Early Morning on the Patio

Hi blogging friends,

I  hope you are all doing well and keeping happy and busy.

We are still getting quite a lot of rain where I live and I haven't been out in the gardens much.  The long term weather forecast is for more rain over the next 2 weeks. It has also been cooler than usual. At the end of this new week we will crack the 20 Celsius mark for only the 2nd or 3rd time since the beginning of Spring.

I'm not complaining as I'm still self isolating despite restrictions being lifted. I will continue to self isolate and keep my eye on the community transmission developments over the next few months. Being indoors means I am slowly getting some old business done though truthfully it is taking me a lot more time than I thought it would. I guess the good news is I always have something constructive to do.

I was out in the patio garden very early one morning and captured these photos. Most of them are of a bush that I don't know the name of but which goes through a multitude of looks over the course of the year. Sometimes there are berries.








The photo below is the only one that is not of my flowering bush. I think it's a Salvia plant but I am not 100% sure as I planted it a few years ago and it never did very well.  This year it seems to be doing better.


My reading list includes this raw and powerfully written memoir of an up and coming Indigenous writer and activist, Helen Knott. Unfortunately her story of gender violence is not that pretty but the good news is she managed to overcome her addictions to drugs and alcohol and begin a new, cleaner life with hope and promise.  The gender violence the author had to endure throughout her lifetime fed into her addictions and the memories kept her addicted.


I'm currently reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Several years ago I saw a movie based on the book and I enjoyed it. I'm about half way through the book and I don't remember much about whether the movie is true to the book. In any case, I always like to try and read books on which movies are based and the writing is quite enjoyable.

Last, but not least,  I'm reading Shadows Along the Zambezi. It's as masterfully written as Shadows Over an African Heart by Diana M. Hawkins.  Both books bring focussed attention to the issue of elephant poaching in Zimbabwe and all the violence and corruption that goes along with it.


Young elephants having a mud bath at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi, Kenya


All but one of the books are digital loans from the library which for some reason is still closed to the public.  They don't even do curbside pickups. I'm not sure why they are still closed while most places are now open with new policies in place to stem the transmission of Covid 19.  Some time back I purchased a digital copy of the book on elephant poaching and am reading it on my Kobo device, Canada's version of  Kindle).  I'll be so glad once the library is open again so I can borrow paper books. In the meantime, I'm grateful for the digital option.

A short update on the Kenyan missions.

  • A variety of crops were planted for one large, extended family.  Once the harvest is ready there will be corn, cabbage, carrots and a variety of vegetables for 3 or 4 households to eat.
  • Elder Eunice is still in hospital. Though it was about 8 months ago that doctors said she would be ready to go home in a month or two that never happened. She is still in hospital and is more or less stable. We have no information as to the prognosis. 
  • Alvin, the young engineer graduate was hoping to come to Canada and continue his studies.  Sadly he was not accepted and we have given up on the idea.  It is very expensive process to prepare the application packages and has lead to a "no" decision two years in a row. It is very disappointing.  Alvin is a very intelligent and studious person and he would have done well here but getting accepted to a Canadian university (easier to get acceptance and scholarship if one is freshly out of high school)is difficult for people from poor countries and is more so the case when money is not part of the family assets.
  • Pastor Jonah has had a very difficult experience of late with one of his molars. He needed a root canal and the hospital where they did it did not do a good job at all. It was becoming septic. Fortunately he managed to get the tooth redone at a private dentist office and after a week is now very much on the mend. 
  • Others continue to receive food and medical helps when we have funds to assist them.
  • I thank those of you who continue to pray for the missions and/or lend financial support. May God richly bless each and every one of you.

That's all for now friends. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Please continue to stay safe. xx

23 comments:

  1. Hello, Penny

    I am glad you are staying safe, it seems some places are having a lot of new virus cases as they re-open. We have a similar plant here, I am not sure of the name. Great photos. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy new week!

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    1. Hi Eileen, yes we are experiencing a similar situation here where after a few larger family gatherings of 10-15 people, many of them ended up with Covid 19. Some people seem to think just because restrictions are being lifted it means everything is back to normal. I don't trust most people to do the right thing. Sad but true. Enjoy your week as well my friend. x

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  2. We are also staying pretty much in lockdown, we will wait and wee what happens now they are opening up places again!

    That first plant looks like Black cherry, Prunus serotina, Look it up on Wikipedia and see what you think.

    Enjoy your week and keep safe. Diane

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    1. Good plan Diane. I looked up Black Cherry and it does indeed look like the correct tree. Only thing is I only get small reddish black berries growing. they are nothing near the size of cherries so am not sure if this is really a cherry tree. Many years ago an American blogger who was a gardener showed a photo of the same bush in her garden and it wasn't called a Black cherry. I wish I could remember the name. I did try to note it somewhere but lost track of it along the way. The gardener doesn't seem to blog anymore and I no longer remember how to find the blog.

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  3. You haven't had any new cases of covid for quite a few days. Good for BC. Yesterday Alberta had 50 new cases. that's not good.

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    1. Hi Red, the province had a few good days of no new cases but it has started to climb again.

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  4. What an interesting post, Penny. I'm still self-isolating too more or less (more "more" than "less.") Still haven't been more than 12 feet from anyone but Rick. If someone gets too close I find myself backing up and hope they don't think I feel threatened (though I do!). You're reading lots of interesting books and that really is a beautiful bush you have. Very nice to see you here.

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    1. Thank you Jeanie. I'm glad to hear you are keeping safe. The bush really does give me pleasure as it goes through so many transformations during the year.

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  5. Beautiful photos, especially that black lit first one.

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  6. I also think that is a wild black cherry tree. If it is in a location where it can grow, it will get quite large. The "cherries" are good for birds, etc., but the twigs and leaves can be toxic, and should not be eaten by animals or people. The cherries don't get big. Just berry size. Glad you are doing a lot of reading, etc. and getting things done inside. We are spending more time outside these days as long as the weather isn't too hot or raining. It has been very pleasant so far this week. Fresh air is good for us! Praying for your friends in Africa. They are blessed to have you for a special friend. Take care and stay well.

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    1. Thanks Pam. The more I look at the photos, the more I believe you and Diane are right about the tree. It wasn't a good idea for whoever planted it to plant it on the balcony as I see it can grow very large. It's roots are also spread throughout my small garden and make it difficult to plant other things. I think in a few years it will have to be dug up. I'm glad you are having good weather and are able to enjoy the outdoors. I've only just got back into more reading and am on a roll at the moment. I'll take a break again soon. Enjoy your week ahead.

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  7. Your pictures are beautiful! The books you've been reading sound interesting.
    I'm sorry to hear that Eunice is still in the hospital after all this time.

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    1. Thank you Mari. Perhaps you will try reading one of the books too and let me know what you think of it.

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  8. Hi Joyful! Beautiful photos of the flowers from the patio garden!!! You get so much depth of field in some with the clear and blur making a beautiful effect, and then in others the whole image is so crisp and clear, I like how you change the lens like that, I can't do any effects with my `camera` (its my phone!!) and miss that sometimes, though each device has its own charm:)) Thank you for sharing all your updates on your reading and on the Kenya missions, and on all you are involved in!! Surely sounds like you are 'out and about' even with being 'in'!! Blessings and Love!! Have a blessed week! Happy and healthy and safe!xoxo

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    1. Thank you for the kind compliment Shayndel. I would like to improve my photography once I have finally finished my decluttering to a certain level. I say to a certain level because decluttering for most of us is never truly over unless one is a very strict minimalist. I like your description that I am 'out and about' even with being 'in'. It sounds perfect :-) Hugs and love. xx

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  9. Your photos are quite exquisite. Wowsers. The elephant poaching is tragic, isn't it? Thanks so much for stopping by Writing Straight from the Heart. Always love knowing you have stopped by. Susan

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    1. Thank you Susan. That is such a lovely compliment. Enjoy your week. xx

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  10. Since my husband and I are both seniors we also continue to stay at home as much as possible even though much is reopening for business in Colorado. It's OK--we've been busy gardening and enjoying our patios and taking local walks on nearby nature trails which are not crowded. I've also been reading more. The books you profiled sound interesting as I enjou non fiction.

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    1. Hello Pat, lovely to have you visit my blog. I'm so glad you are enjoying life in the garden and on the nature trails. I hope you are able to read one of the books I've mentioned. I'm assuming you mean "In My Own Moccasins" since is the only non-fiction book on the list. It is difficult book but an important one as it shows the violence that many indigenous women face in Canada and likely in the USA as well. If you manage to find a copy and read it I'd be interested in your thoughts.

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  11. I would love to see Kilimanjaro. I've heard its like Eden around it.
    I've been home for months myself. Getting old in a hurry now.

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  12. Dear Joyful - Flowering shrubs are nice choice for a patio. The white flowers and green leaves give us refreshing feel especially at this time of year. I love the first photo. Rainy season, which is called “tsuyu” (meaning apricot rains), will last a month in my part of the world. I don’t dislike rainfall, but am hoping COVID crisis doesn’t worsen due to other disasters by torrential rains. Take care.

    Yoko

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  13. Whatever that plant/flower is it does look very nice in your photographs.

    All the best Jan

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