Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hope In Shadows and Wavy Mirrors

You might have noticed that I like to take photos of appealing shadows. Here are some from shadows on my patio, from a hanging flower pot and a wind chime.
The word "hope" is what caught my attention and my heart. This wind chime was given to me several years ago by a friend.
Can you see me in my butterfly hat in the mirror reflection? These are two bouquets in my kitchen, one from one of my sons who brought them to my house and one from me, to lift my spirits on the second anniversary of my hubby's death, on November 12. Flowers always get a smile from me. Do they have that effect on you?
I treated myself to the orange roses, an upbeat and unusual choice for me, and my older son surprised me with the gorgeous mixed flower bouquet. There are lavender roses in it, so pretty, and a favorite flower for me, oriental lilies.
The above shows my kitchen table last week with a different bouquet, as I wanted you to see my wavy mirrors. I saw these mirrors in my friend, Barbro's, home and wanted some for my house.
For my friends in the USA can Thanksgiving be here soon? I ordered a smoked turkey to be picked up on Thanksgiving day from the local BBQ restaurant. We had that last year and it was delicious.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Fun book, unlikely friends and Heated Cat House

This is the story of Arthur, Mandy and Lucille, as they form a friendship which is surprising to all of them. Mandy is a hurting teen, Arthur is widowed from Nola, the love of his life, and Lucille is his lonely next door neighbor. Arthur, age 85, encounters Mandy in the cemetery where he visits his wife every day and where Mandy goes when she skips school. Arthur looks at cemetery grave stones and thinks he hears clearly glimpses of the buried people’s lives. Mandy playfully changes Arthur’s last name to Truluv, isn’t that charming? Together the three of them find their way forward in life. I am avoiding giving away plot details, but let me tell you, now I know why Berg is read by so many people. There is another book by her, "Night of Miracles" that has some of the same characters in it, and is a sequel, which I want to read.
You won't believe what I just did. I ordered a cat house with a heated floor for my cat who sleeps on my patio. The photo above is what the house looks like. I live in California so it is not all that cold but she is aging, like me, and the heated pad will be comfy for her, I hope. My sons and I think that my dog will take naps in it during the day. The pad only heats when a cat or dog sits on it, a clever feature. An important feature that I learned about when researching before buying is that a cat house needs front and back doors so your cat can not be trapped in it. Both doors are clear plastic and the back door only opens outwards.
I will post photos of my kitty in her new house in future, when she gets in. So far she is not interested or definitely cautious.
What's new at your house, in your life?

Friday, October 26, 2018

My lion fountain and some eerie lights

My son Lane came over and picked up the four heavy cement pieces for my lion fountain, set up the pump I bought, and voila, there is water coming out of the mouths of four lions.
We bought this fountain 15 or 20 years ago and had it running for years.
We stopped using it about five years ago and our handsome lion fountain has been resting scattered about the garden in the component pieces, and I am happy to have it running again. I love the gentle splashing sound of the water which is very relaxing.
Lane went to the pet store to buy a clear plastic hose for the pump and also surprised me and brought over 6 tiny goldfish who are living in the fountain now. As protection for the wee fishies I set up a dinner plate leaning on the central post, so they can shelter under it. He set up a timer so it goes on and off automatically at the times I chose, so it runs from noon until four. Since we are having a sunny October thus far, I keep my kitchen door open and can hear the water while I am in there, besides when I am on the patio.
For something that can be seen as pretty or as spooky take a look at these lights and shadows in my living room. The light source is the clear stained glass window at the top of my front door.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pieces of Happiness, a novel

I haven't posted about books in a while, and I am a dedicated book reader, nay, book fanatic. Ha ha.

A book I think many of you would like is Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate, written by Anne Ostby and translated to English by one of her daughters. Five 66 year old school friends from Norway move to Fiji to the cocoa farm where one of them lives. They reinvent their lives and face hard times and fun times together. Will one of the ladies find romance with a local man? Some of the chapters are written with the point of view of Ateca, their all important Fijian house keeper who shows them the ropes of Fiji's customs and each of those chapters closes with a prayer from Ateca for "her ladies" and her teenage son. The author lived in Fiji and it seems very authentic; she lives in East Timor now.

The photo above is of a nearby Little Free Library, I visit these on my dog walks.
I quickly gave "Pieces of Happiness" to a neighborhood Little Free Library, gave 5 other books to the public library and then bought 3 books at the library used book store. All 3 are in series I am reading:
"Enter Sir Robert" by Angela Thirkell,  "Glass Houses" by Louise Penny, and "Dreaming Spies" by Laurie R. King. I can definitely buy books faster than I can read them. I won't even mention my Kindle books waiting to be read! I haven't looked to see how many of them I have.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Nice surprises in September

I had some nice surprises and also joined a new group in September. One nice surprise occurred as I was standing in line to buy two tickets to a local Follies show when a lady walked up and handed me two free tickets. How cool is that! I have attended the yearly Follies song and dance show for five years or so and it was founded 50 years ago.
Two of my friends sing and dance in it so that makes it extra fun. The auditions and rehearsals are very thorough. The song and dance numbers included "Pretty Woman", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "Don't Be Cruel", "What Now My Love", "Love Me Tender", "Inka Dinka", "I Gotta Be Me" and many more for a total of forty songs.
All that and we had free seats.
I went to a fund raiser tea on Saturday, Sept. 22 and it was very lively. Some of us, including me, wore hats and one lady looked like a regal Victorian lady in her hat and clothes. Here are some photos of the food tables. There were about 8 tables of food including the traditional cucumber sandwiches and scones and in the first table you can see the delicious home made lemon curd.

