Happy Day! My New LUMIX FZ300 Arrived!

Hooray for Cyber Monday!

I’ve been using my Sony RX10 for the past five years and love it. But ever since it froze up earlier this year – remember camera woes? – I thought about getting another camera.

At the time, Terri at Second Wind Leisure recommended the Lumix FZ300 as a cheaper alternative to a new RX10; and her beautiful photos vouched for it.

I finally took the plunge when I realized the Lumix has a 600mm zoom (my old RX10 has 200) which I hoped would improve my bird photography.

I couldn’t wait to get started even though I hardly know how to operate it! So I turned it on yesterday in Auto mode and went outside for my first Lumix photoshoot.

Hello Anna’s Hummingbirds! Hooray for more zoom! ๐Ÿ™‚

I have SO MUCH to learn about the Panasonic Lumix as the functions and controls are very different from my Sony RX10. That will take time. Fortunately, I have all the time I need – did I mention it came with a 3 year warranty?

In the meantime, I already love it and can’t wait to keep practicing! Hope you enjoy as I’m learning. ๐Ÿ™‚

~ Susanne

Cozy Benji Inside and Out

I can’t think of anything cozier than Benji on my lap.

Whether inside.

Or out.

Sharing with Sunday Stills Cozy.

~ Susanne

Pretty Clouds at Sunset and More Rain in the Forecast

No, it’s not my imagination – we’ve had record amounts of rain here in the Pacific Northwest. Seems like I say that every year. But according to the Seattle Times, “With 18.91 inches of rain recorded at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport between Sept. 1 and Nov. 28, and another atmospheric river of rain due on Tuesday, itโ€™s looking like this will go down as the wettest early fall on record.”

Yippee. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But we did manage to score a rain-free day yesterday and by late afternoon I got to enjoy this wonderful sunset out my front door.

Today the sky is milky gray, the clouds no longer beautiful. Just full of rain.

~ Susanne

I Did it! I upgraded to Windows 11!

I admit I wasn’t thrilled when I heard that Windows 11 was coming out and I had no intention of upgrading. After all, my computer’s getting old and I’ll probably replace it in the next year. But I also wasn’t thrilled with the current version of Windows 10 so I went ahead and took the plunge. It took about 5 hours to download, update, restart again and again but I went about my day while it did its thing. And you know what? I like it!

First thing I noticed is the Windows icon has moved over to join other icons on the task bar in a central location. Click on it and you’ll find everything you had before displayed in a more pleasing and logical way. You’ll also find the Power button at the bottom, so technically you still go to Start to turn off your computer. Some things never change. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Pictures folder has a better look and feel as well. And while we’re on the subject, here are a few pictures from a hike earlier this fall at Nolte State Park. What’s a post without a few pictures?

There are other new features including an icon for creating multiple desktops. Not sure why I’d need that but who knows it may come in handy. And there’s an icon for Widgets that I still need to explore.

But I saved the biggest improvement for last. You know the annoying news box that used to pop up unbidden, interrupting whatever you were working on with no apparent way to turn it off? Gone! That alone is worth the upgrade.

And that will do for today.

~ Susanne

A Tale of Turkey Day from Long Ago

You may remember this Thanksgiving story from long, long ago…

* * * * * * * *

When I was growing up my favorite part of Thanksgiving wasn’t the turkey. Neither was it the dressing which is my favorite today but not then. What I remember most are the hors d’oeuvres and the wine flips and the trip downtown for football. I’ll explain.

First the hors d’oeuvres, which is not only the hardest thing to spell, but also may be too grand a word for what we made. We started with crackers, then applied, even squirted on, the cheese. Next we added tiny meats like salami and pepperoni, which we followed up with olives and pickles, then used a toothpick to hold the tower together. We placed them on a tray and delivered them to our guests in style and when it was empty we ran back to the kitchen to build the next batch until all the components were gone. Tasty little treats they were.

But dinner was not yet, for while the turkey was in the oven, my sisters drove us to Seattle’s Memorial Stadium for Turkey Day, to watch their high school football team, the Chief Sealth Seahawks, play in the championship game. And I – a mere little sister – got to tag along with them and their friends. I loved every minute I was in the presence of those confident teenage girls and couldn’t wait to be their age.

The ride home was exhilarating if we won, as we shouted out the windows to the losers driving by, โ€œSeahawks Rule!โ€ Whatever the kids from other cars would yell back, we would always counter with, โ€œwho won the game?โ€ and that would silence them.

I remember the year Chief Sealth lost to the Roosevelt Roughriders, 10 to 7.

The ride home was quiet and we rolled up our windows. But by the time we made it back home, the sting of the loss was over, the turkey was ready and its fragrance filled the air. As we ate our dinner, mom pulled out the special beaded wine glasses and filled ours with 7-Up and a splash of wine, turning our drink a lovely pink (promise not to tell.) Next year we said.

~ Susanne

Tuesday’s Rewards – Close Up on Hummingbirds

I woke to an overcast day inside and out – it was time for my booster shot. My dear husband offered to drive me there and I appreciated the moral support. All went well though I expect some soreness tomorrow if my last shot is any indication. Afterwards we stopped by Starbucks for a latte and seasonal pastry – a kind of reward I thought. When we got back home I was still feeling good and went outside to catch the hummingbirds feeding.

