Panama City – the Beauty and the Beast

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In Panama City there was much beauty, some of which I’ve already shared – the modern high-rise buildings, the historical buildings in the French Quarter. It is, as I’ve said, a city of extremes.

The beauty

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It’s as if you enter a tunnel from the beautiful side

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and when you exit the tunnel, you find a more dubious side.

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You turn the corner and you find the beast of the city

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where those who are allowed to enter the modern, wealthier part of the city only if they are working there, have their homes. Where they undoubtedly struggle to survive and hope for better lives for their children. How cruel it must be to spend your working day in the lives of the wealthy, seeing how many of them waste more of the necessary things in one day than you have for your family for a week. Knowing that your government views you as a low-class, not-very-important part of society.

Yes, there is much beauty. Yes, I am happy I had that experience. But it is not a country that I would wish to visit again.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 16

This morning started with some sunshine after a night of rain, but the clouds have moved in again, so it seems a good time to share some more of my world, with questions by Cee.

1. How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. Oh gosh. Since during most of my school years I attended between 4 and 8 different schools in different cities and often different states, I haven’t got a clue. I might be able to account for adult years, during which I’ve lived in Minot, ND; Kingston, NY; Newburgh, NY; Bloomington, NY; Walled Lake, MI; Willow Creek, PA; Lakewood, CA; Fountain Valley, CA; Santa Ana, CA; Westminster, CA; Tustin, CA and now here I am, in South Central, OR (outside of Chiloquin to be specific).

2. What type of music relaxes you the most? Most often when I play music I tend to tune it out, with something catching my attention every now and then. I think, like Chris, silence is most relaxing to me and most of my days at home silence is the background noise. I like being able to hear noises (okay, what did that cat knock down now?!) around me. I do enjoy music, and perhaps today I’ll connect my phone to the bluetooth speakers and listen to a random selection of music.

3. If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why? If I were able to instantly become fluent in a language, why couldn’t I instantly become fluent in several languages? What would I pick? Oh – maybe Spanish, Korean, where else would I like to go visit? Would that ability continue so I could become fluent in the language of whatever country I decided to go to?

4. If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer? Fly because although I think there is much underwater that I would like to explore, I need light and underwater becomes quite dim as you descend. Besides, if I could fly, I could easily get myself to those countries whose languages I have become fluent in. Being able to fly, to hover without being really noticeable would be as good as being a mouse in a corner, don’t you think?

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for good friends with whom I enjoyed a delicious meal on Easter, and with whom I am privileged to spend time when I choose.

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This week coming, I am looking forward to the spring cleanup in the yard getting completed, the grass turning a brighter green and new things sprouting and preparing to bloom.

It rained overnight, with a bit of snow mixed in apparently, which provided an opportunity to capture raindrops on flowers,

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as well as another little sparrow, this one a White-Crowned Sparrow, I believe.

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Now how about taking a look at the other blogs that have shared their world!

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On This Easter Morning

Since this day represents our season of rebirth and renewal, I thought it appropriate to share with you the sunshine in my flower beds – the amazing daffodils, those beauties with so many personalities.

There are the multi-trumpeted daffodils

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the large-trumpeted yellow on yellow daffodil

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the large trumpeted yellow on cream daffodil

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The daffodils with bright orange trumpets

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and the daffodils with the more muted orange trumpet flaring from their yellow petals

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the daffodils with the star shaped petals acting as background singers for their lovely trumpets

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and this tiny little daffodil, the first of its kind to bloom this year. I think she did not want her photo taken, as she would not focus well in my camera lens (no, no! Do not even hint it might be the camera operator)

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All of these lovely girls are here to wish each and every one of you a blessed day, a blessed life, a very Happy Easter filled with enough.

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Sometimes the Need to do Nothing Wins

I have spent the past two days running to our bigger town, because certain things must be done. To avoid anymore confusion than I create as I type on, I am typing this post one day before you will see it, so by the time you read this, I will have had a lazy day following the busier days. That happens – that need to do nothing after a period of busy-ness. The call to be nonproductive wins sometimes. Maybe I’ll get dressed today. Maybe I won’t.

The Artistic One did get some photos of the Blood Moon the other night, which she generously shared with me and which I will generously share with you.

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Spring has been busy blooming here and there is much activity in my yard. The tree outside my window is flowering

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and the birds gather their breakfasts as I have my morning coffee.

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I wanted to capture a picture of this little sparrow with his head up so you could clearly see his brown eye

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but he wasn’t very cooperative.

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Birds can be like that, you know? Just like many things in this world, they can refuse to follow my plan. But I was persistent, and patient (sort of), and eventually I caught him. Or her? Not sure how to tell with this sparrow.

