Update about blogCa

Blogger won't let me post a header photo today...so we're just a title now.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Sometimes you feel like a nut...

 Breakfast the other day was coffee with 2% milk (which I now enjoy) and some Almond butter with a spread of Apple Butter on top to sweeten it up...all on my multigrain toast!
Having two slices is kind of pushing it, with all that stuff on top. I should have just had one slice.

Today's quote:
Silence will save me from being wrong (and foolish), but it will also deprive me of the possibility of being right.
-Igor Stravinsky, composer (17 Jun 1882-1971)

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Reading is for...

escape.
fun?
learning...
relaxation
diversion
laughs
inspiration

OK, most of those, and seldom learning these days, if I'm totally honest.

I like reading adventurous fiction, usually murder mysteries. (Hello Vicki Lane!)

Recently I finished a bunch of Sarah Paretsky stories of V. I. Warshawski, and some of Lee Child's many adventures of Reacher. They are enjoyable and affirming that the good guy wins against really awful and huge odds. I never imagine Reacher as being Tom Cruise, who played him in a couple of movies...the real Reacher was a huge giant of a man and Cruise just doesn't measure up.  So he's somewhat like Hagrid, (of Harry Potter adventures) but more nimble and less hairy, and acclimated to the US Army.

Last night I started a new audio book, from the library. It's a John Le Carre' novel...which means murder and mahem in a spy type venue. His real name is David John Moore Cornwell, born in 1931.

I have read a few of his more famous works, but this one was published in 2019.  So I was interested to see how he approached spying in the time of Brexit, tRump, and various changes in the British/Rusian spy adventures...but just before the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm sure he's already working on something about these times. Goodness, just look how old he is!



I found a few interesting facts about John Le Carre' on Wikipedia Here.

And I expect to find many terms that will have little meaning to me, not having the benefit of being British. But the real reason I'm reading this audio book is that it's being read by John Le Carre, a.k.a. David John Cornwell. His voice is pleasing without too much of an accent for my American ears.

It's only a bit over 9 hours of listening.

Today's quote:
You are the sky. Everything else -- it's just the weather. 
-Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and author (b. 1936)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Things I wanted to share

My mother, Mataley Munhall Rogers on left, then my dad's cousin, Zulie Winslow Seamans, next to  her mother, Stella Swasey Winslow (Aunt Jim) and then her sister, my grandmother, Ada Swasey Rogers.
Men behind are Uncle Chauncey, his brother my father George Jr. Rogers, maybe his cousin who was close to my father's age, Billy Winslow, then my grandfather in hat, (Poppy) George Rogers Sr.

So Gummy (Ada Swasey Rogers) and Aunt Jim (Stella Swasey Winslow) were sisters. Gummy and Poppy had Chauncey and George Rogers (as well as Alex and James not in photo.) Stella's husband died in 1923. Her children were Zulie Winslow Seamans and Billy (William Swasey Winslow).

I just love the clothes these family members were wearing. I wonder what that fur collar my mother is wearing might be. I am pretty sure my parents and the senior Rogers lived in San Antonio TX at the time (around the time my parents met around 1935 until they got married in 1939.)

I love sharing beautiful art...and Carole Epp (a ceramic artist blogger) just posted this link last Monday. Ardmore Ceramics. This South African studio has amazing pieces.



And to celebrate July 4, here's a very old photo of Chimney Rock with Old Glory flying. I would guess it had just 48 stars at the time. I live about 20 miles from this feature, which is now in a NC state park. That's Lake Lure in the distance.

Here's a more recent photo of Chimney Rock. And yes, I have climbed those stairs and stood near the flagpole...maybe 10 years ago. Not sure I would today. For many years the elevator to the top level was broken or "being repaired." I wouldn't want to have to climb all the way up to the level where the gift shop was any way, so that was a good excuse. But my vertigo has increased as I've aged too.



Today's Quote:

H. sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority, then forgets that symbols are inventions. 
-Joyce Carol Oates, writer (b. 16 Jun 1938)

Sharing with Sepia Saturday this week. Come on over and see what other Sepians have to share!



Medicines, etc.

I have a younger friend who had a triple bypass (I think that's what it was) 17 years ago. And she's been taking lots of medicines ever since, some 3 times a day.

I only do mine twice a day, and I've managed to put some of the "one time a day" ones in the evening, and some in the morning...so there are usually only 5-7 at a time, and only 4 that need taking twice a day.

Then that little white machine with the clear plastic tube is the nebulizer, and I hook one of those blue mouthpieces on it and fill them with two different medicine to help me breath better. And the next 30 minutes are spent sitting and breathing some misty medicine. At least some of the time I can actually type and post blogs.  I nebulize twice a day. And there's one drug that makes my fingers so shaky that I can't write worth a darn. I really hate that. So there goes being an artist...shake shake shake.

So having heart disease (and high blood pressure) as well as bronchiectasis, and COPD, I'm just a normal 77 year old these days. Well, I refuse to be identified by my diseases. I have them. They don't have me, I tell myself. But it does take much longer to get ready in the mornings. I seldom have breakfast before 11.

Of course part of my time is spent enjoying reading other people's blogs. Sometimes I think they all know that I just sit here in my apartment and they are my only social contact...but then I think, perhaps that's true of them as well. That's due mainly to the pandemic, of course. I'm so grateful for all their wonderful stories and photos!

Last night I headed out for a second outing for the day. I really wanted to stop at the locally owned Dairy King, and have a bit of some soft serve with something stirred into it. But when I started to turn off the road into their parking lot, I saw why the roads had been so empty. Everyone was at Dairy King! So I quickly decided to go to the grocery store and just buy some ice cream. It's the first time I'd been there since the aisles had arrows pointing you in one direction or another. And I was really pleased to see almost all the customers had on masks.

Got some needed groceries as well as my treat of ice cream. And then came home to enjoy my desert.

Earlier in the day I drove to Asheville for an appointment with the PA of the cardiologist. The nurse asked if I had a living will on file with them. I said I had one, but didn't know how to get it on file with them. She told me to ask the scheduler on the way out.  My check-up went well, and I scheduled the next things to do in September. But what was it I was supposed to ask the scheduler? I was completely blank. I went back and asked the nurse, because at least I remembered she had told me to ask someone something or another, when I was about to leave. And she remembered. The scheduler didn't know how to get it into their files. But she was smart, and asked someone in medical records. They said, just bring it in and we'll scan it into our records. I quickly wrote myself a not to that effect on the paper with my next appointment on it. I don't trust my memory at all.

Today's quote:
On each race is laid the duty to keep alight its own lamp of mind as its part in the illumination of the world. To break the lamp of any people is to deprive it of its rightful place in the world festival. -Rabindranath Tagore, poet, philosopher, author, songwriter, painter, educator, composer, Nobel laureate (7 May 1861-1941)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Front Line worker


My friend Teresa, works at a gas station kiosk, where she deals with money and lottery tickets and I think she still sells tobacco products.  She has that little window which she's holding up with her hand, and it comes down and shields her face most of the time...but she doesn't wear a mask to work. She does use hand sanitizer frequently though.

Teresa also has to go clean/sanitize the keypads and handles on the 8 gas pumps several times a day.  I worry about her, and usually will check on how she's doing by texting her every day. If I don't, she will check on me!

Today's quote: (Thanks to fellow blogger, Sabine (Here).

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.  - Arundhati Roy. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Morning notes

Waiting for toast, I stretch my hamstrings as I bend over the edge of the counter. The living area and kitchen doors are open to nice cool air...but I don't know how much Sahara Desert dust is still in the air. It rained recently, the porch and sidewalks are all wet still, so I think any dust might have been defused for a while.

I spread my 40% vegetable oil spread on my "light seven grain" toast and wonder what the other 60% is. Then I sprinkle some good tasting nutritional yeast on top...which is my go-to seasoning these days. Ah, having heart disease is changing my diet drastically. I didn't realize how many things I ate that weren't good for me. Today I'm tossing all those saved little tubes and envelopes of condiments. A lot of them have dried up anyway. Goodbye ketchup and sweet and sour sauce.

Today I am fixing the toast early in my morning routine because I took my pills early, and they upset my stomach. Of course I didn't remember that would happen, until it did. I've already made my coffee and took my morning blood pressure. It's nice and low.

I changed the food in the hummingbird feeder first thing, scrubbing it clean of any little dark areas first. I scared one of the wrens when I opened the door to the balcony. She sat there with a worm in her mouth just chirping away at me, while her babies waited inside the little spirit house. I finally closed the door a bit so they could be fed, and waited till she'd gone off to hunt some more before taking down the hummer's feeder. I put it back up without seeing her.

Today (written Monday) I will send the newsletter that I edit off to a proof-reader. I like having someone else eye it and see if there are any mistakes (grammar or punctuation usually.) Since I cut and paste most of the articles, I often miss what an author has written. I need to add a few more photos and then I'll do that.

