Monday, September 30, 2019

Songs of 1958 - #MusicMovesMe

It's the last day of September!

It's Monday and it's time for #MusicMovesMe.  

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only,  please! Non-music posts are subject to removal or labeling as "No Music".)   First, there is XmasDolly.  Her chief co-conductor is Cathy of Curious as a Cathy. Her other co-conductors are Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, and me. 

This month, our guest conductor was Mary from Jingle Jangle Jungle. (Thank you, Mary!) For today she has picked "First Grade Songs - Songs that were popular when you were in first grade (or six years old).

Now, I didn't enter first grade until September of1958 and didn't turn six until later that year, but what I am going to do is use all of 1958 because it was such a fun year for music.

Don't believe me?  Let's start with a couple of novelty songs.

Witch Doctor - David Seville (yes, that David Seville, who created "The Chipmunks".
Sheb Wooley and Purple People Eater

But seriously, there was a lot of good music out there in 1958.  How about this almost-instrumental, with easy lyrics to learn - Tequila by The Champs?

Although this next song was released in September of 1957, it was one of the hottest singles of 1958. (Anyone remember "singles"?)  Danny and the Juniors with "At the Hop".

Speaking of Danny and the Juniors, they were part of a music trend that was popular in 1958 - doo wop music.  As someone who grew up in the Bronx, I would be drummed out of the Bronx if I did not include a song by Dion and the Belmonts - so here goes, with their first hit (yes, in 1958), I Wonder Why.

This next song charted several times, first in 1957, again in 1958, and has been covered many times.  The woman who the song was named after made national news when she passed away in 2018 - that is how beloved this song was.  Despite the initial 1957 release, I am including it due to its greatness.

Buddy Holly with "Peggy Sue".
This next song has quite a history.  Tommy Edwards had a hit in 1958 with "It's All in the Game" but the melody for this song was actually written in 1911 ( called "Melody in A Major) by Charles Dawes, who was later to become Calvin Coolidge's second term Vice-President.  Dawes also co-won the Nobel Peace prize in 1925.  The lyrics were added in 1951.

For my final selection, I the Platters and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

Oh, they don't make music like this anymore....

And it's a modern day wrap!

See you next Monday for more music - same time same place.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Baking and Repairing

In just a couple of hours, it will be the year 5780 in the Jewish calendar, and the High Holy Days will begin.  We start at sundown tonight with Rosh Hashanah and end 10 days later with Yom Kippur.

Where I live, it has been an almost perfect day, with temperatures in the 70's and low humidity.  My last large yellow daylily flower has unfolded - unbelievable that it it still blooming this late in the year.

I prepared to bake an apple honey cake for Rosh Hashanah, using local bamboo honey and eggs.

But there is also a lot of sadness.

During the year 5779, my mother in law passed away, along with the wife of one of my cousins and one of my husband's cousins.  Someone at my job was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that has a high mortality rate.  I went on vacation and he was rushed into surgery because of a serious physical issue caused by the chemo he is undergoing.  A couple of my cousins are going through hard times, physically.  The saying "aging is not for sissies" is a true one.

So what.

I am here.

I am healthy.

The world is waiting for my next move.

It's time to bake that cake.

One thing at a time.

It's time to help repair the world.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Local Saturday - A Taste of Apple and Honey

It's time to bake my annual apple honey cake, courtesy of Tori Avey.

Tomorrow at sundown begin the Jewish New Year observances (further explained in Tori Avey's blog post I've linked to above, and here).  There are traditional foods we eat, include apples and honey.  The honey symbolizes the sweetness of the New Year.

The apple symbolizes the Garden of Eden and also our love for the Creator.

Today, I celebrate apples.  I'm fortunate enough to live in an apple growing area.

Until you taste apples side by side, you don't realize how they differ in texture, sweetness, mouthfeel, crispyness and more.  There are apples for eating, apples for cooking, and all purpose apples.  Some apples have great storage qualities.

