Let’s Support One Another ūüíô

Phoebe MD hosted a meet and greet yesterday! What a great opportunity to explore new blogs including hers, which is packed full of great health info and poetry too!

Phoebe, MD: Poetry & Medicine

Thank you all for a great Labor Day Meet-and-Greet! Just to recap and to give the later participants a chance to get some love as well, here is a summary of all the blogs in reverse order. Please help me in supporting these wonderful bloggers by visiting and taking a moment to look around (and following if you feel so inclined)!



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For the Birds

I turned on the stream for the birds to drink and drenched the trees with water for them to shower.  All the regulars were there and grateful.  The chickadees and nuthatches flitted about through the wet foliage, calling to one another and ruffling their feathers, while the hummingbirds hovered, waiting to get their share.

Down below some new visitors especially enjoyed the stream.

Smaller than a chickadee, these tiny songbirds are golden crowned kinglets, and I was happy to have them drop by.

~  Susanne

Cats are not Dogs

This is obvious of course but I was thinking particularly about travel. On our recent trip to the Oregon Coast we saw many happy dogs with their owners, around town and especially walking, running and cavorting about on the beach.   I saw no cats doing the same.  Apparently they were all left behind as were mine.

Tiger the gentle giant.

Benji the spunky upstart.

Aren’t they cute?¬† Yes they are but they like to be cute at home, in their own territory, not in a moving vehicle, or a box,¬† and especially not on a leash.¬† Tiger and Benji not only prefer home, but they prefer home with the in and out privileges to which they are accustomed. And so it was, that earlier in the week, this exchange occurred (in word or in deed), shortly before our planned departure.

Benji:¬† “Please, please let me go out, if not I shall run around like a crazy cat and terrorize Tiger.”

Tiger:¬† “Please, please, let me go out, if not I shall be tormented by the crazy youngster.”

Me:¬† “You boys will be fine inside. We’re leaving plenty of food. Canned for starters and all the dry you can eat. Fresh water, at multiple locations. You’ll have the run of the place. You may even jump on the counters while we’re gone (though I don’t recommend it) but who would know? You can sleep all hours of the day wherever you choose. Make all the noise you want. You’ll have great fun, I promise. And it’s only three days. So sorry, I can’t let you out this morning.”

Benji:¬† “Please, please, Sue, I can’t control myself! You must let me out!”

Me:¬† “Settle down you wild thing. Tiger’s looking scared.”

We continue our packing as Tiger disappears to a safe place and Benji¬† finally gives up, resigned to his fate.¬† Smart boy, that Benji. I pet him one last time, brush his soft, soft fur, and tell him we won’t be gone long.

We go.

We return.

And yes, I miss them.

~ Susanne

Postcards from Seaside

There’s nothing better than waking up at the ocean, walking through grassy sand dunes, and watching the waves roll in.

It does wonders for the soul.

– Susanne

Happy Two Years with Benji

“Hey Benji!¬† Do you know what today is?”

“No, what??”¬† he asked.

“Two years ago we brought you home from Seattle Humane to live with us – and I’m so glad we did!¬† You’re the best cat ever!”

“Aw, really Sue? I bet you say that to all your cats.”

“No really Benji. I mean it.¬† You’re something special.¬† Whatever you do,

you do it with such style and enthusiasm, you give cats everywhere a good name.”

“Isn’t that right Tiger?”

“Oh never mind.¬† Happy Two years Benji!”

“Thanks Sue.”

~ Susanne and Benji and Tiger

Remembering the Hoh Rain Forest

As we eagerly wait for rain to clear the smoky skies, it seems like a good time to remember a beautiful place where rain is king – the Hoh Rain Forest.¬† Just four hours west of Seattle in Olympic National Park, it’s one of the best examples of temperate rain forest in the world and averages¬† 12 – 14 feet of rain per year!¬† We camped there recently, rain-free, next to the Hoh River and walked the trails through the rain forest.

The upper story is composed of conifers many over 200 feet tall, primarily Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir.¬† That’s me standing in front of a giant Sitka Spruce.

