"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Sunday Salon --- End of Summer edition

Images from our day at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle

Weather: Beautiful. September is often a lovely month in our part of the country. We survived an odd, cold-ish streak last week but now we are experiencing nice warm and beautiful days to wind down summer.

End of summer flurry: We got home from a family reunion in early August and have basically been home bodies since then until the last week of August when we started a flurry of activity, several involving our grandsons. First, I helped organize a school supply drive for our church. In the photo below you see me (with my husband who took the picture) delivering those supplies to a local charity who helps families prepare their children for school. Next our daughter took her dad to the Mariners baseball game. I tagged along. We had fun but our team lost. The next day we took our grandsons to the local wildlife park. We did see lots of animals but the boys like horsing around in the children's play area best. Grandparents need to recover after a day with busy boys!
Top: School supply delivery; Mariners Game; Northwest Trek boys with the moose. Middle and bottom: Boys horsing around and bald eagle who was recued in Alaska and can no longer fly due to injuries.

End of summer flurry, part 2: Even though we needed a rest, we didn't get one. The very next day after the trip to NW Trek we jumped in the pickup and headed to Eugene for the first college football game of the season. My mom lives less than a mile from the stadium so we all use her house as a gathering spot. It was surprisingly hot and muggy during the game. I kept reminding myself that the games in November will be miserably cold, so buck up! During our drive up and down the freeway, Don and I listened to a very good audiobook: The Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson.

End of summer flurry, part 3: Our oldest grandson is in 1st grade this year. Knowing his first day of school was Wednesday,  we decided, as a early birthday gift, we'd take him and his younger brother to Pacific Science Center in Seattle on Tuesday. It was to be his last summer fling. We made arrangements with our daughter and Ian was really excited, then we figured out the center isn't open on Tuesdays! Waa! Big tears. We quickly shifted plans and ended up going to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, rescheduling a visit to the science center for Saturday. Whew! See photos below for highlights of our zoo day!

Highlights from zoo day: Ian with Ivan the gorilla; megalodon mouth; feeding budgies; watching the polar bear sisters (new to the zoo); holding a caterpillar for the Hummingbird moth; pretending to be octopuses; playing in the kid zone or where ever there is a sculpture to pose on..  

Taking a break from all the end-of-summer activities: Thursday Don read in the newspaper that the rodeo breakfast and parade was the next day. We've lived in our town for over 40 years and never attended the parade and cattle drive that precedes it. This rodeo event is part of the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup. It happens on the first Friday of the fair. For years I could never go because I was always back to work as a teacher. Why not go now that we're both retired? The cattle drive was very small, according to Don's standards, with just 20 of so animals. The parade was pretty small, too, mostly just people driving tractors down the road. There were a few school bands, but not many. The best horses were the teams that come in as part of the fair's entertainment: the Percherons, Belgians, and Clydesdales in their gear.
Top: One of the cows saw the decorative grass alongside the parade route and headed straight for it. She managed to get a mouthful, too. Middle: Uni-corn (get it?) and tractor guy (this one cracked me up since he had a 'For Sale' sign.) Bottom: two of the teams of the big horses.

End-of-the-summer flurry, part 4. Pacific Science Center and family birthday party for two young boys: Yesterday we took the boys to the Pacific Science Center, as promised. We had a fantastic time with just the right amount of sitting and watching and active learning, aka playing. Highlights: The illusion show where Ian got to be the volunteer on stage; the IMAX movie about trains; the laser light show set to Disney songs; lots and lots of imaginative activities the favorite being the space capsule with launch sequence and other buttons to push and the water wheel. Even the bathrooms got into the act of science education with poster about the body's elimination system. They called it grossology. The birthday party is here today after church. Just family. The cake frosting is green with googly-eyes. Should be a hit! (For highlights of the Pacific Science Center see photo collage at the top of the page.)

Books: I am making remarkable progress on Middlemarch by Eliot. I am reading a chapter a day and have passed the 50% mark. Also, I'm listening to an audiobook, Hello Beautiful by Napolitano. I'll catch up on a full book report tomorrow.

Get out there and enjoy the end of summer weather (or up-coming spring weather to my friends down under!)


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