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Friday, August 31, 2018

Cloud Fest #SkywatchFriday

As far as many are concerned, here in upstate New York, it's the last weekend of summer.  It's not what the calendar says, but seasons sometimes have their own agenda.

Today starts the Labor Day weekend.  Where I live, near Johnson City, New York, we will have "field days" - four days of carnival like fun capped by fireworks on Monday night.  Monday, in the United States, is Labor Day, which many (but, ironically, not retail workers or others) have off.

In honor of what turned out to be a hot, humid and rainy summer, I want to bring my readers back to a beautiful July day in downtown Binghamton, New York - a Friday when many came together to celebrate music, artwork, and crafts - July Fest.

The clouds decided it was time for a fest, too.

Clouds tower over a closed street and tents.

Downtown Binghamton.
The Broome County courthouse.
Oh - did I forget the music?

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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Return to Weight Watchers

August is over tomorrow.  Summers always have a certain feel of freedom to them, but, in our part of the world, summer unofficially ends on the first Monday of September.  Soon after, children return to school (colleges are already back in session). The pools close, as do our local carousels.  The daylight portion of the days are rapidly shrinking, as we march towards the equinox.

It's a return to reality, such as the reality of my weight.

You know these posts about what you should't eat after 50?

Well, they are true.  As your weight travels north, your metabolism travels south.  So does your health, if you are not careful.  I am pre-diabetic again.  My right knee hurts.  I'm getting other bodily signals of "you've gained too much.  Time to take action".

Which is why, on September 12, I am going back on Weight Watchers after several years of non-membership. (I quit a couple of years ago).

Things have changed while I was gone.

One thing is going to be really hard for me is how yummy dessert items now have a lot more points (you don't count calories, but track "points" - back in 2012 it was Points Plus, now something called Freestyle) than healthy stuff, because, after all, Weight Watchers wants you to eat healthy.

But I love my chocolate.  And I am the queen of emotional eating.

This new program is worse than starting Weight Watchers for the first time, because I now have to unlearn some things, and relearn them in a new way.

I'll consider it "keeping my mid 60's old brain young".  I was resisting this, but resistance, as they say, is futile. 

The good news is, I have the same leader as I had when I started my journey in 2012.  When I had my first meeting, she was actually leading her first meeting.  We learned together.

Some things haven't changed, though - the support of meetings.  And that's really why I am joining again.  I can't do it alone, I've found.  I could for a while, but age and that declining metabolism have caught up with me again.

It takes a village for some of us to lose weight.  I'm returning to my village.

I promise I won't turn this into a weight loss blog, but I am going to mention it from time to time.

And if you want to cheer me on,  that would just be a bonus.

Wish me strength, as summer ends, and we move quickly towards fall.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Skywatch Petunias - #WordlessWednesday

Every Friday, I publish pictures of the sky as part of something called "Skywatch Friday".  But every day, I try to appreciate the sights that are more down to Earth.  Still, I love the sky.

Maybe that's why this petunia appeals to me - don't the white spots remind you of stars?  And the blue/purple, the sky?

This picture was taken back in June - sadly, these petunias did not do well in this hot and humid summer.

Join Esha and other bloggers celebrating #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Musical Butterfly

I have seen so many butterflies this summer, where I live near Binghamton, New York.

Or maybe I'm just looking out for them, because they make me feel free.

My wildflower expert identifies this as a fritillary, perhaps a great spangled fritillary (Speyeria cybele). I've only just started to learn about butterflies, and they seem so complicated.

As I listened to music at Sunday's Porchfest, I spotted this butterfly, and followed it through a garden of zinnias. 

I needed those minutes of freedom, to let go to music (where you become part of the music) and then be enchanted by one of nature's little miracles.  I needed those few hours without care, where my spouse and I could wander from street to street.  We ended up listening to one band for over an hour and a half, at the end.  Someone mentioned that the mayor of Binghamton was in the crowd.  I didn't see him but I would believe it.  In small cities, mayors do things like that.

The entire point of Porchfest, where musicians play on neighborhood porches, is to let yourself go, in a family friendly way, and have fun..

Children sell lemonade. People say "hi" to their neighbors. Some streets are closed and vendors gather in the middle of the street.  People ride bicycles everywhere.  It's like a giant block party.

I wish it came more than once a year.

