Sunday, January 19, 2020

New Bits and Bobs, Hail, Camel Saddle and More

Hi Friends, my previous post of bits and bobs had lots of readers and comments, so that inspired me to write this post. Your comments mean a lot to me.
When my younger son, Lane, put the Christmas decorations back in the attic he found my old camel saddle up there.
I bought it in the old bazaar in Old Jerusalem about 50 years ago. The seat is made of leather and the stuffing looks like hay. I wonder how to bring it back to a more gorgeous condition. First thing some leather conditioner.
It doesn't snow where we live but Jan. 16 I was very excited to hear a loud noise hitting our sky lights. It was hail. I ran outside and took some photos.
The above is our front yard. Below are two closeups of hail. This is an exciting event for this California girl. I grew up in Wisconsin and still miss snow, and watching the Packers at Lambeau Stadium.
Next is a photo of Bounce's favorite toy, a Christmas gift already in need of sewing repairs. I call this little lamb Baa Baa. I sewed up two holes in its side but Bounce has already made another hole and there is stuffing all over the living room rug. Also one of the squeakers inside the lamb flew out, which is when I knew I needed to sew Baa Baa.

Next is a page from the book we are reading in Bible study, Discovering Joy in Philippians. Did you know that the words joy and rejoice appear 18 times in Philippians? It is amazing that Paul wrote this to encourage Christians while he was imprisoned in Rome, under harsh conditions, and knowing he faced a death penalty. The book we are reading has about 12 book marks to color in it, in separate pages at the back. You can see some coloring I did.

Have a beautiful day friends. I am fasting today all day Sunday in prep for a medical procedure Monday. It is one doctors want oulde people (that is me) to have done every five years. My dad signed his letters to me "ye oulde dad" so I kinda like that spelling.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020 is really here! Some Bits and Bobs

  • "All of us invent ourselves. Some of us just have more imagination than others. " Quote by Cher, living legend. This is the January 2 page on the daily calendar I bought for myself and also for my niece, and the calendar is titled "Wild Words from Wild Women".
  • My January aim is to buy no books in bookstores or online in January, because I have hundreds of books on my TBR (to be read) shelves, enough to last me for many years. So far I am keeping this resolution.
  • I am reading "Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles and "Miss Budge in Love" by Daphne Simpkins, a Kindle book.
  • In the first week of January I went to a movie theater and saw "Little Women" and enjoyed it immensely. I was very happy to be in a theater and plan to do that many more times in 2020. Number of times I saw a movie in a theater in 2019, Zero. I bought bottled water and buttered popcorn, our local Indie theater uses real butter. I read that theaters make their money not on the movies but on the food. I am picky about what films I watch and will have to keep a look out for good films when they are in town. Give me suggestions!

  • On December 21 a friend and I saw "The Nutcracker Ballet" by our local ballet company. It was accompanied by a 52 piece orchestra. I have seen the production about 15 times. It is always new, colorful and upbeat. In 2017 I bought a sparkly red nutcracker there to add to my collection, which is in the photo above.
  • I am still praying asking God to send rain to put out the raging bush fires in Australia. I am so worried about the people, the trees, and the wildlife. The poor little koalas can't run fast. Also I am praying that rain will end the severe droughts in South Africa, Zimbabwe and other African countries. 
  • Women's Bible studies begins January 16 and the book we will use is "Discovering Joy in Philippians". It has book marks to color in it and suggestions for creativity. We like studies that are fun and not severe sombre activities.  Usually about 30 women show up and we divide into groups of around eight ladies.
These bits and bobs are getting rather extensive. I hope 2020 will be a joyful year for all of us.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas to All

I do love the Christmas season and hope yours is Merry.
"I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10-11
"And this will be the sign to you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12
This is what makes Christmas so meaningful to me and to Christians around the world.
Below is my nativity snow globe which plays "O Holy Night." I had been wanting a snow globe for a few years and purchased this in 2018 for that Christmas. I keep it out all year.

Joy to All.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Our new Christmas Angel is Flying Our Way

Our new Christmas Angel above is flying our way. Isn't she lovely?
I ordered her today online.
I am sad to retire our 20 year old angel but I noticed scorch marks around her lights, so it sounds dangerous. I will keep her and display her but not plugged in. Quite a few of you blog friends have commented on her being retired, and I realized, I am retired too. Now she (we) can sit back and enjoy the season.
Here is our graceful older angel below.
Lane brought over our beautiful tree. He went to three Christmas tree sales places, then went back to the second one and made the purchase. He also used a kit and made an ornament with Bounce's footprints on it.
The first two ornaments I put on the tree were Bounce's above and one that Colt gave me in church yesterday. His neighbor is short on money so sold ornaments she paints and he bought five. They are very pretty. He also bought one and gave it to my friend Carole in church. That was the first time he met her. The one I chose, below, has a cute whiskered gnome and a mushroom on it.

