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Thorin and Sian, your words are manna to my soul at the moment. Sometimes when I am terribly stressed I just go outside and look up, there at the pine trees and then back up and look up, up and up to the top of the ridge so far up in the blue sky and it is so peaceful. Each spring a gorgeous eagle soars noiselessly up in the sky, she always seems to build her nest in the same craggy jutting out rock formation. It is like watching a dance with her just soaring up there.
I cannot bear animal abuse. I am very vocal when I see it, no matter how afraid I am of the person doing it.
The oddest thing happened once as a small child concerning the stars. I got terribly lost in the city all alone and I just looked up, focused on one star and started walking. Some how, some miraculous way I made it right to my street, several miles away. And just in time for dinner which was served late that evening. I didn't even get into trouble as everyone was busy and each assumed the other knew what I was doing. Very very odd that night was. But aside from that I am absolutely lousey at finding anything up there. the worst.
I have to say that I live very near to a mountain and when I'm at university the mountain is visible from there (I think I live less than maybe 10-15 km away from the university) . Almost everyday I watch the mountain both from my house and the university and I try to guess where exactly I live. Unfortunately there is no eagle there though I have seen paille-en-queue there. It is a beautiful and unique white coloured bird.
I also live in the vicinity of a unique mountain, over 14,000 feet high slumbering volcanic Mt. Rainier, with which we forecast our local weather:

If you can see 'The Mountain,' then it is not raining; if you can't see it, then it soon will be.
Well the one I live near is about 400-500 metres tall. It really is a unique view though. And just for general information the tallest mountain here is just over 826 metres tall. Way to go isn't it Grondy?

However, if you go beyond the mountain you will get a really unique view; you'll be able to see a reservoir and further beyond the sea. It really is a breath taking view!
There was one spot in a field on my father's wheat ranch, where if you looked west just before sunset on a clear day, you could see Mt. Rainier about 180 miles away, I noticed this while driving truck during harvest. One of these days I will try to get a more accurate distance using GPS or something.
Eagles are magnificent. One day I was walking alone up the forrest roads and had gotten close to the tree line. I look up and a golden eagle appears just above the top of the pines. Right over my head, floating without a sound on the wind. She (or he) looks at me as she passes, moments later she is lifted high in the air. Fantastic!

As for views, here is a bit of what we see from our home. Ama's Imladris

(I think I have mentioned both the eagle and the picture before, but at least it doesn't appear to be in this thread.)

On several occations I have been angry or upset about something, then a bird or two comes along and catch my attention, and suddenly the world isn't so bad. It's a bit odd, but very nice and comforting. Duck Smilie
How delightful that we each of us seem to live near or at our own rich and beautiful piece of Middle Earth.

I have been fairly close to Mt. Ranier and it is awesome. We here have more like hills really, but some very very high .

Amerie your Imladris made me want to cry, so Hobbity and green and the rainbow seems to be a hug and a whisper of something better to come when you are feeling low.

Ah yes that eagle. I am very worried about her this year though, as our learned city council gave the approval two years ago to allow multimillionare homes to be built at the very top of the ridge, well actually it is called Pineridge. The neighborhood is called Turtle Mountain, but I cannot think why.

At any rate this has so disturbed the deer, cougars, snakes and yes even the eagle that I wonder what will happen next year.The earth movers literally caused cracks in several home down here at the base and now everyone has been waiting on their insurances to approve the repairing of foundations and walls and whatnot.

And, really, the houses, to me at least, don't fit in. The rest of our homes are the sort that blend in to the terra and these, well they seem monstrous. I feel sad when I look way up there and see t hat.
I wish they would have just left this type of building to the village up at Silverstar Mountain, about eight miles away. They way they built everything is very Alpine and suits the terrain and you simply cannot see the village anyway until you have travelled up for about twenty minutes. I understand the village there for there is world class skiing and all that. Oh well. That is life I suppose.
Be safe little eagles.
You are really something, Leelee. Half your house is gone and you worry about the snakes and birds. Clearly you must have been a student of Yavanna and Nienna in an earlier life. And still you wonder why stars guide you home.
I wish we had eagles here, instead of all the vultures.
Amarie, your view is beautiful!

We have hawks hunting in our fields nearly every day and I like to watch them.
Vultures Vir, oh that is too funny. Do they congregate outside your home or something?)
How wonderful to be back. We had to leave, Hasia and I and stay else where while the tradesmen redid our home from the flood It is very beautiful but different and feels odd actually.
And our computer died so I had to save and buy a brand new one, we usually only pay with cash. So this is wonderful
So many odd things happened during this time I shall have to pick out the best one when I can and tell it.
It is not odd however that I missed you all terribly and felt quite wierd not coming to my home away from home. hugs to everyone.
Welcome back Leelee, glad you're drying out and your world is starting back to normalcy, well normal for you anyway. We missed you too.
you ARE a dear Grondy.
Alright, here is an odd thing. For about two months now, there is a magpie, we think it is a magpie that has attached itself to Travis, why, we have no idea. It sits high upon the wire and watches...and waits.

When Travis comes outside to walk the few blocks to work, it gives a cry and flies slowly with him all the way. And often it is there after the eight or longer hour shift and comes back with him. Does anyone have a suggestion as to why this bird is exhibiting such odd behaviour? Several years ago another strange thing happened with Travis and animals.

There was,on the next street an elderly widow woman whose husband had died I think the year before. She seemed to have no relatives, at least noone interested in coming to see her.All she had to devote herself to was a very elderly dog who was arthritic and seemed to be quite hard of seeing.

On Passover morning, Easter morning, Travis was walking down the street. It was a very cold day and there was a lot of ice on the lawns. And there, to his horror was the dog, dead and stiff and stuck to the ground. It totally upset him. He went over to it and not knowing what to do laid his hand upon it and said a quick little prayer, hoping no neighbors saw him. After a minute or two of stiff nothing, it opened its eyes and slowly got up and walked to the side door of the house in a spritely manner, his eyes much better. Travis hurried out of the yard and the dog was still alive and well when we moved some time later.
Sounds like a miracle to me and Travis was in the right place at the right time and received the inclination to do what was needed to save the poor widow's elderly pup-dog. Someone Up-stairs was looking out for her and Travis was Their implement.

If I was Steven King I would write a scary story about the enemy using a magpie, crow, or raven to keep track of someone like Travis towards intervening in case of a repeat performance of heavenly do-gooding. But let's not go there...Please, there is enough bad stuff happening in our world today without our imagining up even more.

Magpies are black and white with long tail feathers. That picture is the type we had in eastern Washington where I grew up. When I was in high school there was a local bounty on them at 10 cents per pair of feet; which barely paid for the 22 cal ammo with which we hunted. I think a friend and I shot about 25 birds before we decided nature needed those scavengers to get rid of the road kill along our highways and we let the rest of them live. They do talk up a storm, nearly as obnoxious as the Stellar Blue Jays we have in western Washington. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
I'm glad you're back Leelee, I've missed your kindly words. And of course, the often wonders that you come out with Smile Smilie

And that is strange, absolutely wonderful, but strange, maybe all the dog needed was a good sleep, to which Travis was it's alarm clock Elf Sticking Tounge Out Smilie. All Dogs go to Heaven, (1989), but this pup put up his paw and said, "Woof woof bark!", which would more than likely mean, "Not today, mysterious bright light! Not today!" Orc Smiling Smilie
Oddly enough, I read just now that crows are good at remembering peoples faces, so they know if you mean trouble or not. I'm sure magpies are not far behind. So Travis may have given them some food once, knowingly or not. Wink Smilie
Loss! I have missed you so much.
Amarie, I love saying that name, it sounds so magical. You may be right, he is the epitome of kindness to all creatures..I will tell him, that will make his day.
I dont know where any of you live exactly, but if I could send you all , each and everyone of you a Christmas gift, I think it would be the desire of your heart, something very dear to you.
that is not odd, but it is from my heart at any rate.
Thanks Leelee, your sentiments may appear odd to the general public, but never to our happy family here on Planet-Tolkien. I Love You Smilie

I was wondering, which hurricane/storm messed up your home Leelee? If you told us previously, I've forgotten, sorry. I hope a little more normalcy has set in now.
If you are referring to the flood Grondy, it was not the weather. A pipe had burst three years ago in the condo upstairs and the strata paid out hefty funds to have the problem fixed as well as our ceilings from the water damage.
Then in September the window washers came to do the yearly outside cleaning of the condos. What they did not know was that the contractors lied and never had they capped the burst pipe. So after half an hour of washing on the outside, the inside of our condo was nearly a foot under water. We had to have all ceilings, walls, floors and insulation pulled off. It is finally done now in time for Christmas, beautiful wood floors and all that, but not the same. Oh well. We are grateful and a flood expert team came and capped the offending pipe. thankfully.
I'm glad it is back together for you Leelee. Is the old contractor being held liable for the damage or has he moved on from that scam and has been selling home mortgages or working Wall Street? We are certainly living in interesting times.
Back on topic: I had a very disconcerting Tolkien-related dream yesterday (it is already very strange that I can remember a dream).

