CFFC: Blue Is My World

Cee ends her color series for her Fun Foto Challenge this week, with the color blue.

Sky and clouds at sunset, Arlington Heights, IL
Glass art at the Moorings, Arlington Heights, IL
Still life: Produce in a blue bowl – I took this photo to use as a model for a still life painting I plan to do.
Dale playing games on his cellphone, March 2020
Bundled up and masked, February 2020
Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, Chicago: Starry Night

SYW: Knowing Tangerines & Potato Chips, and other Musings

Melanie asks some profound questions this week for Share Your World!

QUESTIONS: 

What is knowledge?
Google’s online dictionary has two definitions for knowledge (definitions are from Oxford Languages):
1. facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.
2. awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation.

Being smart is not the same as knowledge, but “street smarts,” for example, is a type of knowledge from definition #2. However, I usually think of definition #1 when thinking about what knowledge is.

How do you define consciousness (self awareness)?
Consciousness is being cognizant of your surroundings, who you are, and what you are doing. It’s also possible to be conscious without an awareness of one’s surroundings, such as the things you do without thinking – your mind is elsewhere. Often when we drive, we do it so automatically that we don’t think about it as we are doing it – but an unusual situation on the road will usually bring us back to that awareness. (If not – and this happens often enough – likely one will get into an accident.) It is difficult to be aware all the time – this is called “mindfulness,” distinct from consciousness in that we are constantly aware of our senses in the present.

Mindfulness takes a lot of training in self-control to keep one’s mind from wandering. I would like to be more mindful – appreciating the sensations, for example, in eating a tangerine: how it looks and smells, the sensation in my fingers as I peel it, and then really noticing it when it’s ready to eat: each section has little sacs in which the juiciness resides; there is some stringy residue of the peel still clinging to the outside. Smell it, taste it, be aware of how wonderful it is to eat a tangerine. We don’t do this enough. I tend to eat without even thinking about it, and then when I’m done (I eat too fast), I look at my empty plate and realize I didn’t have an appreciation for what I ate. The food is gone and I ate it without awareness.

So often consciousness involves one part of the brain paying attention to one’s surroundings as the person goes about doing routines automatically, while another part of the brain is distracted – thinking about something else altogether. Mindfulness, existing in and appreciating the present, is a richer experience than consciousness, I believe.

Is it possible to prove that other people besides yourself have consciousness?
Of course – they are conscious if they are engaging in the world around them, whether they are being mindful of it or not; it’s still consciousness. If you ask your partner, say, if he is asleep, and he answers “yes,” then he is probably lying. Sleep is our brain’s rest from consciousness. But are dreams simply a different level of consciousness?

Would you be able to tell if time had been altered in some way?
You mean, like a time warp? Yes, if I got into a blue English phonebox called the Tardis, and emerged from it in medieval Europe, or in a futuristic world, I would definitely be able to tell time had been altered!

We alter time twice each year, when we go on and off Daylight Savings Time. (Personally, I’d like to stay on DST all year.) It is then that I realize that time is an artificial construct that we impose on our world to establish order, a conformity that everyone in society lives with. Time is, of course, related to the cycles of the moon, the rotating and orbiting of Earth around the sun. Either it is light or it is dark. We behave differently and have different expectations of ourselves and others at night than during the day. Some people say they have trouble adjusting to going on and off DST, but I think, really? It’s just an hour, and during that hour – or missed hour – we are usually sleeping anyway. It is noticeable, sure, when we are used to leaving for work in early daylight, but suddenly, it’s dark out when we leave our house at 7:00 a.m. That’s a drag – and I’m very glad I’m retired and no longer have to worry about it!

