Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

Our enrichment activities director from Franke Tobey Jones Retirement Community planned an exciting eclipse-viewing trip for us. Last Friday we left Tacoma, WA, for the 150-mile trip south to Portland, OR. Here are three highlights of our trip.

Friday: Powell’s Books

No trip to Portland is complete without a visit to Powell’s Books, the mother ship of bookstores. I only got this quick shot of the store’s exterior as we were crossing the street to enter. Once I got inside, I was much too excited to bother with photos. But trust me, if you’re ever in Portland, you’ll want to include this landmark on places-to-visit list.

Powell's Books

Saturday Market

Equally as famous as Powell’s Books is Portland’s Saturday Market, which is now open on both Saturdays and Sundays. You can find just about anything you want there. We had a lovely day to browse, and I came home with a number of holiday gifts.

Portland Saturday Market

Monday: Eclipse Viewing

The highlight of the trip was our view of Monday’s total solar eclipse. Many of our fellow trip participants had made viewers by taping a piece of welder’s glass to a box top, but my husband and I were lazier: We just bought the glasses. Most of us stayed at our hotel in Portland, where we had 99% of totality:

eclipse viewing

A few of our fellow travelers made the short trip to a park in a town a bit south of Portland, where they saw the whole thing: 100% totality.

Even at not-quite-complete totality, seeing the eclipse was an amazing experience. In just seven years another total solar eclipse will cross the Eastern part of the United States, and I’m thinking that might be a good time to visit some friends and family members…

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

Last week was a busy one here at Frank Tobey Jones retirement community. Here are the three events we attended.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

Wednesday: Lunch Bunch at Marzano

We revisited one of our most popular places to eat, Marzano Italian restaurant.

I especially appreciate that everything on the menu except the lasagna was available in a gluten-free version. I had the highly recommended spaghetti bolognese on gluten-free pasta, and my husband had a pizza with gluten-free crust. Both were delicious, as was my dessert: chocolate torte made without wheat flour.

Thursday: Concert on the Lawn with Scott Cossu

The annual Concert on the Lawn series takes place on Thursday evenings during August. These free concerts are open to people in the nearby community as well as residents of Franke Tobey Jones. They are always popular. People bring lawn chairs or blankets and relax on the front lawn with a picnic dinner and/or whatever drinks and snacks they choose to bring along. People who live in the houses closest to FTJ just sit out in their front yards. A lot of children always attend, and they enjoy running around on the spacious lawn.

concert on the lawn

Last week’s performance was by composer and performer—and Northwest resident—Scott Cossu  and friends.

Scott Cossu and accompaniment

Friday: Family Picnic

There was lots of food and fun, along with outstanding entertainment by the Filipiniana Multicultural Dance Troupe.

Filipiniana Multicultural Dance Troupe

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

One

One thing that fascinates me is how words can be used to manipulate meaning. Prunes have gotten such a bad name because … well, you know. So why not call them something else:

dried plums

Sure, you see the word prunes on this bag, but the phrase dried plums is bigger so you’ll notice that first and maybe overlook the fact that this bag actually contains prunes.

Be honest now: Wouldn’t you much rather admit to eating dried plums than to eating prunes?

Two

The activities director at our retirement community has planned a great trip to Oregon for us to view the total solar eclipse next month. We’re so excited! We even bought some special glasses for watching the eclipse safely.

These are my husband’s glasses, which he plans to wear over his eyeglasses:

eclipse-viewing glasses

I won’t be wearing mine over eyeglasses, so I opted for the wrap-around style:

eclipse-viewing glasses

Which one of us do you think will be more fashionable?

Warning!

Do NOT view the eclipse with regular sunglasses.

The glasses pictured here are specially made for eclipse viewing.

The American Astronomical Society has information about the eclipse, including eye safety, here.

Three

If Mount Rainier erupts in the near future, we can say, “I saw this coming”:

Mount Rainier with plume-like cloud

I hope you all have a remarkable week between now and next Thursday.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Natalie for hosting Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week.”

