Being on a boat that’s moving through the water, it’s so clear. Everything falls into place in terms of what’s important and what’s not.
~ James Taylor
If we were having coffee, I would be happy to welcome you back to the Wabi-Sabi Ranch. Hugs if you are amenable to them. A polite nod or handshake if you’re not. Come on in! It’s hot out there, isn’t it? The breeze is nice. It’s from the north, but it must be warm in the north because the temperature is still in the upper 80’s to low 90’s.
Let’s have a seat out on the porch where the ceiling fan should keep us cool enough, and we’ll be close to the pool and a swim if it doesn’t. We have the usual assortment of teas (black, green, and herbal), coffee, and some sparkling water (mango flavored, I think). As for snacks, we have cheese, hummus, a grilled eggplant dip that is somewhat similar to baba ganoush but made with curry spices, crackers, cherries, and fresh peaches from a local orchard that M and I just picked up about an hour ago. They were picked this morning. Other than standing in the orchard and picking it off the tree yourself, you can’t get much fresher than that. They are juicy, delicious, and lush with peach flavor.
How are you? How has summer been treating you? What have you been doing lately? Have you traveled anywhere or seen any new sights? Have you taken any good walks or hikes? Visited with family and/or friends? Have you read any good books or watched any good films?
I finished reading Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education by Michael Pollan. I thought it was a wonderful book. I’m going to hang on to it for a while. There are parts of it I’d like to read again. I very much appreciated Mr. Pollan’s point of view in regard to us humans, and how we could, if we were so inclined, become gardeners of the earth and the land we live on. It’s a bit more complicated than that, and I’ll have to go back and pull some quotes someday when I’m actively gardening again and willing to brave the heat to show you what’s blooming or going on around here. In the meantime:
The gardener in nature is that most artificial of creatures, a civilized human being: in control of his appetites, solicitous of nature, self-conscious and responsible, mindful of the past and the future, and at ease with the fundamental ambiguity of his predicament – which is that though he lives in nature, he is no longer strictly of nature. Further, he knows that neither his success nor his failure in this place is ordained. Nature is apparently indifferent to his fate, and this leaves him free- indeed, obliges him – to make his own way here as best he can.
~ Michael Pollan, Second Nature
I am currently reading All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment and the Perfect Ride by Jaimal Yogis. It was sent to me by the publisher so that I could review it for TLC Book Tours. My “tour stop” date is July 27th so I’ll tell you all about it then. It’s the first time I’ve received and read a book labeled “Uncorrected Proof.” I’m glad I noticed the label as I did find a few (very minor) errors, and badly edited books can be annoying. I shouldn’t be judging, though. My own blog posts often contain an error or typo or two.
As for films, M and I watched I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary on race in America based on an unfinished book by James Baldwin about Medger Evers, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a profound and provocative film. If you haven’t seen it, perhaps you should. I highly recommend it.
There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.
~ James Baldwin
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
~ James Baldwin
If we were having coffee, tea, or some other beverage, I would tell you that it has been ferociously hot this week. Perhaps it’s been that way in your neck of the woods, too (unless, of course, you’re in the midst of winter in the southern hemisphere). I did a bit of mowing earlier in the week, but it eventually became too hot to even ride around on the garden tractor. The scrounger’s garden continues to be overrun by weeds, and the vegetable garden is not doing as well as we’d hoped. We may have to rely on the local farm and farmers markets to stock up this year.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that today’s photographs are from our trip across Lake Champlain on the Essex Ferry (or the Charlotte Ferry if you’re coming from the other direction) on which we traveled from New York to Vermont. We had wonderful views of the Adirondacks in New York and the Green Mountains in Vermont. There was the lake, too, that has a beauty of its own. The crossing takes a little less than 30 minutes and gave us a lovely break from all the driving. It was refreshing out on the water, the breezes cool and crisp. On land, the temperature was much warmer. Warmer than I was expecting, truth be told. Heat wave warm eventually during our time in Burlington, Vermont.
If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would tell you that I recently spent some time with my primary care physician wherein I learned that my numbers are not great, and endured a lecture on where I might be headed if I don’t do something to turn them around. I am once more working on those lifestyle changes I began before going on vacation and throwing all caution to the wind by overindulging in a lot of good food and drink while getting less exercise than usual.
I decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time: a 365 challenge. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll be seeing more food, meditation, and exercise pics from me. Having read Dr. Dean Ornish’s book “The Spectrum” some years ago, I decided his approach would be best for me. The diet is mostly vegan (some fish), and he includes advice on exercise, stress, and community. Dr. Ornish’s plan has been proven successful for reversing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes, while also helping people take off extra weight. There’s a lot of good science behind it, and it’s in line with the changes I have in mind and my own lifestyle.
Today is Day 13 of my 365 challenge. Right now I am aiming for my diet to be 80% vegan when we have a guest or guests staying with us (as we will this coming week) and when we travel. If I can manage to do better, great. But I’m not going to stress over it (since stress has been part of the problem, and has been since last November’s event, and the subsequent chaos and deep political divide that occurred after the inauguration). I’ve increased my exercise, yoga, and meditation times/routines, and I am slowly beginning to see some better numbers.
This is, by the way, a wonderful time to be on a vegan diet with all the fresh produce available. This morning I made the prettiest and tastiest hash for breakfast with potatoes, beets, onions, and spinach, seasoned with black and cayenne peppers and cumin.
If we were having coffee, it would be time for me to turn this over to you. Thank you so much for dropping in for another coffee chat. You are welcome to stay and watch the sunset with us this evening. Let’s go out to the Point and see what’s going on out there. Sunset is scheduled for 8:25 PM. We’ll go early so we can enjoy the beach for a little while, maybe even go for a swim if you’re up for it.
Be good, be kind, be loving. Just Be. 🙂
This post is in response to #WeekendCoffeeShare which is now once again residing at its original home with Diana at Part-Time Monster. Thank you to Nerd In The Brain for taking on the job of hosting it while Diana took a break. 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.