For my apple cake, I selected Pippins and Zestar.   And then, fate intervened - someone, apparently, tried to hack into my email account, and I had to change my password on all my devices.  That, and other shopping I did today, also left me a bit behind on what I needed to do today.

For the honey, it will be local buckwheat honey from a couple of hours away.  It's a dark honey and full of flavor.

So instead of tonight, I'll be making it tomorrow (with some minor changes from Tori Avey's recipe, including not adding the glaze topping, as I don't like those kinds of toppings.)

And, as far as the self reflection required as part of this time of year, I will be joining in on the Ultimate Blog Challenge on Tuesday.  I have decisions about where my life will go in the coming year, and how I can best serve humanity and our planet Earth.

But first, some apple cake is in order.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Canandaugua Lady

Last week, I watched the sunset over Canandaigua Lake (one of the Finger Lakes of New York State) with my spouse.

Although I wasn't looking in the direction of the sunset for this shot, I fell in love with this vessel in the water, awaiting nightfall.

It was like gazing at a painting, don't you think?

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019

First #ThursdayTreeLove

It isn't often that someone can tour the boyhood and young adult home of someone who impacted history.
On the family farm of Joseph Smith, near Palmyra, New York, there is something called the Sacred Grove.  All (there is no admission charge) are invited to visit the Sacred Grove for meditation and/or prayer.  (If you want to find out more about Joseph Smith, do a search on his name.)

On a tour of the homestead I took a week ago, I found this tree that was already starting to turn color in preparation for fall.

I don't know how old this tree is, but it has been, in its own way, a part of history.

Do you love trees? Why not join Parul and the other tree loving bloggers each second and fourth Thursdays at #ThursdayTreeLove.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Monarch Butterfly #WordlessWednesday

It wasn't this butterfly. No doubt this butterfly from last year is now residing in Butterfly Heaven.
Monarch Butterfly,  Binghamton, New York, September 2018

But I was eating my lunch yesterday, outside in downtown Binghamton, New York, when I saw a bird fly by.  It was windy and cool.

Right behind it, an orange and black butterfly sped by, and I do mean "sped by" heading west.

A few minutes later, a similar butterfly flew past.  Same flight path.

Shortly thereafter, two more.

And, later on, another one.  Like it was flying on a road.

The monarchs are migrating.  I've seen fewer this year than last.  But they are there.  Not the clouds of butterflies some see, but still thrilling.

Once again, I look at that little scrap of energetic beauty and wonder:   how do they know where to go?  And when?

Join Esha and Natasha for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

My Blog Through Another's Eyes

Last month, a cousin who lives in another state texted me, asking if she could call me and talk about blogging.  She had retired earlier this year and I believe she is attempting to re start up a business she had done part time while teaching for a living.  She knew I blogged, but was not a reader.

After a couple of false starts we made contact, and I answered some of her questions.  The most interesting part, though, was when  she asked to see my blog.  We both surfed over to it, and it was interesting to see my blog through someone else's eyes. 

I explained each of the elements, and we talked about different blogging platforms - not a long conversation, as I only am familiar with the one I used.

Meanwhile, last week, I received an invite to join the October edition of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. One thing I suggested to my cousin is that she join a blogging challenge.

What else would I recommend to her, as someone who has been blogging for over 10 years now?

Not that I'm any kind of expert, mind you.  Just because you do something thousands of times doesn't make you an expert.
One of my zinnias, September 21
Just as me taking snapshots doesn't make me a photographic expert.

I would tell her, and you, APPRECIATE YOUR READERS.  There are millions of blogs out there (I've seen a figure of between 500 and 600 million. Blogs.  That's right.).  You've come to my blog.  You've gotten to this paragraph.  Thank you!

But for her, that means there is an awful lot of competition out there.  Which leads me to point #2:

I would tell her don't bother blogging if the idea doesn't excite you.  I still love blogging. I don't try to earn money.  I do what I like to do and hope my valued readers (and I do value them, and their comments, more than you'll ever know) like what I am doing.  Having said that, what I am going to say next may surprise you.

