Friday, September 26, 2014

What I like best

It’s Friday night and it’s been a really busy week and I have a fun weekend planned. Before I start though, I’d like to apologize to my regular readers for my sporadic attempts at publishing this month. Last weekend . . . oh, hell. I don’t know. Sometimes I am just a puddle of mush. I can hold it together all week with the best of ease and then the weekend comes and if I don’t have plans other than cleaning and keeping to myself, it’s sometimes not very pretty.

I don’t mind being alone. It’s not that. I just get a little down sometimes.

But this weekend I have fun things planned. I’m going to my first-ever baseball game. I received two suite tickets from a vendor I use at school who’s trying to get on my good side and I’ve asked my sister, Char, to come with me and I’m sure we’ll have fun rain or shine. Because we’re in a suite, of course.

And I was invited to a party with some of my favorite people tomorrow night.


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Today, I went to the mailbox and found a new issue of Down East, a gift from dear Hilary, at Crazy As a Loom. I ordered sushi because I had a $20 off coupon and bought a bottle of wine – something recommended by a teacher at school.

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OMG – what a bargain. It’s a flavorful red blend at only 8.99 a bottle (here in Maryland). I bought an extra bottle to take to the party tomorrow. It will be game night and I’m bringing  my Cards Against Humanity card game. I just want to laugh, eat delicious food, enjoy good friends, and relax.

I have this thing about eating alone . . . I am trying to get used to it and find that if I’m reading something it helps. Sometimes I eat in front of the tv. Sometimes my son eats with me. Sometimes we have my son’s friend over and we all eat together on Friday nights. But the eating alone thing is an issue that I’m trying to overcome.

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I guess I do really have a flair for the creative – but lately I’m not feeling it so much. I think being creative comes and goes with me.

But I’m not going to cry into my sushi over it.

In my mailbox today, I found a movie from Netflix. I can never remember what’s in my dvd queue so it’s always a surprise when I open the package. Sometimes I wonder what in heaven’s name I was thinking when I put that dreadful movie into my queue, and sometimes it’s just such a nice surprise. Tonight’s offering is Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson (2003). It was a good surprise.


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Today at school, we had one of our wonderful traditions. It’s called Senior Investiture. We invite the parents of the class that will be graduating next June, and hold an assembly in our fancy Alumni Room. We break out the china, the linen tablecloths, the good silver. The seniors’ blazers are on a rack at the front of the room and have all been adorned with hand-sewn patches that indicate their status as the leaders of the school. The Head of School says wonderful things about each senior, they then sign a plaque which will be framed and hung in the room, and they are given their blazer with the new patch and then a photo is taken (by me). Afterward there is a reception featuring excellent coffee and homemade baked goods that were donated by the families of the 9th grade class, and then the seniors leave the building to sell yearbook ads and spend a day away from school doing grown-up type things and going out to lunch. Sometimes I wish I had gone to this school. But it’s a lot of work and requires much effort to get good grades. I easily got A’s & B’s in public high school but when I see the things our students are learning, I wonder if I could have made the grade.

Anyway, that was today.  And it was so good. And everyone came back safe and sound. And now it’s the weekend. I do hope you all have a good one.

Until the next time, then ~

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"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne

ps – if my blog looks a little different, I’m in the process of cleaning it up a bit. The clutter was getting on my nerves.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

From the air

This past Tuesday marked the 1-year anniversary of my husband’s death. I started thinking about it a couple of months ago and decided to get out of town and away for a few days. I was going back and forth as to where to go when out of the blue, my friend Sherrie called.

Sherrie’s husband, Warren, was our best and dearest friend. He died in March of last year and my husband followed him in September. I couldn’t think of a better person to spend some time with and after I hung up from her, I went online and booked a ticket. This was a huge deal for me because I can count the number of times I have flown on one hand. And I hadn’t been on a plane since 2006. I am not a flyer.


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My flight left on Saturday at 6:15 in the morning from Philadelphia. There’s Center City as the sky begins to lighten.


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I thought the views from the windows were incredible and spent much of the time looking at the passing sights.


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Above the clouds now, at around 30,000 feet and watching the sun come up.


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I realized on this flight that I had never flown with my husband. He preferred driving and when we visited our friends, Warren & Sherrie (usually about once a year), we would drive. It was a looooong way to go, but always interesting.


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The clouds from above are just so incredible.

My visit was just what I needed, and for me, the highlight of the trip was watching an old movie we had all made while on vacation in Cape Hatteras in October of 1990. We were so young and our children ranged from toddlers to age 9. And I sat on Sherrie’s couch with her eldest daughter and we laughed and cried as we watched our husbands, our children, and ourselves in our youth. It was perfect.


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Flying back into Philadelphia at sunset, after a good time spent away.

I always think that I’ll try to post more often. But I do what I can. Until next time, then ~

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday glorious Sunday

Note: This was written yesterday and I’d forgotten to post it.

I was finally able to turn off the AC units today after having them on for an entire week – something I had not yet done this summer. This summer has been the most pleasant as far as weather goes. But the past week was humid and hot.

Today, it was absolutely lovely.


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Morning glories greeted me on the back patio

on this beautiful Sunday morning in Maryland.


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I took George for a walk around the property and brought the camera along.

I haven’t been walking nearly enough lately.


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When my son got home from his shift, we cleared away the branches that had come down in the two storms that came through this week.

George wanted us to toss him sticks.


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Miss Blackie relaxing on the back patio this afternoon. I never call her by her name, preferring to call her something completely embarrassing (to me). Of course, now you’ll want to know what it is. Well, I’ll tell you because it’s silly and I don’t really care anyway. It’s Girlie B’Gurlie.

It’s what I call her when I want her to come inside. B’Gurlie! C’mon Girlie Girlie girl.

My efforts at calling her in are usually futile.

Imagine that.


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It used to be so difficult for me to tell the difference between the downy woodpecker (above) and the hairy woodpecker. The look almost exactly the same. The hairy is a little bigger, so when they’re together it’s easy to tell them apart. But when they’re alone, it’s the bill that gives them away.

The downy’s bill is noticeably shorter than the width of its head. Can you see it?

Another giveaway is the outer tail feathers. The hairy’s are pure white while the downy’s will sport a dark spot here and there. There’s a spot on the one above.

My husband would be proud of me. He was always the birder in our family and he loved when I began to take an interest in it.


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This is a white-breasted nuthatch. It gets its name from the way it ‘hatches’ nuts, jamming them into the tree bark and then whacking them with their powerful bill to get at the seed. They move quickly, and seem to almost walk down the trunks of trees.

And that’s your lesson for today.

Hopefully I’ll be back later this week. Be prepared for a pop quiz.

Kidding ~

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

I could have been a sailor; could have been a cook

Those lyrics are from an old Nick Drake song that I was listening to while editing one of the photos on this post. Actually, I was listening to much of the Garden State soundtrack which also includes an old tune from Simon & Garfunkle that I love. 

Yesterday I found some volunteer morning glories growing up one of the old bushes on the property. Long-time readers of this blog may remember that my husband would plant morning glories and moonflowers every year along one side of the garden fence line. My husband was the gardener here, not me. And although I know a little about vegetable gardening, and have had them in the past, I just don’t have the time for it right now. So no garden this year. No garden last year either.

But it sure was a nice surprise to see those morning glories yesterday evening . . .


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It was growing dusk, but I upped the ISO and managed to capture a couple of pretty images.


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I love when they look like this.



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And climbing vines.



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And a little hummer thrown in for good measure.


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That’s all I’ve got for today, folks.

I’ll try and post something else on the weekend ~

Hope you enjoy yours!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Just keep me where the light is

I am sitting here in my air-conditioned living room on this soggy, fog-enshrouded Labor Day morning. I’ve just returned home after spending a quiet weekend with friends in NJ and George and I left this morning, like we often do, before anyone was awake.  (I like to leave early and get ahead of the traffic. And I always leave a nice note.)

It was not foggy in Jersey this morning, but it sure was in Maryland and Delaware. A storm had come through last night and we watched it from the screened porch. It was beautiful and eventually the hard rain turned into a soft patter. And the lightning continued.

Driving home this morning, I could see how far the rain had spread. My driveway was saturated, but luckily no big branches were down. After I unpacked, I made some coffee and took a cup outside with me. I filled the feeders, brought out my camera and took these photos you see here.


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I was trying for hummingbirds but when the Mourning Doves arrived, I adjusted the camera settings and turned my lens to them.

Doves tend to mate for life, and I always see them in pairs. They can live for a long time and I read once that the oldest known Mourning Dove was over 31 years old.


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They make a whistling sound when they take off and they didn’t stay on the tree for very long. But I was glad to have them stop by to welcome me home.

I missed being here.

School got off to a good start last week, I believe, and I’m looking forward to the year. But it’s just a little sad to say goodbye to summertime.

Just a little, mind you.

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The post title was taken from lyrics to John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ which I listened to at one point while driving home this morning.

To read more about Mourning Doves, visit {here}.

And thank you, as ever, for stopping by. It’s always nice have visitors ~