Saturday, July 24, 2021

Flowers in my garden, fun in an egg, full moon

 

I love the rose petals on the ground under my Julia Child rose. They seem to be dusting the ground like snow.


 I think I shared the above photo with you before; it shows how large the clematis flowers are.

When I cut into the hard boiled egg today and saw these hearts I laughed.




Above I am trying to catch the full moon one evening recently. The moon is so small in the photo and so big when I looked at it.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Gentleman in Moscow, Wow, other novels, petunias and Winston Churchill

 


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is the best, most brilliant novel I have read this year. 

I think that Towles created a work of genius, a book for today and for the future. I am very drawn to Count Rostov, a man of nobility, grace and wit. A young man at the time of the Russian Revolution, the Count was safely in Paris, but he undertook the arduous journey to return to his family estate in Russia to rescue his beloved grandmother and he sent her to safety in Europe. 

The Count was arrested for the crime of being an aristocrat and narrowly escaped a death sentence, when his life was spared by a poem he had written. Yes, a poem saved his life. He got the bizarre sentence of house arrest for life, to be served in the grand hotel where he had an apartment. The Count was swiftly moved to a tiny room in the attic. He gathers friends and we see his new life being formed. A passionate love affair, a young girl needing help, a tormented poet and friend in danger, a party official who admires Rostov, Communist officials who hate Rostov and much more. 

The craziness of the Bolsheviks is shown by them having the labels removed from all the wine bottles in the hotel wine cellar, to stop elitism. On the larger scale Stalin caused the death of millions of peasants when farms were violently taken from them. Yet the Count lived on, following his grandfather’s dictum, “Master your circumstances.”

I am glad I have a paper copy so I can lend it to local friends who want to read it. What novel are you pushing today? 

Petunias on my patio, just for fun. I have 4 pots of petunias and pick off about 20 faded blossoms each day, to keep them on their toes and blooming.

I donated 15 books to a Little Free Library and got 3 novels I couldn't resist.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Clock Dance by Anne Tyler and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Do you recommend any of these? Happy reading, until we meet again. Thanks to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for their song "Happy trails to you til we meet again."

Visit Church Explorer for an interesting post by Billy Blue Eyes about the final resting place of Winston Churchill, a hero of mine. Billy shares many excellent photos of the church and its stained glass windows, etc.

 

Monday, June 28, 2021

Heart ice cubes, coffee shop,Bounce,patio

 

Fun for ice tea, this is a heart ice cube tray which I like to use.


Above is me at Shrine Coffee, plenty of room for social distancing, the ocean is across the street, and the gardens are extensive. Here you see my pandemic long hair, no hair cut for over a year. After this photo was taken I did dare to go in for my first hair cut in eons.


Above is Bounce getting a sun bath on my patio, you can glimpse my 5 foot tall pink rose bush in the background, and below are petunias on the patio.


Just wanted to share a few things from my summer days. How is your summer going? I know my friends in Australia and Africa are enjoying cooler months now as the year there cools down.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

"All Along You Were Blooming" poems and my pitiful left knee

 I just happened to find and buy a poetry book by Morgan Harper Nichols. The book looked like it would be a treat and a spirit lifter, and it is. I read that she has 2,000,000 social media followers and she is admired for her poetry and her art. The book I bought is her "All Along You Were Blooming: Thoughts for Boundless Living" and I am very pleased with it.


Above is the young lady who is the gifted poet. Here is her book cover:


Here is one of her poems that is very meaningful to me.


In case it is hard for you to read: There will be days when you do not feel fearless, and you choose to get up and go out to sea anyway.
And my friend, let me tell you, that is what it means to be brave.
It is that gentle shove toward the water that says "I will go, and I will go afraid."
It is not a feeling. It is not a thought. It is that inward wind that pulls you out of sleep and says "I will go forth with all I have now: a breath, a dozen steps, and a pocket full of fears,
but no matter what tries to pull me back, I will find the strength to be here." 
This is a nice size smaller hardback, maybe six inches tall, full of Nichols' art and poems. It would make a nice gift book for anyone or for you; you deserve a treat too.
 
Poor poor pitiful me! On June 8 I took Bounce on a leisurely walk and came home and was standing in front of the closet when my left knee went out. Terrible pain. I think this is connected with growing so old. I was not moving. My knee just went! I could only hobble, three inches at a time, saying ouch with each step. What a night. All the next week my knee has been healing, aided by rest and my answered prayers.  That night and all the next day Bounce stayed close by, looking worried as I moaned and limped. He is a true companion. Be well my friends. 
Update on June 25: I got 4 x-rays of my knee and it shows arthritis. They say this is pretty common in people 65+. I am going to sign up for physical therapy.  One thing I will say about my insurance (Medicare plus Supplemental Insurance) is that all this is paid for, here in the USA.


