Monday, September 27, 2021

Meandering Mishref

 Yesterday we had a sandstorm so it was a stay inside kinda day, but today there were blue skies and a breeze so I headed out to one of my favorite areas for walking.

I usually start out on the walking path, but then on the way back meander through the neighborhood to get a different view.

I like how the homeowner here trained the bushes to shade the drinking fountain.
It's always fun to see how people decorate their yards.
And I always love seeing a utility building painted with artwork and made pretty. 
Hope that you are all doing well.
Sending love your way.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Morning Walk

Mornings are a great way to enjoy the world.
You see it as it should be -
peaceful, quiet and the birds are singing.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 6, 2021

Balcony Gardening

September is still hot in my corner of the world with tomorrow's high expected to be 117 F.

The cantaloupe vines (planted from seed at the end of June) have survived and continue to flower but unfortunately there's no pollinators around just yet.

Male flower on the left, female flower on the right.

I love how the tendrils reach out and wrap themselves around whatever they can to find support.
I've not yet planted any other types of seeds, but did plant some potato eyes that have started to leaf out.

I'm also making compost in a plastic storage container on the balcony.  With the extreme heat, the process of food scraps breaking down happens pretty quickly.  I dumped dirt and sand from old plant pots to get it started and just add kitchen scraps and leaves, plus water to keep it moist.  It already smells like fresh earth and the soil is so dark and rich compared to what it looked like when I started months ago.
It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into
the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the
possibilities of the new season.
(Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden)

Wishing you a happy Monday!

Friday, September 3, 2021

Out to Lunch

 A bit of car crochet while my husband went to check on some things at his warehouse.  He had two containers to unload early this morning and said it was like a sauna inside the truck.

Friday is the only day he doesn't work (unless there's a shipment that needs unloading like today), so it's the one day that we go out to eat if we can.
After more than a year we were back at our favorite Thai restaurant.  I get the vege tom yum and it is absolutely delicious.  The cabbage and cucumber are to cool your mouth off if things get a little too spicy.  I just avoid too many red peppers at one time and it's all good.  :)  
No walks today as the humidity is absolutely stifling.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
Let the true colors of your heart illuminate the world.

Have a fab Friday!

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Seaside Saunter & Heart Habits

Today's walk was along the corniche where it was just under 100 degrees at 8:22 a.m.
I was accompanied by some of the kitties that live along this stretch of the seafront.  They are cared for by volunteers, fed daily, and many of them have been spade/neutered.
The humidity thankfully isn't as bad in the morning as it is late afternoon.

Part of the reason I really want to get back to walking as much as I can is because there's been way too much staying home and sitting since the pandemic began.  I got my second dose of Oxford on Tuesday so am glad to finally be done with that.

The other reason is that on August 18th, I started having a very strange feeling in my chest which took me by surprise.  With heart disease on my dad's side of the family, I've always hoped my lifestyle changes have kept me from having the same heart issues as him and my aunts and uncles  The arrhythmia was very unsettling so my husband contacted his childhood friend who is a doctor and he suggested an ECG and blood test to check my thyroid function.  After results from one of the government hospitals didn't show anything out of the ordinary, I was referred to a cardiologist who requested more specific blood tests, another ECG, a 24-hour holter monitor and a stress test.

Ultimately, it was determined that I should manage my stress (in my case, that means not watching the news) and limit my caffeine (I gave up coffee for 10 days and now have switched to decaf).  He also said no smoking but that's easy since I don't smoke.  :)  
The doctor said I should not think about it.  He feels that the erratic heartbeats will stop with time.  I have noticed some improvement since they first started, but the irregular pounding is still there.
I'm trying not to think about it.

Slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.
Take time to be still and breathe.
(Zane Baker)

Have a good Thursday!

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Quick Hello

 I'm constantly trying to hit reset on my routines and my life.  September is a time of transition weather-wise, and this first day of the month seems like a good time to hit refresh once again.

Although it's still hot, and the humidity has been stifling lately, I'm determined to start my daily morning walks again.

I also intend to make blogging a part of my daily routine but am getting a really late start on that today as it is just about bedtime, so will keep this short and sweet.

Thinking about everyone in Louisiana as they deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. 

I hope you are all well and safe.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Summer Flowering

 Hello Friends!

Long time no blog. Hope this finds you doing well.

At the end of June, I planted saved cantaloupe seeds from store-bought melons.  Last year I did the same and was really pleased when they grew and flowered throughout our harsh summer weather.  By January of this year, we had two of the cutest little melons which turned out to be snack-sized, but super sweet.

Last year I only planted them in one pot, but this year I've spread seeds throughout five different pots, three on one balcony and two on the other.

