Family News

June 7/05/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Doorbell Cam
It's always fun to take a look back and check on the everyday look. Here are a few of our favorite doorbell cam images. We cut them from the video images, so they aren't the best, but they are what we have.

Mud Mountain
Taking a few back roads out of Enumclaw, we ended up on Mud Mountain Road. It was quite a twisted and narrow road in the hills, just south of the town. We followed it as it went up the hill, but we could not see anything to orient where we were. Suddenly, we found ourselves at the gate to Mud Mountain Dam. There is an excellent area for kids to play and for events to be held there. It is a very nice place. We will go back there.

Snoqualmie Falls
It isn't often that we get to Snoqualmie Falls when the water is up and the Falls are full. Even though the peak of the water level had passed a few days before, we enjoyed a view that was more than we had seen in a while. The park was busy and the Falls are more popular than ever.

Carkeek Park Video Published
We took a day trip to Carkeek Park in North Seattle in May but had no time to process the video. It finally got published on June 10th. Views include entry, beach area and even a surprise train visit.

Enumclaw, Washington - Stills - Video
We took another day trip to Enumclaw to check out the town. The idea was to see the downtown, shopping areas and neighborhoods, and get some video. John also wanted drone video of the city. It sits at the foot of the Cascade Mountains, near Mt. Rainier. The Mountain was hidden behind the clouds when the video was taken.

The Moon is always an attractive target for both Cheryl and John. While Cheryl has more sophisticated cameras, it is still fun for John to get a pretty good view once in a while. With a little processing, Cheryl can really bring out details.

Vantage Trip - Stills - Video
We took a ride to the Columbia River at Vantage, Washington. John wanted to get video of the Wild Horse Monument there. He also wanted to get footage from the overlook on the other side of the river. Every time we go out to do drone videos, John learns new things. It's always a challenge to get interesting views. We also caught a view of Mt. Rainier on the way back.

Pinnacle Gym
Cheryl has been anxious to get back in the gym and get some exercise. She had to wait until she was well healed. Finally, she went in and is now regularly scheduled to work out. Being a rehabilitation facility, they are not as crowded as other gyms.

Look up! You have to look up to see the clouds. We get plenty of them here in the Pacific Northwest, but that's the price we pay for the moderated weather patterns here. At times, you can really see some interesting clouds.

If you can see the Mountain, you will take a picture. That's the rule. So, here are a few.

The garden is growing wonderfully. The colors in front of the house are brilliant. Cheryl has done an awesome job of creating a warm and welcome site in our front yard. The plants are doing very well.

Washington State Tour - Stills - Video
It was time to get away, just for a few days. We drove from the Seattle area across the mountains to Yakima and spent the night. Then across the Yakima Indian Reservation to Goldendale and checked out the Observatory there. Then, down to the Columbia Rive to Mary Hill to see the Memorial there. Then we went on to Vancouver and spent another night. The next day was the drive up Interstate 5 to home. What great fun it was to put together the still pictures and the video of the trip. John also prepared his Ham radio to check out repeaters along the way. While published repeater data is one thing, it's interesting to find what is really there. John verified 36 repeaters in the three days.

May 6/02/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Gnome Walk
A while back we discovered that Maple Valley has set aside a hill in it's Legacy Park for people to donate Gnomes. We knew we wanted to come back and take a little more time to check out the displays. It seems that people found, not only interesting Gnomes, but creative ways and places to display them. It was fun to revisit the park and collect an abundance of pictures. Here are just a few.

Kanaskat - Palmer State Park
One of our favorite parks to visit is Kanaskat - Palmer State Park, about 10 miles east of us. We visit several times a year and it's fun to walk the trails. This time we explored a trail that led to a southern portion of the river where we had seen a sandy beach. We found the beach to be much smaller than we had seen before. This was due to much more water in the river from spring runoff in the mountains. We checked out the rapids on the North end of the park and found many of the rocks overflowing with water.

Aurora Night
It could only be classified as a "Once-in-a-lifetime" event. The Auroras have been known to come as far south as the Seattle area, but never so bright. Our adventure began as we headed to West Seattle and Alkai Beach where we thought we would see the Auroras over Seattle. Unfortunately, the city lights prevented that view. We stayed for a while after the sun set but ended the evening there quite disappointed.
When we got home Cheryl stepped out into the back yard and hollered for me to come. Overhead was a display like we had never seen here. I had seen the Northern lights over Lake Michigan, but this was just as amazing here. We ended up going back and forth in the back yard looking in several directions as the lights flickered and danced around the sky. The colors were changing from green to red over the houses in the neighborhood. What a fantastic display.

