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