For some reason I was travelling with the Professor in a zeppelin, and when we were crossing Argentina we were shot down by commies (for some reason they were Chinese) and I was imprisoned (but eventually saved by a janitor who looked and sounded like Ray Charles). When I was back at the zeppelin we then flew over Minas Tirith which looked very peculiar: the city had seven humongous towers in the form of an old bearded man (three in front, four at the back)... we then landed and were promptly assailed by Denethor's cronies (all clad in black and wearing bird masks) which were swiftly dispatched by the Professor and his walking cane).

After all that, I woke up.

What did you eat before you went to bed?

I've seen a movie or two that had a looser plot line Virumor, but I don't think they'd back your production at Lucus Films, maybe in Ballywood. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
what a joy to see your 'face'. I missed your voice, your thoughts.
Vir, the trouble with people like me is that , honestly, I cannot tell when you are being funny or are speaking seriously a lot of the time. That is to my shame, but my family alternately laughs or are horrified by my naivity. All my life my friends have tried to protect me but, alas, there were too many times when I swallowed things, hook, line and sinker.
If it is real dear Vir, I think you perhaps are coming down with the flu, please take care of yourself.
If it really occured, the dream I mean, perhaps you mistook toadstools for edible wild mushrooms?
In which case, I think you should see the physician as soon as may be.
Which professor are you referring to, I don't watch teli and or go to many movies.

Grondy, the other contractors are actually preferred by the insurance companies because they undercut all competition, however they rarely finish the jobs before moving on. Only because the property manager of our condos is now actually about to sue them and oddly enough several other suits have been filed, only since then have the insurance companies begun to back off, for now they will have to pay out big time.
Leelee, I believe the professor in Virumor's dream was JRR Tolkien because of that capital "P". That is who is meant around here anytime anyone says 'the Professor'. Of course I could be wrong and he was dreaming about his 'Differential Equations,' 'Mechanics of Structural Stress Analysis,' or 'Underwater Basket Weaving' professor. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Underwater Basket weaving professor, wow what a capital idea for a spy thriller. Smile Smilie
Grondy, you Must tell me,was this just coincidence or did what you did affect my being able to get on here. For right after I received your message I tried it and nothing untoward happened. Yet every time before since last week, only when I tried logging on to this site did that pop up. I was in despair.
If it indeed had nothing to do with it, it MOST CERTAINLY IS ODD, don't you think?
Odd, no. I am just happy to finally have this last ever-so-frustrating week over with, now being able to login and actually view each page without an error message or slower-than-January-molasses load time. And I don't think this new found happiness of mine is odd, either. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
Well, I appreciate what you did, I mean that.I was able to log on today with no problem and that felt so good, I cannot tell you.
I was so upset at not being able to get through to Planet-tolkien no matter what I did , without that scareware popping up and disabling the computer that I began to read The Hobbit again although I really don't have time to read it. I just had to. I needed to get back to Middle Earth one way or another.
At any rate, thankyou from a very grateful girl.
I am not sure that this qualifies as truly odd, but I think it might.
yesterday the weather was overcast and decidedly chill.
After making all our purchases the little one and I decided to have a nice calming drink, for me earl grey tea, for her good old apple juice, at the Starbuck's in the supermarket. It is over to the side and very cozy.
All of a sudden the sky became black and a huge and I mean huge bolt of lightening came flashing from the sky on to the parkade. And a second later what can only be described as a hundred guns shots inside a tunnel. It was so loud and terrifying that people were freaked out and hit the floor or wherever it seemed safest.

And...................that was it. There was not so much as another bolt or even the sound of thunder, nothing at all. Just hard rain for two minutes or so and then calm. I cannot ever remember not hearing the thunder and lightening for at least three or four times in a storm.
Has anyone had a similar experience?
That must have been scary, Leelee!

Once, it seemed that the tail end of a lightning bold snapped inside of our house. During a storm there was just this loud SNAP near the ceiling. It wasn't really deafening but scary enough to make me turn off the electric appliances for awhile. ..
Has anyone had a similar experience?

That happened once at my grandmothers farm. A single bolt of lightning struck the tallest tree atop a nearby hill causing a very loud sound. There was no more bolts or even rain and the sky cleared in a few hours.
This happened during the fall storms Smile Smilie
Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Yeah, I've been in a tunnel when one hundred guns went off.

Sucks, doesn't it?

One hundred might be a slight exaggeration (on my part).....
a classmate's brother was in their carport tinkering with his car. carport has gi roof but still a roof and yet lightining got him... died. tsk tsk

Sian, Arath, Turin,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WHOOOOOHOOOO! Wow, like old times, I could just cry.
How wonderful to 'hear' your dear voices.
Those are scarey and it is good to know it was not just me, honestly in my whole life I never had that happen. It still rings in my ear, the shock of that one flash and sound that shook an entire huge store.
Tuesday, that is the worst. Terrible. And ........who are you,. I missed something. If you are new welcome . Smile Smilie
Weird! After I finished washing up our Pary Smilie Fourth of July Pary Smilie BBQ dishes, and while my adult kids were swimming in the pool, I got to mind their Dog Smilie Dog Smilie So I decided to login to Planet-Tolkien; but there were no new posts here since I read them yesterday. All I could do today was to "Vote for us". Orc Sad Smilie
I am a complete dunce when it comes to constellations.Honestly no matter how many people patiently point here and there and call one this and one that, I cannot see it. I don't know if it stems from my serious head injury as a child , or probably because I am know. Sad Smilie ,whatever the reason I have to just look in a book.

The oddest thing happened last week. We had company, a lovely Greek woman who just lost both her parents in the space of four months. she is in university on the coast and came into town to wrap up some legal matters. She called me in despair, her fourty something sister would not let her in the house and there she had been on the porch for eight hours or something. I was talking to her and my cell suddenly had no minutes. I grabbed the next cell and the same thing, and on and one. IKt was terrible. It just so happend it was the end of the month and our minutes don't turn over. . that has never happened beforfe. bummer.
that has never happened before. bummer.

Haven't you seen that silly garage sale TV commercial about roll-over-minutes? If you had a bucket or drawer full of those you wouldn't have the problem; but it would probably cost you more in the long run. Orc Grinning Smilie

That's also why my cell phone is my backup, mostly for emergencies, and my land line gets the most usage. Of course I'm only paying for my land line; my cell is on my daughter's family plan and I only have it on me because she put her foot down. I use it to call her and we also text message, which I hate because my thumbs are too big for the keypad. Also, When the power goes out for days on end, I have my old rotary dial phone that I can plug-in and not have to worry about recharging my cell phone. Orc Smiling Smilie
No Grondy dear I have not seen that ad, we do not watch television, only purchase videos we like to view. Hasia has never seen a commercial on teli, I am glad for it. She has an imagination like you would not believe.
The only reason we quit our land phone, for now at least, is that , we have always had a guardian on our phone for years since we were wrongly charge for a huge long distance call we never made. I used to be a conference call operator and realized wires had been crossed and a mistake had been made. we traced the call to a neighbor who admitted making the call from london to china and he even phoned on our behalf. ...nothing we had to pay the enormous bill or be cut off.
So years passed and again we recieved a huge bill, over four hundred dollars and no matter how I tried to reach someone who could deal with it, it was a never ending circle. The only people we were able to reach did not speak English very well, I think it was from India. So in the end we quit the phone company. We don't have much competition here, one main company for ages. oh well.
well the dreaded fires have come, I had a feeling we were do this summer. In 2003 we were cut off and the city next to us lost two hundred homes to the fire.
So on the eighteenth, I opened the door to thick dark smoke and I felt such dread. I closed the door and asked Clayton to listen on the radio to see where the fire was. He said Kelowna and I felt just ill. Sure enough in about two hours fire jumped the highway and then another fire started and then another.
We have had virtually no rain for months.
So it went from three thousand to seventeen thousand evacuated in about three hours time.
So now we just sit and wait. I was hoping the fire dept would dry burn behind our home as we are up against a small mountain ridge full of pine trees, but nothing , and that is quite understandable.
The odd thing about this time is that the winds are just terrible. Usually before when the fires come the winds are about twenty miles per hour, But this time the winds are about fifty miles and hour and it is horrendous.
And oddly enough this time around the ground crews have been almost totally restrained from doing all that much . It is the water and fire retardent bombers that are doing most of the work to contain things.
Oh well, it has to be over soon. At least we are not in the situation we were last time with people evacuating here only to find out we were getting ready to leave. That is the thing I hate about summer. To be closed off from all directions is terrifying.
I'm sorry to hear of your situation Leelee, and I hope the fires are contained soon. Where are you exactly? We don't have too much trouble with bush fires in NZ, but of course our neighbors in Australia do, a couple of years running the sun would be bright red at sun rise because of the smoke over there.
How very kind We are in the Okanagan part of British Columbia, a little to the north. It is a strange area actually, because in just a few miles we have everything from desert, to a mediterranean lush area, to snowy peaks and skiing. But because we are in the valley we are surrounded by millions of pine and fir and other trees and honestly it only takes a spark and then it is a nightmare. All three of the current fires were man made and now the looting.
Yesterday morning and this morning the sound of the amazingly huge planes carrying retardant and water were rushing above in the sky and with the military manoevers(we are a military training town with visitors from even England training here) it felt like we were in a war.
The air is so hazy I cannot see the mountains that are only about five miles away, and there is a terrible calm. Oh how I long to hear and see the rain
Sorry about the fires Leelee; I assume everything smells of woodsmoke. My apartment lies in a semi-hollow and during temperature inversions, even when there is a burn ban on, I often must keep my bedroom window closed because a neighbor heats their house with a wood-stove and I hate that smell when I'm trying to sleep. It smells nice on a cold winter morning when I go out for my paper, but never on a hot summer or any season's night.

