Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All

Originally uploaded by bernardoh

This is a stained glass window of the Holy Family from a church in Australia.
It captures the color and joy I hope you are all having this Christmas season.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Our Christmas Tree and Nutcracker Collection

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to All My Blog Friends, Both Near and Far.
Here is our Christmas tree for 2012, all decorated and purty, and most of our wooden nutcracker collection.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Comfort of His Love

Close-up of baby Jesus
Originally uploaded by wrenoud

The Comfort of His Love

A baby was born in a manger
While a bright star shone down from above
And the world learned the depths of God's mercy
And the comfort and strength of His love.
May the thought of that long ago Christmas
And the meaning it's sure to impart,
Bring a wonderful message of comfort
And a deep new peace to your heart.
   poem by Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

St Clare and waiting for the King of Angels

St Clare
Originally uploaded by Lawrence OP

O marvelous humility

O astonishing poverty

The King of angels

The Lord of heaven and earth

is laid in a manger.

The above was written by Saint Claire of Assisi in a letter to Agnes of Prague.

Saint Claire is also spelled Clare and her life was fascinating; she lived from July 16, 1194 to August 11, 1253.

Her father was a count and her mother very religious, and her father wanted her to be married at age 15. She postponed marriage to age 18 when she met Saint Francis of Assisi, and Claire became his first female follower.

Following her death the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, today often called the Poor Clares.

Her words (above) are perfect for this Christmas season as we await the birth of the King of Angels.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharing the Christmas Story with Kiddoos

I took this photo of our tree in 2010, and like the way the sunlight is illuminating it.

These following ideas were in a recent email newsletter my church sent out, and I added some of my own at the end of this post.
This Christmas we suggest families spend some time together and hear the REAL reason for giving and celebrating at Christmas. During the entire month of December, break the Christmas story into small segments in this suggested way:

A Savior King is Promised - Read Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5; Micah 5:2-5a
The Angel Visits Mary - Read Luke 1:26-38
The Trip to Bethlehem and Stable - Read Luke2:1-7
The Christ Child is Born - Luke 2:6-7
The Angel Visits the Shepherds - Luke 2:8-14
The Shepherds Visit the Manger - Luke 2:15-18
The Wise Men Travel to Jerusalem - Matthew 2:1-8
The Wise Men Worship the Christ Child - Matthew 2:9-12
The Trip to Egypt - Matthew 2:13-15

Make the story come alive, don't just read it from your Bible, but tell it with your Bible by your side. Don't be afraid to stop and discuss something if your child seems confused or is having a hard time understanding. Ask questions while you are telling the story. This could be the start of a new tradition for your family, or a new way of celebrating the season. Any way you do it, the entire family will be blessed.

An idea of my own I like to do is to have the kiddoos move the pieces of our nativity set as we read the above Scriptures.  So at one point the stable is there but has only sheep and cattle in it, and then it fills up as Joseph and Mary and their donkey arrive and Jesus is born, an angel appears, and the shepherds and wise men arrive.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Writing Thank You Notes

write you a song
Originally uploaded by Allie Holzman

Tis the time to think about the holidays approaching and giving and receiving gifts.

I am a big fan of teaching children to write thank you notes on real cards that they put in the mail. Paper thank you notes, phone calls, and emails are all appreciated, especially from one adult to another.

Yes, email thank yous have their place but there is a lot to be said for paper cards. It is very charming to receive a thank you note in the mail from a child.

We keep them for a while, put them where they can be seen as reminders of a child's thoughtfulness, and it takes a bit more time and has a cost, as opposed to email.

When my kiddoos were little I kept a stack of thank you cards at hand, and I still do, for me to use.

They can sign their name to a store bought card or draw a picture on a plain piece of paper.

Here is the quote I read that got me started on this line of thought today.

"An email thank you note says that you care enough to do the very least." -- Jodi Smith of Mannersmith Etiquette.

I think that is humorous.

Don't get me wrong, I love receiving any thank you, whether a phone call, email or a snail mail card.

Still, I advocate teaching little 'uns to send cards in the mail.

