Saturday, February 21, 2009

Poland Update

I've still been experiencing Internet connection problems. I ended up changing hotel rooms yesterday in hopes of improving it. I can actually find a connection, but the wireless in the hotel is fluky. One minute I have a strong signal and the next minute I can barely find it.

It is to the point I don't dare and try to upload pictures. That will have to wait until I return home.

Yesterday was the first day it didn't snow. It has been more like daily snow showers since it doesn't really accumulate that much. There is snow on the ground, but we haven't gained much more since our arrival.

The area of Poland that we are in is pretty. Lots of forests and of course, the lakes. The frozen lakes. :-)

I would imagine that in the summer months, this is a great place to visit.

The Polish people have been very gracious. Many speak English which is more than I can say about us speaking Polish. We are slowly learning a few words like thank you and please. With time we will learn more.

This afternoon our group is scheduled to go on another horse drawn sleigh ride. We did one Thursday night that also included a short train ride through one of their national forests. We had fun and the food was delicious. I suspect the ride today will be at the same place as the last one. At least it will be a day time ride and I hope to get more pictures. These rides are hosted by the yards building our boats so it is as much a business function as it is a social outing.

Time to get back to work!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can you say Internet problems?

I am having trouble connecting to the internet from the hotel in Augustow. I am feverishly working on resolving it.

Sorry about the lack of pictures and updates so please bear with me.

I am tired from not sleeping well (I will tell you more about the hotel later). It has snowed a little bit each day I have been over here.

Stay tuned...

Remember Whensday

Asleep at the Wheel
Gregg - 1981

Monday, February 16, 2009

Made it to Warsaw

I made it to Warsaw today. I did have a slight hiccup coming through security in Copenhagen.

Three of us in our group had dial calipers (which is a measuring device) in our carry-on bags. Security considered it a tool and said we would need to check our luggage through to Warsaw. So out of the secured area we went to find the counter to check baggage. We put all three calipers in my suitcase.

Once that was accomplished, then it meant going back through Security. We are getting pretty good at this. :-)

On the flight from Seattle to Copenhagen, I made the newbie mistake of having a window seat. My seatmate fell asleep and I was trapped in mine until he woke up. This is NOT good when Mother Nature calls.

I have already made a seat change for the return flight home so that I don't have to experience that again.

I did get some pictures today but am too tired to post. Tomorrow - I promise!

And it was snowing a little in Copenhagen and there is about 4-6 inches on the ground in Warsaw.

Now, I am off to bed!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Departure Day

Poland? In the winter? Are you nuts?!

Yes, yes and maybe. :-)

Part of my new job requires me to travel and off I go today for two weeks. This is mostly a business trip although I will have a least one day to do some some sightseeing.

I have a 10 hour flight to Copenhagen this evening, then a short layover before jetting off to Warsaw where our group will spend the night. Tuesday morning we will drive to Augustów ( listen) which is about 4 hours northeast of Warsaw.

Augustów, Polska (From Wikipedia)

There is a 9 hour time difference to adjust to. Whoa! When we arrive in Warsaw, it will be close to 5 p.m. their time, 9 a.m. Pacific time tomorrow. I've been reading that taking melatonin will help reduce the effects of jet lag so we shall see.

Unfortunately, I developed a cold a few days ago that I am still battling and hope the traveling doesn't make it worse. This morning I awoke feeling better than I did yesterday.

The weather is going to be chilly over there, too. Glad I'm bringing my hat, gloves and scarf.

This is my first trip abroad and I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I've got a camera ready and intend to post several pictures during my stay.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

To all my family and friends,

Enjoy today knowing that somebody loves you!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Skywatch Friday #31 - Mount Baker

Taken last Saturday near Edison, WA while I was out eagle spotting. There were patches of fog throughout the morning hours.

Mt. Baker in Washington State

To enjoy more pictures of the sky from around the globe, click on the logo below.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Going to the Dogs?

It was Family Dinner Night at our house. Our youngest son, Ryan, and his girlfriend, Claire, were here along with Claire's 22 month-old son, Logan.

First, our house is not kid-proof. Yet. :-) We will have to do something about that.

But Logan quickly found ways to amuse himself. He happened to see Jelly go in and out of the pet door and lickety-split, he went through it! Repeatedly.

This is fun!

Oh, the memories of a little one running around the house.

Remember Whensday

Waiting for a Ride
Karl - October 1964

Monday, February 9, 2009

I get a do-over

Karl looked at my retouched sunrise image yesterday and decided I needed to redo it. So here it is.

Sunrise - Round 2

Hey! I'm learning from my mistakes. :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Today I spent the better part of the day (in between loads of laundry) learning how to use Adobe's Photoshop CS2.

Karl is a Photoshop wizard and me, well...I know how to start the program and that's about it. I have always been intimidated by Photoshop. No more.

A co-worker graciously loaned me a DVD with tutorials on it. Wow! Just the lessons I watched today made me feel a little more comfortable using the program. I actually learned a few basic things in Photoshop like cropping, color correction and adding a custom brush (for my signature).

I used a picture I shot this morning as the sun was coming up over the lake to practice on.

