Friday, May 12, 2017

What makes you smile? Some things that make me smile


I thought I would share with you some things that make me smile. Since the death of my husband last November these smile bringers are doubly precious.

Pretty much any flower, and some weeds too, make me smile. Years ago I went to a garden center and asked for Jupiter's Beard. The plant expert said that is a weed. I thought "ouch, poor plant, now that is hurtful". When I lived on a farm the neighbor lady called these "Meet Me By the Gate"; also called Valerian. I always think of them as "Meet Me By the Gate" and think of Ann, my neighbor. The photo above has a bouquet of Canterbury Bells and Sweet Peas from my garden.

Song birds in my garden, the hoot of an owl in a nearby tree, and the pelicans soaring along our bay.

Feeling a refreshing breeze. I do not like to be too hot, so I welcome the cooling touch of a breeze.



Picking a vegetable from our garden, admiring it and eating it. For a moment I feel like a pioneer woman. I would like to have chickens here in my city yard and enjoy the photos of you blog friends who have chickens, horses, donkeys, pigs and all the farm critters.




Our cat Fluffy asleep on a soft new blanket. She does sleep a LOT. Cats by their example teach us to be relaxed; they are not worriers.


My dog Bounce adopted from the shelter in the fall of 2016. He is a fun dog and loves to go on walks three times a day so that keeps me active and outdoors. Note the red amaryllis blooming in May.

Watching comedies on TV. I have a new subscription to Acorn TV which offers great British and Australian shows. New ones for me now that I have Acorn TV are Ladies of Letters (my favorite), French Fields and Boomers. Acorn has a whole slew of mysteries and dramas and documentaries too, often on British history which I enjoy. Andy Griffith and the town of Mayberry are great places to visit via our TV and I watch this series on Netflix.

Flowers with what I imagine to be the scent of heaven. For me this includes lilacs, old fashioned roses like the Peace rose, gardenias, common heliotrope, jasmine, sweet peas and lemon blossoms on my two small lemon trees. I planted a heliotrope a year ago and my husband said that is a favorite scent of his so I just break off a tiny sprig and put it in a little vase to enjoy in the house. I recently read on a blog or Facebook that heliotrope is toxic to dogs so keep the plant where dogs can't snack on it. A nickname for this plant is "sugar plant" so I can see why it might attract dogs; the flowers do smell like sugar.

My list could be a very long one. Maybe I should write another book, ha ha. 

What things bring you joy?




Monday, May 1, 2017

Senior Citizens in New Novels

Now that I have achieved the much wanted (ha ha) title of senior citizen I am finding some novels that have older main characters ranging in age from late fifties to age 100.
Here are a few I have read recently.

"Old Age Private Eye" by A.W. Blakely. The first in the Old Age Pensioner Investigations series about Stanley, a pensioner about 68 years old who is so bored in retirement that on a whim he posts a notice that he is a private investigator. He is amazed when he is hired for a job and finds he needs to hire help so he hires his daughter who is newly divorced and job hunting; the other team member is his trusty dog, Roobarb. The setting is "the heart of England."

"The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules" by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg. The first book in the League of Pensioners series, all the main characters use Zimmer frames or as we call them in the USA, walkers. The main gal, Martha is 79 and decides to begin a life of crime to free her from her home from the aged, which she compares to a prison. The setting is the Netherlands and she recruits four friends from the home where she lives to form a gang. They pull off some dramatic crimes, and attempt jewel, bank and art robberies. They are so inept sometimes they succeed. After all, who could believe these harmless oldies could steal priceless Impressionist paintings?

"A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman
Ove is a curmudgeon, a widower with a short fuse and he is a mean and prejudiced neighbor to people trying to be helpful. I don't know why Ove is a mere 59 in this novel, he seems like 69 or older. Against his will he is befriended by the young couple who move next door. You will find humor, despair and hope here, and the novel deserves the description of "heart warming." The author is Swedish. I love this book and plan to read the others Backman wrote.

