Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Who Are Demeter And Persephone

How is that for a title. Any guesses?  

These lovely pieces of garden wall art were given to me years ago by a friend who included this story of the origin and inspiration for the artist.


First of all, it is looking a lot like WINTER.   

Does that help?


Well, let me tell you the story about Demeter and Persephone. 

 "According to Greek mythology, they were goddesses who ruled over the growth and death of the earth's vegetation


One day, Demeter, goddess of all growing things, could not find her beloved daughter, Persephone. For nine days she searched and asked after the child, but no one had seen her.


On the 10th day, Triptolemus told how the earth opened up and a chariot drawn by black horses appeared and disappeared, the drivers face obscured but his right arm tightly clasping a struggling maiden. 


Demeter then knew that Hades, god of the underworld, had stolen Persephone, probably in collusion with his brother Zeus, ruler of the gods.


Demeter refused to return to Olympus, home of the gods, and wandered the earth, lamenting her loss and forbidding the trees to yield fruit and the fields to bear grain. Gifts and sweet-talk failed to move Demeter. Zeus was powerless to save the race of man.


Zeus sent a message to Hades, and they agreed to release Persephone if only she had not eaten the food of the dead. Persephone, though sorely tempted, had not eaten a bit from a crust of bread nor a sip of water.


Their ruse having failed, Zeus and Hades were obliged to release Persephone to her mother's arms, when a gardener appeared, claiming to have seen Persephone eat six seeds of a pomegranate plucked from Hades orchard. 


Demeter remained adamant and Hades was forced to release Persephone. Save for 3 months when she would rule with Hades as Queen of the underworld. 


It is during those 3 month that nothing grows while Demeter mourns the annual loss of her beloved daughter Persephone. 


And that is why we have WINTER." 


So, there you have it.  Just a little trivia!

What do you think your Winter is going to be like?

Mary

Monday, December 3, 2018

A Giggle For This Cold Morning


No, this isn't Ivy ! The explorer in her could do this, but never, never, never would she be willing to get dressed for the Holiday !

It took me forever to get this video onto this post.  But, I was laughing all the way .  When the cat is looking up at the end of the video, I am so reminded of Lily when she is looking where she may jump next .  I hope you are laughing with me .

It is very cold this morning but the sun is shining brightly with clear blue skies .  However , Saturday night at about 10 PM it started to hail and by Sunday morning there was a dusting of snow on the ground !   Not far from my house, chains are required to drive in the snow covered roads even though the roads are plowed.  No snow tires like the NorthEast .

Happy Day to You .

Mary

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Sun Is Shining Today

Following two heavy rain storms with some fierce winds and snow at the higher elevations.  Another storm is on its way for tomorrow.  It is so good to get some rain which is needed badly .  But, the mudslides and flooding of the California wildfire lands is so devastating following the horrific trauma of so many losing their homes and many lives .
The outreach of help from throughout the state and further is remarkable and so important. 
On Tuesday, Ivy finally saw her Vet following my rescheduling of her appointment from the previous Wednesday.  Everything checked out great and the recommendation for hairball control was for me to continue with my revised type of food.  She received her vaccinations and had her nails clipped.  And, she was a Very Good Kitty Cat .   No photos today .  She sleeps a lot .

This past week Ivy has showed me that she can hunt out any location she wants in the house . It happens at night and usually involves food.  She is very curious and has a very soft touch as she sometimes glides from one surface to another.  Her last night adventure has totally amazed me .  She managed to push a small bag of cat food to the floor off of a very high shelf .  And, she was chewing on the bag .  You could think that I never Feed her !!!



Now - - - This is JUST CRAZY.  Have you heard of this cake?  I guess this originated in 2016.  I just may be behind the times, as they say!  This is a Savory Soul Cake with three layers of cornbread and is stuffed with mac & cheese and candied yams.  The cake is topped off with mashed potatoes as frosting with a drizzle of gravy.  And, of course, some fried chicken or turkey.   It is called Savory Thanksgiving Cake.  Check it out at this link.

