Posted in Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Family, Fire, Friends, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, New Jersey, Photography, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Summer, Travel, Walking & Wandering, WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee: There and back again edition

Jane's hibiscus.
Jane’s hibiscus.

Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.

~ Eileen Caddy, Opening Doors Within

In Jane's garden.
In Jane’s garden.

If we were having coffee, I would give you a big welcome back hug (if you’re amenable to hugs, that is).  This is an unexpected surprise!  Pardon the mess around here.  I just got back from some travels and life adventures.  We got in late last night and all the stuff from our short trip is lying around the house waiting for me to unpack and put things away.

Come on in, grab a beverage, and let’s go out to the porch and chat for a bit.  It is so good to see you again.  I didn’t think I’d be back from my break this soon, but plans did what plans almost always do.  They changed.

Looking out the back door.
Looking out the back door.

How are you?  What have you been up to since last week’s chat?  Have you taken any trips?  Gone on holiday/vacation or taken a staycation?  Have you read any good books or watched any good films?  Gone on any good walks or rides?  Sit down, relax, and tell me how you’re doing and what’s going on in your life.

Since we last talked, I finished reading Assassination Vacation.  It was an interesting, and oddly fun, romp through history.  I learned things about the assassinations of U.S. presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley, that I didn’t know.  I learned a few things about their lives, as well.

I have also started and finished a wonderful book by Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  It’s a fairy tale, and I think you all know by now that I love fairy tales.  The book is described as the author’s first book for adults since Anansi Boys (2005).  I enjoyed every moment of the book and would highly recommend it.  It’s not very long, and it’s a fast read.

I am currently reading Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement.  Since I just started it last night, I have nothing much to add about it.  It’s too early to tell how I feel about the book, the characters, the story line, etc.

On the way home, looking back at the sunset.
On the way home, looking back at the sunset.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that you should stop by Karma’s place to have a look at her August photo challenge — Want to Play? — if you have a camera and you’re interested in a bit of photography fun and games.  We did a similar challenge two years ago, and I very much enjoyed playing along.  If you missed it and you’re interested, you can see what I did here:  Bits and pieces of June.  I might do something similar this year.  Or I might not.  You never know.  Please join us if you have time.

Bubba is happy.  (Happy is the first prompt in the challenge.)
Bubba is happy to have his friend home from the hospital. (Happy is the first prompt in the challenge.)

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I went to visit friends in Annapolis on Wednesday.  We stayed the night and had a great time.  We were supposed to stay with them on Thursday, too, and leave on Friday morning to go north to Pennsylvania to help out with M’s father who was scheduled to go home from rehab (the physical therapy kind of rehab) sometime over the weekend.  That plan took a turn when my father called me on Wednesday night to tell me he was in the hospital again.  So, Thursday after lunch we went to New Jersey to visit with him, thinking that if all was okay with my dad, we’d move on to Pennsylvania from there as and when needed.

Shadows on the promenade.  (Sidewalk is today's prompt.)
Shadows on the promenade. (Sidewalk is today’s prompt.)

Long story, short (I hope), we were not needed in Pennsylvania, and since I wanted to stay while my dad had his surgical procedure done, we stayed.  In the end, it all worked out.  M’s father is at home with family to help if needed, and he’s doing well, all things considered.  We would probably have been in the way if we had gone to help out.  My dad is also home where his dog, Bubba, was extremely happy to see him again.  Although it wasn’t the ideal way to spend time with family, it was good to see Dad and have the chance to hang out with him.  I also had time with three of my four siblings, and that was good, too.

Sunset was beautiful last night, but I had to admire it from a moving vehicle.
Sunset was beautiful last night, but I had to admire it from a moving vehicle.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that weekends are not a good time to be traveling around here.  The traffic going up to New Jersey was a nightmare.  The traffic coming back, at least at the beginning of the trip, was also a nightmare.  There were quite a few accidents along the way there and along the way back.  For some reason I can’t find (I’ve searched), traffic in New Jersey on I-295 was backed up for quite a few miles away from the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and we had to find an alternate route.  Probably another accident.  I wish people would learn to drive more carefully.  Pay attention, people.  When you’re driving a big hunk of a machine, you can kill someone.  Or kill yourself.  And for all the god’s sakes, get off the freaking phone, or pull over if it can’t wait.  I should start taking photos of all the people I see who appear to be texting and driving, phone on the steering wheel as they look down and up, down and up, tap, tap, tapping out whatever it is they think is so important they have to do it while they drive.

In my garden this morning.
In my garden this morning.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you (and you probably noticed) that it is hot and breezy here.  It is almost typical of the dog days of August except the dew point is low which means less humidity.  A cool front that brought rain for our travel on Thursday drove out the oppressive humidity.  It will be back soon.

Trumpeting a morning song.
Trumpeting a morning song.

