Thursday, June 26, 2014

Donut Peaches

These, my friends, are Donut Peaches ~ so named for their look.

This picture shows how flat they are compared to a regular round peach. 
The seed is tiny, about the size of a round finger nail.
The taste - ah the taste - and here we come to the inadequacies of the internet - 
the taste is sweet and delicious and better than any peach I have ever eaten. 
~ and yummy. 
They are white peaches but have a different flavor than the regular white peach. 
And so easy to eat. I have never seen them before and suddenly a vendor at
our Farmers' Market had them last week.
Summer indulgence. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fried Fish Dinner

Fried sole, zucchini and hush puppies straight off our grill thanks to Dean!

On the plate with tomato and avocado salad with fresh basil and bleu cheese vinaigrette.
We don't eat fried food very often, but when we do ~ Yum!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Look, Ma, No Hands!

It was only two and half days, and they were as full of life and fun and delight as many months. 

Lunch at Sunnyside included a balloon man and his amazing creations.

A chilly spell kept us out of the lake and into the hot tub.

Happy sisters.

Ready for a ropes course adventure.

Time to head for the trees.

Ready, set, . . . oh my, really? 
Turned into ~ 

~ look, Ma, no hands. No fear. Followed all the directions and 
Flew! Over and over again.

Three year old had to stay on the ground, but that didn't keep her from saying over and over, 
"I can do that" and wanting her own helmet.

Agile, 12 year old soccer player finds a variety of ways to fly.

Family dinner at the Bridgetender afterwards.

Phew! What a day! And all the family followed her example shortly after. 
It was a good visit to Tahoe.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Thank You, Emily Flint!

Emily is a young artist I knew as she grew up in the church I attended in Virginia. Recently we became friends on Facebook and I enjoyed seeing her rather amazing artistic interpretations of all aspects of women. Then one day she announced she was also going to paint pictures of animals. I decided to have her paint a portrait of Oso for Dean. 

At that point I quit any contact with Emily on Facebook because I didn’t want to chance Dean’s seeing our connection and asking about her. I told her privately, but not publicly, my excitement about her engagement. So here it is publicly: Congratulations, Emily! May your life together be happy and blessed. 

I am now able to give you her website:

Her process is simple: send her a couple of pictures of your pet, choose the format you like and voila! A beautiful painting of your pet. Thank you, thank you, Emily. Our boy grins eagerly at us from the mantle now as well as from the floor waiting for his walk. Delightful! 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Please, Don't Throw Me in the Briar Patch!

This is White Thorn. Its name says exactly what it is. When it blooms, as it is doing now, it is a white cascade of beautiful blossoms ~ which hide very, very sharp thorns. The dark place in the lower right corner is a tunnel into and through the bush which is located just off our deck. All our dogs have spent many hours with their noses in that spot waiting for the little critters to come out. The little critters have spent many hours in the safety of the thorns through which they can navigate with no problem. Yesterday Oso rushed onto the deck to surprise a bunny who took off under the thorns.

These are the remains of the first three little tomatoes from Dean's pots which are located right across the path from the white thorn. oops. Dean is going to need to wrap his frames in chicken wire very soon or else cute bunny is going to become a nuisance. Suddenly Bre'r Rabbit's plea and Peter Cottontail in Mr. McGregor's garden make a lot more sense than they did when I was reading them as a city born child.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Morning Prayer

"This day is Your gift to me. I take it , Lord, from Your hand and thank You for the wonder of it". Celtic Prayer Book (Thank you Libby!)

A friend posted this prayer on FB a while back and I copied it and put it in my journal where I see it almost every morning. Some how it pleases me to think of this day as a gift to me and as I unwrap the hours, new wonders unfold. 

~ I complain about the regularity of laundry and yet I love the way the clothes smell and feel fresh from the dryer. 
~ I don’t like being awakened at 4:58 by Oso’s barking at the passing bear and yet, it is a Bear, an amazing creature, and I am privileged to witness his ordinary stroll down his trail.
~ I sit on my deck and watch chipmunks scurry through the rocks and up and down the pines
~ Light patterns play across the forest in varying intensity throughout the day
~ Dean hugs me in the kitchen
~ My body works hard for an hour in gym and feels good afterwards

~ and on and on, the wonders unfold as I make my way through the new gift package of a day that comes afresh every morning. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Love This Insight

Once in a while I come across a delightful phrase or paragraph in the writing of a good author that may or not have anything to do with the story being told. Right now I am reading Queen of the Flowers by Kerry Greenwood. It is a mystery featuring the most wonderful Phryne Fisher, a detective in Melbourne in 1928. 

Phryne is trying to discover the whereabouts of a lost girl and she is talking to the girl’s friend who is a musician. Phyrne’s lover is with them and the two suddenly start talking about Bach. Phyrne asks that they return to the missing girl and then they can continue to talk about Bach. 

“She knew conversations about Bach. Days could go past. 
Continents could drift. Fossils could form.”

We all have subjects that entice us in just that way whether Bach or Shakespeare or the Hubble Telescope ~ subjects in which we can immerse ourselves with another enthusiast and let time flow gently past. It is a good writer who can, in a few sentences, touch the common human experience. 

Friday, June 6, 2014


So here's the deal: when you take antibiotics because you are sick, they have something to work on and make you feel better. When you take them when you are well and they don't have a disease to work on, they work on you - well, at least me - and make you feel ooooogie. Yuck.

I had a hip replacement several years ago and my surgeon told me I had to take an antibiotic one hour before every dental procedure for the rest of my life. The American Dental Association has backed down from this and I felt caught in the middle so went with my surgeon who practically shook his finger at me and said, "Take them. We will prescribe them."

So I do ~ and they are powerful. Two major pills one hour before a regular dental cleaning.

I learned a couple of appointments ago that I needed to take them with food. So yesterday I ate my lunch early, had a huge salad and cheese toast and iced tea. Had my appointment at noon and thought I was fine. Until about 3 o'clock when the oooogies arrived again. Horrible feeling. And I knew what it was and that it would go away and in the meantime, I felt lousy.

We had a little steak in the fridge so for supper Dean grilled me the steak, made roasted potatoes and I had a little ice cream afterwards. It was not a day to think calories or cholesterol. Sure enough about three bites into red meat protein, I was feeling better. By bed time I was fine. In December I think I will have the steak as part of the meal when I actually take the pills. This is crazy - and it would be nice if the dentists and the surgeons would make up their collective minds. For now, I will adjust and go with what my surgeon tells me to do. At least it is an informed decision and becoming more so as I go along.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More Gardening

So the rocks pictured in a blog before last were just to help support the dirt that filled in the area where the garden will be. Yesterday in went two huge tree rounds and the box. The rounds keep it up high enough that if our knees can't get low, we (well, really he) can still garden. And the box will not be filled with dirt but with pots in which things will grow or at least start growing. It will be covered with windows taken from the house two years ago for a greenhouse effect and adding to our growing season. Again - more pictures and information as I get it and it appears. So far, it has all been free as the box was about to be tossed by construction workers across the way, the windows were taken out of our house, and the tree rounds come from a very dead tree that needed to be taken down. Dean is very good at recycling.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's a Wonderful Life!

With her permission, I offer you two pictures that encompass the present life of my younger daughter. Her husband is a helicopter pilot who often moves copters from one location to another. When they are traveling for this purpose, she gets to fly with him rather than have to drive for hours to catch up. This picture is 7500 ft over Utah.

And when they arrive and the desert is hot and flat and it has been a long day, she grabs a brief rest where she can.

They live this sort of gypsy life as his company sends him to all sorts of places all over the country. This particular day included a commercial flight, driving, delivering the helicopter and then driving again to their final destination where he went to work the next morning. As many of you know she is a writer and so has the ability to travel with him and her lap top. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rock Gardening

 A rock garden always seemed to mean pretty little stones arranged neatly in a pretty little dish in which tiny plants grew. Or maybe rocks, neat little rocks, lining the border of a garden. At our house it has a bigger meaning. When Dean says he is going to do some rock gardening, he means getting in the bobcat, digging huge rocks out of the forest and dumping them in just the right place for the wall or the edge of the path, or in this case, the edge of an actual garden.

These will form the edge and support of his garden.

Then he brings dirt down from the forest to fill in the area. 
Later (more pictures to follow of course) his garden will grow.
Just in case you were wondering, no, that isn't a bear in the background. That is Oso sniffing the ground where a bear might have been.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Exploring the World

I was sitting on the deck when the scrabble of little feet against tree bark drew my attention to three little chipmunks scurrying around and around the pine at the corner of the yard. They were so tiny, it had to have been their first day out of the nest. 

They played follow the leader for a while until the leader came rushing toward the deck. The second in line went down the wall. The third stopped at the top of big root and gazed down the slant of the root and the land as if not sure how to continue on this trek through this big world. And the world must indeed seem very big when you are only 4 inches long with legs about 1/2 an inch high. Instinct is an amazing thing though and they continued to find their way over the rocks, around the trunks, up and down the hill. 

The little one, looking down the chasm of roots, finally turned and headed back up the hill. The second came up and into the bushes. The leader headed rapidly up the post at the end of the deck railing . . . and stopped. Above his head was the top of the railing. How to get around and over? He studied that problem for a long while - probably 5 minutes or more. Long enough for me to take the pictures and still have time to watch. Finally he turned down again and off he went, soon to be joined by the others running, running, running. 

And then, suddenly, they were gone. Did mama call them back to the nest? Did some instinct tell them the sun was now too hot? I don’t know. They were gone. And instinct and a sense of more adventure in the wide wide world will bring them out again about 4. Meanwhile, they nap and grow stronger so the world will not be quite so wide this afternoon.