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Friday, March 24, 2017

Is It Ever Going To Stop

I am beginning to think not! Every other day or there abouts this is the view of outside from my window. This particular day also brought lots of thunder and lightning. And, some of the heaviest rain fall I have ever heard or seen.


Just look at the water coming off the roof even though the gutters and downspouts are functioning as they should. And, then the Hail came down. The rushing  water is very visible by the gate and other areas.

It's a little difficult to get much done in the garden with this unpredictable weather.  Joyfully, I noticed that my recently (last fall) replanted Iris Bed is doing very well.  As a result of that activity, I have lots of iris plants popping up where ever I dumped  my buckets of garden debris, mostly in my yard waste dump area behind the garden shed.  Hopefully, I can share some of the new iris plants with others that may be interested. I think that is called "pass along plants". And, I like that!

It will be fun to see how many of the iris will match up with some of the iris that bloomed and I photographed a few years ago.


I hope I am not boring you with my Iris Flower Bed project. I am hoping to show you some results from all my hard work. Not surprising, Iris are one of my favorite flowers. They are right up there with Roses !

Wishing you a Wonderful Weekend.

Mary

Monday, March 20, 2017

Finally The First Day Of Spring

At least on the calendar. 


Lovelies In My Garden


Is there anything more special than the first blooms of Forsythia in the Spring garden.  Maybe Quince!  I have a very large Quince in my garden but sadly, it does not get enough sun to give its full potential.


Sunlight in my garden is cherished by me because it can be very limited. The following google photo will give you an idea why.  Look at all those trees!


Rain was forecast for last night but it doesn't look like we had any. And, the sun comes and goes today. Hopefully, we will get more sun than rain in the days to come.

Have a Great Day.

Mary

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Little Grey Poupon Mustard Please



There was no way I was going to let St Patrick's Day slip away without making Corned Beef and Cabbage.  The thought of Reuben Sandwiches and Corned Beef Patties added to my enthusiasm to get into the kitchen and make it happen. The corned beef turned out nicely with great flavor and tenderness.

Yesterday was also our Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival. These are just a few photos from the newspaper. The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge. In the thousands, honestly, be sure and look at the last photo. I did not go this year even though I only have to walk about two blocks and I would be there. My mobility and endurance isn't what I would like it to be or what it has been in the past.

















Besides all the activities with the Parade, Craft and Food Booths and Music Venues the town was also hosting the Annual Mother Lode Spring Daffodil Show at Ironstone Vineyards which is one mile from my house. It is a fabulous show. And the country road leading to the show is flooded with growing daffodils on both sides of the road.



I hope your weekend is enjoyable. I am very grateful for the sunshine.

Mary

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

More Vacation Memories Of California Coast

This is a continuation of my post Vacation Memories.

This is a nice photo of The Wharf that shows its relationship to the "colorful motel" and surrounding area. We walked all around the area and to the end of the wharf. We considered going to dinner the first evening at the Wharf House at the end of the wharf but changed our minds after reading reviews and taking into consideration the walk to the end and back at night time. So, of course, we had to check it out in the daytime.
And, here we are at the Wharf House.
I guess I would say that it is pretty typical of an "end of the wharf" restaurant. It reminds me of the Crab Shack at the end of Santa Cruz wharf which is just up the coast a bit.
Now, we have many photos of the sights around and from the wharf. 
 Meet me on Sunday!
Don't miss the sign on the boat!
 Let's play volley ball   - Misty Mae and Kerri Walsh?
                                      (Olympic Stars)
 The weather was overcast in the mornings but transformed beautifully to sunshine.
The surfers were having a great time and there were lots of them but not in this picture.
Beautiful Homes! Love the purple accents.

After walking all around the area, it was time to find a place to eat lunch.  So, we walked back to The Esplanade and decided on the Paradise Beach Grille after poking our noses into several doorways.
 From our seats we had a view of the area that we had been walking around. Isn't it pretty?
 And, the Tomato-Carrot Bisque Soup was sooooo good.

 Look at these scrumptious Fish Tacos.
 The food was great and restaurant was nicely appointed with flowers and art work.
The Esplanade with lots of outdoor seating and beautiful views.
Next time - The Shadowbrook Restaurant and the communities of Soquel and Aptos.

Such a beautiful area in California.  And, the seafood is so Fresh and Flavorful.  

Hope you enjoyed visiting with me.  

Mary

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Second Blooming Stalk On Red Amaryllis





And, guess what?  The other Amaryllis are putting out more stalks with the lovely pink and white blooms. So, when they open a little more, I will take some photos to show you.

With our continuation of winter weather there isn't much happening in the garden.  It seems like many states are having strange patterns, more than usual.