Three Things Thursday

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

One

We spent 40+ years in the midwest, where dramatic thunder and lightning storms are a way of life. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest four years ago, I was surprised to learn that thunder storms are so rare here that they draw discussion.

That’s why, at a recent dinner party at a neighbor’s house, everyone went into the kitchen to see this view:

Double Rainbow at Franke Tobey Jones

The double rainbow was an added benefit that well complemented the magnificent sky.

Thanks to my husband for sharing his photo.

Two

Every summer our retirement community holds a dinner party in the resident gardens at which awards are presented for the best hats. Here are this year’s first- and second-place winners in the women’s category:

Second- (left) and first-place women's hats

That’s Sharon on the left, in her second-place hat featuring a gardening theme. I like to think she’s planting those seeds to feed the birds on Pat’s (right) impressive first-place aviary.

Well done, ladies!

Three

Last week I mentioned that I was reading this book:

And what a dramatic roller coaster of an experience that reading was!

I don’t give out many five-star ratings, but this book certainly earned one. The first few pages aren’t exactly a suck-you-right-in opening, but as soon as the meat of the story began, I couldn’t put this book down.

I don’t read a lot of science fiction, but this novel does exactly what good science fiction should do: It uses science (in this case, a problem from quantum mechanics) to explore the deepest questions of human existence. And don’t be scared off by the phrase quantum physics. The novel gives an excellent visual explanation of the situation at its heart on page 113.

This would be a good book to read on a long airplane flight, but, like me, you can read it right in your own living room. But do read it. I’d love to hear if it mesmerized you as much as it did me.

I hope everyone has a good week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

A Day at the Fair

Recently a group of us from Franke Tobey Jones spent the day at the Washington State Fair. There’s so much to see there that it’s hard to decide what to feature, but here are three things that amused me (click on any photo to see a larger version):

Where do brown eggs come from?
Where do brown eggs come from?

 

magic hands
magic hands

 

bovine wisdom
bovine wisdom

 

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Lavender Festival

Last week several of us from Franke Tobey Jones visited the lavender festival held by:

Blue Willow Lavender Farm
10615 Wright Bliss Rd KPN, Gig Harbor, WA 98329
253–225–9030

I’ve been wanting to attend a lavender festival ever since moving out here, so I eagerly signed up for this trip. Here are three things I learned.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) So Many Varieties!

I had no idea that there are so many varieties of lavender. The farm featured several rows of different varieties, all labled:

varieties of lavender

(2) Not all Lavender is Lavender

Some lavender is white:

(3) Lavender is Used in Many Ways

The gift shop contained so many items that use lavender: soap, body lotion, essential oil, flavoring for food and drinks. I bought some tea:

lavender tea

Bonus

Lavender fields

lavender fields

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Mount St. Helens

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

three-things-thursday-badge-new

Trip to Mount St. Helens Volcanic Monument

Related Posts:

You know how we often say “We should do XXX sometime” but then never getting around to actually doing it?

A trip out to Mount St. Helens has been one of those things for us ever since we moved to the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately, our activities director here at Franke Tobey Jones arranged a bus trip, and we eagerly signed up.

Mount St. Helens, which erupted on Sunday, May 18, 1980, is easily recognizable by the giant crater caused by a landslide on the mountain’s north face. I have written in detail about that eruption (see the two related posts), so I’ll just include some observations here.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) The mountain’s crater and the devastation as well as regrowth around it are evident in this photo:

Mt St Helens 02

(2) You can still see evidence of the downed logs that covered the area around the volcano like matchsticks as a result of the eruption:

fallen logs

You can also see the new evergreen trees that have grown up to begin the natural process of reforestation.

(3) Wild flowers proliferate, evidence of nature restoring itself:

For More Information

In quite a case of synchronicity, today I find this news article: Crystal movement under Mount St. Helens may have predicted 1980 eruption

Mount St. Helens Visitor Information

Eruption Geology and Monitoring

Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center at Coldwater

Lawetlat’la

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown