Saturday, December 3, 2022

December 3 Farmers Market

For some, it's the most wonderful time of the year.  For others, it's the time of year when farm markets disappear until spring, and all we have left is our indoor year round farmers market.

Not the best angle, but the entrance was busy and I had to grab a shot before someone opened the door.

Let's go in.

Beets (red in front, orange in back), carrots and parsnips.  Carrots this big can still be quite usable. My spouse likes to cut them in spears and roast them in the air fryer.  So good!

The parsnips are great in potato pancakes.

Let's see.  What else?  How about local mushrooms?

Or a cup of coffee?  It's too bad I can only have a sip or two of coffee; my body and coffee (even decaf) no longer get along.  It smelled so good, though.

Finally, celeriac, a root veggie I have never tried.  Have you?

Friday, December 2, 2022

Unexpected November Sunset Part 1

 November 21 started out looking as though we would have our average sunset.  It was cold, and with a circulatory issue I have with my hands and feet, I asked my spouse to take pictures with his iPhone SE 3rd edition so I wouldn't have to take my gloves off.

Once I got out of work, it was sunset time.  My spouse and I headed to the local park where we do a lot of our evening skywatchings.

We started around the walking track.

The sun was already dipping below the horizon of nearby hills.  We weren't holding out that much hope for a special sunset

But now, there was a hint of what was to come, as the sky started to color up.

I looked back at the east, and saw a reverse sunset.

I saw the sky colors rapidly changing.

As I looked back at where the sun had set, I suspected the best was yet to come.

To be continued....

Joining Yogi and other skywatchers each Friday for Skywatch Friday

Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Chain is Broken

When I heard the news, I was immediately in shock.

Fleetwood Mac singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Christine McVie died yesterday of unknown causes ("a short illness").  She was 79.

Rock and roll heaven is filling up, and for some reason, this latest death hit me harder than some.   The songs of Fleetwood Mac were part of the playlist of my life.

On Twitter yesterday, a Stevie Nicks fan site posted this:  "The chain is broken today" (this is an explanation).

Here are several of McVie songs.

From 1977, Don't Stop.  Such a positive song.

From 1982, Hold Me.  

1987's Everywhere.

Finally, a bonus song, a song co-written by Christine McVie with the other four members of Fleetwood Mac - The Chain.

But now, time and illness have finally broken the chain that endured through all the tumult Fleetwood Mac went through in all their years together and apart.

Rest in peace, Christine McVie.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Oh Owego #WordlessWednesday

Owego, New York, named (several years back) "The Coolest Small Town in America", has survived a lot, including several bad floods.

But always it springs back.

Let's celebrate the last day of November with some photos I took during a visit earlier this month.

Sidewalk bicycle art.
A piano in the Tioga County Historical Society.

The Candyman Can. (A local chocolate shop is moving into this storefront).

And Owego Stands with Ukraine.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Reading?

Too many books, too little time.

I sometimes feel as if I've read too many books recently.  Some of them are blurring together There are so many good books out there and I have the time.  

Let me share three with you.

I've blogged before that book reviews are not my strength.  They bring me back to nightmarish school days when I had to write (gulp) book reports.  What can I say?

There are several books that stand out, though, and I am nominating them for my personal "best of 2022" list.

1.  Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin.  I've read three of her young adult books and this is the first of her adult books I've read.  It's a story of two gamers who meet as children and their subsequent life stories, together and apart. Zevin is an avid gamer and I am not.  But, from the very first sentence, I was drawn into the book.  It wasn't boring for a minute and several parts of it (no spoilers!) left me gutted - I cared about the two main characters and the other major characters so much.

2.  Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel.  This is my third of her books I've read.  The first, Station Eleven (set in the aftermath of a flu that killed much of the population of Earth), I consider one of the best books I've ever read.  The second book, The Glass Hotel, was a quick DNF (did not finish) for me.  I just couldn't get into it, despite all the rave reviews.

Although it is connected to The Glass Hotel, you don't need to have read (or liked) The Glass Hotel. I'm so glad I went ahead and gave Sea a try.

Sea of Tranquility isn't a pandemic book like Station Eleven, but I don't think it could have been written without the COVID experience we all had, in our own way, back in 2020.

This book spans over 300 years, and weaves back and forth in time. Only great authors can pull something like this off, and Mandel is a great author.

3.  This final book was one I read for the first time several months ago.  It deserved a reread because it was one of those books I just couldn't fully absorb the first time around.  The fact that I read it as an e-book didn't help.  I've never gotten the hang of reading ebooks, especially on the platform the New York [City] public library uses. I don't fall into their worlds the same way as I do with a well written physical book.

There's just something special about physical books, and when I saw this final book at the local library, I immediately took it out.

How High We Go In the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, was a debut book and I never would have known it - the writing was that good.  Where do I even begin?

The body of a young girl who died about 30,000 years ago in what is now Siberia is found, uncovered thanks to global warming.  Along with the thawed body is a once dormant virus that infects the researchers investigating the find, and from there, it makes its way to the remainder of the world.

This plague isn't COVID, but is a virus unlike any we have experienced up to now.  It initially seems to strike children, and this virus causes organs to change into other organs.  Death is slow and extremely painful.  There is no cure.  Some lucky children can get organ transplants or get into experimental programs.  The death toll soars.

From this beginning, in various somewhat interconnected chapters introducing various characters and following some of them through time, the book explores themes such as how people adapt to the unthinkable. Culture changes, too.

What I also enjoyed was that a lot of the related stories took place in a non-Western culture.

Were there disappointing books?  Yes, several, and perhaps blogging about them will help me decide if they are worth another chance. (One I did finish; another one I am on the verge of abandoning midway through). Just not today.

Read any good books lately?

Monday, November 28, 2022

Grateful #MusicMovesMe

 It's Monday once again, and it's time for music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Sunday or Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only-meaning at least one music video, please!)   Our head hostess is Cathy from Curious as a Cathy,  and she is joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and (last but not least) me.

Why not join our music loving folks?  It's so easy. All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video (if no music video, the post may be removed, or may be labeled *NO MUSIC*) and you've just joined a group of cool music lovers.  Why not? 

Each month, except December, we have a guest host. For November our guest host is Sandee of Comedy Plus.   Let's welcome Sandee once more time, and thank her for her November guest hosting.

 December begins later this week, and, for the month of December, our theme for the month will be "holiday music". So get ready!  In the meantime,  Sandee has picked the theme of "Grateful".  I'm going to do a little twist on this, featuring songs or artists that have helped me through some difficult times, or times of change.  I am grateful for having this music in my childhood and young adult (with one later in my life) life.

Few of these songs are inspirational - they just happened to be the right tunes at the right times for how I felt.

I'm starting off with a song we used to hear every Thanksgiving.  Many Thanksgivings we were on the road, traveling to my late mother in law's house, about a three hour drive away from us.  One of the stations we listened to always played this song.  Our last such drive was 2014.

The song brings back a lot of memories, memories I am so grateful for.    If you have about 18 minutes to spare, here is Arlo Guthrie and Alice's Restaurant, from 1967.

 If you don't have 18 minutes, here are some shorter songs.

Yesterday - The Beatles (1965)

Sonny and Cher - I've Got You, Babe (1965)

I Am a Rock - Simon and Garfunkel (1965).  Fun fact, this song was originally offered to Chad and Jeremy.  I can't imagine them doing it, but maybe you can.

Year of the Cat - Al Stewart - 1976.

1990's Winds of Change - The Scorpions.

And that's a wrap.

Join me again next Monday for more Music Moves Me.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Baby Remember Her Name

We sat, on that day in the mid 1960's, in our Bronx junior high auditorium, in an assembly to find out our fates.

We had taken entrance exams to specialized high schools.  Today, we would find out if we had made any of those schools, or if we would be attending our local high school.

At that time, there were a number of specialized high schools one could apply to by entrance exams and/or auditions.  The Bronx High School of Science (which I attended), Stuyvesant High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, the High School of Music and Art, and the High School of the Performing Arts, were some of them.

One by one, our names were called.

My ninth grade graduating class was big, as were most all classes in New York City.  There were hundreds of us, and it was impossible to know everyone in the room.  But, we knew there were a couple of us who were talented - quite talented - in the performing arts.  One boy, in fact, already had had some small roles on television, if I remember correctly.  

At the assembly, we found out he received acceptance to the High School of the Performing Arts.

What happened once he went on to high school is unknown to me.  But many of us later enjoyed a fictionalize version of the High School of the Performing Arts, first through the 1980 movie Fame, and later through a TV series of the same name.

The movie followed eight students through their initial auditions and life in the high school.

One of the actresses in the movie was Bronx born Irene Cara, who played student Coco Hernandez.  Irene Cara started her acting career young, appearing on The Electric Company.  Cara also sang the theme song for the movie Fame.  In 1983 Cara co wrote and sang the theme song to the movie Flashdance, and had a career as actress and singer.

On November 25, Irene Cara passed away at the age of 63  At this time, the cause of death is unknown.


Flashdance What a Feeling.

Gone too soon, her name will be remembered.