Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Announcing a Blogging Break

For some time, I have been thinking of taking a blogging break.  I've been blogging daily since the beginning of May, 2011, although one of my posts from 2014 was removed (long after the fact) by what I suspect was a glitch as "not meeting community standards".  It was a post about inventions that changed the 20th century.  I've never bothered trying to get it reinstated. 

But now, I feel I need a break.

I will most probably be off of social media, too, including reading other blogs.

My break will begin on Friday, July 19 and extend until around July 28.  

For this week, my normal Wordless Wednesday will post tomorrow.  My Skywatch Friday post this week will post on Thursday.  And then, that's it until the end of July.

And yes, I will enjoy every minute of this break.

After I return to blogging, I don't know for sure if I will resume daily blogging, but I do intend to continue posting at least four four times a week:  Mondays (Music Moves Me), Wednesdays (Wordless Wednesday), Fridays (SkywatchFriday), and Sundays (Shadowshot Sunday)  plus the 15th of the month (Garden Bloggers Bloom Day).  We'll see how I feel about it after the break.

At one time, the posting daily mattered to me.  It no longer does although I'll feel some sadness in having a blogging streak this long end.  My original reason for doing it daily disappeared several years ago and, in the last several months, it's lost much of its enjoyment.   I feel myself slowing down.

 I hope I return to blogging refreshed.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day July 15 #GardenBloggersBloom Day

If you are looking for my Music Moves Me post, please click here.  This one is going to be all flowers, and I hope you'll stick around for that.

What a summer it has been so far in the United States.

In my Southern Tier of New York zone 6a garden, like in so much of the United States, it's been hot (for us!) and humid.  We've also gotten enough rain (not too much - not yet, anyway)and the plants are responding, especially the heat loving ones.

This is the time of year that there is such an abundance of blooms that I can't begin to show them all. But let's start with the day lilies.  These don't have names because I am so bad at record keeping.  So let's just go with color.

Sherbet and dark pink, or light red.  You can decide.
Our tallest daylily.

These are just about done.  This is the only spider daylily I have.  It came from a nursery (Lambertson's, in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania) that was going to cease business two years ago, but they keep reopening.  This was an unnamed variety.

The husband part of the husband and wife owners is in his 80's and perhaps they can't let go.  Or they just had so much to sell that they decided to reopen.Not sure I will make it down to Pennsylvania to admire their fields this year as their open times are limited. 

Reddish. can't get close because the garden has become too lush - or is it that it's reached its "let's cram everything daylily I can find" limit?

This yellow has my largest flower.  Same problem as above.

Red with a hint of yellow in the throat.
On the side, orange with yellow striping.  Another from the Lambertsons.

Finally, one more from Lambertsons.  This is one of my favorites.

I could go on for the longest post in history, but since I don't want to have nothing but daylilies, I need to end the day lilies here so I can fit some more flowers in.

A culvitated purple leafed loosestrife.  I would love this except it's very aggressive.  We have to keep ripping it out each spring but the people we bought it from (Cornell Cooperative) warned us.  They were right.

Globe amaranth is loving it.
Ditto lantana, shown here with some geraniums from the next pot.  Yes, the one on the left, yellow flowers, is variegated.

Hosta.

Red ganzania, also loving the heat.

That's it!  

Thank you, if you've stuck around this long to view my flowers.

Thanks go once again to Carol at May Dreams Gardens for her 15th of the month meme Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, where you can visit flowers from all over the world.  And a happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to all.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Let's Get Outdoors! #MusicMovesMe #ShadowshotSunday

It's Sunday, and it's time for music!

Who are the Music Moves Me bloggers? Well, we are a group of music loving bloggers who blog about music each Sunday or 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! Otherwise, your post may be labeled "No Music".  Our head host is Xmas Dolly, and our co-hosts are Cathy from Curious as a Cathy, joined by the knowledgeable Stacy of Stacy Uncorked and, last but not least, me.

