Friday, March 31, 2017

Sort of Five on Friday

Still too tired from our trip to do a formal Five on Friday, but I would like to share one of the special places we visited in Japan.  As I said in an earlier post Kyoto was worthy of a trip of its own.  We had 2 1/2 days there and our daughter tried to pack in as much as she could for us.
So after we had tea with Tomoko she took us to Sanjusangen-Do, also known as the temple of 1000 buddhas.  What an incredible place.  Built originally in 1164 and rebuilt in 1266 after a fire it houses the 1,000 armed Kannon  who are made of Japanese cypress and covered in gold leaf, the 28 guardian deities and the 11 foot tall  seated Senju Kannon.  You couldn't take pictures inside so I had to borrow some from the net.

Outside it was lovely with blossoming cherry trees and beautiful architecture.










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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Home Again, Home Again

We're back!  Had a wonderful 2 weeks in Japan with our daughter.   Our first two days were spent in her home city of Fukuoka getting acclimatized. She walked our feet off, but in the very best way.  One of her friends said that she was better than Google maps and indeed she is.  After adjusting to the time change she loaded us on the train, we had Japan Rail passes which were a very good bargain and we headed to Kyoto.  We spent 2 1/2 days in Kyoto and could easily have spent a week there.   We visited Buddhist temples,  Shinto shrines and best of all we met Tomoko who blogs as Green Tomato.  She took us to tea and we had a wonderful time talking with her.


There are so many shrines in Kyotos, the old capitol of Japan, but April picked out Fushimi-Inari- Taisha for us to visit and it was beyond spectacular.  Built originally in 711 it sits at the base of the mountain Inari and there are paths leading to the top.  Inari is the patron of business, merchants and manufacturers.  Each Torii, orange gateway, has been donated by a Japanese business.   Most of all Inari represents rice and throughout the shrine you'll see Kitsune, foxes, who had keys in their mouths, keys to the grainery.
We spent hours there and could have spent longer.  Let me leave you with a few photos.

A Map of the Shrine showing the Toriis leading to the top.









I don't know which sign of the zodiac this is supposed to represent, but it looked like Godzilla.

All shrines have plaques you can buy, make a wish on and hang at the shrine, we took ours home with us.

Toriis leading up and down.




One of the shrine foxes.



The fox at the entrance to the shrine, he has rice in his mouth.

One of the shrines had lanterns with the signs of the zodiac, this is mine and Mac's sign.

Temple dog



Monday, March 13, 2017

The Chalk Pit

Got my new Elly Griffiths new novel, The Chalk Pit,  and I finished it off in two settings.  Really enjoyed it, love the characters in  this series, they transcend the mysteries which can be a bit hit or miss.  But getting caught up with the characters is like meeting up with friends.  Can't wait for the next  one.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Crazy Weather

We had 2 days up in the 80's this week and now we have a frost/freeze warning for the coming week. Hope it doesn't hurt things too badly.  If it just touches freezing and comes back up we should be ok.
Mostly packed, everything but the kitchen sink is in one of the suitcases, including the cat who left a hairball on Mac's backpack and is insistent that she should be in a suitcase.  Badger enjoyed his trip to New York City so much he's asked to go again, so he's packed too.
Mowed the lawn yesterday for the first time since last September and I've been sneezing my head off ever since.  The driveway is yellow with pollen, as is the deck.  We were supposed to get some rain today, I was hopeful it would wash some of it away, but it passed us by.
Watching the World Baseball Classic on tv, think the Dominican Republic will win it again, though Israel is surprising everyone.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Five on Friday

I'm beginning to think that there may be more than one Friday in a week the way they come around so quickly.  Right now the lovely Amy at Love Made My Home is hosting this weekly  event, but in 2 weeks it moves to Tricky and Carly's blog Fast.

Here's my five for this week.

First, the Wisteria is starting to bloom on the garden fence, it is one of my favorite flowers, smells so sweet.  It's starting to bloom around the trees out front too , but always looks prettier hanging over the garden fence.





Second  is the white Azalea, it's always a little behind the others in blooming.  I use to think that white flowers were boring, but I've come around to thinking they're beautiful.





Third is the new series, number 19, of Midsomer Murders has started streaming on Acorn and we watched the first episode last night, The Village That Rose From the Dead.    There's a new Sgt. and a new dog, Sykes has retired.  The Sgt. is ok and the dog looks like he's going to be great.  So far we like this a lot better than the last series.




Fourth is the thrill of discovering that a book series you've been reading finally has a new book coming out.  I love the Longmire series by Craig Johnson about a sheriff and his friends in Wyoming and I've had  the latest book in the series An Obvious Fact for a while, but I've held off on reading it because I didn't know when the next one in the series would be out.  Found out it will be out in September (The Western Star) so I can go ahead and read this one.  I'm also a big fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway books and her latest, The Chalk Pit just came out in England and I couldn't wait for it to come out here in May so I ordered it from Amazon UK.  I recommend both of these series highly, two very different settings, Wyoming and Norfolk UK, and very different characters, but both so well written.









And finally, my fifth.  I'm going to let the picture do the talking.



Have a great weekend and do join the other bloggers at Love Made My Home.








                     


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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

In honor of this day, with so many women marching to mark women's contributions,  Miss Kitty and I decided to contribute by doing  as little as possible.  But after further reflection we realized we already do that.  So instead we worked a puzzle.  That's two down and eight to go.


Monday, March 6, 2017

A New Beginning

It was time to beat the silver threads into submission so they'd blend into the gold.  So thank you Miss Clairol.  While I was waiting for the color to set I decided to work on one of the puzzles I got for Christmas.  Mac gave me one that has 10 puzzles of varying sizes and I started with what looks like the smallest.  All the puzzles have birds and are so pretty.  The one I did filled in the time nicely.  Miss Kitty, who is in the dog house, came to help, but had to be satisfied with napping on the window seat.
A good way to start the week.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Five on Friday

As usual I'm running late, you'd think I worked for a living instead of lolling around the house all day the way I'm so late each week.  It's Friday evening, but I'm betting it will be Saturday morning before I'm done with this.  Hope you join Amy and the other bloggers at Love Made My Home for this weekly event.
We've had a beautiful week here, several days up in the 80's and today a more seasonal 65ยบ, looks like we'll have no winter at all this year which is fine with me, I'm not much of a winter fan, but we'll pay for it later, the bug population will probably be out of control this summer.

On to my five.

First, is the table topper I made to finish off my March table.  Should have been a five minute job, but my only spool of white thread had no obvious beginning thread and I had a heck of a time making one and filling a bobbin.  But the shamrocks look very springy!



Second is a new to me Irish tray.   Found it on Etsy I think.




Third is another book I'm reading, Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie.  Is there anything in the world better than finding an Agatha you haven't read?  We've see the David Suchet Poirot version of this, but I've never read it and it's a delight.  It was first published in the U.S. in 1934 under the  title Murder in Three Acts.  Surprisingly Hercule Poirot isn't in the story much, not at all like the tv version.  Anyway what could be better than a book where the heroine is  called Egg?




Fourth is a movie we saw this week, Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg.  They were all terrific.  Hugh Grant surprised us by not playing his usual mugging self and Simon Helberg made us completely forget that he usually plays Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory.  Of course Meryl Streep was excellent, she always is.  Florence is the story of a society woman who thinks she can sing opera, but oh Lord, she cannot.  The singing was excruciating and I had to go and see if Streep, who can sing, did the awful singing, she did. Altogether a great little movie.




It's Saturday afternoon, I knew I'd never get this done on Friday and today there was bread making, a refrigerator to clean out and floors to be Swiffered.  But at last here I am, so 
Fifth  is the tulip tree out back, also known as a Japanese Magnolia.  It's not a true magnolia because it's not an evergreen, but that's ok, it's always a treat to see it bloom.



That's my five, as always hoping you have a great weekend and do visit the other bloggers.














Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2

I'm a little slow, but I got my new header up.  This is one Mac painted many years ago, but it always makes me smile so I've never let it go.  I did nothing yesterday, NOTHING, don't know if it's allergies, oldergies or what but I had no energy.  Not a whole lot better today, but I got a little bit done.
Went outside to plant more Hyacinths, I always think of Hyacinth Bucket when I write that, and immediately gouged a hole in my leg with a lantana bush  that Mac had cut back so it couldn't attack me.  Our Hyacinths are doing fantastic and I wanted more so another dozen have gone in.
My March table is set and Miss Kitty, when she's not busy licking all her winter fur off and making hairballs, says it looks pretty good.