Soon, the dreaded winter will be here.  Today, we have a heat advisory. 

But Sunday, we had butterflies.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Have a Drink on Me #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and I welcome you to #MusicMovesMe.

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, who is recovering from surgery.  Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice, (who is recovering from surgery) and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting  is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy (currently filling in as the temporary head Engineer and guess what? She's recovering...yup.)   And, (last but not least), there's - me.

This month, our Guest Conductor is Marry Burris of Jingle Jangle Jungle and her theme for today is "Songs with Beverages in the title." 

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We really want to boogie with you, so please keep in mind that this is a blog hop and open to music posts ONLY!


If you do have music to share, you are welcome to link up above. We'd love to hear from you! 

The very first song that popped into my head was a song from my childhood:  Tea for Two.  The version I remember was sung by Doris Day.  I never knew it came from a movie she made in 1950.

Tea for Two - Doris Day.  This movie was a reworking of a Broadway play much older than I am.
The song "Tea for Two" comes from a Broadway show, No No Nanette, dating from 1925. To give you the flavor of the original, this is Tea for Two - Ben Selvin's Dance Orchestra from 1925, with some wonderful period pictures in the video.

Another Cup of Coffee - Mike and the Mechanics, tells the story of a woman whose husband has left her.  What's there to do but drink another cup of coffee?

Cool Water - cover of a famed Western song, done by Frankie Lane, 1955.

A couple of wine songs:

Elderberry Wine - Elton John, 1972.

One of my favorite groups from the 1960's - Sweet Cherry Wine, by Tommy James and the Shondells.  Little did I know then that the reference to sweet cherry wine was not to sweet cherry wine.  But, I will include it under "wine" anyway.

Red, Red Wine - UB40

Moving on to the hard stuff: A Rum Tale - Procul Harum.

BONUS: This is tretching things a little because you should never drink untreated sea water, but I am selecting, as my final song "Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin (born Walden Robert Cassotto).  Bobby Darin went to the same high school (graduated the year after I was born) as I did. His heart was damaged by rheumatic fever he contracted as a child, and he felt (correctly, it turned out) that he would not lead a long life due to his damaged heart.  He died, never waking up after heart surgery, at the age of 37. 

Enjoy the week!  I'll be back with more music next Monday, same time, same place.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Your Grandmother Would Be Ashamed

It's time again for Porchfest in Binghamton, New York.

The very first Porchfest took place in Ithaca, New York (about an hour to the northwest of us) in 2007.  I don't think anyone dreamed of how the concept has caught on, but it is now nationwide and in Canada.

From noon to seven o clock today, the "Abel Bennett" historical neighborhood on the West Side of Binghamton, New York (a small city of about 47,000 population) is enjoying "Porchfest", where residents open their porches to bands, who play for free in a celebration of friendship, music, and neighborhood pride.  Although most streets remain open, it's a block party type atmosphere, and family friendly.

Some highlights of Porchfest 2018:

A video for you of "Roadhouse Blues", covered by The Watts.  (Sorry for the blurriness).

What a beautiful garden!
Krooked Knuckles
Alpha Brass Band (the sign at the extreme lower right, which I accidentally cut off, says "Hate has No Home Here".
Of course, there are some who would spoil it for others, and, this year, these signs were everywhere. But I do have to say, if I had a dollar for every can of beer I saw in someone's hands today, I wouldn't need to go to work tomorrow.

But heartache was waiting for me when I returned home for a breather, and found out about the mass shooting at a video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida.  I'll mention only that Binghamton, sadly, knows about that kind of event, too. Ours happened, in fact, where I went yesterday for the Garlic Festival.

I know both my grandmothers would be ashamed of what our country has become.  And I should be, too, for not speaking out enough.  No one should have to go to a gaming tournament and wonder if they will leave alive.

And once again, we ask:  "why?"

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Sustainable Saturday - Black Garlic and Chocolate

The annual garlic festival at the American Civil Association in Binghamton, New York.

There's garlic.

More garlic.
Black garlic for sale, Binghamton, New York August 25, 2018

And black garlic.

And black garlic covered in dark chocolate.

No, please don't run away.  Hear me out!

I've never had black garlic before.  The vendor, Sweet G Garlic, had samples.  I was, to use an old expression, "blown away".  It is chewy and not at all garlicky.  The flavors are complex.  Here's some of the science behind black garlic.

