Sunflowers in Kansas in August – full and infused with sunlight and beloved of bees – always brighten my day and bring a smile to my face.
Rainbow Lion Puzzle
King of the Jungle
Lord of the Rainbow
Second Summer Puzzle Project ~ July 2020
This second puzzle project of the summer involves less pieces than the first puzzle (two hundred less) but has a more difficult and complex color collage, which is proving to be challenging. Previously, I finished the dragon puzzle in less than three days and probably not more than six or eight hours total.
According to the bottom of the puzzle box, the artwork is called “King of the Jungle” by Blend Cota. An oil on canvas painted in 2018, his Artist Notes describe “This magnificent creature is sitting peacefully, his crown gently waving in the soft summer breeze as the tall savannah grass engulfs him. And yet, deep inside these quiet moments, I can feel the majestic roar ready to land shake… such a powerful symbol of strength, pride and glory.”
I am off to a slow and steady start. After nearly a week, I’ve completed most of the bright colored background (mostly yellows, oranges and greens). I’m not sure how to proceed or what color to focus on. I may try to complete the lion’s face, which will leave mostly a dark blue, purple and black pieces to sort through. Such a rainbow of colors and cathartic brush strokes.
I won’t have much time this month to devote to the puzzle though. I’ve started a soft skills online course this week which runs through the rest of July. I have several critical deadlines for projects at work that will probably mean longer hours. I will snatch a few moments throughout the day to find a piece or two and place it where it belongs.
I’ll take photos sporadically and update the album so check back to track my progress. With the heat forecast in the mid 90s with high humidity, any indoor activity is preferred to the sweltering summer outside.
A Day Early and Sunshine Short
The last two to three weeks have felt more like Summer than today does. Yesterday, we had the first cloudy slightly rainy day since May and right now, outside my window, the clouds have come down to Earth. I’m not complaining, really! I needed a break from sunshine, humidity and mid-90s temperatures. But enough about the weather.
The flowers and plants I planted earlier in the Spring continue to bloom. I’m a terrible tender though and frequently forget to water early in the morning. When your commute is a matter of seconds from ‘home’ to ‘office,’ you (meaning I) tend to dive right into work. Despite evidence to the contrary, I remain extremely busy with projects and support for my employer, who is thankfully returning furloughed employees now. I even have plans to return to the office for a half day late next week; mostly because my laptop has decided to take an involuntary vacation so it needs a more permanent and reliable replacement. That and I have a major upgrade to perform so being on site means no risk of power or internet outages in the home office.Continue reading “Summer Arrives”
Lessons from History? — L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website
Once upon a time, I was the staff director of a Congressman’s office. He was a Republican. At that time, the Democrats held an overwhelming majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 354 more words
via Lessons from History? — L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website
I woke up to the longest day of the year (summer solstice). I read through Modesitt’s latest blog post, which turned my longest day into perhaps my most frustrating one? Are we truly doomed to repeat history because we choose to ignore it?
I’m old enough to have seen the swing of politics from one abusive majority to another abusive majority of a different party, but most Americans either haven’t lived long enough to see it, don’t care so long as “their” party prevails, or have no idea what I’m talking about.
History would suggest that this kind of situation, unless defused, will only get worse. The only question may be whether we’re looking at a repeat of 1968 or 1861.
Do we really want another bloody brutal Civil War?
But I am not a Republican nor a Democrat and I voluntarily pursue lessons from history because I don’t wish to ‘rinse and repeat’ the mistakes of more predecessors.
I can only hope I’m not alone.
Summer Patio Container Gardening
We haven’t tried our hands at gardening for a couple of years. Our raised bed has been overtaken by oak and maple tree saplings which are now taller than me; as well as leftover containers, fencing and tomato cages from our last gardening effort. We invested in new larger containers this year (larger than five-gallon buckets) and planted two cherry tomatoes, two Cherekee heirlooms and two jalapeno plants on May 9th. A week or so later I planted a lone zucchini plant. I love zucchini and wanted to try one to see how well it does.
Ten days after transplanting the seedlings (shown above in the first photo), we already had baby tomatoes on both of our cherry tomato plants.
Today, I finally saw blossoms on the heirloom plants (but not baby tomatoes yet).
And the jalapeno plants both of small baby peppers.
The zucchini appears to be blooming as well, or at least I think these are blooms (near the base/root of the plant):
My husband thinks we may have cherry tomatoes to harvest in another ten days. Since it’s been in the mid 90s the last two days, he might be on to something.
Summer Reading for the Young at Heart
Summer reading programs at all my local libraries are in full swing this first week of June. Nearly all the libraries have great programs, activities and prizes for both kids and adults and this year’s theme is “Build a Better World” (see links below for libraries shown here).
Kansas City Area Summer Reading Programs
- Lansing Community Library (LCL)
- Leavenworth Public Library (LPL)
- Kansas City Kansas Public Library (KCKPL)
- Kansas City Missouri Public Library (KCPL)
- Johnson County Public Library (JOCOPL)
- Olathe Public Library (OPL)
Despite what my husband thinks, I have not over-dosed on science fiction since last Wednesday when the 74th World Science Fiction Convention (commonly referred to as WorldCon) arrived for the second time in Kansas City, Missouri. MidAmeriCon II ended yesterday and of course the highlight of those five days was the Hugo Awards Ceremony held Saturday evening.
In fact, I sincerely hoped when I woke up this morning it wouldn’t be to the harsh reality of a Monday morning workday. Ah, but life is cruel and the alternate dimension I’d enjoyed for five days evaporated into the dreary doldrums of gainful employment. Well, not completely dreary. Perhaps dreaded would be more like it, since I knew I’d be walking into some ‘hot potatoes’ once I strapped myself to my desk.
Good Morning Sunflower
I noticed yesterday afternoon as Terry and I were leaving to meet friends for dinner that one of my sunflower plants had bloomed. We made it home just before sunset when I was able to snap a photo of the bloom (before the birds destroy it getting to the seeds).
May your Monday be full of summer sunshine and happiness!
Wildflower Garden Update
Last fall, we had some landscaping done on the east and north sides of the house. The south side just had some fill dirt graded against the foundation and a cherry try planted between the apple tree and the fence. We also removed the bothersome mulberry terry from the corner of the fenced backyard.
I attempted to grow sunflowers last summer with limited success. This year, I decided I wanted a wildflower garden to give bees and hopefully hummingbirds something to enjoy. I bought a bag of wildflower seed, raked the fill dirt to loosen it and even it out and liberally sprinkled the seed along the entire south wall of the house. A few weeks later, I’m starting to see blooms, thanks in no small part to nearly ten inches of rain we received in May.
I remember spending time with my grandmother putting together large landscape jigsaw puzzles as a child. I have always had exceptional pattern recognition abilities, probably a direct result of my photographic memory. Whether it’s puzzle pieces or star hopping using binoculars and a telescope, I can look at the missing space once and sort through hundreds (or thousands) of pieces and match it in my memory before confirming it by snapping it into place.
But with the advent of my own children, and then followed by large dogs who think puzzle pieces are dog treats, I just haven’t thought it was worth it to do jigsaw puzzles at home for quite a long time.
Spurred on by the “Exercise Your Mind” Bingo card challenge, I went searching for a 21st century alternative to thwart my Rottweilers. I found an app for my tablet that allows me to complete a puzzle and never worry about dropping a piece to be snatched up by the mobile black hole on four feet padding around my kitchen.
Here’s the Flickr album I created today to track my progress while completing my first virtual jigsaw puzzle of “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh:
This satisfies my love for great works of art, astronomy and puzzles. My mind is doing mental cartwheels right now.