Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blue thoughts on Hodgepodge Wednesday

1. Are there any women or men in blue in your family tree?

That does not seem to be the line of work anyone in our family has gone 
into that I know.  We do have a few preachers!
2. Are you someone who suffers from the Sunday night blues?
 What helps you to get over it?

I've never thought of feeling blue on Sunday nights. I usually look forward 
to a new week and the "Monday morning fresh starts." 
A new week is full of potential.
3. I read the color blue is an appetite suppressant since there are 
very few naturally blue foods out there. How do you feel about blue cheese?
 Love it or hate it? If you're a fan, what's something you 
like that's made with blue cheese?

I like blue cheese sprinkled over salads and in salad dressing and that's about it.
 I do love another blue food--berries!

4. We can't head into Labor Day weekend without a related question.
Complete this thought: "I work best when …"

I have a list to check off, I feel inspired, and/or I have lots of energy.
5. "Everything yields to diligence." (Antiphanes) 
Your thoughts? (on this particular quote or on diligence in general)

I'm not sure every bit of diligence brings the results you hope for, but working 
with diligence is a noble quality and one we don't see as much of as we used to. 
My parents raised us saying, "If something is worth doing, 
it's worth doing with diligence."
6. The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25th. 
Have you been to many of America's National Parks? If so share with 
us a favorite or two. Which National Park would you most like to visit 
before the next birthday rolls around?

We haven't seen enough of our national parks but hope to improve on that soon.
We loved the Grand Canyon, of course, and the Smokey Mountains!
We like having our senior free park passes. Yellowstone in one on our list!
7. Bid farewell to August in seven words or less.

It's been a long and hot month. Good thing I used a contraction!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Four days ago I lost my keys. I searched diligently wherever they might be,
and finally decided to stop and make plans to replace the keys in time,
 (but not yet of course). Mentally that helped.
Just yesterday I realized I was missing a credit card,
and traced its loss back to the same day the keys disappeared.
I found the credit card waiting for me behind the service counter
where I had made a purchase. When I arrived home from
retrieving it, I found the keys hiding under a large hassock.
Lost within an hour of each other and both found the same hour,
four days later. My lesson from this tale is:
"Don't panic."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

a new look

I am the painter in the family. 
But after painting more than 70 rooms, plus sheds, 
garages, porches, shutters, doors, etc., 
I thoroughly enjoyed the luxury of sitting back while someone else
painted our kitchen and laundry room.
                   Photo: trying out the paint choice.
I didn't exactly sit back. It took a lot of work to empty
out a kitchen and put it back together.
I've always loved a yellow kitchen but since
everything needed painting, we decided to chose a different color.
It wasn't easy. Our kids said "neutral," and we agreed.
 I went to the "Paint Whisperer" in town who is amazing. 
This is the third time he has helped us choose the right paint.  
In some light it's gray, other light it looks green, and sometimes blue.
I call it a mystery color and I (we) love it! 
Joining with Share Your Cup

Sunday, August 21, 2016

looking up

We thought celebrating 45 years of marriage was a good reason
to slip away for a couple of days to sit by the sea,
reading and resting, and contemplating our life together.
Both while there and on the way to and fro, we 
found ourselves looking up a lot. The clouds have been amazing
and my feeble attempts to photograph them don't do justice to their majesty.
We need rain. The storm clouds hover and try.

Friday, August 12, 2016

beautiful things

It'd been awhile since our last book club and earlier this week we
gathered around my table to discuss the life of Lilias Trotter (link to her
blog on my sidebar) after reading her biography.
Fitting 12 was a stretch and a squeeze, but we managed and enjoyed a "proper" British tea.
I was so grateful for the pretty blue and white smaller plates the Gardener
found for me at GW years ago--I must have 18 of them.
Menu: Assorted teas (and coffee), scones with lemon curd and clotted cream,
cucumber sandwiches, cheese, fruit, and dark chocolate (for our health.)
Everyone helped by bringing some of the food.
I always enjoy using my mixture of teacups. 
The tiniest of bouquets was all I could scrape from our garden,
but they were a perfect example of the small flowers Lilias loved to paint.
I also illustrated her life with a water color palette and a
facsimile of her painting journals. They were small and she would
write her inspirational thoughts or daily life notes 
alongside what she sketched and painted.
We even had loan of a print of one of her paintings.
Whimsical beauty.
Have you heard of Lilias Trotter? 
She was born in the 1850s, and grew up in privilege in London's 
West End during the Golden Age of Victoria. 
She developed an amazing talent in art. Through a chain of
interesting events, she was tutored by the famed John Ruskin, 
who said she could become one of England's greatest artists.
But she was drawn to the down and out, the women prostitutes lining 
London's streets, working women, the YWCA. She helped to start 
London's first affordable public restaurant for working women. 
She eventually felt a pull to work abroad, sharing God's love 
with others. For the next 40 years she lived in Algeria.
She made a hard choice to leave her art.
Lilias loved the desert and "found beauty in the most mundane and otherwise
unlikely places," says the director of Many Beautiful Things, a movie about Lilias' life, 
released earlier this year. "She perceived spiritual insights by closely studying 
ordinary people and plants, and was endlessly inspired to create 
and draw attention to the beauty that she found."
I think you would enjoy her biography and the beautiful "docudrama" about
 her life, with Michelle Dockery reading the part of Lilias.
There's also a wonderful children's book about her life.
I asked our library to order both the book and the film and they purchased
three copies of each. You might try the same.
You can also find out more about her, read her writings and 
see her art on the blog and see the film trailer here.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Summer Sound Bites

Our summer here has been so, so hot and dry. 
Our produce is waning and not so pretty as this any more.
A new neighbor behind us is having most of his trees cut down.
I know the reason, but I hate to see the trees go.
The landscape has totally changed and will take some time to adjust to.
He is planting new trees.
A recent trip to the library revealed something new on
the previously mundane cement wall!
It's fun to read the titles.
In the heat of the summer our yarn group crocheted
around 130 market bags to send to Haiti.
I made up my own pattern and hope it holds the produce well enough!
It's cherry season. The new way is to buy them in open
bags which can be picked over.
This bag held half the amount of the others and were
well chosen, nice and dark.
Sticker shock: $4.50. I counted them.
Forty-five cherries, meaning 10 cents apiece.
They are delicious but may be our only cherries this summer.
We'll eat them slowly.
Our crepe myrtles seem to be the only
vegetation that loves the heat.
The hotter and drier it gets, it seems the better they bloom!
They always amaze me.

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