Archive for the ‘My Fun’ Category

flying hour glass

Time flies when you are having fun. But when you aren’t it drags on forever. So have some fun.

candy machines

Life is sweet. Have a taste, it has no calories.

red rose

Take time to smell the roses, or the lilacs, or the crysanthemums…


Think great thoughts. They are free.

When life gets you down remember…this too shall pass.

snowman melting

What are your thoughts for the day?

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I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for just over a year now and I thought it was time to compare and contrast. So here is my short list of differences between Downeast Maine (the area north and east of Bar Harbor) and the Seattle, Washington area. It’s just for fun.

Mt rainier


Category Maine Seattle
Seafood Lobster Salmon
Clouds Cumulus,Fluffy Stratocumulus,Silver
Mosquitos Too many 3
Black Flies #%$@#! 0
Rain Summer Winter
Fog 9 months Seldom
Mountains Gentle Craggy
Water Atlantic Puget Sound
Spring 2-3 days Yes
Whales Finback Grey
Snow Lots In mountains
Humidity High Low
Evergreens Tall Taller
Transport Pickup Bus, train
Dogs Big Little
Ship Cruise,Lobster boat Cruise,Container
Jobs Tourism Tech
Dessert Woopie pie Cupcake
Roadside plant Lupine Scotch broom
Drink Starbucks Coffee
Weather Talk about Complain about
National Park Acadia Olympic
People Direct Polite
Volcanoes No Yes

maine lobster boat and buoys

Why not compare where you live now with where you used to live? What was the most outstanding difference between them? 

all rights reserved© Diane Kern 2011



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got paint?

painting of man in capThe other day I had the opportunity to visit the Seattle Art Museum between shifts at Benaroya Hall. I had only been there once before to see the Picasso exhibit but didn’t have time to view the rest of the museum. If you have never been there, or it has been a while, what are you waiting for? There is something for almost everyone. The galleries are bright and roomy with plenty of space between pieces so that you can enjoy them without feeling crowded.

Seattle Art Museum maskI started out my visit with a tasty lunch in the Taste restaurant that is part of the museum. It is open to everyone and you don’t have to pay admission to eat there. The food is always yummy and you can catch snippets of interesting conversation at near by tables while enjoying your meal. Visit the gift shop, also open to the public, for unusual gifts and trinkets. I wanted to write down some notes but found myself without any paper so I picked up a small notebook while there.

mouse at seattle art museum

There wasn’t a great deal of time to spend so I decided on a quick overview of the entire museum. You can find painting, sculpture, masks, video shows, books, decorative arts and furniture from many eras and styles. Find your favorite section and spend some time or just browse as I did.

Seattle Art Museum Nick Cave

The special exhibit was Nick Cave Meet Me at the Center of the Earth. A fantastic collection of suits of clothing made from sweaters, knit purses, metal flowers,twigs and more. You might have seen some of them dancing around town-the Sound Suits. No pictures were allowed in this gallery but I just happened to catch some of them from the adjacent gallery so technically I followed the rules. Catch them at SAM while they are still there. 

Nick Cave Seattle Art Museum

When you enter or leave SAM be sure to look up and this is what you see. Actually there are several and to see them from the upper floor is a strange sensation.


There is much more to see, but no more time today. Do you have a favorite piece? If you aren’t in Seattle tell us about your favorite art museum.

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wicker furniture on porch

I am waiting for summer. Will you join me?

pink flowering trees

Take a walk along the lane to the water.

Landmark Des Moines, WA

Things are looking up.

cflowering bush

Coming out party.

rainy window sill

It’s a rainy day. Dream on.

all rights reserved ©Diane Kern 2011

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That misty photo should look pretty familiar to residents of my new home state. Day nine brings me to my new home town. It has been a long trip, but not nearly long enough. I am ready to do it all again. Maybe next time it wil be across the top of the US instead of the more round about version. I wonder how my Hells Angel friend is doing. Is he still singing to the travellers at that rest stop? Tomorrow, day 10 is the offical arrival at home. I hope you enjoyed revisiting my travel if you followed me before. If this is new to you I hope you enjoyed it for the first time. I look forward to your comments and thoughts either way………

Down and safe is what the characters on the  British sci-fi series Blake’s 7 would say after a successful transport to the planet surface. I am down and safe in Washington after 10 days of driving from Maine. Tomorrow I meet my new roomate with excitement and a little trepidation.

But first I woke up to a misty, cold morning. The top of the mountains were obscured by clouds backlit by the glowing sun. A brooding kind of morning. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. But that scene did not last long. Soon the sun was in full shine, the sky was bright blue and the clouds were friendly and fluffy. This continued all day.

I stopped at a busy highway rest area to rest my eyes, and take a phone call. There leaning against one of the buildings was this happy man, strumming his guitar and singing a song. I stopped to chat and like others, to leave some money in his guitar case. This man with a happy smile and smooth, wrinkle free skin was a Hell’s Angel with a sad story. He said just because I am an Angel doesn’t mean I do what those others do. He was a Vietnam Vet and had a young child. Because of his association with the bikers his child had been taken from him. In state custody she was left unattended and died from a seizure. This man turned to music and Jesus to soothe his soul. He showed me some news articles from the papers. We chatted a little longer and then I went on my way and he went back to his music.

