Summer possibilities

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Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.

~ Henry James

Photo credit: Soothing Dew

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My big Sansa problem

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As some of you may know, I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. But after Sunday night’s episode, I’m having second thoughts about why. If you haven’t seen the “Battle of the Bastards” yet then be forewarned, there are SPOILERS coming! A lot of them!

My major complaint–and I just can’t get past this–Sansa stands around and does nothing to stop her brother, Jon Snow, from going into battle, where his meager army gets slaughtered. As I watched my TV in horror, the same  question kept whirling around in my head. How did Sansa know Jon would survive what ended up becoming a meat grinder?

The answer is  she didn’t. And I don’t think she cared one bit. Many people seem willing to give her kudos for saving the day. In reality, she did just the opposite. She gave the North to Littlefinger.

And it all started with her holding onto her little secret for no other reason than revenge in mind. It came across as though she didn’t give two hangs about Jon getting killed or anyone else for that matter. She  held onto her secret knowing full well she’d written to Littlefinger for help. Why not share that with her brother? Maybe save hundreds of lives while she’s at it.

But no, Sansa keeps this all to herself. She cleverly gets rid of her faithful, loyal knight, Brienne of Tarth, by sending her off on some stupid errand that seemed like filler to me.. Now I understand why. I can only figure that this was cunningly clever on Sansa’s part because she didn’t want Brienne around to see her true nature kick in. Brienne, after all, believes in honor and would no doubt have had a thing or two to say to Sansa about getting an entire army wiped out and setting up Jon Snow for an abysmal failure. Oh wait, Sansa needed her revenge on Ramsay, after all, at any cost, no matter who she had to watch die to get it. Are we forgetting that Sansa is the one who goaded Jon into battle in the first place and just wouldn’t shut up about attacking Ramsay’s army?

For all those who say Sansa asked Jon to wait, my answer to that is very simple. Give the man a reason! And  Sansa did not. She could’ve told him her plan, failed folly or not, Jon could’ve made a more informed decision. If the writers thought Sansa would come off as some type of heroic feminist–they failed miserably with me. Instead, I see her for what she truly is, a villainous Stark daughter, willing to do anything to avenge herself, even if that means getting her own brother killed. Now that’s a vengeful wench, not the mark of a brave woman, or a true leader, or a future queen. She’s not fit to rule any better than Ramsay was. Rather than lead or try to save lives Sansa sacrificed any and all who were willing to fight. She’s no different than Cersei who always thinks of herself first.

What gets me is that I’ve read other blogs and they all seem to defend Sansa, which for me is ridiculous. This is the same woman whose lie got the little butcher boy killed, who turned on her own father in favor of Joffrey, who lied to save Littlefinger, who repeatedly puts her welfare above her family and that of anyone else she professes to love. If that’s love, no thanks, I’ll pass.

Some say she didn’t tell Jon because she hadn’t yet received a reply from Littlefinger and wasn’t certain he’d show up. I don’t care. It was still a valuable piece of the puzzle.  I don’t care  if she finally got to watch Ramsay die. Jon beat the crap out of him and then turned him over to Sansa. Way to go Jon!

The last point, and maybe the strongest, is that smirk on Sansa’s face as she sits on her horse next to Littlefinger’s overlooking the battlefield, a battlefield full of blood spilled and piles of bodies. To me, she seemed to enjoy the scene a little too much, as if she’d taken her cue directly from Ramsay Bolton himself, smugly relishing in the carnage. Ugh! Smirking out onto the battlefield reminded me of another heartless, cold-hearted psychopath named Ramsay Bolton. But Sansa’s supposed to somehow be different. I don’t think so. She seemed pleased with herself as she watched her bloodied victims die for her own selfish gain.

Others are touting that now Sansa is the brilliant tactician. Yeah. Right. The writers seem destined to make Jon Snow the doofus, the former Night Watch commander who has actually seen battle and won victoriously again and again, has now been relegated to the sidelines when it comes to Sansa and Littlefinger. Maybe we’re supposed to believe Jon’s lost his ability to think since he was brought back to life. Even with half a brain, he’s better than Sansa in so many ways!

