Saturday, May 28, 2022

Small Beginnings at the Community Garden

Thanks to some delays (such as the park where our garden is located having to be closed for several days due to a paving project) we are a bit behind in our community garden plantings.

So right now we have small beginnings.

A bonus shot first, from a week or so ago - an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly near our raised bed.

Raised bed (my bed, which spouse has been tending this spring while my infected finger healed) from bottom to top, butternut squash, lettuce, tomato (left) edible podded peas (right) barely visible at top are zinnias.  We lost some of our peas when we couldn't get in to water them.  The butternuts are an experiment - these are supposed to be container suitable.

Raised bed other end, several garlic plants that we planted last fall.

A fellow gardener told us today someone saw a groundhog sunning himself/herself in one of these raised beds.  We haven't fenced our box in (some people have) and we'll have to see.  

We abandoned growing beans in the raised bed this year because we were feeding the deer, not us.  Nothing seemed to help, even spray that is supposed to repel them. 

But we are growing them in ground. Strangely, they seem to be bothered less in the ground, perhaps because the area is less open (it's a large community garden of over 100 plots).

Tomatoes in spouse's in ground plot.  Beans are up but they didn't photograph well.

Finally, onion plants.

I may have been gardening since 1978, but the joy of seeing plants grow never leaves me and I thank my spouse, who does 99% of the veggie gardening work.  I couldn't garden in my New York City apartment growing up except some flowers on a windowsill.  I've been so fortunate all these years since.

Spring is moving so quickly. I have so many flower shots to show you and I'll probably never get to showing them all to you.  

Before we know it, harvest time will be here for these veggies.  But I never forget their humble beginnings.

Do you garden?

Friday, May 27, 2022

Sapsucker Skies #SkywatchFriday

We've gotten through the week.

We've seen the various mood of the sky.

It's time to pull up a bench, and watch the skies with me.

Earlier this week, I was in Dryden, New York, in the Finger Lakes near Cayuga Lake.  The photo above and the next two were taken at Sapsucker Woods, a place owned by Cornell University. Their mission: "To interpret and conserve the earth's biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds."  

There are about four miles of trails, some leading you past water, and others through woods, and you are encouraged to watch for birds and other wildlife.  But nothing says you can't watch for lovely reflections in the water, too.

So let's wait around a bit...and, oh, guess what we see?  In the center of the photo, a family of Canada geese.  If you are wondering about the Sapsucker name, here's the back story.

No, we didn't see any yellow-bellied sapsuckers, but we did add some birds to our life list.

I'm going to sneak a bit more of Nature into my last two sky photos.  First, a shot taken May 19 of a young dogwood tree.

Finally, from yesterday, here's a picture taken from Ross Park, a Binghamton, New York city park.

Want more skies?  Why not click on over to Yogi at #SkywatchFriday and see who else is watching the sky?

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Dogwoods #ThursdayTreeLove

 We have many flowering trees in the Southern Tier of New York, where I live, but most all of them seem to be rushing to complete their blooming.  The hotter than normal weather we've had on some days this month isn't helping.

This is a pink dogwood - here's a closeup of the flowers.  This tree didn't even last two weeks from start of bloom to finish.  It finished up over a week ago but it is fondly remembered.

This is a young tree and so I was able to get the entire tree into one photo.

Our native dogwoods normally have white flowers.

Many are planted near churches because they have a lot of religious symbolism for Christians.  Our area also has Chinese dogwoods (Kousa dogwoods), which  bloom after the natives, and are also a little smaller than our natives.  The Kousa dogwoods are also resistant to a disease that has impacted native dogwoods.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food on second and fourth Thursdays for #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Unexpected Mushrooms #WordlessWednesday

Last Friday.  Our community garden plot.  We were doing a little raised bed maintenance on what was going to be a hot day.

And then I saw these growing.

No, these aren't potatoes.

These are mushrooms.  An unexpected crop. I'm happy they were outside our raised bed.

And no, I'm not going to harvest these.

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

How Many People Does it Take to Change A Light Bulb The Conclusion

Last Thursday, I published a blog post about a little bulb that burnt out in the inside of our freezer.  Trying to find a replacement bulb for a "12 V E14" LED sent us on an hours long hunt where I learned more than I want to know about LED light bulbs and technology that goes obsolete between the time you buy something and the time something needs replacement.

This is a too-familiar story for many of us, and I thought that the commenters on that post might want to know what finally happened.  What we encountered was an odyssey of customer service (or lack of it), which seems to be normal for these times.

When I last left you, dear reader...

... I was exhausted from a long, fruitless Internet research. We used to have a couple of appliance parts places in this area, but we knew they were no more.  The manufacturer of the freezer had nothing at all about freezers on their website. They had a customer service number that actually had Saturday hours, but spouse didn't want to try it. Amazon didn't seem to have anything that looked anything like this little light bulb.  Finally, we gave up for the day.

The next day, our son came over for lunch and he tried to help us. He discovered our particular bulb had been discontinued.   Finally, he came up with a possibility, on Amazon (a site I try not to order from, but it was looking like we had no choice).  The bulbs (we had to buy two) came last Tuesday.  They didn't fit.

He thought he found a possibility at a big box store locally, and that's where my post Thursday ended.  So let's join our story, already in progress.

We have two of those stores locally and I'm not going to name the chain.

Store #1: spouse went by himself.  There was no one around the department to help him.  He couldn't find it although the website said it was in stock.

Store #2 (both spouse and I) couldn't find the bulb and, again, there was no employee around.  We asked the customer service desk person and she looked annoyed (OK, maybe my take on her facial expression, but I also know she has a thankless job and may have just been having a bad day, especially if the store was understaffed).  She paged someone to come to that department. No one came.

We then went to the next aisle (a different department) and there was an employee there.  This young woman helped us.  The bulbs son had found (I had a screenshot on my phone, thankfully) were another size: E-12.  E-14s apparently are no longer made. She knew very little about the light bulb department, so our thanks go doubly to her.

This E-12 was the size of the bulbs we got from Amazon.  I got to thinking, was there such a thing as a E-14 to E-12 adapter.  Turns out Amazon sold one, through an Amazon storefront (I think that's the right term) on the West Coast.  I emailed them to see if it would be suitable for use in a freezer lid.

I never got a response after some 24 hours but the adapter was so inexpensive I decided to order it anyway.  It came yesterday.

The adapter worked.

So, how many people does it take to change a light bulb?  The modern answer: Too, too many.

Have you ever had a planned obsolescence experience?

Monday, May 23, 2022

Power Ballads #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and we all know what that means.  Boys and girls, it's time to turn away from your cares and enjoy some 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 the world famous (not) me.  Our founder, Xmas Dolly, has stepped back from blogging for now, and would appreciate your good thoughts as she works through some health issues.

We'd love more music lovers to join our fun 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").  Easy peasy!

Each month, except December, we have a guest host. For the month of May, our guest host is John Holton of "The Sound of One Hand Typing".

For today, John is choosing the theme "You Pick".

I'm picking some power ballads today.  So, dim the lights and get your cigarette lighters and/or cell phones ready.  But first, what is a power ballad, anyway?

You know it when you hear it.  It starts out slow, then suddenly, you are soaring in the stratosphere, grabbing onto the lyrics for dear life as you hope the song will never end.

Although the 80's may have been the golden age for power ballads, not all my selections are from the 80's.  In fact, my first selection is going to be quite recent.  Ukraine won Eurovision on Saturday night with this song by the Kalush Orchestra.  It's not a power ballad in the traditional sense but I want to honor Ukraine and its people today.

The song:  Stefania.

This brings up an interesting question.  Normally, the winner of the current Eurovision hosts it the following year, meaning that Ukraine would host in 2023.  But what if Ukraine is unable to?  

Current speculation is, the host country would be either Poland or (the second place entry) United Kingdom.  Let us hope, however, that Ukraine will be in a position to host.

And now, power ballads.

First off, Boston and their "Amanda" from 1986.  Fun personal facts:  this is the last album I ever bought from a Woolworths (remember them?) and the last brand-new vinyl album I ever purchased.

From 1984, Foreigner and "I Want to Know What Love Is".

Let's turn to a 1989 song that is a tribute to Elvis Presley.  Alannah Miles and "Black Velvet". 

The Scorpions and their 1990 hit "Winds of Change".  This song once helped me through a bad time in our history (9/11) so it has a lot of personal meaning for me.  If only we could live like brothers...

Now, two more power ballads from the 90's.

Metallica and their 1991 "Nothing Else Matters".  

Last, but not least, I ask "hush now, don't you cry..."

Queensryche and their 1991 hit "Silent Lucidity" 

And that's an exhausted wrap!

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


Sunday, May 22, 2022

RIP Vangelis

I found out Friday that composer Vangelis, of Chariots of Fire fame, died on May 17 in France.  He was 79 and the cause of death was heart failure.  Thank you, John of The Sound of One Hand Typing, for the information.

Vangelis, whose birth name was Evángelos Odysséas Papathanassíou, was born in Greece and grew up in Athens.  He showed an interest in music at age four and started performing his own music at age six. 

He didn't do well at traditional music lessons as he wanted to experiment with music.

As a young man, the artist we know as Vangelis formed some bands and also scored some Greek movies.  He changed his name to Vangelis, meaning "angel that brings good news" and eventually moved out of Greece. His last album was released last year. 

I discovered that Vangelis did a lot more than Chariots of Fire - in fact he had 23 solo albums released during his lifetime and many other works in collaboration with others.

I want to bring you two songs from the 1981 Chariots of Fire soundtrack, which won an Academy Award for best original score and is beloved by millions.  First, the title song, from the opening scene. This song was originally was called "Titles".

Chariots of Fire.

The second song is  a hymn called Jerusalem.  That song, which closes out the movie,  will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever lived in England.  The words come from a poem written in 1804 by William Blake, a poet and painter.  The music was written in 1916 by Sir Hubert Parry during World War I.

Here's the story of the song.

Another musical great has left us.  RIP. 

Want more music?  Join me and other music lovers for Music Moves Me (and we welcome new participants, too).  My post will go live just after midnight Monday, Eastern Daylight Time.