I tried, gently, to discourage her.  Well, not discourage her, but I told her about some of the downsides.  Fighting spam.   Ignoring trolls.  The world of social media can be rewarding, but it can be a place of pain and, sometimes, danger.

And third, a lesson hard learned for me back in April: don't depend on Facebook to publicize your blog.   Someone (a troll, who knows?) reported me as a spammer, which led me to some interesting experiences.  Overall, it turned out to be a positive experience, not that I am going to thank said troll.

Why?  Because it taught me a valuable lesson.  Be prepared to walk away from Facebook.  I lived without social media for most of my life (I'm a senior citizen) and could do it, I know now.  Social media has its place in my life, but that's all it is - a tool.

Despite having to drop out of the July UBC because I couldn't post on their Facebook page, I plan to join the October Ultimate Blog Challenge, now that I am in (I hope) Facebook's good graces again.  In the meantime, my cousin hasn't created her blog.  Yet.

But one day she might.
It would be fun to watch her grow and bloom, wouldn't it?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Fall of Another Artist #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday.  It's the first day of autumn and it's time for #MusicMovesMe.  

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only,  please! Non-music posts are subject to removal or labeling as "No Music".)   First, there is XmasDolly.  Her chief co-conductor is Cathy of Curious as a Cathy. Her other co-conductors are Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, and me. 

Each month we have a guest conductor.  This month we have Mary from Jingle Jangle Jungle and she has declared a "Your Pick" week.

Originally, I wanted to blog about autumn, which starts today.

It's become a fall tradition to post this song on my blog: More Than This, by Roxy Music, which has references to fall in the lyrics.  Bryan Ferry has such a wonderful voice.

So does Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues:  Forever Autumn. (Although You Tube's uploader labeled this as Moody Blues, I believe it is a solo performance.)

But this autumn we are facing more than autumn leaves falling.

In the past 10 or so days we have lost two great rockers:  first, Eddie Money (I blogged a short tribute to him last Monday because I intend to include more of him in a future post) and, right afterwards, Richard Theodore Otcasek, better known as Ric Ocasek, of the Cars.  His September 15 death, at age 75, was not expected.  The cause of death was found quickly - heart disease.

It's just as well - his death broke many hearts, including mine.  His songs were the soundtrack of my life in the late 70's and part of the 1980's.

Here are some of my favorite Cars songs:  Ric doesn't sing the lead in all of these, but his guitar and songwriting are there.

Dangerous Type.

From 1984, Heartbeat City.

My Best Friend's Girl


Moving in Stereo/All Mixed Up 

Now Ric is reunited and jamming with Benjamin Orzakowski (Ben Orr), perhaps seeking out Eddie Money and his tickets to paradise, and hopefully is enjoying himself in an increasingly crowded Rock and Roll heaven.  

It's a sad wrap today, but I'll be back next week with more music.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Colors of the Seasons

Tomorrow, fall begins.

But where I live in the Southern Tier of New York, the trees are starting to turn, and the fall produce is bringing the colors of the season all over our state.

Ontario Orchards, in Oswego, New York (north of Rochester) chimes in with apples and crabapples.
In Victor, New York (about 30 miles from Rochester) mums and pumpkins dominate garden centers.

Where I live, in the Southern Tier, cauliflower delights with its colors (yes, these are real, and not manipulated).


What we used to call "Indian corn", now we call it Flint Corn.

It's a beautiful season.

And it's only just begun.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Local Saturday - Grape Pie Season

I am not going to be anywhere near Naples, New York this weekend for their Grape Festival.  I can not lie, it is too crowded for me.

But that didn't prevent my spouse and I from being in Naples this Tuesday, because the concord grapes are ripe and ready for the eating and pie making.

That's right.  Grape pies. I love them and I can't lie.  Don't laugh if you've never had one.  And don't tell my Weight Watchers, coach...what I've been up to.

I live only an hour or so from one of the Finger Lakes, and almost no one here has had a grape pie.  They are a true regional specialty, taking a lot of work to make (although you can get premade pie filling for them in the Naples area, in addition to the pies.)