So to sum up, these turn of events beg me to ask the question to the writers about the direction of the Stark daughter. Just what kind of monster have you created now? Oh goody, you’ve given us another Cersei, maybe another Joffrey. While one monster bites the dust another rises up. But during all of it, thank you for finally proving to me that Sansa was never fit to rule. She has no heart, no compassion. Name one time Sansa has ever shown compassion to anyone because I must’ve missed the two seconds of that.

On second thought, don’t bother to answer. I’m not sure I’ll stick around to watch episode 10. I’m not sure I really care any more.

All the leaves are brown

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Dead Pine trees in Fresno

All over the state of California the drought is taking its toll on the flora, leaving trees and shrubberies, flowers and plants, dying alongside roadways and hillsides.. The lack of water is stressing them out causing their thirsty condition to become vulnerable to attack by all kinds of insects, particularly beetles. The dried up remains causes fire dangers in areas that used to be known for their greenbelt, garden-like settings, their picturesque mountaintops, and now it pretty much looks like scorched earth. Forests are browning, fruit orchards are yielding less fruit, which will eventually have an impact on what we pay at the supermarket for our produce.

According to the U.S. Forest Service 12 million trees have died  during the last year. I look around my neighborhood and there are dead and dying trees everywhere. The drought is a sad reality. Pray for rain. As for me, I’m thinking of holding a rain dance ceremony pretty soon.

Friday is just funnier

 

My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?

~ Erma Bombeck

 

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Have a great weekend!

No Churn Peach Lavender Ice Cream

“There are some things, after all, that Sally Owens knows for certain: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” 
Alice HoffmanPractical Magic


Thanks to Cooking with a Wallflower

You know my passion for lavender. Since Lavender Beach came out I’ve had several requests for my recipe for lavender ice cream. The problem is I don’t have one. But Andrea over at her website, Cooking with a Wallflower does. Her recipe is a No Churn Peach Lavender Ice Cream to die for!! It’s lavender infused ice cream with little bits of fresh yellow peaches. This no churn peach lavender ice cream is the ultimate summer dessert. Check out Andrea’s recipe. I intend to make this first chance I get. Thank you Andrea for letting me repost this from your blog!!

Gardening during the drought

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sometimes I think I need my head examined for trying to have a garden during a drought. Everything’s so brown and some days I feel like the stingy amount of drink I give the lettuce is a luxury. Lettuce is about all I have left. The lavender is struggling and so are my daisies. I follow the stringent guidelines of water restriction both inside and outside. We haven’t washed our cars in months. I’ve moved most of my regular plants indoors to keep them from frying in the blasts of August heat. But let’s face it, if California doesn’t get some relief soon, I’m not sure a garden is worth the effort.

To give you an idea of how bad things are, the trees located behind my house are dying…slowly. Pine, cypress, and the cottonwood that are located in what we used to refer to as the “greenbelt” are turning brown. The roots are searching for water that doesn’t come. The grass, once lush and green, has turned to what resembles straw.

I’ve always loved a garden setting. But here locally people are replacing their yards with rock, stone, or letting them go burnt brown naturally. I don’t judge. Whatever others feel they need to do for a yard during this drought is certainly understandable. Even though a few of the more elite are snubbing their noses at restrictions, we all wonder how long it will take to get rain. The media talks about some monster El Nino supposed to hit this winter. Cities are gearing up for torrential rain, floods, and they make evacuation plans and practice scenarios if mudslides occur. But for now, everything bakes. And we here in Southern California can only dream about a good downpour.

My idea of the perfect garden. This one’s in West Philly thanks to Farmer Liz.

 

So wherever you are, if rain is in your forecast, enjoy it. Not everyone is that lucky. 🙂

 

Beat the heat. Read.

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What better way to deal with the triple digits of summer than to stay put and settle back in your easy chair to read. Nothing like getting your hands on an adventure to another realm, a touch of romance, a splash of suspense, or a hard-edge mystery to  get your mind off the August doldrums. Get your beach read on before school starts!