The above two photos show friendship and companionship. The fundraiser is for a group that takes home bound seniors out for afternoons of fun and lunch. It allows care givers to have 5 or 6 hours off from their work of caring.
The new group I joined is one for widows that just formed at our church and was created by two widows. We had our first meeting on Sunday which featured a delicious free lunch in the church coffee house and eleven ladies got to know each other a bit. The theme for the group will be that we need not do this life alone. Amen to that. The ages ranged from 60 to 85. I didn't know any of the gals beforehand so I pushed myself to go and am glad I did.
We are looking for a name for the group, do you have any ideas? I suggested "Wild wacky widows" and another gal suggested "Wild wonderful widows." We want to convey widows and upbeat fun times. Ideas for a name welcome.

Monday, September 17, 2018

My garden flowers and gardens as autobiography

"A garden wall without a climbing rose, or a well-trained peach, is as meaningless to a gardener as a blank canvas is to an artist." Daniel Frogg, garden designer, 1955.
Or, I might add, a climbing flowering vine such as my purple clematis.
I planted this two inch tall Jackmani clematis in February 2018 and it is 5 feet tall now.
The same day I planted a periwinkle blue clematis, which remains 2 inches tall and has not had a flower yet. I have hopes for next season for it.
I have long thought that the books on our shelves and the plants we choose for our gardens have a touch of autobiography in them. For example, my gardens and stacks of books are not very neat, which expresses something about me. I prefer the creative and artistic aspects of gardening to house cleaning, which continually needs to be repeated. I have a book in my collection with a title I love, "A Gentle Plea for Chaos".
I have a statue of the Virgin Mary in my garden which I bought years ago with money I earned from my writing, a treat for me. My younger son gave me a Buddha statue so Buddha and Mary reside in my garden in peaceful harmony.

I like plants that birds, bees and butterflies like. Yes I do like all creatures great and small. Except for gophers and snails and slugs. Even garden snakes and bats are welcome in my garden.
Here is a quote to this point: "A garden that one makes oneself becomes associated with one's personal history and that of one's friends, interwoven with one's tastes, preferences and character, and constitutes a sort of unwritten, but withall manifest, autobiography. Show me your garden, provided it be your own, and I will tell you what you are like." From "The Gardens that I Love" by Alfred Austin, 1835-1913.

Above is my orange clock vine, a vigorous vine which quickly reached six feet tall on the fence and ten feet wide, and then spreads along the ground covering an additional five foot square area. I do love flowering shrubs and trees, including my lilac, 3 hydrangeas, 3 clematis, Strawberry tree and Red magnolia, soon to be joined by one or two camellias. I have a large old Cantua, the national flower of Chile, which my friend who moved here from Chile ordered for me. When she was a child in Chile a Cantua bloomed outside her second story bedroom.

I have small sculptures in my garden, yes, I like happy and pretty things. Smiling stylized suns hanging on the fence, including the one in the above photo, with jasmine growing up to it. Of course a bird bath and bird feeders. I could go on but don't want to bore you. Do you think your garden expresses a bit of who you are?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

What Bounce and I are doing in September

Do you see Bounce's feet in his new snuggly bed?
I need help; Bounce is chewing up and tearing up his new bed. Do you have suggestions for a new stronger bed for him? I saw K-9 Ballistics and Chew Guard Beds, have you used them or other beds?
Above photo is to show me in one of my many hats, since I mention wearing hats in this post. This was taken in April 2017 with two of my sweet friends, Terry and Wei, celebrating my birthday on the patio of a favorite restaurant.
                                               SEPTEMBER FUN
On another note I realize that September is offering me quite a few events to attend. My church is starting a new group this month, with a luncheon for widows. This is a group no one wants to be in, being a widow, but I am excited to meet some people in the same sometimes leaky boat. These are people I can be honest with and tell them I am sad, which I sometimes/often am.
I signed up to go to a luncheon which is a benefit for a local group that takes seniors who are home bound out to lunch and to events. We can wear fun hats to the lunch, which I like. I am a hat lady. They protect our skin from the sun and I have quite an array of pretty ones.
Bible study is starting again once a week and this session is 10 weeks of reading the Psalms and the book we will use, "Discovering Hope in the Psalms" has pages to color in it. I have crayons and pencils at the ready.
The Senior Follies is this month too, and I have gone about 5 years in a row. Two of my friends sing and dance in it and they are very talented.
Oh, and the local Greek festival at their church on September 7-9, I love the food and music. Plus across the street is a book sale to benefit the public library. How convenient is that? Food and music and words to feed the mind, body and soul.
Is your September busy too?