Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Different Views

Sometimes, you have to rise above your problems.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to visit an office for a meeting.

In their conference room, I took these photos from their windows.  From the seventh floor of the historic office building this company is located in, their view shows you the Broome County Courthouse (Binghamton, New York) with trees just starting to turn.

This is a different view of downtown Binghamton, New York from another window, showing a traffic circle (a "roundabout", as we call it locally).  In the center are some flower plantings.

I love this different point of view.  On the ground, where we normally are, you can get lost in detail. 

From above, you get the birds eye view.  (And, hopefully, you aren't afraid of heights).  You can see everything at once.

How do you normally look at problems?  From street view, or from the bird's eye view?

Day 16 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Monday, October 15, 2018

Music Moves Me and Garden Bloggers Bloom Day

When memes collide, it can get interesting.

Today is the 15th of the month, meaning it is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day,where garden bloggers (and bloggers who like to flower garden) show what is blooming in their yards.  And it's Monday, meaning it is time for Music Moves Me.

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? Every other week we have a theme, and on alternate weeks, we can blog about any music we wish.  First, there is XmasDolly, who is returning, but not up to full speed yet  Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice,  and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting  is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy (who is filling in for Xmas Dolly until Xmas Dolly is totally back up to speed). And finally, there's me.

First things first....gardening.  If you want to head straight for the music, you'll find it at the end. (And you are welcome to link up - there's just one rule - there needs to be music on your blog post for us to listen to!)

It is October.  And, in my zone 5b upstate New York garden, we were under a frost advisory yesterday morning.

We didn't get a frost - my garden is spared a few more days, so I can show you what is blooming.  But eventually (perhaps by Thursday) the end will - "sob" come.

So let us pay a fond farewell.

Last collage of the year - clockwise - dahlia, sunpatien, begonia, white marigold, variegated lantana, coleus with a heuchera mixed in, cleome.
Pineapple sage, which only started to bloom this past week (and will die with the frost, alas.)
Japanese anemone.
Ivy geranium.

A zinnia, opening up.
Variegated sunpatien.
This wasn't taken today, but I couldn't resist throwing this picture of one of my kalanchoes during the golden hour.  Yes, there are three colors of blooms on the same plant - this variety turns color as the flowers age.
Finally, zinnias en masse.
What could express my depression and sorrow that come at the end of the outdoor gardening season better than music that expresses sorrow at loss?

Empty Garden - this beautiful Elton John song pays tribute to John Lennon, who was murdered by a deranged "fan" in New York City on December 8, 1980.

November Rain - Guns N Roses - because nothing lasts forever, including love and the gardening season.

Thank you, Carol of May Dreams Gardens, for the opportunity to participate in another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Why not visit other gardeners linking to her to see what is blooming all over the world?

Thank you, Xmas Dolly, for #MusicMovesMe.  Come see what our other participants are offering today.

Day 15 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost- why not give them a visit too on Facebook?

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Planning for The End

Have you thought about your obituary?

Have you done the most basic things to help your loved ones if something should happen to you?

Have you communicated your wishes to loved ones for your funeral?

Do you have a will?  A power of attorney document?  A named guardian for your minor children, if any?

If you have a special needs child, have you made provisions for his or her future? (I have a brother in law who is developmentally disabled, and I could write a book about this.)

I don't want to sound like a law office ad or a life insurance commercial, and, no worries, I am not going to try to sell you anything.  Nor am I going to be morbid.  I just want to pass along some things I have learned along the way of a multi year journey.

No, I'm not an attorney, a paralegal, or an insurance agent.  I'm just someone who has enrolled in Experience University and hasn't taken the final exam yet.

As some of my readers know, my husband and I have been caregivers to his 90 year old mother in law, who , in the past year, has gone from an independent living facility to skilled nursing.  In the process, we have learned a lot about what we need to do to make sure our adult son has fewer difficulties than we have had.

We've been so consumed in caring for her that we've realized that:
-we don't have a place to be buried or interred;
-we've never told our son where our will, our powers of attorney, or our health care proxies are;
-we have never told him our wishes for our funerals.  This is especially of importance because we come from totally different religious traditions, and they have little in common as far as funeral customs.
-we have never communicated our health care wishes - do we want certain measures taken in the hospital to prolong our lives?

Do you really want to have someone else make those decisions without knowing your wishes?  Do you want some control over these things?  Maybe you don't.  But if you do, you need to do it, and someone needs to know your wishes.

And, have you made sure there is money to pay for it all?

We are all so busy living our lives, we don't give much thought to our final months, weeks, days.

I'm not going to give you any advice along these lines.  I'm not a qualified professional.  And, as you can see, I've not done the greatest job with this myself.

I'm just going to ask that you give it some thought, and contact professionals that can help you with the process.

It's all part of aging with grace - a final gift we can give our loved ones, so that they don't have to work as hard as our family has had to do. 

Day 14 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - Recovery From the Flood

Before I begin, I want to turn my attention to all those on the panhandle of Florida (and those elsewhere) who suffered from Hurricane Michael.  It happens that this storm became a little personal to a good friend of mine.  Her sister lived and still has a house in, and her son (who is a first responder) and his family still live, in a suburb of Panama City, Florida. 

While trying to help others, her sister's son will also have to deal with the extensive damage caused to his house.  His family was lucky to get out alive after trees fell on their house.  I've seen aerial photos of both houses and the devastation is every bit as bad as what many of us have seen on television.

I fear this weather (which impacted so many in Puerto Rico last year, as another example, and those on the island still haven't recovered - and the true death toll may never be known) is our new normal.

Our area of upstate New York, meantime, has had an exceptionally wet summer.  Flash floods have hit our area several times.  My son lived in walking distance of one of the floods (although not impacted directly) and a business near where he lived closed for a time.

Yesterday, thanks to much hard work by the community, this store, beloved by so many, reopened.

It is called Country Wagon Produce and we have shopped there (from time to time) for many years.
The view from the parking lot today
We shopped there today, and it was crowded with people happy that they came back.  The businessowners weren't sure they were ever going to reopen.  It could have been tragic.

Their fall crops were destroyed in the flood, and water even entered the store itself.  Their pumpkins were gone.  Their winter squash.  Their corn stalks.   You can see that at the link at the beginning of this paragraph - the Howard Manges twitter post.

But, with a lot of hard work, they are back in business.

And hopefully, I'll be making these Northern Spy apples (well, not all of them) into an apple crisp soon.  It was my small way of supporting a local business.

Yes, gratitude is in order.  But we, as a people, must give serious thought about how we will deal with our new normal.  Because rebuilding over and over from destruction can't be sustained.

Day 13 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mid October Sky #SkywatchFriday #blogboost

Mid October skies and the variety of its moods have always fascinated me.

From a moody collection of clouds.

After sunset.

And right before sunrise.

Join Yogi and the other bloggers who watch the sky each Friday at #SkywatchFriday.

Day 12 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost

Thursday, October 11, 2018

True Colors #ThursdayTreeLove #blogboost

This tree and I have had a relationship for around 10 years now.  I have watched it grow and thrive.  I see the leaves bud in the spring and fall in autumn.  I watch the bare branches blow in winter winds.

Now it's time for the leaves to fall.  It's the cycle of nature in the four season climate I live in.  Many trees in our area go dormant so they can survive our harsh winters.  The leaves aren't needed anymore.  They have done their jobs.  So the tree cuts them off from nourishment.  They turn colors - their true colors, now that the chemicals that make the leaves green aren't needed to produce nutrition from sunshine.

And then they fall.  But first, what a show the trees put on!

The color show has only begun here in upstate New York.  This tree, which I think is a type of locust, will be bare in a few days.  But many other trees are still green, or nearly so.

But the show has only begun. 

Join Parul and other tree loving bloggers every second and fourth Thursday of the month for #ThursdayTree Love.

Day 11 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Seeing Magic #WordlessWednesday #blogboost

Sometimes, the light around is is magic.
The sun rises.  The sun sets.  Right after sunrises and before sunsets, there is a time when the light has a certain quality of gold.  It is soft, diffuse, and makes everything glow.

This is a white anemone, a late blooming perennial that blooms, here in upstate New York, in late September and early October.  I decided to photography it from the back.

Watch for your next golden hour (what photographers call this period, although your position on Earth and cloud conditions determine how long it is) and you, too, can see magic.

Join Esha and other bloggers every Wednesday for #WordlessWednesday.

Day 10 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge #blogboost