Carkeek Park
Carkeek Park was on my list for drone footage since we saw the park several years ago. It's located about 30 miles north of us. The park features a walkway over railroad tracks and down to a beach that has wonderful views of the Olympic Mountains. The weather was nice and Cheryl said "Let's go!" All I needed to hear. As we got closer to the park, I was taking video. The road was very winding and twisted and turned as it came closer to the beach.
After parking on the cliff above the beach, we walked across the bridge over the tracks and down to a quiet area of the beach to fly the drone. I flew around the area and got the pictures that I wanted from out over the water to above the railroad tracks. When I was finished, we were walking back when a train came northbound along the curving shoreline. Cheryl hollered out and I yelled back for her to take video as I was totally unprepared. She got the train. That made the day.
The Carkeek Park video is the next video project that will be worked on. In the meantime, check these pictures out.

Covington Park
It's Local. It's easy. So, what's not to like about our own city park. The trails in the woods are dirt, stone or paved. There's lots of equipment for the kids. This day, they appeared to be replacing the surface on the soccer fields. Parking near there was closed. A quick walk through the woods and we were happy to move on for the day. It was a nice lunch hour break!

Neighborhood & Drone Views
I took the drone up several times during the month. Once, I was trying to get that sunset look. That didn't really happen, but there were some nice pictures of the mountain and the surrounding area. Cheryl came with me to get some pictures of the construction area for phase 5. That will be a steep addition to our complex of 22 houses. Pictures of the pit indicate where the "lake" is going to be. Just looks like a run-off pond to us. They appear to be starting to fill it.

Door Cam Images
Cheryl likes to go into the security videos and capture stills from the door cam. It sure shows us as we were when getting the mail or at least coming and going. Real everyday stuff.

Memorial Day Flags
It has become an annual event for us to visit cemeteries that display a lot of flags for Memorial Day. This year there was a very long line of cars waiting to get into Tahoma National Cemetery, so we moved on to Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton. We spent some time there and John got out at the military area and took pictures. From there we moved on to Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn. They have a wonderful display of flags at their military section. It was good to get out and reflect upon the sacrifices that were made.

Cheryl's Radiation Treatment
After having surgery in late March, Cheryl was due to start radiation treatment in May. First, they did a CT scan and placed tattoo dots on the skin as 'landmarks' to be able to later position the radiation machine in the exact same place for each treatment. It took about a week for the Radiology department to do the programing. Then we had a 'dry run' to make sure the programing was correct. Then five days of radiation treatment commenced, every other day. The treatments seemed to go well and so far, no ill effects. The machines were interesting inside where Cheryl received her treatments and outside where the tech's ran the program and watched to make sure everything went as planned. They even issued a certificate at the end.

Memorial Service for Barbara Lawrence 5/29/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The video of the service has been completed and is now posted. Please use this link to view.
A PDF transcript of the video is available here.

Michael Graduation 5/28/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Michael graduated from Fifth Grade. He achieved the Honor Roll and Pefect Attendance awards.

Rachel Graduation 5/23/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Rachel graduated from Second Grade. She achieved the Honor Roll and Perfect Attendance awards.

The Ballerina 5/10/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Rachel had her Ballerina recital. All went very well. She performed wonderfully.

April 5/07/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

We delayed our celebration of Easter until Tuesday, April 2. That was Allen's day off and we wanted him to join us for dinner. John has been learning to help Cheryl with the cooking. The dinner was great, and we got the Easter group picture too.

While we couldn't see the eclipse in the cloudy Pacific Northwest, we did watch it on the Internet. Both Cheryl and John had NASA's nationwide coverage on our screens. We snapped a few pictures to remember the event.

Moon and Jupiter
On the 10th of the month, Cheryl got some good images of the Moon and Jupiter, together. There were some clouds coming in, but she managed to get the shot. Jupiter was playing hide and seek in the clouds.

Saltwater Park
Cheryl was looking for a day when the tide would be very low. On the 12th it was, so off we went to Saltwater Park to take some pictures and enjoy the spring day. There were daffodils in bloom, and we walked way out from the shore. We took pictures of the scenery and Cheryl even took a picture of a crab. It was a wonderful day at the park.

