MTM: Local Events

SuperDad trains all year for his favorite event, the Langlauf 10km Nordic skiing race on Mt. Spokane. In 2016 he took 3rd place in his age group, which only encouraged him to train harder. The extra training he did (some in thanks to Pokémon GO) paid off in yesterday’s race. Congratulations to the first place winner for his age group!

langlauf-winner-2017-websized

This, of course, begs the question: will 2018 bring him more cowbell?

dscn1570-summer-is-still-a-long-way-off-fire-pit-dreaming-february-websized

too cool for sitting around the fire

Winter, however, is far from over. I snapped these two pictures prior to leaving for work on Thursday morning. The school district had to cancel classes and after school activities due to weather. The main roads were okay but we had received a fresh load of snow followed by a layer of ice and freezing rain.  It was the first day that The Scout felt up to going to class all week; he learned his lesson about checking his phone for messages after he got the the empty school parking lot.

dscn1569-icy-morning-websized

This is the kind of ICE we like best.

After church yesterday, I headed over to one of the university campuses here in town for a #RallyWithRefugees. The large room was filled to capacity and overflowed to other places where people could watch on screens, thanks to use of Facebook Live. The event had been pulled together with 3 different groups sponsoring it — Whitworth University, Gonzaga University, and the World Relief office — after the immigration fiasco at our nation’s airports. Those who attended were given the big picture of what is happening, the intimate look at what refugees go through to resettle here (the personal stories were eye-opening and inspiring), some details on how local officials are dealing with it here in Spokane, the legalities facing everyone (but especially refugees), and concrete suggestions on how we can help others. The event was worth every minute I spent there.

We had just finished hearing the story of one young woman’s quest for education when a city councilman got up to speak. He was showing his emotions not only because of the personal stories that were being shared but also because he’d just gotten word that ICE was currently doing sweeps downtown and that other city council members were hurrying to the main bus station and train station to question them. Having leadership in our city and state that support humane treatment of others is priceless.

The tactics used by the administration of POTUS45 are fear-based and education-deficient. So let’s combat those two issues (fear and a lack of education) with some information from the World Relief office:

“Under both international and U.S. law, a refugee is an individual who has fled his or her country of origin because of a credible fear of persecution on account of their race, religion, political opinion, national origin, or social group. This definition of a refugee does not include those who flee their homes but stay within the boundaries of their country (“Internally Displaced Persons”) nor does it include those who flee a situation of poverty, national disaster, or violence, unless the violence was specifically motivated by their race, religion, political opinion, or one of the other grounds under the legal definition.  The U.S. government admits individuals for resettlement within the United States only after a thorough individual screening abroad to ensure both that they meet the legal definition of a refugee and that they in no way pose a national security or health threat to the United States.”

The current screening process for all refugees involves many layers of security checks before entry into the country. In addition, only the most vulnerable are referred by the U.N. for refugee resettlement (less than 1 percent of refugees worldwide). For more, read this New York Times article.  It’s not a rapid scenario — vetting a refugee takes approximately 2 years with multiple background checks, interviews, and approval processes. Syrians go through additional layers of checks. Some people spend years waiting in refugee camps. They don’t have a home to which they can return.

As a person of faith, being concerned with how my country and fellow citizens treat others is not just a matter of personal opinion; the Bible is full of scriptures relating to how I am to respond to refugees and other migrating people, regardless of whether you read the New Testament or the Old Testament/Hebrew Scriptures. Even for those who do not profess faith, the Golden Rule makes is clear how we ought to respond to the crisis of refugees.

 

Wilderness in the City

SuperDad has been playing Pokemon GO — which I find somewhat amusing and only slightly annoying. His phone is the only one in the entire family that can support the game but we all joined him in exploring a new-to-us city park on Sunday evening.
DSCN0649 Upper Lincoln Park, resized

The upper portion of the park has been primarily left in its natural state.

DSCN0664  path, websized

DSCN0669 Peek-a-boo Lincoln Park pond, resized

Peek-a-boo view of the natural pond

DSCN0635 Lincoln Park pond, resized

DSCN0634  Reflection, Lincoln Park pond duck, resizedIt is easy to forget you are in the middle of a city residential area while walking through this park. It was established in 1913.

Beacon Hill, left foreground, and Mt. Spokane, right background

DSCN0644 Hiker's view, upper Lincoln Park, resizedThe view from the cliff wasn’t too shabby either.  The zoomed-in photo shows Mt. Spokane in the far distance to the right (the bare portion is the ski area), and Beacon Hill (which had a fire burning on the back side of it just one week ago) is on the left — it received its name from the lights that shine from the tips of the signal towers at night.

