Thursday, July 31, 2014

City Scenes with Good Fences

Every once in a while, this country gal takes a trip to the city! 

Come along with me and we will explore some pretty scenes.....

This beautiful building is Union Station in Tacoma, Washington. 

Once a bustling train station, this copper domed building
had fallen into disrepair. 

Now the city has brought it back to its former glory. 

Chihuly glass lights up the domed windows overlooking 
Commencement Bay.

The top of the dome.

Another view.

Some gorgeous architecture.

The building is now used for Federal offices,

We were not allowed to roam....

Beautiful iron fencing line the sidewalks.

Sidewalk detail.

Street scene.
The whole of Downtown Tacoma
has been restored and revitalized.
What was once a very run down area,
has been turned into beautiful shops,
businesses, cafe's and even a branch
of the University of Washington.

We have watched this happen since we
moved to Washington over 30 years ago.

You can see more beautiful buildings and views of
Downtown Tacoma here.

The Tacoma Dome is in the background.
This building hosts concerts, sports and cultural events.
The dome is made of wood and must be painted regularly.

It is scheduled for a face-lift soon, with a new paint design.

Wide stairways help walkers navigate the hilly landscape.

Vine covered walls and pretty railings lead down to the parking garage.

A last glimpse.... raindrop on my lens.

I survey the bay.
It is a cool and rainy day.
My Mr. keeps me laughing.

No, I haven't locked him in a cage,
although sometimes it's tempting....

Some wonderful old advertising.

The red banners are for the Tacoma Art Museum
This museum has just acquired a very large Western Art bequest.
They are building a new wing.....
It is set to open soon.
Paintings from one of my favorite artists,
Albert Bierstadt will be featured.

I can't wait to see this new acquisition.

Now let's travel north to Seattle...

We live about midpoint between the two cities.

The tall black building is the Columbia Center

which is the tallest building in Seattle and the state of Washington.

We attended a retirement party on the top floor once.

The views are incredible.

These photos were taken as we drive into the city.

Here are photos and the names of Seattle's Downtown Buildings.

Some interesting fences along the freeway.
Looking down on a curious scene.

Railings and the Space Needle along Lake Union.

A float plane circles for a landing....

Down she goes......

Seattle is a very pedestrian friendly city.
Stairs in West Seattle.

We leave the city behind....

Almost home...

I hope you enjoyed visiting my two beautiful cities
with some Good Fences along the way.

Although I love to visit,

there's no place like home!


Linking with:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

These Hot Summer Days

Can you believe that July is almost over? 
Sometimes I wish these beautiful summer days could go on forever. 

It's been quiet here in the forest. 
The birds are done nesting
and defending their territories with beautiful songs. 

On my morning walk, the rat-a-tat-tat of the Pileated Woodpecker
is the only thing that breaks the silence.

It has been very hot the last few days. 
The petunias and herbs are loving it. 

Did you know that purple petunias are the most fragrant?

They are so deliciously scented! 

 They attract the Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. 

These large butterflies are common here. 
The caterpillars feed on Alder trees, 
(among others) of which we have plenty. 

While sitting at my deck table admiring the butterfly 
 I felt a thump on my head! 
It was this little guy. 
He might have been trying to make a pass
 at the butterfly from some high place
and thought my head would make a great landing pad. 
I was a little startled! 
 I had to protect him from the cats who were very interested......
He is safely ensconced in the strawberry pot now. 

This is where I hang out on hot summer days. 
My sweet Mr. assembled the canopy
and this deck furniture on his week off. 

I spend as much time as possible here. 
We've had the canopy for years, but haven't put it up in a few. 
I bought the furniture on clearance last fall, 
ridiculously cheap. 

The stone fountain was a gift from my son. 
I just love the sound of the tinkling water. 

Can you see Ling Ling? 

The cats think we did this all for them! 
They spend the hot summer days sleeping here. 

The deck sits on the South side of the house
and is very hot in the summer. 

This little oasis keeps things cool. 

Lanterns and a candle chandelier light up the evenings. 

A tiny Zen Garden with striped rocks collected over time
is fun to arrange and rearrange. 

I grow succulents on the 'hot' side of the deck. 
I've had these plants for many years. 

Despite our very wet winters, they seem to thrive. 
Good drainage and tucking them under the eaves helps. 

They bloom and multiply every year. 

These warm summer evenings end with Mt. Rainier reflecting the sunsets. 

If we zoom in a little closer we can see the glaciers outlined 
by the rosy light. 

They seem to hold on to the flanks of the mountain rather precariously! 

Can you see the cracks above this glacier? 
If one of these fell, it would be a disaster 
called a Lahar. 

Lahars can travel great distances
 following the river valleys below. 

It is estimated that a wall of mud and debris 40 feet thick 
would swallow up a nearby town. 

There are Lahar warning systems in place,
much like tornado warning systems. 

School children have drills regularly and there are road signs
directing people to higher ground. 

I am glad that I live on higher ground! 

Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes 
in the world due to the high density populations surrounding it. 

We all live with danger and uncertainty
no matter where we live. 

Some have tornadoes, some have hurricanes, 
some have drought and wildfires,
some have extremes in temperatures. 

We have volcanoes and earthquakes! 

Life is uncertain at best, 
we never know how many precious days we have here. 

I try to keep this in mind, 
to remind me to always be kind. 

Thank you Dear Friends for all of your kindness.

It means so much to me. 

'Recompense injury with justice,
and recompense kindness with kindness'

'What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?'
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-

'The best portion of a good man's life.
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.'
-William Wordsworth-


Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Garden Bridal Shower

Over the weekend my daughters, 
 Heather and Jennie (with a little help from me) 
hosted an outdoor bridal shower
in Heather's garden. 

They are bridesmaids in the upcoming wedding
of my son Dustin and his sweetheart, Jen. 

It was a beautiful day and before the guests arrived, 
I was able to sneak a few photos. 

The theme was 'rustic romantic'. 

Wooden crates, burlap, crocheted lace, and pink roses. 

Simple place settings...

Canning jar 'glasses'.....

Carnation garlands....

Cork label holders and blueberry ice cubes...

Corseted wine.....

Martini glass mint holder.....

Special seat for the guest of honor...

Paper lanterns...

And parasols. 

Most everything gathered or handcrafted from things already on hand. 

The beautiful bride to be is about to arrive.....

She surveys her kingdom - princess for the day. 

Her 'crown' awaits...

A sweet smile.

On the menu - tea sandwiches, scones.....

Quiche and...

'salad' - veggies in ranch dressing cups. 

Fruit salad with lime yogurt sauce to begin the meal. 

Sweet cupcakes to end it. 

Games were played....

'Guess the age in the photo of the bride to be',
'What's in your purse?',
and 'Name what the bride to be is wearing'.....
(after she leaves the garden room!)

Gift bags for the winners. 

Guests were asked to write the 'perfect date night' 
on wooden sticks for the guest of honor to take home. 

Gifts were opened...

Favors given...

And all too soon the day was over. 

It was a beautiful day for a beautiful bride to be. 

With many blessings for a beautiful life. 


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