John's Moon
John is excited to be able to take pictures of the Moon. On the 14th, 16th, and 17th, there were clear skies and John gave it another try. It seems the easiest way is point and shoot. He will have to try using a tripod next.

Mt. Rainier
We took pictures of the Mountain. Yes, we did it again! The Mountain was out and we have the proof. You don't want to miss any opportunity to get a picture of Mt. Rainier.

Family Gathering
Heidi was the first of many family members that came to attend the memorial service for Barbara Lawrence. After Doug and Joni arrived, we went to the train station to pick up Ron. The girls went to the store for food, drink and flowers as we prepared for the ceremony.

Memorial Service
The Memorial Service was officiated by Dr. Dan Lloyd. He did a great job and everyone was moved by his words. Lisa, Lexi and Jason joined us from Spokane. Allen was there also. Both Doug and Cheryl put the box of ashes in the niche. The service was about fifteen minutes. A video will be available soon.

Family Reunion
You can't get this group of relatives together without celebrating a family reunion. There was plenty of good food, a variety of drinks and an awesomely fun time together. It was hard to say goodbye as Lisa had to get back to Spokane.

Birthday and Goodbye
We celebrated Doug's birthday on the first. With Ron, Heidi and Allen joining in, we ate a lot of cake and had a good time. There was a very off tune singing of Happy Birthday, but no one seemed to notice. The party was the end of our get together. Allen had to go back to work and Ron boarded the train to Oregon at the Tukwila station. Heidi had to get one more picture of John playing the piano before flying back to Artie and the kids. Doug and Joni headed to Florida the next morning. It was wonderful to see them all.

Thank You! 4/10/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

A Special website THANK YOU to Wes Miller and Richard Schmit for adding webcams to their respective cam pages. Wes is providing a live view. Click on the link for the "Live Street View" near the bottom of the Niagara Falls Cams page. Richard's cam takes a picture every 5 minutes and posts to the top of the St. Louis Cams page. Thank you both for these contributions I know we will enjoy!

March 4/05/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The weather has been wonderful for us this year. However, we haven't had much snow. So, when it did snow, Cheryl was right there to get the pictures. Enjoy these images. That's all we got!

A little later in the month we got some hail. Since it started to collect and turn things white, we had to get some pics of that. Almost like snow, haha!

272nd Construction
For quite some time we have been negotiating construction on 272nd street towards downtown Covington. The work is to widen the street and put in a new bridge over Jenkins Creek. Now it looks like they are getting close to paving. It will be very nice to have more lanes in the area.

It is kinda fun being able to take better Moon images. Yes, Cheryl still can get more detail. Glad to be able to post better images.

You never know when a good sunset will occur. Cheryl keeps a close eye on the horizon for them. It's a special time to get an outline of the Olympic Mountains too.

Seattle Ride
Tending to Cheryl's health, we had to go into Seattle. It was a good time to get some pictures of the downtown area. On the way home is was clear enough to capture the Mountain too!

Planting Plastic
It has been a difficult time trying to keep the East side wall looking good outside the windows. Plants come and go, they need a lot of attention and it all still looks messy. This time, Chery found some nice planters and with John's encouragement, planted plastic plants, for that good look all year round. We will see how long that lasts.

Entrance Trees
The trees are in bloom. It was time to go get pictures. Our entrance way has some nice trees and we could walk over and take some good images. John even got the drone out for that too.

John's Radio Station
Back in January, John got a new handheld radio. The radio had lots of features and John began to work with them. In the following months he found new stations to work with and lots of new settings for all his radios. Now he needed a new base station. It's all complete now and by March 31 at 9pm he was connecting to the K7LED repeater for their evening net. He's good now!

Mt. Rainier
Ya know, ya just can't go too long without some pictures of the Mountain. Sometimes, when it's cold, it wears a cap.

Happy Easter from the Cardona's 03/31/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Happy Easter to everyone. Here are some Easter pictures!

Rachel Gets Yellow Belt 03/30/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Rachel earned her Yellow belt today!

Barbara Lawrence Passes 03/07/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Cheryl's mother, Barbara Lawrence, passed away Wednesday, March 06, 2024. It has been a busy and emotional time as we tend to her end of life activities.
Please see her obituary here.

