July 29, 2015 – This week in gardening

Along with Sarah’s hanging gardens, we have quite a few other edibles in our tiny garden. The cooler weather plants are not enjoying the combination of hot weather and reduced watering due to the drought so they are showing some stress and the parsley is starting to bolt. So far we have eaten two tomatoes, one eggplant, thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, and sage. Also, as you can see in the ground pictures our patio and garden are being inundated with tiny flowers from our pagoda tree. John blows the deck off daily but the flowers seem endless.

Sarah and I also went to the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday and found Italian eggplant! We made so much eggplant parmesan. We have enjoyed the eggplant for three dinners and one lunch so far. There is still a small portion left.

Produce from the Farmer's Market

Produce from the Farmer’s Market

So much eggplant parmesan!

So much eggplant parmesan!

July 24, 2015 – Nathan in the play, Princess Kaguya

Nathan is attending the California Theatre Center’s Summer Theatre Conservatory In Los Altos. John and I are invited to see him in the play, Princess Kaguya. In the production he plays the part of Satoshi, a narrator/guardsman. He speaks clearly and loudly which is a real plus to our old ears. Many of the children speak very quietly or are looking down or facing away from the audience so it is difficult to hear them.

The gist of the play is that a bamboo cutter finds a baby girl in the mountains and takes her home to live with his wife and him. She grows quickly and soon the father is looking for a husband for his daughter, Princess Kaguya. She is not interested in marrying anyone and sends a series of suitors away on impossible tasks that they cannot complete. However, the emperor decides that she will be his wife anyway. At this point, it turns out that Princess Kaguya is actually from the moon and her moon father has decided it is time for her to return to the moon. The emperor mounts an attack to keep her earthside but is no match for the moon people. Princess Kaguya bids everyone a tearful farewell and leaves a group of sad but wiser suitors and family.

Nathan does a super job staying in character and saying his lines. Afterward he poses with the scenery that his class has made, his friends, and family.

Nathan as Satoshi

Nathan as Satoshi

Nathan with his sword

Nathan with his sword

Nathan with his friend

Nathan with his friend

Three generations of Pilat guys

Three generations of Pilat guys

Ryan and Jon with Nathan and Sam

Ryan and Jon with Nathan and Sam

Nathan with Auntie Leigh

Nathan with Auntie Leigh

Sam doing his interpretation of a big smile

Sam doing his interpretation of a big smile

July 21, 2015 – Sarah’s vegetables!

Over a month ago Sarah began growing container vegetables. She has four baskets hanging from the overhead trellis. Each basket contains plants growing both up and down from the containers. From left to right super chiles and Japanese eggplant, basil and cherry tomatoes, thyme and indigo rose tomatoes, and sweet peppers and Casper eggplant.

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Today is the first harvest!

P1000865 (1024x768)It is a perfect little indigo rose tomato.

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The flavor of the tomato is both sweet and tart. Perfect! I guess it is not really the first harvest since we have used the basil and thyme but the tomato is very exciting. There’s also a five inch white Casper eggplant that if almost ready to pick. The sweet peppers are turning yellow and there are lots of super chiles. Sarah tends her crops every day making sure they have enough water and sun. She has big plans for next year when every available sunny space in our tiny yard will be filled with vegetables!

July 18, 2015 – Hookslide 15th Anniversary Show

On Saturday we attend Jonathan’s Hookslide 15th Anniversary show. We sit at the family table. Sarah joins us and Rose and John as well as Ryan, Leigh, Nathan and Sam are there for at least part of the time. Since the show is at Angelica’s in Redwood City, dinner is part of the experience as well. It is really my first outing since getting sick on the cruise and I am careful not to get too close to anyone. However, it is sweet that both Sam and Nathan give me hugs. I haven’t seen them since they were with  us in St. George at the beginning of June.

Hookslide does a great job singing and also telling funny stories about their experiences over the years. Jon does his beatbox solo which is always a big hit. We have a really good time.

Hookslide rocking!

Hookslide rocking!

Sarah at the concert

Sarah at the concert

July 1, 2, 3, 2015 – The End

The last two days of the cruise include a trip to Cologne, Germany and then to Kinderdijk, Netherlands to see the windmills. My last last two days are basically spent in bed. John is so sweet ferrying food to the cabin and going out in Cologne to find cold medicine. But this is no ordinary cold, it is the wrath of all the bacteria and viruses concentrated on a cruise ship.

Our cabin attendant, Zita, is so sweet.  In between asking if I need to go to the hospital or should she call an ambulance, she makes whimisical towel animals to cheer me  up.

My towel elephant

My towel elephant

I stumble up on the deck the second day and take a picture of windmills.

Windmills

Windmills

The non-stop from Amsterdam to San Francisco is endless. I am so sick.

Turns out I have pneumonia and here it is two weeks later and I’ve taken all the medicine but I am still not totally better. I am hoping for a better plan of action when I visit the doctor today (7/16).

The cruise was fun. Being with Peg and Ted was great. John and I, though, are just not cut out for the tour group kind of travel. We want to see what we want to see and spend as much time as we like looking at it. We enjoy the adventure of being in a foreign place not in a little pod of transported U.S. shuffling along on a pre-determined itinerary. We like to try new foods. We enjoy talking to real local people.

Maybe my views are colored by the fact that I have gotten so sick. I think you stand a better chance of remaining healthy on vacation when you are not in the same accommodation with same people day after day.

For the first time in a long time I am not planning or looking forward to my next trip.