Monica's Pies in Naples, some say, makes the best grape pies.  Actually, they make a number of different pies, depending on the season - apple, cherry, and even quiches (they are delicious) and chicken pot pies.  (I've not had them).

But their fame is based on grape pies, which they carry all year round.

Their theme color (no surprise) is purple.

More purple.
Let's take a walk up her driveway.

When you walk into her store it smells like grape jelly heaven.  There are lot of pies to choose from, plus T-shirts, grape soap (yes) and other grape related products.

Your grape pie choice is small or large, pastry top or crumble top.  We chose both a small pie and a large, and a crumble top.

And no, I'm not sharing.

Grape pie recipe? You'd better be an experienced pie baker and be able to set aside a lot of time.

Me? Maybe one year I'll brave it and attend the festival.

Happy grape eating!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Sunset Over Lake Ontario #SkywatchFriday

Where are the best sunsets?

Do I dare say the beautiful sunsets are found on SkywatchFriday, all over the world.

But are there really spectacular sunsets near to where I live, in the Southern Tier of New York State?

I decided to find out for myself.  It turns out that, by sheer luck, I've taken sunset pictures at some of the best sunset spots in upstate New York, my native state.

Now, I've added sunset over Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes.  These were taken earlier this week in Oswego, New York.


These are taken at Breitbeck Park, near Ft. Ontario, in Oswego.
The tall structures, I believe, belong to an electric power plant.

Down the sun goes.

But wait, there's more!  Patience is rewarded a few minutes later.

Spouse and I traveled here to see a particular museum (I'll about that next week, hopefully) and were rewarded with natural beauty.  But, remember, beauty is all around us.  All we need to do is look, with an open heart.

Join Yogi and other Friday skywatchers at #SkywatchFriday. 

I guarantee you there will be one or more sky pictures you will just love.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Sequel

I originally wrote this blog post when Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, died at age 89 in 2016.  I am repeating it (with some edits and editions) because of my belief that writers can make a difference.

I am thinking of the publication of Margaret Atwood's The Testaments last week.  Her classic The Handmaid's Tale has become a must-read book. 

We never expected a sequel, but we received one last week.

Some years ago, there was another unexpected sequel by someone else, a sequel to a beloved book.

My tribute to Harper Lee (with some edits), who wrote one of the most beloved books of the 20th century, follows:

Few things in life are simple.

At first, it was a legend written so perfectly.  If she had tried, she couldn't have written it more perfectly. 

The story seems simple on the surface  A woman grows up in a small Alabama town, the daughter of a lawyer.  She is the youngest of four children.  She had an older sister who becomes, herself, a prominent lawyer in Alabama and lived to the age of 103.

Working in dead end jobs, she writes a book.  An editor works with her, and after much hard work and rewriting, it is published in 1960.  The book is an immediate classic. It wins the Pulitzer Prize.   It is made into a hit movie.

In the years after it was published, it is called the book that unites Americans.  It is read and enjoyed year after year.  It becomes required reading in many high school classes, including in Alabama.

People name their children after the main characters:  Atticus, Scout.

We all know that books can, and have changed the world. 

Many authors can aspire to be the writers of one of those books.  Few succeed.

The author becomes a recluse, rarely giving interviews.  She spends her life in that small Alabama town.  Her sister, the lawyer, becomes her spokesperson.

She was so protective of her privacy she would rarely give interviews.  She never published another book...until she did.

Her story was neatly tied up and presented to an adoring public.  It made sense-if you write a classic as your first book, how can you follow with something even better?

The book, which took place in the Alabama of the 1930's (during the Depression), can be enjoyed on so many levels.   On the simplest level, it's the coming-of-age story of a young girl being raised, with her brother, by a single father, a lawyer.  He takes on the case of a black man accused of raping a white girl.  Her life is changed forever.

And then, last year, it all changed.  An announcement was made that there was a second book - and it would be published later in the year. It was a sequel to the first book, the American classic.  But, once the first chapter was released, many people were stunned.   The book, many believe, was actually an early draft of the classic.  And, still others believed that the author, then in her late 80's, was being taken advantage of.  She was, after all, in assisted living, having suffered a stroke almost 10 years ago.  She was said to have been nearly deaf and blind.

