Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Up from the ashes, Hope will arise

 

Above are the Asiatic lilies on my kitchen table. Do flowers give you as much joy as they give me? 

Amidst all the poor and sometimes hazardous air quality in California, Oregon and Washington, and the dark or weirdly yellow skies, I found hope attending church this Sunday. Here are some of the lyrics to a song we sang:

"Up from the ashes, Hope will arise

Death is defeated, the King is alive.

Hallelujah. 

I will watch the darkness flee."

Whenever I hit the "enter" key to create another line in blogger, it insists on a double space line. I only want a single space. Do you know how to fix that? 

Marcia asked if we all wear masks when attending church and YES we all do. We have indoor, outdoor, and online streaming of our services. I attend outdoors, we are in chairs six feet apart and are all wearing masks. Indoors they do something to clean the air before each service, we have two services each Sunday. I also went to an outdoor memorial service during the week at our church, with the same precautions. I love being outdoors. I still am cautious about being indoors for shopping or for any reason. I shopped for food Saturday at 7:45 a.m., almost no other shoppers, I wore mask and gloves! What about you all?

Monday, September 7, 2020

Dragon and Hearts in a Tree



My neighbor's dragon. It is gorgeous and the head is about 5 feet across. I think it is chomping on some plants. Below is another discovery on my walk with Bounce; two hearts in a tree. The tree was recently pruned and the pruning yielded these amazing hearts with a reddish color.


I think I should title this post Dragon Hearts. That sounds like a fantasy novel I might read. 

The fires in my county and the neighboring county are 54 percent contained, which is good news. However, much of California is having a heat wave starting Sunday Sept. 6, and our state is very dry. Good news is that two of my best friends are allowed back home after their evacuation and their homes are safe and sound. Our God is Mighty to Save.

I have been happily attending church outside on recent Sundays, we are all required to wear masks. One recent Sunday we did not have church at church because we were caring for 50 evacuees, from the area fires. They slept at our church, we fed them, etc. so church was online only one Sunday. Now many/most evacuees are home, thank goodness.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Princess Fluffy and Wild Fires Near My House

 

My relaxed kitty, the first photo is after I took the second photo where she is closer to being asleep. In the first photo she is half awake and looking at me.
Wild Fires Near My House. Smoke and white ashes in the air. 
Added note on Sept. 4. As of September 4, there are 925 homes destroyed in the county I live in, most of them were country homes nestled in lovely spots among trees. 
I posted the two photos of Fluffy automatically yesterday, that post was set ahead of time. I did not get Internet restored to my house until late yesterday. 120 people already read this post before I was able to add this note about the wild fires. In my area of California almost 400 homes are destroyed, and several of my best friends are evacuated from their homes, and I am safe at home and not evacuated. My sons are in their homes too. The air quality sometimes is rated as hazardous so I stay inside with windows closed. Lots of white ash from the fires has fallen all over outside. I have two apps on my cell phone AirNow and AirVisual which tell the air quality for where I live. No walks these past few days for me and Bounce. 
When I drove my car I had to wash off all the ash first so I could see through the windshield. From zero percent containment of the fires they are now 29 percent contained (50 percent contained as of Sept. 4), a great direction to be going in. The fires were caused by lightning strikes all over California, in a storm with no rain, just lightning and dry tinder. It is very nerve wracking to be stuck at home, and on alert for potential evacuation. I have a suitcase packed with essentials. I am optimistic that the fires are being contained and am praying for rain, for our city to stay safe and for my friends' homes to be safe so they can return to them. Anyway, just wanted to say hi to you all, friends both near and far, and let you know what is going on here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Painting rocks and a frog

I've been feeling a bit blah with my routines, so chose an artistic outlet. I am painting rocks and it is so fun. I don't think about anything else when I am painting, which is a good thing.
The rocks are not completed so I will post photos when I have completed painting some. The main one you can see in this photo has a butterfly I painted on it. I am holding some Acrylic Paint pens which worked very nicely. I don't know much about paints so scouted around on blogs, etc. for info. I also ordered some matte finish acrylic paints and paint brushes; the paints are designed for outdoor projects. I used the paints on this project below. The frog welcome sign was completely faded after 20 years of being in my garden.

