Monthly Archives: March 2013

Easter Monday

Eggs

Eggs

In Germany, Easter Monday  is also a holiday — alas not here. I do hope, that the crocus have prevailed in their fight against the snow by now, as purple, orange, white, and lavender exclamation points to Spring. This morning it rained very heavy for a while, and then, just in time for Easter, it stopped. as the sun pieced the white fluffy clouds and lit up the magnolia blossoms. People brought flowers from their garden to decorate the cross. Christ has risen! The pastor and his wife made lemonade and lemon tarts, respectively — by means of a generous donation from an old lemon tree in their back yard.

The pastor’s wife also told me, that when she was young and living in the Midwest, it always rained at noon on Good Friday. She said, that her mother told her, that God was crying for his son.

It was also my god-daughter’s birthday today, as well as my cat Calvin’s — making it easy to remember. Since Easter is not complete without colored eggs for me, I dyed some last night. Guess which one is his…

On a side note, as I sat in my back yard with a cup of coffee, a hummingbird came within just a few feet of me, and started chirping at me, leaving me dumbfounded. My son Patrick later told me on the phone, that my dad had instructed the hummingbird from heaven, to wish me a happy birthday.

Have a blessed week,

In Jesus name,

Matthias Leue

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Holy Week

Geometric Palm LeavesToday was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. In the Lutheran churches I have attended here in California, they often use real palm leaves to decorate the church, something reserved for warm climates, unlike my native country, where the crocus and snow drops are still struggling to welcome Easter this year I’m told. In some years, depending on which date Easter falls on, the daffodils shine brightly in the sun for Easter in all their yellow, orange, and white exuberance. The literal translation from German for daffodil means Easter bell (Osterglocke).

The photo above, is of some palm leaves I had the privilege to photograph in Venezuela some years back. I love the symmetry of the leaves, and the soft light falling through them.

Palm Sunday is almost over. Now comes the walk to the cross of my Lord on Good Friday, and then the joyous Easter celebration of his resurrection on Sunday.

In Jesus name,

Matthias Leue

Well?

Sandwich

Sandwich

I must say, Calvin is rather disappointed about the minimal response to last week’s question. So far, no one has guessed correctly. He is waiting for his treat folks, so let’s step up to the plate! The photo for this week has nothing at all to do with Calvin’s dilemma, but I like it, it shows a favorite sandwich of mine: bacon, tomato, avocado, and egg, with mayonnaise on white toast. The photo also fulfills my “green obligation” for St. Patrick’s Day, I do believe.

I hope you had a blessed Sunday, and I wish you an avocado-filled week,

Matthias Leue

P.S. For the keen observer or food sleuth: The sunny side up fried eggs were still in the frying pan, when the image was taken.

On the menu

Calvin

Calvin

This week is contest week, the subject being fine dining. So: I ask: which of these culinary items does my cat Calvin (who incidentally is named after the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes) not eat?

1. Shrimp tails

2. Canned tuna

3. Yogurt

4. Avocado

5. Cheddar cheese

The first person to tell me the correct answer to this quiz will receive a free signed copy of my book “Fish Camping”. Happy guessing and good luck. This post is approved by Calvin, with the condition, that there be a doling out of a generous helping of one of the above items. He also mentioned to me in no uncertain terms, that this offer prohibits the contestant from seeking any help from their dogs, should they have one (although personally, I am rather fond of dogs too) and is void in any state or province, that does not adhere to minimum standards for the proper feeding of cats.

Have a blessed thought provoking week,

Matthias Leue

Tap-tap

HammerI could not figure out this morning where an indistinguishable sound was coming from. It sounded at times like someone hammering, or a knock at the door, or someone tapping two sticks together. I tried to figure out from which direction the noise was coming from, first looking at the back door, then the front door, then finally outside, to see if it was coming from a neighbors house. Nothing. A mystery. OK, time to get up, and do the morning routine. The noise had abated. Fresh out from the shower, coffee in hand, I started to walk up the stairs to go to my computer, when the strange noise started up again. This time I could locate the direction of where the sound was coming from — upstairs. Much to my surprise, I saw a rather small bird, grayish brown in appearance, sporting a blue-jay-like mohawk, in the process of bouncing against my upstairs window, and then flying upward and out of sight, to the top of the roof, which is perhaps a foot or so above the window. This procedure continued several times, with occasional pit stops in the adjacent acacia trees. When my presence was noticed by our feathered acrobat, a full retreat into the acacia trees ensued. I am pretty sure this goofy bird has a nest somewhere on the roof. The bird resumed its activity when I retreated a few steps downward in order to stay out of sight. What puzzled me though, was the bouncing against the window before arrival at the final rooftop destination. Mere exuberance, or blatant disregard of ground control advisory? I went downstairs and picked up my cat Calvin who was busy ingesting his morning breakfast, and I brought him upstairs to observe the bird. He crouched on the carpet and looked at the window, intent and fascinated by the antics of the bird. He then however made the mistake of lifting his head just a tad too much above the bottom of the windowsill. Discovered immediately, mama bird went into full retreat mode into the acacia trees with very loud chirping to be heard. One can only assume what was said in that one-sided conversation.

Have a blessed bouncy week,

Matthias Leue

P.S. My neighbor Bill informed me, that the bird in question is called a titmouse. Another bird mystery is thus solved.

Apricot pie

Apricot blossoms

Apricot blossoms 

It is astounding what a few days of warm weather can do. The trees are in bloom everywhere now. In just one week, the magnolia in front of church has gone from buds to blossoms in all their beautiful splendor. A tree up the street has littered — if I may use that expression — its blossoms all over the sidewalk — a carpet of pinks, violets, and whites, one hesitates to step on. Yesterday the first blossom on my apricot tree opened up, and the photo I posted brought comments about apricot pie from a French friend, who is perhaps a bit impatient, I think. I recall a few years ago, the squirrels got all the apricots (there were only 6-7), and last year an unexpected cold front killed most of the blossoms, except one. And although I protected the lone remaining apricot with mesh, a squirrel beat me to it again! Today, many more blossoms opened up, so anticipation is high. Although apricot pie is good, my favorite is still apricot jam. I use it to cover a thin apple tart, a recipe I learned in a French cooking class a long time ago, that should be resurrected. So all you squirrels, back off, or I’m sending my cat Calvin after you for a tête-à-tête!