Three Things Thursday: Washington State Fair Edition

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

Three Things Thursday

We recently took our annual trip to the Washington State Fair. There’s always a lot to see there. Here are three things that especially struck my fancy.

Number One

A large Sasquatch guarded the wood carvers’ tent.

Sasquatch

Number Two

And there was the required animal wisdom that we’ve come to enjoy:

cow wisdom

Number Three

And the state fair wouldn’t be complete without a beautiful, lounging pig:

sleeping pig

What made you happy this week?

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Birthday Edition

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

Three Things Thursday

Please allow me a bit of self-indulgence. This week, it’s all about my recent birthday.

My husband and daughter took me out for dinner to my favorite restaurant, Stanley & Seafort’s, here in Tacoma, WA. This restaurant has wonderful food along with a gorgeous view of downtown Tacoma.

My usual celebratory drink on my birthday is a chocolate martini. But this year my eye fell on the lavender Cosmo on the menu and wouldn’t be denied (purple being my favorite color). So that’s what I started out with:

lavender Cosmo

Dinner was delicious, but birthdays are all about celebrating, so, after devouring my steelhead (which is a member of the trout family but similar to salmon in color and taste), I went for dessert. Being gluten sensitive limits my dessert options, but fortunately I love burnt cream, which was beautifully and festively served:

burnt cream

And also on the dessert menu, right under the food items, was the after-dinner drink listing, headed by Death by Chocolate Martini. So, of course, I had to have that as well:

Death by Chocolate Martini

It was quite a gustatory birthday celebration! Thanks to hubby and daughter.

© 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

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: Whirligig Pterodactyl

Pterodactyl Sculpture

At least we think this is a whirligig. There was very little wind when the photo was taken, so we didn’t see the pterodactyl fly.

I’m always amazed at how creative some people are!

Two: Rubber Ducky Raft

Rubber Ducky raft

There was some waterskiing going on in Commencement Bay, and these folks had pulled up to watch. Later we read in the paper that this was some kind of national championship competition.

These folks had one of the best seats in the house.

Three: Live Like the Mountain is Out

Mount Rainier: "Live Like the Mountain Is Out"

The area around Tacoma, WA, USA, is called the South Sound because we sit at the bottom of Puget Sound. And although Seattle, which is not in the South Sound area, likes to try to commandeer our mountain, we folks down here know that Mount Rainier is really OUR mountain.

Live Like the Mountain is Out is a slogan and movement of SouthSoundProud.

Over the years I’ve posted a lot of photos of Mount Rainier because I love it so much. But you need to see one more, because this one was taken last weekend, on perhaps the clearest day we’ve had in our four years in Tacoma. And it looks even better if you click for the larger view.

Once again, thanks to my husband for his great photo skills.

Have a wonderful week!

© 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

Four years ago we retired to Tacoma, WA, after living our entire adult lives in St. Louis, MO. We love our life here at the tip of Puget Sound, with the beautiful Commencement Bay just a few blocks away. Here are three things we’ve seen recently in our travels out and about.

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

One: Parasailing

parasailing

All summer long we see this red parachute out over the water as a boat pulls one or two people along for the ride. When I was much younger, I might have wanted to try this. But I am now well past the age when such an adventure appeals to me.

It does look like a lot of fun, however. I used to worry about how those people on the ‘chute got safely down, but one time we got to watch the landing process. The boat reeled the passengers in, and the landing looked easy as pie. Still, I’ll pass, although I’m sure the view from up there is spectacular.

Two: Canoe

The other day we went to one of the restaurants along the bay for an early dinner. As we were driving toward the restaurant, I noticed several small things on the water that looked like sculls. Once we were seated at the restaurant, the boats got close enough for us to see that they looked like canoes:

canoe

We’re guessing that these were Native American canoes, although I couldn’t find any references to a particular event in the local newspaper. How lucky we were to arrive for dinner at the same time the canoes were going by.

Three: Great Blue Heron

It’s not unusual to see a Great Blue Heron walking in shallow water in search of a meal. But it is unusual to see one of these magnificent birds in a tree:

heron standing in tree

When my husband was out riding his bike a couple of days ago, he heard a bird squawking and looked up to see a Great Blue Heron land in an evergreen tree. He told me about this sighting when he got home, and we looked for nesting information on the Great Blue Heron in our bird book. According to the book, herons often circle, “croaking raucously,” while coming in for a landing on their “messy nests of sticks arranged in large trees.”*

We drove back to the spot where he had seen the heron land, and it was still in the tree:

heron in tree

Although we tried looking through binoculars from several angles, we couldn’t see a nest, messy or otherwise. But since the heron stayed up there in the same place for quite a while, we assume we were looking at a female sitting on her nest.

You’d never be able to find a heron in a tree unless you heard it approaching and saw it land. Someday I hope to see a Great Blue Heron walking along the water followed by her chicks (or whatever heron hatchlings are called).

*Source: Birds of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Nancy Baron and John Acorn

Have a good week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown