Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #21 - Growing Fuel

Standing on one of the granite rock outcroppings near the Okanogan house, I could see a swatch of yellow off in the distance. It really stood out among the grayish color of the surrounding area.

My neighbor, Amanda, later told me it was canola. A company is growing it for biodiesel. This shot was taken down at the abandoned homestead which was closer to the field of canola.

Growing Canola for Biodiesel

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Camera Critters #60 - Bugsy

While we were over at the Okanogan property last weekend, the wildflowers were in bloom. This little guy enjoyed them, too.


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Relay Fun

Pictures from the Relay for Life -

American Legions Riders kicking off the Opening Ceremony

This year's theme for the Relay was "Don't Clown Around With Cancer". One of Seattle's most beloved characters, J.P. Patches, (who is a cancer Survivor) was part of the Opening Ceremony.

J. P. Patches

First Lap for Everyone

Members of the Soles Who Care team -

Tim & My Co-Captain Patti


Don & Debi

Leslie & Mark W.

Jim & Jeline

Kerry C, Don & Tim


Tim & Mike P.

Patti doing facepainting

Each hour of the Relay had a theme. Pajama Lap where you wore your PJ's, Glow Lap (in which Karl won 1st place all decked out with glow sticks but I didn't get a picture!, Clown Lap and so on. One of the best "costumes" I saw was during the Backwards lap where you reverse direction on the track and you wear your clothes backwards. This lady did an outstanding job on hers. It took us a lap to finally figure out her costume once we saw the back of her.

Coming At Us With the Ponytail out of the Backwards Hat

The Reverse Side - Check Out Her Shirt!

Mike M., Mark S. & Jeline during the Hawaiian Lap (Mike took 3rd Place!)

10 PM brought the Luminaria Lighting Ceremony. Everyone stood in front of the luminaria that ringed the track and voices were lowered. One by one the luminaria were lit with battery-powered candles. During that time, the names in honor or in memory of their fight with cancer were read out. It was a very moving part of the Relay. I heard my dad's name called and said a prayer in his memory.

Pop's Luminaria

Reflecting on the Lives Touched by Cancer

Luminaria Encircling the Infield of the Track

"Hope" Spelled Out in Lights on the Opposite side of the Main Stadium

At 7 a.m., it was Zumba time. This was my first exposure to Zumba which is a form of exercise and dance moves set to Latin music. It was a blast and I think I'll find a weekly class and start Zumba-ing. What a workout it was, especially after being awake all night and walking a good portion of it.

Sally & Kerry M. Getting into the Zumba Groove

Closing Ceremonies began at 10 a.m. and the Final Lap was around 10:45. Then we packed up the campsite so we could go home. Another Relay completed.

Thanks to Patti who was a huge help again as Co-Captain and also to Jeline who stayed awake for the entire time and logged 17 miles! Our team raised over $2,000 this year towards the fight against cancer.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What Does 29+15+2+1 Equal?

Here's your answer.

29 Consecutive hours awake since yesterday morning (including those at work)
15 Miles (24 kms) walked
2 Awesome days of weather
+1 Blister

I am one tired pup at the moment so I'm going to go take a nap. Then I'll download pics from the Relay and select some to upload.

Later. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Relay Day!

Today is the day. The Relay For Life is finally here. Opening ceremonies are at 7:00 PM tonight. I'll be taking lots of pics to share over the weekend. My walking shoes are on and I'm ready!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skywatch Friday #46 - The Old Homestead

This past Saturday, our neighbor in Okanogan took me out to an old abandoned homestead that we can see from our property.

The old barn was very interesting. It had these doors all the way around the bottom with canvas or rubber hinges. Many of the doors were missing. I'm not sure what was stored in the barn. Maybe it was for drying some kind of plants. I don't know. The barn itself was in amazingly good shape compared to the other structures on the property.

Abandoned Barn

Stairway to Heaven perhaps?

Hinged Door at Bottom Edge of Barn

We think we found the old stone foundation where the house used to sit. There was also another area where some kind of large covered shed used to stand but was now in pieces on the ground.

Plus there was the corral for loading livestock destined for the market.

Empty Corral

Remains of Horse Drawn Farm Equipment

It was a beautiful afternoon in the Okanogan Valley for sure!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

My World Tuesday #33 - Scare Mail

If this mailbox creature would keep the bills and junk mail from getting inside of my mailbox, I'd gladly get one just like it!

This mailbox is at the business next door to where I work. I find it be very amusing. I wonder what the mailman thinks?!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #20 - Just Plane Fun!

This looks like fun! I wish I was the one flying in it and enjoying the great scenery below me. I'd be taking pictures like mad, for sure!

Just Plane Fun!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Camera Critters #59 - Shy Baby

This is our Baby Girl who adopted us when we moved into our current house. More information on her can be found here.


Oh, must you take ANOTHER picture?

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Camera Critters

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Skywatch Friday #45 - Cascade Sunrise

As promised earlier in the week...

Cascade Sunrise

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Camera Bag #2 Arrived Today

The new camera bag/backpack to replace the first bag was on the porch when I got home today.

If you remember, I returned bag #1, the Lowepro Slingshot 350 AW because my laptop would not fit in it.

The replacement bag I ordered was the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW. According to the dimensions on the manufacturer's website, my laptop should fit. Guess what? IT DOES!!

Now I can "safely" carry my laptop and camera gear when I travel. I just need to get the air card for the laptop and I'll be set!

I bought both camera bags from Sell N Send on eBay. This is an excellent eBay seller. I had great communication and fast service from them, even with returning the first camera bag.

Their prices compared to the list price is awesome. The list on the Vertex 200 AW is $299.99. Umm, I'm not shelling out those kind of bucks for a camera bag. Not as a hobbyist. Price on eBay for the same bag is $159.95 and includes shipping. That is a 47% discount off of MSRP! (On a side note, Sell N Send is an authorized Lowepro retailer. Their main website has the same Vertex 200 AW listed for $229.95. Save the money - buy it through eBay.)

Pssst - please don't tell Karl I spent $160 for the new bag. :-) Even that sounds like a lot of moolah, and it is. But I wanted to carry both the camera and the laptop together in one bag.

The new bag certainly has plenty of room in it. Guess I'll have to find a way to fill it. I'm thinking a new macro lens would be nice. Dreams sure are nice because it will be awhile before I can afford that.

Outside front of the bag

Interior storage

Computer Storage

For now, guess I'll have to stash some chocolate in those outside storage compartments.

Black-Headed Grosbeak

Spotted in our neighbor's backyard yesterday evening.

Black-Headed Grosbeak

We used to have one at our previous house that would rap on the window in the back door. It would trill, rap, rap against the glass, and trill again. I'm not sure what it was looking for. A mate perhaps?

After awhile, it got annoying. This went on for days but eventually the bird moved on.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My World Tuesday #32 - Coffee's Ready!

This is my initial foray into My World Tuesday, a weekly meme that shows off your part of the world.

The Seattle, Washington area is known for coffee, after all it's the home of Starbucks. Just like having a Starbucks on what seems to be every other corner, there are an equal number of espresso stands, especially in the suburbs.

Here is one located just off of the freeway at the Arlington exit. I've never stopped here, but have always admired this particular stand.

Hotspot Coffee - Arlington, WA

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mellow Yellow Monday #19 - Backyard Beauties

One of my shrubs in the backyard, type unknown, is starting to bloom. I've never paid much attention to the yellow flowers until now.

Before long it will be covered in yellow blooms but you get a sneak peek today.

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