Thursday, July 03, 2003

"When we lack proper time for the simple pleasures of life, for the enjoyment of eating, drinking, playing, creating, visiting friends, and watching children at play, then we have missed the purpose of life. Not on bread alone do we live but on all these human and heart-hungry luxuries."

I found this quote on someone else's Blog and either forgot to copy who said it or it was not there. I apologize for not giving proper credit, though I suspect I am not the only person to do so on-line. Anyway, I love this quote and think it applies to everyone of us, but especially those of us who get caught up in all the stuff we think we have to do and forget to take the time to do that which we would like to do. Take time right now (yes, I am talking to you!) for the simple pleasures. Don't put it off until you have finished cleaning the kitchen. I seriously doubt there is a person alive who, when reflecting on her life at age 99, says, "I really wish I had kept my house cleaner. I would like to have mopped more often."

And now, a quote from the all-too-quotable Mark Twain: "A classic is something that everyone wants to have read and nobody wants to read." Wuthering Heights, anyone?

Reading: I am reading Harry Potter at work. Is that illegal or something? Does it matter that there is nothing to do?

Harry is so cool. Everyone thinks that I may be Hermione but I don't think I was ever that bad, was I?. Ron Weasley is quite possibly my favorite. Apparently I go for dorky and a little clueless. No, E, this does not apply to real life--I do not think you are dorky or clueless. Anymore.

Eating: We had Pasta Salad last night. I am addicted to those flavored sliced almonds you can get (check the produce department, near the bagged salads). I could munch the whole bag... But then the Husband makes me share. Phfffffffftt!

Gardening: I watered everything very thoroughly yesterday evening, only to have it pour holy buckets of rain.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Reading: I love Harry Potter! The big buzz with this latest book is that "somebody dies". When I pointed out that somebody died in Goblet of Fire, and somebody died in Sorcerer's Stone, and somebody died in Chamber of Secrets, and probably, somebody died in Prisoner of Azkaban, I was told that this time it is one of the main characters. That is a somewhat bigger deal, though we know that it will not be Harry, Hermione or Ron. I'm predicting maybe Cho, maybe Dumbledore, maybe Hagrid.

Eating: Try the Turkey Noodle Stew! It is so good, so good you see. Tonight we were supposed to have the Enchilada Casserole but I forgot it needs to defrost (thaw?) for 24 hours before. So pasta salad it is.

We are making burgers for our 4th of July party and I have a request for Spinach Dip, from The Spinach Dip Addict. So here is my Spinach Dip recipe, which actually is my aunt Julie's recipe. It is equally delightful with vegetables or bread. 2 C. sour cream or plain yogurt, 1 package Knorr's Leak Soup mix, 1 C. chopped cooked and drained spinach, and, if desired, 1 small can water chestnuts, chopped (the water chestnuts, not the can). Mix together and let chill for a few hours to soften the dry soup mix and let the flavors marry (I feel like Martha when I say that).

Gardening: I picked a strawberry off my new strawberry plants last night! Yahoo! It was pretty good, too. I think I have a couple more berries coming but not many. The plants are doing well and spreading, as I assume they should. The sunflowers are growing, though I wish I had some of that Insta-Gro stuff they always had on Tom and Jerry or Woody Woodpecker cartoons. I want them tall and I want them tall NOW!

The Rudbekia (black-eyed Susan) is about to bloom, though the leaves look a little chewed up. The Coreopsis is blooming and sprouting new growth all over the place. I may regret my wish for this to get big and full quickly. The impatiens are all a-bloomin' so that I can see them from the path behind the yard now. The zinnias are back from the near-death they were hanging around at a couple of weeks ago. Not sure how their situation changed but glad to see they are back.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

You know you're bored read blogs of people you don't know. Every once in a while I go to and they have (on the left side, near the top) "Fresh Blogs" which is the most recently updated public blogs (mine is not public so it will never be there). I pick one with an interesting name and see what it is like. My conclusion is that Lissa the sparkle girl needs psychiatric help. Soon.

Reading: This weekend, I finished Undaunted Courage and A Painted House. Part of what I really enjoyed about Undaunted Courage is how the author portrayed Merriwether Lewis (and Thomas Jefferson, too). It was very balanced. Obviously, Stephen Ambrose really admires Lewis and what he did but the book is not merely a rave review of all Lewis did. Ambrose points out the mistakes Lewis made, both on the journey and in his life. He never tries to soften or pass over character flaws. These are very real people with very real flaws--alcoholism, bipolar disorder, racist attitudes. And yet, Ambrose doesn't dwell on those things. He gives the perspective of the time they are living in and also shows their vision and drive.

I enjoyed A Painted House. It never seemed far-fetched, always very real. The day-to-day struggles of cotton farmers in Arkansas--their struggles with the land and the weather, their relationships with the hill people and Mexicans who come to help with the harvest, their worry about Ricky, Luke's uncle, who is in the army in Korea, their worry that the people of the little town might find out that the poor sharecropper neighbor's daughter just had a baby she says is Ricky's, the secrets Luke is forced to keep about a death he witnessed, Luke's mother's dreams that they won't have to farm forever, that her son can have a better life.

I have now started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Eric got it and the 2nd Harry Potter movie for me the other day. I am about 200 pages into the nearly 900-page novel and like it a lot! I am a big Harry Potter geek, though.

Eating: Nothing new. I need to work on this.

Gardening: It sometimes pays to procrastinate--the hanging pots at Lynde greenhouse, which originally were about $15, are now only $6.99! I bought 2 gorgeous red ivy geraniums. The annuals are now only 79 cents so I can replace the plants that have not survived.
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