I hope your week is going well. Unfortunately, my hypertension is giving me problems again and I'll have to go to the doctor soon.

Bye for now.

Mary

Sunday, March 5, 2017

White Stuff - This Time It's SNOW

For weeks we have been hearing with each weather forecast that there might be snow!

Well, this morning when I pulled open the dining room drapes, look what I saw. I was really surprised! Perhaps, I shouldn't have been but I was. Look at that precious Pink Camellia all alone trying to start it's long awaited time to shine. This is the same bush that is loaded with buds.

The forecast is SNOW periodically throughout the next 24 hours. And, then rain for days.

When the SUNSHINE decides to come and visit again I invite it to stay so our gardens can start to show us what beauty they have in store for us.

Until next time.

Mary

Thursday, March 2, 2017

And It Is So Good

And, it will be perfect for the weekend when we expect the next storm.

                                         Today, I made Lentil Stew.


This is a recipe that I have had for a long time but I have not made it for quite a while.     It is so easy.

1 cup dry lentils
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Italian Sausages or chicken Italian-style sausages (about 12 ounces)
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup hot water (I use Better Than Bouillon Beef Base)
1/4 Tsp chili pepper ( I use Chipotle Chile Pepper)

Wash and sort lentils. In a large kettle, bring 2 quarts of water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Rinse and drain.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until onions are slightly soft. (I used a cup of chopped celery, also)

Crumble 1 sausage into skillet mixture and cook about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and remaining sausages (cut in half) and simmer over medium-low heat about 30 minutes. Mix in lentils and add bouillon and chili pepper and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve.

It was 2003, I was thinking about going to Umbria, Italy for a week long Italian Cooking Class. The trip was sponsored by a Health Spa on the East Coast. Unfortunately, I was not able to find anyone to go with me. So, anyway, this recipe was inspired on that cooking tour. They called it Lentichie e sasicce in umidol.

The picture of the Camellia above is to remind me that spring is getting closer.


And, this is what one of my Camellia bushes looked like last week.

We are having a very nice sunny week and it feels so good.

Hope your week is going well.

Mary 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

My Special Relationship With My Precious Dog

           

Considering my "sunset" station in this journey of my life, my number one concern was that the dog could live longer than me and that was a horrible thought because I would not be able to insure that a loving and responsible home would be in her future. Financial issues were also a concern but certainly not at the top of my list.

So anyway, I didn't make any active plans to get another dog. I still had my precious Calico Tabby cat, Puff who grew up with my previous wonderful Yorkshire Terrier dog, Pixie. And the cat was fabulous comfort and provided lots of love for eighteen years. 
Lily and Puff

And then, as life has a way of shaping our journeys, I started reading about Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs. The breed was new to me and I liked everything I read about them. But, they were expensive! So, I just filed my new information in the back of my mind and proceeded with my simple stable and quiet life.

But then, quite some time later I was at the grocery store one day and saw a darling little puppy in a lady's shopping cart. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was the first time I had seen one other than the many pictures I had looked at. The lady and I chatted and yes she confirmed that it was a Cavalier! And, her comments were glowing about her experience with the breed.

Again I tucked all the new information away until one day I decided to look at the Internet to see what might be available. The standard weight of these "jewels" can be as much as 25 pounds which is more than what is best for me considering my low back injury/surgery. And, then I found that there were breeders that were providing some Cavaliers that were on the lower end of the weight scale.

AND, I think it was in February 2006, that my girl friend (who passed away 2 years ago) and I were driving to Sacramento International Airport to pick up a baby girl puppy. On our way home, my girlfriend insisted on holding her. There was no way she was going to let her stay in the crate. The puppy snuggled in her neck and nibbled on her ear lobe. It was so exciting and she was so very tiny. Yes, she is the "jewel" in the middle of the next photo. The one with her little tail in the air! You can see she is the littlest in the photo. Just the right size!


Sadly, TODAY is ONE YEAR since my Lily left for the Rainbow Bridge.



My heart is so heavy as it is every single day. I miss her more than my words can say. For various reasons we had a certain bond that is indescribable. My grief/loss is as great as it was the day she left.

It was a few days ago that I just happened to see the poem written in 1922 by Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936).  I would like to share it with you.

"The Power Of A Dog"  by  Rudyard Kipling

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware      
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.      
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumor, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs      
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find—it’s your own affair—
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!).      
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone—wherever it goes—for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,      
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve:      
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long—
So why in—Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

The poem is "pretty heavy" but also some "food for thought".
But there is no way I would have wanted to do anything differently. I think the love
from our dogs/pets, even though it has a time limit, can help soothe the sorrows of
today just by us having had the love.

Please hug the ones you love and never forget your four legged "jewels".

Wishing you Well.

Mary



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