The lower story consists of Vine Maples and Big Leaf Maples draped in moss, and of course lots of ferns. The pictures below were taken on the Hall of Mosses Trail and include Bob, my husband and tour guide.

As beautiful as the trees are,¬† I wouldn’t want to be lost in these woods at night,¬† where they might wake up and grab unsuspecting hikers!

After the Hall of Mosses, we took the Spruce Trail through a younger section of the forest,

and passed by Taft Creek which sparkled in the sunlight.

Eventually we reached the banks of the Hoh River and paused to enjoy its raw beauty.

It was a wonderful visit though too short, and honestly a bit too crowded on the trails during the busy summer months.¬† I’d love to return to the Hoh again, perhaps in late spring or fall when rain is falling and the mosses are dripping wet.¬† Or maybe I’m a bit crazy for rain after¬† our hot, dry, and smoky summer.¬† Maybe both.

~ Susanne

Fun with Blogging, Computers and Ergonomics

When I say ‘fun’ I mean the blogging part, the actual creative writing and posting of pictures, thoughts and other fancies; the technical computer issues and ergonomics, not so much. First let me tell you that for years I got paid to sit at a desk with one or more computers on it, my little fingers working away at those keyboards most of the day and for the most part, pain-free. If I had technical issues with my desktop I could call the Help Desk, and if I had issues with my workspace I could call upon the Safety experts and they would evaluate the desk, chair, keyboard, whatever, until it was ‘ergonomically’ correct.

Now I blog at home and alas there is no one to call upon for these issues. So recently when I became uncomfortable at my desk I decided it was time for a new chair. And since my computer kept freezing up – it was 6 years old, ancient in computer years – I replaced it too.

Sounds simple enough, right? Sure, uh-huh.

First the chair. The old one wasn’t working anymore. I couldn’t sit long without lower back pain so off we went to buy the most comfortable chair in the store. ‘In the store’ – these are the operative words for unfortunately it doesn’t work so well with my desk at home. My husband will likely keep the new chair to replace his ancient one – which I am now using as I type this. I still seek a new chair. And maybe a new desk too. (It’s the domino effect folks, and it’s starting to get expensive.)

Second the computer. I had forgotten about the hassles of dismantling the old one and setting up the new. And the joy of sifting through billions of pictures to save and transfer. Yes, thanks to digital cameras I take five times as many pictures as I need, most of which I will never look at again and save them in files on my computer. And no I don’t use the cloud, whatever exactly that is. Lesson learned I guess.

Don’t mean to complain here, but I’m anxious to get back to blogging in a comfortable environment, sharing with you pictures of my favorite cats and travels too, pain-free. In the meantime Benji has tested the new computer and finds it ergonomically to his satisfaction, especially when using his feet. I admit I haven’t tried that yet.

Do my fellow bloggers have these issues? Or are you all sitting comfortably on your sofa, feet up, blogging on your laptop or phone? If so, I envy you.

~ Susanne

Tiger ~ a day in the life

Before there was Benji, Tiger had the place to himself; here’s his story of a typical day in paradise.

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Hello everyone.  Tiger here.  I realize I may have sounded a bit grumpy in my last post  Not the Same Species where it was clear that Sue and I do not agree on hunting. But I don’t want to seem ungrateful, especially after all I have been through in my past lives.  I really do love it here and consider life number three (my favorite number by the way) the best so far. So let me take you through some highlights of a typical day here in Paradise.

You probably know I am anxious to get an early start in the morning and I let my requests be known to Bob and Sue accordingly.  They are pretty responsive to my demands.  Though Sue is hard to wake, Bob is usually up and willing to let me out before dawn.  Nothing like that fresh morning air and the stirring in the…

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Mt Baker Wilderness Under Smoky Skies

Despite the smoky skies over Washington this week, we managed to find beauty in the Mt Baker Wilderness Area, which shares its eastern border with North Cascades National Park. We took the Mt. Baker Highway to its end at Artist Point for views of America’s most photographed mountain (so they say), Mt. Shuksan, which actually lies within the National Park.¬† Sorry to have to show you a less than stellar picture of the famous mountain under smoky, hazy skies but I think you’ll see why photographers flock here.