Our new Christmas angel arrived 3 days after I ordered her so today she is at home on the top of our tree. This Sunday Dec. 15 we will have a Christmas party at church with a white elephant gift exchange. You do NOT buy a gift, but bring something from your house that you don't want and wrap it up to exchange. I think then after you open your gift anyone can claim it. It sounds entertaining and I will let you know how it goes. Plus everyone brings food to share, I am buying a fruit tart to bring. The party will be after the first service, in our Bible study group, usually 20 people show up, but lots more might come for this gathering.
I am excited about this holy season and church is a great preparation for it, full of lights and joy. I hope your December is a good one.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Tea bags contain plastic, corruption in project to protect Venice

Here are some things I am mulling over recently.

Venice and that screwed up Mose Project, that is being built to protect Venice from severe high water conditions. The Mose Project is far from completion and has a huge cost overrun, now looking like costing $8 Billion dollars. The project began in 2003 and completion date is pushed back to 2023. It is a series of gigantic gates that are meant to rise from the sea floor and protect Venice in time of need, but thus far they can't get the gates to rise. The metal parts are very corroded from being submerged in the sea for three years and mussels and other sea creatures are causing damage to the hinges too. Thus far the gates don't work.
In contrast, the Netherlands built a huge project recently for a mere $500,000,000 dollars, it took only 5 years to complete and it works. Maybe some Dutch engineers could fix the Mose Project?
Did you know that Mose Project is dogged by massive corruption? A former mayor of Venice and 35 other people were arrested. This failure of Italy really bothers me because Venice is a world treasure.
Will the project ever be successfully built?
Above are my favorite new kitchen utensils. This kind of infuser is easy to use and to clean and the mesh is fine to hold in most tea.

Tea in Tea Bags
Did you read the article in the Washington Post on September 27, 2019, about how almost all tea bags are sealed with polyproplene, a sealing plastic glue, and when we steep the tea in hot water, microplastic particles get into the tea we drink? These tea bags each release billions of plastic particles into our tea, researchers at McGill University found and a quote from a researcher is "Some of the particles, she noted, would be small enough to potentially infiltrate human cells." I want to see more research on this. Maybe these researchers are wrong!
So when the paper tea bags are "crimped" a plastic glue is used. You can understand that regular glue might not hold up when immersed in hot water. Also some "silkie" tea bags higher end companies use, and that I often buy, are not made of silk but of Plastic. Who wants to immerse tea in a plastic bag and end up drinking plastic microparticles?
So I have switched to bulk tea and tea infusers which work wonderfully well. I am using up my tea in tea bags by cutting open the bag and putting the tea into an infuser, and brewing it that way.
There are tea companies that do not use plastic glue or plastic tea bags. Clipper, Teapigs and Pukka Herbs do not use plastic. Some tea companies fold the paper bags and tie them with a thread. That sounds a lot healthier.
Good news is that most tea companies are hurrying to eliminate this problem and moving quickly to fold and tie the paper tea bags with string, so sealant is not needed.
What shocking news about the pleasure of drinking tea.
Still, if we use bulk tea we can avoid that problem.
Here is some delicious bulk tea I bought recently. It was harvested in spring of 2019 and I like that they tell you when it was harvested. The tea is grown in India and the company is run by a young man in his twenties.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to One and to All

I love the colors, markings and variety of fall pumpkins and squash. So pretty.
Happy Thanksgiving to One and to All, in the USA and around the world, may your day be blessed.
Remember to pause and count some blessings.
My sons and I are gathering for a feast at my house on Thanksgiving Day. It involves little cooking for me, yay. This is the third year I am buying a smoked turkey that a BBQ restaurant spends hours smoking, the guys there work all night and earn a big tip for their hard work. My younger son will pick up the turkey for us on the day and we will eat right away when he arrives with the bird. The restaurant only makes 30 of the turkeys so I get my order in early.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

I am a confessed bookaholic, new purchases finally allowed

Yes, I have rather happily admitted to being a bookaholic for decades, along with my darling husband, Will. I tested my will power recently by declaring a book buying moratorium for all of October and I sort of succeeded. My rules were no online book buying and no going into a book store and buying.

I did let myself get free books from my near by Little Free Library, buy cheap books from the Goodwill book store and buy inexpensive ebooks that BookBub offered to me. After all, I AM hooked on books.
So today in this new month I went to our local book store, spent my $11 buyers club credit there and bought two books in mystery series. Dying Fall by Elly Griffith, I read the first four in the series. Murder in the Marais by Cara Black. I got three free novels in this second series from a Little Free Library but wanted to start with the first in the series.

Then I ordered Elizabeth Berg's Still Happy : Includes The Book of Homer (collection of her Facebook posts and Homer is a tribute to her beloved dog who recently died) and Funny Side: 101 Humorous Poems, edited by Wendy Cope. From what I can tell she wrote all the poems which is what I am hoping, as I read about Cope on Weaver of Grass' blog.
Two on my next buying spree are Leif Enger's Virgil Wander (I love this author) and The Second Coming by Walker Percy (I've read good things about him.). Also I will buy Anthony Trollope's The Bertrams. I have read about 28 of his fabulous novels.
I think my career choice of librarian suits me!
Do you ever self impose a ban on acquiring more books? Or other things you like?
What are your favorite recently purchased books or favorite new item?