Puzzle Pieces

Coffee’s up. We have Columbian again today. I want to get to the store and pick up Peet’s French Roast but haven’t made it there yet. If we were having coffee I would tell you that my husband has collected several boxed jig-saw puzzles. Those type of puzzles don’t interest me so much. I like a different type of puzzle, mysteries, police procedurals in particular.

Another puzzle I am into is genealogy research. I like finding the vital statistics and accounts of ancestor’s lives. I have learned some history with this research as well. It is engrossing and a reprieve from all the negative things happening. It’s a lot like solving mysteries and puzzles, putting all the pieces together in the right place.

Something else had been puzzling me. I hadn’t seen any roadrunners in quite a while and wondered what happened and where they went. Then, the other day, I spotted a large bird on the patio. I only got a brief glimpse as it slipped past the patio door. I went outside to the front of the house and there they were, a pair of roadrunners. One took off right away but the other stayed for a short time while we shared greetings. I snapped a quick photo before it went on its way.

Roadrunner on neighbor’s driveway

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘puzzle,’

Also sharing post with Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Where Were You When…

This week leading up to the date there have been many stories in the news about 9/11. I could say it is hard to believe it has been 20 years ago, but I know time can pass quickly and memories recede. People often say things like ‘where were you when’ some historic event happened. When the event is traumatic, part of me wants to push it away. That is how it is with 9/11. I can tell you at the time I was living in Southern California and that made me feel insulated because it happened across the country from me. I know it would have been much worse if I lived in New York City or Washington, D.C. My memory is of the morning it happened. I was home on sick leave. I was going through a personal crisis with the loss of sight in my right eye. It was due to an inflammation of the optic nerve and after several weeks my eyesight did return. But at the beginning it was very stressful. I’m not sure if we had the news on or my husband came in and told me to turn it on. We saw the video of the plane flying into the first tower. Then the second plan hit the second tower. I remember how unreal it looked, like a scene from a movie. Later news reports told us of the attack in Washington and the passengers who helped crash Flight 93 so the terrorists couldn’t crash the plane into the Capitol. I followed the news and read the accounts of the people who lost family members or were badly injured. Life changed here with the heightened vigilance about more terrorist attacks. We were drawn into wars. It was a dark time.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘where.’

Weekend Coffee Share#36-The Official Vegetable

Coffee’s ready. Today we have Columbian coffee. It is pretty good for a change. We used to drink Columbian all the time until we discovered the darker roasts. There are blueberry bagels to go with it. I got a couple of walks in this week. I need to get out early though. Yesterday it was about 85 degrees F at 6:30 AM when I started out. It is still pretty quiet around here at that hour. I did see a few other walkers and people with dogs again. They need to walk their dogs before it gets too hot. One thing that I am missing is roadrunners. I haven’t seen any lately. While walking, I admire all the different plants in the front yards. I came across an interesting one yesterday.

Parry’s or Artichoke agave

These are a type of agave plant and they do look like an artichoke. Although, you need to be careful of the needles.

I do like regular artichokes and we did enjoy eating a few this year. California supplies about 100% of the artichokes to the country. They are grown all over but I am familiar with the farms on the central coast below Santa Cruz. The cooler climate and moist air are good for artichokes. I usually cook them in a couple of inches of boiling water for about 45 minutes. I trim the leaves ,cut off the tops, and squeeze some lemon juice over them. I looked up a recipe on the California Artichoke Advisory Board website. I may try it in the future because it looks easier than the way I do it. When I trim the leaves, I cut off those little needles. The artichoke needles are not as scary as the ones on the agaves here. While reading about our artichokes I found out that the artichoke is California’s official vegetable.

Cooking artichokes in water

We like to eat them with melted butter or mayonnaise.

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Weekend Coffee Share#35-A Walk Outside

Coffee’s up. We have French Roast today. You have your choice of bagels or toast. If we were having coffee I would tell you that the weather has been cooler for a few days. This morning I was out for a walk for the first time in a while. It felt great to walk again. There were a few others out, some taking advantage of the cooler temperature to walk their dogs. The air looked clear this morning. We have had some haze in the past week. I read we are getting smoke pollution from the fires up north. That made me hesitant to get outside a lot as well. I can hear the coffee maker is ready. Let’s grab a cup.

Have you had a chance to see the new EPIX series Chapelwaite? I binged watched the first episodes last night, a spooky gothic mystery story. That and there is a new season of Vera on Britbox. I have read a bunch of the Vera books by Ann Cleaves. She has a new book out now but I want to wait until the price drops a bit.

Besides, I have a stack of books I purchased that I have yet to read.

‘All The Devils Are Here’, by Louise Penny

‘The Witch Elm,’ by Tara French

‘The Glass Hotel,’ by Emily St. John Mandel

‘The Dictionary Of Lost Words,’ by Pip Williams (I love the title).

I have not been able to get into reading books. I want to get back to it.

Lately, I have been listening to audiobooks at bedtime, by Tara Brach and Thich Nhat Hanh. There has been so much stress and bad news that I wanted some spiritual support.

New books to read

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer .

Weekend Coffee Share#34-End of August

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. Today we have bagels with lox and cream cheese. The bagels were delivered this past weekend by our son from one of our favorite bagel places. He brought us two boxes. We put them in the freezer. They are fine there and just need to defrosted in the toaster oven. After heating mine, I sliced it and toasted it for a few minutes. We find that we don’t have any good bagel places near us. The one we used to go to went out of business during the pandemic. Our son tells us there is a good one near Palm Springs.

If we were having coffee I would tell you it has been a quiet week here. I decided not to participate in indoor exercise with mostly unmasked people. I did buy one of those foot pedal exercisers, mainly for my husband. I want to try it too for all the days when it is too hot to exercise outside.

Pedal exerciser

It was so great to see our son and our little grandson last weekend. Our grandson just started TK, which is Transitional Kindergarten. He was born very premature so he is younger developmentally than other kids his age. His is so smart. He loves watching children’s music videos on his IPAD. I am getting familiar with his playlist. Some of the songs are ones my kids listened to when they were little, like ‘Wheels On The Bus.’ I am able to sing along with those. We have a stash of toys for him here, which he is not bored with yet. Some of the toys are over 30 years old. They were our kids toys that we had saved. He used to like to play ball with me, rolling a small rubber ball back and forth. I noticed this time he rolled me the ball while he went on playing with a toy he was more interested in. He was multi-tasking with Meme, and didn’t want to leave me out.

Gavin’s toys
Gavin ❤ ❤

It’s hard to believe this is the end of August. Another year passing in this pandemic fog. I know we will come out it but the news from many places is sad. Stay well, stay safe, get vaccinated.

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Weekend Coffee Share #33-Slowed Down

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you life has felt slowed down this week. I have been out of the house for routine errands, like grocery shopping with my husband. But I did not get to my yoga classes this week. I missed one class because we were staying at another location while the air conditioning was out. Happy to report that the the AC is repaired and working fine now and we didn’t have to buy a new unit. We did a lot of driving back and forth from the place we were staying but now we are back home. Something else made me miss the second yoga class. The county we live in is having a surge of COVID infections and the health department recommends all people wear masks when indoors with others. The community I live in has not required people to follow this recommendation and I don’t feel safe exercising in a room with unmasked people. I have been wearing a mask but most of the others are not. Neither my husband or myself can risk even a ‘break through’ infection. I feel I need to avoid indoor gatherings for now. Seems like it is going to be a longer road to recovery from this pandemic. I worry about my little grandson who has just started back to school. We are excited that he is coming to visit us this weekend.

So much bad news these days in the world. I find myself taking refuge in my genealogy research. It helps to take the load off my mind. It is like detective work looking for clues about the people on my family tree. It is satisfying when I can find the answers.

Well, time to hit the road.

Roadrunner via Max Pixel

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “ode.” Find a one- or two-syllable word that rhymes with “ode,” or use the word “ode.” Have fun!

