Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Patio pix of watchdog on duty, flowers

Above are two scenes showing my watchdog at work on the patio while he sits / naps on the chaise longue. He is a cutie. Do you think he is extremely fierce? LOL, well no. He is a love dog.
The first Star Gazer Lily blooms from my new bulbs in July 2017. In the first photo you see to the left of Bounce the leaves of the lily before blooms.
Another photo of my Star Gazer Oriental Lily blooms. You can see they grow well in pots; you can grow them on a small balcony or in a small yard. My yard is large but the lilies enjoy the well drained soil in their pots which also keep them safe from nibbles by gophers.
Above is a closeup of my Cantua flowers which grow on a shrub and are two inches long. My friend from Chile told me about these beauties and we ordered some together. They are the national flower of Chile and can grow up to a second story, where she told me they grew outside her bedroom window there. I later bought a more rare yellow Cantua which never did bloom for me.
My patio is a place that gives me moments of peace in this time of grief for the loss of my husband. I enjoy sitting out there facing the garden, reading a book and drinking ice tea with ice cubes and no sugar in it. My dog and cat nap nearby and birds flit around, bathing in the bird bath and eating seeds I put out for them, up high where they are safe from cats. I think everyone benefits from a personal place of sanctuary and I hope you have one too.

Friday, July 14, 2017

My top 20 favorite books

I've been thinking of doing a "My Top 20 Books" list and then was inspired when I saw Carole of Carole's Chatter and her sidebar. She has a nice Top 20 photo / illustration she said I can use. I believe that what we read (our books) and our gardens are forms of autobiography and reveal things about us.
These books are not in order.

Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson

The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope. Actually any of the 17 novels I have read by Trollope.
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse. Any of his novels.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson.
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian. All 20 books in this series, this is the first.
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger.

Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
Ireland by Frank DeLaney.
Emma by Jane Austen.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat.
Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.
Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.
The Hacienda, My Venezuelan Years by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (all the Chronicles of Narnia).
The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus by Lee Strobel.
In Search of Lost Time. Swann's Way Vol 1 by Marcel Proust. Translated from the French by C.K. Scott Moncrieff whose translation has been rightly called a masterpiece in itself.
I was not surprised to see that many of my favorite authors are from the U.K. Wodehouse, Trollope, Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Lewis are giants of literary talent for me.
Do you ever experience Bloggers Remorse or Bloggers Ooopsy? Five minutes after posting this list I realized one of the best and most exciting books I have ever read was not on my top 20 list. Shame!
Instead of dropping one of the above 20 I am adding it: "God's Smuggler" by Brother Andrew.

This book is full of adventure, danger, Andrew's commitment to his faith and hope to marry, as he smuggles Bibles to countries where that act carries a death sentence.  It is a real page turner.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The World Is Still a Beautiful Place

"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.​​​​​​​" Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
My dog Bounce wearing his new Hawaiian shirt at our family July 4 celebration which was at my house on July 2. The shirt is a gift from Julie and her two dogs. Four people and three dogs and one cat gathered together. You see, the world IS still a beautiful place. 
Ha ha, a couple days after I posted the photo, I cropped it and added it above.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy Fourth of July

Happy 4th of July to all my friends in the USA and around the world.
"America" was written in 1831 by Samuel Francis Smith, when he was studying to be a Baptist minister. Here are the first and last verses:
My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty of thee I sing, Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims' pride, From every mountain side let freedom ring.
Then the last verse:
"Our fathers' God to Thee, author of liberty to Thee we sing, long may our land be bright, with freedom's holy light, protect us by Thy might great God, our king.