Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Chihuahuas, Kohlrabi, New Orchid, Cartoon, Friends and Family Meet During Covid


Bounce looks like the pup on the fourth step from the bottom, on the far left. I have been thinking about adopting a Chihuahua friend for Mr. B., and like the looks of long haired Chihuahuas. This photo has a wonderful diversity of pups, but no long haired ones.  When my energy level is high I am inspired to adopt a second dog, when my energy is low I think oh no, two dogs to walk and one person! Two to feed plus my cat, and take to the vet, and I am 77, so my age is a consideration. I am happy with my Bouncey so maybe he will remain my only pup. We shall see.

Who else likes kohlrabi? That and parsnips are two of my favorite root vegetables. I peeled these, sliced them, and ate them raw and sprinkled with salt. Delicious.

Above is my newest orchid, quite a splashy beauty. They are easy care if you have an east facing window. Just feed and water them every two weeks. Usually the flowers last six weeks so that is an economical way for me to keep flowers in my kitchen. I have 10 orchids which bloom at different times.

My sons and Bounce and I had fun recently, we met at my house and walked to a new favorite restaurant for dinner to celebrate my oldest son's birthday. We ate on their spacious covered deck and dogs are welcome. They have a limited menu with delicious food and this is our second visit there. 

Yesterday I had our bi-monthly Zoom meeting with two colleagues from the university. We are all retired now and keep up our tradition of meeting via Zoom and in person for lunches. Each Thursday I meet another friend for tea and a treat at my favorite coffee shop, the one on church grounds with a patio surrounded by huge gardens and a view of the ocean. Because of Covid we prefer to meet outdoors, whether for coffee or for lunch at restaurants with outdoor seating. How is your week going?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Knee Cap Dislocation for Bounce, Boba Ice Cream Bars, and Book Cartoon


Ha ha, whoever created this cartoon above must know me. I even use Little Free Libraries to give away and receive more books in addition to buying.

Above is a painting of Bounce, my darling companion. A few days ago he was peacefully standing at the patio door looking outside when he shrieked in pain. I was standing right next to him at that time. That was at 10:30 a.m.. Then at 1:30 he was standing still and again yelped with pain. I called the vet and they said bring him in in two days to our next available appointment. I said two days is a long time when he is is pain. The receptionist was kind and talked to the staff and they said I could bring in Bounce at 3:30 that day. At 3:00 he again yelped in pain. 

[Jennifer asked how old is Bounce, he is 10 so that is considered a senior dog. I adopted him, or he chose me, at a shelter 5 years ago and vets estimated he was five then. Bounce has plenty of pep for walks and he is feeling good now after several days of rest and meds.] It turns out many small senior dogs and large dogs too can have a knee cap dislocation. It is caused by genetics or injury. He was put on anti-inflammatory meds, and must rest for about a week. Rather boring, no two times a day walks. Below is Bounce in a box before the knee problem.

Here is a fun new ice cream bar I discovered at Safeway. The box says Brown Sugar Boba Ice Cream Bar and Made in Taiwan. Most of the box including company name is in Chinese. This is a yummy treat with the Boba in it. Three other tasty Boba flavors are Matcha, Pudding and Oolong Tea. A nice way to cool down on a summer day.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Brew Ice Tea With Cold Water, Cheap and Delicious



Above is a photo of the ice tea I am making using cold water, this is how it looks after about two hours.

I make ice tea in a pitcher and it is so easy. I put 4 tablespoons of loose leaf tea in a tea infuser in a pitcher of cold water. I think mine is a quart size so this gives 4 eight ounce glasses. I use some black tea and some with a flavor like Earl Grey. Wait 10 hours, remove the tea infuser and voila. Put it in the refrigerator and then enjoy your tea. This is very inexpensive, perhaps 30 cents for 16 ounces versus $1.50 or more for a 16 oz. bottle. Plus you can do any flavors you like including decaff and herbal.

Also in the photo is the new pottery vase I bought at my neighbor's pottery sale, It is cream color with a marbling effect of pale blue. The flowers are godetias from my garden. If you buy a six pack of godetias to plant, you will likely get a lot of flowers. Godetias are not the most common of plants and I remember the plant name because it starts with god. 

Above is one of the many teas from Plum Deluxe tea company that I use to make iced tea, and hot tea too. The tea scoop spoon is cute with its heart shape bowl and I bought that from Plum Deluxe too. The most recent tea I bought from them is Grantham Tea created in honor of Downton Abbey.

