Monday, July 27, 2015


He lives in the Purnia district, in the Bihar state of India (if I've got it correct), and came to be the guest of The Yard Man and me during the world-wide conference.

We were fortunate to make his acquaintance, as he is a pleasant and interesting person to know.  One gift that he brought for the Yard Man and me is a packaged powder called sattu.

Every morning during the week-long conference, The Yard Man would get up early, make some breakfast for Panuwel, and transport him to the pick-up spot where he  would board the bus taking him to the conference.   During one of these breakfasts is when Panuwel introduced The Yard Man to this stuff called sattu

"It's good!" The Yard Man told me. "But I'm not telling you what the powder is made of.  Panuwel will prepare some for you, and you will have to guess!"

"Oh, it will be fun to guess!"  I responded.  I was sure it wouldn't be too difficult.

Panuwel put some of the yellow powder into a small bowl and added a little water.  He explained that one could add as much water as desired.  This sattu could be made into a drink, or it could be prepared as a spread, or eaten with a spoon.  It could be sweetened with sugar and spices, or made into a savory dish.

The water Panuwel added made the mixture a little thinner than he liked, so he added more powder.  When it was the right consistency, I took a spoonful and tasted.  


"It's banana!"  I said.
"No," said The Yard Man.
"Uh..."  I ate another spoonful.  "It tastes sort of like peanut butter.  Is it a peanut powder?"
"Nope," The Yard Man answered.
I tasted a little more of the sattu.
"It's some kind of nut. Cashew, or something!" I guessed.
Once again the answer was negative.
"Oh!" I had a good idea.  "It's made from one of those yellow sweet potatoes!" 
The Yard Man laughed.  I was not going to guess correctly, he decided.
And it was true.  I was running out of ideas.

So he told me.  

It wasn't until Panuwel had boarded the bus that would carry him out of our sight, perhaps...well, forever (though I hesitate to use a word with such finality), and it was too late to ask further questions...that I pondered these facts:
Panuwel had told us it was his mother who made and packaged the sattu.  She lives there on his brother's farm.
His brother has a chick farm, he'd explained to us. 

Now, Reader Dear, now I have a question for Panuwel.*
*It's about those chicks.


Sunday, July 26, 2015


That's right, Reader Dear, it was a convergence of thousands of folks from (nearly) every corner of the globe, all of them having the commonality of belonging to the same church.  Since this world-wide gathering of church members only occurs once every six years, and it moves from country to country, The Yard Man and I figured we'd better check it out while it was so close to home (a mere forty-mile trip from our house).  The conference lasted five full days, but our time in attendance was just Saturday afternoon and evening--the grand finale. 

While there were a lot of displays from around the world,  and activities of interest, the real highlight was the music!  (Listener Dear, just lend an ear... you'll hear!):

This church is nothing if not war-protesting-anti-war-pacifists!
We feel strongly about it! We like to sing about it!
We wanna lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside!
We don't wanna study war no more!
(Er...when you get right down to it, we "ain't gonna"!)

The fact is, we are a singing bunch!
We'll even lustily sing out foreign words, trusting they are appropriate for the event and expressing a common sentiment!  

My personal favorite was the "fly away" song...(fortunately sung in the one language in which I'm fluent)!
Ahh, it was marvelous, sung by a World Choir.......

...who will all be "flying away" at some time or another (even those not flying away on a plane in the next day or so)!

Friday, July 17, 2015


a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.
I sat on the landing of the steps leading to this second-floor rental unit.  I had lined up all the paint samples and thought to choose some color showing a little less yellow*. (Just because it happens to be a favorite color of mine does not say prospective tenants would be smiling). I left the entry door open to allow for lots of natural light.  A breeze wafted in as I sat there contemplating the choices.  I briefly relaxed.  This relatively pleasant chore afforded me some diversion from the filth and chaos above.  With only a tiny niggling of doubt, I might label these few minutes as rental recreation. 
However, Dear Viewer, keeping things real, I hasten to add a hyphen.
Soon enough, I had to go upstairs, you see, to check on the work of the man who is tearing out the flimsy, aging kitchen cabinets.  
Up here, it is all about the hyphen (stressing the fact that there is nothing recreational about it)!  The recently off-to-their-new-home tenants were not the most meticulous of renters.  Everything's dirty.  There are stains on the carpets.  There is a mysterious stain on the vinyl where the sun beats in at the sliding glass doors. The water heater is shot.  There is a broken light fixture .  There are many rust spots atop the clothes dryer.  Hmm....and did I mention things are more than a tad dirty.

the act of creating anew.
 Ultimately, photographing this apartment when it is in its totally re-created state--its fine and fancily furnished fitness--will afford me  the opportunity to once again toss out the hyphen. 

I promise to share the delightful diversion--the recreation around the re-creation-- with you, oh, Viewer Dear!

*"Please coat these walls with Cake Batter,"
I intend to tell the painter.

Monday, July 13, 2015


I would like to say, "It's that time of year!" making it sound as though only in mid-July do I have trouble keeping fresh and lively posts appearing on this blog.  (Heck, what I'm talking about-- keeping any kind of story showing up to pique your interest... assuage your curiosity...relieve your boredom...[er, or whatever it is that brings you back, Dear Reader Dear!] is a tough job in July.)

I've been inundated with apartment woes, with which I dare not bore you; and I've been busy trying to wield a club against a viral bug that threatens my good health, keeps it running for the shadows.

Then, too, my camera...alas, I've already whined.

But it's not, of course, as though all of life's sunny moments have tottered off into the dust bin!  I've got a  few cases in point:

Fourth-of-July-slash-birthday party, celebrating a niece of The Yard Man, and featuring lots of fine food, freshly-squeezed limes,* and birthday cake!
Sparklers, too!
 *(Mmm-m-m-mojitos concocted by First Son-in-Law)

Nelson, the cat,  entertained by two of my little actors.  He sorely misses his cat companion, Winnie, who recently met her demise in an auto accident.


And another birthday celebration, this one in honor of Dear First Daughter, and featuring a trip to the bewitching and well-furnished
rooms of the Ikea store.

*Please note, Reader Dear, a Swedish cinnamon bun makes a handsome stand-in for a birthday cake
(However, it is advised that one think ahead, and stash a few candles in one's purse!)

Final sunny example:  A raging thunderstorm.*
*Because it's never ho-hum-bland-and-dry and life-as-usual, you know, Reader Dear, when there's jagged light splitting open the sky and there's booming going on!

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Happy Birthday to the USA!
(I hate to mention it while we're celebrating, but Uncle Sam's beard is getting rather long...)