February 3/12/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Clouds and Sunsets
While there were many days that presented awesome clouds and photographic sunsets, we had to make a choice as to what to present. Here you'll see some of the most dramatic. From the peaceful, easy sunsets to the glaring reds of the evening sky.

The Mountains
Our favorite targets are the mountains. This month you can clearly see the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Mt. Rainier was on display again with blustery winds across it's snow-covered jagged edges. The setting sun gave an even more detailed look.

Cedar River at Landsburg Bridge
Taking the drone out to shoot specific locations has been in the plans for some time. The Landsburg bridge area is located about three miles behind the shopping center where we do our weekly grocery shopping in Maple Valley. There is a dam there that generates a small amount of electricity and has a fish ladder attached. The Cedar River Trail goes past it as you climb higher into the Cascade foothills. Cheryl got some good pictures of the river close-up, while the drone was wonderful for some higher location shots.

Coming home from the store we passed our neighbor and saw something in his yard. We turned the car around and went back to find a moose grazing in his yard. While we could see what looked like a bicycle wheel and rope in his antlers, we found out later that sometimes moose "acquire" things in their antlers to look bigger. The fence doesn't go all around the property thus inviting animals into the yard.

With an almost full Moon rising into the sky, Cheryl was pushing John to 'get the shot' while she drove. In doing so, John fiddled around with his phone and found a way to really zoom in. This in turn led to John finally finding settings on his phone camera to get much better pictures. You can enjoy these Moon pictures by both of us as we wait for clear skies once again.

Snoqualmie Falls
We finally took a day trip up to Snoqualmie Falls. Cheryl was sure that springtime weather would have the river flowing well. Unfortunately, the river was down, and the flow was weak as there wasn't much snow melt this year. We took pictures anyway and managed to get to a different viewpoint than we had used before. We walked around the park and saw many changes since we were there last. Still, a pretty sight.

Snoqualmie River at Fall City
After the visit to the falls, we drove the back way home and passed through Fall City to fly the drone. The stop was quick. We both got out and took pictures.

Federal Way Drone view
After Barbara talked about the lake near Brookdale, John thought it might be a nice idea to get some location pictures with the drone. We put them on a tablet and shared it with her on our next visit.

Visiting Barbara
It is always interesting to visit with Barbara. The real trick is getting pictures of the visit and trying new angles. Lately, John has been using an action camera to get remote shots that include him in the picture. This month we took a number of pictures that included both Cheryl and John assisting Barbara. One thing for sure, if she knew the camera was on her, she smiled.

Just because, that's why we took these snow pictures. In a desperate attempt to photograph snow in this no-snow year. Yes, it got cold enough, but there was no snow. A little flurry here and there, but nothing added up. Maybe next year.

Michael's Braces 2/29/2024
By Heidi Cardona

Michael Get's Braces Michael got his braces on Thursday February 29. He'll have these on for a couple of months and then transition to the Invisalign trays. He picked blue and green for the Seahawks, woot woot!

January 2/05/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Visiting Barbara - Lisa, Lexxi and Allen, Cheryl and John
Barbara returned home from the hospital on New Years Eve. Most of January was spent getting her settled in and set up with the new services provided by Hospice. It took some time to get the room organized and comfortable for her. It was wonderful that Lisa and Lexxi could visit with her and help her adjust to the new surroundings. It was even more special when Allen showed up with them. He even took a picture.

Christmas Decorations Down
With the weather turning colder and rain moving in, we decided to do chores at home. While it was still dry, we grabbed the ladder and got the outside lights down. The next day we took down the tree and other Christmas decorations while it rained and got colder outside. In a couple of days we were back to normal.

Sure enough, it got cold enough for us to get our first snow of the year. It wasn't much but it was there. This was the only snow so far this winter. When the weather cleared a couple of days later, Cheryl got some nice pictures of the Olympic Mountains to the West of us. The snow-capped peaks stood out very well.

Icy Conditions
While not cold enough to give us snow, freezing rain came down a couple of days after the snow. This caused some slipperiness on the streets. We decided it was best to just stay home. Sure enough, someone was driving too fast and slid off the road and knocked down a street tree across the street.