In the past week, the first flowers have appeared and each one sparks a bit of joy. 

We only need to open our eyes to see the gifts

that abound all around us.

These are the simple joys in life.


May your day be filled with many blessings.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Traditional Embroidery

 Over the past week, while listening and learning, I was stitching and meditating.

The designs I stitched on this sampler bookmark are from the Palestinian Embroidery book by Widad Kawar and Tania Nasier that documents the embroidery indicative to 5 different regions in Palestine. 

The word fallah means farmer and fallaha is the farm woman so this type of embroidery is called fallahi because it was traditionally made by village women.

I chose to work on designs from Gaza.

I am supposing, or perhaps only hoping, that our future may be found in the past's fugitive moments of compassion rather than in its solid centuries of warfare.
(Howard Zinn)

Have a good Monday.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Love and Care

 I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.
(Pablo Casals)
Spreading love.
Caring for kitties.
And picking up trash.
A part of my every day, most days.

Sunday blessings.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

In Other News

Quite often, I choose to distance myself from the news of the day in order to preserve my sanity.  Unfortunately, I did not feel I had the luxury to look the other way when events began to unfold in Palestine and Israel more than a week ago.
Moon over Old City Jerusalem, November 2019

If you follow international news, then you might be aware of the military assault aimed at Gaza (though possibly not all the events leading up to it; that, I guess depends on the coverage of such events where you live).  On the other hand, you may be like me and doing your best to stay away from all news that is bad news.
Further proof of my love of the moon, Jerusalem, November 2019

For those of you who don't know or might not remember, my husband is Palestinian-American with a large number of family still living in Jerusalem.  We normally would go there once or twice a year to visit them, especially his aunt (whom he talks to nearly every single day by telephone) who is 90 years old, but obviously that's not happened in awhile.  Our last visit there was November 2019.
When the pandemic and lockdowns started, she kept asking when she would see us again (note: she has been blind since the age of 2 because of some sort of explosion; we don't really know the exact story).  It took a lot of explaining for her to finally realize that it's not that we didn't want to come, but we literally can't because of everything going on.  We had hoped that with vaccinations, at some point things might start to open up and we could maybe, possibly get there by the end of this year, but with the recent attacks and unrest, that seems highly unlikely.
Damascus Gate

This land, considered holy, has been subject to much strife for centuries and yet I've never delved into the true history of the area.  So, with everything that's been going on there and across the world, I've decided that it's time to educate myself on matters of importance rather than sitting on the sidelines feeling that there's nothing I can do.
On Thursday, I finished reading Freedom is a Constant Struggle and The Age of American Unreason, both of which opened my eyes to moments in history that I might have heard of briefly and others that I knew absolutely nothing about.  A Map of Absence is short stories and poems by established authors and emerging writers from the time before and after the Nakba which was the mass expulsion of approximately 700,000 Palestinians from their homes in 1948.  This is the first time these writings have been translated from Arabic into English.

Some of my recent posts have mentioned the anxiety I'd been feeling, like a dark cloud was over my head and a low grade depression was seeping in, but I have to admit that a fire has now been lit to learn, grow, evolve.  That's my misson each and every day.

Sending many blessings and good wishes your way.
Take care.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Checking In

 Hello again Friends.

Well, my commitment to blog every day in May crumbled when I learned of Teresa's death (see previous post if you are not aware of who or what I'm talking about).  It really threw me for a loop and I still really can't believe she's gone.  We both shared a love for taking pictures of the moon.

Yesterday we learned that a longtime family friend died of covid.  He was sick for a week and in ICU for three days.  

And today we found out that our neighbors right across from us are currently quarantining.  The father has had both vaccine doses and the mother had her first.  Last week, they decided to have family over for the Eid holiday which was obviously not a good idea since one of the guys there wound up having corona.  A day or two later, the mom started to not feel well so was tested and told she had the virus and could not take her second vaccination until she's quarantined for 10 days.  They have two girls, ages 15 and 11, and they seem to be doing okay.

My youngest son in NY said a friend of his knows someone who lost both his parents a couple of months ago.

When will this virus loosen its grip on the world?  People seem to be letting their guards down and that's going to prove disastrous, I think.  Restaurants have been closed for months for dine-in but will re-open on Sunday.  Most school children are now on summer break from the virtual learning they've been doing for over a year which means parents will probably be wanting to take them out to cool places for entertainment.  And by cool, I mean with air conditioning since it's 110 F during the day.
Last year my plumeria did not bloom in April as it normally would.  Instead it dropped all of its leaves and it's only been in the past months that it started to grow back.  It's been blooming all this past week.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope.

(Lady Bird Johnson)

Be well and stay safe.

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