But the owner of Sweet G wasn't done yet.
He opened a cooler.  Within were black garlic samples coated in dark chocolate.
They were fantastic. 

I would have bought some on the spot if he had any for sale, but he didn't.  "Not yet", he said.  But soon.  Unfortunately, this vendor is located over two hours from where I live near Binghamton, New York.  We did buy some of his regular garlic, though.

I have a feeling that, by the end of today, Sweet G is going to be sorry he didn't have any ready for sale.  I think he would have sold out with some word of mouth. (So yes, he is going to get some from me.)

I found a a recipe online that isn't exactly what this man had, but if I can find black garlic locally, I just may try to make some with chocolate.

The festival also had the more traditional garlic ice cream, which I've had in the past.  But this stuff was way better.

Have you ever tried black garlic?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Reflections - #SkywatchFriday

Downtown Binghamton, New York is full of sky watching opportunities.  Sometimes, they come when you least expect them.

Reflection in a large puddle yesterday morning.  Sorry if this causes anyone vertigo.  This part of the street has been sinking, it seems to me, this summer.

The same street, at a different angle, the morning before (Wednesday).

The clouds looked so angry this week near the Broome County Courthouse.  I am told a little of the smoke from the California wildfires may have been mixed into this view.

And, while picking blueberries, on Sunday - I guess you could call this a blueberry sky.  Not downtown, but including, anyway.

Join Yogi and the other intrepid skywatching bloggers who capture the skies each week, for your pleasure (and ours!), at #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Longing for Magnolias - #ThursdayTreeLove

Magnolias are a popular tree in the Eastern United States, but this particular type of magnolia I am blogging about today will not grow where I live.  You have to go south to find them.  In my normal trips down South (during the winter) it's not their bloom season.

One year ago, I went down South to Columbia, South Carolina with my spouse, having come there from our home in upstate New York to view a total eclipse of the sun.

I used to live in the Southern United States years ago, and I miss saucer magnolias.  These will not grow in my northern home, but are plentiful in the South, including in Columbia, South Carolina.

These are evergreen, and they bloom in the summertime with beautiful white flowers.


Like this.  What a beauty!

We have a saying, in the United States, that the "grass is always greener on the other side".  Whatever we have, we long for things we can't have.  For me, that includes crepe myrtles and saucer magnolias.


Join Parul at Happiness and Food every second and fourth Thursday of the month for #ThursdayTreeLove.  Do you love trees?  Come join us with your picture!



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Riverbank Gardens Flowers

One year ago, I was in a place I never imagined I would be on a hotter than you know what summer day - Columbia, South Carolina.

I never would have been there except my spouse and I had traveled to Columbia from upstate New York to view a total eclipse of the sun.  The heat would have scared me away.

My son, who accompanied us for the eclipse, had left for home earlier that morning. 

I should thank last year's eclipse for these flower garden pictures, taken in and near the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in West Columbia, along the Saluda River.  We were fortunate enough to go there on a beautiful sunny day.

We quickly found out what grows well in Columbia's hot, humid heat.

An unknown lily (from my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day reads, I really should know what this lily is.)
Vincas.
Succulents.
Hisbiscus.

In seeing these photos, I forget about the sweat pouring out of me as spouse and I wandered the garden. The people of South Carolina know how to work with heat.  Rather I see the beauty of flower displays (except for hisbiscus) that I normally wouldn't see where I live.

Nice memories of a year ago today.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Total Eclipse of The Mind

On August 19 and 20, 2017, my spouse and I traveled by car from our home near Binghamton, New York to Columbia, South Carolina to view a total eclipse of the sun that would take place on August 21, 2017.  It's a distance of about 750 miles (1,207 kilometers).

We almost didn't make it there, because I lost my nerve somewhere in Virginia.  I haven't admitted that up to now.  If it wasn't for my son, traveling ahead of us in his car, we may never have made it.

We were familiar with the route.  We had made the trip to South Carolina several times; to Columbia, once.  We would take I-81 to I-77 to Mt. Airy, North Carolina.  The next day would be a short drive to Columbia.

That is, until we hit the traffic jam in Virginia.  Much of the trip in fact, is in Virginia.   We are talking around 234 miles from (approximately) the northern border of Virginia to its intersection with I-77, and then there is still more driving after that. 

