Amazing Things Happen All the Time

Spaghetti Squash flower

Amazing things happen all the time. Even around the house. Stunning Spaghetti Squash flowers are eye popping amazing. They explode like super nova for just a short time and soon turn into cute, Spaghetti Squash babies.

Spaghetti Squash baby

The shiso I planted in spring is now an amazing bush of deep green and magenta leaves that turn plain dishes into amazing, culinary delights.

Shiso leaves
Basil flowers

And as far as aromatic leaves, what is more amazing than Basil? They have charming, white flowers too.


And this time of year, late in August, the blackberries are ripening. I’ve wondered why I don’t see flocks of birds devouring the blackberries, and wondered if anything else eats them? Yesterday we saw a deer come by and graze on these berries. So now I know what eats them.

Sweet Alyssum flowers

And every summer when the Sweet Alyssum forms fragrant white clouds of blossoms, I tell myself, “Plant more Sweet Alyssum next year.”

And yesterday I met an amazing man, Iino Wataru. His first name, Wataru 航, means to cross the skies and seas. His last name, Iino 飯野, means field of cooked rice. He started running when he was working in Germany to lose the weight he was packing on. And he kept running further and further. He is now one of the top long distance runners in the world. He’s won many ultra marathons all over the world.

The motto on his website is: ご飯をカロリー気にせず美味しく食べるために走る, which translates to, “I run so I can eat delicious foods without worrying how many calories they have.”

In June I saw an article about him on “Good Morning, Japan,” a Japanese News show broadcast by NHK. They showed this long distance runner who was starting a seven year long, round the world run, running from the northern tip of Alaska at Prudhoe Bay, down to Panama. From there he plans on running to the tip of South America. Followed by a run across Eurasia. A run across Africa. And making a circular run around Australia.

He started running from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in June. And I’ve been following his progress on his site,, watching him run 45 to 55 miles every day as he ran through Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia, and into Washington state.

He also has an Instagram account at where he posts pictures and information about his amazing runs.

Yesterday afternoon I saw he was running down Old 99 which is very close to our place. We drove out to see him and caught him as he ran through the little town of Alger. He’s a wonderful, friendly, easy to talk to man, and you’d never guess that since June he’s run all the way from Alaska, over 2,800 miles! It was amazing and inspiring to meet him.

Rainy August Day

Shasta daisy with rain drops

After morning showers, the Shasta Daisies are covered with raindrops. We made it into August without choking on forest fire smoke. Today’s rains should keep forest fires last year’s memories … fingers crossed.

August clouds drift by,
Cool whispers embrace the dawn,
Silence speaks of change.

I had fun this morning doing something impossible last year. Something previous generations could not imagine. I played with ChatGPT and asked it to write a number of haikus.

Oregano blossoms
August sun warms earth,
Oregano blossoms rise,
Spice dances in breeze.
Wisteria blossoms out of season
Wisteria sprig,
Blooming out of time's embrace,
Season's lone surprise.
Catmint flowers

I love the catmint when it blooms. And it blooms and blooms and blooms, all summer long. When we had our cat, Rusty, he loved rubbing his face in their leaves. Catmint makes a delicate, refined tea, very soothing.

Hubei anemone

The Hubei Anemone are blooming. I can count on these sending up their tall flower spikes each August. Eriocapitella hupehensis. I read that these were cultivated as far back as the Tang dynasty (618-907). And they are in the Buttercup family, Ranunculaceae. Unlike Buttercups which creep along the ground, Hubei Anemone reach for the summer sky.

And to close, a haiku about our dog sleeping in the picture window:

Dreams beneath glass pane,
Dog slumbers in soft sunbeams,
Outside world drifts by.