What will be next?  

It reminds me of Turducken of many years ago !  It originated in 1985.  Check it out at Turducken .
That's my cooking trivia for today.  Have a Great Day .

Mary

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thank You Viewers

It has been so nice to have more viewers to my Little Old Lady blog because of a few bloggers who have added me to their Blog List on their side bar .  With so many people who have been leaving the Blogger World it is so nice that many are checking in to read my little messages of my life .

Huge Blessings to All

Mary

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Rain Is In The Forecast

Winter storms are happening . California needs rain water but it is so important for us to have a "healthy" amount and not "treacherous" flooding especially with all the scorched earth from the horrible fires ! Weather prediction has always been a big ? even with all the modern technologies .  National weather systems certainly seem more radical and dangerous than in the past .  But let's hope for manageable weather throughout the country and that  there are minimal emergencies .

Miss Ivy has an appointment with her Vet this afternoon for routine shots and to have her toenails clipped .  The only activity that she resists is when I need to clip her toenails . Those long nails can be quite dangerous weapons !!!  She will let me do almost anything with her But Not clip nails .  It really takes two people and that is how the Vet staff does it . 

For the past week and a half, Ivy has been having difficulty with hairballs and constipation .  Happily I can say that we have overcome the issue with change in diet to part wet and part dry food . And, both have a hairball control element .  Of course I will discuss it with the Vet .
Happy and Sleepy Precious Ivy.

Have a Great Day .

Mary

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Do I Miss The Thanksgiving Countdown As A Hostess

You bet I do !!!  As a girl growing up in the 50's it is not surprising that I enjoyed the thought of some day having a family surrounding a festive large Turkey feast in honor of all the blessings throughout the year and for our Founding Fathers of America .  Reportedly, the history of the First Thanksgiving has many versions of the reality .

One description of the event is as follows . "In1789, George Washington declared Thursday, Nov. 26, a Thanksgiving holiday, but only for that year, and it wasn’t connected to the Pilgrim feast but rather intended as a “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”   History has many versions, doesn't it?  Lots of varied information about what food was serve , who attended , where and when - and why !

Personally, I like to focus on the word THANKFULNESS.  This is a definition of the word that resonates with me .  "The definition of thankfulness is our way of understanding what we see, hear and feel. Our own way of measuring our way in life. It is one of the only things that we have in our lives that solely belongs to ourselves no one can ever interact with your thankfulness."

I am so grateful for the years in my life when I was a young wife and mother who had the opportunity to have a three generation family around my holiday dinner on many occasions .
Unfortunately, there never were any grandparents of mine or aunts, uncles, cousins , nieces or nephews around the table .  I was the first of my siblings to have children even though I was youngest. My parents migrated from Minnesota to California on there honeymoon in the late 1920's.  Which meant that I grew up without knowing any relatives .   I yearned to have grandparents and relatives present in my life .  

But, I cherished the countdown of preparation for holiday meals .  I have always enjoyed cooking and baking as well as holiday decorating .  

This is a turkey that I roasted a few years ago .  It was nice to know that I still had the knack for it.  And, I find a lot of enjoyment in selecting and preparing all the sides dishes and pies/desserts . 
I little decor from the past .
This tablescape lends itself to the theme of Thanksgiving  -  I think .  Just a few vintage Johnson Brothers Windsor Ware dishes in Garden Bouquet pattern from a local thrift shop .  I like my vintage gold Acorn salt and pepper shakers that I received in the 1960's .
It's so good to have lots of good memories even though I have had too many holidays alone.  It is what it is - and I am very thankful for all the goodness in my life .

May all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving even if it is a bit challenging if your current circumstances are more challenging than usual.