We knew many people were traveling south to watch the eclipse, but hadn't imagined this would happen.

The traffic jam stretched as far as the eye could see.  No construction was in sight, nor was an accident. 

My son called, a few minutes ahead of us.

"I pulled off and stopped at a gas station.  The attendant told me the traffic jam stretches to the Virginia border." he calmly told me.

Oh no.

We would never make Mt. Airy.  We would never make the eclipse.  We would never.... negative thoughts filled my head.

We got to the gas station.  We talked to someone pumping gas at the next pump.  "Yes", he confirmed.  "It's the traffic going south to see the eclipse.  It's all jammed up."

I called my son, visions of a 200 mile long traffic jam curdling my thought processes.

"I don't know..." I began. "I'm thinking of turning around..."

"Mom!" interrupted this young man in his 20's.  "You aren't going to give up now, are you?  I'm not giving up!"

This is what my son did.  He got off of I-81.  He had never been in the area. He had no routine, no preconceived notions.  He went for broke.  He used Google Maps on his phone to find a Virginia state road that paralleled I-81.  It was rural, and it was slower, but what was the alternative?

Believe it or not, after we started to follow him, we got back on I-81 a couple of times, and quickly found ourselves back in the traffic jam.  Finally, the wisdom of what he was doing sunk in.

That night, in Mt. Airy, in the motel room we shared, he told us of his adventures.  He had fallen in love with that part of Virginia, especially after someone flagged him down to tell him his gas cap was open.   He talked about the beauty he saw.  He's definitely a blue highway kind of man.

The next morning, the road to Columbia was clear.

I learned so much about myself during that trip.  I'm stuck in my ways. I have to unstick myself.

I have to relearn being flexible.

Not where I viewed the eclipse but I'm sure it was fun for the fans
If I had listened to myself, I would have missed this.

Columbia, South Carolina, day before eclipse
And this.

And this.

South Carolina State Museum, where we watched it, at totality
And this, one year ago today.
The horizon at totality
And this.

Sometimes, you just need a good kick in the pants from your son.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Times of our Musical Lives #MusicMovesMe

It's tribute time.  It's Monday and time for #MusicMovesMe, and we've lost still another music great.

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, who will be taking a break for a month or so (please keep her in your thoughts as she will be undergoing some surgery).  Her co-conductors are:  Callie of JAmerican Spice, (who right now is only able to post occasionally due to vision issues - please keep her in your thoughts as she takes this journey) and ♥Stacy of Stacy Uncorked♥   Also, co-conducting  is  Cathy from Curious as a Cathy although she will become a temporary head Engineer starting this week while XMas Dolly recuperates.   And, (last but not least), there's little ol' me.

Our rules here are simple:  
We really want to boogie with you, so please keep in mind that this is a blog hop and open to music posts ONLY!
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It's been almost a week since Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, left us.  Tribute after tribute has been written.  What can I possibly add?

Pancreatic cancer has taken other musicians and talented people (in addition to many "just folks" that keep our world spinning, so to speak).  I wanted to pay tribute to some of them, too.

First, a couple from Aretha - not her biggest hits, but songs from earlier in her career.

Aretha covering "Try a Little Tenderness".  This song originally dates from 1932, way before Otis Redding had a hit with it.  Here is Aretha.

A performance from 1970 "I Say a Little Prayer".

Now, others taken from us by pancreatic cancer.

Two kings after the Queen: Luciano Pavarotti (with James Brown) singing "It's a Man's World".

Dizzy Gillespie "A Night in Tunesia".

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer "Lucky Man".

Michael Landon, better known in his roles on Bonanza and Touched by an Angel, sings "Shenandoah".
Ray Price, "Heartaches by the Number", from 1959.


I will end this with Patrick Swayze in the famous "Time of My Life" dance of his character Johnny Castle with Baby in "Dirty Dancing".

RIP to all those taken from us by cancer.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Mystery Butterfly of the Blueberries?

I hope someone can help me name this butterfly.

I found it in a blueberry bush when I was picking blueberries near Castle Creek, New York today.  He (or she) actually stood still long enough that I wondered if the butterfly was somehow stuck in the blueberry bush.  Unfortunately, I could not get the entire butterfly in the picture.

Here's another view, taken right before the mystery butterfly took off.

