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.
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.
We like to eat them with melted butter or mayonnaise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Coffee’s ready. Come in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you my life this week was controlled by outside demands and forces. My husband had medical appointments and I am the driver right now. I am glad we are getting connected with new healthcare providers in our community. My husband and I have both been catching up with long delayed medical check ups. At first it was nerve wracking to go into the clinic for appointments or lab work. But I feel that I have gotten more comfortable with going there. We will see how I feel after next Tuesday when restrictions are lifted and people are allowed to be in public without masks. I have gone into a few stores as well, still with my mask, so I am getting more comfortable with that.
Because I was so busy with the appointments I did not get a chance to get out and catch a photo of the roadrunner. I was up early one morning for a walk. I never thought I would be able to get up and out at 6:30 AM but I did. When I first started out, there were a couple of women out with their dogs. One of the women was talking loudly and I thought it would diminish my chances of seeing a roadrunner, the loud voices and dogs. But after I took a different route and walked over toward one of the greens where I had seen roadrunners before, I was rewarded with seeing the large one but only for a short time. There were some workers on the green and the roadrunner quickly sought a hiding place in a fenced yard.
I haven’t been able to get into a routine of early morning walks yet, but I will probably need to work on it because the daytime temperatures are starting to climb. We’re looking at a possible 114 degrees F on Tuesday.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer. Image of roadrunner via National Park Service Death Valley.
Coffee’s ready. Please join me and pull up a chair. We have Pete’s French Roast this morning. I am out of half and half so we will need to use milk. If we were having coffee I would tell you I met some of the neighbors this week. One lives next store, a nice lady with two small friendly dogs. Things are opening up here in California but I still don’t see all the neighbors out and about much yet when I take a walk. We found evidence of a new resident in our backyard. I spotted a hole in the ground near the grapefruit tree. It has some sand piled up near the lower edge of it as if something has been digging. I’ve been keeping watch and haven’t seen anything coming out or around there. I think there is a bit more sand pushed out today. I noticed there is slight cave in of the ground above and another small hole near the big one. We are not sure what to do about it yet. We do plan to ask the gardener. I did a bit a research on which creatures make burrows in the sandy soil of the desert. I don’t think it is a tortoise but it could be a rodent. I read snakes do not make burrows but would occupy a vacant one. I don’t want to use poisons because that can hurt birds like The Roadrunner. If he finds out we have a critter in our yard, he may come in and hunt it. Roadrunners will eat things like that.
Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.
Coffee’s up. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you this week we started ‘Daylight savings time’ here in California and most of the US. I thought I was over it since I no longer have to keep to a work schedule. But I notice I am more than usual groggy in the morning lately. It may take me more than two cups of coffee to wake up today. I have never liked the time change. Every year when my husband announces it’s time to reset the clocks ahead , you can hear my loud groan, ‘oh, no.’ I don’t mind ‘Fall back’ because you get the extra hour of sleep then. I have noticed since we moved to the desert that one thing we have plenty of is daylight. I don’t think we need to save any of it. It really seems brighter here. I read that the sky is bluer too because there aren’t as many dirt particles in the air. I hope we don’t have as much air pollution as the city. There is quite a bit of traffic here as the population has grown in recent years. Eventually, we are supposed to go to electric cars and what a change that will mean for Southern California.
Getting back to brightness of the light here. I have been attempting to take photos of some of flora with my android and noticed I have trouble seeing what’s on the viewfinder because of the glare. I took a couple of shots almost blind. I googled the problem and read I could use a umbrella or large brimmed hat to provide enough shade for the camera. It reminded me of the old-time photographers who used to cover their heads with a cloth to block the light. In my brief research, I found there are attachments for digital cameras called digital display shades. Or it was suggested to drape a towel over my head. I think I might scare the neighbors with that technique.
A couple of my blind shots:
I was frustrated I could not get the shots I wanted of other plants and trees. Still figuring out my new android and how to manage all the light. Almost forgot, I did get a shot some of my grapefruit blossoms.