I took this photo at Picture Lake and admit to ‘enhancing’ the color a bit – no law against that, right?

On our way back down we saw a sign for Nooksack Falls and decided to make the short drive down a gravelly one lane road to see it.¬† Once there we took heed to the warnings to watch our footing and stay behind the chain link fence.¬† Sadly some have not and died trying to get the perfect picture. It’s unfortunate that such beautiful falls must come with serious warnings, but nature must be respected.

I’m happy to report that the smoke is finally clearing out for a few days due to cool maritime air finally pushing through. We’ll see for how long.

~ Susanne

On Morning’s Orange Sun

The Pacific Northwest is once again under the filmy haze of smoke from Canadian wildfires resulting in unhealthy air. In the meantime we are awakened by a mysterious and brilliant orange sun.

Can’t wait for the rainy fall season to begin.

~ Susanne

Third Beach at Olympic National Park, but What’s in a Name?

On our recent trip to Olympic National Park, we enjoyed a wonderful hike to Third Beach – and no,¬† the name does not do it justice.¬† Just a short drive from Mora Campground, Third Beach lies south of First Beach and Second Beach –¬† not to be confused with Beach 1, Beach 2 and Beach 3 even further to the south.¬† (I guess after so many gorgeous beaches they decided to go with a numbering system – you try naming a beach!)

The trail through the woods was flat and well maintained and at only 1.4 miles one way, the payoff at the end seemed too easy.

There were only a handful of hikers on the trail including this little fellow below, to whom we gave the right of way.

It wasn’t long before we heard the roar of the Pacific Ocean and saw the promise of blue sky at the end of the trail tunnel.

And then – Ocean in View!

After scrambling over the giant drift logs that guarded the beach (look closely and you will see my speck of a husband), we were there!

The rugged beach was ours to enjoy, complete with an offshore metropolis, which I shall call the City of Sea Stacks.  (I guess naming things is difficult!)

While Bob cast his line in the surf (for seaweed it turns out)

I accrued more steps on my fitbit by heading down the beach for a closer look at the mysterious sea stacks and small waterfalls tumbling from the cliffs.

It was great to be walking, alone with my thoughts, in the fresh air, enjoying the waves and the surf and the drift logs and giant boulders strewn about.

As I write this I find myself wishing I were there right now¬† –¬† spending the night on the beach.

I returned from my walk and found that Bob had failed to catch us lunch so we settled instead for the snack I’d brought along – nuts, crackers, chips cookies, washed down with water and surprisingly tasty.¬† Then it was time to go:¬† another scramble over the logs, a long walk through the woods and we were back at the trailhead.¬† Next up was La Push and First Beach where no hiking was necessary to enjoy the drive-up beach on the Quileute Indian Reservation. (Second Beach does require a hike and will have to wait for another trip.)

Exhausted by our adventures¬† (18,000 steps for me – but who’s counting?) we stopped at Three Rivers Resort for a ‘Quil Burger’ (it was delicious).¬† While we were there we learned of another threat, greater than mere fire danger, a nod to the Twilight series based here.

Regardless, we slept peacefully in our trailer that night, and were ready the next day to move on to the Hoh Rain Forest, one of the best remaining examples of temperate rain forest in the world, according to the Park’s newspaper, and that deserves another post.¬† Stay tuned.

~ Susanne

Let sleeping cats lie…..

Just a few pictures of happy sleeping cats to start your weekend!

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

I must say that sleeping humans are not that cute (with the exception perhaps of baby humans.)  They are twisted and have messy unmanageable hair and bed-clothes and sometimes thrash around.  Indeed humans do not wish to be seen sleeping, nor to be seen waking up in the morning without a substantial amount of time spent to make themselves presentable.

Not so with cats.  All cats have a particular expression of joy while sleeping and are very pleasant to look at.  Their soft fur stays nice and intact at all times and the feet are particularly cute. Here are some examples.

Tiger is 8 years old and still enjoys sleeping very much.


Not all cats sleep the same but they all sleep cute.  Here is Benji sleeping.  He is not quite one year old.


Any questions?

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