I'm thinking, from this web page, common buckeye but it doesn't seem to have round spots you see in the picture.

Considering how much I love flowers, I know very little about butterflies, but I'm confident one of my fine readers will give me an ID.

And the blueberries?  It's late in the season, but even with all our rain, they are still coming.  (Had to dodge some sweat bees and yellow jackets, though.)

Incidentally - I made my pictures a little larger.  If you find these hard to load on your mobile device, though, please be sure to let me know.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Pancreatic Cancer

Several years ago (I don't remember exactly when) I heard a rumor that Aretha Franklin had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

On Thursday, sadly, that rumor proved itself correct (I will do a musical tribute post to Aretha Franklin on Monday).

Pancreatic cancer is personal for me.  It killed an aunt, an uncle and a great aunt (both sides of my family have been touched).  Someone I walked with at lunch for years lost her brother in law to it.  A former boss lost her sister to it.  And on and on.

Pancreatic cancer is personal to the purveyor of the best fried fish in the universe, too.

Back in November of 2009, the food truck of a restaurant located in upstate New York, Doug's Fish Fry, did a month of pancreatic cancer fundraisers.  A portion of proceeds were donated to PANCAN.

I wrote most of the following post in November of 2009.  To me, it is shameful that pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly, if not most deadly, of cancers.  It's hard to detect early, which would be a key to early treatment.

One day pancreatic cancer will be as easy to diagnose as breast cancer, or cervical cancer.  We can always dream.  And pray.  At one of the fundraisers back in 2009, we saw an information plaque which gave various facts about pancreatic cancer.  One of them was pretty sobering:  it said that the state of pancreatic cancer research is approximately where breast cancer research was in the 1930's.

Well, we who were alive in the 1970's know how much the fight against breast cancer has advanced since then.

Circa 1960's, if a woman was suspected of having breast cancer, she went under the knife.  Many times they did something called a frozen section biopsy while the woman was under.  If this biopsy was positive for cancer, the mastectomy was done then and there.  No counseling, no opportunity for the woman to make a treatment decision, no warning, no nothing.  The woman woke up minus a breast.  Who cared about her feelings?

How grateful we women (and men, as men get breast cancer, too - did you know that?) should be for the amount of progress made since then.

Now it is time to apply that same can-do spirit to pancreatic cancer.  Why?
1.  There was no early detection method for pancreatic cancer (as of 2009, and I believe that is still true).
2.  (partially as a result of #1) this is one of the most deadly forms of cancer there is.  We were talking an approximately 4% survival rate after five years in 2009.  Now it's up to 7%, according to the American Cancer Society.

It is not unknown for people to die less than a month after diagnosis.  That is devastating to the family, never mind the person with the cancer.

3.   Not that celebrities should be more important than the rest of us but do you remember:  Michael Landon?  Jack Benny?  Donna Reed?  Rex Harrison?  Joan Crawford?  Fred Gwynne? Luciano Pavarotti?  (some of these are more baby boomer icon names). How about Sally Ride? Patrick Swayze? Steve Jobs? Bonnie Franklin? Pernell Roberts? And now, Aretha Franklin?

The sad but true fact is that it is the loss of celebrities (or the famous) that call people to action.  Although, as this article points out, there aren't too many "famous" spokepeople for this illness-they don't survive long enough.

If a cause isn't (excuse the expression) "sexy", it doesn't get the money.

Pancreatic cancer certainly doesn't get money for research the way some other cancers do.  Not to take away the importance of any cancer, but I believe funding must become more even between types of cancer.

That would be such a wonderful way to honor the memory of the Queen of Soul.

(Written in honor of my aunt Trudy, who died from pancreatic cancer in August of 1974).

Friday, August 17, 2018

#SkywatchFriday - Mushrooms and Sunsets

I'm always looking for a novel way to watch the sky.

But before I show you my newest method, I want to thank everyone who has visited and commented on my blog over the past couple of days.  The wacky weather the Northeast United States has been experiencing has led to flooding in many places.  Tuesday, it was the turn of my area of upstate New York to experience flash flooding.

I am not personally affected but we have more rain in the forecast for tomorrow, and we are not too far from the possibility of river flooding.  If you read my blog posts of September, 2011, you will learn how a flood impacted the life of many in our area, including my spouse and me.