If we were having coffee, I would ask if you’d like to join me in the kitchen while I work on turning some ripe garden tomatoes into tomato sauce.  It’s a fairly easy process since I have a Victorio food strainer/sauce maker.  Just throw the tomatoes in the chute, turn the handle, and out comes sauce from one side, the discards (skin and seeds) on the other.  I am going to experiment and twirl some fresh basil through it with the tomatoes to see if the sauce will pick up the flavor from basil.

Hibiscus in my garden.
Hibiscus in my garden.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is time for me to wrap this up and go to work in the kitchen.  You are welcome to stay out on the porch if you’d rather, or go for a dip in the pool.  I’ll be back out as soon as I finish the sauce and get it packaged and in the freezer.

Morning sparkle.
Morning sparkle.

Thank you so much for visiting today.  I hope to be coming around to visit you at your place soon.  I still want to have that little in-home retreat I mentioned last week so I may take a day or two for that.

Feeling small in a big universe.
Feeling small in a big universe.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Cloud magic.
Cloud magic.

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

coffee2

 

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

35 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: There and back again edition

  1. Was it really a week ago that we last had coffee? Doesn’t time fly, I must be having fun.
    I’ll join you while you’re busy in the kitchen if you’re Ok with that. Being no good in the kitchen myself, (apart from the odd cake or two), I find it very relaxing watching someone else enjoy kitchen time. 🙂
    I didn’t seem to do much this past week, the first week back on nights after two weeks off I can usually sleep for Britain and win prizes so before I knew it, it was Friday already.
    I spent Friday evening in our kitchen, giving it a good tidy and some much needed tlc. One of the evenings while we were away, Hubby booked a meal at a local pub where a saxophone player was the entertainment . We sat at our table for well over three hours, he was really good. I bought some of his cd’s to bring home and so during my spell in the kitchen I treated myself (and the neighbours) to a few notes or so. One day I’m going to play like that. however, one day in this case is still a long way off. 🙂

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    1. lol, Sallyann! I must be having fun, too, as it seems like our last coffee chat was just yesterday. 😀 Your week sounds good, and so does the cd. I love listening to a good sax player. I’ve been wondering how you’ve been doing with your saxophone. You never know, that “one day” may not be as far off as you think. 🙂

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  2. You’ve had a busy week or two Robin and I am delighted to read all is well – or at least, okay – with your father. Time with siblings must be nice too. Your photos of the morning glories are beautiful! They are considered a noxious weed here but I rather like their rampant sprawling habits and pretty colours – and their ability to go where no plant has gone before! Traffic! Yuk! I always feel I have way better things to do with my time than cope with the outcomes of other peoples lack of road safety sense ……. Now that tomato sauce making thingy sounds just the bees knees to me – fresh tomato sauce yummmmmmmmm!! 😀 It’s warming up a bit here, the days are longer and the worst of the lack of light is over. I am looking forward to my favourite season arriving soon and bringing comfort to my soul! xoxo

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    1. So glad things are warming and lightening up for you, Pauline. Soon it will be spring for you. 🙂 The tomato sauce turned out well and I used some of it to make an Italian style green beans with tomato sauce for dinner. Delicious!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Viewing your pictures are almost as good as a vacation trip. We normally wait until mid Sept to travel – after the big threat of big hurricanes is over. But ugh, each year I find traffic more difficult to tolerate.
    As glad Bubba that your dad is doing better.
    Gorgeous sunsets!

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    1. Thank you, PhilosopherMouse. 🙂 Summer travels are not the best, that’s for sure, especially in terms of traffic. This section of the country gets more and more crowded. I do wish we had a better train and public transit system. I’d gladly leave the car behind if it was possible to get around without it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad things worked out with both Dads and that you are safely back home. Traffic has got much worse since we were young, so many more folks on the road…and the phone x#%*^** makes me crazy, too.
    I started reading one of your books, The Forest Unseen by Haskell and am really enjoying it. He is a great writer and the tidbits he shares are interesting and thought-provoking. Thanks! I might look for Neil Gaiman’s book next!
    Be well!

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 Isn’t The Forest Unseen a wonderful book? Haskell has the soul of a poet, methinks. And yes, the book was thought-provoking, too. I think you would like Gaiman’s book. There’s a little bit of magic to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I look forward to your coffee shares each week. Thank you for the shout out on the photo hunt, the more that play the merrier! Today was Sarah’s 18th birthday so I’m just taking a little down time from having family here for a cookout. Last time we will all be together until probably Thanksgiving. Hard for me to think about these days. I’m always looking for good book recommendations too – especially with my week in Maine upcoming. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 One book I really enjoyed this year was “A Tale for the Time Being.” Last year it was “The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope.” I haven’t yet found a good beach read (a thriller or something fast paced). If I come across something, I’ll let you know.

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    1. I might put the book aside for now, David. I’m finding it kind of slow and heavy, not really what I want for summer reading. I’ll give it another day and then decide.

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  6. Hello Robin, and welcome home, I’ve missed you. 🙂 It’s great to hear that both of your dad’s are doing better now, and I totally agree with you on driving and texting, my niece was run off the road a few years ago, with her car nearly ending up in the river, and all due to a young fellow texting.

