Rainbow Hill Meanders, Seattle, Washington

My Favorite Things 2


The Space Needle, Mt Rainier and Elliot Bay at the last sunrise

A few of my favorite things: hummingbirds buzzing around my head, a bald eagle perched in a nearby tree and rainbows everywhere I look. That’s what The Hill looks like as it meanders through the space/time continuum.

Mt Rainier and Mt AdamsWhere I live is definitely one of my favorite things. Beyond my little cottage on top of the hill is the city of Seattle, snow-capped mountains (both east and west), volcanoes, beaches, forests, lakes and inlets. Any direction I go takes me to a completely different place. There are so many rich adventures to be found that I will never manage to find all of them.

I have help with one of my favorite organizations. The Mountaineers https://www.mountaineers.org/

The Mountaineers were founded in 1906 by an almost equal number of both men and women. From the website: “The Mountaineers is an outdoor education nonprofit of 11,000 active members offering you ways to get outside and get connected to a community passionate about the outdoors.”

Looking up at that balloon

There’s more to living here than hiking, kayaking, and beachcombing. There’s a rich history from the native tribes and an inspiring collection of diverse mythologies.

Where I live, I can go berry picking in the morning, take a ferry for ice cream in the afternoon and be back in time for the ballet in the evening.

Or I can go kayaking in the morning and then hike The Olympic Rainforest before going to a late afternoon at one of the many area museums.

Before my fellows in the Pacific Northwest rise in anger about my not keeping all of this secret, let me say: “Oh, yes. It rains here constantly. It’s gray and you really shouldn’t move here.”

Actually forget that. There are many paradises scattered around the world. Let me know what yours are and why. My next favorite thing is traveling. Where should I go?


Many thanks to kiwinana for nominating me for the Liebster Award. You should check out her blog @ http://ramblingsofawriter2016.com/

For those of you who are wondering, the rabbit is Kala. She and her brother, Merlin, have since moved on to a rabbit-centric home where they get far more attention, but somehow they still sneak into the pictures. The Bengals liked them well enough, but I found myself overstretched.

A pari of bengals




Holidays, M-P, Seattle, Washington

Happy Midsummer

Today several places in the Northern Hemisphere have the longest hours of sunlight of the year. This however can be taken to the extreme. On Summer Solstice, the North Pole gets 24 hours of daylight. Talk about sleep deprivation.

I have visiting Stonehenge during a summer solstice on my list of things to do. Not this year, but hopefully soon.

  • If you are in Seattle go to the Fremont Fair. This famous/infamous fair has a little bit of something for everyone.
  • Or attend a Native American ceremony.
  • Or go to a performance of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For luck, make sure you turn around three times clockwise after waking up on the morning of the Summer Solstice.

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Seattle’s Fremont Fair

“The event, a celebration of Fremont’s “delibertas quirkas” (freedom to be pecuilar) culture”

Fremont is its own “Center of the Universe” within walking distance of downtown Seattle. At least what I consider walking distance. Most people would take cars.

The fair features the Seattle Art Car Blow-Out with over 75 “art” cars decked out in every manner of decoration. There’s a dog parade, solstice-inspired yoga, buskers of every conceivable type (chalk artists, musicians, jugglers etc.) and then there is the 2014 Solstice Parade.

The Solstice parade has marching bands, floats and all the usual cast of characters. It also has the famous or infamous (depending on how you look at it) Solstice Cyclists.

This is according to Wikipedia and I can say for a fact that this information is accurate:

“The Solstice Cyclists (also known as The Painted [Naked] Cyclists of the Solstice Parade, or The Painted Cyclists) is an artistic, non-political, clothing-optional bike ride celebrating the Summer Solstice. It is the unofficial start of the Summer Solstice Parade and Pageant.:

Or from this year’s Solstice Cyclists website http://www.solsticecyclist.org/

“The Painted Cyclists have long been a fixture of the Fremont Solstice Parade – an event created and produced by the Fremont Arts Council. The parade is a fantastic and whimsical celebration of the return of the sun, complete with larger than life puppets, floats, and street performers.

The Painted Cyclists engage and entertain the crowd with our boldness, bareness and enthusiasm. Join us as we welcome summer to Seattle with an outpouring of artistic expression, fossil-fuel-free travel, and fun.”

However you decide to celebrate the solstice, I wish you fun and adventure.


Reliable Wikipedia on Solstice Cyclists – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice_Cyclists
Solstice data and more data – http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html
Solstice traditions through the ages – http://www.medicaldaily.com/summer-solstice-native-americans-and-tradition-renewal-247028
Precise Solstice definition – www.thefreedictionary.com/solstice

Some fun FAQs I found for the Solstice Cyclists participants

Do I have to ride naked? Of course not, some cyclists chose to wear a little something. Try flesh colored undies for the ladies and speedos for the guys.

How long does it take to be painted? Depending upon the complexity of your design, painting can take from 45 minutes to 4 hours. If your design consists of a base coat with detail on top, you’ll need to leave time for the base to dry plus time for the whole thing to dry before we ride.

Will the paint come off? Eventually. Your best bet is lots of warm, soapy water, a washcloth, and a friend to scrub between your shoulder blades. Most paints come off in little flakes so I recommend using a hair snare in your drain to prevent them from mucking up your plumbing. In 2004, I discovered the miracle of “pressure washing”. I attached a spray nozzle to my garden hose, stood in the middle of my yard and turned the water on, adjusting the nozzle until the water was a concentrated jet. This essentially peeled the paint right off my body. Combined with some sea salt and Dr. Bronner’s and I was clean in a record 30 minutes! It’s probably not a bad idea to stand in a kiddie pool or on a tarp to keep the paint flakes out of your lawn. Last year, I experimented with dry scrubbing first. I used an old, rough washcloth to gently abrade the paint off and then lathered up and rinsed. Like a charm!

