What I Did This Weekend

Guardabarranco

Nicaragua’s National Bird: The Fabulous Guardabarrano

I have been trying to get a good image of a Guardabarranco for the last several weeks. I see them frequently when I walk my dogs. This is not what I had in mind.

This gorgeous being crashed into one of my windows. I spent 24 hours waiting for him to jump up and fly away.  But, he didn’t. I dripped water in his beak. I tried to interest him in some papaya. I tried to catch a moth for him, Mot-Mots catch their food mid-air. I played binaural beats for healing feathered friends, my mom gave him reiki. Still, over 12 hours later, he couldn’t stand on his own.

I cried and prepared my heart to put him down. How fragile we become in the face of beauty and helplessness. I decided to wait overnight.

But Sunday morning he was too alive, kind of feisty really, to make that final choice. It’s all-consuming to care for a broken animal and I knew I couldn’t do it, all my focus is on starting my new business.

I called my lovely neighbor who is now housemates with a baby squirrel she rehabilitated. I sent a photo and received a very affirmative yes.

A friend had just said to her, Now all you need is a bird, you should get a parrot. She replied no, but I would love to have a Guardabarraca. That’s not possible though. Less than 24 hours later, I put my charge in her hands.

It’s a difficult task, he may die, she may have to choose his death for him as mercy. I believe if he can be saved she will do it. Thank you Vecina, for always being there for me, it’s a priceless gift to have a good neighbor.

My Nieghbor and her Squirrel

My Neighbor and her squirrel 🐿️

Recently I had to upgrade to a paid subscription on WordPress to continue to upload media. It cost 33$, I didn’t think much of it until I realized it’s a monthly charge! Not much unless you’re not gainfully employed and are starting your own business. So, I have added a Buy Me a Coffee option to this blog.  If you’d like to help me keep uploading unique images, you resonate with something I share, try out a recipe or take a book recommendation you enjoy, feel free to buy me a coffee!

There’s a membership option as well if you’d like to be an ongoing patron. No exclusive content yet, but there will be…

As, always, I appreciate every click, like, share, and follow. Coffee or no.

Have you ever tried to save a wild creature in need? Is it a fond memory? I would love to hear your story.

 

 

How to Read in the Bathtub

My bathtub, setup to read.

My bathtub, set up to read. It’s an upgrade, I have hot water!

I like to read in the bathtub. It’s a particular ritual. But simple.

  • You need a book you don’t mind if it gets a little wet.
  • The book should be episodic, something that’s easy to get back into if you haven’t read it for several days.
  • A dry washcloth, to dry your hands as you shift hands, or splash the book.
  • A glass of cool water. Many say wine, but I find this is one of the few times I truly prefer water to wine.
  • Decent light.

There are many lovely bath accessories for this pursuit, but the five above are the most important.

Finding the right book is the hard part. I read on kindle a lot, but kindle and water aren’t compatible. I gravitate to male authors, but in the bath, maybe it’s the feminine water energy, I prefer female writers. Often, it’s a book I may have tried reading and couldn’t get into, but the bath somehow helps me connect to the writer or story.

Honestly, it can be hard to find a good book, so something specific is more challenging. I have found a genre that is a perfect bath read fit for me though: women’s memoirs. A few of my recent bath reads.

Half Broke Horses is a “true-life” novel but reads like a memoir.  I recommend it if you like stories about tough, smart, resilient women.

 

One reason I like to read in the bath is I stay there longer. It’s hard for me to be still. I love to be in the water and I want to stay in the bath until the water isn’t hot anymore. I feel I’m wasting water if it’s still hot when I get out.  Reading helps me stay put.

I love to read while doing most anything. Sometimes I read while watching a movie, I know, not great for the focus muscles, but if I’m watching a movie in bed there will be a book next to me, it will flirt with me and win if the movie isn’t engrossing enough.

I have often wondered about the science behind why reading is so satisfying.  Though more social science than brain science, here’s an explanation from Edutopia on why we find reading pleasurable, as children and adults.

In our study, we found that reading pleasure has many forms and that each form provides distinct benefits:

  • Play pleasure/immersive pleasure is when a reader is lost in a book. This is prerequisite to experiencing all the other pleasures; it develops the capacity to engage and immerse oneself, visualize meanings, relate to characters, and participate in making meaning.
  • Intellectual pleasure is when a reader engages in figuring out what things mean and how texts have been constructed to convey meanings and effects. Benefits include developing deep understanding, proactivity, resilience, and grit.
  • Social pleasure is when the reader relates to authors, characters, other readers, and oneself by exploring and staking one’s identity. This pleasure develops the capacity to experience the world from other perspectives; to learn from and appreciate others distant from us in time, space, and experience; and to relate to, reciprocate with, attend to, and help others different from ourselves.
  • Work pleasure is when the reader develops a tool for getting something functional done—this cultivates the transfer of these strategies and insights to life.
  • Inner work pleasure is when the reader imaginatively rehearses for her life and considers what kind of person she wants to be and how she can connect to something greater or strive to become something more. When our study participants engaged in this pleasure, they expressed and developed a growth mindset and a sense of personal and social possibility.

Taken together, these pleasures explain why pleasure reading promotes cognitive progress and social possibility, and even a kind of wisdom and wholeness, and, in a larger sense, the democratic project.

I particularly love the inner work explanation and certainly relate to this as an adult who grew up with reading as a passionate hobby.

My first bath books. Babar's Trunk. Includes; Babar Goes on a Picnic, Babar Goes Skiing, Babar at the Seashore and Babar the Gardener: Amazon.com: Books

What are your bathtub reading rituals? Many great minds have had Eureka moments in the tub, care to share yours? I’d love to hear them.

 

Sunsets in Nicaragua

Nicaragua is known for its sunsets, for good reason. This was taken last night from my terrace.

I am very grateful to have such a supportive readership, your being here, reading commenting and liking has been an immeasurable help to me on this journey of starting anew.  I will continue to post on VSVEVG, about life in Nicaragua, book reviews, more personal topics, and I will be putting a blog on my website that will focus on food, sustainability, and gardening. I’ll let you know when that’s up if you enjoy my food-related content.

Hasta Pronto! Thank you for being here, abrazos,

A

 

Dune: Movie Review

A couple of things before we begin. I watched this movie on my laptop. Obviously, it was made for the big screen, so a lot was lost in translation. Also, I’m a fan of the Dune series, the first three books I read more than once, though it was over twenty years ago. Herr's Potato Chips

Recently I joined a productivity community called The Lifehack Method, a part of the program is celebrating your wins, with a ¨champagne moment¨. I’m not drinking right now, so I had to come up with something other than champagne to celebrate my new geek status. I chose my favorite chips, and I rented Denis Villeneuve’s Dune from Amazon. It was kind of a big deal because I’m trying not to spend money, since don’t have any income right now.

I am sorry to say I was disappointed. This movie barely scratched the surface of the book. Zendaya’s Chani had about 3 lines. If felt that it was made only to create a franchise. But you could easily do that and get at least to where the sister is born, and more of the messiah story comes into play.  There are 24 books in this series. I wish I had Dune here so I could have a look at how far into the story they got, I feel it is barely a third of the way through.

I would reread Dune again today, but it’s over my 10 dollar limit on kindle since it was recently made into a movie.

I love this cast, but, I feel like they didn’t have much to work with somehow. Odd, since the characters in the book are so rich…surely it can’t be a wholesale bland performance from these talented actors. I have to look to the director.

Everything felt subdued. The books also have a controlled tone, with an undercurrent of magic, ecstasy, and gargantuan all-consuming worms! The sand worms weren’t even impressive. There were a lot of interesting mechanisms, intricate feet of space ships, and dragonfly winged helicopters, which I enjoyed looking at. More than Timothee Chalomet or Jason Momoa.  Very odd.

Mr. Bardem managed to stand out, but he is more magical on screen than a Bene Gesserit with the Gom Jabbar.

Will I see the sequel in 2023?  That will depend on the circumstances. It’s more appealing to look for a used copy of Dune at Goodwill the next time I’m in the states. I will definitely revisit David Lynch’s Dune. Though dated, and not well received when released, I remember it fondly and Lynch made it all the way through book one’s storyline.

What did you think? Have you seen it?  Are you a fan of the series, or this director?  I’d love to hear your take. Which Dune movie do you prefer?