Every other week, we have a theme.  On alternate weeks, we can blog on any music theme we want. This week our theme is "songs that make you think of sports or other outdoor activities". 

But before I begin, I need to announce that I will not be linking  to Music Moves Me on Monday, July 22, but hope to be back on Monday, July 29.  

Today, I'm also (next paragraph) going to link with Shadowshot Sunday, brought to us by Lisa at Lisa's Garden Adventures.  My pictures, of course, will have a shadow.  I will not be posting for Shadow Shot Sunday the next two Sundays.

First, flowers and shadows.

Striped ganzania, a preview of my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day post which will post Monday.  I hope you'll join me again then.
Bidens.

Lavender petunia.

And now, it's time for music!

Let's start off with what has been called the Great American pastime - baseball.

From 1985, a classic baseball song - Centerfield.

One more baseball song - Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, from 1948, with Take Me Out to the Ball Game from the movie of the same name. And yes, that is Frank Sinatra dancing alongside Kelly.  

I didn't know Frank Sinatra could dance but it turns out he did dance in several movies.  Gene Kelly was a good teacher, wasn't he!

Let's have fun in the park now, shall we?  Here's a couple of songs about parks.


From 1972, Chicago and Saturday in the Park.   

In 1968, Richard Harris released a song called MacArthur Park.  I loved it so much that I bought the single (and probably wore it out), but Donna Summer's 1978 cover is what really made me fall in love with it.

Stoned Soul Picnic, from 1968.   This is one of several Laura Nyro songs recorded or covered by the Fifth Dimension, and it's the version I picked.  I've wondered about the meaning of the song, but Laura Nyro never explained exactly what "surry" meant in this song.

Many people enjoy going to amusement parks and, to honor that, here's Freddie Cannon's 1962 hit Palisades Park.


Palisades Park was a real place.  If you are interested in knowing more, please enjoy this short history of this New Jersey park which has snippets of the theme song I would hear on the New York City radio in my childhood.  I visited it a couple of times and remember their large salt water pool.  That pool dated from 1912 and was said to be the largest salt water pool in the United States.  Alas, Palisades Park no longer exits although there is a historical marker on the site.  High rise apartment buildings replaced it.  In a way, it was a victim of its success, as you'll hear about in the video above.

We have time for one more - the beach and water.  How could I not include a song from the Beach Boys?  Here's Sloop John B, which is a cover of a song originating in the Bahamas in the early 20th century.

And that's a wrap!

Tomorrow, I hope you will join me for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  I will next be posting for Music Moves Me on Monday, July 29.  

Have fun without me!


Saturday, July 13, 2024

RIP Dave Loggins

Another rock and roll heaven induction is under way.

Dave Loggins, singer-songwriter, second cousin of country singer Kenny Loggins, and half of the duo Loggins and Messina, died July 10 at the age of 76. He died in a hospice in Nashville, Tennessee, but a cause of death was not given.

Here are some songs to remember Loggins by.

 

First, his 1974 hit, Please Come to Boston. 

Next, a beautiful song  - House At Pooh Corner.  This song was written by Kenny Loggins (see above), and was covered by Loggins and Messina in 1971.

Finally, a song written by Dave Loggins and recorded by Three Dog Night.  Here is the 1972 song Pieces of April.

 

Bonus track.  Kenny Loggins rerecorded the House at Pooh Corner song and added a verse in honor of his third son.  

RIP Dave Loggins.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Power Failure Sky #SkywatchFriday

We've had four power failures in the past month.  Fortunately, each has only lasted about an hour but the last one happened on Wednesday, around 8pm.  The temperature had reached 94F (34.4C) earlier in the day, with a heat index of 104F (40C).  Not hot compared to other parts of the United States, but still.

It had rained not long before the power went out, and, in fact, our county had been under a tornado warning.  But as the minutes passed (it was no longer raining) we decided we'd rather be outside.

About 8:30, we decided to go out to our local park and enjoy what was left of the sunset.

The clouds left only a narrow band for some color but the cloud in the middle lower part of the photo looked like a snowy mountain.