My two cents worth, or three cents worth, adjusted for inflation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November vacation

Here are some photos and tidbits from our recent vacation to Point Reyes National Seashore, which is north of San Francisco.
Here is where we stayed. We enjoyed a private patio behind the bench and bushes which overlooks a pretty five acres and a creek, complete with wild deer and birds. Here I am standing on our deck.
Above are chairs lined up waiting for guests. I like the shadows on the path. We preferred sitting on this swing.
A November vacation can be a great and relaxing time, and this one lived up to its potential for us.

Here is a mural at a cute garden and lumber store in Point Reyes Station.
We visited a ranger station / natural history museum where we learned that Point Reyes Peninsula is NOT on the North American tectonic plate, but is on the adjacent plate and it is MOVING north heading to Alaska!
Above and below are photos of my husband and I "talking" to an elephant seal sculpture. Years ago we saw elephant seals in the wild, close up, and if they aren't moving they look like boulders. We walked past some, thinking they were boulders, and then one moved and we saw it was a gigantic elephant seal.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Terra counts her blessings from Buttercup

Thank you dear Buttercup Blog Friend Buttercup Counts Her Blessings for creating a Christmas / Chanukah gift list and including me in your list of 3. She bought gifts from we three (artist, candle maker and book author) to give to friends and family and I am honored and thrilled to be on her list.

Besides my books "Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms" and "Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts: Stories to Warm Your Heart and Tips to Simplify Your Holiday" Buttercup suggests the artist Marie at The Artful Heart and Rebecca and her candles at Hospitality Lane
I do like to support my fellow bloggers, and recently told you about blogger Wanda and her pretty notecards. I bought a dozen cards and they are being sent out to my friends and family.
Thanksgiving, then Chanukah and Christmas are on their way!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Good things in November

November has some fun aspects for me, and I hope, for you too, especially everyone in the wake of storm Sandy.

My husband and I went on an impromptu vacation in early November to Point Reyes National Seashore, and more about that in my next post.
Nove. 9 lunch to celebrate birthday of a friend. Three of us will treat her.
Nove. 19 lunch with 5 friends, three of us are retired and three of us are working.
Nove. 26 lunch with my Christian writers' group.
Thanksgiving with hubby and our sons.
Church every Sunday which is very joyful, especially the music.
Voting on Nove. 6 in the USA. I love the privilege of voting and very much hope my favored candidate wins.
Hey, all of these except church and voting involve food.
I exercise twice a week on a bike and in a pool and am increasing my workout levels, plus I walk for 30 minutes 4 days a week.
My husband took these photos in Connecticut.
What do you like about your November?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lamb Shanks inspired by Jamie Oliver

Who else admires Jamie Oliver, the fabulous British chef?
We love to watch any of his cooking and travel shows, and one recipe of his intrigued me, Lamb Shanks with Vegetables.
Here is a photo of the shanks and veg in their foil wrap, just after being baked in the oven.
I bought two lamb shanks from the local butcher ($7.00 each, one pound each), one leek, one red onion, 8 cloves of garlic, one large carrot. Next time I will use two carrots, they turned out delicious.
Each shank and veg will be cooked in its own foil wrap.
Rub each shank with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Cut the veg in to large pieces, take half of them and put them in the center of a large piece of aluminum foil, make a bowl shape of the foil, add the unpeeled garlic, add a shank and a half cup of white wine and seal it up very tight. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary with the veg. Cook for 2 1/2 hours on a baking sheet at 350 degrees.
Serve with a baked potato and yum is the word.
Jamie's recipe says finely slice the veg; I used big chunks. He uses a herb butter to stuff in the shanks, and I skipped that part. I also bought light sour cream and a fresh horseradish root, and my husband grated the horseradish, added lemon juice and salt and pepper for a nice side sauce for the lamb. That was the first time I bought horseradish root, and the first time we tried lamb shanks.
Here is a photo of Jamie Oliver and his website is Jamie Oliver

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn colors in violas

I know that you, my blog friends, live all around the world, with different seasons and climates, so some of you may wonder why I am planting flowers now. Well, my family lives in a temperate area of California, and some planting can be done in fall.
Fruit trees, trees of all kinds, and roses do well here when planted now.
This six pack of violas spoke to me in the garden store. Well, not in so many words, but they did beckon. They look very autumnal to me, with solid colors of white, orange and yellow.
Above is a photo of them still in their container straight from the store and I think they look like a fall bouquet already.