New Candles, Camera and Radio
Since we were staying in and playing on the computers, Cheryl ordered some stuff. With the Christmas decorations gone, she wanted something new for the living room table. She got three electronic candles. They varied in height and had a remote control. A little something different to try. John picked up two new toys, a 4K action camera and another hand-held radio. It'll be fun playing with the camera and seeing what new angles we can take pictures from. The new radio added the 1.25 Meter band to work with. The radio is a tri-band and also has the 2 meter and 70 Centimeter bands. This radio upgrades the memory channels available from 127 to 999 for John. The new radio includes the Air band from 118 to 136.975MHz.

Clouds and Sunsets
We just couldn't leave the January news without a couple of pictures highlighting the dramatic skies and the colorful sunsets. Enjoy!

December 1/13/2024
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Foggy Mornings
Throughout the month of December, we had fairly mild weather. This resulted in some interesting foggy mornings. The hills and valleys in the Puget Sound area provide contour and texture to the surrounding landscape. Several times we were able to catch some nice pictures of the fog.

Santa Visit and Neighborhood Christmas Lights videos
Santa visited the neighborhood on December 2nd to the delight of the kids. They were going through collecting donations of food. The event provided an opportunity to use the drone for some video. Once up in the air, we saw just how dramatic all the house decorations looked in the neighborhood. That prompted planning and acquiring both drone and ground level footage of the lights for a video. We were glad to be able to use the Christmas music from Rick's album of 2018 for both of the videos.

Garden d' Lights
The annual Garden d' Lights show at the Bellevue Arboretum was a fun night out. We walked around the gardens and took lots of pictures. The lights were used in so many different ways. They created animals, insects, trees and plants, and even the appearance of water. It was absolutely wonderful! Afterwards, we stopped at our favorite Bellevue drive-in, Burgermaster. Of course, we had our usual delicious treats there too!

Barbara in Hospital and Back
Babara fell just before her birthday and was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. While there, they discovered her throat was not swallowing food properly and needed to be cleared. They found the muscles of the throat were hardly working and she needed a puree diet. Her time at the hospital also revealed major weaknesses in her legs. Finally, she was discharged on the 31st of December, back home to Brookdale Assisted Living after being placed on Hospice.

To manage her care, the facility offered her a first floor room, near the nurses center. We moved all her furniture down so she could have her things nearby. Being on Hospice, she now receives more attentive care and weekly visits from a nurse. She is currently doing well and enjoys the added attention.

Frosty Mornings
If you're having foggy mornings and the temperature drops a bit, you could end up with some frosty mornings. The best places to see the frost is on the dark roof tops. Twice, Cheryl managed to get pictures of the frost before the sunshine melted it away.

Christmas Fun
Christmas was a quiet affair for us. We had fun cooking on Christmas Eve. We tried to make it a very relaxing evening. Allen came to enjoy the meal Christmas day. It was nice just to be able to visit with him for the day. We even managed to get a group Christmas picture.

Mountain Views
The mountains in the Pacific Northwest are one of the best photo opportunities, and we take advantage of that! The only place we saw snow in December was on the mountains. From the Cascade's to the Olympics, and our favorite Mt. Rainier, we managed to record that winter had arrived. At least at higher elevations.

November 12/07/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

It's always a fun challenge to try and get good pictures of the Olympic Mountains. Cheryl had a few opportunities, and she took them. Near the end of the month, she got a wonderful sunset shot and silhouette of the range. John's new phone gave him a chance to try some Moon images. With both of us taking pictures there were quite a number to choose from. Cheryl still takes out her "good" camera and gets the closeups. Clear skies also allowed some pics of Mt. Rainier too.

A major project for Cheryl in November was the final distribution of Blanche's possessions. Cataloging and preparing to give the family a chance to chose items took many hours. After setting up the web pages, she contacted those who might be interested and processed the requests. The last pieces have been shipped and the task complete.

Looking out the front window, I was struck by the dramatic red of our tree in front. After sharing some of my pictures she showed me her pictures of the golden trees in our neighborhood. The tree pictures remind me of the "Look Around" video that I posted early in November.

We put up our outside lights while the weather was nice enough to work outside. We hadn't put up our outside light so early before. This year we looked at the weather conditions and the nice, warm day ahead and decided to take advantage. It all worked out for the best.

Thanksgiving was quieter with Allen visiting. Our meal was the basic meat, stuffing and potatoes for us. Allen came and got us all caught up on his latest job adventures. He also shared some of his new gaming activities. We got the mandatory group shots and enjoyed a quiet evening.