DSCN0689 Moses and Boy, Lincoln Park, cropped, resized   Moses was happy to be with his boys. I imagine that both he and The Barefooter walked a little gingerly on the basalt trails.
DSCN0683 late summer, upper Lincoln Park, resized

I didn’t need to use a cane for the flat road that rimmed the upper park, but it was needed and helpful for the trails and downhill sections.

DSCN0691 Lower Lincoln Park, rest rooms, size comparison, rock, evening sun, resized, cropped 4x6

Behind this large boulder is a timber-and-rock restroom, built in the early days of the park.

DSCN0697 Lincoln Park house for sale, websizedThe lower park had lush green grass, a playground, restroom, and picnic tables. By this point my ankle was done (nine months post surgery and I continue to be very limited in activities), so I walked to the edge to sit and wait for the others to bring the car around.

Before driving home, we admired (from a safe distance) this home for sale. It is only a block down the street from the traditional portion of the park and it backs up to the cliff on which the upper park is situated. Designed by architect Kirkland Cutter and built in 1916, it has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 6,200+ square footage on 3.16 acres. The woodwork is exquisite, the setting is private and there’s even a guest house. It can be yours for 1.18 million dollars.

DSCN0700 late summer sunset sky, vapor trails, home, resized

Then we drove home and appreciated our own humble abode and the sunset sky. The view is free.

High Summer

Summer is going strong here in mid-August. On Saturday there were at least two big events going on within 3 miles of my house: a brewfest of craft beer (of which I was sadly unaware until the final 6 hours) and the annual street fair. After brunch that morning, SuperDad and I headed over to the street fair. I told him he could probably find me near tie-dye. 2012 August 11, Garland Street Fair 011
I adore the bright colors! In another life, I could dress like this on a regular basis.

Before long I had wandered over to the classic car display.

Oldsmobile 1951 Super 88, websized

1951 Oldsmobile “Super 88”

DSCN9851 Old blue Ford, resized

This beauty is owned by a man I know. He was looking forward to driving it to get licorice ice cream after the car show ended.

 

Ford Model A 1929, websized

1929 Ford

When I walked over to take a picture of that orange car my camera announced, “Battery Exhausted” and shut down. At that, we decided it was getting too hot for us on sunny pavement and headed for a free (air conditioned!) show at The Blue Door improv theatre. It was a great way to cool down before heading home.

Now that we’ve finally settled into a pattern, our temperatures hover in the mid-90s during the day (35°C) and generally cool off to 60°F (15°C) at night. Since we don’t have central air conditioning, SuperDad keeps the house relatively cool with strategic use of fans. This works really well unless the air outside is too warm or full of smoke.

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Mt. Spokane sunset, August 2015

Unlike last year, we are blissfully free of smoke-filled skies. The sunsets were beautiful but the air quality was terrible. I’ll take clear skies over breathing bits of ash.

There are always a few days or even weeks when we wish we had A/C — I can’t sleep when it’s 80°F/27°C at midnight — but by late fall even I have forgotten those nights when I cannot sleep because it’s too hot in the house.  For mid-day use on a hot day, we have this awesomeness:

DSCN2594 This is how we stay cool in August

Note the sheet closing off the doorway, the a/c unit* venting up the fireplace flue and draining into the plastic tub on the floor.  (*It’s a dehumidifier as well as an a/c unit.)  Our windows do not open in such a way to accept a/c window units, so this is our one and only solution for summer cooling.

I suppose that technically we could all sleep in the living room on hot nights, but that would be too much family togetherness for me. I don’t even camp in a tent with that many people anymore — a 6-person tent is cozy enough for just the two of us old married folks. I need breathing space!

I’m still a little bummed that I missed out on the Brewers Festival — with tastings from some of my favorite breweries (Bellwether, Icicle  and Iron Goat to name a few) but I can only manage a certain amount of walking in a day before needing to elevate and ice my ankle, and no amount of jonesing for a Second Breakfast, Goatmeal Stout or Dark Persuasion* can change that.  Saturday was my 9-month breakiversary. I’m going to see a doctor on Thursday to ask about continued pain and swelling.

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*Just writing about those 3 draughts of deliciousness made me thirsty! I’m signing off now to get get a drink of water. Happy Monday! 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day at Manito

 

DSCN9181  red rose with many buds, websized

Last Monday, SuperDad and I had a picnic brunch up at our favorite city park. The rose garden was not yet in total bloom, but here and there were some lovely roses to smell.

DSCN9199  yellow rose with bee, 4x6  WEBSIZED

The bees were certainly busy.

busy bee in Allum, flowering onion 4x6 cropped

DSCN9217 Allium (flowering onion) in perinneal garden WEBSIZED

The perennial garden almost always has something lovely for my camera to capture. The [both photos above] purple flowers are Allium, or flowering onion.

