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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cricket Day

I've used my nine years of blogging to track when I hear the first crickets chirping each year.

The chirp of the crickets is the first sign of fall coming, and it always makes me a little sad.  I like to think summer is endless.  What a fantasy (here in upstate New York.)

This year, I heard crickets, for the first time, on July 30.  Here are some cricket milestones of the past:

July 29, 2009
July 22, 2010
July 30, 2011 
then, there were two dates in 2012, perhaps due to an early spring
May 21, 2012
July 25, 2012
August 3, 2014
July 28, 2015 
July 24, 2016

Something strange happened in July of 2010, but they were here for good by July 22.

That's one reason why I like to blog - the blog becomes a kind of garden journal.  I'm no good at diaries or journals, but blogging is something I do keep up with.  At least for now.  I may have to be abandoning my daily schedule in the near future, but I will leave that for a future post.

So, what does this pattern of dates mean?  Not much, perhaps.  There are other markers of changing climate, such as the trees turning color later and later each year.   Also, the fall color show seems to be getting worse and worse.

But for now, I know the end of summer is approaching.  It isn't here yet.  But it will be.  Nature has reminded us that nothing is permanent.

And, with crickets (hopefully not the sound echoing through an empty blog) I end another July (day 31) Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.







Monday, July 30, 2018

Music in a Silent Languge #MusicMovesMe #BlogBoost

It's Monday and, today, I welcome to #MusicMovesMe.  Every week a group of music loving bloggers bring you music for your listening pleasure. 

Our honorary conductor of the month, Michelle (Naila Moon), has picked the theme for today.

But first, who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? Every other week we have a theme, and on alternate weeks, we can blog about any music we wish.  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, (last but not least), me.



For July 30 we are asked to post two songs in "sign language" and two without.

I decided to take a slightly different track.   I am a hearing person; I have no family members who are Deaf (although my father lost his hearing in one ear as a toddler).  I have no training in ASL or any other signed language.  And, I think we all agree that a hearing impaired person would experience music in a different way from one who is not hearing impaired.

The purpose (I think) of an interpreted video is to bring music into a more visual medium.  Increasingly, in addition, Deaf musicians are gaining footholds in the music community.

Because I don't have the knowledge of any signed language to know if the language is being signed correctly, I tried to take care in selecting videos.  Signed language (ASL is only one of them) is an actual language, not someone trying to communicate in English using their hands and facial expressions.  It would therefore make sense to prefer videos of native signed speakers, people for whom the signed language was their first language or one learned early due to a hearing loss in childhood.

First up is a Deaf rapper, Signmark, and his song "Speakerbox".  Signmark signs while a hearing rapper speaks the rap.



I came across a Deaf performer by the name of Rosa Lee Timm, who did a this video of a Melissa Etheridge song, I've Loved You Before.


And finally, Deaf rapper Sean Forbes in a fun video, "Let's Mambo" with Deaf actress Marlee Matlin.

Thank you, Naila, for allowing me to explore this aspect of music that is new to me.

Visit other music bloggers on the linky and see how they intepreted this prompt.

Day 30 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday Beauty

Today is going to be a busy morning for me, so I am going to take a deep breath.

Why don't you, too, and let the week's cares drop away for a few minutes?

For your Sunday morning, let's take a short walk from the Broome County farmer's market in Binghamton, New York.
Just a few feet away is a beautiful, free botanical garden.

Cross a small bridge or two.
Wander through the flowers.  Yes, take your time.  Watch the bees.  Sniff a flower or two (some of these day lilies are fragrant)
And then cross the bridge again to return to your every day life.

Your moment of peace.  And now, back to whatever you were doing.

Happy Sunday!

Day 29 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - Garden Friends and Enemies

A trip to our community garden plot in Binghamton, New York today yielded up some interesting sights.

Look in a garden and you may find these gardening friends and enemies.

A sunflower. (Yes, not all sunflowers are yellow).  One of these is in a vase in our dining room right now.
A zucchini flower.
Zinnias (for some reason, they grow better in our community garden).

But on the other hand, not everything in the garden is welcome.
Japanese beetles feasting on our bean plants (and a couple doing something else underneath the leaf).

And a grasshopper taking a break.

A garden can be a busy place, indeed.  With the recent rains, and our not being able to visit, the weeds have been quite busy, too.