I’m a little, um, hirsute. Will my body hair affect my paint? You can definitely be painted over body hair although it can be a bit trickier to get an even coat. Body hair also makes removing the paint more difficult and more painful. Some folks get into the hair removal aspect while others chose to go au naturel. It’s up to you.

Fonts, Q-U, Seattle

S = Seattle

S = Symbol

Symbol contains an unaccented Greek alphabet and some common mathematical symbols. It is mostly used for mathematical expressions, but is still really cool to look at. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=symbol+font&qpvt=symbol+font&FORM=IGRE


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The city of Seattle stretches on a north-south line between Puget Sound and Lake Washington on the northwestern side of the state. Look for these two large bodies of water and you will find Seattle nestled between them.

For the purposes of this blog I’m going to talk about the greater Seattle metropolitan area which has a population of about three and half million. I’m somewhere in those statistics. 080803 -  - medium-4

The greater metropolitan area spills in all directions. Interstate 5 connects the north-south corridors and runs directly through the city. East and west are connected by ferries, floating bridges, and round-about routes north and south of the lake.

Seattle Waterfront, leaving for Blake Island080713 -  - medium-2

I may, perhaps, someday post about the various Native American tribes that existed for thousands of years before the first white settlers arrived in 1851 and someday, perhaps, go over the history of the city, but not today.

One of the joys of living in the Pacific Northwest is how accessible so many different ecosystems are. An hour or two in any direction can take you to beaches (Lakes, Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean), mountains, bogs, farmland, a Mt. Everest training ground (Mt. Rainier), volcanoes (Mt. St. Helens + dormant volcanoes including Mt. Rainier), the Olympic Rainforest, islands, and even more than the few things I have listed above.

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Seattle is also located on the east side of the Pacific Ring of Fire and is thus listed as a major earthquake zone. Unlike hurricanes and tornadoes that plague other parts of the country, our earthquakes don’t come every year. Seattle’s last significant earthquake was the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake in 2001.

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Seattle’s industries make it fairly well-known across the world. What started as a logging town has, in the greater metropolitan area, been the birthplace of Starbucks, Amazon, Nordstroms, Costco, Microsoft, Weyerhouser, Boeing and so many more. Once again far too many to list.

Seattle also houses many museums and performing arts centers and is well-known for its productions by Pacific Northwest Ballet http://www.pnb.org/ , Seattle Symphony Orchestra http://www.seattlesymphony.org/symphony/ , and Seattle Opera http://seattleopera.org/

There is an endless array of incredible arts also far too numerous to list. The music scene, the poetry scene, the rich array of writers, conventions, pow-wows, zoos, aquariums, sports, and architecture are all worthy of multitude of one or more posts per subject matter.

Obviously, I love where I live and I love that no matter how hard you try, you never run out of things to do and explore.

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I have not even touched upon such little things as the iconic Space Needle http://www.spaceneedle.com/home/, or the Experience Music Project http://www.seattle-fun.com/experience-music-project.html or the relatively new Seattle Great Wheel http://seattlegreatwheel.com/.

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As I have written this blog, it has occurred to me that future posts (after the April A-Z challenge) should all contain some tidbit of knowledge about Seattle.

My absolute favorite part of Seattle is that you can use it as a setting or ecosystem for an endless array of stories or, in my case, for an urban fantasy book not bound by any one setting. In my own imaginary worlds, the lure of Seattle is not limited to the human element.

I am collecting Seattle anecdotes, favorite Seattle area  histories, favorite sights, greatest Seattle event and places.  Send me your votes and I will include them in a future post.

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Bengal Cat Pictures, I-L, Introduction

Introducing Rainbow Hill Meanders

“Please excuse the mess. This blog is currently under construction.”

Rainbow Hill Meanders is thus named because (surprise, surprise) the house is on a hill and it has many skylights and some inlaid multi-colored glass.  When the sun shines, and even in the Pacific Northwest this occasionally happens, rainbows appear everywhere. The cats love this.  I also think the hill sometimes wanders through the space-time continuum.  When that happens who knows what will pop up here.

The author of this blog is Lisa Kraft, writer of fantasy and science fiction. You can find out much more about her at http://www.lisakraft.me/.   She also writes for the photo blog, Photocatography .

Meanders is also because my interests are varied and sometimes random.  I am passionate about writing and all things that involve words.  I’m a bibliophile (that implies a problem with buying too many books and over-frequenting the library). My other interests are a bit eclectic.  Beside books and writing,  I like Bengal cats, fantasy, seashells (especially the nautilus), remote places, linguistics, history, good narrative, tengu, world mythology and… I expect this list will grow into a sidebar. Right now, this seems a bit like a singles ad.  I’m also based just outside of Seattle so you can also expect Seattle to feature in some posts.

I’ve given up soda for lemon water, sugar for veggies and couch time for exercise. It’s a tough transition, but am now, better late than never, finally listening to all the advice I’ve always given my children.

Speaking of children, check out the Kansas City Ballet  http://www.kcballet.org/. It’s very cool. 

Also speaking of children, you’ll find a few things about teaching — high school.  I admire how brave she is.

When we speak of husbands, you will probably find several comments on Xbox and photography.  Did I say to check out http://photocatography.wordpress.com/ ?

A few other tidbits:  I love black opals, the diversity of the people around me, and the diversity of opinion which makes this world so fascinating to live in.

Favorite quote (or at least my favorite at this moment, for sometimes my nature is fickle):  “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Theodore Roosevelt

I’m addicted to Twitter. Follow me there at @lisakraftme

I lurk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lisa.kraft.547

Webpage is http://www.lisakraft.me/

I love feedback, comments and questions.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

— lisa