The next day we visited with Barbara and took her some portions of the delicious meal. As part of our visit, Cheryl helped her with some chores around her apartment. Barbara was surprised with the additional storage space Cheryl arranged for her.

We traditionally put up our Christmas decorations immediately after Thanksgiving. This year was no different. One of the first tasks for John was putting new lights on the little tree in the piano room. Each room has dedicated decorations and with practice we can do the job quickly. There are outside ground lights that Cheryl puts in, but no lights are lit until after Thanksgiving. Now, we are ready for Christmas!

A Look Around 11/13/2023
By John Schmit

The weather cleared and the sun began to shine. Looking forward to some nice weather, I took the drone up for a look around. You can enjoy the view here.

October 11/11/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

It's that time of year and we began working hard on our fall color materials. We had taken some pictures and video in September, but there was so much more to include as the colors deepened in early October. While we managed to find quite a lot of color, next year we will wait until the end of October to get the deepest gold and reds in the trees.

John got a new phone and was anxious to try out the cameras ability to take pictures. First was an attempt to shoot the Moon. While that was better than before, there is still a lot to learn about the camera.

Taking breaks from projects at home we try to get out for walks. Nice weather on the 6th gave us a chance to walk the paths at Covington Park. Being the kids were still in school, the park wasn't very busy.

The rainy fall weather provides excellent opportunities to catch rainbows. With our office on the west side of the house we can see how things look at sunset, the best time for rainbows. We managed two great days of colorful skies.

Cheryl's uncle Cliff came from Nebraska to visit with family. He spent most of a day visiting with Barbara. We met with them in the afternoon at Barb's apartment and had a wonderful time, sharing stories and hearing about his travels.

It was a cloudy day but the rain had stopped so we headed off to Saltwater State Park to see what kind of skies would be there. The clouds and water were interesting and the color on the cliffs were dramatic. We had fun trying to catch the wildlife in just the right pose.

John had the drone up many times during the month. We like to see how construction is going on the two adjacent properties to our complex. While up, there are opportunities to catch views of Mt. Rainier. It's also fun to try and get the Olympic Mountains to the West. They are easy to see with the eye, but hard to capture with a camera.

Cheryl got some wonderful pictures of sunsets and several moon images as well.

We began preparing for Halloween on the 14th by prepackaging candy. After sorting out the candy into piles, we put each serving into little zip lock bags. It makes it so much easier to hand out. Then we began decorating the house and making it ready for the trick or treaters. It was a very successful evening.

September 10/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

September began with nature putting on a great show with the Moon on the first. It continued throughout the month with an awesome red sunset followed by some early fall color. In the end we put together a compilation of great cloud pictures.

It's important to have some quality time and Cheryl and I found some on our front porch and with an afternoon walk. The best time was on Cheryl's birthday.

There has been a lot of activity on the northeast corner of our complex and John got some video footage as "Phase Five" tree clearing has begun. The area is being prepared for construction. John also ran some radio control distance tests near our neighborhood with the drone.

It is always fun to spend a little time with Barbara. She had lots to share and was glad for the grocery delivery.

A great place to view the mountain is at Mt. View Cemetery. Taking advantage of the clear skies we headed on over to catch the view and enjoy the peacefulness of the area.

August 09/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

With Seafair starting the first week in August, we expected to see a variety of aircraft in the skies. Normally, these planes are seen closer to the show area on Lake Washington, so Cheryl was surprised to see one of the planes circling around the Covington area. She did a nice job of catching the aerial visitor with her phone.

After Seafair was over, the weather changed, and the dramatic clouds and storms began. The hot summer was over and the cold fronts started to move through. Still trying to take advantage of the few nice days left, we took an afternoon walk in Kanaskat Palmer State Park on the Green River. The park has some very nice paths along the riverside.

John took some time to update and add locations to our Web Camera pages. He recently added Middle Tennessee and Niagara Falls pages and updated the Central Texas, Florida, North Augusta and Seattle pages with new camera views. Most all the pages have increased image sizes now too.

The Music page was updated to include the soundtrack for the Alder Dam and Lake video and a new musical crafting, "Summer Afternoon". Enjoy these latest musical treats.

Our visit with Barbara this month included bringing a new hat to go with her leather coat and setting up a heart monitor that uses her phone for a display.

