Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I'd go trick or treating in Pike Place Market.   I bet there are ghosts to be encountered there, too. 

This was during our recent excursion.

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Trip - The Wheel

This was another part of the excursion DH planned for me a few days ago.   The Seattle "Wheel."
It is a nice ride inside the 'pod' even on the cool day.

I have a photo of him making a funny face, but we've agreed I won't post that one (for now).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

One More Trip

DH took me on an excursion to downtown Seattle.

First we had to go through the Pike Place Market, past the flowers, fish, and vegetables.
And the performers.
To the place behind the well known Public Market sign (we noticed this when we left). 

Place Pigalle restaurant.  We were early, but soon others arrived.  We had a delicious lunch, starting with warm soup.

That is part of the market, seen through this pumpkin's window.

Other windows show some downtown home gardens.

The market supplies both meal and decoration ingredients. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


you gotta do what you committed to.

I'm continuing my objective of consuming things that have been around for a while.  This one is no worse for its aging.   

See more here:

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Visitor

I recently added this table near a bench in a loafing shed by the blackberries.   Someone has been by to visit it already.  

Since we moved to this house, the bench sat under a red oak tree.  This tree didn't survive the ice storm last winter.  I moved the bench to the loafing shed (3-sided shed for animials) to see if it might make a nice people loafing spot.   It does, so after cutting the wicked blackberries, I moved the table in also.

This brings back some memories - see the loafing shed and the bench in the last two pictures in this post:
The girls preferred a different loafing shed, however.  They always went to the one where they were fed. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Planning ahead

It looks like we'll have a Christmas tree this year.  This tree has lived "temporarily" in the edge of the garden.   Its siblings were moved years ago. 

As we pondered the digging required to move this one, and whether it would live, DH proposed the Christmas tree idea.  I quickly agreed.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terminal G

Minneapolis airport.

The iPads are the menus for ordering, access to the Internet, flight info, games, etc. There is an electrical outlet and a credit card reader at the tables also.

Kansas Sunset

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rainbow Chard Downtown

There is rainbow chard growing in the flowerbeds outside my friend's downtown office building in Wichita, KS.  It is a good choice for this time of year.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I had a little Dr Seuss with my morning coffee at the 29th & Rock Starbucks in Wichita, Kansas.

The little building is the original Pizza Hut. It now sits on the campus of Wichita State University.

Friday, October 19, 2012

On to Arkansas

Chester and Alma, Arkansas

Thursday, October 18, 2012


iPhone Oklahoma bug shots.
They like a walk in the sunshine too.

Link to prior OK bug adventure:


Grand Lake, Oklahoma: At the end of a rambling road (paved), I found a simple public boat launch. It had a low, rocky shoreline in both directions.  Lots and lots of rocks.  And a lot of rocks with fossils.  
Upcoming:  "Bugs"   This seems to be a recurring theme for my Oklahoma trips:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Ask

Me at Thrifty rental at Tulsa airport: "I had an Escape when I was here in June. Do you have one of those?"

Counter person: "we have a Taurus for you, but let me check... Yes, we can have an Escape ready in 10 minutes."

Me: "Perfect. I'll wait."

(post from June:

This Escape seems a little larger than the June one, but still fun to drive in the hills and curves around Grand Lake in NE Oklahoma.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Goodbye? Hello!

Packing again?  Really?  What about us?

Nikko doesn't have to worry.   DH will be here for her.   They won't be so happy to see me.  They have a vet appointment the first morning I'm home.  But, they don't know about that either.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Introduction to the Sikh Community

There are two more opportunities next weekend to learn more about the Sikh Community at a King County Library location.  Today, Jasmit Singh gave an hour overview of Sikh beliefs, local community information, and history.   Then he and others answered questions, shared treats, photos and other information.   I learned a lot and I'm looking forward to visiting the open house at the Gurdwara in Renton later in the year.

Here is the kcls link with more information:

Next weekend, he will be at these locations:
Saturday, October 20, 12-2pm, Crossroads Community Center  (1600 NE 10th St., Bellevue, 98008)

Sunday, October 21, 2-4pm, Renton Library

This was my first visit to the Federal Way library, too.   A fabulous place to spend a rainy afternoon (but I had other things on my schedule).  Like the other library locations around us, Federal Way library has lots of windows to let in the beautiful NW forest views and sunlight (when we have it).

And sometimes, there is even a geocache...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Adaptive Popcorn

DH has joined my school of cooking - "Hmmm... what's been in the cupboard a long time? Cook that."   See the Now We are Cooking post here. 

It was a cool evening.  We were working hard on something we didn't want to do.  We needed a snack.  He cooked the microwave popcorn that's been in the cupboard for a while (best by January 2012).  

Only, we don't have a microwave.  Why did we have microwave popcorn when we haven't had a microwave oven since our apartment when we first moved to WA 20 years ago?  Good question.   What is important is that the popcorn is gone and we made it through the difficult task. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Signs of Frost?

Congratulations to Matron ( ) and her 191 pound pumpkin!  They brought home 4th place in the London pumpkin contest on their first try.

Yesterday, I harvested this squash collection, including the Queensland Blue pumpkin from Matron's seeds, and a little broccoli.   Today I picked more pumpkins, scalloped squash, lettuce and a basket of tomatoes. 

