Three Things Thursday

Once again it’s time for 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

One: Civic Pride

I’ve been in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still love learning new things about my new home town. And I’ve always loved being able to see Mount Rainier on clear days. So I was thrilled this morning to discover the article ‘Live like the mountain is out’ street stencils part of community branding campaign in the local newspaper, The News Tribune.

Our area is called the South Sound because, on a map, we are toward the bottom of Puget Sound. The news app from KIRO7, the Seattle CBS affiliate TV channel, offers sections dedicated to both South Sound news and North Sound news, but I’ve never heard the phrase North Sound used in any other context. It seems that the folks around here differentiate between the South Sound and Seattle, which includes that city and points north.

Two: Signs of Spring

It’s been raining so steadily that I haven’t been able to get out to take photos, but in the last few days I’ve noticed daffodils in bloom, forsythia bushes covered in yellow flowers, and the early-flowering ornamental trees and bushes beginning to display flashes of pink or white. The rhododendron bushes, the Washington state flower, that line the roads in our retirement community have big fat buds all over, but none have broken open yet.

But pretty soon they’ll be in bloom, along with the ornamental pear trees that also line our streets. I promise some photos when the weather lets me get out and walk around.

Three: What I’ve Been Watching: Beck

Our daughter got us a subscription to streaming service Hulu for Christmas. Lately my husband and I have taken to watching foreign TV series. We’re currently about 2/3 of the way through season 2 of the three seasons of Beck, a Swedish police drama. Shows like this offer glimpses into not only the legal systems but also the culture and local customs of other countries.

I hope everyone has a great week. See you next Thursday!

© 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

We’ve been retired in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still enjoy learning about my new hometown. Here are three discoveries from the past week:

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list, part 2: The nonfiction edition

Last week I included a reading list of local fiction. Here is the nonfiction companion.

(2) “Those Other Huskies”

I wrote about the University of Connecticut Huskies and the University of Washington Huskies in a Three Things Thursday post last year.

I was pleased to see this recent article, in which the giant East Coast newspaper the New York Times reported on “those other Huskies,” the ones that live near me:

Washington Women Paint a Target on Those Other Huskies

(3) A bit of local history

Tuesday was the anniversary of one of Tacoma’s most iconic events, the 1993 demolition of the ASARCO smelter smokestack:

The ASARCO smokestack — once the world’s largest — is demolished at the company’s old copper smelter in Ruston, north of Tacoma, on January 17, 1993.

Of course I had heard about this event before, but notice of this anniversary made me search for more information. And I found a lot:

{Feature photo at top of post from Toxipedia}

Have a good week, everyone!

 

© 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

Here are three things that warmed my heart recently.

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list: the fiction essentials

We moved to Tacoma, about 25 miles south of Seattle, just a little under four years ago. I always love finding out new things about where we now live, and I also love reading, especially fiction. So I was pleased to come across this list of books that will introduce me to the region. There are enough suggestions here to keep me happily reading throughout 2017.

(2) Creative Colloquy: A Literary Site

I’m determined that 2017 will be my year to work on my personal writing. This site was a real find:

Creative Colloquy was founded in February of 2014 with the intention of fostering relationships built upon the mutual admiration of the written word and providing a platform to highlight literary talent in the South Sound.

We do this in a number of ways including the online literary site focused on short fiction, novel excerpts and essays but also including poetry and other prose penned by writers who reside in the Pacific Northwest.

South Sound refers to the area around Puget Sound south of Seattle. This organization holds monthly events in Tacoma. I had been looking for a local writers group. Perhaps this will be it.

(3) Inside Bright Lights, the Final Curtain for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

Who wasn’t touched by the recent deaths, just one day apart, of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds? HBO had completed a documentary on the famous duo scheduled to premier later in the year, but the network moved the date up to January 7.

In this article, “Documentarians Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens talk their moving documentary, which gains a bittersweet new meaning in the wake of Reynolds’s and Fisher’s unexpected deaths.”

I hope all of you will have a fantastic 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

I’ve been gone for quite a while, probably about three months. Life happens. I’ve missed the weekly Three Things Thursday posts, since they usually brighten my spirit and bring a smile to my face. I’m glad to be back.

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Zoolights

Every year the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium here in Tacoma dresses up for the winter with Zoolights, a gorgeous and enchanting other world painted by thousands of colored lights. Here are three of the best photos from this year’s visit.

(1) Dancing Crab

crab

Since this is a static photograph, you can’t see this as the dancing crab that it really was, with its claws alternately opening and closing. But I’m still fond of it.

