Farewell April Squares: To Top It Off…

Today is the last day of Becky’s April Squares! To top it off, I show you my favorite dessert:
Schaum torte!

If you don’t know this delectable delicacy, it consists of a meringue at the bottom. The meringue should be prepared with a depression in the middle to put a scoop of ice cream.

Then to top it off – add strawberries and/or hot fudge sauce (homemade, hopefully!)

Easter 2019: Just looking at this photo makes my mouth water!

I look forward to having this dessert every Easter, because that is when my niece Maria makes a batch of green meringues. She brings them to my sister’s house, and there, after enjoying an Easter meal, my sister brings out the ice cream and has a homemade recipe of hot fudge sauce on the stove…and a bowl of strawberries waiting for consumption!

We could not have schaum tortes this year, since physical distancing forced us to stay home and not have our traditional Easter dessert. But I look forward to next year!!

April Squares 29: Iowa State Capitol

The Iowa state capitol in Des Moines is atop a hill and offers a panoramic view of the city’s downtown. The exterior is entirely of stone with elaborate columns, cornices and capitals.20180927_094019
Looking up inside toward the top of the dome
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Posted for Becky’s April Squares with the topic TOP.

The Iowa state capitol building is one of the prettiest I have seen, so I am including more photos highlighting the decorative tile floors and ceilings. The interior is constructed with several types of Iowan wood as well as 29 types of imported marble.
The House of Representatives, looking down:
and above, elaborate decor.SONY DSC
Colorful designs mark the floors, stairways and ceilings.
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Mosaic murals
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Looking toward the center of the building, the rotunda below
The library is a real gem!
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If you are ever in Des Moines, the state capitol is worth a visit – bring your camera!

Wikipedia: Iowa State Capitol

RDP: Dancing, Yeah!

Ragtag Daily Prompt today is Dance.

A Sunday afternoon on Avenida Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil: Ballet and…

…political protest batucada: “Fora Temer” – a protest against the vice president (Temer) who took over for Pres. Dilma Roussef after her arrest.

Panama Canal Cruise – in Mexican town of Tuxtla Chico, Chiapas

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Panama Canal Cruise on board m/s Veendam: Mexican dancers

Verde Valley School 70th anniversary: Saturday night dance

Hunt For Joy Challenge: Gardening

Cee’s challenge On The Hunt for Joy this week has the topic of gardening.

I have reserved a plot in the community garden, but have not started planting. In this area of the U.S., the recommendation is to plant annuals no sooner than Mother’s Day. I plan to plant tomatoes, peppers, and possibly another vegetable. I also want to plant some flowers.

Last fall, at our new house, I planted daffodil bulbs and iris bulbs. I planted daffodils in four different spots. Naturally the ones that bloomed first were on the east side of the house.
Later, the daffodils I planted in a pot on the patio behind the house began to bloom. Actually, although there are two plants, only one of them bloomed and is currently in bloom. The irises are just starting to grow.
Inside our house, I have two plants on the kitchen window sill – orchids and a perennial geranium. The orchids have been blooming for several months.
I admit, I miss my garden at our old house! Here I am last May, working in that garden.

The first flowers that came up every year were snowdrops.
I also had tulips, strawberry plants, blazing stars, scallions, and other flowers, some of which can be seen in the garden picture above. One of them was bleeding hearts.
This post is also for Cee’s FOTD 4/30/20.

FPQ 67: Why blog?

Fandango’s Provocative Question this week:
As a blogger, when it comes to your blog, what makes you tick?
As a preface to this, Fandango wrote that he had gone to another blog which asked a similar question, and asked several of his own in the comments: In my post in response to Dr. Tanya’s post, I wrote that I am curious about what purpose blogging achieves or fulfills. What internal needs does blogging meet? What part does it play in their daily lives? How important is it to them? If they weren’t blogging, how else would they spend their time? On a scale of one to ten, with ten being blogging is their entire reason for being, and one being that, meh, they have nothing better to do, how does blogging rate?

I will use these additional questions to guide me in my response.
What is the purpose of my blog? Originally, it was a forum to write my travel journals, but it has expanded into much more than that, although I use my travel photos very often in my responses to photo challenges. I like to write and keep a journal in addition to my blog, although I write in my blog far more often than in my journal these days. Originally, I wanted my blog to be a place where my descendants could read about me and my thoughts – leaving something behind for posterity. But I don’t think of that much anymore. I thought I could post some of my best writing and putting it on a blog is like publishing it in a way. I always wanted to be a writer but never wanted to jump through the hoops one much jump through to be a published writer these days. Self-publishing is another way to go, so I am working on a book about my ancestors, which I will have a printer put into book form.