There were a couple of orange spots, which disappeared soon after I took this picture.

Now the lower clouds look like a mountain range in the distance.

The reverse sunset.

Walking back to our house, we passed by a couple of neighbors talking to each other and we joined the conversation.  Isn't it a bit sad that, without that power failure, we wouldn't have talked at all that day?

Shortly after 9pm, the power came back on, and we heard a cheer from another neighbor's house.  Ah, back to normal, but it made me think of the thousands of people in our country without power due to storms or floods.  We were fortunate.

Before I leave, a programming note.  I will post in Skywatch Friday next Thursday afternoon.  I won't have a chance to visit any of you on Friday.

I will not be posting a Skywatch post the week of Friday, July 26.

Joining Yogi and other skywatching bloggers each Friday (with few exceptions) at SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

At Last Blueberry Pie

We went to pick blueberries at a local U-Pick operation for the third time this summer.  That doesn't sound amazing except for the fact that our first picking was at the end of June.

The owner of the operation has been doing this for 37 years and said this is the earliest they've ever been able to open.

The berries are some of the best I've ever picked.  But the weather has been hot, for the most part, since they opened.   One of my favorite things to do with the berries had to wait for a day like - today.  We are 78F (25.5C) right now and I'm so thankful.

One of the plants from today.

One of my readers asked yesterday what I do with the berries.  We eat a lot of blueberry pie.  We make other recipes, too - here's a list from two years ago with links.  Since I'm a Weight Watchers lifetime member, I can't eat too many sweets.

What follows is one of my favorite ways of eating blueberries - blueberry pie, using a slightly changed recipe provided by the U Pick farmer.  It makes the best blueberry pie I've ever had, and I have blogged about it multiple times.   I'm finally going to be able to make it today.

There seem to be a lot of similar recipes online (in fact I found a recipe identical to what the farm provided in an online church cookbook) so I feel OK in posting this farm's recipe for all to enjoy.

Crust

1 refrigerated piecrust (because I'm lazy), baked in a 9 inch glass pie pan. 

No pictures this year, because I am already late in posting.

Filling:

4 cups fresh blueberries (divide into 2 parts, 2 cups each)  Apparently you can use frozen but I haven't done it myself, so I don't know if it will work with frozen.  It might work with the berries you cook (you'll see why as you read on).

2/3 cup sugar.  This all depends on the sweetness of the berries.  I've found early berries run a little sweeter than later ones.

2 1/2 tbsp potato starch or 3 tbsp cornstarch.  My spouse, the family cook, prefers potato starch, which we buy at Passover time.

A pinch of salt

1 tbsp lime juice (because that's what we have - the original called for lemon juice)

1/4 cup cold water

1 tbsp butter

Method

Combine sugar, cornstarch or potato starch, water, salt until well blended.  Add 2 cups blueberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the blueberry mixture thickens. If you use potato starch, please keep in mind that it will thicken very quickly.  You need to pay careful attention.

Then, add the butter and lemon or lime juice.  Let cool.

When cooled, place the reserved 2 cups of blueberries into the pie crust.  Then, top with the cooked mixture. 

Then, try to resist eating the entire pie at one serving.

It's Double Plus Good.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Bee Balm Action Photo #WordlessWednesday.

Yesterday was a hot, sticky day.  Today it's going to be worse, with the remnants of Hurricane Beryl on their way to the East Coast of the United States.

I worked in the office yesterday, and as I was exiting the car, it started to rain.  It was just a brief sprinkle, but I decided to take some day lily pictures before the rain ruined the flowers.

But on my way to the bed I wanted to photograph, I saw a bee on the left side of my bee balm and I clicked the take picture button just as it happened.

Another bee flew to the same flower and I caught it mid-flight (see right side of flower.

And since I have all these day lily photos, why don't I share a few?  This is probably the closest to a white day lily I'll ever own.

Yellowish.
 

I have so many favorites, and I'll share more in the near future.

 

Joining Sandee at Comedy Plus for her #WordlessWednesday.