The neatly tied box of the author's life reopened.  Things were no longer neat and clean.  Her literacy legacy would now be complex.  Perhaps it always was - we just liked to hear the legend we had become used to hearing.

Yesterday, the author died.

I am talking, of course, of an 89 year old woman, Nelle Harper Lee, of that small town in Alabama.  Harper Lee, as she was known to the world,  has left a complicated legacy.  (I suspect it may get even more complicated in the coming days. We'll see.)

All of us who write hope to write THE BOOK, the book that will change the world for the better.

What we don't realize is that the book changes us just as much.

But still, I can wish to write that book one day.

In the meantime, I will content myself with my love of To Kill a Mockingbird.  And if you wonder, why the title, it is explained in the book like this to the main character, the young girl Scout:

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
“Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

So that I what I blogged in 2016. Now, an update.

Once again, we have a sequel to a beloved and important book.
One book takes place in the 1930's.  Another one takes place in our future.

Today, I root for Margaret Atwood, and The Testaments.  We live in dangerous times once again.  I can hope that the pen is mightier than the sword of ignorance and hate.

Will The Testaments be that tool?  Will it be a sequel never meant to be that fulfills its mission?

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Center of the Rebellion - #WordlessWednesday

Such an unassuming house, this house on Washington Street in Seneca Falls, New York, a short walk from some canal locks.

But consider who lived in this house from 1847 to 1862 - a woman by the name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Born in 1815, this woman, like all women born in our country at the time, could not vote.  Despite being the mother of seven, she decided to do something about that.  She called this house "The Center of the Rebellion".

Today, too many of us ignore what our foremothers (and the men who supported their efforts) had to do to win us the right to vote.

Voting is a right, for many in our country (not just women).  I ask that you consider that in November -then get out and VOTE.

Join Esha and Natasha for #WordlessWednesday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hidden But Not Dry

I first wrote this post in 2013, and repeat today with some updates.

Thursday concludes Restaurant Week in Binghamton, New York.

Since I first wrote this, Restaurant Week has spread into a lot of cities, both large and small.

For us, this started out in 2010 as a once a year promotion, and is now twice a year, in the spring and in the late summer.  It is a win-win for both restaurants and their patrons.

It works like this:

Participating restaurants offer either lunch or dinner, or both.  These are prix fixe meals.
Lunch is three courses for $10/$12 or $15 - an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. (some restaurants offer a wine or beer in exchange for the appetizer).  Dinner is $20 or $25 with a couple of $30 rsestaurants.  Most restaurants chose to charge either $20 or $25, and the dinner prix fixe menu consists of three or four courses.  For lunch it's usual to offer a choice of two appetizers, three main dishes, and two desserts, but this can vary.

They can, at their option, also offer their regular menu.

This is the caring part - a portion of the proceeds go to charity.  In 2013 the charity was CHOW, our Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse.  Our Binghamton community suffers from higher than average unemployment and underemployment, and an important thing to remember (this was related to me by a person who volunteers at a local food pantry) that a high percentage of those who use those food pantries are working poor.

This summer the proceeds are going to LUMA, the light festival I blogged about a week or so ago.

I work in downtown Binghamton, and I can testify that the restaurants are packed during Restaurant Week.  It's a good time for chefs to highlight their creations and gain new customers.  It's a good time for people (who can afford to eat out) to try new restaurants out and eat out for a good cause.  And, a good time for both businesses and customers to reflect on their good fortune in being able to participate.

This is where I went this year.  A bookstore?

Not exactly.  Let's open the door.

More books?  Yes, but let's look up before we do something with that bookcase.

Now, if you know how to swing open that bookcase (and I couldn't figure it out - my spouse finally did) you will find yourself in a speakeasy.   Well, let me rephrase that.  Something that looks like a speakeasy.