Mary

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Cactus Blooming And A Little More

It is that time of year again . The cactus have started to bloom.  I would say Christmas Cactus but that would not be totally accurate because I have seen blooms on my plants at various times of the year .  But, whatever time of year I always get a little excited.
I know these two photos look like the same color flower .  However, the first photo is a salmon color and the other photo is a red color flower.
One of my potted cactus has four colors planted together which include pink, white, salmon and red.  It is just starting to show a little color .

There is not a lot happening in my garden or my life for that matter.  Lots of things that need to be taken care of but difficulty finding the motivation and I must monitor my activity based on what is best for me in relation to what is the best level of physical activity without causing an unwanted pain level .  I really dislike feeling so restricted !

But, I did take a little walk around the garden before going out to do a few errands .  This hardy White Chrysanthemum turns to a bi color with a lavender ring around the outside circumference after it has been open for a few weeks.  It was a nice surprise because I thought it was going to be all white.
And, here is another White Chrysanthemum with a little different shape and variety .
What a nice surprise to see the Flowering Cabbage opening to show the beautiful colors and pattern formation !
We are so blessed to have clear blue skies in this part of California.  But not to far from here schools and colleges have been closed due to the toxicity of the smoke .  Many aspects of life as we have known it in California have been severely altered .
Happy New Week .  Whatever your current weather conditions and life circumstances, I wish you a Beautiful Day with what is in your Heart !

Mary 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

So Difficult To Comprehend

I have avoided writing about the Horrendous California Wildfires (firestorms) because it just seems so unbelievable but with the extensive continual news coverage and nearby communities suffering with all the fringe hardships (dangerous air quality) to so many humans and animals the disaster is not far from my constant thoughts .  Never in my wildest thoughts could I have ever thought something like this would happen in my lifetime .  All the emotions that one feels are so magnified in severity .  And the feelings of helplessness is enormous .

Today's newspaper - - - Paradise, CA — "The damage tally continues to increase for the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history .

The Camp Fire in Butte County has now destroyed 8,756 homes, 1,310 outbuildings and 260 commercial buildings. 56 people are now confirmed dead and many more remain unaccounted for. The fire is now 140,000 acres and 40-percent contained."

How can a whole town just disappear ? ? ?  And the ramifications will live on for many many years.  

I hope that all of us do what we can to help in whatever way we can .  Even if it feels small and insignificant !  And, let's be grateful for what we have in our own lives . Remember WANT is very different from NEED !  Blessings to All .

Mary

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Are There Really More Acorns

They just keep a' dropping and they are noisy too, especially when they hit anything that is metal or hard plastic .
And, I have raked barrels and barrels of leaves .  And, this has been going on for a few weeks now .  The oak leaves are one thing but every acorn is potentially another seedling and tree .  I have enough trees - thank you very much ! !
There are buckets and buckets of acorns and it can be difficult to clean them up without taking a lot of soil at the same time .  So, I figured a way to salvage the soil and soil amendments by using a tray that I have had for a long time . The tray has a screen at the bottom to sift out the good soil that can be returned to the garden.  It really doesn't take long  because the acorns settle to the ground beneath most of the leaves and I coop them up and shake the tray . I raised it up to a height that doesn't strain my back and it is easy to do .
This is what I see every morning from my front door
Most mornings I rake leaves !  With the beautiful weather it is nice to spend a little early time outdoors .
My little garden shed looks so cheerful with the red blooming geraniums .
The White Cyclamen is starting to bloom as it does every year .
The Fountain Grass plants that I planted a few weeks ago have grown nicely since this photo was taken .
Since I have some large clumps of Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker) in the yard I think I will transplant one plant between each Fountain Grass plant and a little higher on the slope .  As you know, the clay/rock is very difficult to plant anything in and I only was able to transplant one plant , so far .  But, I think I like the contrast of color and plant shape with the stately looking spikes next to the bronze Fountain Grass .  This year I have been able to add several 3 cubic bags of soil conditioner to the front gardens which should help a lot.  Hopefully in the spring, the Yellow Stella D'oro Daylilies will bloom that are planted along the front rock border .  At least that is my plan . We will wait and see .
And, the Purple Chrysanthemums in the front garden are looking very cheerful, healthy and full .  The Yellow Chrysanthemums bloomed earlier this year and every plant bloomed .
This photo was taken last year .  Maybe, next year the front garden will look finished and filled in to me !
I almost forgot to show you my Ornamental Pink Flowering Cabbage I recently planted along with some violas .  Won't they be pretty once they fill in and are larger ?
Let's end with this photo of this sweet Pink Penstemon that I planted in my garden years ago . It has bloomed every year and requires very little attention .  Not much more than me saying "thank you",
Precious Ivy sitting at my feet waiting for me to say "Good By" to you .
Until next time .  Hug your family, friends and pets !  And, remember to be Grateful .

