Sunday, August 7, 2022

SpiedieFest Memories of 2018

It's Spiedie Fest time, celebrating hot air balloons, music, and our regional specialty, spiedies.  

What's a spiedie, you ask?  It's marinated meat (there are also vegetarian options), cooked on the grill, and there are endless variations.

For a while, our festival, which is held the first weekend in August in Otsiningo Park in Binghamton, New York, had gotten away from the original intent of the festival, which was to celebrate spiedies with a cooking contest.  The festival last year, due to the pandemic, was moved to October and downsized.  This year, it's back in full, with a bit more emphasis on the spiedie aspect.

We made the reluctant decision (because I was offered free tickets) not to attend this year.  The heat was the major factor.  The balloon launches, which normally add to the fun but, this year, are my major part of the enjoyment (as I wasn't keen on any of the musical acts).  The organizers allow you to get close up with the launches, launchers and launchees. 

So, instead, I am celebrating with some photos from 2018.

Let's not forget what started this off - the marinating sauce.  This company is local.

There's other food, too.
Sadly, this wine, infused with hemp and manufactured locally, was a victim of (as I've read) the federal regulations (although it is not infused with cannabis) that have never been updated despite a number of states (including New York, the festival location) having legalized recreational use of cannabis.  The company closed in February, 2020.
Oh yes, the balloon launches.  These balloonists, I believe, are still local.

Like I said, you can get quite close.

Inflation, the good kind.

Did I mention you can get close?
Up, up and away, 2018 style.

I've never been in a hot air balloon. Riding in one is not cheap, although that wouldn't keep me away if I was truly motivated.

Some of the launches are cancelled due to weather (too much wind, threat of thunderstorms).  Safety first, always! This year, I believe all the launches went up as scheduled, which is rare, but our drought may have had something to do with that. Of course, there are interesting moments. I understand that one of the balloons this year landed on top of a movie theater close to Otsiningo Park.

Next year?  Let's make it a definite maybe.  And hope the weather is a touch cooler.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Peaceful August Saturday

 Today, as expected, it was hot. Weather Underground had us at 92 degrees with a heat index of 98.  Our record for today was 90, so we may have broken it.  I know, not hot compared to a lot of the nation but we decided to skip our area's largest festival of the year.  

Here, instead, are some peaceful pictures.  Our day lilies are finishing up.

This is about all that is left.

"Farewell", they seem to say. "See you next year."

We took a short walk in our local park around 9:30 am and I'll end with this picture of a Canada goose flotilla.

In the meantime, our local supermarket already has Halloween candy, and the site where we buy coffee is advertising their fall flavors.

As much as I don't like the heat, I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into fall.

It will be here before we know it.  Fall, that is.

Are you staying cool, if you live in an area experiencing the heat?

Friday, August 5, 2022

Last Sunset of July Part 1 #SkywatchFriday

What strange weather too many of us are having recently.  The last two or three weeks, I've been able to capture several sunsets, all different, but the sunset that stood out was July 31's.  In fact, it deserves two posts and I'll conclude it next Friday.

So, today, part 1 of a sunset (actually, the post sunset) from July 31.

This sunset took spouse and me by surprise.  We weren't even going to go out until we saw the reddish light streaming through the window on our door.  Would we make it?

I took this picture as we headed to our neighborhood watching the sunset spot.

Would we be too late?  Sometimes, the color just doesn't wait.

No, we aren't too late.


To be continued next Friday...

 Joining Yogi and other bloggers who watch the sky for #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Sporty Flower

Tuesday, spouse brought home some zinnia flowers he had cut in our community garden so I would have flowers for our table.

If you look at the top flower carefully, it is some kind of mutation or sport (sorry, I am not a botany expert).  It's part red and part white with specs.

We are growing several types of zinnias.  One is an all red zinnia.  We also have "Candy Stick" zinnias.

I took this picture of a Candy Stick zinnia back in 2017.  I think there's a definite resemblance between this Candy Stick and the top of the red zinnia spouse picked on Tuesday.  But I don't think the red zinnia and the couple of Candy Sticks that sprouted this year fertilized each other.  I'm not quite sure what is happening.

A couple of years ago I had a bicolored cosmos in my flower patch.  I saved the seeds but the resulting plants the following year were all one color.

Gregor Mendel or a plant breeder I am not.  Now that the flower is cut (and I wasn't there) it's too late, anyway.

I think many of us are aware that flowers and fruit (and vegetables) can pop different varieties naturally, and keen eyed farmers may take these and create something new for the market.  There is, for example, the story of the Red Delicious apple.

A new bicolored zinnia would have been nice.  The "AM" Zinnia?

Has an unusual flower or veggie ever happen to you?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Red Admiral Photo Shoot #WordlessWednesday

In the third week of July, I was leaving my house.  I passed by a container of pansies (which aren't looking that great right now - they do not like heat) and saw a black and red butterfly.  It flew away but then came back and landed on a pansy. I grabbed my iPhone.

"Let's have a photo shoot", it seemed to say.  "You've been complaining about how you can't seem to photograph butterflies, so I'm making you an offer."

It spread its wings out.

 It stayed in the same place for a few seconds and shifted on the flower.

"Look at me! Make me famous!"

One last picture.

After our encounter, I looked the butterfly up. I'm somewhat new to watching and trying to ID butterflies.  Turns out it's a common butterfly in our area, called a Red Admiral. Common, maybe, but so pretty.  I'm grateful for its visit.  And now, I'm publishing its photo shoot.  Hopefully, fame and fortune will follow.  For the butterfly, anyway.  Apparently, at least, in England, they can live up to 10 months.

Here in the Southern Tier of New York, I don't know.


Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Summer Picnic Reunion

For years, the company I worked for held an annual company picnic for employees and their families.  They got away from it in more recent years, thanks to COVID.

Last week, my company held an in person company picnic in a local park.

Many of us still work remotely, either full or part of the time. I am happy that the work I do permitted that option.  My son has been in his workplace from day one of COVID, and my spouse, if he hadn't retired, also had a job that had to be done in person.

I don't know the number, but enough of us hadn't see each other in person since mid March of 2020. Some of them I have seen in online meetings.  Some I've seen around town.  Others I hadn't seen at all.

I never thought it would be like this.  We had been sent home "for two weeks", after all. 

Who could see into the future?

Some people had gained weight in those almost two and a half years.  Some people had lost weight.  Some people had a lot more gray hair than the last time I had seen them.  For many of them, I don't know what their personal struggles and joys have been since the day I was sent home in mid March. More than one of them had retired in the intervening years, and their absence was noted by those who worked closely with them.

Some of us sat together and ate.  Others played games.

Once again we saw spouses of our co workers.  We met some of their children and grandchildren, and (in one case) a parent. Several people brought their dogs. 

We sent phones around with photos.  We circulated, saying hi to people we used to pass in the hall or talk to at the water fountain.  People air hugged and real-hugged.

Memories flooded back, but not always.   In some cases, I had trouble remembering people's names, and I wasn't the only one.

But, other memories were as fresh as the day they happened.

What a long, strange two weeks it has been.

But, whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, we were able to get together for a handful of hours. We have those memories.

No one will be able to take that away from us.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Travelin' Songs - #MusicMovesMe

Guess what time it is?  It's Monday, it's the first of August, and it's time for music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each 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.

Our founder, Marie aka Xmas Dolly, has stepped back from blogging for now, and would appreciate your good thoughts as she works through some health issues. The latest word from Marie is that she hopes to return to occasional blogging sometime this month. 

We'd love more music lovers to join our music loving group.  All you have to do is join the linky above with a music post that contains at least one music video (there must be a music video or your post will be subject to removal or labeling "No Music").  So easy!

Each month, except December, we have a guest host. For August, we welcome Adventures in Weseland.

His theme for this week is "You Pick".

This first song just popped into my head when I was trying to think of a theme for today, and the rest just followed.  I love when blog posts write themselves right after you fear you are stuck.

This is a song from 1961, and I loved this song so much when it first came out.  This song was originally written for Sam Cooke, but it ended up becoming a hit for Ricky Nelson, a child actor who starred in his parents' TV show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  Tragically, Nelson died young, at the age of 45, due to a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1985.

Travelin' Man 

 From 1968, Simon and Garfunkel with "America".  I chose their iconic live performance in New York City's Central Park from 1981

Radar Love - Golden Earring, from 1973. 

Iggy Pop and "The Passenger", from 1977.  I love the poetry of this song.

Ramblin' Man - The Allman Brothers Band, from 1971.

 Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane, from 1991.

It's time to head back  to the 1960's, but let's make a stop in 1982 with this classic.  I can't believe it's been 40 years.

Africa - Toto.

For my final song return to the 60's (1967, to be exact) and a song sung by Nichelle Nichols called "Know What I Mean". 

And, that's a well traveled wrap.

Inspired, in part, by the death yesterday of actress Nichelle Nichols, who traveled with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise during their five year mission to break barriers, plus explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

May Nichols forever rest in peace among the stars.

Join me again next week, same time same place, for another edition of Music Moves Me.