Another time when we notice time changes is when we get into an airplane and fly halfway across the world. Our bodies continue on the time zone we were in when we got on the airplane, and yet when we get to our destination, it is a completely different time of the day. We may be tired, because back home the night was just beginning, but where we are now, everyone is very much awake and going about their daytime activities. In 2022, we are going to Australia and New Zealand, so we will cross the International Date Line and – presto! – although 12 hours have gone by, it’s the next day over there!! And we gain that day back when we return: It was Tuesday when we departed Auckland, and now we get to live most of Tuesday again at home on the other side of the world!

Do you like potato chips (they’re called ‘crisps’ in Europe I believe)?
Four “profound” questions that require real thought, and now you ask whether I like potato chips?? How mundane!! Yes, I do like them, but I try to avoid eating them, because like the commercial says, “so good, you can’t eat just one!” I make allowances on special occasions (noshing at a party, for example) or when I have only a small portion of chips on my plate and cannot eat any more!

GRATITUDE SECTION (always optional)

On this side of the world it’s coming into Springtime.   Celebrate Spring by sharing an image or anecdote that shares “Spring”!   Alternatively, it’s coming into Autumn on the other side of the world.  Please do the same for Autumn!   Thanks! 

Daffodils, the heralds of spring, are blooming everywhere!

Daffodils alongside the east wall of my house
Daffodils blooming along the fence separating our old house and the neighbor’s. Those weren’t there two years ago, when we moved, but I’m glad the new neighbors decided to plant these lovely flowers!

Kinda Square #20: At the Market

I haven’t participated in Becky’s October Kinda Square challenge for awhile, so to make up for it I’m going to take a little shopping tour at Vienna’s Naschmarkt to see different kinds of things you can buy there!

Various kinds of vegetables

Various kinds of candies (and very different from the ones you usually find in the USA)

Various kinds of fruit – and being summer when I took these photos, there is a great variety of succulent, delicious fruits!

Many kinds of spices

This being an organized walking tour, there were various kinds of goodies for us to sample!

You can buy a variety of non-edible things there too, such as these dishes with different colors, shapes and kinds of decoration.

Markets are fascinating places to visit because you can find all kinds of things at them! So I think my next post for this challenge will feature other kinds of markets!

LAPC: The Objects of My Every Day

P.A. Moed is the host for this week’s Lens Artists Photo Challenge: Everyday Objects.

I bought this little metal sculpture of a javelina at a street fair in Tucson, Arizona. Its home is in front of my fireplace. One of my cat’s toys is under her chin right now. (My cat’s favorite toys are balls that she rolls around the house until they get stuck somewhere.)
This is one of my ‘Covid-19 pandemic’ pictures. Our food is delivered to our door every day and often includes either bananas or oranges.
Another ‘Covid-19 pandemic’ picture – we had accumulated several masks and a pair of plastic gloves that had been sitting around forever, so I found a little basket to put the masks in. Now we always know where to find a clean mask!
I originally took this photo for another photo challenge – maybe favorite snacks?
Another pandemic picture from early in the lockdown – our TV set, mounted on the wall, tuned to our community’s closed caption channel which that day was broadcasting a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
An everyday object – a pencil – in an unusual place: stuck in a display of evergreens.

Here’s a gallery of some things I’ve photographed in the past.

5 Things: Summer Desserts

Dr. Tanya is back with her Five Things Tuesday. The topic this week is favorite summer desserts. That is one of my favorite summer topics!! 😀

  1. ice cream, especially hot fudge sundaes! My favorite ice cream is peppermint but Hershey’s has a superb flavor called Roadrunner Raspberry! It’s vanilla with raspberry swirls and chunks of chocolate. A similar one, although I don’t know who makes it, or whether it’s strictly a Christmas holiday flavor is peppermint bark moose tracks – peppermint with chocolate swirls and pieces of chocolate!

2. Frozen yogurt – it’s almost like ice cream, really, but there’s a frozen yogurt chain here where you can serve yourself from many flavors and then add whatever toppings you want. They charge by the weight (which is a problem – mine ends up being expensive by the time I’ve loaded it up with toppings!).