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The swallows and bluebirds have been house hunting. They’ve also been having debates about who should get which house. Their debates are often not friendly, I must say. On this day, the bluebirds laid claim to this house, but today the swallows were there. I think it’s a “wait and see” game. Maybe they’ll take turns.

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Easter approaches. We will be having a neighborhood potluck Easter dinner at the home of the Gracious One and her husband. It will be a day of joy, spending time with friends. As most days are, it will be a day of enough.

I hope your Easter, your weekend, your days will be times of enough also. I hope that you will be where you wish to be on this holyday and that you will laugh and love and feel satisfied with your lives.

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More Panama City – the French Quarter

I found The French Quarter of Panama City very intriguing, a combination of old world elegance and decay.

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The president of Panama lives in the French Quarter, in this large white structure you see below. It turns out the president was on his way here as we walked down the approaching street.

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When the president is arriving, the guards are out in force.

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We wandered down the streets

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past old churches

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some with bell towers

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Past interesting doorways

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Past a government building across from a park

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and another large building which may have been apartments, or a hotel, or a residence. I do not know.

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There were statues

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andthe real Panama hats.

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On we went to a flea market, where we stopped to shop for gifts to bring back to friends. And maybe one or two things for ourselves. Maybe.

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There will be one more post about Panama. It may be delayed because I may feel the need to just chatter. I think I have not done that for awhile.

I hope your day holds enough of everything.

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Share Your World – 2014 Week 15

Wondering what Cee has in store for us this week? Let’s find out!

1. For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone? Since Windows 8 drove me to Mac, that’s what I use. I’ve done several of my blogs on the iPad, but decided it was easier really to just do them on the iMac, which is where the photos all are. One less step that way – the photos I’m going to use go in my blog folder, but I don’t have to also copy them to Dropbox so I can access them from the iPad.

2. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Since it’s been centuries since I’ve been a kid it’s hard to remember. What? You say you’ve told me a million times not to exaggerate? Fine! But you know you are a bit of a nitpicker, don’t you? I remember wanting to be a stewardess as a young girl, until I outgrew the height limitation which, as I recall, was 5’8″. As a big kid – that is, when I was an adult taking college classes at night and had an absolutely marvelous instructor in Business Law – I thought, briefly, that a corporate attorney might be good. When I was a kid, choices for women were limited.

3. Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it? Primarily small towns, although we did live in the suburbs of Denver for awhile too. I think I’ve told you before, we moved around a lot. A lot! I guess I liked it – when I was very young I loved the freedom of being in a country setting. I suspect as a teenager I wanted more. Don’t all teenagers want more? Now I like to visit a large city now and then, but live in one? Not!

4. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? Assuming there were no mirrors around to bely my real age, I think I’d probably be 45 or 50 – old enough that the major fluxes in emotions had died down, but young enough to enjoy life and appreciate that the driving forces of youth had simmered and mellowed.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the sunshine and warm temperatures that made working in the yard a pleasure and encouraged the spring birds to return and flowers to bloom. I am grateful for the day to relax and look for photo opportunities with the Artistic One (we went up to Crater Lake, photos to follow) and yesterday when the Gracious One, the Artistic One and I went over the mountains to the bigger city for a girls’ day of shopping. I am looking forward to another week of rising every morning and knowing I have loved ones in my life.

And now for those Crater Lake photos – Keep in mind as you look at them that the snow accumulation is much less than what is normal for this time of year.

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Through the window in the gift shop, all you see is snow

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Then I clambered, incredibly gracefully of course, up a snowbank to capture pictures of the lake

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And turned around to show you the roof of the gift shop

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Care to go sledding?

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The Moon Did its Thing

And I tried to do mine.

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The moon, before the earth so rudely blocked its light.

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The earth begins its encroachment.

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And continues

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becoming more and more aggressive

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until finally

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It concedes defeat and becomes the blood moon we have been told about.

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I think it was drinking, because it wobbled about a lot. Truth be told, I have no idea what happened here. Camera was on a tripod – but its operator obviously needed more knowledge. And maybe, just maybe, a somewhat longer lens. I did dig out the Rebel for these photos, because the little Lumix hollered “Uncle!” very early on with this project.

I’m sure there are many of you who have captured much better photos, and there are those of you who were defeated by the clouds in your part of the country. We were lucky – our afternoon clouds gave way to clear skies for this event. The only hindrance was – the camera operator. But what I did get will back up memories for several years to come. Now I shall finish my warming cup of tea and head to bed. It is, after all, already tomorrow.

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