Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday morning Japanese Anemones

This morning, the most beautiful of blooms in the garden are the Japanese Anemones. These are located in partial shade and although predicted for fall flowering, are in full bloom already.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Something I might say...

Thank God for tea!
What would the world do without tea?
How did it exist?
I am glad I was not born before tea.
Sydney Smith (1771–1845)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What is on the coffee table other than coffee?

Farrell & Lauren, the ladies at request that you share your current "coffee table book". Mine would be a tale of Ms. Williams's home in Connecticut,
An Affair with a House. And yours is?

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Kite Maker

is being made into a movie and filmed in China.
Due to be released in November 2007.

Arnold and the Earth

Sunday was Earth Day. Here in my home, we are trying to be better earthlings. Treat Mother Earth with more respect.

Recently while driving in my auto, I listened to a speech given by Arnold being broadcast on Cspan . Yes, it is time to take Arnold seriously; he is the governor of California. The Governator was speaking to students at Georgetown University. The subject: global warming and the passage of legislation in his state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Arnold compares bodybuilding and environmental awareness. Endless amounts of exercise, muscle development, and fitness to excess were winced at in the 70's . Only Arnold found this to be fascinating. No one wanted to be pumped up; it was way too embarrassing. Now there are fitness centers in every community across the nation, treadmills and stairsteppers in homes, walkers and joggers in parks and neighborhoods. Fitness at some level regardless of age, sex or body form has become part of the American life. It is just plain good for you. The same has turned out to be true of the environmental movement. In the 70's, no one wanted to be known as a "tree hugger". Organic foods, compost piles, solar panels, recycling, water conservation, pollution were snickered at. Cars that ran on Global warming...what was that? Remember Kermit the Frog when he sang it wasn't easy being green? Environmental concern was just not really that crucial. A view of the past. Today, being green is in. Everyone is mindful these days. I even read of a group of wealthy women in Manhattan doing their part to save the earth.

This past week, the media released many lists of ways to reduce energy consumption and stop global warming. Change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. Use less paper products. Buy locally produced products, etc. Here are three quirky solutions that I practice regularly as to be a better earthling:

My home backs up to woodlands with a neighborhood walking path passing through. It is particularly bothering if there is any trash or garbage in the woods and it is in view from
my windows. Out I go to remove the trash immediately... rain, snow, sleet. Perhaps it is a Gestalt thing, but my whole psyche is off if I have to view garbage outside.

When staying in hotels, I routinely wrap the little soaps in the shower and at the sink, which
have only slightly been used, in a piece of plastic or a bag and take these home to "finish" them off. Housekeeping will throw them out if I leave them behind. This is conservation.

Lastly, I coast. When approaching from afar a yellow or red light while driving, I take my foot off the pedal and coast to the light. Why drain the tank only to brake excessively at the last minute? Occasionally, I reach the light in time for it to turn green and off I go. This is probably annoying to those traveling behind me. What's the hurry? aren't going anywhere anyway. I am saving fuel.

Bizarre as these habits may sound, every little bit helps, in my opinion.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Let them eat cake!

Last night I watched the recent cinematic interpretation of the life of Marie Antoinette (courtesy of Netflix). Shy of deep, thought-provoking dialogue, the movie is a visual delight. Filmed on site at the Palace of Versailles, the scenery, architecture, design elements and costumes are most pleasurable.

The story is of a youthful, Austrian mail order bride, who fails to “warm the royal jewels” shall I say, therefore producing no heirs. Finally, following a chat with her brother, King Louis XVI rises to the occasion, so to speak, and alas, not one but two fine-looking children enter the family. This is an amazing deed considering the enormously "public" life she is compelled to live. Not even pouncing pups, a constant flow of champagne, luscious petits fours, elegantly embellished shoes, baccarat tables and eventually a hamlet of her own seem to keep M-A content. And then the French Revolution begins to boil over which causes the monarchy 's downfall. Thank you, Sofia for not included the brutal elements of M-A’s final finish! Violence would have so blemished this artistic movie.

The music includes a lovely mix of period pieces such as sonatas, concertos and opuses as well as more contemporary numbers from such performers as Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow. At times, it seemed I was watching a musical video on MTV rather than a movie.

Not until the end of the movie did I apprehend that I had been given a lesson in 18th century European history. Kirsten Dunst is fabulous as the compliant and stunning M-A complete with up-dos to envy any high school sophomore on prom night!

How does your garden grow?

Finally, with warmer temps, my gardens are emerging nicely. Tulips are in full bloom this weekend.

The finest of the spring plants are the bleeding hearts. Shasta daisies are popping up as is the clematis around the mailbox post. Come May, it will be full of gorgeous, huge white flowers. Ornamental grasses and hydrangeas are budding out well this week.

I am missing the huge Bradford pear which was located in the front yard. After splitting last fall, I had to have it removed, sadly.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A visit to Tucson National Golf Resort

Blooming cactus
Last week, my husband and I visited Tucson, Arizona. We played golf, did lots of walking and enjoyed the gorgeous weather . The cacti were so beautiful...a Saguaro here.

This cactus served as the bones for the nest of an unknown bird.

...a view of mountains and the golf course.

I so wanted to see a road runner but never was able. Spotted in the landscape were
Gambel's Quail, Cottontail Rabbit, White-winged Dove and even a Bullfrog or two.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Horrible event

My heartfelt thoughts and love
go out to all those who are suffering
as a result of this terrible tragedy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Kite Runner excellent story which will only cause you to show more tolerance and compassion for all peoples on our earth. I live in a community reflective of a diverse population. Now, as I pass young boys of Middle eastern descent, I am reminded of Amir, Hassan and Sohrab and their commingled lives in Afghanistan. Easy to read and appropriate as a coming-of-age story, this would be a fine choice for high school English classes, much like To Kill a Mockingbird is.

Next in the pile of books to be read..... Burning Bright, by Tracy Chevalier. LOVE her books!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Masters

Last Monday, I attended the first of the practice rounds for the Masters tourney this year. Before the high winds and cooler temps arrived, the course was absolutely gorgeous. Green, lush and perfectly manicured, I felt sure I was walking around on carpet. Not a lump in the grass could be found. I was so glad to see an "unknown" win. Always a Tiger fan, I just feel the wealth should be spread and others should taste the sweet flavor of a win occasionally. Here is Tiger on the practice putting green with Jeff Sluman.

Again on the practice green is Stuart Appleby (wearing the green shirt), a major contender throughout the tournament. A professional golfer of Australian extraction, he has darling little yellow kangaroos on the back of his golf shoes. How cool is that?

Magnolia Lane...beautiful!