Even better, I caught this handsome boy perched on top of the pole, preening and turning this way and that – enough time for me to observe him on all sides.

I was out in the open with my camera – not hiding in the shed as I sometimes do – watching him closely while he watched me –

till he finally dropped down to drink.

A final pose and he smiled at me before he flew away.

My second reward of the day.

~ Susanne

Ruby Red Fall

Fall is full of glorious red

in the leaves

in the salmon that return to spawn

in last night’s sunset.

Sharing with Sunday Stills Photo Challenge.

~ Susanne

What to do on a Rainy Day in Seattle? MOHAI!

Now that the rainy season is here in Seattle what can you do?  You can either lament the weather and hunker down inside for the next six months. Or you can head over to MOHAI!   No it’s not some exotic island in the Pacific; it’s Seattle’s own Museum of History and Industry on the shores of Lake Union.

The Grand Atrium

One recent rainy day we made the trek into Seattle to visit the museum. First up was the Grand Atrium where we saw colorful icons from Seattle’s past.  Soaring overhead – Boeing’s first commercial aircraft, the 1919 B-1 flying boat (the only one made) which provided international airmail service between Seattle and Victoria, B.C. for eight years. Also on display:  the Rainier brewery sign, Slo-Mo-Shun IV the legendary hydroplane, and the original Lincoln Toe Truck with its big toe reaching 11 feet into the air.

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Enterprising Seattle!

Before continuing to the next floor I watched a short film and was reminded of the many companies that got their start in Seattle beginning with the granddaddy of them all, the Boeing Airplane Company.  Did you know that a Boeing 737 takes off or lands somewhere every two seconds? Starbucks opened its first store in 1971 at the Pike Place market and changed America forever by making strong, delicious (overpriced) coffee available on every corner.  And how about Microsoft, started by two local brainy teenagers Bill Gates and Paul Allen, and that other billionaire maker, Amazon, just to name a few.

Of course there’s too much in the museum to cover in a single post, so I’ll just mention a few things of interest, starting with the landing at Alki.

Denny Party arrives at Alki

In November of 1851 twenty-two white settlers known as the Denny Party come ashore at Alki Point in the dreary cold and icy rain. How fitting. Chief Seattle and his tribe welcomes them and eventually the new town is named after the accommodating chief.  Henry Yesler starts up a lumber mill on Elliott Bay and logs are dragged to the mill down “Skid Road.”  The town grows and there seems to be a shortage of women who might teach and perhaps marry the loggers. What to do?  Import them!

Here Come the Brides

Asa Mercer goes east in search of educated and adventurous women who are willing to come to Seattle. The journey was a long one from Massachusetts to the Isthmus of Panama and San Francisco to finally reach Seattle.  In 1864 the first small group of women arrives with more to follow. Remember the nineteen sixties TV show that tells the story?  I do!

The Big Fire of 1889

The town continues to grow and prosper until like any big city worth its salt in history, it burns to the ground.  On June 6, 1889 the main business core of Seattle (mainly built of wood) burns down when a glue-pot tips over.  The volunteer fire department shows up but alas there is no water to be had anywhere. As the singing exhibit will tell you, “The tide was out and the hydrants were dry!”

There was no loss of life but the town was turned into rubble, leading to rebuilding with brick and mortar under new building codes.

(By the way it is a fact that much of the new town was rebuilt on top of the old one giving rise to today’s tours of Underground Seattle in Pioneer Square, which most locals never take; but hey, don’t let that stop you!)

Fast forward to the 20th Century and Music, Music, Music!

Yes, Seattle has a vibrant music history!  Ray Charles moves to Seattle in 1948 and cuts his first record in his adopted city.  He meets Quincy Jones who grew up here. Jimmy Hendrix also grows up in Seattle and teaches himself guitar. And grunge rock takes off in the eighties led by the likes of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.

The Seattle World’s Fair

And how can I fail to mention the 1962 Century 21 Exposition otherwise known as the Seattle World’s Fair that helped shape Seattle’s future and brought the Space Needle to our skyline?  You can learn all about it at MOHAI.

So why don’t you come and see the exhibits for yourself the next time the rain is falling?

Until then I’ll leave you with this Happy Ending from Elvis at the World’s Fair!

So long for now and …. Mohai!

~  Susanne

Atmospheric Rivers Above and Below!

You may have heard by now that the Pacific Northwest has been visited by an atmospheric river, also known as the Pineapple Express. Long narrow bands of water transported from the tropics in the atmosphere has meant lots of rain the last couple of weeks resulting in swollen rivers and flooding.

Earlier this week we had a short reprieve from the rain and went for a walk at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park where all was green though slightly barren as winter is approaching.

The Green River was flowing fast and furious

but these kayakers didn’t seem to mind.

This stretch of river is rated Class IV and dangerous anytime of year; only experts should try it.

We were content to watch.

~ Susanne

Frosty Leaves

Winter is coming.

Sharing with Sunday Stills and Cee’s Flower of the Day.

~ Susanne

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