I also re-learned that I need to use the tripod in low light conditions since most of my photos did not turn out. Live and learn.

Here is the original picture, only resized to upload faster.


And here is the photo after working in Photoshop. I corrected the color and cropped it as well.


I think it looks better than the original and is more representative of the colors in the morning sky.

Just like anything, practice makes perfect and I've got a LOT of practicing to do.

Time to go -- the dryer has stopped!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Heaven -- Eleven!

I took advantage of a sunny Saturday to go looking for eagles again. I drove up to the Samish Island area and saw this wonderful sight.

Count 'em - Eleven!

"Look at all those fools stopping to take our picture."

There were many people out and about with the bird watching gear and cameras. And with good reason. The eagles were in abundance.

Mister Majestic

What fun it was seeing all these beautiful birds.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night Basketball

Karl and I went to Nate's basketball game tonight. That makes #2 this week. This game was MUCH better than Tuesday night's.

The Granite Falls Tigers were visiting Lakewood. Nate played a great game as well as the rest of his team. The Cougs got off to a slow start and at half time the score was tied 28-28.

We'll Take that Point!

Nate in Action

The second half saw the Cougs get into their groove and build up a ten point lead over the Tigers.

In the third quarter, a Coug player sent up a 3 point shot only to see the ball get stuck between the rim and the backboard.


The final score was Lakewood 66, Granite Falls 54. Good game, guys!

I do have to comment about the shoes worn by one of GF Tigers. Is it just me or do these remind you of orange creamsicles?

Pretty Ending to an Otherwise Drizzly Day

Today started off like a typical day in the Pacific Northwest...gray and drizzly. I didn't even take the camera with me to work since it looked so gloomy outside.

After work, we walked the dogs down to the lake and I was rewarded by a sky painted in watercolors.

Sunset over Sunday Lake

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Skywatch Friday #30 - Sunrise Over Pilchuck

What a spectacular sunrise this past Tuesday!

Sunrise over Mt. Pilchuck

To see more pictures of the sky from around the globe, click on the logo below.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Remember Whensday

Ride 'Em Cowgirl
Me and Thunder (Aunt Sally's Horse in Oriskany, NY), 1971 or 1972

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Go Cougs!

Not THOSE Cougs as in Washington State University, but the Lakewood High School Cougars. Although I am a fan of the WSU Cougs.

Karl and I went to his nephew's basketball game tonight. Lakewood hosted the King's Knights out of Seattle. Nate plays forward for the Cougs. He started off scoring the first five points for his team and then two quick fouls had him finishing out the first half on the bench.

The Knights were sharp and outplayed the Cougars. Several fast break points early in the first quarter put them in the lead that they didn't relinquish.

Nate returned for the opening of the second half and helped to keep the Cougs within striking distance. At one point they were only four points down but the Knights pulled away for the victory in the closing minutes.

Nate had a good game and we'll see him play again on Friday. Lakewood had several missed opportunities tonight that hopefully they can improve on in their next game.

Opening Tip Off

He shoots, he scores!

Nate playing forward

Local sports photographers have nothing to fear from me. I took several photos but most of them did not turn out. But hey, the only way I will get better is to keep trying and learning.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

Tonight there was a surprise 18th birthday party for my granddaughter. Amanda was sent on a treasure hunt around town after dinner picking up the next clue that finally led her to the pizza restaurant where family and friends had gathered. She expected to get another clue and eventually return home to have cake and ice cream with just a few of her friends.

I think she was pleasantly surprised! The kids had pizza and pop along with cake and ice cream afterwards.


Picture Perfect Cake

My, they grow up fast.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I made my first cheesecake yesterday. It had to refrigerate overnight so this evening was the earliest to have some.

Pictures do not do it justice. It was DELICIOUS! Best of all, it was a healthier recipe than a full-on cheesecake. Strawberry topping was optional.

Scrumptious Dessert

If you want the recipe, email me.

Just Say NO!

Recently, two puppy mills were found within an hour's drive from my house. More than 600 dogs were rescued from deplorable conditions.

Just yesterday in the the town I live in, a suspected third puppy mill was raided.

The root of this evil? GREED. One operation alone was claimed to be bringing millions of dollars to the owners.

If you want to get a dog or cat, please consider adopting from your local animal shelter or rescue organization. If you have a particular breed you want, contact a purebred rescue groups or a reputable breeder. Ask your vet for a reference if you don't know of one. If you do buy from a breeder, VISIT THEM. See how they are raising their dogs.

The Humane Society has some great tips about adoption on their website.

Whatever you do, stay away from pet stores selling pure bred or "designer" dogs. Just say "NO!" Stop lining the pockets of these nasty people.

Both of our dogs are rescues. Jelly was adopted from a shelter in Arizona, and Buddy came from one in California via the Big Dog Project in Silverdale, WA. We found Buddy on Our KC cat was adopted from S.P.O.T. who is helping to care for many of the dogs rescued last week.

Buddy & Jelly ask that you please help stop puppy mills

To find out how you can help, contact your local animal shelter or rescue group. Donations of money, food or bedding, or volunteering a couple of hours of your time are always welcomed.