Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Nasty four letter word!

I live on the west side of the Cascade Mountain range where our climate is largely controlled by the large pond of water to the west of us known as the Pacific Ocean. That large pond usually gives us quite a bit of precipitation but also fairly warm temperatures. But once in awhile we get a winter blast of cold air from up north (thanks, Jude in Alberta!) and when it meets the moisture from the Pacific, we get some snow. This time we got too much.

It started sticking Sunday afternoon. Pat & I went into Starbucks for our mochas and noticed while there that the snow had started to stick and build up outside. There was about an inch of it when we drove home about 14:00. It didn't stop and there was more the next day, snowing pretty much all of Monday. By Monday evening, when it finally did stop, we had about ten inches of the stuff. Then it turned cold, with overnight temps around 14F or less. Yesterday it never got above freezing, even though it was sunny and beautiful. So, of course there was not much snow melting. I did take a few photos yesterday in the neighborhood and will share some with you.

Snow 01
This is the street in front of my house. The photo was taken not long after sunrise. That is Little Mountain in the background, the landmark that my park is named for. See what I mean, that we have way tooooo much of the stuff?

Snow 02
This view is from the same location but I turned 180 degrees to look to the west. There is still too much snow in that direction, also.

Snow 03
We have a lot of evergreen trees in Washington State but don't very often see them covered with snow where I live. This one has about as much as it can hold without breaking it's branches. We are lucky that our utilities are all underground so don't have to worry about power outages very often.

Snow 04
My house is in a culdesac in the lower part of the park and I have houses behind my back yard. Pat called early to tell me to look to the east at the sunrise. I did and it was beautiful. By the time I got the camera it was already loosing it's glory but the glow did still photograph pretty well. This is looking across my deck in the back yard from my bedroom window (you didn't expect me to go out there in that stuff, did you?) and you can see some of the s**w that is out there. The house isn't as close as it looks to be but this does show how a telephoto lens compresses distances.

We plan to venture out with the car soon to make a trip to Haggen's grocery store and of course a stop at Starbucks for a mocha. Our weather report calls for about four more inches of snow this afternoon before the temperature goes up and it will come down in rain. Then it will get real sloppy as all that snow turns to slush. Maybe we can get out again by the weekend. Anyone want some excess snow?

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Monday, November 27, 2006


10,000 visits & the Festival of Trees

Today my hit counter racked up the ten thousandth visit to my blog since I put the counter on last spring. There had been some hits before it was added but I have no idea how many. Thanks to all who have come to visit and I especially enjoy those who take the time to post a comment as they are really appreciated.

Once a year in my town of Mount Vernon, Washington, the Festival of Trees is held. Various people and groups do a special job of decorating Christmas trees that are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. This is a charitable fund raiser with the money going to a different group every year. This year it is going to the new cancer unit at the local hospital. Pat, her daughter C and I didn't go to the auction but for the two days after that you can visit and look at them. We did go last Saturday to do just that and I took some photos of a few of the trees. Here are some of those photos:

Festival of Trees 01
First is a sign that was posted there listing the sponsors.

Festival of Trees 02
The show is held in a local private school (note the basketball hoop) and each person who buys a ticket to view them is given a vote to select one as the People's Choice. As it turned out, Pat and I each selected the same one and this is it. It has a rock & roll theme.

Festival of Trees 03
This one was about princesses and I guess I took the photo mainly for my two grand daughters who like prindesses.

Festival of Trees 04
This is the University of Washington themed tree. It is located in Seattle and while I never attended school there my youngest son did graduate from this school. Their mascot is an Alaskan Husky dog.

Festival of Trees 05
Here is a closer view of part of the display that goes along with the U of W tree.

Festival of Trees 06
I am not sure of the theme of this one but it was attractive to me so I photographed it. The next photo is a closeup of part of this display.

Festival of Trees 07

Festival of Trees 08
This shows four of the trees and part of the display that goes along with them. The whole show is interesting and they are very well presented for viewing.

Festival of Trees 09
This is another closeup of one of the display scenes.

Festival of Trees 10
And another closeup of one of the trees with other lights and things in the background. I really enjoyed the show although I can not afford to buy a tree there. Since it is a fund raiser they go for a rather high price but I hesitate to say how much as I am not sure. I do look forward to seeing them again next year.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving to all

I realize the holiday is almost over but I want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who reads here. It is one of the best of the family and friends days of the year.

