food

Weekly Sketch: J is for Juniper

I dabbled in color this week.

I’ve always known juniper berries were used to flavor gin, but I never really thought of them as edible until my uncle came to visit us in Austin and we took him hiking around Mount Bonnell. It had been a rainy winter, and the juniper berries were exceptionally big and round and vibrant. My uncle got very excited and started eating them right off the trees. So I tried some. To my surprise they were sweet and tasty, although the pits were a bit piney. I am now a fan of the humble juniper!

Categories: Artwork, environment, Family, food, Health, Life, Nutrition, trees, Weekly Sketch | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal XII: Quest for Fruit Snacks

The only notable activity on January 24 was a search of the Pokhara markets for a particular kind of fruit snacks that Emma wanted Elizabeth to taste. Once the snacks were procured, our young heroes returned to Paljorling camp to relax.

This was the day that China’s entire Hubei province went into quarantine. In Vietnam, the first confirmed incidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China was documented by the WHO. The second case of coronavirus was confirmed in the US.

This is a short post, so here is a bonus random water buffalo that the girls saw roaming the streets near Sabita’s house on their way to Disneyland.

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Covid-19, food, Friends, Holidays, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XI, Into the Sky, Part II

This is my favorite poem about flying:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –– and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –– wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew ––
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

–– John Gillespie Magee, Jr., “High Flight.”

Emma and Elizabeth’s paragliding session lasted for about 30 minutes.

What a rush!

The girls chilled for a while by the lake…

…and then took the shuttle van…

…back to the paragliding company’s shop in Pokhara to get the flight pics transferred from the pilots’ GoPros to their own devices.

Then back to Paljorling Camp, where they reviewed their image files over lunch in a Tibetan restaurant.

After the meal, they visited a camp artisan who weaves colorful jewelry, keychains and other trinkets for the tourist trade.

They bought bracelets for themselves and small gifts for friends and coworkers back home.

Here is an interesting decoration over a doorway in the camp.

Hello, picturesque camp sheep!


Much more to come!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part X: On the Mountaintop

Shanti Stupa consists of two levels.

The upper level features depictions of the Buddha at various stages of life.

The middle veranda offers spectacular views of Pokhara and the surrounding countryside.


In the center of the next photo, a narrow dirt road winds up the mountain. Visitors to the World Peace Pagoda who are unwilling or unable to climb a gazillion stairs have the option of driving up.

At the base of the pagoda, there are other patios at different levels.

In the shade of a temple tree, Emma and Elizabeth pause for a healthful repast…

…and then continue exploring the mountaintop.

What a colorful country!

Zen Emma is zen.

Smol Buddha.

“Should we explore over there?”

“Look at all those stairs.”

“Yeah…uh..maybe we shouldn’t disturb that guy trying to meditate.”

“Yeah, good point.”

And at last they headed back down the mountain in the golden light of afternoon.

To be continued!

Categories: food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal, Part VI: Paljorling Camp

Emma and Elizabeth stayed with Sabita and Bee Striit from January 15th to the 18th, and then stayed with friends at the Tibetan refugee camp from the 19th to the 28th.

Paljorling camp has a beautiful monastery.

After the girls had settled in, they went into town to get some lunch.

Adorable Emma is adorable.

Apparently the reason why the power lines are such a clusterfuck in Nepal is because when one stops working, they just string a new one up to bypass it instead of searching out the old one and repairing it. Crazy.

This handsome fellow is decorated for a local festival. We can’t find any info on what festival it was, but our best guess is that it was a local version of Kukur Tihar, the Day of the Dog.

Or, as Emma said, “It coulda been a temple dog that had a birthday, for all I know.”

To be continued!

Categories: Animals, Celebrations, Dogs, Family, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

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