Wednesday, August 21, 2019

My Tribute to Judy Bell The Bird Lady

Yesterday The Hat Lady, Today The Bird Lady

This morning we were up at 5:00AM and on the road at 5:30AM headed for the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge Our GPS tried to tell us it was an 80 mile drive when in fact it was more like a 50 mile drive. So we were there way  early for the 8:00 AM Bird tour with none other than.......
someone I have been looking forward to meeting since I started following her blog. None other than "The Bird Lady," Judy Bell. She is so nice and knowledgeable about birds all wrapped up in one package! She is a volunteer at the Wild Life Refuge.
We waited for just a few minutes for two other ladies which gave us time to start getting acquainted.  Then we were invited to climb into a brand new Ford Explorer (I think) the Refuge got the day before. Nice Ride. The tour took us around five ponds that are not accessible to the general public. One of the endangered fish the Refuge is trying to protect is the Puff fish.
Our first stop was at her RV Site where she  has her tripod and telescope set up to watch the birds.  Personally, I think her recent move was a great move!

Now. I have to tell you there wasn't one bird Judy couldn't identify.  She spotted birds I couldn't even see.  She gave each of us a pamphlet of all the birds that have been spotted at this refuge and as we saw them, We could mark them off.  If she gave us a test on the names of all the birds, I would have failed. But I think she would have given me an A for marking each one she and others saw, on the pamphlet. She is also a very patient lady, because more than a few times, I asked her, when she said the name of the bird, what heading it was under on the pamphlet and she always kindly told me where to find it.

Now if I remember right, this is a Great Blue Heron

I don't remember what the little bird on the left is but the one on the right is a Coot.

Judy asked us if we had any idea what these tracks could be. Then she gave us a hint it was a water animal but not a fish. I guessed Beaver and I was right. These tracks are Beaver Slides. Interesting thing though, there are no trees around. They slide across the road from one pond into another.

And how about this. A bobcat paw print

Joe, contemplating the beauty and quietness of it all.

After the tour we went into the visitors center. We watched a very nice video about wildlife. Just outside the Visitor's Center was this Cacti with a beautiful bloom.  What a way to end a nice morning. Thank you Judy! You are the best.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Update to the Journey Continues

I just wanted to give an update to those who aren't on Facebook but followed me on here.  I am doing well. This Grief Journey is a difficult one. But I'm slowly moving forward.  My Kids family, church family and friends constantly surround me with their love .My kids each live about half hour away in three different directions.
 I hop the train and visit my sister in  Bonney Lake, Washington a couple times a year  the latest being at Easter this year. Its truly a family affair. She furnishes the Ham and the family brings everything else. This year there was 48 at a sit down dinner.

This is where I knew I was slowly moving along in the healing process. Being with so many people in such a small area has been overwhelming. All those people and rain was forcasted.... But I was bound and determined that with the Lord's help I could do this.  He did and I did.  The sun came out and people spread the gazebo and the deck. It was a wonderful Easter.
When I go to visit Jan I like to be there over a Tuesday because she hosts a ladies Bible Study at her home with an average of 15 ladies in attendance. They all bring a dish and its a potluck afterwards. No one wants to leave. The are a wonderful group of ladies... Lots of food and laughter.

and I also take the train to Seattle a couple times a year where my daughter Kelly picks me up at the King Street Station  so I can visit with her, her husband Hoi and the two grand kids who are no longer kids, but wonderful young adults. I spent a week plus a few days there in April dog sitting my grand dog Gage. I get to do it again in October. I see Joe's son Rob and his wife Gloria while I'm at Kelly and Hoi's. They drive up from Tacoma. Last time they took me out to a wonderful breakfast .
He's smiling because I had just told him "Dad would soon be home" and what a reunion that was when he heard Hoi's voice.

I'm on a waiting list to move to an apartment in Estacada, Oregon where I lived when I met Joe. It usually takes two years , and this month was one year. I still have many friends there. Everything I would need is with in walking distance or bus. Grocery store, church, library, Farmers Market (just across the street) and about the same distance in a different directions from my sons, but much closer to my daughter.

 Spring and Summer here where I live in Damascus is beautiful as always. I always enjoy my walks. Beautiful trees and flower, Bunnies everywhere, birds singing, Ravens Soaring and the ever "eagle eyed" hawk on the lookout for their dinner...
Today my granddaughter Arizona turned five! She's the one in the middle. It seems like just yesterday I was holding her in my arms as a new born. This year instead of a party she wanted to go for a pedi/manicure, dress up and go to lunch with her little friends.  Her daddy was able stop her long enough to hear her GG sing Happy Birthday to her on the phone. When I finished Dad said "and she's off and running"

It will probably be another 6-8 months before I'm back over here again.
Take care and may the Lord bless you more than abundantly

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Stopping by to say Hello

Two Years... seems like yesterday.
Yes, I miss him. A lot still. But I have wonderful memories of the 12 years we had together. 