Now it's time for us to get to work.

Do you garden?

Day 28 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Cutler Skies #SkywatchFriday #BlogBoost

After several days of unrelenting high humidity and on and off rain (we missed the flooding that hit areas of the Northeast, fortunately) the sun has finally come out again.

These pictures were taken at Cutler Botanic Gardens in Binghamton, New York, a small gem of our area, on Saturday, before the rains hit.

 Free of charge and kept up by volunteer master gardeners, it is also an AAS display garden, one of about 360 such gardens in the United States.

The day lilies were in full bloom last Saturday.
Another view.

And finally, the sky sandwiched among some of the garden's trees.

Do you like pictures of the sky?  Why not visit Yogi's blog at #SkywatchFriday and check out other watchers of the sky.

Day 28 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Literary Tree #ThursdayTreeLove #BlogBoost

Tenacity.  The ability to grow where it was planted, and flourish despite all odds.

The lessons of a tree that grew in Brooklyn and inspired a best selling novel.

In 1943, a novel called A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith was published.  It was the story of an impoverished 11 year old girl, Francene Nolan, who, during the course of the novel, endures many hardships.  When the book ends, Francene is seventeen and is ready to embark on her adult life.

Like the tree in the yard of her apartment building, Francene survives all that life throws at her.  The tree is destroyed again and again, but lives and resprouts.

I fell in love with that book when I read it as a young teen.  And yes, as someone who grew up in New York City, I am quite familiar with that tree.

The tree is called Ailanthus altissima.  Another name is the tree of Heaven, which may be a sarcastic name.   It is quite invasive, grows rapidly, and can live up to 100 years or more.  If chopped down, it will regrow from its roots.  And, quite literally, the tree can stink.


Today, some 150 miles away from Brooklyn, I saw a Tree of Heaven in the yard of a house in Binghamton, New York, a small city that has seen better days.  You don't see quite as many of these trees as you do in Brooklyn (one of the five boroughs of New York City).  My father was born and spent part of his life in Brooklyn.

If Brooklyn was its own city (it was, at one time), it would be the fourth largest city in the United States.  In some ways, the Ailanthus is the ideal street tree of Brooklyn. 

Join Parul at Happiness and Food and other bloggers who love trees on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, for #ThursdayTreeLove.  Our lives would be so different without trees, don't you think?

Day 26 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Some Secrets

A next career?  A post retirement pursuit? 

I love day lilies, although I don't know that much about them.

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a visit to Grace Gardens near Penn Yan, New York.  Run by a couple, the Roods, we were greeted with great hospitality.

Too bad I hadn't read this article by Tom Rood  (the man who used to work blocks from where I live) before I visited.  It talks about things someone who wants to try to hybridize their own day lilies needs to keep in mind.

Hybridize their own day lilies?  Yes, it seems this is something within the reach of the average person.  Perhaps they won't create a show stopper that sells for hundreds of dollars, but if beauty is created, that is enough.

So, what are the secrets?

One of them is to "visit lots of gardens."  And, it is never too late for an old dog to, as the expression goes, learn new tricks.  Another piece of advice is to have a lot of focus - something I admit not to having more of.  I seem to have less focus as I age, too.

Why not?  Who knows, I might end up with some varieties with "your grandchildren's names" on them.

Although I have no grandchildren (yet - no pressure, dear son) there is something that appeals to me about being able to create and name a flower.  Look at daylily names if you are ever bored, and even if you aren't.  You'll be amazed. 

Which reminded me of one of the gardens I visited recently, and my problem with names.

I intended to show you day lilies photographed over the weekend at Cutler Botanic Gardens in Binghamton, New York.

The day lilies are identified by numbers next to the plant and you look on a list to identify them.

I love day lily names but something seems to have gone wrong.  It's probably me, but it's starting to get a little frustrating.  Should names matter?  They do matter, if you want to buy something and have to try to identify the plant.  And, I love daylily names.  They are so imaginative.  Some pay tribute to the hybridizer.  Others have their own reasons.

I really have to get better at matching numbers to names, apparently.

Here are some of my name fails:

Watchyl Dancing Spider - this name so intrigued me that I looked it up online and I don't think I identified it correctly (it should be red and yellow).  Nevertheless, whatever this is, is a beauty.
I had this one identified as Ann Taylor Hovey.  Nope.