Then I planted a white viola in my frog planter and an orange one in my quail pot.
Still four more to find homes in our garden.
Are you planting? Or is your garden resting?

Saturday, October 13, 2012


sun in his fur
Originally uploaded by ilexxx

"My friend is not perfect - nor am I - and so we suit each other admirably." -- Alexander Pope

Friends are treasures, aren't they, both the fuzzy kind with 4 feet and our human pals too.

"Friendship cheers like a sunbeam; charms like a good story; inspires like a brave leader; binds like a golden chain; guides like a heavenly vision." -- Newell D. Hillis

Friday, October 12, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes book review

The Booksneeze.com group gave me a copy of this book, in return for me reviewing it. Their program is great; if you like to read Christian books and post reviews of them, visit their site and see if you want to sign up to receive books to read and review.

I wanted to read the book "Twelve Unlikely Heroes: How God Commissioned Unexpected People in the Bible and What He Wants To Do With You" because I want to learn more about some of the unlikely heroes in the Bible and this book filled me in on their stories.
This book gives hope to Christians who have doubts, flaws and difficulty on their walk in the Christian faith, as the author, John MacArthur, shares the stories of 12 unlikely heroes of Bible times. “Mark and Onesimus: a tale of two runaways”, “Esther: for such a time as this”, “Joseph: because God meant it for good”, “Gideon and Samson: stories of weakness and strength” are just a few of the chapters about regular people who became Bible heroes.
Many of these names like Jonah, Gideon, Miriam and Samson, are familiar to me but I only know a few snippets about these people. MacArthur tells us more fully about them and their exciting stories.
For example, Esther risked her life to go before the king who had set a date to exterminate the entire Jewish population in his kingdom. In Esther 4:16 she said “And so I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Esther succeeded in saving her people as she risked instant death in approaching the king.
MacArthur gives us the background stories on these people, and the stories show how God can use anyone to do his work, even these unlikely people and even us.

Friday, October 5, 2012

We don't have to shape up before approaching God

Happy Chinese New Year
Originally uploaded by Thai Jasmine (Smile..smile...Smile..)

These flowers are so pretty that they make me feel happy. On a recent Sunday our minister included this quote in his sermon.

"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every person which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus."

By Blaise Pascal, philosopher, mathematician, scientist and Christian

I agree with Pascal that nothing can fill this longing but God, made known through Jesus. We can buy 100 or 1,000 pairs of shoes like Imelda Marcos of the Philippines, or the cars and houses collected by foolish Hollywood stars, or the possessions owned by the bejeweled lady down the street, but without Jesus we are hollow people. Any light breeze can topple us if we have a vacuum within.

Another pearl from the sermon was how we don't have to shape up before approaching God. Flaws, addictions, imperfections galore, God welcomes each of us with open arms. My church, like many, emphasizes that you don't need to be a perfectly formed Christian to approach Jesus or to join us; all are welcome. We have a big ministry for people in recovery from all addictions, including drugs and alcohol and I love that all are welcome. Remember, Jesus broke many rules about who to spend time with, and he especially loved people who were condemned and shunned by strict rule observing Pharisees and religious leaders.

He loves you, and he loves me. Now that is worth celebrating. The flowers make me happy for a moment but we have the chance to be happy for eternity. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

And the winner of the book is ...