I hear NZ had a major earthquake today, tomorrow, or yesterday (depending on the time differential). Did you experience have any damage Thorin? Hopefully not. Same for Rho.
Leelee, I sincerely hope that you are not too badly affected in mind also. If problems are persistent, then it can get to you after a while. Losing sanity and stress occuring most of the time is sometimes uncopable. You know, here, we have many nationalities and sometimes they are afftected by world events, and we can give them some sort of support. Most times, you see on the news terrible events, and you cannot give kindly words to those who are suffering, but here we can show some words of kindness. Even though these things are awful, it's good that we can show kind words here. Happy Elf Smilie
Thorin does not live in NZ Grondy!

I'm very sorry for what happened Leelee. I do not understand why people find it funny to start bush fires. Not only is it a threat to people living close it is also dangerous to any people in the forest at that time and also for the animals which live there as well as a great loss for the area itself.

These people should be ashamed of themselves.
A Senior moment Thorin, I should have pointed my question to Rho. Orc Grinning Smilie It won't be the last time either.
Nor Grondy , I'm In Whangarei in Northland, near the top of the country.
We don't seem to get many earthquakes.
The earthquake was centred in Fiordland which is right at the bottom of the south Island, In fact I think some of the first LOTRs movie was shot there. pretty big though, lucky there wasn't much damage.
That's very interesting Rho.
thankyou dear Loss, it is a haven to come here and listen to you all and feel the comradeship in this place.
How are the fires now Leelee? I hope it didn't spread too much and that you didn't have to evacuate. Here we are having a very wet year; its very unusual for Colorado. Everything is nice and green instead of dead and brown and today its very cool, they're predicting the 40s and 50s overnight.
We in the north-west corner are melting this week with record setting temperatures: Yesterday's highs in this area were the highest in recorded history on any date since they started recording temperatures here back in the 19th century. Locally it was 104’ F (40’ C) and only cooled down to 64’ F (18’ C). And we're not scheduled to get any of our normal onshore flow until Saturday, when the breezes from off the cold Pacific ocean will again cool us back into the daytime 70s and nighttime 40s.

Our forests are dry, just waiting for a lightening strike or an errant cigarette to cause great devastation to the homes of man, bird, and beast, not to mention filling the air with heat, smoke, and ash from burning trees and brush.

This heat wave isn't caused by global warming, just by a stacked high pressure ridge from California to Alaska, hindering the eastward movement of the low pressure ridge. Odd? Probably not, just another of Eru's mysterious plans. Elf With a Big Grin Smilie
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