It's a restaurant called 205 Dry (it's located at 205 State Street, downtown) and it has a Roaring 20's theme - waitstaff are dressed in appropriate dress and you are asked to keep the noise level down so the "coppers can't hear us". 

What do they serve?  Lots of craft cocktails.  Fried chicken sandwiches.  Salmon served on farro.  Burgers.  Food I'm not sure a true speakeasy would have had but who cares?

Nice theme.  Nice cause.

Does your area have a similar restaurant program or a special business event in your area that raises money for local charities?

Monday, September 16, 2019

Farm Aid and Eddie Money #MusicMovesMe

It's Monday and it's time for #MusicMovesMe.  

Who are the #MusicMovesMe bloggers? We are bloggers who blog about music each Monday and if you have music to share with us, you are most welcome to join! (Music Posts Only,  please! Non-music posts are subject to removal or labeling as "No Music".)   First, there is XmasDolly.  Her chief co-conductor is Cathy of Curious as a Cathy. Her other co-conductors are Stacy of Stacy Uncorked, and me. 

Each month we have a guest conductor.  This month we have Mary from Jingle Jangle Jungle and she has picked for us: Farm Aid was founded in 9/22/85.  In honor of Farm Aid, build a playlist featuring artists that have performed at the anual event.  If you need help, visit Farm Aid.

But, on Friday, the music world lost another great -Eddie Money.

I'll get to three Farm Aid regulars in a minute, but first, a short musical tribute to Eddie Money.  I had been intending to blog about him next week, when I was going to start a series on "Rock Stars I have seen live" but Money, who announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer not long ago, didn't live long enough.  Sadly, Money was a heavy smoker.

Between 1978 and 1992 Money had 11 hits in the top 40.

For now, a couple of songs.  First, "Two Tickets to Paradise", his first hit, from 1977.

And my personal favorite (well, a tie with "Gimmie Some Water"), his 1986 duet with Ronnie Spector "Take Me Home Tonight".

RIP, Eddie Money.

And now, onto the Farm Aid regulars:

Neil Young - Keep on Rockin' in the Free World, performed in 1990.

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds - Ants Marching, Farm Aid 2018.  Watch what happens when Matthews breaks a string about a minute in.

John Mellencamp at Farm Aid doing "Little Pink Houses", also a 2018 performance. 

So, what is Farm Aid?  You could say it's an annual concert, held this year on September 21 in Wisconsin.  For over 30 years, Farm Aid has existed to support the family farmer. 

To quote from the website:

"Farm Aid is an all-day festival that brings together incredible music, good food and hands-on activities to get folks in touch with the roots of our food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised $57 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to take part in the Good Food Movement."

The need is there, more than ever, especially due to the massive flooding in farm communities earlier this year.  Even up here, where we didn't flood, many farmers couldn't work their wet fields and had to plant late.  And if farmers don't grow our food...yes, that food comes from somewhere other than the supermarket.  Someone has to grow it.

And that is an (edible) wrap.   Support your local farmer, even if it is in the smallest way you can.  Visit a true farmers market.  Buy local, if you can.

Thank you, Mary of Jingle Jangle Jungle, for allowing me to get on my soapbox.

Next Monday, I'll be back - same time, same place.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Summer Marches Out- Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 2019

On this Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, September 2019 edition, fall is closing in on the Northern Hemisphere.

Trees are starting to turn color where I live in zone 5b in the Southern Tier of New York State.  Summer is marching out, although the weather is still warm.  We've had a chill in the air at times.

One day, perhaps in February, I will look at this post and wonder, did summer every happen?  And will it ever return?

My flower gardens still have plenty to look at.

Starting with several collages.  First, nasturtium.

My cosmos garden amazed me - I have pink ones but no white ones but look what I found yesterday (on the left).



I still have two varieties of yellow daylily.  I think I am setting a record for my garden here.

Nothing says fall like asters, and I have a wild aster plant (gift from a nursery specializing in native plants in Ithaca, New York) in my back yard.

Sedum is coloring up nice.
Turtlehead, a cultivated wild plant found in this area, is still blooming.

My two marigolds (yes, the one on the left is white).


Garlic chives with a bee.

Some more collages. Geraniums...

Zinnias from our community garden (for some reason, we have trouble growing them at our house.)

The first Japanese anemone decided to open this morning, just in time for GBBD.

Last but not least, my indoor flowers - African Violets and moth orchids.

For me, the first frost breaks my heart, because I know the growing season is over.  But one day, I know it will return.  Hopefully we won't get the first frost before October 15. 

Join the garden fairies who live at Carol of May Dream Gardens and gardeners all over the world for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day each 15th of the month.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Not So Local Saturday - Presidential Butterflies

September 11, 2019, at the Sarah Roosevelt garden on the estate in Hyde Park, New York where President Franklin Roosevelt grew up and spent part of his adult life.

Walking through the garden, I saw monarchs on the zinnias, perhaps getting ready to migrate to Mexico.  It's another sign that fall is coming soon.

And then there was this butterfly whose name I forget (and I know someone will remind me) nearby.

While we as a country grieved, nature went on doing what it does every day.  The cares of a butterfly are not our cares.

And they sure are beautiful to watch.

Are You Prepared?

Are you ready for a natural disaster?  Or your death?
You've drawn up your will, made your wishes known to family.

But, have you thought about your pets?

They are part of your family.  They deserve and have earned your care even after your death.  Or after a natural disaster.

We in the Southern Tier of upstate NY learned this the hard way last September.

A local pet shop (I will not mention their name within this post, but it is part of a chain) flooded in our September 8, 2011 floods in Johnson City caused by Tropical Storm Lee.  The site had flooded at least once, before the shop opened.  The owners of the chain would have had access to this knowledge.

I will not get into the controversy over who was responsible - the village of Johnson City, management....but the sad and sorry fact was that some 100 animals died in the flooded store, scared and alone, because they were not evacuated.  Another 100 or so animals were saved and brought to a location about an hour away.

In all these months of me blogging about the flood recovery, I have never spoken until now about the Pet Shop of Death.  But I can tell you that in the days and weeks after the flood, so many people discussed, debated, cared about what had happened in that store on Harry L. Drive.  In the swirl of people dealing with flooded basements and homes, not having clean water to drink or a place to wash their clothes, finding the roads they normally used closed and damaged, coping with their displacement or the displacement of their workplaces, and everything else that accompanies this type of disaster, people cared about those animals.

It hurt.  It still hurts.

Or, as tragically happened to a relative - she lived alone, and died instantly in a car accident.  She had two cats, both rescue cats.  She volunteered time in an animal shelter.  She had a will.  But she had not made a provision for her cats. This can happen, too.

So, I would like to ask each of my readers this question, because a weather disaster can happen anywhere, at any time.

-Have you thought about, if there is a disaster, who will care for your pets?  Your chosen people might not be able to when that day comes, but at least you have tried.

-Have you made it known, if you live alone and pass away suddenly, who will take in and care for your pets?  Not just hoped, but spoken to the person(s) and gotten their agreement?

If you haven't, please do so today.  Or, at the latest, tomorrow.  Your pets love you, look to you, depend on you.  Don't let them down.

I was petless during the flood, and am still petless.  But this may change in the future, and I will make these arrangements before ever being honored by the company of a pet, ever again. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Skies on the Bridge #SkywatchFriday

Today is Friday the 13th, but it is also your lucky day.

You are about to see some sky pictures I took on Sunday while attending the Blues on the Bridge festival in Binghamton, New York.

Puffy clouds are coming our way.

Near Confluence Park where two rivers, the Susquehanna and the Chenango, meet.  Note the reflections in the left part of the little waterfall.

Doesn't the river look peaceful?

The river is pretty low, too.  The day I took these pictures was the eighth anniversary of our floods of September 8, 2011.  You wouldn't have been allowed to take a picture at the same site.

Speaking of that flood, perhaps living at this corner isn't the best idea.

And finally, a lamppost.

Join Yogi and the other skywatchers each Friday for #SkywatchFriday.