"The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson. Alan has no plan except to escape out a window in order to miss his 100 year birthday party at the retirement home. Wow, does he have adventures. He finds stolen money, there are murderous thugs chasing him, he meets a friendly elephant and makes friends along the way. The author is a Swedish journalist. I read that there is a sequel to this book and Alan is 101 in it.
Are there other books you can add to this list? Please add them in comments, I think we would all like to hear about more books featuring senior citizens.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dragon, Chinese Guardian Lion and Fire

My dragon and Chinese temple guard lion enjoying the fire in my fireplace. I always wrote "our" for 45 years, now I write "my", sad to say but true.
The guardian lion is usually one of a pair, this is a male lion who guards the home, while the female guards the people. Chinese guardian lions are often called Foo dogs or lions or Fu dogs or lions in English.
My husband and I had not used the fireplace since the big earthquake in 1989. All fireplaces to be safe should have an inspection before use after the quake. In December of last year our sons decided to have a fireplace man inspect it for damage; he found one thing which he fixed, he cleaned it all, and voila, now I have fires again. This photo was taken a few days ago. I bought the fireplace tools and a log holder on Amazon, the tools are like sculptures, made of wrought iron. You can see the tools on the left in the second photo.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Best Dog in the World?


Ok, ok, I had to put the question mark in the blog post title, cuz we all think our dog is the best and the cutest in the world, right?
This is Bounce's favorite spot, on the back of our sofa, in the sun where he can look out the window and watch people walking past, some with dogs. Our street is a popular one for walking as it leads straight to the bay. Today Bounce brought his little squeaky toy to sit with him. I will try to get more photos of him with more light, but you get the idea. I think it is extra cute he brought his toy friend with him.
Bounce is a Chihuahua terrier mix, found on the streets in a nearby city and brought to the animal shelter. He weighed 7.8 pounds when brought in and was underweight. I adopted him in November last year and now he weighs 11 pounds which the vet says is ideal for him. I try not to overfeed so he stays at 11 pounds. He is so cute and food oriented so of course I give him treats like milk bone and Greenies.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Joyful Easter and Spring to All

"... these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him, you will have life by the power of his name." John 20:31

"Then Jesus told him, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29 Jesus spoke to Thomas after Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Book Beginnings: Off the Grid by C.J. Box


C.J. Box is a great writer with a series about the dangers Joe Pickett faces, as he works as a game warden in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. Joe patrols on his own, sometimes by pickup truck and sometimes on horse back.
This series begins with "Open Season" which is the ideal place to begin reading the series. "Off the Grid" was  published in 2016. My favorite series character is Nate Romanowski, a guy I have a bit of a crush on. He is an expert marksman, will kill people to defend the Pickett family, trains falcons, and at one point was given to climbing naked in trees in remote areas. Oh, he sounds handsome too.
Here is the beginning of "Off the Grid".
"Nate Romanowski knew trouble was on the way when he saw the falcon's wings suddenly flare in the distance. Something beyond his eyesight was coming fast."
I am joining in Rose City Reader's Book Beginnings, which is easy to do if you want to join in.
The second group is Friday 56 at Freda's Voice. Here we share something from page 56.
"It had been a long day that started with Joe saddling Rojo in the dark by the headlights of his truck."
He doesn't know it but his daughter Sheridan is in danger.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Books You Loved: April Edition, John Caldigate by Anthony Trollope

This is my first time joining in with Books You Loved and I chose "John Caldigate" by Anthony Trollope.



I adore this book. It was published in 1878 and has a love story, is mainly set in the English countryside, John Caldigate has a wild and rough few years spent in the Australian mining camps, Hester has a mother who is severely religious, there are scoundrels, the mysterious and alluring Mrs. Smith, a trial, a verdict, and a favorite female heroine of mine. She is Hester, and she falls in love with John Caldigate. They met only twice before their marriage; he loved her since the first moment he saw her in England and his love helped him survive the tough life in Australia. After they are married the question is raised: is he a bigamist? Did he marry a woman in Australia? Hester stands up to her family and stays true to John. When it looks like John may have a trial and if convicted, face prison, Hester says to him “Thank God, I am strong, John, and I can bear things that would break down other women. You shall never see me give way because I am a poor creature.” Trollope then adds “Certainly she had a right to boast that she was not a poor creature.” 

To see more Books You Loved chosen by bloggers visit Books You Loved
Caroles Chatter is hosting this event.