Share Your World 7/10/17

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

How do you like to spend a rainy day?

Inside.  I’m learning to enjoy sitting on our sun porch looking at the greyness and listening to the tapping sound but it’s taken a long time since my years in the Pacific Northwest led me to loathe the rain…  I was there during a particularly wet bunch of years, hitting the year when a long drought broke, then Mt St. Helen blew up and created rain cycles and then there was a long el nino/la nina deal.  Rain, rain, rain.

The years when I was out there it rained or was grey and/or misty something like 28 days a month from September until right after the 4th of July.  When I worked at Lewis and Clark Law School, I remember one of the students who was about to graduate coming into my office and I asked him if he was staying in Portland.  He looked at me like I was insane and said with mingled disgust and disdain, “No.  I’m going back to California, where I won’t have mushrooms growing between my toes.”  I thought that said it all.

After years of living through Michigan and Chicago winters, I was more cold than I’d ever been in my life in the dampness that permeated everywhere and later I found out I’m very allergic to mold, so it was a miserable time.  I did meet lovely people and have maintained some cherished friendships over the years.  And had some lovely visits back.  In August. 🙂

List at least five favorite treats. (They do not have to be sugary).

I don’t do a lot of snacking, but lately I’m on a big kick of heating up a couple of Trader Joe’s Black Bean Taquitos when I want a reasonably healthy snack.

I’m also fond of popcorn without butter.

My one desserty thing each day is often several pieces of various sorts of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate candies.

Two other dessert things I’ve fallen in love with though I don’t eat them often are Whoopie Pies, a gluten and dairy free chocolate sandwichy thing with various choices of filling flavor (210 calories) and Garden Lites chocolate muffins which are little chocolately delights whose top two ingredients are carrots and zucchini and they’re gluten free as well (110 calories).  Both are absolutely delicious and after many years during which my wheat and dairy sensitivities meant I couldn’t have dessert unless I made it (being unwilling to eat the nasty gluten free stuff that used to pass for dessert), I’m so pleased to have two such delectable sweets I can buy.

Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests?

When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area, we could strike out in pretty much any direction, but several I especially liked:

Mountain Home Inn View

Mountain Home Inn View

  1. drive through Mill Valley and up the hill to have lunch on the deck at Mountain Home Inn, looking at the amazing views and then a little walk in the woods across the street
  2. drive through the Presidio and go to the Legion of Honor museum or head up to Golden Gate Park and the De Young, in the days before it moved to the giant modern building it’s in now.
  3. grab the ferry at Larkspur and head across the bay to wander around that end of SF.

In Chicago there were also multiple great things but my two favorites were to go get the tour boat on the Chicago River shortly before sunset (it moves up the river first and then about the time the sky has become a magnificent backdrop, moves out onto the lake and the skyline view) and to drive up to the Bahai Temple in Wilmette and walk around the grounds and take a tour.

Here in Kentucky I take people out the winding roads in the stunning countryside.  My late aunt belonged to the Hunt Club and I spent summers swimming there.  It’s on a country road so narrow if two cars pass they both have to put the tires on the outside off the road.  There are also gorgeous horse farms around it, areas where you’re just in the midst of trees, one lane bridges, etc.

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

Since I don’t like closed spaces and am afraid of heights, I think it had better be a paramedic or a psychotherapist or a Buddhist monk 🙂  I can ride an elevator as long as it goes pretty quickly from point A to Point B.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m really grateful for a bunch of days without rain — this has been a wet year (I keep saying I feel like I’m living in Portland) so it was nice to do without for a bit.  I’m reading books on a topic I plan to write a book about and enjoying reading other people’s takes on peace, coping with enemies, non violence etc. so I’m looking forward to putting in more time on that this week.

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Another Ashland Walk

It’s taken a couple of years, having formed the resolution several times, to start going at least occasionally to Ashland (Henry Clay’s estate) to take a walk.  This is twice in a couple of months so, hey, I might be starting a habit 🙂

All previous visits have involved the parking area, which has several of the buildings nearby, the house itself and the walled formal garden.  Today I chose to park on the far side and walk on a couple of the pathways on the grounds.

I was quite surprised to find a marker informing me of a Civil War skirmish on the grounds — I knew there were battles not far from Lexington but don’t recall ever hearing of something right here in town — let alone in Henry Clay’s yard!

Had to snap a few photos.  Although I cropped some of them, the rest are all without any added enhancements–the light was amazing.

