Friday, August 1, 2014

Above the Din

My husband and I were recently in New York City for a BIG BIG BIG city vacation.  Midtown NYC is about as far away and as different from our West Coast beach community as we could get!  However, above the din of sirens, honking taxis, bus engines, vendors hawking their wares, and the general noise several million people crammed in one space can make was the sound of a song bird.  Yes, above that frenetic din was a singer of songs voiced raised in joy.  Amazing and wonderful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Song birds

Tiny birds with big voices!  That's what we've been hearing at our house.  Their songs are such a welcome sound! 

Here on the beach, we often only hear the cawing of crows and the sound of a seagull squabble! 

The delicate songs soaring back and forth across our neighborhood between these tiny happy friends are a melodious addition to the powerful and never ending song of the surf. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Great Dog!

My husband and I recently made a trip up the Oregon coast to Astoria.  Our aim was to watch the cargo ships and fishing vessels make their way up the Columbia River, under the Megler Bridge and on toward the Columbia channel.

That was certainly exciting and we did get some amazing photos, but it was a dog surveying his neighborhood from a second floor window that captured our attention.  Each time we drove past this house on the way to/from our B&B, there he was - master of his domain.  My husband captured this marvelous image.

What a great dog!

 To see more of David's photographic genius, check out his website at

Monday, March 24, 2014

Ginger Jock is latest cat to move in to Churchill's home
Living in the lap of luxury: Meet Chartwell’s next ginger tomcat, Jock VI 

What a great story!  Too good not to share on my blog.  I do wish I could meet this handsome little fellow!

His bulldog spirit saw Britain through its ‘finest hour’ to victory in World War II. But, in reality, Sir Winston Churchill was a big softie when it came to cats.

The wartime leader’s love for his feline friends was so strong that he left wishes in his 1965 will that a cat must always be in ‘comfortable residence’ at his former home in Chartwell, Kent, long after his death.

Since 1962, Jock – a cat named after his private secretary Sir John ‘Jock’ Colville who bought him a pet for his 88th birthday– has lived at the former prime minister’s home.
It is rumoured the cat was so dear to Sir Winston that mealtimes at Chartwell would not start until the pet was at the table.

And today, Jock VI moved in to the home from an animal shelter.

Sir Winston’s family bequeathed the home to the National Trust in 1966, insisting a marmalade cat with white bib and four white socks must live there.
Seven-month-old Jock VI is fostered from the Croydon Animal Samaritans. He will now live in the lap of luxury.

He will feast on tuna and lounge on Persian rugs, said new owner, Chartwell’s house and collections manager Katherine Barnett.
‘It’s a modern-day rags-to-riches story,’ she added.

‘Jock VI has had a difficult start to life, but as the saying goes, “a cat always lands on its feet.”’

The previous Jock, who moved in in 2010, left Chartwell when its owner moved to Scotland last year.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Newest Feline Friends



enjoying a new toy.  Their amusing antics are always entertaining and enliven my German lessons.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Elusive Animals

 My husband and I recently made a nearly 4,000 mile road trip across the great expanse of the Western United States between the Pacific Ocean and Topeka, Kansas.  You would think in all those miles, over mountain passes and cross wide open plains we would have seen dozens if not hundreds of wild animals.  After all we were going through mountain goat, deer, elk,  and antelope territory, not to mention other mammal and bird habitats.  
However, we could nearly count all the animals seen on our four hands.  We were fortunate to see two lone coyotes in the wilds of northwestern Utah and a couple dozen or so antelope in the Wyoming frontier. 

It was cold and windy across the states of Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas and yes, most of the terrain was snow covered, so we just have to assume that most living creatures were hunkered down for a long winter's nap.