Saturday, July 7, 2018

Kitchen improvements, new counter, sink, dishwasher

The new kitchen counter is installed, hurray. I have the use of my kitchen again. The counter is quartz Silestone, Kona Beige. I decided to have the back splash of the same stone. I had the counter extended to include my built in dishwasher so the counter is longer. Soon I will paint the white strip at the end of the counter.
I kept the solid wood cabinets which my husband painted. The roses are from my Bonica Floribunda rose bush, which is about six feet wide and six feet tall and I planted it in 1998. The sink is an undermount, something I had not heard of before designing the area. It means the stone overhangs the sink edges so it is easy to clean the counter. The sink is extra deep and my dog can swim laps in it, almost. Not really, 3 inches deep water is plenty deep; he likes baths.
This is a closeup of the Kona Beige counter which shows the pattern. I am taking a needed rest from kitchen and home improvements. Next up is a new wall oven, but not yet. Time to chillax, as they say.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday Beloved USA

God Bless America and let's stand strong.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Books I needed to buy, well I wanted to buy

Sometimes I find I simply must buy a certain book, which many of you dear blog friends can relate to.

Here are the tomes I recently acquired.
Laughing in the Dark by Chonda Pierce. I recently discovered her stand up comedy and watched her "Laughing in the Dark" show. She is so cute, that is how I describe her. Irrepressible humor, yet in that special comedy show there were sad undercurrents. Her marriage became difficult, her husband died and she is completely estranged from her daughter. Whew. Yet Chonda gets up on stage and entertains in a charming way. This book was published in 2007, before all the above mentioned heart break, and is about Chonda coping with depression while being hard at work as a Christian comedienne.

The World According to Bertie by Alexander McCall Smith.
I enjoyed the third book in the series so much that I bought this one, the fourth in the series. Bertie is 6 years old. Angus Lordie's dog Cyril has been taken away by the authorities, and is accused of being a serial biter. I have not read this book but must insist, Cyril is innocent. The first book in the series is 44 Scotland Street. These books bring me happiness when reading them. I found stashed away in my to be read shelves book two in the series "Espresso Tales" which I am reading now. Bertie's mom is quite horrid, in my opinion. His first day in a new school she insists the embarrassed Bertie wear strawberry colored overalls; she runs every aspect of his life, and pries into his thoughts as she quizzes the psychiatrist she makes Bertie see. I am cheering for Bertie, he is a smart little boy.

Finding God's Blessings in Brokenness: How Pain Reveals His Deepest Love by Charles F. Stanley.
I read about this book on a blog. One thing that attracted me is that this book has stunning photographs of nature illustrating it. I bought the hard cover so I can enjoy the photographs and I think the price was a bargain. The hardcover was one penny less than the ebook.

Southern Fried Divorce: A Woman Unleashes Her Hound and His Dog in the Big Easy by Judy Conner.
A blogger wrote that this is the funniest book she has read in her life and who could resist buying that? It is a "true story" and I look forward to reading it. She calls her ex-husband "That X" and he is definitely a bad boy. One day in June he surprised her with two Christmas gifts; a pistol and a puppy.
These four more books are on my to read shelves.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Poem for Anthony Bourdain and others who died by suicide

I felt sad when I read that Kate Spade died of suicide and then that Anthony Bourdain also died of suicide.
In Bourdain's last blog post, in 2016, in remembrance of the poet Jim Harrison, Bourdain posted this poem written by Harrison.
The moon comes up.
The moon goes down.
This is to inform you that I didn't die young.
Age swept past me but I caught up.
Spring has begun here and each day
brings new birds up from Mexico.
Yesterday I got a call from the outside
world but I said no in thunder.
I was a dog on a short chain
and now there's no chain.

That last sentence really speaks to me and breaks my heart.
Please if you are in trouble, call 911 or a similar number in other countries, for help.
Someone I know did call 911 and the police came to her door, took her to treatment for 72 hours, and she is alive and well, several years later. Someone else I know and loved did not call for help and is gone, so this idea of loss by suicide is close to my heart. I will always wonder and be sad that they did not seek professional help or ask for my help.
This is the photo of the sky near my house that I came up with for this post:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Arboretum plants and sculpture

June 11 I took a walk in the arboretum at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Here are some highlights of a sculpture made from eucalyptus branches and photos of plants from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and of succulents.
It looks like a lion's mane to me. What do you think?
The above shows the back and side. The first three photos below are of orange and of yellow Leucospermums from South Africa.
The above photos are of plants native to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and the last two are of succulents. I plan to go back and write down the artist's name and plant names and add them to this post. I accidentally published this post today when I meant to save it and post at a later date after I found more plant names. Still, the plants are very pretty and speak for themselves.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Pink Sky petunia and kitchen remodel begins

An impulse buy at the garden store; I like the pink with splashes of white on the petals, a Headliner Pink Sky petunia.
I am buying a new quartz kitchen countertop. This is a long project with many steps; I visited 3 stores to look at samples, brought home about ten samples and eventually selected the one I want. Last week a handyman who is highly recommended came over, worked all day, built a cabinet for a new built in dishwasher, put in the dishwasher (not connected yet), removed the old counters, old sink, gas cook top and installed a new gas turn off under the stove top.
Above is the old counter top, can you see the scratch marks and faded areas after 65 years of use? I have lived in this house since 1984 and the light grey marble like marks on the formica type counters have faded to white in some areas from years of cleaning.
Above is the empty place where the kitchen counter used to be.
Above is another photo of where the counter was.
Two days later the templater came over and exactly measured the dimensions for the counter, and then the company will adjust the cost estimate. I told him to add in a back splash about 5 inches high of the same quartz. Yes, the person who came is called a templater, a job I had not heard of before. He must measure so accurately because they cut the stone at their location and the counter needs to fit, and they also need to cut out for the stove top and for the undermount sink.
I showed these samples before, here they are again. I chose the one in the upper left corner, called Kona Beige. The stone will be 1 and 1/8 inch thick and will need precision cutting as the slabs are huge.
The counters will be one solid piece of stone, not tiles as the samples are. Actually my kitchen cabinets are a U shape so there will be three stone slabs. This is happening step by step as each part in the process is completed. Meanwhile of course I have no kitchen counters, kitchen sink or stove top. I look forward to the new counters. They estimate they will install the counter in two weeks. I am waiting for their phone call to work out some refinements of my order and to hear the cost.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Decades Ago, Horses, Camping, Bedouin Camel Races

My sister and I riding horses, in 1955 or thereabouts. I adored horses, didn't most young girls? When I rode at the local riding stable the guide there was a young guy named Shorty, who rode his own horse. I was shocked to learn one day that Shorty sold his horse and bought a motorcycle. Things change.
My mom and dad loading up the family car for our annual camping trip. I love that family car, quite classy. My sister and I grew close to nature on those trips.
I saw camel races by Bedouins outside of Jericho, Jordan, during Easter week in 1966. I was attending college that year in Istanbul and my friend Carol and I traveled to Jerusalem, Jericho. Petra and Beirut at Easter.