I planted a small gardenia bush on my patio in a huge pot, and here is the first flower it produced. The color of gardenias draws me in as it is a pure creamy white, and wow, the scent is dreamy. This next photo I included a teaspoon so you can see the size of the gardenia flower.


Happy ice tea drinking and gardening, to all of us who love those activities.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Happy 4th of July


Here are some of the lyrics to the song America the Beautiful. 

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw. 
Confirm thy soul in self-control, 
Thy liberty in law. 
 Lift high the cross, unfurl the flag.
May they forever stand
 United in our hearts and hopes: 
God and our native land! 
America! America! 
May God thy love increase 
Till wars are past, and earth at last 
May follow Christ in peace.
I hope all of you, my dear followers, in lands near and far, enjoy a happy and free July.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Movie "Impromptu" about George Sand and Frederic Chopin


 This week I enjoyed watching the movie "Impromptu" about George Sand, the French novelist. She is a fascinating woman and earlier this year I read Elizabeth Berg's historical fiction "The Dream Lover" about Sand.  

The cast of "Impromptu" is stellar with Judy Davis playing Sand and Hugh Grant as the young and innocent Frederic Chopin, the man Sand wants and chases. She tells Chopin that he is not a man, his hands, his halo, his wings, he is an angel. She worships the man and his extreme talent. 

The movie is filmed entirely in France  in 1991 by an American company and with British actors. Julian Sands plays Franz Liszt. Sand was known for her scandalous behavior, separated from her husband and having romances with famous men, wearing men's clothes, smoking cigars, and breaking many rules. The costumes, the settings and the many famous people she knows add to the pleasure of watching the movie. Below is the cemetery sculpture of George Sand.

I have not read any of her novels, even though she was the most poplar novelist in France during her life time. Have you read her novels?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Sehnsucht or Longing, C.S. Lewis and the Welsh word Hiraeth



I first encountered the German word Sehnsucht which means "longing" in the writing of C.S. Lewis. To me this word and the emotion it alludes to are ... powerful, beautiful, wondrous, a beauty beyond what I could imagine. Elizabeth Camden wrote that Lewis described Sehnsucht as an inconsolable longing in the human heart “for which we know not what.”  It is a haunting sense of longing which Lewis first experienced in childhood and encountered throughout his life.  Sometimes the characters in his Chronicles of Narnia experience it, which he wrote about very evocatively. To my understanding these stabs of joy and longing are pointing us toward what we call heaven.


That longing draws me deeper in being a Christian, just as it draws countless others around the world and throughout different centuries. I feel sehnsucht when I see something that moves me beyond myself. I have put my hand on the trunk of an ancient redwood tree and felt a powerful connection to its age and perhaps a wisdom it has. Most days I stand on the shore and watch ocean waves and I find it comforting that the waves are endless, one after another. I feel God's power and his calm when I watch waves. "He hath made everything beautiful in its time" -- Ecclesiastes 3:11

Also "The heavens declare the glory of God" -- Psalm 19:1. For me the waves and the redwood declare the glory of God. Sehnsucht, such a beautiful longing.  By the way I read that it is pronounced ze.nzuxt. Blog friend Dori, is that correct? 

In Surprised by Joy, Lewis wrote about joy or sehnsucht that "All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still 'about to be' ." I see a look of longing and perhaps sehnsucht in the eyes of this dear dog.

On June 25 I am adding this note, thanking Chris and Liz Hinds for leaving comments about the Welsh word "hiraeth", which means a longing to return home to Wales. How beautiful to have a word describing your heart felt desire to return to Wales, the home of your heart. Also, Chris reminded me of the great movie "Shadowlands" about C.S. Lewis, and now I want to watch it again. I recommend it, and she said Shadowlands mentions "sehnsucht."

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Our gardens, poems, and the gardens of others


I think gardens and poems fit naturally together. Above is a bouquet from my garden.

Here is a quote I agree with: "I'd rather have roses in my garden than diamonds on my neck." Emma Goldman 1869-1940

"Bless the gardener who believes great things grow from small beginnings
appreciates sunshine and rain and the rhythm of the seasons
plows through troubles willing to get hands and knees dirty
remains grounded but keeps an eye on the sky
plants extra for birds to eat their fill
and never leaves us hungry." Mary Kolada Scott

Remember that you don't have to have a garden to enjoy flowers. I enjoy seeing my neighbors' flowers and shrubs change with the seasons and the years and I get gardening ideas when I visit gardens via your blogs.
Sweet Banquets
"You don't have to own 
your neighbor's garden
to enjoy its flowers 
and even the eyes of strangers
may feast upon the sweet banquets
of someone else's work." Hilda Lachney Sanderson