Mine was very good. I was invited to Pat's daughter's home for dinner with Pat and 18 other friends and family members. I got to meet some that I hadn't met before and spend more time with some I had met previously. The dinner was great and we even brought home some left overs for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the so called Black Friday shopping day, when many stores have weird sales that start at O'Dark Thirty in the middle of the night. Pat and I will probably not participate in those events, but I am sure we will make it over for a mocha. I do have some Christmas shopping to do. Sometime.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006


Another Elvis show coming up!

Danny Vernon as Elvis
Danny Vernon as Elvis, 31 Aug 2006

I have really enjoyed Danny Vernon's "Illusions of Elvis" shows and when I learned he will be returning to the Northern Lights Casino in December for a Christmas show, I wanted to get tickets. Patty is a real Elvis fan but she has never had the opportunity to see one of the impersonators, so she was also willing to make sure we got tickets. My son & DIL, M & J, also enjoy him as do J's parents, so M met us at the casion on Friday when it opened at 11 so we could be near the first in line for tickets. We each were able to get four tickets for free, which is a very good price.

After getting the tickets we ate lunch at the casino. Pat & I tried the seafood buffet while M had a Caesar salad. We then looked around the casino but managed to get away without spending any money on the slot machines. The Elvis show will not be until Dec. 21st but it will be in the Cabaret room which is a much smaller and more intimate venue than the one I attended Aug. 31st in the much larger bingo room. I will take my camera and this time have a fast 50mm lens that should allow some good photos, especially in that room.

Our weather has been something else. Seattle has broken the all time record for rainfall in the month of November and is now setting a new record almost daily as more is added. Last Wednesday we had very strong winds and it looks this morning like the wind is picking up again although it isn't expected to be as strong as it was Wed. I guess this is winter in the northwest and since I will be spending it here this year I need to get used to it. There will be more before it gets better.

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Monday, November 13, 2006


Another play that we attended

Here is another photo of Pat and I that was taken in the same session as the other one:

Pat and Dick

She took me to the McIntyre Hall here in Mount Vernon last Saturday night to see the play, "Seussical the musical" that was presented there by the local META Performing Arts group. It was a great play and very well done, with a cast of 50 or so, most of which were children. The main child character is probably not over ten years old but she did a fantastic job in the role of Jojo. I guess this play has been presented on stage in New York but this version was done locally with local folks. McIntyre Hall is a very good theater that is located on the local college campus.

This is a scan of the cover of the program from the play.

Tomorrow I am going to my local clinic to get a flu shot. I am allergic to having holes poked in me but Pat says I should get one. Isn't it amazing what a guy will do if the right girl asks him to?

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Thursday, November 09, 2006


Pat and I

My life has been good the last few weeks, and Pat is the main reason for that. My neighbor took this photo of us with my camera and I want to share it with all of you. Here is Pat and I:


My area (the Pacific Northwest) has been having a lot of rain recently but the rivers are finally receeding and we have had a couple days with little rain to add to it. My house is located at over 200' elevation so I have had no problems from flooding. The next storm is due to arrive tonight, but there are also cooler temperatures so much of what falls in the mountains should be in the form of snow. That will reduce the volume of water that reaches the rivers and streams right away. The offical amount of rainfall in two days in Seattle was nearly 9 inches. November is usually the rainiest month of the year here but the normal average is less than 6 inches, for the whole month. So in two days we exceeded by about 50% what we normally have for the month.

My older son should be back soon from his boating trip on his Navy ship. It will be good to see him again. He missed his son's 13th birthday party but should be able to spend time with him again soon.

I am still going to the YMCA at least three times a week for my exercise class and watching my diet. So far since starting into this about two months ago I have lost 15 pounds and feel like I am in better condition. Pat also watches what she eats and is now helping me to do the same. A couple of times I have suggested we share a desert and she gently points out that neither of us really needs one. She is good for me in so many ways. I am very lucky.

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Monday, November 06, 2006


I've been busy

I thought I should write a short post to let everyone know I am still around. I've just been busy. My lady friend that I met at the Red Hatter outing last month and I have been doing things together every day since then. We have gone to movies, shopping, lunches and dinners out, spending good time at home together and of course drinking mochas. She likes her's just like I order mine, except with a light touch of whipping cream. But she doesn't need to loose any weight like I do. I think I have found the one I want to spend the rest of my life with! A little more time will tell for sure.


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