open.
#5 is Rimrock Lake, on White Pass (US 12) in the Cascade mountains of Washington (not that far from #4 but during a very calm May day.)
#6 are Scottish dancers, but dancing in Prosser, Washington at the annual Scottish Festival in 2015.
#7 is at Vacation Bible School last year.

Check out the headers posted for this theme by the other members of this challenge by clicking their links in my sidebar.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


It is ironic that my theme of Signs came up for this particular week. I was going to pass on participating, but remembered this picture that was handy. We were visiting our son in Oakland a couple of years ago and went to the museum there. They had a participatory alcove where you could have your picture taken with various museum labels. Ranney chose this one.

I will use it as my header.

Ranney passed quietly away last Thursday, after squeezing my hand, surely a final sign of love.

My son Jeff (of Oakland) posted this on Facebook:

Ranney Sharman was born in San Francisco on January 23, 1944 to Duncan and Eileen Sharman. He was an only child, born fifteen years into his parents’ marriage. He had pneumonia at birth. The only thing that could save him was penicillin. But it was in short supply due to wartime rationing. He almost died then. But the hospital got ahold of a supply in time and he lived for another 72 years.

He was raised in a house near his father’s tavern in Ukiah, California. He played cowboys and Indians with his friends, Butch, Billy, and Jackie in an underground fort that they built in an old orchard. On Saturdays they listened to Big John and Sparky on the radio and then let themselves into the tavern to watch Space Patrol on the television. In those days, Log Cabin Syrup came in a container that was shaped like a log cabin and Crusader Rabbit endorsed 7-Up with milk.

He attended kindergarten for one day, but found it too boring to continue. He attended a Catholic primary school where Sister Jeanette cured him of his left-handedness by hitting his knuckles with a ruler when he wrote with the wrong hand.

When his mother went away to visit San Francisco his father prepared Chicken Fricassee on Toast for dinner.

His high school years were spent as a boarder at Bellarmine High School in San Jose, where he held the office of class clown and was told that he wouldn’t amount to anything. The school mascot was a bell and it was once stolen by a rival team before a basketball game. In science class, he and a classmate set out to prove that tobacco was bad for one’s health by demonstrating that cigarettes would dissolve in sulfuric acid.

He visited the World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962. His mother left him and his father to go shopping. As soon as his mother was out of sight his father said, “You’ll be fine on your own for awhile?” He left him to wander on his own for a few hours. So he went up the Space Needle.

He attended college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, where he met his wife Kathy. Decades later, at a party, they told an acquaintance that they had been together since college. She said, “I know. I remember you guys. I was a freshmen at Gonzaga when you were upperclassmen. You were quite the campus couple.”

He was married in 1967 and had six children born between 1968 and 1980. They lived in Omak, Seattle, and Yakima, before settling in Grandview, Washington in 1975. On their first day in the new house, they learned that a freeway was going to be built through their property. They had to have the house lifted off its foundation and moved to another lot two miles away. He lived in the relocated house for the next forty-one years.

Kathy once showed him a purple microwave while they were shopping. “Look. A purple microwave,” she said. He took this as a hint and returned later to buy it as a surprise gift. She was surprised as she’d only pointed it out because it was ugly.

He worked as a case worker and a social worker for the State of Washington for 31 years and 4 hours. Constant cutbacks and ineffective management left him frustrated. To receive his full pension he had to make up four hours of work that he’d lost in a brief labor strike years before, so he worked until noon on the 31st anniversary of his start date.

In retirement he volunteered with Lower Valley Hospice and with Mount Rainier National Park. He traveled to Scotland and Russia, went on camping trips, and visited his children and grandchildren who were scattered across the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest.

He continued to travel after his cancer diagnosis, sometimes leaving directly from chemotherapy appointments to go camping.

He would speak to anyone he met, tell them where he was from, and describe how to find it on a map. His lack of self consciousness sometimes bordered on a lack of self awareness. Many found that charming, but it embarrassed his children when they were younger.

He was a born storyteller, telling his children and grandchildren stories of his life that were rich in detail, but light on point.

He made some bad decisions a long time ago. He was humbled, forgiven, and he rose above it. He was a devout Catholic and was the least judgmental person you’d meet.

He helped and cared for people. It was his job, but he also helped people in his volunteer time, and on his own time.

He enjoyed mystery novels and Star Trek. He listened to Rush Limbaugh and NPR. He made scrambled eggs for breakfast on Sundays and ate liver and onions when it was on the menu at a restaurant.

Why do obituaries never give the cause of death? He fought cancer, kidney disease, and dementia. He fought it in a careful measured manner, just as he lived. He fought it until it was too painful to fight, until he started to lose himself. Then he went into hospice care and then he died.

He died in the morning on June 16, 2016 in Yakima, Washington. His wife, my mother, held his hand. He tightened his grip briefly and then let go.

He is survived by his wife, six children, sixteen grandchildren, and a purple microwave.

You will find signs from the other participants in our header challenge by following the links in my sidebar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


The theme thrown out for us this week for our header challenge is Gardens.

My home garden is rather wild.

While the community's Rose Garden is well organized and tame.

We enjoyed peeking into this garden in a tiny close along the Royal Mile in Edinburg, Scotland.

After our hiking trip in the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, as we traveled back to Edinburg, we visited Hercules' Garden and found it delightful.

In Lincoln, UK we visited Dawber Garden.
This one includes a small critter which could have joined us a couple of weeks ago.

Let's visit the gardens of our other members of this header challenge--the Headbangers--who are linked in my sidebar.