Saturday, July 13, 2019

Bounce, his outfits, seniors adopting dogs and some shadows

Above photo is of my dog, Bounce, preparing for a July barbeque party.
Yes, I am a senior citizen and in November 2016 I adopted a dog from an animal shelter. I chose to adopt an adult dog, looking at dogs 2, 3 and 4 years old. The dog who won my heart had an unknown age which they guestimated to be 5. So today Bounce is almost eight, according to their guess.
Bounce in his new security outfit, keeping the party crowd in line.

Part of the reason I chose to adopt an adult dog is that I am no expert on raising or training puppies. They had no info on Bounce beyond that he was found on the street, was very thin, and not fixed. Before I took him home per their rules they fixed him and pulled two problem teeth.
Bounce turned out to be very house trained already and is a fabulous companion. He likes all people.
The reason I am writing about this is that I recently read criticisms online about a person who is 80 and who adopted a puppy. My goodness, critics were worried the person would die before the dog. The critics insisted the person should not have adopted a puppy, but rather an older dog.
Personally I am happy that puppy has a loving home. When it comes to dogs, let people follow their heart.
I know that people of all ages sometimes turn in their dogs to shelters because of new life situations for them, so dogs can lose their home no matter the age of the owner. At the animal shelter when I filled out forms one question was who would care for Bounce if I couldn't and my younger son who was with me, signed up to say he would. My adult sons LOVE Bounce.
These shadows on my bedroom curtain caught my eye. The one on the right looks like a cute alien peering in with little antennas sprouting from his head. Well, it does to me!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Fourth of July and Betsy Ross Flag

Happy Birthday to my beloved country, the USA.
The above flag is the design with 13 stars and stripes in honor of the original 13 colonies, made by Betsy Ross during the Revolutionary War.
Following are some lines from the poem and song "America" by Samuel Francis Smith.
"My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain-side,
Let freedom ring."
 and the final verse:
"Our father's God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our king."

Sunday, June 9, 2019

My front yard changing, a baby brontosaurus and books

Here is a cute baby brontosaurus, or that is what I imagine him to be. He is in the playground at the community center where my once a month book discussion group meets. We meet in the building, not in the playground. I have attended three times, the group is open to anyone (they let me in, ha ha), and it has been led by the same lady for about 15 years.
This view shows the mural behind him.
The book we are reading in June in our discussion group is Moloka'i by Alan Brennert, which was written in 2004. I see he wrote a book Daughter of Moloka'i in 2014. A seven year old has a red sore on her face and is sent away from her family to the leper colony on Moloka'i in Hawaii. I have started reading it, the subject of a child taken from her home and enduring leprosy is a rough thing to read about. I don't know if I will finish it, I am trying to.

The book we read in May was Atonement by Ian McEwan. I loved this book and in the group discussion I said that the ending raised it to genius level, where the author through a character talks about the power of a novelist to give his readers a happy ending or a bitter ending, plus of course create an entire story and cast of people. Read the book to find out about the man unjustly imprisoned, the love of his life, and a troubled 13 year old who lied to convict him. How could she ever atone? Quite a few people in the discussion group liked the book but did NOT like the ending. It was not a simple or straight forward ending and was disturbing to me, but still, I thought it was genius for originality and writing skill.

My front yard has been a mess this past week as it is transformed into a thing of beauty, sort of like us sometimes, and like the Velveteen Rabbit. Everything is coming together.
This above photo is from June 6 2019. See all (some) of my new plants? About 50 actually.
The flagstone is Arizona Flagstone.
Above is me on June 5 2019 before the wood chips were added around the plants.
Below is photo I took on June 7 showing the trellis taking shape.

P.S. Work was completed on the trellis, flagstone patio and plantings on June 11, so I will post soon with photos of the completed work. Shall I leave the redwood trellis as is, or paint it or stain it? I am thinking of staining it a "faded barn red" to match the front of the house. What is best?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Cat, dog, yellow roses and more

Here are some recent photos I took of things I like.
Fluffy resting in sun near patio doors. She shows up nicely on her red blanket.
Bounce in living room on sofa with pillow that says "The day that God created Chihuahuas He sat down and smiled." We think Bounce is half Chihuahua, and part Rat Terrier and part Corgi.
I always admire this lichen on a rock in a neighbor's front yard.
I didn't go any closer because I didn't want to step on their property.
This bouquet is fabulous and my younger son gave it to me for Mothers' Day.
I picked these roses from my yellow rose bush, so pretty.
Often for joy I find it is good to look at smaller things and nearby things since the big picture and the world situation can be so daunting.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Friends, Happiness, Cats and Violets

Here is a darling card I received from Diane, Diane Wants to Write a long time blog friend and penpal, it came all the way from the Philippines. The African violets are from Wei, a friend in town, and she moved here all the way from China when she was a college student.
The card says "Do one thing every day that makes you happy." I am always on the look out for those things. The card itself does that for me. I am going to buy a frame for it, it is 5 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. Actually I might frame all 4 cards from Diane, they would look cheery hanging as a group on a wall.
Now I will look up how to care for African violets. I love that color! I think it will thrive with my orchids near my patio doors. The light is from the east, and I will set the pot in water for an hour once a week with a bit of plant food until the soil feels damp. If you have better African violet care tips let me know please.
Here are two more cheery cards from Diane:
The card with the bear says "Do small things with great love." I recall reading that Mother Theresa said this.
The following card from Diane arrived today, it is funny and I added it right now.

I like having fun reminders around my house that give me smiles. Violets and cards from friends, that will do it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

My brilliant red Cantua flowers from Chile

This bush is my fifteen year old Cantua, which is a popular plant in Chile. My shrub is about 6 feet tall, and my friend who moved here from Chile told me that a Cantua at her home there reached her second story bedroom window. The flowers form only on the tips of the branches.
Like me, do you collect quotes? Garden quotes are favorites of mine and I have several books of them.
"Flowers are heaven's masterpieces." -- Dorothy Parker
"See nature, and through her, God.." -- Henry David Thoreau.  My dear uncle Leroy Pelkin introduced me to reading Thoreau and Emerson beginning when I was a child of perhaps ten.
I still have some old hardcover books by Thoreau and Emerson, printed about 1906, that Uncle Leroy gave me.

"Flowers are our greatest silent friends." -- Jim G. Brown
"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the whole world." -- Charles Dudley Warner. I agree, she or he has done something good to benefit all of us.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Thank you friends and family for my birthday celebrations

Here is a photo of me on the patio of a favorite restaurant on April 23. Notice the two gifts of purple plants, my hat and the purple bag, I do love that color. My birthday was on April 25 and friends and family near and far have helped me celebrate. On the day of the photo we went to a restaurant that serves Mediterranean food with an Afghan twist. I had my usual spinach bolani and Maush awa soup with lamb. Sunday (today) my sons treated me to wonderful grilled seafood in a restaurant on the wharf.
Because there was a free jazz concert on the wharf we knew parking would be limited/impossible so I tried Uber for the first time and it worked very well. They picked us up at my house and delivered us back home.
My sons gave me the 23andme Ancestry package, a complete surprise. What secrets will it reveal? I will let you in on the results in future.I hear it take two weeks to get the results after I send in the sample.