Originally uploaded by michaelsking

I used random.org to pick the winner of "365 Senior Moments You'd Rather Forget" by Karen O'Connor.
The winner is Hootin Anni.
I will visit her blog and look for a way to contact this Lucky Lady.
I found this dramatic photo of a mountain in Scotland on flickr.com.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book give away funny senior moments

I admit it, I am a woman "of a certain age", and this book made me laugh at funny senior moments O'Connor includes in it. Not that I personally have had  any senior moments, ha ha. 
I am giving away a copy of this book to one person who comments, and I use random.org to choose the winner. The copy I am giving away is a print copy.
Here is my review of this book:
A Laugh a Day
"365 Senior Moments You’d Rather Forget" by Karen O’Connor
You are sure to find some giggle worthy moments recounted in this book, and I suggest it as a gift for your friends and relatives who are of “a certain age” and who have a sense of humor about aging.
Here are a few moments O’Connor shares in the book:
“Depositing your to-do list in the ATM slot instead of a check.”
“Leaving your house key in the front door and then going to sleep feeling totally secure.”
Or this one “Writing a reminder note and then forgetting to read it.” Ha ha, this one could happen to me.
The book is only five inches tall and four inches across, a handy size for carrying in a purse to read while waiting for an appointment or for mailing to some lucky person.

So leave a comment for a chance to win. 
I will announce the winner on Oct. 2.
Here's a senior moment that happened to my friend years ago, that still makes me laugh. She was 80 at the time, and returned home from grocery shopping, put her groceries away and went on with her day. But she soon realized she could NOT find her car and house keys.
She searched high and low and no keys. Eventually she found her keys when she opened her freezer to take out food for dinner. She put the keys in the freezer, poor darling, and was happy to find them!
Chance for you to win, just leave a comment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Greek Festival and Evil Eye Beads

The Concept Studio
Originally uploaded by TutkuTokol

On Sunday my hubby and I enjoyed attending the Greek Festival given twice a year by the congregation of a local Greek Orthodox Church. Delicious food as always. We had moussaka, spanakopita and dolmas.
I treated myself at the festival and bought a bracelet that looks a bit like this one. I found this photo on Flickr.
The beads are the traditional blue and white in concentric circles beads that are worn to ward off the "evil eye."
People in Turkey and Greece put protective bracelets on babies and young children, and hang beads on vehicles and homes too.
The beads remind me of the year I lived in Turkey. I have a necklace and earrings that I bought in Turkey and now a bracelet too.
Do you attend festivals sometimes?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Beauty of Note Cards

Do you like to send snail mail cards and letters? Well, I do.
Sending real cards is falling out of fashion, but I think it is very meaningful. The recipient often displays and keeps the card on view. You purchase a card the recipient will like, or stationery, write some words from the heart, and mail it. I even buy pretty or funny stamps at the post office and add stickers to the notes. Stickers of  cats, lady bugs, butterflies, you know what I mean. My sister sent me stickers of cows which make me smile.
So when I found that my new friend in blogland makes pretty cards, I bought some from her.
Her name is Wanda at Got a Minute or Two blog Got a Minute or Two blog
Wanda paints flowers, jars, old trucks, hydrangeas, blueberries, butterflies and bouquets.

Friday, August 31, 2012

My treat to me, Andy Griffith Show

Hi Friends,
Do you ever give yourself a little treat?
I recently bought the DVDs for the entire first season of the Andy Griffith show.
I watched the first episode yesterday and loved it, and it has been many years since I watched the show, which began in 1960.
I found this 4 disc DVD set with 32 episodes on them,brand new for less than $15.00, such a good deal! You know I love a bargain. TV series had 32 episodes per season, back in the day.
TV actors and writers worked hard to create so many episodes in one season; years ago standard series cut back to 22 episodes, and now some series do very few shows each year.
Do you love Aunt Bee? I sure do, I want to hug her and taste her old fashioned cooking. I know it would be delicious. She is introduced in the first episode, and Opie did not like her at first. Aunt Bee could not play baseball with Opie, or go fishing or do other important things. He warms up to her soon enough.
I like how the shows often end with Andy and Opie and Aunt Bee on the porch, with Andy playing guitar and singing country tunes.
What is your favorite old time tv show?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips for writing moms

Hi Friends,
Jenny Sulpizio posted her interview with me today at JennySulpizio.com
We are both writers and moms, and write books for moms. I hope the interview will inspire moms to find the time to write; I do give some tips and encouragement in the interview. Plus the harsher realities of rejection and editors changing jobs.
This is the cover of my new book "Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Glory of the Garden

Gardening brings me joy and here is a poem and a quote from two famous writers and gardeners.