3. Sorbet (is there a theme here???) – to me, sorbet, or sherbet, is a non-dairy but ice cream-like frozen treat made with fruit. I love raspberry, mango, passion fruit, and coconut the best. Passion fruit is the hardest to find here in the U.S. but I used to eat it often when I lived in Brazil.

4. smoothies – I like my own version of smoothie, although others are good too. When I make smoothies, I get out the blender (which I don’t use for anything else!) and put in fresh and frozen fruit – preferably something compatible. Usually I make it with fresh and frozen raspberries, blueberries and whatever other berries I have on hand. I add a cup of yogurt – preferably nonfat, and either vanilla or raspberry flavor, a little bit of milk – about 1/4 cup max. If there is no frozen fruit, the substitute would be crushed ice. This berry smoothie is my favorite – I even use special glassware, metal straws and long handled spoons when I serve it!!

Doodle of a half-slurped smoothie

5. fresh fruit and/or fruit salad – my husband makes a great fruit salad, using only fruit, no juice, etc. that would add calories. Fresh fruit in the summer is a wonderful treat! I like the strawberries and raspberries, but I look especially forward to cherries (in June-early July), fresh peaches (July-Aug.), and crisp apples in the fall. I buy most of my summer fruit at a farmer’s market. There is nothing like a ripe, fresh peach on a day like today! (about 90º F/33ºC) Fresh mangos are available here in the summer also, but not at the farmer’s market because they are imported from Mexico.

See the source image

Photos of ice cream and fruit salad downloaded from Bing images.

CFFC: Yummy!!!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues exploring the senses; this week it is tasting.

We have 5 basic type of tastes registered by our taste buds: bitter, salty, sour, sweet and savory. Sometimes fat is considered a 6th taste.

The American diet contains a lot of processed foods, which add salt to them – salt is a preservative. So we eat too much salt, as well as fat and sweets. High-salt diets can cause fluid to build up in your body, especially if you have a heart condition like I do. A tell-tale sign is swollen ankles but also lots of coughing, the result of fluid build-up in the lungs. That is why I try to maintain a low-salt diet.

If we would stick to “real” food, that is, food provided to us by nature, we would be a lot healthier.

Garden tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes always taste the best! (citrusy: sour, also savory)20190817_193324
Baclava – Vienna’s Naschmarkt  (sweet – taste of honey)
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Vegetables and fruit for sale at Vienna’s Naschmarkt (mostly savory, some bitter)
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sweet & savory fruits!
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Breads in Israel – most breads are put in the salty category, but some, like pita bread, are classified as savory
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In Egypt, I fell in love with Middle Eastern food!!

We had a home-hosted dinner at the home of an Egyptian family in Luxor.

We also had a five-day cruise on the Nile on our own private boat with excellent chefs! Rice and peppers – definitely savory!
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A whole fish! – Nile perch (savory,  salty also)
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A New Year’s cake (oh so sweet!)
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Spices for sale at an Egyptian market – spices add flavor or heat to a dish, and some can be bitter.
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I don’t normally take pictures of food (except when traveling), but sometimes I can’t resist, like this savory shrimp appetizer at a restaurant!
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Holiday cookies from my church’s annual “cookie walk!” (Totally bad-for-you sweet, but the holidays are a time for celebrating!! Eat these in moderation!)
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I will end where I started – with fresh grown vegetables, from a local farmers’ market.

 

 

CFFC: Red

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is the color RED.  These red items are mostly from my travels. Excerpts from my color essay on red are included.

Red says, “Look at me!” And we do because red stands out.

Many flowers are red – tulips, roses, dahlias and many others can be red – maybe these beautiful flowers are why some people choose red as their favorite color.

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Zinnia in Arlington Heights, IL

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Dahlia in Tacoma, WA

Wearing red clothes makes a person stand out.

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A friend arriving at Tel Aviv airport, Israel

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My brother-in-law’s barbershop quartet doing their annual “singing Valentines” – this one was for my sister at the Moorings.

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Me sitting in a tall red chair at our hotel in Tiberias, Israel

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Whimsical glass figure made by a child, on display at the Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA

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Red building in Poulsbo, WA

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Facade of a church in Nurmberg, Germany

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Famous cafe in the Jewish district – Budapest, Hungary

 

Some very delicious fruits are red – tart apples, succulent raspberries and yummy strawberries. Red tomatoes and red peppers are good and juicy too. But watch out! Red peppers can be HOT.

Raspberries & peppers in community garden, the Moorings, Arlington Heights
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Sign in front of a winery, Miltenberg, Germany

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Omaha Beach memorial, Normandy, France

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Cake served on our river cruise ship, Viking Sigyn, on the 4th of July

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Helio Oiticica (Brazilian artist) exhibit at the Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Speaking of hearts, we normally think of hearts as red. We give each other cards on Valentine’s Day with red or pink hearts.

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Dale’s Valentine to me on Valentine’s Day 2019. 

And by the way, Dale’s birthday is Valentine’s Day!

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Dale celebrates his Valentine birthday with a dessert of flan and a margarita, Mexico Restaurant, Des Plaines, IL

WPC: Sweet

Our recent trip to Tanzania began with four days in Amsterdam, Netherlands. My brother has been there several times and recommended a place to find the best poffertjes – a famous Dutch sweet that is something like a small doughnut but soft inside. They are served with butter and powdered sugar, and at De Vier Pilaren, we ordered them with strawberries and whipped cream!  Yummmmm!

1-31 poffertjes at De Vier Pilaren

This is what Wikipedia has to say about this delicious treat: Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch batter treat. Resembling small, fluffy pancakes, they are made with yeast and buckwheat flour. Unlike American pancakes, they have a light, spongy texture.

Here is a link to a recipe for poffertjes.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge 2/14/18: Sweet

CFFC: Appropriately Apt…

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week are things that begin with the letters Ap. In my archives I have photos that are appropriate and aptly suited to this challenge. I hope they meet with your approval!

Apples: 

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On our cruise last March, our steward always left us a bowl of fruit, and sometimes a flower too!

Ape:

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Granddaddy orangutan at San Diego Zoo

 

Towel gorilla!
The stewards on cruises learn the art of towel folding and leave a towel folded animal in our stateroom each afternoon. This ape was the biggest surprise!

 

Appliances:  Old fashioned refrigerators (Bonanzaville, West Fargo, ND)

Appetizers: (Oh, so appetizing!)

 

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Appetizers and sides buffet at a Brazilian churrascaria (steak house), Curitiba, Brazil

 

April: They say that “April showers bring May flowers” but there are flowers to look forward to in April too!

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April tulips and other flowers in my garden

My church’s huge rummage sale, called Second Time Around Sale, always takes place in April:

 

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Household goods room, Second Time Around Sale 2016

 

 

APL: apparently cheating 😉  !

I end with a picture of my brother, Allen Perry Lovejoy IV. OK, using initials is cheating a little, but Allen had hoped that he and his wife would have a son that would be APL V, but they only had girls. So each of their three daughters was given a name using one of the initials (Allie, Paige, Leslie)! When we wanted to refer to that family group, we often say, “the APLs.” Our uncle was APL III, his father APL Jr. and his grandfather APL Sr.

 

Allen visiting Carol and "Rub" Cuniberti in California, March 2015
Allen Perry Lovejoy IV

 

 

CFFC: Inner and Outer

A rare treat in the Midwest during winter – guavas! I found them on sale at a supermarket last week. I love the taste of the soft flesh combined with the crunchy seeds.

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Inside the Minnesota History Museum, looking out – or at least the appearance of it!

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Half-buried fire hydrant in a field of clover (Dayton, Ohio):

I saw this curious sight: a half-buried fire hydrant, surrounded by clover!

Kitschy store window display with reflection from outside in Saugatuck, Michigan:

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge 1/31/17 – Inner and Outer