Saturday, November 21, 2015

Some Gratitudes

Pushing 86, I still have some of my teeth, some of my hair, and even some of my savings, so I'm pretty blessed. Then too I have both Cheari and Catherine who watch over me daily by phone. not to forget Kelly, my housekeeper, who nags me when I forget my pills, and does a hundred things around here not on her job description.
But most fortunate of all, I have friends, new and old, that sustain me. Wherever I live or travel I embrace them. I still discover new objects of beauty, and I still have the ability to appreciate them, interpret them, and be inspired by them.
This Thanksgiving would have been 59 years for Lee and Bonnie, if she were still living. I remember our first, in fog encased Tacoma, and I remember most of them in between. How lucky am I.
So thanks, troubled world, for all the tender memories.
There are new ones yet to come. Next week I'll be hanging my hat in the East Bay where two groups of dear friends are having a gathering for me and where I'll get to connect with many old friends and haunts. Thanksgiving again will be with Andrea and Stace in Hayward, where I'll be hanging my hat (and oxygen machine).
Even though our days in the Valley of the Moon continue to be warm and sunny, I spent a pleasant afternoon Thursday painting persimmon greeting cards at the kitchen table. It was cheap paper, so the colors sort of ran in crazy patterns. The persimmons this year are from friend Steve's yard. I am waiting for them to get squishy enough to make cookies, hopefully  tomorrow. Meanwhile, my paint brush can interpret them.
My heart, if unsynchronized, is still overflowing.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Persimmons Anyone?

So many folk have begged for my persimmon bar recipe I decided to put it on my
blog for Friday the 13th, so here it goes:
Bonnie's Persimmon Bars

1 c dried currents (I like Zante)
1 3/4 c white flour (I use pre-sifted)
1 t each ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg.
1 c persimmon pulp (prox 2 very ripe persimmons)
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t lemon juice
1 egg
1 c sugar
1/2 c melted unsalted butter
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
In another bowl, beat pulp until smooth. Stir in soda, salt, lemon, egg, and sugar.
Pour in oil or butter.
Stir dry ingredients into wet, one third at a time. Blend but do not overmix.
Add currents, then nuts. Spread butter on lightly floured cookie sheet, prox 10 x 14.
Bake 20-25 minutes at 350.

When cool, glaze with mixture of 1 cup powdered sugar and juice of one soft lemon.
(Some people like more glaze, some less.)

It takes a few tries to get just the right consistency of doneness and moisture, and the right amount of glaze. I tend to never make it the same twice, and follow my impulse on the lemon juice. They only stay fresh a few days, but they disappear fast anyway.

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Rise and Fall of Things

This past weekend I travelled to Lincoln, CA, about a two and a half hour drive north, to visit my dear friends Barb and Marianne, who recently moved from Oakmont to Del Webb, Lincoln City in order to be closer to Marianne's daughter, as well as to say good bye to my dear dear friend, Morella, who sold her house in Folsom and is moving to Miami to care for her parents, ages 94 and 95. Will I ever see Morella again? I hope so, but I doubt it, as I have no yearning to visit Florida, but from time to time Barb and Marianne and I will visit, either there or here.
The significant differences between the two retirement communities is size and age, as well as localle. Lincoln is only 14 years old whereas Oakmont is 50, though some houses are still being built.
Many here are bought by  contractors, and rebuilt, whereas up there everything is still shiny and new.
There are few trees there, and not a mountain in sight, whereas here the landscaping is mature and mountains caress both sides of our little valley.  On the plus side, because it boasts over 7 thousand homes, the recreation facilities far surpass ours in size and sizzle, and the Kaiser clinic is five minutes away. Morella and I ate in the lovely dining room which certainly surpasses the golf course menu here. I was amused to learn that in Lincoln City the pickle ballers are fighting for space with the tennis players, just like here. So much for comparing retirement communities.
One thing they don't have at Del Webb is Lifelong Learning. This afternoon was my last class in the course, The Rise and Fall of Civilizations. It compared the Egyptian civilization to the Mayan civilization to our own. it was rather scary to see that they same things causing the fall of a previous civilization are threatening us, environmental changes being the primary cause.
The teacher, though, thinks there is hope; that developing empathy is the answer. I wonder if I will ever have empathy with the Republicans who don't believe in climate change?