Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Crape Myrtles, intertwined and the festivies continue

- Seen on my Sunday morning walk up and down the street where I live - it's lovely to see the Crape Myrtle trees blooming now.  This has turned into a nice habit - I only walk this particular route on Sunday morning.  I like it because it's quiet - nothing but the occasional car going by, neighbors coming out in their pajama pants to get the newspaper, sometimes another lone walker.

- I've passed this yard a zillion times, but this is the first time I noticed the intertwined trees there (you might have to click to enlarge to see it.)  I think it's an oak tree and a pine tree (or a tree in the pine family.)  So curious that happened and wonder if it was an accident or on purpose.

- On the last stretch home toward home - a funny sight.  Someone decorated this mailbox for Christmas and then never took the tinsel garland down when the holiday was over.  It used to bug me a little, but now I kind of like it.  :)  And I figure that's how they're telling friends how to find their house quickly, "Look for the mailbox with the garland..."  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Infinite Summer, lyrical and dance *

- Infinite Summer. The challenge: Join endurance bibliophiles from around the world in reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace over the summer of 2009, June 21st to September 22nd. A thousand pages ÷ 92 days = 75 pages a week. (Plus end notes. A lot of them.) No sweat, right? Although loving the idea of the project, I find the book infinitely difficult to follow. So bye-bye Infinite Jest, you may be just a little too deep for the summer. And the library wants you back.

- The lyrical voices of the nail technicians as they speak to each other in Vietnamese.

- Doing a little shrieking dance at my front door when I think a spider might have fallen in my hair. And then doing a slow turn to see if the elegant couple in building 3 are on their back porch as they often are. They are, but kindly acting as if they didn't notice.


* This is a re-post from June 26, 2009 - a long time ago, seems like.  Between outside plant watering and a 45 minute video work out before work this morning, I completely forgot about my blog!  Since I always post on Friday, I looked at past posts dated June 26 and liked this one the most.  And ... (1) I still don't want to read Infinite Jest.  (2) I'm going to the same nail place this afternoon after work, and (3) I knocked down a spider web in the same spot this morning, using the handy spider web knock down stick I keep on the table by the front door.  :)

Happy weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Using up stuff, happy birthday to him and folk school

- The basil continues to multiply - that's more of it in the red pitcher found recently at a thrift store.  (I love it so much.)  I am also on a mission to clear out the freezer of things that have been there too long.  This week - uncured pancetta, that I bought too much of for some recipe.  So I Googled recipes using pancetta and came up with this Italian-style salad with Crisp Pancetta via a BBC network cooking show (click on the red link for the recipe) - and bonus, I had all of the ingredients already.  It's for lunch today.

-  Having a happy birthday cupcake to celebrate coworker Bobby's special day.  He and I talk about our age and wonder where the years went.  The cupcake was a perfect early morning snack to go with coffee from home.

- This post, from the John C. Campbell Folk School blog about how they made pizza.  The post is so charming I just have to share it.  The opening lines grabbed me:  "A potter, a dulcimer player, a painter, a poet and a berry farmer build a barrel-vaulted brick oven."  Someday when I win the lottery, I'm going to take all the classes they have.  :)

Friday, June 19, 2015


Tea is naught but this:
First you heat the water,
Then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.

Sen Rikyu - Tea Life, Tea Mind

It's my nighttime drink of choice - Darjeeling tea.  Quote was spotted in a book I posted about here.  Feeling like a peaceful, simple post this morning.  Hugs!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Green space, purple daylilies and suburban garden

- The back door of the antiques shop that I frequent on the weekends was open on Saturday - they had decided to let in some fresh air.  I love this green space and asked the owner if they might have a garden there sometime.  She replied that the restaurant next door was planning to turn it into some sort of outdoor seating for warm weather.  Either way - it was a nice surprise to see it.

- I'm seeing more and more daylilies blooming around.  These were spotted along the way on my Sunday morning walk up the street where I live.  I love the deep purple color of them.  Daylilies are so hardy and often seen in the borders of gardens here in the south.  I used to see a therapist at his home, during a sad time several years ago.  He was a widower and his garden was a tribute to his late wife's gardening skills - daylilies being a large part of the display.  We would walk the garden at the end of the session and talk about the flowers.  I guess this is why I focus so much on flowers here and I do love them so.

 - The neighbors in the house across the street from the condos also have a large lot to their right that has always looked a bit like a jungle, but in the past couple of years, they have worked and worked to clear it and make a vegetable garden.  I see as many as five people at a time, wearing big hats, working there, with children playing around.  The sun was so bright at the end of my walk on Sunday that I didn't realize my thumb was in the photo, too.  :)  I cropped out most of it.  Shaking head.  I'll get a better photo next time.  Click to enlarge if you can - a lot of work is going into this plot of land.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Thank you, Le Hummingbird nectar and hit recipe

- Thank you for all the basil suggestions!  I made more Caprese salad with the Sweet Basil, and I added the leaves (not the flowers) of the African Blue Basil (pictured on the right) to a spinach salad.  So good!  I am intrigued by the other suggestions and will definitely be trying some of those suggestions out!  You know I'll post about it when I do. 