Share Your World 7/3/17

Cee’s Share Your World for this week:

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other?

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I’m inclined to say savory, which could include some of those other combos.  I tend to like herbs and flavors like garlic, onion, etc.; country French and Italian cooking.  I also enjoy a spicy curry or spicy Mexican food.  I pretty much never like bland.

Where do you hide junk when people come over?

If people drop by they just see the junk.  We’re messy and my mother is a hoarder, so it is what it is.  On the rare occasions when I have a dinner party or the even rarer occasions when overnight guests are coming, I spend a couple of weeks on clearing, sorting, reorganizing, etc., which mostly involves throwing out a lot of stuff or giving to a local charity that picks up stuff and then doing a good job of getting the rest put away in the spaces I’ve created.  So hiding isn’t really involved.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life?

The one I pray for most when the crazy stuff going on with my muscles stops keeping me awake all the time is to have a regular sleep schedule.

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?

There’s so absolutely nothing in a circus I’ve ever had the slightest desire to do that I’ve never given such a thing a thought.  If I had to pick, Ringmaster 🙂

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

It was hot and humid and off-and-on stormy so I was pretty grateful for AC even though I usually complain about it 🙂  I’m kind of dreading a dentist appointment to fill a tooth this week, so I guess I’m mostly looking forward to after that.

Share Your World 6/5/17

I’ve been lax about getting my SYW posts done lately, so I wanted to make a point of getting right on it this time!  So, this week’s Share Your World:

What’s your strongest sense?

I’m inclined to say vision, though mine needs correction.  But as long as the correction is there, I take in information visually better than any other way.

Which of Snow White’s 7 dwarfs describes you best? (Doc, Happy, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Dopey)

Happy

For far too long I’m afraid health issues have meant Sleepy probably best describes me.  But I’m well on the way to being Happy.

If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would that be?

If I could know what I know now and have the vitality and looks of 30, that would be my ideal.  If my choice would be (1) to go back to being young and vital but uptight, unhappy and clueless or (2) to live with the emotional, wisdom and spiritual gains I’ve made over the years …  I think I’d choose to be the more serene and wiser me of now–64.

List of Jobs You Think You Might Enjoy: Even if you aren’t thinking about a career change, it can be fun to think of other jobs you might enjoy.

Travel guide for foodie tours in France and Italy.

Much of my life I wanted to be a singer, but at this stage I can’t imagine wanting the peripatetic lifestyle that goes with being really successful and I wouldn’t enjoy the kind of local hotel nightclub gig — singing covers of pop songs I don’t like — that would probably be my lot, so I’ve lost interest…

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

We had 4 or 5 days in a row of perfect weather for having the windows open and I LOVE fresh air so I’m very grateful for that.  This week I’m looking forward to not much on the schedule — the following week gets back to taking Mom to the doctor, usually followed by a trip to the drug store and then taking myself to the dentist another day… so I’m especially grateful to have a quiet week this time.

Dear Democrats: about the vitriol

Not long ago I put up a post questioning Republicans.  Although I always vote Democratic since my favored party — Social Democratic — isn’t viable yet, I have no problem turning my critical eye on democrats.  I feel like the party has by and large lost touch with people and they need a big shift to get back on track.

I’m not trying to outline a complete plan here nor to address all the major issues.  But as I participate in some of the resistance groups that have sprung up, like Sister District, Act Blue, etc.  and try to help a bit with some of the “swing” campaigns, I’m noticing a lot of stuff I don’t like.

I’ve given money several times to Jon Ossoff‘s campaign, which has put me on their radar.  I have nothing against him, I hope he wins, so this is not meant to be an attack on him.  But those who are coordinating his campaign are driving me nuts and I’m using this as an example because this crap has become far too common:

  1. I get something like six — sometimes more — e-mails a day, bugging me for money.  Enough already.  Ask me once then leave me alone at least until the next day — preferably for a week…
  2. The headlines of most of these e-mails are things like “frantic”, “disaster”, “failure”, etc.  Not only is the melodrama annoying and a big turn-off, but on the rare occasions when I take a look at the actual e-mail it’s like a click-bait ad or one of those fake news stories — nothing in the e-mail explains the dire tone of the subject line.  What doesn’t fail is the request for more money.  I don’t want to feel like the people I’m voting for are engaging in the same objectionable tactics as the GOP I despise.
  3. The frantic requests for money are always linked to heinous GOP ads against him and tell me they need the money to respond.  I don’t want them to respond.  I especially don’t want them to respond in kind.  I’m sick of the hateful campaign ads.  Everyone I know is sick of hateful campaign ads.  I don’t want to help pay for more despicable ads.  Grass roots stuff is more effective and doesn’t cost a pile.  Ask for more volunteers.  If you are going to put up ads, made them about the candidate and what she or he stands for and/or intends to do and make sure I know that’s your plan for the ad campaign.
  4. One day when their e-mails informed me he was getting beaten I looked at the polls and found he was 7 points ahead in the latest one.  I can’t begin to tell you how pissed off I felt about being lied to.