I bought a dozen yellow roses, his favorite and put six in a vase on my table for me,

and took six up to the cemetery

Fall is definitely here and Mt. Hood peeking through the trees makes the picture even more beautiful.

I took a couple of train trips this summer.One to Seattle to visit Joe's daughter and family and celebrate my and Joe's birthday. The above picture was taken to show the waiting room when you you go business class or on long, overnight trips leaving from Portland.
Business Class is quieter and more comfortable. You also receive a $3.00 voucher to apply to what ever you purchase in the Bistro car. This time I used it to purchase a ginger cookie and a Ginger Ale soda to go with the sack lunch I made. My balance being what it is, it's difficult to carry my food back to my seat when the train is moving. The conductors are very helpful taking my box for me, making sure I get safely back to my seat safely.

On the next trip I visited my sister, taking the train from Portland to Tacoma. It was a week of fun and reminiscing.We went to the The Old Cannery
Then we took back roads to Eatonville, Washington, the town we grew up in.

I'm sitting in front of Eatonville High School where I graduated from in 1959. At that time, there was an elementary school, a gym and the high school. One of the faculty members gave us a tour of the campus which includes all three buildings and is now a state of the arts high school.

All the graduating classes from the beginning of the high school have their picture hanging in the halls. My picture is on the bottom right, right by my head.

Normally I take Amtrak's Cascade train. It's convenient for those taking me to the train and picking me up but this time I just "happened" to take the Coast Starlight home. Wow what a difference. Business class on this train is like first class on an airlines. Seats are larger, more comfortable and even have leg and foot rests. Plus your voucher is $6. AND the waiter came to my seat and asked if I wanted reservations in the diner (upstairs on a moving train) or would I like a box lunch brought to my seat. I opted for that. A wonderful chicken sandwich, Chips, large cookie  and a soda. I paid Only $4. Oh and as soon as you are in your seat, the conductor hands you a bottle of water, and asks if you are comfortable. There were three ladies in our car. One went upstairs, one got off in Olympia and I had the whole car to myself the rest of the trip to Portland.

One of my favorite views, Passing by the Narrows Bridge going South from Tacoma.

Back home enjoying fall colors on my walk on the property.

My son David has had a bucket list of things he and his wife have wanted to take me to see. This was one. Walking the Tilikum Crossing Bridge over the Willamette River. He drove to where we get on the Max light rail.

 Of course it helps that both David and his wife are employed by TriMet. David is an operator and his wife a supervisor. From the train ride we walked across the bridge and then rode the train back.
After the nice walk and train ride, they took me and the two grandsons to supper at Red Robin.

The next thing on their bucket list was to take me to North Eastern Washington to visit a friend I hadn't seen since the late 80's. I lived in Electric City and Grand Coulee, Washington then. Our friends live on a large ranch in Elmer City, Washington. He's a "cowboy" and she is a "shepherdess" and even though that's not "suppose to work" there is hundreds and hundreds of acres and and plenty of room for the cows and sheep to live in peace.

This is my sweet Leah and I hadn't seen her since she was in High School. I wanted to see her shepherd's crook...thus the picture of hug and crook.

Leah does it all. She raises and cares for the sheep, She shears the sheep, cleans the wool, cards it, dyes it, spins it and knits and crochet's articles of clothing including slippers for her husband. (I apologize Leah if I didn't get all you do with the wool.

I loved watching the llama watching over the sheep. 

This reminded me of the song "I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me....."

Leah also helps her husband Kerry move cattle from one pasture to another. As I looked out their window at the view of the mountains and valley's another song came  to my mind. "He owns the cattle on a thousand Hills"

The time came for us to head back home. Eight and a half hours one way is a long time for a weekend trip but I loved every minute of it. This is Grand Coulee Dam When I lived in Grand Coulee, I walked across the dam and back to get my two mile walks in. I loved it. But since 911, security prevents anyone but authorized workers walking or driving on it. We did notice a tour van taking people on a tour while we were there.

This is Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park

My grand dog Harry kept me company on this trip.... but he wasn't much company. He is such a good, well behaved dog too.

Back home I'm enjoying the fall colors, 

Walking the boardwalk at Happy Valley Park,

and feeding the ducks,

and catching lunch now and then with friends.
(Jennifer was one of Joe's many nurses)
It's been fun playing catch up.