Weekend Coffee Share#32 and #SOCS -Do You Feel Lucky?

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you that our air conditioner, that has been pulling 24 hour duty, has given up. We realized late last evening that it wasn’t working. Luckily, the temperatures have stayed a bit lower this week. We have another place to stay which is good because the repair service can’t come out until Monday. I wonder how long air conditioners last in this hot climate? I am sure it is a booming business out here to repair and replace them.

Do I feel lucky? I do. These appliance breakdowns are inconvenient and can cause some temporary discomfort, but they are not the worst that could happen. I am beginning to think that these things have a short shelf life. And we happened to buy our house just when they were getting ready to go kablooey. To give the air conditioner credit, we did run it overtime since we’ve been in the house because the weather has required it this year. We will need a heavy duty one.

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. Today’s prompt word is ‘luck.’

Featured image of ‘Four leaf clover’ by Joe Papp on Wikimedia.org

Wee Things

My English grandmother used to use the word ‘wee’ to mean small or little. We never got accustomed to using the word that way and thought it was funny. We might say ‘the wee hours of the morning’ to mean very early. I used to look forward to the weekend when I was working. Now every day is like a weekend. The days run into each other. If you watched ‘Downton Abbey’ you heard the Dowager Countess of Grantham say,’ Weekend? What’s a weekend?’ She didn’t know what a weekend was because she never had to work. So me and the Dowager Countess have that in common now. We are a wee bit alike in that.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt word for today is ‘wee’, use the word ‘wee’ or use a word that contains it in the post.

Featured image ‘Portrait of the Countess Anne d’Escherny by Alexander Roslin via Irina on Flickr.com

Weekend Coffee Share #31-Weathering The Heat

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. We are having Italian Roast today. If we were having coffee I would tell you the weather this week gave me a great excuse to spend a lot of time indoors with genealogy research. The temperature reached its apex with 122 degrees on Wednesday. I was watching the temperature climb on my cell phone weather app all day. I did get out for Yoga in the pool and an indoor class this week. I am getting more flexuous from the yoga exercises.

Back to wearing masks in grocery stores and indoors, anywhere there are other people. Getting tired of this virus, its variants, and reading about people who refuse to get vaccinated. I am glad many businesses are starting to require proof of vaccination.

There has been a considerable amount of bad news stories about drought and fires here and around the world. Does anyone really doubt global warming?

The temperatures are heading back down. It is just hitting 100 degrees mid-day today, and predicted to reach around 113. We already did some errands and I took a few minutes to snap some photos of a place I was curious about. Some cool photos of water around me and a glimpse of badlands, a place for future hikes.

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Flexuous was the Merriam-Webster word of the day for Wednesday, meaning ‘lithe or fluid in action or movement.’

Weekend Coffee Share#30-Desert Life In July

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am starting to fall into a weekly routine. Not saying it won’t be disrupted by some random event like the shifting tides of the pandemic. There are more advisories about the need for masks when indoors. I was just getting used to participating in a yoga class without a mask. I continue with the Zoom book group. We discussed a book I really liked this week, so that helped me open up more. The book is ‘Station Eleven’ by Emily St. John Mandel. I heard it is being made into an HBO series and I will look forward to that.

The roadrunners have been out and about around here more and more. I spotted 2 siblings (?) crossing the street in the next block. They quickly disappeared into a backyard. There was a large adult outside the clubhouse when I went for a yoga class. It made that rapid clicking sound as it took shelter behind a shrub. One of these days I might have a camera ready to capture a good photo of one again.

It’s still a bit too hot to go for walks. I did go out walking before sunset, 108 degrees, and it was a challenge to make it through one of my routes. There was a hot breeze blowing and I didn’t mind getting sprayed by one of the large sprinklers from the golf course. I wonder if the breeze is like the wind chill factor only it’s the wind heat factor. No roadrunners in sight. They were probably sheltered under a shady bush somewhere.

Madagascar Palm

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.