Democrats here in Kentucky for some years now have stuck so thoroughly to the attack ads and hateful responses theme that I’ve often been confused as to who the democratic candidate was.  Those ads have turned me off for ages.  I’ve often said it’s a good thing they leave it unclear who the democrat is and that I just vote a straight democrat ticket (i.e. I don’t have to know the names) because if I went to the ballot box with awareness of who the perpetrators of hate were, I wouldn’t vote for anybody…

Chime in if you think I’m wrong, but I think most Americans are sick of the vitriol,  Just because that’s become common doesn’t mean you have to succumb to it.  I want to see candidates who rise above that muck and I don’t think I’m alone.

I’m tired of hyperbole, melodrama and so very tired of all the battle talk.  I don’t want us to be constantly at war or in a struggle or fighting against — I want us to be FOR positive outcomes, social welfare, etc.  I want us to be working on Germany’s great idea for tech schools specializing in many needed job skills to help people whose jobs have become obsolete find new employment.  I want to work FOR solar and wind power instead of yelling about fossil fuels.  I want us to be FOR universal health insurance and developing the best plan to make that happen.

So, okay Democrats.  Quit turning me off.  As the lesser of the evils, so far I’m still voting for you but that could change… This stuff, I feel, is why so many of us are choosing not to vote at all.

WPC: Evanescent

A little late again… When I was last participating in the Weekly Photo Challenge regularly the new challenges went up on Friday and I don’t seem to be able to get on the new pattern 🙂

When I gazed at this beautiful sky I almost delayed stepping out to take a shot or two, then realized it would be gone.  What could better exemplify evanescence?

WPC: Heritage

I’m WAY late for last week’s challenge, Heritage, but I knew what I wanted to do as soon as I saw it.  Bad weather and a fall that left me home bound for several days got in the way but I still wanted to do it.

Most who are familiar with U.S. history know of Henry Clay, but his home, Ashland, is a special place here in Lexington.  And I have a couple of tenuous links in the Henry Clay story that mean it always feels special to me.

When I was about 10 my aunt Mary Jane decided it was time for me to see Ashland and that I had to read a bio of Henry Clay first.  Her being her (bitchy, not hot for education), she got a huge, adult biography from the library and insisted that I read the whole thing first.  The good news was I was already a reader and by then I was reading far ahead of my age level so it wan’t quite as onerous as it might have been, but MAN to 10-year-old me, that was one long SLOG.  But I did it and it was such a triumph to finally get to do the tour of the house!

I’ve had many more visits. It’s not far from where I live and the grounds are open and free to wander, so I go walk around occasionally and I love to check in on the walled garden.  At Christmas they decorate appropriately for the vintage and have special evenings with carols and staff dressed in costume, etc., something I like to do occasionally.

More recently, I’ve been off and doing research on both sides of my family.  The Gaitskills have been in Kentucky since the 1790s and, as far as I can tell, it was one big family that came over here from Virginia at that time, so all the Kentucky Gaitskills are related.  In one of the other branches of the family one of the Gaitskill clan married one of the Clay clan so I’m some level of cousin to some of the Clays.  Obviously I’m not hopped up enough about that to have actually written down the info when I ran into it nor to pursue knowing any more 🙂  But kind of fun never-the-less.

Share Your World 5/15/17

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

How many languages do you you speak?

Depends on how fluent I have to be to be considered as “speaking” a language.  If real fluency and the ability to converse about multiple topics is the criteria, then one, English.

In French I can manage fairly simplistic conversations (best off talking to 5-year-olds 🙂 ) and I can understand rather more than I can speak, so I can follow along up to a point beyond my ability to participate (they speak many more words per minute than Americans so I have trouble keeping up when they go full speed) .