The evergreen trees are a lot bigger in Washington than in Maine. The grass is already green. Daffodils are popping up in the highway divider. Flowering trees are in bloom.

I arrived in town, checked in to my motel and did a drive around for a little while. I will be just a couple of blocks from the beach and marina. It was a long trip and I have to admit that this last day and a half have done me in. So I am glad to be here at last. I often thought of my friends back home over the last week. I hope you are doing well. Perhaps tomorrow some last thoughts on this adventure and then on to a new one. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

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Eight days a week…things are still up and down. It is very hilly here. By the way that is not Mt. Shasta pictured further down in case you were wondering, or know better…

In every trip there are bound to be ups and downs. This trip is no exception. Yesterday and today I drove highways I had never driven before. Snaking through the serpentine mountain passes today I was either going up or going down. All day long-up-down-up-down-up-down-up…you get the picture. The area of Lake Shasta was so magical I was disappointed to find it was man made resevoir. As you wound around discovering different views of the mountains and water all I could think of was Lord of the Rings. (photos is by Shawna Scott not me)

In stark contrast was Mount Shasta a totally not man made mountain. Actually it is a collection of volcanos. This photo is by me. Do you remember Johnny Carson talking about Mt. Shasta? I do. The Native American name means white mountain. But all the snow was gone. Quite imposing.

Continuing my up and down journey I took a side road in Dunsmuir to find gas. But instead I found this excellent theater marquee. It was a strange little town that obviously at one time a great little resort town. Very old fashioned and quaint. There were lots of little cottages, an arboretum,boat launches etc. Would be nice to visit in the summer. But indeed a little past its prime.

There were many interesting places to stop and visit, the sundial bridge, Shasta Caverns and many more. But I was like a horse that sensed the stable ahead. I just kept driving.

In this same area was Castle Crags. Ancient, rough and scaly like the back of a venerable dragon. The land became greener and greener. The trees bigger and bigger. The sky turned dark and brooding which seemed only sensible considering the power of the mountains. Eventually it began to drizzle and then rain lightly cleaning the remains of the desert of the car.

I arrived at the night’s destination to a room from the past. Pine panelling and pink ceramic tile. A nod to the 50’s motel past.

Sleep tight.

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Day seven, not a day of rest. I’m back in comfy territory. I was back in California this January to visit friends and visit some favorite places that I didn’t have time for on this trip a year ago. The Pasadena Playhouse is back in business I am happy to say. It is still sunny and warm, not like here in the PNW….

Coming out of the desert as I said was almost culture shock. Here I was on tree lined streets, it was 77 degrees, much warmer than the desert had been. The cars on the freeway glittered in the sun like an Oscar gown. I feel very comfortable in Pasadena. I have been there many times before. I thought I would spend an extra day there. But I said to myself if I do that I just might not leave. There is something about the energy that feels good to me. I did drive by the Pasadena Playhouse and took this picture. They announced recently that they were shutting down due to the economy. But there were still productions announced on banners and the valet parker was setting up his stand. Maybe there will be an angel that saves this cultural jewel. I have enjoyed performances there on several occasions in the past. No time on this trip however.

Next day off to the north. Driving over the mountains through the Angeles Forest I wonderered if my little overloaded car would handle it. You could never consider it overpowered by any means. Then I saw the sign saying turn off your air conditioner to avoid overheating, radiator water in 1 1/2 miles. But there was no problem.

The sandy, sparsely vegetated mountains bore the scars of a forest fire in places. As we reached the top and started downward the mountains turned green and grassy. They reminded me of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, especially when I saw flocks of sheep on the hillside. As I turned one last corner, a large flat terrace of land appeared. It was so different it was almost like driving through a portal into another land. Kern County-how about that?

Pistachio plantations, orangeries, and vinyards went on for miles. Flowering trees were waiting for the bees to emerge from their hives. Now and then a truck rode throught the neat rows checking on progress. Signs for fruit stands started to appear. One farm’s signs were so eye catching I decided to stop and check it out. There were fields of purple flowers with grazing cattle too. But I didn’t see any happy California cows! Dairy council shame on you. The only Holsteins I saw were in large, bare ground lots. Back to Wisconsin you California want to be cows. The fruit stand road was lined with beautiful rose bushes. Red leaves and very bushy with the most amazing red-orange blossoms. What do you think of these?

I was so excited to see billboards for Pea Soup Andersons. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is a restaurant/gift shop/tourist trap. Of course they are famous for their pea soup. I collect restaurant china and I have a fantastic plate from there with their logo on it. They no longer have a logo on their china. Too bad! I suppose people were stealing them all the time and they would be costly to replace. Very few restaurants have logoed china any more.

Isn’t that just too funny? The outside of the building has a big windmill. There is also one of those boards that you stick your head through into the logo so you become the chef and his assistant. I saw a couple looking at it and I could tell they wanted a picture. So I offered to take it for them so they could both be in it.

As we slowly traveled up out of the farm land the mountains completed the circle closing the passage on this enchanted land.

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