Friday Five

1.Hang 20 Dude! Need a pick-me-up this morning? Turn up the volume and watch these dogs catch a wave in the Coronado Bay surfing competition in San Diego. Look at them go! According to one of the judges, the dogs are rated on length of ride, poise and “flair.” Ricochet won in the large dog category – you can see part of his ride in this clip.

Being a city dog, Reggie says, “Pshaw” to all these surfing dogs. You want to see real talent? Try stealing a bagel from the craft services table of an on-location movie shoot without getting caught.


2. Water Lily. I was at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden last weekend doing some research on bonsai for my WIP.  The place is no Keukenhof, but it’s a mere 15 minute walk from my apartment.  The water lilies were starting to pop up. There are even a few koi in the pond.


3. Reggie on the roof. Sometimes, at the end of our morning walk, Reggie decides he would like to visit the roof deck in our apartment building. I’m nearly always running late to get to work. I don’t have an extra 10 minutes to hang out on the roof. Then I one of Carla’s mantras from her Shine post: There’s always time to kiss the cat (or dog).

So I give him the okay and he runs up to the very top of the stairwell and waits for me to catch up. Hey, he has 4 legs.

Hurry up!

When I finally get the door open he runs around sniffing all the plants and chomps on a few of the tastier leaves. It’s like a Where’s Waldo shot.

Then he poses, giving his Blue Steel look before heading back inside. I should also take a moment to point out that I have absolutely nothing to do with the gorgeous plantings on the roof deck. If I did, the place would look like Death Valley. This is all the work of my neighbor who is a landscaper.


4. Kiva Update. Fabiana from Paraguay has been repaying her loan on schedule (38% repaid so far), so I had enough Kiva credit to make a new loan. For those of you not familiar, Kiva is a non-profit that connects lenders and borrowers around the world to help alleviate poverty. Through their site, you can find someone in need of a micro-loan and send a donation to fund their dreams.

This time around, I found Musoka in Kenya. She is a “dynamic entrepreneur,” 40 years old and mother of eight children, who are all in school. She sells fabric (Bitenge)  from the community market in Katindo. She started the business with her own money. This loan will enable her to buy 10 double reams of fabric (Bitenge) and make other small investments in her business. My amount is combined with others from Sweden, Romania, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, Greece and more. In a country where the average annual income is USD $119 per person, these loans help people get on their feet or expand their businesses.

Musoka is the woman on the far right with her hand raised.


5. The heat is on. The air conditioner that goes in my living room window is a bit of a monster. It’s heavy (for me) and awkward to place on the sill. Last year, it would have tumbled right into the alleyway below if I hadn’t quite literally caught it with one finger, nearly requiring stitches in the resulting gash.  Knowing that the city was in for a spell of hot weather, a kind neighbor  offered to install my air conditioner. (We all take the air conditioners out of the windows for the winter.) I hemmed and hawed. I’d rather have done it myself despite the obvious risks to life and limb. I didn’t want to put him out. “It’s no trouble,” he said. “It won’t take long at all.” I still hesitated. Why? What’s the big deal? He did come and it took him less than 5 minutes. In fact, we stood around talking longer than that while I thanked him about 50 times and made sure he hadn’t strained or pulled something. Do you find it difficult to ask for or accept help? 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 



    1. It’s a beautiful garden. My neighbor does an amazing job. The plants really make the space so inviting. I’d offer to help with the upkeep, but the flowers would immediately shrivel up and die.


  1. I love the rooftop garden, incredible — as are the photos of Reggie! I couldn’t live without my AC (even here in Maine we’ve already been up to 99, eek), so I think that’s a perfect time to accept the kind help! (I need to learn that too, I like to be self sufficient as well)


  2. I love the photos of your Reggie. Is he a Cocker spaniel? He looks just like my last one. And the roof garden is fantastic. Hope you spend some of the summer weather up there with your laptop or preferably a good book.


  3. Wow! Serendipity strikes yet again! I don’t think you mention me regularly, Jackie, and I hadn’t come around to see your posts in a while – my apologies – vacation and all – and there you are giving me a shout out! Too cool! Thank you!

    Plus you got me to finally make it over to Kiva and lend some money. I chose Kenya too (spent a semester there in college) and found a woman living in a town I’d been through – I lent money to help her with her store. So easy- thank you for reminding me to do something I’ve been meaning to do for far too long…

    My dear friend was married in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in January some years ago. There was fresh snow outside and it was magical.

    I love Reggie’s Where’s Waldo and Blue Steel looks!


    1. Whenever I’m rushing around and think I don’t have time for these little things, I remember your saying! So thank you!

      I’m so glad that you were able to make a Kiva donation. How special that you were able to lend to a woman to whom you have a small connection. It’s nice to get regular updates to see how they are doing.

      The Botanic Garden is a lovely place for a wedding. There’s a beautiful glass atrium near the lily pond.


  4. Your roof garden is so beautiful and the colour sets off Reggie’s fur perfectly 🙂 Just a couple of days ago I had to ask a friend for help with putting up the house frame. I was SO glad I did! Musoka looks like a go-getter, I think you’ll get your loan back…


    1. Sometimes I find it difficult to ask for help, even if it’s a small request. I hope that you didn’t have any difficulty putting up the house frame. That’s definitely a project to call in reinforcements!


  5. Oh, those surfing dogs were fun to wake up to this morning, Jackie. Sooo cute.

    I’m with Reggie on visiting the roof. What a nice place to sit and enjoy a few minutes, or hours.

    Yes, I do find it difficult to ask for help. But I’m trying to get over that (as I imagine you are too, since you notice it). Those of us who have always been self sufficient have the worst time with this. But it’s good for the person we ask for help, because it gives them an opportunity to do something selfless: like the loans you do for those women. Don’t those make you feel just wonderful?


    1. How about those surfing dogs! They surf a lot better than I do, that’s for sure.

      I do love giving through Kiva. I enjoy searching through the site and finding a borrower I can help. So you’re absolutely right. I’ve never looked at it that way. Thank you for sharing and helping me see a different point of view.


  6. 1. Reggie is beautiful! I can’t wait for Nilla Bean’s coat to grow long.

    2. Your water lily picture is fabulous. I hope mine bloom!

    3. I have neer heard of Kiva. Thank you for sharing information about it. Good stuff.


    1. Reggie thanks you. He says it takes a lot of effort to look this effortless. 🙂

      I’m glad to introduce you to Kiva. It’s such a wonderful organization.

      Thanks so much for stopping by.


  7. I’m with Reggie…there’s always time for the rooftop deck. My dog and cat ask to go on the balcony every morning. And I hated putting in my ac unit in Boston. Why are they so heavy and awkward? I’m glad this year there was no need for a trip to the ER.


    1. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting one of those portable a/c units on wheels. You just roll it around the apartment and then extend the hose to the window to vent. Sounds like a dream, yes?


  8. Nothing like reading Friday Five on a Monday. 🙂 The water lily is lovely, but the story of Reggie running up the steps and waiting for you won me over. The picture of Reggie looking through the slats of the railing is priceless. The rooftop garden is beautiful! Glad you made time to enjoy the garden. I hope you find more time to enjoy it.

    And yes… I do have a hard time asking for help, which only makes a task more difficult. *sigh*


    1. Reggie loves to push his big ol’ nose through the slats of the railing. If he hears someone coming up the stairs he peeks down to check them out. I’m afraid he’s going to get it stuck one day!
      The roof deck is a beautiful little oasis far away from the noise of the city.


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