Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mama Mia! It's Pesto!

We started a number of basil plants from seed, and four of them have survived and are producing quite nicely. Three of the plants live indoors, and I've moved one outdoors.

While I was on my trip to Denver, one of our neighbors had a garage sale and Larry bought this elephant plant stand. It adds a nice touch to the conservatory, where the basil plants are thriving. And what could be a more perfect addition to a motor home named Jumbo?

I snipped about half of the plants off and came up with almost a cup of basil leaves, which makes just about the right amount of pesto for the two of us. The plants were getting a little leggy, so I hope the pruning will cause them to gain a little fullness.

As soon as the basil was cut, all of Jumbo smelled like a pizzeria! 

All of the ingredients went into the Magic Bullet container...

The basil...

The Parmesan...

The Pine Nuts...Russian Pine Nuts, at that...

 A half a clove of garlic... 

a quarter cup of Olive Oil...


and the Magic Bullet does its thing. There was such a small amount of basil that the blades had a difficult time finding anything to hold onto, so we had to do a bit of shaking around to redistribute things, but it all came out fine in the end...

Now, all I have to do is cook up some pasta later. Delizioso!

Friday, May 29, 2015

My Little Corner of the World

At times I find myself becoming claustrophobic when sitting here in Jumbo, the motor home. After living in a house where I had a loft area in which to do my writing, it has been quite an adjustment to try to work in the small space that I have now. Actually, this space is quite nice compared to what I had while living in the horse pasture right after moving from our house. We had no WiFi, and had to rely on the generator for electricity. On occasion, the generator wouldn't start, and I wasn't able to charge up my laptop, so I was relegated to writing thoughts down the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper, and then adding them to my story later.

While we were living at the Casinos, before finding this semi-permanent spot, we sometimes had Wifi and electricity - at Angel of the Winds - and I would sit at the living room table and work. It was quite nice, and I had an inspiring view of the construction crew working on the hotel. We could only stay at Angel of the Winds for five consecutive days, so would move to Tulalip Casino for a week in between Angel visits. We had no electricity or Wifi there, so I would travel into Marysville and hang out at the library and write.

Thinking back on all of this, I should be quite grateful for what I have now...

This is my little corner of the world... that's the side of my dollhouse, my "Faith" angel that Rachel gave me a few years ago, the family tree stone Margie gave me in honor of my role as the family historian, the cup holding my extensive Flair pen collection - I became hooked on those things many years ago and won't use any other kind of pen! Then there's the little Blue Willow teacup filled with my marble collection - no, I haven't lost my marbles yet! - and my purple foam earplugs, handy for when the neighbor kids become too rowdy and I need a little peace and quiet in order to concentrate! And I'm right by a window, with a view of my pansies, the bird feeder, and Neighbor Norm's truck! Yes, I am grateful...

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Buckets of Rain...

Saturday morning started out bright and sunny - a perfect day, finally, for our
trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens. I mapped out the route on my phone and we were off!

I had been to the Botanic Gardens twice before when we lived in Colorado - the first time alone on my 60th birthday. It was a time of reflection - a very warm day that required many stops for sitting down and appreciating the beauty around me. The second visit was with Larry a couple of years ago - a day for sharing impressions and thoughts. I wanted to share this beautiful place with Rubye, who had been such a supportive and generous companion during our adventure...

We began our leisurely stroll through  the gardens along the O'Fallon Perrenial Walk.  It's an English style mixed perennial border lush with flowers packed closely together to create a rich and interesting array of colors, heights, shapes and textures.

A busy bee.


More iris... 

 I wish I could identify all of these plants... Grandma Ferguson would have been able to!


Beverly Sills Iris


I've always been fascinated by this green building. I have no idea what it's used for, but later in the season there will be grape vines growing along the trellises.

 Onions? Garlic?

Herb Garden

Scripture Garden

 This building was all set up for a wedding...later, when the rain came down, the wedding guests were safely inside, but the wedding party was out in the rain, their umbrellas held over their heads, while the photographer tried to get their pictures taken between raindrops.

One of Deborah Butterfield's "Nature of Horses" sculptures

Grandma Susie posing in the Moon Gate...

and Grandma Rubye posing in the Moon Gate, as well!

Solitary Clematis

So many irises were in bloom. My past visits had been later in the summer when they were done blooming. This was a real treat!

 One of the few peonies that were blooming.

Most of the roses hadn't bloomed yet, either, but we did managed to find this beauty.


Orchids in Marnie's Pavilion

Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory

And then the rains came...

 Big, plopping drops... a torrential downpour!

Not only did it rain, it hailed as well! But in between cloud bursts, we managed to see a few more things.

We were soaked to the skin by the time we were through, and decided to head for the exit.
 Rubye took shelter in this gazebo.

It was a wet, but wonderful day!

We headed back towards the hotel, along streets that were actual raging rivers! I said to Rubye, "Keep on going. Colorado Blvd. is only a few blocks away, and then we'll be okay. It was kind of a scary ride home - at one point a car splashed water onto our windshield and we were totally blinded, but Rubye did great, and we made it "home" safely. We stopped at Ruby Tuesday again for lunch - lots more great food and conversation, and then to the hotel to relax and get some sleep.

I woke up Sunday morning not feeling too great. I think it was a combination of the altitude sickness and the over-medicating with the Aleve. It always causes my stomach to do strange things. I went down to breakfast, but couldn't eat much. Rubye and I had thought about doing something that day, but instead decided to turn the rental car in and just hang out at the airport until it was time for our flight.

Before we headed out, Rubye wanted to smoke, and since it was such a nice day, I decided to join her on the benches in front of the hotel.

We were discussing some of the things that had created the bad feelings I was experiencing in regards to Rachel and Ivan and the fact that I hadn't seen the girls during the whole trip. A woman came out and sat down on one of the benches across from us. I had seen her earlier in the lobby with a baby. She was looking pretty dejected, hanging her head, and then she looked up and said, "that's so sad. I couldn't help but overhear. That's just so sad." And then she proceeded to tell us that her son and daughter-in-law had died in a car accident a few  months before, and she was raising the children, including an eight month old baby. She was fifty years old and didn't think she could do it. We talked for awhile, and we told her the story of how Rubye had come to Denver to see Kamaria for the first time in fifteen years. The woman, whose name was Bea, started to cry, pointed to me, and said, "you're an angel." I believe that she was the angel, sent to reassure me that I had done the right thing. It was the perfect way for Rubye and me to end our journey to Denver. 

Actually, our journey is just beginning. We will be sister-friends forever, joined in the love for that curly-haired little girl who left all those years ago and grew up into the  beautiful young woman she is today. It will be an on-going adventure for us, and for her dad, witnessing the dreams that will unravel for her.