Just one story out of many thousands.

So today, I watch the sky for many reasons.

Take last Friday for example.

Last Friday, we had a "calm before the storm" sunset.  Red sky at night - it was a sailor's delight, but not for long.
I think we were being given a message.  Or a warning.

But what about my newest method of watching the sky?


This is a yellow (the yellow didn't show up too well) mushroom I found growing Wednesday on the grounds of the Broome County Courthouse near where I work in downtown Binghamton, New York.

See the center?  It is full of water from the rains of Tuesday.  And, in that water, the sky is reflected, clouds, trees and all.

Join Yogi and other bloggers watching the sky every Friday on #SkywatchFriday.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Will the Farmers Survive the Flood?

On August 14, flash floods hit a number of upstate New York communities, including the small community of Nichols, New York.

One farm devastated is a family owned operations called Englebert Farms.  It is believed that they are the oldest organic certified dairy in the United States.

This farm, according to Facebook posts, faces an uncertain future after the flood that hit them on Thursday.  Today, I repeat a post from October of 2017, when my spouse and I toured the farm.  It was a wonderful experience.

I wanted to show you a couple more pictures I didn't publish the first time.
A calf.
Pigs.
Your local farmer always needs you, but they need you more than ever after disaster strikes.

Please, support your local farmer today.  They aren't the only farmers suffering; it's just one story I'm aware of.  And now, the post from October 2017 with small edits:

These pictures were taken two Saturdays ago at a Tioga Farm/Art Trail open house at Engelbert Farms near Nichols, New York.

As far as they know, this farm is the oldest organic certified dairy in the United States.The land has been in possession of this family for well over 100 years.
Here are some of their "girls". The barn they are in, by the way, is a shelter.  The cows have free access to the outdoors. 
A farmer feeds a cow.

The milking parlor is antiquated, but fulfills the needs of the farm.

As I spoke with one of the family, and met some more family members, it became obvious just how hard these farmers work. Dairy farming is quite labor intensive, apart from the fact that cows must be milked twice a day, each and every day. 

This farm has a farm store which sells produce in season.

Engelbert  is locally famed for  delicious organic cheese products such as cheese.  They are a bit expensive, but we also buy their cheese from time to time.  If you ever wonder why these products are expensive, you should meet, and talk with, a small farmer.

As we left, the family member giving us the tour said "Feel free to ask questions anytime!"

It is a wonderful thing to meet and talk to a food producer, to see where your food really comes from, and how hard these farmers work to put food on your table.  And if Dutch Hills Creamery (whom I blogged last year-AM) can not get back into operation after a disastrous fire (August 2018 update - sadly, they did not recover), our community will be poorer for that.

Support a local farmer today!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day August 2018

Devastation all over our area from flooding.  Not our house, but others, many others, mainly to our south, east, west.

I woke up at 4:30 this morning.  The skies were clear.  But, several hours before, it was a way different story.

The rain came again.  Rain storm after rainstorm.  Like much of the Northeast, we have enough rain to spare where I live (zone 5b) in the Binghamton area of upstate New York.  As I write this, the county I live in is under a state of emergency (although my house is safe - at least, unless it rains again.) but our area managed to make the NBC Evening News. 

I wrote my post the day before"just in case".
Here are some soggy pictures for your enjoyment for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  I was astounded to find I still had one daylily blooming, and my turtlehead had its first bloom opening.

So I decided to also run some pictures I took a couple of days ago, before the flash floods started.  These are all still blooming but just aren't photogenic right now.

Black petunia.
Glad.
White marigold.
Dahlia.
Tall phlox.
Cleome.

As far as that rain:  You hear so many people say "I've lived here 30 years and I've never seen anything like this."  Well, yes.

This isn't like rain I've ever seen before. Day after day, the sky is dark, and when the rain comes down, it comes down.   And now I think, what if a tropical storm comes through?


So many Americans have survived floods and fires and my heart goes out to those facing those situations today.  Some may even be participants in this monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day meme hosted each month by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  On the 15th of each month, we show what is blooming in our houses or gardens.

I would much rather think of beauty, and flowers like these double impatiens.

Now, please go and visit others participating in Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, while I continue to hope that the rain finally stops, before anyone else in my area makes the local news because they are homeless, or because their hamlet was wiped out by floods.