(2) Tree of Life

tree of life

I’m not sure who named this the tree of life or why it was so named, but if I had to pick one overall favorite display, this would be it. Perhaps I love it so much because purple is my favorite color. Whatever the reason, this is the centerpiece that draws me every year.

(3) Wolf Howling at the Moon

wolf howling at moon

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium participates in the red wolf restoration project, and this annual display illustrates that participation. In past years we had to photograph this display from quite far away, and the pictures always came out blurred. But this year some of the traditional exhibits had been rearranged on the grounds. We were able to get much closer to the howling wolf, and this photo came out better than previous attempts.

I hope Zoolights brightens up your day as much as it brightened up my night.

 

© 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-badge-new

Recently we’ve come across some artistic representations of animals (click on any photo to see a larger version):

(1) Snake Sculpture

carved snake 02

We discovered this snake at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. It looks so real that I was taken aback the first time I came upon it in the Asian Forest section. A few days ago we visited the zoo again with a 3 1/2 year-old family member. Like me, she stopped in her tracks when she saw this guy. “Is it moving?” she asked. When I told her no, it was a statue, she said, “Whew!” I know exactly how she felt.

(2) Wooden Slug

Slug Sculpture

We came upon this carved slug on our most recent trip to Northwest Trek. We had never been him before. In addition to rain and a temperate climate, the Pacific Northwest is also famous for slugs, including the big banana slug. This fellow apparently arrived just in time for the annual Slug Fest, which was to be held the following weekend.

(3) Neighborhood Sea Serpent

carved snake 01

And what would a Pacific Northwest neighborhood on Commencement Bay be without its own resident sea serpent? We came across this clever use of a tree root on one of our walks. I always marvel at examples of such creativity.

© 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-participant

Beautiful Purple Iris

The record-breaking warm temperatures we had last week brought lots of people, including us, out to visit local parks. We are lucky enough to live within walking distance of Tacoma’s main park, Point Defiance Park.

Point Defiance Park includes many separate gardens, including Northwest Native Plants, Iris, Rose, and Dahlia gardens. Last week’s warm temperatures also brought out spring seasonal flowers in abundance, such as the iris pictured below.

Since my favorite color is deep purple, I was delighted to find these three beauties in bloom:

(Click on photos to see a larger version.)

Until next week, I wish you all well!

Photos © 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-participant

Last Saturday was the first non-rainy weekend day we’ve had in a long time. The absence of rain and a temperature in the high 50s brought lots of people, including us, to the beach area of nearby Point Defiance Park. As we walked along the beach, we watched a dog swim out to fetch a ball thrown into the water and four children work a see-saw made of a flat log placed perpendicularly over a round log at the water’s edge.

Here are three things from our walk. Although there was no rain, the day was overcast, so these pictures are somewhat subdued. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)

(1) Long Live Harry Bosch

A couple of weeks ago Amazon Prime released the second season of its show Bosch based on the mystery novels of Michael Connelly. When I tweeted that we were spending the day watching all 10 episodes, I received a message from Connelly’s web master offering me a Bosch ball cap.

Bosch hat: front

Our walk on the beach was my first opportunity to wear my spiffy new cap. Fans of Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles Police detective Harry Bosch will smile at what’s on the back of the cap:

Bosch hat: back

(2) Horsetails

Vegetation is beginning to break through. These things that look like striped asparagus are the earliest growth of horsetails:

horsetail sprouts

Later the stalks will branch out and look more like what they’re named after. Here’s a photo of some plants that are further along and have already begun to stretch out:

horsetails beginning to leaf out

Horsetails love wet areas. Here are a few more interesting facts about horsetails from Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon:

(a) Ancient Romans ate young common-horsetail shoots as if they were asparagus. They also used the shoots to make tea and as a thickening powder.

(b) Common horsetail is one of the most widespread plants in the world and often turns up as a bad garden weed.

(c) Common horsetail was the first vascular plant to send up green shoots through the debris of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

(3) Fog Bells?

We’ve seen these things in Point Defiance Park before, right near the water’s edge, but aren’t sure exactly what they are:

fog bells?

All we can figure out is that they may be fog bells. Here’s a close-up of one:

possible fog bell: view from below

It looks as if the curved pieces swing back and forth, allowing the protruding rods to strike the clapper (the thing that looks like a long fire extinguisher).

A Google search turned up no information about these things. I did, however, discover that fog bells have been used since about 1850. If that’s what these things are, fog gongs might be a more appropriate term.

If anyone knows what these are and how they work, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

In the meantime, have a good week.

© 2016 by Mary Daniels Brown