Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Tea With The Dames, lavash for lunch, sunflowers

I don't post often about food, since cooking for one is not that interesting to me, but I discovered Lavash recently, a flatbread, just bought it on a whim. It seems to stay fresh longer than a loaf of bread, about a week. I cover it with grated cheese, tomatoes from my garden, taco sauce, put it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and then roll it up and eat it. Yum. Nice with olives and an avocado on the side. The traditional way to enjoy lavash is to spread it with cream cheese and add things like sliced ham and lettuce before rolling it up.
Above is a native penstemon, which is purple with undercurrent of blue. There are 4 different purple native penstemon, some with a white throat. My five plants are all purple and bees and butterflies and people like them.
After a decade of dropping cable and not watching much TV I have discovered the delights of streaming channels. I subscribe to Hulu and recently watched the documentary Tea with the Dames. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright and Eileen Atkins (she is Aunt Ruth in Doc Martin which I am watching). I found it delightful as the four actresses shared laughs and career highlights and family and husband moments. Some of the laughs are bawdy. Other Hulu favorite shows for me are Blackish, New Tricks and Elementary.

Below is another photo of the penstemon with some of my new bottle bush plants on the left. I had 11 bottle brush planted on both sides of my driveway and they are the kind that only grow to 3 or 4 feet tall, which is what I wanted. Many bottle brush grow to 6 or 8 or even 10 feet tall and all are gorgeous when covered with their red flowers.
And my neighbors faithfully plant many sunflowers from seed each year and the flowers are blooming now.
I thank their perseverance because last year they barely had any plants survive an onslaught by squirrels and birds as the squirrels dug up the seeds and birds ate the seedlings. Last year they kept planting more seeds and even put netting over the planting area to little avail. This year the sunflowers are back and didn't bloom til September and they are very welcome.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Bits and Bobs

Here is a gathering of recent photos I took.
Above are some heart shaped leaves I found while walking Bounce. The tree is tall, maybe 40 feet tall, and healthy and had been trimmed so there are leaves on the ground. I wonder if it is a type of eucalyptus. The leaves I gathered that are in my photo look like they are made of bronze; one friend said they look like they are made of gold.

Can you see how big these zucchinis are? I put a pair of garden gloves on top of the pile to show the scale. My friend uses large zucchinis for baking, but I don't. I am sorry I let these get too big. I only planted one green and one yellow zucchini but I am not keeping up with them, obviously.
My very old cement sun bird feeder; I like to photograph this and the volunteer nasturtiums that climb up to it.
Two words new to me that I like the sound of, and that I found in a UK blogger's post this week:
I hope they aren't rude!
I decided to look them up online and they meant what I thought, faffing is doing something slowly, taking your own sweet time, not in a rush. Like faffing about in my garden.
Pootling means moving leisurely without a plan or goal or time frame, like pootling about on a country walk or drive. and seeing what you find. British friends, if I am on the wrong track with these definitions let me know.
Do you like the waterfall cascade effect of these orchids? This orchid is a prolific and dependable bloomer and I bought it for a low price at a big chain food store, Safeway. I am pleased with it. I have six orchids in my kitchen in front of an east facing window.
Here is a closeup of Mary who continues to reign in my garden bringing a peace with her. I used money from payment for a garden article I wrote decades ago, it seemed an appropriate way to spend the money.
So now, if you are like me, let's take some time to do some garden or library faffing and then pootle around the neighborhood. I think dogs are the kings and queens of faffing and pootling and they can teach us well. Be sure and wave if you see me.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Happy Birthday to my darling Will, I miss you

My husband Will would have been 72 on this his birthday, on August 27. My words are not able to convey how much I miss him, so I include here the profound words to Death Is Nothing At All

Original version read as a sermon upon the death of King Edward VII
Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Everything remains exactly as it was.
I am I, and you are you,
and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.
Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just round the corner.

All is well.
Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Bounce sitting on Will's memorial bench that we donated to the park near our house, where we can sit and watch the skateboard park and children's swings. Can you see the rose made of straw left there by an unknown person? The bench says "Bike Adventures" and has a bike carved into the back. That was my man!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Feeling Blue, Give P.G. Wodehouse novels a try

I think that if you read Plum, as P.G. Wodehouse's friends and readers call him, his words will give you many cheerful heart moments. I find that his world of silliness is a good one to enter. If you are feeling down, or even already cheerful, read a Plum novel for laughter. Good news is that he wrote about 90 novels.
"It is impossible to be unhappy while reading the adventures of Jeeves and Wooster. And I've tried." -- Christopher Buckley.
Wodehouse is known for his Jeeves and Wooster books, and Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie did a brilliant job acting in the TV series "Jeeves and Wooster". So funny to me and to many.
Here are covers of some representative titles. My favorite Plum novel might be "The Code of the Woosters." I gave a copy to our minister when he left on a sabbatical; I have seen that being a minister is a very tough job and laughter can be applied as needed.
I find I can turn to any page in a Wodehouse book and find humor. Here is one random snippet from page 2 of My Man Jeeves. "After this," I (Wooster speaking to Jeeves) said, "not another step for me without your advice. From now on consider yourself the brains of the establishment."
"Very good, sir, I shall endeavor to give satisfaction."
And he has, by Jove! I'm a bit short on brain myself; the old bean would have appeared to have been constructed more for ornament than for use, don't you know; but give me five minutes to talk the thing over with Jeeves and I'm game to advise anyone about anything."
Another fabulously funny series is the Blandings Castle books featuring Lord Emsworth, not the brightest guy around, and his devotion to his prize winning pig, The Empress. See above photo, Uncle Fred in the Springtime, on the cover is the Empress taking a bath. Just the character names alone bring me smiles, uncle Fred is the Fifth Earl of Ickenham and he dependably drags his nephew Pongo Twistleton into trouble and somehow they survive.
Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that "A cheerful heart is good medicine".
Here is our esteemed author himself, living in the USA.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Visit With My Niece Who Drove From Seattle

My niece moved to Seattle from Connecticut this year and drove to hang out with her two cousins (my sons) and me. She brought KittyDog with her and great fun was had by all.
That first night she came to my house at five p.m., we chatted and got a reservation for dinner. We got the best spot in the restaurant, on the second story roof, with a view of our downtown and the tourist trolley.
My Bounce, Elizabeth's Kittydog,Elizabeth and my sons walking along the ocean near my house.
If you walk to your right from my house there is a beach at the end of the walk. The beach looked pretty with lots of colors from the sun tents, umbrellas and beach toys and swim suits and towels, and kites flying overhead.
Above is Elizabeth and her Kittydog relaxing on my new flagstone seating area.
Kittydog at my house waiting for his mommy to come out and play. I think he weighs 7 pounds, more or less. He has soft silky fur and is a quiet guy and I think Elizabeth said he is a Havanese.

Another view of the rooftop restaurant, E and my younger son. Bye Elizabeth and come back soon!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Catnip High and Fluffy

See the little bits of green catnip? My sister grows the catnip and so it is fresh and organic. Fluffy looks a bit insane in the top photo.
Fluffy is sure enjoying herself. Some cats don't care for it, and my dog sure doesn't.
Have a great day friends.

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!