All American Chief is for real.  One right!

But this isn't Cathy Cute Legs, although it is cute.

And as far as Top Guns, which is what this one was labeled - apparently there is an entire series of these, with the most intriguing of names.

So, shhh.  This may be what I am doing in retirement (I'm not retired yet, mind you).  Notice how skillfully I snuck pictures of daylilies onto my blog yet again.

Alas, daylily season will soon be over.

Who knows, one day you may be looking at the award winning daylily Ramblin' with AM.

Will I ever take the first step of that thousand mile journey?  I will leave that as a secret.

Day 25 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Blueberry Tuesday (with a low cal recipe)


This year, the u-pick blueberries at a local farm were possibly the best I have ever picked.

The bushes were loaded, but they were somewhat low down, not the best place for someone with a bad back who was trying not to get on the ground because she was afraid of ticks.

In some ways, it was worth it, though.  And, needless to say, blueberries are packed with nutrition - and taste.

How to pick the perfect blueberry?  It's easy - go for the white bloom.

They are so good.  I don't put anything on mine - no cream, no sugar, just the pure blueberries.

But I do like them in baked goods.  Since I'm trying to get rid of some extra weight that has come back on during the last three years, I decided to make something a little low calorie.

For my blueberry recipe this year, my back was bothering me so I decided on a quick and easy recipe.

No almond milk blueberry muffins from scratch today. 

No, I made a dump cake. The cake mixworked out to about 150 calories for 1/10 of a cake. The blueberries are not counted on the old Weight Watchers system I use (Points Plus).

I've had dump cakes before but (believe it or not) have never made one.  It was so easy!

Here's the quick and easy recipe.

I didn't have the called for diet soda, but I did have diet Cheerwine from a previous trip down South.  Cheerwine is not wine; it is a cherry soda made in North Carolina that has become popular outside its home area.   And, although the berries are in a commercial container, my spouse and I picked every one of them (and many more).

Layer the blueberries.  Sprinkle the cake mix over.

Sad in a way, but I rarely bake from scratch at this point in my life.  I hope to go back to scratch baking one day.

Add the can of soda (we decided against the nuts).  I baked at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes, using a 9 x 13 pan instead of the 9 x 12 the recipe called for. I also knew, from past experience, that the remaining cake mix that was not hit by the soda just added to the enjoyment. And, because neither of us are big whipped topping fans, this is exactly how it was served.

My spouse loved it!  I wonder if I should say goodbye to scratch baking and stick to quick and easy.  But perhaps, it was the high quality of the blueberries.  It came out to 170 calories for 1/10 of the 9 x 13 pan, which isn't bad at all for someone watching their calories.

Day 24 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Mid 1970's Need More Cowbell #MusicMovesMe #Blogboost

I feel nostalgic today so I am going to play some songs that bring back memories for me.  I love the 80's, but I find the 70's are a close second.

Today is Monday, and that means it is time for Music Moves Me. Our honorary conductor of the month, Michelle (Naila Moon), has decreed we have a "freebie" this week, so we can pick whatever music we wish.

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.

So, what about today's nostalgia?  I'm choosing the 1975-1976 period, a period that brings back a lot of memories for me.



Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac: This song reminds me of my early days as a military "dependent", when my spouse went active duty in the Air Force.  Released in 1975, for some reason I associate this song more with 1976, which is also when this live performance was taped.  Rolling Stone magazine even did an article about this performance - in 2015.  Better late than never, I say.

Year of the Cat - Al Stewart.  This is the title song of his 1976 album.  I just love the lyrics, which make me remember some long distance car trips this song made easier.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight - Elton John.  I can still sing almost all the lyrics to this one without help.  This live performance is from 1976.

Blinded by the Light -  Manford Mann's Earth Band, with probably the most misunderstood lyrics of any rock song, ever.

(Don't Fear) The Reaper - I remember living in Wichita Falls, Texas (my spouse's first duty station) and my first experiences with insanely hot summers.  I hesitated a little in posting this because of the belief of many that this song is a glamorization of suicide, something the group Blue Oyster Cult denies.

Several years ago, I was fortunate to be able to see Blue Oyster Cult and their performance was amazing.

And speaking of amazing - I can't hear (Don't Fear) The Reaper without thinking of of what may be the best Saturday Night Live skit of all time - More Cowbell. (I hope this link plays; I had a hard time finding this) I've got a fever and this skit is the prescription!.

We are having a somewhat unusual them next week - see you then.

Day 23 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Binghamton Clothing Fire July 22, 1913 Revisited

All of us are scared of fire. It is an instinctive fear, I believe.  Fire has the power to heat our houses, to cook our food, and to destroy our lives in a matter of minutes. Or, it can scar us terribly, physically or emotionally.  For many of us, fire is part of our deepest nightmares.

Sometimes, those nightmares come true.  In Binghamton, they came horrifically true on July 22, 1913, 105 years ago today.

Many Americans have heard of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of March 25, 2011, that took the lives of 146 workers in New York City as thousands of onlookers watched, helpless, in horror.  Many of the dead were Jewish and Italian immigrant women trying to make a living for their families.

Not as many people have heard of the Binghamton Clothing Company Fire of July 22, 1913, over two years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. This fire took the lives of 31 workers, again, mostly women, working in a four story building that was destroyed in less than 20 minutes. The fire escape was inadequate and there was no continuous staircase for the workers to escape from.  At least two of the dead, a man, and a woman, died heroically trying to save their co-workers.

I found this blog post with an amazing amount of detail about that day.

The following comes from a post I wrote commemorating the 100th anniversary in 2013.  I am linking to the original post also because, occasionally, someone comments on it trying to find information about lost family or for other reasons.  I don't want those comments to be buried in the hundreds of posts I have published since then.

Many of the dead were buried in a mass grave in Binghamton, at Spring Forest Cemetery.

These two fires, combined, led to badly needed fire safety reform.

It is amazing, in a way, to read the account published in the New York Times on July 23, 1913, and the early, damning results of the investigation into the fire. (note, these two links lead to PDF's which will need Adobe Acrobat reader or similar to read.)

Descendants of  the dead still live in this area and they, the former historian of our county, and firemen, gathered on the 100th anniversary to commemorate it.  To quote from our local paper (I am doing this, instead of linking, as the link in my original post appears to be dead.  I feel this information needs to be shared in honor of the affected families:

The Rev. Charles Connor — whose great-great-aunt Nellie Theresa Connor died in the blaze after saving many of her co-workers — read the names of each victim.
As the crowd bowed their heads, the whine of a lone bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” broke the silence .. A wreath of white flowers with gold writing that read “100th Anniversary” sat beside a table with black-and-white pictures of the fire’s aftermath.
 Gerald Smith, former Broome County historian, retold the horrific story from a century ago, when more than 100 workers frantically tried to escape the burning four-story brick building.

If you read comments on this blog post, you will see comments from descendants of the victims - a link to history that is thrilling.  Again, it bears repeating that some of my other posts on this topic have comments.  I don't want them to be buried and forgotten.

Never forget that history is the story of You and Me - and we forget history at our peril.  Indeed, quoting again from the local coverage of the 100th anniversary in 2013:
Ricky O’Connor, 16, traveled from Atlanta, Ga., with his father, Kevin, to attend the anniversary. He recalled growing up with stories about his ancestor, Nellie Connor. “I think it’s good that I have a hero in the family I can relate to,” O’ Connor said, standing beside his father and other relatives, including Rev. Charles Connor, who attended from Maryland.“She is the cornerstone of our family,” he added.
This disaster, 105 years ago today, still affects the living.

Day 22 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Fancy Colors

Who says produce can't be photogenic?

These pictures were taken today at Frog Pond Farms, near Bainbridge, New York.  In New York, we are at the height of summer and of our produce season.  So grateful for the plenty that surrounds us each day.

On the drive to Frog Pond, we were hugged by the green hills of upstate New York, and powderpuff clouds filled the sky.

When you combine natural colors, they never seem to clash.  Here is the red of onions, the green of cucumbers, and the yellow of squash.
The white of more onions and the red of beets.

Unhusked corn.  We will each eat an ear tonight with our dinner.  In our area of upstate New York, bicolor is the favorite.  In the late summer, you may find some all white, but never all yellow.

And the brown of maple products.  There's even more bounty - local cheese, local eggs, local Amish made pickled products. 

For a moment, the memories of winter are put behind us, and we think, how could we not love upstate New York?