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Annie Johnson Flint, Gifted Poet and Blogging Question

 


I recently discovered a poet and hymn writer, Annie Johnson Flint, who wrote deep and yet easy to understand poems. Her book "He Giveth More Grace" contains 100 poems that are a delight to read. On Kindle her books are about 99 cents, a bargain price. Above she is in a wheel chair due to extreme arthritis from a young age. She wrote by hand with hands terribly twisted and painful from arthritis.


Annie lived from 1866-1932. After treatment when young at a sanitarium she moved in with a family named Flint and became part of their family.

Above is the book "He Giveth More Grace" that I bought, these 100 poems are all appreciated by me; here is one of them:

Thy Strength and My Day

Give me Thy strength for my day, Lord
That wheresoe'er I go,
There shall no danger daunt me
And I shall fear no foe; 
So shall no task o'ercome me,
So shall no trial fret,
So shall I walk unwearied
The path where my feet are set.
So shall I find no burden
Greater than I can bear,
So shall I have a courage
Equal to all my care;
So shall no grief o'erwhelm me,
So shall no wave o'erflow;
Give me Thy strength for my day, Lord,
Cover my weakness so.

Annie Johnson Flint found her inspiration for this poem in Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
When I face challenges, which happens more and more now that I am a senior citizen, I love these reminders of good courage, "there shall no danger daunt me".  Well, the words are helpful at any age.
BLOGGER QUESTION. How can I add those little buttons some of you have with each of your posts so that people can click on a button to leave their opinion? Buttons that say Like, Funny, or other comments. A blog friend asked me to add this feature and I can't figure out how. I hope one of my helpful followers will enlighten me. Thank you blog friends for letting me know that this option of buttons that say "like", "funny" etc. is no longer available on blogger. 
Also, something awful has occurred, my blog roll has disappeared! I loved that list of all the blogs I follow, and I used it to check out blog posts if I haven't seen a post from a favorite blogger in a while. Very big loss for me!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Quotes and Pictures to Share

 I gather funny and serious quotes and pictures to share. Here goes.



Above is me, frazzled, after reading the news, and seeing our country's push in a bad direction. Protests turning violent, President pushed off of social media, mass out of control illegal immigration, threats to free speech, ignoring God, the list is long.

A humorous take on Covid above.


The above makes me smile!

I am in a Zoom group for 8 local ladies over 55 who are encouraging each other in this time of pandemic. We had never met each other before joining the group; I heard about it in a tiny mention in the newspaper. One tip I shared with the gals is that sometimes my To Do lists get overwhelming so I write in JOY on the list. Remember to take a half hour or so each day to relax, or the new word I like, chillax. Below is a sample of a To Do list of mine. Do you see that I wrote a reminder to Brush Bounce's teeth? Yes, who knew I would brush my dear pup's teeth each night? He is a sweetie and well worth it. Remember to Chillax each day.

And remember to write JOY on your day's activities when you can.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

My post in which I whine related to libraries, plus Clematis vines and cat book ends


 

Above photo shows the Boston Public Library.

I don't often whine here but I got something in the mail today, the alumni newsletter from where I graduated with an M.L.S., which provoked this post. As some of you know I am a retired librarian, a career I enjoyed. A nice career for a book lover, at least in earlier years. Now it is very much involved with computers. What annoyed me in the newsletter was when I read that the university where I got my Masters Degree in Library Science has dropped the word Library from its school name. When I graduated it was School of Library and Information Sciences.



I know, don't push the river, but my alma mater's new school name is Information School. Not a whisper of Library to be found. I guess nowadays we Information Workers (formerly known as Librarians) could be working in a drafty warehouse surrounded by computers and nary a book or library user in sight. I wonder when the term librarian will disappear, replaced by something like IS Worker. Information School worker. To my mind, librarian is a noble calling and a word that evokes the joy and the power of books.

Being a librarian I researched and see that 7 well known American universities have made the school name change to Information School with the nickname of iSchool. There is now an international group of 77 universities that have made this name change to iSchool, dropping the word Library.


 

Public libraries often still value physical books, and putting those books in the hands of people. But the wave of the future has arrived in many universities. The one where I worked threw out all the books on one floor to turn the floor into study areas. I am glad that happened after I retired, I would have refused to do that, staff had to throw the books into dumpsters.

Enough of a whine on this subject. Thanks for listening, I feel a teeny bit better. To thank you for reading the above, here are some photos I took in my garden today. The first photo of my purple/red clematis shows my hand so you can see the flower size.



Above is my orange Clock Vine (Thunbergia), from India, and my purple clematis. This clematis has two petals on each flower vs. six petals on the red/purple in the other photos. I pulled out my graceful cat bookends as I am decluttering books, and put them on display on my kitchen table. Have a great week and stay well, my friends.