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

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: I Read!

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

Three Things Thursday

I didn’t plan things this way, but when I looked at the photos on my phone I found that the last three I took involve reading. So here we go!

One

An online book group that I participate in recently shared photos of their TBR (to be read) shelves. Here’s my photo, although I have other books scattered across multiple other shelves:

tbr shelves

Two

My newest purple T-shirt arrived recently:

i read shirt

Three

I don’t get sick very often, so when I do I tend to wallow in my misery. Yesterday I started getting a nasty cold, so I decided to be totally self-indulgent and allow myself to curl up under a light blanket with a good book. After a couple of people commented on my TBR shelf photo (above), I chose this one to curl up with:

dark matter

I hope everyone has a good week. I look forward to reading your Three Things Thursday posts.

© 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

The city of Tacoma, WA, originated as a port for the fishing and lumbering industries. Nowadays the Port of Tacoma continues to function as one of the largest ports on the West Coast. In addition to providing hundreds of jobs to the area, it also undertakes to clean up and reclaim land around the port that was contaminated by industry long before the formation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

Last Friday a group of us went on a field trip to the Port’s Gog-le-hi-te Wetland area, 12 acres of land along the Puyallup River that used to be the Tacoma town dump. The project involved removing all the trash, then digging deep enough to remove all contaminated soil. The land was then left alone for natural growth of vegetation. Now the river allows for the growth of young salmon, and the surrounding land provides a home for many birds and animals.

The Port biologist, Jenn, accompanied us for a bird-watching session. Here are three of the birds we saw. Thanks to my husband and his telephoto lens for these photos. Most of them were taken from a great distance, so judge accordingly.

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

You can read more about Jenn’s interesting job at Diary of the Port Biologist.

and a fun fact

On a tour of the Port of Tacoma last winter we learned about how scientists are Mapping ocean currents with rubber ducks (scroll down the page a bit). The flotilla of yellow rubber duckies is visible on satellite photos and has helped scientists learn about ocean currents as they tracked the rubber ducky migration.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown