Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge, 20 August 2021: Cambria Plant Nursery

The nursery is just off the main road to Cambria. Self visited for the first time a few days ago. Highly recommend to anyone who’s in that neck of the woods. The nursery is large! And filled with plants of every type.

Decided to make this, rather than a specific flower, the Flower of the Day, Aug. 20.

As always, thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting the FOTD challenge.

Cambria Plant Nursery, 2801 Eton Road, Cambria, CA

Now Reading Memoir: The Art of Leaving

Self blasted through the post-Alexander Grin stories in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy and skipped the final story, by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Now she’s reading a memoir about growing up Yemeni in Tel Aviv (a city self visited years ago), The Art of Leaving. Someone whose reading taste is impeccable recommended this book to self.

  • On our west, down the eternally jammed Jabotinsky Road, is Tel Aviv, the big city with its narrow streets and white sand beaches and the promise of the world beyond its shores. Airplanes circle above us like hungry seagulls before landing, and sometimes warplanes zoom by on their way north of the border. The war is far away, but we can see it written on the grown-ups’ faces: the tension in their cheeks, the groove between the eyebrows. We can hear it in the music played on the radio, beautiful songs in minor keys about death and the land that fill us with sweet sadness.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

An Alexander Grin Sentence in “The Ratcatcher”

Even though he was carrying a very thick briefcase, he lacked the power to just house me wherever he pleased, but he did offer me the empty quarters of the Central Bank, where 260 rooms stood like pond water, quiet and empty.

— The Ratcatcher, The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

He just tosses these sentences off like they were so many bon-bons.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sentence of the Day: Alexander Grin

As for firewood . . . in those days, many ventured into the attics, and so did I — walked along the slanted darkness of the roofs like a thief, listening to the wind blaring in the chimneys, and spying a pale splotch of the sky through the broken window as the snowflakes settled over the debris.

The Ratcatcher, Story # 73 in The Big Book of Classic Fantasy

There is such an immediacy to his voice.

Kudos to translator Ekaterina Sedia. According to the Editor’s note, this was the first English translation of The Ratcatcher.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

July #TreeSquare Challenge # 18: Monterey Trees Part 2

Although self was not able to post as much as she wanted for the July #TreeSquare Challenge, she tried to make up for it in the past week.

Thank you again, Becky, for hosting this challenge!

Took these pictures a few days ago. They’re from the garden behind the Alta Bakery, 502 Munras St., Monterey.

P.S. The bakery had a line out the door!

July #TreeSquare Challenge #14: An Orchard

Self couldn’t post every day in July, but she’s making up for it in the final week.

More trees!

Beautiful, beautiful trees!

Thanks so much to becky of The life of b for hosting the Squares Challenges. She has a beautiful gallery of photographs. Go check them out!

Today’s trees are from the orchard behind Alta Bakery, 502 Munras St., Monterey, California. A sign tells the history of the orchard.

Sentence of the Day: Elizabeth Kolbert

Self keeps wanting to spell the author’s name as “Colbert” because she loves Stephen Colbert.

Anyhoo, this author is FUNNY. Considering she’s writing about how we are all DOOMED because of our own stupidity, that’s quite a feat.

Essay # 1 of Under a White Sky did not slay self (Loved The Sixth Extinction, so Kolbert had big shoes to fill), but then Kolbert began discussing carp. Yes, you read that right: carp as in everyone’s Favorite Aquarium Fish. Apparently they have eyes affixed to the bottom of their skulls, meaning they are grazers like cows are grazers, only instead of grazing for grass the carp are grazing for algae or snails. After that, self became completely hooked. Anyhoo, someone had the genius idea of introducing carp to the Chicago River and they are destroying shellfish. Basically, the Chicago River is turning into one giant aquarium, there are probably more carp there than there are in China. They breed like crazy and it’s no use trying to make carp a popular food because they are so bony.

Essay # 2 is where self found the sentence of the day:

  • I was anxious, too, though only a little, since the Mississipi we were looking at was about five inches wide.

The author sets up all these challenges for herself, such as trying to reach the Gulf by WALKING from New Orleans and running into a little problem of wet socks. A paragraph later, she introduces us to an engineer who is keeping a close eye on a simulation of the Mississippi Delta while sitting in a folding chair in the Center for River Studies at Louisiana State. This model simulation must be really ACE because the engineer, Kolbert noticed, also “had wet socks.” The model was so accurate that it kept flooding, and the engineer couldn’t move from the folding chair because it was his job to document everything. At least, I think, Kolbert got her wet socks while actually WALKING.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) #3: Dromberg Stone Circle

This stone circle was in southern Ireland, a day’s drive from Cork. Much smaller than Stonehenge, but — how beautiful to come upon it in the Irish countryside! Self saw the Dromberg Stone Circle in 2017 (She’s just beginning to appreciate the enormous amount of traveling she did that year!)

This is self’s 3rd posting for the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Read all about it on Cee Neuner’s blog. She and Marsha Ingrao are co-hosts of this challenge.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Flower of the Day (FOTD): Acanthus

It’s been a week — no, more — since self has posted a flower picture for Cee Neuner’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge. Her flower today is Acanthus.

Self posted a picture of it on Facebook and asked if anyone knew the name for this flower, which grows along one side of her yard. A friend from Malta was the first to answer: “It’s called Acanthus, and it grows all over the Mediterranean. Its image is often carved into tombs.”

The man who built this house (in 1939) was from Italy. He planted a magnificent walnut, and all kinds of fruit trees (which have died one by one, over the 30 years she’s been in this house). Perhaps the fruit trees and the acanthus reminded him of his native country. Perhaps he was homesick.

She saw massive specimens in Filoli, the last time she visited, maybe a year ago (They were allowing a small number of visitors, everyone had to be masked)

Funny, another friend, who has a large, beautiful garden, told her it was “a weed” and grew wild. It’s definitely not a weed. She remembers, the first ten years in this house, the spikes were profuse, and very tall. But climate change is a thing: every summer in the last 10 years, that patch of side yard has been exposed to the most punishing sun. The leaves turned brown, and no flowers appeared. Until this year.

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

Colors and Letters Photo A Day Challenge: July 2

So many challenges, so little time!

July 2 is a COLOR: Azure.

OF COURSE self has Azure in her archived photos.

  • The latest issue of Pembroke Magazine is a beauty. Cover art is Creative Work Cow by Indian artist Chhavi Sharma. Self has a story in this issue: “Sand.” The editor asked if self could pose with a copy of the issue, preferably in a tropical setting (since her story’s set in the Philippines). She promised a beach picture. Watch this space!
  • Cheap Thrills is a vintage vinyl store on Higuera in downtown San Luis Obispo. Recommended by a friend who is very into vintage vinyl. This was such a great find. Look at that great storefront!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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