- I've been making hummingbird nectar for the feeder using this little Corningware teapot my grandmother gave me when I was first starting out in my own home.  Does anyone remember green stamps?  They were a reward program (I think from supermarkets and such) - you could get stamps and paste in a book and when you got enough, there were prizes!  So she let me choose something from the green stamp reward book and I chose this.  I always think of my little grandmother when I make nectar (that's it cooling on the counter in the photo.)

- I made this dish, Chicken and Artichoke Penne for my sister and niece when they visited.  My sis snapped this photo to show her husband not only the food, but the awesome braiser (my new favorite) I used to cook it in.  I thought I'd share the recipe - you can find it by clicking the red link above.  It was a hit and so easy (I used rotisserie chicken that was already shredded and in the freezer.)

Thank you so much for coming by!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mailbox flowers, the calla lilies are in bloom again and the bee

- I had my usual walk up the street on which I live on Sunday morning - early, between 8am and 9am.  There was no one much stirring about except early church goers at the Baptist church up the street.  I thought these blooming plants around this mailbox were pretty and snapped a phone photo on my way up the street.  The property on the other side of the street, that is for sale, figures into the next photo.

- On my return trip, I noticed some calla lilies swaying in the breeze - under a tree in the yard of the house for sale.  They were near the edge of the property, so I wandered into the yard a bit and snapped the photo.  They always remind me of the Katharine Hepburn quote from the 1937 film Stage Door"The calla lilies are in bloom again.  Such a strange flower - suitable for any occasion..."  A man flagged me down from the side of the house.  I was a little alarmed since I was trespassing, but he was an appraiser for a couple wanting to purchase the house and had questions about the sewer lines in the neighborhood that I couldn't answer.  I did tell him that this part of the neighborhood was once an old farm and the old farmhouse for the property stood right in back of the house that is now for sale.  He observed that the homes on the rest of the street seem old and some need updating, but I told him that this neighborhood is like a little united nations, and that's why I like it.

- And when I got home, there was a bee giving its attention to each of the yellow flowers in my hanging basket.  See it?  (Click to enlarge if you can.)  I loved that since I hear bees are growing more scarce these days. 

Thanks for going on my walk with me!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Lucky bamboo, candy jars and sweet basil

- This "lucky bamboo" plant was an impulse buy at Whole Foods the other night - this one has three stalks, which is said to promote happiness.  I figure we could all use luck and happiness at work, so I took it there to live.  And it adds a spot of beauty in a spot that needed brightening up.  :)

- I also keep candy at my desk for anyone who wants to come by and have some. Coworker and friend Bren gave me the canister on the left, filled with red "cinnamon disc" candy for my birthday a few years ago.  I added the Starburst candy in a canister for visiting children.

- Back home - I knew this sweet little vase would come in handy!  I planted a little too much basil, so I clipped some last evening for caprese salad and put the rest in the little vase.  I'll use it in the next couple of days.  Meanwhile - suggestions for basil use (other than caprese and pesto) will be appreciated. 

I'm so happy it's Friday - I love the weekend.  I hope you find good things, too, my friends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Back porch, hummingbirds (finally) and not playing basketball

- Friend Janice brought me some Kona coffee from her visit to Hawaii last week and I enjoyed it on the back porch on Sunday morning.  Kona coffee always makes me think of my dad, who discovered it when he passed through Hawaii on his journey home at the end of World War II.  I used to put a pound of Kona in his Christmas stocking sometimes.  And the device there on the table with it is a Thermcell - it keeps mosquitoes at bay.  They are at it already and it really does work.

- I had almost given up on any hummingbirds ever visiting my feeder, but heeded the advice of the woman who works at the nearby garden center, "Put it out with nectar in the spring and they'll start coming by in early June."  And right on schedule - a hummingbird flew up, saw that I was sitting nearby and flew away with a squeak!  I can also see it from my sofa and was happy to see it came back again and again over the weekend.

- You'd have to click to enlarge to really see the basketball goals in the clearing at the end of this sidewalk that is at the side property of the elementary school up the street from my home.  My sister spotted this when she was walking with me here a few weeks ago when she visited and said (tongue in cheek), "We'll have to come back up here and play basketball!"  Ha!  I have a chuckle about that every time I pass this way on a neighborhood walk (because walking is about as athletic as the two of us have ever gotten.)  :)