A Resident’s Perspective – Why Not a Birdbath?

 Written by Panorama resident, Judy Murphy, on March 17th, 2014

IMG_3022Looking out the sliding glass door at the birdbath this morning, I saw signs of spring as juncos, robins, and chickadees jumped in the water for a long-awaited bath.  I know that bird feeders can attract rodents, especially if seed is dropped on the ground, so I have a birdbath instead.  I found that putting the top of a birdbath on the ground, rather than using the birdbath on a stand, seems to attract more birds to drink and take a splash.  Last August, in the space of a half hour, I took photos of a flicker, red-breasted nuthatch, robin, dark-eyed junco, golden-crowned kinglet, chickadee, and spotted towhee busy at the birdbath, with a bonus of a hummingbird drinking nectar from nearby monkey flowers.   By placing the birdbath near a small tree and bushes, the birds have places to perch while checking out the vicinity for competitors or predators.  During my August photowatch, the birds all waited their turns, except the flicker that became impatient watching the juvenile robin splashing up a storm.  A stare-down ensued between the robin and flicker—you can see who won in the photos below.  I am eager to see what the birdbath brings this summer.  We’re already off to a great start!


My favorite photos were of the hummingbird, so oblivious to all that was going on around the birdbath, and the nuthatch, whose incessant honking belies its tiny size.  IMG_2984.CR2IMG_2985IMG_2976


Murphy Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – The Promises of Spring

Written by Panorama resident, Bob Bowers, on February 27th, 2014.

As I jot down these thoughts March  is breathing down  our necks.  How can  it be March already? A few more days and  Spring will be ushered in by blossoming flowers all over the campus.  I saw a couple of jonquils and a crocus in bloom on my stroll home from the Aquatic Center this morning.  I have to admit to a fondness for March and Spring .  My fondness for March and Spring comes because they bring promises:

  • The promise of warmer weather
  • The promise of a campus bursting with color
  • The promise of more colorful sunrises and sunsets
  • The promise of my own life—in just 23 days I’ll have made it another year and will have only 365 days to go to make it to 80—80!  Yes, I know, many will say that’s young!

I hope you experience a few good promises yourself.  Life is full of them you  know. Enjoy and make the most of those that come your way.

Bob Bowers Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – The Smartest Decision in Our Retirement? – Part 2

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo, on February 18th, 2014.

Rachel Dobry, in marketing, was patient and understanding about the hesitancy of Chris (my husband) to visit and tour Panorama.  (See my first blog written in February, 2014.)  She assured me it was normal that one of the spouses wasn’t as eager as the other to move to a retirement center.  We’d e-mail easily, or talk by phone when Chris wasn’t around.  She answered any questions about activities, meals, transportation, housing and prices and was never “pushy,” which I especially appreciated.

I gathered info and studied nuances of every possible, affordable retirement facility for us that was online in Lacey and Olympia.  I filed all packets and brochures they sent us, highlighting statistics.  Even made my own “in-a-nut-shell” large chart comparing at a “glance” the pros and cons of all potential residences.  But each had its drawbacks.

In January, 2011, Melody and John (who kept going to Lacey for job interviews, hoping to move out of Las Vegas, per my 1st   blog) did visit retirement places we might be interested in if we could swing the finances.  But I still thought we’d run out of money at each of those places…over $4,000 for a couple each month!

“Mom, Dad, you don’t want to go ANYWHERE EXCEPT PANORAMA.  No place begins to compare with Panorama.  Not only are the grounds and buildings beautiful, they have so many activities and much more to offer.  Residents seem much happier and friendlier than the other places.  Residents are walking around on the grounds, in and out of the buildings.  Even the employees are happy.  The new Convalescent/Rehab Center doesn’t look like a nursing home or hospital…wide halls.  Bright. Squeaky clean.  Lovely carpeting.  Cheerful and friendly.  And a beautiful piano, Mom! Not a single odor like some places we visited.  Dad, you like to walk.  They have a gorgeous park with fantastic mature trees. We asked tons of questions for you.  Ya’ll have to go up with us when we go back in March.  We took lots of pictures and videos.  Can’t wait to show you, Mom!”

They were exciting.  We saw pictures of other places they visited, too.

Rachel had sent us an informative packet and super DVD that answered more questions and had interviews of about ten couples/singles. On it, I looked out the windows of residents’ homes, saw the game room and restaurant.  I observed the home of residents, Jean and David H., and admired the beautiful items he’d made in Panorama’s woodworking shop. Chris watched it a few times, but I watched it often when he wasn’t home and made new lists for Rachel to answer!