Mary

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Finally A New Doctor

At long last I think I have a doctor that will listen to me and provide the medical care that I feel is necessary for me to stay as healthy as possible .  Saw M.D on Thursday, 10/25/18 and I was extremely impressed !  His office is a 30 to 45 minute drive from my home .  But, that is OK with me.  It's an easy country drive .

If you follow my blog,  you may remember that I have been trying to get proper medical attention for a very long time since my Primary Care Physician took a position at the local Veterans Administration with anticipation of better benefits which would assist her in student loan debt reduction .  Her gain - my loss .  She was one of the best doctors I have ever had .

After her departure in June 2016 I was unable to find a doctor (of any kind) who could take new patients for over a year because this area is very under served by the Medical Community .   I won't repeat my efforts in diligently trying to get medical care .  If any interest just check out health under labels .

I did learn one thing from the new doctor that may be of help to others who have to use Medicare .  Basically when a patient goes to the doctor in California they generally do Not receive any diagnostic testing (lab work included) unless they are reporting specific symptoms that can then be entered into the Medicare computer program by the doctor who is then given a pull-down menu that he/she can select from for what diagnostics will be covered by Medicare .   At least that is the way the doctor explained the process to me .

In the past, I would have annual lab work based on what medications I was receiving for specific medical conditions to ascertain if adjustments in medication may be indicated .  It seems to me that now every little ache or pain has to be reported by the patient to insure appropriate care .  And, all along, I thought that Prevention was the best approach .  Not all that long ago,  patients received at least  a check of heart and lungs via stethoscope .

The doctor questioned me about one of my responses to one of his statements .  I answered,  Why you ask?"  And, he replied, "Most people wouldn't know that."   My response was "Oh, I am just a Retired RN .  He was very easy to talk with and he explained everything and answered all my questions .  I left with a laboratory requisition for several blood tests .  In a few days I talked with him about the results and he kindly went over each normal range for the tests .  Very happily I received information that all my blood tests were normal !  No anemia or other issues !  He said that if I felt that I needed more info about my abdominal concerns he would order a CAT scan and a referral to a surgeon who he  respected .

I did a little more Internet research and I think it may be helpful for me to increase my fiber intake as well as drinking more water to stay well hydrated .

With my monthly medical expense of $351.00 for medical insurance including prescription coverage I would like to think I am paying for and receiving comprehensive care .  I have selected excellent plan coverage so that I have the best coverage I can get .   I guess I would say that my approach falls in line with my lifelong philosophy of self responsibility and never expecting "a handout".

Well, one more "stressor" to remove from my "need to do list".  I look forward to the day my list is blank .  Normal activities are just fine .  But, this year has required more decision making about several activities than in the past .  A Little Humor ?  At least at the moment I am in good health (other than my back) and when the time comes to leave this life, my Will is up-to-date ! 😊😊😊

Hope your week is starting out Well .  An hour more sleep in the morning !

Mary

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom Of The Page

I Think I Got Bumped To The Bottom Of The Page
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While You Weren't Looking
I Went Shopping - Thinking of the Holidays