Sunday, October 25, 2009

Plant of the week: Zamioculcas Zamiifolia, aka ZZ plant.

Although this is definitely a landscape plant here in the tropics, it's a great, forgiving, tolerant houseplant. A potted version will be a miniature of this one; isn't it a beauty? And set off very well by the wall and gate.

It was quite a week in Lake Cebubegone, our temporary home town. The good news is we made it through with patience and humor, and now it's Sunday night, getting ready for another week.

It's a truth that when we're in the heat of the fire we usually don't stop to take pictures. Sorry about that--but just think on one of your very busy, challenging weeks and project it into the Philippines. You're probably close if not right on. I tried to put the events to words but it just came out sounding whiney, so here's a 30-second run-down and then we'll do some pictures of our morning walks.

--ZLC Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
--Fingerprinting for many of the foreign missionaries on Wednesday--a nice opportunity to see some of the missionaries from off-island who don't come in the office very often.
--Behind, behind, behind due to the above two items--work like mad on Thursday and Friday to bring some semblance of order to my realm

Wow! That brief report is much easier to handle than spewing out every gritty little detail. Maybe I should quit looking so closely at the events of life that frustrate or worry me and give minute attention to all that's beautiful and pleasing and inspiring. Hmmm. I thought this was going to be a week-processing blog entry and instead it's a little personal revelation. Nice.

We've talked quite a bit about our morning walks. We have considerable concern about our lifestyle change, going from active, physical jobs to desk jobs and having our back sides spread to the width of the Mississippi River. Kevin and I need outdoor time. It's more apparent since we get less of it here; we didn't really think about it before because we had it every day.

All these shots were taken yesterday morning--Saturday--when we slept until we awoke instead of getting up to the alarm clock at our week-day time of 4:40 and heading out the door by 5:10. It's completely light and bright at 6:30, and of course, warm. I usually don't wear a hat but thought my brain would fry if not covered this late in the morning.

This is one of the side streets of Beverely Hills Subdivision that makes a horse shoe around a nature area and goes out to a point overlooking the city. This lush, green, shady stretch is very appreciated by sweaty walkers.

Walk on for a few minutes and look to your left. Your ears will tell you that you've come to the home of the Roosternacle Choir. Oh my! Such a cacauphony of cock-a-doodle-do's living in all those houses up on the hillside! In my book, no fine view would make up for their incessant ruckus!

The end of the horse-shoe road has a few houses, including this one. As you can see, you can't see. All houses have walls and gates; this one is particularly pleasing. As we walk if we aren't discussing the affairs of the mission or world we talk architecture. If only these folks knew that there were free consultations happening about their homes every morning!

Many of the walls are functional only; then there are walls like this one--a work of art. Of course I approve of the planting beds built into the wall, but recommend something with a shiny green leaf and perhaps a good bloom--more contrast either way. See? A free landscape consultation.

There are "unclaimed coral walls that are perfect hosts to all kinds of interesting plants. Some are just "green plant things", others are recognized friends, like about 5 varieties of ferns. I harvested a handful and will see if I can get them to grow in my office entrance plant collection.

This is almost the end of the nature road. As you can see, still green and lush, and almost no cars. Well, this is proof that somebody drives down this road!

At least a frog a day doesn't make it across one of the streets we walk up; this morning we also saw a tuko (feisty lizard that you hear more than see--what was this shy fella doing in the street?) and a rat (good riddance).

Back on Woolbright Ave., we head to the top. This isn't a bad incline--well, not bad now. It was pretty challenging for me in the beginning, but now it's just fine. I don't think we do anything (in these walks) that challenges Kevin, my beloved mountain goat!

At the top guard station we loop around and walk to the bottom, turning left on 2nd to go back up--the most challenging section of our route. Mt. Borah has nothing on 2nd Ave., except for loose shale. Some days I go pretty slow, but it's all easier than a couple of months ago. I figure by the time we return to Idaho we'll have climbed Borah at least once, if not twice in this steep part of our walk.

This residence was the mission home at one time. There is a basketball court to one side, and it's reported that all the missionaries on the island would congregate there every Monday to play basketball. That, of course, was when the mission was smaller and the areas were less spread out.

As we approach the taoist temple (red on the right) I have to move into mental mode--recite something memorized in my mind. "It's killing me!" "What are we doing this for?" Just keep the Proclamation on the Family going in your head, Ann. By the time you're finished you'll be back on Woolbright. Again.

Back on Woolbright, the end is in sight. We've done almost 5k of serious up and down hilling. All that's left is a martial arts moment with Kaikai. Did you miss him? He has a Saturday schedule with other friends at the IT Park. We're always glad for Monday and Kaikai. And his martial arts routine feels good after the taoist temple hill.

What's on the docket this week? A newsletter tomorrow, as well as sending out a bunch of correspondence. Kevin has bills to pay which means at least one trip to the mall. We've just about got our Christmas goodies ready to send home to the grandkids, and we're making plans for Christmas on Bohol with two other senior couples.

Life is good in the mission field, and I know we would say that no matter where we had the opportunity to serve. The gospel is true. We know that in the depth of our beings, and that is what has us out here doing what we're doing. Love you all--pray for you--thank you for your love and prayers. Don't hesitate to drop a line. It's a great comfort to us.

Kevin and Ann in Cebu

PS--Still not short.