Gotta find out in a few weeks about our visit with a surprise!

Mary Jo Bio

A Resident’s Perspective – It’s All About Calendar Control

Written by Panorama resident, Mike Turner. February 15th, 2014

Like most residents here at Panorama, as each month’s Panorama News arrives, we drop everything and rush to the computer to put in all the dates of the activities we MUST attend, on our calendar.  I began thinking about calendar control as I looked at a recently completed monthly calendar.

I remember the days when my business calendar was a filo fax, a week at a glance calendar, a Franklin Planner, a day timer or at some point just one of those freebie Hallmark calendar books you get when you buy something.  The entries consisted mostly of the weekly staff meeting, the monthly flight for the corporate meetings, some birthdays, and some reminders for required dated reports and meetings with the boss.

My, my how things have changed in my retirement.  Now no more paper and pencil in the little book, it’s right to my computer and the calendar page.  Then I start putting in all the things that MUST be done;  my Resident Council meetings, the PAAT monthly meetings, weekly dinners with our Sea Ranch friends, Readers Theatre rehearsals and shows, Friday Share at the Pea Patch, and don’t even get me started on the Auditorium.  I have to make sure I have down the movies, plays, LIR programs, meetings, discussions, music appreciation, speakers, dance and music programs and all the other activities I have forgotten.  And then it’s on to the off campus dates for bus trips to the opera and plays, Sunday drives, restaurant trips, Seattle, WCPA programs.  Then Jay starts on his list.  His work with hospice, the Barn and the Benevolent Fund.  ENOUGH!  You get the idea, we are busier now than when we “worked”, and enjoying every busy minute.

So now, all our activities are in the computer and it’s time to print out the calendar and put in on the fridge.  YIKES!  Each ‘day box’ on the calendar has so many items in it that it stretches out each box to the point that it takes two pages to print the calendar.  Not what we were looking for so we decided to stop the printed version.  It really didn’t work anyway since we were constantly adding, changing, and moving items around on the calendar with pencil cross-offs and arrows to show new activity dates and times.  So now we keep the calendar on the computer, check it often and make the necessary electronic changes.

But when you think about it, what could be better?  A daily life so filled with interesting, informative, fun activities that the list doesn’t even fit on a piece of paper.  Don’t you just love retirement at Panorama!?

Mike Turner

A Resident’s Perspective – Leaving The Wild

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush on February 26, 2014.

Swans & Kens Christmas 001We moved here in May, 2013, from a fairly remote area of N. California. The weather could be wild, and we were immersed in a wild meadow habitat that awarded us many delightful situations in terms of flora and fauna.

Our cats no longer lunge at the windows when a stray bobcat or raccoon meanders by. They do have issues with the three-legged raccoon that has looked in our Woodland Loop window. This brings to mind our vetting by our neighborhood group. The big question at that gathering, so delightful and thoughtful in getting us to meet close neighbors, was “do you feed wild animals?”  It seems that the previous occupant of our home fed everything that wandered by. This can become a nuisance to neighbors if/when the food source dries up or the occupant leaves for a bit. No one likes wild creatures that become aggressive.

In our prior life, we never fed wild animals, and we won’t be starting that here.  I volunteered with an organization that rescued and treated ill/wounded marine mammals for 30 years. We understand the impact of people on wild animals.

However, the wild is not far away from us here. We found a protected area here where Great Blue Herons nest, out by Woodard Inlet, as we explore on foot this wonderful Northwest. There is an “army” of Varied Thrushes that are delightful as they feed along with Juncos all over our yard. The squirrels that we didn’t see near the ocean where we lived are now great sport for the cats to follow, room to room viewed through the windows. The Nisqually Refuge, so close by, affords all manner of birds and wetland life to enjoy. The lecture series held each summer at the Refuge are learning experiences.

CompressedI am waiting for warmer weather to visit Wolf Haven. Hikes have produced owls to enjoy. I keep promising myself to go sit in McGandyPark in the dark of night to listen for owls closer to home; they must be around with these amazing trees we live amongst!!!

We now see less dead deer on highways, and aren’t looking over our shoulders for the odd mountain lion. But, we are living in this garden now and no longer need to put energy into “fighting the wild”.  Of course, we’ve not been through a nasty storm event, and we may change our minds, but I don’t think so.

Sandy Bio