Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"I like to sing-a...

i like to sing-a
more cat pictures

...about the moon-a and the June-a and the spring-a!"

This June, all of us moon-lovers are singing about tomorrow's full summer solstice moon and how it will appear extra large and close. To read how this works, try this article titled, "Don't Miss a Huge June Moon Illusion:"

Monday, June 16, 2008


Today is Bloomsday in the literary world, the day James Joyce fans everywhere celebrate his book, "Ulysses." If you find the tome daunting, you may like to check out this fun, illustrated summary, "Ulysses For Dummies." Copying and paste this address into your browser.

(photo shows Zero Mostel as Leopold Bloom)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The bargain bin

As a serendipitous shopper, I keep my eyes and mind open to finding treasures everywhere. It's amazing to see what wonderful items are just waiting to be found. Today's treasure came from a big-name bookshop's bargain bin: "Decorating With Color Inside and Out, An Essential Sourcebook of Decorative Schemes" by Sally Walton and Richard Rosenfeld. Ripe, juicy colors all but drip from this book's large, lush photographs. Readers are taken on a journey of colors, each named and shown in luscious illustrations. Decorating ideas spill from every page. Some ideas are accompanied by step-by-step instructions, ideas for things such as painting techniques and window treatments.
I was ready to spring to my feet to begin working on these ideas although it was late at night when I read the book. Colors bold, colors delicate and colors in between are all here, and so are many tastes and modes of decorating. The most unusual thing I saw was a "playful" garden chair featuring strips of Astroturf on the seat and back with plastic daisies here and there.
Even those who simply appreciate beauty and who have no notions of decorating will linger over the pictures in this book. The writing style is sensible and straightforward. It relates the how-tos in a way that makes anything seem possible. Although the book was published in Britain, American language equivalents are given so that instructions are easy to follow.
Not only shall I use this book in future decorating plans, but it is also something I would want if I were in bed and too sick to follow a plot in a book. It's cheery and lovely as well as useful.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

(nearly) Wordless Wednesday

Handsome Herbie, the blind cat, found a loving, permanent home at a sanctuary for disabled animals.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday is Teasday

Imagine walking into your favorite grocery store and finding a shopping trolley filled with teas and tisanes all marked at clearance prices. You would be as delighted as I was when this happened to me not long ago. Let me tell you about two of my purchases.
From Organic and Pure Tea comes a lovely white tea (Bai Mu Dan) mixed with lemon grass. As a hot tea this left me cold, so to speak, but when iced it is a most refreshing summer drink. Chilling this tea brings its delicate flavors to their peak. The lemon grass gave me deliciously cool shivers on a hot day.
Meanwhile, for tisane lovers I recommend Celestial Seasonings' Cranberry Apple Zinger. It has the pizzazz their Zinger flavors always pack, coupled with sweet, calm notes of apple. Cranberry Apple is up there with CS' Lemon Zinger as my favorite tisane to chill for summer.

But what do teas and tisanes have to do with those flowers at the top, you're wondering. Nothing at all. The flowers are Judy Garland roses, and I posted them in honor of what would have been Judy's eighty-sixth birthday today.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Booking Through Thursday, 5.June

"Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?"

I read fiction over nonfiction at a ratio of about 9:1 in my younger years. Now I read nonfiction only. How-to books and cookbooks have always been my friends, though. I never read horror or true-crime now, and it's been a long time since I dug into science fiction. Now I read books with more world-views. If I ever sat down and wrote the fiction books I want very much to write, I would probably pick up fiction reading again, but for now, fiction feels more like a repudiation than a pleasure.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Monday, June 02, 2008

Poetic Monday

"I can hear these violets chorus
To the sky's benediction above;
And we all are together lying
On the bosom of Infinite Love.

"Oh, the peace at the heart of Nature!
Oh, the light that is not of day!
Why seek it afar forever,
When it cannot be lifted away?"
(William C. Gannett)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Sunday cup of tea

Let me suggest another summer tea delight, as a follow-up to my earlier review of Twining's of London's Tastes of Summer black tea. Do also try Twining's of London's Four Red Fruits black tea! The label says it contains "blended black teas, artifical and natural flavourings, cherry, redcurrant, respberry and strawberry pieces."
Once again, my dear Friend sampled tea with me, and, once again, it appealed to Friend enormously. This is also a tea labled "medium flavour strength," making it ideal for sensitive palates and for summer sipping. The red currants and the raspberries stop the tea becoming overly sweet; instead it is a delightful, light blend of black tea accented with subtle fruitiness, rather a bit more so than the Tastes of Summer has. It is, like that tea, perfect for keeping in tall, frosty pitchers in the refrigerator and for serving at summer tea parties. But this die-hard hot tea drinker will have it steaming. No matter where I have lived or visited, I have never known it be too hot or sultry for hot tea.
Another point in the Twining's of London teas is that they are found readily in most grocery stores, and at affordable prices. Despair not if your store does not carry it, however, and order it online at
Would you like to lace your hot tea with an opulent flower? Then I recommend basswood honey. Try it first on your tongue to savor its full delights. Then add lashings of it in your tea, on warm tea cakes or onto fruit for a truly sensational treat.