DSCN9272  WEBSIZED Duncan Garden, sunken garden, freshly planted not yet mature, May 30. 2016

The formal sunken garden has been planted with annuals, as it is every spring, but they are nowhere near maturity. In another month it will be quite lovely here.

Nordic Night Skiing

DSCN2347  Destination, Mt. Spokane, WEBSIZED

SuperDad and The Scout took the small camera with them on Monday evening when they went up to the mountain to see the Snow Moon rise.

DSCN2349 Sunset glow, WEBSIZED

Sunset glow from the parking lot

DSCN2350 Afterglow, WEBSIZED

DSCN2359  Snow Moon, 22 Feb 2016, WEBSIZED

Snow Moon

DSCN2363 the Scout on skis, Nighttime Nordic skiing at Mt. Spokane, WEBSIZED

Cross-training workout for The Scout

Since I am not at all ready to hike or ski, all 5 of the above photos are courtesy of our two adventurers. I took a few pictures of the Snow Moon from our driveway but they are still on my camera and not as spectacular as the pictures found in that link.

It was a dark and stormy night…

 

Invalid selfie

First, there was the near-total destruction of my left ankle. The doctor said I broke every bone possible, and then some…

CT scan image, left ankle, webshare

CT Scan of my broken left ankle

downed trees, damaged cars

Then there was the record-breaking windstorm that swept through my town and took out our power for 8 long nights and days.

windstorm damaged house Nov. 2015, websized

A house a few blocks away from my own home. This one is a total loss.

DSCN2298 first snow webshare

And then it snowed…

I am so grateful to have a gas-powered hot water heater (we had hot showers!) and a gas stove cooktop, and a wood stove. It was still cold in my bedroom but the main part of the house was almost pleasantly warm and my live-in nurse brought me tea each morning.

Sleeping during the power outage
This is how I slept in my chilly 48° (9°C) bedroom.  I had to keep my ankle elevated higher than my heart or my nose, and I didn’t want to bump it at all — it was still broken, still shattered, and being held still in a temporary cast — so I slept on top of the bed with additional blankets.

“Keep your hand at ankle above the level of your eyes nose.”

Since we still had hot water — and trust me, I know how precious that was! — I was able to shower very carefully while in my temporary cast.
[click on pics for captions]

Our power came back on while I was in the hospital post-surgery. SuperDad brought me home on Thanksgiving Day.  Just a few minutes after settling me in, my in-laws came through the front door. They came to my room to visit with me and then they went back out to the kitchen and took over preparations for the big Thanksgiving meal.

Post-surgery, ankle cast and normal right foot 4x6

So this is my life for the next few weeks: elevation and scheduled doses of pain medications.  There’s quite a bit of hardware in that ankle:

K's left ankle x-ray, webshare

 

What are your plans for the weekend and coming weeks?

 

MTM: Chinese Lantern Festival

Monkey Tunnel webshare

The month of October is rapidly slipping by with only a few photos taken of our fall colors.  Luckily, I did get the opportunity to visit the Chinese Lantern Festival a few weeks ago, and if you live near me, you still have the chance to go. They have announced that it will be extended two extra weeks into November.

Lotus Pond 4x6 webshare

SuperDad and I paid our fees and visited on a lovely Sunday night earlier this month.

The Peach Grove

The Peach Grove

Butterfly 4x6 vertical, LOMO-ish

It took months to create these incredible lanterns which are all for sale at the end of the festival.

Terra Cotta Soldier 4x6 webshare

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This terra cotta soldier can be purchased for $500.

DSCN6931 4x6 Pink Lantern webshare

Do you know anyone who would like to buy a 200-foot-long dragon?

DSCN6929 Dragon

Dragon head 4x6 WEBshare

He’s rather impressive from head to tail.

Dragon Tail 4x6 webshare

As you might be able to tell from some of the photos here, I am trying to figure out how best to mark my pictures if I’m going to sell cards online.  I already make and sell photo note cards during the farmers’ market season, but it has ended and June many months away. On one hand, I enjoy sharing my photographs and offering cards at a reasonable price; on the other hand, I find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I wish to accomplish.  (Case in point: it has taken me 2 weeks, start to finish, to get this post ready to publish. It takes time to size pictures down and add the signature.)

Lanterns 4x6 Web-sized

 

 

Shoot, sniff, and leave(s)

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KCINNOTX enjoying the lilacs

KCINNOTX enjoying the lilacs

Arrowleaf Balsamroot in the park near my home -- photo by KCINNOTX

Arrowleaf Balsamroot in the park near my home — photo by KCINNOTX

Bitterroot, AKA rock roses

Bitterroot, AKA rock roses (earring added for size comparison)

White Rock Roses (Bitterroot), photo by KCINNOTX

White Rock Roses (Bitterroot), photo by KCINNOTX