He used to be a bright happy green. So I painted him with my new paint set. See how he turned out below. My next step is to paint on Duraclear Gloss Varnish, which is meant for outdoor use and is soap and water cleanup. This varnish is applied by brush which probably wastes less and is kinder to our planet and the air than a spray. The paint set I bought is FolkArt Gloss Acrylic Paint Outdoor and the acrylic paint pens are Flyset Graffiti. All the paints are soap and water cleanup.
Have you taken on a new hobby? In these times of many of us staying home for long hours, a new activity is very absorbing and diverts my attention from worry to enjoyment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

John Lewis' moving words, Lights and mirrors in my house

The above fairy lights give a warm glow in the living room, even on a summer overcast day. The lights are round bulbs about an inch across. They stay cool to the touch and I can turn them on and off using my iPhone and the Wyze app. That is a nice touch because I don't have to reach down to plug and unplug the lights.
Above is my new kitchen dining mirror which was to be installed in March 2020 but then the coronavirus struck, and when our city let many businesses open in June I had it installed. I was concerned about workers coming in but the two men wore masks and entered the kitchen from the side gate, so were only in the kitchen. They were in the house about an hour and a half.
I am sharing below some moving words from John Lewis, American hero and Civil Rights leader, who died July 17 of this year. He will be missed. I was in the Civil Rights movement in college and my best friend and I founded  the campus group dedicated to action and change in that arena. I recall we even wrote to another leader, Stokely Carmichael, when he was in jail in the south, and we asked him to join us in a march in the north. He didn't answer, understandably he was busy. Any blog friends active in the movement?
Here are John Lewis' words:
“Anchor the eternity of love in your own soul and embed this planet with goodness. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates. Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won. Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice. And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.” John Lewis


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Shark eggplant, humor, church birdhouse, Julia Child rose

This looks like shark eggplant to me with the shark fin on top. It tasted good in a spaghetti sauce.
After live streaming church on Sunday Bounce and I walked to a Little Free Library to give them a C.S. Lewis book and saw that a neighbor had two birdhouses out with a sign that said "free." This one was meant for me, as it is a church. A very appropriate Sunday morning of church, C.S. Lewis and a church birdhouse! The birdhouse is old, wooden, and made by hand which makes it that much more lovable.
My Julia Child rose above is in full bloom again, it rested for a couple of weeks. I  did the hard work of cutting off all the old spent blossoms and the rose bush burst into another yellow sensation.
I found these two funnies on Oddball Observations blog  Oddball Observations


Poor sad baggage might need some therapy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Bounce, Fluffy, movie Edie, Melaleuca tree

Fluffy Kitty and Mr. Bounce taking a nap together on Bounce's favorite sofa spot.
Above is before I woke them and called to them so they would look at me. What is going on around your house in these days of Covid-19? Yesterday my book club met on Zoom, eleven of us, and we each reviewed one book, so I got some reading ideas. I shared The Warden by Anthony Trollope, I do love that book! I enjoyed all 27 of Trollope's novels that I have read thus far, out of the 47 he wrote, bless his heart. He wrote in the 1850s through the 1880s.
Above are my son Lane and Bounce enjoying the shade under the canvas awning Lane bought and put up for me.
I am standing in the kitchen when I took this photo of our new canvas awning on our back patio.
This is me under the awning, I am rather dark in the shade.
Melaleuca quinquenervia tree in my neighborhood, AKA broad-leaved paperbark. I learned that it is an invasive problem tree in the Florida Everglades and an important tree for wildlife in its native Australia. It is pretty with its soft white cloud like flowers.
Above is a close up of the Melaleuca flowers, a bit blurry, but you can see the flowers are attractive.

I watched a good movie today titled Edie. The main characters are Edie, a spry 84 year old widow, a young man she meets named Jonny, and the wild hills of Scotland.  Edie is played by Sheila Hancock and Jonny is played by the handsome Kevin Guthrie. Guthrie is in the new TV series, An English Game,  which I aim to watch. After short opening filming in London, where her daughter has Edie set to enter assisted living, all the filming is done in Lochinver, Scotland. Edie attempts to fulfill her long ago dream of hiking up Mt. Suilven. I recommend this movie. What beautiful scenery in the hills of Scotland and a story that is meaningful to me, about aging, looking back on life, and going ahead to try an adventure.