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

Three Things Thursday: Festival of Sail

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

Three Things Thursday

Last weekend the Festival of Sail, commonly known as the Tall Ships, brought quite a few seagoing sailing vessels to Tacoma, WA. Although we missed the parade of ships on Thursday afternoon, when the ships arrived with sails unfurled in all their glory, we did get a chance to tour some of the ships at anchor on Friday.

One of the most important elements on these ships is their ropes. Here are some illustrations.

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


Because ships played such a large role in the development of the city of Tacoma, our revitalized waterfront area features an educational museum that explains the naval importance of ropes:


A ship’s rigging contains a conglomeration of ropes that come together at the bottom of the mast:

ropes around mast


There are more ropes along the sides of the ships:

ropes on side of ship

The rounded thing that the ropes are wound around is called a belaying pin, from the verb belay:

to secure (as a rope) by turns around a clean, pin, or bitt

—from _Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: I’m Back

I have been away for two months now, mostly because of a good thing: travel. While I was gone, Three Things Thursday, which I’ve always enjoyed a lot, changed homes.

I’m happy to get reacquainted with Three Things Thursday, “three things big or small, that have made you happy this week,” at its new home.

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


After three Fitbits and two Jawbones, I am now the proud owner of an Apple Watch:

Apple Watch

If I had realized how easily those other devices would fail or break, I would have saved money by simply springing for the watch in the first place. Now I just have to get back in the habit of doing something serious about my exercise (or lack thereof).


It’s baby season here, where we entertain many of the deer who inhabit the neighboring park. Here’s this year’s fawn, still young enough to sport her fawn spots, with mother:

doe and fawn 2017

Thanks to my husband for getting this great photo.


On a recent Lunch Bunch outing to a nearby Mexican restaurant, I had fried ice cream for the first time:

fried ice cream

It was delicious, but then, I’m a fool for ice cream.

Thanks for checking in. I hope everyone has a good week. Until next Thursday… .

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday: Travel Gear!

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

My husband and I are preparing for a trip that will take us walking over slippery, uneven cobblestones throughout Europe. I need new hiking boots, so off we went to the REI store to look for some. And while we were there, we found a couple of other travel goodies as well.


These are my new hiking boots:

my new hiking boots

Since I have weak ankles, I wanted boots with a high top to provide extra support. The fact that they are also a pretty color is an added bonus.


Travel ponchos, which my husband is displaying in the feature photo at the top of this post. They fold into a small carrying pouch:

packable poncho

Here’s the pouch, with a regular small post card next to it to give you an idea of the size. These won’t take up much space in the suitcase but may come in handy.


This is my new sun/rain hat:

my rain hat

It has a wide brim in front to shade the eyes and an even wider brim in back to prevent sunburn on the neck. The hat will pack easily because the head covering will lie flat in the suitcase.

I hope everyone will have a good week!

Last Week’s Links

Mental-health therapists see uptick in patients struggling with post-election anxiety

From The Seattle Times:

With the constant bombardment of information coming out of the Trump administration, local mental-health experts say a hefty number of their existing clients — and as many as 80 percent of potential new clients — are seeking help for postelection distress.

And this has been an equal-opportunity occurrence: “anxiety has been on the rise among people of all political leanings, therapists say.”

The Brief, Confusing History of Foam Packaging

I did not know that everything we think is Styrofoam actually isn’t:

We know that polystyrene is bad for the environment, that it’s frequently mistaken for Styrofoam, and that it’s kind of a crappy way of shipping food to people.

Best way to slow aging? Exercise, but not just any kind

A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism noted that any kind of exercise is better than none, but it’s the high-intensity interval training that does best in reversing age-related changes at the cellular level.

Is It Harder to Lose Weight When You’re Older?

The short answer: “Yes, unfortunately.”

But there is some good news: Dr. Leslie Cho, an interventional cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center, suggests that older people focus on general fitness rather than obsessing about a number on a scale.

UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it

University of Washington professor Kate Starbird works in the field of crisis informatics. After the Boston Marathon bombing she began looking at social media postings to see how those media might be used for the public good in crises. Unexpectedly, she found clusters of fringe conspiracy theories, what she calls “real tinfoil-hat stuff.”

Read about her findings in an article that seems especially pertinent in light of the current political current in the U.S.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Weekend Coffee Share

It’s time once again for Weekend Coffee Share.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask for your suggestions on what books I should bring on vacation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that this weekend is a sports lover’s dream! It started Friday night with the two semifinal games of the women’s Final Four college basketball championship tournament. The second of those games produced one of the most spectacular results in women’s college basketball history: Mississippi State knocked off #1 University of Connecticut (UConn), which was shooting for its fifth consecutive national championship. The win by Mississipi State ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak. We’re UConn fans, but that game was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Right now, I’m typing this at the halftime break of the championship game. I’m pulling for Mississippi State to beat South Carolina, but SC is up 10 at the half.

The men’s Final Four is also going on this weekend, with the two semifinal games yesterday. In the first, home-state darling Gonzaga (out of Spokane, WA), won the opportunity to play for the championship. We were hoping for an all-Northwest final, but Oregon lost its semifinal to North Carolina by one point. Gonzaga plays NC for the title tomorrow night.

And it’s also time to … Play ball! Yes, it’s opening weekend for BASEBALL. Right after the women’s basketball game, ESPN will carry the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. If you’ve forgotten or don’t follow baseball, last fall the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. We lived in St. Louis for 42 years, and the Cubs and the Cardinals are serious archrivals, so I’m looking forward to this game. Our new hometown team, the Seattle Mariners, open up on the road (at Houston) tomorrow.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask what’s going on in your life right now.

I hope everyone has a great week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

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: How Many Do You Need?

how many studs do you need
how many studs

Two: Attagirl!

I have lost 9 pounds! And since my goal is to lose 40 pounds, I’m almost 1/4 of the way there.

I have done this by switching to low-carb eating and by just plain eating less food.

Three: History Lesson

On this site in 1897 nothing happened
history lesson

I hope you all have a great week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown