Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Brave New Shopping World

We did it to ourselves.
Macy's welcome sign - now it's gone
Yesterday, after work, my spouse and I went exercise walking in our local mall where I live in upstate New York.  Three of the four anchor stores have gone out of business, along with other stores.

The third anchor store, Bon-Ton (a department store) has been having its going out of business sale the last few (or so it seems) months. I understand it will close for good on August 31.  Macy's and Sears closed last year.  Nearby, Toys R Us closed its doors recently.  Across town, K-Mart had already closed.

While walking, I passed two other going out of business sales.

If the last anchor store, J.C. Penney, closes, we don't know if the mall will follow it soon after.

So what did I do after walking?  I went home ,watered my hanging baskets, and turned on my computer.  I wanted to head towards Amazon Prime's July Prime Day sale.  I've gotten some great buys in previous years.

Except a funny thing happened to me.  The home page loaded fine, but nothing after that.  "Sorry..." "sorry...." said page after page, each showing me one of the dogs of Amazon.

Barney, Rufus, Frank, Shadow, and more, were their names.
When you left Macy's they said this - but Macy's left us in 2017
Finally, I got on.  Around me, politics swirled, and uncertainty, and apparently, I wasn't the only one seeking escape.

After several tries, I got to the shoes I wanted.  They cost $13 more than they did on Prime Day in 2016.  I didn't buy them.

I looked at several other pages, once they loaded. Another pair of shoes looked promising, but, gee, I couldn't try them on.  It was a brand I wasn't familiar with.  I wish I could have reached through the computer screen to touch them.

Yes, I will continue to shop at Amazon.  I suspect many of you will, too.  We don't have that much choice, do we?  But then again, I started shopping with them so many years ago I can't remember when I started.  Not often, but out of convenience.   I know people who won't shop with them, out of principle.  But I'm not that strong.
I helped destroy retail commerce.

What a day yesterday was, for Amazon's fail and for other reasons. It's the world we have created for ourselves.  Like it or not.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Numbers in Song Titles - #MusicMovesMe #BlogBoost

Welcome to #MusicMovesMe.  Every Monday we board a train of music.  Every other week we have a theme, and on alternate weeks, we can blog about any music we wish.  Now, let's get to rockin'!

Our honorary conductor of the month, Michelle (Naila Moon), has chosen for today's theme "songs with numbers in the title".  I can't wait to see what my fellow music bloggers have gathered as their contribution.

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are headed by our head Engineer XmasDolly.  Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice, (who right now is visiting when she can - please keep her in your thoughts ) and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy   And, finally, me.
Last week fellow Music Moves Me blogger John Holton introduced me to a Chicago (the group) tribute band called Leonid and Friends.  I love early Chicago and, for the most part, these Russian musicians are spot on.  And, knowing that some early Chicago songs had numbers in the title...

...I couldn't resist.  First up, Leonid and Friends doing 25 or 6 to 4.

That lead to their tribute to "Questions 67& 68".  I have to admit, I was more impressed with "25 or 6 to 4", but that's just my personal opinion.

Now, switching to one of my favorite duos, Simon and Grfunkel, The 59th Street Bridge Song.

The next four are contributions from my spouse, who normally doesn't get involved in my blogging, but he couldn't resist this time.
An instrumental by Deodato - September 13.

Steppenwolf - 40 Days and 40 Nights (a cover of the Muddy Waters song from 1956.)

Thirty Days in the Hole by Humble Pie, from 1972.

Creedence Clearwater Revival with Ninety Nine and a Half, from their debut album.

One more from me - the Rolling Stones, from their psychedelic years: Two Thousand Light Years from Home.

Thank you, Naila Moon - this was so much fun!

Besides being Monday, this is Day 16 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day -July 2018

Today, it is the 15th of the month  time for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Since we last met on June 15, we have had a number of 90 plus degree days (and some heavy rains) to encourage the summer flowers in my zone 5b garden near Binghamton, New York. 

As I write this, it is 87 degrees (30.5 C) with high humidity. 

Thunderstorms and rain yesterday gave everything a nice drink, and clouds are puffing up nicely already. 

I have so many flowers I can't even show them all.  Isn't that a wonderful thing? (I'll especially think so next March, when I desperately scour my house for the tiniest bloom).
My day lilies are blooming "full speed ahead".  I tried looking at my July 15, 2011 post to see if I could identify any, but all the photos were missing!
I've had this one for many years.  It may have been bought with the orange lilies further explained below.
This one may be my favorite, but I love them all.  My gardening motto is along the line of the first verse of the old Girl Scout tune "Make new friends, but keep the old...."

Like this one.

Here's one almost at the end of its bloom.

This short one may (or may not) be Stella d'Oro, which have become ubiquitous here, but I don't think so because it does not rebloom.  This is what it looked like about 10 days ago - I wanted to show it to you at its peak. This was a closeout from a local nursery - I think I got it about three or four years ago.

Pink and yellow.

This, in a semi-shade location in my back yard, is my oldest lily - I think I've had it some twenty five years.  I think I bought it mail order from a nursery in Ohio with the purple ones above.  Not sure why I couldn't get this picture turned around, but I think the angle looks kind of neat.

I bought several of my day lilies from Cutler Botanic Gardens in Binghamton, New York.  They, in turn, had gotten them from an elderly gentlemen, and I got them at a bargain price - but, in return, they couldn't give me a name or even, in some cases, a color.  Oh well, I end up losing the names anyway!

A couple of others were purchased at a plant show in Charleston, South Carolina (making sure they would work in my zone).  I should go back years through my July GBBD posts to find out what some of these are.  
And one more.

Next year, hopefully four new daylilies will be joining these in bloom.  I bought them during a vacation visit to a day lily nursery near Penn Yan, New York.  
They were in bud, but with the shock of travel, and not being able to plant them for three days, almost all the buds fell off.  Hopefully, the plants will survive.

I have so many other blooms, I made a couple of collages.  I'm especially fond of the petunia in the middle, called Cream Ray.

Thank you once again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens, who makes Garden Bloggers Bloom Day possible each 15th of the month.

Day 15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Close Encounters of the Day Lily Kind

My husband and I had the pleasure of visiting a day lily garden owned by Tom and Kathy Rood this past Wednesday.  We are near the height of day lily bloom here in upstate New York, and we were fortunate enough to be in the area when this commercial operation was open.

Tomorrow, I will show you some of my day lilies as part of Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.

For today, the Roods rule.  After we take a stroll, I have a little story for you.

Such beautiful grounds.

Come into the shade, shall we?

The Roods were friendly and knowledgeable- they immediately offered us bottled water, and invited us to eat some of the mulberries ripening on their trees.


Alas, this White Perfection was sold out, because I was ready to buy it.

This Lemon Supreme was.

When we got to talking to the Roods, they asked us where we were from.  Upon hearing that we lived just outside Johnson City, New York, Tom mentioned that he had worked for GE for several years back in the 1960's.   Yes, just blocks from where I live.

And 100 miles from where he now operates a day lily farm (it is well worth the visit, by the way.)

I had to tell Tom that the former GE plant was a fixture of my neighborhood at one time, but (rented by another defense contractor, BAE Industries at the time) it was ruined by a flood in 2011, and demolished in 2016.  It took months to demolish this grand building, once the largest wood framed structure in the United States (as my regular readers know all too well.)

The grounds remain vacant, a former power plant (Gowdy Station) Tom also remembered in the distance.  Now, only the geese work the property.  I showed him a picture (not this picture) on my phone. 

I have blogged about the building he worked in so many times.

So many bittersweet times.

I still wonder what will happen to the structure I once called the NakedBuilding.

Wouldn't it be something if someone turned it into a daylily farm one day?


Day 14 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Friday, July 13, 2018

Erie Canal #SkywatchFriday #Blogboost

It's Friday, and it is time to watch the sky, along with other bloggers all over the world.

Today, I feature some pictures taken yesterday during a walk along the Erie Canal near Pittsford, New York.  The original Erie Canal was built around 1817- 1825, and was then the greatest public works project in our nation's history.  It opened up the interior of our country to trade, and to settlement.

Now,  the Canal is used mostly for recreation.  Many walk or bike along what used to be the towpaths. It makes for a beautiful reflective picture on a sunny summer day.

Some live along the canal, and have private docks for their own use.
Other boats still travel on the Canal.

Beautiful, isn't it?  When the canal was built, travel between the starting and ending point took about two weeks.  It was shortened to about five days.

Now, it is a National Heritage Corridor.

Check out other bloggers watching the sky at #SkywatchFriday.

Day 13 (and hopefully not unlucky) at the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Witness Tree #ThursdayTreeLove #BlogBoost

Have you ever heard of witness trees?

Witness trees are trees that have witnessed one or more historical events.  It could have been a battle, or a document being signed.

This 400-500 year old live oak tree is called the Angel Oak.  It is located near Charleston, South Carolina, on an island called Johns Island.  When I blogged about it in 2012, it was endangered, but apparently, nonprofits were able to save it.  We visited it again in 2014, when I took this picture.

It's said that the "angels" are the souls of deceased enslaved people - I wonder, just what has this tree witnessed in its lifetime?

If you want to learn more about witness trees, this video was shown this past week on TV in the United States.  Enjoy!

Join Parul Thakur and other bloggers the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month for #ThursdayTreeLove.  

Day 12 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

No Hunting

Walking on a secluded part of the Vestal Rail Trail in Vestal, New York, I came across this sight.

Now, on the Vestal Rail Trail, we have signs that say "Smile.  Say hi - we are all neighbors."  So this sign, right next to a sewer, made me pause.

What aren't we allowed to hunt? Is there a monster living in the sewer?

Join Esha and other bloggers for #WordlessWednesday.

Day 11 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost