Sunday, July 20, 2014

Orange and green in our garden

These nasturtium plants found a drain pipe in our back yard to climb and they love being up high, I can tell.
Can you see that these nasturtiums, which grow next to the drain pipe plants, are blooming madly in a camellia bush? I think this may be a very rare and valuable new plant, the camurtium, or the nastemellia. Well, anyway, it is colorful.
We often pick the nasturtium flowers to add to salads and sometimes a few nasturtium leaves too. They taste like radishes to me.
Our dishwasher broke Friday (two days ago) and the way we found out is it was leaking, and damaged our kitchen floor a bit. So that day my husband pulled out the old dishwasher and ordered a new one from Sears online. The new one will be delivered in ten days. Our dishwasher worked fine for ten years, and we looked it up and learned that most dishwashers have a life of nine or ten years. So we can't complain too much. Well, maybe a little!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer reading

Here's a peek at a few of the books I am reading this summer, just to give you some reading ideas. I love reading lists other bloggers share.
Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen. The third in her Royal Spyness Mystery series, set in England and Scotland in 1932. A bit of humor as Lady Georgiana, 34th in line to the British throne and penniless, finds mysterious accidents and deaths happening in her circle.
Question of Belief by Donna Leon. Number 19 in this mystery series set in today's Venice. The police detective is a happily married family man, a nice difference from many other police series.
And Venice is a big part of these books.
At Home in France by Ann Barry. Her memoir of being an American single woman who buys a home in an out of the way area of France.
My Mom Was Nuts by Penny Marshall. A memoir with fascinating mentions of many well known tv stars and actors and directors, plus family tales. Penny was married to Rob Reiner when his show All In the Family was on tv, and her show Laverne and Shirley was also on tv.
The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou. On the day this noted author died I bought this book which gives you a glimpse into her life. The second half of the book takes place in Cairo and in Liberia. Years ago I read her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and this book was new to me; Maya wrote seven memoirs. I loved hearing her speak, her voice was melodic and hypnotic, especially as she read poems. I never met her but she and I worked in the Civil Rights movement at the same time, me in a modest way and she in a more leading role.
A lovely addition to my book shelves is the NIV God's Word For Gardeners Bible. I have long wanted an NIV Bible, and this one is the entire Bible PLUS 52 meditations and Scriptures gathered with the focus on gardening.
What are you reading this summer? Any movies or books you recommend?
Part Two, two days later. Help, I got more books yesterday! I bought Anne Lamott's Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith, borrowed Jill McCorkle's Life After Life: A Novel from the library (it sounds humorous), and The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (about Venice) and on impulse a Kindle book "Bury Me with My Pearls: Humor with a Spiritual Twist." Obviously I buy faster than I read! And now I am going out to exercise in a pool. Have a great day, every one. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Farmers Market Goodies

I have a new addiction: shopping at the Farmers Market three minutes from our home.
Today I bought a dahlia bouquet, rainbow chard, radishes and sunny yellow zucchini. You can see them in these photos.
The Saturday before Fathers Day I also bought purple kohlrabi and lavender color radishes and home made horseradish mustard, a surprise for my husband for Fathers Day.
I like kohlrabi so much I bought some two weeks in a row; I peel it and eat it like an apple. It is good plain or with a little salt and is especially delicious when purchased from a farmers market, where it is freshly harvested.
All organic and grown locally. A feast for the eye and soul, and the veggies are tender and fresh.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moments in my garden

I like to step into my garden when I am alone and when it is quiet.
The birds are often singing abundantly so it is not really quiet; I mean quiet from man made noise.
The hummingbird chirps. It wants me to spray droplets of water in the air so it can drink and bath, while I hold the hose up high, trying not to move.
I feel God there in the garden, and everywhere.
The green things are pulsing with life.
Strawberries turn pink, then red and sweet.
Overlooked bok choi dies back but not before forming tiny yellow flowers with a promise of seeds.
Cilantro bolts and goes to seed.
Green tomatoes promise to turn red and succulent.
My heart and soul are nourished in this modest garden.

I took this photo of a garden created in honor of my dad, located at a favorite golf course.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Collywobbles, Infrangible, Widdershins and more

I collect words that are new to me, that have a fun look or sound, and/or that make me smile.
I am a writer and hope to use these words in my writing some day.
My best sources for these words are when I read British authors and also when I read Marcel Proust.
From Proust's "Swann's Way" and "Within a Budding Grove": serried, ineluctable, evanescent, infrangible, hierophants, fulminate, mendacity. Marmorean, sapient and stoup.
Thank you to Marcel Proust and his gifted translators. I prefer the edition translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.
A few of these words I already knew but haven't used in a book or article or poem yet, including mendacity and fulminate.
Other words in my collection: twee, wrackspurt, nebuly, widdershins, ebullition and the wonderful collywobble.
These are just some of the highlights of my list.
Please leave some of your favorite words in the comments so my list will grow.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I was blessed with a great dad. You can see here the great start I had with him.
"What a blessing it is for parents to believe in their children." -- Billy Graham

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Christianity, Love, and Islam

This photo is of Rumeli Hisar in Istanbul, and the college I attended there is located on the hill right above it so we students had a great view of this fortress.

I have many favorite Scripture verses, and one I especially love is:
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13
Jesus talked about love throughout his time here on earth, and love infuses the church I attend.
A gal new to my church told me "What attracted me to this church is its emphasis on love."
I chose to attend college in a Muslim country for a year and grew to love the people, the beautiful architecture of their mosques, and the many ancient sites like the Rumeli Hisar and Side and Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.
Influenced by the art I saw in Turkey I changed my major to Art History and wrote my senior thesis titled "The History of the Development of the Mosque."
Since the USA was attacked on 9/11 I have studied the Muslim religion more closely, and learned that it was started by a man who became a warrior and military leader and in line with its origins it does not have the focus on peace that Jesus preached.
Two excellent books on this topic are "Unveiling Islam" by two brothers, Ergun and Emir Caner, who were raised as Muslims and converted to Christianity and "What You Need to Know about Islam and Muslims" by George W. Braswell (B.D. Yale University and PhD. UNC).
By reading these and other books, which have extensive quotes from Islam's Koran (or Qur'an) and the Sunnah and Hadith, we can get a better understanding of events in the news today.