Benji and the Fair

Yesterday we headed south to Puyallup for our annual visit to the Washington State Fair,  but not before this happened.

“Please Sue can I come too?”

“Sorry Benji no.  The fair is for people.”

“Really Sue?  No animals allowed at all?”

“Well, not exactly – there are lots of animals there.”

“Just no cats.”

“None?” he persisted.

“Well sometimes there are cats but they’re in cages.”

“Are you making this up?” he asked.

“No really Benji.  Some cats let little girls put them in cages for all to see.”

“I wouldn’t like that Sue.”

“I know you wouldn’t Benji. And you wouldn’t like the noise either. Or the food.”

“Or people flying around.”

“Okay, okay Sue.  I get it!  You just go ahead and I’ll stay here and hold down the fort.”

And that is what we did.

~ Susanne

Reflections on Fall

Still reflects my sentiments. From last year, if you missed it. 🙂

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

It starts with September my favorite month.

I close my eyes and see the school, as sturdy as the last century.

It’s 4th grade again and Miss Warner is young.  Her face and hair and dress all a golden tan; her hair short and tightly coiled. The heels she wears are black like the piano she plays – upright – the music that encouraged me forever. I hope she knows this.

I breathe in deeply and smell the leaves, green and anxious to change their color.  But September moves slowly, able to hold two seasons at arm’s length – giving summer her fling of sunshine and long afternoons – letting fall have the mornings, cool and fragrant.

September finally relents and October marches in boldly in yellow and orange, red and gold.

The leaves adorn the trails we walk, and give fish their burial color.

Till November brings the first…

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Doo doo doo looking out my back door

This was the view looking out my back door just a few years ago.

Twenty-two acres known as the Tiffany Park Woods were behind us. Lovely, dark and deep, they were home to deer and other small critters and full of birds that sang in the morning and owls that hooted deep in the night.

Of course I loved it – and was sad when the land was sold and we had ringside seats to a logging operation.

The logging took months until all but a few strands of trees were razed – and this is what I saw looking out my backdoor.

‘This too shall pass,’ we said.

And it did.  Slowly.  Until the infrastructure was complete and finally we had quiet again – save for the building of houses – slowly – one by one.

And though we hate that the woods were lost and the animal evicted – we’re happy that many birds still call our backyard home.

Chickadees, nuthatches, wrens, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and more.


And when we finally got our promised cedar fence – I have to say – perhaps selfishly – the view is better than before –

looking out my back door.

~ Susanne

– Promote Your Blog! –

Happy Labor Day ! Why not join the meet and greet from Dr. Phoebe! 🙂 And check out her blog which is full of helpful, healthful tips! 🙂

Phoebe, MD: Medicine & Poetry

Dear friends, 

It is no secret that I value this WordPress community and that I enjoy each one of your wonderful blogs. Therefore, today will be a Meet-and-Greet, where I welcome each of you to promote yourself on

– What to Do –

  1. Leave a comment with a description of your blog along with a link to your blog or favorite post (be sure to copy the entire web address so it shows up as a hyperlink to allow others to easily visit you).
  2. Take a minute to visit some of the other blogs listed in the comments (Don’t be shy—make your presence known by reaching out and liking and/or following!). 
  3. Feel free to share or reblog this post to spread the word.
  4. Bookmark this post and revisit as many times as you would like to see who else has joined the party.

Remember, one of the best things…

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Precious Cats

I couldn’t let the Lens-Artists Challenge Precious Pets go by without sharing pictures of the cats who’ve been part of our lives these past many years.

I’ll start with dear Annie, the only Siamese I ever had and the most long-lived of them all. She was with us for almost 21 years, from 1986 until she went to the Rainbow Bridge in 2007.  We weren’t crazy for taking pictures back then but I still have one from her golden years, though it doesn’t adequately convey her striking beauty and deep blue eyes. How can I explain to you that she understood me?

Next was Henry who was left behind when our neighbors moved away.  Hard to believe they abandoned him but we found him wandering in our backyard and took him in.  When he was later diagnosed  with diabetes,  I – the most needle averse person I know – gave him insulin shots until the disease got the best of him.  What we do for love!

Our sweet Joey deserved more than his four short years but at least we know they were good ones. He had the biggest fur and the tiniest meow of all my feline friends  and was a true and loving lap cat.

Now there’s Tiger who we brought home from the cat hotel where his previous owner left him.  Tiger – whose beautiful green eyes won us over and still reflect his gentle soul.

He was Top Cat in our home when I started this blog (you may have noticed his image on my gravatar.)

Top Cat that is, until Benji moved in and took over.  Benji –  the small kitty with the big personality,  whose antics keep us on our toes and laughing too.  Benji who loves being a cat, as Bob is wont to say.

So there you have it. Precious Cats.

~ Susanne

As Summer Winds Down

It was Summer’s last hurrah as I visited Soos Creek Botanical Garden earlier this week with temperatures in the mid eighties, the sun bright and burning my nose.

Then yesterday the cool marine air brought in giant clouds that filled the sky overpowering Lake Washington at Coulon Park.

As I returned to the car I found two leaves on the ground dressed in fall colors.


~ Susanne

Bicycling the Back Roads of Mt Rainier National Park

I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Mt. Rainier but this was definitely a first.

Last weekend we drove to the remote northwest corner of the National Park to bicycle the old Carbon River Road. It had been washed out back in 2006 due to major flooding and was permanently closed in 2008. Now it was the perfect place for a bike ride!

So after a quick stop by the Ranger Station

we entered the park and started our ride down the old road.

It starts out paved but quickly changes to compact dirt and gravel. It also starts out level but continues on with a slight incline.

Bob went ahead while I was distracted and stopped to take pictures.

Wouldn’t you?

We passed giant old-growth trees – Douglas Fir and fragrant Cedar – and lots of snags

and blowdowns, where sometimes the wood was mysteriously stacked.

And if this looks like rain forest, that’s because it is. The Carbon River Valley is inland temperate rain forest – thick, lush, fragrant, and beautiful – receiving between 70 and 90 inches of rain a year.

After three and a half miles we stopped for lunch next to the river, which comes from the Carbon Glacier. It was wild and deserted – just the kind of landscape where I would expect to see grizzly bears if I was in Montana or Alaska. Thankfully I was not. And none of the resident black bear came out to greet us either.

From here the road got bumpier and steeper so it was the perfect place for us to turn around.

Going back was fun with a lot less peddling and mostly downhill. And though I didn’t fly down the road like the young ones did on their mountain bikes, I was happy to be out there with them.

While Bob went to get the truck I peeked into the nearby rain forest trail and managed to get a few more pictures. If only I could capture the fragrance too and take it home with me!

Light rain began to fall as we headed back home and once again we were thankful that we live in Washington State and so close to beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park.

Celebrating this week’s 103rd anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service for Sunday Stills. 

~ Susanne

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