Tag Archives: magnolia

Head in the Clouds

As mentioned in my prior blog entry, I do tend to lose track of days, as I have no regular schedule in my life. Having written all day today in front of a computer, I decide it really is time to get some fresh air, and to take a walk. I discover that my cat has hidden in my bed all day, as I head for outside — I see a lump in the cover on the bed — and am amused that he thinks, that I can’t see him. Despite the fact that I always leave the front door open, Mr. lazy has remained indoors. In his defense, he did stop by earlier this morning, to bring me his toy mouse, trying to distract me from my writing. So — time for Mr. C to go play outside a bit too. I almost missed the beauty of the day. The sun is low enough on the horizon, that I have to close my eyes. What a treat in late January, this warm weather. I saw the first open magnolia blossoms at Church yesterday too. Bumbling along the sidewalk, I decide on a visit to the library, as it is on my path. I’m surprised to see a group of five or six girls hanging around the front door. As I go to enter, one of the girls giggles at me: “library is closed.” Really? I thought it is Monday. “It’s Martin Luther Kind Day,” she exclaims! Sheepishly, I say “Oh I see,” and continue my late afternoon walk. A quiet day — celebrating a great man in American history.

Have a blessed rest of the short week — if you are keeping track.

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

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!

Hearts and blossoms

Magnolia

Magnolia

I woke up last Thursday morning to the sound of raindrops, our first rain of the year. It was a really dry January for California. Thank God we had so much rain in December, that the Sierras are storing up in the form of snow. My cat Calvin was lying on “his” bed observing the rain, with no intention of getting up to go outside, which is normally his custom at this hour. After I opened the back door and the fresh moist air came streaming in, he changed his mind, and after stretching as only cats can do, decided to go out to investigate the goings on — perhaps there was a squirrel to be put in its place, or other business to attend to. On days like this I keep a paper towel next to my computer, for wiping his feet when he returns, as I get tired of wiping off his footprints from the top of my desk, something he seems oblivious to, despite the fact that he is the perpetrator, and that they are clearly visible. On a side note: I finally saw the extraordinary movie “Life of Pi”. A gem among the maze of junk out there. I will have to rent it, so Calvin can see his big brother, hopefully without emulating some of the poorer behavior.

It is February, the acacia trees are starting to bloom all around my loft, exuding their sweet spring smell.

Thursday afternoon — I take a stroll, stopping in at the French bakery for a rustic baguette. The bread slicer I have been told about still has not come in to do its slicing duty, so manual bread knife mode will be the home remedy to this situation. The cold air is definitely an unwanted guest from Alaska once again this year, but the sun is out, patches of blue sky can be seen through the puffy marshmallow clouds, A house I walk by still has an eucalyptus wreath on it — in February! The different species of magnolia trees are in various stages of bloom now, their leaves however still playing peek-a-boo. A red camellia I pass has shed itself of numerous blossoms, the petals bringing color and life to the drab concrete sidewalk.

I see some paper Valentines in a window — a little girl has been very busy. Hearts for the world to see.

Have a blessed week and a happy Valentines Day,

Matthias Leue