Picture activity this month included opportunities for Cheryl to capture both the full Moon at the first of the month and a rising Moon later in the month. John had the drone out for a few flights and captured Mt. Rainier and vistas of Pipe Lake and our own neighborhood. It was interesting to see work on a new complex to our northeast and construction on the 204th roadway on the northwest corner of Maple Hills.

July 08/04/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

While on our daily walk we had to stop and take pictures of the flowers in the park. They don't last long and look great while they're there.

Maple Valley had their fireworks display on July 3rd. John took the drone up and recorded video of the celebration. Cheryl took some still pictures too and got plenty more the evening of the 4th.

We had some unusual police activity on the 8th. Really don't know what it was all about, but it made for interesting pictures and video.

Astronomical events are always fun to catch. Cheryl was able to get pictures of the conjunction of the Moon and Venus.

After visiting with Barbara, we took a short ride over to Saltwater State Park to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. A couple of cranes were near the shore feeding and gave us an opportunity to get pictures of them in flight.

We had an awesome visit with the Watsons as they were passing through town on their way home from a cruise. It was great fun to see our pen pal, Olivia, and her family. John and Pete shared drone adventures.

We took a day trip to Alder Dam and Lake on the 27th. Just a nice time in the countryside. Great for still photos and a video of the day.

We had some fun shooting the Moon, the clouds and even got a glimpse of The Mountain.

John completed the Texas Trip video and put some new items on the Music page. Check it all out!

June 07/04/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

John was surprised to see how many views the pictures he posted on Google Maps were getting. It just seemed funny that so many people would want to see them. He will keep posting them for the fun of it.

As summer starts, we get a bit more smog here. But it's fun to check to see if the mountains are visible. Sometimes you can see the snow on the Olympic Mountains. Sometimes Mt. Rainier is all covered up or its head is sticking out.

Cheryl tended to some garden work on the 15th. Trimming bushes and pulling weeds is important occasionally.

Building thunderstorms can bring hail. We got a good dose on the 18th that spread whiteness on the rooftops. It was warm enough that they didn't stick around long.

The Moon gave a good show several times during the month. It was fun to catch Venus with it.

John had the drone up a couple of times and snapped some interesting pictures. It's fun to see things from a different angle.

Our trip to Texas was the big event of the month. We were there to see Cheryl's dad. Good food and interesting conversations were had as we spent time with all the relatives there.

May 06/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

After the rain, at the beginning of the month, Cheryl got out and took some great pictures of the small tree in our back yard. The raindrops added to the colorful leaves.

Crashing technology kept us busy working through a variety of equipment failures. By the middle of the month, we had replaced two monitors, a UPS and a bunch of cords and cables. In the end we also replaced Cheryl's laptop. Things are running a lot smoother in our office now.

The Rhodies burst into color in May. We have some in both the front and back yards. They are very popular in the Pacific Northwest.

Springtime's changing weather provides plenty of dramatic clouds to photograph. It's fun to go out for an evening walk and see the built-up clouds over the Cascade Mountains and the colorful sunsets over the Olympic mountains. The views can be very interesting.

The weather was a bit warmer in May and there were several opportunities to fly the drone. John is still practicing flying and learning how to maneuver and line up for pictures. He is having plenty of fun with his new hobby (toy).

As we took advantage of the nice weather, we extended our walks to include the trails in Cedar Creek Park that is adjacent to our neighborhood. We just didn't realize how steep the hill was on our north side.

Visiting Barbara in May got quite a bit accomplished too. While we were there for the first visit, Cheryl cut her bangs. Barbara got lots of compliments on her hair after that. Our next visit we switched some cabinets around to give her a better viewing angle for her TV after setting up the portable air conditioner. Always plenty to do.

This Memorial Day we went to Tahoma National Cemetery, here in Covington. The flags were everywhere and there were plenty of people too. We were lucky to be taking pictures when a flyover occurred. While it was just one plane, it was very respectful.

John put up two new pieces of music later in May. 'Boom The Room' is a fun dance piece that developed with inspiration from granddaughter Rachel. 'Crossing Into Midnight' is an energetic piece that can keep you moving. Don't forget to give them a listen on our Music page.

April 05/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The month began with a great visit from Artie, Heidi, Michael and Rachel. We had a lot of fun painting, playing tourist, throwing disks, flying the drone and playing at the park. It was a very good time for all!

We visited with Barbara a couple of times. It's always good to see her doing well.