    I finished a book yesterday and starting to read another last night, and although I’ve only finished the first chapter, I’m enjoying it so far. It’s “Go Set a Watchman”, the newly released novel by Harper Lee, which had been written prior to “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Reading for a while has been a welcome relief for my aching joints as well, I’ve just completed three full days of gardening, and more poor tired muscles are crying out for a rest, lol. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Joanne. 🙂 “Go Set a Watchman” is on my reading list. I’ve heard good and bad things about it, mostly good with the bad related to how Atticus Finch is portrayed. I’ll be interested in what you think of the book.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Atticus has just shown up in the book (I read chapter 2 last night) and he’s obviously older than in Mockingbird, although Scout still thinks of him being the age he was when she was a child. It will be very interesting to see how he’s portrayed as I read further.

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  7. Welcome back, Robin. All the best to your dad’s recovery. Thanks again for the collaboration. Not only did we receive many kind words, it was a great pleasure working with you. If you have any ideas of another collaborating post around a single word, let me know. Meanwhile,give your muscles some rest!

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  8. Are the parts of the Victorio food strainer/sauce maker dishwasher safe? Sounds like a great tool to have on hand! So happy to know your dads are on the mend.

    Summer traffic seems to be the worst. I-95 goes right through our town and we try to stay off of it in the summer – I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been stuck in traffic when we forget and hop on in order to get somewhere more quickly.

    We had a quiet weekend after the busy weekend before… Getting ready for a visit from our granddaughter next week! 🙂

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    1. I’m not sure, Barbara. I just hand wash them. It is a great tool although I was thinking yesterday that it might be nice to have the motorized version. Hand cranking gets tiring! But it’s a good way to get some exercise and burn a few calories. 🙂

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  9. Hope your dad is OK. I’m reading Station 11, now–so far, I really like it. I also have been enjoying summer produce. I made some fresh salsa from some tomatoes and hot peppers I got at our local farm stand. Homemade pizza tonight with more of those fresh tomatoes.

    I’m not sure where you are, but it seems that 295 is always backed up going over the Delaware Memorial Bridge–plus from what I’ve heard on traffic reports, they’ve been doing construction. We try never to head towards the beach on a Friday night or Saturday.

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    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I’m on the southern end of the Eastern Shore of Maryland (or, as I often think of it, The Middle of Nowhere), not far from the ocean or the Chesapeake Bay. Getting “off the island” (technically it is an island due to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal) is always an adventure. We generally avoid travel on weekends because of the beach traffic, but sometimes it can’t be avoided.

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      1. Oh, you’re in a lovely area, Robin, but weekend travel must be horrible. We once spent a weekend in that area with friends, and the car ride was awful–that was several years ago. I’m sure it’s even worse now.

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        1. Late autumn, early spring, and winters are wonderful here, Merril. Barely any traffic at all. But summers? It takes forever to get anywhere, especially on weekends. It is a beautiful area, that’s for sure. A big change from the snowbelt of northeast Ohio where we lived prior to moving here. M and I are still relative newbies to this area. This is our third summer on the Eastern Shore, and we have a lot of exploring to do. 🙂

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  10. I’m glad things turned out so you could be where you were needed and where you needed to be. You’re right about plans doing what they want to do, not staying put and all.

    See you next time.

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  11. It’s good your back safe and sound, and that things worked out with family.
    I recently read Valley of Amazement and loved it. It was a bit slow in places, but then picks up and keeps your attention. I’ll have to check out Neil Gaimen’s book.

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    1. Thank you, Angeline. 🙂 That’s good to know about Valley of Amazement. I put it aside for now and will go back to it another time. I’ve read a few slow paced books lately. I’m in the mood for something light and/or fast. Brain candy. 😀

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  12. Thanks for the coffee, Robin, and for the porch and your company. 🙂 It has been a week of family and travel for me too, Robin, as I helped my son Alex move to Richmond last Friday, as he will start classes at VCU in August. Talk about traffic. It was horrible on I-95 South and I blame it all on the Express Lanes, which now go all the way to the Aquia/Quantico exit, meaning that the traffic is backed up all the way from Dale City to there! Whoever thought of those Express Lanes as a way to ease traffic must not have had his/her head on straight!

    I finished The Valley of Amazement before I left for China, and I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. I honestly couldn’t remember the story, but I went back and looked at my review and now I do remember.

    I’m reading Midnight’s Children now, as I finally finished Sandcastle Girls on the flight from China to LA. I also read a book in one week, unusual for me: “I am having so much fun here without you” by Courtney Maum. I really liked it because it takes place during the time of the buildup to war with Iraq in 2002-2003, the same time the sniper attacks were taking place in Washington. I found it interesting because my novel, as yet unpublished, also takes place in that time period. I bought the book at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, and read a lot of it on my two flights home. That’s a way to finish a book, to read when you’re captive to airports and flights.

    I’m glad your father-in-law and your father are okay and that you had fun traveling to Annapolis to see friends. Sounds like you’re having a nice summer (except for he humidity!). xx

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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