In Italian I can order in restaurants, ask directions, check in at a hotel, etc. and get through the basic hello, how are you stuff, but I’m out after that…

Somewhere along the way I figured out there are some major similarities among French, Italian and Spanish so I can work my way through some amount of Spanish text and sometimes pick out enough based on Italian and French root words to get the gist.  Can’t understand a bit if spoken to and, though in the past I learned just enough basic lingo to get through a Puerto Vallarta visit, I instantly forgot everything I memorized and now would have to dig to think up how to say hello.

I also memorized a smattering of words and phrases in Indonesian when I went to Bali and I didn’t even do too well with them then — remember zero now…

What are you reading, watching, listening to, eating?

I’m reading Kate Carlisle’s Crowned and Moldering, the third of her Fixer Upper mysteries.   I’m also a fan (probably more so) of her Bibliophile mystery series.

I just finished watching the entire first season of 13 Reasons Why on Netflix and was blown away by it.  Deeply thoughtful, well written (you know, for TV) and for once they got a cast of young folks who can actually act so they bring it to life in a heart-touching way.

Right this minute I’m listening to a “Daily Mix” list from Spotify in which they picked up on my long playlists of 70’s music — mostly what I’d call fusion (stuff like folk-rock, jazz-rock, etc.)– and have created lists that combine some of my stuff with similar items and other songs by people on my lists, etc.  Love it.  They also put together one based on my jazz lists that’s really good.

What was the last photo you took with your phone?

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The photo of my yoga sandals that I took for last week’s Share Your World.  Of course after I wrote this part I decided to take photos of Mom’s flowers for the section below, so already this isn’t the last photo I took.

What is your favorite time of day?

During Daylight Savings Time I like the last couple of hours of sun.  It’s my favorite time to take a walk, in part because of the light and in part because in the summer that’s when it has cooled down enough to tolerate walking….  I also like to run errands after things have quieted down and I prefer to drive in daylight, so another reason to love DST.

In the winter I don’t know that I have a favorite time — I mostly just wait for Daylight Savings Time and longer days to return.  Since the last couple of hours of winter daylight are in the afternoon I can’t always take as much advantage of them as I do the early evening hours later in the cycle.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful Mom enjoyed both kinds of flowers and the chocolates I got her for Mother’s Day and we both enjoyed sitting out on the sun porch to have the dinner I made  — in peace; we’ve both reached the point where we shudder at the idea of one of those crowded holiday brunches where the noise level means Mom can’t hear anything and I get a migraine.  This weekend I’m signed up for a Patricia Cote-Robles event and will be attending with several friends I’ve not seen in ages — can’t decide if I’m more excited about the workshop or getting to see my pals!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflecting

I’ve been absent from these challenges for quite some time, starting from breaking my camera and moving onto bad weather, ill health, etc.  And now I’m going to come back with an old photo instead of taking a new one.

This picture I took while house sitting at my old home in Corte Madera, CA is, I think, my favorite picture of a reflection I’ve ever taken.  I’ve posted it numerous times on this and my main blog, but it’s the one that springs to mind:

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The deck with the hot tub…

Share Your World 5/8/17

Cee’s Share Your World this week:

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Leigh Gaitskill Copyright 2017

Depends on time of year.  In cold weather I wear LL Bean thermal socks; I tend to have cold feet so I need WARM.  I prefer the socks to slippers because I like the greater freedom of movement.  In warmer weather I alternate between barefoot and yoga sandals.  My feet are pretty tender, so often the sandals for moving around and barefoot for sitting.

What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Peanut butter.  I had a spell at one point when I was 6 or 7 where I ate nothing but bread with peanut butter on it.

Are you a listener or talker?

Varies with circumstances.  One on one, I’m a talker and, since I spend too much time alone, I’m afraid I often talk too much.  In groups I tend to sit and listen without participating much.  I’ve been working on my right listening skills for years, but I’m far from the excellent listener I’d like to be (it’s not helped by the fact that I don’t take in or process oral information very well).

Favorite thing to (pick one):  Photograph?  Write? Or Cook?

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Copyright Leigh Gaitskill 2017

Lately my favorite thing to cook is granola.  It’s easy to put together.  The house smells fabulous for hours.  I’ve never bought a granola of any sort anywhere that was as good.  Plus it uses only maple syrup so no white sugar is involved and it’s not as sickeningly sweet as many store-bought granolas.  See my recipe.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Had a cold last week but got rid of it quickly thanks to Chinese herbal gan mao ling, so I’m grateful for quick healing — and the herbs :-).  This week I’m looking forward to finishing a writing project and getting it off my to-do list.