The camera was busy with springtime views of the mountain, great looking cherry trees and the Moon. Even a ride to Tacoma presented some awesome images along with a stop at Mt. View Cemetery. New this month are some pictures taken by the drone.

Cheryl finished putting the headboard up in the Art room. The room is really turning out nice.

We checked out Legacy Park in Maple Valley for a walk on the trails there. We discovered the cutest Gnome habitat. It was a very interesting walk.

We ended the month watching SpaceX launch a couple of satellites. Deployment was the best. It was amazing how fast it went up, deployed and was done.

In Remembrance 04/20/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Blanche Marion Glaeser was interred on April 20th. Here are pictures from that event. The "In Remembrance" booklet gives the order of service and a brief story of her life. The video of the service is here.

March 04/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Lots of new images this month. Cheryl picked a couple from our front door cam and with the new drone we have aerial still images now.

We worked on the art room and put a new bed in there.

John set up a short putting range in the garage to practice his disk golf game.

Barbara's computer started to fail, so we installed a spare laptop for her to work with. She's been happy with that.

Nature was on Springtime display with views of Mt. Rainier, backyard bunnies and dramatic clouds. It all culminated with a Moon/Mars conjunction on the 25th.

New Toy 03/10/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

The new drone arrived and had its first flight. It was threatening rain, so the flight was short but safe. It's going to be a lot of fun to fly.

February 03/08/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Life changing and downsizing. What a month. Giving back the Forrester was a big deal. No point having the expense if we're not using it.

Spent some time with Barbara early in the month. She continues to give us a smile.

Mid-February we had our seasonal snow. It began in the evening of the 13th and gave very slippery roads on the 14th.

It was suggested that we take a look at the disc golf course in Maple Valley. Cheryl and I went over and walked around the course. It looked like a lot of fun and now John has a set of discs and is practicing.

Cheryl got some good pictures of the conjunction of the Moon Jupiter and Venus on the 23rd. She was able to shoot some nice pictures of the Moon on the 27th.

Mount Rainier was visible several times in February. We even took a ride down to Enumclaw to get some nice pictures.

January 02/11/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

On New Year's Eve we decided to watch the fireworks at the Space Needle on television. There were very few fireworks in the neighborhood due to new rules and bad weather. On New Year's Day, the weather cleared and we took off for an afternoon Sunday drive. Just a quick trip to the Auburn viewpoint and cemetery to see if we could get some nice pictures of the mountain. The ride was nice enough that John made a slideshow of the ride.

Allen brought over dash cam footage of a ride he took into the Cascade foothills on Christmas Eve. It was interesting to see just where he goes back into the mountains.

This month there were several opportunities for daytime Moon pictures. We took advantage of that. We even saw some morning Moon images.

On the 5th, we had some fun cooking. John is still learning his way around the kitchen, but he is improving.

On the way to the gas station and grocery store, we did see Mt. Rainier. You never know when it will show. You have to get those pictures when you can.

It was time for John to learn a new skill, painting. We started with an easy picture of a beach scene. After several tries, John gave up on painting the rope and decided to put a seagull on the post instead. OK, that worked, for him. It was a lot of fun and John chose to move on to another picture. This time of a winter aurora scene. The picture we worked from didn't portray the aurora realistically, so John chose to use a different image. He also wanted to have Orion in the sky, so using several different pictures, john painted his. Cheryl started a winter mountain scene but hasn't had time to work on it much. While John was painting his, she was working on a baby blanket for a family newborn.

Whenever we are out or even looking out the window, we watch for cool cloud and sunset scenes. January had several days to show off.

There were two visits with Cheryl's mom, Barbara, in January. It's different each time we visit because there is always something new to help her with. This month Cheryl installed a new cup holder on her wheel chair.

December 01/16/2023
By Cheryl and John Schmit

Frost and snow visited us several times during the month. Nothing bad enough to keep us home when we needed to go, but a couple very icy days when we did stay home.

We took advantage of time at home to bake and cook. Christmas time is a fun time to make the holiday dishes and treats.

John got to sit with Santa and even got some pictures of Santa's ride around the neighborhood.

We visited with Barbara several times during the month. We had a good time celebrating her birthday a little early, on the 18th.

Christmas was a nice time with Allen. We enjoyed the good food and conversation with him. We all headed over to celebrate with Barbara too.



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