It appears the garden was frosty last week while I was away.  It will happen again, so I left only a few green pumpkins that have a little protected by other plants.    

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Tanzania - Families

You can still watch part two of Half the Sky today - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Here is the current link for today:

For women, men and children, educational and economic opportunities can take many forms.  What is important is that opportunities are there, and the people in the society may pursue them without oppression.

The Hadzabe society in Tanzania is one of the last hunter-gatherer societies left in Africa.  These men showed us how to use their bow and arrows (smartly, they didn't give some of us sharp tips), and took us on an impressive morning hunt (i.e. exhausting - see the sleeping dog?). In exchange, they have some cash to buy metal arrow tips from a neighboring tribe that makes them.
From the women, we bought necklaces and bracelets, from beads and available natural materials.  One little girl now attends school and asked our guide if he could bring a pair of shoes for her next time he visits.  They know him because his mother is Hadzabe.   

This small group, plus about the same number of women and other children, had the least permanent shelters I can imagine.  If a large animal is killed, one of the hunters will return and tell the others where to go.  They relocate closer to the food.   They'll build simple shelters there from the material available.   Everything they have can be wrapped in a cloth and carried to their new location.

Nearby, we visited a Datoga family.  Along with managing and grazing their livestock, they are known for their metal work.

I like best these scenes before the posed picture.  Talking with hands, and each our own language, about something.  One of the women had arranged us by height.   

The Datoga people do metal work, including arrow points the Hadzabe use.  Behind where I'm standing, the young men manned the fire - one worked the goat-skin bellows, one melted all sorts of metal parts into forms and shaped the items.  Another used a chisel and hammer to make designs in the bracelets and other metal items.  Again the women make a fine sales team that is hard to refuse.

Different groups had different types of houses.  Behind the goat, you can see the fence made of thorn bush branches.   We saw this a lot in different communities.   This helps protect the livestock from predators and keeps them close by when they aren't grazing elsewhere.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

See Half the Sky through Oct 8 (& Tanzania)

You still have time to watch Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.  Watch part one through Monday Oct 8 and part two through Tuesday Oct 9.

In the US, you can watch them online now. Go to  See the links to Part One and Part Two in the beginning of the article under the picture.

In Tanzania, we went to a Maasai Women's Beading Cooperative, near Tarangire National Park.   The women quickly selected bracelets and placed several on our arms while we two shoppers looked around.  Chatting and laughing with each other, it wasn't long before we joined them.  They are quite the sales team.

Our guide started laughing during price discussions.  The women would talk to him in Swahili and then switch to the Maasai language when they didn't want him to know what they were discussing.

Our guide also wondered why they all weighed in on prices.  Finally, at the end, he learned that each woman used a certain color or combination of beads in the hook closure on the bracelet.  They knew who made what we wanted to buy, and who had a say in the deal.   He was impressed.  Through this discovery, we were able to find out which of the women made the items we bought (more chatting and laughing all around).

When we wanted to take a group photo, some of the women picked out necklaces for everyone and give us visitors one of their cloths to wear.   Notice our guys stayed far away from all this activity.

Now are are ready for the photo.    Then, they asked if wanted to buy what we were wearing. 

The Maasai have held on to their traditional culture, living in small family groups or villages and caring for their cattle and livestock.  Sometimes there are problems about where they graze their cattle.  The government has tried to change their lifestyle, but the Maasai prefer to change on their own terms.  

It wasn't unusual to see Maasai men now in jobs as national park rangers (below), safety/security at the safari camps, or working with guides to locate wildlife.   They know the land and the animal behavior very well. 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Watch "Half the Sky" now through Oct 8 (& Tanzania)

Did you see the recent PBS broadcasts of the documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
In the US, you can watch them online now -  Part One through Oct 8 and Part Two through Oct 9.  Go to  See the links to Part One and Part Two in the beginning of the article under the picture.

Why watch? The film represents the reality of many women, I think even the majority of women, worldwide. It's heartbreaking to realize this, but what speaks even louder is the strength, potential, courage and spirit you see in the faces of the women in spite of their situation. 

“Talent is universal; opportunity is not.” –Nicholas Kristof

You'll see the faces of the people making opportunities for change for themselves and their communities, even at the risk of their own lives.   The change is infectious, especially with women and those around them. 

In Tanzania, we saw people working hard to ensure education and economic means are a reality.  Everywhere we went, we saw people, especially women, creating or seizing opportunities.  People value new education and economic opportunities while still embracing their own wonderful culture (it is many different cultural communities that make up today's Tanzania).   We also saw some situations, unimaginable to us, that left us in silence and with little hope for change.

We met this group of girls and boys at Tumaini School, after discussing schools with our guide.  He knew the founder of the school and invited us to stop by (this school teaches in English).  We told where we live and what work we do.  Some of them asked us questions and told us what they wanted to do.  One of the girls near the windows quizzed & corrected me on coffee tree growing and harvesting.  

They were in a class on this Saturday, and not in their uniforms, because they were preparing for an upcoming national exam for their specific grade level.  The school started in a house with 17 students.  It now has over 500, and 50% are girls.    (This blog - has recent graduation celebration pictures.)

Go to  See the links to Part One and Part Two in the beginning of the article, under the pictures.

From outside the US, if this site or the videos don't work for you, try this website to find out more about it or local broadcasts   It is inspired by the book of the same title by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.