With my blog, I soon discovered that I was unable to generate the kind of audience I desired with my writing. I think a lot of people don’t have the patience to read a long piece online, and it seems to help to break it up with photographs every couple of paragraphs. Doing some of the things people on WordPress suggested to expand my audience worked on a limited scale. I was disappointed that it didn’t do more, so around that time I started writing my blog for myself. It gives me satisfaction to blog – after all, I’ve been writing all my life and never had a single thing published (except a couple of letters to the editor), but that didn’t stop me because it has satisfied some internal need. I just like to do it. I like reading and am influenced by writers to write better myself. Also, I enjoy photography so getting compliments on some of my photos also satisfies my ego.

I blog every day or almost every day, unless I am on vacation and don’t have a computer with me. I know when all the photo and writing challenges I like are, so I try to participate in them as often as possible. I get more “likes” for these because people find my post through the challenge host’s link. Sometimes I take a lot of time composing a blog and even doing several small posts takes time. The challenges give me a way of organizing my photos and writing. When I get on my computer, I often have a specific task to do – such as pay bills or do spread sheets – but first I check my email, where the responses to my blog come in. Then I am lost! The bills are completely forgotten when I am absorbed in my blog and reading other bloggers. If I haven’t blogged all day, then I will go on at night, and it’s usually after midnight when I stop.

If I weren’t blogging, maybe I would spend more time on one of my long-term projects, such as working on my ancestors’ book, making photo albums on Shutterfly, transcribing my dad’s World War II letters, or doing some kind of artwork.

My Shutterfly photo album of Israel
projects to work on, in my closet!

Besides writing and photography, I love to draw and I am pretty good, which makes it gratifying.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate my blog somewhere between 7 and 8, (although if I had lots more readers, it would be 9 or 10). If I am not able to blog for a couple of days, I get very ornery and then prioritize it over all else. I have been known to publish 6 blog posts in one day, although my average is much lower. When I travel, I think about what I’m going to post on my blog. I love Norm’s Thursday Doors, and take photos of doors abroad specifically to post for his challenge when I get back. I also started doing more flower photography after participating in Cee’s Flower of the Day.

I like to read other people’s blogs and see their photos of where they’ve been, which might inspire me to want to travel to the same places. Or it’s just awesome photography. I talk to my husband and others about fellow bloggers and often use a particularly inspiring post in my own journal.

Another reason I like travel blogging is to review places I’ve been – I forget a lot of things I learn on trips, so when I get back, I do research on the places I’m blogging about. This helps me relive the trip and appreciate it more.

CFFC: Touching

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is on a series exploring the senses. This week it is the sense of touch.

Touching each other is something many people miss during this pandemic, where we are told to stay 6 feet away from others and not to touch our face! In fact, handshaking as a form of greeting someone may become a thing of the past.

Touching, or petting, our furry friends is one of the ways we communicate with them, and it is something that they generally like. This touching is pleasurable for both human and animal.

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Hazel’s fur is so soft and smooth.
You can tell Hazel enjoys this attention!
Dogs also love the attention. Dale always stops to pet some of our neighbor’s dogs, like this one, “Iphi” (short for Iphigenia).

We are touched by raindrops that fall on our heads when we pass under a tree just after a rain shower.
Just as we find out it is raining when the raindrops touch us, we are also touched by the wind, the sun’s heat, or the cold of winter.
Animals and people touch to show love for each other.

Romantic love:

Sisterly love:
Old friends coming together:
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Sometimes we want to touch something because of its texture.
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April Squares 28: Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass in Tacoma has an interesting, modernist design. It was designed by Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, his first art museum. He started working on the building in 2000 and in 2001 the building was completed. At the top of the building, shaped like an angled cone, is the hot shop, where visitors can watch glass artists shape their work.
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The hot shop:
Artists and visitors see a close up view of the glass being worked or “blown” on a large screen.

Outside the museum is the  Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which links the museum site with downtown Tacoma. 20190915_140522

Rising upward and topping this bridge is a glass sculpture by Chihuly consisting of chunks of green-blue glass. (And there’s no way to make this photo square without ruining the view of what it looks like. But it definitely tops the entire complex.)
Source: Wikipedia: Museum of Glass

Posted for Becky’s April Squares with the subject top.

FOTD: Spring Bouquet

Yesterday our daughter & son-in-law drove over to give us dinner they had cooked. They are renting our old house and planning to buy it next year. Besides the meal (which was yummy!), I was delightfully surprised when they gave me a bouquet of spring flowers! My former neighbor is quite a horticulturalist and when she heard they were bringing us dinner, she gathered these flowers from her garden for us!

pretty daffodils…
…including some miniature daffodils as well as tulips…
…and fragrant blue hyacinths!

Cee’s FOTD 4/28/20