Before we know it, it will be October and it will be time to wrap up another growing season.  This is what Frog Pond may look like by then.  

But that day hasn't come yet.  Seize each summer day, hug it, and be grateful for every day we are given.

Day 21 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Friday, July 20, 2018

Canandaigua Sunset in July - #SkywatchFriday #BlogBoost

Today is Friday, which means....

....a sunset on Canandaigua Lake, one of the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.

As the sun sets, baby ducks take advantage of the last light of the day.

The sun dips lower.

And then the sun is gone, leaving only its reflection behind.

Join Yogi and other sky-watching bloggers at #SkywatchFriday.

Day 20 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #Blogboost

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Throwback Thursday - When Is a Fall Not a Fall?

This post, with some minor edits, was first published in my blog in May of 2015.  Since then, one person I knew (an in law of an in law) died from injuries suffered from a fall.  Others were hurt.

I took a falls prevention class in 2015, and am still practicing the exercises I learned, although, I must admit, not every exercise every day. I need to get back into it fully.

Next month, my spouse undergoes surgery, partially due to a fall he took in October 2017 that landed him in the emergency room and a three week absence from work.

Make no mistake - a fall is not to be taken lightly.   You may want to ask yourself:

When Is A Fall Not A Fall? (2015)

When is a fall not a fall?

Last week, I blogged about how I had signed up for a falling prevention course because - well, I've fallen several times in the past four years.  I am only 62 years old and I know what this can mean down the road.

My spouse had a relative who died from complications of a fall. Even my spouse's aunt, who is now 106, has not escaped falling.  A fall when she was 102 (it wasn't her first fall, either) led to a partial hip replacement.  She will never be independent again, although (for now) she still lives at home with her son.

Falling, for a senior, can be a death sentence at worst.  At best, it can result in broken bones, a trip to the Emergency Room, and/or the loss of independence.  So, if you are reading this post, and haven't fallen, you may still have elderly relatives to think about. Or, your taxes may be paying the medical bills of those who have fallen.  This is a problem that impacts all of us.

So, that's how I found myself sitting last Wednesday in a circle with six other women, and one man, and two facilitators.  The facilitators, both women, were retired RN's.  And, both had fallen.  We were all in good company.

We went around the circle, introducing ourselves, and telling our falling stories. So many of them seemed to involve walking dogs and uneven ground or gopher holes but there were some pretty nasty in-home falls, too.

Then the facilitators asked how many in the group had had joint replacements.  Almost everyone had had at least one, if not more.  In other words, I was sitting in a group of Bionic Seniors.

The program I am taking is evidence based and was developed in Australia.

Next, two physical therapists joined the class to teach us exercises we would do to build up our balance and strength, to prevent future falls.  Four exercises for balance, to be done daily.  Four exercises for strength, to be done three times a week.

I didn't feel out of place at all.  Certainly no one was giving me funny looks or wondering why a young senior was sitting in the class.

I talked to one of the RN's after class and she told me a person at risk of falling, no matter what their age, could take the class.
 
The youngest person to take this class locally was in her mid 40's.  The oldest was 103 - she is 106 now.  So, it is never too early (if you have the need), or too late.  As we were told, age is an attitude.  There are people in their 90's who think more youthfully than people in their 60's.  I want to be one of those people.

As for the question "when is a fall not a fall?", yes, there is an answer for that.  One of the RN's explained that when someone calls to register, she always asks, "have you fallen?" Many times, her question is met with several moments of silence, as the person on the other end of the phone thinks about it.  Was their fall a fall? 

Too many people think, the RN explained, a fall doesn't "count" if it doesn't result in a trip to the ER or a broken bone.  But, the RN went on, "it's like being a little bit pregnant.  You did or you didn't. You either fell or you didn't."

Have you fallen?  If so, I beg you to take it seriously.

Day 19 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Your Wednesday Moment of Flowers

We all need some calm in our lives right now.

Breathe deep.

It's time for nature to take over for a moment.

Breathe in.  The lighting is just right.

Day lily time.   Their beauty is fleeting.  You must seize this moment because there may not be another one.
Breathe out.

Enjoy your day.

Each of these blooms in my yard lasts for only a single day.  You have to be there at the right moment.  And, when it comes, you must pay full attention.

I hope this moment of flowers took some of your stress away today.

Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #BlogBoost

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