"For I hold that the best purpose of a garden is to give delight and to give refreshment of mind, to soothe, to refine, and to lift up the heart in a spirit of praise and thankfulness." Gertrudge Jekyll 1843-1932 from her book "Wood and Garden".

"Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders,
And when you back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden."
Rudyard Kipling 1865-1936, in his "The Glory of the Garden".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Parting The Red Sea of Tulips

Parting The Red Sea of Tulips | photo page - everystockphoto

I read on FaceBook yesterday about a site that provides free photos for blogs, everystockphoto.com so I went there and sure enough, they have lots of free photos for us. OK, more than lots, they have 16,000,000 photos.
So I grabbed this one of brilliant red tulips to share with you.
If you use the site's photos be sure to follow their rules of photo use.
I do use my own photos on my blog but sometimes its fun to browse and find something different.
Some of you take spectacular photos and won't need this source, but I will use it from time to time.
Happy viewing, all.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rainbow Radiance of God

IWV Rainbow
Originally uploaded by Averain

"Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking." Ezekiel 1:28
The minister in church today spoke about this verse, and to me it is a meaningful verse about how glorious God is.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter

Isn't Beatrix Potter a lovely writer and woman?
She was born July 28 in 1866, grew up in Victorian era London, in a well to do family, and died in 1943.
What I most admire about her is that she bought a small farm holding in the English Lake District in 1905, added properties to it until she owned and preserved 4,300 acres, which she left to the National Trust.
She saved many small farms and allowed the farmers to continue working the land, and saved all that property from development.
People can visit her charming home at Hill Top Farm.
Hill Top Farm
Of course I also love the delicate paintings she did and the stories she wove about Peter Rabbit, Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Mrs. Tittlemouse, Tommy Tiptoe, Flopsy and all their friends. The movie Miss Potter was excellent, and dealt with her early career and her relationship with her fiancee.
So happy birthday dear Ms. Potter.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fabulous historical fiction: Patrick O'Brian, Philippa Gregory, Hilary Mantel

Yes, friends, I read a lot of fiction, and historical fiction in particular.
I have found a giant among these novelists and his name is Patrick O'Brian. This is not just my wee opinion, since my husband concurs, and so does the New York Times, where I read that O'Brian is the greatest living historical fiction writer in the English language. Sadly O'Brian died a few years ago and we lost a genius of a man.
The first book in his series is "Master and Commander" and you may have seen and enjoyed the movie by that name, starring Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey and Paul Bettany as Stephen Maturin.
To me, the casting of these actors is Perfection.
The books are set in about 1800 to 1820 and cover Britain's wars at sea, and the life of the sailors as they venture around the globe on the King's business, to Chile, Africa, Europe and the South Seas, and also their time on land. Jack and Stephen each love very strong women.
My husband and I bought all 20 of the books, and I just completed reading "Letter of Marque", number 12 in the series. I am led to tell you that this volume is a high point to read. Jack is revealed as a truly noble man and refuses the "pardon" offered to him since he was an innocent man and not guilty.
Stephen Maturin is a complex man, a dedicated ship's surgeon and scientist, a spy at the highest levels, and a patriot following his convictions, and his love for a lady.
Now therein lies a tale.
Have you read this series? Do you admire it?

Another excellent writer is Philippa Gregory, and her books on the Tudor kings and queens, with my favorite thus far being "The Other Boleyn Girl", set in the court of Henry VIII. Now that was an exciting period, and this book covers a few of King Henry VIII's wives and the political intrigues. One thing that influenced this king to marry so often was the huge pressure for him to have a male heir.
I recently bought "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, about Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell and enjoyed it. Cromwell is a fascinating man and reviewers say things like "witty, arch, elegant, richly detailed."
Any historical fiction you recommend ?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Overlooked Potatoes

Can you see what is in the bowl?
I had to laugh at myself when I found these growing, since I overlooked some potato starts, and left them all neglected in a spare room.
They just HAD to grow and they did.
I think they are kind of cute and surreal and artistic and maybe I will plant them in the garden.
These little potatoes have a strong will to live, as you can see.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Me on a donkey and castle walls in Turkey

Here is a change of pace for my blog: two photos from my college days in Turkey.
One is of me riding a donkey to a picnic spot on the Island of Buyukada, near Istanbul.
Turkish college friends created a feast including shish-kebob which they cooked there, feta, olives, sturdy bread, rose petal jam,  borek and baklava for dessert.
The other photo shows a friend standing on the ramparts of Rumeli Hisar, right below our college which is built on the heights of Bebek, in Istanbul. From the college we could look down to see the Rumeli Hisar fortress, and the Bosphorus, a mighty river that runs from the sea through Istanbul.

And oh friends, my new book is available on Amazon at
Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms
Hardcover, full color and less than $12.00; reviewers suggest it as their go to gift for new moms, or for baby showers, or for you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Birthday USA

Proud to be An American
Originally uploaded by architekt2

Oh America, I love you. I love our emphasis on freedom for the individual, freedom of worship, freedom to own guns for sport and defense, freedom to dissent and for your beauty in our mountains and streams and pastures and people.

Here is a quote by President Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President:

"America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture."

And a favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail?"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Like Bees

Originally uploaded by staflo

"Bees do have a smell, you know,

and if they don't they should,

for their feet are dusted

with spices from a million flowers. "

by Ray Bradbury

When I hear bees humming in our garden, I smile, because I know they are working pollinating flowers, and making honey too.
Oh, and friends, my new book is available on Amazon at
Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts: Stories to Celebrate and Wisdom to Bless Moms
Scrapbook of Motherhood Firsts

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chard Gone Wild

Here I am standing next to our ancient two year old six feet tall chard plant. We dug up all our Rainbow chard plants except this one, which is now more than six feet tall.

I am five feet four and the chard towers above me, so this photo shows it is actually seven feet tall. We took this photo on June 15, 2012. Last night my husband picked a few leaves and cooked them, though they are a bit tough. Rainbow chard is also called Bright Lights chard, and the stems are red, yellow, fuchsia pink, and green.
We have 4 baby chards planted and may keep this old one as a sort of science experiment to answer the burning question, how long can chard live?
See the Buddha in the garden? I have Buddha in the vegetable patch and the Virgin Mary amongst the flowers. She is near a rose bush I call the Mary Rose. You can't see her or the roses in these photos, and I will post some photos of her again.
If you search my blog subjects list you can find photos of Mary and the beautiful pink Mary roses.
Can you see my garden is wild? The songbirds and skunks and possums love it here. Hey, it is all organic.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful

Originally uploaded by PnP!

Yes, my husband and I saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie and we think it is best appreciated in the theater, so you can absorb some of the atmosphere of India, the street scenes, the market stalls, the buildings.

I recommend this movie, with the main characters being in the over 60s in age set, and include Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy.

They are living on tights budgets in England and all receive brochures touting the magnificence of a hotel where British retirees will be pampered. The full name of the hotel is cute: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful. Trusting the brochure each character decides to move to India. The hotel is managed by a sweet optimistic young man, played by Dev Patel. He is enthusiastic in his belief that his hotel, woefully run down, will be renewed.

I won't say more, don't want to give away the plot.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Gondola on Wordless Wednesday

Originally uploaded by Stoper

I love Venice though I have not been there and last night finished reading A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon, the mystery series set in Venice.
This is the sixth book in the series, and the first is Death in a Strange Country (as I recall).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Snow Peas

Snow Peas
Originally uploaded by amandabhslater

Do you love Snow Peas, which I also call Chinese Sugar Peas? These are the kind of peas where you eat the pods too since they are very tender.
I planted seeds yesterday, from Seeds of Change, which are Snow Pea, Sugar Pod Two.
They are a bush type so don't need a trellis or staking.
It takes 60 to 70 days to maturity from planting. I mostly eat them without cooking, plain or added to salads. If you are cooking stir fry, they are perfect for that dish, and need just a few minutes cooking time so they are still crisp, and not wilted.
We gardeners love to anticipate, don't we?