I've got a pile of paperwork on the table/desk waiting for my attention. That will be my next task. I haven't had the table set for eating in weeks/months. I just push the papers aside and put my plate and mug in the space when I want to eat there. Usually just for drippy foods, otherwise I'll hold it on my lap while watching TV or reading a book on the mini-iPad.

I hope you have a good day, and week. Summer is here and we're still living! It's my ex-husband's 81st birthday. He's doing pretty well!

Here's a link to a good article about a writer, Octavia Butler. I know I don't usually take the time to follow links...but Open Culture is part of my daily news emails. I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Lake walkers

I was parked just a half hour at Lake Tomahawk. I decided not to walk around the lake last Saturday because
1) there was the Sahara Dust to deal with as well as Covid-19
2) nobody (NOBODY) was masked

 The pool is closed for the season. I feel sorry for all those families who usually spend the summer splashing around in it.





So I just sat there and took some photos...very poor quality because they were through the windows of the car. Sorry about that.

People were meeting together to walk at the lake, coming in different cars. The playground is clearly taped over so children can't climb on the apparatus. I guess they could dig in the sand if they wished. Unfortunately one of the remaining activities is to chase the geese and ducks.

Today's quote:
Somewhere in every heart there is a discerning voice.  This
voice distrusts the status quo.  It sounds out the falsity in
things and encourages the dissent from the images things
tend to assume.  It underlines the secret crevices where the
surface has become strained.  It advises distance and opens
up a new perspective through which the concealed meaning
 of a situation might emerge... Its intention is to keep the heart
clean and clear.  This voice is an inner whisper not obvious or
known to others outside...  Yet much depends on that small
voice.  The truth of its whisper marks the line between honor
and egoism, kindness and chaos.  In extreme situations,
which have been emptied of all shelter and tenderness,
that small voice whispers from somewhere beyond and
encourages the heart to hold out for dignity, respect, beauty
and love.  That whisper brings forgotten nobility into an arena
where violence has traduced everything.  This faithful voice
can illuminate the dark lands of despair.  It becomes both the
sign and presence of a transcendence that no force or horror
can extinguish.  Each day in the world, in the prisons, hospitals
and killing fields, against all the odds, this still, small voice
continues to echo the beauty of the human being.  In haunted
places this voice carries the light of beauty like a magical
lantern to transform the desolation, to remind us that
regardless of what may be wrenched from us, there is a
dignity and hope that we do not have to lose.  This voice
brings us directly into contact with the inalienable presence
of beauty in the soul.

John O'Donohue


Monday, June 29, 2020

A bit of Sahara in North Carolina

All afternoon the ridge line across the valley was hazy...and a different color than our usual foggy clouds. So around 6:30 pm I went out for a drive. Wearing a mask of course, until I got in the car. The Covid orders from our Governor asked us to. More on another post about how people in Black Mountain are (NOT) wearing masks.

 Sorry these are just shots through the car windows.

 The sky was mostly cloudy, but where blue showed through, even it looked a bit faded. Here at Lake Tomahawk. I know people were saying it would make for beautiful sunsets...but I didn't really want to wait around for 2 more hours! I'm not like a dedicated photographer!


Driving down US 70 going west, even though the windshield was tinted, the lighting was a bit dull.

Sunday I woke up to more warnings about air quality. So even though I'm already wearing the mask, I will be doubly careful. No walks around the lake till the dust from the Sahara Desert has settled. It hit all of the southeast in the last few days. We are all so connected on this small blue planet.

Today's quote:
Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within.
JENNIFER WELWOOD

Sunday, June 28, 2020

A bug, flower and birds...

 Not 10 minutes after reading Vicki's blog about a Beetle...this little guy was right in front of me. I didn't do like she did, however, and look it up.

It's nice to see some variegated lilies around.

Three fuzzy (sorry out of focus) little wren chicks in the little house on my balcony. Finally the parents returned to feed them. The babies are quiet at least, but the parents aren't!

Today's quote:
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. -Arthur Conan Doyle, physician and writer (22 May 1859-1930) 



Saturday, June 27, 2020

The 1920s women's attire

An afternoon with friends...perhaps, but not dressed up for a tea party!

Sharing with Sepia Saturday this week.

A fabulous photo of the various clothes women wore, from top to bottom...well, head to toe anyway.

1925 afternoon shopping






Friday, June 26, 2020

Sally's doggie

Though I knew his name once, I forgot it. And he was not too friendly toward me, yelping and trying to attack me.  Sally said it was my mask that scared him. But I did want some photos, so she kept yanking him back before he was wearing my mask in his teeth!



I must admit I hate yippy barking small dogs. Somehow they are the most annoying.

Today's quote:
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others. For the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.

—Albert Einstein